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juni 27, 2013

Heisei Tensai Bakabon for Game Boy / Famicom



I was never able to sell these games to anyone for some reason, so I'll keep them to myself from now.
Update 2013-10-03: I uploaded a gameplay video here:



A humoristic platforming game (or games) that was only released in Japan. The Game Boy has almost the same levels as the famicom game but with some differences.

The game has a humoristic theme.



The confusing things for first time players is how to jump. You have to press the B button AFTER you start moving in that direction in order to run, and then you can jump far.


The game boy version has unlimited continues and you can start from the same place that you died. I only played a little bit of the famicom game but I think the famicom version doesn't have that.

Well, the games are weird in a Japanese way, for those that enjoy those kind if games (compare Kato-chan Ken-chan for Pc Engine). Personally the gameplay is too slow for my taste, but that is me. I will rate the game boy version 3/5. I don't rate famicom games.

juni 22, 2013

Super Hunchback for Game Boy



Yesterday after I beat R-Type II I played Super Hunchback. The only boring thing about this game is the title and box art. I thought it was a Disney licensed game, but actually it is an original game released only on the Game Boy.

You can tell the game was made with a lot of dedication, starting with the title song Puttin' on the Ritz (I suppose the music is out of copyright), but it never got the attention it deserved. It is probably suitable for a bit older audience, by which I mean 12 and up. The game is too difficult for younger children, I think.


You play level after level and ring the bell at the end of the level. Funny enough, this game has the same extra life system as Rodland that I reviewed in a week ago with the flashing EXTRA letter you collect. The games were both made by European companies, but not the same companies... Mystery.

Also, you have a system of bells that act as multiplyers , but not sure if points are useful.


The levels offer a lot of variation. Sometimes you can be creative because you don't know if you should jump on the big bubbles or ride the cannonballs. Yes, you can do that. I can't  compare this gameplay with any other platformer.  There are no enemies to kill, just various stuff that you have to avoid, but sometimes can be useful.


The controls are difficult at times. Here is level 4-1, that I didn't manage to beat. When you're in water, tap A repeated to swim up, or the spikes will kill you.

Catching ropes is also tricky. You have to catch it at its end, or you won't be able to swing very far. But if you don't time your jump, you'll miss it completely. Jumping also requires some time to manage perfectly.

If you know Swedish you might know GamingGrannar. I found Dave actually made a video of this game and I'll embed it here.
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To translate from 1:50... "you'll die a lot, but you'll always make progress" , "you have only three lives" , "the key is to collect many lives and avoid making mistakes. You only have three lives to start with. ", 2:25 - "the game has a lot of secrets." 3:50 - "if you want a challenging game boy game that most people have overlooked, I can really recommend Super Hunchback".

My Japanese copy has two continues actually. I don't know if the European might not have that.

If the game hadn't been so hard and difficult I would have enjoyed it more. It is annoying to get game overs due to cheap deaths, even if the deaths are due to your own mistakes. I'll rate the game 4/5.

Bonus video.
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juni 21, 2013

R-Type II for Game Boy


This game was released in 1992 and is the sequel to R-Type. It can be hard to find this sequel.

I never liked the first R-Type on Game Boy, I think it has limited continues and I kept on dying. I was a kid and played on the old brick, all I remember is that I didn't like the game and that I never made it very far.

But I found that R-Type II has unlimited continues, at least the Japanese version which is all I am playing. After a game over, you can ever restart at your last checkpoint! Such a friendly game. And so now I am able to easily beat this game, even if I must have died 20 times before I reached the first boss and a ridiculous amounts of time I died of stupid mistakes.


In R-Type II, your ship is much larger than in a game such as Gradius. It also moves slower. It can therefore be hard to avoid bullets sometimes. But with the unlimited continues, most  could beat it. This is how Salamander (Life Force) should have been like.

Sometimes the game slows down a lot when many enemies and bullets are on the screen. I don't mind that much, but some people do. However, most of the time the game flows just fine.

With the SGB or GBC, it becomes much easier to tell the enemies from the bullets, but it can still be hard sometimes because you have so many powerups. Normal shots, missiles, and shots that go diagonally all at the same time.

If the game wouldn't have had unlimited continues it would have been super hard and annoying. As it is, it is pretty easy. I don't mind beating a game though. But you can press Select at the start screen and choose Hard level whatver that does.

Programmed in Wales by Robert C Pape. The end. I give it 3/5.

juni 19, 2013

Family Computer Robot


Also known as the ROB.

I like this little fellow. The American version is grey, and the Japanese is white. This is to match it with the consoles.

There are two games for it: The Block game, and the Gyro game. I think they were sold separately.  The Japanese version isn't very expensive in Japan actually. But I have had it arrive with missing pieces for the games, and then it isn't useful.

I think that the Japanese and American versions are completely compatible, except that the American version is a NES game and the Japanese version is a famicom game. But it is a commonly known secret that the NES game Gyro is often just a famicom game with a NES-adapter. ( http://www.vintagecomputing.com/index.php/archives/23 ) So I think that basically they are compatible. Missing parts shouldn't be too hard to pick up, since you can pick them from both the US and Japan market.

In Japan, the Gyro set isn't as common as the Block set. But I would prefer to use the Block set, the Gyro seems a bit complicated.

Block is a game where you start with one set of blocks and the goal is to move them to a specific other position. You direct the robot by chosing the right movement for him, until the movements match the blocks in the goal position. Technically, you can play this game without the robot, since you enter the inputs manually with the controller. All the robot does is to copy your moves by the inputs he gets from the TV.  The TV sends inputs in the light gun way, so it is necessary to use an older CRT TV.

The Robot isn't the most useful thing. He moves slowly and he doesn't  input anything to the games, he just takes directions. But I like the Robot because it is so nice looking. It should be possible to have several Robots directed at the TV at the same time. That would probably look cool, like a little army of stormtroopers.

juni 10, 2013

Rodland for Game Boy


Rodland is an action game that was released in Europe and Japan. It was also on the NES and some other consoles. It is the same kind of platforming game as Mickey Mouse I just wrote about. You climb between platforms, avoiding enemies, and pick up the items that allow you to get to the next level. Some call it a Bubble Bobble clone.


You have a rod that you use to kill enemies. Another feature of this game is that you can press Up+A or Down+A to place a ladder at any time. Original and fun.

Each level has flowers you can take. After you have taken them all, the enemies will change form (like in Pac-Man). When the enemies have changed and you kill them, they will leave behind a flashing letter. The letter will flash between E-X-T-R-A. Take all letters and you will get an extra life.

The game boy version has 40 levels and isn't very hard. I made it to the last boss on level 40 on my second attempt, and I didn't quite know how to play. It couldn't have taken more than an hour. The Japanese version starts you with 9 lives, while the European starts you with 3 lives. When you die, you are game over with no continues or passwords. Picking extra lives is the key to going far.

Even though it isn't a hard game, it is easy to get killed by the enemies. The controls feel a bit clumsy sometimes. When you are throwing one enemy, the next one might appear and kill you. And sometimes you start right in between two enemies. But I think with habit you'll get the feeling for what not to do.

It would be fun to try out 2-player mode at some time to see what that is. On the NES, there is a 2-player coop mode. I wonder if the Game Boy has that too, or if it has one player at the time play.

Hardcore gamers might find the game too simple, but I think less experienced gamers and children will find the game fun and challenging. The music is interesting. It was made by a European company and sounds like the game boy game The Smurfs a bit, although they were made by different companies. In this game the music also doesn't have any distinct melodies (unlike the Smurfs), but interesting 8-bit musical effects none the less.
Here is a video by someone else:
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Well, considering the interesting music, the fun gameplay, that you move fast (good thing!), a certain charm, and nice and clear graphics I will give it 4/5. Even if the concept isn't original.

juni 03, 2013

Frisky Tom for Game Boy


Another game that isn't all that common. I should know by now, as I have collected for a couple of years and have close to 550 loose games and 300 boxed.

Frisky Tom is a Japan only game boy port of a 1981 arcade game. The arcade game looked like this:


I know my pics aren't the greatest, but it makes it much faster to write these reviews and I think they are acceptable.

Bandai also created a small handheld of this game in 1982. I have one of those on its way. It may not work, but I thought it looked pretty awesome when I looked at a youtube clip of that.

The Game Boy port is from 1995 and has nice Super Game Boy support.
 

The objective of this game is to stop the mice from destroying the water pipe. You climb the pipes.  You can push away the blue mice, which are the destroyer mice. There are also red mice that will push you down if you meet them. That's basically all there is to it.

This page mentions that in the arcade they had three color of mice: http://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=7854 . From that description it seems that the game boy port is different than the arcade game. But maybe I didn't pay enough attention at the game boy while playing.

If you get the water running long enough before the timer runs out, you'll see this shower picture.

Frisky Tom it is a pretty simplistic arcade style game. You play to get a high score. I managed to beat the first 7 stages, but stage 8 went too fast and had too many mice against me. For people who enjoy arcade style games (such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong) the game isn't bad. It also feels original enough. And except for this game boy port, there isn't that many ways to play it.

It does feel as if I have discovered some long lost Game & Watch game, one that is actually fun to play. Thanks to its impressive SGB graphics I will rate it 3/5.

juni 02, 2013

Yasai no Kuni no Ashi Senshi (Kick Challenger: Air Foot) for Famicom Disk System


What a weird action game!
I had never heard of it.

You play as a tomato in a top down mini field area. You walk around and kick enemies and powerup your big feet. You have to press A to move, and on every second move you will be stepping on one foot, and can only use the other foot for kicking.  Kick with B. This is a bit confusing at first. But I don't think it is too difficult to learn.

Right at the start with my big red feet.


You walk around in a top-down perspective like this. It sure is colorful. I upgraded my feet a little here.


Here is the nasty end boss of that stage. But he is very simple. My tomato is shrunken because I got hit once or twice.


Stage 2. Now it is a grey color scheme.

The pipes are slippery and the tops will kill you.

You have three lives and no continues. But there are three useful cheat codes.

The game is entirely in English. Not particularly common though.

juni 01, 2013

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R for Game Boy


So many Sailor Moon games... And so bad... I do like their cover though, and I appreciate that most of the Sailor Moon games are well playable even though they are in Japanese. The only exception I know is the RPG called Another World for the Super Famicom.


Let's get this over with... You can play the games in two modes. The Game Start (ゲームスタート) , the Action (アクション) and then there is the Continue and Mini Game option also.


The Game Start is a story mode. You can play as any of the five characters that are in Sailor Moon.  It is surprisingly short, after I read the faq (http://www.gamefaqs.com/gameboy/577651-bishoujo-senshi-sailor-moon-r/faqs/7512). You just walk a little back and forth and talk to people. In between there are some action stages.

They are very very plain and generic. Usually just walk straight ahead and beat off any enemies. It's like Kung Fu on the NES, except that it isn't challanging. Maybe to someone who is 3-6 years old it would be. Maybe later it will be, but it is so boring that I had no reason to continue playing.

In the action mode, you skip all the walking and talking and just play the three action sequences. Or five or whatever.

Well, the game is playable as in it doesn't fall apart in your hand. The cover looks nice. But I rate it 1/5.