NES AtoZ 75: Picking Up the Pieces

Sorry it took me so long to get this one done! If you guys haven’t been keeping up, I have fallen in love with board games lately so most of my gaming time has been dedicated to that instead of my NES playing and video editing. You will also notice there are no pop-up factoids in this video either Don’t worry though, I love the Nintendo and I will not drop this series!

This episode is me backfilling all of the lightgun games which I missed previously when the emulator didn’t have the support for it. Additionally some avid viewers were kind enough to let me know which games I have missed, so I went and got them! Please enjoy this 6-game episode.

Baby Boomer

I enjoy imaging reasonable scenarios for a game like this. You have a baby crawling, and you are protecting it from all of the evil vermin by shooting DANGEROUSLY CLOSE to it with a rifle. What is the player character doing here? Why are the rats so mad at Boomer? Anyway, enough goofying around.

You need to keep the baby safe from everything by shooting stuff. You shoot clouds to make ice bridges, you shoot birds, rats and cats to protect the precious child, but do NOT shoot the enticing gold nuggets. You actually let the baby get them for some reason. The game has nice graphics, good sound and pretty original shooting action. I give it a win.

Barker Bill’s Trick Shooting

This is a great zapper game! It even starts with a charming little intro which I could watch again and again. The game presents the player a series of mini games. Shoot balloons, shoot a bunch of random items falling through some kind of mirror hall, shoot dinner plates thrown by our host and his sexy assistant, and possible another game which either didn’t work correctly or is identical to the balloon game. It’s all very fun and charming, and it is an excellent zapper game.

Chiller

I have been primed about how bad yet exceptional this game is from other online reviewers. Rumor has it this game is super morbid, full of torture and murder. You wouldn’t be able to tell from the first level of the game which has you shooting a variety of horror tropes like ghosts and bats without much gore at all. You might even mistake this game for pretty ordinary horror game. Kinda like a super early version of House of the Dead or something.

Then you get to level two… A very jarring transition. Now you are in a torture chamber or dungeon with a bunch of captives who you need to murder. You can do the humane thing and just shoot them in the face, or you can be devious and shoot the various levers and pulleys to activate the various devices to kill them slowly and painfully. Morbid indeed. If you think this is bad, look at the arcade version!

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1942

Let me address the most obvious and annoying thing about this game. The horrific sound design. For a good portion of my playing I thought the rom was defective. I guess it still might be… But I kinda felt like I realized that horrible screetch was part of the “music” in this game. Disgusting.

Otherwise this is a pretty lame WWII shooter in which you pilot an American plan against an endless stream of Japanese planes. I recently got a copy of Pat Contri’s Ultimate Guide to the NES Library and he poses an interesting question about this game. Why would the Japanese company Capcom make themselves the enemy in a WWII shooter? Just to appeal to the American audience? Well, don’t bother finding out, this game sucks.

Bandit Kings of Ancient China

It’s hard to play these games and be fair. I try to imagine myself playing a game that I loved when I was a kid that I would find nearly impossible to play now, like Civilization. I love that game and I played it for hours but if I turned it on today would I love it so much? I guess the question is why do you play NES games in todays world of PS4 and ultra powerful PCs? If you are looking for a skill testing platformer it’s tough to beat some NES entries, but if you are looking for a turn-based strategy war game or a 4x game you can find a better game.

Gaunlet II

Gauntlet is an excellent arcade game and the NES version is an excellent port. It lacks the music but has all of the awesome action you would expect from the namesake. The best way to describe Gauntlet II would be to call it a hack and slash dungeon crawler. Players choose a starting character, all of which perform slightly differently, and cooperatively battle through room after room of baddies. You can think of it as Diablo Lite.

It’s cooperative, you kill demons, what more can you hope for from a Nintendo game? I never had this when I was a kid, but if I did I can promise you that we would have had many all-nighters trying to beat this game.

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