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It’s easy to get carried away with wanting to post reviews every day, but like and work happens, boooo!  Anyways nothing takes a load off than a quick game of DJ Boy!

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Originally an arcade game release by American Sammy (I think) the game is basically Double Dragon on skates.  In the original story your boom box was stolen by a bunch of punks and you’re ready to release holy terror on those punks with your skates.  In this version your girl friend was kidnapped but it never shows the scene.

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So as you punch, kick, and do other moves the thugs drops coins which you can use after boss fights to upgrade your character.  Which is great because the game in incredibly tough.  You get one life.  Just one with a measly life bar.  Most boss fights will involve punch and skate punch and skate until you slowly but surely tire them down to the death.

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The art is very unique to this game and altered only slightly from the arcade version with the exception of some questionably racist characters.  The game is fast and features great music.  The box art doesn’t represent the game well, but its still unique.  Also missing is the Wolf Man Jack voice overs that the arcade game features.

DJ Boy isn’t Streets of Rage (Though Sammy – the kid with the skates in SoR is a homage to the game I swear) and the game certainly doesn’t meet the standards of beat ‘em ups that came out later on the SEGA Genesis but its still a fun game with a rockin’ sound track and a true arcade feel.  Its inexpensive and I highly recommend it.  Pay no more than $6 complete for it.

Nintendo has always been patent heavy – obtaining them on every idea they have ever had. Which is probably a good idea which you’ll see in a moment. Presented for your enjoyment are some of the Weird and Recognizable Nintendo Patents.

First up we have a Famicom to NES Adaptor. It looks that perhaps Nintendo mulled the idea of accomidated imported Famicom games for play on the NES. I suspect this didn’t fly as the final tray design probably wouldn’t accomidate the Famicom cartridges well. 3rd party unlicensed vendors eventually found a work around. View the full patent HERE.

This next one should be recognizable by any Nintendo fan. Clearly its the patent for the Nintendo NES Advantage joystick. At the time it offered what was probably the closest arcade experience you could get at home. Unfortunately the sticky buttons kinda ruined that. Read the patent HERE.

Anyone who has repaired a Nintendo NES will recognize this. It is the tray assembly and 72-pin connector. Live on you awesome piece of hardware! Full patent HERE.

Some might consider this patent to be one of Nintendo’s most important. This is a side view of the original D-Pad on the Nintendo NES control. Once issued no company in the United States could legally produce a similiar controller with a cross shaped D-Pad. That was until the patent expired and SEGA used it in the design of the Dreamcast controller. Read the patent HERE.

This one is obvious. It’s clearly the Game Boy. Full patent HERE.

Nintendo’s Rob the Robot was a great idea, but it never really caught on. This is actually their 2nd Robot Patent. 2nd patent HERE. First patent with the cyclops robot can be viewed HERE.

Here is an example of an unused patent. Well, sorta. This is actually the shell for the Super Famicom. Nintendo opted for a different design for the Super Nintendo. What’s really interesting is the dates in the patent. Clearly Nintendo was working on the Super NES for several years. Full patent HERE.

Posted in patents

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Race Drivin’ for SEGA Genesis is the greatest most realistic driving simulator ever known to man kind!  Seriously!  Some have described Gran Turismo 5 as a skid mark left on the driver’s seat of the arcade version of Hard Drivin’.  It is that good!

Well maybe not.  The SEGA Genesis port is an excellent version of the arcade game which was an arcade smash and showed the world what the future of driving simulators would look like.

The game retains the faithfulness of the arcade version: the choice of manual or automatic transmissions, a time extension model where by you keep passing check points for additional game time, a speed and stunt course, a ramp and a loop de loop, and a barn and a cow that says moo.  Oh and lets not forget the phantom photon who will race your best time if you complete the course in a certain time. 

The game does lack the frame rate of the arcade game so it seems choppy at times and some of the polygons are missing details but for what Tengen set out to do with this game they did an excellent job.  Comparitively the arcade version uses a few powerful processors to render the environment and the steering feedback which obviously isnt available in the home versions.

Most people will not like Hard Drivin’ because like the arcade game it is difficult to handle.  You will spin out frequently.  The controls require a feather touch and if you exceed the speed limit you will suffer.

The good news is this game is easy to find and not expensive at all.  Recommended but spend no more than $2 loose and $5 complete.

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Ghouls N Ghosts for SEGA Genesis is a masterpiece.  I remember as a kid there were two pre-Sonic games that the magazines raved about.  The first was Strider and the second was GNG.

Like most pre-Sonic games, GNG is an arcade port.  A Capcom arcade port to be exact and if you noticed on the title screen Capcom gets credit but it is clear that this title was reprogrammed by SEGA.

I don’t know the exact answer to this but I have two theories: 1. Nintendo strong armed many of their third party publishers into not developing games for their competition; or 2. The SEGA Genesis was still new and was slow to push out the NES – perhaps Capcom didn’t want to invest in developing titlea for a system what wasn’t quite successful yet.  But who cares really?

This arcade port is almost entirely spot on.  It’s missing the opening cut scene and there are a few graphical changes but it’s easily 99% intact.  I know this to be a fact because I’ve beaten the arcade version many times and everything including the timing of enemies and jumps are perfect.  Master one and you’ve mastered the other.

Anyways GNG is the sequel to Ghosts N Goblins.  Your mission as Arthur is to rescue a princess kidnapped by the Evil Loki.  A room sized demon who sits on a throne and shoots lazers at you.  The game play is similar to Goblins with a few enhancements: there are new weapons that can be found in hidden chests and new armor that allows you to cast magic such as lightning, clones, and explosions.  You can also shoot up and down if you jump or are falling.

Game play is mostly scrolling right to left with a few areas of up and down movement.  You can climb ladders and ride platforms.  Lose your armor and you are naked.  Lose your skin and you are dead.  Trade weapons by picking up a new one.  Easy peasy.

The graphics are beautiful and gross!  Pigs on the first level puke on you and one of the bosses is a huge disgusting house fly.  The environments are well drawn with little hints of mother nature like wind, rain, and flying leaves.  Burning windmills shed glowing embers and crystals reflect light.

The bosses are huge but are pretty beatable.  Complete the game and in the tradition of the series youll need to do it again but faster to receive the ending.

Ghouls N Ghosts is an excellent game.  I recommend it!  Pay no more than $8 loose or $14 complete.

 

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It’s no mystery why The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minnie for SEGA Genesis is such a great game.  Published by Capcom in the mid-nineties it has the quality you’d expect from a Capcom platformer.

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Basically Mickey and Minnie take a ride to the edge of town to visit the circus.  But when they get there the place is in shambles and doesn’t seem to be in operation.  You you decide to investigate.  You can play as Mickey or as Minnie.  Along the way you’ll get new costumes and meet a variety of Disney characters.

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The graphics in Circus Mystery are fantastic.  I’ve heard that the Super Nintendo version looks slightly better, but I have no way to compare it.  Buy by itself, this is certainly one of the more beautiful games for SEGA Genesis.  It looks as though it takes advantage of the full palette.

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The animation is terrific, and the levels are not repetative.  Often times you’ll only travel a few screens before you’ll have a boss fight.  This can be good or bad.  But the game isn’t short by no means.  In fact, there is a password feature.

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The music works well with the game and really does give it a circus feel.

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It looks as though Capcom went through the pain of masking graphics that would only be on screen for a short while.  The development team did a nice job with small details here and there.

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Your character (Mickey or Minnie) uses hears for a life bar.  Three hits and your out.

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Remember those extra details I mentioned a moment ago?  Here is a good example.  This train car shows evil eyes looking at you.

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A few moments later it becomes a boss fight!

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As you progress you’ll earn different outfits.  The vacuum outhit allows you to suck up enemies and turn them into tokens.  The outfits define your abilities.  For example the safari outfit comes with a hook that lets you swing from ledges and climb the sides of platforms.

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This is an incredible game for the SEGA Genesis and I recommend it highly.  Even if you don’t like any Disney franchises you’ll probably find something to like in this game.  I spent $6 complete, but would probably spend up to $9 to have The Great Circus Mystery in my collection.

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