Tuesday, 25 December 2012

A very NES Christmas.

Twas the holidays of 1990, and I was a wee lad of 6 years. I vividly remember begging my mom and dad to get my brothers (I have two of them) a Nintendo Entertainment System. I was so confident that they would buy it for me that I said something along the lines of "I can't wait to get it." Which my dad responded kindly (added that he was driving fast in his Ford Ranger truck) "Oh really?"

Lo and behold its Christmas Eve and we have the entire family over to our house. Which was one of the few times that's happened (the gatherings are now at my Uncle's place to this very day). My twin brother and I were stalking the Christmas tree all night, guarding the presents just in case thieves, or ninjas would break in. At the stroke of midnight we started opening gifts...

A big box was placed before Matt and I. My little heart was about to burst from the sheer excitement! We tore into it and yes we finally got our Nintendo Entertainment System!

Xmas of 1990! Best one ever!

I was so happy that I kissed the box and gave it a hug! Ha, ha, ha. Not only could I play Super Mario Bros. whenever the hell I wanted, but also this game;

The greatest NES game of all time was in my possession. So I wake up on Xmas day late, I shake the fuzz from my brain and think to myself, "Was it all a dream?" I quickly remember that its not as I hear those great Nintendo sound effects coming from the living room. The NES had already been hooked up! Not only that but Mom, Dad, Matt, and Derek were playing! I was so upset that I almost cried! Why would they not tell me they were going to hook it up! Ha, ha, ha.

 As tears were welling up, Dad passed me the controller, and I soon forgot my worries. The rest they say is history. I still have the NES from way back in the 90's, I can't believe its 22 years old and still runs like a dream. Merry Christmas!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Art Attack! Nes style.

I love the old Nintendo art. That Japanese and Western mesh you would often see in the early issues of Nintendo Power. Crack open an NES manual and more often than not you would see hand drawn art in there too. Vintage stuff is great to look at! I guess its nostalgia, before computer programs made everything nice and shiny, glossy and clean cut, we had the rough and tumble art style.

Sometimes chubby, super deformed (chibi), or just plain outrageous. But that's what made the art from the eighties and early nineties fun.

My all-time favorite pic of Link

Now THAT is some great art! Let's Check out a few more pieces! ^>^

Most of these pictures are from Zelda 2 The Adventure of Link. But others include Super Mario Bros.2 and Faxanadu. There's so many more great art too be found in NES manuals and other forms of media too. Unfortunately that's a story for another day. ^>^

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

NES Games Thrashed 2012 part 2

15 longs years in the making. But finally after first playing this in '97, I beat Metal Gear 2: Snake's Revenge! An excellent game that is often looked at like the bastard child of the MG series. Why? Because Kojima the creator of the original Metal Gear didn't have any involvement.

And so what. He is one of the masters of the vijah game world, but this sequel is even better than the (mistranslated) first. Albeit the game's dialogue is hokey and cringe worthy at times, the action and sabotage, not to mention the stealth more than make up for it.

A sweet 15 year wait. Thanks Snake!

This game is in a category all in its own. The fact that you can go in guns-a-blazing or go with stealth make it unique. ^>^


I love Munchkin. The hit card game by Steve Jackson Games hit me like 10,001 Orcs. The first time I actually played the game was my last year of high school (that would be in 2003). My friends were gathered around a table in the cafe, laughing hysterically, and shouting.

I walked to the table and lo and behold there were a mass of cards with a bunch of text and silly pictures. Fantasy troupes and all. Now at this time I have yet to play my first game of D&D (which is another passion that would break out the very same year). But I had to play.

My first character was a human wizard.

I didn't win the game. In fact I did rather horribly. If memory serves me correct I was last place too. Ha ha ha. :) But, I had so much fun that I asked where I could pick up a copy of this wonderful game...and raced over the Game Masters Emporium (now called The GME). Plopped my money down on the counter and proceeded to play the rest of the weekend away!

We got my girlfriend at the time playing, my brother, my friends from other social circles, and yes quite a few ladies to play! It was one of the best times of my life. Just laughing, and screwing up our plans for a level 10 conquest. Those were awesome times. Ha!

There's a Munchkin board tracker?! I need this!

I would go on to play mostly every other Munchkin game that came out on the market. But eventually I just got burned out. Stopped playing for so many years...until now. I got bit by the big ole' Munchkin-itis! Pictured above is the original set. But now in full color, with a board tracker, and game pawns! I think I'm in love again.. ^>^

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

NES Games Thrashed 2012

NES Games Thrashed 2012:

  • Uninvited
  • Image Fight
  • Deja Vu
  • Micky Mousecapade
  • Dragon Spirit (both endings)
  • TMNT (after 21 years I beat the game legit! So happy!)
Crushed with 1 Continue. ^>^

This game will most likely be retro game completion of the year. Seriously. Its a tough game, and unforgiving in most cases. The Dam level (which I memorized as a kid and never found it that hard), along with many tricky jumps, respawning baddies, and one hit kill areas, TMNT is NOT for the uninitiated.

That's why I'm so proud to include it in the long list of hard ass NES games beaten. And this one is just another notch in my belt. Vanity aside, I really love Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It gets ripped on for its quirky sprites and all, but its an Ultra game. And it rocks. Cowabunga! How many more NES games can I complete until the end of the year comes up?

Friday, 23 November 2012

Don't know what to play?

Ever get that feeling when you want to play a game, but you don't know what? We've all been there. I know I have quite a number or times. Here's an easy remedy! Take a big stack of games:

Now get yourself a copy of Scattergories:

Raid the game for this little guy:

And voila! Give this baby a roll and pick a game that starts with the letter shown. If you have a ton of titles with that letter, give another roll and pick the title that has the second letter in its title! Not bad eh? Now get a rollin'.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

It's not a Game Boy! It's a Tiger!

People from my generation would remember these guys:

Back before the game boy's of the world we had these great guys. You would walk into your local store, and for about 10 bucks you would get this little handheld game. No swapping carts, just that one game. It took two AA batteries and you were off to the races!

It was in grade 4 were I played my first Tiger handheld. And it was a good one too!

Yeah the games weren't in colour. But neither were the GB games (at the time). The games were bare bones simple (but that makes for quicker gaming!). SF 2 was a ton of fun even though I couldn't get past the first guy. 

Lo and behold many, many years latter I come to own a Tiger handheld. For 7 bucks it was all mine. 
Perhaps there's a few more Tiger's on the prowl that I'll scoop up! I love these little guys. 

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Love for dragons and not toads?

Via Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade you can now play a new version of Double Dragon! I can tell you I'm totally excited to try this game out someday. Oh the game's called Double Dragon Neon (weird title). But it works.

I really like the logo. Finally a new iteration of the beloved beat 'em up game. I mean the last DD game we got was a remake (albeit a kick ass one) from Million. And that was Double Dragon Advance (2001). Yikes. But what of another beloved franchise of mine? The protagonists even teamed up with Billy and Jimmy! Figured it out yet?

That's right. The boys in green need a revival. They've been sitting on the shelf for waaay too long now. We need a new iteration of the Toads in the next gen (won't hold my breath though). But could you imagine if the right studio got the rights to develop this game?

Stuff it with hidden secrets, extra lives to hunt for, blistering vehicle levels, offline AND online multiplayer, time attack mode (with ghosts), survival mode, tons of weapons, simplistic controls, 12-14 stages, cheat codes, bare bones story (keep it simple okay?), tons of wacky combat animations, multiple difficulty levels (and rewards for completing it), and you have a recipe for a great game. 

One can dream. But for now I'll just settle in and play some Battletoads on the NES. Time to get Mad, Bad, and CRAZY! 

Imagination is the key!

Take a look at this screen pic of an Atari 2600 game:

This game is called Surround. Think a light cycle battle from the movie Tron, and you get the idea of this game. And if you don't know what Tron is...well, get out. Ha, ha, ha! Basically you're this square that leaves a trail behind you. You try to surround your opponent so he crashes into your wall. You score points, have fun, and call it an evening.

But what I want to talk about is the actual box art. Take a look at this:

That's some imagination eh? Pretty wild and creative. I mean its just basically two blocks leaving a trail behind them. In those days, that is the Seventies and early Eighties, game companies had to think outside the box (or in this case the 'square'). Two guys back-to-back in front of what appears too be a doomsday machine battling it out. I love it. 

Now take a look at this:

Yawn...How utterly boring! MOST box art these days are just awful. No sense of charm, no spark of creativity. Just symbols, and drab pictures. Scratch those grey cells and get that imagination flowing people! -^>^