Sunday, July 29, 2012
How do you follow-up a console that singlehandedly saved the video game industry? Nintendo had some lofty heights to reach when they released the Super Nintendo in 1991. The 8-bit NES was such a smash hit and so prolific that Nintendo kept supporting it even after they released this 16-bit predecessor, which took everything the NES did and did it better. At the time, the Sega Genesis was already out and giving Nintendo a run for their money, but the Super NES managed to trump it in the end thanks to more powerful hardware and a library of first-party titles that remain some of the best video games ever made. “Super Mario World”, “Donkey Kong Country”, “Super Metroid”, “Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past”, “Yoshi’s Island”, “Star Fox”, and plenty more besides are flat-out classics. But for every classic Super NES game that came out and sold a shit load of copies, there were a handful of excellent and amazing games that fell through the cracks. Here are 10 underrated and overlooked gems for the Super Nintendo:
10. MARVEL SUPERHEROES: WAR OF THE GEMS (1996)
Released towards the end of the Super NES’ lifecycle in 1996, Capcom’s “Marvel Superheroes: War of the Gems” is an arcade style beat ‘em up featuring a large cast of Marvel heroes and villains. You play as Wolverine, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, and Captain America and take on hordes of baddies. The character sprites and moves are based on Capcom’s series of Marvel fighting arcade games, but this game in itself is an original endeavor that only saw release on the Super NES. There’s loads of action, it’s plenty challenging, and features some brilliant animation as well. Track this down if you can, you’ll be glad that you did.
9. JURASSIC PARK 2: THE CHAOS CONTINUES (1994)
Back in the early 90s, “Jurassic Park” was such a massive hit that it spawned numerous toys and video games across the board. Naturally any video game bearing the JP logo was a huge hit, so a year after the film and video game were released, Ocean decided not to wait for another movie to come out to make a video game. “Jurassic Park 2” The Chaos Continues” finds Dr. Grant returning to the island with a whole big arsenal of weapons and laying waste to dinosaurs and rival human hunters in the process. It’s a fast-paced run and gun style game that owes a lot to “Contra”, and is plenty enjoyable in the process…even if this game is fucking harder than shit to play. It’s now regarded as a lost Super NES classic though, so track it down and give it a look.
8. ROCK ‘N ROLL RACING (1993)
Developed by “World of Warcraft” creator Blizzard (before they were known as Blizzard), “Rock ‘N Roll Racing” is a fucking fun time to say it lightly. You race around in monster trucks in futuristic environments to instrumental renditions of classic songs from Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. Incredibly fun and addictive to this day, the game was also released on the Genesis, but the Super NES version was by far the superior port. The game became a cult classic, spawning an inferior sequel on the PS1 some years later as well as receiving a port on the Game Boy Advance further down the road. To this very day, the game remains sought-after by collectors, but for some reason isn’t often mentioned in the pantheon of great Super NES games. All that aside, if you dig racing games, check this fucker out.
7. DEMON’S CREST (1994)
A sequel to Capcom’s “Gargoyle’s Quest” games, “Demon’s Crest” is a dark and gothic side-scrolling adventure game where you play as the demonic Firebrand (from the “Ghouls N Ghosts” games) where you collect crests to change your abilities and advance. The platforming elements are wonderful, some of the best to appear on a Nintendo system in a game that wasn’t developed by Nintendo themselves. Combined with some small helpings of RPG elements, and “Demon’s Crest” becomes surprisingly deep, and even kind of complicated as things go on. There’s a whole shitload of replayability to be found as well, as you can revisit previous levels using new abilities to access parts you couldn’t before. It’s fun and features some brilliant level design, and is more than worth your time.
6. PIRATES OF DARK WATER (1994)
Based on the underrated animated series that was around at the time, “Pirates of Dark Water” is a beat’em up in the vein of “Final Fight” that allows you to play as all three main heroes and beat the ever loving shit out of the opposition. It’s mindless as fuck, but satisfying as all hell. The game was also released on the Genesis, but that version was a side-scrolling platformer with RPG elements, instead of being just a pure beat ‘em up like you get here. Sometimes less is more, and that’s what you get here with the Super Nintendo version of “Pirates of Dark Water”.
5. UNIRACERS (1994)
What happens when you race around riderless unicycles in a mix of 2-D and 3-D environments and go to speeds so fast that it rivals “Sonic the Hedgehog”? You get “Uniracers”, a dreadfully underrated and forgotten racing game from Nintendo that suffered a cruel fate thanks to Pixar. Back when the game was originally released, the developer DMA Design was sued by Pixar, claiming that the game’s unicycle designs were blatant rip-offs of the unicycles used in their 1987 short film “Red’s Dream”. As a result, the first batch of “Uniracers” cartridges produced became the only batch of “Uniracers” cartridges produced, making this awesome game quite rare. Though it garnered some great critical praise, “Uniracers” didn’t find its audience thanks to Pixar putting the dick to them, so sadly not many people have played this game. If you can track it down and not break the bank to get it in your hands, do it. Were it not for Pixar, “Uniracers” would have been a smash hit.
4. VORTEX (1994)
A 3-D shooter game with giant fucking robots and spaceships, “Vortex” is an unheralded blast. Taking elements from games like “Star Fox”, “Vortex” was notable for delivering quality 3-D graphics on a 16-bit console (thanks to using the Super NES’ FX chip, which was also used to help render 3-D graphics in other games like “Star Fox”, “Yoshi’s Island”, “Doom”, and “Stunt Race”). There are multiple modes of transformation for your mech, which always fueled speculation from back then to this very day that “Vortex” started out as being an unreleased “Transformers” game. There’s plenty of excellent shooter action and some great boss fights to be had, but sadly for whatever reason, “Vortex” failed to find its audience. Check it out though, it’s plenty enjoyable.
3. WILD GUNS (1995)
A sci-fi/western clusterfuck of a shooting game, “Wild Guns” features more insane elements and gunplay than you can shake your dick at. Using a third person perspective with a targeting feature to gun down all the baddies headed right towards you, “Wild Guns” is insanely fun. It’s also sadly short, but for what it’s worth, this is one game that you should definitely hunt down and enjoy every single minute of. It should also be noted that this game is an early example of the steampunk genre, which will either make you want to play it even more, or make you not want to play it at all.
2. PHALANX (1992)
One thing that “Phalanx” was famous for was having cover art that had nothing to do with the game itself. A bearded hillbilly playing a banjo with a spaceship in the background adorns the cover, while the game itself is a vertical space shooter that is super fucking fun as hell. There are loads of power ups and epic boss fights to be discovered along the way, not to mention the game’s punishing difficulty make “Phalanx” a keeper. Sadly though the game is remembered more for its hilarious box cover artwork than its wonderful gameplay, which is a crying shame. Check it out though, guaranteed you’ll dig it.
1. METAL WARRIORS (1995)
Developed by Lucasarts, “Metal Warriors” allows you to play as a mech taking on hordes of baddies, ya know the usual shit, but it offers up something else that makes it that unique to stand out as being the most underrated and overlooked gem in the Super NES library: two-player deathmatch bitches! Deathmatches have been around in video game lore for so long now that it seems arbitrary at this point, but back in 1995, seeing such a thing in a console video game was such a rarity that it made the game worth checking out on its own. “Metal Warriors” is no different, offering up a two-player split-screen versus mode that was way ahead of its time. The game’s single player mode ain’t too shabby either, with brilliant graphics and the like, but sadly for some reason, failed to catch on and be a big commercial success. That aside though, pick it up, it’s the best damn Super Nintendo game you never played.
Well, that’s it for my 10 underrated and overlooked Super Nintendo gems. Be sure to be here next time as I go over the top 10 underrated and overlooked gems for the original Playstation. See all y’all then folks…
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has come to an end. Four years after the release of the monumental “The Dark Knight” comes “The Dark Knight Rises”, which is a more than fitting end to his trilogy. This is my review for the film, and I am going to tell you right now that beware, spoilers aplenty are ahead, so enter at your own risk folks. With that out of the way, let’s begin…
SPOILERS AHEAD! ABANDON ALL HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE!!!!!!!!!!!
From the beginning with “Batman Begins”, we’ve seen a Batman universe that is all about the realism. From his technology to his wonderful toys to even the villains he’s faced, everything about this new cinematic take on the Batman world is grounded in reality, and it’s made for some great entertainment. As great as “Batman Begins” was though, it was “The Dark Knight” that took things to a new level. With the late Heath Ledger’s brilliant performance as The Joker to a thought provoking script that perfectly displayed the kind of repercussions that would happen in the real world if someone decided to put on a costume and take a serious fight to crime in a crooked and corrupt world, “The Dark Knight” was brilliant despite its small flaws, and to me remains the absolute best comic book-based film to ever see the light of day. With “The Dark Knight Rises”, we see the aftermath that such repercussions have created, escalating even further into an environment of full-blown anarchy and chaos, and the one man that can rise above it all to save the day.
With its much publicized filming taking place, a good chunk of the surprises that the film was set to deliver were already known to the public. From Bane’s connection to Ra’s Al Ghul, to Miranda Tate really being Talia Al Ghul, there weren’t that many twists that the public didn’t kind of already know were going to happen. That aside, we were treated to seeing a world where Batman did indeed “live long enough to see himself become the villain” like Harvey Dent had said in the previous film, as he is a broken and hollow man living a life of seclusion. He comes out of his self-imposed exile as Bane makes his presence felt; eventually re-creating the famous scene from the “Knightfall” comics as he breaks Batman’s back and takes over the city. The day is saved in the end of course, culminating with Batman faking his own death and leaving Gotham City cop John “Robin” Blake to take the reins.
In praise of the film, it was wonderful to see all the seeds planted in “Batman Begins” come to fruition. It was twice as wonderful to see this realistic take on Batman culminate in such a thrilling spectacle. While “The Avengers” was an amazing superhero blockbuster, “The Dark Knight Rises” is more of a thinking-man’s blockbuster, drawing you in with believable characters and motivations, along with some surprisingly brutal action set-pieces to boot. Christian Bale, despite what you may think of him, gives his best performance as Batman here. His portrayal of a broken man that can’t stay away from his duty as the Caped Crusader is a sight to behold. Michael Keaton may always be my favorite Batman, but Bale definitely comes in right behind him. Just about the rest of the cast was great as well. I really enjoyed Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, and Tom Hardy was menacing as all hell as Bane. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was great as well in a surprisingly meaty role. I should also note that Bane’s voice was thankfully re-dubbed during post-production. When the film’s prologue was released alongside “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” last year, I’ll be damned if I could understand anything that he fucking said, but here, it’s fixed for the most part. Granted he does kind of sound like Sean Connery in need of a Halls, but hey, it could have been a lot worse.
As for the flaws of the film, the one thing that got me was that Gordon sadly wasn’t featured as prominently as he was the last time around. One of the things that made “The Dark Knight” so great was just how much they featured Gordon and how important a role he played in the proceedings. Here, he doesn’t so much, while Alfred and Lucius Fox seem to spend more time on the backburner as well. Still, the final half hour of the film is so masterfully done and orchestrated that you’ll literally be chewing on your fingernails in anticipation to see how it all comes to an end.
Also in retrospect, when you go to see the film if you haven’t already, thoughts about those in Colorado that were senselessly slaughtered at the film’s premiere will weigh heavy on your head. It’s only a matter of time before we get a handful of idiots that blame the actions of one diseased mind on this film, which is a crying shame in itself. Its times like this that we all wish people like Batman were real.
Do yourself a favor: go see the best, most electrifying conclusion to a superhero trilogy in the history of fucking ever. You’ll be glad that you did.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Ah yes, we’re getting into the 16-bit spirit of things now. When Sega released the Genesis in America in 1989, it gave the NES a run for its money in terms of games, graphics, and just about everything else. Though Nintendo would wind up pulling ahead when they released the Super NES later on, the Genesis has a special place in my heart for a number of reasons. It was the first 16-bit console I ever owned, and though it didn’t have the numerous first-party classics that the Super NES had, the Genesis had the best versions of fighting and sports games that were also released on Nintendo’s 16-bit juggernaut at the time. The classic Genesis games that we all know and love, like the “Sonic the Hedgehog” series, “Alex Kidd”, the “Phantasy Star” series, “Gunstar Heroes”, and more besides are classics of the library, but there’s a bunch of other great Genesis games that for one reason or another just fell through the cracks. So, without further adieu, here are my top 10 underrated and overlooked gems for the Sega Genesis:
10. ZERO TOLERANCE (1994)
One of the few (and honestly I think the only to make it stateside) first-person shooters to ever be released for the Genesis, “Zero Tolerance” appears to be a typical “Doom” clone, and make no mistake it is, but it’s also one of the most surprisingly well-done ones from the era you’re likely to ever play. Due to the graphical limitations of the Genesis, the scaling and 3-D effects couldn’t be done particularly well; meaning the action taking place on the screen is small and only takes up a fraction of what appears on your TV. That aside though, the rest of the game is a blast. The frame rate is surprisingly silky smooth, and the run and gun gameplay is even smoother. Add to that the fact that you can link up two Genesis consoles for multiplayer slaughtering, and you’ve got a criminally overlooked game. Regarded as a cult classic (and spawning an unreleased sequel as well), “Zero Tolerance” is wholeheartedly worth tracking down.
9. THE OOZE (1995)
One of the wonderful games developed by the Sega Technical Institute (more on them later), “The Ooze” is a diabolical adventure/puzzle game that boasts some impressive and colorful graphics to go along with some innovative gameplay elements. You play a scientist who has been transformed into a blob of green ooze, and you’re out for revenge and to make things right against the scumbags that did this to you. It can be obnoxiously hard and frustrating as hell, but man oh man does it leave a lasting impression. I reviewed it for Sega-16 not too long ago, and it was one of the few (damn few) games I reviewed for them that wasn’t a total piece of shit. Check it out, you’ll dig it.
8. GENERAL CHAOS (1994)
Back in the day, before EA became more concerned with milking money from gamers with the same Madden game released year after year, they made some pretty damn awesome PC games and some pretty awesome Genesis games as well. “General Chaos” was one of these games, an arcade/strategy game with a twisted sense of humor. You choose your team of commandos to duke it out on a small battlefield environment. It’s very tongue-in-cheek and features a pseudo-psychotic art style, and is one of the best games of its type you’re ever likely to play.
7. DRAGON’S FURY (1991)
Known as “Devil’s Crush” just about everywhere else it was released, “Dragon’s Fury” on the Genesis is a pinball game unlike many other pinball games you’re likely to play. The play field of the game is a multi-screen pinball table that features a shit-ton of enemies and items to smash and grab along the way. Oh yeah, there’s fucking pentagrams and demons and monsters and all kinds of other crazy shit along the way too. Making a good pinball game is a difficult thing indeed, but holy shit these guys did, and it’s probably the best pinball game you’ll ever play that isn’t a real pinball table.
6. WHIP RUSH (1990)
One of the best vertical shooters on the Genesis that no one played (we’ll be getting to the absolute best one on the Genesis no one played soon), “Whip Rush” is an “R-Type”-like affair where you blast your way across the galaxy. And like “R-Type”, it can be punishingly difficult to boot. It was released at a time when this genre of video game was becoming more and more popular, so it’s easy to see how it got lost in the cracks. There isn’t that much about it that sets it apart from other games of its type, other than being able to rotate your direction of fire, which made things a little easier, but man oh man was this one hard son of a bitch. It still looks and plays great to this very day, so if you have the balls give “Whip Rush” a try.
5. COMIX ZONE (1995)
Another gem from Sega Technical Institute, “Comix Zone” was released late in the life of the Genesis’ life cycle, but it found a small audience regardless. You play a comic book artist trapped in his own comic book, beating the shit out of baddies that keep getting drawn inside the screen. Add to the fact that you literally move from panel to panel and rip and tear through backgrounds and other areas, and you’ve got one of the absolute most well-designed games to ever grace the Genesis. It’s hard as nails, but in terms of the numerous beat ‘em up’s that were so prevalent in the Genesis’ library, “Comix Zone” is one of the best. That, along with what’s coming up next…
4. THE PUNISHER (1994)
Based on Capcom’s smash hit arcade game, “The Punisher” featured Marvel’s titular vigilante teaming up with Nick Fury to take on The Kingpin and wave after wave of criminal baddies as you punch, kick, and shoot your way through level after level. It’s repetitive and mindless sure, but satisfying as all hell. While it took a step back graphically compared to the arcade version, the Genesis version of “The Punisher” took the “Final Fight” engine and worked magic with it. It’s got some punishing (no pun intended, seriously) difficulty to be sure, but it’s a blast to play regardless, especially with a friend. It also features some of the best music to ever be heard in a Genesis game (which is saying something, considering the fact that the Genesis’ soundchip was ungodly bad). It fetches a surprisingly high price on eBay and other vintage game stores, but it’s worth every penny, so pick it the fuck up!
3. THUNDER FORCE III (1990)
The best scrolling shooter on the Genesis in the history of fucking ever, “Thunder Force III” and the “Thunder Force” games as a whole are the Genesis’ answer to Konami’s “Gradius” games which at the time were Nintendo exclusive. You shoot down wave after wave after wave of enemy starships and bear witness to massive amounts of destruction, and it’s such a glorious sight that you won’t be able to put the controller down. It’s a wonderfully difficult game as well, but it’s so wonderfully designed and features some of the best graphics, sound effects, and animation that were around at the time, truly showing off what the Genesis could do way back when. It’s a shame that not many people played it back then, because scrolling shooters don’t often get much better than this.
2. ROBOCOP VS THE TERMINATOR (1993)
Also released on the Super NES, “Robocop VS The Terminator” is based on a comic book mini-series which starred the two cyborg characters going to war with each other, and war is just what this game feels like when you play it. You play as Robocop as you traverse present Detroit taking on baddies and Terminator assassins, making your way into the future where Skynet has taken over. It’s fast paced and unrelenting, and one of the absolute best licensed action side-scrollers to ever see the light of day. Now when the game was released for both the Super NES and Genesis, each version was somewhat different. The Super NES featured a slightly different storyline and better graphics and sound effects, but the Genesis version was way more violent and was also a hell of a lot more challenging to boot. In fact the last couple levels of the game are downright near-impossible to complete, but everything else about this game is just simply wonderful. Pick it up for fuck’s sake; you’ll be glad that you did.
1. ETERNAL CHAMPIONS (1993)
Released at a time when fighting games were really starting to crowd the market and eat up quarters in arcades with all the “Street Fighter II” revisions and “Mortal Kombat”, Sega decided to throw their hat into the ring with “Eternal Champions”. Featuring a roster of interesting fighters, large character sprites, and intriguing fatalities, stages, and a fighting engine that was way ahead of its time, “Eternal Champions” sparked varying degrees of critical and commercial acclaim, and even spawned an awesome (and underrated) sequel on the Sega CD a few years later. Sadly though, “Eternal Champions” seems to have been sadly forgotten. For all the various Sega compilation collections that get released every so often, we’ve never seen “Eternal Champions” get the re-release treatment, which is a crying shame. This is an awesome fighting game that deserves your time and attention, and for every new “Street Fighter” or “Mortal Kombat” game that would hit the system, the more and more people would forget about this game. You need to give it a look if you can. It may seem dated at first when compared to some other games to come out afterwards, but despite that, there’s just something about “Eternal Champions” that just feels kind of timeless. That and its fun as hell too.
Well, that’s all for now folks. Tune in next time as I’ll go over the Top 10 underrated and overlooked gems for the Super Nintendo. Until next time, see y’all later…
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Depending what generation you’re a part of, you’ll usually wind up having a chain of video game consoles that you’ve no doubt devoted a plethora of time to and have wound up having some sort of impact on your life. For me, there were really 5 consoles that had major impacts on me: the original NES, the Sega Genesis, the Super NES, the original Playstation, and the Sega Dreamcast. All five of these systems had their heydays and their video game libraries range from being well-known to universally recognized, but for every “Super Mario Bros.” and “Sonic the Hedgehog”, there’s a handful of little-known gems that slip through the cracks that not many people know about. Starting here, I’ll be listing ten games for each of the aforementioned consoles that are underrated and overlooked gems, and they wholeheartedly deserve your attention.
The first console I ever owned was the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Its bulky grey box design was a warming sight and featured a whole shitload of classic titles, ranging from all the Mario games to “Tetris”, “Duck Tales”, “Ninja Gaiden”, and more besides. Throughout its long lifespan, the NES featured a barrage of classics as well as a barrage of shitty games, and in between the cracks were these 10 overlooked gems that not many gave a second look to. Here’s 10 underrated and overlooked NES gems:
10. ROBOCOP 3 (1993)
Movie-based games usually suck no matter what, but for some reason, the various Robocop games on the NES were surprisingly good. “Robocop 3” was no different, and wound up being the best of the bunch. Released late in the life of the console, “Robocop 3” featured some surprisingly great graphics and action gameplay, along with some unique features that include having to repair the damage to Robocop in between levels, with various brands of strategy having to get utilized in the process. The game would end up getting ported to the newer 16-bit consoles at the time, and they wound up being horrible shovelware in the process. Still though, the NES version of “Robocop 3” is a surprisingly great side-scroller, and one of the few movie-based games that is worth your time and attention.
9. BUCKY O’HARE (1992)
Based on the little-watched cartoon, Konami took the “Bucky O’Hare” license and transformed it into a challenging and highly wonderful treat. Playing as the title character, you traverse various planets, rescuing your crewmates, and eventually smashing your way through a monstrous alien ship. It’s hard, almost unapologetically hard, but man oh man is it ever satisfying. Wonderful graphics and sound effects, the game surprisingly makes the most out of the limited 8-bit technology of the NES hardware. It’s a rare find (and pricey) but for NES collectors, it’s essential.
8. SKY SHARK (1989)
A scrolling shooter arcade game, this NES port of “Sky Shark” was looked down upon by purists upon release, but over the years it’s gained some appreciation for being a challenging and fun shooter blast. You pilot a biplane taking out hordes of aircraft and ground-based enemies, with bullets and missiles flying at you from every single angle imaginable. In fact, you’ve got shit coming at you all over the fucking place! It’s a hard son of a bitch, but if NES shooter classics like “1942” and “Gradius” are your thing, check out the criminally underrated “Sky Shark”.
7. GOLGO 13: TOP SECRET EPISODE (1988)
What the fuck is a “Golgo 13” you ask? Golgo 13 is the codename of the master assassin and heartless killer for hire that has been the subject of a long-running manga, numerous animated films and series, and even a few live action flicks starring Sonny Chiba back in the day. In “Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode”, you play as the titular assassin, looking to take down an evil organization. There’s side scrolling action and first person shooter gunplay to be had, as well as some surprising bloody violence and sexual situations (remember, this was Nintendo in 1988 for fuck’s sake). The game is plenty enjoyable, but what stops it from being a true classic is the fact that there are just too many little flaws that make the game harder than it needs to be. Still, it’s plenty enjoyable, and one of the most underrated games in the NES library.
6. STREET FIGHTER 2010 (1990)
We all know Street Fighter. Capcom’s long running series has made a shit load of money and spawned numerous spin-offs, cartoons, films, and merchandise throughout the years in the process. But shortly before Street Fighter II became a massive hit in arcades, Capcom crafted this bastard spin-off of the original Street Fighter…well, that’s at least what it seemed like in America anyway. “Street Fighter 2010” was actually a completely different game in Japan, but it was brought over here and featured a title change, character name changes, and other localizations done to make it what it is known as today. Even though it’s painfully obvious that this game has absolutely nothing to do with Street Fighter, it’s a solid and plenty difficult challenge that deserves to be checked out. It’s gotten a whole shit-load of flack since it was first released here (and still does 20 years later) which is a damn shame, because everything about this game, especially the ghoulish and nightmarish graphics and art design, is simply wonderful. It’s punishingly difficult however, so proceed with caution.
5. TINY TOON ADVENTURES (1991)
As a kid I loved Looney Tunes, but I loved Tiny Toons even more. Konami’s “Tiny Toon Adventures” featured classic side scrolling action with super charming graphics. Beneath all that was some damn fine platforming action elements that were some of the best to be seen on the NES that weren’t from a game developed from Nintendo themselves. You control Buster Bunny to start, eventually being able to select Plucky Duck, Dizzy Devil, and Furrball as well. There’s a plethora of secrets and Easter eggs hidden throughout the game as well, making it a super mega enjoyable blast that you’ll spend plenty of time playing.
4. OPERATION WOLF (1989)
Every NES owner fondly remembers the Zapper light gun peripheral, but for the most part they only remember using it for “Duck Hunt”. “Operation Wolf” was one of a handful of other games to use the Zapper, and the best one in the NES library that wasn’t “Duck Hunt”. You shoot endless amounts of baddies through different stages including jungles, airports, villages, and even concentration camps. For its time “Operation Wolf” was kind of brutal and pulled little punches, making it all the more worth checking out for NES players that never got their hands on it back in the day.
3. MIGHTY FINAL FIGHT (1993)
Capcom’s “Final Fight” series is still regarded as being one of the best beat ‘em up franchises in the history of ever. After being a massive hit in the arcades and spawning a flawed port to the Super NES, Capcom took the game and turned it into “Mighty Final Fight” for the NES. The characters were transformed into super-deformed looking fighters (almost looking like bobblehead people) but the excellent fighting action still managed to remain the same. Released late in the life of the NES, the game only saw a limited release run, making it a rare and expensive find nowadays. Still though, “Mighty Final Fight” is one of the absolute best brawlers to play on the NES, and makes games like “Double Dragon” pale in comparison.
2. CLASH AT DEMONHEAD (1990)
An open ended platformer a la “Metroid”, “Clash at Demonhead” is one of the most head-scratching and jaw dropping games you’ll find on the NES. Its non-linear style of play and wonderfully designed stages make you never want to put the controller down, even when it begins to frustrate the ever-loving shit out of you in the process. If you’re wondering why the title of the game sounds so familiar yet you can’t remember playing it for the life of you, the title was used as the name of a band in the “Scott Pilgrim” books and the massively entertaining “Scott Pilgrim VS The World” movie. It also features a protagonist named Bang. That alone should make you want to play this fucking thing.
1. GUERILLA WAR (1989)
SNK had scored a hit on the NES with their port of “Ikari Warriors”, so they took the same formula and applied it to “Guerilla War”, which was also an arcade hit, but wasn’t so much a hit when it hit the NES. The same style of play applies: shoot the living shit out of an endless amount of villains and baddies. Two-player co-op, shitloads of power-ups, and destructible environments made the game an endlessly entertaining classic that was so overlooked by NES players at large that it should be a crime. Oh yeah, you also play as Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. Yes I’m fucking serious. Check it out goddamnit, thank me later.
Come back next time as I go over the 10 overlooked and underrated gems for the Sega Genesis…bitches.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
I have a lot of guilty pleasures in my life: grindhouse films, cheesy horror flicks from the 80s, and cigarettes among others…but there’s one guilty pleasure that trumps them all, and that’s “Highlander”. The films, the TV show, the animated series, yes folks, I fucking love “Highlander”. Granted that the first film was truly the only one in the series worth a shit and the long-running live-action TV series got plain fucking ridiculous towards the last two or three seasons, but goddamnit I love everything “Highlander” regardless. The swordplay, the sorcery, the action, the fact that these people that live forever can kill each other by cutting off each other’s heads, I love it all.
With all that being said, the “Highlander” franchise is one of the few franchises that I actually do think should be rebooted from the ground up for a new generation, and low and behold, we’re getting a straight up “Highlander” remake in the very near future. So near in fact that the casting has already been announced as to who will play our hero Connor Macleod in the upcoming remake…and it’s none other than fucking Ryan Reynolds. Yes folks, the overexposed actor that helped ruin “Green Lantern” and rarely plays as being anything other than tongue-in-cheek will be playing the Scottish-born immortal warrior. Makes perfect sense right?
I’m just gonna go out on a limb here and call this the worst mis-casting since…well, since Reynolds was mis-cast as Hal Jordan in “Green Lantern”. He has a wise-ass aura about him that he just can’t help, and for the life of me I can’t see that translating well into a serious take on “Highlander”, unless the people behind it are seeking to make a somewhat goofy or not too serious remake. Personally, I always had someone like Gerard Butler pictured in my head as being the star of a new take on “Highlander”, mostly because he has the scowl and he’s fucking Scottish. In any case, that just sounds horrible no matter what kind of light you look at a Ryan Reynolds-starring “Highlander” remake. It has the potential to be anything but horrible, and then with Reynolds thrown into the equation, it just becomes a recipe for shit.
I’d sooner fuck a sheep than watch this trainwreck.