december 31, 2012

Moero!! Pro Tennis, another game with speech

Moero!! Pro Tennis (JP)
This isn't a game review really, I just wanted to add that the game has some impressive speech, especially the Famicom version. Also, the famicom version has impressive sound effects that isn't in the NES version (Racket Attack). I couldn't find a video of the famicom version. Chrontendo only played the NES version.

I didn't know that the extra sound channel was so good in emulating sound. If you can find the game for 1-2$, I think you should check it out.

december 29, 2012

Gradius for Pc Engine

I have been playing some Gradius for Pc Engine. I wanted to finally play a game to the end that is not on the Game Boy.

Gradius is a pretty sweet and short game. I like Gradius because it feels like a complete and very nice standard shooter, with nothing weird in it. No surprise death as in Salamander (Life Force). No bullet hell as in some games. And the levels are varied, good graphics and good music. Unlike a famous game like this.
Xevious on NES. The most sold shooter for the famicom in Japan. Did people really play this? Why?

Also you have to think strategy in Gradius -- should I use Laser or the Double? I also like how you can destroy the computer so easily when you power up. Hahaha!

Some reviewers complain that Gradius on Pc Engine is not a good game because of slowdowns. They are wrong, a normal user would hardly be able to get through it without the slowdowns.

Well, I made it almost to the end once, getting some help from the Konami code (all Options + Shield, but you can only use it 5 times). The boring part is that the first levels are quite simple and I don't think there are any warps, so I'm getting tired of playing the game now. Well, it has been sold so I have to send it soon.

I do have the Saturn version, which is said to be a good port of the pc engine version. Actually the pc engine version is a good port of the arcade version. In the Saturn version you can chose to turn on or off slowdows, proving that slowdowns are part of the game. They could have eliminated slowdows by lowering the numbers of Options (Options are the small little missile helpers you have). They did it to the NES version. Clearly they intended there to be slowdows in the Pc Engine version. 

Since I made it to just before the Brain, I might just call myself the moral winner of the game and leave it at that. Sort of like I call myself practically finished with my degree.... I think you should play a game because it is fun, not because you have to beat it. I always stop playing games when they aren't fun. (I do that with books too)

Here is someone else's video.

He likes Lasers more than I do. What's up with that? The Pc Engine has turbo controllers so the Double is usually superior except if you have some need to defeat every boss ship in 2 seconds. 

I will probably be coming back to the game soon enough.

december 20, 2012

Street Fighter II comparisment, pc engine

I played some Street Fighter II on Pc Engine yesterday.

I think I am pretty decent at the SNES game (or Super Famicom) so I can tell what the difference is between the two games. And I will say: not much. The graphics is a little worse on the pc engine version but not in any way that effects game play. The sound and music are more synthetic. Game play is almost identical though.  I played it to the end on the second highest difficulty level.

One small difference I noticed is that you can kick the Spain Boss (Vega?) as he jumps on the fence, and that makes him easier. Another difference is that you get dizzy more easily but it applies to the opponent too.

It can be a little difficult with the standard two or three button pc engine controller. You  change between kick and punch with the Run button. It actually works reasonably, but it makes it a little slower to make a fireball with Ryu and I had some problem with the final boss (Bison?) because of that. They did release a 6 button Pc Engine controller just for this game, but it is relatively uncommon.

Too bad I didn't get to see the credits but maybe that is only on the Turbo version on SNES?

I also played a little of the Saturn port.
It was way too easy !! I tried to change to the highest difficulty, but still could run right through it. So eventhough it has such nice graphics and CD-music, I'd rather play either the Pc Engine or the SNES version. Maybe I should try the Mega Drive version, but it is usually said to be inferior to the Pc Engine one and that's not encouraging.

december 16, 2012

Turbo on famicom

Whenever I need turbo on my famicom, I make use of this little device: the Famicom Multi AX-1.

It is a bit tricky before you know how to use it. The trick is that you actually use the second player controller to play as the first player controller with turbo.

The settings are a bit confusing at first. There is one option that allows you to control both controllers at the same time, should you want to play co-op Twinbee with yourself, for example. 

To use it for the turbo-play it should be set in the settings above. Then take your two-player controller, and start playing Gradius, 1942 or whatever game you need turbo for. There is a dial that sets the speed of the turbo, which is useful in shooters when you can only fire limited amount of shots. If your two-player controller doesn't have a pause button, keep the one-player controller nearby for when you need to pause.

december 15, 2012

Super Final Match Tennis for Super Famicom

Super Final Match Tennis (JP)Sports games don't sell easily (if they sell at all), so I decided to try to play one. I actually enjoy Tennis games, on Game Boy, Virtual Boy, GBA, Pc Engine, Neo Geo Pocket Color... So why not try the SFC.

There are two things I like about tennis games:
  • you always have to fight for each ball, and each ball is like a new game where you start from zero
  • when you figure out how to beat the computer, you can theoretically do it all the time, and you can feel good about that

My father likes tennis too, but he plays it on a real court. I always felt that playing sports in reality is a hazzle. So much work. Just picking up the tennis balls takes half the time. And nothing is as simple as on the TV. They have caddies and umpires and all kinds of aides that pick up their balls.

There are some things I don't with tennis video games though. I don't like when the game is "realistic", so you move too slowly, serves are impossible to take, you can't hit the ball when it is in front of you, the computer is almost impossible, you hit the ball outside all the time, and so on. The ball must understand that I want it inside the court.
It also gets boring if the computer is too easy. If hardly any shot goes outside for example.

Super Final Match Tennis is the successor of the Pc Engine game Final Match Tennis, a game that got good reviews at the time. I don't think I have played it. I have played Pro Tennis World Court on the Pc Engine and I enjoyed it, but I found it too easy.

They sure give tennis games silly names. What could the difference be between "Power Tennis", "World Court Tennis" and "Final Match Tennis"?

Super Final Match Tennis ScreenshotWell on to the game. I have enjoyed it a lot in the last two days. It has kept me up all nights. But now it is starting to get easy and that has gotten boring, so I might not play it more. I have won the two first grand slams already and maybe I should retire.

A couple of things I would like to mention. It took me a little while to figure out how to take the opponents serve best. I recommend to move a little forward and out, and then tap te button twice when the opponent serves. Try different buttons; I found that the lob often gives good returns to enable you to move forward towards the net. As usually in Tennis games, you win the ball by moving towards the net and placing it left and right there. It is a bit tricky to get the hang of it, as in real tennis the opponent can lob or try to make shots that pass you. You'll learn with experience what works and what doesn't.

It took me a while to figure out that to dive towards the ball -- hold L or R. Maybe you need to press a button to make him throw himself. I haven't really needed to dive that much, but sometimes you will need to take that extra step to reach some balls that are just outside reach.

Another thing to mention is that you can go into the Options menu at the start (the last selection) and remove the counter (the 00 - 00 in the picture). If you don't, it may disturb how you see the ball.

Some things about this game are peculiar, but still enjoyable. When the ball is just inside the line, the announcer will say "IN" with letters flashing at the center of the screen. Stupidly distracting, but funny.

I also noticed you can play up to four players at the same time. I think that might be pretty funny, if I had three friends to play with. As for me, I don't know if I want to spend more time beating the computer now. I have saved my passwords though if I want to continue.

I still haven't played the perfect Tennis game. I do think that these early games are actually better than the PS3 game I played last month because the simpler graphics don't distract.

december 13, 2012

I received two Pc Engine Duos today

I received two Pc Engine Duos today.

The black Duo (above) seems to have the same caps as the Game Gear, the shining chubby type. They are of crap quality and need replacing. I also don't have any power plug that fits into the Duo so I can't test it.

The Duo-R (above) has different caps, nice black/blue ones. But look at the Hu Card connector, there is some serious vandalism in the middle of it.

I am thinking I might be able to replace the broken connector with the working one. I hope they are the same size. 

december 10, 2012

Super Famicom platforming games

People sometimes ask me for Japan-exclusive platforming games, but it is getting tiresome to sell them too cheap. Maybe someone could inform me why they think these games suck? They seem quite alright to me. Not every game can be Hagane.

Go Go Ackman! This is a translated ROM though.

Super Wagyan Land

Gegege No Kitaro

Magical Taruruuto Kun.

All of these series had games on other consoles starting on the Famicom, and then often also on Mega Drive, Game Boy and probably other systems.

Meanwhile, selling this boring game is no problem.

december 06, 2012

Heiankyo Alien for Game Boy +clone

Heiankyou Alien Box FrontYes I am in an active blogging period now, I don't know why I feel so inspired. Maybe it is the season.

Sometimes I refer to a game as a Heiankyo Alien game and it should be useful to explain what that means.

I think I bought this game at a fair in 2010 along with some other Japanese games. It took me a year before I realized what was on the box, but I think I can see it now.

According to Wikipedia:

Heiankyo Alien (平安京エイリアン Heian-kyō Eirian?) is a video game created by the University of Tokyo's Theoretical Science Group (TSG) in 1979. The game was originally developed and released as a personal computer game in 1979, and was then published by Denki Onkyō Corporation as an arcade game in January 1980. The game has been ported to several other gaming systems since its original release. The player controls a Heian period police officer (kebiishi) who must defend the capital city (Heian-kyō) from an alien invasion by digging holes in the ground and filling them back up after an alien falls inside. The aliens can escape from holes after a certain period of time elapses or if another alien passes above their hole. The player loses if they come in contact with an alien. --

In the Game Boy game you can play and Old Mode and a New Mode. The Old Mode has the original graphics from 1979, while the new mode has updated graphics.
I don't think there is much reason to play Old Mode unless you enjoy really old school games.

The video starts with Old and then goes over to New.
I would say the game quickly gets repetitive, but if you are the kind of person to enjoy Pac-Man the game may be for you. I give it 3/5.

I did however enjoy the "clone" Booby Boys for the game boy. It has some great music (esp the song starting at 06:20), and powerups and different worlds. Also, there is the strategy element in that you have to collect all the treasure chests on each level within a time limit while enemies are respawning. Because I had the patience to play and enjoy that game all the way to the end, I think I should award it 4/5.
Booby Boys (JP) By the way, booby refers to booby traps.

Sagaia for Game Boy

I found a litte collection of games today, and one of them was Trip World, so I am pretty happy with that. To celebrate, I played a game I've wanted to get to for a while.

Sagaia (JP)Sagaia is a game in the Darius series.
The game boy version is not just a port but an original game.

Sagaia Screenshot
After playing for a while I read on gamefaqs that if you fill your four squares of the particular powerup, you get a super-powerup that you will be able to keep even after a game over. That helped, thank you gamefaqs writer. Gamefaqs has given me so much, including most of the images I use.
A good thing about the game is unlimited continues and that bosses aren't too difficult. I would say the game is beatable for most people. There are no surprise-deaths, as in a game such as Salamander. You can also give yourself 9 lives to begin with, should you want to.
The music is quite good, though not really memorable. I do appreciate these futuristic experimental tunes, they are far out. Cool and not common in video games. I think it was mainly used in Mega Drive games, Mega Drive being the "cool" console...

A little demo of the music and gameplay (not my video)

The graphic has virtually no flicker or slow-down so can't complain there. I love to see all the bullets in the air and with no graphical hickups. It's like in Contra, bro.

The game is quite long for a game boy shmup, and I wish the levels were shorter. I also wish the bosses would die quicker. Maxing the powerups probably would accomplish that, but you need to stay alive long enough and shoot the right enemies.

The game plays well a shmup-fan will likely enjoy it, but I can't say it has anything spectacular to it. I give it 4/5.

december 05, 2012

Same Game for Super Famicom (SNES)

I was trying out Same Game for the Super Famicom today. It just got sold and I had to send it. And it dawned on me why it didn't look like in the video.

Mario heads

I had tried it out a while ago, and searched for a setting to get Mario heads but couldn't find it. Most likely it is that small cart that changes what symbols the games uses.

I don't think it is a game of skill. You just try your luck and if you fail you use the option to back up a couple of moves. I tried different ways but couldn't find any way to actually figure out how to solve the puzzles. It is just trial and error. The puzzles aren't even levels, they are just randomly created. You do get a high score, and that seems to be saved. I beat one of the high scores, so it is possible there is some skill involved.  But maybe I was just lucky.

december 01, 2012

More from famitsu Best 198

I took a photo of this too. Highest ratings per game type.
So the ratings don't make that much sense as you see.

Also, I noticed that they only include games from 1987-1992, or maybe it was up to 1993. Anyways, no Zelda or Super Mario Bros.
Here you can see the highest rated puzzle game was Lemmings for the Super Famicom. The highest rated action game was Castle of Illusion (Mickey Mouse something or other) for the Mega Drive and for shooter games it was Fantasy Zone for the Famicom. Maybe they rate games based on first impression. Those games aren't considered top games in Japan today...

november 30, 2012

Best 5 game boy games according to Famitsu 1993

Got this from Famistu "best 198" edition.
For once my picture is in high enough resolution so you can click on it and zoom in to see the release dates among other things.

I may need to explain how ratings work in Famitsu: There are four people who each give their score of the game from 1 to 10. These numbers are then summed to give the total. As you can see from the cross review, reviewer number 4 doesn't like game boy that much.

The list is:

1. SaGa ("Final Fantasy Legend")
2. SaGa 2 ("Final Fantasy Legend II")
3. Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden ("Final Fantasy Adventure"/"Mystic Quest")
4. Dr Mario
5. Game Boy Wars

No Tetris? No Super Mario Land...?

Note that reviewers at Famitsu don't spend a lot of time on each game because they have to review a lot of games each week. They are also a bit populistic towards well known series. And Japanese people do like their RPGs.

SaGa was the first game boy RPG. Released by Square at the end of 1989 it was the 18th game on the console in Japan. This likely influenced the ratings, as it was given at the time of the release. SaGa quickly became very popular in Japan. I haven't played it myself though, as I don't really enjoy RPGs that much.

I also want to add that the quality of game boy games continued to improve after 1993. Link's Awakening was released later in 1993, for one, and it got a top score.

november 26, 2012

Mega Drive games look too good

I feel like an idiot (again) because I bought a bunch of Mega Drive games that I thought looked cool, without checking what they were. It turns out that they are pretty bad.

Super Hydlide (JP)Super Hydlide  Mazin Saga (JP) Mazin Saga Bahamut Senki (JP)Bahamut Senki

Fighting Masters (JP)Fighting Masters

With some other games that aren't worth anyting, such as Street Fighter II and Eternal Champions... Calculating the loss now...

november 25, 2012

Some famicom disk system games

The famicom disk system (FDS) is a surprisingly unexplored territory. I noticed this when I discussed it with people from famicomworld once. The only FDS games that people are interested in are the ones they already know. The short list consists of Metroid, Zelda 1 & 2, Kid Icarus, Super Mario 1 & 2, and a few others.

In my quest to spread Japanese video game culture to Swedish people (who buy their games from eBay anyways) I would like to improve the situation somewhat, so that maybe they will buy a disk system from me some day. Or why not this Twin Famicom?

Here is a video a friend made of the interesting Nintendo-developed Nazo no Murasamejou that is by some considered to be a predecessor to the Legend of Zelda. The release dates and time it took to develop the games make me think that is unlikely. But anyways, it was released before Zelda and had an overhead perspective. 

(Nazo no Murasamejou)
As a triva note, the first game with overhead perspective on the Famicom was, I believe, Ikki. Maybe that was a Zelda predecessor too?

Here is another game in overhead perspective that was only released on famicom disk: Kiki Kaikai. It is the precessor of Pocky & Rocky for the SNES:

(not my video)

Then we have Konami's Arumana No Kiseki, again only available as famicom disk:
(not my video)

And these are just three of the well known "unknown" gems...  I'll show a lesser known unknown game: ( Ai Senshi Nicole)

And then there's game that are hard to even find screenshots of... A few days ago I bought Radical Bomber!! Jirai-Kun. It is some kind of action game I think, but no one on the Internet seems to know how to play it.

Radical Bomber!! Jirai Kun Screenshot 2

And these are just some of the games to show that there is to offer in the uncharted territory. I can mention more games some other time.

november 21, 2012

Lazlos' Leap (Solitaire) for game boy

Solitaire (JP) Lazlos' Leap (US)
Solitaire, or Lazlop's Leap, is a puzzle game that I have spent many hours with and I figured I should do a little write-up. It's a good game for those who like to torture themselves with solving puzzles and mind games and such. There are 100 puzzles and a battery save so you can save how many you solved and your score. I just solved number 71. I skipped one earlier so I've solved 70 of them. LOL, I don't think anyone will take up the challenge of solving more and compare scores.

There is a score for each puzzle. With every new marble you move, you get one point added to the score for that puzzle. If you make two jumps in a row with a marble, you still only get one point. That's how you try to get as low score as possible.

I think I've seen this game or something similar back when I was a kid, but I don't really remember... Here is a video that shows the gameplay.

I did not create the video..

november 18, 2012

Did we play co-op this weekend?

I was over at my colleague and I got to play PS3 for the first time. In fact, I haven't played playstation for at least 10 years. Tennis is always fun.

My colleague doesn't like shmups at all, I actually don't know what he likes... I had intended to visit another friend to play some retro games Sunday, but it turned out to be too long with train. A bit depressing as I had looked forward to it. Last time we met we played Twinbee, and I must say I enjoy that as a two player game. We started with twinbee on the famicom, which may actually be more difficult two player because you keep bumping into each other.
Then we went on to twinbee on the Saturn and I don't quite know what happens in those more modern shmups. It seems to me that the old shmups were more about strategy, but modern ones are interesting too, in their own way.

This is Twinbee for Famicom. You need to take the bells when they have the right color. Blue is speed-up for example.

In the old shmups you really need to get the right powerups and not lose them, but modern shmups is just about raw fire power. I wonder if they were able to improve the genre much in the last 10 years. There were a couple of top quality shmups for the Saturn and the Dreamcast such as Ikaruga and Radiant Silvergun. 

Ikaruga on dreamcast. They couldn't have that many items on the screen in 8 and 16-bit consoles, so it became a natural limitation.

Here is Twinbee on the Saturn. When you play two-player you'll keep on taking each others bells too... I often don't know what happened (or who was playing as who), but who cares as long as it's fun, right?

The problem with shmups is that enthusiasts kept on wanted them to be more challenging, but the more challenging they got, the fewer people could enjoy them...
The original twinbee sold 1.2 million copies in Japan which makes it the second most sold shmup ever in Japan, after Xevious. 
Ikaruga was only released in 50 000 copies.

november 16, 2012

List of classical video game consoles by appearance

Another list today. Preliminary, it may change as I see more systems...

Judging by shape and standard color, not limited edition and colors schemes..
Only including classic consoles that are or were commonly known. So no Virtual Boy or other consoles that were niche.
No further explanation needed, I think... List of best looking consoles are:
  1. Pc Engine Duo-R
  2. Mark III / SG-1000 II
  3. Sega Saturn, in particular the Japanese model 1
  4. 70's consoles with wood panels
  5. neo geo pocket
  6. Sega SG-1000
  7. Twin Famicom
  8. Pc engine core grafx
  9. Dreamcast
  10. Mega Drive 2
Nintendo made very practical consoles, but they are not beautiful and did not make the list...

neo geo AES, 3DO, PC-FX and others that I have not seen enough of to evaluate.

november 15, 2012

My favourite retro-consoles

I saw a list somewhere that ranked consoles, and I thought I'd make my own for classic consoles..
They are impartially listed by how much impact they have had. It may however be biased for the Japanese market, and maybe for the time around 1990-1998 when I was most into video games...

1. Famicom/NES - Started video games for most people
2. Sony PlayStation - The first modern system
3. GBA - It had everything
4. SNES - So many timeless classics
5. Sega Mega Drive - It's a cool SNES
6. Game Boy - Showed what a handheld should be
7. Nintendo 64 - Nintendo's crowning system
8. Dreamcast - Great system, great games
9. Atari 2600 - The first home system
10. Pc Engine - Good system, solid games
11. Sega Master System - The only Famicom competitor
12. Sega Saturn -  Last and best 2D system
13. Neo Geo AES - Brought the arcade to your home
14. Game Gear - Only Game Boy competitor
15. Game Cube - Had a couple of great Nintendo games

There you go! I like to stay positive so won't bother with long text with pros and cons.
I have intended to make a list based on appearence. Hopefully won't take long.

oktober 29, 2012

Game Boy Games today, Crayon Shin-Chan for Game Boy

I bought some more game boy games today. Here are half of them
I have put red rectangled around the crayon shin chan games. The second from the top I do not have: Crayon Shin Chan Collection. It is probably contains games 1-4.  Pretty nice. I haven't seen it before, I assume it is a bit rare.

The green rectangles are around the Kunio-Kun games. I have mentioned the football (soccer) game before. The blue one I think I will review some other day. There are a couple more Kunio-Kun games for the game boy, and they are all worth trying out. They are a bit difficult due to Japanese text, but it's not too hard to figure out.

I've tried to get people to appreciate the crayon shin chan games but it has not worked. The games were probably made for children but I don't mind. I have completed 1-3. Number 4 is said to be the best but I haven't gotten around to it yet. It seems to be more advanced than the others. Having played all the others I think I have had my share for a while. But I'll get to it some day. 

Crayon Shin Chan 1-2 are pretty simplistic platforming games. The music is cheerful. There is some strategy involved in how you collect the smilies or cans (I don't remember... :-/ ). In game 1 I think you get extra lives, but in game 2 they give you the ability to blow bubbles. I write reviews to remember the games, and I didn't review them at the time and have forgotten now.

Game 2 was published by the unknown company "Banalex" and not Bandai (notice the oval logo on game 2). Maybe they were a sub-company of Bandai created due to some Nintendo restriction. It does break the sorting of the boxed games, because all Bandai games have a number on the box and you want the numbered boxes next to eachother, but you also want the crayon shin chan games next to eachother. Well, I found a solution, so don't worry!

Crayon Shin Chan 3 is a bit different than games 1,2 and 3. In game 3, you bicycle around and try to complete different short tasks or maybe competitions. I think it is an alright game, as long as your happy with playing very simple mini-games. 

I'll borrow a video of game 1. As you can see there is a mini-game in it too, but I think those mini-games only give you extra lives so they aren't necessary to complete.

I do like games with good music. It is a bit sad and yet cheerful.
I'd rate games 1 & 2: 4/5, and game 3: 3/5.

oktober 28, 2012

Game Boy games today and After Burst for Game Boy

I have a little problem - I like to buy game boy games. Here is what I bought today. Not very expensive, but they don't really pay off.

I actually have almost all these games already, but I didn't have Konami Collection 4 that is in the middle next to Metroid II.

Next to Kid Dracula is an interesting game called After Burst. I think it was an original game for the game boy, only in Japan. It is a bit like those 80's artillery games were you hold down the button to determine how powerful the shot will be. You would usually shoot up in the air and there was wind and stuff, then the show would fall down on the other side of the screen depending on power and the degree you aimed your cannon.

In After Burst you walk around and carry your cannon that you aim by pressing up and down. I'll borrow a picture from
After Burst Screenshot 2

You shoot the egg shaped thing on each level and progress that way. Sadly, the game has terrible slow-downs. It was probably badly programmed. Other than that, it is quite interesting, I think.

oktober 11, 2012

Early Japanese light guns

Today I had the chance to buy this japanese light gun complete in box. It is from 1977 and is called TV Sports Star (TVスポーツスター).
The question is its value. If these things would be rare, it could be worth something. If it had been made by Nintendo, the probable value would have been 150$-200$.

Consulting the Ultimate List of Japanese Video games at we see that a lot of these video games were released in the late 70's. This also happened in Europe and the US. Everyone wanted in and it doesn't seem like it was a difficult thing.

The rifle sold for 3500 yen, more than I wanted to give. That is around the value of generic early TV-games in both the US and Europe. A bit surpring maybe. There just isn't a collectors market for them, they are considered to be old toys rather than pioneering video games. Especially if they were made by unknown toy companies such as this one. The link says it was published by Takemi (タケミ) but the box says YSA. Neither gives any google hits really.

I might have been able to get 100-125$ for this one, because it's Japanese and has a really cool rifle.

Ganso!! Yancha-Maru for Game Boy (Kid Niki)

Yesterday I sat down to play this game that I recently received. It was only released in Japan, but is entirely in English. Not that common.Yanchu-Maru is also known as Kid Niki on the NES. The games don't seem to be the same though.

It starts off a bit boring and easy, same as Adventure Island. But it gets a bit better. It's a short game of only 4 worlds and 3 courses on each world. You get 5 continues, which was enough even for me to be able to beat it without much difficulty.

(not my video)

The game is almost a Super Mario Land rip-off. Notice the moving platform at 2:33 and how the clouds look. Also notice the bonus at the end of levels and the hidden bonus rooms where you can collect coins.

I do like it. Sure the music is repetitive, but the sprites are nice and big (unlike super mario land). And I was able to beat it! That's nice. The bosses can be tricky but once you've died a few times from their surprise attacks, they are very easy to figure out and only take a few hits.

Maybe if you beat it without using continues you get to the good ending. My ending said "Sorry Maru" or something like that.

The enemies could have been more inspired, the game could have been a bit longer. But I like short and sweet games, and there's not anything wrong with this one.

oktober 10, 2012

Snow Bros for Game Boy

Snow Bros. Jr. (JP) Snow Brothers (US)
After I reviewed 22 games yesterday, I'll take it easier today.

Snow Bros is one of the rarities for the NES and Famicom. The US Game Boy version is costly too. The Japanese is uncommon, but affordable. However, I wouldn't want to spend much money on such a terrible cover. Look at it, it's scary! I did get a loose cart a few days ago. Curious what the fuzz is about.

(video not by me)

It turns out to be an average Bubble Bobble clone. Change the bubbles to snow balls, and there you go.

The original Bubble Bobble is a cute game but the controllers are clumsy. At least Snow Bros improved on the controllers. As there aren't any other Bubble Bobble clones, I will actually say that Snow Bros feels like an original game, strange it may seem.

The game has some lagging and the graphics is a bit choppy, but I think that is part of the charm of the earlier game boy games. When you lose your three lives you are game over, but you seem to get 10 credits so you can keep playing for a while. It's not too easy or too hard, and I can imagine that I could be playing it for a couple of hours at a time.
  • The music could have been improved. 
  • A save feature, password, anything, would have been appreciated. 
  • There could have been more depth to it. 
  • It's unfortunate that the game isn't improved much on the Game Boy Color.
For it's originality and general niceness, I'll give it 4/5. Wish there were more Bubble Bobble clones.

oktober 09, 2012

Football games for the game boy

I received some game boy games yesterday. Oh , what joy. 30 boxed game boy games I didn't have. Most of them were "crap" games, but I really like them. The "crap" games are a lot more difficult to find. I am missing 500 Japanese game boy games, but I still have 9/10 of the boxed games I see. Usually I'll see the Nintendo-published games and a couple of others that sold in the millions, such as Tamagotchi, Yu-Gi-Oh and some others.

Several of the games from yesterday were football (soccer) games. Football games on the Game Boy are actually not that bad. It's interesting to see how they dealt with the limits of the Game Boy. It's not like Baseball games or Ice Hockey, that in my opinion are all unplayable.

 Nintendo World Cup (EU) Nekketsu Koukou Soccer-Bu: World Cup Hen (JP)
Nintendo World Cup is one of the unique football games. A charming game. I've played it all the way to the end.

A problem with football games is how to continue. In some games, in particular the early games, you can only play one match and then that's it. In later games, you can play in tournaments or the J-League (Japan League, Japans first division). However, because there is Japanese text, those games can be difficult to figure out. There are menus, you may need to buy and sell players, check stats, and so on.

Some football games have a password system, other games have a battery save. Some games have no save function at all.

I think it is interesting to see the different approach that the football games have. Some games choose the "flickering" effect, including Nintendo World Cup. Some may find it annoying, but it keeps the paste and the games are definately playable. The alternative is the slow down, but this usually makes the game very difficult to control, as everything suddenly slows down.

Here are some other examples of different approaches:
Soccer Boy: Big cute characters and play up and down

J-League winning goal.  Play from left to right

In the game "Goal!" you play like this. I don't recommend that game though.

In some games, the ball sticks to the player when he moves. In other games, the ball is always kicked in the direction he moves. A couple of games tried interesting control alternatives but I need to get back on the details.

Then there is the Captain Tsubasa game, where you tell the player what to do in a menu system.

I don't see the appeal of those game, frankly, but they certainly has their supporters! If you like strategy games, sure.

According to gamefaqs there were 22 soccer game boy games. Discount tvo Captain Tsubasas and the dreadful Super Kick Off, there's 19 games to discover. At least 6 of them only released in Japan. I may do more detailed reviews at some time, although actually there isn't that much difference between the 19 games. You try to score goals.

oktober 05, 2012

Shinri Game 2: The Magical Trip for SFC

 The Shinri Game 2
As I enjoy obscure games, I had to try this one out as it arrived today.
Not sure if it's a game or not. There's a lot of questions you answer in Japanese.

A much cooler feature than the questions is the option menu, where you can listen to BGM (Back Ground Music) and see weird patterns. Sorry, there's no video I could find.
I suppose most people miss the option menu when they try the game. I saw it in the manual. Manuals are nice sometimes, even if they are Japanese.

oktober 04, 2012

Haunted Casino for Sega Saturn

I enjoy all obscure games, and this one I just got in sure is obscure.

I wonder what the Japanese voices are saying in all these games. Once they start talking the dialogue can go on for several minutes.

I didn't get the manual with the game. Sometimes when I get manuals for these 18-X games (as I call them), the pages are stuck together... Well.

This is the kind of crap boys my age had when growing up. Kids today with internet wouldn't know. We had to play these crappy games for many minutes just to see an animated lady remove her shirt.

At least the English spoken in the game is funny. "Deara Ween", "Fast Praya Ween".

september 29, 2012

Yellow Brick Road for Sega Saturn

I decided to try out this game that I had unlisted for low interest. My list price was 9$ (59 SEK).
As you may recognize, the game is based on The Wizard of Oz. It was only released in Japan for Saturn and PlayStation and is uncommon. Maybe it wasn't popular.

Most of the game is in adventure mode. It is a point-and-click game of the Myst type popular around '95-'96.  I haven't played very far yet. It doesn't require Japanese but the dialogue is in Japanese so you'll be missing out on that.

I'm guessing the story is from the book, which is:
You are Dorothy from Kansas. You are in the land of Oz and want to get home. You meet the Tin Man, the Lion and the Scarecrow, who all have their own quest. Something with a witch and a wizard you have to meet. Then you get to go home.

In battle, the idea is to push the opponent's men out of the field. You should focus on one of them first, and then the next. You have a couple of different attacks and you select by clicking. No Japanese text in there.

I enjoy the game so far. Nice scenes. Battles are action and are over quickly. Oz is a nice and colorful place too. Looks nicer with an RGB cable.

MOTHER soundtrack

I would like to get my hands on a couple of Mother CDs from Japan.
It was released in 1989 and re-released in 2004. On Amazon Japan it costs 2388 yen which isn't economical to import.

All the songs from the game have been orchestrated and many are with real singers.  It has glowing reviews. There is also a Mother 2 soundtrack (Mother 1+2), but it isn't considered quite as good. I think the Mother 1 part is just 8 bit-music from the game.

I don't quite think the female vocalist is quite right, and the music is over the top cheesy. It will be cool when we can remake other peoples' songs to improve them. There could be an app where you can insert your favourite singer. For this CD, I can envision the voices of Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. Awesome resurrection.

Anways, the CD is a must for an Earthbound lover, and the songs have powerful messages. They are in English.

Here is track number 1.

Speaking of MOTHER, I will soon send a genuine Mother famicom cart to my friend who will flash it with English text. It will be available for sell in two weeks. 60$ doesn't seem unreasonable for this unique Japan-exclusive game.

Speaking of video game CD:s , I do have a Japanese-exclusive Sega soundtrack from 1987 for sale. It's not anything special musically but nice for a collector.

september 28, 2012

Virtual Boy collecting

Is it possible to collect for the virtual boy? With only 25 games released it isn't too hard to get a decent collection. A full collection costs a bit more. Racketboy just completed their list List of rarest and most valuable Virtual Boy games.

I consider the VB to be cool but not something I'd like to play for a longer period of time. I think the red/black colors make me depressed. But it looks cool and is fascinating for shorter periods of game play.

As you may have seen or read, they found an old storage room of Virtual Boys in Dubai a year ago or two. Funny thing is, someone who works in Dubai got hold of three and asked me to sell them (New In Box). Turns out that two of them had a dead eye. It's not too hard to fix though.

september 27, 2012

Puyo Puyo for Game Boy

Puyo Puyo Pocket Puyo Puyo Tsuu
These games were only released in Japan. The puyo puyo concept is interesting because it was so popular in Japan but never quite made it over. Some Sega users may know it as Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, and a fairly unknown SNES game was released too. In Japan, it was released on virtually every gaming console.

Anyways, it is an original approach to the Tetris concept that is quite simple but still challenging.
I probably should write a longer description of how to play this game, but I'll do it some other day.
Pocket Puyo Puyo Tsuu Screenshot
The twist with Puyo Puyo is that you always play against a 2-player. Either human or computer. When you create certain chains of removed blocks, your opponent will get penalty blocks. When the blocks reach the top you are game over, as in Tetris.

In Puyo Puyo 2 some new ideas were introduced, such as being able to rotate the block when they are in between other blocks. This makes the game less annoying.

I think the Puyo Puyo games may be fun if you have a friend to play it with, which I don't, and that's why I play the Game Boy. Maybe my brain is too old. I am not able to get into the chain-thinking and the computer easily beats me on level 2. I want to clear blocks, not build them in strange patterns. :-/ How long should I keep trying to master this game?

Maybe someone will teach me to appreciate this game, or I'll give it a couple more chances, but I have many other GB games to try until then. I'll just give these ones (both of them) 3/5.

september 26, 2012

HU Card case

Here is a good HU card case. The Famicom Disk System case.

september 25, 2012

Space Invaders (Japan) for Game Boy

Space Invaders (JP)
I don't know what games to review. Good game, bad games, common games, uncommon games?

Anyways here is the Japanese version of Space Invaders. I feel sorry for anyone who buys it. This version was only released in Japan, and I think it is hard to find a simpler made game. I think I could have written this game myself in BASIC.

This game only seems to use two colors: black and white. No shades of grey.
If you are a hard core Space Invaders fan, you might enjoy this game. Even the first level is hard to beat.

I never liked Space Invaders, even when I first played it on my C64. It was a game that you got to play during the loading screen of F-15 Strike Eagle, I think, or some other game. Later I played it on an 286 but it just felt lame, difficult and pointless.

I give the game 1/5.
I think the box art is kind of cool though. Simple and stylish, as they were in Japan.