R-Type – Sega Master System – Played it for 5

All I remembered was that this game was awesome. And it delivered.

psychologytoday.com (seriously!?!)

I played R-Type for a few minutes yesterday AND IT IS FREAKING AMAZING! I think this thing did my grocery shopping, walked my dog, and invented happiness all while giving me a back massage and telling me I looked amazing today.

I love this damn game. And heck, R-Type probably had the coolest Master System cover (they were generally REALLY bad)

spong.com

I think there are a few versions of this game, and certainly a few sequels, but I played the Sega Master System version. I remember vaguely playing this game as a kid, but it’s occupied a sweet spot in my heart since then… with River City Ransom and Contra… ahhhhhh

Really, what’s not to love about R-Type? Getting massive powerups (seriously, there was so much carnage that I didn’t even notice when I picked up sweet homing missles… sweet) to kill freaking aliens who are filling the screen trying to kill you… so good.

Read: my previous played it for 5, Altered Beast

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, an original ad for the Sega Master System… so good.

Blades of Steel or Ice Hockey… I don’t remember – NES – Pre Game

Blades of Steel vs. Ice Hockey

Which game is the one where you choose your team out of big guys who were slow but could hit and skinny guys who were fast but would totally get creamed; and which game is the one that sucks?

wikimedia.org

Blades of Steel

wikimedia.org

Ice Hockey

Based on the covers, Ice Hockey looks to be the lame-o here.

I remember playing the good one (I’m thinking Blades of Steel) at my cousin’s house along with Mario 2 (or maybe 3).

I’ll report back.

Altered Beast – Genesis – played it for 5

Introducing: “I played for 5 minutes”

In my journey through the land of old, retro games I’ve been finding that I’ll sometimes play a title for a few minutes, then put it down and never really get back to it. My hunch is that this phenomenon happens for one of a few reasons:

  1. The game might have a really steep skill/ learning curve. I’m guessing this is going to happen to me on real killers like Mega-Man. I remember trying out the series as a kid and having no success then – I’m guessing old me is going to get killed… a lot… and not make it very far.
  2. The game might take more of a time investment than I’m willing to give. Some of the big RPG’s will probably land here. Though, if I come to one of those games I really should know what to expect, so if I give one of them up it’s really on me.
  3. Finally, the game might just be rubbish. Let’s face it. Some games haven’t aged well. Some games would’ve appeal to a younger version of me. Some games have just always been terrible, which brings me to…

Altered Beast

Wikimedia.org

Altered Beast is the perfect game for the inaugural Played it for 5.

This is a dumb game.

I think Altered Beast was originally included with my Sega Genesis when I got it and I don’t remember ever liking it. At least partially so, because I was epically and completely bad at it. Now I was/am bad at most old games, but I was/ continue to be ridiculously, embarrassingly, hilariously, side-splittingly bad at Altered Beast.

So bad in fact, that I don’t remember ever getting past the 1st boss.

I mean, good Gord! There’s a flying thing that descends on your head to kill you AND YOU CAN’T STOP IT. Stupidity abounds!

There’s a flying thing that descends on your head to kill you AND YOU CAN’T STOP IT

Stupid evil bird thing

Altered Beast is a bad game. It’s really bad.

And seriously, what’s up with this guy?

What's this guy's deal?

NBA Jam TE – Sega Genesis – Game the Game

JOHN STARKS! The dude I couldn’t remember from the Knicks is John Starks!

starksrules

BUT I decided that I wouldn’t go with ol’ Starksy for my first game, so I chose Da’Bulls. Now, this brings me to an ENTIRE part of NBA Jam that I forgot about: you chose a 3-letter name and immediately set about defeating the entire NBA, starting with the Mavericks.

So, needless to say, I dispatched of the Mavericks without a lot of trouble (I mean: Pippen… come on)…

iwin

In my massive 8 pt stomping of Dallas, I learned the following about this game:

  • Using your CPU partner is 100% boring, but actually works (I don’t remember this at all… did I always play this game with friends?)
  • I’m not as good as I remember. Seriously. I didn’t get ONE “HE’S ON FIRE”
  • I had a hard time dunking really awesome dunks. I don’t remember this aspect being that difficult. You know, the “jam” aspect of NBA Jam…
  • I didn’t get a single block
  • Mashing turbo made my thumb hurt (A – shoot; B – turbo; C – pass) feels like I used a different combo. ALSO, remember when the controllers actually made your hands HURT? Geez, my old man hands can’t take this kind of punishment anymore… probably because they took all the contorted-into-weird-Sega-Genesis-controller-shapes-playing-games punishment when I was a teenager
  • The CPU IS A DAMN DIRTY CHEAT IN THE FINAL MINUTES OF THE GAME AND YES I KNOW I COULD’VE TURNED THAT OPTION OFF, BUT SERIOUSLY IT HAS A BUILT-IN CHEAT MODE FOR THE DAMN DIRTY CPU PLAYER?!?!?
  • And finally, the defensive strategy of ‘knock the other guys over’ seems to work well 🙂

Never did figure out what the “TE” gives me… though I did see online that apparently it’s possible to unlock a whack of hidden players. Like, Bill Clinton…

If you’re into that.

Which I’m not.

Final game stats

finalstats

And sweet zombie jesus, if you REALLY want to get into the game without playing the game, I found a 4.5 hour playthrough on YouTube… so there’s that…

Because I don’t have a good way to grab video, want to be as multi-sensory as possible, and don’t want to deprive you of an actual review of NBA Jam TE on the Genesis by someone how sound like a game-reviewer, I found this for you:

… aaaaaaaannnnnnndddddddd

iforgotthisishowthesavingworks

Yes, I chose “ASS” as my name. And you would’ve too, you saucy minx.

PS – here’s the pre game.

Retron 3 NTSC/ PAL Schmoz

My problems with my Retron 3 have been recorded for posterity and subsequently clarified, though it’s time to add another, which I will call: “what?”

It seems like the Retron 3 is a PAL machine. Frankly I didn’t even know that was a thing for videogames until I plugged in my brand spankin’ new/old copy of Streets of Rage 2. I guess it makes sense that would be a thing… but seriously?

WHAT?

So, at least Genesis games are locked to regions on this slowly-becoming-more-useless-as-time-rolls-on machine. Sweet Zombie Jesus Retron, why would you sell PAL encoded hardware in North America???

I guess I can least play SoR IIand Shinobi III guilt-free on an emulator now…

NBA Jam TE – Genesis – Pre Game

“FROM DOWNTOWN”

Did I own this game? I don’t think I did… I probably would’ve played it on Genesis (was it even ON SNES or NES??? Must’ve been… anyway). This was definitely a game that I only really played with friends and almost never on my own. Seriously, 2-on-2 and you’re NOT going to do co-op?

I think it was likely a rental. DO YOU REMEMBER RENTING VIDEOGAMES? Holy crap, I suddenly remember renting games, spending 48 hours straight playing them, and having to return them. I love Steam and I buy my share of used games, but renting was a different way to think about gaming…

“HE’S HEATING UP”

One of the things I’m very sure about is that I only ever played NBA Jam, not NBA Jam Tournament Edition, or as those of us with blogs with visitor counts in the single digits per week call it, “TE”. In fact, I don’t think I had ever heard of TE until a few weeks ago when I started browsing top-100-old-game-lists. Relatedly, TE is #9 on Dorkly’s list and #87 on Retro-Santuary’s. These things are incredibly subjective so I’m not surprised by the huge variation. IGN gave/gives regular NBA Jam 8.3, great, out of 10 and says that the Genesis version is scaled down from the SNES version. I FEEL RIPPED OFF!

I’m interested to see if I can spot any differences. From my initial reading it seems like TE has loads of easter eggs and I’m guessing a new, or perhaps improved tournament mode? Dear reader, can’t you tell already that I’m one intelligent SOB?

“I DON’T REMEMBER ANY MORE OF THE CATCHPHRASES FROM THE GAME”

As for gameplay, it was 2-on-2 and I remember loving to sink 3-pointers as <can’t remember his name> from the Knicks… you know… not Patrick Ewing, the other guy. There was turbo or something too, right? Rationing turbo was important for dunks and steals right?

Is it obvious that I don’t recall many details? I mainly remember this game featuring huge dunks ,being  frustrating because the CPU always got super-tough near the end of the game, and it generally being a metric buttload of fun. I can’t wait to put some time in on it.

OOO and the basketball lights on fire!

I’ve written the gaming game post!

Post #6: a new milestone

If I decide to publish this post in the order than I’m considering right now, it will be my 6th. I’ve started a few random blogs over the years and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten this far. This site is also closing in on 100 visits in less than 10 days! That’s basically super-stardom as far as I’m concerned! I did have one post on Tumblr get reblogged like 5 times, so I’m not completely ignorant of the pitfalls of Internet stardom. But generally speaking, from here on out it’s all open road.

Now for some self-guided Q&A

First question: how dare you?

Well played.

Sorry, this was clearly recorded on a potato. I couldn't find a better version.

What have you learned so far?

Well, I had originally thought that I’d play old games and write about them.

Turns out that I’m writing pre-reviews, which is a freakin’ blast. My brain is terrible at remembering things and I’m really just trying to Alanis Morissette* each of the Pre Games without thinking about them too much. ‘Cause that seems like cheating

*by that I mean: stream of conciousness-ness

You’ve reached 6 posts, previously unattained by anyone, anywhere. How?

Even though I’m REALLY bad at them and other people know WAY more than me, I genuinely dig old games. Everything about them is cool! They’re old and all nostalgic-y; they’re a little hard to find; and I’m learning that games have been a part of many our lives.

*clinks expensive stem-ware filled with expensive champagne in a toast*

COBRA TRIANGLE – NES – Actually Playing the Game Now!

We’ve had the Pre Game, now on to: GAMING THE GAME

They’re boat’n through your ocean, snatching your people up,
tryin’ to steal’em
so you better

hide your kids
hide your wife
hide your kids
hide your wife

and hide your motorboat
cause they’re stealin’ everybody out here…

– my wife, singing about Cobra Triangle
inspired by the classic: Bed Intruder Song

cobra-triangle-opening-screen

Wow, I had completely forgotten that this thing is fundamentally a racing game.

With that shock over, I quickly started shooting all of my motorboat enemies… though I’m not sure why we’re enemies… and why do they get shore-based weapons? It’s no matter as dispose of a few of them.

Right, I have a health bar. OOO powerups! It damages my body to run into the shore, makes sense, and I’m done the first level. That was pretty easy.

And this is the part that I’m really sad about forgetting: to get to the next level, my body sprouts a helicopter rotor and flies away! A HELICOPTER ROTOR! Dude, let’s just use that thing for the whole “race”!

rotor-boat-hahaha

So, are you trying?
– my wife commenting as I die for the seemingly 100th time while failing to prevent the enemy from making of with 8 helpless swimmers

In my first real attempt, I didn’t get very far. The first level is easy, then it’s kind of a bonus powerup level (that may be unlocked by performance, I’ll have to look that up), then it’s a damn guarding level. 8 helpless, drowning, terrified looking ‘people’ are arranged in a diamond with me at the centre to protect them. It’s horrifying! Enemy boats come and DRAG THE PEOPLE AWAY! … and the boats have UFOs!?! What in the blue hell is going on here?!?!?

cobra-triangle-this-is-horrifying

And that’s as far as I got. I’m sorry that couldn’t protect you random, identical people… *single tear*

Look at this poor guy… THIS GAME IS DELIGHTING IN OUR TERROR

cobra-triangle-this-is-horrifying-2

cobra-triangle-this-is-horrifying-3

cobra-triangle-this-is-horrifying-4

We now know fear.

JJGames.com review: 1st order has arrived

Booyah!

This is official confirmation that www.jjgames.com is totally legit and awesome. My order took a little less than 2 weeks to arrive, which is not bad for US to Canada shipping, the games work, and were in the condition described on the website. Basically, what you see is what you get.

new-games

Also, through my extensive shopping cart testing I have discovered that the best value for the $15 basic Canadian shipping is to order 8 games (shipping price is based on weight). Past that shipping goes up to $23.

Anyhoo, most common games are <$10 and there’s a great selection – obviously, if you’re looking for a rare or popular game you’re going to pay more (NES Zelda is $26.56 right now), that’s more than I want to pay for a 25 year old game, but it’s still a great price imho. I’ve seen Zelda priced at >$50.

Overall I think JJGames is a much better option than eBay (seriously, have you seen some of the listings on eBay… some sellers are out of their freakin’ minds)

Note, this post isn’t sponsored in any way, it’s just confirmation that when I ordered from them, the games arrived. My review: the site is real.

But if JJ’s wanted to, say, give me a promo or affiliate code… I’d be totally into that 🙂

COBRA TRIANGLE – NES – Pre Game

This is one of the defining games of my childhood… for some reason

I remember playing a lot of this game as a kid, but I don’t actually remember much about it or really remember liking it that much. It’s strange that I remember anything about it, come to think of it.

There’s definitely a boat, and I remember jumping stuff using powered platforms or something. Maybe there were weapons that I probably had to pick up??? There may have been puzzles and random things shooting at me because I remember dying all the time and I don’t think there was a save feature (did ANYTHING have saves* back then???).

SSSSSEEEEECCCCCSSSSS

In fact, the only thing that I clearly remember about Cobra Triangle is that each level has a timer labeled ‘secs’. And why do I remember such a weird detail, you may ask? Well, asky-pants, I remember because one time my old friend Neil once tricked me into yelling “SECS” with my mom just just outside my room.

OK, if you don’t get why that’s funny, say ‘secs’ out loud to yourself… and pretend you’re like… 10.

I bought Cobra Triangle a long time ago (probably years ago) when I first got my NES-as-a-grownup and never got around to playing it because: a) I’m kinda lame, and b) I don’t spend enough time playing games!

What others say… er… said…

IGN gives Cobra Triangle a 7.4, Good, rating and says it was released in 1989. They also rated it 66th on their top 100 NES games of all time. Cool.

* hilariously, my phone originally autocorrected ‘saves’ to ‘sadness’. Touché autocorrect, touché

PS – I wrote this pre game whilst doing fishing dailies in WoW. For the record, the Dojani Eel and Wolf Piranha quests can just go shut the hell up with each other.

Next up, the GAME GAME coming soon.