Okay, this is ACParson, back with the next installment of my Summer of NES. This time, I'm covering a few more games, and customizing it more. Making it longer, more interesting, and a bit more mature than my previous entry.
Side note: Holy crap, it's been quite a while since I've done anything in regards to this, over 4 years! I'm sorry it was so long. I've been going through some things in my life, and this article got side tracked (actually, I kinda forgot about it, my bad.) while life kidnapped me.
Side side note: Also, most of the games were bought by our parents for the family in general, only a few games were specifically bought for one of us. So we didn't have a huuuuge library of NES games. Also, please note, these are my recollections, I am well aware that multiple game reviewers have covered these games, and I am not interested in their reviews (I've probably already watched them all, incidentally) or what they have to say about these games. Got it? Great! Now, on to the article!
First up in this installment, a game my dad bought while he was working for Dominos Pizza as an Area Supervisor, and the ONLY pizza-branded game I've ever seen released on an actual video game console, and that would be..... *drumroll* Yo! Noid. Fun fact, this game came with a coupon for like $5.00 off a Dominos Pizza order. Sweet.
(P.S.: I know that Yo! Noid was the American rebranding of the Japanese game Kamen no Ninja Hanamaru, and I've played both. The game play mechanics were almost the exact same, only the story got kinda fubar'd up when they made it into Yo! Noid. I'm throwing this in so that we don't have repeated comments about "Hey, did you know, blah, blah, blah, yackety-schmackedy..." below...)
The Noid was my favorite mascot, and probably always will be. Of course, this was back when Domino's touted their "30 minutes or it's free." schtick. In any case, this game had you navigating through levels trying to catch the elusive "Mr. Green", a noid-look alike who was trashing New York City with slime monsters, and ruining the good name of The Noid (the red one) although how you could ruin further the name of a creature that had only the desire to ruin Dominos Pizza's is beyond me. In each odd-numbered level, and the final one, you had a Pizza-Eating Contest, where the goal was to eat as many pizzas as you could before you opponent could fill his bar up. Your opponents, btw, were all different colored Noid-wannabes, culminating in a fight against Mr. Green!
And the proof that I'm not making this up.... here's a YouTube clip!
This game I played for hours, trying to get past all of it. You went into battle with ice-skating polar bears, fish, gardeners with spears, and everything else armed only with your trusted Yo-Yo, and a few magic scrolls that you might be lucky enough to pick up.
Of course, anybody who remembers "The Noid" remembers his Pizza Crusher, that Pogo-stick looking thing that crushed pizzas. I know I left it somewhere..... *roots around in closet throwing out tons of retro 80's and 90's stuff randomly* Aha! Here we go!
The stage with this was a lot of fun, too bad you couldn't use it for long, and you only used it once. Here's a clip of what it looked like in-game (starts at about 18 seconds in):
This game was fun, but incredibly frustrating when you'd barely make it to the end of the level, and BOOM, you lose the pizza eating contest and had to start the level all over again. That had me sad. *sadface* That also had this game nearly ending up being trashed out of anger. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed. (Namely, Mom telling me if I broke it, I couldn't play NES any more.)
My next game, was Paperboy. A game that spawned at least a sequel or two. This game, seems easy enough on the surface, deliver papers, right? WRONG. All the while you're trying to deliver papers to every house, dodge dogs, cats, kids on bikes, runaway tires, cars, breakdancers, crazy ladies with rolling pins, and death himself. I covered my best friend's paper route over the summer when he'd be away for a family vacation, and I NEVER had all that to contend with. But I digress.
Ah, yes. Mindscape's adaptation of Paperboy for the NES. This was a game that my mother got for us, and actually played quite a bit herself. I didn't know that this was adapted from an arcade game at the time, but we did our best in playing it.
Above, you see the layout of subscribers (Blue, yellow, and white houses in gameplay) and non-subscribers (Red). There are 20 houses. The game goes for 7 days (Monday through Sunday), and you are the titular paperboy, destined to deliver the subscribers their papers.
The image above shows representative gameplay of this game. You basically rode back and forth along a 45 degree angle, tossing papers at house stoops or mailboxes for subscribers, and causing property damage for non-subscribers (destroying windows, shrubs, tombstones).
If you destroy a window, or miss delivering to a subscriber, they will unsubscribe, leaving you with less targets to deliver to (and get a higher score) at the end of the week. However, if you flawlessly deliver to all houses, a non-subscriber will resubscribe, therefore giving you a total of 17 out of 20 possible subscribers you can deliver to if you don't miss any.
And this image shows the likely outcome of your attempt to deliver the loyal customers their paper. A crash. With the limited area you have to ride in, the strange skewed view, and the multitude of obstacles you must contend with, this game was both fun and frustrating.
Swinging from one extreme to another, I arrive at a game that was kind of repetitive, but fun nonetheless. My Dad and brother were much better at the following game than I was, and that's COMMANDO!
Ah yes. Capcom's shoot-em-up game for the NES (sort of). You play as the elite commando "Super Joe" Gibson, and head off into enemy territory to fight the enemy army and rescue hostages. You choose 1 or 2 player, and then press start.
The chopper flies onto the screen, drops off Super Joe, who waves to his Mom as they fly off for safer locales, and then you get right into the fight.
Enemies come at you from all sides, firing bullets, and a few chucking grenades at you. My brother and Dad developed what we fondly referred to as the Commando thumb, being able to tap the B button so quickly that it acted like a machine gun. I was unfortunately never able to accomplish that.
As you explored each level, you used your own grenades to open hidden ladders, revealing hidden enemy rooms, hostage rooms (below picture), power-up rooms, or the dreaded GAS CHAMBER.
If you wound up in here, you had approximately 10 seconds to use your grenades to reveal a ladder, and get out of there before you died. Needless to say, we had to remember which hidden room had this trap. Obviously, that worked really well, didn't it?
Eventually, as you finish blowing through the level, you reach a base, where there are numerous enemies, and usually a commander of some sort. You can use your grenade to kill the commander who hides behind a blast shield (can only injure him when he lowers it), or leave him, and when you've annihilated everybody else, he drops his shield and waves a surrender flag. Then, after rushing in there, you see the level report. The picture varies, but they all pretty much say the same thing:
Then you go to the next area. There are 4 areas, each increasing in difficulty. After clearing the 4th area, the chopper picks you up to take you to the next run of areas, to this kick-ass tune:
Even though I never developed the Commando thumb, I was the first in my family to clear all 4 stages, and proceed through the complete repeat cycle. I was proud of this accomplishment.
And finally, the last game I'm going to touch on in this article is All-Pro Basketball.
Yes, one of the few sports games I was relatively good at. No link to any NBA/College Basketball teams were used (this was before everybody and their mother's uncle licensed official NBA/College teams).
Each team had their strengths and weaknesses, some had players with stronger defenses, some had higher speed, some had great shooting capability, and was quite simple for what it presented. You chose your team, the AI or Player 2 team, and then you'd get the matchup screen, to hype you for the match about to happen!
Above, we have the LA Breakers taking on the NY Slicks. This should be a good one.
This is what the gameplay looks like, you try to hit 2 pointers, slam dunks, and that elusive 3-point shot. If you play a team and get to know its players, you can do this over and over.
However, in gameplay, if your people start moving slower, missing shots, having trouble, you will need to substitute them. You can only call the substitution screen during a foul, so if you're not the type who typically fouls, you have to force one, typically by travelling (pressing B once to jump, and not press it again to shoot).
Each player is either regular, or has up to 2 special stats. SP is speedy, DF is Defensive skill, and ST is Shooting talent. It also shows their stamina. This bar goes from green, to yellow, to red. If the stamina bar falls to 0, the player will be out of the game for the rest of the match. Obviously, you don't want this to happen, so proper substitution is necessary.
As you can see above, several of my best players were getting VERY low on stamina, so a couple of well-timed substitutions got my players back on their feet.
After the first 2 quarters, you are treated to the most fun part of the game (IMO), the half-time show! I have a YT video that shows this fun-filled time.
(Broken YouTube Link Removed)
Then, you fought your way through another 2 quarters of gameplay, and as is usual, the highest score wins.
Of course, my LA Breakers won that game quite handily. Then, after seeing your total win-loss record, and writing down your password to resume your progress if you turned off the NES, you are treated to a sports news broadcast. There were several images that displayed the coach either celebrating, or mourning his loss.
THIS has to be one of the creepier images that showed the coach celebrating. Just my luck that it would be the one that showed when I captured the screenshot.
These games were mostly owned, but a few rentals in there from time to time.
Well, that wraps up this episode of The Summer of NES - Part 2. Will there be a Part 3? Maybe. Let me know if you want to see it.