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Retro Redux: NES Quest – DuckTales report card

Holly Fellmeth On Aug 17th 2014 with 4 Comments
Retro Redux: NES Quest - DuckTales report card

DuckTales MoonWaiting for a space duck to get through those spikes is like waiting for King Zora to move aside in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

As I move on to Bionic Commando, I move away from DuckTales. It’s time for my first report card! Being the first, I’m not sure exactly how to describe it…it’s not quite a game review. Rather, it’s a review of my progress on the game after playing for about a week. As a reminder, I played DuckTales using an original NES system and cart. Let’s get started!

Overview

  1. The Amazon: Completed on Easy and Normal
  2. Transylvania: Completed on Easy and Normal
  3. African Mines: Completed on Easy and Normal
  4. The Himalayas: Did a lot of exploring, never found the boss
  5. The Moon: Completed on Easy
  6. Lifelines used: 0

General Accomplishments

Unfortunately, I didn’t ever record my total treasure accumulated while playing DuckTales (lesson learned), but rest assured, I spent plenty of time searching. I found a handful of extra lives and, more importantly, health upgrades, and I came to be quite well-acquainted with the levels (except for the Himalayas, apparently). Though I never found the boss in the Himalayas, I did find a character to save from the ice (the name escapes me), which seemed somewhat impressive to me, though I fell to my death on the way back from that location.

Impressions on the Game

Being an action platformer, DuckTales’ appeal lies largely in its control and gameplay. The game holds up surprisingly well in both of those areas. Scrooge McDuck’s trademark pogo jump is remarkably satisfying to use. The game’s presentation also has a timelessness to it, thanks to colorful, well-designed levels, solid sprites of characters/enemies, and a memorable soundtrack. The only “problem” was the slow frame-rate at times, which wasn’t even an issue for me (and I’m sure is common in NES games).

Grade

DuckTales is a pretty short, fairly easy game, and I should have spent more time in the Himalayas. But I didn’t use any lifelines, so that helps my final performance grade, which is:

B

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Pokemon TCG comes to iPad…as predicted

Lewis Pugh On Aug 16th 2014 with 0 Comments
Pokemon TCG comes to iPad...as predicted

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Today saw the Pokémon World Championship 2014 begin in Washington, D.C and as contestants made their way inside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, some found a surprising encounter. Being demoed was a version of the Pokémon Trading Card Game was running on an iPad. Although an official written announcement has been made, reps at the event confirmed this was the real deal and should land on the Apple App Store later this year.

The photo above was taken by  Josh Wittenkeller on Twitter

From information gathered so far, the iPad version will essentially be a touch-friendly version of the same Pokémon Trading Card Game Online available for both PC and Mac and will also be a free download. Currently the only way to obtain digital cards is via codes that come with the physical cards, whether this will be the same on the iPad version or purchase of digital cards via in-app purchase will be available is yet to be seen.

This appears to be another example of The Pokémon Company flexing their online and mobile reach beyond what Nintendo is usually comfortable doing with their other IP. In fact this very move was predicted some time ago by yours truly on this very site.

The next question of course is will we also see the TCG make its way to the Wii U? The combination of touch screen and large TV view would makes allot of sense but perhaps Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have something else in mind?

Let us know what you think of the first ‘Nintendo Game’ on tablets and do you think we can see this also hit the Wii U?

 

 

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Retro Redux: NES Quest – New Vote

Holly Fellmeth On Aug 15th 2014 with 3 Comments
Retro Redux: NES Quest - New Vote

P1010501How random selection works on NES Quest.

As I promised earlier this week when Bionic Commando was revealed to be the winner of the last vote on NES Quest, here’s a brand spanking new set of four NES games for you to vote on (again, chosen at random):

  • Recommended by Justin Riley, Gargoyle’s Quest II and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.
  • Recommended by Eric Abrams, Metroid.
  • Recommended by Brad, R.C. Pro-Am.

Leave a comment below voting on one of those four games. Voting will be going a little longer this time around; you have until Tuesday night, August 19. Brief update on other matters: I’ve been playing DuckTales while waiting for a copy of Bionic Commando to come in the mail. It came today, though, so I’ll be finishing up DuckTales and starting up Bionic Commando this weekend. Don’t forget you can follow NES Quest in these ways:

Wii U Facebook Group

Twitter: @HollyFellmeth and @Infendo

My Nintendo Network ID: Aeroweth

#RetroRedux #NESQuest

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Remembering Robin Williams, actor, comedian, Nintendo fan

Holly Fellmeth On Aug 13th 2014 with 7 Comments

Robin Williams shocked the world with his suicide on Monday, Aug. 11, at age 63. The beloved actor was revealed to have been suffering from depression.

I grew up watching Williams in brilliant roles like Peter Banning in Hook and Daniel Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire. Jumanji and Aladdin also come to mind, in which he played Alan Parrish and Genie, respectively.

Nintendo fans may remember Williams as a fan and supporter of The Legend of Zelda, his favorite video game series. He named his daughter after Princess Zelda, and the two appeared in some of the best Zelda commercials in recent memory:

If those don’t bring both a smile to your face and a pang of grief to your heart, I don’t know what will. Rest in peace, Robin Williams.

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Smash Bros: Meta Knight, Limited Edition Pack and more

Justin Riley On Aug 13th 2014 with 0 Comments

Only 51 days remain until the release of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, yet the announcements keep rolling out. A returning character, another stage, a limited edition pack AND a Smash Bros. themed sale were all announced over the last 24 hours.

Kirby fans can now rejoice, as Sakurai announced the return of Meta Knight. After teasing Meta Knight’s return on Monday, by posting a picture of a Mii fighter wearing a Meta Knight costume, today Sakurai confirmed Meta Knights return. He also verified that the Battleship Halberd stage will be coming back as well. Sakurai wrote:

“‘Looks like there was an impostor in the earlier posts, so I introduced him to my sword!’… I’ll leave it up to your imagination if he really said that or not. The veteran hero, Meta Knight, returns to battle!! We didn’t forget the Battleship Halberd either!!”

In other Smash Bros. news, Nintendo of Europe announced that a Limited Edition Smash Bros. Pack will be released on October 3rd. A special red and black console, with a Super Smash Bros. motif emblazoned on the front, this limited edition console will come with a digital copy of Super Smash Bros. preloaded on the system. So far, this limited release has only been confirmed for Europe. No mention of a North American release has been made at this time.

Lastly, Nintendo of Europe also announced an extensive eShop sale, focused around several Smash Bros. characters. From August 14-21, games featuring some of the New Challengers will be on sale. The following week, August 21-28, games featuring some of the Veteran Fighters will go on sale. So far this has only been confirmed by Nintendo of Europe. Much like the special edition 3DS, no confirmation of a North American sale has been announced. The following games will be on sale in the New Challengers sale:

Mii Fighter - Tomodachi Life (3DS) 20% off & Wii Party U (Wii U) 30% off

Villager - Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS) 30% off

Palutena - Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS) 30% off

Wii Fit Trainer - Wii Fit U (Wii U) 30% off

Little Mac - Punch-Out!! (3DS & Wii U) 50% off & Super Punch-out!!! (Wii U) 50% off

Mega Man - Mega Man 1-6 (3DS & Wii U) 50% off

Pac-Man - Pac-Man (3DS & Wii U) 50% off

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Guest Post – Nintendo Blacksheep: StarTropics

Holly Fellmeth On Aug 12th 2014 with 5 Comments
Guest Post - Nintendo Blacksheep: StarTropics
101-StarTropics
For those of you readers who don’t know me (which I’m sure is 99.9% of you), my name is Anthony DeVirgilis, and I’ve been writing at GameGravy.com for around 4 years on and off.  I consider myself a well-rounded gamer, owning just about every console and willing to give a game in any genre at least a chance.  Enough about me though, the reason I am here and writing this article is to defend my case for the NES Quest to have started with StarTropics, the often overlooked and forgotten about franchise in Nintendo’s vast library of Intellectual Properties.

Let me give you a little background on the history of StarTropics, one of my favorite NES franchises (yes franchise, there was a second game on NES: Zoda’s Revenge: StarTropics II).  Developed by Nintendo IRD, best known for Punch-Out! and Super Punch-Out!, in StarTropics you play as Mike Jones, visiting your uncle Dr. J on C-Island.  As you arrive you find out that he has gone missing.  You are then sent on a quest to find your abducted uncle.  I am going to stop there because I expect, nay, demand that this game be played at some point on the NES Quest.

The gameplay is reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda franchise when in “dungeon” areas, where you will defend yourself from enemies with a yo-yo, baseball bat, cleats and a plethora of other weapons. The overworld map has the feel of an old school RPG overhead view, which you traverse when exploring from location to location.  The game also features a broad range of NPC characters and a leveling up system, similar to that of an RPG.

There are a few things that make this game special for anyone around my age.  First, I remember reading each issue of Nintendo Power from cover-to-cover multiple times.  This was our only source of Nintendo news at the time.  There was no Internet, there weren’t really any demos or ways to try games out (besides the then thriving video rental shops).  I remember just being amazed by the screen shots from StarTropics at the time.  It was like The Legend of Zelda but with better graphics and in a more modern setting. Second, it was targeted for North America, which is still almost unheard of from Nintendo, as most of their titles hit Japan earlier.  In fact, Nintendo never even released StarTropics in Japan, though it did see a European release shortly after it hit the shores of NA.  Lastly, it saw Nintendo taking innovative steps and thinking outside the box with the inclusion of  “The Letter” inside the box with the game manual that was essential to your progression through the game (And I’m not talking about the 15 minute long eShop title).  They included “The Letter” in the eManual in the Virtual Console release as well.

Nintendo has been known to stray away from their franchises and rarely revisit them with titles such as Kid Icarus, Ice Climbers, Clu Clu Land, Earthbound and, even more recently, Star Fox and F-Zero. StarTropics was released in 1990 and its sequel in 1994, long after the SNES had launched and a game on the NES had a snowball’s chance in hell to sell well. With Nintendo’s huge library of titles, I’d love to see them revisit the world of StarTropics and with enough fanfare maybe that could one day be a possibility.  For now though,  fans who have missed this title should jump at the opportunity to experience a true gem from the company we all have grown to love, Nintendo.

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