Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link (1987) Review

Ooh a sequel to the legend of Zelda, I cannot wait !!

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Zelda 2 the Adventure of Link is the weirdest Zelda game I have ever played, it was the second game released in the franchise and is considered to be the black sheep of the Legend of Zelda series, so without further ado lets check out Links second adventure.

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After destroying Ganon in the first game, it is revealed by Impa that Princess Zelda has had a sleeping curse cast on her and will only awaken when the seal protecting the triforce of wisdom is broken, Link can only break the seal by placing six crystals into statues hidden in palaces across the land.

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The game has an over world which is kind of similar to most of the 2D Zelda games although I wouldn’t expect to be finding too many secrets here if I was you, I found the over world to be quite bare with it mostly being used for grinding Experience Points and traversing between areas..

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Zelda 2 an action adventure 2D Plat-former with RPG elements, this was definitely a risky direction to take the series and thankfully it didn’t stick because while this game isn’t necessarily bad, if its game style became the series staple we may not have the amazing Zelda games we have today.

When traversing the over world Link can be forced into action platforming sections which require him to defeat enemies in order to gain experience points which can be used to upgrade his health, magic or strength once he levels up.

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Through out the game you can find many towns which can be used to heal, restore magic and to find wizards who can teach you spells, in order to find these wizards you normally have do something for example one wizard requires you to find a magic mirror and another requires you bring the wizards daughter a trophy you can find in a cave at the start of the game.

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The palaces have Link defeating enemies, collecting keys and opening doors in order to find the statues however in traditional Zelda fashion the palaces are tricky to traverse but with the platforming game style this feels more like a Metroid game in my opinion, at the end of each palace you must fight one of the very creative and difficult boss fights before finding the statues and handing over a crystal.

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Zelda 2 the Adventure of Link is an ok adventure game but it is far from a good Legend of Zelda title in my opinion, the biggest issue I have is that the games difficulty is unfair, there is a lot of grinding to do if you want any chance of finishing it, areas such as death mountain are too long with few power ups to help you survive and every time you get game over you are sent back to the first screen of the game, on a lighter note the game has a nice soundtrack, colourful and fantastic visuals and responsive controls but apart from that this is one Zelda game you could quite happily skip unless you really want to play it. 5.5/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link for the Nintendo Entertainment System

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Castlevania (NES) Review

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Finally after all this time I get to talk about one of my favourite video games of all time Castlevania.

Castlevania was developed and published by Konami and was released on September 26th 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System

castlevania-title-screenEvery one hundred years Count Dracula rises from his coffin and wreaks havoc on Transylvania, each time Dracula comes back he is defeated by a member of the famous Belmont family who have been protecting Transylvania from supernatural threats for generations, the year is 1691 and once again Dracula causes trouble attracting the attention of Simon Belmont who along with his trusty whip makes his way through Dracula’s castle hoping to defeat the evil vampire lord.Castlevania_NES_14

The game is an action plat-former and takes place in different areas of Dracula’s castle, players will need to survive a number of levels before facing a sub boss, the platforming is ridiculously difficult and not with good reason, Simon attacks enemies by either whipping them or hurting them with a sub weapon, this is fine but the problem is that if you are hit by an enemy you dont just take damage but also get knocked back and lot of time this leads to Simon falling to his death, this was obviously programmed into the game in order to add additional challenge but honestly the game is so difficult anyway that this is just annoying.

120808_castlevania-6For example the image above is just two screens of the game and as you can see there are a lot of things to avoid including a lot of Fleamen which are some of the most difficult enemies to avoid in the game.

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Three things can really help you through out the game making your adventure a little easier

The first is Pork Chops which you can find hidden in the walls and if you eat these they will restore your health.

Next you have sub weapons such as daggers, crosses and axes which can be used at the expense of some of the hearts you can find by whipping all of the candles throughout the game, all of these sub weapons are great however the best and most useful is the Holy Water, this is the easiest way to kill most of the bosses in the game including the notorious fight with the Grim Reaper and even Count Dracula himself.

Collecting the Sub Weapons can become even more useful when you find the upgrades, you can make your weapons up to three times more powerful by finding power-ups which are mostly found in candles or bricks but can appear randomly too.

Easily one of the best soundtracks in the NES library Castlevania has one kickass music library, the music is bouncy and fun but does have a creepy vibe to it now and again, but in general the music is so catchy that I guarantee you wont be able to remove it from your brain, my personal favourite track in the game is called Wicked Child and is the theme for stage 7.

Castlevania is an amazing game but I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece the controls are a little stiff and the game is way more frustrating than it needs to be, on the other hand everything else is perfect the visuals are fantastic for an early release, the soundtrack is one of the best and the game is genuinely very good, for the first entry of the series its a really good start but it could have done with a few more tweaks 7.9/10.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Castlevania for the NES

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

Krusty’s Super Fun House (1993) Review

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Originally named Krusty World in Japan Krusty’s Super Fun House was a puzzle/platformer developed and produced by Fox Williams and Acclaim Entertainment, the game was released on a whole array of systems including Commodore Amiga, NES, DOS, Master system, Megadrive, Game Boy and SNES.

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Krusty the Clown has had a rat infestation at his playhouse and with the help of various Simpsons characters he has to exterminate them.

In the game you play as Krusty, the game plays as a 2D platformer for the most part but the main aspect of the game is puzzles, during the puzzles Krusty must find and direct rats to their doom using different items such as blocks and buckets, if you place an item down on the ground the rats can climb on top of it to reach higher platforms and you need to keep doing this until they enter a machine which kills them.

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Krusty can obtain various weapons in the game which can destroy walls and enemies, my favourite weapon is the bog standard custard pie as it has a nice range and is fairly easy to hit your target.

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Graphically the game is ok no matter which version you play, the Gameboy version is black and white and the 8 bit versions are slightly less pixelated than the 16 versions of the game, the visuals are quite bland and do get a bit boring later on, the big issue is that a lot of sprite work had been copied and pasted making some of the later levels very difficult to navigate, the game play also varies from each version, they all follow the same formula but some systems ran the game substantially better than others, I played the SNES version of the game which was fine however I have heard that the PC versions such as DOS and Commodore Amiga suffered from a lot of slowdown.

All in all Krustys Fun House is boring, it was a drag having to play through the entire thing and the whole experience was just plain, dull and not very exciting, it has decent controls and ok graphics but its lame game play and looped soundtrack does not help the game shine in the slightest.

3.8/10

Thank you for reading my review of Krusty’s Super Fun House

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

 

Mega Man Legacy collection (2015) Review

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After six years of doing this website I feel its about time I talked about one of Capcoms oldest but most popular characters Mega Man, Mega Man began his epic saga in 1987 with his first video game on the NES, The legacy collection includes the first six games in the Mega Man franchise along side some extra features which will be discussed.

Mega Man (1987)

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Yikes would you look at that box art, I dont know who that person is meant to be but its not Mega Man, The box art for the original Mega Man is fairly crap its Mega Man himself who looks like a grumpy middle aged man which ruins it for me, the rest of the box art is OK but that original design for the Hero of the series was not helping sell copies of the game back in the day.

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The Mega Man games all have fairly similar plots but I will do a brief summary of each one starting with the original games.

Dr Light and Dr Wily used to be business partners, They both worked together to build robots with a purpose to help people and each robot had a different ability.

One day the robots started behaving inappropriately as they began attacking the people they were built to help, Dr Light discovers that it was Dr Wily that reprogrammed the robots to do this as he wanted to use them to take over the world, a prototype robot with a strong sense of justice and the ability to learn called Mega Man takes off into the city in order to stop all of the robots and Dr Wily from achieving world domination.

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Mega Man uses a level select system which allows the player to go to any level they want from the get go, this idea gave the Mega Man series its own identity and a new challenging way to play games which became a staple in the video game industry, the level select menu is quite boring in the original game, its a plain background that doesn’t give the player much to look at.

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Thankfully the game play is a lot more interesting I do wish their was more to look at in the background of the levels but we must remember that this is an early NES game so we shouldn’t expect too much.

Mega Man 2 (1988)

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The box art for Mega Man 2 is more appealing than that of the original but its still not great, the characters look like extras in power rangers more than they do robots, also Mega Man looks like hes just broken his ankle, that actually looks quite painful,it was a good effort Capcom but the art really needs work.

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After his defeat in the first game Dr Wily creates 8 more robot Masters in order to take over the world and Dr Light sends out Mega Man to stop the mad scientist once again.

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The level select screen in Mega Man 2 is a lot more exiting than Mega Man 1, its amazing how just a little bit more detail can make all of the difference.

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Visually the games colours are more sharp and the backgrounds are a lot more interesting, they are well animated and very cool however these fun backgrounds only tend to turn up now and again before returning to a more bland background design, other changes to Mega Man 2 is the ability to shoot in all directions and the addition of Energy Tanks, Energy Tanks can be found in difficult spots of various stages, these useful canisters can be used by Mega Man at anytime to completely refill his health, the enemy designs are again very creative in this game but they are too generous with their energy and weapon drops which makes the game quite a bit easier than the original.

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The Robot Masters in the game are a lot of fun and similar to the original game most have weaknesses which can be taken avantage of with Mega Mans ever expanding arsenal however many of them can be easily defeated with either the Mega Buster or Metal Blade making them much easier as well.

The game has a kickass soundtrack which I wont go into too much detail now but I will say that the opening theme is perfect and really helps to get you hyped for the game that follows.

Mega Man 3 (1992)

Ok so the release date here is a little controversial because while the game was released in 1990 in Japan and in the USA in Europe it wasn’t released until 1992 so whether the date I have put is relevant to you depends on where you are from.

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Now that box art is much better, sure Mega Man himself seems a bit derpy but its hard not admire the rest of the detail, for one Mega Man is actually shooting with his Mega Buster and not a pistol, Wily’s fortress in the background is pretty cool and Mega Man blasting the gears out of a robot just gets me super hyped for the adventure that awaits.

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After being defeated twice by Mega Man Dr Wily helps Dr Light build a piece keeping robot named Gamma, 8 more robot masters are built in order to mine different planets for crystals which will power Gamma but these crystals mysteriously go missing and the robot masters start acting violently, Mega Man is sent to destroy the robot masters and return the crystals however this time he is joined by a robotic dog companion called Rush, both Mega Man and rush shoot off into the galaxy in order to save the day once again.

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Mega Man 3’s gameplay is not much different from the other 2 games but some differences worth mentioning are as follows, this game has longer levels and most have 2 checkpoints instead of one, Mega Man 3 is much more difficult than both of its predecessors, you fight not only the 8 new robot masters but four additional stages with each needing Mega Man to defeat two robot masters from the last game, Rush is a useful companion and in a similar manner to Mega Man 2’s Dr Light upgrades Rush can help Mega Man jump higher, fly freely and can also be used as a submarine which can shoot and drive freely underwater, all of these become extremely helpful but they do have a limited power source and finally a new foe called Proto man makes an appearance in the game and Mega Man will need to defeat him various times.

Apart from those this game follows the regular Mega Man formula but one thing I will point out is that this game lags a lot so be prepared for that.

The sound track isn’t too great here not many memorable tracks at all and the lack of an intro cut scene kinda sucked.

Mega Man 4 (1992)

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Mega Man looks a bit more normal on this cover but the art is no where near as cool as Mega Man 3’s.

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After Dr Wily’s defeat in Mega Man 3 world peace came to the world for an entire year before Mega Man was threatened by a new foe Dr Cossack, Dr Cossack has created eight robot masters who are each programmed to kill Mega Man, Mega Man sets off to defeat the robot masters and his new enemy hoping to bring peace back to the world.

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Mega Man 4 runs a lot smoother compared to the last game which was a bit of a relief as it made the experience less aggravating, in my opinion this is the game which pushed the NES era of Mega games to some of the best visuals the system could put out, the game is beautifully animated, you should watch the final cut-scene over and over again just appreciate how amazing it looks, If the graphics were enhanced a little I honestly believe that it could be mistaken for a Super Nintendo game, along side the awesome visual upgrade we are treated to a few additions and changes, Mega Man now has a new Mega Buster which can deliver charge shots for extra damage and instead of fighting robot masters from the last game we are instead given two final castles to take on although the levels here are a lot shorter than usual so its not too overwhelming.

Mega Man 5 (1992)

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I really like this box art, Mega Man looks cool, the enemy designs are pretty awesome and their is plenty of detail in the background, its really nice and its my favourite so far.

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Two months after the events of Mega Man 4, Proto Man has sent an army of robot masters to take over the world, Mega Man doesn’t understand why the robot who once helped him is doing such an evil thing but with little choice Mega Man runs into the city with his new robot bird called Beat who was gifted to him by Dr Cossack after he rescued him during his last adventure, don’t feel too bad about the companion as hes extremely useful, although it should be noted that hes only available near the end of the game so make of that what you will but either way you still get Rush which is great.

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To be honest not much has changed here, as stated before you get a new companion but apart from this only very few changes were made compared to Mega Man 4, energy tanks and health drops I found found were slightly more generous making this adventure a little less stressful and I found the mega buster to be more powerful here but I cant be too sure.

With Mega Man 5 not really giving us much new material we just have one more game to tackle in this collection.

Mega Man 6 (1993)

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This box art is really weird, why the hell does it seem as though Mega Man has travelled back to the middle ages,that castle is really old looking and it doesn’t suit the futuristic theme of the series but I will say that I do like that they are showing off one of the Rush adaptor suits on the cover with the Jet Pack Mega Man.

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After Dr Wily’s 5th defeat a global robot alliance was created to help keep peace in the universe, a robot tournament was made to help find the strongest peace keeping robot in the world, Mega Man is sent to supervise the tournament to make sure that there is no funny business but before the tournament begins the host Mr X announces that he has re-programmed all the contestants to help him take over the world and he even announces that he was manipulating Dr Wily the entire time, with the world in danger Mega Man and Rush set out to defeat their new foe and bring back world peace.

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As previously mentioned in this game Rush does help Mega Man but unlike before when Rush would allow Mega Man to use him to get past difficult obstacles this time around they both combine with each other its pretty weird but I like it, apart from that nothing much is new its just a standard Mega Man game, great sound track, nice tight controls and epic action packed platforming game play, you cant go wrong, its more unique than the previous games with its rush adaptors but other than that its the same Mega Man we all love and you cant complain about that.

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With the games out of the way I want to quickly cover the extra features of this collection, first of all we have the challenge mode, its essentially small scenes from the games where you have to complete difficult tasks, they could be kill a boss within a certain time frame or beat a bunch of bosses without dying, finish a segment without taking damage and so much more, getting gold on all of these challenges is difficult but can be done with a lot of patience and a steady mind.

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Finally there are two pretty cool features available from the get go one is quick access to each games sound track which are all awesome by the way, and the other is the ability to change between the English and Japanese versions of each game.

I know it may seem odd that I chose to cover these in a collection instead one at a time but to be honest as much as I love Mega Man they are all fairly similar, this collection is a fantastic purchase for anyone who loves the series and even those who may want to check it out, fear not it does have a save state option available and the Nintendo Switch version which has not yet been released is going to include a rewind feature which will allow you to re try tricky sections in real time without having to reload a stage or re-do an entire level, the only small issue I have is the few lag spikes in some of the games I don’t expect this in a collection for such modern day machines so this was a little disappointing, the Mega Man games are a huge staple in the video game industry they helped to put Capcom on the map and have since become a massive part of video game history, each game is fun in its own way and each game has a special place in my heart, now go out there and blow up some robots 9.5/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of the Mega Man Legacy Collection

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Metroid (NES) Review

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Metroid was released in 1986 by Nintendo it follows intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran as she searches throughout the planet Zebes in a mission to hunt down the wanted space pirates Ridley, Kraid and Mother Brain

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The concept of the gameplay is simple but most players find it very difficult once they take control over Samus, what made Metroid unique when it came out was the freedom to go where ever you want from the very beginning however there are a lot of areas to explore and many paths you can follow which is what makes the game so challenging also the lack of any in game map means that getting lost is likely to happen more often than you may expect.

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Samus is first only equipped with her trusty arm cannon but by exploring the game players will find many different upgrades for her cannon and her suit, a good example which doesn’t give away to many hints is that if you go left from the very start of the game you can find an upgrade which allows Samus to morph into a ball and drop bombs, you can also find upgrades for Samus’s health bar and early on in the game you can find missiles which allow you to break into more securely locked areas, be wary that the game doesn’t allow you explore free from danger as many enemies will try and destroy Samus  and don’t be surprised if you are dead only 10 minutes into the game because it honestly really is that difficult.

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Metroids visuals were outstanding for the time, the art designers managed to use a great blend of dark backgrounds and areas with bright and outstanding colors for the important parts of the game, the dark backgrounds make the game more scarier as it allows the atmosphere to feel empty but dangerous, it helps to keep the gamer on edge while they are dealing with the threats within the darkness, the labyrinth design of the world makes it clear that if anything was to happen too Samus she may never be found, in my opinion this is Nintendo’s first video game for adults compared to lighter hearted titles such as Mario and Kirby.

The soundtrack isn’t anything to get excited about, its not terrible but like many of these early Nintendo games it lacks in variety, there are few tracks that last longer than 20 seconds before looping which quickly becomes redundant but I will say that some of the quiet and shorter tracks help make the atmosphere feel more empty and far away from society and the Brinstar theme really packs a lot of energy into the game and makes the player feel like a real bad-ass also its one of my favorite video game tunes so I have to give some credit for that.

Upon it’s release Metroid quickly went on to become a classic Nintendo game which soon became a much beloved series for video game fans alike, its a product of the time and many younger gamer’s will definitely struggle to survive without using a cheat code but don’t let the difficulty put you off buying this on the virtual console as its well worth your time, there was a remake for the GBA called Metroid: Zero Mission which was much easier and a lot more story driven so it may be more worth your time to pick up that one instead either way Metroid is awesome enough to earn itself an impressive 8.8/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Metroid for the Nintendo Entertainment System

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Little Nemo the Dream Master (1990) (NES) Review

“What do you dream, when you dream Little Nemo”

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Little Nemo the Dream Master was a game created by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System, the game itself was based on a series of comic strips titled Little Nemo in Slumberland which ran from 1905 to 1926.

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The comic depicted a young boy called Nemo and the adventures he went on in his dreams, the comic strip was very creative and completely original at the time.

I find it odd that Capcom who were very high in the industry decided to make a video game based on a comic strip which at the time was over 85 years old, but still its Capcom we have to give them credit since they were responsible for some of the greatest games of that generation (MegaMan, Ducktales, Ghost and Goblins), So how did Capcom’s attempt to make a video game based on a very old comic strip turn out?

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As you may have guessed the game takes place in Nemo’s dreams and within the fictional world of Slumberland, One night Nemo is visited by the royal messenger who tells him that the Princess of Slumberland has requested Nemo to be her playmate, Nemo isn’t fussed on the idea at first but after much persuasion he eventually agrees and is given a gift of candy, Nemo climbs aboard the Royal Messengers blimp and they both fly to Slumberland.

Knocked out Bumble BeeIn the game you take the role of Little Nemo and its your objective to collect a set amount of keys to open the door at the end of each stage, the game is a platformer so expect to be doing a lot of jumping, unlike most platformers of the time this game a has a twist as Nemo will need to take the abilites of the animals around him to reach hard to reach places and too pass certain obstacles, you take these animals powers by throwing candy into their mouths until they fall asleep and once they are sleeping you simply jump onto that animal in order to have full access to their unique abilities.

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You cant use the candy on all the creatures in the game but the vast majority of creatures do allow you too feed them the candy, depending on which creature you knock out will determine what new ability Nemo will gain, for example if you take the frogs ability Nemo will be able jump much higher than usual, taking the bee’s ability allows him to fly, taking the gorillas ability allows him punch things with brute strength and riding the lizard allows Nemo to walk up vertical platforms.

these are just a few of the many unique abilities available in the game.

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When you finish a stage you are presented a small cut scene of Nemo waking up and his mother yelling at him to go back to bed, these cut scenes are very cute but they are also a very clever nod to the original works by Winsor McCay as the comic strips he wrote also ended in this manner.

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This game is pretty adorable and it has a fairly innocent plot but be careful where you tread as this game is also very difficult, I personally find the game to have a similar feel to Ghosts and Goblins which is another very difficult platfomer made by Capcom for the NES, Little Nemo is not as difficult as Ghosts and Goblins but it definitely requires a lot more strategy due to having to constantly switch between the different animal abilities as well as needing to collect the keys before finishing each stage.

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The game may be difficult but the level and character designs are wonderful, since the game takes place within Nemo’s dreams the levels are very imaginative, the first few levels are fairly basic with simple setting such as a forest and Nemo’s  backyard but the later levels are very cool and creative some of my favourite stages include Nemo’s House which has the player controlling a pint size Nemo through his home while helping him avoid everyday objects such as dishes and cutlery but at a much larger scale.

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My favourite stage is called the House of Toys this stage is an on rails platformer, Nemo is in a toy room and is riding  a toy train, while riding the train Nemo will need to act fast to avoid enemy attacks and too collect the keys, the train is extremely well animated and the train noises are very impressive and to a point even quite realistic considering the restrictions of the NES and it honestly blows my mind every time I hear it.

From the opening cutscene to the end credits the games graphics are truly something to marvel, everything is extremely well animated, pixelation of the backgrounds, landscapes and general art style is smooth and nice to look at and the colours choices really suit the games innocent and charming atmosphere.

With this being a Capcom game as you might expect the music is absolutely superb, the music isn’t quite as fast and upbeat as the music you may hear in the Mega Man franchise nor is it quite as intense as the Music in the Ghost and Goblins or Demons Crest series, the music is very innocent and at times even quite relaxing and this suits the games atmosphere because before the final stage the game is not at all scary and Nemo isn’t not really threatened so the nice music is a good choice and when you do reach that final stage the music does change to a more darker and scarier tone, the music is very memorable and I often find myself humming it on a daily basis.

With such a difficult platformer you need good controls and luckily the controls are tight and very responsive, the controls them selves are very easy to learn, and the simple layout of the NES controller makes the games controls and general game play easy to grasp for any player.

Little Nemo the Dream Master was a risky choice for a video game due to the original works ending 64 years prior to the games release, the game is an innocent little platformer with difficult but fair game play, some of the best colour choices and level designs of any game for the NES and the music was a very smart choice from the developers due to its calm and friendly nature suiting the game perfectly.

Little Nemo the Dream Master is the type of game which quite literally a dream come true for many gamers due to it’s innocence, fantastic gameplay, and overall charm.

The game is perfect,not only is it a fantastic example of a hidden gem for the system  but I would also argue that its one of the greatest games ever made.

10/10

Thank you for reading my review of Little Nemo the Dream Master for the NES

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

Also me and some friends have recently started playing games together so please check out our YouTube Channel Hoenn Rangers, I love Little Nemo and so do my friends so one day we may play the game on the show.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYmN8F6Q-eGOD0gp0anCdcQ

 

 

 

Marble Madness (1989) (NES) Review

A NES game about marbles?

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Marble Madness may be one of the most bizarre video games that I own, you play as a marble and the objective of the game is to roll the marble through six different obstacle courses.

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You may think that this seems really easy, but believe me it’s not because the controls are very sensitive, one tap on the d-pad can get your marble rolling and then its up to you to carefully traverse past any obstacles,it genuinely feels like you are controlling a marble and because of that reason the game is immensely difficult, anything can happen you can fall into a dip in the course and then you will need to roll around to build up momentum and speed in order to push yourself back to the flat area, you can roll into acid and melt, you can be eaten by a snake, you can be blown off of the course by powerful gusts of air and you can even spin out of control and smash, and while all of this madness is happening you have a time limit!!

depending on how quickly you finish a course will determine how much time you will be given for the next course and once you hit zero seconds its game over and back to course 1.

You have six courses to get through and each course has its own specific design and theme.

Course 1 Practise

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This is literally the practise stage, no obstacles just a good way to get used to the controls by rolling to the goal while trying to avoid falling off of the course.

Course 2 Beginner

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Things start to get a little more challenging here, you will now need to travel through a bigger course than before while avoiding those green snakes who will eat you and also staying clear of the mean black marble that will try to knock you off of the edge.

Course 3 Intermediate

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This course isn’t too difficult but it does introduce a new hazard, puddles of acid are now in the game and if your marble touches any of these puddles it will immediately melt, also introduced is a really tough section of the course that requires you to avoid a green wave that will push you off of the edge of the map.

This course also brings back those annoying green snakes and the course in general has many high slopes for you to climb in order for you to reach the goal.

Course 4 Aerial

Marble_Madness_-_NES_-_Aerial_Race

This is where the game gets really tough, in the aerial course you will need to use fast speeds and patience in order to survive, while trying to build up speed to jump large gaps you will be greeted by many air blowers, the air blowers will blast heavy gusts of air at the marble attempting to knock it off course, also some areas of this course will have floors that will raise very quickly often throwing your marble into the depths below

Course 5 Silly

Silly

When you first start the silly course you are made to traverse up some rather steep hills, this is not too difficult to do but it can cause you to lose quite a lot of seconds if your not quick, you are again having to deal with the green snakes and the black marbles but now they are tiny and because of this they are much less dangerous and you shouldn’t have any trouble avoiding them, a new enemy introduced here is the purple birds, these birds are a pain they show up in a flock right at the end of the course and it is your job to try to avoid them while quickly making your way to the goal, it took me lots of practise before I could finish this level.

Course 6 Ultimate

Ultimate

This is the final level of the game and so as you may expect it is really hard, you need to patience, good timing, fast reflexes and constant movement in order to make it to the goal. You will need to get past puddles of acid, the black marble, and an extremely annoying final section that requires you to carefully travel across many disappearing and reappearing sections of a dangerous path and if you fall your marble will smash.

Marble Madness does in fact have a multiplayer mode, if 2 player mode is selected on the main menu, you will need to go through the same six courses from the single player mode, the only difference is that now there are two marbles on the screen instead of just one, Player one (Blue Marble) will need to race Player two (Pink Marble) to the goal, both players will be given the usual time bonus upon starting each course but whoever wins the race will be given extra time on top of the usual starting bonus.

multplayer

The overall winner is whoever makes the most points at the end of the game

Once you select either singleplayer or multiplayer you will be given a choice of either playing the game in 90 degrees mode or 45 degrees mode.

marblemadness_degrees1

In 90 degrees mode you hold the NES game pad vertically and you control the marble with all four of the D-PAD buttons

In 45 degrees mode you use all four of the D-PAD buttons but in this mode you need to rotate the NES controller so that the D-PAD looks like an X, some players find this mode easier because while playing the game you will be moving diagonally more often than you will be moving horizontally or vertically.

When I played through the game I realised just how brilliant the soundtrack is not only because the music if super fun to listen too but because of how it evolves throughout each course. In the early stages of the game the music is really fun and happy but when you go to the later stages the music starts to get more intense and crazy as if its warning you of the dangers lurking in the later sections of the game.

Final Verdict

Due to the sensitive controls this game can prove to be very difficult, I see this as positive thing because in reality marbles are round which means that they are very difficult to have control over once they start rolling and also due to their round shape the slightest touch can get marbles moving quite a distance before they come to stop, Marble Madness follows these rules and so it may surprise you that this game is actually quite realistic, its not just the physics based game play that’s impressive its also the way that the music changes with the atmosphere it really helps you feel immersed in the experience and it only goes to show just how special this little game about marbles really is.

Marble Madness is literally Madness, its a fantastic little game which uses realistic physics, has a surprisingly immerserive soundtrack, the game is challenging but still really fun to play I only wish there was a few more levels and maybe some more options such as changing the colour of your marble and being able to play with more than 2 players on multiplayer mode.

Marbles have never been so much fun 8.9/10

Thank you for reading my review of Marble Madness for the NES

By Padawan

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