Metal Gear - Yep, the classic NES title that coined the Engrish phrase "I feel asleep!!" It seems that many are under the impression that the Metal Gear series started with MG Solid on the original PlayStation, but this is not the case. The original Metal Gear was actually created for the MSX, and ported (terribly) to the NES. You take the role of
|Solid Snake: Punching dogs in the face since 1987|
Megaman 2 - FUCK YEAH! Always a good game to have around, this is perhaps the best of the NES Megaman library, although certainly not my personal favourite (that title goes to MM 4). I shouldn't have to explain the game mechanics of any Megaman game to someone frequenting this blog...and so I won't. NEXT!
|That's some grand box-art, there!|
Gradius - See? I told you this was a damn good haul! Gradius is a side-scrolling shooter by Konami that puts you in the seat of a starfighter called the Vic Viper. You blast enemies and bosses on your way to Bacterion, the evil mastermind behind an alien invasion that threatens the galaxy. On the way, you gain energy that allows you to preferentially select powerups from a bar at the bottom of the screen. I detailed this amazing power-up system in my write-up of Gradius III for the SNES, so stop by there if you want a quick rundown on how it works! This is a great game, and highly replayable...I'm glad I was able to find a copy.
|The inhabitants of Easter Island are gonna be pissed!|
Alpha Mission - This is one of the lesser-known titles of the seven that I picked up. Alpha Mission is a vertical shooter by SNK, where you...are in a ship and blast aliens! It reminds me a lot of Xevious in that you have missiles for ground-based targets and standard shots for airborne ones. However, you gain a good number of sweet power-ups in this game, which I actually didn't know about until I fired it up just the other day to give it a test run. See, I played this game when I was a kid...well, rather I watched my friend play it all the time. He had this 30 games in 1 cartridge with Alpha Mission on it, and I don't think I ever personally got a chance to try it out. Anyway, as you destroy enemies, power-ups appear in the form of giant letters. Some of these upgrade your standard blaster and missiles, but other ones actually give you consumable abilities from the pause screen! For example, the F item is a big 'ol flamethrower that continuously fires as long as you have it selected. All of these abilities are fueled by energy you collect (E power-ups), so you can spend it on your powers as long as you're stocked up. It's pretty damn sweet, and I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth into this one a little bit more!
|Looks a lot like Xevious, no?|
Ghosts 'n Goblins - "Look upon my work, ye mighty...and despair." - Capcom, 1986.
Yep, the notoriously difficult classic, Ghosts 'n Goblins. Been looking for this one for a while, actually. You're cast as the noble knight Arthur as he makes his way through 6 hardcore levels (twice!) to rescue his beloved Princess Prin Prin from the evil demon king, Astaroth. It's a lance-tossing, monster-mashing side scroller that's more than a little rough around the edges, as well as brutally frustrating at times...but absolutely doable. I'll fuckin' prove it by beating it! You'll see...YOU'LL ALL SEE!
|According to Capcom, those dudes are unicorns.|
And now...these final two are a little bit more special to me.
Yoshi - Yoshi? In an NES game?? Yeah, it happened, but I'm fairly certain that it's not what you think it'll be. Two puzzle games came out on the NES that starred the iconic green dinosaur. One was Yoshi's Cookie, and the other was simply called Yoshi. In this Tetris-like game, blocks fall in pairs, threes, or fours from the top of the screen. The blocks can be 6 possible objects: a goomba, a blooper, a boo, a piranha plant, and the bottom or top half of a Yoshi egg. You don't directly control the blocks themselves...instead, you control Mario at the bottom of the screen who can flip 4 trays around, so your job is actually to manage the stacks of blocks by moving them into the proper place. If you vertically match two of the same block types, they vanish and you gain points. If you match the top half of an egg with a bottom half, you get a Yoshi which is worth more points. However, if you place any of the other blocks between these egg halves before you match them up and sandwich a bunch of enemies, you get a larger Yoshi worth more points! It's a pretty cool game concept, and I find it's always fun to play as a good alternative to Tetris or Dr. Mario. Certainly much more enjoyable than Tetris 2, that's for sure!
Quattro Adventure - This fancy gold cartridge is actually 4 games in one! I'll quickly describe each game:
- Linus Spacehead - Basically you play as some little alien dude who crash lands on Earth and has to find the parts of his busted radio to call for help. It's a side-scrolling platformer, so you can run and jump...but that's it. There are no attacks, so your only option is to completely avoid enemies and obstacles. Oh, and one hit kills you, and the physics are very strange-feeling. Yeah, be careful.
- Super Robin Hood - The best game of the four, as far as I'm concerned. You play as fuckin' Robin Hood as he infiltrates Nottingham Castle to rescue Maid Marion and loot a bunch of treasure to give to the poor. You run around the castle, blast some thugs with your bow and arrow and try to find every piece of treasure you can. It's got a pseudo-Metroidish game design in that the castle is all connected, even though you don't need to backtrack all that much. Unlike Linus Spacehead, you can take hits based on the number of hearts you've got, so it's a bit more forgiving and overall much more fun to play.
- Boomerang Kid - Eh...this one's okay I guess. You play as some kid in the outback who is trying to collect boomerangs in multiple one-screen puzzle-filled stages. You can select which stage you visit after you finish a level, so it's cool that you have some choices. Some lameness arises from the fact that if you fall too far, you die...and by too far, I mean like three on-screen inches instead of two. Also, one hit from enemies and you're toast, and despite the fact that B-Kid wields a 'rang at the title screen...you never actually get to attack things with boomerangs. You only collect them.
- Treasure Island Dizzy - You're an egg dude named Dizzy who is basically fragile as all shit (I suppose that's why he's an egg), and you have to solve a bunch of puzzles on an island. It's got some neat concepts, but some clumsy ones as well. For example, you can carry 3 items...but pressing the item pickup button (B) cycles through the list as well as picking up what's near you, or dropping whatever is at the top of the list. In other words, whatever you do...you better make sure that fuckin' snorkel is at the bottom of your list while you're underwater, because if you want to pick something else up, you'll drop the snorkel at the same time and drown. Don't graze a flame, you'll die. Don't walk under a gate trap that's off-screen and cheap...you'll die. It's basically a cheap death extravaganza masked by a decent concept for a puzzle game. Oh, and it's one life and you're sent all the way back to the start. There are no continues, my friend!
|Aliens, eggs, thieves and Australians!|
So there you have it! Wondering why the last two cartridges are so important? Well, those two mark the final games I had to collect in order to re-acquire my collection that I lost back in the day from lending my NES and games to the wrong person. All accounted for! I'm quite happy about that, and it's good to play these nostalgic games again. Funny story: when I was a kid, I never finished any of the games on the Quattro Adventure cart. My dad and I would play it together though, because he liked Super Robin Hood. So, when I got that cartridge this past week, I plugged the game in and started up Super Robin Hood...and beat the game on my 4th try! Man, that felt awesome...I even texted my dad and told him I finished it finally. I don't really think he remembers what it was, but it always meant a lot to me that he'd play it with me, so it was cool to finish something that we'd both started when I was...7? 8?
Geez! Anyway, that's my recent list of acquisitions! Keep an eye on the blog for more entries soon (I hope!)
Maybe even...a new form of content? Now what could that possibly be?