TumblePop

 Tumble Pop

TumblePop

Back again for another round of forgotten gaming classics. This time, we take a look at another fairly obscure arcade game that was mentioned last time around, that being 1991’s TumblePop. TumblePop was made by Japanese developer/publisher Data East, who were one of the kings of the arcade’s heyday. Data East was responsible for such early arcade hits as Burger Time, Astro Fighter, Karate Champ, and Ring King. They also made later hits such as Karnov, Two Crude Dudes, Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja, Heavy Barrel, Captain America and the Avengers, Kid Niki, Breakthru, Bloody Wolf, and the Magical Drop series. They were also a big name in the late 80s/early 90s home console market, producing such hits as Joe & Mac, Congo’s Caper, and High Seas Havoc. And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their infamous (but decent) Street Fighter II ripoff, Fighter’s History, which became a short-lived series of it’s own.
Tumble Pop
It SUCKS, while it CUTS!

Unlike the last entry, Avenging Spirit, TumblePop was more of your traditional arcade fare: light on story, big on high scores and just outright fun. The basic premise of the game is that you play a pair of “Ghost Buster” type characters, who use (get this) vacuum cleaner type gizmos to suck up ghosts, demons, aliens and other monsters. A concept that would, in some form, pop up again years later in Nintendo’s own Luigi’s Mansion. Once you suck up enemies, you can blast them back OUT of the vacuum thingy to use as projectiles against other enemies. And therein lies the core gameplay mechanic, and basic fun of Tumble Pop.

Tumble Pop
I’ll have the Calamari, Bob.

Similar to the Taito classic Bubble Bobble, when enemies are destroyed, they often leave behind goodies for you to collect, such as coins, etc. In fact, the game seems largely inspired by earlier hits like Bubble Bobble as well as Capcom’s Buster Bros, and the game takes the same classic arcade approach of the action being limited to little “Screens”, instead of the kinds of sprawling levels seen in the later side-scroller genre. Like those earlier games, it also features two player simultaneous co-op gameplay, which just adds to the pandemonium. Along with goodies from enemies, you also collect occasional letters that, as you can see in the picture above, eventually spell out “Tumbepop”, and when you get the full word, you are whisked off to a timed bonus stage where you can get even MORE high-score ensuring goodies, as well as extra lives.

Tumble Pop
Alright Mister, FREEZE!

The game plays out over 10 different areas, representing (mostly) real places on earth, such as New York, Moscow, Japan, Egypt, Australia, etc. In the final two areas (SPOILERS) the game sees you travel to Outer Space and finally The Moon. Each area features it’s own themed monsters, as well as typically one big boss fight at the end. And as you have seen in these pictures, there are some crazy bosses, like a giant octopus, a killer snowman, a giant clown robot, a flaming dragon, an enormous genie, etc. And if that weren’t enough, if you failed to defeat all the monsters in a given time, a Dracula-type dude will wander on screen and if he catches you, you lose a life. Major bummer. Totally bogus! But I digress.

Tumble Pop
What the hell happened? Now we’re colorless AND adorable!

As mentioned in the previous article, as coincidental Fate would have it, unfortunately the only platform that TumblePop was ever ported to, like Avenging Spirit before it, was the original Game Boy, in 1992. Again, awesome for Game Boy owners, too bad for anybody else. As again, this would have made an amazing NES game, or even SNES or Genesis game. I certainly would have loved to have rented or maybe even owned it on NES as a kid. The one big difference between the two however, in my personal experience, was that I actually got to PLAY the arcade version of TumblePop as it was long a mainstay of the local area skating rink. As a matter of fact, as a call back to an even earlier article, remember that buddy of mine Harold, whose favorite game EVER is M.C. Kids? Yup, well TumblePop was pretty much his favorite arcade game too. And wouldn’t you know it (unlike his modern taste in games), BOTH of these classics were actually fun! Damn you Harold!!

Tumble Pop
I guess it’s true what they say…being on game box art really DOES make you gain weight!

It should be mentioned that the Game Boy version of TumbePop differed slightly, in that it featured a “World Map” of sorts, where you could even exit areas if they were too hard and come back later, as well as an on-map Shop where you could use coins collected to buy upgrades. Pretty nifty all around. And, again like Avenging Spirit, the Game Boy version of TumblePop, as luck would have it, is available for download on the 3DS eShop. I would highly suggest giving both games a whirl, as they’re well worth it.

Well, that about wraps it up folks! Another fun game, faded from memory, but now resurrected through the power of….well, my bodacious writing! Go find yourself a copy of TumblePop, and suck away!

Robocop

Robocop

Drop it! That and the sound it makes whenever Robocop pulls his gun from his leg holster is what I remember the most from the 1988 arcade game. I also remember I was never very good at it. This is a run and gun game meaning the key is to be on the move and ready to shoot at all times. The game also expects you to have a good twitch factor as bad guys will be coming out of everywhere.

Robocop

When you play or watch this game and get a feeling like you are playing Bad Dudes, that’s because the two have a lot in common. I would almost call this a skin game in that you replaced a few things to make it “Robocop”, but you could switch them again and make it Bad Dudes. Nevertheless, many games were like that in the 80’s and 90’s.

Robocop

So Robocop gives you the general feel of the first movie. You walk around the streets of Detroit shooting random bad guys and facing bosses, some you have never seen in any movie and others you will instantly recognize like ED-209. Like the Superman game, they had to make it way easier for you to die, so Robocop is a bit of a wimp meaning just gays running at him unarmed can cause him damage and bullets hitting him anywhere do why too much damage.

Robocop

Sometimes when walking around the level you only have your fists to defend you, but once gun wielding enemies show up, you pull out your sidearm and take them down. You can duck to avoid enemy gunfire and jump over obstacles. You also find power ups, life, ammo and weapons from taking out cans, crates and some bad guys drop their weapons as well.

Overall, the game is fun even if sometimes at the beginning of a level you are thrown right into a swam of bad guys and when you continue, and continues are limited, you start exactly where you died, meaning if ED-290 shot you when you come back he is still right there in the act of shooting you. The game is still fun, but it is hard, at least to me. You take too much damage, have too little life and some normal human bad guys take to many shots to die, but hey, this is Detroit. Nobody said it was gonna be easy.

Bloody Wolf

bloodywolftg16

Ah the lone wolf run and gun game. You have become such a great solider that your reward is to be sent up against an army and destroy something that should have been taken out by long range missiles. In this game you are not only a lone wolf, but a bloody one at that.

bloodywolftg16

Bloody Wolf is a pretty standard run and gun in the vein of Ikari Warriors, Merc and Heavy Barrel. Developed by Data East in 1988 this arcade game featured Snake and eagle, two commandos against an army of bad guys, but luckily for you, you had a ton of weapons at your disposal.

Pocket Gal

Pocket_Gal_arcade-gameplay-screenshot

Pocket Gal (1987)
By: Data East  Genre: Sports  Players: 1-2  Difficulty: Easy
Featured Version: Arcade  First Day Score: 9,300 (one credit)
Also Available For: Nothing

Pocket_Gal_arcade-gameplay-screenshot

Love them or hate them, videogames are big business. Those of us who partake in their wonders, however, have taken a lot of stick over the years for the sake our ‘nerdy’ hobby so it doesn’t really help matters when developers release blatantly pervy games featuring titillating girlies in various states of undress. Most of the time this is of course a less-than-subtle attempt to grab the cash of lonely gamers with a bare minimum of effort. Indeed, the games that facilitate these giggling girlies are usually utter trash – the flimsiest of excuses for the nudity and immoral material contained within, and that’s when there even is a game at all! But could there be any genuinely good games hidden amidst this nonsense? In a series of new features here at Red Parsley, I will bravely attempt to uncover an answer to this intriguing mystery!

Pocket_Gal_arcade-gameplay-screenshot

As you’ve probably already seen, the first game of this feature is a pool-based game. It’s a Japanese game but as far as I can tell there’s no fancy options or tournaments. When you start, you’ll see a chart featuring four different classes, each of which is represented by a ‘sultry’ lady and you have to work your way up the ranks, so to speak. This naturally involves playing pool. There is a two-player mode but in the one-player mode there is surprisingly no computer-controlled opponent. Instead, you must simply pot all the balls (tee hee!) yourself. Bonus points are awarded for potting multiple balls in succession and for following their numbered sequence. The more points you get, the quicker the girlie will get her kit off! That’s right, for the object of the game appears to be simply to disrobe the ladies – first they’ll lose their outer-garments, then their underwear, and the further up the rankings you get, the more effort is required to persuade them to do so! Oo-er…

Pocket_Gal_arcade-gameplay-screenshot

This ‘effort’ comes in the form of stages. There are more of them per girlie the further you get and they alternate between frames of regular pool (is it still called a ‘frame’ in pool?) and trick shots. A predictibly simple interface enables you to take the shots – just move your aim, represented by a dotted line, and set the power. It’s hardly a complicated process so you should find yourself smacking the balls around (giggity) in no time. There are a few different variations of pool during the course of the game (6 ball, 9 ball, etc) and it’s possible to add topspin, backspin, and swerve to the cue ball during play, but that’s about as complex as things get. So, your prize for playing well may nudge this game toward the ‘adult’ side of things, but is it even worth playing it at all? Well, not for the ‘prize’ itself, obviously – even in its day this was hardly an obscene game – but it’s actually not bad.

As you can see, the graphics are hardly anything to write home about. The tables themselves, whilst coming in several different colours, didn’t exactly require the finest hardware in the world, but everything looks okay. More importantly, the balls move around fairly accurately, at least to my non-expert eyes, and playing the game can be pretty entertaining in short bursts. The different variations and trick shots help to keep it from becoming too repetitive and there’s some pretty decent music and sound effects too (even a bit of speech!). As for the girlies themselves… well, they’re more amusing than anything else, but that was probably the point I suppose. It’s certainly not worth playing the game just to see their ‘boobies’ but Pocket Gal is a surprisingly enjoyable game regardless. Obviously there’s not much in the way of depth so it does get repetitive after a while, but it’s good fun while it lasts.

RKS Score: 6/10

Werewolf

Werewolf

Overall Rating: 4/5 Stars

werewolf - nes- gameplay screenshot

In 1990, a video game was published by Data East for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System console, developed by Takara, called Werewolf: The Last Warrior. This unabashedly epic action platformer stars a titular werewolf protagonist out to defeat the nefarious world-conquering schemes of the evil Dr. Farya by ruthlessly slaughtering every foe in his blood-splashing path.

Gameplay

werewolf - nes- gameplay screenshot

The player controls the werewolf, who begins the game as a man but, after defeating the first mini-boss character very soon into the game, collects a token to become the werewolf; afterward, the state of man or werewolf is determined by health. In either state, the game takes a rebellious stance against traditional NES platformers by having the A button attack and the B button jump. As a man, the player jumps, punches, and can launch a projectile attack by holding the A button and releasing. As a werewolf, the character is a tougher, meatier, nastier beast, slashing with long claws, leaping through the air, and using the holding-A-button attack to level the entire screen, at the cost of some units on the heath bar.

Gameplay continues through challenging platformer levels, moving from an outdoor scene in the woods to more inner, fiery realms of inner lair sanctums; fighting dozens of enemies, ranging from quick blue-robed ninjas to tough boss bouts; gorgeous cutscenes, including the spirit of Kinju serving at the werewolf’s guide throughout, and the iconic transformation sequence. This is a fast-paced, action-packed, fairly difficult, hack-and-slash, unapologetic scrolling-screen monster of a video game.

Graphics

werewolf - nes- gameplay screenshot

To put it simply: This title looks great. Between the hues both subtle and stunning of the cutscenes, the intimidating guardian characters, and the constant onslaught of precision-jumping obstacles or knock-’em-down foes, the entire experience is bathed in pleasurable visuals.

Sound

werewolf - nes- gameplay screenshot

The music is real solid, with the synth providing layers in bass notes, treble, and some kicking drum shots. The sound effects are wet, punchy, and effective, even if Data East is just as guilty of reusing noise from other titles; although, in cases such as the complex, classic pause effect, this is surely excusable. The only complaint may be that the background music does not always seem to fit the on-screen action, such as in the case of some of the boss rounds, with an oddly mellow track.

Originality

werewolf - nes- gameplay screenshot

This is a video game that knows exactly what it is and delivers it without watering it down: Rip-roaring, body-tearing, bash-and-grab, smash-mouth action. This is not your grandfather’s werewolf: This title character has enormous claws for hands, can move while crouching, and can use the claws to hang from certain ceiling sections, boasting quite an impressive array of moves compared to most NES protagonists. Even details such as the background visuals, appropriately atmospheric or claustrophics, to the boss fights, challenging but pattern-based in demanding a player both cerebral and nimble-fingered, are tightly developed and well-honed.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1MbvxHYay8[/youtube]

Thusly, though the basic formula (transformation-gimmick protagonist in two-dimensional action platformer) may not be 100% original, the presentation is thoroughly deep, rich in character, and very distinctive. This is a wonderful video game, whether as a testosterone-fueled guilty pleasure or a scientific case study of how to develop a great cartridge, very much deserving its four stars out of five.

The Classic Gaming Birthday Round Up

The Classic Gaming Birthday Round Up

Over the last two weeks a number of iconic classic games have had birthdays. The following is a grouping of those postings from Patrick Scott Patterson.

August 27

Super Mario Kart celebrates 20 year anniversary today

The original Super Mario Kart, perhapsNintendo‘s biggest 16-bit classic, turns 20 years old today.

The classic racer was first released in Japan on August 27, 1992 with a North American release just days later on September 1. Developed by game industry legend Shigeru Miyamoto and directors Hideki Konno and Tadashi Sugiyama, Super Mario Kart came about in an effort to create a multi-player racing game that improved upon the single player experience of Super Nintendo launch title F-Zero.

The game proved to be one of the strongest titles for the Super NES and Super Famicom, selling 8 million copies during it’s lifespan, a titanic number for that generation of gaming. Sequels and follow-up titles continue to this day, including Mario Kart Wii, the second best-selling game for the successful Wii game console with almost 32.5 million copies sold to date.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcTIk19Lcms[/youtube]

Many fans of the original still look back upon it today.

“At the time of the games release, I was actually into go-kart racing,” said Mario Kart fan Josh Jones of Killeen, Texas. “This was a way for me to experience a whole new way of racing and battling at home. Nintendo did a supreme job incorporating it’s characters into a fun filled game which still has a fan base today.”

The multi-player aspect made an impact on the household of another fan of the game.

Super Mario Kart was the game that settled all the sibling disputes in my household,” said P.J. Stanton of Bordentown, New Jersey. “When my brother and I couldn’t agree on something the winner of argument was determined by a quick race or battle. Of course, by the time we finished playing we usually had forgotten what we were arguing about. My brother and I are estranged now, yet every so often we’ll talk on the phone and the conversation will always lead back to who was the better player.”

August 30th

Original Street Fighter arcade game turns 25

It has now been 25 years since the originalStreet Fighter arcade game first saw the light of day.

Capcom introduced this one-on-one fighter to arcades on August 30, 1987 in two different cabinet styles. The first featured two pressure sensitive “punch” pads while another marked what would be the first-ever six button layout on a fighting game.

While the original Street Fighter was only a modest success, the impact of the game on video game history cannot be fully stated in a short article. Street Fighter II, first introduced in 1991, became the biggest arcade hit since Pac-Man and spawned an entire generation of fighting games. Today, the Street Fighter franchise is one of the most competitive scenes in all of professional video gaming.

“I actually grew up with Street Fighter on arcade back in the day,” said fighting game fan Teri Otis Redding of Australia. “Loved every Street Fighter made pretty much. I think I’ll always remember the arcade experience I had when I was growing up.”

The continued success of the franchise seems pleasing to the maker of products for fighting games.

“Street Fighter has been almost a benchmark for standards on all upcoming games,” said Doug Johnson ofFoeHammer Custom Joysticks. “We love it when they launch a new one because the hype is tremendous.”

August 31st

Arcade classic BurgerTime turns 30 years old

Yet another household name in video game history is celebrating a major milestone this week as BurgerTime turns 30.

August 31, 1982 saw the first public appearance of the game, originally called Hamburger during it’s initial Japanese release. Created by Data East, the game made a big splash at the 1982 AMOA trade show where Data East showed off the title for it’s DECO Cassette System (an early interchangeable arcadesystem) as well as a licensed version from Bally Midway.

BurgerTime featured a chef named Peter Pepper, doing battle with living eggs, hot dogs and pickles who are trying to stop him from making the biggest hamburgers in the world in a multi-level platform. The game gained a loyal following in both coin-op form as well as home console versions from Mattel Electronics.

BurgerTime is one of the defining eighties games,” said Ohio’s J.D. Lowe, holder of the third highest BurgerTimescore ever with 6,109,500 points. “Easy to learn, hard to master, with music that sticks in your head and a design that is hard to replicate.”

Many of the remaining original BurgerTime arcade cabinets have landed in the hands of collectors, including Rhode Islands’ Brian Diamonti, who says he will hold on to his machine regardless of the offer.

“I had a buddy offer to trade me his Joust for myBurgerTime and I had to turn him down,” Diamonti said. “BurgerTime is too much of a staple in gaming roots to trade off and my girlfriend would be too pissed at me.”

BurgerTime made a national television appearance in early 1983 as one of the game titles used in a gauntlet on That’s Incredible. Players had to quickly reach a scoring threshold on the game to move advance to the next game. Texan Ben Gold, who won the televised contest, only had a short time to learn the game.

“I had three weeks to learn it and only one arcade to practice at,” Gold recalled. “Todd Walker was by far the best player on this game and the irony is that his mistake on it is what allowed me to beat him in the competition.”

Numerous sequels to BurgerTime have been released over the past 30 years, including last year’sBurgerTime World TourRay Almeda from MonkeyPaw Games, the company who released the 2011 follow-up, notes the unique concept of the game as a reason for it’s longevity.

“Anybody who plays BurgerTime instantly gets hungrier and hungrier the longer and longer they play,” Almeda said. “Even to this day, Peter Pepper still remains a lovable chef that builds the planet’s biggest burgers. Who would have thought you’d be running from food in a video game? It doesn’t get any more addicting and iconic than that, even after 30 years.”

September 6th

Activision classic Pitfall! reaches 30 year anniversary

The iconic Pitfall! has now reached the 30 year mark.

Originally released on September 6, 1982, this early Activision title was designed byDavid Crane and became an instant best-seller. First released for the Atari Video Computer System (later known as the Atari 2600), Pitfall! sold 4 million copies, a huge number for a game at that time and held the top on best-seller charts for an incredible 64 weeks.

Perhaps the first hit game to popularize the side scrolling style that became a staple of gaming later in the decade, Pitfall! gave players a limited amount of time to overcome in-game obstacles such as pits, crocodiles and giant scorpions in an effort to reach the treasure at the end.

The popularity of the game transcended the title itself with the character of Pitfall Harry at the helm. Pitfall! was one of the video game titles featured in the first season of CBS Saturday morning cartoon series Saturday Supercade. A young Jack Black appears in one of the television commercials for the original game as well.

Pitfall! was our first chance to game as a proper adventurer,” said Jayce Stokes of England’s ConsoleNinjas podcast. “The way it combined maze elements in with the platform staples of timing your jumps and avoiding hazardous drops was unmatched back then.”

As an early example of a game with a finite ending point, completing Pitfall! proved to be a badge of honor among gamers, many of whom say they had a love/hate relationship with the cartridge.

“Who doesn’t love Pitfall!?” said Stockton, California’s John Lopez. “I played it until I thought I’d break my joystick as a kid. The gameplay was great; a running man grabbing the vines, swinging over the pits and quicksand, jumping logs, climbing into the underground caverns, jumping scorpions and collecting treasure. It was one of the coolest games.”

A new version of Pitfall! was recently released for iOS devices, while the original game designer recently opened up a Kickstarter project in an effort to launch a new jungle adventure.

Bad Dudes

“The President has been kidnapped by Ninjas. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue The President?”

Bad Dudes - Gameplay Screenshot - 1

The opening line uttered by the Secret Service agent immediately stirs the street fighter within you. Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja can be played in single player mode as Blade (in white pants); or in two player co-op mode – the second player controlling Striker (in green pants).

Bad Dudes - Gameplay Screenshot

Blade and Striker’s mission is simple: rescue President Ronnie by pummeling all kinds of evil martial artists across seven levels within the allotted time. The attack moves at your disposal are fairly basic: low, middle, and high kicks. Each fighter can also perform a mega punch by holding down the attack button.

Bad Dudes - Gameplay Screenshot

Should Blade or Striker get the better of their armed opponent, they can pick up the dropped weapon, be it a knife or nunchuks, and use it to extend their attack range. This comes in handy for the end-of-level bosses. Speaking of bosses, even Karnov makes an appearance.

Bad Dudes - Gameplay Screenshot

Once you have ploughed through evil-doers across seven levels, you reach the final boss – the one and only, Mr Dragon Ninja himself. Defeat this evil kingpin and it is happy times as President Ronnie is freed from his kidnappers.

Bad Dudes - Gameplay Screenshot

 

After the popularity of Double Dragon in 1987, it was inevitable that arcade developers would make 1988 a co-op beat’em up fest to cash in on the genre’s popularity.

Bad Dudes - Gameplay Screenshot
The late 80′s was truly the Golden Era of beat’em ups. Grab a mate, and hit Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTjgV_9YFDQ[/youtube]

Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja:

Bad Dudes - Gameplay Screenshot

Manufacturer: Nihon Bussan / AV Japan
Developer: Data East
Year: 1988
Genre: Beat’em Up (side scrolling fighter)
Maximum number of players: 2
Gameplay: Joint (co-operative)
Joystick: 8-way
Buttons: 2 (Attack and Jump)
Sound: Amplified Mono (single channel)
Cabinet: Upright Standard
Levels: 7 (Street, Truck, Sewers, Forest, Train, Cave and Dragon Ninja HQ / helicopter)

 

Step into the Australian Retro Gamer nostalgic time machine as we go back in retro gaming history and relive the consoles, the computers, the peripherals, the games, the people, the players and the magazines that made us all feel warm and fuzzy on the inside and put a huge smile on our face. You can view his website here.

Act-Fancer: Cybernetick Hyper Weapon

Act-Fancer-Cybernetick Hyper Weapon

So let me start off by telling you the name alone is enough reason to at least see what it is about. In a nutshell it is a scrolling shoot em up game published by Data East in 1989. The game has a cyborg that has to fight off tons of aliens and collecting power ups in order to become stronger and survive.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=434FsyxSusU[/youtube]

Point blank, I suck at this game. Seriously, look at the video, that’s me. I am good at games or I was, but I could not get off of level one. Maybe I should not do videos on these types of games because it shows how far I have fallen.

One thing is for sure, like in R-Type the key is being as powered-up as possible at all times or you will be owned. See, that boss at the end of the video. I am sure I would have owned him with full power-ups, but as that little bug I got squashed. This is a sad state of affairs.

Captain America & The Avengers

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The game itself is fairly short, similar to the X-Men Arcade game, but in our case it was a good thing because we were popping in quarters until the game was finished. As someone lost all his lives, someone else was cranking them in so we could complete it. ~Matt McKee

Captain America & The Avengers

This review is based on the 1991 Data East arcade game involving the Marvel Comics superhero group.

I was always a huge comic book fan, with Captain America being one of my favorites, and by proxy…The Avengers. Combining my love of comics and games, it seems I would like nothing more than to play a superhero-based game. This game is a traditional side-scrolling beat-em-up that alternates between that and some shooting screens, just enough diversity to make things interesting without taking too much away from the arcadey action.

Captain_America_&_The_Avengers_gameplay-screenshot

I remember (what I think) was the first time I played it. My older brother was away at college and a buddy and I went to visit him for the weekend. While we were there, the three of us and a friend of my brother (another comic geek) went to the the mall arcade. Now, there were a lot of heroes present; A man saving a woman from a giant monkey, another flying his spaceship defending the Earth, a third eating ghosts…Okay, the last one is not really a “hero”, but the point is there was no one around to stop the Red Skull and his lackeys, and they needed stopping…. ’cause as the great sports hero, Mark McGwire, once said, “Nazis….is bad.”

The game itself is fairly short, similar to the X-Men Arcade game, but in our case it was a good thing because we were popping in quarters until the game was finished. As someone lost all his lives, someone else was cranking them in so we could complete it.

Captain_America_&_The_Avengers_gameplay-screenshot
You play as any one of 4 Avengers who have close-up and long-range battle attacks. Captain America slings his mighty shield, Iron Man shoots his repulsor beams, Hawkeye’s bow and arrows, or Vision…with his……visiony-like thing that he does. You’ll fight through lesser villains like Klaw, The Living LaserWhirlwindSentinelsWizard, TheGrim Reaper, The MandarinUltron, and Crossbones. That’s a lot of sweet Marvel-villain action. Fighting through the levels, you will gain assistance from hero friends like NamorWonder Man, and the Wasp, who will drop power-ups, health, and give you moral support.

Graphically, everybody is bright and comic-book perfect. Even when there’s a lot of action going on at once, there’s no slowdown and it easy to see what’s going on amongst the chaos. Some fun, loud, energetic music accompanies the heroes throughout the mission, and is a welcome addition.

The plot of the game is pretty unimportant sadly, but all you need to know is Red Skull is a bad guy, so give me someone to hit.

Although this game is known for the crazy English translations (you have to play it to appreciate it), it’s truly a fun beat-em-up with 4 people using superpowers, and that’ll always get a thumbs-up in my book. I also owned the Sega Genesisversion, and played that to death…a very fine port. But, if you have a chance to play this on MAME, you won’t be disappointed.

Joe & Mac

Joe & Mac - Super Nintendo - Gameplay Screenshot

This time around Joe & Mac came to my mind especially after I finally found a copy of it for a decent price, in fact I found two copies of the game but only picked one up in my last trip to the flea market. Isn’t that pure kewlness? anyways, if you have played or haven’t played this game, you can have mixed feelings on this one. Lets start with the good stuff, the music is amazing and the animation is great, this game came out during the cavemen fever where there were a lot of cavemen like games hmmm Chuck Rock and Prehistorik Man to name a few. They were fun and all you know but very similar in the end. Joe & Mac has a very interesting history with the later games as well, which I will mention very briefly. The game itself starts off great and very simple but gets a little complicated but not so complicated that it becomes unplayable. The best way to enjoy this game though, it’s with a friend. The co-op is pure win as long as your friend doesn’t suck in the game, and if he/she does well you can have a good laugh after tossing the controller at them.

Joe & Mac - Super Nintendo - Gameplay Screenshot

 

The game feels incomplete at some points especially in the later levels where all you have to go is up a hill and the boss is there…..what great level design….that was sarcasm.. The bosses are also very predictable after a couple of tries at them so don’t hesitate to just stare at them and see where their attacks go. You also have three weapons to help you out which come in handy at boss fights depending of course which boss you are going up against.

Joe & Mac - Super Nintendo - Gameplay Screenshot

 

The game also has some secret places you can go into like save spots or secret levels but you will need to find a key and most of the time you will only find one key which will lead you to pick which door you want to unlock in the map, you can either pick a save spot or a secret level which probably has extra lives or food in it. It’s all up to you! In the end, I recommend this game for everyone who has a friend and wants to play a decent cavemen game. You can finish this game within the hour so don’t get your hopes up for a long game.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YCdnm1vPN4[/youtube]

Did you know? Congo’s Caper is most notably known as the sequel to Joe & Mac so that means Joe & Mac 2 is actually Joe & Mac 3? Hmmm interesting. I am going to track Congo’s Caper myself which I did played back in the day. I must find more info of this! Until next time!

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. =)