Intro – for those loyal readers who have been following the blog since last summer, you may remember this series. Well, here is the long awaited Vol. 3 of 4 (the last one should be hitting soon, before the next two long term projects).
Systems – for Vol. 3 were going to be covering the SNES, the Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance. Each of these collections are significantly smaller than the NES or Genesis collection. DS and 3DS will not be included because those are cards more than cartridges.
SNES – My SNES collection is small, there are only a hand full of games that I want to get for the system at this point, and annoyingly they tend to be very expansive, Like Super Noah’s Ark 3D, but that’s a 300+$ game. Other games on the wish list: Home Improvement, Super Mario All-Stars +or- world, Uniracers, Kirby’s Dream Course, and Tetris & Dr. Mario. In fact only one game in the SNES collection was on my wish list at one point then obtained, and we’ll get to that in a minute. The SNES games here have all been played on the Retron 2.
Championship Pool – actually a pretty fun pool game, not the best I’ve played but pretty good. There is a championship mode where you can play 8 Ball or 9 Ball against the computer. I couldn’t get past the first stage in either. But I did come close in both. There’s also a free mode you can play, but I didn’t do it in this review.
Cool Spot – I already covered this one in vol. 2 and they seem to be the same game. This time around I made it to level 3 and I had the game set on medium not easy. I don’t know if it’s because of the graphics, the controller, or if it’s just simply because I had played the game recently, but I did do better this time around.
Denis the Menace – a pretty bad game, well animated but that’s where it ends, two bad weapons that do barely anything, a week jump that requires you to get hit in order to reach higher platforms, a lot of bad guys (which by itself is not necessarily a bad thing but when combined with the other problems it’s unbearable) and no clear objective. I’ve watched a video on how to beat the first level, but I don’t care enough to try it myself. James and Mike did a nice short cover of this game. They put more into it then I did, but still didn’t get any further.
The Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past – if I had to pick a favorite game series it would be Zelda. This game is my favorite on the SNES (in original form), and the only one to have been on my wishlist before being obtained (the others were all random pick-ups) but it’s hard as hell. I’ve put 13 hours into this game thus far and I still haven’t made it past level 3 (although maybe that’s level 3 of the dark world I’m not sure). I beat the Link Between Worlds (the 3DS’ direct sequel to this game). A Link to the Past was the game I played most heavily in the winter of 2016, but by the spring, it just didn’t feel right, I was close to beating the level 3 boss this time around, continuing the saved game where I left off.
Porky Pig’s Haunted Holiday – unarguably the first game I ever got for the SNES and also the only game for the system that I have (as of yet) beaten. On the easy setting yes but all the other games have been set to easy to (if available) and I haven’t beaten them yet. The game has received mild reviews because it’s low difficulty, and I suppose that if this was one of the only games I had for the system and spent 50$ on it when it came out I might be a little annoyed, but none of those things are the case. The game is fairly fun, well animated with an interesting (though minimal) story line. In this play through I made it to level 3 (of which there are only 5 I think) not too bad. I did a more thorough review of this game early on in this blog and you can read it here.
Road Runner’s Death Valley Rally – I picked up this game because of the low price and because I had a good experience with the other Looney Tunes game for the system (see above), this game is not so good. The game is fast, it’s meant to be fast like a Sonic game, and in a race (putting Sonic and Road Runner side by side) I think the Road Runner might win. Unfortunately the level design is not set up well to accommodate the speed that your main character (the Road Runner) has. There are gages and pratfalls like a typical Road Runner cartoon, but the annoyance in trying to find the exit for each stage. The game leaves a lot to be desired. I couldn’t make it past stage 3 of level 1.
Tetris 2 – this game doesn’t work, it’s one of only 2 in my collection that doesn’t, and luckily I have another copy of it on Game Boy, a recent Acquisition. I should take a moment her to make one statement: the Genesis and the NES in my opinion are both superior to the SNES for a number of reasons (which I won’t be getting into here), but the one place where the SNES does shine over the others is in the durability of the cartridges. Most NES and Genesis games I played for these reviews I had to blow several times to make them work. Some took almost 10 minutes and blowing and reinserting to get to work, but the SNES, I only had to blow on one cart one time to get it to function right. Too bad this particular game doesn’t work at all, it seems to freeze at the copyright screen and no button will go past it. Don’t worry, I have another copy of it for another system, and will get to that later in this review.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighter – I’m a big fan of the turtles and at some point I may do a more elaborate review of my two turtles games (see the forthcoming Cartridge Review Vol. 4 for the next one), the first 3 seasons of the show, and the toys. This game itself is really good but like any other fourth generation fighting game very difficult. I had the game set one its lowest difficulty and couldn’t make it past shredder (who I think is the final boss though I could be wrong), I played as Wingnut mostly, I have his toy, but unfortunately the episode he’s in is not on my DVD’s.
Game boy – I believe Game Boy is the first system I ever got, as a gift from a guy who worked at an airport and had access to the lost and found. My original gray brick Game Boy is currently MIA, but I still have all the games for it, and with the Game Boy Addapter for the Game Cube, I can still play them all… almost all anyways, you’ll see.
4-in-1 FunPak- I’m not sure whether to consider this a multi-cart or just a game that happens to have 4 general games on it. They’re all board games: Chess, Checkers, Backgammon and reverse. Again the question of whether I should do 30 minutes for each arises. The answer, a little different this time: play each game straight through.
Chess – one of my favorite games and one of the few “sports” that I actually follow. I’m okay at the game but nothing spectacular. I know chess notation and I have recorded the game here. I played as white with the difficulty set at level 1. I won of course, but it still took me a while to get through the game, 40 movies, I was expecting around 20. If you know how to read algebraic notation you can read the game for yourself here, if not skip to the next. Either way, it’s not very enlightening. 1.d4 d5 2.g3 e6 3.Bg2 f5 4.Nf3 c6 5.0-0 a6 6.c4 dxc4 7.Nc3 Qd6 8.Bf4 Qb4 9.a3 Qxb2 10.Bd2 Bxa3 11.Rb1 b5 12.Rxb2 Bxb2 13.Ne5 Ne7 14.Qb2 Ba3 15.e4 0-0 16.exf5 exf5 17.Bg5 Bd6 18.d5 Bxe5 19.Re1 Ng6 20.exc6 Bf6 21.c7 Ra7 22.axb8=q Bd4 23.Qxf5 Bxc3 24.Qd5+ Be6 25.Qxe6+ Raf7 26.Qxf8+ Nxf8 27.Qxa6 Bxe1 28.Qxb5 Bxf2+ 29.Kh1 c3 30.Qb3 h6 31.Bc1 Bd4 32.Qc4 Be5 33.Bd5 Bf6 34. Bxf7+ Kh7 35.Qd3 Kh8 36.Ba3 Nh7 37.Qc4 Ng5 38.Bg6 Nf3 39.Qc8+ Bd8 40.Qxd8#
Checkers – I lost, again playing against the computer on the lowest setting. Checkers is a game I do not understand well. I suppose if I put more time in it I would, but I’m not nearly as interested in it as I am with chess.
Backgammon – gave up, did not understand the game, and couldn’t figure out where I had to move the pieces. I got a backgammon app for my phone, maybe after I play more I can try it again on the Game Boy… or maybe not.
Reversi – lost. The game looks interesting though, in fact more interesting then backgammon, I may start playing this game more frequently.
Donkey Kong – I played this game once when I got it and didn’t like it that much. The trailer I saw for it, when it was available for the 3DS Virtual Consul showed a game considerably different then what I played when I popped it, or so I thought. At first it seems to be more or less a direct port of the original arcade game, which I don’t like all that much, but that’s only the first level, more of a demo level really. The actual game is more like the Mario Vs. Doneky another series I love. I still don’t like this game quite as much as MvDK but it’s much better now that I’ve played it a little more. Also the art on the cartridge is really good. The game boy may have some of the best artwork out there, which is surprising given how small the medium is to work with.
Kirby’s Star Stackers – This is my favorite game on the system, without a doubt. I have it on my 3DS as well and play it all the time, and I’m also quite good at it, I’ve cleared out all of the round clears at least twice and the highest score I’ve gotten in a single game is around 1,500 points. I don’t have an exsact figure because I had deleted the file a few months ago, so I could go through the game fresh again (this is something I do often in games I really like). In the half hour I played I only did the challenge, only one challenge, I wasn’t even close to losing and got a score of 632 points.
Maddan 97 – I played this game for 7 minutes for this test, that’s all I could take.
Metroid – I’ve had this game for quite a while, this time around I really enjoyed it and got further than I ever had before, though exactly how far that is and where I can’t really say as I am not very familiar with the game itself and the series. Even though the game is streamlined, there is still and awful lot her to explore, worth checking out.
Mickeys Dangerous Chase – I did better on this game the first time I tested it then this time around, and I also liked it more then. I can’t get past the speedboat section (beginning of level 2 I believe). You can play as either Mickey or Minnie, I chose Minnie of course, but I don’t think that makes a huge difference. A lot of game overs in the half hour test.
Pac-Man – classic arcade game, supposedly “Mrs. Pac-Man” is the superior game in every way, but the original is a great, highly addictive (and at times annoying), game. I don’t think I need to explain how this game works to anyone really. After a half hour of ply I got a high score of: 14710 points.
Solomon’s Club – This is one of those, semi-rare puzzle platformers and my favorite of the genre (if you count the Mario Vs. Donkey Kong games as pure puzzle games, which I do). It’s one of my favorite games for the system, but not a very popular one. I picked it up in the Game Boys hay day for 12$ at Toys ‘R Us, taking a gamble at the time and getting a good pay out. There was a similar NES game called Solomon’s Key, which I have on the Wii virtual consul. that game is not as good though, it doesn’t have a level select the way that Club does, and it seems harder, though that may just be me, I think the first level is the same in both games, but I’ll have to double check. In the half hour play test I cleared out the first two levels (each one with 10 rooms). Despite the NES game being the lesser of the two, it’s still and automatic pick up if I should find it.
Space Cadet Adventures – for a while this was my least favorite game on the system, but I think that’s gotten beat now by Madden 97 (which is a little unfair but…). The game is unfriendly at the very least: 3 hits, 3 lives, no continues, there is health to regain but the controls are suggest, especially the hair ball projectile. To make matters worse, everything can hurt you, from a flying lightbulb to a puddle on the floor to, sound waves, and even certain buttons on the in game computers. Playing it this time however I seemed to do better than I had before, not great but better, it seems that your fingers will know what to I do after the first couple of times around. Apparently you do get to play as Ren lost on a foreign planet, but I’ve never made it this far myself. Perhaps this game would in fact be worth a serious review, especially considering it is based on their best episode, but before that happens I have a few other reviews to get through.
Mario Land 2: six gold coins – my first game for the system, my favorite platformer for the system, and also my favorite of the traditional Mario games. I also have this on the 3DS virtual consul, it’s that good, probably my second favorite game for the system overall, but it doesn’t beat out Star Stackers because little does. In the half hour run I was able to acquire gold coins from the Space Zone and the Mario Zone. I’ve made it to warrior before but I’ve never beaten him, maybe one of these days.
Tetris – Another one of my favorite series and one I’m pretty good at too. Interesting to note that almost everyone that had an original game boy had this game… almost. It was a pack in title for the game boy and is largely if not directly responsible for cementing Nintendo’s place in the hand held market during the era. Why? Tetris is a game that appeals to a wide verity of players: hardcore gamers, puzzle fans, casual gamers, and gamers of any age. The same strategy was employed with the launch of the Wii and Wii Sports. I say almost everyone had this because I didn’t, not for a while anyways; it was one of the last games in bought for the system in its prime. Anyways what can be said about Tetris? I lost a few times in my half hour run (I haven’t played for a while) and the best score I got was: 17817.
Tetris 2 – My SNES copy doesn’t work, but this version does. I also had the option to pick it up for the NES, but the same game on three different platforms is a little too redundant for me at this point. The game is considerably different then original Tetris, you’re given a few flashing pieces and you have to match 3 of a kind to clear pieces out. Once you’ve cleared all the flashing pieces you move to the next round. In the half hour I made it to round 9. The game is based on individual puzzles rather than a continuous infinite game (the latter of which I tend to greatly prefer). I don’t mind the setup, if infinite play is also an option, but when it’s the entirety of the game, that’s a problem, for me at least.
Tetris attack – Again a very different game then Tetris and Tetris 2, and one of my favorites on the system. The pieces continue to move up and you flip two pieces at once side by side to match 3 or more in a row or column to clear them out. Yoshie and other less recognizable characters make an appearance. The music (if you pick Yoshie at least) is by far the best music for any game on the system. Playing continuously I lasted about 20 minutes and got a score of 8,688 points. I picked this up from the bargain bin at my (then) game store for 2$ I think and it is the best Game Boy game I’ve gotten there and maybe best overall game I’ve gotten there as well… maybe.
Yoshies Cookie – Unfortunately this game doesn’t. I have gotten it to work once in the past, and it’s a puzzle game, but not an infinite play one. The cover art is nice thought.
Game Boy Advanced – interestingly my GBA collection is by far the most valuable by per game average as all of them (all 4) are complete in box.
Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral town – One of my wife’s games which I didn’t play. If I remember right, I got this game for her for her birthday or maybe a (dating) anniversary along with the Game Boy Micro. This is not a game you can make significant progress in in a half hour even if I did play it, which I didn’t.
Shaman King Legacy – Another one of my wife’s game, and since I know almost nothing about it, and I don’t want to potentially mess up her save file (if there is one), I didn’t play it for this review.
Super Mario World: Super Mario Advanced 2 – This game (along with the next) my wife made me pick up when they were on clearance at the department story she was working at. I got it brand new for 6 or 12$ at the time. I’ve only played it a few times, I remember once (probably the day I got it) we had played it together all the way to the haunted forest zone (not sure what it’s called) and got stuck there. In this half hour of play I beat Iggie’s Castle. Also I realized that there is a bonus game on the cart, the original Mario Bros. game, but with greatly improved graphics. It also seems to be easier to play. I got a score of 79,440 before getting a continue screen.
The Legend of Zelda – This is somewhat surprisingly one of the most valuable games in my collection, and the reason I won’t pick up the original Legend of Zelda for the NES yet, because I already have it and I know that I physically can’t get past the 4th temple (You can read more about that in my larger review of the game). In this run, I started a fresh game and in a half hour of play: I died 11 times, beat the first temple, got bombs, the bow, and arrows, and I did all this without using a guide or external map, and I’m fairly impressed with myself at that.