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...