Gun.Smoke by Capcom for Nintendo NES. Kill terrorists of Hicksville. Fight bandits, ninjas and indians. Drive a horse. Unlimited Ammo.

Astyanax by Jaleco for Nintendo NES. Arcade port. Large sprites. Ugly boxart. Underrated! Swing sword, kill baddies, hussy fairy helps.

Kiwi Kraze by Taito for Nintendo NES. Arcade port; ugly title and boxart. Rescue birds from walrus. Shoot arrows. A-

There are more stars in the universe then there are grains of sand on Earth.  Many of the stars we see at night no longer exist, and the billions of miles the light has to travel is still taking it’s sweet time to reach us.  For many, this is difficult to imagine much less understand – yet most people will allow their lives to end with out looking up to the heavens and appreciating the stars.  To many they are after all… just a bunch of dots.

That insignificance is actually something to consider in the video game industry.  Imagine for a moment you are playing a space themed video game.  I’ve provided two examples in this post: 1) Galaga, 2) The Guardian Legend.  See those little dots?  They are stars.  In Galaga there are actually two layers of stars and and some sparkle giving the illusion that you are travelling at high speeds.  The Guardian Legend stars have slightly more detail on a few of the stars, including a galaxy.

Now consider for a moment the graphic capabilities of modern gaming consoles.  No doubt, both the PS3 and XBOX 360 can render worlds of incredible detail.  They can animate sweat and tears, explosions and smoke, and even emulate the feel of sunrise and sunset.  But for all of that expensive hardware, for one of these modern game consoles to render a distant star on the screen all it needs to do is draw a dot.  Thats right, a single dot (or pixel) in a video game is easily perceived as a star that is billions of miles away.  And you know what?  Neither the PS3 nor the XBOX 360 can render a distant star any better than say… an Atari 2600.

I can promise you with absolute certainty that the next generation game console will still continue to render a distant star as just a dot.  The same goes for the system after that, and the one after that.

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Burgertime by DataEast for Nintendo NES. Arcade port, simple yet difficult, catchy tune, enemy egg, hotdog, pickle. Best game ever.

From the Miami News, July 9th 1984, an article about Billy Mitchell, Chris Ayra, and Doris Self.

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Bandai’s Chubby Cherub for NES: Simple platformer most people hate. Simple cute game. Naked Baby chomps food avoids dogs. B-.

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I have a bunch of games that I never have time to play much less write about. So in the interest of my time and yours I will provide reviews of these forgotten gems in 20 words or less. Here goes:

Capcom’s Trojan for Nintendo NES: Arcade port. Platformer. Post Apocalyptic world. Weapons and items. Music forgettable.. Boxart A-, Overall: B-

Remember my Sky Shark story? The one about how the neighborhood kids and I re-enacted Sky Shark with toy tanks and fireworks? Another game rides the coattails of that story: Land Sea Air Squadron.

LSAS is basically Commando with vehicles. Jump in a chopper, a jet, and even a tank and a boat. Maybe not a jet. I don’t remember. I only seen the game at one location in the wild.

Anyways it was a reasonable action game and like the Sky Shark story the game reminded me of toys. Ever see those bags or buckets of soldiers in a department store? The set that comes with a tank, a helicopter, etc? Remember how those toys are disproportionate to one another? The tank comes up to the shoulder of the soldiers and the helicopter stands no taller than their crotch? So? What’s the point you ask? LSAS had that same nuance in it’s graphics just like the toys had.

Again you might be asking “So what? Who cares?” Well those plastic toys, to scale or not, holds a key to infinate imagination. More plastic soldiers have been killed in a kid’s mind than the total casualties for every war the U.S. has been associated with. They have just enough of a design in them to spark the imagination of a child. As does LSAS. There probably is some back story to the game, but it doesn’t matter! The game was simple enough for a kid to carve out their own story. Even with graphics not to scale.

Less is more -even if it’s not to scale.

Imagine now for a moment the typical Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 player. Imagine the conniption fit the player would have if the game didn’t have proportional graphics. You can see those players almost have a seizure when a new Map Pack is released. CODMW2 has brought to light that the video game industry is now at a cross roads. Have games gotten to the point that once the initial charm has worn off you need DLC or another ‘map pack’ for the game to be fun? Don’t use that ‘multiplayer’ crap excuse with me. LSAS had multiplayer too.. it was called ‘insert 2 coins and press 2 players!’

Anyways back to that bloated monstrosity that we call CODMW2… all that detail, and true to life action has killed any and all imagination – which is the essence of play time; games have really become work.

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I finally received Rambo III for SEGA Genesis.  Actually I received it about a week ago, but I really haven’t had much time to play it.  I like the Rambo movies.  Especially the first one, and it just so happens that the 3rd movie is my least favorite.  Games and movies never work well together so I was ready to be let down. 

In this case I wasn’t let down at all.  I actually enjoyed this game for what little I got to play of it.  It’s loosely based on the 3rd movie and even includes digital stills from it.  It plays similiar to Ikari Warriors (which was obviously inspired by the 2nd Rambo movie)  but resembles Heavy Barrel more and could be considered a precurser to Shock Troopers on Neo Geo.

Unlike many top-down war games Rambo III does have one feature that would have made those other games much more interesting: RAPID FIRE.  Not only does Rambo have unlimited ammunition, if you hold the button down and leave the D-pad alone Rambo will start moving the gun back and forth, effectively spraying the bullets everywhere.  THATS AWESOME!

You can also shoot arrows, which is very much Rambo-esq, but you can also set time-bombs, which I don’t recall in any Rambo movie but I could be wrong.  Now on to the best part:

The box art is beautiful.  It isn’t a promo picture from the movie either, or if it was, it certainly wasn’t for the American audience.  I’d like to believe it was unique for the game(s).  The reason I say this is look at the Commodore version:

Notice anything missing?  Where are his arrows and bows?  It seems the Genesis version is unique to the arrows and bows, but it also proves that it must be a painting and not a still from the movie, because… what is holding the arrows and bows in the Genesis box art?  Are they stuffed into his back pocket?  Who knows, the point is that this is a good game for SEGA Genesis.