retro gaming Archives

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

No Longer A Blockbuster Night.

If you’ve been following entertainment news lately, Blockbuster Video is closing.

Realistically, it’s simply a sign of the times. Every year, physical media (movies, games, music, books) dwindles smaller and smaller as it all makes way for an eventual digital format. 10 years from now, we may not even have “physical copy” anymore. Even five years from now, it may be possible. It’s hard to say.

And it makes sense. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video…. And for those who still want a physical something, there’s Redbox. Mom ‘N’ Pop video stores have been dying out for years, having been slowly edged out in the past by the tsunami known as Blockbuster, and now in no small irony, Blockbuster is now feeling that same pain.

This is the actual Blockbuster Video from my small hometown, taken in 2009. Between that and another big local video store called Movieland, they were the “Coke and Pepsi” choices in my town. And I actually worked at this store in the mid 1990’s.

Before then, I went to Movieland to rent my NES games (not to mention they had one of the best arcades in town). There was something so magical 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

Retro Review: Taboo: The Sixth Sense.

There have been few greater puzzlements on the NES than Taboo: The Sixth Sense.

One one hand, this was perhaps one of the first genuine “casual” games on the NES, as it dealt with dealing virtual tarot cards to divine fortunes.

On the other hand, it was one of the few NES games to deliver frontal nudity and images of Satan.

Bear in mind that this was before the ESRB, and Nintendo had its own self-censoring policies with dealt with profanity, religious imagery, and extreme violence. But it wasn’t perfect. Rambo said “Damn”. Crosses still snuck into a few games. One game would be healivy censored while another slipped past the radar. And then there was this title:

Rare developed this title, while my hometown’s Tradewest published this game. A game so “evil” that it came wrapped in a black cloth pouch, yet could be stored the same way as you would Top Gun or Balloon Fight. Curiously, the game promoted itself as being a “Time Machine”, though Doc Brown or the TARDIS never make an appearance. Yet this game exists, and I couldn’t tell you why.

If there are any “good” points to the game is that Read the rest of this entry

DuckTales Remastered.

I wait for moments like this. This was one of my favorite NES games of all-time. And Capcom is publishing it. And WayForward is doing it.

The specs on it are also right up my alley.

First a sequel to Castle of Illusion and now this…..

Rescue Rangers next, please. That’s all I can say.

Double Dragon Neon: Post-Script.

I’ve always had a weird history with Double Dragon.

As a kid, I always felt like that I had no choice but to like it. The NES game was not a bad title by any means, and I still love the beat ’em up genre to this day, but I grew up in a small town in Texas, that also happened to be the place where the company Tradewest was housed. “Small town pride” made it somewhat obligatory that I support this game. The funny part of such devotion is that years later, when I grew up, the company became Williams, then Midway. So I ended up eventually working with the company and its legacy titles.

So yes, I know Double Dragon quite well.

And I’ve watched it go through a lot of changes. Double Dragon went through the 8 and 16 bit eras, changed publishers back and forth a few times, and even teamed up with Battletoads at one point. It was one of the first, but Streets of Rage and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (and later Castle Crashers and Scott Pilgrim) improved the formula, and the original series was just set aside.

That said, I freaking love Read the rest of this entry

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