Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mega Dark Man What the Duck ???

 Welcome back for another exciting game of WTF?!?! Sooo let me give you all lil background on how this started. In Japan the Mega Man games are known as Rock Man, I wont get in to why that is this time but the series is just as popular as it is here if not more. And because of this when you can find the carts cheap you buy them ... fast. I was on ebay and saw a mint bright clean copy of Rock Man 5 for under $20 with shipping so ! jumped on it. Two weeks later i received this ...from Thailand need I say more.....

So I pop it in and what do I see on screen ? The Rock Man logo... Ok sweet... wait.... ( let the pictures tell the story)

Rock Man !! Yes!!

Wait ?

Darkwing ?

Oh..Rock Man !

Hey!? Wha..

Thats better .. Sweet !!

What ?!? Stop screwing around!!  What is this !!

GOD DAMNIT !! Finally !!..  Waaait 1996???

So Basically what we have here is Darkwing Duck for the North American Nintendo "HACKED" by inserting Rock Man sprites...and a confusing couple of intro screens.

There is nothing Rock Man 5 related about this game I mean usually when people make these weird hacks they call it Mario 12 or Contra 7 but when dealing with Rock Man 5 is a number the series actually reached and well before 1996 when for some reason this hack seems to boast is when it was made ( and copyrighted ?). Hell Famicom game production ceased in 1994 so this was made after even Rock Man 6 was released on Famicom and NES. Whatever Im arguing with a pirate silly me. So I got beat on this cart....But Hey! Lets view this from the bright side Ive got a whole New Rock Man game to play I never knew existed ... this could be FU*KIN AWESOME !!! 


For starters Rocks not even blue, what the hell man get that right at least, sh*t what does that cost you to make the sprites you stole the color you found them in. I mean didnt it take more work to change the color or look for this grey orange Rock Man ? Any way you start off with this date of 1996 appering over you for some reason? And every time you die and respawn BOOM there it is again. So far the sprite work doesn't seem that bad animation wise, you fire the standard arm cannon and the movements fluid like the jumping.... what the Fu*k !!??

Hang in there kitty

Am I hanging ?? Yup... Rock Man is Hanging using sprites from his ladder climb. I never played the Darkwing Duck game so I have to assume Darkwing had some ability in game to hang with a grappling hook ? I guess? I would like to go on record as stating I did VERY much enjoy the Darkwing Cartoon its Shadow/Batman comic campiness was highly enjoyable. So after I think I know how to control this new ability I realize whenever I press UP Rock Man stops and goes into a running pose I guess this is some weird glitch that will probably get me killed at some point.

Even the enemies armed with rifles and ranged weapons will spot you and move quickly to your position and run through you causing damage. The truly annoying part is that once they run through you if you kill them to your left and they drop a item that you move to pick up, when you turn back around and move 2 steps the enemy will have respawned causing a space time loop that you are doomed to repeat.
This is also one of those game's that has a series of jumps for you to make while hanging, and it's the same old story .. I saw the first 4 hook jump and knew every board from here on out would have a annoy flying enemy filled dozen jump set ...YUP I was right!!

Are you looking at my ASS ?! ..Why NOT !?!?

I came across my twin and soon realized it was supposed to represent a 1UP icon, makes me wonder what the Darkwing one looks like.
"Don't I know you? Yah .. your Jesus.. right"?
After picking up some weapon power ups I found out you could also access what I believed was the item menu via SELECT button. But I did not understand the the whole "gas" weapon system and quickly left after mashing every button turned up no response.
Am I gonna get a Key Span bill?  Is he a Hybrid?
I then made it to the First boss fight lost several times and turned the game off Deeming it a horrible game and the controls were unplayable. I returned the next evening from work and decided that no matter what this wasn't gonna end like this ! I would not be Bested by this unholy union of a Hack !
I am the FINISHER !!!
By the way.. my cartridge copy shows this screen upon starting a level
the rom I used to grab my clear screen shots show the 1996 copyright.
Meaning there 2 versions of this weird Hack....
As dark wing says 'Lets get DANGEROUS" for starters the games controls aren't bad at all once I let go of expecting Rock to move like in his own games although its really close. Hell you even start the game like Rock Man games, because you get to chose which villain themed levels to play in what order you like.  I started with Quacker Jack's board and its littered with banana peels that stop you dead in your tracks forcing you to have convulsions leaving you open for attack. I also found out that pressing UP acts as a block..quite handy guess I was wrong. Quacker Jack was pretty easily defeated once i selected the Gas based weapon I had picked up, it made me realize that like Rock Man games pairing certain weapons to specific bosses made them a cake walk. Hmmmm

As I pushed through the next two levels I realized the layouts and traps did feel more and more Rock Man styled. Hmmmm. I also discovered Secret Bonus Areas by shooting in the air at random the door is revealed as a GO sign. Im not gonna go and discuss each boss and level but i would like to ask why the HELL there are Rats dressed in uniform checking Basket Balls at my face? Really ? Really.....I must have missed that episode?

Again like Rock Man/Mega Man games once you deafat the selectable bosses the final level is available to play...The Final Level is littered with those hook jump movements and Terminator Ducks complete with the biker jacket. Once more like Rock Man games when we get to the FINAL BOSS !!! Steel Beak he is sitting high up at a protected console sending out robot drones all Dr. Willy like, thenhe jumps down for a lil Mano y Mano.

Even though he is defeated he gets away and immediately taunts you. But our government liaison gets on screen and informs us that we can be assured that we have earned the City's Gratitude...... Gratitude.... Yah Thanks .....might as well leave pennies on the bed side table as you sneak out PAL !!!

But seriously this is a well made game which should be no surprise since its CAPCOM before the HACK and Im really curious as to if there is a specific reason for all the similarities between the real Darkwing and Rock Man games maybe same team members? I will look in to it. Thanks again Fellow Famikaa and remember Always Famiru !!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Super Giant Robot Star Wars !!!

 Today were going to be taking a look at my very FIRST purchased Famicom game Choujikuu Yousai Macross (Super Defense Fortress Macross) or for short Macross. Its a short game with what would be a short review so allow me fatten this up with some background for some of you. Macross is/was a HUGE anime series in Japan its spawned 3 TV series, 4 Movies, 5 Manga series (comics) and 6 OVAs (direct to home video) and about TWO DOZEN GAMES. Basically theres been game on every system since the Famicom.

Game box.. Side Note Namco and Bandai merged in 2005

Macross is still running strong till this very day and has been since 1982. In 1985 it was renamed Robotech and altered slightly for its release in America, it received notable success with the TV series and toys. And Robotech was the first venture into Anime for many.

The story of the Original Macross series which this game is based goes as follows... In 2009 a Giant alien ship the Super Dimension Space Fortress (SDF-1) lands on Earth the united world government starts to backwards engineer the technology and we get jet fighters that double as giant robot suits, so basically as a kid you just got the love child of Star Wars & Transformers ..YAH, FU*KIN DOPE !! So to flesh this out you got a boy-hero pilot Hikaru ( Luke Skywaler), his sarcastic womanizing bad-ass squad leader war-hero slightly older friend Roy Focker ( Han Solo), A strict by the book and head strong beautiful First Officer Misa Hayase (Princess Leia ), and cute model/ pop star/victim Lynn Minmay ( C3-PO just kidding ) The Star Wars similarities start to dwindle after this but are there. Basically a Love triangle is formed between Hikaru and the 2 ladies set against the backdrop of the a Alien Race coming to look for the ship, and a massive war space opera is kicked off...  Alright Ill stop explaining the show now as this is surely getting too nerdy for you ...... HAHAHHA Who are YOU kidding you're reading a web site about 30 year old video games !! HAHAHA OHHhhhh any way....

The Macross game can be found in high volumes for low prices not in a negative way, its because like Mario this was probably owned at one time by almost every Famicom gamer in Japan. This being a Testament to the series's popularity. Which is why I have 2 copies, my wife bought me a better copy with a top label ( SHE FU*KIN ROCKS !!! )

 Famicom cases are hard to get cheap
Players had a few choices of labels to apply or not

  On to the game ! Macross is a side scrolling SHMUP, you Pilot Hikaru's VF-1 Valkyire Fighter (jet) through a barrage of on coming Zentradi battle pods & ships while the love song popularized by Lynn Minmay in the movie/series is 8-bit butchered and looped forever in the background through out the game. This doesn't bother me as Im already insane. The B button fires the gun and the SELECT button fires the multi warhead homing missiles which can take out up to 6 enemies. Yah I said the SELECT button thats because the unique aspect to Macross is that pressing the A button and the D-pad will transform your ship into another state and also change the weapons a bit, this can be done with out cost instantly whenever you desire.
Playing my GOOD copy just for you guys & gals

The modes and setups are :

VF Fighter (Jet)- Small and the Fastest mode which can cause you to crash a lot & you must press A repeatedly to continue firing.

Gerwalk (Jet with arms and legs)- Most balanced maneuverability of the 3 & you can hold A to fire rapidly.

Battleroid (Giant Robot)- Largest target and hard to dodge on coming ships and mines but you can fire in both forward and backward directions by turning around and the gun fires rapidly like in gerwalk mode.

The game picks up at the end of the Film or middle of the TVSeries and has only three stages/parts-

The first has you meeting wave after wave of Zentradi forces head on in deep space with hundreds of Fighters exploding in the background as you race to meet the Command Cruiser up ahead. You will take on enemy fire and collisions but fear not.. Macross has a very fair health bar system.

The second stage starts as we make it close enough to the Command ship to see how much it actually dwarfs our Fighter in size. Fighting off the more organized defense outside of the ship you will take more damage but the game places a Health Power up almost strategically on every level. And Missile ammo can be found & stocked well past the onscreen indicator which stops at six.

The third stage starts off after our VF-1 Fighter flies inside the Zentradi's large Command Vessel. Enemy grouping gets tighter here as you make your way towards the ships Reactor Core which serves as the FINAL BOSS !! ( Death Star Much ). You have 30 seconds to make it to the Core and quickly shoot away the two rows of material protecting the core ( from rupturing I guess ?? ). Gerwalk mode is a good choice here as the rapid firing coupled with mobility serve well against the clock and the Reactor Core's own defense system which fires a heavy payload at its attacker. Hooray with the core destroyed you are treated to .... Oh NO!...Yup classic ... THE GAME STARTS OVER!

Hey you know what? I don't even care this time ! Its a well made game that yes ONLY takes 8 mins to beat but its MACROSS I mean hell when i was a kid I would have Geeked hard over a chance to play this, and kids probably did just that. On the plus side it starts over with a slightly higher difficulty each play and new enemies are added each time. First replay adds Mines, second Zentradi soldiers in battle suits, 3rd mounted turrets in and on the Command Ship, and finally more types of battle pods. It keeps track of amount of times you have replayed in the top right calling them rounds, this was a classic style of gaming where you and friends or rivals would basically play a game of survival for bragging rights in the school yard.

 Well I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I enjoyed having an excuse to play Macross again.

Okay fellow "Famikaa" (Japanese slang for some who plays alot of Famicom) Until next time keep "Famiru" !! (Playing or Doing Famicom)

Sunday, May 12, 2013


 Thats right its a BIG ONE ! We are here to discuss, reminiscence, and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NINTENDO FAMICOM !! On July 15th 1983 the Japanese counterpart to the NES was released and the world was never the same. Lets start this off with a look at a short video of the  first time I got to touch/own a Nintendo Family Computer....

In 1983 just after the US video game crash Japanese toy company Nintendo decided to get into the home console market. The company had great success in 1980 with its first video game venture the portable Game & Watch series created by Gunpei Yokoi who is most known for another of his creations the Game Boy, I would just like to mention his best invention the cross shaped directional pad that can now be found on all systems since Game & Watch.

My Original from when I was a kid
And it still works perfectly today.

When the Family Computer was released only a hand full of games were available for it, but they were some of Nintendo's best Arcade titles at the time like Donkey Kong , Original Mario Bros. and Popeye which was the pack-in game. Nintendo was taking the "Form is superior to Mass " route in an attempt to avoid Atari's biggest mistake releasing large quantities of low quality un-checked games which caused the US Game Crash. To ensure this high quality the company placed strict licensing restrictions on developers. Licensing costs were high to say the least and licensees were only allowed to release a certain (low) number of games per year to ensure the highest quality. Think about it.. more time spent developing a game,and if you only had a few releases a year you needed to recoup your money spent on development and nintendo licensing. And with this the Famicom was an instant success, long lines and shipments selling out as soon as they were unloaded was a regular sight. Japan was suddenly hooked everyone from school kids to bussiness men. Many legendary game designers started playing games on the Famicom and also started their careers developing for it. Names such as Shigeru Miyamoto (Super mario Bros, Zelda ...even more) and Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear series, Snatcher). 

I love my Fami

Simplicity at its best
The system was still SO popular in to the 90's Nintendo was very reluctant to release its successor the Super Famicom, but did so due to the pressure of its rivals releasing new hardware. Regardless of this the Famicom stayed popular with consumers so it was remodeled for its 10 year anniversary and we got the AV Famicom and NES AV in N.America. The redesign cut down on costs to keep production and profits up, and incorporated an AV output to TVs hence the name AV Famicom. Software "officially" stopped in the 90's with the last game being Adventure Island 4 released in Japan on June 24 1994. Hardware production continued on the Famicom long after the US NES, and Nintendo halted Famicom manufacturing in 2003 which also ended their repair support on its system and accessories. This was not due to sales as leading up to its 20th Anniversary demand was steady with adults wanting to relive their childhood memories and start the dawn of retro-gaming.

AV Famicom, not mine sadly
The Famicom is a Multi-Landmark system from the D-pad & start and select buttons, to the Microphone in the second controller that allowed you to talk down prices in Kid Icarus, and kill sound sensitive enemies in Zelda (yup US was Denied ), and lets not forget the Famicom even had a add-on making it the first console to go "ONLINE" ( YUP! Denied again USA ). A special qwerty keyboard kit with manual was available to run "BASIC" the main programing language of home computer/game developers of the time. Dont forget the 3D headgear (sorry SONY) and lets not even touch the Famicom Floppy disk drive till it gets its own article Verysoon...

Family BASIC
3D Head Gear

Modem setup

If theres any doubt that nintendo kept its promise of "high quality" games just look at the many series that started on the platform Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, Super Mario Bros, Zelda, Metal Gear and the list goes on ...

Differences between the Famicom and the N.American Nintendo Entertainment System are many and very purposeful. The visual difference is instantly noticeable and for good reason. It was believed that American buyers (parents) would not shell out large amounts of money for an electronic device that looked very much like a toy. This was the reason the NES looked like a VCR in style. This approach was later used by other companies bringing consoles over to the west, also adding unnecessary plastic because bigger was better in the 80s (NOT). The next thing one might notice is the controllers are hardwired to the console and as previously mentioned the 2nd player has a mic in it. The small port in front was used for many items most commonly extra controllers like the NES Advantage, Zapper or R.O.B. An eject lever sits center atop the system to push the carts out from this top-loading system which did not suffer as much from the misalignment of pin connectors like the front loading spring loaded NES. The Famicom DID suffer from MANY pirate cartridges and systems which were known as "Famiclones" this was  later stopped on the NES by a lockout device. We will do separate Famiclone and pirate articles later.

Hey Fatty !

SMB3 NES-    -SMB 1Famicom
It should be mentioned that leading up to July Nintendo's Wii-U virtual store is selling classic titles each month for 30 cents so be sure to grab select classics while you can. Well you don't need me to tell you the Massive footprint Nintendo leaves on our culture today or that more web sites are dedicated to the Famicom/Nes then any other console. Video Games in general are called Famicom by some generations in Japan today. Thanks for celebrating this anniversary countdown with us and be sure to check back for more Special articles detailing the Famicom's legacy as we get closer to that BIG day in July. 

See yah soon ..... game on!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Big Box O' Pirated Booty: Game #2

 This out of schedule review is brought to us by the Big Box of Pirated games you might recall that recently came from Pirate Island (Thailand). In this the 2nd review from the BBO'PB (Big Box O' Pirated Booty..DUH) we'll be looking at another PIRATE of a classic .............TIGER-HELI

I would just like to point out that if you look on the back of the cart there is a warning against feeding it to alligators, Ive been noted as saying not to do this in some of my vids and articles but I swear I never noticed it on a cartridge before today, its a weird thing I always just happen to say.

Any way I cleaned this cart up before I played it as is standard for me but over the years Ive become less crazy mint collector and more history collector. What I mean by this is when i get a game now days I don't clean all the stickers off it or even look for good copies anymore just ones I find interesting. With cartridges you will find kids previously wrote their names on them or put stickers on them to personalize it and I find this more and more valuable & unique as it shows the personal history of the game as opposed to owning the mint-est copy I can find. So i clean the games now but leave price tags and stickers, names, etc...

Tiger-Heli was developed by Toaplan and the predecessor to Twin Cobra. It was released to Arcades in 1985 both in Japan & N. America. Acclaim Handled the localization port to the NES. It should be noted that Tiger-Heli sold One Million  copies in North America.  A feat not easily done in 1985. 
( Applause )

click me
click me

    On to the gaming.... As a kid I managed to own a US copy, I believe I squeezed it out of my dad in a KayBeeToys. I remember the ride home staring at the amazing box art that had sold me on a game I had never heard of.... ( In Ye olden days the only way to find out about a few of the new games was Nintendo power if your folks sprang for the subscription )
Get Ready!

My set-up

  As soon as you press start Tiger-Heli treats you to a powerful little music selection that rallies you forward in to the action. The games excellent music score continues to motivate you as you take control of the Tiger Helicopter with unlimited missiles that can be fired as quickly as your thumb can mash red plastic. The bomb clusters mounted on either side of the Tiger act as a defensive tactic as well as offensive, if the barrel on either side of tiger is stuck by enemy fire the bomb releases its load and spares the copter. The bomb/shield can come in handy as you can only take one hit and have 3 lives bonus lives are awarded at 20,000 & 80,000. The games designers were considerate enough to restart you after the object that killed you. There is a continue trick ill cover at the end with the other secrets I discovered way back when Mets were gearing up to win a World Series ..No Really, that Happened !

 Tiger-Heli offers a great challenge with out being impossible to beat, like most Shumps its about repetition playing it over in the tough spots to learn the patterns. The game introduced destructible environments like cars, planes, homes, etc which was a first for games in 1985. It should be noted that there are NO air support enemies like jets or copters in the entire game. Three types of Power-ups can be found through out the levels the first is a green cross that replenishes missing bombs. The second is a red cross that will bestow upon you a mini-heli attached to your side that fires perpendicular to you. The third is a white cross that also calls a mini-heli to your side but this one shoots straight ahead. You can carry up to two mini-helis at a time in whichever configuration of fire you can get your hands on and hang on to.

these jets dont attack
Whaoo lil friends

  Grabbing the Power-ups when you already have them will net you a bonus 5000 points. Tiger-Heli has been credited with introducing the Mega-Bomb as a secondary weapon in Shumps. There are only four levels but all start and end with Tiger taking off and landinfg on a Heli-Pad, when you reach the end of level 4 the game starts over but at level 2 with an increased difficulty. I had never beaten it as a kid so I pleased to do so now only.... sorry to report No Final Boss in this review.

Second Trick

First Trick

  As I mentioned above here are the SECRETS.. First when the game starts don't fire at anyone just make your way to the area pictured above on the left , if you haven't fired at all a trolley cart will travel across the railroad track shoot it for 10,000 points. Second make your way shortly after the tracks to large building in the second picture, shoot the red barrel looking thing on the roof repeatedly until a chime rings and you receive 10,000 more points which should net you your first bonus life. And finally at the GAME OVER screen press the A+B buttons to continue.

I hope you enjoyed this review and if your at all interested in Tiger-Heli please give it a try it can be found on Wii virtual console or the playstation TOPLAN shooting collection on PSN or in Classic gaming shops.