Wednesday, November 30, 2011
This weeks song is one of my favorite video game songs of all time, the music from Ultima Exodus that plays when you build a party and in Lord British's castle. It demonstrates the legendary music in this cart.
Ultima: Exodus is an amazing game, and is one of the only truly non-linear adventures on the NES. There is so much depth to the game you might want to use a guide, but then again, you might not!
Listen to the song and post your thoughts below! And if you haven't played Ultima: Exodus... do. You can read my review of Ultima Exidus for NES right here.
This game and I go way back to 7th grade when I bought it off a classmate for a dollar. Over Christmas break I played the game incessantly, which is why it always comes to mind around winter. Enjoy!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
A couple people requested the original angel meteos wallpaper. You can download it here, or save it above.
And, no, I obviously didn't do this piece. My style is obviously more primitive.
Anyway, thanks for the emails and keep 'em comin'!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Top 10 Budget DS Games to Buy Other People or Yourself, or, a Cyber-Monday Video Game Guide to the DS
You've got friends, children, people, and they need video games. They've probably got a DS, but you honestly don't know what they hell to buy them. Maybe your on a budget and don't want to waste a chunk of change for a crap game. This list is in no particular order, because I've tried to offer a variety of genres for everyone.
These are the games that define the DS.
#10 Final Fantasy III
You really can't go wrong with Final Fantasy III. The commercials for this game really showed off the power of the DS, and made this Famicom classic come to life. Everyone was waiting for Final Fantasy III to come out, and about 5 of my friends bought it on launch day. I was the first one to complete the game--3 months later. This adventure will always be remembered by anyone who conquers the crystal tower, and is a must-have for the DS. It's been out for years, so you can find it cheap.
#9 Contra 4
I remember the E3 announcement for Contra 4: gamers were stunned. A new golden age in retro releases and rehashes was beginning, and Contra 4 helped get us there! Contra 4 is sidescrolling action perfected, and if your buddy has the cart multiplayer mode can be a blast.
#8 Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow (and, sure, the others)
My personal favorite Castlevania, and one of the games that convinced me to buy a DS. Metroidvania gameplay is perfected, and a few stylus gimmicks keep things fresh. This of this game as Symphony of the Night on crack, and you're approaching Dawn of Sorrow. You can summon Death's Scythes, swarms of demonic locusts, and fire a 9mm handgun and rocket launch ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Need I say more? It's got more modes and difficulties than you'll know what to do with; well over 50 hours to complete everything.
#7 Sonic Rush
Another early DS game, and not a bad entry in the Sonic series. Unlike some of the more recent flops, Sonic Rush holds up as a Sonic game, and manages to be worthy of Genesis comparison. For those who are tired of Sonic 1, 2, and 3, Sonic Rush would be a much better option than Sonic 4 of Sonic Unleashed or Sonic Colors.
#6 Dragon Quest 9
Not a port; this is a full-fledged original entry in the Dragon Quest series. RPG fans will appreciate the standard JRPG grind fest and explorative adventure. Some people hate it, others love. Personally, I lament the loss of what this game could have been: an online action RPG--until fans backlashed and the game was redesigned. They listened to the fans, but I wish they hadn't. DQXI is a solid entry, and great fun on the DS.
#5 Chrono Trigger
A timeless classic. Considered by many to be the greatest game of all time. Either you've already got an opinion on Chrono Trigger, or you need to play this game. The DS version is far superior to the Playstation port; this game is recommended to all! I've seen this game for 5 bucks at stores, so you've got to be able to find it.
#4 Kirby Canvas Curse
A game that uses the stylus with style. Either all gimmick or no gimmick, Kirby Canvas Curse is still the best Kirby game on the Nintendo DS, and, in my opinion, the best Kirby game of all time if we don't count Super Smash Brothers Brawl. This one might be a little more rare, but if you see this game this holiday season, you might want to grab it for a gamer.
#3 Retro Game Challenge
If 8-Bit City were a video game, it would be something like Retro Game Challenge. Actually, if 8-Bit City were a game, it would be Star Quest. Expectantly, Star Quest and Retro Game Challenge feature a similar mechanic: games within the games; except in Retro Game Challenge you get magazines and new cart as you grow up as a young kid playing the Famicom. It's stranger than that, but this game is without a doubt one of the best on the DS, and reason enough to buy a used DS Lite or something.
The best puzzler around, and it's for the Nintendo DS. Meteos is half space shooter, half puzzle game, and all action. You need twitch reflexes and pattern recognition skills for this one. Improve your mind, play Meteos!
The most underrated game for the DS, Contact went barely noticed. It still enjoys a cult following, and you can probably find it haunting a Gamestop this year. Contact breaks the forth wall, and recognizes that the player is playing the game and communicating with space aliens via a device called the Nintendo DS. It gets weirder from that, as you possess a boy from another dimension and turn him into a killing machine, all to help a dubious 8-Bit scientist. Contact engages the player directly, you can't help but love this game. If you're buying someone a gift for the DS, make it Contact--this might be the last year you'll be able to find this rare gem. It's sure to be worth quite a bit in the future, and will likely be sought after by collectors as an essential piece of the DS library.
Friday, November 25, 2011
If you haven't played Mr. Driller you really owe it to yourself to give the series a try. This wiiware edition functions as an acceptable point of entry into the series while simultaneously satisfying fans.
Basically you dig down destroying blocks in an attempt to reach the bottom of the stage. If a block crushes you, you die. If you run out of air (time) you die. Along the way you pick up air capsules. Blocks also disappear if 4 or more of the same color fall or touch each each other while at least one is falling... the combos are hard to explain but you'll get the idea almost immediately.
Mr. Driller W has several levels, each with 3 difficulty settings. Each difficulty is like an entirely new level because the playing fields are radically wider on expert, and very narrow on easy. The expert levels are truly huge, bigger than anything else in the Mr. Driller series.
There are 7 characters to play as, each with their own voice and special abilities. Some characters are faster, but consume air quicker. Some can jump up 2 blocks instead of 1, and one can be hit twice before dying. The characters add even more variety to an already great game.
What IS missing, however, is other modes. You only have the stages to play through, though each stage does feel very different from the others. One stages has a lot of disappearing blocks, another has a lot of "white" blocks which wont attach or combo (these can be extremely dangerous).
The highlight of the game are probably the 2 endless levels (technically 6 when you count difficulties) which allow you to drill to your heart's content. One of these stages is easier than the other, and that's one of the best features in the game: the learning curve has been greatly reduced providing new players with easier access to the series. New players can play the easiest stage on the easiest difficulty with the easiest character (the robot) and learn the mechanics before moving on to something more challenging.
However, if you are a hardcore fan don't be deterred, because the expert difficulty is by far harder than the previous games.
Other features include: local leader board, 5 save files, unlockable stages and an unlockable character who plays quite differently than the others (I won't spoil it in this review). The game doesn't track stats like Mr. Driller 2 for the GBA, but it does track time.
Finally, all 4 control schemes are supported (wiimote, classic controller, GCN controller, and wiimote+nunchuck) which is an important feature lacking on many games.
For 8 dollars it's the best bargain in the series, I highly recommend it to everyone. Anyone else enjoy the series? Which version do you prefer?
It's time for a change in the song of the week. I know the internet has killed everyone's attention span, so I hesitate to even post a slow song. But's it's so damn good I don't have a choice, you have to listen to it.
This song plays during the credits to Meteos, and sets the mood well considering how most of the story lines end. Meteos: not your average game.
Post your thoughts on the song in the comments below.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Star Quest is the ultimate 8-Bit adventure. It is a game of exploration, conversation, and arcade machines. The diction is, at times, strange and miltonic, but the NPCs tell a mythic story about a small planet.
This planet resembled an earth town. It resembles a town as Earth represents them in video games.
It is a real place, and because of this, it has arcade machines. The games, sometimes, don't seem very different from the "real world," which is itself, a game.
You'll have to defeat the bosses, rescue heroes to help you on your quest, explore other world, travel through space, search for quarters, philosophize, laugh, cry, and be amazed.
You can go to the official post and download Star Quest.
Over one-hundred maps and hundreds of NPCs.
Dozen of plot threads informed by 1980s video games and the international literary canon.
The strangest fucking game you've ever played.
Seriously what the fuck are you waiting for download Star Quest and play it now!
Before we do anything here, backstory: I've been working on a "special post" for Thanksgiving. It's a list of some Famicom games (a certain genre), but it's not finished yet and I don't want to short-change the article. Hopefully that'll be finished tomorrow, but whatevs.
The reason for the delay--not Thanksgiving, although mine was nice--is Meteos for the DS. But before we get into that, backstory:
On June 6th, 2006 at about 12:06 a.m. I bought Meteos, New Super Mario Bros., and my DS Lite. It was the launch day and I had been waiting for over a month to get my hands on the new DS. Why was I so excited? To understand the chain of events, you need a little more backstory:
Back in 2004 I hated the Nintendo DS. It was clunky, had poor display (My GBASP was better), and generally I felt like the stylus was a stupid gimmick. It had no good games as far as I was concerned. However, one day while working in the university library a co-worker let me borrow his DS. But you don't really understand this guy, so I need some more backstory:
I started working at the library in 2003. I had just started college and the world was my oyster. Clichés abounded. I was sitting around the college, it was raining, and school hadn't even started. I was trapped in the Quad, but I didn't have shit to do and I was enjoying the summer weather. I had only been living in the dorm two days. I was ready for anything, including a post-apocalyptic situation. I thought about the previous night; I came back to my dorm at 2:00 a.m. and found my roommate and a girl in bed watching porn. I said "hey" and started playing Team Fortress Command. I also thought about the job I just got (student-worker, included in a scholarship). Actually, this story isn't relevant at all. I'm not even going to tell it.
Meteos: for the DS. It's awesome.
I didn't draw the angel in the background, but it was similar to the background used in Meteos for the planet Starrii.
Also I found this weird-as-fuck Meteos blog, where someone created personalities for all planets.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
This is a really cool page from issue 5 of Nintendo Power: mini reviews of Rollerball, Pinbot, and Super Sushi Pinball.
Rock-N-Ball and Pinball are two other classic NES Pinball games. They can be fun and challenging, but Devil's Crush and Alien's Crush on the Turbo Grafx-16 have all of them beat.
Nevertheless, I got Rock-N-Ball many, many years ago for $5.00 at a garage sale. I was impressed by the multiplayer and different modes. My friends and I spent countless hours playing the pinball versions of soccer and hockey.
Rock-N-Ball deserves an in-depth review, so I'll stop there.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, be sure to check back for a special post...
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Here is a collection of some of the more artistic Skyward Sword screenshots from around the web. Special thanks and credit goes to www.videogamer.com for these screenshots. You can click on this link to see their gallery as well.
These represent the best screenshots, in an easy-to-navigate format.
It's about time the Wii got it's Zelda update. I have to admit, after looking at the screenshots I have some high hopes for the game. The Wii party might be coming to an end, and it won't be long before all the Wii releases will be fair game for sites like 8-Bit City.
The systems, they come and go so quickly.