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Showing posts from December, 2022

Sky Kid: An average World War I dogfighting arcade port

Sky Kid is a 1985 horizontal shoot-'em-up arcade game. Created by Namco, it was ported to the NES in 1987 by Sunsoft (who would soon turn the arcade game Wonder Boy into Adventure Island ). The NES version faithfully reproduces the World War I dogfighting of the original. In Sky Kid you are a World War I flying ace named Baron. A second player (Max) can join for simultaneous play—watch out for friendly fire! Sky Kid distinguishes itself from other shooters in several respects. For starters, the sreen scrolls (automatically) from left to right. When you press ↑ or ↓, your biplane pitches up or down at a 45-degree angle rather than unrealistically shifting up or down. If you fire your machine gun (press A) while changing altitude, the bullets shoot diagonally in the direction the plane is facing. Pressing B causes the plane to do a vertical loop. This is a crucial move. While looping, the plane passes harmlessly through bullets and enemy craft. However, you still must be mindful of t

Mega Man III: 30th anniversary

Another day, another 30th anniversary for a Nintendo classic! Today's entry is Mega Man III. No, not Mega Man 3  with an Arabic numeral: Mega Man III with a Roman numeral! Why they chose such a confusing naming scheme, I have no idea. It was called Rockman World 3 in Japan. With all the other "Land" games on Game Boy, Capcom should have titled the series Mega Man Land. I've heard that the first two Mega Man games on Game Boy were not good, but Mega Man III is very good. It feels exactly like an NES Mega Man game, only in monochrome and on a smaller screen (the Game Boy is 160 by 144 pixels compared to the NES's 256 by 240). The music is fantastic as always for the series, the sprites are the same ones from the NES games, and the gameplay feels exactly the same: tight and compelling platforming action. Each Game Boy Mega Man games reused four levels from the most recent NES outing and four from the previous one, in this case 4 and 3. Mega Man II on the Game Boy too

Final Fantasy V: 30th anniversary

Today is the 30th anniversary of Final Fantasy V—in Japan, at any rate! The game was tragically skipped over for localization. It is easily the most well known Super Famicom exclusive in the West. It was the first Final Fantasy game to receive a fan translation, created by three students  in 1997. An official English version was released two years later on the Sony PlayStation, bundled with Final Fantasy VI. Final Fantasy V is the successor to Final Fantasy III on the Famicom (which the West also didn't get). It greatly improves upon that game's changeable job system. No longer do you have to spend "capacity points" to change jobs; you can change them whenever you want. Once you get the shards of the shattered wind crystal, you gain access to five of the classes from the original Final Fantasy  (Knight, White Mage, Black Mage, Monk, and Thief) as well as the new Blue Mage. Whenever another elemental crystal is destroyed, you gain access to new jobs through its shards

Metroid Fusion: 20th anniversary

Metroid Fusion is a great sequel to a beloved classic, and after twenty years it now can justly be called a classic in its own right! After eight years, a sequel to Super Metroid , one of the greatest video games of all time, was worth the wait. Unlike previous Metroid games, Metroid Fusion contains many cutscenes and messages (and even some inner thoughts of Samus) that spell out a detailed plot. Samus Aran has returned to the Metroid homeworld, SR-388 (where Metroid II: Return of Samus took place). There she is attacked by a dangerous parasite, dubbed X, which damages her cybernetic Power Suit. Her life is saved thanks to a vaccine made from the baby Metroid (also from II). But then a mysterious explosion rocks the space station, and Samus must investigate... The X parasites are the game's central villain. They can mimic any living being they come in contact with. The space station is like a menagerie, but the X parasites run amok and begin duplicating everything. Because of the