Ichidant-R (Switch): COMPLETED!

When this came out, I played and completed it almost immediately. But, as I was looking for a two player game to play with my daughter – and that was a while back – I thought it’d be good to play again. And it was!

It’s a very different game when you’re playing it with someone, as it’s both competitive and co-op at the same time. You have to complete each mini-game to progress, but only one of you actually needs to do that so you compete to see who can do it first/best/whatever. This also has the knock-on effect of making the game even easier than it already was as you have effectively have twice as many chances to beat each game!

Double Dragon II: The Revenge (Evercade): COMPLETED!


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You know something? I’ve never been a big fan of Double Dragon. Sure, it’s OK. And yes, it’s one of the first arcade games I ever completed in an arcade (well, in a shed in a field), I don’t understand the reverence. It doesn’t have the fun of TMNT, or the style of Streets of Rage, or the depth of River City Ransom. But here we are.

The main reason for playing it was because my daughter wanted another two player game to play through after Wizard Fire and this was just there on my Evercade. Is it OK that she likes games where you punch people in the face? That’s fine, right?

So we played through it, used a billion credits on the end boss because that’s what happens in arcade games so they can extract the maximum number of ten pees from your pockets, and watched the ending. Hurrah?

Wizard Fire (Evercade): COMPLETED!


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The sequel to Gate of Doom, apparently. Well, it’s obvious when you play but not so much from the titles of the games. Although they’re called Dark Seal and Dark Seal II in some regions so I suppose that makes sense. It also doesn’t say “I’m the wizard!” any more, which instantly loses it a million points.

It is a bit better in terms of clunky-flickeryness, and the magic system is improved: Previously it seemed random which effect you’d get but now it appears to be linked to which character you choose. Gameplay is almost identical though, but levels are worse designed and the final few are just throw hundreds of baddies at you just to make you give up your (real) money. Ha ha suckers! I can just press Select!

We again played it in co-op, and enjoyed it a moderate amount, but it’s really not as good as other similar games.

Gate of Doom (Evercade): COMPLETED!


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“I’m the wizard!” it shouts as you choose to be the wizard when you start the game. Stupid, but it stuck in our house.

I wasn’t the wizard though, my daughter was. I was the knight. In this scrolling fighting game, not completely unlike Golden Axe or Gauntlet III, each character has different skills but as you die one hell of a lot regardless it doesn’t really matter that much. Yes, it’s a coin-muncher but as it’s on the Evercade the coins are simply pressing the Select button so it’s a bit cheaper that at the arcade.

Not that I ever played it at the arcade, because I’d never even heard of it until I saw it on this cartridge.

It’s OK. Very flickery, probably pushing the hardware a bit too much with the big sprites, but it’s mindless killing and there’s nothing wrong with that, right?

Tumblepop (Evercade): COMPLETED!


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I’d never played this before, but it’s a nice little arcade game in a similar style to Parasol Stars or Super Snow Bros – a single screen two player game where you clear out baddies by sucking them up into your hoover and then spitting them out before they escape.

It’s not very hard, nor is it very long, but it was fun and had some nice big bosses. It was probably made easier as I played it in co-op with my daughter, and of course being an arcade game you can just keep sticking virtual ten pees in until the end.

1943 (Switch): COMPLETED!


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Capcom Arcade Stadium, yet another collection of Capcom arcade titles, was released on the Switch this week. You get 1943 for free, so I played it. And then completed it.

I mean, you get infinite continues so doing so isn’t really hard. Although the game is. Not least because you seem to have a combined fuel and energy bar which constantly dwindles, and there are a number of waves of baddies where avoiding them or their fire is completely impossible. Plus some of the bosses don’t give you enough time to take them down before they’re gone – meaning you fail the mission have have to try again, hoping you’ve enough smart bombs this time.

Still, it’s mindless and slick and fun.

Sly Spy (Arcade): COMPLETED!


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This week I’ve been playing games on the retro game streaming service Antstream. I have a lot to say about the platform, but not here. One of the games I played was Sly Spy, and it’s the first one on there I’ve completed.

It’s not a great game. Much of it plays a bit like Rolling Thunder, but without the hiding and dodging abilities that make that game so much fun. Getting through each level without being shot constantly is difficult, and so isn’t really that enjoyable. The way it’s so much of a rip-off of James Bond doesn’t work as a parody as it’s too close to the source material and not humourous with it either.

It is what it is, though – a coin chewing arcade game that hasn’t translated well to playing at home, and isn’t as good as similar titles from the same era anyway.

Yes, the sound really did break half way through. Something to do with Antstream probably.

Toki (Arcade): COMPLETED!

A very long time ago, I played this a lot in the arcade. Then, also a very long time ago but not quite as long ago, I played and completed the Mega Drive version. Which, I noted at the time, was almost completely different. I never went back to the arcade original, until now.

It’s one of those games that has lots of sections that seem completely impossible but then, somehow, they become very easy. Like the crystal mammoth boss – impossible. Until you crouch, hammer fire, and take out his feet.

There are some frustrating bits, and one section where you have to jump from a mine cart thing to a platform and not die instantly by one of about five baddies waiting, but overall I found it more enjoyable (and do-able) than I ever remember.

Pang (Arcade): COMPLETED!

It required all of the credits, which, if I’d not been playing it on RetroPie would have meant re-mortgaging the house, but I completed it. Boy are some of those final few levels hard.

Pang is always a go-to game in the arcades for me. That, Pac-Land, Rampage, TMNT, Street Fighter II, Mappy, Out Run. I never got very far on a single credit in the past. Perhaps level 10 if I was very lucky.

But now, I’ve done it. Life goals, and all that eh?

Lego Dimensions: Midway Arcade (PS4): COMPLETED!

I’ll be honest: I wasn’t expecting much from this Level Pack. It seemed a little contrived and almost like Warner Bros was scraping around their big ol’ IP library for something a little different and came out with this. They haven’t even got a “known” character as the main figure in the set – he’s just “Gamer Kid”.

However, it turned out to be awesome.

midway arcade
Robotron 2084

The level itself, for the most part, is quite small and doesn’t have a great deal to do in it, but the hook is that you unlock a load of actual real emulated arcade machines as you play. Gauntlet, Gauntlet II, Joust, Super Sprint (which, bizarrely, suffers from horrible slowdown), Defender, Spy Hunter and Robotron 2084 to name a few. There’s also a Lego representation of Paperboy, in which the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz have stolen the newspapers. It’s fun.

Paperboy

Super Sprint
Super Sprint

The dimension hub is fantastic too, with references to Rampage, Toobin’, Vindicators, Badlands, 720, Gauntlet and all sorts.

I’ve a complete playthrough of the level here:

A roundup of the week


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I’ve been away all week, so not been playing a huge amount in the way of games. However, my holiday was partly affected by rain, so my DS did get an airing. On that, I started playing Puzzle Quest, which is a Bejewelled/Zoo Keeper clone in an RPG setting. So you have to battle orcs and things by matching gems, and have special powers and stats and stuff. It sounds totally ridiculous, but is actually somewhat amazing.

I also played Silver Strike Bowling a fair bit. It’s an arcade machine that was in the pub where we stayed. I managed to get about 120 as my highest score – some 85 lower than the highest scorers on the leaderboard. Who, naturally, were the pub staff.

Today, upon returning, I had a bit of a catchup on XBLA. There were two new XBLA games this week – Super Contra and Wing Commander Arena. Sadly, they’re both crap.