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What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2021 (Season 14)

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Sorry for the lateness, but here are my times from last week:

 

NES:

Jackal- 5 minutes

Ninja Gaiden 1- 5 1/2 minutes

Contra- 5 minutes

Probotector- 7 minutes

Toobin' (unlicensed)- 5 minutes

Operation Wolf- 6 1/2 minutes

Yoshi's Cookie- 7 1/2 minutes

 

Doesn't count:

Run Sackboy Run (PS Vita)- 10 minutes

Killzone: Mercenary (PS Vita)- 6 1/2 minutes 

Doom 2016 (Switch)- 10 minutes

 

 

 

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Here's the summary for Week 23, running from June 7 - 13. We logged 2869 minutes of eligible play, playing 93 games on a total of 19 systems (including late additions).

 

Top 10:

 

1. Sonic Classic Heroes [Sonic 1 and 2 ROM hack] (Genesis) - 134 min.
2. AHHA! Another Haunted House Adventure! (TRS-80 MC-10) - 132 min.
3. Sonic 1 Attack of the Killer Rings [Sonic 1 ROM hack] (Genesis) - 101 min.
4. Millipede (Arcade) - 88 min.
5. Hazard Run (Atari 8-bit) - 87 min.
6. Eggomania (Atari 2600) - 82 min.
7. Pac-Man Collection (Atari 7800) - 78 min.
8. Kaboom! (Atari 2600) - 77 min.
9. Sonic & Knuckles (Genesis) - 74 min.
10. Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis) - 71 min.
 

Pre-NES top 10:

 

1. AHHA! Another Haunted House Adventure! (TRS-80 MC-10) - 132 min.
2. Millipede (Arcade) - 88 min. (PN#10)
3. Hazard Run (Atari 8-bit) - 87 min.
4. Eggomania (Atari 2600) - 82 min. (PN#6)
5. Pac-Man Collection (Atari 7800) - 78 min. (PN#4)
6. Kaboom! (Atari 2600) - 77 min. (PN#7)
7. Indy 500 (Atari 2600) - 66 min.
8. Galaga (Arcade) - 63 min.
9. Night Driver (Atari 2600) - 54 min.
10. Yars' Revenge (Atari 2600) - 52 min.

 

Top 10 systems:

 

1. Genesis (983) (#2)
2. Atari 2600 (512) (#1)
3. Arcade (217) (#4)
4. Game Gear (200) (#3)
5. TRS-80 MC-10 (138) (#5)
6. Atari 8-bit (116) (#10)
7. Neo Geo AES/MVS (103) (#9)
8. TG-16/PC Engine (95)
9. Atari 7800 (85)
10. SNES (75) (#8)

 

All 10 games on the overall top list are new from last week. The top 3 consist of two Sonic 1 ROM hacks and a text adventure for the MC-10 which also is the most played pre-NES game, with a long row of various Atari and arcade games to follow. The most played system this week is the Genesis, much thanks the Sonic bonanza. None of the 93 games however break either of the 1000, 5000 or 10000 minute barriers.

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Yay, times. Not much else to say, so here are my times.

 

Genesis/MD
Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis (Genesis) (Sonic 1 ROM hack) - 50
Sonic 1 Attack of the Killer Rings (Sonic 1 ROM hack) - 58
Xeno Crisis - 9

 

Neo Geo AES/MVS
Fatal Fury Special - 10
Garou: Mark of the Wolves - 47
League Bowling - 4
Metal Slug - 8
Neo Turf Masters - 12
Real Bout Fatal Fury - 32
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special - 20

 

Arcade
Space Harrier - 4
Thunder Force AC - 3

 

Saturn
Sonic the Hedgehog - 55
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - 7
Sonic 3 & Knuckles - 18

What the hell did they do to the sound effects in the Saturn versions of these games? Sonic 3&K's sound effect for killing enemies and breaking monitors is especially weird!

 

Anyway, Sonic turns 30 on Wednesday, so expect a lot of Sonic from me next week. You should play Sonic to celebrate as well, so do it!

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Here are my times for this past week (June 14th through 20th) on classic systems...

 

Arcade:

Jr. Pac-Man - 26 min. in 2 sessions

Popeye - 5 min.

 

Channel F:

Pac-Man - 10 min.

 

VG5000:

Tortues - 45 min. in 2 sessions

 

This week I managed to find time for a few games again... I continued to replay Jr. Pac-Man, but wasn't particularly good at it (hot weather!). In Popeye, I reached the 3rd screen, but could not complete it. The Channel F version of Pac-Man didn't run much better...

I also tried the VG5000 version of Turtles named "Tortues" again (it was a french system), but it's a rather hard and frustrating version in that there are always 5 enemies on screen, and the maze isn't very complex. The enemies are only half the speed of the player, but they can turn on a dime and mostly chase the player, so you often find yourself stuck in the passage between sections of a maze or in a dead-end. I managed to complete the 3rd screen, but not the 4th one.

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Atari 8-bit:
Hover Bovver - 34 min.
Whomper Stomper - 8 min.

 

Last efforts in this 3 week round of the A8 HSC.

 

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My times for the week:

 

MC-10:
African Adventure [aka Dr. Livingston: In Search Of…] - 121 min.

 

Genesis:

Blaster Master 2 - 9 min.

The Flintstones - 108 min.
Valis - 87 min.
Valis III - 150 min.

 

Beat the two Valis games.

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My week in classic gaming. Some of these are on the Switch, using the AMAZING Hori Split Pad Pro, which are a must-have if the tiny, flat joycons hurt your hands.

 

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive:

 

Lightening Force - 30 minutes. Man I suck at shmups.

Air Diver - 20 minutes. OK, it isn't Afterburner, but it's... not Afterburner.

 

Game Gear:

This is where most of my effort went, albeit in short bursts. I dug deep in the bin of loose Game Gear carts this week, and I'm only listing the ones I put significant time into.

 

Batter Up - 25 minutes. I wanted to give this a really fair shake because of the RBI Baseball pedigree, but I don't care for this at all. The constant base stealing would be comedic if it didn't hurt so much. Batting feels really crappy.

FIFA Soccer - 20 minutes. Seeing "TIERTEX" show up when you boot a game is such a crap shoot, though I think they get a lot more abuse than they deserve, but this was pretty darned impressive. Isometric football that actually makes me feel like I know what I'm doing? I don't care if it's good or not, I'll take it!

Choplifter III - 15 minutes. I must be missing some of the hostages on the first stage because I keep replaying it without being able to finish it. Boo.

Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf - 25 minutes. Impressive conversion, but the zoomed in viewpoint makes it really hard to survive for long because you are constantly getting hit by missiles from off screen.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - 10 minutes. US Gold joints are so frequently impressive in several ways and unpleasant in more important ones, and this is no exception. It doesn't seem terrible, but so many cheap shots.

Chakan the Forever Man - 15 minutes. Cheap shots galore. I think the Genesis version is the version to play if you must.

Arcade Classics - 10 minutes. Just a couple games of Missile Command. This is basically two ports of Atari 2600 ports of Centipede and Missile Command along with an original "Ultra Pong" game. This has to be one of the early classics collections that actually tried to evoke ports to other consoles, right?

Pac Attack - 10 minutes. I enjoy this game, but I don't really understand it. Is there a way to play well? Basically just create long unbroken lines of ghosts?

PGA Tour Golf - 10 minutes. This Tengen game was followed by two EA games, but they all shared an intolerably slow screen draw time.

Pinball Dreams - 15 minutes. Pretty fun handheld electromechanical pinball. Wizard Pinball is a lot more fun, though.

Side Pocket - 15 minutes. I suck at pool almost as much as I suck at shmups.

Streets of Rage - 25 minutes. A great gymnastics simulator. Jump over the enemy. Jump back. Jump over. Jump back.

Surf Ninjas - 20 minutes. This was a pleasant surprise. Extremely detailed isometric environments, though it's still a single-plane brawler. I did like it, though.

Micro Machines - 15 minutes. I gotta say, I do enjoy isometric racers more than top down ones, but this one keeps me coming back for more.

Wimbledon Tennis - 25 minutes. The earliest tennis game on the Game Gear, I think, is also the most fun. Maybe.

Pete Sampras Tennis - 20 minutes. Also very fun, the steepest view angle of the three tennis games makes it easier to see where your ball is. The game seems to reward cheap playing, and I don't love that.

Andre Agassi Tennis - 20 minutes. Hands down the worst tennis game of the three, this game features beautifully animated graphics and giant sprites. To accommodate this, IT SCROLLS THE SCREEN. You cannot see the whole court at once. Good friggin' luck with that.

NHL Hockey - 20 minutes. It's pretty rough compared to the Genesis classics, but it's close enough to be impressive. It's fun, but it's really hard to do what you need to do with the puck.

NHL All Star Hockey - 15 minutes. It's ugly and has as many control issues as NHL. Not worth checking out.

Battleship - 20 minutes. Pretty much identical to the NES game... this is surprisingly addictive. The music is seriously good, although somewhat inappropriate?

 

Neo Geo Pocket Color:

Columns - 20 minutes. This homebrew feels more fun than Sega Columns, but it ramps up in speed on a logarithmic curve that makes it kind of unfair. Also lacks the music and audio appeal of the original.

 

Game Boy:

 

Super RC Pro Am - 15 minutes. Really fun stuff.

 

Turbografx 16 / PC Engine:

 

Champions Forever Boxing - 10 minutes. It's pretty good.

Columns - 15 minutes. It's Columns. Very faithful.

I'm forgetting something, but I don't remember what 😕

 

EDIT: duh, I remembered.

 

New Adventure Island - 45 minutes. Definitely my favorite of the “real” Adventure Island games.

 

Super NES:

Blackthorne - 15 minutes. Comparing the three versions on the Blizzard Arcade Collection.

 

32X:

Blackthorne - 15 minutes. Comparing the three versions on the Blizzard Arcade Collection.

 

Arcade:

 

Vulcan Venture (aka Gradius II) - 45 minutes. Infinite continues don't help much if you can't get powered up enough to beat the boss...

Thunder Cross - 20 minutes. Man, do I suck at shmups.

 

Tiger / Sega Pocket Arcade:

 

Amazing Sonic - 35 minutes. This is so close to being a fun Sonic-meets-Pac Man LCD game, but the fact that enemies warp around the mazes unpredictably is totally maddening.

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Times for the week. 
Eligible

Eggomania 28

Kaboom 48

Plaque Attack HSC 8

Solar Fox 50

 

inelgible

constantly cleaning my 2600 paddles 25. 
 

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Atari 2600

Hunchy 2 - 4 minutes

Kaboom! - 86 minutes

Robot City - 12 minutes

Solar Fox - 65 minutes

The End - 10 minutes

Tower of Rubble - 70 minutes

 

 

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It's been a while since I have participated in this tracker thread, and I decided to return with a strong showing for Colecovision. It's been a while since I have played Colecovision, and it was so good, I decided to make a week of it. A couple gaming sessions are from the previous week's Friday and Saturday, but I forgot to post them last week, so I included them here. I pulled a few all nighters and drank some strong coffee.. it was a great week.

 

Colecovision

Bank Panic - 60 min

Donkey Kong 3 - 10 min

Fireman - 5 min

Frenzy - 75 min

Galaxian (Collectorvision release) - 16 min

Golgo 13 - 10 min

Hero - 10 min

Jawbreaker 2 - 6 min

Jetpack! - 10 min

Junkwall - 10 min

Juno First - 12 min

Kaboom - 10 min

King & Balloon - 70 min

Lock 'N Chase - 1,652 min

Monster House - 4 min

Oil's Well - 30 min

Ozma Wars - 10 min

Pooyan - 18 min

Rally-X - 11 min

Rip Cord - 11 min

Saguaro City - 480 minutes

Sasa - 20 min

Starship Defence Force - 5 min

Steamroller - 127 min

Zanac - 20 min

 

Most of the titles I played this week are Colecovision homebrews, as I decided to check out a lot of games from the Collectorvision vault that I am not too familiar with. It was a fun week.. I discovered some new favorites and beat some old scores.

 

Lock 'N Chase is one of my favorite games of all time, if you couldn't tell by my minutes log. I prefer to play on skill level three. It starts off pretty tough, but still playable once you devise some strategies. It's a thrilling game with heart pounding action, near misses, and deep strategy. I never see anyone talk about this game, so I feel the need to bring it up now and again, and perhaps someone else who will really enjoy it will discover it.

 

Another heavy hitter this week was Saguaro City. I remember being intrigued by this game when it released, but never pulled the trigger. Finally giving this game a whirl, and wow I had a blast! I pulled an all nighter just trying out different strategies and techniques. I need to dive deeper into this game to figure it out, but it seems like it might become a favorite.

 

I tried out Hero, since I saw it in the high score club, and I'm not sure I've ever played it. However, with so many exciting homebrews at my fingertips, this game seemed very monotonous by comparison, and I couldn't get into it.

 

King & Balloon still holds strongly as my favorite of this genre (fixed shooter?). It has a unique take on losing lives, gets right to the action, and the controls are perfect. I am hoping some day to reach a really high score to see how the game plays at later levels.

 

Frenzy is still fantastically fun, but I can't help but feel like I'm missing something. Whenever Colecovision games offer the classic skill level options 1-4, I try to always play on level three, while sometimes checking out level four on games I get fairly good at. Skill level three on this game is absolutely brutal, but still fun. I have a thread I made in the Colecovision high score club area a few years back about posting scores from any game on skill level three, and someone posted a frenzy score there once over 40k. I hope some day to be able to achieve this, but man.. talk about tough.

 

Steamroller is a game I have long considered my favorite of any genre. I am way out of practice, but this game still holds up. It's another game I try to mention a lot, since I never really see any discussion about it. The level designs are excellent, the A.I. is devilishly clever, the objectives and powerups are diverse and exciting.. It's simply a perfect game. I need to put some more hours in and regain my former scores, so this will probably keep popping up in my future minutes logs.

 

Speaking of underrated gems, I have to mention Bank Panic. This game has added so much enjoyment to my life. When I am craving a fun test of the reflexes, I go right to this game. The further in the levels you get, the wilder the situations get. Hostages will give you subtle clues if there is a bandit about to pop out, and sometimes paying attention to three doors opening at once can be crazy exciting. I can play this game for hours and hours. It really has that "one more game!' quality to it. I went to Chicago before the pandemic and hit up the Galloping Ghost arcade and pinball places. They had Bank Panic, and playing the actual arcade machine was so damn fun.. I had to drag myself away from it so I wouldn't spend my whole day there. This game and Asteroids are the only arcade machines I have seriously considered putting in my house.

 

Oil's Well is still one of my favorites of the original commercial releases for Colecovision. Every round is unique, the action is frantic, and the sound design is insane.

 

Never played the Jawbreaker games until this week, but I am intrigued. Seems like nice, crisp gameplay and a good challenge. I will have to explore these games further.

 

Zanac and Ozma Wars reminded me of how fun shooters can be, so I hope to find one that really resonates with me. If anyone has suggestions or favorites (any system), I would love to hear them.

 

I could ramble on, but I'll save some for next week. Cheers!

Edited by WispFollower
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1 hour ago, Atarian7 said:

How do you clean them? 

Unscrewed them. Put alcohol on q tip and rubbed q tip around. I am not tech savvy at all. Paddle games are my favorite. I have bought some flashbacks just for the paddles. 

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1 hour ago, WispFollower said:

Zanac and Ozma Wars reminded me of how fun shooters can be, so I hope to find one that really resonates with me. If anyone has suggestions or favorites (any system), I would love to hear them.

Zanac is the prototype of the Aleste series, particularly the Master System and Game Gear titles. If you like it, you’ll love them. They’re my favorite shmups and as previously discussed I suck at shmups.

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1 hour ago, agb said:

Unscrewed them. Put alcohol on q tip and rubbed q tip around. I am not tech savvy at all. Paddle games are my favorite. I have bought some flashbacks just for the paddles. 

I pour a little alcohol into the pot and turn the paddle back and forth for a couple of minutes.  Then I turn it over and dump out the alcohol.  

If that doesn't work then I spray with WD-40 but after a while this method stops working. 

 

I guess buying flashbacks is cheaper than buying a new set of paddles from Best Electronics. 

Edited by Atarian7
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15 hours ago, jgkspsx said:

Neo Geo Pocket Color:

Columns - This homebrew feels more fun than Sega Columns, but it ramps up in speed on a logarithmic curve that makes it kind of unfair. Also lacks the music and audio appeal of the original.

I believe you forgot to post for how long you played this game.

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4 hours ago, jgkspsx said:

Zanac is the prototype of the Aleste series, particularly the Master System and Game Gear titles. If you like it, you’ll love them. They’re my favorite shmups and as previously discussed I suck at shmups.

Thanks for the heads up! I love this community and the knowledge it possesses.

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8 hours ago, carlsson said:

I believe you forgot to post for how long you played this game.

Eep! Fixed, 20 minutes. And I snuck a couple games I forgot in there - 45 minutes for New Adventure Island (TG16), and 20 minutes for Battleship (Game Gear).

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A fun week for gaming this past week, with my times fairly evenly split between classic games and more modern offerings. My main focus this week was doing a playthrough of Doom 64 on the Switch, then after that was done I decided that I was going to play and actually beat the original Metroid on the NES for the very first time. It took most of the week (and the occasional references to a map along with tips from friends here and there) but I finally did it! Outside of Doom 64 and Metroid, I ended up picking up the Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch handheld that came out last holiday season on sale at Best Buy for $40 and put it to good use playing through and beating the original Super Mario Bros. for the first time in many years. I spent a fair bit of time playing the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 (AKA The Lost Levels) on the Game & Watch as well, but holy heck is that game hard!

 

Lastly, I picked up Namco Museum Archives Volume 1 on sale for $5 on the Switch eShop pretty much just to play the NES demake of Pac-Man Championship Edition. It's absolutely amazing how fast and frenetic this game plays for an NES title, and with zero sprite flicker at all! Not only is it a technical marvel, I'm pretty sure it's my favorite Pac-Man game I've ever played so you can expect to see me logging a lot more time with this one in the future. All in all a solid week for gaming, though finally beating Metroid after all these years was definitely the highlight of the week for me :)

 

 

2021062206050100-8F655652CF5441D7471D936F3F07324D.thumb.jpg.2984ac5005893f66d839c25d4050d9bc.jpg

 

 

Ineligible

Doom 64 (Nintendo Switch) - 735 minutes

 

Arcade

Dig Dug - 7 minutes

Galaga - 18 minutes

Phoenix - 41 minutes

 

NES

Metroid - 511 minutes

Pac-Man Championship Edition - 72 minutes

Super Mario Bros. - 183 minutes

Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japanese Version, AKA The Lost Levels) - 111 minutes

 

Super Nintendo

Super Mario All-Stars - 7 minutes

 

 

Total Video Game Play Time This Week

1,685 minutes (28 hours 5 minutes) [950 minutes eligible]

 

Individual System Play Times This Week

NES: 877 minutes

Nintendo Switch: 735 minutes

Arcade: 66 minutes

Super Nintendo: 7 minutes

 

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Final Fantasy V for SNES - 140 minutes

Super Mario Bros. for NES - 55 minutes

Super Mario Bros. 2 for NES - 63 minutes

 

Just grinding job levels in FF5.

Did a no death run of Super Mario Bros. (both quests) and a no death run of Super Mario Bros. 2 using only Mario.

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Here's the summary for Week 24, running from June 14 - 20. We logged 5856 minutes of eligible play, playing 101 games on a total of 18 systems.

 

Top 10:

 

1. Lock N Chase (ColecoVision) - 1652 min.
2. Metroid (NES/Famicom) - 511 min.
3. Saguaro City (ColecoVision) - 480 min.
4. Super Mario Bros. (NES/Famicom) - 238 min.
5. Valis III (Genesis) - 150 min.
6. Final Fantasy V (SNES) - 140 min.
7. Kaboom! (Atari 2600) - 134 min. (#8)
8. SteamRoller (ColecoVision) - 127 min.
9. African Adventure [aka Dr. Livingston: In Search Of…] (TRS-80 MC-10) - 121 min.
10. Solar Fox (Atari 2600) - 115 min.
 

Pre-NES top 10:

 

1. Lock N Chase (ColecoVision) - 1652 min.
2. Saguaro City (ColecoVision) - 480 min.
3. Kaboom! (Atari 2600) - 134 min. (PN#6)
4. SteamRoller (ColecoVision) - 127 min.
5. African Adventure [aka Dr. Livingston: In Search Of…] (TRS-80 MC-10) - 121 min.
6. Solar Fox (Atari 2600) - 115 min.
7. Frenzy (ColecoVision) - 75 min.
8. King & Balloon (ColecoVision) - 70 min.
8. Tower of Rubble (by Dionoid) (Atari 2600) - 70 min.
10. Bank Panic (ColecoVision) - 60 min.

 

Top 10 systems:

 

1. ColecoVision (2692)
2. NES/Famicom (995)
3. Genesis (521) (#1)
4. Atari 2600 (381) (#2)
5. Game Gear (350) (#4)
6. Arcade (169) (#3)
7. SNES (162) (#10)
8. Neo Geo AES/MVS (133) (#7)
9. TRS-80 MC-10 (121) (#5)
10. Sega Saturn (80)
 

After a long period of playing second fiddle, the ColecoVision is back in the leader position this week. Lock N Chase on its own makes up for 28% of the total minutes and together with its other games it becomes the most played system with almost 46% of the total. The NES in form of Metroid and various Super Mario Bros games is a strong second. The only game to remain on the lists from last week though is good old Kaboom!

 

Lock N Chase (ColecoVision) becomes member #450 in the 1000 Minute Club with a total of 2492 minutes, meaning it was close (840 min) before this week and completely smashed the barrier. Another ColecoVision game, SteamRoller at the same time enters the 5000 Minutes Club with a total of 5032 min. It is the first ColecoVision game in this club, and the third game for a pre-crash system other than Atari manufactured to achieve this (the other are Christmas Carol on the Intellivision and Tunnels of Doom on the TI-99/4A).

 

Edit: And yes, not sure if it happened already last week or this week but the tracker now has 10,034 different games entered so another milestone passed!

Edited by carlsson
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Sonic's 30th anniversary celebration! Yay! Lots of Sonic! Not done yet, though; you'll notice a complete lack of Dreamcast on here. Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 will likely show up eventually, but it may take a while, as I have never particularly cared for either of those games. Also got my new Neo Geo ROM carts, so I did some testing with various Neo Geo games to see how well the AES cart works.

 

Saturn
Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - 67
Sonic 3 & Knuckles - 158
Sonic R - 50

 

Neo Geo AES/MVS
Fatal Fury - 4
Garou: Mark of the Wolves - 5
Metal Slug - 11
Metal Slug X - 19
Neo Turf Masters - 21
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special - 32
Sonic Wings 2 - 10
Strikers 1945 Plus - 11
The King of Fighters 2001 - 5
The King of Fighters 2002 - 4
The King of Fighters 2003 - 3
Waku Waku 7 - 16

 

Genesis/MD
Sonic 3D Blast - 3
Game glitched. It didn't crash and I could still move around and stuff, but I couldn't proceed, so I gave up. I'll get back to it later, perhaps.
Sonic the Hedgehog - 51
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - 66
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 - 76
Sonic & Knuckles - 69
Sonic 3 & Knuckles - 105

 

Mega-CD/Sega CD
Sonic the Hedgehog CD - 96

 

Here's what happened in Sonic 3D Blast:

Pic_0627_735.thumb.jpg.942d0c47be099b70e49ec0a743161062.jpg

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Apple ][:
Ghostbusters - 4 min.
Impossible Mission - 2 min.

 

Atari 8-bit:
Whistler's Brother - 5 min.

 

Not much playing, I spent most of the time waiting for ADTPro to transfer disk images. Also the A8 HSC game is not my cup of tea so most probably I'll find something else to play for the next two weeks.

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Here are my times for this past week (June 21st through 21th) on classic systems...

 

Arcade:

Jr. Pac-Man - 105 min. in 4 sessions

 

This week I played nothing else than Jr. Pac-Man, and this will probably continue at this time. The highest I got was Level 3 though, which is not as good as earlie games I did.

 

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I'm finished with my Classic Gaming time for the week so I'll go ahead and post my times.  Nothing major except an old favorite game and a new one.

 

Arcade:

BurgerTime -- 35 minutes

Scramble -- 30 minutes

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I've started using this thread to keep a log of the last games I've played (three at a time) to hopefully spend less time remembering what I played.

 

Arcade:

Warriors of Fate - 70 minutes. I beat it with, apparently, the worst character, with lots of continues. This is a really fun game, but I thought I would use the horse more.

Gradius - 15 minutes. Man, I suck at the arcade version.

Battlezone - 60 minutes. Trying to refresh my memories of the arcade version enough to have a good level set when comparing it to Stramash Zone for the Vectrex.

 

Game Boy:

Battle Bull - 15 minutes. You would never know this is a takeoff on Pengo from the art, the name, or anything else. But it's pretty great!

 

Game Boy Color:

Project S-11 - 20 minutes. Pretty decent shmup, although rather amateurish in many ways.

 

Game Gear:

Pop Breaker - 15 minutes. Awesome puzzle shooter with an unassuming name. It's a tragedy that this doesn't work on US Game Gears, though there is a patch to fix the region-breaking bug available for use on Everdrive over at SMS Power. I lucked into a cheap, working JP Game Gear to play this with, though.

Rastan Saga - 20 minutes. This is just the Master System version on a Game Gear cartridge. Nevertheless, it's a good port and a ton of fun. It's a terrible shame and very confusing that this was only released in Japan. So many great games never left Japan, but the system was an abject failure there. So weird.

Robocop vs Terminator - 15 minutes. This has to be the most violent Game Gear game. Enemies explode in a cloud of blood when you kill them. It's not terrible, but it's not great. There are many better run'n'guns on the Game Gear.

Bubble Bobble - 20 minutes. Before, I said this was not the one version to play, but it's pretty darn good. Playing it and the Master System version in comparison, all they really did was crop the viewport. Shame this is so rare.

Puzzle & Action Tant-R - 60 minutes. Almost beat it, ran out of continues. That was my first try, with no understanding of how to play the minigames, so I think my next attempt is likely to succeed. I can't read the text of this Wario Ware Inc-style game, but that doesn't make it any less fun. I look forward to playing the sequel one of these days.

Super Smash TV - 10 minutes. Ugh, this is... hard to deal with.

Sports Illustrated Championship Baseball & Football - 15 minutes. Baseball only, and boy howdy is this the worst baseball game on the Game Gear.

Scratch Golf - 45 minutes. This is a very weird golf-game - there's no behind-the-golfer view at all, you never even see yourself. It's all top down. And you know what, it's pretty darn fun. The worst thing about it is how easy it is to whiff, and then you have to go through the six step procedure to try again.

 

Tiger Sega Pocket Arcade:

Ecco the Dolphin - 15 minutes. This is a pretty darn fun avoid-em-up, let down only by the capricious hit detection and timing in each row. If Tiger games had more of the predictability and fairness of Game & Watch games games like this one would be widely beloved instead of being widely reviled.

Panzer Dragoon - 10 minutes. This is not, as I thought, a direct port of the R-Zone version. It's close - the music, the player sprite, and the background layer are the same - but without the ability to shift your viewpoint it's a lot more clunky. There are different enemies. It's hard to believe how hard these games are to see - the R-Zone really is a huge step up from the LCD handhelds.

 

Lynx:

Shanghai - 300 minutes on the Butterfly arrangement (about 35 games) for high score challenge. My best score on a whole set of batteries was 7:42, and I spent most of the week playing awfully. Oh well.

 

32X:

RBI 95 - 75 minutes. There is a lot wrong with this game. No MLB license, for one thing. Joe Buck calls EVERYTHING from a line drive to a grounder a "pop fly", almost always misidentifies the direction it was hit ("pop fly to the pitcher", I heard for the fifteenth time as I hit another line drive foul ball past first base). Fielding is sometimes fine and sometimes really frustrating. It clearly shows players catching balls and then behaves as if the ball touched the ground first. It doesn't look like an RBI game at all except the rich colors - this is taken to an extreme with neon-colored player uniforms. It seems more like a knockoff of Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball (see below) - you can only move left and right in the batter's box, not forward and back. When in fielding mode, it looks more 8 bit than 32 bit.

 

 

And yet I just kept playing. It's a lot of fun despite the problems. It didn't hurt that this is, like, the only baseball game I can reliably win in. Also the music is authentic ballpark organ music and fan clap-a-longs, and I enjoyed that a lot. I think it might have real ballparks - at least the one I picked seemed to look like my memories did. It's not worth what it's selling for these days, alas. 

 

Genesis:

Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball - 20 minutes. This is not as much a winner as the Game Gear version. No MLB license here either. The animations while batting and pitching are impressive, but the fielding animations are nice and smooth too. Pointillistic graphics aside, it's a really shockingly good looking game.

 

 

The menu-driven pitch selection doesn't really make for better pitching, but it's not awful. Batting doesn't feel great - you can't move left and right in the batter's box, and it just really seems hard to get a whack at the ball. (I noticed one of the few comments on that video agrees with me.) The lack of real MLB team colors and logos is a bummer. It makes a big deal of choosing a stadium, but it looked like I was playing in Fenway Park, which I didn't choose. 


X-perts - 45 minutes. This is a widely reviled Eternal Champions spin-off, a strategic beat-em-up where you have to accomplish mission goals with three characters in a large underwater base while you're trying to not get any of them killed. It's very unique. Probably the reason people hate it is that the playable characters have the most idiotic-looking walking animations ever and there is no way to run. The combat animations are pretty dumb too, and the "star" of the game, Shadow from Eternal Champions, has the worst fight animations of all. Using your weapons is frustrating - you freeze in place and have very limited aiming capability. The other humanoids are a trivial challenge, but the stupid floor robots did tons of damage.

 

 

Nevertheless, this is a very interesting game and I enjoyed it quite a bit despite the many flaws. I died with two of my three characters and ran out of time to play it. It would have been interesting to see if there was a way to continue. Apparently it's very unfinished - the battery backup the box promises is nowhere to be found, interrogations (which I didn't get to try) evidently don't work, and there is no real music in-game, just the occasional atmospheric drone. (The video I linked has a great overview of what's missing.) This seems like very fertile ground to revisit for a new multiplayer mission-based beat em up - in concept, it's a really great idea.


Mega CD:

Night Striker - 20 minutes. This super scaler shooter, in the vein of Galaxy Force, is pretty good, and it has an amazing soundtrack. It's messier looking than the amazing driving stages of Batman Returns, but it's one of the most impressive scaling demonstrations this side of Soul Star. Another great game marooned in Japan.

 

PC Engine:

Street Fighter II` - 15 minutes. Mostly to test out my new 6-button Avenue Pad. It's very, very slow.

 

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