Animal Crossing on the N64!!!

(Well ummm….. not really the Original Cart, but it is the original hardware, on a retro cathode tube TV. The way it was meant to be? More like it should have been. Right?)

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I think reproduction carts are, in a way, some type of gray area. Not sure how to view them except I have picked up quite a few of them recently. Games that I could not afford due to high prices in a collectors market. This is the first one that I have purchased due to the translation into English.

Okay I am being very thankful for those who take the time to do fan translations of those games that did not make it to the US but stayed in Japan. I am also being thankful for those who have the ingenuity to produce reproduction carts for retro consoles. For without that, I would not have this English translation of the Animal Crossing game which initially first appeared on the Nintendo 64.

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What can I say, this is Animal Crossing in its rawest form. Originally titled Doubutsu no Mori or, Animal Forest. This is the one that started it all. I love this game and was first exposed to it on my DS. My Daughter and I have logged hours and hours of time into this game. I finally purchased it for my Game Cube when it was Nintendo’s number one console. Each successive game has its improvements, but it is still this game. The same, for me, addictive gameplay. Work, spend your cash, build you house, fill it with stuff, and interact with folk. This little game has that winning touch. If you have ever played any version of Animal Crossing then you will find this game intuitive.

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One quirk that this reproduction cart has, is, no real time clock. I think the special chip is missing from the reproduction PC board. The game knows that there is something wrong with the clock and warns you. But if you are playing it every day, like I am, you can adjust it to the time and date you begin. The game saves with the internal battery, your game,time you stopped, and the date. And this is saved to the cart, not to a memory card. So really no big deal. Can’t really complain with what I got here. It mostly baffles me why Nintendo did not bring this to the US while the N64 was on the shelf. The game was later ported to the Game Cube, so we did get it, in a way, just a little late to the party. Cost me only $25 USD. Not bad.

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There are many games like this, which, when I get my hands on it, makes me wonder, what happened? What was going through their heads that caused them to not release this to the US market? This would have been a system seller no doubt. There are many Japan only titles which would have been good for the US Nintendo 64 game library. It is sad when a game company is out of touch with the market that they are catering to.

This game is a great big thumbs up and is highly recommended to anyone who owns a Nintendo 64.

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The New 2DS xl: My First Impressions

I really like the outward matte finish, shiny color trim, and slight ridges on top of the console, feels good. Even though sometimes you can see the natural oils of your fingers from handling, it is easily wiped off. Not a finger print magnet like the very shiny reflective screen area, but you shouldn’t find yourself handling that part anyway. I wonder if they will introduce new color schemes, I can see the potential. When these saturate the market, we will see. It will all depend on Nintendo’s timetable and original intent of releasing the console. Though I see they’ re already releasing the Pokemon Ball themed unit which will probably sellout to all Pokemon fans.

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The New 2DS xl is on top and the DSi xl is on the bottom.

I find the return to the DSi xl designed button & camera layout around the bottom screen area very welcome. I can not get used to the 3DS layout. I always find myself fumbling around those buttons at the bottom screen, sometimes can’t see them. With the 2DS xl I feel back at home. Though I never left my DSi xl, it is where I play DS games. Yes I know the 3DS has those capabilities, I just like using my DSi xl. I pick up my DS lite to play Zoo Keeper, which always stays in that system. I grab up my original small DSi to play Space Invaders Extreme. That is just what I do. (Sorry I can’t be everything you want me to be.) Like with the DSi the inside camera has returned to the hinge. The outside camera has been fixed to the bottom of the unit! Really? This makes it very awkward and difficult to use while trying to look at the top screen to frame your picture. What were they thinking? Did they ever test this out? I usually use the camera feature, but this might be almost impossible to use. If you could open the unit flat that would help but there are stops on the top lid at the hinge preventing this. My 3DS xl and DSi xl wins here with the camera thing.

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This was such a terrible idea.

Taking my 2DS xl and 3DS xl and having a set of calipers handy, (Who doesn’t? What, you don’t?) I found that the top screen lid was about the same thickness, only a slight hair difference with the thicker falling to the 3DS xl. Really nothing to make any one better than the other. The big difference is that the 2DS xl top screen is recessed which gives it a certain amount of protection, the advantage. A design improvement over the 3DS & 3DS xl which also had the bottom screen raised and touching the top screen area. Both top and bottom screens on the 2DS xl are recessed. But my main concern, as I close the system, is the height of the buttons, not sure if they are touching. Not sure if that is an issue, only time will tell. That raised bottom screen has been in their design all through the DS line of consoles. It only presented a problem in the 3DS models when the top screen took on a wide letter box view.

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The top stylus is the original 3DS and the bottom is the New 2DS xl.

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The original 3DS stylus fully extended.

There has been a lot of complaints concerning the length of the stylus. It is really only a little shorter , and thicker, than the first original DS. Successors of that original DS have increased the length to what we have become spoiled, or accustomed to. (We have become such finicky gamers.) And the first 3DS had a very short stylus, same length really of the 2DS xl, which was telescopic and would extend to a full 100mm. I wonder why they did not use the telescopic stylus for the 2DS xl? Was it because they were marketing it toward a younger gamer? Honestly, I use my fingers mostly in the games I play, or I use a bigger stylus. If I pack a unit with me, it usually contains a game that is played only by using the buttons, not a stylus.

Speakers, left and right, are moved to the bottom edges of the unit. Turned up, to full audio, and you find that the sound seems very low. If you are in a room with other noise you will have trouble hearing any game sound. I don’t think it is specifically the location of the speakers as much as the console just has no volume. Even with ear buds, or headphones, I still had to use almost full volume. Something I dare not do with my DSi xl. Using Ear buds was a better experience than the headphone.

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The flap which conceals your game and micro sd card.

Some quirks and observations: I don’t like the power button. I have difficulty powering the console on and off. I usually end up using my thumbnail. Some reviews had trouble with the home button. My experience was totally different. I had no problem, worked great. But my Daughter did find it troublesome at times. So I would judge this, as, there is a problem, maybe with the height and would present itself as a random individual gamer issue. It has the lowest profile of any other button on the face. Too bad you have to find that out the hard way by purchasing the console. Turning the wifi off and on is within the menu, software only. No switch on the console. This is fall back to the DSi which used the same method. The Game card and the micro-SD are hidden behind a plastic flap, same way as the SD card in older units in the DS line. I love this feature. Of course if you change games very often you would find this fiddly and meddlesome. There is a noticeable difference in the weight, the 2DS xl is much lighter. And the complaints concerning the wiggle between the top and bottom in the hinge. My feeling, whoever is noticing this has never owned a DS console. Every console in the DS & 3DS line has that same wiggle or looseness between the top and bottom, or every one I got, is a lemon. I pulled out every one that I own and compared, I couldn’t tell the difference in any but one. The only one I noticed a difference was the original fat DS. There was little to no wiggle and felt like it had two points where it sort-of locked in place. Also there are no little feet on the bottom of the 2DS xl, prepare for a scratched bottom. The unit has a very different shape, which gives it a more of a, slender pocket friendly, comfortable in my hand, lighter, enjoyable gaming experience. Feels natural in my hands.

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Gameplay? Handles and plays like any other DS console. Plays the full line of games from DS to the “new” 3ds software. Although I have read, and heard, that there is a small list of games that it will not play, I had no problem even with one of the games on that list, Space Invaders Extreme. Of course all of the 3ds games are in 2D, but that is the whole point of this console, right? There is a question concerning the 3D and the young gamer’s eye development. Parents will have no fear picking up this system for that younger gamer. And then there are gamers like me. I never could use the 3D feature. And I have no interest in playing games in 3D. To me it is impractical, awkward, and not necessary in the gaming experience, just gimmicky. (Put me on your hate list.)

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Why does this console exist you ask? Who is this console for? It is, as we have mentioned, for that conscientious parent and their concern for their kid’s eye development. It is also for that gamer, like me, who may own the older 3DS model but wants to play the “New” software, games like Xenoblade Chronicles. The price point of $149 USD makes it more tempting, and appealing, to upgrade, especially when it includes the power supply. It is also for that gamer that never has upgraded from their DSi and has never been attracted by the 3D feature. And it is also for that gamer out there that has to have every console that Nintendo manufactures. (The party is over for 3D gaming on the go. Buy a box of tissues on the way home.)

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As always with Nintendo, this is a solid, well built, quality piece of hardware. If the lifespan of the 3DS line was an ice cream Sunday, this is the cherry on top, the icing on the cake, the cream between the cookies, the last dance. The end of the line. I really honestly believe that you will not see anymore updated hardware past the “New.” It is just that time again. Even with its annoying quirks, I really love this latest version of the 3DS line of consoles. This console, along with my DSi xl, will become my main gaming portables.

And So It Begins…………………

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I was walking through my local Walmart and this caught my eye. A $20 USD price drop! That sort-of shakes things up a bit. Now there is only a $30 USD difference between the New 2DS xl and the New 3DS xl. Too much competition?

I have already been reading and hearing some rumbling concerning a Switch Mini in the works. Something about maybe late next year? It would be much smaller with no detachable Joy cons, portable, entry level gaming. As far as I am concerned, it is just vaporware at this point. Until Nintendo starts giving hints we should all stay calm.

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The New 2DS xl: The Swan Song?

 

I just purchased a 2DS xl. I will probably have a review within a couple of weeks, time permit. But first I wanted to get some thoughts out of the way. Stand on my soap box. Share a frightening dissertation. Ravings of a madman. Babbling of a lunatic. Please just hear me out. This is going to be my analysis and perspective based on an old fashioned gut feeling. Yes a gut feeling. No facts, just plain old fashioned guts. Women have intuition and men have guts. And that feeling is this, I sincerely believe that the New 2DS xl is the swan song of the 3DS line of portable gaming systems. I feel the party is over for portable 3D gaming. If there ever was a party in the first place. The fat lady is singing and nobody is listening. I think Nintendo is ready to move on to the next,.. ummm.. thingy.

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I was there in 1989 and was thrilled, awed, by the Gameboy portable. As I held that bulky pea green screen of a portable in my hands, with a copy of Nemesis, I thought to myself, I need nothing else. My game system had arrived. But technology moves on in spite of how we feel. And I can understand the perspective of some of you gamers out there right now while you are reading this, you are just not ready. You are living in denial.

Original GameBoy in 1989 launched by Nintendo changed the way we gamed. A nod to the Pocket, loved it. It took the place of the gray beast. I still pull it out for a round of Nemesis.

Gameboy Color, short lived, but was backward compatible with Original Gameboy. Nintendo threw us a bone before the Gameboy Advance hit the shelves.

Gameboy Advance & Gameboy SP was backward compatible with Original & GB Color. A casual nod here to the Gameboy Micro. It existed, GB Advance compatibility only. A sign?

Nintendo DS & the DS Lite(This marked the end of the Original GB) Only offered backward compatibility with Gameboy Advance, which was a cushion for what was to come next. (we were promised that this would not take the place of the SP, they promised, the two tier of portables lie, the GBA SP was snatched from the shelves the day the DS arrived. At least, it was, in my local area.)

Nintendo DSi, this portable marked the end of the Gameboy line of portable gaming, we are talking about the Advance, the final straw. It was DS only in software. There was only those few titles in the eshop that was actually Dsi only.

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Then Nintendo 3DS enters stage right with backward compatibility for DS games. Are you beginning to see a pattern? Is it just me that is seeing this, or what? Then, knee jerk, the 2DS was introduced as a reactionary gaming system due to parental concern over the 3D for much younger gamers. There is really no other reason for it. (But it does have its fans.) I think Nintendo saw an opportunity and took it, short lived as usual. Next enters the “New” 3DS with more powerful hardware, still retaining the compatibility of the DS line. But the new more powerful hardware is yet to be fully utilized, no floodgate of the “New” software. At some point we should see “New” software only. But first you need to have an established user base. Enter the cheaper “New” 2DS xl. Hmmmmm………..Spider sense tingling.

As you already know the Nintendo Switch was released and out of left field Nintendo drops the bomb, the “New” 2DS xl. And it has a very appealing price point. It is backward compatible with the DS, with the exception of a small list of titles (say whaaaat??) and also with the 3DS software line, including the handful of “New” 3DS titles. Do you finally grasp what I am seeing here? The “New” 2DS xl seems to mark the end of the 3DS line of portable gaming. I am pondering the question, “Is it?” This is something totally different than the 2DS wedge, or door stop, or, whatever. Gamers are looking at this handheld and seemingly confused, asking, “why?” Is it a next generation cushion before the next portable from Nintendo? A portable running only the “New” hardware? I think one of two things will take place. At some point we may see “New” software only being produced. And the “New” 2DS xl being “the handheld” from Nintendo with the “New” 3DS quietly being fazed out. I mean the price point is just right to sell. And remember the 3DS is 6 years old. That usually could be considered a lifetime for a portable console. Believe me, Nintendo will not keep both systems. And there is just not enough space on store shelves allocated to deal with it. Not counting the confusion associated when having two systems, for some insane reason.

But my opinion is only based on how they seemed to have operated in the past. And this is only my opinion. For me, as a gamer, I never used the 3D feature anyway. I felt it was impractical to use for gaming and too gimmicky. I just personally could not use it, and I still keep it turned off. Granted the “New” really improved the 3D, but I still cannot use it to game. How many gamers actually use that feature while gaming? Do you extensively use this feature with every game? Or with only some games? I wear glasses, so maybe it is my eyes, or my brain.

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The other thing that could happen is that Nintendo directs everything toward the Switch. They are marketing it as a “portable,” and a “home console” aren’t they? But somehow I do not think that will happen. Parents are reluctant to spend $300USD and hand it over to one of those small younger gamers. I would be. (I think the Switch market is mainly for Youth through Adult.) But a $150USD portable, clamshell designed to protect those screens, tried and true, yeah I would buy that one for the younger gamer.

Nintendo’s money has basically been the portable market after those golden SNES years. They know better than anyone how to work that market (I would say milk, but I will leave it at that.) and have become established as reigning kings of the handheld. For years it has always been their “bread and butter.” Their territory. You would think they would try to keep that in some form complimenting the Switch. That seems to be their normal business model. And there are still a few of us gamers out here that prefer the clamshell portable in our pocket.

I really don’t think the 3DS is, or will ever be, in competition with the Switch. (Stop thinking that people. You are being distracted.) I think that the 2DS xl is the real competition to the New 3DS. That is where the battle lines have been drawn. With the lower price point and the basic compatibility, it has an opportunity, and is in a position, to grab that market. Conscientious parents will choose the 2DS xl over the 3DS model. They will keep the Switch for themselves, or family time. And I think that is Nintendo’s game plan.

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Now my gut could be wrong. But something does smell very suspicious. Now I may be paranoid or delusional. But I don’t think I am that far off in my thinking. I don’t trust them. I think Nintendo might pull a fast one, again. They must be thinking to themselves, “We just got to get rid of having on our boxes, Compatible with DS, Dsi, 3DS, New 3DS, 2DS xl………..Aiiiiiii.” Is there a new Nintendo portable announcement looming in 2018? A New 2DSi xl? It could be something totally incompatible with anything before it.

Until Nintendo establishes a good user base with the Switch, that they & their 3rd party are comfortable with, I don’t see them abandoning the 3DS console anytime soon. I really feel that they will try to have a DS-ish type console beside the Switch for entry level gaming. I don’t think it will be 3D. The new 2DSxl is the experiment. The trial period will be through next year. The only terror in all of this is the announcement of a Pokemon game for the Switch. That franchise has always been used to sell the handheld!!

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Thirty Years of PC Engine!!

The 30 year anniversary of the NEC PC Engine is coming up next month. I plan on focusing my gaming toward that console to celebrate the tech. I’m talking about arcade shooter madness. The way that system entered my gaming heart and stayed. As I took the Turbo Grafx 16 off the shelf at a Toys-R-Us many many years ago, I never imagined that I held in my hands what would become my favorite gaming system of all time. As a game console, it quickly made its way to the top of the heap in my game time.

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The console is about the size of an NES cart, so tiny and powerful for its time.

It continues to hold that place even today in the presence of excessively more powerful systems. I find that there is some type of magic in its gaming library encased in those little flat credit card size carts called HuCARDs, or dubbed in the US as Turbochips. Anyone presently getting into the console, it is essential that they first acquire a PC Engine, preferably the Core version of the console. This is the Japanese version and you will find the games much cheaper than the Turbo Grafx 16 counterpart.

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The Japanese PC Engine huCARDs are more colorful with pictures, where as,  the Turbo Grafx 16 mostly has nothing more than lettering, or the title of the game.

Collectors have driven the prices into the excessive insane range. If you later desire to expand that gaming into the CD games then a Duo-R would be the best choice. I am so happy to have started playing in its infancy because there would be so many games I would not been able to afford. The gaming library is overflowing with arcade shooters but not entirely dominated by them. It has a great selection of action adventure platforming, and as in the shooters, many unique to the system.

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The console has its own feel, sort of, a Japanese flavor to its games. To some it may be an acquired taste. I like it and find that aspect is in no way different than other systems having their own uniqueness. It is basically an 8bit gaming machine on steroids.  Or an 8bit 16bit hybrid. Some games shows the power of the architecture  while there are those that feel very 8bit. It is an 8bit machine with a 16bit graphics chip that creates an environment  for arcade shooters apparently. That is where it excelled during its heyday of popularity which quickly fizzled when the 16bit era emerged. It just could not compete against the SNES and the Genesis once that generation got to rolling. Even though it was the first console to launch CD gaming, and did it right, that was still not enough. It had a longer, more successful, run in Japan where in the US it was late to the party. 8bit was at an end, 16bit was the excitement. It was at that moment that the Turbo Grafx 16 hit the US market. And so it was just pushed from the limited shelf space as the 16bit machines took over.

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The Turbo Grafx 16 and PC Engine game cards are not interchangeable.

People often talk of nostalgia concerning retro gaming systems. I personally really don’t know what they are talking about. I focus on what is fun when it comes to gaming. With the PC Engine it is wonderful fun and escapism at the end of a hard day, or week, just to blow up a few of those pesky aliens from another galaxy who think they can blow up ours. Honestly, why do they always seek out our solar system to blow up when they have the whole galaxy before them? Who do they think they are?

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Unholy Night SNES Review!!!

(Original Cart, original hardware, on a retro cathode tube TV. The way it was meant to be. Right?)

A new game released for the SNES in 2017!!! This is the first time I made a pre-order on a video game. I always wait for the bargain bin special. But I figured that something like this would only go up in price due to collectors. First impressions? I have been looking forward to this game. Now that I have it……………hmmmmm, I don’t know. In order to do a fair review, I was thinking that, I am going to need to pit it against Street Fighter Alpha Zero 2. Both are 32meg in size. And maybe better throw in Fatal Fury Special, also a 32meg. There are a few other fighters on the SNES that are the same size but I don’t think we need to go there, this will be enough to “get the idea.”

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First, I love the box art and the fact that my cart is Super Famicom in shape, I didn’t expect that at all. Don’t worry, it contains the places in the cart to allow it to be used on the SNES. I like the smoked black see through plastic cart. The cart feels solid, equal to any official SNES cart. Nice to have a booklet where character moves are listed, makes a good reference. The whole package speaks quality and professionalism.

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This game did not use any special chip, so that, in and of itself, lowers the bar. This game is not going to be a “Street Fighter Alpha Zero 2” on the SNES. So that places it in the category with Fatal Fury Special in expectations. So how should I judge this? Graphics, animation, gameplay, re-playability, and music. Sounds like a winner to me.

Push in, flip the power button and I am greeted with a musical loop of about, is it five or six notes? Am I being generous? This starts to grind while sitting here waiting for some sort of demo, that never comes. The screen is red with the title, what?! Come on! No artwork here? No intro? At the very least they could have had all of the characters in a pose like the box art. But come to think of it Fatal Fury Special wasn’t fancy either. But still, this is supposed to be something special because it has been such a long time since we have seen a release of a fighter on the SNES. Okay I get it, no love there…mumble.. mumble, mumble. A loss of creativity?

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Each stage’s background is like a painting, no animation. There is a hint, at times, of parallax scrolling between a foreground and background, but it is subtle, spoiled by a poor use of color. Background should had been a little lighter to create depth. Maybe it should have been implemented in a different way? Or at least give me some animation. (The whole screen will not fit on my cathode tube TV, it is a little cut off on the left side. What gives, this is the SNES.) They look good, but lack any life and are flat in appearance while fighting. Characters seem small. Marking my screen, I quickly put in Fatal Fury Special, Oh my, its first stage with Andy Bogard, blows away Unholy Night, I mean the whole game, sorry. (So does the first stage of Garou Densetsu 2) The Fatal Fury characters are a lot bigger, taller and the Unholy Night fighters are about 20% smaller. Not much distinguishing difference in character height out of the six fighters of Unholy Night. I do find Unholy Night character designs appealing, but lacking in detail and part of that is due to the size. The animation is really no different than a lot of other fighters on the system, except for Street Fighter Alpha Zero 2. (Unholy Night is gum stuck to the bottom of Sakura’s shoe when it comes to that fighter.) Still, it works, you just feel like you are sitting farther away. The artwork, and story, of the game, as a whole, gives me a sort-of, a Night Warriors Castlevania slant, feel, atmosphere in a very vague way. That just came to my mind as I was playing, which is not a bad thing. And this flavor sort-of stays with you whenever playing. With only six fighters to choose from, not including your mirror image of a different color? But I have found no way, as of yet, how to access those other colors. Adding two more fighters would have placed it in the ballpark of the norm for the time period. I am not sure where to go with that. I don’t know if there is anything to unlock at this point. With good design, hidden things, unlockables, that challenge in a game, motivates me to play, sort-of like a tease. I am hoping the end boss is playable after he is defeated. Not holding my breath on that one. If there is nothing more, this game is going to be short lived in the re-play department. Some of the fighters seem a bit clunky and stiff. Some were more responsive, with noticeable frames missing in their attacks. I found only half of the fighters enjoyable to control.

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I don’t think enough effort was put into making the game a good single player experience. The AI is very poor. Your opponents aren’t even aggressive until you put it in hard mode. Easy mode the only challenge was the end boss. In the normal mode it was like knocking over bowling pins until I got to the character I was using, then I felt it was actually fighting. I have not been able to defeat the end boss yet. You really feel unprepared for his difficulty having no challenging opponents leading up to the match. In Fatal Fury Special you are not going to blow through that game on easy first time you pick it up. And Unholy Night just does not have that “arcade feel” I want in a fighter. Now here is where I switch gears. Practice mode is a great single player experience. Who would have thought? Set your opponent up to attack and the AI to 8. It is a blast to play. If only you had these adjustments for the story mode, it would have changed this review tremendously. And this is where I had most of my fun apart from a two play game. The only place this game shines. It is a shame that you cannot play through the game in practice mode. Grab someone who likes fighters and are into retro gaming, two player is more fun. My first experience with two player, the game crashed after the bout was over, reset. I wonder why there was no VS CPU for a single player game? I guess story mode covered that?

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In the option menu you have two choices, turn off the sound and adjust the games difficulty. No controller configuration? Just listening to the music during gameplay will answer any question as to why the options did not include music sampling. The music, I would grade it as 8-bit game tunes with many 8-bit games destroying anything this game has to offer. The capabilities of the SNES is better than this. Okay I will leave it alone. I would have liked an added feature of putting in my initials when I have achieved a highscore from the fights I have won. And the story line is a very bad translation to English with bad mis-spellings and poor sentence structure. To even complicate that more, I don’t have time to read it. Playing the game, you have the choice of , story mode, verses mode, survival, and practice. Only three attack buttons (weak, medium, & strong) with one button to build your energy bar for special attacks and same button for defense, or crouching also acts as a defense against an attack.

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I know nothing about programming a game like this, let alone something for the SNES. So it is easy to sit back and give a critical analysis. And I am sure developing for a 27 year old gaming system that has long been thought dead by the gaming community, I’m sure there was no help from Nintendo, can be daunting. 32megs? I am very puzzled by that. Maybe no compression was used? Little to no options, only six fighters, poor music, missing frames of animation, small characters sprites. Not sure what they were trying to avoid by limiting this game. They built this game up, “from creators of past masterpieces,” “32 MEGS of 16-bit fighting bliss,” and “developed by a team of ex-SNK staffers who had previously worked on the Samurai Showdown and The King of Fighters series.” When you make promises like that you build the expectations and you had better be able to deliver. I see an opportunity here that falls flat in many ways. Maybe it was the failed Kickstarter campaign that crashed and burned this project? I say this because I see so much potential. I have got to keep in mind that this is only going to appeal to a niche market. When compared to other top fighting games on the SNES, this game is only average. I know there were good intentions, but I am not sure how this is going to be received by the retro community. I really want to like this game. But it is not that deep of a fighter. I am thinking that this is really for those who collect every SNES game. I personally want to support efforts like this because I want more. This game, hmmmm, it just might be an acquired taste. I did start to enjoy it more as I learned moves. With Nightmare I am able to do a 7 hit combo, and accomplished a 9 hit with Emily. I find Nightmare, Emily, and Wurzel the most enjoyable and playable fighters.

I keep asking myself, “Is this worth the price of admission?” To the one who loves SNES fighting games, “Would this be enough?” There are mixed feelings here about this game.

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4th of July Marathon!!

(It is all about reaching out, touching the hardware, and holding the game in your hand.)

Today in the US is a Holiday, our Independence Day July 4th. We usually celebrate it with, family, friends, honoring our military, fire works, displaying our flag, and cooking, which is normally grilling out in our backyard.

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Started my morning with Ninja Jajamaru Kun, a Famicom game. Not sure if it ever came to the US. The stages consist of one board on full screen, the Pacman, Bubble Bobble, Snow Brothers concept. Get rid of all enemies to advance with collecting items for points, and what seems to be the spirits of the enemies when they die. Arcade gameplay, love it.

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Next up is “espgaluoa” on my XBOX 360, an arcade, mindless, frantic, shoot-everything-in-sight, high score, addiction. I totally love these type of games. It was with this genre that my gaming heart was incubated and hatched. Beautiful music that would rival any good RPG. Fantastic graphics with awesome explosions. Great fun for the 4th of July fireworks.
Understand this list is random. Mood swings? I don’t know.

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I jumped into Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius for the Super Famicom. The Parodius series is a satire on the Gradius series of shooters. They are funny, weird, and, at times, bazaar. Instead of a spaceship, I was using a cat with bells flying around as my satellite helpers. My lasers were colorful cat paws. I only have two out of the three available for the Super Famicom. Got to do something about that. Need more money.

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I had to play Crisis Force after some of these shooters. I just had to do it.

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Kinect Joy Ride, this is my first time experiencing this game. I just picked this up on a whim with some skepticism. Whoa this game is some awesome arcade fun with no controllers needed. 1 to 4 players makes it Family fun. Especially since it also takes photos of you while you play and displays them at the end of the round, priceless.

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Started this with Ninja Jajamaru Kun, so I’ll end it with the second game of the series which was on the Super Famicom, Super Ninja Kun. This time we are treated to a platforming game which contains a lot of the same concepts and elements from the first entry. This is very playable even if you don’t know Japanese. It is easy to stumble your way through this and get playing. Learning the moves of your character is key. One neat thing is that you gain an ability with each boss that you defeat. And you will need each ability as you advance through the game. Left shoulder button helps in changing & cycling through those new found abilities.

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