Sunday, August 18, 2013

Nerdicus NES Review #1 - 1942

This might end up being a bad idea, or one filled to the brim with awesome sauce. Regardless, it's the perfect excuse to partake in some retro gaming a few times a week. Not to mention, I'll actually have a reason to sit and play through my ever growing retro collection.

So, starting today, and occurring every upcoming Monday and Friday, I will be going through my entire retro NES collection and reviewing each one. IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER. That's right. You aren't hearing things. The thing is, I am attempting the seemingly impossible feat of collecting as many NES games as possible. Who knows, maybe one day I'll own each title in the NES collection. It probably won't be possible, since some titles are almost impossible to find, and not to mention expensive as hell.

(there is all sorts of wrong with this picture, I can point out probably 10 things, how 'bout you?)

But first, I need to set a few ground rules with my reviews. 

1) I probably won't be reviewing sport games.Well, not really. Most of them are too generic, and don't really offer much in terms of extensive gameplay to really hold my interest for my than ten seconds. What can I say, I have a really bad case of ADD. Here and there I might throw in a sport classic, but as of now I plan on revisiting the sport games in one post, just listing my favorites and least favorites. Unless I get some requests. Then I'll just suck it up. But please, don't put me through that sort of torture. Please?

2) I'll do my best to play through the entire game I am reviewing, but In some cases, I might just stop halfway through. It really depends on how much I am enjoying myself. The last thing I want is to be left wanting to gauge my eyes out. Certain games, I KNOW, I am just going to be suffering while playing through them. But at a minimum I am going to play the game to the point where I get a sense of where it's going. 

3) Games I OWN will be played ONLY on the NES console, not through "other means.". Also there will be no use of TURBO CONTROLLERS or CHEATS. Come on folks, we're going back to the glory days here! Even for games that I have to play through "other means", I will not use any cheats. I'm going for the original feel of the game, as it was intended. After all, cheating will just take away from the fun of it. Oh, but I shall be tempted, no doubt about that. Not to mention why do I want to take away the sheer stress that's involved in playing some of these old school games. Ghost'N'Goblins anyone? I can already feel my blood boiling. Any other games? Emulation is the way to go unfortunately. 

4) Depending on how they turn out, I'll try to use my own pictures / screen caps of the game. If not, I'll just be screen grabbing from the web. Who knows, I may even venture out to YouTube in the future. I'm still figuring out the best way to hook up my gaming TV to my computer and recording these bad boys.

Without further adieu, I present you with the first NES game review and the first in the NES library (if you don't take into account 10-yard fight. Like I said, no sport games).

Title : 1942
Release Date : November, 1986
Publisher : Capcom
Let's Suck EPISODE 2 :

Originally an arcade game and ported to the NES (among other systems), 1942 is your typical top down vertical scrolling shoot 'em up. I was never really a fan of these games, except for one in particular on the NES called Dragon Spirit. So already, I apologize, because this is going to be a biased review.

It takes place, as you would guess, in 1942 during WW2. You play as an anonymous pilot assigned with the task of basically destroying every single plane in the Japanese air force. Seriously, if you play this game, there wouldn't be an air force left. Let's just say any sense of realism can be thrown out the window. 

As soon as I popped this cartridge in and started playing, I realized I wasn't going to be given much to work with. There's no back story, no text, no nadda. You press start and your white Lockheed plane takes off from a battleship and you're just thrust into an endless dog fight. Joy.

Two seconds into the game, I'm already irritated. First off, the horrible sound effects and music aren't making it any easier. Throughout the course of my play through my ears must have bled a half dozen times. There is no music, besides the little jingles they play at the beginning and end of the stage. And sound effects? Well, other than the sound of me pressing the A button as fast as I could to shoot at the constant barrage of fighter planes, there's nothing. Just typical, 80's, beeps and bloops that represent gunfire. 

(just look at those pixels!)

In terms of gameplay, it doesn't get much better. Each stage is an exact replica of the last. There's only around 3 or 4 different planes that you encounter, and most of them have the same attack as the last, just in a different pattern. Ooh, look a blue plane! Nope, same as the red one. Some fire bullets at you. Some just zig zag across the screen trying to pull off a kamikaze maneuver. Others literally just drag themselves across the screen and lob orange globs at you. I'm assuming those are bullets? The last ones being the larger planes that take more than one hit to destroy.

Not to worry though, because to battle this massive armada (sense my sarcasm?), you have a couple of power ups in the form of different colored "POW" text drops that appear randomly on screen. Seriously, they couldn't at least make it a box or something? Some clear all the enemies off the screen. Others give you two additional white planes to fight by your side. Another increases the amount of bullets that you're capable of firing. There are a few other power ups I noticed that just increase your score. And the only point for having a high score is to get another life. Unless you're worried about 1942 bragging rights.

Besides your "POW" power ups, you also have the B button "roll" maneuver. You basically just do a flip, and dodge incoming planes. I used it once, by accident, and never used it again. Although I do imagine it comes in handy when there's more than 10 planes on the screen. But at that point, the lag is just going to kill you anyway. And trust me, there's a hell of a lot of lag.

(Do a barrel roll, fox!)

Now if fighting the same thing over and over again wasn't bad enough, the background doesn't really change either. You're either over a pixelated blue ocean, or a green blob that's supposed to represent an island. Some look better than others, but otherwise, it's a graphical mess. I know, I know. It's an early NES game.

You start at stage #32 ( i think?) and work your way down. I managed to bring myself to level #19 or so before I just gave up. I couldn't take just shooting the same thing over and over again, with no change between levels, I just about had enough. Now, I know there's a last boss to the game. Basically, a giant green plane. That wasn't something I wanted to waste another hour getting to. 

(yeah, wasn't that eager to face this guy)

Looking at it now, this game was not the way I wanted to start reviewing my NES collection. I can't really put it lightly. This game was crap. But it also made me realize I am in for a hell of a rough ride. After all, I would have to say that at least 75% of my game library is going to absolutely suck. *deep breath* This was a BAD idea after all.

Let's just hope 1943 is a better year than 1942.

Until next time. Keep on gaming.



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