Archive for October, 2005

Retro Profile: Kirby’s Adventure (NES)


A screenshot of Kirby's AdventureI’ve always loved that the NES generation was so different from Hollywood. The defining features of a big Hollywood production are muscle-ripped heroes and leading ladies with perfect smiles. But many of the NES’s best games were very different from this formula; can anyone think of a certain fat plumber? Appearing in over a dozen games, Kirby is bizarre. As a big pink circle with a happy smile, Kirby is as strange as a hero could be. While Kirby’s Adventure wasn’t the first Kirby game*, it is the epitome of retro gaming.

A screenshot of Kirby's AdventureIn Kirby’s Adventure, Kirby sucks/eats through his enemies in a dementedly happy setting to find and restore the pieces of the Star Rod. Kirby doesn’t just defeat his enemies, he has an impressive, vampiric talent to suck their abilities as well. As the game goes along, players obtain a variety of different special attacks from the baddies they face. Varied abilities and interesting level design make this game addictively entertaining.

Kirby’s Adventure’s 1993 release was late in the NES’s life cycle, after even the 1991 SNES debut. Kirby’s Adventure is a summation of gaming from a golden era. It is both fun and involving, yet like many games of its time, Kirby’s Adventure leaves you with panging questions such as, “What exactly is this floating pink thing anyway?” or “Where did they come up with naughty King Dedede?”

Play or Stay: Despite being from the long ago gaming past, Kirby’s Adventure has superb gameplay. Most of all however, it is simply fun. If you’re a fan of the pink hooligan, or if you just enjoy games, the answer is an easy PLAY!

* Kirby appeared a year earlier on the Game Boy.

Published on October 23rd, 2005 under

Retro Profile: Goonies II (NES)


Goonies-II.jpgAs a kid, Goonies II confused me to no end. I kept thinking there was a second movie that I never saw. Regardless, Konami managed to find a great way to translate a popular movie into a video game. Goonies II was a fun, side-scrolling adventure where like many games you turn your trusty yo-yo into a weapon. One of these days, I’ve got to learn to do that in real life.

Goonies-II-2.jpgGoonies II was fun for a lot of reasons. As main Goonie honcho Mikey, players set out to save not only the rest of the Goonies, who were kidnappend by the Fratelli’s, but also a beautiful mermaid. Goonies II’s side-scrolling action is complimented by an assortment of items and 3D side rooms. The side rooms go a long way in adding depth and character to what would otherwise be just another platformer.

If the super retro gameplay of Goonies II doesn’t bring back memories, the 8-bit Goonie theme song likely will. This game manages to wrap up a lot of kid culture from the time and pack it in with an entertaining game. I never beat the game as a kid, but I spent plenty of time enjoying it nonetheless.

Play or Stay? Play! Get your grubby hands on a retro kid treasure of a game. Grab your virtual yo-yo, and once again you’ll be saving the Goonies; only this time a mermaid’s life is at stake. There may not be a pirate ship ending, but it’s a whole lot of fun anyway.

Note: While researching this article, I discovered that Goonies II was a sequel not to the movie but to a Goonies game released only in Japan. I don’t think I would have enjoyed this game nearly as much if it wasn’t called Goonies II.

Published on October 14th, 2005 under

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