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maj 31, 2013

Loopz for game boy

I recieved Loopz recently. Not a common game, but pretty cheap when you find it, because few people play it.

It was released on other consoles too, such as NES and Amiga. In was released on the Game Boy in 1991, in both Europe, the US and Japan.

Loopz is a "hardcore puzzle" game that might suit engineers and people who spend hours trying to solve Rubik's Cube on their own (without success).

The point of the game is to build "loops", pipes that are connected to themselves. At every turn you get a randomly generated pipe shape and have to place it somewhere. A timer starts counting. You can fail three times, then you are game over.

Well, there are some strategically interesting things about the game. For example, I wasn't too successful with building my "mini loops" in the picture above. If you build like that, you will always be lacking in those small pieces. I would like to mention that I did get better at placing the pieces after playing for a while. Also, I probably shouldn't call them pipes, but the game has the same idea as Pipe Dream.

It seems that as you play a while, the pipe shapes get more difficult, such as the difficult to place Z shape. There is a strategy suggestion at http://www.gamefaqs.com/gameboy/585791-loopz/faqs/36001 .

The game has modes A , B and C. Mode A is unlimited play to get a high score. In play B you get a bonus after doing a loop worth 1500 points, but I haven't been able to do that and see what happened. Mode C is more of a memory mode where pipes are removed and you put them back.

The game actually got some decent reviews on all the consoles it was released on. Such as this one for the Amiga:

Creating perfect loops seems a promising concept, but its implementation is flawed. The random piece selection can be frustrating as it doesn't allow you to plan ahead (a Tetris-style 'next piece' indicator would have been helpful). And when you've got a nearly full screen, you often get several large pieces in succession, losing you several lives in one go. Apart from these niggles though, Loopz is quite fun – especially in the competitive two-player mode which involves stealing and sabotage! The different game types provide variety; the skill levels challenge, though there are no real graphical rewards. Let's hope Audiogenic do an improved sequel.
Considering these flaws, and that the high score resets when you turn the game off, it is the bare minimum of a game in my opinion. It makes almost as little sense as drawing something randomly on a piece of paper and giving yourself a score on it.

I rate this game 2/5. I don't know, but I think that by now most people can easily find lots and lots of puzzle games that have more to offer. As an iPhone app or on the internet somewhere. I never could see the point of the arcade style games that just kept on going until you got a game over. Games such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong that had no end and weren't intented to be beatable. Fun for a little while maybe, but pointless ??

maj 29, 2013

Soreyuke!! Kid and Mickey Mouse (Bugs Bunny) for Game Boy

I received a second copy of Soreyuke Kid from Japan.
Both in very good condition. That is not a good sign for me as a gamer.
Soreyuke Kid was only released in Japan, in July 1997, so it is a late game boy game and it isn't common to find it.

No special Super Game Boy support though.
The game is about you going into all the doors, taking the key, and going out again. There are enemies you have to avoid. You can use the stairs and other items you find, such as a gun with one shot.

I thought the game was very boring. It moves slow and every level feels the same. There seems to be very many levels and I got frustrated quickly. You have a password and can always restart from the last level, so I don't think it is frustratingly difficult. I made a note that the music was bad, but I don't remember why now. The game feels lame and our hero is a nasty kid clown. Maybe the worst idea for a hero ever.

The basic game idea is not bad. I know because it was made popular 7 years and 10 months (7,8 years) earlier in Bugs Bunny in Crazy Castle, released in Japan as Mickey Mouse. I have some memory of there being a Mario game with the same idea? And it has probably been done many more times. But in Soreyuke Kid the levels are long and repetitive and it takes away some of the fun. However, I think that anyone who only had this game to play would find it playable. So I give it 2/5.

This made me ask myself if I should finally give my Mickey Mouse a chance. I had put it down because it looked childish and I find that most Disney related games are too cute and have too little action for my taste. But I though it would be suitable to play it, and compare it with Soreyuke Kid.

The box is approriatedly mashed and ragged. I like the artwork too. This was one of the earliest game boy games. In my list of all Japanese Game Boy games, this is game number #9 by release date, May 1989. (Soreyuke Kid is #650)
I though I should give it a chance.

I'm glad I did. It seems a bit lame at first, but I got into it and played it for 3 hours straight until I beat it. So yes, it isn't the most difficult game. Some reviewers on the internet complained that the game is too easy and it lowered their score. The successor, Bugs Bunny 2 or Mickey Mouse 2, is much much much harder. But I like short and sweet games.

I still had to use around 30 continues. That's around 150 deaths. So there is a lot that could be improved in my play.

I think the Japanese version is exactly the same as the EU / US version, except for the changed sprites. Wikipedia wrote about the reason for this, it had to do with the copyrights as you could expect. I think they even left the Bugs Bunny music in this Mickey Mouse game. That's strange. But they are good tunes. There are different tunes for the different level types.

As I said, I never bothered with this game before. Almost all the cute licensed games I have played have been very boring in my opinion. This includes the Looney Tunes games such as Babs' Big Break and Taz-Mania.  But a lot of people like them. I also don't like Disney licensed games -- not even Duck Tales. I think Scrooge moves to slowly...

But I played on for a while, and Mickey Mouse is a charming game. Above all, it is a fast paced game so you run fast while being careful to avoid the enemies. The levels are also short. I think none of them needs to take more than 1-2 minutes. That means that the frustration level is low, unlike its successor Bugs Bunny 2 (Mickey Mouse 2).   The music is fast paced too, in Bugs Bunny style. You drop the 10ton weight and safes on enemies, and I just liked the whole feeling of it. It is charming.

While it is a simple game, some levels are tricky and require you to know precisely which way to take and to think quickly to avoid enemies. There is also enough variation. Some levels have many stairs, and other levels are made up mainly of pipes that you travel through.

On some levels I must have used at least 6 continues, which means I died 30 times. And I think I am an above average gamer for these kind of game. Playing it for the first time ever though. Here is my high score, you can try to beat it.

The high score isn't from Stage 3. The game restarts after you've beaten all 80 stages.

I checked, and the Bugs Bunny version actually has the same ending message.

I think that in todays gaming with micro games like Angry Birds, a short game like this may age better than the more difficult sequel Mickey Mouse 2. Back in 1989, people expected more play from their 300 SEK (50$) video game. That's at least twice as much in todays money. But I don't mind playing it today and I didn't pay 50$ for it. I rate it 4/5.

Weird to think that when Mickey Mouse was released I was 7 years old and when Soreyuke Kid was released I was 15. That's a lot of  years. I had both gotten into Game Boy and gotten tired of it again, and had a SNES and got tired of it. In 1997 I only played computer games. My baby sister borrowed my game boy sometime in 1998-1999, to play Pokemon with her friend. I was surprised that anyone still enjoyed that old brick. It felt pretty lame to me.

maj 27, 2013

Momotaro Thunderbolt 2 for Game Boy

Momotaro Thunderbolt 2, or Momotarou Dengeki 2, is a platforming game released on the Game Boy in 1994, only in Japan.

It's a nice little platformer with cute characters and nice Super Game Boy support, too.
It is NOT the same as the Momotaro Densetsu board game series.

You can transform to different animals when you take a power-up. The bird for example can fly a little further at each jump. The cat is faster, and the monkey seems to be doing a screwattack (like in Metroid).

The cute-platformer style is the same as in games such as Adventure Island (known in Japan as Takaheshi Meijin) and PC Genjin (Bonk's Adventure / B.C. Kid outside Japan). Big cute sprites. I'm usually not a big fan of those games since I find them too repetitive...

But I enjoyed Momotaro Thunderbolt even though it has the same concept. I played the first 10 or so courses (including three bosses) without resetting so if you enjoy games such as the NES Flintstones games or the two other games I just mentioned, then the Momotaro Thunderbolt is something for you.

The music is decent but sometimes if feels like it's taken from a puzzle game. Another question mark for me is: who is the hero and what is his quest? Saving a princess? Saving the world? I guess they made this game for kids who don't care about the story. I rate it 4/5.

maj 24, 2013

Sega Saturn Racing controller

I received this huge thing from Japan, among other stuff.

So I decided to try it out. There are some 20-30 racing games on the Saturn.
First I tried Sega Rally. Sega Rally is a beloved racing game on the Saturn. It is an unusual in that it looks very standard, but the whole idea is to play every course perfect, and the steering is super sensitive. With the racing controller I was powerless, it seemed even more sensitive than a normal controller. So I was not happy with playing that

Then I tried Daytona USA. This game has more speed and is more exciting. Saturn-lovers say the steering is perfect and what great game it is, but I couldn't figure out how to break and again I felt powerless as I crashed at every turn. Not happy with that.

Next, Vatlva. This is a racing shooter in an overhead perspective. Your goal is to kill the other car. So it is more like a destruction game in a way, as Virtual On or such. The game seems like fun, but the steering wheel made it clumsy because you have to press up and down, and the wheel doesn't have up and down. Instead it has two pads on the side and it feels awkward to drive when you have to press those pads and steer, especially when you go backwards. So I give this game a fail aswell; I would rather use a controller for it.

Next I wanted to play Sega Ages: Outrun. I have always been fascinated by this game, because it was so popular on the ferry I often travelled. I never played it there.

I have the wrong model Saturn for it though. As Saturn owners might know,  the Saturn with round buttons (model 2) cannot play Outrun, Space Harrier and Metal Slug. Luckily I still have my HiSaturn Navi that I have written about earlier. The Navi has a BIOS v. 1.02 but internally I suppose it is like a model 1.
It played Outrun just fine. It is nice that I was able to make some use of this system that cost close to 1000$.

I think the Navi has too much stuff on it to look really "cool" but I will say that it looks special. It has so many buttons, relays and inputs and outputs that you wonder if it is a Saturn or what? Mine has the serial number 51100378 and I assume I have 378th console that was made, if they really only produced a few thousand. I would like to buy another one, just because having two Navis is cooler than having one Navi, and so I could see what its serial number is.

Here it is in action next to my white Saturn. The big thing behind it in white protective plastic is the special power supply it uses. I haven't bothered removing the protective plastic from it.

I played around with buttons on the Navi called "Pitch" and "Echo". With Pitch, I think you speed up and down the game. The music and sound in the game definately got a higher pitch and I assume that you speed up the game to give the music a higher pitch.

Playing Outrun with the Racing Controller worked well, but I don't know if the controller improved anything. I don't think you can make sharper turns with it. I felt that you really only turn left and right as you would with a normal controller. There are no steep left as far as I could tell.

After that, I played Manx TT Superbike. Manx is to me what a racing game should be. There is speed and there is good control. I played it for a while, I think I will give it OK rating.

Then, Sega Touring Car Championship. In this game, the car was easier to control than the Sega Rally or Daytona USA. There was also more speed. I wasn't good at it, but the controller worked fine.

I haven't yet played a racing game on the Saturn that I feel strongly about. On the GBA, I spent a couple of hours with V-Rally 3 and some other game, and on the SNES I played Drift King Shutokou Battle 2 for 10-20 hours. But on the Saturn, most games so far have been pixelated and hard to control. They have a very short story mode, sometimes none at all. Sega Rally for example only has four courses.

Well, there are many games left to try.

maj 14, 2013

Yuu Maze for famicom disk system

In my mystery box of famicom games I also received the unknown Yuu Maze. It is a pac-man kind of game. You drive around a maze, avoid enemies, and eat the little dots. The game is fast paced. A nice feature is that you can stop your movement just by not pressing any buttons, and so it feels like it has more strategy than pac-man.

I never find these games to amuse me, because they are the same from first to last level. I didn't like Pac-Man as a kid either. But anyone who likes pac-man would probably like Yuu Maze.

 I played to round 17 until I committed suicide with my last life. The game has a save feature too. And some extra stuff such as warp zones (as seen in the picture), bonus areas and power-ups.

maj 10, 2013

Prince of Persia for Game Boy

Prince Of Persia (EU) Prince of Persia (JP)
I got a new game recently. Prince of Persia, my Japanese GB cart nr 536. It is uncommon in the Japanese version.

The controls play fine, the game idea is what it should be, the graphics is excellent, and there is nothing to complain about. From what I could find on the internet, the GB version is a pretty flawless version of this classic platforming game. I played a GBA version (Sands of Time?) a while ago, and I thought the GBA game had lost the charm... It was complicated with different powerups and weapons, stopping time and so on.

The original version that was released on every major console and computer is very simplistic. You have 1 hour of time to complete the game. If you die, you restart the level with the same time you died with. You get a password after each level so you can start the level with the time you had when you first entered the level.

It looks better with Super Game Boy but I took this image from gamefaqs.

The game is more like a puzzle than a platforming game. You need to time your jumps and be careful so you don't step into something that kills you. For example you have to step slowly towards the edge, turn around, press down to jump down. And so on. It has its charm, but it isn't much action and you might feel constricted if you aren't used to it.

Most of the game is spent running, jumping, and sometimes fencing. The fencing is also more like puzzle than action.

Not only do you have to complete the level, you probably want to replay it until you can do it in a short time. A good game for the perfectionist, not for a person who wants to blow up stuff and have constant action...

Update 2013-05-12: I played a couple more hours yesterday, and couldn't even beat level 3 (I came close one time!). There are 14 levels. You can expect the game to take a long time, at least if you haven't played Prince of Persia before.

If this was my first Game Boy game, I would have played it for hours and hours. I would have been very happy with it. It isn't too difficult, and most people should be able to beat it, but it will take several hours to master all the traps. I give it 4/5.

maj 08, 2013

A couple of SFC/SNES games

I haven't had much time to play due to more items arriving. I put up a lot of them for auction. Such as Fatal Fury 3 and Shining the Holy Ark, still sealed.

( don't need to ask if I have more of these, because I don't )

I had some SFC games too. In a SF Memory Cassette I found the game Fire Emblem: Thracia 776.

I also got the the first released Fire Emblem game on the Super Famicom. It is supposedly a great game according to those that love these kind of strategical RPGs (such as Advance Wars).I just show it so you see how it looks.


And here is memory cart with Fire Emblem: Thracia 776. It was released in 1999 I think, it was one of the last SFC games. At first it was only released in a version you downloaded into a save cart such as this one. I tried the cart and it actually had that game on it. So far I have only had crappy games on the carts.
The intro is nice.

And another late release game: Power Sokoban, released in 1999. Sokoban (or Sokouban) is the game were you push rocks to their right position, while avoiding getting the rocks stuck in a corner. 

A little platformer I don't see what so great about, but it has a cult following. Joe & Mac. I have another boxed copy of this game, both boxes have been severely used. A sign of a beloved game, I say.
2 player Co-op platformers are always fascinating. :)

And speaking of intros with nice graphics, here is Tales of Phantasia.

And here is a translated ROM. The ROM in the video has the original Japanese voice acting which is considered less annoying than the English fan made voice acting. ( voice acting is hard, so no surprise ). I think it could be played in Japanese, because it isn't too advanced.

We actually offer a service to flash the game cart with a version of your choice, such as a translated English Rom.  225 SEK + game cart price. Popular game, and a great game too.

And how about a funny little action game called Kid Klown in Crazy Chase.

As often, few people are interested in this game, but I like it. Constant action, that's my favorite way of playing.

Well I hope you got something out of this post! 

maj 04, 2013

Reflect World for Famicom Disk System

I played a game I just got called Reflect World. The strategywiki says " It was never released outside of Japan, and its game play is not intuitive, require either a knowledge of Japanese or an understanding of the game instruction manual, preferably both"
I don't know where he comes up with his stuff. The game is entirely in English. I played a couple of hours without the manual.

But the manual is useful because it has a map of the dungeon. It is a small map but still useful because the dungeon looks the same when you drive around it.

Confusing for beginners is that the world loops around, so if you go down a bit you'll be back where you started. If you go left enough you'll be back where you started too.

I just took these images from ebay and gamefaqs, because I try to write my reviews quickly.

Here you can see the tank your driving. Most of the game is about shooting up enemies in an overhead perspective.

When you start the game you need to go to the right where you buy your Cannon. You should also buy fuel. Fuel in this game is actually your health. When you get hits it gets lower.

When you kill enemies you'll get more gold and can buy better weapons. Don't forget to turn the weapon to ON after you've bought it.

If you go down over the bridge, then right, then up again, you'll find a dungeon you can enter. Here is a map of how it looks inside.

Remember it loops both left/right and up/down so it is easy to get confused.
All the circles are openings you can enter. The white are roads you can travel around. Use the big open area (marked with a big X) as your navigation starting point if you get lost. The starting point and the openings with small x's will lead you out of the cave.

Now the confusing part: If you enter an opening that does not lead out, you'll just exit the same opening again. But you'll have reversed something so that now you can't exit the red dots either. To reverse it back, you must enter a non-leading dungeon again.
( This little info will save you many hours )

I've made it quite far and bought many upgrades. One upgrade makes you able to shoot the grass. One of the dungeons will lead you to another dungeon where there's a lot of grass, and a Factory. In the factory you get a module that allows you to drive on water. That's as far as I got. There isn't any guide anywehre else on the internet, so this is the best I can do for now, and the best you can find probably.

If you know how to get further, or you have questions, you can post a comment for me.