It’s time to look at a very retro beat em up. The Peace Keepers is pretty interesting and I feel like it was ahead of its time in a lot of ways. The combat is very smooth and holds up really well today. While 2D beat em ups tend to have a little less variety than the 3D counterparts (Although this is heavily debatable of course) this one has quite a few moved up your arsenal. It’s old school and yet you feel like you can do a whole lot here which is impressive. It’s a game that will hold you over rather well for an hour as you play through it.
The plot is a little vague from the cutscenes although I’m sure a booklet will have more. That’s not to say there aren’t cutscenes because there are a lot but the story beats happen very quickly. So there’s one villain who’s been going around and making a mess of things. He kidnaps one guy’s brother so that the guy has to work for him. The villain turns the brother into a zombie and then turns a girl into a monster that we are forced to fight. He can’t fight very well on his own but he’s hurting a lot of innocents along the way so the main character needs to put a stop to this.
There are some twists here and it is implied that the main character is actually an android. It would explain why he has the ability to transform and massively upgrade his fighting potential. His Super Saiyan form looks pretty awesome and you actually get to play as it for a full level which was really cool. In that form you don’t take damage and you can fly which is unheard of in this genre. I had a blast and then you’ve got the villain’s son who is also an android with this ability. Now that was a tough boss and it took me about 5 lives. You’re given around 10 lives in the game which is a good amount.
As for the gameplay, you can go for quick hits, jump moves, kicks, or power shots. The power shots are easily the best moves to use of course, but they come with a huge drawback. Every time you use the attack you actually lose some health. It’s something to take note of because if you start to spam them then you could find yourself with low health despite not getting hit once. That’s not a spot you want to put yourself in even if the attacks are good. At the same time, if you go with normal blows but the enemy hits you a lot, then maybe you would have been better off using the power move. At the end of the day the ball is in your court here. After you land the first combo you’re good to go for grabs. You need to position yourself right above the opponent while they get up and then you’ll be able to slam them back down. If you ask me that’s definitely the best way to go about things here.
The graphics are definitely pretty solid as well. The character models are good and there’s a solid amount of detail here as well. The stages all look different and the attack animations are on point. The Super Saiyan mode looks good and so does your final smash. There’s a way to activate it but I couldn’t figure that out. I was able to do it by just button mashing though so do that and you should be good. It’s probably one of those Street Fighter type inputs so I know how to mash in a way that it tends to activate those most of the time.
Overall, The Peace Keepers is just a really fun game. It’s short so you’ll beat it in about an hour but that’s not unheard of for games back in this era. The fact that it’s free with the Switch Online service doesn’t hurt matters either. I’m definitely all here for it. There isn’t really any replay value although there are multiple characters so maybe they all have variations of the story. If that’s the case then I’d say that adds a bit of replay value since I’m sure they’ll all handle things differently. I wonder if they all get Super Saiyan modes or if that’s a main character advantage. Either way I highly recommend checking this game out, it’s one of the more enjoyable games we’ve gotten in the updates.
Now it’s time to look at the final SNES title currently available in the Switch Online outside of the RPGs. Demon’s Crest is a really fun game and I was surprised at how good it was. Not to say that I expected the game to be bad or anything like that but it’s way ahead of its time. The gameplay is extremely smooth and it has a real plot with solid cutscenes. The main character is pretty strong which makes for a pretty unique style of combat. The levels are straight forward and you always know where to go. There’s even a bit of a hub world as you fly around a planet that looks like Final Fantasy. This game was way ahead of its time to be honest and so it’s great to be able to play it.
The game starts with Firebrand being chased by a Dinosaur/Dragon hybrid. We take him out and then decide to take out the King. In order to get to him we’ll have to go across the opening 3 worlds and take down the various bosses. After that we’re ready for the final battle, but will taking this guy down actually help the world or will it doom us all? Firebrand isn’t exactly here as a hero after all. You’re effectively playing as a demon and just hoping that he is the lesser of two evils. It makes for a very interesting dynamic. The ending also feels a bit like a cliffhanger so either there is a sequel out there/will be a sequel or there’s some kind of true ending you can get.
This is a sidescrolling game first and foremost. The goal is to make it to the end of the level and get past all of the enemies and obstacles. You can run and jump as normal or you can fly. Yes, you can fly permanently in the game. The one catch is that you can’t go higher once you start flying but you can go lower. A lot of times I would use the Kirby tactic where I would stick to the top of the stage and it would really work out quite nicely for me. It’s just hard to beat that. You can also shoot fireballs which I highly recommend doing because they deal a lot of damage. The enemies don’t have a whole lot of answers for that.
The game still isn’t easy by any means although it’s not nearly as difficult as Ghosts n Goblins. You feel like your character is a lot stronger from the jump which is very helpful. In the boss battles the main thing to watch out for is how quick they are. The enemies can be startlingly fast to the point where you see them coming but are still unable to dodge. I would usually recommend pre-emptively dodging but that will possibly end up cornering you. You also have to be ready to run under one of the bosses who will try jumping at you and so if you move too quickly it will be impossible to do this. It’s all about strategy and reaction times so just stay on guard and you’ll be fine.
Unsurprisingly the graphics are quite amazing here. The character models really stick out and a whole lot of work was done on the backgrounds and enemy designs. This would not be out of place on the N64 or even as a modern indie game. Demon’s Crest is very polished and definitely deserves its respect. The soundtrack is decently good as well. The real power is definitely in its cutscenes which are quite impressive. The game’s length isn’t anything special as it’s around 30-40 minutes but it manages to capture a good story in there which is the important part.
Overall, I highly recommend Demon’s Crest. It’s easily one of the best games available on the SNES Online which is pretty impressive considering the competition there. One thing that works in its favor is I imagine a lot of people never got to play Demon’s Crest back in the day. Well, now’s your chance to do it. It’s never too late to go in and try out a new game. Now I just need to wait for another update so we can add more SNES games to try out. I know there are definitely a ton left to go.
It’s time to take a look at the Mighty Bomb Jack! This game’s pretty interesting. It’s a very unique platformer and I like the gameplay style. There’s a bit of an iffy game design moment near the very end of the title but for the most part this game really doesn’t slow down the pace throughout the whole game. In a way I’d say the closest game I can think of as being like this one would be the Kirby titles since this guy can also float around for a while.
The basic premise of the game is that the King is captured so you need to save him. The levels are mainly long platforming types where you have to float to the end. Unlike Kirby you can’t increase your height once you jump, but by mashing the A button you can keep the same level of height for a pretty long time. When you get to the end of a level you’ll see a gate you can go through. If the gate isn’t open then that means that you will need to collect all of the bombs. This isn’t true for all levels but in some they do make sure you collect them all. You just have to touch the bombs which is easy enough. I tend to skip them unless the game forces me to grab the bombs though because otherwise I figure there is no real point to doing so right?
There are around 17-18 levels in the game which is a good amount for a NES game. I’d say that it’ll take you around an hour. The levels aren’t particularly long and some of them seem to reuse the level design so you’ll already know where to go. For a minute there I actually thought I was in a loop so I quickly had to look the game up online to make sure that wasn’t the case. Fortunately the game does have an ending. The only dicey level as I mentioned is the final one. So, you’ll blow up all of the balloons and will notice that the gate is still closed. Well, there are 3 completely invisible blocks you have to destroy in order to open the gate. There’s no way to tell where they are except to jump on every block which takes a while since you’ve got a ton of enemies on your tail. This is one of those games in which a single hit will meet your doom so confronting the enemies is pretty tricky.
After you do that there is an invisible block in the next room as well. Once you find that you enter the King’s chamber. To break him out you need to jump on the blocks above him a bunch of times. That was difficult to figure out. Initially I thought that I may need the powered up forms which would have meant my doom because there were none left. You can power up with some S tokens along the way but I never really grabbed any. So, the whole game is pretty straight forward except the climax. I don’t think the invisible blocks are very reasonable to be honest, especially since this is a factor that simply wasn’t present during the rest of the game. How is anyone possibly supposed to know where to go or what to do in that situation?
Still, the core gameplay is quite fun. I do like how high you can jump and your movement speed is also on point. The graphics here are very good as well. Everything is very bright and easy to understand right from the start. Additionally, the enemy designs are pretty inspired. The music is all right as well. The length may not be amazing but I’d say that it will do. According to the box art there are 4 endings as well although I’m not sure how to get the others. I got the standard ending I believe which is pretty simple. You grab the king and sink into the pyramid. I don’t imagine that the other endings would be much different but that is a complete assumption on my part.
Overall, Mighty Bomb Jack is a cool game and one of those gems under the rug. I doubt I would have ever come across it if not for the Switch Online. It was a good game to leave til near the end of the batch so I always had something to look forward to. If you like the Kirby games or platformers in general then I definitely recommend checking this one out. It’s a pretty fun experience and definitely a high quality way to spend an hour or so.