05 July 2014

Goodbye Blogger

To those of you who have made it here, thank you. Dave and I thank you for your curiosity. We have a new site, and we're moving on from this one. 2nd Playthrough will continue, along with other new content over on our other site.

You can find it all here :

We're not done...just changing web addresses.


07 October 2013

Bart Vs. The Space Mutants

So it's been a little while...work was kicking my ass over the summer, and then school started...I'm back!
Edit: Lol Nope, not just yet

The Title Screen

Now I know The Angry Video Game Nerd did a review on this (which is crazy, I thought this game was super unknown…though I guess I don’t know how popular it was so maybe not.). But I have it, and I fucking beat it, so I’ll fucking talk about it.
So let me start out by saying that I’m not really a Simpsons fan (gasp, shock, horror). I’ve seen probably like 3 episodes and the movie, which was good, I just never saw the show, nor really cared to. I got this game as a gift only a couple years ago…someone had found it in their attic so they gave it to me.

This game came out all the way back in 1991, probably after the Simpsons arcade game which came out in March of the same year (I believe, I wouldn't really trust that). Now if you remember the arcade game, you might remember an awesome four player beat em up which isn’t just considered one of the best Simpsons games, but one of the best Beat em ups.
The arcade game was crisp and fun and really made use of how popular the show was, packing in as many of the numerous colourful characters from the show as it could. It had good music, great sound, and was just an all around awesome game. 
You should go pick that game up on the XBLA or PSN…is good time.

This game isn’t like that.

I’m not going to lie…I really didn’t want to play this one. I was really hoping that when it wouldn't turn on that it had been broken somehow and that I wouldn't have to play it. I thought about just throwing it out the window and forgetting it was ever a part of my collection, but I knew that wouldn't be fair…So I cleaned it and threw it in the system…and after a few minutes of fiddling (and like 15 minutes of Bionic Commando just to make sure the NES hadn’t broken…man that game is fun.) I finally was greeted with the title screen, and as I feel all Simpsons games (or any game that’s based on a TV or Movie for that matter) should start with the Theme song. Granted the theme song sounds pretty horrible…and the graphics look like a supped up DOS game, but I can recognize both the characters, and the song, and there are space mutants visible. So this game I guess isn’t off to that bad of a start, but not long after, this game stumbles a litte…into hole, full of spikes, and bees, and the bees are on fire, but still alive and able to sting you, mostly in the eyes.
So ok, the game looks bad, well not terrible…just bland.
Take your pick, radioactive colours, or bland shitty nothing?
So the story (Which is a story, there’s a beginning a middle and an ending,) is that space mutants have come to take over Earth with a powerful ultimate weapon. All they need to do is power up the weapon by collecting purple coloured objects…Now, lemme just hold up here. Disregarding the fact that they need something as asinine as a certain pigmented object, what kind of invading force goes out without their weapons having power?
"Tell ze Fryman we need Purple Things"
 Is this some sort of Simpsons joke I’m not getting? Like…This game was made when Bart still said “eat my shorts”, (which you hear every time you die…and it’s funny EVERY TIME)  so when was that? Was that early? Does he still say that? I remember hearing it on a Futurama episode...I'm not sure, the important thing to take away from this is that they need purple items and it’s up to Bart to stop them!
Now…normally I could let a poor story slide for an old game like this, especially if the gameplay is fun. But for a title sporting the Simpsons name, from which I've heard only good things about the writing, I would expect at least something. This game came out in ’91, which is like the height of the show’s popularity (eh, don't trust this fact either)…they really couldn’t get anything better than “Aliens are attacking!”?   Well whatever, maybe the gameplay is fun. (Spoiler: No)
The goal of the game is to collect a certain number of "things", which varies with each level. In the first level, you have to get rid of purple coloured objects, using usually spray paint, but sometimes anything else. The next you need to get hats, by running into them, then balloons, and etc. etc. you just have to collect things.
 This sounds simple enough, but the first level is a little bit silly. It just drops you in with no explanation about how to do go about the game.
The thing is though, that this first level, is actually a pretty clever. There are a lot of things that the game doesn’t tell you, and some of the logic it uses is really cheap if you don't know what you're doing, but at least in the first level it was something different than just "Collect the trinkets!".
Unfortunately, the rest of the time is just “collect this thing”, usually in the most frustrating manner possible. This isn’t helped by the fact that the game is really difficult, but like, not in a way that’s really beatable…Again, this is one of those games where if you can beat it on the NES without cheats, congrats you mook.
I beat it on the emulator, and with a walkthrough, and infinite lives, but I think that if had this game had continues I would have done it on the NES. That’s one of my biggest hang-ups with this game. It’s hard, not because of the fact that you have to trial and error your way through each level, or that you die in two hits, no. This game is hard because there aren’t any continues.
The maddening experience of playing this game is really built on the fact that this game has some pretty odd controls. The A button jumps, and you have to hold it to run. Which is weird, but I got used to it after a while. You have to hold B and A to do a further jump, wasn’t that odd for me because Mario has you holding both buttons (and also I have huge hands). All in all the controls are too loose for the precision platforming you need to do, the platforms themselves you can fall through if you don’t make the jump just right.  It also doesn’t help that the game never looks good, so much so that in some parts it’s really difficult to see what you can jump on. What makes the platforming even sillier, is that B also uses your item, like your slingshot or spray paint. So to make certain jumps, you have to hold A and B at the same time, but because of this you inevitably waste some of your item.
 You have other items too, like x-ray glasses, and bottle rockets that are super hard to aim, and whistles which don’t really do anything. You access them by selecting the item with select (simple), then hitting start to use them. But start usually pauses the game…well it does here too…you just have to pick the “Pause” item. It’s a nitpick, but trying to pause the game is a fucking chore and that’s super annoying. You also have coins, which you use to buy things at the shops in the first level. Yeah, also there are shops in the first level. I had no idea…until I looked it up in a walkthough. I can see you judging me...fuck you. Go play this game, see how far you make it.
You might be thinking, “that doesn’t seem that bad,  you need to learn these old games, memorization is just part of how they were made” and you’re right, it’s not so much that this game is particularly difficult in the sense that it’s a challenge of timing and skill like Mario might be, it’s just really frustrating.
 You get two hits before you die, which is annoying because you’re trying to go through the level and figure out what to do. You’ll get hit with some stupid bullshit that pops up on the screen, and then you have to be super careful with these awkward ass controls. You can keep limping on through the level, and you might get a little further, but you’ll eventually get a game over, and then you have to start aaaaaaaaall the way back to the beginning.
Think about all those tough games, like Ninja Gaiden and any of the Marios or any of the Castlevanias or Contra.  With all of those games, you can at least continue from the start of the level at least once or twice, sometimes indefinitely. Not with this game, you get a game over? Bam, title screen. Eventually you’ll get good enough at the level to make it back pretty quickly, but each level still takes a while even if you fly through it…it took me like ten minutes to beat the first level, which after doing five or six times without getting past the second level, made me want to give up…And that fucking Simpsons theme just keeps playing, mocking you, slowly adding to the misery that is the experience of playing this game.
This game just isn’t fun, and that’s the bottom line. It’s a good challenge and I guess if you’re a Simpsons fan, you might enjoy it for a minute? I dunno I don’t think anyone can actually enjoy this game.
If there were continues, or less bullshit, or more hits before you died, or better controls then maybe this game would actually be pretty fun and good. As it stands, it’s just bad
The sloppy controls, boring, poorly designed graphics, a horrible story (which for a show like the Simpsons really has no excuse to not be at the very least mediocre), bland music, frustrating level design and goals that aren’t clear . It’s mostly just frustrating more than anything, and after I hit the title screen more than twice and hearing that fucking theme song for like an hour, I just wanted to be doing anything BUT playing this game. I doubt you would as well...
You're a winner Bart...eat some fucking shorts
On to the next one,
+Simpsons Theme right off the bat
+Some interesting ideas on how to meet your goal in the first level
-Poor, awkward controls
-Really dumb story
-Just bad…Just really boring and bad and frustrating

30 September 2013


Hey nobody!

So I guess it's been a while. I've had a pretty nuts last few weeks. I'm sorry that you haven't heard from me, but I have my reasons. I've started my Senior year in college, so I had to move up and get settled in. School has taken almost all of my time up, and as much as I love playing video games and writing about them, I'm paying waaaay too much money to ignore my work.

On top of that, my computer with all my drafts died and I had to get it sent in for repairs. But now it's back and I can get back to work. I've beaten all the NES games that I own at this point and I've moved onto my SNES which brings me to my next bit of news.

I finally got a Genesis! Woohoo! I picked it up along with Vectorman for a cool $40. Hopefully I'll get Sonic 1 or 2 sometime soon.

The story is shelved for the moment, mostly because all my creative energies need to go to other writings...I should really get on that script I've been meaning to write...

I will, however, try to at least get the reviews I have already drafted done and continue my quest.

I also need to update the game list because I've been buying some games on the cheap and also found a bunch that I had left up at school.

So hopefully I'll be able to get something up here soon, so be on the lookout.

Thanks for stopping by,

20 July 2013

Rally Bike

So it’s time to talk about that NES motor cycle game!

Yeah...This one.
Now before I start, I should let you (the reader) know that I like ska. I like a lot of ska bands, one of which is Reel Big Fish (you might not have heard of them…they were big in the 90’s). On their album Candy Coated Fury, they have a rad song called Everyone Else is an Asshole.
 (you can listen to that [here] and if you like it go buy one of their CDs! Probably NSFW...just use headphones) This song, has probably one of the most pertinent titles in relation to this game.
This is what 20 years of Ska looks like

So Rally Bike.
Dude has the NY skyline painted on his visor 
I did beat this game, but I have to admit…I had to do it on an emulator and be a total cheater and cheat my way to victory. (I never said I couldn’t cheat). This game is a port of a 1988 arcade game of the same name. It’s meant to take your money, and boy does it.
 If this game were a schoolyard bully, it would kick you in the butt while you were at the urinal so you would not only get your clothes all ruined, but would smack your wiener against the toilet, then it would take all the money you had in your pocket.
Sorry that was a little gross.
But seriously, if someone can beat this on the NES with one life, I would be seriously impressed…it’s not just about quick reflexes, but also about memorizing the entire course and being able to adjust to the other asshole racers.
 Your hitbox is pretty deceptive, mostly because it doesn’t conform entirely to the cycle, but instead an actual square box around the entire sprite. This leads to a lot of frustration because you’ll clip obstacles (usually asshole riders) and die..frequently.
Speaking of asshole riders, your competitors are dicks. They will purposely turn into you and making you crash and die a horrible death. Seriously, I couldn't count the number of dudes that wouldn't get out of my way, or would turn into me. It's infuriating. To make maters worse, if you go slower to dodge an obstacle or something and one of these shits is behind you, they will beep their horn at you. Gane devs, that's not fucking cute, it pisses me off. I wanted to go in there and punch every rider in the face. (it also reminded me of this Reel Big Fish song...also probably NSFW)
There are four different levels that are all incredibly difficult (you might have to take my word on this one because without emulating I could only get to level two) and each level you have to come in a certain place to continue. You also have to make sure you don’t run out of gas, otherwise you die. So if you manage to get to the end of the four levels, you have to do it again. Yes. All of them. No there aren’t any continues. Yes it’s faster and more difficult.
Once you get to the end, the fabulous prize you get is a small little shot of New York City’s skyline wonderfully rendered in 8 loving bits (though not as nice as Punch-out!!’s) and a black screen that says game over. You don’t even get a gosh dang trophy!
Other than the frustratingly annoying difficulty, the game is pretty fun. Just know that you will only beat it with a lot of luck and a lot more practice. The music is pretty catchy, which is good considering how you will hear stage 1’s music a lot, and the others a lot less. The controls work, but again the hitbox is such that it makes it frustrating when you die by clipping the one pixel of the other rider. 
It’s not Excitebike…that’s for sure.
You don't get this. This is Excitebike. Loser.

+Fun to play…until it starts to piss you off
+I got to listen to Reel Big Fish while writing this
-Everyone Else is an Asshole
-Fucking arcade ports
 -What a shit ending!
-it’s not Excitebike.
Anyway…on to the next one.

17 July 2013

Ice Hockey, Tetris, and Updates

Ice Hockey and Tetris
Alright, it’s time to take a break and play some games that aren’t story driven.
So if you look at the list, you might notice that Tetris comes after Mario Bros 2 and Dragon Warrior. There is a reason why I’m skipping both of these right now, and they are as follows.
  1.            I don’t really feel like playing Super Mario Bros 2 right now – Sorry I was playing it, got all the way to the final boss twice and died both times, I have it on Mario All-Stars, so I will play it then. It’s just better in every way on the SNES and I have to review All-Stars anyway for both SMB 3 and Lost Levels so why not just review it then.
  2.             Instead of just doing two separate reviews for Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy, I’m going to do a thing where I look at both of them together as they’re not only two of the biggest franchise in Japan (or the world), but also the cornerstones of typical JRPGs. Plus I was writing the review for Dragon Warrior (I’ve already beaten it) and found myself wanting to compare it to FF anyway, so I’m just going to make it easier on myself.

In addition to these things, part one of the story has been started…I’m probably going to only post that every once in a while, depending on how much I write, (the only little bit of info you’re going to get from it is that Chapter 1 is called “A Strange New Kingdom”), so look forward to that. Hopefully I will actually do some work on it and get the full chapter done.
I also purchased a number of games on the Steam Summer Sale (fucking all of my money is now gone…) so I have to update the game list eventually…also I need to update it with the downloaded games on my Wii, PS3, and Xbox360.

Anyway on to the reviews…

Ice Hockey

Aisu Hokkē
I’ll start with Ice Hockey because that’s first on the list, and I feel like less people have played this one.
Ice Hockey was released originally for the Famicom in January of 1988 and then ported to the NES later that year in March. As anyone with a brain might be able to guess, it’s a game, where you play Ice Hockey.  Now I’m not going to explain all the rules of hockey or really go into much about the sport because that’s not the point of this game. It’s not like the current NHL games, hell, it doesn’t even have the proper amount of players on the ice. This game is all about fast paced 20 minute games that you can grab a few beers, grab a few friends and have some fun for a couple hours (or if you’re not old enough to grab beers, and if you don’t have any friends you can play against a computer which is also kind of fun, but for a significantly less amount of time).
The controls are actually more complex than one might initially assume, seeing as there are only two buttons on the controller. B shoots the puck while A passes and changes characters. In addition to whoever you’re controlling you also command the goalie. These simple controls make the game easy to understand, but hard to master.  This means when you’re playing with your friends, it’s a whole lot of fun.
There are six teams, which vary depending on if you’re playing this game in Japan or elsewhere in the world. You can control the USA, Sweden, Poland, Canada, Czechoslovakia, or the USSR (in Japan, the USA switches with Japan and Sweden switches with the US).
This means you can play the USA vs. USSR, and re-enact quite possibly the single best moment in all of sports ever, The Miracle on Ice. If you don’t know what that is, please go watch Miracle, or look it up, or both.
Each team consists of four players of which there are three different types of players: The Normal Guy, who is of average everything, speed, shot strength, faceoff quality, beard length, and checking, The Skinny-Ass Guy, who is faster, but not as strong, nor is his facial hair of quite the same quality, finally there’s The Fat-Ass Guy, who you would think would be American, but in fact is actually Czech according to this game (They start with 3 fatties and a normal guy). The Heavy guy is really strong, but skates a little slower. Once you pick your nation and team, you finally get dropped on the ice and the mayhem starts.
This is why I love old Nintendo games, they’re just about the fun. I like story and menus and being able to make shitty versions of sports jerseys that don’t really look like anything I would actually want to wear as much as the next person, but sometimes you don’t fucking need that shit. Sometimes that’s just too much…
I had two problems with the game. The first was that without a manual, I had no idea how to play this game. Luckily with only two buttons, I could sort of figure it out, but I had to look up the actual controls online to really get a sense of what was going on.
I did that here : Ice Hockey Wiki
It’s a great wiki, and does a nice job of explaining what the fuck to do.

Huh? There must be a joke I'm missing.
The other problem I had is that the colour scheme. Like…On the title screen there are three guys that have different coloured uniforms…so why is Canada green? The uniforms could have been different colours and that would have given this game just that much more. The way it is, it doesn’t really matter what country you pick…at least with other colours it would give a little bit more differentiation.
But yeah fun ass game

+Fun game, double fun if you have friends, triple fun if you have beer.
+Addicting and super competitive
+Able to re-enact the Miracle on Ice
-How does one “Ice Hockey”
-Why is Canada green? Seriously?

It's fucking Tetris
So unless you’re too young to read this, or have been dead since 1989, you have no excuse to not have played this game. Seriously, you’re probably on Facebook or some shit, just go. 
Go play.
There’s so much information about Tetris and how it fucking awesome it is. 

+Go play Tetris
-How have you not played Tetris??
-NES version doesn’t have Korobeiniki as a song

Russia I assume...

Ok, break over.

On to the next one.

23 June 2013

Bionic Commando

Game Four
Bionic Commando
Capcom's traditional horrible boxart
Wow. I have to say, this game is freaking awesome.  I posted the other day, I found this store that sells old games and I figured I would stop by. I looked around the store for like an hour, and while they didn’t have much of a collection of pre-playstation games, they did have a few, most notably were NBA JAM for the SNES and UN Squadron which is an amazing shmup that I’m kind of regretting not picking up (having to pay bills sucks). Well instead of getting those two games I looked over towards the door as I was about to leave and I saw this game’s catch screen on a TV. I thought to myself, “Hmm…I’ve heard a lot about Bionic Commando in the past, and I love Capcom…I will pick this up instead.” So I put down my original two games and scoped out this classic. I was not disappointed.
So as many people are aware, Capcom makes amazing games. I’m a huge fan of Capcom, and while I haven’t played every amazing title they’ve put out…I have played a number of them (I LOVE Street fighter). So A quick cleaning of the game, (Which I guess I should just do for all of them because that seems like the only thing that makes these games work…also I love the smell of rubbing alcohol) and Baboom I’m playing some Bionic Commando.

There’s a lot to cover here, so I want to get some of the other stuff out of the way first, the music is awesome. Junko Tamiya, who also did the music for Gun.Smoke and Strider did a fantastic job, but it’s a Capcom game so…duh. I wish there were more to some of the songs, because they loop, but they’re all awesome. The same goes for the graphics, it’s really detailed and colourful and just everything pops, I just wish there were more variety in the soldiers, but I guess that makes sense that they all look like grunts. The story is…uh…pretty good…for an NES game. You have to save a commando named “Super Joe” Who is equally a bad ass off this island while also thwarting the Nazis, more on that later. The story is told mostly through an opening cut scene and also through com screens (similar to Metal Gear Solid’s codecs), some of which are pretty funny, mostly because of the poor translation, but they’re well detailed.
Now the gimmick of this game is that you can’t jump…more on that in a bit…but instead you have this hella rad arm that shoots out and latches onto things and you can swing like a one armed Spider-man…or rather a two armed Spider-Man, but in the other hand he has a huge ass gun…and he can’t jump…and has rad shades. 
A Radd Ladd

You’re this guy, and his name is Ladd (not as awesome as Scorpion…or even Mad Dog…) which is kind of a huge disappointment because they were so close to naming him Rad…or Radd which would have been perfect. You’ve got the arm (rad), and the aforementioned shades (note said radness). Fuck it…I’m renaming him Radd.
So like I said, Radd has this really cool arm, and with your arm you can do a few things. Awesome things. Things like, grab ledges and swing from them (with a really smooth swing animation). You can grab ledges and climb up them, but one thing you can't do is jump. Or climb down, and taking these two basic ideas of platforming away from you is what really takes some getting used to. Oh I forgot there is another thing you can do with your grapple arm and that is that you can miss ledges and fall to your death repeatedly because your grapple arm is a piece of shit. Just kidding it’s actually you that’s shit.
 This game has a really interesting learning curve. The first time you turn it on you’re like “Woah look at that logo, I’m gonna kick some Nazi ass!”(Oh…uh more on the Nazis in a little bit) you hit start and some dudes tell you your mission and you get put on a map screen. You can only go one way so you get to the first part and I guess you might land. This is where the fun starts.

It's the Map.
So to get into the levels you have to parachute in, which is always fucking cool. It’s cool when Big Boss does it in MGS3, it’s cool when James Bond does it, it’s cool I guess in Balloon fight though that’s with Balloons and not a parachute…it’s cool in GTA. You get it, it’s rad…Radd…Bionic ComRadndo…yeah.
Look we’re talking about games from the 80’s, Rad is going to be used as frequently as possible.
Anyway this game...it’s hard. Really hard. Like Nintendo Hard.  Well...at least until you know what you’re doing. See, the mechanic of swinging was so cool, and Capcom knew it was fucking cool, so the entire game is based around how well you can use your brain and reflexes to swing around the map. They through in guns and Nazis (I’m getting to it I swear.) to appease you, but unless you know what’s up and how to actually play the game, you’re going to get fucked. Hard.
When you start the game, you have one hit before you die. You have three lives and then it’s game over. Which is fucking nuts, like, how can someone even think that was fair (oh well it is an arcade port).  But to help your little pansy ass out, Capcom was like, “chill out wee bitch, if you kill these dudes here, they drop shit, and you’ll get health if you pick up these…things.” I guess they’re called bullets? I dunno they look like…a lego or something I dunno they're too small to see. Anyway, if you get like 5 you get a little green box up top and now you can take two hits (still only three lives). The more you collect the more little boxes you get, I think up to 8…I only got 5 by the end of the game. So again, if you stick to it and learn the first level you can get out with like one or two boxes of heath and the item you get at the end of the level is like a free heath kit that you can use once per level.
This is a lot of information that I’m throwing out at you, and this isn’t a walkthrough (trust me I looked one up.) But I guess I could tell you about the items now. When you beat a level on the map, you get an item. It might be a gun, it might be a little helpful item like boots that can kill enemies when you swing at them (which is fucking cool), a bulletproof vest, or the aforementioned health kit…etc. So you pick your load out at the start of a level (which is also fucking cool and cutting edge, way to go Capcom) and certain items make each level easier or harder.
The items....the "bullet" is the top left
This is all well and good except Capcom was like “Who gives a fuck about shooting, this game is about this rad swinging
concept,  here have this epic fucking rocket launcher that wrecks shit on like the third level. Go swing.” So you really get the only load out you need after like three or four levels, which really helps the combat part of the game.
Speaking of parts of the game, the game isn’t all just a Mega Man esque platformer/shooter. There are these little trucks on the map (you might have noticed them in that picture) but when you run into them you’re forced into this top down shooter stage. This is actually a good thing because they’re short, not too difficult (if you know what you’re doing/have the right weapon), and you can pick up the super valuable continues here.
 There is another type of stage that doesn’t involve any combat at all. In fact in these town-like “Neutral Zones” if you fire your weapon, everyone important will leave and a bunch of guards will come attack you forever and ever. Until you leave and come back. 
This game doesn’t have any ridiculously brain tickling puzzles, and you can pretty much just go through and play every level, but you don’t have to if you listen to what the characters say, which is awesome.
Yeah turns out swinging on things is a fucking blast
Once you understand what all the three different stages are and how to get continues, the game really levels off in difficulty, except in the swinging department. Now, like I said Capcom knew that this is what people would remember and what people would find entertaining, so they really made some clever swinging puzzles that make you feel awesome for not only figuring it out, but actually having the dexterity to accomplish them. It isn’t like this is just a mechanic that isn’t only used in one level, but a mechanic that this game that is built around.

There is no denying this, the swinging is the main part of the game, and is truly why this game is remembered. It’s so much fun, so much so that as soon as I had beaten it, I hit reset and beat it again. That’s the sign of a really good game, one that as soon as you put down, you pick up to play it some more. While writing this I want to go back and play it again. Everything about it is great and has that Capcom style, the graphics, the music, the control tightness, the fun factor, it’s all there. It’s been re-released on XBLA and PSN and while I usually love reboots there’s something magical about NES Capcom games, so if you have a working NES I would suggest picking it up for it before your Xbox, but if you don’t you should absolutely pick it up however you can (preferably with a robot arm). Just make sure you get Bionic Commando: Re Armed (there’s also a sequel to this called Rearmed 2) and not the shitty 2009 version…that is not Radd.

+Great Music and Graphics
+Rad as shit story and hero
+Bionic Swinging Arm
+Fight Nazis
-Hard as shit when starting out
-Really didn’t know what I was doing to start
-A couple bullshit swinging puzzles
Great fucking game/10
Go get it, seriously. This is one you should play, especially if you like Capcom or Megaman or fun…
On to the Next one,

Oh right the Nazis…
(Spoilers!) I’m about to spoil a twenty-five year old game! (also Hitler's head exploding)
The games villains are an evil army known as the Badds (but in Japan known as the Nazz). And they’re trying to revive “Master-D” (Hitler in Japan and come on…it’s a buff Hitler) to build the albatross which is a flying ship that has a giant frikkin laser. 

Hitler got buff while being dead I guess.
You end up blowing up the albatross and when Hitler tries to escape you grab a super bazooka, jump off a ledge and blow the fuck out of him and his helicopter in arguably the most epic final sequence this side of Metroid.

And the most brutal killing of Hitler this side of Inglorious Basterds

Anyway, Nintendo didn’t want any references to Nazism so they changed the names around and the symbols to avoid anything like that. I guess I can’t really blame them, but come on…it’s Hitler. Fucking "Master-D” bullshit.

19 June 2013

Game Update!

Woah! So I got sidetracked looking for a Master System yesterday and found out there was a store that sells old games nearby...so I went...I was looking for systems and ended up with two new games that I need to add to the list.  But I do have a really cool idea for second play through that might be pretty neat, so make sure you read (or at least scroll past the pictures) the whole post. (spoiler: I'm writing a story)

The first game I picked up is Bionic Commando for the NES. This game came out in '87 and did alright for Capcom, but was never as big as Mega Man was, and though it's similar, the big gimmick was that instead of a jump, you had a robot arm and you had to grapple things. This mechanic(al arm) is actually pretty fun and though it takes a few tries to get the rhythm down, it's not too hard to be flying around at the speed of robot arm. Speaking of robot arm, this game did have an unfortunate sequel in 2009, but instead of talking about that, I'm going to mention that it was Re-armed...er booted for the XBLA and PSN before that horrible game in 2008. (it was called Bionic Commando Re-armed...obviously.) I managed to get it for cheap and it just so happened to fall perfectly into the game queue, saving me from the actually really frustrating Super Mario 2 for another game so that'll be next on the playthrough.

The second I managed to find was XIII for the original Xbox. This game came out in 2003 and made some waves because it was based off a comic book of the same name and also cel shaded which people seemed to rave about (though they hated Zelda...interesting). I still need to do some more research on this game, but it seemed to do decently well and I had heard that it was a really interesting story (though I've never read the comic it's based off of). I'm pretty excited to play this, hopefully I'll actually get to it...(only 16 years worth of games left!).

So the real big announcement is that I'm going to be adding to the idea of 2nd Play-Through. I like the idea of reviewing these old games, but that's not really that interesting or that different...so I figured, in addition to a standard review I'm also going to write a little story with each game that I complete, where this will take me, I have no idea...I'm not saying it will be good, but hey I could use the practice...I don't know if it will be continuous or just a single story involving my experience with the game or what. Who knows. Anyway, that's all the news for today. I think Bionic Commando might take me a couple days, so keep on the look out for new posts (or you could follow me on twitter where I send out like one tweet about my new post when I post it eh? @ThatdamnnickR ? eh?? follow?)

A big thank you to the few people that have checked the site and read this dumb stuff. I really truly appreciate it and seeing that I've had visitors from around the world makes me very, very excited to keep doing this.  (Though I wish Dave would stop by some more and give his opinions on some things...the wank)

One to the Next of things,

18 June 2013


Game Three

Oh boy this game. I’m sure you may have heard of Contra before, notoriously known for being a super fun, super bad ass, super tough shooter. And this game was super popular when it came out in 1988 for the NES (’87 in arcades).
 You play as Blue pants Mc Mad Dog or Sir Scorpion Redlegs, actually Bill Rizer and Lance Bean who are two soldiers bad enough and shirtless enough to take on the Red Falcon, either a terrorist group or an alien race in either South America in the 70’s or Neo New Zealand in 2633 depending on if you play this game in America or the rest of the world.
See, when writing about these games, I feel like everyone will already know what I’m talking about and all the cool stuff they feature. Like the Konami code (up up down down left right left right select start). While not the first game to use it, (that honour goes to Gradius in 1986)  Contra is the first game that made it popular in America. But if you don’t know about the code, it gives you 30 lives (normally you only have three).
You might think that this game with 30 lives makes it a piece of cake, well you’d be wrong. It’s still pretty challenging, but it does make it significantly easier. Playing it with only 3 lives and 2 continues, (like a real bad ass) takes patience, skill, and the spreader gun. But you already know all this.
You start out with a puny pea shooter that requires you to mash B and hope for the best, but to aid you in your fight, powerups can be found occasionally that will help boost your gun into a rad killing machine. They include: a machine gun (which is useful, but not if you have a turbo controller), a cluster shot (which I never found), A Laser (which sounds awesome but is actually that upgrade that you hate to get), A flamethrower (again cool, but not as useful as it could be), a barrier that makes you invincible for a short time, and the spread gun, with which you will kick the most ass and is arguably my favourite powerup ever. But again, I’m sure you know all this.
The graphics in this are awesome and colourful and even though no one has a face, or shirt, you don’t really have time to look at them anyway. But if you do, it all looks crisp and neat, Bill and Lance all sweaty in the jungle, muscles...bulging...uh Sorry, where was I? 
The music is some of the best on the NES and super memorable, and sticks with you as the day goes on.  The Japanese version has animated backgrounds and like added kind of cutscenes, but you aren’t really missing anything except McMadog’s shirtless figure and 80‘s cell phone(you could just look them up on youtube).  
The control of this game is near perfect. There really isn’t much to complain about, it’s responsive and fits the pace of the game. You can shoot in 8 directions, jump AND shoot, and duck. Ducking is the only real problem I have with the game, but that just might be because my controller isn’t that great. It’s a little sensitive and I kept dying because I would move forward and look down when I would mean to duck.
Coming into this I thought it was going to take forever to learn and beat, but with the code I got a good feel of the level and then managed to beat it with only three lives so it really wasn’t that bad. This game is so good and fun and everyone should play it, find a copy, get the new ones, get it on virtual console, whatever. Get it, play it, become a bad ass.
+Fun, fast, awesome
+great gameplay, great music, just great, amazing go play it
-A little short and not much of a story (but do you really need one?)
-“fucking duck asshole” –Nick Ricotta 2013
TL;DR – go fucking play Contra, it’s badass
On to the Next one.


17 June 2013

Bubble Bobble

Game Two
In 1986 Bubble Bobble was released as an arcade game by Taito and was eventually ported to various different home computers and entertainment systems, the Nintendo being one of them. Even though it was pretty popular, I had never played Bubble Bobble much before today. I have had it for a couple years, but it never worked right…it wasn’t until I cleaned it and my system for this project that I really understood what Bubble Bobble is.
Let’s say you and a buddy think to play this game. You might have seen Bub before, he’s that really cute dino in the picture up there (if you play two player the other dino is Bob, they’re both adorable).  When you switch the game on you hear some really cheery music and a bubbling title screen…so you hit a button and you’re on the main menu. There are a few options but you just hit 2 player story because that’s what you’re there for.
The game starts with Bub and Bob trapped in some sort of  bubble (bobble) and are thrust towards the ground while a mysterious voice calls out to you, “Now it is the beginning of a fantastic story.. Let us make a journey to the Cave of Monsters…Good Luck” and you truly will need all the luck the universe can give you. With that, Bub and Bob are slammed into the ground their bubbles (bobbles) literally burst and before they know what truly is going on a wave of monsters is upon them. There is only one thing they know for certain, their girlfriends have been taken and it’s up to them to save their lives. Though agile, their only defense is imprisoning their foes in a slimy, mucus like membrane which when popped changes the molecular structure of the body captured inside into a plant or vegetable. (Bub and Bob are Herbivores who have evolved to be able to manipulate any substance they coat with their saliva into edible, digestible food.) As soon as the two manage to defeat or eat these foul monsters, the floor opens up and swallows them further underground. Eventually they fall upon a chasm of skulls, in the distance their girlfriends can be seen hopelessly trapped. The last obstacle Bub and Bob have to face, is a massive monster easily 5 times their size.
Bubble Bobble looks pretty good. It’s nice and simple, but pleasing to the eye, and all the levels have a cool design. The music however, is a major, major issue. There’s pretty much one song. Throughout the 99+ levels you get one song that plays over and over and over. I guess because the levels are pretty short and take like under a minute to beat, it’s understandable, but it’s like being in the celadon city game corner in Pokemon for hours. It’s great at first, you whistle it and sing a long, but it will always get to you. Unless you can blow through these levels no problem. Which you can’t because this game is hard…It’s really hard.This game is fucking. Hard. OK?! There’s also something right before the title comes down and something for the game over and a final boss song. That’s it.
If you haven’t played it, good luck. I don’t think it’s possible to beat this without continuing…if you have a video of it, please show me, because I want to congratulate you on being a fucking savant at this fucking game.
I think part of why this game is so difficult is because I don’t know what the hell is going on. It’s pretty and cute and looks nice, but sometimes I fall through the floor, sometimes the enemies turn into ice cream. Sometimes the enemies just get exploded by how sexy Bub is feeling on that particular level…I just don’t get it. There’s so much shit going on and so many bubbles and powerups and items that I have no idea what the hell is happening. I just want to keep playing it though because it’s so quick and fun you just want to play a few more levels…and then you’re at level 57 and you’re like “damn I’m like halfway  done I should just finish it.” But then the game makes you cry like a little baby when you die over and over and over again with no idea of what the fuck you’re supposed to do. Partly because the way the levels are made in a ridiculous manner.
The level design all over the place, one level will be extremely easy and I’ll blow through it in one go, and some may take some intense focus but feel really good when you just manage to complete them, but some of them are just cheap and annoying…or completely rage enducing (57). While there are rehashes of some levels…most of them are different and there are over a hundred. Yeah, over 100 levels on this NES game…but here’s the catch, you only have 3 lives. Also unlimited continues and a password system but still. Damn…three…and it’s one hit kills too. And there are enemies fucking EVERYWHERE.
For what it’s worth I played through it all the way…so I mean I guess it’s addicting and fun at some parts, but others are just so. Damn. Frustrating. (lvl 57). This game is also really good at making you feel smart, because you have to learn all the tricks yourself. There’s no help, no hints, and only jumps and bubbles (bobbles). Eventually you get enough of a hang of it to make progress and completing a bunch of levels or getting mad gems or fruit or whatever falls from enemies feels so super satisfying, but if you miss some because you take too long at the end it hurts the feels a little because you’re like “I’m not done…I wanted that pepper.”. Also it has this annoying gimmick where if you take too long, a ghost will show up and chase you to death, and right before it shows up, “Hurry!!” will pop up on the screen and every time I was like “Game, calm the fuck down, I already killed all the enemies”.  It’s a fun game, but it’s hard as nails.

I wrote that last paragraph at around level 70…After getting to the final boss…I can honestly say
Ok, to be fair,  it goes in a pattern and if you learn it, it’s not that bad…but until you do, you’re just going to be asking god why he or she would allow such a monstrosity be allowed to spoil a children’s game. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s fucking hard. Like Meat Boy hard, like...I feel that this game might be a reason why Ed McMillen made Super Meat Boy so difficult, he wanted to put the new generation through the torture he went through with fucking Bubble Bobble.
This game is infuriating! But it’s not all bad. It’s a challenge, but  it has passwords and unlimited continues and you respawn pretty quickly with enough time in between each continue that you don’t get too frustrated…or at least if you’re me you get so far you just have to keep playing…but you’re just going to need a lot of patience to actually beat the game. This game has a second play through which is cool. If you’re man enough you should totally give it that second play through. I have too many games and don’t want to give myself an ulcer from raging so hard, so I’m not going to play it.
 If you can find a copy of it and have a Nintendo I’d say pick it up. I think it’s also on the Wii jawn perhaps.
7/ 10
+super tough
-can be a little repetitive
-can be a lot frustrating
-I’m not going to do the second playthrough sorry. (not actually sorry)
+/--WHY IS THIS GAME SO FUCKING HARD (It’s because it’s an arcade port)
+/- have fun getting the song out of your head.

Alright, on to the next one.


16 June 2013

Super Mario Bros.

Game One

It starts.
This journey into years past, a collection of games spanning my entire life…of course it would start with this. Super Mario Bros. What hasn’t been said about this game? There shouldn’t be a person out there who has played a video game who hasn’t played this one. It’s where everyone should start.
Release in Japan, 13 September 1985 and in America…we aren’t sure and will never know….but sometime in ’85 or ’86 some say as early as October 18th or November 17th but regardless, this simple platformer game in which you are a plumber named Mario Mario or his brother Luigi Mario must travel across the Mushroom Kingdom and fight off Bowser’s evil army to rescue the Princess Toadstool.
Now while this tried and true formula of save the girl, save the world has recently caused some up roar, there isn’t really a much more simple way to engage the player. He took her, go rescue. The misdirection of the Toads after every Bowser…(clone? Robot? Is it actually Bowser?) fight keeps pushing you to continue, knowing that eventually you will find the princess. It’s simple, it’s to the point, and it keeps you playing. And this is a great thing because playing this game is still remarkably fun even 25+ years later. And hard. God damn this game is a challenge. Luckily this game isn’t cheap when it comes to difficulty, and that’s because of two reasons. The levels, and the controls.
Each of these levels are laid out pretty damn close to perfectly, keeping a sense of flow that other platformers strive for. This game doesn’t try to slow you down or trick you , it expects you to go as fast as you can through it, and instead of intense memorization of the levels, you can trust your sense of reaction to get you through. This is all thanks to the near perfect controls, which are about as clean and crisp as you can make them. Mario moves quickly and jumps high and fast enough so that once you know the levels you can blow through them and feel like a champ when you hit the top of that flagpole. I put emphasis on the “once you know the levels” part because this game also doesn’t really let you make mistakes. Seriously, go pop in whatever copy you have of this and play 1-1 see if you die…I’ll wait…
See? You fucking forgot about Mario and then a turtle bit the shit out of your ass. It’s cool I know how it feels. After about an hour of playing , I made it to world 4-2 before I game over’d on day one…In which I would have played more, but I spent all day getting everything set up so by the time I started to play it was already like 11:45pm….I had work in the morning…I’m a busy man…leave me alone. Day two fared better but I fucked up and died on 8-3...

The Next Day

I beat it fucking! yes! I actually destroyed it…didn’t use any shortcuts, but I did have to restart a bunch of times because world 5-3 and 8-all are total bullshit…(fucking hammer bros) that’s one down and like another hundred to get through…but hopefully they’ll be quick.
So I’m not going to rate this or whatever because it doesn’t matter. If you don’t have a copy of this game, go get one. If you have never played this game or haven’t in a while go do it. Seriously, this is arguably the most important game ever made. Maybe next to pong or fucking …I dunno Pac-Man. Just go play it for like 20 minutes. 

On to the next one,


Day Zero

Day Zero
So yesterday was awesome. I got a lot of cool things and had Chick-Fil-A so I’m pretty sure this day will end up on like my top 10 of my life…maybe. Anyway one of the things I managed to find was a VCR. Now while this might not sound like any special find, this is actually the most crucial component to the entire 2nd Play-through project. This is because my CRT TV is garbo.
For whatever reason, the model of TV can’t switch to video mode without the original remote that came with it. I didn’t know this when I purchased it from a thrift store a few years ago…so I needed to get a VCR so I could switch to video mode and play my fucking games. I found it, bought it, brought it home, and hooked it up. Unfortunately it wasn’t working properly. So I went and tested out all my components on another TV. The cables were fine, the systems were fine, hell the VCR actually even played VHSs properly…So I figured it was the TV, the piece of shit that it is. Well it turns out I’m just dumb and didn’t notice the little switch for either Channel 3 or Channel 4 (I wonder why those two were picked…) Anyway, I figured it out and managed to set up the TV. Hooray.
I decided to celebrate with Pad Thai (it was delicious).
Now I can finally start my journey…barring any other technical issues that come up. The first game up is a classic that I’m sure many of you can see coming from  a mile away.

But first, I'm going to fix my Nintendo. Which I will do. Hooray.

Wish me luck

Tl;Dr – VCRs, Setting up and Chick – Fil- A

Oh! If you guys wanted to follow me on social media and make me feel like super important and stuff that would be awesome. I haven’t made any videos yet so I don’t have a YouTube set up, but still at least if you follow me elsewhere you can get pestered with my hilarious tweets and wonderful pictures and vines. Also cats. Also info on this dumb thing too I guess.
Twitter: @ThatdamnnickR
Instagram: The_un_Ricotta

Vine: I think it’s just “Nicholas Ricotta”

14 June 2013

2nd Play-through

     We're back. Well...I'm back...maybe? To everyone (Dave and myself) who reads this...I'm starting a new project where I play through my library of games, many of which I haven't beaten. I'm calling this project the 2nd Play-through...you see, I moved recently, and while moving I found myself looking at all of my old games and wondering how I've never beaten most of them. I have so many!

   This summer (the other day) I figured it was time to organize my game library. I sat down, pulled out all of my games and started to put together a list of every game I had. After about four games in (none of which I had beaten) I thought "Damn, I have so many of these games, and if I had to guess...I think I've beaten only about 40% of them...perhaps I should play through these. Some of them even deserve a...2nd Play-through." 
     And so I added a column to the list for if I had beaten the game or not. Looking at this I thought to myself  "Dang, this list is looking pretty legit...I wonder how I should go about beating these games...Some of these are classics that I never got around to...perhaps I should beat the older ones and then catch up to the newer ones...so hopefully by the end of the year I could finally get a new game guilt free." So I added another column to the list. I went and looked up the year each of my games were released and I'm now on a quest to beat all of the games I own...hopefully before I add too many more to the list. 
     When I finished the list I took a second and looked through it. I have 153 different titles, and I've beaten about 62 of them. which if you do some calculations is 40.5% (called it). It certainly looks like I have some work to do.

     Now I figured this might be an awesome project to share with people (mostly myself and Dave), so what I wanted to do was do a video blog/review column/ lets play/ commentary about the games that I play while I play them. Now, I know what you're saying,

"This idea is great! There are no foreseeable problems that will arise during the undertaking of this project."
     And you would be correct...except for two things...One of which, is that I don't have a Sega Master System, or a Genesis....Also my N64, PS2 and PS3 aren't here with me, along with a lot of my games for my newer systems...I also don't really have a way to capture any footage of me playing...yet. Eventually I hope to get a capture card or something that would enable me to do that, but for now I think it would be cool to perhaps just write about the games and maybe do a short video about whatever too. Also I don't know I'll be able to beat all these games before I go back to school...or get systems...hopefully that wont be an issue (alternatively if you know anyone that has and is trying to get rid of / sell a Sega Master System or a Sega Genesis (or if you could let me borrow it for a while) that could be a really big help). 

    So this is the future of 2P-erspective, at least  for now (at least for me)...because I want to beat these games of the past...either again or for the first time...but mostly because I can't afford new games.
 If you're curious about the games I have and the list I made (It is pretty awesome) I can try to link up some links for that shit. Also Dave, I would encourage you to take a look at your library and perhaps let me know what kinds of games you have and haven't beaten. I still have a few things left to sort out, but if all goes well I should be starting my journey with Super Mario Bros. for the NES very soon. 

Wish me luck,

Oh! You should also follow me on some media sites because why not, I'll keep you updated (I'm also hilarious and take good pictures)
Twitter: @ThatdamnnickR
Instagram: The_un_Ricotta
Vine: the same as twitter? Look up Nicholas Ricotta, it's the one with a dorky picture I guess...idunno
Youtube: Uh....I haven't decided yet...I think it will be.....somewhere...I'll let you know when I figure it out.

Tl;Dr - I'ma beat some old games and talk about them.