If you have been listening to Infendo Radio for the past year, you will know that with any mention of playable characters in the Wii U and 3DS versions of Super Smash Bros., I tend to grasp at straws for possible roster additions. Some have been true while others have been de-confirmed with the swift iron fist of Masahiro Sakurai himself. But, the one addition that I’ve been clamoring for with each Smash Bros. release has always been Ridley from the Metroid series. I’m clearly obsessed. The mere mention of it to friends online and outside of the podcast have been met with disagreement. Like I said in the headline: I want to believe. But, why am I still holding out for hope on one of Nintendo’s greatest villains to get his Smash Bros. due?
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- Game: StarTropics
- Release Date (North America): Dec. 1990
- Developer: Nintendo IRD
- Genre: Action-adventure
I think it’s about time for another NES Quest update, as it’s been a while since the last vote ended and you were no doubt in suspense as to which game (out of Metroid, Super Mario Bros. 3, Maniac Mansion, and StarTropics) was the winner. As you can see, StarTropics won and did so in a close race against Maniac Mansion, of all games! There must be something to this Maniac Mansion I keep hearing about…
I’ve played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II for a good amount of time, in case you were wondering. I was lucky enough have some leverage over my brother to get him to play it with me when I got around to it: he and I have been playing playing Pokemon X and Y, and since he’s just starting out, he wanted me to breed a few Pokemon for him, so I said I wouldn’t hatch his Gible unless he tried TMNT II with me. Fist pump!
Anyway, we had a blast playing together. One day after that, I played by myself and learned that some games are better played with others. My hope is that I’ll get another chance to play the game with a friend before I post the inevitable report card. That will hopefully happen this weekend. Also planned for this weekend is the start of a new game, StarTropics!
There’s only one thing missing from this post, right? A new vote! Well, here’s where the “excuses” thing you see above comes in. Even after a Labor day weekend filled with rest, relaxation, and gaming, I’m still feeling pretty overwhelmed with things to do and games to play, particularly on the NES front, as I couldn’t have my little grey gaming machine where I was during the three-day weekend. A total of four games have won votes up to now: DuckTales, Bionic Commando, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, and StarTropics, so I would like to spend some more quality time with them before adding another title to the list.
There’s no new vote, but feel free to recommend titles! Many of the obvious ones (such as Punch-Out!!) haven’t been recommended by anyone, so don’t avoid making a recommendation under the assumption someone else did!
See you for the next report card.
It’s time for another NES Quest report card! As with the DuckTales post before it, this report card (for Bionic Commando) is not a review: it’s a way for me to report to you the details of my progress in Bionic Commando. So how did I do? Read on to find out!
- 13 (Neutral)
- 15 (Neutral)
- 16 (Neutral)
- Lifelines Used: 1 – The Internet. Why? To figure out how to get past the laser barriers in Area 01.
NES games, along with retro games in general, are known for their lack of tutorials and hand-holding, two traits that are highly present in today’s video games. I didn’t have much help going into Bionic Commando, not even a game manual. I figured out just about everything on my own. The grappling claw that our titular hero is equipped with isn’t actually as simple to use as it initially seems. Of course, it can be used to swing across gaps, but I also learned how to reel the claw in and hop up onto the above platform. I learned about items used by the START button. And I became pretty adept at swinging my way past obstacles and enemies.
Impressions on the Game
This equation pretty much sums up my thoughts on Bionic Commando: fantastic level design + unique gameply = a lot of depth. Especially for an NES game. The grappling mechanic works without a hitch and is just plain fun to use. If this were not the case, I’m not sure I would’ve had the patience to run through the first couple of areas as many times as I did.
I did the math on the number of areas I completed vs. the total number of areas and, as it turns out, I only got about 32% through the game. I’m starting to think a week is not quite enough for some NES games. Even though I’m sure I could do better with time, my performance grade is:
- Game: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
- Release Date (North America): Dec. 1990
- Developer: Konami
- Genre: Beat ‘em up
As you can see, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game is up next on NES Quest. I’ve already acquired an original NES cartridge of the game, so I will start playing it this weekend. But what about my progress on Bionic Commando? I’m about to tell you about that in detail…past the break, that is…also, if you have no desire to read about Bionic Commando (or if you’ve never played it), you may just want to scroll to the end of the post for the latest vote, which gives second placers a second chance…anyway…
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!
- The Amazon: Completed on Easy and Normal
- Transylvania: Completed on Easy and Normal
- African Mines: Completed on Easy and Normal
- The Himalayas: Did a lot of exploring, never found the boss
- The Moon: Completed on Easy
- Lifelines used: 0
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).
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: