Saturday, July 25, 2015

Backlog Blitz: NES, Week 23, "This is the End, My Friends..."

It's been a long time coming. After twenty-three weeks--half a year!--I've come to the end of my NES backlog. Today's post includes the last few of those games. It's the end of a run, and so it seems appropriate that there's a mixture of the best and the worst the NES has to offer. Let's look at them...

V.I.C.E.: Project Doom
First there’s an awesome top-down driving segment with machine-guns and missiles, then I’m a cool dude with a laser sword killing mutants and aliens and…Chinese magicians? Oooookaaaaay. Anyway, I’m a cool dude with a laser sword chopping and shooting people in a silky-smooth action platformer. This is how the Batman games should have played. This is how Star Wars should have played. This is how TMNT should have played. Seriously, this game is awesome. The platforming feels fluid, the controls are competent and don’t lag like a 1990s modem connection, the combat is satisfying…This is awesome. There’s black-magic wizards and aliens and mutants and it’s all set in this 80s buddy-cop plot that Ahnold could have starred in. IT ROCKS. 

Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord.
I can’t actually play this for long without getting nauseated by transitions between screens, but this is awesome. There’s party-management, combat, dungeon delving (NOT an euphemism…), this is basically Legend of Grimrock on the NES. 

Wizards and Warriors
I…I don’t understand. Either this is a brilliant depiction of how befuddling fantasy worlds would truly be to humans, or it’s just an action-platformer where the platforms make no sense in 2D space and instead appear to be poorly-mimicking 3D, enemies die randomly, you’re a man in full plate armor with a 20-foot jump, and everything’s bigger on the inside. Either way, making 70% of the enemies fast-moving and then only giving the player some weird jump-stomp attack or a stand-still-and-swing-your-sword attack was a crummy move, yo.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Wow. No wonder people didn’t like this compared to the original. It’s not AWFUL, but I can’t say I view any of the changes as for the better. It just feels like the Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest to The Legend of Zelda's original Castlevania. Just…Meh. Clunkier, not as fun, and all-around a misstep. On its own, it might have been loved. As a Zelda game, it's a bit of a sour note. 

So. I started this run with around 150 NES games and ended with 70. There were some duds (A lot of duds, even with advice from various internet places), but also some true gems. I found new favorites: Metal Storm, Little Samson, V.I.C.E.: Project Doom, and more. It was a fun ride. Now. ON TO SUPER NINTENDO! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! PLEASE KILL ME.