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Showing posts from July, 2023

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: A best-selling bomb

The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game on the NES sold very well thanks to the mega popularity of the cartoon series that ran for a decade beginning in 1987. The game, however, is notoriously hard and not very fun, despite some positive design elements. The main gimmick is that you can switch between the four titular teenage turtles at any time by pressing START. As in the TV show, each ninja has his own weapon. Donatello is the most powerful because his bo staff has great reach and can be thrust upward or downard. Most platforming segments are divided into two floors, connected by ladders, and Donatello can clear enemies on the top level from below. Leonardo has a sword (katana), which is not as good as the bo. Michaelangelo has nunchakus, which everyone in the 90's called nunchucks. Their range is not great, but Raphael's sais are even worse. All the turtles move slowly and make giant floaty jumps, which makes dodging enemies hard.  The main reason the game is so difficu

The Lost Vikings: 30th anniversary

It's been 30 years since Blizzard released The Lost Vikings, a puzzle platformer, on the SNES (and Sega Genesis). You control three vikings, Olaf, Baleog, and Eric, each of whom possesses a unique skill-set. Only by working together can they escape each of the 37 stages and return home. The levels are divided into six worlds of varying theme, such as spaceship, factory, or ancient Egypt. The main gimmick of the game is that you switch between the vikings with R and L. Two players can play together to control two at once. Olaf has a big shield that stops all enemy attacks. It can be held overhead or in front. In addition, when held overhead, he floats down slowly, as if the shield were a parachute. Eric is the only viking that can run and jump. Often he goes ahead to enable a path for his comrades, such as by pressing a button to make a bridge. Baleog has a sword and bow for defeating enemies at close and long-range. Arrows can also be used to press buttons from across a gap. The pu