Friday, 24 April 2015

Games Thrashed 2015 Edition

Well it's time once again to ring in a new year. And that means winter will be in full bloom. Which also means one more thing, time to beat NES games! Here's my list of the games I've beaten throughout the year (with no re-beats, purely first time finishes.). Last year I finished with an all time high of 27 new games beat! Wow! Can I beat that incredibly high mark this year!?

Previous Years:

  • 2011: 17
  • 2012: 7
  • 2013: 23!
  • 2014: 27!!!

Total: 74 new completions! Incredible. And that's not counting all the regular games I usually beat once or twice a year (ex. Punch Out, Bionic Commando, Double Dragon, SMB, etc.)


Wizards and Warriors (had this as a kid and could only beat it with a Game Genie. It wasn't too difficult  you just needed tenacity. Finished the game with 524,230 points!)

Here's a tip: you have unlimited continues so keep at it! If you lose your Boots of Power don't despair! You can get by just fine in the later levels. Just be sure to avoid the blue skulls as best as you can.

Another tip: The Bat Boss can easily be destroyed by doing this; when you first meet it run straight by it. As you run into the wall do a straight up jump (as far as you can), at the top of your jump hold the d pad left to move over the Spider as it dives under you. If you have the dagger or the ax sub weapon hit him. Repeat to the other side. :)


Been awhile. Life got busy, then quiet. So Target: Renegade has goaded me for a longtime. A wee bit better than Renegade (which shares no tie in to the game at all) but also, not as good as the first Double Dragon.

I was determined to beat it but I knew level 5 always got me. Pro Tip: the mini bosses in the tuxedo suits can be dispatched easily but repeated kicks. Stick and move, keep enemies on one side of you and, move up and down if you get in trouble. Also, kick then sweep. Most enemies will die in four hits so remember that one.

I finished it on my second playthrough which was surprising.

I saw ads for this all the time as a kid in video game magazines. Recently found a copy for 12 bucks and snapped it up without hesitation. Boy, was I glad I did.

Great music, decent sound effects and pretty humorous game. The controls take AWHILE to get used to. ESPECIALLY on the last boss fight. Nearly cracked my controller by repeatedly dying on that level.

Vastly underrated, one of Jaleco's best publications on the NES.

My friend Gerry used to have this game. The first time I played it was around '95. Funny enough, that's the first time I had played Final Fantasy on the NES as well.

I forgot how fun this game was. Basically you start on a hex shaped grid. You play as both Godzilla and Mothra try to reach the base of each board thus teleporting you to the next stage.

In your way are a variety of other monsters (Varan, Hedorah, Gigan, Mecha Godzilla, etc.) as well as defense forces for each planet. Mothra moves 4 spaces on the board, and Godzilla, 2.

Wherever space you land on, you end your turn with that monster overcoming that planets defense force (switching to a side-scroller).

Great game, with tons of hidden passwords and good overall challenge. Good graphics and I really enjoyed the music. Here's a tip for you: early on Mothra will be your bread and butter. Save her and use godzilla and plow your way through the monsters and defense forces. If you die, no biggie. Use Mothra and get to the base. When you leave you'll start the next level with both monsters again! Note: if one monster leaves and the other is defeated (as BOTH must exit each stage) you'll get a game over.

This one has retro game of the year written all over it.


Score over 9.8 million points and you can see the credits roll at the end of the game. Well I scored well over that mark and landed at a hefty 19 million plus!

Great game that I now love. Much better than its later release High Speed (although that game sports some excellent voice synthesizers).

By the way, release the plunger mid-way (not a full pull) to shoot the middle hole in the vortex (that corkscrew ramp). This will increase the multiplier (up to X10, and after that you get a million points per middle shot). Also, shoot the ramp to increase the solar bonus points. It goes to a maximum of 5 million. You can collect it by activating the multi-ball feature and shooting one of the balls into the solar ramp.

This one may well be my retro game of the year.


And I thought the last game may be retro game of the year. I've been playing Faxanadu (a.k.a. Famicom Xanadu) on and off since I was a kid. That's about twenty or so years! I remember finishing the game with the use of the Game Genie, but never beat it legitimately.

That is, until today. From start to finish I conquered this long and interesting game. I didn't even buy the last magic. I always remembered this game being cryptic as hell, but thanks to the internet I was able to navigate the dungeon halls again. Mind you, I didn't have a guide next to me or anything (just watched a few videos before and during my run).

Great game with excellent (and eerie) music. Graphics are great too. My only nitpick are the controls take some getting used to.


I've finished many difficult NES games. Ghost N' Goblins, Battletoads, Adventure Island, TMNT, Ninja Gaiden, all the Mario's, all the Zelda's, all the Mega Man games, Life Force, Gradius, Friday the 13th, Silver Surfer, Batman. The list goes on and on.

But for some reason, I've always had issues with TMNT II: The Arcade Game. And I'm not sure why either. Maybe starting off with 3 lives was just not enough. Maybe the limited continues always ticked me off. Perhaps it was just the length of the game (it is quite long to complete. Not as long as TMNT III mind you!).

This time around I finished the game! Although I used the stage select code to warp to the last level in the Technodrome. Using 1 continue to finish off both Krang and Shredder I claimed ULTIMATE victory!

But, it just didn't feel right. As a kid I finished the game with the use of the Game Genie, but that just doesn't count. Retro Matt and I used that thing to finish off a lot of tough games. No, this time I would finish this for good against shred-head and the foot. PRO TIP: use the A+B button attack, it takes away no health when you use it, and is your strongest attack! A little over an hour later I squared off against ol' shred-face and carved him a new one! Going into it I had 5 lives, but left with 3. Not only that, but I used NO continues! Hurray! This may well be my retro game of the year.

Until Krang gets himself outta' Dimension X,

-Will ^>^

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

My List of Beaten NES Games of 2014

Here it is, my complete list of all the (new) nes games I've beaten. This list does not include my regular rotation of Nintendo games I like to play year round and beat (SMB, Double Dragon II, Friday the 13th, etc.). I've topped my previous record a few years back (around 2010 I beat 17 new nes games).

TOTAL: 27!
-WWF Wrestlemania 
-The Legend of Zelda (2nd Quest)
-Kickle Cubicle
-Adventures of Bayou Billy (used only 1 continue!)
-Isolated Warrior
-Rad Racer II 
-City Connection (Hi Score and all 6 levels finished)
-AD&D Heroes of the Lance
-Monster in my Pocket
-Mighty Final Fight
-Rygar (top contender for retro game of the year)
-Adventure Island
-Super Spike 'Vball
-Legend of Kage
-Rush'N Attack
-Bump n' Jump
-Silver Surfer (no cheats used!)
-Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing
-Double Dribble (Hardest difficulty)
-T&C Surf Designs
-Dr. Mario (Level 20, Slow Speed)
-Tecmo Bowl
-Karate Kid
-American Gladiators


One of my childhood favourites. Love the music, graphics, and gameplay. While it's not the arcade game (and what a cheap game that is!) the nes counterpart has a lot going for it.

I only ever managed to beat the game with the Game Genie as a kid. But last year I hunkered down and decided it was time to send Bodiker down for good. Dead or alive, it was being beat by me.

Once you get the patterns down on the bosses and know where to stand in certain areas (the last ones especially) the game isn't all that difficult.

In any event let me know in the comments section of Facebook about any NES games you've beaten in 2014. Any new favourites? Did you vindicate some long standing childhood hatred to a video game? Would keeping track of completed games and trying to top each year be something you would be interested in? Let me know.

Until Murphy gets a new screwdriver,

-Will ^>^

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Perfect NES Shmup?


I love space ship shooters. There's nothing more satisfying than shooting down hordes of homicidal aliens. The Nes has plenty great ones too. Some games have two player options. Others have you in control of a cave man, knight, or even an angel! Some shooters have bland graphics but fun gameplay. Others, have great graphics and poor gameplay. Still, some have never been released on the Nintendo outside of Japan. But which game is the perfect fit? What has the best blend of action, power-ups, challenge, and uniqueness?

While I may not be the best at shmups, I do like them quite a bit. Here's a little list of some of my oh-so-favorite choices that you should definitely check out:

Will's List of Super Cool Shooters that Super Cool People Like You Should Check Out:

  • Jackal (Not an auto scroller, but its basically in the same category)
  • Gyruss (Unique circular movement a la Tempest)
  • Adventures of Dino Riki (Caveman fighting dinosaurs)
  • Abadox (Horizontal and vertically scrolling shooter both up AND down!) 
  • Legendary Wings (Two Player Simultaneous shmup)
  • 1942 
  • 1943 (You can customize your fighter plane)

The First Shooter I Ever Played:
I remember being bored when I first played this. My Uncle Marc had an NES and would often let myself and my two brothers borrow games from him. One of the first ones was indeed Xevious. The ho-hum music and lack of any power-ups and sound effects didn't give me a great first impression. I hated it. The graphics were ugly and I couldn't make it too far (one hit kills!?).

So initially I was put off by shooters at a young age. Ha, ha, ha! Oh well, I guess the bike ride to his place was good for me even if the game wasn't. 

The Runner-Up:
Fantasy Zone

Let's not forget a little game called Fantasy Zone! It's one of my newer favorites of the genre. A port of the game exists thanks in part to Tengen (aka Atari). Basically it's a cute shooter that was a MEGA hit in Japan. 

While not 2 players it is a fun and challenging game. The best part about it is the fact that you can buy various power-ups from shops found in each level! With its fun music, nice challenge, and great power ups, I really think it's one of the best on the system. But not perfect. That title goes to...

My Perfect Space Ship Shooter:
Life Force (a.k.a. Salamander)

First off it has two player co-op. Second, it's tough. But, it's not so tough that the game is not fun. Third, it has awesome music. Fourth, the graphics are probably the best of any shmup we ever got in North America.

Add in the Gradius weapon system, sick looking bosses (here's looking at you Giant Brain Thing!), as well as overhead scrolling stages...damn Konami! You truly are the kings of kings.

But Will, what of Gradius?! And yes Gradius is in there. It's the most beloved space ship game on the nes. But for the aforementioned blurbs above, I like Life Force best. Other great ones include Dino Riki. Riki has got too be one of the hardest of ANY nes game I've ever played. It mixes auto scrolling with platforming bits! Now that's a tough challenge I have yet to conquer! Jackal is an unusual one. Essentially part Choplifter mixed in with Guerrilla War. Trust me, the game is great and it's two player simultaneous!

Anyways, there's my list. Let me know what you think, and tell me some of your favorites. And not just on the NES, but any platform. I'm actually quite fond of Raiden Trad, and the Thunder Force series. Later Lazer brains!

-Will ^>^

Friday, 2 January 2015

Lousy Legacy? Or Underrated Chump?

Yes the Nerd and the Irate Gamer have painted a bad picture of LJN. The company did deserve the crap it got for releasing games like Back to the Future, Bill and Ted, Uncanny X-Men, Terminator 2 and many others. But, I know deep down inside there's some sparkling gems that were judged way too harshly.

So, here's my favorite LJN games list thing-a-ma-bobber! (And yes, I actually like some of their games. Again, I won't deny that they published a ton of garbage, but some games are playable to good.)

  • Karate Kid
  • Jaws
  • Punisher
  • WWF Wrestlemania Challenge
  • Friday the 13th

I'll even give you a few reasons why I like each game. (In case you were hoping for something like that. I got your back Jack!)

Things I like about Karate Kid:

+Good music
+Excellent looking title screen
+Varied and fun mini games based on the actual property
+Daniel's clothing changes each stage and reflects what he wears in   various parts of the movie
+I enjoy beating the crap out of mooks with Crane Kicks and        Drum Punches
+Short Game. Can be beat in under 12 minutes. I like that

Things I like about Jaws:

+Game has nice graphics
+I like shooting sharks and jelly fish in the face
+Decent Music
+Nice ending scene
+Collecting shells in exchange for upgrading your boat is not only    hilarious, but cool
+Stabbing Jaws with the boat is F'N SWEET
+Again, another short game which makes me feel like I  accomplished something at the end of the day

Things I like about The Punisher:

+Nice graphics
+Cool shooting mechanic
+Satisfying kills
+You can shoot the Sax Guy
+Environment can be utterly destroyed
+Hidden Secrets
+Love the hand to hand fighting

"I'll be kicking back punching Kingpin in his fat face."

Things I like about Wrestlemania Challenge:

+Awesome roidy-maggoo pic of Ultimate Warrior on the title  screen
+Cool looking sprites
+Theme music for each wrestler
+All the various modes
+Some wrestlers have their actual finisher
+Outside brawling and tag team cheating
+Macho King Randy Savage

Things I like about Friday the 13th:

+Nice graphics
+Tons of items and weapons
+Hidden secrets
+Good challenge
+Each character has strengths and weakness'
+You can fight the severed reincarnated head of Ms. Voorhees
+Short game so you can play something else after. Or eat food,    whatever, I don't judge

So there you guys have it. My little list of some of my favorite LJN games. While you may find better things to do with your time, I'll be kicking back punching Kingpin in his fat face. Or, stabbin' a dead head with a machete. Either way LJN gets picked on way too much in the video game community. Thank god for youtubers like BenevolentDick, and The LJN Defender. They grew up with some of these games I mentioned, and yeah I have heavy nostalgia for Friday the 13th. I grew up playing it. But even when I did have Mario, Zelda, Bionic Commando, I still came back to Friday. That's one LJN game worth fighting for. Is it perfect? No. But neither are you. OOOOOOOOOOOH!

-Will ^>^