Famicom Impressions: Dragon Ball Z Gaiden: Saiya Jin Zetsumetsu Keikaku

Famicom Impressions

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..

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!

Dragon Ball Z Gaiden/ Saiya Jin Zetsumetsu Keikaku - Famicom

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 :)

Dragon in Dragon Ball - Famicom

Check out my first attempt at this game here, and listen to the nice music at least ^_^

Famicom Impressions: Suikoden – Tenmei no Chikai

Famicom Impressions

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..

It’s some sort of RPG/strategy/story-telling nonsense about ancient dudes in China.. so.. yeah.. this:

Suikoden: Tenmei no Chikai

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

Famicom Impressions: King of Kings

Famicom Impressions

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 :)

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 :/

Famicom King of Kings battle

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..

Famicom King of Kings

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

Famicom Impressions: Captain Tsubasa

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

Famicom Impressions

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…

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:

シュート = Shoot パス = Pass パスカット = Pass cut
マク = Mark キャッチ = Catch うごかない = 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?!

Captain Tsubasa running

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 ^_^

Korean Tetris games add upp to 100 different Tetris games! :D

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..

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 ^_^

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 ^_^

See the entire collection of 100 different Tetris games >>

Here’s some gameplay of Tetris Ultimate that I usually play when I’m on my Xbone. Just to show that I don’t suck completely at Tetris XD

A new challenger has appeared! Retrospelmarknad in Vetlanda

Last weekend I took a roadtrip to Vetlanda with my friend Matt, because we had heard that they were arranging a retro game market! I actually didn’t have too high expectations in sellers and visitors attending, both because of the lesser known town of Vetlanda, but also the amount of retro gaming conventions that had been taking place in the recent couple of weeks. I still needed to check it out though!

I was pleasantly surprised that it first of all was indoors (it said Retro Game Market in the Park, so I was afraid it would be outside in the cold of Swedish November XD) but also what a big number of sellers that were there! We first found a small room with only one seller who had set up 8 tables filled with games from the NES to PS2.. but we later discovered there was a whole other giant room filled with loads more! And there were lots of people that I’ve gotten to know from previous conventions ^_^

It was a lot of fun just talking to everybody, but I also ended up finding and buying way more than I had expected XD My biggest find was a boxed Japanese Virtual Boy! I now have 4 Virtual Boys XD But only one is boxed and it’s American. I’ve always liked the Japanese box design, but didn’t think I would find one at a decent price. This time I couldn’t pass it up though :D I also found a cute little arcade thing, the screen is smaller than a Game Boy Advance, but it carries similar graphics and has 108 games in 1! One of them is “Falling Blocks” which I also have on another system, it’s the most frustrating Tetris-like game XD The blocks are ridiulously shaped!

I also found loads of games for various systems. A few 16-bit games for Super Famicom and the Sega Mega Drive. I’m sorry about the upside-down photo of Raiden Densetsu, I just keep wanting to see it the opposite way! Haha! And I couldn’t be bothered re-shooting.. I don’t really like RPGs as many of you know, but I couldn’t resist price-worthy Final Fantasy games, it’s the only RPG series I’ve at least played a few games from.. and the box arts are so pretty ^_^ Super Family Circuit looked kind of like micro machines :) And the two Mega Drive games were in really nice condition and I didn’t have them before, platformers are always fun ^_^

I also got some Famicom and Famicom Disk System games that I didn’t have :) Fun to run into Tom & Jerry in the wild like this, you don’t see it every day ^_^ I have Baseball, but not he pulseline version. It’s hard not to pick up Famicom games when it’s something I don’t have XD

I also got a bunch of Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Advance games, and found an Amiga CD32 game called The Chaos Engine. I vaguely remember somebody telling me about it once.. saying it was good.. I guess we’ll see ^_^ I also bumped into a Tetris game I didn’t have! I didn’t even know Tetris Attack existed on Game Boy! It’s not really a “Tetris” game in my oppinion, but I can’t argue with the name XD

I’m really happy to see that so many Japanese Nintendo games have made it to the Swedish market! But the prices of them are also increasing.. The only negative thing for me with this Swedish market, just like a majority of the Swedish retro game events and conventions, was the giant focus on Nintendo.. I would like to see more varied things, like Atari, PC Engine, Commodore, and other more obscure systems, but I guess the interest in those things is just smaller :/

Other than that it was a pleasant surprise to see such a niched event pop up further south and I hope it will continue! They said they were looking at having another retro market already in spring next year :D