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On the PAL Wii Virtual Console today: Mega Man 3 and Phantasy Star 4


Get a Wii Points Card at Amazon UKToday Nintendo of Europe and Australia added new classic games to the popular Wii Shop Channel. The games went live at midnight CET. Wii owners with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at stores like Amazon UK (Card).

We’ve included videos of the games so you can see if it’s for you. This week’s new games are:

Mega Man 3 on NESMega Man 3 (NES, Platformer/Action, 1 player, 500 Wii Points = €5 / £3.75 / AU$7.50): In the year 200X, the notorious Dr. Wily, now reformed and working for the forces of good, works hand-in-hand with Dr. Light to build a new type of peacekeeping robot. When a new set of eight Robot Masters escapes the lab to wreak havoc on the world at large, only Mega Man can save the day. This time, Mega Man must rely on his new slide move and canine companion Rush to conquer the stages and vanquish evil. A new character, Proto Man, adds to the mystery and appeal of this seminal title in the famous action-game series.

What if the title theme to Mega Man 3 had lyrics?

Phantasy Star 4 on Sega Mega DrivePhantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium (Sega Mega Drive, RPG, 1 player, 800 Wii Points = €8 / £6 / AU$12): The Algo star system is in troubled times… Many thousands of years ago, the Algo Star System was a peaceful system. Three planets surrounded the peaceful Algo star and were in perfect harmony: Palma, a lush green planet, where its citizens devoted their lives to arts and the sciences… Motavia, a desert planet, inhabited by humans and native Motavians, and the enigmatic Dezolis, a harsh ice planet, where the citizens were just as unknown as the planet itself. Unfortunately, the harmony and balance was not to last…Palma had exploded, and with it, 90% of the population of Algo died. Motavia had fallen into horrible conditions from the explosion, turning almost into a total wasteland. — The Darkness spread its hand over the land… Now, 1,000 years had passed. Motavia had healed somewhat, and life was beginning to return to the way it once was thousands of years ago. The Hunter’s Guild on Motavia helped to keep things steady. But now, a dark evil once thought to be long dead is beginning to stir once again, and the young Hunter, Chaz, is about to begin his ultimate adventure… and all of it started with one simple routine assignment…

Fight! Mario Bros 3 vs. Super Mario World


Something’s been on my mind lately. I can’t decide which old school Mario game I like better: the innovative Super Mario Bros. 3 for NES or the more refined and graphically-delicious Super Mario World for SNES. Help me, Infendo. You’re my only hope.

Which is better?

  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Super Mario World

View Results

Published on November 12th, 2008 under , , , ,

On the Wii Shop today: Mega Man 3, Brain Challenge, Yummy Yummy Cooking Jam


Get a Wii Points Card at AmazonToday Nintendo adds new/classic games to the popular Wii Shop Channel. The games go live at 9AM Pacific time. Wii owners with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at stores like Amazon (see Card above).

We’ve included videos of each of today’s games for nostalgia’s sake or so you can see if it’s to your tastes.

This week’s new Virtual Console game is:

Mega Man 3 (NES, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone-Mild Cartoon Violence, 500 Wii Points = $5): In the year 200X, the notorious Dr. Wily, now reformed and working for the forces of good, works hand-in-hand with Dr. Light to build a new type of peacekeeping robot. When a new set of eight Robot Masters escapes the lab to wreak havoc on the world at large, only Mega Man can save the day. This time, Mega Man must rely on his new slide move and canine companion Rush to conquer the stages and vanquish evil. A new character, Proto Man, adds to the mystery and appeal of this seminal title in the famous action-game series.

What if the title theme to Mega Man 3 had lyrics?

This week’s new WiiWare games are:

Brain Challenge (Gameloft, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone, 1,000 Wii Points = $10): Just like your body, your brain needs to be exercised to stay in shape. Boost your brain and relieve stress through various minigames in a personal session to get a detailed evaluation. Challenge your friends’ brains in delirious party games to see who is the smartest. Test your brain’s abilities in Visual, Memory, Logic, Math and Focus minigames. Compare yourself with friends by challenging their brains in three multiplayer modes. Develop your resistance to stressful situations that could happen in real life. Use a customized Mii character to create personal sessions. Choose your favorite personal coach. Track your overall performance with detailed statistics and graphs. The special Kid Test and Senior Test modes will gather everyone around the game.

Yummy Yummy Cooking Jam (Virtual Toys, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone-Animated Blood, Comic Mischief, 1,000 Wii Points = $10): Yummy Yummy Cooking Jam is a frenetically active cooking game in which you must serve food to your customers as quickly as possible. This could be a simple task, but the customers aren’t very patient, and you’ll find a multitude of annoying insects that make the noble mission of satisfying your small gourmets’ stomachs much more difficult. In the game’s Career Mode, your goal is to become the best chef in the city. To do so, you have to prove your worth by cooking in four fantastic restaurants: the Hot Dog, Hamburger, Pizza and Mexican Restaurant. Enjoy playing Yummy Yummy with your family, serving delicious food to the most surprising characters: vampires, ninjas, extraterrestrials and mafia thugs. Put on your chef’s hat, sharpen your knives and turn up the heat.

Balloon Fight classic NES review


Balloon Fight on NESBalloon Fight is a classic Nintendo arcade game that was later ported to the NES and released in 1985 in North America as one of Nintendo’s earliest titles for the system.

In the game you play as a unanimous “balloon rider” (later re-named “Balloon Man” with the Game & Watch version and available as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee as simply “Balloon Fighter”) who must fly around a static stage and dispose of various other balloon riding enemies. The goal of the game is simply to score as many points as possible and keep play going from stage to stage as you pop the balloons of your opponents.

The game is very similar to Midway’s Joust, but has that classic Nintendo feel that you get from other arcade games of this nature like Donkey Kong, Ice Climber and Mario Bros. And like those games the control and physics in Balloon Fight are spot on and make the game feel polished.

So how does it stack up in 2008, and better yet, is it worth downloading for the Wii Virtual Console?

Balloon Fight NES Title Screenshot

System: NES
Also On: Arcade, Game & Watch, Game Boy Advance E-Reader, GameCube (as a playable game in Animal Crossing), Wii Virtual Console (doesn’t include Japanese releases)
NES – USA June 1986 – EUR December 15, 1986 – JAP January 22, 1985
GameCube (Animal Crossing) – USA September 15, 2002 – EUR September 24, 2004 – AUS October 17, 2003 – JAP December 14, 2001
Wii Virtual Console - USA July 16, 2007 – EUR June 8, 2007 – JAP November 2007
Genre: Arcade Action
Players: Two Players
Save: None in the NES original. Saves high scores in Animal Crossing.
Wii Point Cost: 500 Points or $5 to buy from the Wii Virtual Console.
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Origin: Japan
Rated: E for Everyone (No content descriptors)

Animal Crossing for GameCube contains Balloon FightBalloon Fight is as simplistic as can be but can also be really fun, especially if you are the type of person who loves to go for high scores, beat your own scores or compete for high scores, although you must be careful on what version you play because the original doesn’t save your high scores. The version I reviewed, unlockable in the GameCube game Animal Crossing, WILL save your high scores. I don’t know at this moment if the Wii Virtual Console version saves high scores, once I find out I will update the review.

As mentioned above, in Balloon Fight you play as a character who is suspended by two balloons, these allow him to “fly”, or rather “float”, through the air. You press the A Button to make him float and you keep pressing it to “pump” his arms and make him float up a bit. Doing this repeatedly lets you soar throughout the stage. Alternatively, you can hold the B Button to fly easier. You can think of the A Button as Manual and B Button as automatic. The A Button gives you more control but the B Button is easier and lets you fly faster.

Balloon Fight NES Screenshot 1

There are three ways to play Balloon Fight. A, B, and C. A Game is the single-player portion, B Game is the two-player mode and C Game is a special mini-game called “Balloon Trip”.

In the main game, there will be several enemies floating around a stage that contains platforms you can walk on, storm clouds (that will occasionally release lightning that kills you in one hit) and occasionally other objects such as a “Flipper”, which spins and will bounce you off it if you touch it (it also replaced the “Bumper” from Super Smash Bros. 1 for N64 in the GameCube sequel Super Smash Bros. Melee) and columns that hang down from platforms to get in your way, as well as various sized platforms. Below the platforms on the floor and usually in the middle of the stage is water, this is what the enemies fall into when you stomp on them. And if you aren’t careful and get too close to the uncovered water in the middle, a big fish will pop out and eat you whole! So stay away from the dangerous waters!

Depending on the stage, you will face multiple spikey-nosed human-like enemies who float on two balloons of their own. In order to beat the stage you need to pop their balloons. You do so by hitting them from above with your feet. If you touch their sides you bounce off them, and if they touch your balloons then they will pop. If they pop both of your balloons you will lose a life. Your lives are represented as balloons in the upper-right-hand corner.

After you play a couple of levels you will reach a fun bonus stage, in which balloons will come floating out of several pipes. The color of the balloons depends on how many stages you have complete. Your bonus stage score will depend on how many balloons you pop. Pop them all to obtain a perfect score and get additional bonus points.

That’s really all there is to Balloon Fight, although what you can’t gain through reading text is just how fun, addictive and impressive Balloon Fight is. It’s fun and addictive in the same way other arcade classics like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong are, and it’s impressive simply due to how great the game controls. There is also a lot of strategy to be had depending on how you go about destroying the enemies. As you destroy them, they will fall into the water and a bubble will come floating up. Pop that bubble for extra points, but if you take longer, you risk dying because lightning will start coming out of the clouds, and if you hit it you die in one hit. The enemies also float down on a parachute after you pop their balloons, and popping them while floating down (before they hit the ground) will net you more points. If you let them hit the ground, they will reblow their balloons and be stronger and faster, but killing them will give you more points than before. There is also strategy in deciding whether you want to wait for the bubbles to come up (it takes a little while) after destroying an enemy, or to simply kill them all which will immediately take you to the next level (but you wont’ be rewarded with those extra points you would’ve gotten if you waited and destroyed the bubbles).

The control is spot-on in this game much like in Super Mario Bros. There is a fine line between learning how to press the A Button faster to make your player rise and pressing it while holding right or left to make them move in that direction. He will also raise higher or lower depending how you press or tap the button with each pump of his arms. It’s also fun and worth figuring out the differences between the A and B Buttons. The Button makes him float faster but he doesn’t pump the same as he does with the A Button. Using both buttons is recommended, depending on the situation.

Balloon Fight NES Instruction Manuel Controls

It’s fun because the enemies are constantly pumping their own arms to float around the level, and they will also bounce of the sides of the environments, walk if they land on a platform (just as you can) and bump off of each other. They even can be eaten by the fish if they get too close to the water. This keeps you pumping and strategically falling like a mad-man so that you both avoid oncoming enemies (which can come from all sides, even above) and take them out if you see an opportunity to do so.

Collect the balloons in this Balloon Fight mini-game screenshot

In addition, you can play a madly fun multiplayer co-op mode in the Two Player game. This game is hilariously fun with another player because while you are “supposed” to help each other out by helping to pop the enemies balloons, you can also pop each other’s balloons. If you pop the other players balloons, it will give that player points that they will keep when you move on to the next level, which will happen when all enemies are defeated, regardless of which player survives.

Finally, there is a really fun mini-game called “Balloon Trip” in the C Game. This mode is like a scrolling shooter . . . without bullets of course. The screen automatically scrolls to the left and you must avoid points of lightning which either stay static or move in various directions. What makes this mode so fun is, once again, the physics and the way you are able to float around with pin-point accuracy, allowing a good player to barely avoid close encounters of the electric kind and allowing you to slide in through small gaps. Naturally, throughout the scrolling stage there are balloons to catch which will increase your score. But watch out cause one hit from electricity and you are done for! No extra lives in this mode! In addition, there monstrous fish also inhabits the water in this mode, so don’t get too close or your fish meat! After a while of scrolling, the screen will stop to give you a brief rest, before it takes off again. The scrolling is endless, and thus this is my personal favorite mode because it’s very fun to compete with your friends for the best high score, or simply to beat your own.

Balloon Fight Balloon Trip Mode Screenshot

All in all, Balloon Fight is an excellent example of the great fun that can be had with early NES/arcade titles. The game is fun in the same way as Pac-Man is. You want to keep trying and keep competing for the high score. But it’s even funner than Pac-Man if you have a second player, as you are bound to eventually pop each others balloons, whether on purpose or on “accident”. You must keep in mind however that the game is an arcade game. So if you are a player who doesn’t care about high scores, then you most likely will not be too keen on this game, who’s early, primitive gameplay won’t hold your attention for very long.

Naturally, there is no story, no cut-scenes, no great graphics and no elaborate soundtrack, but what’s here is great if you know what you are in for. Graphically it’s as primitive as they come, but the funny way the characters flap their arms is sure to interest the ladies, and the soundtrack is a nice collection of early Nintendo greatness. The sound effects are also interesting as there is a completely different sound for every action in the game, from the enemies blowing up their own balloons to the “crash” sound of a balloon popping.

If you want to experience classic arcade gameplay with a Nitendo touch at it’s finest, and you already own or have played Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong, then you could do no wrong with Balloon Fight.

Should I download Balloon Fight for the Wii Virtual Console?

Balloon Fight NES BoxartThe easiest way to get ahold of this game is to simply purchase it from the Wii Virtual Console, at a cost of 500 Points ($5 US dollars), which isn’t a lot but there are other games that are much more substantial that you could purchase for the same amount, such as Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania or Metroid. So only get Balloon Fight if you are prepared for an arcade, Pac-Man style game that is simplistic, played for high scores, and fun in short bursts but probably won’t hold your attention for hours at a time.

The game is also available via the GameCube game Animal Crossing, where it is an NES title that you will eventually be able to get. That version also saves your high scores. The NES original DOES NOT save your high scores. The Wii version may, if it doesn’t, then the Animal Crossing version is definitely the best version to get. If you already have the game in Animal Crossing, then the only reason it can be recommended is if you want to be able to play it without having to pop in your game of Animal Crossing.

Balloon Fight-e for the Game Boy Advance E-Card Reader AccessoryThere is also a version of Balloon Fight that was released for the E-Reader Game Boy Advance accessory. It was released as a five-card NES pack called Balloon Fight-e. It can be played by scanning all five cards while the e-reader is connected to your Game Boy Advance. However given the trouble you have to go through to even play the game, the fact that it doesn’t save your high scores, and the trouble it takes to actually get ahold of a copy of Balloon Fight-e, this is the least recommendable option, unless you only have a Game Boy Advance. The game is also available, naturally, as a standalone NES cartridge. But that version doesn’t save high scores and given that it’s on the NES, it’s much easier to simply download it for the Wii, where you don’t have to worry about the game freezing on you or not playing due to the NES hardware.

The Balloon Fighter Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee (screenshot)

Balloon Fight is a fun game. No two ways about it. Even in this year of modern games, Balloon Fight has the arcade-style charm that you simply cannot deny. The game may not last you very long, but you’ll have a fun time popping balloons, trying to best your high score (or that of your buddies) and making your way through the awesome Balloon Trip mode. Definitely one of the best games of this type, if you ask me.

Graphics: 6.0
Do not play this game for graphics. Having said that, the characters animate well, the physics are impressive, as are the tight controls, and the game certainly has it’s own level of charm. However all the enemies look the same and the game is as simplistic as can be. But that should be expected.

Music & Sound: 7.5
The music is Pac-Man style given it’s arcade roots, but the game has some amazingly catchy tunes (which were good enough to put as remixes in the Super Smash Bros. games) and the sound effects are terrific and spot-on.

Ingenuity: 7.0
Although the game was clearly “inspired” by Joust, the game has a feel all it’s own, and the controls and “physics” of your Balloon Fighter are very impressive for the day, so much so that I imagine they had to have been copied by other games.

Replay Value: 7.0
This game has replay value in the traditional sense, beating high scores! If you don’t want to go after high scores, then don’t play this game as you’ll probably get bored within an hour or two (or less). But if you want . . . this game could go on forever, as you will always want to try to beat your high score, and in that sense, it can offer almost limitless replay value. But in all likelihood, you will play it for a few hours, and then fire it up every now and then for fun or if you have a short amount of time to get some balloon popping gaming in, or if you have friends over and are craving for some arcade classic action.

Classic Commercials – Super Mario Bros. 3 – Japan

Published on November 2nd, 2008 under , ,

On the PAL Wii Virtual Console today: Castlevania 3, Devil World, Ghosts ‘n Goblins


Get a Wii Points Card at Amazon UKToday Nintendo of Europe and Australia added new classic games to the popular Wii Shop Channel. The games went live at midnight CET. Wii owners with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at stores like Amazon UK (Card).

Today there’s a trio of Halloween-themed NES games for the Wii Virtual Console! We’ve included videos of the games so you can see if it’s for you. This week’s new games are:

Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (NES, Platformer/Action, 1 player, 500 Wii Points = €5 / £3.75 / AU$7.50): Fight back against Dracula in the third exciting instalment of the highly popular Castlevania franchise! As with the original Castlevania, in this second sequel from 1990; the player’s goal is to work their way through deviously challenging levels, but this time there’s a difference – when the level ends, you can choose one of two paths to take for a completely different experience! — The most innovative feature of this game lies with the spirit companions that the player will meet through the journey. Besides the main character Trevor, who uses the traditional Belmont weapon, the Mystic Whip, as well as a number of items, the player can also strike up a spiritual partnership with any one of three distinctive characters. These include Sypha the imprisoned sorceress, Grant the pirate, who is able to jump high and climb up walls, and Alucard, who is Dracula’s son but has a bone to pick with his father. With a range of diverse characters and paths available to choose from, this game boasts incredible replay value, ensuring that each playthrough is a new experience!

Devil World (NES, Arcade, 1 player, 500 Wii Points = €5 / £3.75 / AU$7.50): 1987
In 1987 this little-known action game from Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto was released, in it you play heroic dragon Tamagon, who must defeat evil by collecting Boa-Boa Dots inside a maze and destroying enemies with his fire breath. However, keep an eye on the devil at the top of the screen, who instructs his minions to move the maze in random directions, trying to squash Tamagon within its walls. If this seems familiar, you might have seen the devil performing the same trick as an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl!

Ghosts ‘n Goblins (NES, Platformer/Action, 1 player, 500 Wii Points = €5 / £3.75 / AU$7.50): Ghosts’n Goblins was a popular arcade game before it made the leap to the NES in 1986. Like later games in the series, Ghosts’n Goblins presents quite a challenge to players brave enough to take on the role of Arthur and delve into the realm of demons and monsters to rescue the kidnapped princess. Choose your weapons wisely and take advantage of their strengths to deal with the situation at hand. Pass through the six gates that stand between you and Astaroth, and teach him a lesson in chivalry he’ll never forget. Demonstrating a high level of technical prowess for a game of its era, Ghosts’n Goblins presents a unique and unforgettable universe. The stage for adventure is set. Are you up to the test?

Classic Commercials – Tetris


Oh snap! “Put a piece here! Put a piece there!”

Published on October 27th, 2008 under , ,

Classic Commercials: Punch-Out!! – Japan


Maybe bring this franchise back from the dead isn’t such a great idea…at least not the advertising.

Published on October 5th, 2008 under ,

Retro Profile: Donkey Kong Classics


nes_0014_06.pngIn every historical era, there always came a time for change and innovations that would eventually affect a major aspect of life. German engineer Karl Benz designed the first combustible flat engine, giving birth to the modern-day automobile. The British created the first mass-produced toothbrush, making it possible start a conversation without killing anyone within a breath’s distance. And the Japanese invented the platformer genre in video games, putting a new spin on how we can go about saving the day. It all began in 1981 when Nintendo ran into a problem with their latest arcade game at the time, Radar Scope. The machines weren’t selling too well, so it was decided that a new game should programmed into the unsold units (about 2,000). The now-legendary Shigeru Miyamoto was a mere young staff artist, but after being assigned the task of creating an arcade game that would capture the attention of the American audience, he proved to be a perfect fit for the job. The finished product starred a portly carpenter, a damsel in distress, and a stressed out monkey who had an infinite supply of barrels and wasn’t afraid to use them. As you all know by now, I’m talking ‘bout Donkey Kong (DK).

Donkey Kong
The main gameplay elements involve climbing ladders, jumping barrels, and combating moving flames; all of which culminates to a showdown on the steel girders where Mario must send DK falling on his crown. The concept is simple enough, but things can get challenging when barrels unexpectedly roll down ladders, and those flames keep finding ways to multiply and cause you grief. Fortunately, these two obstacles can be demolished by grabbing a hammer and smashing them into oblivion. The downside is that you cannot climb ladders or jump over gaps while utilizing the hammer.
And speaking of jumping over stuff, one of the first things that stood out to me about this game was the fact that Mario was a bit vertically-challenged. Taking leaps or falls greater than Mario’s height will lead to his demise. Sometimes, this can be a little hard to judge, especially when negotiating a jump from a moving elevator to a stationary platform. Does it keep the game challenging? Sure. Is it still bothersome? Very much so. It was a dynamic of platforming that needed improvement before it could be just right.

The graphics, like the rest of the game, are simple but still good for its time. Every character and moving object is distinguishable and well animated. At times DK will tauntingly beat his chest, as if daring Mario to come up there and challenge him. Those fireball creatures even seem to have a life of their own, being depicted with eyes and bouncing movements independent of what’s going on around them. There’s a surprising amount of personality to be found here, and that’s what mostly holds my attention when repeating the same 3 levels over and over again.
Before reaching the final scene on the steel girders, the arcade version had a level featuring conveyor belts transporting cement “pies” which Mario had to overcome to get to the top. Unfortunately, it had to be cut from the NES port due to space limitations of the early cartridges back then. Still, I think it sucks that other home consoles like the ColecoVision got all 4 levels. It’s pretty ironic that the very developer of Donkey Kong never made the full game on their own 8-bit console. While the game otherwise imitates the arcade original pretty well, the missing cement factory scene was a key component to enjoying the game, and having to do without it puts a noticeable blemish on the almost perfect NES port.

Donkey Kong Jr.
nes_0014_18.pngBeing the first and [so far] only game to feature Mario as the bad guy, Donkey Kong Jr. proved that villainy and heroism is in the eye of the beholder. This time around, Mario finally gets the upper hand against Donkey Kong and puts him in a cage. So now you must step into the roll of is son Junior and rescue your dad from the carpenter’s clutches. Your main enemies are mechanical Snapjaws, egg-launching Nitpickers, and sparks of electricity. Instead of climbing ladders and riding elevators, Junior scales vines, bounces on springboards, and rides on small horizontal platforms to get around. Junior can climb up or down on either one vine, or two at a time. You’ll climb slower using only one vine, though descending on it is a breeze. Making use of two vines will allow you to reach the top faster, but mobility in transferring from vine-to-vine is hindered a bit. For beginners, this method of control may present a real challenge at first because it takes some forethought when coordinating you moves while avoiding the increasing bombardment of enemies.
Junior doesn’t move around as nicely as Mario did in my opinion. It’s not so bad when moving from vine-to-vine, but it just doesn’t feel quite right when leaping from a stationary platform to a moving island, or bouncing off the springboard. Stage 2 in particular is where I have the problem. Sometimes after using that springboard to propel him forward, Junior will end up clipping the edge of the platform just above where I wanted to go and once he lands, it’ll register as a “fall” causing him to lose a life. Unless you make a pixel-perfect leap, he’ll also be very likely to clip the enemies as well. These are all fairly mild annoyances, but it can still potentially turn away gamers who enjoyed the relative fluidity of the original Donkey Kong.

Visually, DK Jr. is a notable improvement over the first game with brighter colors and heavier amounts of animations going on at once. This time the NES port is on par with arcade version in terms of the levels in the game. We get all 4 of them, instead of being stuck with only 3. The first level features vines and small platforms at the bottom that Junior can jump across. The second area features the springboard, chains, and a moving island. The third section is Mario’s electronic fortress, complete with sparks running all over the place. And finally, the fourth level is where Junior must unite all 6 keys with the locks that hold DK captive. Much like the first game, you start back over at the first area once you free your dad form the cage. The game itself proves to be an interesting concept in reversing the rolls of villain/hero, but the gameplay elements fall just short of the fluidity that was found in the original Donkey Kong.

Play or Stay? Well, after proving that both were formidable enemies, Mario and the Kongs eventually parted ways, only to reunite during racing and fighting events. Mario quit the carpentry business in favor of being a plumber with his brother Luigi. It wasn’t long until they went off to save a princess who always seemed to be “in another castle”. Later, the Kongs moved out to the country where Donkey Kong would grow old and cranky, and his descendant would grow up to become the DK for a 16-bit generation.
From Sonic the Hedgehog to the Ratchet & Clank series, many of the basic aspects of the modern-day platformer can be traced back to a menacing gorilla and an Italian carpenter. The Donkey Kong Classics cartridge perfectly preserves both games as they were when first released on the NES. While the pre-Super Mario Bros. gameplay mechanics leaves much to be desired, it cannot be denied that the vast majority of platforming games in recent years owe their existence, in one way or another, to Mr. Miyamoto’s monkey business.

Published on October 5th, 2008 under ,

Disaster: Day of Crisis is just Time Crisis in the rain


There’s a bit of internal discussion going down in the Infendo HQ today regarding Disaster: Day of Crisis. Blake, from on high up in the Infendo throne room, threw down this video morsel to the likes of David and me in the Infendo dungeon, where we pump out posts for the site without the benefit of light or electricity (we snail mail the posts to Jake, who, being web-savvy, uploads them for us).

Long story short, Blake poo poo’d on Disaster’s ho-hum on-rails arcade graphics, while David defended the title’s look and feel. I’m still on the fence, leaning slightly towards Blake, which is a bit of a flip-flop for me on this title from earlier this year. Simply put, I’m asking what the “hook” of this game is today, because to me it seems like this title is nothing more than Time Crisis… in the rain.

But hold up. I’m not just going to bash a title and not offer any new ideas. Here’s what I think would make a great Disaster: Day of Crisis (and I say all this knowing full well it’s way too late to implement any of it).

What Nintendo and its second party developers need to do is recreate the look and feel of an old NES classic, Rescue: The Embassy Mission, and combine it with the visuals (but not the voice acting) found in Disaster.

Rescue, for those who don’t know, was an “tactical shooter” NES game published by Infogrames back in January 1990. The game involved a whole team of SWAT-style units that you deployed to various points around a compromised embassy building. One team was a sniper team, and took out shadowy figures in the building windows. Another team would repel down the side of the building, and bust through those same windows (which your sniper had hopefully cleared out). A third team would sneak up the street, hiding from spot lights in alleyways and behind walls, somersaulting all the way to the front door. The final stage involved a FPS-esque level where you searched the building for hostages. Except for that last stage, you could do things in any order you liked.

Simple enough, right? Well, since Disaster is shaping up to be some kind of rudderless cross between an FPS, an on-rails shooter (Time Crisis), and some kind of mini-game survival compilation, it needs a better hook. It needs the team management focus of Embassy Mission, or something. So far, what I’ve seen doesn’t answer the simple “what makes this game different?” question. On a system not yet know for these types of games, this sub-par effort risks being lost before it even launches.

Again, it’s too late to do any of this, and Disaster may very well surprise me with an unseen “hook” that somehow differentiates it from the slew of copycat FPS’s and third person “survival” games that already clog other systems’ disc drives. So take this post as a kind of inspirational wish list that can be applied to a mythical Disaster remake, or an entirely new game with similar themes, alike.

I await the moment I am pleasantly surprised by this game, should Nintendo give it a US launch date.

Published on September 29th, 2008 under , ,

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