I had another famicom friday...
First I played Hana No Star Kaidou. Chrontendo called this one of the worst famicom games, but he has been wrong in the past, so I thought it might not be too bad.
I was wrong.
This blog explains why: http://plaingamreviews.blogspot.se/2012/09/hana-no-star-kaidou-famicom-1987-victor.html
If you just put the game in and start playing normally, you will NEVER finish it. You'll get stuck at the end of stage 1 because there is a wall there and you can't get past it. The reason for this is explained in the blog post. Sort of like Takeshi No Chousenjou - designed to be impossible without a guide.
Personally I prefer playable games.
At least it seems to have a continue function, unlike the next game: Romancia.
This game is labeled "action/RPG", but just like the previous game it is somewhat like a cryptic adventure game. The box looks very used so whoever owned it mustve tried really hard.
This is one of the reasons why I enjoy used games, you can almost feel what the previous owners felt about them. Crappy games are usually in good condition (such as Super Pitfall).
The articles mention that an unofficial translation was made easier, or should I say playable. In the original you don't know what to do and have to find your way through with the help of friends or a guide. Maybe some enjoy games that punish you, but it won't be enjoyable if you don't know Japanese. For example: If you talk to the wrong person, or talk to him too many times, you will either die or make the game unwinnable.
It's the quintessential 80s "obscure for the sake of obscure" RPG, and while trying to outwit it is somewhat amusing, it's also extremely difficult to actually enjoy. - hardcoregamingI basically agree, except that I don't know why people use the word "extremely" so often.
But do give the amateur translation a try, because they removed some of the harder unwinnable tricks.
There is this FAQ for the amateur translation: http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/578491-romancia/faqs/52973. You can read stuff like:
From here on out, DON'T KILL ANYTHING! You've done good deeds, which are represented by GOLD RINGS. If you kill an enemy, you'll lose a gold ring. DON'T LOSE YOUR GOLD RINGS! If you do, you'll be sorry! Trust me, you won't be able to finish the game, so don't do it!
Romancia is not a long game. Maybe that's why they made it so hard. They figured they would save space (and chips, making it cheaper) by making a shorter game and so they had to make it super difficult. The game is so hard and you have no continues, I think hardly anyone would beat it without save states on an emulator with a walkthrough.
Also see: http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Romancia
After playing games like these, I sometimes consider buying a smartphone to play apps on instead, I think many games are actually better these days. But there are so many of them. With the old games I know that I will have played them all some day.