The Battle of Olympus (NES) - I have been searching for this game for a long time now, and luckily my friend was able to pick it up for me in Toronto at A+C Games randomly. He contacted me asking if there was anything I was looking for while he was there, to which I responded "Battle of Olympus." Sure enough, he was able to pick up a copy for me. I won't go into this game at all though, because I intend on doing a full review for it...it's one of those games that gets little to no attention even though it deserves it, so I'm going to attempt to do it some justice.
|Greek mythology + Metroid-ish gameplay + Zelda II inspiration = EPIC WIN|
Totally Rad (NES) -This is a strange game for the NES, but I loved it when I was younger. This is one of those games I never got back when I lent my NES to a friend, so I'm very happy to have it back in my grasp. Originally called "Magic John" in Japan, Totally Rad was given a BODACIOUS SURFER STYLE OVERHAUL for North American audiences, since it was the thing at the time (see: Bill and Ted, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). That being said, this is still a pretty solid game! You play as a RADICAL DUDE named Jake who has to save his RIGHTEOUS girlfriend Alison from a bunch of ugly underground dwellers. Luckily, he's been learning how to cast magic, so he can summon various elemental powers to crush his enemies and transform himself to gain new abilities. These powers all upgrade over the course of the game too, so there's a lot of variety in how you can tackle situations...although I just found myself using Jake's flying transformation and cruising through the entire game. Like just about everything on this list today, it's a side-scroller...but this is one of those overlooked gems with some cool ideas and tons of variety. TUBULAR, DUDE!
|Tip: If a man like this wants to teach you magic, call the police.|
Mortal Kombat (SNES) - I managed to nail this one down from a local Kijiji user! Came in the original box and everything, too! There's not much I have to say about MK really, except that this is the non-violent version since Nintendo had the blood stripped out of the game, dramatically altering many of the moves and Fatalities. Gameplay is still damn good though, particularly with the button layout of the SNES controller as compared to the Genesis version's extremely strict 3-button layout.
|Kinda hard to believe the roster of MK1 was only 7 characters, eh?|
Contra III: The Alien Wars (SNES) - NOW WE'RE FUCKING TALKING! I got this one from the same dude I snagged Mortal Kombat from. Contra didn't have its original box, but it doesn't matter too much to me really. Fact is, Contra III is one of my favourite action games, period...and I'm damn glad to have a physical copy in my hands. Contra III is set in the future, when an alien being known as Red Falcon has come to unleash his cronies on Earth and mess shit up. It's your job to pump his stupid ass full of lead and send him back to the void where he belongs! As soon as I got home from picking this up, I plugged it in and ran through on Normal mode without a hitch. After you finish the game on Normal, it restarts you on Hard mode...which I also managed to get through. I did all of this with the use of only one continue, which is just unhealthy and wrong. Hard mode alone used to destroy me, but I guess I'm used to it at this point! If you ever get a chance to play Contra III, do it. It's a phenomenal game that makes up for its short length in fair challenge.
|All these aliens? NOT A PROBLEM.|
Castlevania (NES) - Do I really have to talk about this one? This classic series should be known to every gamer around the globe by now, and I'm glad I finally own a cartridge of the game that started it all. I never had this one myself when I was younger...a few of my friends did, so I would borrow it from them or (if they weren't willing to lend it out) rent it when I needed a monster-whipping, axe-throwing, wall beef-eating fix. In case you are uneducated about the series, here's the jist of Castlevania: you play as vampire killer Simon Belmont as he makes his way through Dracula's castle in an attempt to wax the vampiric bastard. On the way, you run into tons of supernatural adversaries such as skeletons, ghosts, Medusa heads, and even Frankenstein's monster. It's a damn good thing you have your trusty Vampire Killer whip (drenched in garlic, of course) and 5 different sub-weapons to get you through this side-scrolling, platforming extravaganza! Castlevania is an awesome game, but it's a bit punishing for newcomers. Hell, there are points in this game that still test my patience, but I'm pretty sure there are more of those occurrences in...
|Still one of the most epic pieces of art I've ever seen.|
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES) - Never had this one growing up, either...but NOW I fucking do! This CV game is fleshed out like mad, with 4 playable characters with unique weapons and abilities, multiple pathways to take (allowing you to bypass certain levels completely), and a difficulty curve that's just as unforgiving as Castlevania's. Dracula's Curse takes place two generations before the original Castlevania, placing you in the shoes of Trevor Belmont (Simon's grandfather) as he sets off to destroy Dracula for the very first time. Some of the levels and bosses in this game are infuriating if you don't know what you're doing, but overall, this is one of the best damned games on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I was always a bit pissed off that I never had Castlevania 1 and 3 in my collection, but now I'm happy to say I've remedied that problem. Just for the record, both this and Castlevania came with their original boxes! Bonus!
|Might want to get inside if the lightning is that close...just sayin'.|
Super C (NES) - The C stands for Contra, just to clear things up. I picked this baby up today, and it sure as hell brings back some memories. When I was a kid, my best friend (at the time) had this game, and we would play it over and over again to the point where we could pretty much run through it on 2-player mode without a single death. Super C is the sequel to the original Contra, and like the rest of the games in the series, pits you against Red Falcon's and his legions who are trying to take over the Earth. It's a tad easier than its predecessor (maybe simply because of better programming), but is still just as fun. Again, this is a very welcome addition to my game collection. The great thing about Contra games is how replayable they are...I'll likely fire this up every couple of weeks for some fast-paced, alien blasting fun.
|Reminds me of my ex-wife!!! (this joke will never get old to me, by the way)|
Well, there you have it! I've scored some awesome games within the last few weeks for some great prices, and I'm very, very happy about that. Just finding all of these Contra and Castlevania games was great enough! I ALMOST had my hands on the elusive R-Type III as well...but alas, that ship sailed. Soon though!
Full-fledged article coming soon, so check back when you can! Keep gaming!