On Saturday October 4th, I officially became a retro game collector. A week earlier I had parked in the wrong place when picking up some pizza, and discovered a brand new Retro store that had opened up just right around the corner from where I work called Classic Game Junkie. Unfortunately I had gotten very sick the next day and for a week I was not able to stop in. I knew it would not be a good thing to have such a specific and convenient store open up so close by, but what can you do? I went in and the two owners were very friendly, prices were reasonable. They didn’t have any specific games that I was looking for, but I did pick up a few, mainly (but not at all entirely) because I like to help a new business like that.
What did I get? Prince of Persia, TAZ in Escape from Mars, Tetris Attack, and Donkey Kong, For the Sega Genesis and Game Boy respectfully. I am considering Prince of Persia to be the first “New Old Game” that I ever got, even though I got all 4 at the same time. It has been at least 18 years since I bought a Genesis Game, and 20 or more years since I bought a Gamboy game. My Geneses collection is now 2% complete, and my Gameboy/Gameboy color collection is 0.8% complete. Hopefully (for financial reasons) those percentages will not change drastically any time soon.
Prince of Persia – The guy at the store told me it was a hard but good game, and he was right. The controls are sluggish, but not in the way that a crappy game’s controls might be, here it forces the player to plan ahead like in a strategy game, plan every move. I like the game so much that I stopped playing the original Zelda and started playing this game for the review. However this was only the second best of the four I bought.
Taz in Escape from Mars – I have a tape from the early 90’s that I still watch from time to time, it’s a recording of Nickelodeon cartoons from way back when they used to show Rocky and Bullwinkle on the network. There was some sort of prize giveaway, to promote the then in utero “Snick” block, kids used a primitive video phone to call and try and match 2 Snick shows. If they won they would get and I quote: “A TV, a VCR, a Sega Genesis 16-Bit video game system [this was back in the height of the bit wars of course], a whole bunch of game cartridges, and a hundred dollars from Kraft Handy Snacks.” If they lost they still got a Sega Genesis and the Tazmania Game Cartridge. Now this Taz is a different game from the one that I got, it was the original one. I had played one of the games before, but I don’t remember which one. I remember we rented it from Blockbuster and I played it at my Grandmother’s house with my cousins. I think it was the original, but I can’t be sure. Regardless that is the reason I picked up this game, because it is somewhat connected with my past, albeit indirectly. The game play is pretty strait forward, decent controls, somewhat typical sidescroller. Looney Tunes games tend to get criticized heavily and I would think unfairly, I’ve never had a huge problem with any of them. In the 15 minutes I spent testing the game I almost beat the first boss, so it’s not too difficult, it should be a promising game for a later point.
Tetris Attack – This is my favorite of the set. Match 3 or more of the different symbols (hearts, stars, etc.), you play the game by flipping two blocks at a time on a vertical axis (similar to but more limited then Puzzle Quest, which allows flipping on both axes) while the screen slowly fills up from the bottom. This is a puzzle game in its purest from, and absolutely fantastic, the replay value is through the roof. This game has it all: challenging puzzle, cute animations, and fantastic music. And was actually the cheapest one of the lot. Sometimes that’s how the world works.
Donkey Kong – and here we have my least favorite of the set. I had this game on my 3DS wishlist because it looked like a more primitive version of the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series (of which I am a huge fan). The game however is not that at all, it is basically the original Donkey Kong game but with new screens to play. It’s not really a game I found myself enjoying all too much, though I can’t really say why. Maybe in the future I might pick it up and give it another go, but not any time soon.