Bubble Bobble

 

Bubble Bobble - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot

This is the beginning of a fantastic story!! Let’s make a journey to the cave of monsters!

Bubble Bobble - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot
I know, too many exclamations. Well, when you are reviewing Bubble Bobble, you just can’t help yourself!

Bubble Bobble - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot

So what is this game about ? Well, in case you have been under a rock since 1985, you play two transformed dinosaurs, Bub and Bob – you try to complete 100 levels and then rescue your girlfriends by trapping the Baron’s minions in bubbles and bursting them. Sounds easy huh ? Well, not quite. This game grabs you by the scruff of the neck and then shakes you up in the later levels –  it gets hard, very hard. However, Baron von Blubba has left a number of power-ups and hidden abilities to help Bub and Bob get further in the game, like: bubblegum, teapot, umbrella (to teleport), water and lightning bubbles. You better get your bubble-blowing fingers in readiness !

Bubble Bobble - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot

Well, what can I say that has not been said about this great coin-op game. Bubble Bobble is an absolute classic !

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4CTi4Wv7WA[/youtube]

GraphicsCute graphics of Bub and Bob blowing bubbles and bursting their enemies

85%

SoundThe sound effects and catchy soundtracks are dead on perfect and complimentary to the visuals and gameplay

85%

PlayabilityAn easy to pick up and play game. This game is fun in single player mode, but when you grab a friend and frolic in joint play, nothing else beats it !

92%

LastabilityWith 100 levels, and two game modes (normal or super) this will last a life time. Yeh, you may find it tough after level 20, but I guarantee you will want to keep going. That is its timeless charm

92%

OverallThis is as close as you can get to a perfect game. Easy to get into and play, fun and hard levels (and there are 100 of them!) and in the end, you rescue your girlfriend and become a hero. Nothing could be better

93%

Bubble Bobble - Arcade - Gameplay Screenshot

Manufacturer: Taito
Year: 1986
Genre: Platform
Number of Simultaneous Players: 2
Maximum number of Players: 2
Gameplay: Joint
Control Panel Layout: Multiple Player
Joystick: 2-way [left or right]
Buttons: 2 [fire and jump]
Sound: Amplified (Mono or Stereo)

 

 

Bubble Bobble

Bubble Bobble - Arcade Gameplay Screenshot 1

Bubble Bobble (1986)
By: Taito Genre: Platform Players: 1-2 Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Featured Version: Arcade First Day Score: 180,180
Also Available For: Master System, Game Gear, Saturn, PlayStation, X68000, NES, GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, Nintendo DS, FM Towns Marty, Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Apple II, MSX, PC

What more can be said about this all-time great? Whilst perhaps not as well known as Mario or Sonic, the cute dinosaurs of Bubble Bobble are just as iconic to many gamers, myself included, and have now appeared in a lot of games on nearly every system ever created, in one guise or another. My first encounter with the bubble-blowing twins was in ‘Kwiki Meals’, the cafe near my college. It was here that I ventured every lunchtime to play Bubble Bobble (and eat a burger), and I was often late back to class! It was the game that first brought the great Taito to my attention and they’ve been one of my favourite companies since. Sadly, both Kwiki Meals and the arcade masterpiece it once housed are now long gone but I’ve had a regular fix of Bubble Bobble ever since.

Bubble Bobble - Arcade Gameplay Screenshot 2

Most of you will know the drill by now – Bub and Bob have been turned into dragons by the evil Super Drunk who has also kidnapped their girlfriends! In order to get them back and be restored to Human form, they must battle their way through a hundred rounds of multi-platformed, monster-infested caves until they can face, and hopefully defeat, Super Drunk. Bub and Bob, who start each round in the bottom left and bottom right corners of the screen respectively, must clear each single-screen round of baddies in order to proceed to the next. To do this you must trap them in bubbles which both Bub and Bob can blow at will. The bubbles fly forward quickly, before floating up the screen being carried by the air currents in the caverns. Freshly-blown bubbles are surrounded by a shiny orange aura until they are a certain distance away and it is only during this brief period that enemies can be trapped in them.

Bubble Bobble - Arcade Gameplay Screenshot 3

Once an enemy is trapped in a bubble, it must be popped quickly to kill it, either by touching it with the spines on Bub and Bob’s head and back, by jumping on it, or by pushing it into a wall. If you fail to pop it quickly enough, it will pop by itself, and the re-released enemy will be angry and much faster. It’s also possible to bounce off bubbles instead of popping them when you jump on one or fall on one from above. This is an essential skill to learn as sometimes it’s the only way to escape from part of a level or reach some high platforms. Bubbles also stick together if they touch each other, whether they contain enemies or not, so if you time it right you can cause a mega-pon chain reaction meaning mega-points! There are eight different types of standard enemy altogether and each has his own movement patern. Learning these are obviously the key to success here, but don’t take too long – if you stay on one stage too long, the undefeatable Baron Von Blubba will appear and stalk you until there’s nowhere left to hide!

Bubble Bobble - Arcade Gameplay Screenshot 4

One of this game’s many memorable points is that it jointly holds the record with its own sequel as one of the most fruit laden game ever (this is a good thing)! Items are spilled on a platform somewhere in the level every time an enemy is vanquished and other items appear seemingly out of nowhere now and then. There is an enormous amount of them to be found, some of which are very useful, particularly the umbrella which skips several levels, and there are power-ups and various kinds of screen-clearing smart bombs too. Some other items are even available in different colours, varying their effect. Also appearing liberally are lots of different fruits, gems and foods which can be seized for bonus points. Additional bubbles sometimes get ‘blown’ onto the screen by the air currents running through the caverns, and included amongst these are ‘special’ bubbles which, when popped, unleash special powers. These include fire bubbles, which spill fire which scorches enemy’s, lightning bubbles which sends a enemy-killing lightning bolt across the screen, and water bubbles, which send a torrent of water cascading down the platforms killing all enemies in its path. The last kind of bubbles to be found contain letters. Collecting them will gradually spell out E-X-T-E-N-D down the side of the screen. Complete the word to clear the round and get an extra life!

There are many more little intricacies and nuances to this game and to be honest, I could go on all day about them, but discovering them for yourself is one of the things that makes Bubble Bobble as great as it is. Despite initially seeming random, almost everything you do has some sort of affect on the game, from how quickly you finish a round right down to a particular digit of your score when you reach a certain point. Many games have been called classics over the years. Whether they truly are or not depends on your definition of the term I suppose, but few are as genuinely timeless as Bubble Bobble.

The cute, colourful graphics which are full of character, that music by Zuntata which could just be the catchiest tune of all-time, the flawlessly structured gameplay, the fiendish stage design, the fantastic fun of jumping around the platforms trying to time an attack to perfection, playing the game with a friend, it goes on and on. It’s regularly sited as one of the greatest games of all-time, and it’s hard to argue. Bubble Bobble isn’t just a single screen platform game, for many it’s the single screen platform game! It’s certainly true that it’s among the most enduring platform games of all-time and that kind of lasting adulation can only be for one reason…

RKS Score: 10/10

Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG - SNES Box

Anyways, this week we have Super Mario RPG for the SNES. Surprisingly a lot of people look at this game as a very odd one in the Mario franchise mainly because it’s an RPG and we all grew up playing Mario in platformer games. Nintendo and Square got things right on this one though. The game is jammed packed with a lot of interesting features and an awesome storyline. The battles are intense and fun as well as the enemies. Your allies have very interesting stories behind them and you can even play as bowser! You can’t do that in many mario games(except the sports ones).

Super_Mario_RPG_SNES_ScreenShot

The game brings your journey through a huge land with a lot of secrets to discover. Like any RPG, there are small sidequests that you are welcome to accomplish when you want to take a break from the quest.

I won’t say much more for those who still haven’t played this gem but I’ll tell you this, this game rocks! Everything is great about this game. I can’t see why anyone would miss out on this one! The only problems I had with this game are the leveling up system which only ended in level 30, and the fact that you couldn’t play as Luigi. You did see pictures of him explaining you how to play the game in the instruction manual but that’s not good enough!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles - Title Screen

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989)
By: Konami Genre: Fighting Players: 1-4 Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Arcade
Also Available For: NES, PC, Amiga, Atari ST, C64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum
Download For: Xbox 360 Live Arcade

I was in my early teens around the time the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles phenomenon hit the world and it confused me. Ninjas are cool, sure, everyone knows that. But ninja turtles? I thought they were stupid. Turtles can’t even hold any weapons, they have flippers! I couldn’t stand how popular they were. Even my best mate, Luke, liked them! Oh well, they were engrained into popular culture, there was nothing I could do about it. Of course, various games based on their exploits followed. Some were good, others weren’t. As I remember it, the most popular one was the arcade offering from Konami, but it wasn’t until a recent Luke visit that I actually played this game for the first time ever. Did it suck as much as the stupid characters it was based on, or was it actually half decent?

Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles - Gameplay Screenshot

The story is pretty much the same as every other scrolling fighter – someone gets kidnapped, you (and possibly a friend) have to rescue them. In this case, villianous master ninja, Shredder, leader of the nefarious Foot Clan… umm… clan, has kidnapped buxom news reporter and friend to the Turtles, April. Just for good measure they then also kidnap the Turtles rat sensei, Splinter. It’s then up to you to battle through the Foot Clan’s ranks and rescue April and Splinter before they do questionable things to them. First step: choose a turtle to play as. Their leader, Leonardo, is armed with two Katana swords, Michelangelo uses nunchaku’s, Donatello is equipped with a bo staff, and Raphael makes use of a pair of sai’s. Each of the Turtles has slightly differing attributes such as speed, reach of weapon, etc.

Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles - Gameplay Screenshot

The Foot Clan themselves comprise a majority of the Turtles’ enemies through the game. They all look the same aside from the colour of their hoods and trousers, with the colour denoting their method of attack. Some of them carry big hammers, some of them throw dynamite, some can grab you from behind, others just punch and kick. They are joined on the odd occasion by robots. Having never really watched the TMNT show, I can’t really say if robots featured in it, but there’s a few of them here and they’re generally a mere nuisance rather than being formidable opponents, although some of them do possess the ability to hit you with an electric whip! The various bosses are taken from the show however, and include Bebop and Rocksteady (an agressive pig and rhino respectively), Dr Baxter Stockman (a mad scientist type), Lieutenant Granitor, General Traag, Krang (a small alien with a bumbling humanoid suit), and Shredder himself.

Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles - Gameplay Screenshot

There are five stages, or scenes, to battle through here, covering such ground as an office block, city streets, sewers, and of course the Technodrome itself (the base of Krang and Shredder). Some of the stages are also split into several sections each too, and the Turtles even face a fast-scrolling section on skateboards at one point, taking on similarly equipped Foot Clan hoodlums and even missile-launching helicoptor gunships! There’s a pretty nice variety between the stages, graphically speaking, and there’s some decent static cut scenes between stages too. As mentioned earlier, a large percentage of the enemy sprites look the same except for differences in colour, and the animation on all sprites is fairly unremarkable, but it’s certainly not a horrible game to look at by any means. As far as the audio is concerned, I personally found it pretty annoying, what with the Turtles theme tune featuring prominently in different forms and various catchphrases from the show, but I’m sure it would be appreciated by fans.

Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles - Gameplay Screenshot

The only problem this game has really is one that is so common within the genre – a lack of offensive moves. There is just an attack and jump button here which kind of limits how many manoeuvres you can perform, although you can press them both together for a (pretty unspectacular) special move. As mentioned though, there’s not many scrolling fighters that do have a sizeable roster of moves so it’s not too much of a problem, and the game does have an ace up its sleeve though – simultaneous four-player action! I guess it would be weird to create a games based on a team of four and not allow them to fight together, so kudos to Konami for incorporating it. I haven’t personally played the game in four-player mode but I can imagine, whilst being a bit chaotic and cluttered, it’s probably a truckload of fun too.

Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles - Gameplay Screenshot

So, given my dislike of the subject matter, it’s a little annoying to find that this is a pretty decent quality scrolling fighter, and that in itself makes it a precious commodity, especially when you take into account the four-player mayhem it offers! It has its faults, and I’m sure fans will enjoy it more than I did, but it’s a solidly playable effort – entertaining in short bursts for a solo player, great fun with multiple players.

RKS Score: 7/10

Bubble Bobble: Game Gallery

bubble bobble wallpaper

After a long and arduous struggle (which took somewhat longer than expected), I’ve finally managed to finish this damn fine (but also damn long and difficult!) game. Regrettably, I’m not as skilled as I once was as far as playing games is concerned (getting old I guess), and even at my peak I never had the talent that some freaks of nature have (joke!), like those who can complete this classic with one credit! Suffice to say, I got stuck a few times (hence the delay in posting Part 2) and had to seek the guidance of an expert or two.

Among them was splendid Retro Gamer forum user, Tepid Snake, who helped me get past Round 98, on which I’d been stuck for a few days. It was then that I discovered that those crafty scoundrel’s at Taito don’t give you the proper ending unless you finish the game with two players. So back I went to complete the game again, after adding a few credits for a non-existent second player, so I could detail the ‘proper’ ending here. Then I find out that I’ve still not earned the full ending! To do that I have to decipher the mysterious code that I received on earning the ‘Happy Ending’, but I think I’ll leave that for another time! Taito sure know how to get the most out of a game, huh? As I mentioned in my review, this is a game full of intricacies and secrets!

Tepid Snake has also informed me that, on top of all this, there is also a ‘Super Mode’ which sees some of the levels change colours and some of the enemies switch places. Perhaps I’ll look into that for a potential ‘Parts 3 & 4’ though! Jeez! Anyway, behold I bestow unto thee part two of the much fabled Bubble Bobble Gallery!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bubble Bobble

Bubble Bobble splash screen
Bubble Bobble splash screen

Who would have believed that two colorful dinosaurs who love to eat everything in sight and blow bubbles would become a worldwide arcade hit. When Taito released Bubble Bobble to arcades in 1986 that’s exactly what happened.

Bubble Bobble follows the story of Bub and Bob who have to traverse 100 levels to save their girlfriends from the evil Sorcerer. In this platform game you use bubbles as a means to trap the various enemies onscreen and then pop them turning them into tasty treats such as fruit and candy. Each level is designed differently, but the objective remains the same. In addition to busting bubbles you can collect lettered bubbles to spell out “Extend” to gain and additional life and eat special candy to increase your movement and bubble speed.

Bubble Bobble 1
Bubble Bobble 1

There are many different types of bubbles in the game including water, lighting and fire which turn the enemies into different treats that ear points. Of course eating is a big part of the game which is why there are over 30 different foods and items in the game.

Bubble Bobble was wildly popular because it appealed to both boys and girls and two people could play together at the same time. While it was true the cutesy music and colorful levels might have turned away some most found the gameplay fun and addictive. The music itself had a lot to do with the success. The never ending theme remains in player’s heads forever and only changes when you take too long to complete a level.

Bubble Bobble was ported to many computer and console systems and for the most part the ports remained true to the original. You can find it today on consoles such as the Wii and online in flash version.

Bubble Bobble 2
Bubble Bobble 2

I personally loved this game though there were times my mother would hear the “girl-like” (her words) music and walk in questioning why I was playing that game. I could only tell her was it is fun which led to a strange look on her way out. Over-Clock remix hosts several cool remixes of the main theme song as well. Pretty much everything about Bubble Bobble was addicting.

Ghouls N Ghosts

Ghouls N Ghosts splash screen
Ghouls N Ghosts splash screen

Ah, the game that made me break one of my many Sega Genesis’s. Ghouls ‘n Ghosts was released to the arcades in the spring of 1988. Maybe by Capcom, it was the popular sequel to the 1985 arcade smash Ghosts ‘n Goblins.

In Ghouls ‘n Ghosts the heroic knight Arthur must once again faceoff against the demonic hordes of Loki. After an attack on his kingdom Arthur’s lover, the lovely Princess Prin Prin, is killed along with many innocent civilians. To avenge the death of his love and restore her soul and the souls of the others Arthur will have to take down the big man Loki himself.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts plays pretty much like Ghosts ‘n Goblins it is a platform run and gun type of gameplay meaning you have to always be on your toes firing away at the enemy and  avoiding traps and pitfalls. Luckily this time around Arthur can fire upwards and while jumping fire downwards which is a must in this game. In addition Arthur has an array of weapons at his disposal including a mega axe, a golden sword and even golden power armor.

Ghouls N Ghosts screenshot
Ghouls N Ghosts screenshot

When Arthur jumps in certain spots on the map a treasure chest will pop out of the ground. If Arthur destroys the chest he can find two things. First is an evil magician who turns him into a duck. As the duckyou are pretty much undead chow because you have no armor or weapons. The best thing to do is avoid any enemies until the effect wears off.

The second thing that can appear from the chest is Arthur’s golden armor. The golden armor allows any weapon Arthur currently has to gain a charged power up move that unleashes a special attack. Sadly, the golden armor works just like the normal silver armor where as if Arthur is hit it will break apart leaving him pretty much naked.

Once you work your way through five levels you discover you need a special weapon in order to defeat Loki. This restarts the game and you must fight your way through the same five levels and back to Loki’s chamber.

The game is extremely fun to play, but it can be very unforgiving at first, but once you learn your jumps, attacks and timing you can make it through the game without too much trouble. I can say this now, but when I first played it I had an awfully hard time and ended up punching my poor Genesis to death.

Ghouls ‘n Ghosts had some great music composed by Tamayo Kawamoto. The bosses were well designed along with the levels making sure your twitch level was high. In addition to great arcade success GnG was ported to several systems including the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, CP System, Commodore 64, X68000, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, SuperGrafx, Sega Master System, Mega Drive/Genesis, Virtual Console, ZX Spectrum.

Time Pilot 84

Time Pilot box art
Time Pilot box art

Time Pilot 84

Released in 1984 by Konami, Time Pilot ’84 was the sequel to the 1982 arcade hit Time Pilot. TP84 is an over the top view four-way side scrolling shooter where you pilot your spaceship over many different time periods taking out as many bad guys as possible. Strangely enough unlike the original in TP84 you do not know what time periods you are traveling to. After taking out a certain number of enemies you will face the level boss and once you defeat it you advance to the next level.

Now your ship can only take one hit so dodging is the name of the game. The various enemies come from all sides and you only have two weapons. Your first weapon is a standard blaster that can take out most enemies, but you also have missiles that can destroy the bad guys your normal blaster cannot. While you can fire your missiles blindly if you face an enemy that requires a missile to take out a lock-on targeting window will appear over it allowing you to take it out even if it turns away from you.

This was pretty much one of those games that you either were really good at or it ate all your quarters within five minutes. Though there are a lot of different shapes and colors to the enemies you face they pretty much all do the same thing. Hand eye coordination was the key like with many games of the time if you had it you could rank up a high score like Samanth Johanik who scored an impressive 463,300 points or you could be like me who can’t even get off of the second stage.

If you want to play Time Pilot you can find it on many flash game websites.

19xx: The War against Destiny

19xx cover
19xx cover

19xx: The War against Destiny

There have been tons of airplane and ship based vertical scrolling shooters but the 1942 series always had a special place in my heart. When I came across 19xx in the arcades during the fall of 1996 I could not stop plunking in quarters because simple put, the game was fast passed and fun with a ton of flashing lights and explosions, everything a growing boy needs.

Made by Capcom 19XX is the 4th game in the series of World War II shooters, however, “Destiny” takes place in a fictional time which is why there are X’s instead of numbers. One could assume by the type of weapons and armor used in the game that the “war” was based on future technology. What we do know is you play the lone pilot who has to defeat an entire army by yourself, no pressure.

Being the only person who can prevent a nuclear apocalypse may be a big task, good thing you have three, count em, three planes to choose from. Each plane has its own strengths and weakness:

The Lighting plane is your most balanced and the one I always played as, it has medium power and speed, but is strong for homing in on enemies. Its special weapon is the Vulcan which fires straightforward shots and when powered up fires a power three shot blast.

19xx screenshot
19xx screenshot

The Mosquito is slow and powerful which is strange since it’s called the mosquito. It is slow and has weak homing capabilities, but it is powerful. The mosquito’s special weapon is missiles that fire in three different directions, when powered up the forward firing missiles become much more powerful.

The Sinden is fast and weak perfect for running away if you decide saving the world is way too hard of a job. While the Sinden has weak power it does have decent homing capabilities and its special weapon is the laser which can fires through enemies and destroyable structures allowing you to hit multiple enemies. When powered up the laser fires twin beams.

After you select your game you are given your level mission which consists of finding and defeating the boss of the level. The bosses are difference each level, for instance, level one is a large plane, level two is a large battleship and so on. You also have a rival black jet that appears from time to time, but you don’t have your final battle with him until the end.

As you progress through the levels you take out a ton of enemies of all types. There are planes, tanks, ships, ground weapons and some enemies that take much more than one shot to take out. You will come across power-ups in the game that give you different weapons like lasers, missiles and spread blasters. There are also bombs in the game which clear out most enemies when detonated.

I always used a side to side sweeping pattern with vertical scrolling games this allowed me to move out of most of the enemy fire. When a blast was about to hit me and I could not move out of the way in time I would fire my bomb which most of the time saved my life.

19xx screenshot boss
19xx screenshot boss

When you reach the end of the level you go up against a large boss. Most of the time your biggest issue is dealing with the amount of firepower coming your way, but if you take out the small weaker guns first it is then easier to avoid the larger fire and take out the boss.

As for scoring you get additional points and ranks for how many bombs you have after each mission as well as how many enemies you took out and how long it took you to destroy the boss. In addition you gain points for collecting medals that fall from certain enemies.

19XX is not ground breaking, but it did have nice graphics for the time. I especially liked the way the ships sunk, again, nothing ground breaking, but it was fun and that is what counted for me. The music was also pretty good, from the drum beat when beginning a mission to the boss battle music it really got you into the game.

Surprisingly enough the game itself was not very hard. While some of the bosses took a bit of time to lock down their pattern it was not so insane that you spent a ton of quarters on the game. I believe it had a good mix of challenge and playability. The game was defiantly a classic.

F-Zero review & strategy guide

F-Zero Title
F-Zero Title

F-Zero review & strategy guide (SNES) by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“The trend-setting pioneer of futuristic racing games.”

Overall Score:
10 out of 10

Overview, Gameplay, & Strategies:

Before Wipeout came out to compete with it, F-Zero pretty much dominated the futuristic racing genre and for good reasons too. The game consists of piloting one of 4 different hover race-cars. Whereas in the past Formula 1 was a test of driving skill, in the universe of F-Zero (F0) racing hovercars has taken over this test for racing supremacy.

When the game starts, you pick one of four different cars. After picking the one that you like or that matches your skill or play style, you pick which league you want to play in. From easiest to hardest, the leagues are: Knight, Queen, and King. This modifies how hard the tracks themselves will be. Next, you pick your difficulty level. This modifies how much damage you can take and how good the A.I. of rival drivers will be. Each league has 5 tracks which are variations of each other. The tracks are Mute City, Big Blue, Sand Ocean, Death Wind, Silence, Fire Field, Port Town, Red Canyon, and White Land. They are not raced necessarily in that order rather depending on your racing league difficulty. Each track and its variations have their own strategies and all these strategies depend on what car you picked. Some cars will be nearly useless on some tracks and it will be simply a matter of surviving through the race. I say to do what I always do, which seems to work (in games and in real life): memorize all tracks and all their parts to be able to take optimal turns and know when it’s hammer down time.

F-Zero 1st place
F-Zero 1st place

The goal is to reach first place or as high a place as possible while surviving. Yes, this is a game where if you take enough damage you will die. Your car has a certain amount of power and if you take enough damage the performance of the car will be significantly lowered. When your power bar empties out, you blow up. You can also blow up by taking a ramp and jumping and landing off the track (which can happen especially in the higher difficulty leagues). Touching other cars, touching the side bumpers, and especially touching the cars that are about to explode and do explode, all damage your car, especially the last one.

After each lap, you are awarded with a speed booster. It’s a good tactic to save these until needed rather than waste them, unless you are driving on a familiar track and you know that there is a manageable part up ahead that you can blast by going beyond the full speed of your car. Every 10000 points, you get an extra life. These lives are used if you do not meet the minimum position for that lap or an overall 3rd place finish overall for the race, as well as being used up if you blew up during the race. At specific parts of a track, there are areas where if you drive over them, a ship from above will fly down and beam power to your car to heal it. A strategy here is taking into account that the ship does have a lead time for it to get aligned to the optimal position where it can share the energy with you. Stay as much on the strip as possible if you want to heal the maximum amount of power. Also, certain parts of the track have sand which slows you down (taking advantage of that can be a winning strategy as well) and some areas have a super speed boost arrow which can boost you up faster than the speed booster. It’s not always a good tactic to use these if they are positioned to boost you too fast into an area where you will need to turn aggressively and you will now be speeding out of control into a wall, for instance.

You pick the car you like over the 4 different cars, The Blue Falcon (Blue), Golden Fox (Yellow), Wild Goose (Green), and Fire Stingray (Pink). Each car has a certain amount of thrust, a certain top speed, and a certain amount of weight. All these factors are really important, like in a real car, as you have to deal with how much momentum your car has (related to weight), which is related to its handling characteristics, and its power-to-weight ratio. I did find that the way car weight is done in this game is UNREALISTIC. Whereas a lighter car in real life would be easier to control (let’s say like a Lotus Exige), the opposite in this game happens (that would be like a Chrysler 300 outmaneuvering that Lotus Exige; it would never happen). In this game having a heavier weight gives you a more predictable turn with less drifting.

Let’s look at the detailed stats of each car and discuss their strengths and weaknesses:

BLUE FALCON (Blue)
Max Power: 3200 PS
Max Speed: 457 km/h
Weight: 1260 Kg

This is the default car that most inexperienced gamers will pick but it’s actually sometimes harder than some of the heavier cars, if you don’t know how to properly use it. It has a considerable drift ability and it being the 2nd lightest car will have it been bounced around pretty hard should you crash against other cars (which happens often). The tactic for Blue Falcon is to really avoid all other cars, to anticipate your drift and floor it through turns but letting it glide (turn with not thrust) seems to work wonders. Braking is not as bad as with some other cars since it has the 2nd best acceleration as well. Keep the boosts around for emergency use.

GOLDEN FOX (Yellow)
Max Power: 2950 PS
Max Speed: 438 km/h
Weight: 1020 Kg

This car is a little rocket, with the best acceleration, but lowest top speed and challenging handling. The tactic with this car is to drive like crazy knowing that you will re-accelerate really quickly. This car is the most prone to drifting so be real careful when taking 90 degree and higher turns. The tactic of braking and gliding works the best with this car. Since you have the lowest top speed be sure to use those boosters aggressively in tracks with little turns and lots of straightaways.

WILD GOOSE (Green)
Max Power: 3670 PS
Max Speed: 462 km/h
Weight: 1620 Kg

Although this car has the 3rd best acceleration of the four. To me, it is the best overall car. It’s still a good tactic with this car to hold on to the boost until you crash or are forced to slow down then hammer down on them, especially if you can manage the upcoming turns or its an easy straightaway in front of you.

FIRE STINGRAY (Pink)
Max Power: 3800 PS
Max Speed: 478 km/h
Weight: 1960 Kg

The tactic to this car is to exploit as much as possible the fact that you have the highest top speed out of all the cars. Take advantage of the car weight to turn optimally without braking or hitting anything. This car is the one that gets screwed over the most whenever you crash since its acceleration is abysmal. Using the boosts are a vital tactic to winning with this car. Since you have the highest top speed you will also have the maximum boosted speed as well. Remember that.

Remember that the shortest way in between two points is a straight line and this game takes advantage of that. Also, the ship that gives you power does not boost your speed, so unless you need energy, don’t swerve to pick up power if you are already at max power…

Fun Factor, Replayability, & My History With This Game:

This is an old racing game but it’s still fun enough to be able to play it over and over for hours. Sure, it’s relatively short and there’s only 15 different tracks but it can be very fun to master all tracks with all cars. Fun Factor gets a score of 9 out of 10.

I’ve been playing F-Zero since 1991 when my friend Eric R. got it for his SNES. We played the living hell out of this game although at the time this was a really tough game for us. The speed scale of the game blew me away as I was used to much slower racing games on the c64, which I still played a lot back in 1991. The speed of this game did not get topped until I started to play the Wipeout games and a forgotten racing game called Motorhead. I’ve played F-Zero probably in over 1000 races. Replayability gets a score of 9 out of 10, even after close to 19 years of the original F-Zero.

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility:

Until you get good at this game, you might find this game rather hard, especially if you up the difficulty or pick some of the harder leagues right from the start. I recommend starting on Knight at the start but at least Standard difficulty, unless you are a complete noob at racing games. There are three difficulties: Beginner, Standard, and Expert. Standard is hard enough for most gamers but Expert is where the real fun is at. Just make sure you have trained enough to be able to handle it.

Between the mix of the league and the difficulty factor, this makes for a well customizable and challenging game. Difficulty Versatility gets a score of 9 out of 10 because you can really set it once you get the hang of how the system works. Difficulty itself is up to you but I give it a score of 10 out of 10 because it can either be a relaxing game or time to get bend over and let the game hurt you.

Value:

If you have the original cartridge of you can get it for $10-15 bucks, that’s great. This game is a requirement for any real SNES library. If you are like most people and emulate it, Value is perfectly free. I think unless you get really ripped off, the game is worth buying and owning. Value gets a score of 10 out of 10, so long as it’s around the free or $10-15 price range.

Sound:

The sounds work marvels in this game as you will hear the engine jet turbines whir from a stand-still to their max peak output. The damage sounds or explosion when you die are amazing. I just love the engine whir… Sound gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Music:

Music adds a lot to a game, especially to a racing game. The music of F-Zero is one of the most loved soundtracks for the Super Nintendo. I recommend getting the original ripped files as well as checking out the remixes at Overclocked Remix.

Stability/Reliability:

Never crashes! Neither the original nor emulator do so that gets a much deserved score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

Left and Right turn in their respective directions. One button controls the thrust (gas), another brakes, another applies the speed booster, and the L/R buttons make you side drift in those specific directions. I have found the side drift to be sort of useless except during emergency situations. I found it more effective to use traditional braking/drifting techniques. Controls are fluid, especially once you get a hang of them. The control setup for this game gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Graphics & Performance:

The game looks simply amazing and this was a landmark game for Nintendo showing some of the graphical and performance limits of the Super Nintendo. Whereas most other games for the SNES are 2D, this game is actually 3D, one of the few titles along with Star Fox. When I first saw this game and how quick it was, my jaw dropped. Graphics and Performance both get a score of 10 out of 10.

Conclusion:

What else can I say? This game is really a classic. I redefined the racing game genre for a lot of people. This proved to a lot of us that 16-bit systems could do a lot more than many 8-bit ones and that technology was going to create more and more advanced video games as time went on. If you have yet to play it, you are missing out on an important racing game in video game history.

Puzzle Bobble (Bust-A-Move)

Bust-A-Move SNES screen
Bust-A-Move SNES screen

Puzzle Bobble review (Bust-A-Move) by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“One of the CUTEST and ADDICTING puzzle games ever!”

Overall Score:
9 out of 10

Overview, Gameplay, My History With This Game, Fun Factor, & Replayability:

Damn you, Taito… Puzzle Bobble is just so freaking cute and such a great time eater! I first saw this game when I would go to arcades and it would be the game that girls would hog all the time, especially asian girls.

Puzzle Bobble screenshot
Puzzle Bobble screenshot

The cute little dinosaurs from Bubble Bobble, Bub and Bob, are back in their own little puzzle game. The game consists of the dinos manning a cannon that shoots different bubbles filled with specific enemies, basically colors, from Bubble Bobble. When you make 3 bubbles of one kind of color they pop. If there are any bubbles connected to them that were only being held there by that string then they pop too.

The game not only requires foresight as to what bubbles to blow up on time but skill as well. Only when you die do you get targeting bubbles that help you guide where the shot will land. The rest of the time you have to learn how to accurately fire bubbles and have them be effective. If you screw up by being slightly off you could have potentially ruined the easy way to pop bubbles quickly which is a problem considering every X number of seconds the stage moves down one bubble in length. If the stage reaches the bottom of the stage, you are so very, very dead.

This game not only makes you think quickly but requires you to react quickly as well, especially the further up the levels you get. I think that’s a good blend for some serious fun! This game is sometimes peaceful enough that it can be relaxing but once you get to the later stages it will make you cry as it owns you.

I’ve been playing this game since the mid 90s and I pick it up and put it down at least once a year. I give it a Fun Factor of 8 out of 10 and Replayability a score of 8 out of 10, considering almost 15 years worth of playing it!

I’ve played it a lot on the arcade, DOS, and the SNES version as well. Look below for a full list of all versions.

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility:

The game starts out rather simple but it gets difficult on some stages quickly. There is no way to alter the difficulty but the game is challenging as it is. If you find it easy just fly through the levels and eventually you will get to a point where your skill is maxed out and then it will get really tested.

Difficulty gets a score of 8 out of 10 since it starts out a bit slow for me but later gets heavy, giving Difficulty Versatility a score of 7 out of 10.

Value:

Puzzle Bobble (Bust-A-Move) was released on the 3DO, arcade, Game Boy & Game Boy Advanced & Color, Game Gear, iPhone, mobile phones, N-Gage, Neo Geo & Neo Geo CD & Pocket, Nintendo DS & Gamecube & Wii, PC, Playstation 1 & 2 & PSP, Sega DreamCast, SNES, VG Pocket Caplet, WonderSwan, Xbox & Xbox 360 (XBLA).

Depending on what version you get will determine how much you’ll pay. I’d say this game would easily be worth $20 tops considering it’s age and considering how available it is for emulation on just about everything. Even at $20, it’s totally worth having in your game library. At that price I’d say Value gets a score of 8 out of 10. Anything less or free is worth a 10 out of 10.

Sound:

Just like everything, even the sound is cute in this game. When the level is about to start hearing them say “Ready……. Go!” or the popping sound goes really well with the theme of the game. Sound gets a score of 9 out of 10.

Music:

The music sounds a lot like bubblegum, like j-pop but with a special arcady feel to it. It blends really well with the feel of the game and its repetitiveness makes you keep playing, at times. Even the little jingles when you beat levels are very uplifting happy songs. The music gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

No version I’ve ever seen of this game on any platform has ever crashed, not even the DOS version I used to play. Stability/Reliability get a score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

You don’t need many controls to play this game. Mastering the controls is another different matter though. Left moves left, right moves right, and the fire button simply launches the bubble. Again, mastering the exact spot where it will land takes skill, especially in the later stages and that aspect of the game requires aiming like a game of pool would. Controls get a score of 9 out of 10.

Graphics & Performance:

They made Bub and Bob even cuter than they were in Bubble Bobble and they have very much a very big Kawaii factor. The game is so cute it might make you ill. Graphics are really well drawn and they deserve a score of 10 out of 10.

The game never lags, no matter what version. Performance gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Conclusion:

If you love puzzle games and you’ve never played this, you must check it out. If you like Bubble Bobble and want to see the dinos killing stuff with their bubble cannon, you need this. If you like Kawaii stuff and cute games, you need this game badly.

***

You can play this game in the Obsolete Gamer arcade area.

Extermination

Extermination insert coin screenshot
Extermination insert coin screenshot

Extermination

In the age of vertical scrolling shoot-em-up games, Extermination attempted to do things slightly different in an attempted to mix things up. Released in 1987 by Taito you played as a solider out to rid the planet of nasty alien monsters.

The gameplay is pretty simple, you can move up and down or left and right and fire your gun at the numerous enemies that fly, run and crawl down the screen toward you. What made Extermination a bit different was you needed to kill the monsters in order to replenish your life.

As you were hit your life score would continue to drop, but as you killed the monsters tiny orbs would slowly drop down toward you. When you collected the orbs you would regain health, this helped to make sure that you killed as many monsters as you could.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR-j7A7UbpE[/youtube]

As you traversed the landscape you could also collect power-ups to increase your firepower and by destroying rocks and trees in your path you could discover hidden bunkers that housed more power-ups.

After mowing down a ton of alien monsters you would encounter a boss or mega-monster, after defeating it you would progress to the next level.

The game was not ground breaking by any means so much so that it did not even make it to a console system, but it makes for a fun arcade game which you can fine under the M.A.M.E platform.

Jaguar XJ-220

Jaguar XJ-220 title
Jaguar XJ-220 title

Jaguar XJ-220 review (amiga) by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“A forgotten racing game in the style of the Lotus games but with its own style.”

Overall Score:
8 out of 10

Overview & My History With This Game & Stability/Reliability:

Around the time this game came out, the Lotus racing games were very popular on the Amiga. Jaguar XJ-220 is a similar game except that it is more realistic by adding a damage engine and fuel/refueling.

The game consists of you being part of the Jaguar XJ-220 team involved in races against teams that race Bugattis EB110s, Porsche 959s, Lamborghini Countaches, and Chevrolet Corvettes. You race in 12 different countries with each country having 3 tracks each in a contest to see which car model is the superior one.

Jaguar XJ220 box Amiga
Jaguar XJ220 box Amiga

You get a certain amount of championship points as well as money based on how well you place per race. The championship points will help determine whether you are beating the game or not. The money will be used to repair the cars because everything you do damages the car. Sometimes the car will just get damaged with wear and tear. Parts have 3 states, healthy, somewhat damaged (yellow), or badly damaged (red). After each race you will enter the repair screen which itemizes all car systems for you to repair depending on your budget.

Later on in the game, you must be smart and race strategically. It’s important to gauge and time just exactly when you will need to refuel your car. If you refuel too soon you risk having rival racers pass you. However, if you run out of fuel it’s even worse because your car will be forced to go about 10 MPH as you push the car to the pit stop. How much fuel you want to add is also a factor in determining how much time you spend not moving.

Jaguar XJ-220 was created by Core Design in 1992. It was released both on Amiga and the Sega Mega-CD. The game includes a track editor and a 2 player split-screen mode.

Jaguar XJ220 Amiga screenshot
Jaguar XJ220 Amiga screenshot

The car itself, the Jaguar XJ-220 is sort of like a failed supercar. The car came out at a time when the supercar market crashed. It was also one of the last cars put out by Jaguar before the company got bought out. The original design intended for the car to have a V12 but it ended up with a dual turbocharged V6 instead. The car was supposed to be able to hit 220 MPH but it realistically could hit about 213 MPH only with the original configuration. Modified XJ-220s have hit higher speeds than 220 MPH though…

As far as I go, I’ve played and beaten this game through about 20 times. I have however played this game over 100-200 times. The problem this game has is that you can save your progress but it’s RISKY. There have been many times when the game just gets stuck saving to a floppy disk and it’s basically just game over. That’s why I give Reliability/Stability a low score of 4 out of 10. The game itself doesn’t necessarily crash (although it used to make my Amiga overheat sometimes) but the save system is CRAP. I recommend setting a good 8-10 hours to sit down with a friend and beat the entire game in one sitting! That’s what we used to do.

This was the first game that left me fond memories of gaming on my Amiga, despite the saving bug.

Fun Factor & Replayability:

What I liked about this game is that it’s not just a racing game but a strategy game as well, at least to me. It made you think about the logistics of a race car. To me that’s rather clever and that added a lot of replayability to this game. The game is not appealing to some people but then again not all racing games are either. Some people will like both the racing and the planning the game requires. The racing itself is pretty quick for an old game, as well. Fun Factor for me gets a score of 9 out of 10.

Since there are different strategies you can use to try to beat the game, I give Replayability a score of 8 out of 10.

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility & Controls:

You can’t make the game harder except by going to specific countries that have the most challenging tracks on purpose or by changing the control sensitivity.

Controls are simple and effective. You can set it so that either the fire button accelerates or simply by pushing forward. Braking is attained by pushing the joystick backwards. The controls are very responsive and you can change that, which affects the difficulty of the game. Sure, it’s not as realistic as today’s racing games but for the logic of racing games at that time, it’s decent. I give Controls a score of 7 out of 10.

The game itself is somewhat challenging with it getting much harder later on because of having to deal more with the logistics of damage and fuel. Difficulty gets a score of 8 out of 10, if you actually play the game through to the end.

Since you can customize the controller sensitivity and have to plan which countries to tackle in what order, Difficulty Versatility gets a score of 8 out of 10. You need to be smart about it.

Value:

This game is impossible to get other than in emulated form. Lemon Amiga has links to sites that could potentially have the game for download. Since that’s free, Value gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Sound:

You won’t hear sound unless you opt out to turn off the music. The sounds are good but it’s one or the other. I would recommend putting on the music unless you want to play other music using another computer or radio, etc. Sound gets a score of 8 out of 10.

Music:

This game has one of my favorite soundtracks for a video game. Click here to go to mirsoft.info and to download and get more specific information on the soundtrack. If you need a program to play the MOD files check out our article here on Deliplayer.

The soundtrack includes relaxing electronic music as well as a heavy metal song and funky covers of 80s tv music. Overall, the soundtrack is very unique and relaxing! It was composed by Martin Iveson and deserves a score of 10 out of 10.

The music is so badass that people have in recent years started remixing it.

Here is the link to download my favorite remix from Amiga Remix by Luther. To listen to all the remixes of the music from Jaguar XJ-220 on Amiga Remix, click here!

Check out my favorite remix by Luther here:

Graphics & Performance:

The graphics for the menus and interface are awesome. Screens where the actual car is drawn look a lot like the real car and I think it’s beautiful. The in-game cars look pretty good as well and that’s worth a high score. Graphics get a score of 9 out of 10.

The game has always run really well and I’ve never seen parts where the game lagged. The game has a sped up easter egg bug where if you play one of the radio stations rather than the CD audio during the music selection screen, the game will play super sped up. Although it acts weird, that’s not much of a problem. Performance gets a score of 8 out of 10.

Conclusion:

If you are a fan of cars and the rivalry that supercar manufacturers had in the early 90s then you will enjoy this game. If you want a racing game that makes you you as well, then this is also a game for you. At the very least, check out the soundtrack or its remixes!

Magic Sword

Magic Sword screenshot
Magic Sword screenshot

Magic Sword

At the beginning of the 90’s Capcom released Magic Sword, a side-scrolling hack-n-slash fantasy game. While the game was pretty straight forward it was fun to play just because of the sheer number of items, monsters and allies there were in the game. Magic Sword was truly an arcade classic that became a hit on the Super Nintendo.

You played as the hero named the Brave One and your mission was to scale a massive tower to slay the dark lord, Drokmar who is in position of an evil crystal called the Black Orb. Obviously with a name like that it has to be destroyed, so you head off on your adventure.

You start off with a sword and shield and as your progress will obtain new swords after you beat a boss. There are fifty-one floors of the tower with a boss after each eight, but along the way is a horde of enemies from skeletons, to Orcs to Bears that shoot magic at you.

Magic Sword screenshot ingame
Magic Sword screenshot ingame

As your slash your way through the tower of terror you will come across several different types of treasure chests some of the chests contain power-ups, food, coins and keys. When you come across a key you can use it to free prisoners who in turn will help you fight along your way. There are a total of eight allies including:

  • Big ManWho looks like Zangief’s long lost cousin. The big man is slow but swings a mean axe.
  • NinjaThis is what makes Magic Sword so cool, it has ninja’s and we all know ninja’s rock. This ninja is super fast and fires off three shurikens that ricochet off walls and hit enemies.
  • AmazonNo not the online discount store the Zena warrior princess kind. This is the only woman in the game and I am sure I saw the Brave One duck into an empty cell with her while I was A.F.K.
  • PriestStrangely enough this priest does not heal (like some in World of Warcraft am I right folks?) He casts a shield on you and fires orbs of light which totally own undead enemies.
  • ThiefWell we know why he was in jail. The thief throws bombs and tosses knifes and can find hidden treasure and traps.
  • WizardLighting Bolt, Sleep, Magic Missile, yeah he does all that.
  • KnightThe knight owns which is why you don’t get him till later in the game. His is the strongest and yet he throws spears which is kind of weird, but oh well.
  • Lizardman If you find a diamond ring the lizardman will fight alongside you, if not he will leave you. This kind of reminds me of my ex which also looked like a lizard and not one of the sexy ones from
Magic Sword box
Magic Sword box

The level design is simple but it works. Each floor is a little bit different from the last and you can go left or right depending on the floor. Sometimes it pays to go past the exit door to find more treasure and trapped allies.

As stated most of the game is just hitting the attack button while jumping over pits and ducking under traps, but mowing down hordes of monsters is fun in itself. The bosses are also pretty easy with many having simple patterns to follow to avoid their attacks.

Magic Sword also had seven hidden floors which required you do to certain things to unlock them. That and all the various items and power-ups keep you interested as you make your way up all those floors.

I was actually pretty good at this game and once beat it with only a dollar. Magic Sword was ported to the SNES and is coming to the 360 and PS3. A release date is set to April 14, 2010 for Xbox Live Arcade for 800 Microsoft points and April 15, 2010 for PlayStation Network for $9.99.

Burger Time

Burger Time box art
Burger Time box art

Burger Time

If there are two things that go together its video games and fast food, I have to believe that was one of the inspirations for the classic 1982 arcade game, BurgerTime. Created by Data East, BurgerTime was maze/pursuit game in the vein of classics like Pac-Man; however, instead of powering up your hero, Peter Pepper tries to crush his enemies under hamburger fixings.

You begin each level with several burger fixings sprawled out across the map. The map itself is a maze of platforms and ladders which you must navigate to walk over the burger fixings to drop them down below. The overall goal is to stack up and complete your burgers. During this endeavor you are chased down by several enemies including Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Pickle, and Mr. Egg.

Personally I always found it strange that other food would want to take you out for wanting to make burgers. I figured they would be happy you are cooking burgers and not them. Perhaps you cooked their family members earlier and they are coming back for revenge. Speaking of which does anyone else find it creepy that in the shredded mini-wheat’s commercial the dad wants his son to grow up strong so he can be eaten by humans? Oh, well back to BurgerTime.

Burger Time gameplay
Burger Time gameplay

Peter Pepper is pretty fast, but you can easily become cornered by your enemies so you want to map out your route carefully. If you become trapped Peter can fire pepper shots at enemies to stun them allowing you to run by. You can earn more pepper shots by collecting bonus food in the center of the maze.

Now you don’t just want to run and make all the burgers too quickly. While that is the overall goal the key is to crush as many enemies under the burger fixings as you do so. You can get the enemies to follow you underneath, say a burger patty, and then quickly climb above it and drop it down on top of them. You can also have them directly behind you as you run over a burger fixing causing it to fall to the next level below killing the enemies. The trick was to get as many as possible while building the burger so you earn the maximum amount of points.

The record high score for BurgerTime was 11,512,500 points. My highest score is too embarrassing to mention. BurgerTime was one of those games that you either played for hours or it pissed you off within ten minutes and you quit.

As you would expect BurgerTime was ported to a ton of consoles and computer systems and you can play it today on many phones, flash game websites and emulators.

Originally named just Hamburger, BurgerTime was truly a classic and always got me hungry when playing it. Hmmmmmmm burgers!

Here is the Burger Time parody by Mega64:

Bump N Jump

Sometimes there are games out there that you play just because it’s a little different than the norm, for me Bump ‘n’ Jump was that game, released by Data East in 1982 this action racing game mixed Mario bros. style jumps with Spy Hunter-style driving.

Bump N Jump cover

Now I did not know this at the time but there is actually a reason you are racing down a sometimes horribly shaped highway knocking cars off the road and jumping over broken bridges. The drivers girlfriend was kidnapped by a group called the Black Army Corps. (No relation to Black Water)

Again we have another case of a simple goal that is not so simple to execute. Your mission is to get from one level to another by racing down the highway to hell playing extreme bumper cars with everyone on the road. To add to the fun the road looks to have been constructed by my three year-old self because the road is only sometimes straight. Most of the time the road resembles mountain tops with peaks and jagged edges sticking out and if you run into these you are dead.

Bump-n-jump-gameplay-screenshot

Luckily your car is equipped with the mother of all hydraulics that would make Snoop Dog go Snig-a-de-dig-a-de. Your car is able to take to the skies with a super jump and come crashing down on your enemies.

The game has a top down or “bird’s eyes” view so as you race you encounter a variety of enemy cars and trucks. These cars you can bump off the road to take them out, the trucks you cannot and sometimes the trucks will drops boulders or other items in your path that if you crash into will kill you.

Jumping does not just crush cars and trucks it is also to jump over the numerous broken bridges in the game. (I told you the stimulus package was necessary) It is also a good way to get out of a sticky situation. For instance when you bump into a enemy car it will give a little push back and if you are coming up fast on one of the out-sticking jagged edges on the road you can use your jump to safely navigate back to the middle of the road where you mainly want to be.

Bump-n-jump-gameplay-screenshot-1

Bump ‘n’ Jump was simply designed but the gameplay was what made it fun. It had a Spy Hunter feel to the road design using simple colors and shapes and since it was also published by Bally Midway it makes sense where the 1983 Spy Hunter got its level design from.

As you go through the levels you are also going through the season. (How long did it take this guy to get his girl back anyway?) The changes in level design are small mostly consisting of color changes. The exception was the winter stage which sported a snow covered design and slippery icy roads.

Unfortunately Bump ‘n’ Jump was another game I wasn’t very good at. Sometimes when that yellow exclamation point would begin flashing on screen and making that beeping noise I would become traumatized and crash. Like Spy Hunter I only made it to the winter level once. (I notice a pattern here)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uaql2YDZCPU[/youtube]

BNJ was ported to a number of console and computer systems such as the Atari 2600, the Commodore 64 and the NES and has been released under different names such as Burnin Rubber and Buggy Popper.Simple design and fun gameplay was the theme of the 80’s and that is why games like Bump ‘n’ Jump are still played today. Like many games of the 80’s you can find flash versions of them on websites or there is of course M.A.M.E, but I have no idea what that is. =)

Spy Hunter

Spy Hunter
Spy Hunter

Spy Hunter

In the 80’s Spy Hunter was the game to play especially if your arcade was lucky enough to have the full sit-down version of the game that was actually shaped like the car. It had fast driving, a bunch of different weapons and a theme that stayed stuck in your head for months. I loved Spy Hunter; I just sucked really really bad at it.

Spy Hunter showed up in arcades in 1983, developed by Bally Midway you played the role of a spy driving a high-tech sports car. Your mission was to race down the mother of all freeways taking out enemy vehicles which later really seemed un-spy like to me. While it is true James Bond is known for his awesome cars it’s not like all he did was drive around taking out bad guys, but then again maybe that would have been better than Die Another Day.

Speaking of James Bond, the early versions of the game used the theme created by Monty Norman, but because of copyright issues Midway was forced to change the theme to a version of Henry Mancini’s, Peter Gunn. Strangely the theme only plays during certain parts of the game like the beginning and when you get a new weapon beyond that there is no music and only the in-game sound effects.

spy-hunter-arcade

Now the game itself is not too difficult in principle, you start off on a highway in your G-6155 Interceptor which was modeled after the 1983 Camaro Z28. On the top of your screen you have your score and a timer counting down from 1000. During this phase you have unlimited lives to get use to the game.

Along the route you will run into civilian cars which you are not to destroy even though some of them seem to move into your path or try to bump you. It is truly humiliating when one of the civilian cars blazes by you even when you are driving at full speed. If you destroy a civilian car your score counter stops denying you of points for a while and your weapons truck will only show up once per area to give you new weapons.

spy-hunter-arcade

Once your “free time” is over you will begin to encounter enemy cars such as ones with blades that come from its tires to slash yours sending you off the road. There are also armor plated cars which you can’t shoot, you have to knock them off the road or use a smoke screen or an oil slick. You also have a limo which will pull alongside you to shoot you in the face with a shotgun and finally a helicopter that drops bombs on you.

To help you out on your “Spy Hunting” your weapons van (which looks a lot like Optimus Prime) will come every so often and give you different weapons including an oil slick, a smoke screen or missiles. All these weapons have limited usage, but can be refilled if you live long enough and don’t kill any civilian cars. Your weapons van (which really is a semi-truck) will give you new weapons and refill existing ones.

spy-hunter-arcade

The graphics were what you would expect from 1983, it was a top down game meaning you played from an overhead view and the landscape only had minor changes in color and a plant or two on the side of the road. The exception was when you switched to boat mode and fought on the water and when you entered the winter area where the ground was icy.

I personally only made it to the boat twice and the ice level once, this is because I sucked really bad. Also you could have all three weapons upgrades on your car at one time, but again, you had to not suck as much as I did.

spy-hunter-arcade

The game was very successful and ported to pretty much every computer and console system of the day and a movie was even in the works starting The Rock, but there has been little news of its production of late.

Spy Hunter is classic action even though driving on the highway is not really Spy Hunting and your car is pretty lame at first and civilian cars drive faster than you and the switchblade cars sucked major ass and being shot in the face by a limo blows chunks and the music turned off making the explosion of my car audible to everyone and I ran out of quarters trying to get to the boat level.

You can find this game in its flash version pretty much anywhere and its worth trying out, there are other versions and a Spy Hunter 2, but the original was the best in my opinion and one day I hope to make it back to that icy level.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade machine
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade machine

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game

It’s the summer of 1989 and if you are an old fart like me you were totally into the TMNT cartoon that began airing a few years earlier. One day I stepped into my favorite arcade and there in the premiere section was the awesome full-sized, four-player game. I remember the first thing I heard was the theme song straight from the cartoon in perfect stereo sound.

Even if you aren’t in your thirties like me chances are you saw the TMNT game in your local arcade because it had a long and successful run. There were two versions, the four-player one and the two-player version. With both you could pick from the four famous turtles, but with the four-player one you could play as the full team.

TMNT was the epitome of beat-em-up games, your goal was simple, beat the Shredder and Krang and take out the Tecnodrome. However, the game starts out with April, the yellow jump suited lady friend of the team being kidnapped and you having to save her.

TMNT arcade screenshot
TMNT arcade screenshot

You start off in a burning building fighting foot soldiers which came in a variety of colors and flavors spouting all types of different weapons from guns, to swords to sonic fans. The idea was to overwhelm you as the foot would try to flank and surround you to attack from all sides.

One of the cool things about the game was you could use the environment to your advantage. You could hit street signs and coin meters to send them flying at the foot. There were also cans that if hit wouldsmoke and then explode. You could also throw some bad guys again the wall where they would smack into it and slowly slide down. The bad news was all this could be done to you as well.

TMNT arcade game box
TMNT arcade game box

In the game you had the choice the four turtles which each had their own unique traits. Donatello had a long range but a slower attack, Raphael and Michelangelo were very fast, but had a short reach and the leader Leonardo was pretty balanced between speed and range.

As for controls it was pretty easy which was good because this was a button mashing boot-camp of a game. You had only two buttons jump and attack, but you could press jump and attack together to do a special move be it a jumping swing attack or like with Raphael a rolling attack. You could also throw the foot over head and if attacking a foot in front of you and another snuck up from behind you could pull of a quick back attack to send them flying.

Back to level one, after making your way through the building and avoiding things like the falling bolder down the stairs and those awful robots, you find April cowering in a room sounded by the foot. After taking out the foot a drill capsule comes up from the ground and Rocksteady, the mutant rhino, attacks. He isn’t too hard to beat with his machine gun and slow kicks, but after you do the Shredder appears to steal April away from you once again.

You continue on into the streets fighting more foot and come across the only way besides beating the level to replenish your health, pizza. Soon after your snack you face Bebop, the mutant warthog which I always found harder with his sonic pulse gun and charge attack. I also found myself falling in the sewer which by the way took a bar of health.

With Bebop down you move to the sewers, but this familiar territory is filled with more foot and biting robots provided by Baxter Stockman who you fight as the levels boss. Then it’s back topside for another street level and then the rematch where you fight Bebop and Rocksteady together. This fight can be tough, but you if you keep your distance and use quick attacks it’s not too bad. Also you can separate them and when you both charge you jump and watch them crash into each other.

With April safe it’s time for revenge which takes you toward the Tecnodrome. On the way you fight a horde of foot soldiers and rocket across the streets in a jet powered skateboard before the turtle van cashes and you find your master, Splinter being carried away.

To get Splinter back you face one of the cheapest bosses in the game, at least in my opinion. The first stone warrior you come across can easily cost you several rolls of quarters. Not only can he trap you in the corner and repeatedly knock you down, but he also can turn your face to toast with his flamethrower. Did I also mention he has a ton of hit points? After you finally lay the smack-down on him you rescue splinter and then it’s off to kick some Tecnodrome ass.

As expected the Tencodrome is packed full with foot soldiers and tons of traps like lasers, freeze rays, robots oh and another cheap stone warrior. However, this stone warrior isn’t half as bad and even though he is sporting a rocket launches he is easily defeatable. Now it’s just you and the two final bosses.

Khang the pink brain of the team comes out from behind an energy screen in his makeshift body firing lasers from its eyes and kicking you if you get close. Stick and move is the key to this fight and soon his robot body will be scrap, but as Khang exclaims while he flies away; “I’m invincible!”

Finally its Shredder time! Shredder is a master swordsman so his sword attacks are fast and deadly. He also has powerful kicked that can send you flying out of your shell. To add to this he can also split into two creating a clone of himself that is just as powerful. Finally he has his mutant ray that can turn you back into a normal turtle effectively one shotting you.

I’ve found the key is to keep them together and take em both out. Soon both their helmets come off and the fight is over. The Tecnodrome is destroyed and you are left to wonder if you will see Krang and the Shredder again, the answer is yes.

TMNT is one of those arcade games that is still fun to play today. It was released for many consoles including the NES though for the NES it was called TMNT 2 because the first TMNT game was god awful and I will not speak on it. If you want to know about it check out this video from the Angry Video Game Nerd.

If you are felling nostalgic you can get TMNT the arcade came on X-box live. Trust me, if you haven’t played this game you need to. TMNT is truly a classic; it had everything a gamer could want. Pure fun, pure excitement, pure turtle power!

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom screenshot
Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom screenshot

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

I have to be honest I don’t remember this game in the arcade, but perhaps that is because it was so weird it freaked me out and I have post traumatic distress disorder. As you will see in the video below I had no idea what I was doing even though the game is pretty straight forward, again it’s the weird sounds that did something to me like that song from Battle Star Galatica.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was released to arcades in 1985 and was based on the movie. This was the second game released and seeing how it played I have to track down the first. It was the first Atari arcade game to use digitized speech, but it sounded worst that my old Texas Interments learning computer that would yell at me for taking too long to solve a math problem (Your Turn!).

Indiana Jones Temple of Doom box
Indiana Jones Temple of Doom box

So the object of the game is to free the slaves within the temple grounds which includes children, if you leave any behind you get the on screen text “Mola Ram will be pleased” if you save them all you get is a boat load of points.

The second object is to collect the three Sankara stone which you find after freeing the captives, during your search you come across guards, snakes and traps. There are three parts to the game, the mines where the slaves are, the mine cart tracks where you race down the mine shaft in a cart fighting the thugs and parts of the temple where you find the Sankara stones and reach the third part of your goal, defeat Mola Ram.

When you start the game you can choose the difficultly setting and once you accomplish all your goals and defeat Mola Ram you get another boatload of points and start all over on a higher difficultly setting.

Sounds simple right? Well somehow I failed at this horribly as you will see below. This game later was ported to many consoles and computer systems such as the Commodore 64, the Atari ST the Amiga and the NES.

Now please excuse me as I call my therapist.

Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG
Super Mario RPG

Though I had played various RPG’s on the NES and Amiga in the past it was watching my friend play Final Fantasy IV on the Super NES that got me heavily into RPG’s. My friend would come over and I would just watch him play for hours, so much so that my mother began to wonder why her son was sitting around watching another boy play a game for six hours.

At the time I was a big Mario fan. I had beaten all the games that had come out even earning recognition in Nintendo Power for beating Super Mario World. When I read that Super Mario RPG, made by Square (Now Square Enix) was being released I was ecstatic. By then I had already gone back and beaten all the previous Final Fantasy games, so to combine my love for Square RPG’s and Mario into one game was just heaven.

When I finally had it in my hand and loaded it up I was amazed by the quality and music of the game. The graphics had almost a claymation vibe to it and it fit the game very well. Some of the in game sound effects were a bit loud, but overall the presentation was very well done.

The open sequence had Mario on his way to Bowser’s castle to save Princess Toadstool. The isometric platform style of the game took a bit to get use to, but after a few battles it felt natural. Unlike some of the Square RPG’s before it, in Mario RPG the enemies were visible on the map and in most cases you could avoid them though some you had no choice but to fight.

Personally I wondered how the story would go since from the beginning you were jumping and fighting your way though Bowser’s castle to find the Princess tied to a huge chandelier. You have to keep in mind there was almost no place to go at the time to see reviews or spoilers, so when I defeated Bowser the first time I was generally worried the game might not have much to it, but I was wrong.

Before I continue with the story let’s talk about game play. The game definitely felt like a Square RPG, but it had all the elements you would expect from a Mario game as well. You could walk and jump pretty freely on the main world and once in battle you fought turn based style just as you would in Final Fantasy. Within the battle you had four choices, your main attack, items, your special attack and tactics such as run away or defend.

The game is fairly easy even if you haven’t played any RPG’s before. Whichever character you were playing had different attacks and when you used them you could hit a corresponding button to increase the damage. For instance if you are playing Mario and use his jump ability, if you hit the right button at the right time you will do extra damage and you would know you did it right because you would hear a special sound, in Mario’s jump attack case it was the one up sound.

You can time your defense as well, so when an enemy is about to hit you, you would hit the correct button and you will either take less damage or absorb the hit all together. Pretty much if you got the timing down you were unbeatable, if you sucked at timing you might find some of the boss fights pretty hard.

The overall story in a nutshell was that pieces of the Star Road fell to the world and were being collected by the evil Smithy gang, Smithy, a robotic blacksmith was a from an alternate dimension with aspirations of world domination. The Smithy gang was so bad ass they even took over Bowser’s castle and kicked him out.

The main protagonist is Mario who along with Princess Toadstool, Bowser and two new characters, Mallow, a strange-looking tadpole (with a secret) and Geno, a star spirit who has taken control over a doll, fight to get the star pieces back. But fear not there are a ton of other side stories and adventures.

Now this game came out in 1996 and there are a ton of reviews on it and you can even play it on the Wii, so I am not writing this so much as a review. However, as anyone will tell you Mario RPG was one of those games that once you started playing you would not want to put down. From the music to the boss fights to the hilarious shorelines, the game, in my opinion, perfectly mixed the worlds of Mario into an RPG format that did not get stale.

Personally the use of humor in the game was what made me fall in love with it. There are multiple laugh out loud moments from fighting a giant cake, a power ranger spoof and Toadstool’s forced wedding. Also, Square tossed in many little references to its other RPG’s including a fight against a very Final Fantasy-like character called, Culex which, in my humble opinion, was pretty hard to beat.

Overall it was a great addition to the RPG lineup you could find on the SNES. I believe it is still worth playing today and though I am not a fan of the Wii, if you have one I would suggest downloading it or if you have this thing called an emulator…. Oh, the Obsolete Gamer legal team says I can’t talk about that, never mind, just go check this game out.

If you want to listen to the original soundtrack click here