150 SNES games at the speed I can handle

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by Green Gecko » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:06 am

Enjoyed the Another World and Cool Spot reviews. The anecdote about the cost cutting in the former and the removal of branded elements in the latter for European realise was interesting. I actually remember playing cool spot that I used to rent on megadrive and it having 7up cans in the game, I half understood and half didn't get the product placement aspect but I liked the music. Jumping those balloons was hard.

I really like the personal qualities of your writing and the extra details and effective summarisation. I'd definitely like to see them published on GRview which we'll move over to main site soon. I think it's valuable to have contemporary reviews of retro games which is not common on other sites, which with the prices and reflections is actually useful for retro gamers.

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Errkal
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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by Errkal » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:57 am

Green Gecko wrote:Enjoyed the Another World and Cool Spot reviews. The anecdote about the cost cutting in the former and the removal of branded elements in the latter for European realise was interesting. I actually remember playing cool spot that I used to rent on megadrive and it having 7up cans in the game, I half understood and half didn't get the product placement aspect but I liked the music. Jumping those balloons was hard.

I really like the personal qualities of your writing and the extra details and effective summarisation. I'd definitely like to see them published on GRview which we'll move over to main site soon. I think it's valuable to have contemporary reviews of retro games which is not common on other sites, which with the prices and reflections is actually useful for retro gamers.


They are being published on view :)

Check out this post on GRView! http://grview.grcade.co.uk/reviews/150- ... ka-blooey/

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by Ad7 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:06 am

Out of nowhere, one of the best threads on this site, superb stuff and a great read!

One minor thing - some of the box art isn't loading so it's not immediately clear which game the review is for, so maybe putting the title along with the game number would help.

Keep it up :toot:

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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by AndyXL » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:13 am

kerr9000 wrote:SNES game review 95: Tiny Toons Adventures Buster Busts Loose

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Ah Konami, forgive me for getting side tracked here but back in those days Konami was a company name and box symbol which brought joy in to the hearts of games, you would see there logo and be pretty darn sure that if you picked that game up you were in for a jolly good time. This is a reputation they had earned by being responsible for a great list of games originally on the NES such as the first three Castlevania games, Contra, and then Turtles Tournament Fighters, Turtles in Time, Lethal Enforcers, Sunset Riders, Zombies Ate My Neighbours, and Legend of the Mystical Ninja.

I absolutely love this game, I like the sound the graphics, the stages, the bonus stages the atmosphere


I 100% agree with the above.

Buster Busts Loose is one of my favourite SNES games. So much variety in the levels, colour and fun. The short length actually appealed to me, as it's one of the few games I completed.

When I load up my old SNES, this is one of the first game I will always play.

Also agree with what you say about Konami - up to the SNES, an absolute guarantee of quality. Shame what happened to one of the greats.

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by Green Gecko » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:10 pm

Errkal wrote:
Green Gecko wrote:Enjoyed the Another World and Cool Spot reviews. The anecdote about the cost cutting in the former and the removal of branded elements in the latter for European realise was interesting. I actually remember playing cool spot that I used to rent on megadrive and it having 7up cans in the game, I half understood and half didn't get the product placement aspect but I liked the music. Jumping those balloons was hard.

I really like the personal qualities of your writing and the extra details and effective summarisation. I'd definitely like to see them published on GRview which we'll move over to main site soon. I think it's valuable to have contemporary reviews of retro games which is not common on other sites, which with the prices and reflections is actually useful for retro gamers.


They are being published on view :)

Check out this post on GRView! http://grview.grcade.co.uk/reviews/150- ... ka-blooey/

Indeed, and just when we were looking too!

But I mean, we should get them ALL up, boxart, screens etc (someone might want to have fun getting original screenshots from emus or hardware) and help with minor proofing etc. This can't have been easy. Big respect.

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Errkal
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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by Errkal » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:19 pm

Green Gecko wrote:
Errkal wrote:
Green Gecko wrote:Enjoyed the Another World and Cool Spot reviews. The anecdote about the cost cutting in the former and the removal of branded elements in the latter for European realise was interesting. I actually remember playing cool spot that I used to rent on megadrive and it having 7up cans in the game, I half understood and half didn't get the product placement aspect but I liked the music. Jumping those balloons was hard.

I really like the personal qualities of your writing and the extra details and effective summarisation. I'd definitely like to see them published on GRview which we'll move over to main site soon. I think it's valuable to have contemporary reviews of retro games which is not common on other sites, which with the prices and reflections is actually useful for retro gamers.


They are being published on view :)

Check out this post on GRView! http://grview.grcade.co.uk/reviews/150- ... ka-blooey/

Indeed, and just when we were looking too!

But I mean, we should get them ALL up, boxart, screens etc (someone might want to have fun getting original screenshots from emus or hardware) and help with minor proofing etc. This can't have been easy. Big respect.


Don't worry they are all going up there is about 10 in draft. And we will be releasing them over the coming weeks :)

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by Pedz » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:32 pm

Nice reviews and great to see something on view after the big gap from when we last had something up. Only problem with these for me is how inadequate they make my mini reviews for Retro some days look. :lol:

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by Pedz » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:32 pm

Nice reviews and great to see something on view after the big gap from when we last had something up. Only problem with these for me is how inadequate they make my mini reviews for Retro some days look. :lol:

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by Errkal » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:04 pm

Pedz wrote:Nice reviews and great to see something on view after the big gap from when we last had something up. Only problem with these for me is how inadequate they make my mini reviews for Retro some days look. :lol:


Yours are good, maybe it would be worth adding more detail of how it plays and how you feel it has stood up to time etc.

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:53 pm

Thanks to everyone for all of your kind words about my reviews. I have started a new one as well as starting to edit some of the titles and pictures here in this thread etc.. I will probably spend an hour or two tommorow evening working on stuff to do with this thread in some capacity. :D

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:38 pm

SNES Review 138: Fatal Fury 2 AKA Garou Densetsu 2

OK so quiet a long time ago I reviewed Fatal Fury and at the time I said that Fatal Fury 2 and Fatal Fury special also hit the SNES but I wouldn't be reviewing them as I didn't own them, well guess what since then I got Japanese cartridge copies of both games. So here I am now about to review Fatal Fury 2 AKA Garou Densetsu 2.

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OK so first lets put things in to a little bit of perspective. The original Fatal Fury 2 was a head-to-head fighting game released by SNK for the Neo Geo arcade and home platforms originally coming out at the end of 1992 (Early 1993 in the home). The first Fatal Fury came out at the end of 1991 so its sequel only came out one year later, but what a difference a year can make. The original Neo game was 55Megs with its sequel being the second game in SNK's 100-Mega Shock series making its cartridge almost twice as big (Apparently it was 106Megs). Looking at the size of Roms for Fatal Fury and Fatal Fury 2 on the SNES the first is 1.0MB and the second is 1.9mb So once again the second game is nearly double the size of its predecessor but I think its obvious that both of these games are very cut down versions of there Neo Geo counterparts. This doesn't make them bad games though as if you look at it a lot of the games we got in the home back in the old days be they on home computer or console were cut down versions of arcade hits it was all about how could you best cut a game down so that it would run on home hardware without cutting the life and soul out of the game.

With the first Fatal Fury I said that the main problem with the SNES version laid with the conversion that unlike with the SNES version of Street Fighter 2 it was just to far removed from its arcade counterpart. Well the SNES version of Fatal Fury 2 was made by Takara the same people who made the SNES version of the original but hold on its not as bad as it sounds.

One of the main things I found annoying about the original Fatal Fury was that if you played the arcade mode you only actually had a choice of three different characters to play it with, in this sequel you have a choice of eight this includes the three from the first game but also five others. After defeating all eight playable characters in the single player story mode (including a clone of the person you picked), you then face four bosses much like the original street fighter 2. This was true in the Neo version and its also true in the snes version.

OK as basically most fighting games live or die by there character rosters I think its about time I talked about the guys on offer here starting with those who are Playable fighters in the main game mode.

Terry Bogard - an American street fighting champion from a place called Southtown. Terry is somewhat cocky. For those into there street fighter 2 you can consider this guy here to be the Ken type of character. Although in all fairness he feels like a character in his own right not like a street fighter 2 rip off cut and paste job.

Andy Bogard - Terry's younger brother who fights using ninjutsu. He might be younger but he is far more disciplined and serious he is kind of a Ryu to Terry's Ken.

Joe Higashi - the Bogards brothers friend and also a Muay Thai champion. Imagine if your in to your street fighter 2 a small faster Sagat (Street fighter actually got a character more like that later)

Big Bear - an Australian wrestler formerly known as Raiden (as he was called in the original Fatal Fury). It is pretty easy to see he is based on the real life wrestler Big Van Vader. He is your slow hard hitting guy basically.

Jubei Yamada - an elderly Japanese judo master once known as "Yamada the Demon" during his youth. Having grown up on a lot of old Kung Fu type films this guy basically reminds me of your 'Old Master' type figure.

Cheng Sinzan - an tubby master of taiji from Hong Kong seeking to open his own training hall. This guy is probably my least favorite character in the game.

Kim Kaphwan - a Taekwondo master from Korea. This guy is kind of interesting as his offense is pretty much all kick based, it actually works out a lot better than it sounds and I find him quiet an interesting character.

Mai Shiranui - she is the daughter of the head a ninja clan and Andy Bogards's love interest. Also the games token chick fighter basically.

The Boss characters are

Billy Kane - a staff-fighting master from the UK. Now I actually like that we have a Character from the UK in this game especially seeing as thats where I am from.I am not so keen on the fact he was apparently designed to look like the Dynamite Kid an English wrestler who to put it mildly is a bit of an ass but none the less I think he is a pretty cool character both in looks and in his fighting style.

Axel Hawk - a retired heavyweight boxing champion who quit to maintaining his health until he was hired by this games boss to be a sub boss. He is based on former heavyweight champion George Foreman which I think is kind of interesting seeing as Street Fighter 2 had a character based on Iron Mike Tyson.

Laurence Blood - a former matador who uses a fighting style based on a mix of bull fighting and fencing. His matador look is interesting and he certainly stand out.

The main boss is a guy called Wolfgang Krauser - a German nobleman seeking to defeat the men responsible for Geese's downfall. I don't really like the design of this character in all honest I do however like his fighting style its a mix between the German martial art named Kampfringen, the ancient Greek fighting style of Pankration and a bit of wrestling thrown in on top.

The game has very nice colorful graphics, I think all of the above characters are represented well both in how they look and how they move, I also have to say that I am very fond of both the games backgrounds and the tunes in it.

Now on to the bit that matters the most the Gamplay. The original Neo Geo Fatal Fury allowed you to jump between two different planes on the screen to avoid attacks but this was missing in its SNES conversion, this is in the SNES version of Fatal Fury 2 however and I think it really does help this game stand apart from other one on one beat em ups. Other than the ability to change the plane your standing on the gameplay here follows the usual formula of one on one fighting games from this time period, with you playing against the computer in a best two-out-of-three contest. Each of the characters in the game has their own special attacks that are performed by inputting specific commands and combinations many of them being the same sort of motions you would find in street fighter 2 but unlike the first Fatal Fury where they were an absolute pig to pull off here they are with a little practice pretty straight forward. For me this game is a huge improvement over its predecessor, more selectable characters to play through the game in one player, more tactical options and better control just makes the whole thing feel like quiet a big jump forward.

I do think that the game is a little limited as a one player game, but that is something that can be said about most one on one fighting games hey at least there are 8 diffrent characters to try and complete the game with which should keep you coming back to it for a bit. Where this game really excels though is when played with friends, with all of its bright and different characters it has a great roster for multiplayer. This game works at its best when there are a bunch of you and you all sit round and see who is the best maybe with a bit of a winner stays on tournament.

I find myself giving this game an 8 out of 10, yes that is the same mark I gave the original Street Fighter 2 the world warrior and I think thats rather fair because while the first Fatal Fury was lacking and looked a bit like a poor cousin this game is more of a serious contender. If you like your fighting games and want to give the Fatal Fury series a go on your SNES then just skip the first one in total honesty as its sequel is just more of the same but with a whole heap of extra polish. If you want this game well I spent £3.50 getting a Japanese Cartridge of this game, which is a decent price looking online its not hard to get a Japanese cart for around the £5 mark, if you want a pal cart though your talking more around the £35 figure which I think is far too much when you start looking at that kind of figure you should probably look into a download version or a compilation. There was a PS2 fatal fury collection with 4 Fatal Fury games on it for example, or you could look on some of the modern download services where you could get a download of the original Neo Geo version of the game for probably £6 to £8 less if you happen to find it on sale.

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by SerialCeler » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:50 pm

A question for kerr, having edited his reviews for GRview.

Did you actually grow up with a SNES at the time and play some of these titles when they were released, or were they all played retrospectively?

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:13 pm

Hi SerialCeler thank you for editing the reviews for me its very appreciated. I am really happy to answer questions from anyone.

I had a SNES about one year after its release, I had opted for a Megadrive first and it took a little while to explain to my folks why I wanted a second 16bit machine, but a fair few friends had machines more or less as soon as they came out so I was playing on the machine a lot back then. I played a heck of a lot of the games I have reviewed as a kid, I was obsessed with games I would spend all my pocket money, my early part time wages and heck id even not eat dinner at school and spend my dinner money on snes or megadrive games.

When I started collecting retro stuff a lot of it started with trying to get the stuff I had as a kid again, I had actually kept a reasonable amount but I was trying to replug the gaps and then I started trying to get things I had enjoyed at friends houses or which I had rented and then I looked for stuff I had never tried.

When I am reviewing these even if I played it a million times for hours as a Kid I make sure I sit down and invest at least a good four hours into replaying the game because I want to review it now as I see it now not review my memories if that makes sense?

Again thanks loads SerialCeler.

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:37 pm

SNES Review 139: Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf

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It is funny how you sometimes consider a game to be a SNES game or a Megadrive game or a playstation game not because it was exclusive to that machine but because thats just the machine you most associate with it. For me Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf was always a Megadrive game, I owned a SNES and an Amiga at the same time as I had my Megadrive but back in the day I never even realized you could get Desert Strike on anything other than the MegaDrive. Desert Stike came into my life because of one of my brothers, he brought it home one day and began playing it, at first I just watched him but eventually I started having a go at it myself. I have to admit that other than Thunderblade I hadn't actually played many games were you controlled a helicopter at least not any that automatically spring to mind so this made it stand out. In fact helicopters were not something I had thought about much at all with my only real exposure to them being airwolf and Howling mad Murdoch flying one in the A team.

So Desert Strike is a military themed shoot 'em up released by Electronic Arts in 1992 originally for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis I think my brother must have gotten it pretty soon after its release because of my strong association between the game and this format. The truth of the matter though is that the game made it to all kinds of formats obviously the SNES as I am talking about it here, but it also made it to the , Amiga, MS-DOS, Mac OS, the Master System, the Lynx, the Game Gear, and the Game Boy.

The game is clearly inspired by the Gulf War and depicts a conflict between an insane Middle Eastern dictator, who despite having a made up name is obviously a stand in for Saddam Hussein and the United States. The game came out after the gulf War had ended but there is a certain degree to which this game kind of has an America F*** Yeah propaganda sort of feel to it and there actually was some small degree of controversy regarding the game's subject matter back in the day with some people criticizing it saying it was a little bit distasteful with its release being so close to the end of the Gulf War. Looking at it now and thinking of the context of it all sort of makes me think of Team America but still even noting this as insensitive as it might seem of me I personally don't really care if the game is semi based on reality if its a fun game thats enough for me. As far as plot goes it doesn't extend much beyond where the good guys and we are going to stop a nut case dictator by destroying his weapons but really for this sort of game what more do you need?

OK so when your playing Desert Strike you control an AH-64 Apache helicopter and ''if there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that nothing is more powerful than an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns AND missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine.'' to paraphrase Patrick Stewart. Well you use this absolute death machine to go on missions which involve all manner of objectives such as destroying enemy weapons and installations, rescuing hostages and capture enemy personnel. While doing this you need to be mindful of your ammunition it is possible to run out of both shells for your cannons and rockets but you can find more and pick them up. When I described this as a shoot em up it might have brought all kinds of ideas to the brain of someone who has not played it, usually shoot em ups are fast and your either going up the screen or left to right but Desert Strike is not like this at all. There is less emphasis on quick moving and more on strategy. The action takes place on open, multi-directional scrolling levels viewed from an isometric perspective, your not forced to keep moving you can go towards enemies at your own pace and you can back up, strafe and even retreat, this makes it have more of a thinking edge to it. Do you fly in all weapons blazing or slowly strafe towards a target or even decide your not ready and go seeking extra missiles and ammo?

As previously mentioned the levels in the game consist of several missions, which are based around the destruction of enemy weapons and/or enemy installations, rescuing POWs, or capturing enemies. How you do this though is where your grey matter comes into the equation, you need to look at the map work out the direction you need to go in and then meet whatever enemies you find with the appropriate response, obviously you could fire a hydra missile at a stick man holding a pistol but then what are you going to do when you have used all of your missiles and your stuck trying to knock out an anti air missile defense with a low powered machine gun most likely your going to die. So given this some of the strategy comes in knowing which weapon to use when, which target to eliminate first, when to fight and when to run. Your Apache has a very limited amount of armor, which is depleted as the helicopter is hit by enemy fire, when the armor is gone well then its bang bye bye helicopter time. If this happens three times then its game over.You also have a finite amount of fuel which is steadily depleted over time. Should the fuel run out the Apache will crash, again bye bye helicopter. You can however refuel by collecting fuel barrels. This means that really you need to plan mission routes carefully in order to maximize fuel efficiency.so there is a lot of balancing you need to do making this more thought based than a lot of shooting games.

The game controls well if there is anything I would add it would be cross-hairs to show where your missiles and guns are pointing and likely to hit but I suppose this would lower the challenge really. The game is fairly short but is pretty high on challenge its not one for those who are easily frustrated due to the fact if you just go in guns blazing your armor is pretty shoddy and you'll soon find yourself facing a game over screen, slow and steady wins the race here. Its also not the best game for re-playability as once you have it done and dusted your probably not going to pick it up again for quiet a long time as outside of the main game theres nothing to help prolong your time with it (no multiplayer or score attack or anything). The graphics are simple but functional, everything looks as it should even if its not overly flashy. It all sort of looks like highly accurate military toys which is kind of cool. The same can be said for the sound its all very functional, you have your helicopter noise your missile and machine gun noises your crashing noise but if you want music then your sadly out of look as the game simply doesn't have any. I know music would potentially hurt the realism but I would have personally liked the option.

So what do I think of Desert Strike overall? I think its a pretty darn good game really, I wouldn't call it perfect and I do have some issues with it but for me I would call it a 7 out of 10. I did grab my megadrive version and have a quick go on it and maybe its just me but it actually seemed a little bit better on there, having checked though apparently the main developer much prefers the megadrive version so if you have both machines id look to the megadrive in this case. I spent £5 on an American SNES cart of this game and having a look the going rate seems to be around £10 for either a Pal or NTSC cart with boxed copies being more between the £25 to £35 price range, obviously these prices vary but this gives you a rough idea of what to expect.

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:04 pm

SNES Review 140: Joe and Mac Caveman Ninja

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Joe & Mac AKA Joe & Mac: Caveman Combat AKA Caveman Ninja, is a platform game released for the arcades by Data East. Which was later adapted for the MegaDrive/Genesis, Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Amiga,PC and obviously as I am talking about it now the Super NES.

This arcade game might have been ported to a whole bunch of systems but it was done by a wide variety of developers Eden Entertainment handled the Sega Megadrive/Genesis version, Elite Systems developed the NES version, Motivetime developed the GameBoy version and the Super NES version was developed and published in 1991 by Data East. The MegaDrive/Genesis version is considered to be the closest match to the arcade version with the Super NES version being a sort of reworking, its similar in style but its more of a special different version than a direct port of the arcade game.

The prehistoric period is a great time to set a game in particularly a platforming game like this. You need an impressive boss well just pick up any old dinosaur book and turn one of the larger creatures in it into a big impressive cartoon version of its self and bang there you go, the same can obviously apply to the little ones. Yeah technically dinosaurs and cavemen didn't exist at the same time but what the heck its only a game right no need to be too worried about accuracy. Joe & Mac does a great job of doing just this it is absolutely full of gigantic bosses that look very impressive for a relatively early SNES title. The game has a very cool cartoon aesthetic the main guys Joe and Mac are just so full of character. The backgrounds are also nice and bright and really pop, I don't have any issues with I guess you could say that I am a really big fan of this games characters and graphics. I am a huge fan of Little Shop of Horrors so when I found a boss that looked like Audrey 2 I was over the moon.

I feel that the music really fits the game it has a sort of happy tropical vibe to it to start with and then it starts to show beats of whimsy and then layers on a bit of intensity when theres a boss. Overall I really like it and I feel it fits both the graphics and the style of game in general. The sound effects are quiet simple and very much what you would expect. The dinosaurs roar, boomerangs swish through the air or a bone, you'll hear it swishing through the air and Joe and Mack make ouch noises when hit, its all exactly what you would expect but also rather charming.

To start with your jumping about and swinging your club but there are four weapons you can grab and use these are Bones, Boomerangs, Flames, and Rolling Stones. This is how they work The bones are weak but you can shoot three of them at once. The boomerangs are pretty much the same but with a much better range on them. Flames are only shot out one at a time but they are very powerful. The last weapon the Rolling Stones is probably the best weapon, its pretty much as powerful as the flames but you can shoot two at once, and they can travel up walls. As well as attacking with the club and the other weapons you can also jump on most enemies heads and sometimes you can use this to reach things that you couldn't otherwise get.

Ok so if this game has any downfall it is the fact that the levels are in general very short and very easy, in honesty it's a very short and easy game. You will finish it and you will finish it quickly sure you have limited continues and no battery back up or password system but there really not needed. In honesty though if your anything like me then you wont care if you finish it you'll just be glad you played it because you will have found it to be really fun, its something that you can sling on in the future just because its enjoyable. I would give it 8 out of 10, it would gain a higher score if it was longer or had extras like a boss rush mode but as it stands its a fun little game.

So how much will a copy of this game cost you if you wanted it? Well loose carts of Joe and Mack no matter which region you pick tend to go for about £14 minimum, with boxed copies going much higher so its not like you can grab an import to save cash. It is intresting to note that recently a Joe and Mac Ultimate Caveman Collection SNES Cartridge was released by retro-bit and its currently around £23 on Amazon and contains all 3 Joe and Mac SNES games. As for my copy well I got a deal on a bunch of Japanese Nintendo cartridges about 5 or 6 of them for £35 and this happened to be one of the games so I cant give an individual price I paid for this.

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:39 pm

SNES Game Review 141: Lode Runner Twin: Justy to Liberty no Daibouken

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Of all of the reviews I have done this must be one of the hardest to write, part of this is because the particular game I am going to be talking about has not been talked about a great deal in the past even though it comes from a famous series. I don't read many video game reviews nowadays but back when I was a kid when the SNES and MegaDrive/Genesis were the in thing I used to read tonnes of reviews, so even if this was a long time ago, I will have read reviews of all of the typical SNES games like Mario World and Zelda etcetera. I didn't know that this game existed till very recently though, I have never heard another persons opinion on it at all. I guess though that this is why I got into the whole SNES review thing to try and introduce people to games they might not have played and to give my opinion on a whole range of different video games.

The game I am talking about today is Lode Runner Twin: Justy to Liberty no Daibouken. This game only ever came out in Japan on the Super Famicom (the Japanese version of the SNES) and despite the fact I played on a lot of imports as a kid this totally went under my radar. I might not have played this game as a kid but I did play a whole tonne of the original LoadRunner on the ZX Spectrum and fundamentally despite the huge step up in terms of hardware this later game in the series is not all that different at least gameplay wise. The game is made by a developer called T&E Soft Incorporated a Japanese-based video game developer which was founded in 1982. Although they made games in a variety of genres, they are mostly known outside of Japan for their video golf games. From what I can see they no longer exist but they did make it into the PS2 era the last game I am aware of them making was Disney Golf, known in Japan as Disney Golf Classic which came out in 2002 in Japan and a whole 3 years later in 2005 in Europe.

I guess you would call Lode Runner Twin a platformer but unlike most platformers you cant jump, so if you cant jump what do you do in order to kill enemies? Well actually you don't kill them its more a case of avoiding them. You cant jump but you can however dig. You only really use three of the pads buttons in this game one button lets you dig to your left, the other to your right and the third button lets you well basically its a quit button, if you get stuck you press this and you die, you loose a life, but its basically there in case you get stuck and cant finish a level. You can dig a hole if you need to drop down quickly but you can also dig a hole so that an enemy can fall in it and become temporarily trapped in it, and while they are trapped well you can walk over there head so this is how you get past the enemies in the game. If a bad guy touches you in anyway apart from his head touching your shoe as you run over him and your dead. The gameplay is pretty darn basic all you do is just avoid the enemies, collect all the gold in each stage and then use the ladder provided to move on to the next stage.

There have been a whole bunch of different versions of LoadRunner on a whole load of different machines but I need to say that this version is perhaps the cutest version your going to see, gone are the stick man visuals of the early games and in are cartoony anime style characters which have a SNES era rpg sort of look to them. You also have bright backgrounds fluid animation and playful music which just goes absolutely perfectly with the games sense of style. Sound effects are spare but fitting, you have a falling noise, a noise when you pick up gold and a spinning noise when you die. OK so one question people are going to want answering is does the game being in Japanese throw up any language barrier which could stop you enjoying it? In all honesty not really, it looks like your missing out on a bit of a story but its very easy to start the game and its so arcade like and simple that even with no help or instruction I managed to work out everything I could do and how to do it within minutes. The game is a very easy game to just pick up and play, unfortunately for me despite its simplicity and its good presentation it just doesn't have a hook, it feels like it is trying hard to grab me but it just doesn't manage it. If I did not need to play it reasonably thoroughly to give it a fair review I feel I would have turned off the SNES and popped something different into the cartridge slot a lot sooner than I did. The funny thing is I cant quiet put my finger on why the game has failed to grab me, it controls well, it looks good, it sounds good its just fundamentally boring. This also makes it incredibly hard to score as it doesn't really do anything wrong really it just is not enjoyable as I would like it to be.

Pushed to give this game a score well I guess that I would give this game 4 out of 10. I know that kind of means that I am saying that the game is less than average, which possibly doesn't reflect a lot of what I have said in this review but the simple truth is that games need to draw you in and make you stick around, games need to be fun or at the least engaging and this one simply in my opinion is not. Looking on ebay now the cheapest copy of this game is £20 when you add the postage on to the price, I actually paid £5. If you can get it for £5 and have a converter or a modded machine then it might be worth a shot to see if you enjoy it more than I did but £20 is definitely far too much and I would advise you to try something else.

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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by Green Gecko » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:24 am

kerr9000 wrote:SNES Game Review 59: The Legend of the Mystical Ninja

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The Legend of the Mystical Ninja (known in Japan as Ganbare Goemon: Yukihime Kyūshutsu Emaki?) is an action adventure game for 1-2 players made by Konami. It was released for the Super NES in 1991 and was I would argue one of a kind.

It was the first game in the Japanese video game series Ganbare Goemon to have a western release. With its blend of action, humor, mini games and bizarreness it is kind of a small miracle that it ever made it out of Japan but even though this may be prematurely giving the game away I have to say it is one of my most loved Super Nintendo games.

The game has two main different styles of gameplay but then there is also a sprinkling of simple mini games and distractions. The first is sort of like a beat-'em-up as you as Kid Ying (aka Goemon) or you and a friend as Kid Ying and Dr Yang explores towns, fight enemies and visits shops. One shop see’s you able to seek employment, you can do a painting task which is basically an excuse to let you play snake, then there is whack a mole and if you can manage to do well at them you can make a nice little pile of money. This can then be spent in other shops where you can buy food to increase your energy or shoes to help you jump higher in the latter platforming-focused parts. The second part of the levels The platforming like sections attempting 2D side-scrolling stages that play in a way which will feel familiar to fans of other Konami franchises like Contra and Castlevania. You move from left to right, making jumps, hitting enemies and trying to make your way to the boss.

The games story is all about Kid Ying’s quest to save the kidnapped Princess Yuki, yes this may seem like an average boring plot but the game is just so fun and so silly that you can’t help but fall in love with it. Cut scenes are illustrated vibrantly, with large, comical characters bursting at the seams with the kind of personality not often seen outside of the very best cartoons. The soundtrack, in this game is also worthy of praise it is quite simply superb. You'd struggle to find many superior scores in the SNES library. It is up there with the likes of Mario World, F Zero, Zelda a link to the past and I believe that this is true of the game itself.

The game's greatest selling point without a shadow of a doubt is its co-operative play. Yes it is still a good game if you decide to attempt it on your own but with a friend it is so much more, you will laugh together compete while trying to earn cash at mini game but ultimately work together to try and beat the game. I played this game off and on for years at both home and at my friend’s house the little animations between levels had us in tears, kid Ying would be in a raft while Dr Yang swam behind him being chased by a shark for example, it was the brilliant little subtle bits the looks on characters faces, there is just such attention to small details.

The controls are so perfect that there is no real need to talk about them, they just work, you never feel like any hit or death was anything apart from your own fault, the game also has a great learning curve, it gets very hard latter but the first few levels help build you up and get ready for the challenges that will face you. The Legend of the Mystical Ninja is a brilliantly fun, wonderfully colourful, and extremely challenging in the latter stages adventure. It is a hard game to criticise, I could tell you of the hundreds and hundreds of times when I have played the early levels of it again and again and that I have only ever finished it once and that might sound bad, but it’s not. Every moment spent messing around on this game was a moment of pure joy. Unlike a lot of comedy games that are released this one is actually funny, and not chuckle funny, it is seriously laugh out loud funny at times.

I would give this game 9 out of 10 and strongly recommend it. If you want to play it then it will cost you about 30quid for a pal cart, about 20 for a usa one and more if you want it boxed. It is worth this amount but it is also available on the Wii virtual console which would offer some people a much cheaper and easier way to try it. It also made its way on to the Super Famicom Mini but not tour equivalent Super Nintendo classic mini.

Thank you so much for this review as I gave it a quick look looking to spend my gold points as it's currently on offer in My Nintendo for Wii U and it looked a bit basic, I would have no idea about the humour strangeness or even platforming which is right up my street. I thought you might have reviewed it as I scanned through here before so searched Google and then the thread.

Great work, such a useful resource.

For anyone interested it is only £4.31 40% off, you need 20 gold points which you can pick up by buying just 2 other games with silver point discounts for example.

I had a few points so I've managed to pick up sin and punishment 64, harvest moon SNES and this for about £15, not bad given the cart cost and it all works with various controllers including game pad (sin and punishment previously required a classic controller pro so I can forgive the dark picture).

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:47 am

Thank you Green Gecko, for that price on the Wii u it's an absolute steal. The only bad thing is that Japan got a whole bunch of sequels for it that we didn't. I would probably review one of those if I owned one.

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:07 pm

SNES Game Review 142: HyperZone AKA HaipāZōn

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HyperZone AKA HaipāZōn is a shooter video game developed by HAL Laboratory, , yep the fellows responsible for Kirby obviously its a SNES game as I am reviewing it. HyperZone's gameplay is usually defined as being a cross between a racing and shooter game, if I wanted to describe it I would do so as follows basically the game is Space Harrier meets Fzero. If you have played those titles which I guess the majority of people will have then this will probably start to put you in the right frame of mind for this game.

OK so the object of this game is to try to safely navigate each level while shooting enemies and earning points when you reach the end of the level then you will do battle with a boss. If you earn enough points then the next time you start a new level your ship will be replaced with a new upgraded ship, I have to admit I really like the fact that you see your guy leave his old ship and enter the new one its just a neat little touch. There are 8 levels to the game and there are six available upgraded ships so its worth trying to rack up as many points as you can.

The game this game most closely resembles is definitely F-zero. The spaceships you pilot would not look out of place in that game at all, then there is also the fact that your on a track with very obvious boundaries which look quiet a lot like those in Fzero, you have the same flickering engine lights at the back of your vehicle, you also have similar glowing panels on the floor that recharge your power bar, the whooshing noise made by the engine is also pretty much the same. The game is obviously using mode 7 and all of these what feel like little node to Fzero kind of make it feel warm and familiar despite the fact that before I began playing it for this review I had never even touched it before.

So how does it control? Well your always constantly traveling forwards, you don't have to press an accelerator if you need to slow down then there is a button for this but doing so actually causes your ship to slowly be damaged. There are only actually two buttons needed one to break and one to shoot, although the controls are mapped so A, Y and R all shoot and B X and L break, this is kind of neat because you can then work out what feels more comfortable for you. Your Dpad moves the ship both from left to right but also up and down the screen so that you can steer and avoid enemies and obstacles. All of the controls feel nice and responsive so whenever something goes wrong it feels like your fault entirely which is always a good sign. As I stated earlier HyperZone contains eight levels however if you finish these then the game restarts from the beginning with you continuing in your final ship and then the game loops, apparently infinitely. If you like score chasing then you will probably like this game as its very arcade like. You can pick up and play this game in a second, its very easy to get to grips with, my daughter came into the room while I was playing it and soon she was having ago and doing very well at the first level with like sod all help. The thing is though that the game might be easy to pick up and the first level might be pretty easy but boy does the difficulty really shoot up. The game is a darn hard game, your going to have to develop some mad skills to get all of the way through it.

OK so I guess it is time to score this bad boy, well I would give it 7 out of 10. I find the game very enjoyable especially when played in short bursts, it is easy to get into but soon becomes hard, I think a lot of people would say too hard but if your the sort who likes a challenge then this would appeal to you. I was pretty darn certain that this game never came out in Europe, I did some research I talked to other collectors who seemed to agree and yet there are currently a bunch of Pal carts on ebay. So how much did I pay for this game, I spent £4 on a Japanese cart, if you want to try it well to be honest prices seem to be all over the place, people seem to be asking for £18 for Japanese carts in this country with an American import loose cart being a similar price after postage. Pal carts also seem to be selling from £18 to £25 but I really cant remember ever seeing this in the UK while I was growing up, maybe it just didn't come out here but did release in other Pal territories.I guess sometimes with these old games some of the info about where they were released and in what kind of numbers are just sort of lost to the past.

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PostRe: 150 SNES games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:26 pm

SNES Game Review 143: Hiryu no Ken S: Golden Fighter AKA Ultimate Fighter

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OK so the game I am going to be talking about today is called Hiryu no Ken S: Golden Fighter and it is the first game in a series of games often refereed to as either the Hiryu no Ken or Flying Dragon series to be released on the Super Nintendo. I guess your probably imagining that given the fact this game is on the Super Nintendo that the S stands for Super? Well actually I will put you out of your misery with a little bit of trivia here and tell you that the S in the title actually stands for Special.

The Flying Dragon series started in 1985 with an arcade fighting game called Shanghai Kid, when I say fighting game this might put images of Street Fighter 2 in to your head but this game actually predated the original Street Fighter by around 2 years. Flying Dragon Secret of the Scroll is the sequel to this arcade game and it was on the NES. The NES game was less of a one on one fighter and more of a sort of walk along fighting platformer. After the first NES game there were about 4 more NES games and then a GameBoy game (which was a one on one fighter again) and then this which as I said earlier is the first gamer from this series on the SNES. So basically this is the first SNES game in a massive series, a series which most likely hardly anyone in the UK has even heard of after all this game never came out here and the only one of the series up to this point which made it over here was the GameBoy game which was called Fighting Simulator: 2-in-1: Flying Warriors which is a heck of a mouthful, and in all honesty I had never even heard of it until doing research for this review (Until now my only experience of this series was playing the N64 game). This game I am reviewing didn't make it out over here it did make it out in America two years latter with the name Ultimate Fighter. OK so that's enough of a history lesson lets get onto talking about the game itself.

So I guess the first question to answer is well what kind of game is it? Given the fact that the series seems to have swapped its play style around from game to game it leaves you wondering what type of game this will be, well I think its probably best described as a Walk along beat em up. Unlike games like Final Fight or Streets of Rage you can only move forwards and backwards you cant move up and down, so its a walk along beat em up which is on a fixed level much like one on one fighters like the aforementioned street fighter. This in itself is a little bit strange as you cant really avoid enemies and they cant try to flank you like they would in other games, they will be coming at you either from the left or the right and that's it.OK this is not the only game to work like that in fact if your a MegaDrive/Genesis gamer and have played either Altered Beast or Last Battle then yeah its sort of like those. You would think that this would have its advantages that maybe if the SNES's processor only has to think about one plain then its got less grunt work to do but when you play this game you will soon find that it is well the best word I can come up for it is janky. the game moves quiet slow, suffers from a sort of stuttering slowdown at times and just feels like its always in a low gear. There is no choice of fighter your simply the bloke it gives you, there is a punch button, a kick button and this sort of flip forward button and you jump by pressing up, some of the kicks and punches you can do also involve pressing up or down so although it feels like there is a decent range of moves but that there not quiet as easy to use as they could be.

OK so what do I actually like about this game? Well it does have nice big sprites which I think gives the game a good look, there is also quiet a few different enemy sprites which should help keep the game from getting repetitive but unfortunately it doesn't. The games levels just seem to be really long and slow. The game also has pretty decent music and effects. To me this game just feels like a giant vat of missed opportunity. When you are playing it you just get this overwhelming sense that there is a nugget of goodness in there somewhere, that if they had just tweaked a few things here and there increased the speed and made a few alterations that they could have had something worthwhile here but alas I am not here to review what could have been I am here to review what was and is.

I would give this game 3 out of 10, I think if you picked this up and played it then for the first 10 minutes you would think hey this game is not bad at all and think I was being harsh but if you gave it another 10 minutes you would start to see why I feel the way that I do. If you really wanted to own this then Japanese versions pop up on eBay from time to time cart only between £5 to £10 but I have never seen the altered American version being sold here, if your willing to import it from America then it seems to go for around £25 to £30 after postage but it is in no way worth anything near this. I strongly recommend that you ignore this game.

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