november 20, 2013

The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare (Super Famicom)

 The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare (US) Bart no Fushigi na Yume no Daibouken (JP)

My colleague fredJ uploaded these videos recently, where he tried to complete the game. Youtube has limited our videos to 15 minutes, as mentioned in the blogpost of Magic Knight Rayearth on Saturn, so the video is cut in smaller pieces. Also, the game has a lot of uninteresting passages that were cut away so that you won't get bored. It took around 1:30 h to play the game from start to finish, and of these 30 minutes was cut away, for a total of around 1h video time.

Played on original super famicom hardware.

My colleague says:
When I was a kid I wished for this game, and since it was relatively cheap I got it for birthday or something. A friend told me what a loser game I got, but I thought it was alright, even if it was very hard. It was frustrating but slowly I learnt some tricks on how to beat the courses. I manage to beat it a couple of times. It wasn't many but I did it completely on my own and am proud of that.
The Japanese version is probably quite rare because we haven't had it before. Since this is the Japanese version it is in full NTSC and 60 Hz, unlike PAL 50Hz. Also, it really is easier to play a game in RGB rather than the crappy antenna cable most people had back in those days.

The game has some fun mini-games and a varied main street. While frustrating, it doesn't get boring and I liked the concept of being able to walk around freely. You can also always recover in the sense that if you fail you can play the same level again and again. But you probably *will* have to play some mini-games many times to learn the tricks to beat them, and until you have figured them out, you will probably hate it. Everything in these videos are played from memory actually. There's probably better ways to do certain things but maybe you'll pick up some other tricks you didn't know even if you have played the game before.

Here you'll see some tricks that you probably have to know to play the game. These things are in the manual so they are not spoilers.
  • When the Z meter is empty, you are game over with no continues.
  • Quickest way to fill up the Z bar is by riding the skateboard a long time. You can also use bubblegum and get Z's up there.
  • Jump over three fishes for three pillows. The will give you an entire extra life bar! This is probably important if you want to complete the game.
  • You have to jump on the papers. I don't actually know any way to find them for sure. Just walk around, try to get points and avoid getting hurt.
  • Shooting on the TV *may* make a paper appear, and following the question mark when it appears.

Also should comment on "bartzilla" that starts at 10:30 in the video above. Some people don't understand the controls. They are simple: Press A to shoot at the train, Down to shoot down, Forward to shoot forward, Up to shoot at the other side of the rails, X to shoot the jet plains, B to shoot at tanks. And don't shoot a laser shot until the previous laser shot has hit its target. Also, don't shoot the car at the end.

My colleague played some more courses but also failed on some. For brevity, he cut away most parts of the courses he failed, for example the House Climb several times even though he always beat it easy in his PAL version. Either he was unlucky here, or the NTSC version is harder.



The last course, which is the second Indiana Jones course. He also played it in video 1, but failed. He also learned that the green demon doesn't actually kill you unless you hit at him. He died twice and was pretty nervous, he says:
"I knew I could beat it if I didn't make mistakes. This is probably the most difficult of the courses in the game. I had to paus to think, unpaus, etc alot and I didn't keep the recorder on for that that, so you'll only see the end of that course."
Yay, he completed a game. =)

The Japanese version is probably exactly the same as the American version because all the text is in English.

Not a great game, but actually not a bad Simpsons game and it has several original themes. Most people on forums have as a complaint that the game is too difficult, especially the second Indiana Jones level.  But it is definitely beatable if you know some tricks, as the video shows.

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