Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2021

Rygar: The confusing quest to save Argool

Rygar for the NES bears the name of a 1986 arcade game, but rather than porting their side-scrolling platformer, Tecmo decided to create a unique, new title of the same name. They could have taken a cue from themselves and called it Mighty Rygar. Rygar is a side-scrolling, action-adventure, platforming game with light role-playing elements, similar to  Kid Icarus  and  Zelda II . Rygar is a legendary warrior with a unique weapon: the Diskarmer. It's a spiked disk on a string that shoots out in front of him, then returns. Rygar can also bounce off the top of most enemies, briefly stunning them. I rented Rygar once, but found it too confusing. In-game, you are dependent upon terse directions given by hermits. These directions refer to areas by name and thus require the manual, which identifies each region by name and shows how they fit together on a map. I think it's cool when, given the technical limitations of the time, games were made to work in conjunction with the manual. D

Mighty Bomb Jack: Collecting bombs in a pyramid

Mighty Bomb Jack is an NES-exclusive sequel to Bomb Jack, a 1984 arcade game by Tecmo. In both, the masked and caped hero, Jack, collects bombs while dodging enemies.  Mighty Bomb Jack is a weird game, in that it's about collecting bombs, something one would not normally do. Its main mechanic is a very high and versatile jump. If you hold ↓ while jumping, Jack jumps about halfway up the screen. The normal jump goes about three-fourths of the way up, and if you hold ↑ he goes all the way to the ceiling. You can stop his jump at any time by pressing A again. If you do this repeatedly, he flutters. All of this means you have tremendous control over Jack's movement, which will come in handy when avoiding the many enemies, which both appear and move about at random. Jack has no attack and touching an enemy is instant death, so you'll be jumping a lot. You can scroll enemies off the screen to make them vanish, though they quickly re-spawn. The enemies are generic with esoteric na

Super Castlevania IV: 30th anniversary

Super Castlevania IV should just be called "Super Castlevania" because it's not a sequel. Although not a remake of the original Castlevania (the levels are all-new), the gameplay, main character, story, weapons, and enemies are the same, as Simon Belmont fights his way to Count Dracula's castle to slay the vampire. Basically, Konami took every idea from the 8-bit original and made a new 16-bit game from it. And it worked great! If you liked Castlevania, you'll love Super Castlevania. It's like the same game you remember, only better in every way (not unlike what Nintendo did with Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past ). The biggest improvement is the 16-bit graphics and sound. The soundtrack is a delight, and every level looks unique with nice parallax backgrounds. Playing this two months after I played Castlevania, I realized what a leap forward the SNES was. Super Castlevania looks better, sounds better, controls better (Simon isn't