I’m pretty sure everyone has fond memories of Double Dragon, especially the arcade original. Double Dragon is essentially the reason we have the brawler/beat ’em up genre, which next to RPGs, is my favorite type of game. In the arcade, you might not have ever realized how unforgiving the game can be because you can always just keep dumping more quarters into it until you win. The NES versions of I, II, and III give you a good taste of what “Nintendo hard” means. I and II – 3 lives with no continues. And they both have stupid platforming parts. WHY?! Why does a brawler have platforming? If there was at least a singular jump button, maybe I could understand. But you have to press both punch and kick together to jump and it’s just not conducive accurate timing. III gives you 1 life. There have been many times I wasn’t even able to get past stage 1. At least after stage 2, you get additional characters.
Up until these longplays, I had NEVER in my life beaten the original Double Dragon for NES. Would always make it to the 4th mission and those stupid blocks would kill me. Or do enough damage there’s no way I could get past that last set of Abobo’s.
About a month ago I stumbled across something called “My Retro Game Box” on my friend’s Facebook feed. It was another one of those box-a-month subscription programs where they fill a box with random goodies and send it to you, except this one was specifically retro video games. Obviously I was immediately interested. I did some research and found out that it’s a relatively new, small mom & pop operation run out of Scotland. Now my collection has gotten to the point where the games that I am missing are very specific, so I was a little skeptical about signing up for a subscription where I would be sent random games. But I was curious enough to see how it all worked out, so I signed up for 1 month just to check it out.
They’re very friendly and right off the bat they send you a questionnaire asking you to list all the games you have for NES, SNES, Genesis/Mega Drive, N64, Sega Master System, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance and then even asked what game preferences you had and said they would strive their best not to send you things outside of your personal tastes. One of the things I found most intriguing, is that they give you the option to get PAL or NTSC games. Doubtful it would ever reach me, but I’d love to see Probotector, the PAL version of Contra where everything is a robot, arrive in one of my boxes. They give you the option to do subscriptions by 1 month for £23, 3 months for £65, 6 months £125, and a year for £230. All those prices are in British pounds sterling btw, for those who didn’t understand what they funny symbol was. I was glad they single month purchases for those who wish to remain noncommittal and it allowed me to take just a taste of what they had to offer.
A few days ago, in my mailbox was a unassuming, nondescript, small, rectangular, brown box. And I never would have known it was from a subscription service if it didn’t have a little round sticker on it from, “My Retro Game Box.” To add to the mystery of what games you are randomly sent, they place them in these delightful little striped paper bags. I ended up getting Wrath of the Black Manta and Defender of the crown, both for the NES and both rather ho-hum games. But I also got Dr. Mario for the Game Boy and it was the PAL version, so I was happy about that. I’d actually rather get PAL games. Feels more exotic.
Overall, I’m pleased with this service. I decided to go for another month more out of curiosity than anything else. There’s something exciting about random video games. With ebay, Craig’s List, Amazon, etc, the thrill of the hunt is gone. I don’t expect to ever get Earthbound, or Chrono Trigger or anything of course, but there’s almost 800 games for the NES alone and I don’t even have half of them. My only complaint with My Retro Game Box would have to be their website. It’s rather bland and unintuitive. I understand that they are just starting out and it’s only like 2 people working on it, so I can look past it.
Back before I discovered King of Dragons, or Chronicles of Mystara, there was Legend. At the time I thought it was the most awesome beat ’em up ever. Two huge guys with giant barbarian weapons traipsing about the kingdom slaying….peasants…and homeless guys….? Well that last part I really didn’t think about in my youth. I just though it was a pretty rad game. Unfortunately playing this game again after about 20 years or so has not held up to the game in my memory. It’s a grossly underdeveloped game with tons of various staples of the brawler genre that are painfully missing, and just complete laziness on the developers part with lack of color palettes, no variety of BGM, poor hit detection, etc. At any rate, it is a pretty rare game, so for a collector, it’s a must have, but it’s not something I could imagine someone owning “for fun”, unless they just enjoyed playing bad games, like I do.
Possibly the most difficult game I’ve ever played, or at least in recent memory. I would have to sit down and go through the entire video game library to find another game that compares in frustrating difficulty. Of course there’s “I wanna be the guy”, but that’s in a different category altogether. That game is designed to be unfair. Hagane, despite it’s rather steep learning curve, is extraordinarily fair. You’ll die a lot, but there are tons of 1-ups, extra life drops, and most importantly, infinite continues. Without the infinite continues, I’m pretty certain I never would have beaten this game. At first, the control scheme it a bit difficult to use and is rather awkward, specifically the jumping, when compared to pretty much any other action-platformer. But after getting used to it, you realize how really well the game controls. Hagane also has some of the best level design I have ever seen from a game of its generation, and is complimented by the game’s controls. You’d really have to play the game to understand just how well they work together. And not just for like 5 minutes, you really have to commit to it. It’s like a long distance run. At first, you’re struggling and out and breath and every part of your body is telling you to stop, but then you break out of it and reach a state of euphoria.That’s Hagane.
One of my favorite Mega Man games of all time. Might even be my top favorite. There’s just so many kick ass things about it. Mega Man on the NES was always top tier, and then when I found out they were making a Mega Man game for the SNES, I was filled with almost more excitement than my little childhood body could contain. Everything about it was an improvement. Can you have a complaint about this game? Seriously, this is an action-platformer perfection.
Full playthrough of Demon’s Crest by Gamesquad Squad. I had always wanted to play this game because I was told that is was difficult and I like a challenge, but it’s a pretty pricey cart. I guess I had the option to get it as a kid, but I was turned off by the fact that they removed a lot of the RPG elements that the NES predecessor had. Turns out that was a stupid reason not to buy the game. I finally managed to get my hands on one for a price that wasn’t too steep. The game was good, I definitely enjoyed it, but I’m a little disappointed because it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had been lead to believe. The final boss however was nearly impossible. Almost the entirety of the 3rd video is us trying to be the final boss. That’s about an hour and a half of fighting the same putz over and over. The game reminded me somewhere of a cross between Mega Man X and Act Raiser and actually did have a fair about of RPG elements to it. Also, the fact that you can fly indefinitely without a wing strength meter makes this game far superior than the other Gargoyle’s Quest games.
A friend of mine and myself are planning on doing some cosplay as Falco and Fox from StarFox. We both have zero experience in this field and a relatively nonexistent budget. Hoping to get some help here. Specifically, if anyone might have an extra fox, or blue avian head gear. They don’t even have to be good. Actually, it would be even better if they look like crap, just as long as they remotely resemble the characters from StarFox.