Sunday, February 22, 2015

Backlog Blitz: NES, Week 16, "National Public Radio"

Think about the title. Just think about it... Well, I'm getting to the bottom of the NES games. Guess I'd better start working on Super Nintendo games pretty soon, otherwise I won't have a safety net for the weeks when I don't get much gaming done. In non-retro game news, I've been playing Darkest Dungeon, which has somehow managed to take the sado-masochistic relationship provided by the Souls games and shove it into a party-based Lovecraftian dungeon-crawl RPG. So, it's awesome, basically. Anyway. Old games. 

Ninja Gaiden 1, 2, 3
Woo! One of the first cutscenes! Man, these games are great. The controls, platforming, and combat are all excellent. One problem, though, is that the platforms and graphics are a bit…muddy and unclear at times. This is what Strider WANTS to be. (And yes, I’m cheating by referring to a game I haven’t reviewed on here yet, but deal with it, yo.) This is one of a very few NES games that actually manages to pull wall-jumps off. Little Samson is one of the others. Most games kind of fail at it, for some reason. I’m not sure why.

My brother-in-law loves this game. We make a fine team. I serve as navigator to Captain Smythe (We’re always Captain Smythe) while he handles the swashbuckling. Duels are fun, the various relationship upgrades and family-rescue sidequests are good, if primitive, and the sailing is, shockingly, authentic. Of course, authentic sailing means it’s a pain to deal with, but it’s REALISTIC, don’tchaknow? I’d love to see a current-gen version of this, keeping the general idea while improving the mechanics. Have actual relationship trees and the option for tricksy dialogue, make some of the skills you can spec your character with actually HELPFUL. It’d be awesome. Particularly if you put a Pirates of the Caribbean skin on it. 

R.C. Pro-Am I
Hey! It’s a fun top-down racer like Micro Machines! Me likey. There’s not much to say here. It’s a top-down racer, meaning you only see a chunk of the track at a time. This gets a bit annoying at times, but whatever. Top-down racer, yo. The controls are a bit…titchy…would be the word I’d use. Titchy is a good word. I don’t think it’s a real word. Think Barney Fife from the Andy Griffith Show, then make him slow and cumbersome but still somehow jumpy as heck. That’s how I’d describe the controls. Oh, and you have to pick upgrades up on the track rather than buying them, which is lame.
R.C. Pro-Am II
So this basically fixed the controls of the previous game and made the graphics a bit cooler. Also you can actually BUY upgrades instead of just relying on luck/skill to get them. Beyond that, it’s pretty solid but overall bland. There were also some graphics issues, which I blame on the emulator. That's why all the cars look like they're floating in space. I wish my NES still worked... Of course, then I couldn't take screenshots. Catch-22. 

And t-t-t-that's all, f-f-f-folks! Look for a review of Dead Island later this week, whenever I get my lazy bum around to it.