Sunday, May 24, 2015

Super Contra (PC)

To be honest, I don't really remember too much about this game.  I do remember being incredibly terrible at this game though.  That is the thing about Contra games, the player is either very good at them or very bad at them.  So far I have yet to see anybody be mediocre.  These games are unforgiving and difficult.  This of course is no surprise though because the game has its roots in arcades.

The music is the most standout part of this title.  The energy the player gets from the soundtrack carries them through each level and gets them pumped.  As they blast their way through each level, finding power ups and making difficult jumps, the music is there with a certain sense of urgency.  The story though is pretty much the same as the previous title, it is about killing everything that moves and not caring about what is actually going.  It is mindless fun.

If you are looking for a fun afternoon of punishing gameplay and rocking tunes, go ahead and pick this one up.  I don't think I ever beat this game and the Konami code was not really a help this time.  It doesn't grant the usual 30 lives and it was not near enough for me to complete the game. I still have fun with the game from time to time but it has blurred from my current memory.  Definitely a must for any retro-gamer though.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Metroid (NES)

The original adventure of Samus Aran.  A classic example of how to do an action adventure game that has been copied, built upon, and loved by many.  This is one of the most iconic games on the NES and I feel that it should be played by every gamer at least once in their life.

The premise is simple, the player is tasked with getting to the big baddy at the end of the game.  They are dropped into a world with very little direction to go and no map.  I think that the limitations of the time are what made this game so great.  The games that have tried to imitate this all have improved upon the formula but they don't hold the same sense of isolation and adventure as this game.

Simply put, you are alone in this game.  There is no guide, no arrows telling you where to go, and no clues as to what you should be doing.  This is the essence of the NES game era.  Lots of times players would be stuck for weeks just trying to figure out where to go or what to do.  There weren't online maps or message boards to visit.  You had to have a friend that had done it and ask them for the knowledge or you had to figure it out yourself.  Sure this can be frustrating but back in the day, this is how a game was played.  A player would play till they figure it out, I miss that feeling.

In truth, this game hasn't aged well.  The lack of a map does hurt the game but I feel that a dedicated player should challenge themselves to playing this game with minimal help.  Sure, I understand that today it is frustrating to wander around and not know what to do.  I've been there in lots of games.  I don't like the feeling either.  This game is a classic for a reason though.  I feel everybody should play this game without help at least once.  Even if they don't finish it, just play it.