juli 07, 2014

Athena, famicom


I was asked "why is Athena so expensive? It doesn't look fun."
Athena for famicom costs around 20$. Well, it isn't very common for one thing. I thought I should try it out and write about it.

After googling around, Athena is known as a pretty bad game... The game was released on NES in the US.


The game does have several typical things for crappy games:
  • No invincibility when hit. You can die all your health just from bouncing on one arrow or being cornered by an enemy.
  • Graphics is badly drawn, as if a child created some of the enemies.
  • Graphics jumps around sometimes and screen flashes.
  • Pressing Select brings up a black screen... Some items get put there, but no one knows what use they have.
  • Weird jumping system. The first jump is small, then second and third jump is high.
  • Really hard bosses! After two hours I finally beat the first level boss. I didn't even know if I was hitting him but I think I'd keep on trying and suddenly he died. From what I've read, many later bosses become almost impossible.
All of this would have been okay had it not been for one problem: No continues! It says "continue" at the start screen, but you can't select it. I have searched the internet. As a result, very few people have beaten this game. I read one comment on a blog post who said it was the hardest of over 200 NES games he had finished ([unrealitymag]).

However, the game is definitely playable. I played it for two hours and it felt okay. While it is hard, it also has some charm to it, and it isn't unfairly hard like Fudou Myououden (Demon Sword) that still has me scarred ([blogpost]).

It isn't all bad either. Trust me! I have played many really bad famicom games. The A button jumps and B attacks, as they should. And the controls are definitely playable.

Gameplay is a bit like Makaimura (Ghosts n Goblins). The charm of the game is that you pick up different rather cool powerups. I felt it was rewarding that as I played the first level, I always found new powerups that made it interesting. And it is fun to go around breaking stuff.

I didn't make it very far and I won't be playing it more so I can't say much about the stages after the second. A good thing is that the first two stages are short. I made it to the end of stage two in the video, as you can see, and it was my second try ever.

If you are one of those people who enjoy playing the same stuff over and over, such as Makaimura, and you want a challenge, I think Athena might be worth trying out. Not everyone hates it, as can be seen from gamefaqs reviews.

Other reviews:
* http://voices.yahoo.com/retro-video-game-reviews-athena-nes-7712838.html?cat=37 ("This video game looks like the aborted student project in coding class by a high schooler who never paid attention.")
* http://www.flyingomelette.com/reviews/nes/athena.html ("The game is somewhat playable, until you reach the third level, where the play control becomes even more impossible to manage when you have to swim")

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