Street Fighter 2

 

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Street Fighter 2

This one should be interesting for many of you and I’m sure you have come across it at some point while playing your NES emulator. Street Fighter 2 for the Famicom is an attempt at making a fighter for a limited console. Don’t get me wrong, the developers have managed a good attempt of a very revolutionary game, but this is far from revolutionary. The Famicom/NES did had its great share of fighters such as TMNT Tournament Fighter and Joy Mecha Fight but it takes more to make a decent fighter and Street Fighter 2 for the Famicom is far from it.

Street Fighter II - The World Warrior - Bootleg - Gameplay Screenshot

Street Fighter 2 for the Famicom is a very crappy attempt at mimicking a legendary game. The game does bring less fighter than the original, I’m guessing the producers must have either ran out of room or ran out of patience to even continue further. The gameplay is brutal as for some reason there is a magnet in each player which doesn’t attract each other but rather pushes them away(Talk about negative), you can’t seem to be able to stay near your opponent to corner and beat the hell out of him like in the original SNES release. The moves are also very tricky and tend to only work one out of three tries and even if you are able to pull them off, they aren’t that effective.

The game’s music is just awful and deserves the mute button. This is what you can expect from a pirate though. This one is an original pirate that got hacked to different other franchises. I’m sure there is a Mortal Kombat that is a clone of this game just with a different title screen and a better character select screen but I could be wrong. Overall, you will get a good laugh playing this game with a friend after a couple of beers. You can also pick this game up for a good price of around 5-10 usd so at least we can be happy it’s affordable. Be sure to download this awful game here and let me know if you find it appealing at all. I know for sure if you saw this in the stores you would have been all crazy about it, just imagine if it would have been an official Capcom release! We wouldn’t be so crazy about Street Fighter 4 as we are now but either way I don’t think Capcom would have allowed it. They did allowed a lot of awful Mega Man games ugh….until next week arrrr!

Super Donkey Kong 2

 

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Super Donkey Kong 2

When it comes to pirate originals you can’t help to wonder how much effort these developers must have put into these games. In some cases, a lot, in others probably not much and in certain ones, a very lazy attempt to resell Mario, (Mario hacks) Nothing! You do have to give the creators of this game a lot of credit. They may not have done a great job but the attempt is there, it just seems that it was too much but it would have been a lot better if they weren’t rushed. I’m sure that’s what they are thinking right now, yeah that’s what they are thinking as they are sitting in their desks at Nintendo of Japan headquarters….well maybe, but this game delivers with the little material it brings. This game delivers a very painful gaming experience but you can’t help wonder the possibilities this game could have had. You do have to put aside the fact that this is a pirate original, I mean just think about it. How many people were appointed to create this game, it might have been four or maybe just one. You have to think of the budget and deadline! That’s one of the reasons I appreciate this game.

Super Donkey Kong 2 - Pirated Games - Gameplay Screenshot

The game looks really good for the perished 8-bit console and the gameplay is on the so-so factor. The controls are sluggish but with enough practice and precision (And no whining) You can get through the game with ease. The music mimics the SNES counter part but too much of it can hurt your ears and make you go deaf especially with those annoying rat sounds that sound more like beeps than a rat at all. The game consists of three levels in total which is quite short and the third one ends up being very difficult so beware you whiners.

Super Donkey Kong 2 - Pirated Games - Gameplay Screenshot

You play as Diddy Kong in the ship level but at the third and final level you’ll be the snake mutation of Diddy Kong. This one really creeps me out but being serious and all, it’s just the jumping snake you turn into in the game(Not sure what happened to riding the damn animals). The game does show signs of being incomplete especially since you can collect coins for the shop which you will never reach as the game only has three levels. You can also collect the 1-up balloons as well as the bananas. If you get hit once, you are a dead monkey so make sure you know the controls real well.

There is not much left to tell about such a short game. This game is available as a single pirate cart and even comes in multi-carts (I should know as I have it in my clone). For those of you not wanting to spend the average price of 15 dollars for the game, well guess what? Like in other entries you will have the rom to download here.

Earth Worm Jim 3

Earth Worm Jim 3

This week we have yet another Famicom entry. This game was released as many different games. I will use the number 3 since that’s the one it has been mostly known as. In fact, I would suggest you play this game instead of the Playstation release which was awful. When you think of pirates you always think of horrible gameplay but believe it or not, there are some good ones out there. This game is in fact pretty good. It deserves a lot of credit as the creators of this game did the best job they could to mimic the SNES release of it. But why call it Earth Worm Jim 3? I’m guessing these guys were so disgusted by the third release that they decided to take matters into their own hands and create a decent third installment to the franchise.

EarthWorm Jim 3 - Bootleg - Gameplay Screenshot

The gameplay was done quite well and is very responsive. The level design is decent and does its best to mimic the SNES version. They even added the select button function to switch from your head whip to your gun since the NES/Famicom controller doesn’t have as many buttons as the SNES controller, now that’s impressive. The bosses are awfully easy so you’ll be able to get through with ease. The music is so-so as they tried to copy the SNES sound score although they felt short from making it successful, it was a good attempt nonetheless. You will be able to tell which song is which so no worries there. For 8-bit music, it’s what you get for it.

EarthWorm Jim 3 - Bootleg - Gameplay Screenshot

This game reminds me a lot about Boogerman which I will be discussing in the coming weeks but for now you’ll have to settle with Jim. It does show some similarities to Boogerman hmm maybe they used the same engine? Who knows but both deliver quite well and better than other original pirates. So as usual, here is the rom now off you go into another pirate adventure arrrrrr!

TMNT 2

TMNT 2

I know I had to do this game eventually especially because of the differences it contains from the original. This game may be common as hell but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. Just think of Super Mario Brothers when you think of some nice inexpensive fun. Anyways, if you are having trouble beating TMNT 2 for the NES then the Famicom pirate is the one for you. Not only do you get to start with extra lives 5-7 depending on the cart as there are various out there but you also have stronger turtles.

TMNT 2 Pirate Famicom

What I mean with stronger I mean that they have a strong flying kick that’ll destroy any foot soldier with just one hit so you’ll be able to defeat the foot soldiers and bosses with ease. The extra lives help a lot especially if you run into those annoying bad guys that just won’t stop coming at you. Some to mention are the robotic scorpions and the flying bug things. Those can really get to you especially if you time your attack wrong because you’ll keep flying off to the other side of the screen over and over. You can’t forget about the tigers that run at you although to be able to defeat them you’ll need to hit him and walk towards then hit the tiger again and again that way he won’t be able to get a chance to jump at you. Of course, you’ll run out of visible territory and will need to evade him to catch him on the other end. The game is filled with tactics you will need to think through before acting on them.

nes-tmnt2

There is also the super move that each turtle has. They are all the same and as effective so it doesn’t matter which turtle you use, you’ll be alright with either one. There is an added movement that will work on the pirate which helps you hit both ways with the super move. it’s quite easy to do if you are quick with the d-pad. All you have to do is perform the super move and then as you are doing the move you’ll need to tap the d-pad to the other side of where your turtle is facing resulting in the double super move! Things like this makes you wonder if pirates really intended to leave this bug in there or if they were too lazy to take it out but I think I’ll go with the first one as the game was hacked to aide you into finishing it without cursing and throwing the controller out the window.

TMNT 2 pirate Famicom 2

Overall, many players from past and present have already played through this one probably more than once but it’s always nice to come back for more so this game will help you out with it especially if you are past your prime(like me) And just want to enjoy the great beat em up style gameplay that was king in the late 80s early 90s. Sadly, I can’t seem to find this game in rom format so no rom until further notice. Thank you for reading and I’ll cya next week! Cowabunga!

Pirated Childhood

Very few people here in the States experienced the wonderful yet intriguing world of piracy and that’s due to the fact that companies were on top of each other for copyrights of certain games and what not. Well, where I’m from (Peru) there was no such thing and piracy was as abundant as there could be anywhere in the world. I found myself introduced to the Famicom which over there had various names such as Max Play or Micro Genius. These consoles would come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most of the mimicking the toaster NES console or the Famicom. I personally loved the Famiclones which would bring lots of mysterious games built in or even with a board inside of them. Sadly, I never bought any of them until recent years, I was one of the lucky ones that had the original NES console while everyone else had their awesome looking Famiclones and NESclones.

Why me?? It wasn’t that bad I guess since there were a lot of kick ass games for the original console like the Mario Brothers and Ninja Turtles (Yes, I like the first ones as well and beat that game when I was six years old!). Furthermore, I was one of the lucky ones to be introduced to the most obscure titles during the NES era.

See, there were these game lobbies where you would pay around $0.30 cents to play video games on any console you wanted for an hour. How great was that huh? But wait, it gets better! The games themselves were mostly pirated and the popular originals. Some pirate titles I came across that were engraved in my brain for years to come. One of these wonderful titles was the pirated version of TMNT 2: The Arcade Game. This game’s label art was so wacky I couldn’t ignore it. Below is a photo of what I’m talking about!

tmnt 2 pirated game
tmnt 2 pirated game

Now isn’t this something? I will never forget these turtles, that’s for sure! Not only do they all wear shades but one of them has a shield! It’s funny though, once I found them on eBay to purchase I would keep getting flashbacks of all the memories I had with this game. I bought not one nor two nor three but four copies of this game! The good thing about pirates is that they release this game with different colored pirates (gotta collect them all!). Playing the game with my Famicom sure brings back a lot of memories and joyful occasions. I even remember one time I was playing this game at the lobby and my mom came to pick me up, she wouldn’t let me finish the game and dragged me away from it and all I could hear was Donatello getting the beating of his circuit life while the ice level soundtrack was playing in the background… That memory still comes back to me every time I play that ice level (This “new” level sure made the game longer unlike the original arcade version).

There is another game that marked my childhood with cherished memories. Many of you never heard of it until the rom was available online and hopefully it’ll get well known for being one of the most strangest but correctly made Mario hacks ever! Behold, Mario 8!

Super Bros 8 for famicom
Super Bros 8 for famicom

This game was the entire reason why I went to the lobby every time I could. This game took me out my seat and brought me to a gaming world I have never experienced, and back. The so called Super Bros 8 is actually a hack of Don Doko Don 2 released by Taito. The whole game fits well for it to be a potential Mario title (if you ignore the storyline that is). You play as Mario holding a hammer and stomping evil looking mushrooms (sounds Mario-like?), as well as other creatures along your way including pigs! I think with some hacking by Nintendo, this could have been the better Mario 2 option rather than stealing Doki Doki Panic. I had to find this game when I had the chance and I did. I currently own two copies of it as well as a copy that’s unhacked for some reason. Once I got my hands on this game two years ago, I couldn’t stop playing it. I even had a Mario 8 marathon once where I beat the game five times in a row. I believe I have beaten this game over fifty times now and it never bores me.

I hope this was an enjoyable article for many of you interested in the obscureness of retro gaming… really you can’t get any more obscure than this! As a matter of fact, there are still many titles I can mention but it’ll have to be some other time. Until next time!

The Pirates Cove: Famicom Carts 2

Street Fighter IV and Adventure Island 2 famicom carts

 

Behold are the pirate carts Street Fighter IV and Adventure Island 2. These were a nice addition to my pirate Famicom collection because of Street Fighter IV. The game is really hard to come by making it rare but also it’s a rare game that’s worth every penny because it’s one of the best fighters for the Famicom. This game is so great you can even fight using the playboy bunnies! It’s a nice addition to anyone that wants something different to play on their Famicom as well as rare. Adventure Island 2 is also unique since it lets you pick the island you start on. You also get a lot more lives! It’s great to get a little help from the pirates….

Cracked Games: Soul Blade

Soul Blade - Title ScreenCracked Games: Soul Blade

Fighters are usually good games but when it comes to pirate fighters, that’s a different story. Soul Blade for the SNES does not make any justice for the real deal. It was a nice attempt while it lasted but that’s about everything it is accounted for. The game is a clone of the Tekken game but at this point it could have been the other way around. You have the fighters and lame music so you know you are playing something very crappy and unless you are blind and willing to do whatever you feel like with the controller, you are in for a nasty ride.

Soul Blade - Gameplay Screenshot 1

The game is quite difficult to control. You are trying to pull a move when the opponent keeps on hitting you over and over without any chance of a counter attack. The only moment you are able to counter is when your life is almost non-existent and you are on the floor. Even then the opponent will jump on you and finish you off. Most of the time you have to jump back and get away from your crazy opponent as you are not able to try anything without any distance. There are combos to pull but they are just very difficult. I only suggest you play through this game if you are a hardcore Soul Blade fan.

Soul Blade - Gameplay Screenshot 2

The game delivers very little satisfaction and more frustration than even the Tekken title. I don’t want to keep on bashing on this game but there are just things that should be fixed before releasing any kind of game. These games are just too difficult for its own good and this is coming from a fellow who can play through TMNT for the NES with no problems. If you are willing to take the challenge, I dare you!

The Pirates Cove: Famicom Carts

Here they are my latest Famicom finds and they are all pirate carts!! Oh yes these are all pirate carts for some pretty fun games:

Famicom Pirate Cartridges 1

That game you see with the airplanes is actually Tetris. I don’t know why there are airplanes all over the cart but I guess they were trying to make it look cool. There is also Adventure Island, Sky Kid, and some Namcot baseball game.

Famicom Pirate Cartridges 2

Then finally the top games of this find. Behold are Contra, Super Mario Bros, Yu Yu Hakusho + Dragon Ball Z, and some strategy game. These are actually the carts that cost me that most. The Yu Yu Hakusho is pretty unique which lets you play the whole dark tournament saga and maybe even more since I haven’t gotten that far yet. You can also pick which fighter you’ll fight with and they also have their own unique powers!!
Famicom Pirate Cartridges 3

Well that’s about it. Lots of good stuff here and there. There will be more new things in the future so stay tuned.

Are game reviews valid?

Are game reviews valid? by Honorabili

You might read a game review and be enticed to go buy or play a game but is a review really valid? How long did the reviewer play the game? Does it take into account replayability and updates over the life of the game?

The Quality Triangle
The Quality Triangle

I’ve written a bunch of game reviews but I often find myself with the dilemma of when I sit down and think about how effective the review really is. One of the reasons I created Obsolete Gamer is so that I can honestly review games in a reasonable and realistic manner. It’s really really hard to play a game that hasn’t come out yet or has just come out and play it like a crackhead non-stop to try to simulate having played it over a series of days and weeks. The problem with even doing that is that the game will still be new to me within a week timeframe as opposed to the game having been around in my collection for months. One would be more excited about a new game rather than an old one, unless it’s a really old game that was your favorite and you haven’t played in a while and you just found it because you lost it for some reason.

Planet Side cover
Planet Side cover

This question might not just apply to games but to maybe some movies or things like electronics and cars as well. Most reviews that just get mass produced will say this thing is “the next best thing since sliced bread and you must have it!” but they don’t take into account that for instance a car might have a defect that you will only see after owning it for a year or a game will get ruined by the 5th patch because they changed something that fucked up game balance and it will make people flee playing a game like a sinking ship. This especially happens for MMOs which are changing all the time. PlanetSide comes to mind, which a ton of my friends used to play when it was really, really popular. Your best bet it to read a game review by somebody that has the same tastes as you or to read a review written recently about an old game (like what we write here often, ahem).

A problem I have sometimes running Obsolete Gamer is that some reviews I’ve written, in order to keep them valid, I have to go back and play a game and update the review. One game that does this a lot to me is Nation Red, which updates like at least once a month, with new content added ALL THE TIME! I keep track of this for Obsolete Gamer but many sites will just pump out an article and just file it forever in its archives, never ever updating it again. In my book that makes those reviews useless. If you haven’t already checked out our game reviews do so in this section of the website.

Civilization 5 Crash
Civilization 5 Crash

So what’s the point of reviews? I see many as pieces of writing intended to get the reader to buy or play a game. Many get used to hype up the expectations of the potential and existing fanbase to a game or product. Some are genuinely written to try to warn people to stay away from a particularly poorly made game that would just be a waste of time and money for the player. Sure, I’ve played some games that have gotten bad reviews and found them somewhat more pleasant than this horrible picture the media painted for me. For example, I gave Elemental War of Magic a fair chance and actually it was sad that I enjoyed it more than Civilization 5, a game I had pre-ordered for $50 and now hate with a passion. The media crucified Elemental War of Magic because of its many bugs and shortcomings and yes even Stardock admits screwing up and it resulting as a flop but the difference here is that Elemental War of Magic got patched to the point where it’s very much enjoyable now but it still has a bad reputation as opposed to Civilization 5, which is PRAISED to be the strategy game of the year, although in my and in the eyes of every true Civilization game fan, it’s the biggest pile of shit ever made with the Civilization name. The game is months old and still has most of the bugs and missing features I mentioned in my early review of the game. It’s disappointing especially when they are still selling this turd for so much money. If you want to see this rage, visit the Facebook Civilization Page to join in on the fight!

Psychonauts Box, groovy huh?
Psychonauts Box, groovy huh?

This kind of hypocrisy has been around for many years, and not just in the gaming industry. Whatever has the biggest budget will get hyped up and up and some stuff that does deserve attention will sink into obscurity. Let’s look at small games though because it’s easy for people to say that Call of Duty or Halo or World of Warcraft are the best games EVER but let’s look at small games to see where the industry nailed it and where it dropped the ball. The industry rightly praised Plants vs Zombies and Trine and rightly so but it dropped the ball when it came to a classic gem like Psychonauts. You might say “Yeah, Psychonauts got famous later as a cult classic” but seriously, the people who made it needed the money from the game when it came out, not 4-6 years later! Most people pirated Psychonauts or bought it on Steam for $2 when they had its sale or even from Good Old Games. Think about how many people might have been laid off because the game didn’t do well when it was fresh.

Games are sort of like cars in the economic sense: they degrade in value over time. The money they make for the developer the most is earned when they are new and fresh. When they are on sale because they flopped or they’re old is marginal. The money the developer gets from ebgames or some other place selling you a used copy is NOTHING. I’m not saying go out there and buy every game because I do believe some stuff should have never come out and is not even worth downloading a pirated copy (a topic for another article), but if you do LOVE a game, whether you played it a friends house, got a demo, or are playing a warez copy, do try to buy it to pay back the creators and people whose life was spent writing that game. The economy is a democracy in the sense that you vote with your wallet. If you like the games made by certain authors and programmers and studios, keep them in business. Don’t you want your friends to do well?

Odium, a game few have played with like no reviews
Odium, a game few have played with like no reviews

I’m getting sidetracked, so going back to reviews, if you can’t find a good review for a game or a review at all, do a little research instead. See if there are people who posted information on forums regarding the quality of a game. Some stuff might be too new and small for people to review or it might be just really really BAD. Sometimes that’s a way to tell but sometimes the game might just be a lost gem that you have found. Give games a chance and don’t always go with what the mass media wants you to play. I don’t know how busy your life is, but try to not let people make a decision for you. This also doesn’t apply to just games as well but life as a whole. Discover something you will like. Try out a new genre if you’re bored of gaming in general or go out and do something else to get a new perspective. This might keep you from burning out on something.

Who knows what may happen? You might just find a game that becomes a new favorite of yours and you might end up like us writing reviews on them yourselves and websites like this one or maybe this one as well. ;] Just make sure that you honestly share your opinion on a game… To yourself be true and to others as well, if you can. Save people the aggravation of buying a lemon!

Not So Jolly Roger

anti-drm

Piracy is once again back in the headlines, for several reasons. The latest DRM for PC games from Ubi Soft has been heavily satirised by the web cartoonists. The industry has also released figures showing losses accumulated due to game piracy. Then there was the million-dollar fine for the Australian accused of illegally uploading a Wii game.

Let’s deal with Ubi Soft’s DRM first. Producers have a right to protect their content. After all, they have invested a lot of money in getting it to market. However, as soon as that starts to make things inconvenient for a legitimate user, then the balance is wrong. While the new system does allow unlimited installs – handy for the PC fanatic who constantly upgrades their hardware – and “Cloud” save data online, the reliance on a permanent Internet connection is less welcome. You have to be online to play, and any interruption in your connection will cause the game to stop abruptly. Progress since your last save will be lost, forcing you to go back to the last checkpoint or whatever the game has. One cartoon characterised the software as being like a stalker or jealous partner, calling and harassing you, particularly if you “move on” to another game.

We can all probably tell stories of difficult to install software, or long and boring anti-piracy messages that cannot be skipped. Surely there must be some way to detect a legitimate copy and jump past those messages, and force the pirates to watch them? Codemasters’ Operation Flashpoint from a few years ago was clever enough to work out that it was an illegal copy and gave the illusion of continuing to run properly but gradually disabling features.

The sad truth is, the current generation of consumers has got used to the idea that virtually all the entertainment they want can be found for free. The one thing they haven’t grown up with is the moral judgement on whether they SHOULD get the music, TV or games they want in an illegal manner. But on the other side of the argument, software companies touting figures of a “$300 million loss” have missed the point. How many of those people illegally downloading would not have bought the game anyway? From my experience of people who pirate, the increased consumption rate that illegal activity gives them also means a shorter attention span. And while many of those who download music are also big legal consumers as well, using downloads to find potential new purchases, the higher price tag of games would seem to mitigate that effect.

The car boot sales and market stalls may be heaving with pirate games and DVDs, but the vast majority of console owners still buy their games (albeit many of them second-hand). The target of the authorities should be those dealing in thousands of illegal copies and not the individual caught with a few. In the long term, piracy hurts us as consumers more than the companies.