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Mostly NES Era Today

On 05/27/2020 at 09:36 PM by KnightDriver

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Except for Minecraft Dungeons, in which I played a single dungeon and failed to beat it again. The rest is all from collections I have on Xbox One. I'm specifically playing games from the years '85-'89. I also watched about 20 minutes of Dragon Quest: Your Story on Netflix. 

Minecraft Dungeons: I'm sort of stuck on the level in the mines. I came within a tiny shred of health bar of beating the final boss, but died because the room is full of lava pools that I keep falling into. I discovered later that there is a dash move I didn't know about. That might help me. I leveled up in any case and got some better gear. No online co-op play as of yet. I suspect the online is only between friends. I think there isn't a public matchup ability, but maybe I'm not seeing it. I really want to go at it with four players. That would be fun. 

Contra, Super Contra, Contra (NES), Contra (Famicon): I got the Contra Collection the other day on a sale. In the various versions of original Contra, I kept getting to the second boss and getting a game over screen. I thought there were infinite continues. I put in enough of them and had a bunch left over. I'm glad there's a game where you can swim (talking to you Castlevania). Super Contra has a slightly better look. Spread shot rules. 

Mega Man 1 and 2: I also got the Mega Man Legacy Collection last week on a sale. I think I'm falling for the blue bomber. The music is really fun and exciting, and I like shooting things. Darn platforming is very tricky though. I like how you can choose your boss (except Dr. Wily) and play those levels. I went round the horn in both games, playing every level as far as I could go. My favorite was Woodman. I think that was on Mega Man 2. 

Midway Arcade Collection: This I've had for a while. It's a Xbox 360 game that's backward compatible with Xbox One. I forgot how many great games are in this collection. I played all the ones between '85-'89 that I didn't already play this month, meaning not Guantlet I & II. The list goes like this: Championship Sprint, Spy Hunter II, Off Road, Super Sprint, Toobin', Tournament Cyberball 2072, Vindicators Part II, Xenophobe, Xybots, 720 degrees, APB, Arch Rivals, Joust 2, and Rampage. 

I'll just comment on a few of them. Cyberball is basically football with robots. One button and a joystick and you can play it. I like that kind of football. Xenophobe made me realize that the game Void Bastards is basically this expanded to first person - both great games. Xybot was probably my favorite. A very early 3D environment scifi dungeon crawl where you shoot robots. Arch Rivals took a while to finish a full game. I should have won but the computer really put the screws to me late in the game: my three pointers rimmed out and they drained everything. I smell a rat.

Rare Replay: What a fine presentation of most of their games going all the way back to the early 80s. I wish other developers would do this kind of thing. Gunfright is a mystery to me, but I tried it. You have to hunt down a wanted gunslinger in a isomentric environment that makes me think of games like Qubert and Crystal Castles. I can never find them. I just get knocked over by women with strange ghostly faces. Slalom is a pretty good skiing game but it doesn't control all that great with a modern controller. It was probably best with a keyboard. RC Pro Am is a fine racer. I actually won a few races and made some progress. Cobra Triangle is a boat battle game but I found it hard to control the boats acccurately. 

Sega Genesis Classics: This is a huge collection of great Genesis games. I'm so glad it exists. I started the games released '85-'89. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle is kind of a pain. It's a 2D adventure game. I hate these cars that drive back and forth across the screen and kill you if you don't jump over them just right. There's also this rock, paper scissors mini game that seems pointless. Altered Beast is fun and I surprised myself by getting to the second boss. You turn into a werewolf for the first boss and a dragon for the second. I was like, oh yeah, I'm a dragon. Of course I did. Columns is just a variant on tetris where you match the colored gems. It's ok but nothing special. I played a hard mode and wondered how you can play it with the gems falling so fast. Crack Down is pretty neat. You have to navigate a maze filled with enemies while planting explosives. You can hug walls to avoid getting shot. I got pretty far in it but just like Contra, I got a game over after a while instead of a continue screen. What's up with that?

There are five of six more Genesis games to play in my choosen date range, and then I dig into the SNK collection. I can't wait for that. 




05/28/2020 at 02:13 PM

I'd love to have a Midway Collection for Switch or PS4. Arcade Archives has done a great job at modernizing Japan's arcade classics, including Nintendo's arcade games on Switch. I guess old arcade games are just too small potatoes for AT&T (which owns WB and includes all former Midway properties) to deal with.


05/30/2020 at 11:17 AM

It's mystifying what collections end up on what system. I really should look more closely at what's on PS4 and I am dying for a Switch to get all the old Nintendo games. 

Cary Woodham

05/28/2020 at 09:02 PM

I'm playing the Contra Collection right now for a blog I will write about it in the middle of June.  There are a lot of choices to choose from, but technically there are only five main games on it.

I'm glad you're playing NES Mega Man games!  They can be hard, but they are so much fun.  As you play them, remember that those were my childhood mascot platformers of choice, not Mario.  Actually on the NES I was more into Capcom games in general than Nintendo made ones.  

I miss the arcade collections in the PS2/360 era of gaming, as they usually had tons of games on them and some really obscure ones, too.  Now companies can get away with a 30 dollar collection of five games.  I feel like we've gone backwards.  But that's why I didn't get the Contra collection until it was on sale!

If I had an Xbox One, Rare Replay would be the first game I'd get for it. 

Oh, and Alex Kidd on the Genesis is horrible.  If you want to play a good Genesis 2-D platformer, try Ristar.


05/30/2020 at 11:53 AM

I have a lot of collections on original Xbox, PS2 and Wii. I just looked now to see if any were backwards compatible with Xbox One and none are. There are these new ones though. I wish that Namco collection for 360 was fully compatible. Sky Kid Deluxe is on that. 

Rare Replay in on Game Pass right now. I have the disc, but I don't really need it. 

I'll get to Ristar. It's on my Sega Genesis Classics collection. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

05/29/2020 at 02:52 PM

I played a bit of Cyberball back in the day. Pretty fun, but gets repetitive. 

I was so fascinated by Xenophobe back in the day. That and rampage. As I got older, I saw how repetitive those games were, but when I was a kid, I really liked them.


05/30/2020 at 12:01 PM

Xenophone is really neat. Has that graphical style I've seen in point-and-click adventure games of the time. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do in it. There are keys or something and I turned on self destruct once at a panel. I think I'm supposed to rid the ship of xenomorphs somehow, not destroy it. 

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