Currently browsing category

Retro Games

All-Purpose Retro Things

Dr Mario (NES – 1990)

Dr._Mario_box_art

I’d trust Mario to save the Princess, and maybe trust him as a go-kart buddy, but I would not allow him to operate on me. It’s just me being extremely cautious! Anyway, Dr Mario is an NES game from 1990. Is it any good? Let’s find out!

Dr. Mario (E) [!]-0

Let’s start with the gameplay. Mario must give pills to kill of any germs in the medical bottle. You must drop the correctly coloured pills onto the right virus. It works in a similar manner to Tetris, where you move the top object on top of others by moving it left and right into the correct position. When four or more germs or capsule halves are in a row, they are removed. You must get rid of all germs in the medical bottle to win. It’s quite a fun idea, but it is quite difficult to play it with an NES controller. That’s the only downside.

Dr. Mario (E) [!]-1

The graphics look quite good for an NES game. Although they are not as good as the graphics from the re-releases. Sure, that may just be a nitpick, but it still needs to be mentioned.

The melodies are quite memorable, but the tracks lack polish. Most retro gamers will be able to tell you what the song Fever sounds like, and some can remember Chill. Though, the same nitpick is in the music as it was in the graphics. The tunes are catchy, but they are still lacking compared to re-releases, and even compared to the original Super Mario Bros. They lack that punch that make the songs stand out.

Dr. Mario (E) [!]-2

So, should you get this game? That really depends. Just because it is good for the NES, doesn’t mean it is good. Unless you are collecting games for the NES, or want it as show-off piece, don’t get this game. …

DSC_0030

Power Base Converter Review

Image 1

29th October 1988; the 16-bit wars have officially started. The Megadrive is released in Japan, and people are upgrading from their old Master Systems to the new revolutionary system. Then, you realize something; you’ve spent a lot of money on last gen, and now you can’t play any of the games on the new system. Time passes, and you just have to plug in both systems.

Then, Sega answers your calls and releases the Sega Master System Converter. This peripheral (which is affectionately known as the Power Base Converter) allows you to play your old games without having to own the old system! But, was this converter any good? Let’s find out!

Image 2
Look at this beauty! (sarcasm)

 

First, let’s discuss what the extension did. The Master System’s main CPU was a Zilog Z80, which is an 8 -bit processor. The Megadrive, on the other hand, has the Zilog Z80 as a sub-processor, and a Motorola 68000 as the main processor. Unlike common belief, the Power Base Converter does not contain a murdered Master System. It does, however, contain a few chips. Basically, it is a glorified pin adapter. You could probably make your own home-made version of this device, if you really wanted to.

Image 3
The Powerbase Converter: Like a brain slug!

 

But, the main thing you came here to hear is whether it is any good. And, it works really well! The games run at full speed, and the audio sounds just like the original system. Since controllers use the same port, you can use your old accessories with the Megadrive. The downside is the adapter looks like it is leaching life off of the MegaDrive. Another downside is the price. It is quite expensive, especially when you can get a Master System at the same price, boxed.…

Tecmo Super Bowl 2016 Released

tecmosuperbowl2016

Last year, we covered the release of Tecmo Super Bowl 2015 – A delightful update to the NES classic, Tecmo Super Bowl.

Now that the 2015 season is well underway, the guys over at TecmoBowl.org have fashioned yet another custom rom with updated rosters, formations, and player stats for this year.  Load up NESTopia (I sadly couldn’t get this revision to work with FCEUX) and have some fun!

Check it the download here.  We also have a gameplay video below:

 

Ballz 3D: Battle of the Balls Review

Ballz3d_1

At least once in your life, you sit down and have a think about what you will do next. You ponder the age-old questions such as, “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?” and the more important question: “What video game will I play next?” You then come to the conclusion that the only thing you have left to do is play Ballz 3D: The Battle of the Balls. Now, was it a good choice to play the last game on your list? Well, let’s find out!

Game1 (0-00-17-30)

Ballz 3D is a 3D fighting game for the Megadrive, SNES and the 3DO. It was developed by PF Magic, a company that I didn’t recognize, but apparently created some games that I played earlier in my childhood. The game was then published by Accolade, the same people who brought us such “classics” as Bubsy 3D. Enough of this history lesson, though! Let’s get onto the actual game!

Game1 (0-01-18-43)

Let’s start with the gameplay: it is clunky and feels bad to play. Bad controls are a big no-no for games, especially fighting games, where instantaneous feedback is required. The controls are strange, and the developer didn’t bother to utilize the 6 button controller layout. Many times when playing, I couldn’t get the advanced moves to work, even when following the instructions.

Game1 (0-01-27-28)

The graphics are not very good. I like the idea behind it, but the Megadrive let’s it down by delivering less-than-useful hardware that won’t deliver on this idea. I feel like if the graphics were more streamlined (or at least toon-shaded), it would have been better. But, they went for pre-rendered graphics instead, which was a bad move. Though I do really like how in the instant-replay, you can move the camera. That’s …

casefront

Sonic the Hedgehog (MasterSystem) Review

casefront

As you probably know, I am a huge Sonic fan. I enjoy most of the Megadrive games (except 3D Flickies Island and Spinball), but, what about the Master System games? In this article, I will talk about the first Sonic SMS game; Sonic the Hedgehog!

1

Let’s start with the graphics; they are really nice. Whether it is Jungle Zone with it’s vibrant levels, or the dark and moody Sky Base, the graphics always look good. It’s even better when you compare it to other 8 bit games.

2

The music is pretty good. While it is not as memorable as the 16 bit games, it’s not bad. Some of the music tracks are from Sonic 1 Megadrive, but most of the soundtrack is new. I especially like Bridge Zones track.

3

The levels consist of Green Hill Zone, Bridge Zone, Jungle Zone, Labyrinth Zone, Scrap Brain Zone and Sky Base Zone. There are also Bonus Stages (but these don’t contain chaos emeralds). The levels sound uninspired, and that’s because most of them are.

The one original level is Sky Base. I say that as Bridge Zone and Jungle Zone are recoloured Green Hill Zones. Not too bad, as the levels have boring themes, but still more variety than Super Mario Bros on the NES.

4

The gameplay is very similar to the 16 bit games. The spin-dash isn’t in this game as this was released before Sonic 2. But you can still run fast, roll and collect rings. The only problem is the controls aren’t as tight as the 16 bit games. So, it’s more slippery.

To get the chaos emeralds, you must find them in the levels. You have to do – ACTUAL EXPLORATION! So, it’s quite interesting, especially as you can explore the …

megaman3-box-art

Mega Man 3 Review

megaman3-box-art

Megaman III: I can now hear you screaming in excitement. I really like this game, along with everyone else (it helps me forget that I spent all of yesterday trying to finish Bubsy 1) . But what makes it so good? Let’s find out!

Note: I will be playing the “Wily Wars” version for the Megadrive and Genesis, though I will be reviewing both games in one. The game is exactly the same on NES, just with 8 bit graphics and music. The game controls the same, and the music tunes are the same.

NES 1Megadrive 1

Let’s start with the music. As I am typing this, I am listening to the music. This music is awesome, but a better word to describe it is outstanding. The NES music is really nice, and the Genesis soundchip (for the most part) makes it even better. Search the music on YouTube, you will not regret it.

NES 2 Megadrive 2

The NES graphics are on par with Megaman 2, so no complaints. The Megadrive version has better graphics, so there is no need to moan. I’d say the graphics on both games are on par, the NES and Genesis have distinct graphic styles, so there is no comparison.

NES 3 Megadrive 3

The story takes place in 200X (an unspecified year). Dr Wily becomes “friends” with Dr Light again (after failing to get world domination twice), and they start building a robot named Gamma. However, the Robot Masters in charge of the mining worlds go berserk and run off with Gamma’s 8 power crystals. Rock (Megaman) is then sent off with Rush (his robot dog), to retrieve the crystals.

The story is very good, especially for an NES/Megadrive game. It’s a cool story, I just wish it was not the overused *Spoilers* bad guy pretends

1

Theme Hospital (DOS) Review

Theme_Hospital

I first played Theme Hospital many years ago, and it has been my favorite DOS game to date. Now, since I like the game, let’s rip it apart!

Theme Hospital is made by Bullfrog. This is another classic game, along with Theme Park and Dungeon Keeper (both made by the same developer). However, Bullfrog was bought out by EA, and now the whole division has been murdered.

2

Here is a random fact: the game saves. So, you won’t have to start over every time you play (take notes Super Mario Bros)! There is a multiplayer option, but only in newer revisions of the game (notably the GOG version, but I think there was a disk version with multiplayer).

You start with the hospital closed, you then have time to build it up so you can start murdering innocent lives by giving them the wrong medicine!

1

One problem I’ve noticed is that the biggest challenge is not the one they intended. The challenge is running out of room, not curing patients. There is no challenge with creating the rooms, however, as it gives you the rooms as you need them (or you can research all of the rooms when necessary). There are many rooms, cosmetic items and other extras to create.

You need to hire staff (obviously). Some have special abilities like being a psychiatrist. The level of the person dictates how fast they walk, how good they are at their job, and how much they slack off on the job. There are doctors, nurses, receptionists and handymen you can hire.

5624-15-theme-hospital

The game includes a few tools to help you with your hospital experience. There is a staff management screen, a map screen, a casebook, research, stats, charts and your hospital policy.

The graphics look really nice. It is pixel art, yet …