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|Ghostbear1111's Last 25 Game Reviews||
Hunt for Red October, The
04-18-17 12:29 PM
| The Hunt for a Good Game
"On November 12th, 1984, approximately four months before Mikhail Gorbachev took power in the Soviet Union, a Russian Typhoon class submarine surfaced briefly in the Atlantic Ocean just north or Bermuda. It subsequently sank in deep water after suffering massive radiation leakage. Unconfirmed reports indicated some of the crew were rescued.
According to repeated statements by both Soviet and American governments, none of what you are about to see...
Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery put out one of the greatest movies of the 90s. It was a thriller based on Tom Clancy's outstanding novel. The movie is suspenseful, entertaining, and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The game does not.
Beam Software (who?) put out the game in early 1991. It is a sea combat side-scroller that features perhaps some of the most obstacle-intense video game sequences for Nintendo. You play as Captain Marko Ramius as you try to defect from the Soviet Union and take your ultra-silent submarine technology to the United States.
Along the way, you battle terrorists, outlaws, Russians, and maze-style obstacles that make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle unwater levels look like Super Mario, level 1-1. The expenditure of ammunition sent to destroy you rivals the United States and Russian arsenals combined in 2017.
The other challenge is everything you touch takes damage away from you. Debris floating everywhere destroys submarines and you are almost too busy trying to evade walls, moving tunnels, chains, ice, and more, you can't focus on destroying enemies working to sink you.
The game is an average, at best, side-scrolling adventure. Two interesting elements are the 'silent drive' portion of the game. YOu have limited amount of Caterpiller drive (the movie's plot is predicated on a new Russian technology being able to make a submarine completely silent) where enemies can't see or shoot at yo... Read the rest of this Review
04-09-17 08:12 AM
| Athena is no Goddess on NES
Athena is a platform side-scroller from SNK and produced in 1986. I discovered it while reading an article about the Top 10 Worst Games for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
First and foremost, this is a poorly designed games. Different elements, from gameplay to graphics to controls to story and sound, are all weakly done and leave something to be desired.
The story revolves around Athena, Greek Goddess of Wisdom, art, and strategic warfare. She is bored living in the heavens and she decides to descend to have some adventures. She goes the Door Which Shouldn't Be Opened in the basement of the castle and tumbles to the world below. While falling, she ends up nearly naked, unarmed, and in a land where everything wants to kill her. She has to battle through countless enemies to find her way back home.
That sounds like a great plot and it would make a good story. Unfortunately, the game itself is poorly executed.
Athena starts out with nothing more than underwear and boots. Her first ability is to kick enemies. When enemies are defeated, they sometimes drop weapons, including sticks, hammers, swords, a bolo-type weapon, bows and arrows, and more. Athena can also pick up armor, including helmets, shields, and plate armor. These are found by destroying boulders and rocks throughout the game. Athena can even find the Wings of Hermes (or something like that) which enable her to jump extra high. She climbs, jumps, and fights through an uninteresting background, through a world like a forest, an unwater level, and more.
The graphics leave something to be desired and I wasn't sure what I was even fighting. There were what looked like horse-head soldiers but I wasn't sure what they represented. There were other enemies but they, too, were unidentifiable. All I knew was anything that moved had to be killed. The slaughter was spectacular and there were constant enemies at every corner. The difficulty, once... Read the rest of this Review
04-07-17 07:12 PM
| Renegade against who?
I found Renegade for the Nintendo Entertainment System while reading an online article about beat-em-up games I should play not named River City Ransom or Double Dragon.
Renegade is an interesting game to play because it is a forerunner of a number of elements to later combat games. Four directional movement, for example, started with the Japanese arcade version of Renegade. The original game, Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun, translates into "Hot-Blooded Tough Guy Kunio," which makes it worth playing in the first place. Further reading also indicates Renegade was the first game to introduce enemies who could sustain multiple hits before being defeated.
Renegade on the NES is a below-average game. The player is immediately thrust into the action with no idea of what we're doing here. I'm fighting enemies to rescue someone? Maybe a girlfriend? It's never clear on the objective. The player simply starts fighting everyone in site.
And the computer throws multiple enemies at the player on every map. Maps are limited in scope to just a single setting, a subway station for example, with movement being limited to the edges of the screen. There are often three bad guys to take on at once, one is usually armed with a weapon but takes fewer hits to defeat. The others are unarmed but can hold down the player to allow gang-up beatings. They take more shots to defeat. After the player defeats a number of waves, a final boss shows up and the player then defeats him.
I was bored at first since the AI had the same strategy for players and learning the timing, paired with the button-mashing, made the game easy after the first play-through. Interesting enemies showed up, namely guys on motorcycles who try to run down the player, an enemy with a big knife that defeats the player with one stroke, and towards the end of the game, warps that send the player back levels if they select the wrong path to take.
The thing that str... Read the rest of this Review
04-06-17 06:04 AM
| Jackal - The Run'N'Gun
Jackal, released by Konami for the Nintendo Entertainment System, is one of the better run and gun style games for the NES.
The format is a top-down shooter where you take command of one (or two for two-player mode) jeeps and attempt to assault through one of the most hostile military environments the NES will throw at you. There are two weapons, a limited range machine gun that fires rounds to the top of the screen no matter what orientation the jeep is in, and a special weapon, which starts with grenades. Those grenades can be upgrade to missiles, missiles that explode left and right to cause more damage, and missiles that explode left, right, up and down to cause maximum damage. Once the jeep is destroyed, the player is reset with grenades and guns only. There are no upgrades for the machine gun.
A transport helicopter drops you off at the beginning of the game in a vaguely Central American looking map. Your objective is to attack through enemy held terrain, rescuing POWs along the way, dropping them off for extraction, and finally destroying the enemy's final weapon. Along the way, you're attacked by a host of infantry, jeeps and tanks, helicopters and attack planes, field guns, and even light speed boats and submarines. The jeep fits, somehow, unlimited rescued soldiers and there are weapon upgrades available if the jeep delivers all eight to a landing pad.
Jackal is fun. It's a game where you have to decide between shooting it out or running through the game. I played several times, once was to simply avoid the bullets and missiles flying at me. It's beatable both ways, though trying to fight your way often proves more difficult. The number of enemy rounds and cannonballs and explosives flying at you often makes maneuver difficult. The controls are responsive and you can make that little jeep dance on the map. Another nice point is you can go back down and left and right with the scrolling map. It's not Super Mari... Read the rest of this Review
North & South
03-12-17 11:32 AM
| An American Civil War Simulator!
North & South is a combined military strategy game and a combat action simulator. The storyline is simple: Thomas Jefferson and the Confederate States of America have declared independence from the United States of America. The USA now wages war to hold the Union together and the CSA fights to be recognized as a sovereign nation.
Politics aside, North & South focuses on both strategy and action. The game is broken into thirds for playable action. The first and main focus is on the main screen. It shows an overview of the United States, from approximately the Mississippi River and east. Each state is a 'capturable' location and the states form the board where units move and fight battles. There is a railroad track that runs between various states and it provides resources in the form of bags of money based on the bases and states a player holds. You can use these bags of money, in groups of five, to generate new armies.
The objective of the main map is for armies to move, battle each other, capture bases or trains, and ultimately control all the states for victory.
The Battle screen is where actual military units engage each other and fight battles. All battles are to the death and there is no retreat for a losing army. The armies consist of cannons, infantry, and cavalry. There are three cannons, six infantrymen, and three cavalry horse units. They move simultaneously and a player must quickly switch between units to control all three. Switching is by "B" button and action is by "A" button. Cannons can move and shoot cannonballs, infantry can walk and shoot short-range rifle shots, and cavalry, once started, keep moving forward. Their action is swinging their swords. The challenge comes when cavalry units are moving and continue forward when the player controls either artillery or infantry. The more challenging part is when canyons and rivers are introduced and cavalry simply ride into the water and die or fall into ... Read the rest of this Review
03-10-17 07:10 AM
| Desert Commander: Arid NES Combat
It is 1942 and the Allies and Axis are embroiled in World War 2. The North African theater is the setting for Desert Commander, Kemco's 1989 turn-based military strategy game.
This is perhaps one of the most well-developed NES strategy games available, especially for so early a game. Its depth is impressive for NES.
GAMEPLAY: Desert Commander is a hex-based (4-side square hexes) no time-limit combat simulator. While the units are supposed to be either Allied or Axis, there is no color scheme denoting which side is which side. Units for both sides look the same for ease of identification and quick reference to range, strengths and weaknesses. Each unit may move and attack an enemy, refuel/reload at specific points in the map, fire without moving (artillery and anti-aircraft) or simply not move. One side moves the entirety of their army before ending their turn, whereas the other side moves their units.
The objective is to destroy the enemy's Headquarters unit. There are no capture the flag style victories or total victories where destruction of the enemy is required to win. The strategy changes with the only Victory Condition being the elimination of one specific unit.
THE UNITS: There are 11 units in Desert Commander. Each has benefits and can be strong in specific hexes and against specific enemy units. For example, anti-aircraft guns are strong against bombers and fighters but weak against other ground units. It is important to know the strengths and weakness of the units and what kind of terrain gives them a benefit to maximize the attack and defense points. The more difficult levels in the game give the enemy more units, making the numerically superior, and simply attacking without regard for bonuses will make a win very challenging. As this is a review and not a strategy guide, I will not outline the units and their individual strengths and weaknesses.
SUPPLY UNITS: There is one exciting ele... Read the rest of this Review
Bard\'s Tale, The - Tales of the Unknown
03-09-17 01:11 PM
| A Bard's Tale: NES
"It is a time of swords and magic. In a distant world there is a town called Skara Brae. The town has prospered thanks to many years of peace."
But an evil wizard named Mangar has seized control of the town and turned it to eternal winter. It is up to a band of adventurers to work together to find a local protector, Kylearen, who possesses a key to sneak the band into the tower of Mangar. There, the band may challenge Mangar and end his evil ways.
The story sounds good. This is something I can wrap my mind around and gear up and fight enemies and come to the rescue of a town that needs my help. What a great premise for a game. A Bard's Tale is a Nintendo remake of a game (of the same name) meant for PC. I have never played the original game so I can't compare it to anything. I know I can compare Bard's Tale against other RPGs of the day, say Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy's early games, and so on.
I am going to do this from a positives and negatives, not an aspect by aspect approach.
I did not score this game highly and I will discuss the why. The biggest concern isn't even the story, the graphics, the music, or the progression. The menus and submenus require a large amount of effort to complete some of the most simple tasks. For example, two characters purchasing equipment at a store resembles something like: "Select Trade, select character, select Pool Gold, select purchase item, select item, back out, back out, back out, select alternate character, select pool gold, select purchase item." And equipping gear, using items, performing almost any task within the menus is so unwieldy it gets old really quickly. I challenge anyone to tell me there's any level of efficiency with handling the equipment and spells side of things.
The other challenge is the insanely tough beginning. The first three levels of the game is hard and if you die or make a mistake, you're pun... Read the rest of this Review
09-04-16 08:53 AM
| NES - Guerilla War
Guerilla War is a Nintendo game that features two unnamed, unknown commandos running and gunning through an unidentified central or South American country. The one or two players use a variety of weapons, tanks, and grenades to kill massive numbers of infantry, tanks, helicopters, and more. They also try to save as many captives, hostages, nurses, and poor townspeople as they work their way through bosses to defeat the final dictator.
Guerilla War is a top-down game where a player attacks towards the top of the screen. They begin with a rifle, with limited distance, and a grenade that does not do much damage. The objective is to kill as many enemies as possible while not harming (saving) hostages who are tied up at different locations through the maps. Upgrades in weapons are available by killing special enemies who marked by red uniforms, compared to green or yellow uniforms of most enemies. Upgrades in include spread rifles, more explosive grenades, rockets, rockets that explode and spread out, and a flame thrower. These upgrades are available to the player until they are killed or they touch a different upgrade. There is also an option to capture and control a tank, which absorbs more hits than a player by him or herself. The tank also substitutes cannon balls for rifle fire and upgrades the special weapons even more. The tank does run out of time and/or takes enough hits and self-destructs. The player can escape the tank so he is not killed with it blows.
The music is fun and upbeat and puts you in the mood for shooting rebels and freedom fighters. The sounds of explosives are pervasive in the game because it is a true Run & Gunner. There is no cover and concealment. There is no strategy or patience in attacking. The two player mode does not allow friendly fire to damage the other player so two players attack and mow down everything in sight. I have never counted the number of enemies but it is "many." They keep coming, in ... Read the rest of this Review
08-30-16 07:06 PM
| NES - 10 Yard Fight
I saw two different reviews of Ten Yard Fight for the NES. One was trashed due to poor content and low word count. The other was criticized for 290 words or so.
Here's the deal: Ten Yard Fight has little to offer. There's not much to talk about or discuss.
The game is a football game (American football), featuring a field that goes vertical instead of horizontal, like Tecmo Bowl and other games.
Gameplay: The game is simple. On offense, you are the quarterback and you can snap the ball at any time. You can wait as a tailback motions from left to right or right to left before you snap the ball. There is only one eligible receiver, usually in the form of the A button, and one halfback available for an option, in the form of the B button. All 8 other players are blockers.
On defense, you can be usually either a defensive end on the strong side or the weakside linebacker/corner. The computer does not allow you to make any pre-snap adjustments and the option to change defensive player only occurs after the ball has been snapped.
Once the ball is in play, it's simply following blockers and dodging diving defensemen if you're attacking up the screen and diving after the ballcarrier if you're on defense. There are passes that can be intercepted or caught but the main play selection relies on running. The defense is a bit faster than the offense.
The graphics are terrible. There's only smudges of color schemes for the players, the down and distance take a few minutes to understand, the hashmarks are tough to tell where a first down would actually be and the extra point and field goal graphics make kicking so simple, I couldn't miss a kick if I tried.
The sound is 1980s NES without the fun. They are bad. Turn the sound off and listen to a TED talk or music and enlighten your mind while wrapping it around a bad example of an early football game.
The game is fun for five to t... Read the rest of this Review
Dragon Warrior III
08-14-16 08:28 AM
| Saving Two Worlds
Dragon Warrior III, the third title of the Dragon Warrior series in North America and named Dragon Quest elsewhere, is the prequel to the series, following the story of a hero who must travel to various towns and cities throughout the world in an effort to defeat the Archfield, Baramos.
The game follows the prescription for RPGs, where the hero follows a linear path, leveling up and fighting both set battles and random encounters. Dragon Warrior III excels as an RPG because it allows for an open world, especially later in the game when various forms of transportation allow the hero to travel over seas or in the air. There is also an option to add party members to help the hero complete his mission. Up to three companions are created or added at the bar in the hero's home city. Class selection is available for the first time in the series, and based on the player's strategy, options include wizards, fighters, soldiers, goof-offs, merchants, and clerics, each having specific skills and positives and negatives. The hero can travel with three fighters for quick, physical combat, or a number of magic users for a strong non-physical attack/defense stategy.
SOUND: The music of the game will stay with you long after you turn the power off or save your game. The towns, cities, overworld themes, and battle and dungeon themes are catchy and strong for a NES game done so early in the 1990s. The themes reflect the size and activity of the towns and later in the game there is some creative reimagining of traditional music.
STORY: The story is similar to most RPGs. A hero is destined to save the world. There's nothing special or different about the main idea. However, the execution is done well. There are multiple storylines the hero engages in to develop skills and improve his arsenal. There's a king who wants to give up being royalty and makes the hero become the new ruler. There's a kidnapped woman and her boyfriend who need to be r... Read the rest of this Review
Bad News Baseball
08-13-16 12:01 PM
| Great News for Baseball
Bads News Baseball, for the Nintendo Entertainment System, was originally released in 1989 in Japan by Techmo, under the literal translation of "Fierce Fighting Stadium!" It is one of the first major titles for baseball games for the NES and paved the way for future baseball franchises. It competed directly with RBI Baseball at the time and may not have been as commercial successful but is the superior game for the time.
The gameplay is simple in design. The objective of the game is to select one of twelve teams, all named after cities with Major League Baseball teams and all of color schemes of their respective teams, and beat the other 11 squads. There is no mention of actual team names, so the Detroit Tigers are simply represented as Detroit, with a black and gray coloration. There is no record for wins and losses and the player may lose several games before beating team. However, if they successfully beat every time, they are crowned league champions, even if it took the player a number of losses to do so. You could be 11-40 and still 'beat the game.'
The game is also more entertaining because it doesn't take itself seriously. The onfield umpires are rabbits, who signal safe and out. The baserunners are knocked unconscious if they are thrown out or they pop out to the field. There are stars that circle over their heads and they fall over. There is animation for close plays at the plate or the bases, there is animation when players strike out (sometimes), and the homerun animation is enjoyable for a time. It shows a player high five teammates down a line and the last person is often a gorilla or Mr. T. There is also a not so secret mode where the rosters have females instead of male players. Lastly, when fielders make errors, they bobble the ball and panic.
GRAPHICS: 7 As mentioned above, the field looks good, the crowd bounces up and down to give the effect of a real crowd, the pitches are easy to see, and the fie... Read the rest of this Review
08-09-16 06:15 AM
| Act Raiser, an SNES gem
Ah, Act Raiser. The Super Nintendo finally brings us a mixed-platform game, with both side-scrolling hackin'n'slashin and top-down simulation, similar to SimCity.
In a far-off world, demons and evil are taking over. People have been driven away from their homes and only you are able to free them, drive off the evil beings, and provide the people with support to help them thrive and grow.
The beauty of ActRaiser is the balance between the side-scrolling action and the top-down adventure. The game is set up with regions of land as levels and the player must first clear the land from the demons who inhabit it. This is done but jumping, crouching, and playing a side scrolling game with the intent to destroy as many baddies as possible and defeat a boss character. Each region is defined by its geography, so we have a desert landscape, a jungle landscape, snow, mountains, and the levels are designed to reflect the traps and pitfalls each of those geographies have. The scrolling action is not especially hard but it is fun to watch and some of the timing challenges and enemies can be frustrating.
The town building simulation is, for me, the more enjoyable part of the game. There's an overhead map with a temple from which people build and develop towns. Each town has its own unique problems and needs the help of the main character to direct the people to harmony. The avatar of an angel with a bow and arrow helps lead people to build and develop while protecting them from roving monsters. The ultimate goal is to lead the towns to monster lairs and allow the townsfolk to battle the monsters and eliminate them from the map.
The trouble with the maps, though, is there are geographical obstructions to the path of building. In the desert, large areas are covered by sand. The jungle and forest regions are covered by trees. The arctic region is covered by snow, and so on. The angel has a limited amount of mana to cast spells ... Read the rest of this Review
RBI Baseball 2014
07-22-16 11:12 AM
| NES Classic Baseball Game
RBI Baseball is a classic NES game, known by the cover art as one of the first well-developed sports games available for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Graphics: We're talking a game created in the 1980s. Don't expect state of the art graphics, individual faces of people in the crowd, and so on. The field is nice-looking with well-done lines. There are flags waving in the wind and fireworks, similar to Super Mario Brothers, that go off when either team hits a home run. Some of the game physics work well with balls that curl away hitters when certain pitches are thrown. That added element makes the baseball game more dynamic. Lastly, the technology may not have been around but there are no African-American players. Everyone, including Ozzie Smith, is white. Lastly, there's a timer at the top of the scoreboard keeping track of the time of the game. It's surprisingly accurate.
Sound: The sound is average at best. There are only a few needed sounds, pitches, fly balls, cheering, sliding, and hits. That limits the ability of the game to develop good sound since it is simple to execute.
Music: The music is repetitive. Turn the sound off and enjoy music, YouTube videos, anything else. You have main menu music, you have regular music, and you get slightly anticipatory music when the bases are loaded. After that.... it's the same. The music is not important for a sports game and it works fine as filler or dead silence but the score is nothing to enjoy.
Story: There is no story. Pick a team and beat all the other teams, including the American League and National League all-star teams to see ending animation. Beyond that, there's nothing there.
Depth: The game has a mild amount of depth for a sports game. You have a bullpen and pitchers are unavailable the next game if they pitch a large number of innings. They also get 'tired' as the game progresses and their control and velocity slow down, making ... Read the rest of this Review
|Ghostbear1111's Game History|
|Dragon Warrior III (nes),|
|Nintendo NES Games Ghostbear1111 owns (14)|
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