2D gaming Archives

Shovel Knight: Post-Script.

For those that grew up in the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) era, not through emulators, re-releases, thrift shop finds, or hand-me downs from an older sibling, well know how innocent and special that time was. It’s very different than gaming now, or even in the mid to late 1990’s with the advent of the internet. It was an era of tip trading through friends at school, sage advice of that one person who made it one level farther than you, and waiting for that next issue of Gamepro, or Electronic Gaming Monthly, or the holiest grail of all: That month’s issue of Nintendo Power. We didn’t have hand holding or tutorials. Once you pressed “Start”, it was go time, only you and your skills to navigate through whatever obstacles lay ahead.

Shovel Knight feels like that. It’s not a game designed to be like a NES game, or was inspired by 8-bit gameplay, or a tribute to the “popular” concepts of the era. This is a proper NES title from the height and popularity of the era… although someone forgot to release it until 2014.

I’ll get this out of the way: It cheats a little. Read the rest of this entry

NES Remix: Post-Script.

Let’s face it: NES Remix is simply the “9-Volt” section of WarioWare, down to the “Dah Dah DAH!” musical ditty that precedes each challenge.

And overall, that’s okay.

The game is a collection of the first run of the NES titles that came out when the system debuted (minus the light gun games, robot games, Popeye, 10 Yard Fight, Mach Rider, and Donkey Kong Jr. Math). This is simultaneously a good and bad thing, as there are some genuine classics to be found… and a few duds that Nintendo can’t seem to let go of.

Yet for what what the game is trying to accomplish, those “duds” also make up a part of the overall experience: Barring licensing and accessory issues, this is how the NES began its rise to fame.

With 16 games in the collection, there really is something for everyone, from sports, to arcade, to adventure. And each title looks, sounds and controls exactly like the original game, which makes it a perfect “All in one” title instead of purchasing each game outright. Classics like Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros., remain undisputed, but so do titles like Balloon Fight and Excitebike. The arcade classics, Read the rest of this entry

DuckTales Remastered: Post-Script.

If anyone were to ask me who my favorite Disney character was, I would say without hesitation: Scrooge McDuck.

That’s within tough competition, up there with other personal favorites such as Jack Skellington, Tron, Stitch, Beast, Captain Jack Sparrow, Donald Duck, and Wreck-It Ralph. Scrooge is probably one of the most realized characters that the House of Mouse ever created (a good read of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck will better state this point than I ever could).

DuckTales itself came out during the “Disney Renaissance” of the late 1980’s/mid 1990’s. This was an era of Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, and also included video game titles titles published by Sega and Capcom during the 8 and 16-bit eras. Sega had Castle of Illusion. Capcom cornered the shows of the Disney Afternoon…. And of course, DuckTales for the NES.

I got it for Christmas the year it came out, and completed it within a day. Despite its relative ease, I couldn’t stop playing it. Everything meshed so well about the title, from the colorful graphics, the catchy music, and the fantastic gameplay. It was a special Read the rest of this entry

There are certain games from the glory days of 8 and 16-bit gaming that I can look back on and instantly get that warm, fuzzy “nostalgic” vibe about. The original Castle of Illusion game for the Sega Genesis was one such game. This was back in the days when Disney pulled out sheer magic in their games, which lost their way when Disney Interactive abandoned their animated heroes and started schlepping out the latest Disney Channel star.

But I digress.

Castle of Illusion wasn’t focused on the latest animated film or Disney Afternoon show of the time. It was an all-original game for the still young Genesis, and it was truly a remarkable title: Beautfiul graphics, wonderful music, excellent animation, and a very strange and quirky diversity in the levels and scenarios Mickey found himself in. Even if you sneered at the concept of playing a Mickey Mouse game, the sheer quality and ingeniousness of this title won you over.

So the concept of a remake had a lot to live up to. The pseudo sequel Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion for the 3DS was good, but required a lot of level grinding to survive some of the Read the rest of this entry

Latest Gaming News.

I’m working on trying to get back to a more regular posting format. It’s been a long process of trying to keep updated with games, news, and more importantly, just playing them. Fortunately, I’ve been more active with gaming in the last month, so there’s a bit to write about.

Let’s start with the Gamestop Expo. that was in Las Vegas a few weeks back. I can tell you this much: It was a more than ideal place to gather StreetPass with my 3DS. It was a smaller, consumer oriented E3, but it did showcase the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and this Fall’s games. It also gave me an opportunity to shamelessly mug in some gaming scenarios:

The show was fun, and while it didn’t show anything earth-shatteringly new or exclusive, it did allow the public to get an early hands on for a lot of the upcoming titles this year.

After the Expo wrapped, Nintendo announced the 2DS…. And I thought it was an article from The Onion.

I can’t win. I must be one of the few people in the gaming community who thinks the device is a silly idea, and never had the “eye crippling” experience Read the rest of this entry

Sonic & Mega Man: Worlds Collide.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (man), two of video game’s most famous blue characters have come together for a comic book team-up adventure thanks to Archie Comics.

Mega MAn meets Sonic the Hedgehog, and of course do battle before they team up against all of their respective foes in one big battle.

The comic, if you haven’t seen it, is pretty fun and works better than you would believe. One would hope so, as it’s been hyped for months. So far so good….

Which really got me thinking about the whole concept of the idea, as well as where video games are today. To be candid, I don’t see why Sega and Capcom just don’t go ahead and do this as some 2D platforming mega adventure. It’s not an impossible concept as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon did something similar years ago on Game Boy Advance:

The concepts are more similar when compared. Both the main antagonists, Dr. Wily and Dr. Robotnik (yeah, I said Robotnik, not Eggman) are both robot creating evil scientists bent on taking over the world. Mega Man hates spikes. Sonic hates water. Both games are filled with these obstacles. Read the rest of this entry

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