Posts Tagged ‘genesis’

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

When I moved to a new school to start off 1st Grade, my teacher had me fill out a new student worksheet so they could hang it in the hallway to introduce me to the rest of the school. One of the questions was “what do you want to be when you grow up?” No one had ever asked me that. I was only 6 years old. I chose something on the spot: race car driver. It seemed relatively normal for a 6-year-old to pick. Some other the other new kids said army guy or princess. Race car driver was a safe choice. But I knew in my heart I had a greater destiny. I wanted to be the 3rd Mario Brother. My (totally platonic) love affair the mustachioed Italian plumber runs deep. At 27 years old, Mario and I have been maintaining a gamemance for nearly 25 years and counting. I get geeked about new Mario game releases just as much as a kid. Girlfriends have had to deal with my irrational exuberance when E3 rolls around and Shigeru Miyamoto via translator Bill Trinen debuts Nintendo’s hot new ware. When said hot new ware releases and I get my hands on it… it’s, well… good. But for about the last 8 to 10 years, something has felt missing from the core Mario releases. New Super Mario Bros. certainly feels new, but I think therein lies the problem. It’s new, not old, which is what this retro gamer is used to.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

I make no bones about saying my favorite game of all-time is Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES. It’s a fun game and still incredibly challenging after all these years. I still get an incredible sense of satisfaction after beating it because of the trials and tribulations of taking Mario through World 8 (especially the latter half of it, woof). I have great memories of playing this game as a child and watching others play it. But it makes me wonder, is Super Mario Bros. 3 my favorite game because it’s such a great game? Or is my undying love for it because I have such treasured memories of days past? I mean, it’s not exactly a stretch for someone to choose SMB3 as their favorite game. It is one of the best-selling games of all-time after all. But one of my earliest memories is watching my dad play it. My dad these days is absolutely NOT a gamer. I’m not even sure he’s touched a video game since I tried to get him to play NASCAR Thunder 2003. Even then, he probably hadn’t played a game since the early 90s. But I have such a vivid memory of watching him go through the second fortress on World 5 (the one that connects to the sky portion of that particular map). Maybe I’m looking into this too much, but could my love of Super Mario 3 be a result of it being, as far as I’m concerned, one of two video games I’ve ever seen my dad play? My dad and I never had a really close relationship. Could I be involuntarily holding on to this cherished memory by continually playing this game in the hopes of one day tossing my dad the second controller because I desire a closer relationship with my father? Yikes, this is getting a little deep for me. But this is only an explanation for one game, my favorite game. What about the other oldies?

Moby Games

Moby Games

Everyone has their reasons for being a retro gamer. Some may be hard pressed to find a reason for being a retro gamer other than “because it’s fun.” Well, of course it’s fun. You enjoy things that you find fun. But I want to go deeper. It may seem a bit self-serving, but I’m doing this introspective into my own head because I want to learn more about me. Maybe by doing this I can learn about others, but for now, I want to share my results with the world. One theory I came up with is how my post-high school life has been treating me. Adulthood has definitely had its share of ups and downs for me. I’ve faced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It perfectly matches my senior yearbook quote of “Life is like a rollercoaster. It’s scary.” Perhaps because my adult life has been less than desirable for the majority of my 20s, I’ve been holding on to childhood memories to remind myself of happier times. What better way to relive those memories than with the one constant in my life?

GameFAQs

GameFAQs

When I was living with an emotionally and mentally abusive girlfriend, my gaming room was my escape. For a small block of time, I was able to block her out and go back to a time where my feet didn’t touch the floor when I sat on the couch. I could sit in the basement and pretend I was 9 years old all over again. When a different girlfriend left me and I sat alone in an empty apartment, I picked up my 3DS and started speedruns on the copy of Super Mario Bros. I downloaded from the eShop. I didn’t have much, but I had the pure unadulterated elation of beating Super Mario Bros. without not just dying, but not even getting hit by an enemy. When I had a bad day at work and just wanted to yell and scream and ask whatever supreme being is in the sky “why?” I would go home, fire up my Nintendo, and take it out on the pixilated baddies. Ha! Take that goomba-who-is-an-8-bit-representation-of-that-customer-that-really-pissed-me-off-today! Okay, this seems to me that all I’m talking about is Mario. I mean, I played a lot of Mario as a kid as well as other series, but how does that account for my collection and love of retro games that I’ve only recently discovered?

GameFAQs

GameFAQs

When I originally started Five Dollar Gamer, I had not really started my retro gaming collection. I was mostly collecting games that I had as a kid, recovering what had been stolen from me in what I refer to as “The Great Nintendo Heist of 2000.” I managed to build that collection back up and then some, but Five Dollar Gamer started when my curiosity was piqued by a $2.99 Super Nintendo game. As a result of this almost 2-year venture, I have amassed nearly 100 “new” games to add to my collection. But what do I find so appealing about these games? These are not games that were a part of my childhood. But a lot of the time, these games hit the right mental notes. I had so much fun playing Solar Striker on the Game Boy, a game I only found out existed hours before the first time I ever played it. I feel it’s because of the similarities of the games I’m used to playing. The race for the high score, the simplicity, and the imagination required to craft your own story. Today’s games have the story spelled out for you. While sometimes that’s pulled of masterfully like in Bioshock or Grand Theft Auto V, for me, the kid who wanted to be the third Mario Brother, a little imagination goes a long way when enjoying an older game.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

I don’t want this to come off as I only play old video games when my life is being shitty and I need it as a crutch to not fall further or a ladder to try to climb out. I play it during the happy times too. Everyone loves reminiscing and telling stories from the past. It’s just something that people do when they get together after not seeing each other for a while. We tell old stories. “Hey, remember that one time…?” For some social circles, “Hey, remember that one time…?” could mean “Hey, remember that one time we played 4-player Mario Kart 64 at your mom’s house?” Next thing you know, you and friend are huddled around the TV playing Mario Kart 64 and bringing up more stories. As a result of Five Dollar Gamer, I’ve got to hear from many readers who will suggest a game for me and tell me a story about how awesome it was as a kid, or someone will leave a comment on a game I wrote about sharing a story. It’s awesome.

Wikitroid

Wikitroid

Retro gaming unites us. It’s so easy to hop online nowadays and connect with a faceless gamer on the other side of the world. But where’s the camaraderie in that? How many people honestly wax nostalgically while sitting in a lobby while waiting for the next Call of Duty deathmatch to start? Hell, how many people are even sharing a laugh when they’re playing against nothing but strangers? Can you imagine if you took four strangers from a deathmatch lobby, sat them on a couch, and had them play Mario Kart? There would be a lot less swearing, name calling, and insult flinging. Sure, there’d likely be some, but not to the degree that you hear when hiding behind the wall of anonymity, and I bet it’d be a hell of a lot more light-hearted. There would be more sharing of stories and of good times past. Get four strangers on a couch. Put a controller in their hands. They’ll find common ground.

Giant Bomb

Giant Bomb

I think the notion that older games aren’t fun is silly. Everyone, one way or another, is nostalgic about the past. Nostalgia transcends different mediums. It’s why your parents listen to classic rock and oldies. It’s why your neighbor takes his ‘67 Ford Mustang to the car show every summer. It’s why you just bought that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt from TeeFury. It’s not necessarily because it’s better. It’s what you grew up with, it’s what you know. When two 10-year-old kids walked into a GameStop I was working at once, a coworker and I happened to be testing a Nintendo Wii. We were playing the NES version of Punch-Out!! that someone had downloaded from the Virtual Console. One kid asked us how it could be possible that this game could be fun. I asked him to clarify. He says “Well, look at the graphics! They’re horrible!” 21-year-old me was angered by his statement. How dare this snot-nosed brat shit on my childhood with his naïve statement! But 27-year-old me can look back at this incident with wiser eyes. All this child knew was realistic 3D graphics. His line of questioning wasn’t malicious in nature. He was just curious why I was riding a bike when I have a car in the garage. He wasn’t old enough to be nostalgic. Maybe when he’s 21 he’ll be feeling nostalgic about Spyro the Dragon (or more likely Grand Theft Auto IV) in the same way I’m nostalgic about Punch-Out.

Video Disc Things/Tumblr

Video Disc Things/Tumblr

In writing this, I’ve learned so much about myself in regards to my treasured hobby. I desire to be a happy person. I desire to make those in my life happy. Retro gaming makes me happy, so naturally it’s something I want to share with others. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not something I like because I’m trying to desperately cling to my youth as I continue to climb in age. It’s just fun. It’s a hobby. It’s partly nostalgia, but not fully. I can have just as much fun with a Super Nintendo game I discovered just recently as I can with one I played when I was 10. I can also have as much fun with a AAA Xbox title from 2013 as I can with an obscure Game Boy game from 1990. Right now, NES Kirby’s Adventure is getting equal attention with Fire Emblem: Awakening on my 3DS. For me gaming transcends the decades. It’s a timeless hobby. The question remains: am I, or anyone else, retro gamers because we play mostly retro games or our collections are mostly retro games? Or are we just gamers?

taiswcover

System(s)- Sega Genesis (also available on Atari Lynx)

Release Date- April 30th, 1992

Rarity- 43%

Price- $4.99

You know what game got the gross factor right? Boogerman. Boogerman: A Pick-and-Flick Adventure. That game grossed you out and had the toilet humor ripe for making a 7-year-old me laugh his butt off in 1994.

"Boogers and toilets! Bahahaha! Comedy gold!" ~Five Dollar Gamer circa 1994

“Boogers and toilets! Bahahaha! Comedy gold!” ~Five Dollar Gamer circa 1994

I suppose that’s what the 90’s were all about. The gross factor appealed to kids like Call of Duty (or the “cool” factor) appeals to kids today. Look at prominent children’s network Nickelodeon. What is the common theme among 80% of its live-action 1990s line up? Slime. That green stuff that was dumped onto children’s heads on You Can’t Do That On Television is the slime in question. It was what likely turned Double Dare hosted by Marc Summers into Super Sloppy Double Dare starring an OCD-riddled Marc Summers.

"Hi, I'm Marc Summers! And welcome to my personal hell!"

“Hi, I’m Marc Summers! And welcome to my personal hell!”

So slime is all the rage and developer Epyx, led by then 11-year-old Timmy Coruthers says “Kids love slime. Let’s make a game with a guy with sweet shades and he fights slime monsters.” Before I begin the review, I feel it poignant at this point in the article to mention that Epyx went bankrupt mere months after the release of this game.

We're taking a trip and Todd's at the wheel!

We’re taking a trip and Todd’s at the wheel!

When they say “Slime World” my goodness do they ever mean it. It dominates the screen! You, your enemies, items, take up tiny fractions of the screen. It would be better if this slime environment was… well… anything other than what it looks like in this game. Walls, ceilings, floors, and the foreground are all the same ugly solid shade of green. This is Boogerman’s dream vacation.

taiswscreen1+2

But as history tells us, graphics do not make the game. Unfortunately this game doesn’t have any of the components to make a competent game. This is barely a game. It’s a game in the sense that the Genesis I put it in was able to play it. Controls: bad. Sound: bad. Fun: none. The portion of the game I played merely had our “hero” Todd. Wander aimlessly through a cave maze until he found the exit. No story, no reason why. Just a Point A to Point B bore.

Verdict: BARGAIN BIN

Normally I’d put a game like this into The Landfill, but TAISW didn’t really anger me as much as it put me to sleep. There’s not much to this game and not much to say about it. I keep reading that the Atari Lynx version is superior in every way, but I imagine that’s like saying your Math 201 lecture is more stimulating than your Math 101 lecture.

Well... sometimes Math classes can be okay.

Well… sometimes Math classes can be okay.

Join me in an adventure (25% less slime) on my Facebook page and Twitter page!

As always, thanks for reading!

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System: Genesis

Release Date: August 14th, 1993

Rarity: 10%

Price: $0.49 (hell yeah!)

I’ve never fancied myself a “fan” of fighting games. I like them, but I don’t get into them as much as some of my friends who are into the competitive gaming scene. I think it’s because I’m not very good at them and I don’t have the commitment to sit there and practice.

Hour 9 inside the Street Fighter IV practice arena.

I’ve always liked simple, easy to learn fighting games. King of Fighters ’95 on the Game Boy is a perfect example. It had two buttons. But it used those two buttons to their full potential. Which brings me to Eternal Champions. Eternal Champions has three buttons. You’ve got your punch, kick, and block. Cool. Yeah. Block is such a great button. Block is such a great button that your computerized opponent uses it the ENTIRE FRIGGIN’ TIME AND NGJUNDg4rty54yEGVIBND5rhy54trEGVth54tehIOIE31235r34gtrf32qD!!!

OK, take a deep breath. Breathe in... and out. Calm down, FDG.

OK, take a deep breath. Breathe in… and out. Calm down, FDG.

OK, so more on that in a second. Let me just say, that this game looks ugly. Even by Sega Genesis standards. All the environments look like they were designed in a freeware bitmap editor. I’m not saying I could do better (I can’t), but good lord.

Pictured: Winner: Mrs. Johnson's 3rd Grade Computer Art class competition, December 1992.

Pictured: Winner: Mrs. Johnson’s 11th Grade Computer Art class competition, December 1992.

These characters are nothing noteworthy. Just picture what superheros looked like when they were designed in the 1990s and congrats, you put as much effort into the character design as these guys did! Bright colors, tight spandex, it’s easy to confuse a few of these guys with certain WWF (WWE if you’re picky) wrestlers circa 1993.

Either the 4th best character in the game or a former WWF World and Intercontinental Champion. I get them confused sometimes.

Either the 4th best character in the game or a former WWF World and Intercontinental Champion. I get them confused sometimes.

There’s probably a story to this game, but everything else about this game is so-by-the numbers I just assume it’s about an ancient evil (probably Asian) who wants to destroy the world and the Eternal Champions pummel each other for the right to pummel him.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

How does the game play? Well, I played this game two different ways. I played some of the single-player stuff and I played the game with a friend, Kelly Mankoski, who is a professional fighting games player (literally!). I will now break down each experience via pictures.

This pretty much sums up the single-player experience.

This pretty much sums up the single-player experience.

And the 2-player experience…

That's me on the right.

That’s me on the right.

Don’t get me wrong, just because I got my backside handed to me doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this portion of the game. Playing any game, good or bad, with a friend can make the experience slightly better. But unfortunately the single-player A.I. is so terrible it’s not even close to fun.

Verdict: BARGAIN BIN

Yes, the game was slightly made better when playing with someone else, but then you realize you’re sharing a miserable experience together. Everything about this game is bland. This is your typical generic fighting game that got pumped out at a time when Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were all the rage and everyone wanted to try to bottle some of that sweet, succulent arcade fighting action. The 50 cents I spent on this would have been better spent by getting lost in the couch cushions.

Money well spent!

Money well spent!

I’d like to thank Kelly Mankoski for suffering through this game with me! He would like to give a shout out to his sponsor GRAPSF.com and GrandLAN Gaming Center located in beautiful downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan!

Like the article? Of course you didn’t! Tell me what you hated on my Facebook page, my Twitter, or even send me an e-mail at fdg_scott@fivedollargamer.com!

As always, thanks for reading!

EDIT: Comments from Mr. Mankoski himself!

While I only spent an afternoon with the game while Five Dollar Gamer and I explored it for the review (not counting the endless hours I had mashing with it when I was but a wee lad) it definitely didn’t seem quite up to par when it comes to the competitive scene.

Like any respectable fighting game it had a nice variety of characters from the blonde goddess to the old wizard and even an intriguing cyborg. Each character has their own stage to be sure you wont be stuck always looking at the same few backgrounds however, that is not counting when you’ll be smashing your face on the controller because you can’t beat the first opponent in the single player mode. The characters themselves even have a good selection of normal and special moves. They have various projectile and movement based special moves that can send a nice fireball or knife towards your opponent at varying speeds depending on which button you input the command with. You can even send you yourself flying towards the opponent with a fantastic dive kick! As far as normal attacks are concerned you have your basic low hitting moves and nice long range pokes that may possibly be used to control your space on the screen or even anti-air a foe bold enough to take to the air. Last but not least the game even has a throw system in place if you just cannot find any other way to break your opponents defense.

So lets see does it have what it needs to be a competitive fighting game? Characters. Check. Stages. Check. Special moves. Check. Variety of pokes. Check. Throws. Check. Combos? This is where the game starts to get a bit muddy.

While i was able to figure out some sequences of attack to keep my opponent(FiveDollarGamer) where I wanted him I wasn’t having much luck in terms of scoring much more than a single hit at a time. There were times I thought I may have found a combo but, because the game doesn’t have any sort of combo counter who can be sure. Maybe he was just trying to strike back and therefore was unable to block my follow up attacks. The same tactics did not seem to apply when fighting the CPU opponents. Like other fighting games you end up simply getting thrown out of your next move meaning it’s probably not a real combo. This isn’t even taking into account my inability to combo into or out of special moves. Maybe it was the cheap 20 year old Sega Genesis controller I was using. Maybe it was my lack of practice or lack of skill with the precision this game requires. Maybe it’s just a piece of doo-doo game created to ride off of the popularity fighting games had in the 90s. Who can really be sure?

Granted combos aren’t everything but, even as a more footsie based game(where you fight simply by moving in and out of range while poking with your attacks and hitting your opponent with one of your own if he whiffs one of his) there didn’t seem to be much depth. Only a couple of pokes with each character seemed viable and most of the time it seemed like if you found the single one that beat your opponent they wouldn’t be able to do much to get around it.

So, like Five Dollar Gamer I agree you should probably let this one remain collecting dust in the bargain bin. You may be better served springing for that copy of MK2 priced at $1.99. At least you’ll have nostalgia to keep you company.