Out of the last couple of Famicom games I picked up, this was the most playable, until the 2nd stage at least…. This is the Famicom Impression of Pooyan プーヤン (HFC-PO) released by Konami in 1985. An arcade-like platform game. It was I think an arcade game before it was ported to console.
Pooyan – Famicom
You can really tell the difference between games released in the more than 10 year span of the Famicom’s lifetime. This one is from 1985, and the Dragon Ball Z game I made an impression of yesterday is from 1993. Just compare the graphics! And this is Konami, which has given us amazing things such as Castlevania, TMNT, Parodius, Contra, Crisis Force and many more.. most of these games are from the very late 80’s to the early 90’s though.
So basically the game is about shooting the balloons that hold the wolves so that they fall to their death instead of climbing up the ladder to eat you and your family alive. Fairly easy concept, but there’s loads of wolves coming down simulateously, and eventually they get different colored balloons, some will shoot back at you so you have to dodge as well. Once I got to stage two though I got stuck. HOW THE HELL DO YOU SHOOT THE BALLOON OF THE PINK WOLF?!?!? As you can see in the video below the pink wolves block every single arrow I shoot at them! >_< Since I couldn’t kill them 5 new enemies spawned every time I let one slip, and there was always a new pink one there! It was destined to fail..
Apart from that no Japanese language is needed to play this game, it’s not the best game on the Famicom, but certainly not the worst, however I’m fairly sure it’s the worst Konami game every made >-<
I managed to find a Dragon Ball game for the Famicom that I didn’t previously have! This time for Famicom Impressions I tried out Dragon Ball Z Gaiden: Saiya Jin Zetsumetsu Keikaku ドラゴンボールＺ 外伝 サイヤ人絶滅計画 (BA-DBZ4) released by Bandai in 1993. Dragon Ball games usually have pretty colorful artwork containing silly anime characters with funky hair, and the manga/anime series has a pretty big fan base from what I understand.. I’ve never been that into anime or manga though.. but I’ve always hoped for a good Dragon Ball game! This is not it though..
Dragon Ball Z Gaiden: Saiya Jin Zetsumetsu Keikaku – Famicom
From what I’ve figured from the series the Dragon Ball story is about guys that are flying and fighting. This game is pretty much based on that as well. Unfortunately the action is not controlled by you, it just has a lot of cool looking fighting cutscenes. Instead you control the characters like in an RPG, choose which card to use, pick an action and so forth.. I hate menus.. I want live action!
At least the game has some pretty rad tunes ^_^ Check out the video below to listen to some of the music :) It’s awesome! Apart from that I wouldn’t really say it’s playable or fun without an extensive knowledge about Dragon Ball lore or the Japanese language.. In the main fighting menu the only thing I understood was ステータス (status) and アイテム (item). The others seemed to be various attacks or card picking.. I have no clue what the cards are about, some of them seemed to give me special attacks.. at the end though I just fought for my blonde dude to get killed so I could turn it off XD
I got to see a dragon though, who gave me free cards! The game really has some nice sprites :)
Check out my first attempt at this game here, and listen to the nice music at least ^_^
The next Famicom impression is on Suikoden: Tenmei no Chikai 水滸伝・天命の誓い (KOE-XJ) by Koei from 1989 and… I seriously have no clue what is going on in this one..
Suikoden: Tenmei no Chikai – Famicom
It’s some sort of RPG/strategy/story-telling nonsense about ancient dudes in China.. so.. yeah.. this:
I don’t know if I chose the wrong menu or if there’s some kind of intro that just lasts FOREVER.. but I didn’t even get to do anything! I just looked at the numbers scrolling in the bottom left, and once in a while a dude popped up, with numbers attached to his card, and that was the only time I got to interacet: I pressed a button and his card went away and the numbers began scrolling again until another dude popped up. FUN!!! *not*… I hate strategy… especially non-interactive types…
Here’s a video of the few minutes I could stand of this game… at least some of the music is decent! o_O
Next up for Famicom Impressions is King of Kingsキングオブキングス. It was a game I didn’t have, looking at the artwork on the cartridge made me quite positive it was some kind of strategy game (I’ve learned to tell the difference on these Japanese games with their beautifully deceiving artworks XD). But you never know! I could be wrong, so I had to try it out for myself to be sure :)
King of Kings – Famicom
Just as I thought, it was some kind of strategy and turned based war game. I was quite clueless to begin with, I tried pushing all the buttons and got to various menus. Thankfully the menus were not as extensive as in many other strategy games. I tried various options and figured out that I could buy troops for my King! I bought some of each kind and started placing them out on the map, moved my king around to various towns on the map and got to raise my flag :D
Then it took a while before I could figure out how to end my turn.. I eventually found it in the Select menu, the second from the bottom. And here’s where the game got reeeally boring and long >_< Once it was the computers turn I had to sit and wait for him to do ALL of his moves with ALL of his characters.. each turn he had he got more and more troops and his turn just grew longer and longer. And it wasn’t sped up or anything, he was just as slow on deciding as me almost!! I couldn’t press anything to skip it :/
There’s of course battles as well, but they’re all randomly AI controlled, you can just sit and watch and hope for a positive outcome.. In this game you don’t do anything except move around characters on the board and buy more characters.. as far as I could understand at least. I made the mistake of moving my King too far from my main castle, because that’s the only place you can buy more troops..
I managed to withstand 3 or 4 turns of my own.. then I was so bored out of my mind that I just shut it off.. I would say it’s fairly playable, even if you don’t understand Japanese, just guessing your way through menus gives figurative results so you can understand what you just did basically. But it’s definitely not fun in my opinion.. just boring.. I’m not much for strategy games in general though. It was probably great at it’s time for people into that kind of stuff :P
Here’s a video of my first attempt at this game. I’m surprised I didn’t shut it off sooner XD
I have quite a lot of Famicom games, over 900 unique ones, and when I sometimes search for information about some lesser known titles on the internet it usually won’t give a lot of rewarding results. So I thought I’d start a series where I do short first impressions of all of my Famicom games so people get a feeling of what type of game it is, if it requires Japanese knowledge to play or not, and what the gameplay looks like :) Since I have so many, this will be a long term project XD But hopefully since the reviews will be short I’ll have time to squeeze some in now and then :) So here’s the first in the series of Famicom Impression! :D
So first up is Captain Tsubasa キャプテン翼 (TCF-TP)! Released by Tecmo in 1988. Just looking at the cart I was pretty sure it was a regular sports game, soccer to be exact, but it’s not really.. It’s about playing soccer, and you play soccer, but not like regular sports games where you control the character. This is RPG SOCCER!!! O_o Two of my LEAST favourite genres put together! Ouch…
Captain Tsubasa – Famicom
Instead of steering your character and pushing A or B to dribble or shoot you get menus to choose various actions from. Now if you’re not that familiar with the Japanese language this might prove to be difficult XD I have some basic knowledge since I’ve studied it for 4 years, so I remember how to read Katakana and Hiragana, but I’ve completely forgotten all the Kanjis. Thankfully most 8-bit game menus mainly contain Hiragana or Katakana, but then there’s the issue of also knowing what it means XD I managed to figure this much out:
= Pass cut
= I have no idea
The only live action you get is when you receive the ball, then you get to run towards the goal, at first I wasn’t even sure which way I was supposed to score XD Another issue with that part is that you also don’t see anything on the map of the field except yourself, so how the hell do I know if I’m not running straight into opposite players?!
The game seemed quite unfair in general.. or maybe I just sucked at it.. but it seemed like the opposite team catched every single ball I shot or tried to pass, while they managed to pass and score without any resistance >_<
Here’s a video of my first and most likely only attempt at playing this game:
This really was the worst of two worlds for me.. sports and RPG elements >_< bleh… I don’t recommend it.. unless you’re a hardcore soccer fan who fancies RPG’s and happen to be fluent in Japanese!! Then you might actually enjoy this ^_^
I’ve reached 100 various Tetris games! :D I think I will celebrate with playing some more Tetris tonight!! ^__^
My two latest additions are not that common. One is Tetris on MSX from Korea, or Zemmix as they called the MSX there. Apparently Korean government banned Japanese companies from selling products in Korea, so they made their own knock-offs. The Zemmix / MSX Tetris game is not the greatest Tetris I’ve played. It’s odd. It only gives you 1 point per row cleared, no bonus for making a Tetris (4 rows at once), and the sound effects and music is scarce and dull. Also the controls are quite jumpy, I don’t know if it’s my joypads that are glitchy, but I tried 3 different ones and it was equally difficult to steer the tetraminos..
Tetris for Korean Zemmix
MSX Zemmix – Tetris
MSX Zemmix – Tetris back
Anyway, here’s some gameplay of it, I sat for hours last night trying to record gameplay through my Elgato but I just couldn’t get the signal unscrambled, it has some serious anti-pirating code built in or something XD So I ended up just shooting it with my phone.. sorry for shitty quality, but at least you can see what it’s like ^_^ I couldn’t find a video of it anywhere else..
The latest addition is another Korean game, but for the Gam-Boy, which is Korea’s equivalent to the Sega Master System or the Sega Mark III. The Gam-Boy was produced by Samsung in Korea. It reads 테트리스 which means Tetris ^_^
Tetris on Korean Gam-Bit
Gam-Boy / Sega Master System – Tetris
Gam-Boy / Sega Master System – Tetris back
This was better than the MSX/Zemmix version of Tetris, it had a lot of different settings. One cool feature that I’ve only seen a few times before in Chinese Tetris games is the scrolling. If you set it to scroll the blocks at the bottom will shift one block to the left or right (it changes each level you increase) and makes it more difficult to plan how you want to build! It’s interesting :) But you can of course play without the scrolling feature as well. In the beginning there’s also the choice of Easy or Hard mode, hard makes the floor rise with random blocks once in a while, and you can also set speed to Low or High, once you get to the next screen though you have even more selections where you can set level and height, the height starts you off with blocks already on the board. You can basically make it really difficult for yourself by setting highest speed, highest level, tallest height and add some scroll to it XD Basically impossible! I enjoyed it, except for the music that was kind of shitty and the controls being a bit jumpy. There was like a delay every time a new tetramino appeared in the top.
I recorded some gameplay of this one too so you can see what it’s like ^_^ Here’s Korean Tetris for the Gam-Boy / Sega Master System / Sega Mark III:
Some other recent Tetris purchases that has helped adding my collection up to 100 Tetris games are these ones below ^_^ Two quite rare ones for the Japanese MSX and the Sharp X68000. I still need to find myself an X68000, so I can play it! That one and the PC ones are the only ones I can’t play right now. I also need to find an old PC with Windows 98 XD… Tetris Elements and Tetris Gold are both PC games. Then there’s a ZX Spectrum Tetris game, Tetris Attack for Game Boy (which isn’t quite Tetris in my opinion, but since it’s called Tetris I’ll count it..) and a Japanese PS2 Tetris Kiwamemichi game ^_^