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thegoldenband last won the day on January 4 2019

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  1. Outside of a few games of Hard Drivin', Doom, and Virtua Fighter, the N64 was my main exposure to 3D gaming in the '90s. And it nearly put me off the whole thing, as there's something in the N64's way of processing 3D graphics -- probably a combination of anti-aliasing, low or inconsistent frame rates, and whippy cameras -- that makes me feel ill more than any other console of that era. Aesthetically I often prefer the look of the 3D games that came out up to 1996 or so, as in stuff on the 3DO, Jaguar, 32X, and the earliest PlayStation and Saturn games. Somehow those games click with me, whereas with later 5th gen stuff I'd frequently rather jump forward to the Dreamcast era. And anything that uses scaling sprites instead of texture-mapped polygons tends to sit well with me: I think those Super Scaler games from Sega still look beautiful, and "real" to me in a way that a lot of other games don't.
  2. Chuck Norris Superkicks! It's true that the game ends, but we deserved better than to just run out of time in an empty room. As for games that let you play forever, hmmm...Montezuma's Revenge comes to mind. And the military/flight sim games surely should have had a defined ending state, but I seem to recall they don't.
  3. My times for the week: NES: Back to the Future - 79 min. Battle Chess - 30 min. Castelian - 48 min. Gradius - 55 min. Musashi no Bouken - 98 min. Ring King - 75 min. Super Jeopardy! - 109 min. Game Boy: Taikyoku Renju - 5 min. Beat Back to the Future, Gradius, and Super Jeopardy!, as well as Battle Chess on a lower difficulty.
  4. 10. The Smurfs 2 (Game Boy) I liked this platformer on the Master System, but this Game Boy port wasn't adjusted to compensate for the smaller view (which was already a problem in the Master System version), and the great SMS soundtrack was ditched in favor of one that's not as good. That said, the game's fundamentals are otherwise intact. C+. 11. Back to the Future (NES) I could almost start to forgive this game's sins since -- despite the ridiculous music, cheap-shot heat-seeking enemies, lack of stage design, and bizarre mangling of the license -- it's playable enough that I had little trouble getting to the final stage with the DeLorean. But having that last stage be a one-and-done affair, where after a perfect run you can lose everything because the RNG decides to screw you over? That's inexcusable. F. 12. Gradius (NES) There's a reason they call it "Gradius syndrome", but oddly enough I somehow finished Stage 7 despite losing all of my upgrades. A game made with TLC and one that set a template for the genre, even if a few points of the stage design don't hold up well. B+. 13. Super Jeopardy! (NES) Four players on stage, no Trebek, and a lot of repeated questions and categories. Functional, though, and at least they included a password system to allow you to play each of the three matches separately (but I did it in one sitting). D.
  5. I just discovered Dugongue's NES Completion Challenge, which is very close to completion, and have added it to the list. He's got 689 games done as of this writing, so there are only a handful yet to go. I'm surprised I overlooked such a successful effort! If anyone knows of any other projects that should be in this thread, please let me know. (P.S. I wonder why there's never been a "Can AtariAge beat every Lynx/Jaguar/Atari 7800 game" effort here? No, I'm not offering to run it, though I would participate.)
  6. My times for the week: Atari 2600: Porky’s - 22 min. NES: Back to the Future - 17 min. Musashi no Bouken - 194 min. Solstice - 4 min. Game Boy: Alfred Chicken - 4 min. Smurfs 2 - 272 min. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan - 71 min. SNES: Dig ’n Spike Volleyball - 10 min. Power Piggs of the Dark Age - 6 min. Super Punch-Out - 66 min. Beat TMNT (no-death), Porky's (perfect score), and Smurfs 2 (on Hard).
  7. 7. Quarth (Game Boy) Nothing wrong with the basic mechanics of this game, but I dislike the fact that some sections are essentially impossible to complete with normal gameplay, and have to be cleared with a screen-clearing power-up. That seems cheap to me. Worst of all, to beat the game, you have to beat Level 3-9 to unlock Levels 4-1 through 4-9; play through all of those to unlock Levels 5-1 through 5-9; and finally complete all of those to get the game's ending. No password, no battery, no game-provided code: you just have to marathon the whole thing, on a portable, battery-operated system. That's completely unreasonable, inexcusable, and downright sadistic. But hey, at least I got to play as a flying wang, aka "FICKLE SAVIOR". Somewhere Garry Kasparov is ducking. C-. 8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (Game Boy) Another one with a weird win condition, as you can select any level you want from power-on, but you have to start at Level 1 and go consecutively to get the real ending. As for the game itself, it's a repetitive beat-'em-up with very little "flow" -- though if I'm correct and Michelangelo is the "right" choice against Shredder, it's cute that the preceding cutscene hints at it. C-. 9. Porky's (Atari 2600) A game where you can't lose -- you just give up. But me, I got a "perfect" score (7402, though it's supposedly possible to get more) by making it unscathed through that opening gauntlet of traffic! Dreadful controls and thin gameplay, but I appreciate that they tried to do something a little different. D+.
  8. My times for the week: NES: The Chessmaster - 6 min. Overlord - 13 min. Palamedes - 197 min. Spot: The Video Game! - 20 min. Game Boy: High Stakes Gambling - 3 min. Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun - 36 min. Operation C - 170 min. Outburst - 5 min. Quarth - 510 min. The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Juggernauts - 62 min. SNES: Art of Fighting - 23 min. Family Dog - 3 min. Beat everything I played for more than 5 minutes, with the exception of Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun. Thoughts on all of them here, except Chessmaster (since it was on a low level of difficulty) and Quarth (since I only just finished it). BTW Outburst is the Japanese version of Raging Fighter, which I didn't know until after I'd tried it out.
  9. 4. Overlord (NES) 5. Palamedes (NES) 6. Art of Fighting (SNES) I've beaten Overlord and Art of Fighting before (I think this is the fifth year in a row for Overlord!) so no need to talk about those, except to note that both are easily beaten with trivial exploits. Alas. But Palamedes is a nice find -- a dice-shooting action-puzzle game that I'd dismissed in the past because the controls are slightly obscure, and who wants to play a game with dice? But learn the game's ropes, and go head-to-head with the CPU in Tournament mode (which is what I completed), and you'll find a rewarding challenge. Only a few minor complaints, e.g.: I played it in an emulator and my inputs occasionally got eaten, but that might be the emulator's fault. And I think the controls could have been tweaked: B and A to rotate the dice in opposite directions, and Up to fire them, would work fine. Finally, I don't really understand how sending lines to your opponent works: sometimes it seems like you have to have the lines you send, and at other times it doesn't. B+.
  10. Glad to see the new thread is already up and running! Got my first three of the year: 1. Spot: The Video Game (NES) Othello for dummies, and the CPU is one. I've read that it comes with tons of wonderful pre-loaded patterns, but if I can pick the game up, never look at a manual, and beat it 20 minutes later, where's the meat in this sandwich? (Or the carbonation in this soft drink?) D-. 2. The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Juggernauts (Game Boy) The B-minus I gave this back in 2012 was too generous, but it's still a better (i.e. more playable) game than one would normally have a right to expect. The Moe's Tavern stage is pretty wretched, though, and I don't understand the game's scoring: a near-perfect run left me still a few dollars shy of victory, while my sloppy run was the one that got me over the $100,000 mark. Oh, and the skateboarding stage needs clouds! C. 3. Operation C (Game Boy) A higher class of game than I'm accustomed to playing, and it shows, with some thoughtful tweaks for the portable format: getting autofire from the start is a welcome touch. But there are a few annoyances: why can a turret's hitbox be offscreen/inactive, yet the turret itself is still able to shoot at me? Why are the enemies that spawn from pods invincible until they complete their animation? And, in the overhead stages, why does the game make it so difficult to shoot diagonally while standing still? B+.
  11. My time for the week: Switch: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - 85 min. Family gaming (I don't own a Switch).
  12. My times for the extended, final week of 2019: Atari 2600: I Want My Mommy - 6 min. Genesis: Warrior of Rome - 5 min. Warrior of Rome II - 90 min. Game Boy: Bakuchou Retrieve Master - 2 min. In Your Face - 24 min. SNES: Go Go Ackman - 206 min. N64: GoldenEye 007 - 21 min. Worms Armageddon - 82 min. Family gaming, plus a few wins to round out the year (In Your Face, Go Go Ackman, I Want My Mommy).
  13. 69. In Your Face (Game Boy) Still as terrible as it was in 2016. F. 70. Go Go Ackman (SNES) Competent but overrated platformer that gets a lot of love because of its irreverent subject matter and nice graphics. Those things can't substitute for well-polished stage design, though. C. 71. I Want My Mommy (Atari 2600) I had a harder time figuring out why my character wasn't moving (answer: the opening tune wasn't finished yet, and the sound was muted) than beating this sad excuse for a sad excuse. Did anyone who bought this back in the day explore a class-action lawsuit? They'd have had a case. F.
  14. My times for the week: NES: The Adventures of Rad Gravity - 436 min. Infiltrator - 2 min. Mystery Quest - 1 min. Beat Rad Gravity for the first time since the early 1990s. How did I complete this as a kid? So much of the game is needlessly obscure, including some pretty mission-critical items.
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