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januari 11, 2014

Wit's & Family Pinball on famicom


Last week I played a game called Wit's. Not very common, I think I have had it once or twice before. Unknown to most. The main problem may be the name and the label that don't say anything about the game. I had myself forgotten what it was about when I put it in the console. They should have called it Psycho Snakes or something. What is "wit's", or who is "wit"?
Around 10$ for this - 65 SEK

The game is basically a Snake clone (see wikipedia article) for two players to race against each other. In 1 player mode, you play against the computer in a campaign mode. This mode is not that difficult. It took me a few minutes to figure out a good strategy, and then I quickly made it to the last stage. I died there and had to restart, and it took me 45 minutes to get there again, but then I beat the last stage.

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A little explanation might be needed for the controls. With A you speed up. With B you make a short jump. You only get one jump, at least in 1-player mode.
My guy is the one who starts on the left side. Also I forgot to cut out the first 1:50 minutes, sorry about that.

The most difficult stage is 5, where there is ice and you glide around. The faster you go, the more you glide. Level 5-5 is the fastest. Stage 4 with the water was also difficult because when you get the faster boats on 4-4 and 4-5 there is little room to move around. If you die your lives, it is game over with no continues. You get one new life for every stage though.

This game is actually not primarily a 1-player game. It was most likely made with the intention of being a party game. You can play 2-player vs mode, or 2-player coop (probably difficult!), a 3-player vs mode if you have a famicom extension controller. Or something like a joyball which is actually more usable than you might think, and can often be found cheap because people are suspicious of it.

There is even a 4-player vs mode in Wit's for which I think you need a 4-player adapter. I have never seen a famicom 4-player adapter for sale actually so I don't know for sure how to play that mode.

I think the game is fun. The computer AI wasn't challenging but I felt good after beating it. Famicom games that are made to be multiplayer are uncommon, so it is worth trying out. Even though it is uncommon it can usually be found for a few dollars.

Second game I played was Family Pinball.
78 SEK, 12$

There's some handwritten notes with the game. Are they cheats? Passwords?

I want to mention first that pinball is one thing I don't enjoy playing, in general. I never can understand if it is luck or skill that decides the game. I also really hate whenever the ball drops! The pinball game I've enjoyed most so far in my video gaming was Necronomicon on Saturn (watch my video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkZNU8uCtBc).

Anyways, Family Pinball has a normal pinball game that is called Pac-Man. It seems to have a highscore but doesn't actually save scores. I kept on dying, and I'm not sure how to evaluate pinball games. Maybe it is a good game. I think the key is to master the hitting of the board (the "tilt"). It really makes the ball bounce when you press the buttons to hit the board left or right.
When you get the item on the right the controllers change function, which is why I kept on dying after taking it.

The second mode is a game where you play two players against each other on the board. This is original, to me at least. One of the players (you or the computer) takes the upper part, and the other player takes the lower part. Then try to make the ball drop on his side. Again I think that mastering the board hitting would be good here. A silly game but not too bad.

The third mode is something I call "pachinko" mode. The ball goes up and then it drops down, hopefully into one of the holes. I saw in the manual that you are supposed to form patters of the holes the ball enters to get a good score. Such as a square. The number 1 has something to do with the score too.

The fourth mode was hilarious form of air hockey, or maybe shufflepuck. It was silly but I had fun with it. With A you make the paddle turn one way, and with B it turns the other way. And: You can't move the paddle while you turn it. It is harder than you might think, but I did manage to score a few goals. I suppose this might be fun 2-player against each other.

Here is a video of me trying out the different modes. In the vs modes I am red, the one who is always losing.
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A few silly game, but nothing wrong with that. You could possibly play an entire 3-set of Hockey before a modern console booted up, opened the game, shown all intros, logged in you, downloaded upgrades, shown more info screens, etc. This game made me smile anyways, even if it didn't make much sense. The game can usually be found cheap, complete in box.

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