Not having grown up with a NES, the first time I really played it was when I unlocked it in Animal Crossing. It was pretty cool but I couldn’t see why he’d be so excited. Oh well, I guess something was lost in translation!
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American readers might remember this game as Death Sword. But they would also remember Cricket as Baseball so hey.
You modern people with your fancy book learnin’s might be accustomed to having fighting games with multiple characters, but back in the day we just had the same character fight itself with a slightly different colour scheme and we were happy with it, by golly.
At any rate, Barbarian was a cracker of a game, especially when you pull off the move where you swung around and chopped the other bloke’s head off. Could it have been the first fatality in a fighter? Hmm. Gonna stare out the window for a few hours and think about that one.
I really liked this era of fighting games, with a maximum of 16 moves available since you only had one 8-way joystick and one fire button to control the game with. It made the action slower and more tactical since each move had a counter-move.
The C64 version was the one I spent most hours on, but I have to give special credit to the Amiga version for being one of the few games that made the transition from 8 to 16 bit without somehow sucking in the process. The sound in particular was so cool, using lots of samples to simulate the clanging of swords. Until today I had no idea this game was converted to the Electron…I think it’s safe to say it’ll be the only Electron game on this site.
One of the best football games ever made, and we used to hold makeshift World Cup tournaments with all the sixteen colours representing different countries in some weird logic that only kids really get.
This game also came bundled with the C64c that I got, and to my testament I resisted plugging it in for a whole two weeks while I tried to learn how to make my own games in BASIC. And now look where I am, so I guess those two weeks changed my life!
I ended up writing a text based strategy game called WAR (great title huh) that displayed some stats at the top of the screen indicating the health and population of your country, and that of five other countries. And you had the option of spending your turn healing your population, defending against an attack or sending a nuke over to another country. I even made a couple of copies of it and sold it around the school yard. That was neat.
It was kind of cool and definitely a foreshadowing of my annoying tendency to design over complicated metagames to wrap my regular games around. Ask me about the giant dynamic board game that was going to be the mission generator for the owl game we made sometime.
Sigh. VIDEO GAMES.
This could also be a joke about Star Wars Arcade but to hell with drawing that huge cabinet. Anyway, the story goes that on the last mission of X-Wing, the famous Death Star Trench Run, I turned the monitor off and let The Force guide me to hitting the exhaust turret just at the right time.
Did I really do it? Were my reflexes that razor sharp back then? Was I too busy playing Super Mario Kart instead? Who knows! I can barely remember what I had for breakfast these days. Must be all the bourbon I put on the corn flakes.
God damn do I want a new X-Wing game.
So, let me clear to my American readers: I’m not talking about your Bionic Commando.
There were two distinctly different Bionic Commandos. One is the one commonly known to American (and Japanese too, I should add) players as the NES game, with the map screen and the infiltration and whatnot. The other is the European conversion of the arcade original, with the awesome music and the great gameplay and the fun and the laughter and good times for all.
You can keep your NES version, I’m sticking with the C64 port which I loved dearly. I bought the NES remake for Xbox LIVE Arcade a year back and had no idea what the attraction was.
Oh, there was an American-made port of the arcade version released for the C64, and it was pretty much terrible. Avoid that one if you can.
Oh and the Amiga version was pretty terrible too, what a waste considering how arcade perfect it could have been.
The PC version was cack and I remember telling people not to buy it at the game stores I frequented. What an annoying prat I was!
So I guess what I’m saying is that I prefer the C64 version fo a game above all others, now there’s a shock.
If you’ve never played this then you really have missed something special.
For a side-scrolling action game, it really is very quiet. There’s long periods of quiet contemplation as Usagi walks along the Japanese countryside, occasionally encountering peasants, villagers and peaceful vistas. Most encounters with sword-wielding characters can be resolved by respectfully bowing or being the first to strike and then putting the sword away.
In fact, running around waving your sword about like a lunatic will get you killed very quickly. And if it’s a high score you want you’re better off giving your money to peasants which increases your Karma.
A game where the high score table is measured in good karma. And if your Karma score goes to zero, Usagi commits seppuku. That’s cool as hell.
Whenever you encounter someone they will say something to you. One line that weirded us out was “If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him” which we could never understand. UNTIL NOW!
Oh man, the cloth maps they used to bundle with Ultima games were awesome, but you had to be careful with them.
I played Ultima V an awful lot back in the day. The game just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger the more I played it, and the idea of playing a small part in an independently functioning world was tremendously appealing. The conversation system was also fantastic and I spent most of my time just walking up to random NPCs just typing in whatever words I could think of in order to get different responses. It was also super cool how if they asked you for your name and you gave them a fake name they acted like they didn’t believe you.
It was a small touch, but damn, what a clever idea.
I never ended up finishing it, but I know I really should one day…
I got asked to draw a pregnant Chun-Li for a favor, so here is a Street Fighter 3 comic with a pregnant Chun Li.
She ended up appearing in later versions of Street Fighter 3 but that’s a comic for another day.
Street Fighter 3 was one of the few Street Fighter games I never got into, I think I’ll have to rectify that soon.
I never played this game, and have no idea what it’s about, but I couldn’t pass up the visual gag.
(And I don’t mean the idea of people actually lining up to buy a 3DS, though that is kinda amusing)