Saturday, April 27, 2013


     So were gonna start this weeks review off with a short video you can watch of the unboxing of the game.

           So here we are already to play our impressive looking bootleg copy of excite-bike from Korea when we pop it in the Ol fake NES and we see this.....
                   THATS NOT EXCITE-BIKE !!! Wait I know this game its P.O.W. !!!!
So lets take a minute to talk about something I briefly mentioned in the last article about Pirates. It is quite the regular occurrence in the Famicom collecting world to come across Pirates and Bootleg copies of games but it is also possible to find that those copies have a different game altogether loaded on them.
But when this happens in Cartridge form usually the Cart doesn't look as high quality as this one.

So I guess were not doing that review of Excite-Bike , Oh Well we might as well play what we got ........P.O.W. Which is just fine we got a nice surprise and hey I love P.O.W i had it in NES form as a kid it was a great looking SNK port of their own Arcade game by the same name. As i sit down to play through memory lane the realization hits me that I never could get far past the 2nd boss fight, oh well ill gave to try harder this time.

The japanese release of P.O.W. isn't any different except the cut scenes are in Japanese but its not hard to follow, your an American P.O.W. in some war, NAM I think and you wake up in a cell and blow the door off with some fuse and black powder you hid up your crack (where else did u hide it ).
Once the smoke clears you head out the gate punching and kicking your way to freedom, and when the hits connect and an enemy is beaten it makes this awesome gun shot like crack sound as the guy flies off screen as if your superman. A few times a level you can steal a M16 or Rambo knife from a enemy, the game also has huts, army trucks ( like in metal gear are huge on the inside) , doorways & etc for you to duck in and fight a small number of soldiers to get bonuses like health ,brass knuckles, or invisible bullet proof vests.

And here we go my childhood failures return Im at the boss of level 2 I die and game over....??  Wait Wha? Does that say 25 lives Holy Sh*t !! 25 Lives !! Im Alive !! Allow me to explain my shock, you see not only is this a weird trickery pirate copy on the outside  but the ROM of the game is a HACK, meaning it was tapered with to alter gameplay, in this case the game starts with 30 Lives.

Sweet !! Im feeling hungry now and revenge is on the menu !! I think of all the times i played this game as a kid and didn't beat it well here i come P.O.W. I got 30 Lives and i don't care how I got em.
I steady my path now trying not to waste any more precious lives and I soon discover i can kill the more annoying knife wielding green beret types by backing in to the wall and continually punching so they walk into my fists of fury ( ever notice guys with berets in NES games are always a pain ). Also jump kicking back and forth takes out the other enemy types pretty easily.....WHAT ?!?! Don't judge me I'm on a mission to save my childhood pride here.

I forge on and climb up ladder on the side of a 5 story building fight on the roof then decide to jump off the 5 story building and just walk away unscathed ..hey why not.  I get in a elevator and beat the crap outta some fat dude that takes like a 100 punches to beat while on a ride to nowhere, then send radio call for help where it looks to me like i request multiple copies of Final Fantasy 7 to be in my rescue chopper, Finally after face waves of the same enemies that are so bored of me that they even walk past me off screen, i get to Dunt Dun Dahh ...THE FINAL BOSS...... Which unfortunately for me is twice my size looks like John Matrix from Commando and does Guile's Flash Kick over and over again...But with my turbo like button punches I beat him and receive this .... a chopper rescue and a hug from Patricia Arquette.     Congraturation !!   No seriously it says that look below.

My childhoods pride has been rescued from P.O.W. I can finally sleep... Oh and some prisoner of war dude got back home too thats important... I guess.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

EXED EXES !??!?!


         I recently received a new package from Thailand home of the Famiciom Pirates. Enclosed were 8 new Famicom purchases some bootlegs some not but 7 of which fall into the SHMUP catagory of gaming, meaning they are either Vertical of Horizontal Shooters. Today we look at the first of these being EXED EXES .

         On first inspection this game is a bootleg copy of a CAPCOM/TOKUMA SOFT game you can tell by the poor print quality label and screw-on back (most official games for the famicom are snap-cases ).These pirates were brave in keeping the company logos on the sticker. I have never played the home port of EXED EXES but remember seeing the arcade version. So on to the scary part of buying bootlegs I plug the game into my Famiclone ( A fake Famicom system ) and.... IT WORKS !!
A small percentage of time these copies don't work or even contain the game displayed on the sticker but we will discuss those more as they come up.

 The game seems the standard space ship vertical SHMUP with the A button shooting laser weapons and the B button ...wait what is the B button doing ? Making black portions of the screen flash grey ? I kept pressing until it would run out it seemed to be a bomb attack with no graphics no sound and did absolutely nothing? Weird? But whatever I'll work it out back to the game. The enemies are bug types varying in size and style but charge in patterns rather than shooting you, leaving random items of fruit a space bug shooting game ? I must be AMAZING at it because i don't seem to be dying or its incredibly simple. To be fair its a little of i finally die and I am offered to continue so I press Start, ok I press fine B, Ummm Select ... nope Start button again ...finally i figure out you need to press A+B even though its offering me to continue its like a secret , well what ever. The Boss battles are kind of like the early beginnings of the Bullet Hell genre as bullets litter the screen causeing you to choose dodging over shooting. This is a very kool part of the game. Oh and by the way 3 Bosses in I figured out that the B button flash thingy makes the bullets on screen disappear, very handy at the time and a bit strange concidering all the regular baddies don't shoot you, but again whatever its kool. All the Bosses are variants on each other with the same properties just adding more guns and skulls each level with different shapes. Yes I said Skulls. The FINAL BOSS is tough but is beatable although this not the end the game because it continues on but stops declaring stage numbers after stage 17. The only way to end the game is to score 10,000,000 which will stop the game no matter where in the game you are, this is tough since continuing resets your score to 0.

I learned TOKUMA Soft  CAPCOM's backer for this game set up a contest in its Famicom magazine where you would send them a photo your score and and they would send you a Silver, Gold , Platinum or Royal (9,000,00 points) sticker to replace your original one on the cart and to prove you were a serious player. From the pic above you can see my pirate copy is of the gold member sticker rather strange for a pirate to have a add-on as such.

      EXED EXES is one of first Vert SHMUP to have both the 1st and 2nd Player play simultaneously. It also included a few items that were staples in the CAPCOM games of the time like the Yashichi and the POW power up. The game is bulit on the 1941 engine so if you enjoy that series check it out .

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


    Thats right were starting this of with a look back at Super Mario Brothers. And why shouldnt we? After the Video Game Crash of 1983 that took the industry down it was SMB that helped bring it back !

     Super Mario Brothers was released on the Nintendo Famicom in September 1985 and on the Nintendo Entertainment System a month later in November when it launched in North America . Super Mario Brothers was the pack-in title for the NES (while in japan 2 years of games had preceded it on the Famicom ) Super Mario Bros or SMB for short changed the way gamers at the time (mostly kids) viewed what was possible in games. Previously we were subjected to tons and tons of atari styled games with limited colors and controls that only sometimes worked do to the poor quality control on video games by 1983 (helping lead to the crash ). But here came Mario on the NES which responded more accurately with the D-pad then we ever thought possible Mario..and his brother Luigi slowed down and sped up as demanded. As SMB brought along the scrolling screen, now levels were longer than one screen and with out loading it seamlessly scrolled as we dashed mario to the right of the screen to find he would not hit it, but fall in to pits and waiting enemies if we did not master this new refined game pad and style.

    Super Mario Bros also brought about a new era of teaching you how to play and establishing the game parameters from the minute we started playing, for example as soon as you discover bricks on first screen can be hit with your head and the first mushroom comes out it is programed to be almost impossible to avoid so you learn that these are Power Ups and are not dangerous unlike the enemies you encounter next.

   SMB introduced us to the in game shortcuts of warp zones and even glitches like warping to the negative worlds.

And who could forget the first Final Boss many of us faced. Level after level Mushroom Retainers told us they were sorry the Princess was in another castle but when we hit that last grey interior castle and heard the growing growl we knew this time it was THE FINAL BOSS .....King of the Koopas himself Bowser !  Imposing and paralyzing we didnt know what to do .....

Do you stomp on him like the others ? HELL NO !! How can you ? LOOK at the size of him and are those spikes?!?! SH*T!!  Damn he's spitting flames and are those hammers?? Fu*k ! .... jump wait high ..low... high low sh*t do we run under him?   I mean he's jumping and it looks like i can go under him ...across that bridge, that an axe ? Another weapon sh*t I gotta get it.... wait no...  go back no forward !!! aghhhh runnnn jump !!
   HOLY SH*T !!  I DID IT!!!  I DID IT !!!!!  RIGHT ?   WAIT !   Whats happening the screens moving .....Oh wait thats her right ?!! Yes !! SWEET A ENDING !?!? GAMES HAVE ENDINGS NOW?!?!?! GAMES HAVE ENDINGS NOW !!!!!!!!!!

MA !!! GAMES HAVE ENDINGS NOW !! What? No. Never mind, can i call tony on the phone and can he come over ? PLEASE!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Prepare to face the Final Boss !!!

The Final Boss will be the hub for retro gaming reviews, replays , and news.
Here you will find information on consoles and games as they come in our possession.
Every thing from pirate carts and consoles and clones to obscure and rare finds.
I plan to highlight a new Final Boss each month and get some give aways going when available.
So thanks for coming and sit back and enjoy and please participate.