Oldies but Goodies -Bart vs the Space Mutants

Genre:  Platformer
Platform:  NES

The Simpsons have been around for a long, long time.  Along their long history have come some pretty good video games.  One that I played as a kid was Bart vs. the Space Mutants on the NES.  This was actually the first licensed Simpsons video game.

In this game, you are playing as Bart and you’re wandering around Springfield.  You’re just trying to go about your daily business of vandalizing the city when you notice that something is off – aliens have invaded the city!  You are armed with your spray can and x-ray glasses.  Using these, you can identify and deal with those pesky aliens.

Many of the show’s gags make this game, such as Bart’s catch phrases (“eat my shorts!”) and his phone gags to Moe:

bart-1

I don’t remember much else about the game, but I think it was fairly difficult as I never finished it.  I do own this one and will likely pop it in my NES some time.

Where is the NES Mini?

nes-mini

The NES Mini hit retail stores in the US in November.  It retails for $60, but I have yet to see one at that price.  I have yet to see one, period.  There are some on Ebay and Amazon, but I’m not paying $150-$300 for one.

So it seems that if you want to land your hands on one, you’ve got some options (none of which I have the energy for):

  • Make friends with the local stock folks in the big-name stores such as Gamestop, Target or Walmart.
  • Use a web site like http://www.stockinformer.com/checker-nintendo-classic-edition-nes to track stock in local stores.  Get on the phone as soon as you see one in stock and see if they will hold it for you.
  • Pay way too much for one.

I don’t really understand Nintendo’s strategy on this product.  You can get most of these games through Virtual Console.  The demand is obviously really high for them and you’d think a larger-scale release would do quite well.  I often have a hard time understanding what Nintendo is doing, however.

Oldies but Goodies – Excitebike

Genre:  Racing
Platform:  NES

Matt and I are taking a motorcycle safety course today so we can legally ride the new Tao Tao scooter that we recently purchased.  What a better post for today than Excitebike!

I believe Excitebike was one of the first games I played on the NES.  It seemed so fun at the time.  It was action-packed and could get difficult.  We all had the struggles with the stupid bike overheating (see video below).  Sometimes the computer seemed to cheat.  It did that a lot in these older racing games.  The obstacles seemed ridiculous.  But it was still a fun game and actually did get a bit challenging as you played through it.  I don’t know that I ever made it past the first five levels or so, but I was a kid and just had fun playing it.  My sisters and I would compete, but they were quite a bit younger and I would destroy them.  And gloat.

I also spent quite a bit of time with the level creator.  It was the first game on the NES that I had played that had something like that and I really enjoyed it.  If I thought the obstacles on the main game were ridiculous, then the levels that I created were just insane.  It was jumps from one end to the other.  Needless to say, I didn’t play my own levels very often.

I’m not sure that I would recommend going back to play this now, however.  I recently did so, and it’s just not that much fun anymore.  Enjoy the game in your memory!

Oldies but Goodies – Super Mario Brothers 2

Genre:  Platformer
Platform:  NES

Have you ever been playing a game in a series and it just didn’t feel right?  Like maybe it just doesn’t belong in the series?  If you felt that while playing Super Mario Brothers 2, you were right.  Nintendo of Japan had developed a Super Mario Brothers 2, but audiences in Japan found it too difficult.  These levels were later released as the “Lost Levels” and can be found in several places, such as Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES.

Instead of starting from scratch, Nintendo re-purposed a game called Doki Doki Panic and released it as Super Mario Brothers 2.  This is a really odd game and as a result, doesn’t really feel much like a Mario game.  But we all still love it.  Some of the odder parts are the fact that you can pull items out of the ground and throw it at mobs, secret potions that sometimes create doors, weird monsters, Birdo and the slots between levels.

Birdo was especially weird.  That is the name of the monster in the picture above.  Even though it wears a bow on its head, it is a male.  He throws eggs at you from his mouth and you need to land on them mid-air, pull them over your head and throw them back at him.  After you do this a few times, you can enter the big eagle’s mouth on the side of the wall.  Yeah, I told you this got weird.  Here is a picture of the slots between levels, which was also strange:

smb2-slots

However, you could play as more than just Mario or Luigi.  You could also play as Toad or Princess Peach.  They all had their strengths – Peach could hover for a while, Toad was really strong, Mario was good all-around and Luigi…well, Luigi was funny to play?  He always seems to get the shaft in these games.

I still like this game to this day.  I don’t think I ever played it all the way through, though.  I’ll have to do that soon.  This game is available in Nintendo’s Virtual Console store, so it’s easy to go play!

Oldies but Goodies – Duck Hunt

Genre:  Arcade
Platform:  NES

I think most of us played Duck Hunt the day we got our new NES back in the day.  It was the “B” side of the dual-game cartridge that came with the system.  Super Mario Brothers was the star, but Duck Hunt was certainly a pleasant surprise.  The NES came with a gun attachment, so you could actually shoot at the screen and kill the ducks!  This amazed me as a sixth-grader.

When you start playing, your dog buddy rustles up the weeds and up fly some ducks.  It starts easy enough – you see one duck at a time and you only need one shot to take them down.  As the game goes on, you get more ducks at once and they get a bit tougher.  I’m not sure how many levels there were, but I really enjoyed this one.  If you’re like me, though, it didn’t take you too long to realize that you could cheat by taking the gun straight to the TV screen.  I didn’t do that often, though, as there was a lot more fun in the challenge of the game.

And admit it, you aimed and shot at the dog when the he laughed at you when you missed.

duck-hunt-dog

xbox-games-with-gold-october-2016-jpg-optimal

October is bringing some good games to us for free through Microsoft’s Games with Gold.  Here they are:

-Mega Baseball.  I don’t know much about it other than it’s a baseball game.  I am a fan of baseball, and since MLB (Major League Baseball) seems to have an exclusive contract with Playstation, I don’t get to play many on the XBox.  Any baseball game is welcomed.

-The Escapists.  I am a big fan of Prison Architect, where I’ve spent so much time trying to keep my prisoners in, that I think that a game where you try to break out will be a lot of fun.  This one has been on my radar for some time.

-MX ATV Reflex.  I have a couple of these games that came with my PSP, but I’ve never played them.  I’ll probably pick this up as a “when I’m bored” type of game.

-I Am Alive.  I had heard about this one a long time ago but then forgot about it.  It’s a survival game, which is a genre I haven’t really gotten into.  I’ll pick it up just because it’s free.

As for last month’s games, I have been hooked on Earthlock and you’ll likely see a post about it before too long.

 

found-box

Look at what I found in the garage today!  It’s a box with a NES, Atari system with controllers (including the paddles), some Atari games, two Intellivision games and two Coleco pre-loaded controllers that you hook to your TV.  I thought we had thrown this one away accidentally when we moved.  It’s always awesome to find things like this!