Play Time 4h 19m
PS4 Trophies 9/15
Main Weapons 2
Sub Weapons 4
Pilot Sub Weapons 3
Play Time 4h 19m
PS4 Trophies 9/15
Main Weapons 2
Sub Weapons 4
Pilot Sub Weapons 3
It’s time to look at a pretty old fighting game. The title is definitely pretty intense and right away you know that you’re in for a very intense mano a mano affair. As far as these retro games go I would say it’s pretty solid. It’s a fighting game so you can’t really go wrong there. Naturally this is the kind of game that is a whole lot better in multiplayer but arcade mode still hits all of the right notes. I don’t see you playing this over any of the new ones but since it’s free with the Switch Online that’s a plus.
The game starts with letting you pick a character and from there it’s off to the races. The gameplay is very basic with your average punch and kick moves. You also have some special abilities but those are hard to use of course. The whole thing is pretty basic and I definitely wouldn’t say that it’s very ambitious. Still, the A.I. can definitely give you a lot of trouble here so have the rewind button at the ready. You’re going to be getting a lot of use out of it here as things would be a little trouble without it.
Due to the nature of the game though there really isn’t a ton to say about it. You’ll be done with the Arcade Mode very quickly and then there’s nothing else to do aside from playing through it again and again or going into versus mode. To an extent that is true of most fighting games I suppose but with the modern ones at least you have more stat keeping or modern graphics to keep you going. At least individual character stories but this one doesn’t really have much of that.
I’d say that the graphics look pretty decent though. It’s a SNES game that had a good amount of effort put into it. The soundtrack isn’t bad either. The whole thing is a little on the basic side make no mistake about that but you’ll have a little fun here. I guess trying out all of the characters would be a good way to extend the time at least a little bit. That way you’ll also pick up on the controls. At an intro level I would at least recommend not blocking enough. The A.I. always figures out how to beat your block anyway so you’re better off just going on the attack and completely overwhelming them. Then maybe you can deal out enough damage to win. If you can find a consistent 1-2 hit combo that should be good enough to get you going. Don’t worry about doing anything beyond that. If there are even combos beyond 2 hits because I certainly couldn’t find any.
The computer definitely had a way of making every hit connect though. Maybe there are some advanced L cancelling techniques like in Melee over here. It would explain why the enemy was always moving super fast like the wind and being in all of the right spots at the right times. No matter what you would do the enemy would be ready and waiting to counter strike. I would say that they can read your inputs but I’m not sure if that was a thing back then. They just have really solid fundamentals all the way around.
Overall, Are You Tuff E Nuff is a very direct title for what is a very direct game. It’s simply a fighting game where you match your skills against someone else. There is nothing more to it and I don’t expect the game was trying to have anything more than that. The cover art is definitely one that you won’t be forgetting anytime soon though. The whole art style is just very intense and it’d be fun if the actual graphics in game were like that too. Of course that probably wouldn’t have been possible until at least N64. If you have the Switch Online then I would recommend at least giving this one a shot. A modern day remake of it would definitely be pretty fun though.
PAC Man has had a lot of games over the years but it’s been a while since he had anything fresh and different. While this app game may not be the homerun hit fans have been waiting for I would say that it’s not terrible or anything. It’s got a lot of missed opportunities and flaws inside of the package of course but at the end of the day it has some interesting ideas. With a little polish this can be a really good game in the future. Unfortunately for Pac that day isn’t now.
The idea of the game is that you can have a lot of custom Pac-Man maps based on real world locations. You can zoom around New York or London. Eventually I imagine they’ll want to grab all of the levels although right now it’s just a limited amount that cycle through. You eat up the ghosts and prove to the other players that you have what it takes. There are also limited tournaments that are run from time to time where you can get a higher score. They all boil down to the same issue that I have with the game in general though. I’ll get to that in a minute but I have to say that the game has some deep flaws if you ask me.
The gameplay is the same as your classic Pac-Man experience. The goal here is to collect all of the pellets. By absorbing the larger ones you can quickly eat up the ghosts that get in your way and prevent them from launching a counter attack. It’s a pretty good strategy if you ask me and it’s a fun gameplay style. There’s a reason why the original game is so iconic after all. Lets talk about why this game lacks compared to that original: Progression. In the original game a lot of the fun is in seeing your high score and trying to top it. Unfortunately you don’t have that here. There is no high score that the game saves. Worse, you can’t tell which levels you have already completed after exiting. That to me is a huge problem with the game. I absolutely need to know what levels I have beaten because nobody wants to play the game levels more than once if they don’t know it.
I’d like to beat old levels again to improve my score of course but right now there is really no benefit to doing so. If you don’t know what your score is then there’s no point. I’m just puzzled as to how the game would launch without this. It’s such a core concept to any game like this where you are trying to complete levels and improve your standings. Without a sense of progression then it’s like you’re just spinning your wheels and not going anywhere. I expected better out of Pac-Man Geo. I’m hoping it’ll add some new content soon but this is something they really should have had at launch. Due to that I’m certainly not keeping this game around.
The graphics aren’t bad, but they’re definitely nothing special either. It’s basically standard fare of what you would expect and the game doesn’t feel particularly high budget. It’s basically Pac-Man just in mobile format and for that you can play the normal game. The soundtrack is okay, the theme is pretty true to form for the series and fairly catchy. At least on a technical level I wouldn’t take any credit away from the game. That’s good since poor visuals and music would have definitely done some extra damage.
Overall, Pac-Man Geo is not a game that I would recommend. I’d give it a middle score because at the end of the day I don’t think it’s a bad title. It’s just lacking in a whole lot of content and I don’t see the point in really playing through it. That being said, if you’ve never played Pac-Man before then you may get drawn in simply for the gameplay. The gameplay style itself is fun, I just need more of a reason to play. Hopefully they’ll give Pac-Man a more impressive title the next time one of his big anniversary milestones rolls around.
It’s time to look at a Yoshi game I didn’t know much about. Thanks to the Gamestop deal it was effectively one of the 3 free games so no harm either way. That being said…it’s just not very good. This game has no story and the 4 modes it has have identical gameplay. There’s really nothing to do here because it’s like playing a Mairo Party title that effectively only has 1 minigame. How long is that really going to last you when you think about it? A single game can work if there’s a lot of effort behind it or it’s simply addicting but I’m not sure if this one really seals the deal on that. At the very least I didn’t find it all that entertaining at all and grew bored of it pretty quickly. This is definitely one of Nintendo’s weakest games.
The gameplay is divided into two phases. The first phase has you falling through the air as Baby Mario. The idea here is to grab as many coins as possible while avoiding enemies. Once you’ve fallen 1000 feet then your stats are used to determine the equipment for Yoshi in the next phase. The way to stop yourself from bumping into enemies is to draw clouds in the sky that you use as borders to steer Baby Mario while also blocking off the enemies. That’s really the only controls you have but it can be tougher than it sounds. Due to how the DS has 2 screens and all, you have to time the blockades really well or they will flat out miss the target. If that happens then things aren’t going to go all that well for you. You can keep retrying until you succeed of course but the gameplay is rather slow so it takes a bit.
The second half has you riding a Yoshi who automatically walks forward. The idea here it to throw eggs at enemies in front of you before you bump into them. Remember, a single touch will result in your destruction so you really do need to keep away. Also remember to build a bridge of clouds underneath you so that you don’t fall to your doom. It can be tough to multi task on everything but this mode works pretty well. Every enemy you hit also extends the timer on the level. The idea is to get as far as possible as there is no end. The only level with an end is Time Attack where you get to save Baby Luigi.
So that’s it, this is the extent of the game. The modes here are Score Attack, Challenge, Survival, and Time Attack. They all have the exact same gameplay though so there’s just not much to this. Additionally there is no way to skip the Baby Mario stuff. I feel like that would have gone a long way to make the game more fun since the Yoshi gameplay, while not perfect, is a considerable improvement. I can at least see myself having a little more fun there. The game just feels incredible rushed though. Couldn’t they have at least given us more stages or different ways to play? A very quick story or arcade mode would have done the job just fine and then there would not have been any kind of issue. That would have been absolutely fantastic so it’s a shame that it didn’t work out.
The graphics are okay though. It does look about as good as a normal Nintendo game. There’s not a lot to base this on because the gameplay is so limited but what we do have is fine by me. The character models are on point and the enemies look like how they should appear. The backgrounds are nice and it’s pretty nostalgic to see the sprites everywhere. The soundtrack is pretty forgettable but I wouldn’t say it’s bad either. It just doesn’t have the pop you would see in a more mainstream Nintendo title.
Overall, I just feel like this game was incredibly lazy. I feel bad for anyone who bought this day 1 and then immediately ran out of things to do. You can “conquer” the game within an hour. By that I mean getting your name in the top 10 leaderboard for each minigame. At that point it just depends how much you like the game so you can replay the modes over and over. The point of a game like this is to have you constantly try to get better and better so that your score goes high but it depends on how much you like the game. Usually there are a ton of minigames so you have a lot of options but in this case there’s only one so if you don’t like it then you’re sunk. It’s kind of hard to see why Nintendo would phone in a game like this. I’m confident they could make a better version of it for mobile now if they really tried. Ah well, maybe next time. In the meanwhile I highly advise you not to get this game. Even if Yoshi’s the main character, it’s just not worth it.
High Score: 700
It’s time to look at a game I never really got to try back in the day. It’s a fun one though and there are 100 different levels in the game as well so it’ll definitely last a while. None of them are super hard to the point where it’ll take you a while thanks to the rewind feature but the level designs are pretty well thought out. You will probably need a few resets to beat some of the levels. They just aren’t the kind that you can glance at and figure out the answer right away. As there are puzzle elements you also have to be careful what item you break first or it’ll become impossible to clear the level.
How the game starts off is you have to break everything in the level. This ranges from doors to ladders and everything must go as if this is some kind of mega sale. You just can’t afford to leave anything intact and that’s actually what stumped me for a little while on the first level. I just couldn’t figure out how to clear the level and it took a lot of running and smashing things to figure out that ladders counted as well. The gameplay is very simple. You press A to break the object in front of you. You can run from left to right as you go through the stages and climb ladders. You can’t touch any of the enemies or you die in a single hit. Eventually fireballs will also show up so make sure you avoid those as well. You can actually walk off stage so do that in order to avoid the enemies. It’ll at least buy you some time in that way.
It shouldn’t take you very long to master this gameplay. From there it’s just a matter of thinking things through. None of the levels are particularly long either so it’s easy to just boot up the game and start conquering some levels. With 100 to choose from this should definitely take you a few hours. The levels are similar enough where you may want to take some breaks though. Playing through all of them in one shot sounds like a way to get yourself bored of the gameplay style and that’s definitely not a good idea. The game is fun after all. You just need to pace yourself here.
The graphics are pretty solid as well. It’s pretty nice to see all these old versions of Mario. He really got around back in Nintendo’s original days. The enemies are also pretty interesting. It’s like a sort of creature but hard to say exactly what it is. The looks have definitely aged pretty well as with the gameplay. I can’t say quite as much for the soundtrack. It’s a very peaceful background kind of theme but not one that you are likely to remember for very long. It’s so quiet that you may not even hear it at all while you’re so focused on getting through the level.
Overall, Wrecking Crew is a pretty fun Nintendo game from their past. While I always remember Mario Bros and Donkey Kong, this is one game I tend to forget exists at times. It’s got a pretty unique gameplay style though and this is yet another Nintendo franchise that could use a modern revival. I think there’s a lot you could do with a modern take on the Wrecking Crew. Think of everything you could break in a more modern city environment and this time you’d have Goomba and Koopa minions to fight against. In the meantime I’d recommend checking this out on the Switch Online. It’ll at least buy you a few hours to have fun with.
No stats this time!
No stats this time!
It’s time to look at another NES game I recently finished playing through. Balloon Fight is definitely a pretty popular one despite the main character not becoming playable in Super Smash Bros yet. Don’t worry, it’s only a matter of time until they fix that. In the meanwhile it’s fun to look back at how the franchise began. The game has aged quite well and does something almost no other NES game at the time had even thought to do….it has 2 modes. In almost all of my NES reviews I have to mention that there isn’t really anything to do in the way of replay value. Well, that’s not the case for this game. In Balloon Fight you’ve got the main mode and an endless score version.
So the main gameplay of Balloon Fight is that you have to try and pop the balloons carrying your enemies. Then you knock them out before they can grab more. The game is endless so you just see how many levels of this you can survive. Each level has around 4-8 enemies for you to beat. At first this is pretty easy as there are no obstacles or elements getting in your way. The game gradually gets harder though as eventually you have lightning bolts being fired at you and things of that nature. It’s a challenging but fun experience. Your main incentive will be to keep trying to beat your old score.
Then you’ve got the other gameplay mode where you’ve got an auto scrolling screen and a bunch of balloons floating around. Every few balloons you grab lowers your ranking. Your goal is to make it to Rank 1 and then you’ll have beaten the mode. It keeps on going endlessly if you want to keep getting more balloons but that is your main goal. It’s pretty fun and certainly different from the main mode so I like the diversity. You can tell that this game had a good amount of development time behind it. This is what I like to see.
The graphics are simple but effective. The enemies are colorful and the background is catchy. The music theme is also pretty iconic at this point. There’s not much else to say on a technical basis but it doesn’t disappoint. Between the two modes this game should last you close to an hour. There’s also a little replay value in trying to raise your high scores although I wouldn’t say that the replay value is too high either. It’s just right considering that this is a free title with the NES Online.
The controls are very smooth as well and I like how the physics are handled. You can’t just turn at the drop of a dime or anything like that. You do have to account for gravity and everything. If you tried going somewhere very quickly then you will not be able to stop as fast as you would have liked. Also, one fun thing about the game is that crossing the edge of the screen actually doesn’t result in you losing a life the way that it does in most games. That’s a fun little element that may seem pretty random, but I think it does serve to help make the game even more unique. It’s all pretty impressive if you ask me.
There’s not a whole lot more to say about this game in part because of how simplistic it is. The gameplay you’ll understand within seconds of playing it because moving and floating is really all you can do. You beat all of the enemies the same way after all. Sometimes it seems like the simplest games ended up being some of the most addicting ones. It’s the same principle behind a lot of current mobile games that hit it big. There’s just something fun about doing repetitive actions. You start to do them real automatic like and it works out quite well if you ask me.
Overall, Balloon Fight is definitely one of the better NES games. This is exactly why I played a bunch of the low budget type games first. I figured that the longer I kept putting off the big games the more satisfying it would be when I ultimately started playing them back to back at the end. Now all I’ve got are the really big games and the marathon works quite well. I’d definitely be up for a big budget sequel to this someday. I think that would really work well since there is a ton that you can do with the balloon setup. You could even throw a plot in as that’s not something you typically saw a whole lot of back in the classic days.
Time for another classic Nintendo game. This one I was definitely not familiar with but it looked like Ninja Gaiden so it had to be good right? Well, the gameplay is definitely pretty similar although I would say that Ninja Gaiden still has the edge overall. The gameplay was just a little tighter in that one and it also had more of an engaging plot. Still, this one is pretty close in all respects which is quite impressive. I’m surprised that the game isn’t more well known. I think there would definitely be a pretty good audience for it.
The United States has been taken over by a powerful new villain who needs an empire. The two Ninja are called in to take this guy down. You’ll probably have a whole lot of questions about this. Why is the U.S. banking everything on two ninja warriors? Why do ninja still exist in a futuristic America? Well, the game has no time for these questions because it throws you into the thick of the action right away. The goal here is to just stop the villain and so the heroes march their way through various levels and lots of different enemies.
The game does a good job of taking advantage of this future setting. You fight a lot of robots and at times the game feels a bit like a Megaman X title. When you blast at the robots they even split into two different ones in a similar fashion to some of the original X villains. The backdrops have a ton of variety and the bosses are pretty fun too. One guy gets swallowed up by his bird and they merge into an armored bird which was pretty cool. The final boss also has a pretty good design. One thing I found interesting about the bosses is the game would try to keep you in suspense about what their weak point was for a while. During the first bit of each boss fight they have an extra health bar but you can’t see it so it looks like you may be hitting the wrong point.
The fact is you are hitting the right spot, you just can’t see the damage it is taking. On the other hand it’s pretty risky business because with at least one boss you did have to hit him in a specific way (crouch hit) so if you were not doing that you would be there for quite a while. Each boss is different which may sound like a pretty small thing but I always appreciate when each boss is different. It speaks to the effort of the developers. Cloning different bosses is pretty easy but it also feels a bit lazy at times.
The gameplay is pretty straight forward. You rush through the 2D levels in order to reach the end. You standard weapon is a sword but when you break crates you can change weapons to a chain, throwing knife, sword with shockwaves, etc. The one I recommend staying away from is the chain to the point where I would rewind if I grabbed that one. It’s hard to tell which weapon is in the box and I believe it’s intentional. It’s like a roulette game where you just don’t know what’s going to happen next. I doubt the chain is meant to be a terrible weapon, it just did not click for me.
The graphics are definitely solid although I think you already get the picture from how I was describing it earlier. A lot of effort was put into this game for sure. Then you’ve got the soundtrack which is pretty light but works quite well either way. Couple that with the smooth gameplay and this title’s ready to go. One really fun enemy was this little robot square that would keep circling the stage and trying to blast you. This is one of those games where attacks deal massive damage so let me tell you, you do not want to get hit by that guy. Figuring out the right strategy to beat the various enemies who would show up was half the fun of the game.
Overall, Shadow of the Ninja is a very fun game. The story is definitely solid and the gameplay really holds up quite well. It may be pretty short but the game is really diverse so it feels like they kicked in a bunch of content. This game did take me about an hour which is definitely longer than most NES titles. It’s a pretty challenging experience so don’t expect it to be a walk in the park either. You will definitely have to work at beating this one and mastering those fundamentals quite a bit. This is definitely one of the best NES games available in the service.