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Reviews by System
3DO Atari 2600 Atari 7800 Atari Jaguar Gameboy
Genesis Master System NES Nintendo 64 Nintendo DS
PC Playstation Playstation 2 Saturn Super NES
VIC20 Xbox

Abadox (NES) - 4/5 (Old Format)
Difficult space shooter from Natsume, of all companies, that looks like it borrowed heavily from the concept of Life Force, but actually manages to be much harder.
ActRaiser (SNES) - 4/5 (Old Format)
I'm probably overscoring this game because of how easy it is, but ActRaiser has one of the most fun simulation modes of any "sim" game I've played. Great graphics and sound and a hidden "all action stage" Professional mode make it worth the trip.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance (NES) - 1.5/5
This game is not quite as bad as it's often made out to be, meaning it's still terrible, but it is beatable. There are just a couple of tricks you have to know (or figure out) to make it to the end. The real problem is that once you know those tricks, you can finish it in about 10 minutes.
Adventure (2600) - 2/5
As one of the first adventure games ever made for a console system, Adventure is a little thin on substance. It has dragons that look like ducks and a hidden programmer's room, which are amongst its most interesting elements.
Adventure Island II (NES) - 5/10 (Old Format)
I just don't get the appeal of the Adventure Island games. Bad controls that make you skid all over the place, flat level design, irritating timer, and the thrill of getting halfway through the game only to run out of weapons and have to start all over again. As James Torrance from the Port Saiid Forums once said, "Run around, scratch your gut, trip over a rock, repeat."
Air Fortress (NES) - 4/10 (Old Format)
Bland and boring Section-Z/Metroid-style exploration/shooter hybrid game. The sidescrolling shooter stages are banal, and the maze areas are large and confusing, basically only becoming harder with the addition of more of the same kinds of enemies per maze.
Air-Sea Battle (2600) - 2/5
It's not really worth bothering with this game if you don't have a second player. The CPU opponent's lame AI won't challenge anyone. As a two-player 2600 game, it's better than Combat, but unless you have a thing for shooting at giant rectangular happy faces, you can safely skip this one.
Airforce Delta (GBC) - 1.5/5 (Old Format)
Ugh, bleh, what went wrong? Crappy, sluggish fighter jet sim that basically amounts to holding down a button and praying for the right power-ups to appear. Either the designers were being lazy or whatever they tried here didn't work.
Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean (Saturn) - 2.5/5
A rather generic and easy RPG with bad loading delays that will probably turn most gamers away from it. I personally liked it for the entertaining story and outstanding soundtrack, as well as the final maze-like area.
Alex Kidd: High Tech World (SMS) - 1.5/5 (Old Format)
Tries to be a cross between Maniac Mansion and a sidescroller, but the inscrutable plot, ridiculous timer, and awful play control made this one of the most unpleasant gaming experiences I've ever had.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World (SMS) - 1.5/5
I once said this game was even worse than High-Tech World, and while I don't quite agree with that anymore, I'm still far from saying it's a good game. It has slightly better level designs and slightly better controls (though still awkward due in part to being backwards), but the game is still lacking in depth and visual appeal. And who's bloody idea was those Janken matches?
Alpha Mission (NES) - 2/10 (Old Format)
Slow, boring space shooter, seems to suffer the same fate that a lot of SNK's early NES titles did. No continues, and the controls are so sluggish the game is practically unplayable, unless you are incredibly more patient than I am.
Alundra 2 (PS1) - 4.5/5
Although I might be slightly overscoring it in giving it "4.5", Alundra 2 rarely enjoys praise anywhere close to that. Hated by critics everywhere, it's in the running for "most underrated game I've ever played". Excellent, challenging puzzles, dungeon designs, and boss fights. The graphics are lackluster and the story is completely unrelated to the original Alundra's story, but if that can be overlooked, you can find one of the best adventure games of the past decade right here.
Amplitude (PS2) - 4/5
A fun, innovative, and challenging rhythm-matching game from the creators of the Rock Band and Guitar Hero series, complete with an awesome soundtrack from lots of recognized contemporary artists, like David Bowie, Garbage, and Weezer.
Arcana (SNES) - 8/10 (Old Format)
A 1st-person RPG that plays more like a standard console RPG than the PC games that inspired its viewpoint. Arcana has a lot for RPG fans to like, including tough dungeons, great music, and a quick-moving battle system.
Asteroids (7800) - 3/5
Despite the change in graphics from vector-lines to sprites, this is a surprisingly good port of the classic Atari arcade game. The only drawback? 7800 controllers really suck!
Astro Warrior (SMS) - 2.5/5
Somewhat enjoyable overhead space shooter. Only three levels, it loops endlessly, and it's no Zanac, but it has the phrase, "Surely revive Zanoni!"
Athena (NES) - 1/5 (Old Format)
Terrible controls (mostly due to an extremely awkward double-jump), obnoxious sound, and haphazard level design all lead to an unplayable mess.
Azure Dreams (GBC) - 7/10 (Old Format)
This game is not as good as the Playstation game it's based on, but it does include a bonus dungeon and a lot more monsters to collect. Unfortunately, the town-building aspect has been all but sacrificed.
Banjo-Kazooie (N64) - 8/10 (Old Format)
This review is a bit overblown (I rambled way too much in the graphics section), and I can't believe I actually praised the fact that the game doesn't have that many bottomless pits! But regardless, Banjo-Kazooie is still quite a fun and expansive 3D platformer. Maybe better than Super Mario 64 if you're more into the exploring aspect, and it's not as overwhelming as Donkey Kong 64 with the collecting aspect.
Batman (NES) - 7/10 (Old Format)
This is one of the weakest reviews I've written for this site and I've often contemplated removing it. Batman is a good game, but it never really was one of my favorites and thus I didn't really know how to approach reviewing it back when this was written. Just go for the screenshots.
Bill & Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure (NES) - 1/5
A horribly monotonous game that consists almost entirely of wandering around lost and slamming your ass onto various background objects. The game tried to be a sequel to the first movie, but without any story to tell, so it's bad and you don't even get to meet the same historical figures. Do yourself a favor and skip this game and just stick with watching the movies instead.
A Boy and His Blob (NES) - 6/10 (Old Format)
Very weird game in which you control a boy who can feed a pet "blob" jellybeans to turn it into various shapes. The blob's many forms will help overcome the game's obstacles. Difficult at first, due to a lack of continues and the "trial and error" method of finding the right place to make holes in the ground. Some love it, some hate it. I feel right down the middle about it.
Bubsy in Fractured Furry Tales (Jaguar) - 3/5
If you hated the previous Bubsy games and are unwilling to give them another chance, then you shouldn't have any regrets in not purchasing an Atari Jaguar because of this game. It's basically more of the same love-it-or-hate-it gameplay that dominated the SNES's Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind. Pretty graphics, though.
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES) - 4/5
A favorite from my youth. I might be slightly overscoring it, as many have pointed out, it's a rather easy game. But I always did think the exploring aspect was much more involved than the fighting, anyway. And man does this game have great atmosphere and music!
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES) - 10/10 (Old Format)
One of the greatest games ever made, and definitely one of the best sidescrollers for the NES. Takes everything that was great about the previous Castlevania games and rolls it into here with plenty of new stuff, including multiple paths and increased challenge. This review is old and doesn't quite live up to my standards, but I'll revise it someday.
Combat (2600) - 2.5/10 (Old Format)
The classic tank and jet-battle game for two players that was included with a lot of Atari 2600 game systems. This review is more of a "retrospective" on the first game I ever played. Although it is a fun nostalgic trip for me, the lack of a one-player mode combined with the overly simplistic gameplay means I don't really play it anymore. Even as a two-player game, it just doesn't make the grade as there are plenty of better, more complex multiplayer games available.
Conker's Bad Fur Day (N64) - 2.5/5
Although I admire that this game had some truly challenging parts, overall it didn't live up to the hype of being "the best 3D platformer" or the "best N64 game". What's probably even worse is that the "humor" isn't really that funny.
D (3DO) - 1.5/5
D is an early attempt at a survival horror-type of game, and while it's often touted as being one of the scariest games of its time, it's actually quite laughably bad in more ways than one. It's too short, too slow, too easy, and the entire story is a buildup to a moment of revelation, which is so utterly ridiculous I didn't know whether to laugh hysterically or feel like someone just played a sick joke on me.
Dark Cavern (2600) - 2.5/5
A game that combines Pac-Man with Berzerk to form a sort of "paintball" experience on the 2600. It's yet another game of its era that's fun for awhile, but reaches a point of no return where it's just not interesting anymore.
Dark Savior (Saturn) - 3/5
An adventure game from the makers of the Alundra series that uses a rather unsuccessful parallel system to create four separate quests. Dark Savior is full of ups and downs, but the good parts are very good. If only the parallel had been scrapped in favor of one grand-spanking adventure and the boss battles improved.
Defender (2600) - 2/5
Although it's not quite the disaster that the 2600 port of Pac-Man was, this version of Atari's classic arcade shoot-em-up is still problematic. Slow-moving enemies combined with the ease and frequency at which you earn extra lives equals a game you can easily play indefinitely without ever coming close to getting a "Game Over".
Disney's Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers (NES) - 7/10 (Old Format)
Why the hell did I score this game as high as a "7"?? It's almost as short and easy as River City Ransom, but at least it actually has level design.
Disney's Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers 2 (NES) - 1.5/5
At least I didn't make the same mistake twice, but I don't think I could have. This game is even worse than the first one. It's even shorter and arguably easier, the final boss is a complete joke, the story is one of the most incoherent things I've ever seen, and the music is forgettable (there's nothing as good as the first game's final level theme.)
Donkey Kong 64 (N64) - 3/5
If your favorite thing about 3D platformers is collecting tons of crap, then this game is your dream-come-true. While I liked it more than I probably should have, clearly the best thing about it is the nearly-arcade-perfect version of the original Donkey Kong arcade game that you can unlock.
Dynowarz: Destruction of Spondylus (NES) - 1.5/5
It's a shame that not every game that looked so cool in Nintendo Power during the 8-bit era turned out to be as good as you might have thought from reading the reviews and looking at the fantastic artwork and screenshots. Unfortunately, Dynowarz is one such game, and it's yet another game to borrow the Blaster Master idea of controlling both a man and vehicle that isn't anywhere close to being even half as good as Blaster Master.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (2600) - 2/5
Seeing as how I never really had a problem playing this game years ago when I was a kid, I'm really not inclined to agree with so many others who have called it one of the worst games ever (if not the worst game ever) made. Like other Atari 2600 adventure games, it's just a simple thing that can be finished in minutes once you know what to do.
E.V.O. Search for Eden (SNES) - 8/10 (Old Format)
Weird sidescroller in which you evolve an animal on prehistoric earth as it travels through time from the ocean to the Garden of Eden. Needed more action and level design, but the boss fights are fun.
EarthBound (SNES) - 4.5/5
One of my favorite RPGs of the SNES era. Brilliant, though quirky storyline, fun scenario-based puzzle schemes, and a somewhat-challenging (for the RPG genre, anyway) battle system that puts a spin on the Dragon Warrior-style gameplay. A virtual tour through designer Shigesato Itoi's imagination.
Equinox (SNES) - 8.5/10 (Old Format)
Equinox greatly expands upon and improves the concept that was begun in Solstice. Now, it's a true adventure with a save feature, weapons, bosses and lots of huge dungeons to explore. One of my favorites of the SNES era. Great final boss fight, too.
Evil Zone (PS1) - 3/5
A 3D fighting game that is infamous for using only one button to execute every attack move. While this design simplifies the game engine from the normal complexity of the genre, it does allow for a "pick up and play" feel without extensive time spent learning a lot of different moves. Characters are based on anime archetypes, and the music, graphics, and control are good.
Extra Innings (SNES) - 7/10 (Old Format)
I liked this game, but it's too easy to outsmart the computer once you learn certain tricks. Still the most fun with a video baseball game I've ever had.
The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy (NES) - 3/5
Although it's a sidescroller based on a licensed product, surprise! It's actually not half-bad! Stages tend to be short, but to the point, and there are some challenging spots. I'm not that familiar with the Flintstones show or movies, so I can attest to the game being enjoyable for both fans and non-fans alike. The gimmick here is that Fred can grab the edge of platforms and pull himself up, which allows for some hair-raising jumps. Nice graphics, too.
Gradius (NES) - 6.5/10 (Old Format)
The game that revolutionized the sidescrolling shoot-em-up genre, Gradius really hasn't stood the test of time all that well. The level design is quite good at times, but the bosses are all the same, except for the final one which doesn't even fight back. The ship is so sluggish without a speed-up that you're practically forced to beat the game in one life. I still have a lot of respect for it, though.
The Guardian Legend (NES) - 7/10 (Old Format)
A shooter/adventure hybrid with an excellent soundtrack. The flying stages could've been made more challenging (like Zanac, for example), but there's still a lot here to like.
Hang-On (SMS) - 1.5/5
This game is so easy to loop indefinitely, it's completely pointless. A poor man's Rad Racer with motorcycles.
Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller (3DO) - 2.5/5
A Maniac Mansion-style puzzle/adventure game that features actors Dennis Hopper and Grace Jones. It has some decent puzzles, but is ultimately overburdened with endless cutscenes of characters rambling on and on forever and long stretches where you have to advance time by wandering around doing nothing.
How to Survive (Windows PC) - 3.5/5
A Survival Horror/RPG hybrid game with a weird sense of humor, How to Survive doesn't quite stand up there with Resident Evil 4, but it's an interesting diversion with a fun item combination system and a bunch of gorgeous islands to explore. My very first full-length PC game review.
Hydlide (NES) - 1/10 (Old Format)
The biggest problem with Hydlide is that few people, including myself, could figure out how to play it. Thus, we all end up giving it really harsh reviews like this one when it might possibly not quite deserve it. But even when playing it the right way, that doesn't necessarily make it good.
HyperZone (SNES) - 6/10 (Old Format)
This shooter from HAL isn't very difficult, but it's more of a Mode 7 graphics and sound demo than anything else. This is one of those games that has a final boss that has to be beaten in such a way that it makes my hand hurt.
Ice Hockey (NES) - 2/5 (Old Format)
Another weak review, but there's not really much to this game. Play ice hockey with fat kids. Get into fights. Win or lose, it makes little difference. It's mildly amusing, but I'm certainly glad I wasn't the person who wrote to Nintendo Power about driving all over the country to find this game.
Ikari Warriors (NES) - 1/5 (Old Format)
The NES version of Ikari Warriors is one of the worst games I've ever played. The controls are the epitome of "sluggish". It is impossible to dodge out of the way of enemies and bullets and the movement is slower than a beached manatee on planet Jupiter. Using the "ABBA" code to "cheese" your way through the game is the only plausible way of beating it, but why I even bothered putting myself through that I'll never know.
Illusion of Gaia (SNES) - 7.5/5 (Old Format)
A bit of a lopsided adventure, which puts the harder bosses earlier in the game, but has some good puzzle-solving and exploring. Story is often weird and dialogue nonsensical. (Just what are we supposed to make of that Hamlet scene? I hit the floor laughing at the "To eat or not to eat" line.)
In the Hunt (PS1) - 3/5
"Metal Slug in a submarine" is the best way to describe this game. Fun, but not overly difficult 2D sidescrolling shoot-em-up.
Incantation (SNES) - 1.5/5 (Old Format)
Uninspired late SNES sidescroller. It's a testament to why Titus has such a bad reputation (even before they completely hammered their coffin with Superman 64).
Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine (N64) - 2.5/5
This is an okay enough platformer/adventure game, with many fun puzzles to solve and places to explore. The problem is that it's the damn glitchiest game I've ever completed! Frequent lock-ups and terrible dialogue drag down what could've been the quintessential videogame adventure for the famous Dr. Jones.
Inindo: Way of the Ninja (SNES) - 6.5/10
An RPG set in medieval Japan, Inindo is different enough from most other RPGs to be good to play once, but it doesn't hold up so well on replays. Graphics and sound are really bad, but the gameplay can be quite absorbing. Especially those battles to conquer territories.
Insector X (Genesis) - 2/5
Bland shooter with an insect theme. At some point you begin to wonder if all those hilariously bad translations in these old 8 and 16-bit games were on purpose.
Journey to Silius (NES) - 7.5/10 (Old Format)
Please excuse my terrible screenshots (stupid emulators!) Anyway, what was originally supposed to be a Terminator game got turned into this sidescrolling Mega Man-style shooter/platformer that has some really awesome music. The game isn't too tough, but the play control is a bit "floaty".
Jurassic Park (SNES) - 3/5 (Old Format)
Jurassic Park is one of the better movie-based games of the 16-bit era, although its lack of a save feature means you'll either need to leave your SNES turned on overnight or have a lot of free time to finish it. Gameplay involves completing specific missions in a large non-linear environment.
Kabuki Quantum Fighter (NES) - 2.5/5
Disappointing platformer that's similar in style to Ninja Gaiden 2. This review is a bit more harsh than I really wanted it to be, but I'm tired of revising it.
Kagero: Deception II (PS1) - 2/5 (Old Format)
The fact that you can use the same trap combination over and over again to defeat almost every enemy in this game pretty much ruins any potential it had to be good. Story is rather dumb, too, although there is some really good music.
Karnov (NES) - 7.5/10 (Old Format)
In retrospect, I have no idea why I gave this game as high a score as "7.5". That's even higher than what I gave Gradius. It's a fun platformer, but it's mostly very easy. It does have a good final boss, but that fight's harder than the rest of the game combined.
Kartia (PS1) (Game of the Month)
Kartia is a strategy-based RPG with two separate quests and one of the most well-written stories in videogame history (and my personal favorite, despite a few minor translation errors), including a colorful cast of in-depth characters bursting with believable personalities. The gameplay ain't too shabby, either, although it gets easier as it goes along (save for the final boss of Toxa's quest who can be a real pain.)
Kickle Cubicle (NES) - 6.5/10 (Old Format)
A Lolo-style puzzle game from the makers of the R-Type series. What to make of that? Well, it's certainly not as hard as R-Type, but what really bugged me about this one was the timer. I thought if they got rid of the timer, they might have been able to set up more elaborate puzzles, but the way it is, most of them are quite simple.
Kid Dracula (GB) - 3.5/5
One of the best action-platformers available for the Gameboy. Great variety of stages, good boss fights, power-ups that complement the gameplay rather than undermine it, and a lot of fun spoofs of popular 8-bit game series.
Kid Icarus (NES) - 3.5/5
Kid Icarus is one of the weirdest and most unique games on the NES. While it does have a reputation for starting out hard and getting easier as it goes along, that truth is somewhat exaggerated. The game offers plenty of spills and chills, thanks to the tough jumps (most of which are over a bottomless pit), challenging mazes, and those difficult Eggplant Wizards that turn you into a helpless vegetable. The music is pretty good, too.
Kid Niki: Radical Ninja (NES) - 3/5
This is one of my favorite reviews that I've written, if not my absolute best. Kid Niki is a shining example of inexplicable Japanese weirdness in a sidescrolling ninja game.
Lagoon (SNES) - 6.5/10 (Old Format)
It's a generic Ys clone, but it has a really kick-ass soundtrack. Combat is rather awkward because of your teeny-tiny sword, but if you like large confusing mazes, Lagoon is full of them.
Legend of the Ghost Lion (NES) - 4.5/10 (Old Format)
This review needs a serious overhaul. Ghost Lion is not one of the better RPGs I've played. Because of the fact that you don't actually earn experience points, the battles feel like a pointless chore. My ability to defeat the final boss was determined entirely by how many times I got into battles and was able to run away from them on the long road to him.
The Legend of the Mystical Ninja (SNES) - 3/5
The first SNES Ganbare Goemon game is a fun romp through ancient, super-deformed Japan, but I just wish it had focused a little less on the towns and a little more on the action. Great graphics and music. Lots of Mode 7 effects.
Lemmings & Oh No! More Lemmings (PS1) - 4/5
Terrific puzzle game in which you guide a horde of brainless rodents across a treacherous landscape by assigning them special skills to get them home safely. With two games on one game disc, there are over 200 levels to complete and hours of fun and excitement. Excellent musical score, too.
Life Force (NES) - 8/10 (Old Format)
Absolutely beautiful looking and sounding sidescrolling shooter. Although it's not quite as difficult as its reputation makes it out to be (it is very much beatable without using the 30-lives code), it's still a fantastic game that practically blows away its predecessor Gradius in all areas.
Lufia & The Fortress of Doom (SNES) - 7/10 (Old Format)
Lufia literally looks like a game that someone threw together with RPG Maker. It's not a bad game, but it's rather generic. Has some funny dialogue and good music, but it's not quite up there with the best the SNES has to offer in the genre.
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (SNES) - 6.5/10 (Old Format)
Of all the reviews on this site, this one is my least favorite. I was being way too harsh, although I still can't help but feel like this game rubs me the wrong way sometimes. The puzzles and music are clearly the best things about Lufia 2, and I like it for those reasons. But the battles are much too easy, and the story has no structure or focus. It falls short of being "the best SNES RPG" as it's sometimes (actually more often than I would've guessed) touted. And I didn't mention this in the review, but I hate the way Selan looks like she has porkchops (or drumsticks) for legs.
Magi Nation (GBC) - 2/5 (Old Format)
Magi Nation certainly looks good for a Gameboy Color game, but the slow, simplistic battle system is a real snoozer, and much of the humor just doesn't work. Good boss theme and good monster designs, but the game seems to be unfinished.
Mega Man 2 (NES) - 4/5 (Old Format)
Considering how easy this game is, I might be overscoring it a bit. Like Kid Icarus, it's a favorite from my youth that could be clouding my judgment with nostalgia. But even so, I think the fourth part of the Dr. Wily Castle is a lot harder than the hardest stages in most other "easy" games I've played. The graphics and sound are great, too.
Midway Presents: Arcade's Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1 - 3/5
A nearly-flawless collection of six oldschool arcade classics (Asteroids, Battle Zone, Centipede, Missile Command, Super Breakout, and Tempest). The oldschool blood in me wants to recommend everyone play these games if you haven't already so that you can get a taste of the roots of videogame history. But it's hard for even someone like me who grew up with them to maintain prolonged interest in them now. Still, you should find some way to experience them somehow, whether it's through this collection or another means.
Monster Party (NES) - 6.5/10 (Old Format)
Monster Party is one of the weirdest games I've ever seen. Buckets of blood, bizarre bosses, a freaked-out ending cinema, and the ability to change into a flying monster by ingesting a pill. Too bad not as much creativity went into the level design, and most bosses are beaten the same exact way.
NBA Jam (Genesis) - 2/5
Although I may have liked this game a bit more than I thought I would have (or should have), the fact still remains that this is mostly just a lot of running back and forth and tossing a ball around. Not much strategy, challenge, or depth.
Night Driver (2600) - 1/5
Drive a rectangle down a depressing nighttime road and try to keep from hitting oncoming cheeseburgers cars. Night Driver only barely qualifies as a game. If Hang On was a poor man's Rad Racer then Night Driver is a poor man's Hang On.
Ninja Gaiden (NES) - 9.5/10 (Old Format)
One of my favorite NES games, and the ultimate ninja sidescroller, famous for the colorful cinema scenes that tell the story between stages. The final level is a perfect example of masterpiece videogame design.
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (NES) - 8/10 (Old Format)
Although no stage of this game achieves the greatness of its predecessor's final stage, Ninja Gaiden 2 is still a fun, worthy platformer with great graphics, music, and a decent final stage. The shadow doubles gimmick doesn't really add a whole lot to the gameplay, and in fact has the potential to destroy the challenge in some areas.
Ninja Gaiden Trilogy (SNES) - 5/10
Tecmo didn't do anywhere near as good a job of porting these games as they could have. Better to play Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2 on the NES. But if you find the NES version of Ninja Gaiden 3 too difficult with the limited continues, it might be more easily beaten here, which is the only reason I can think to recommend this.
The Ninja Warriors (SNES) - 3/5
Another simple, straightforward beat-em-up, but I kind of like this one. Control is a little snappier than in some others I've played. Just wish I understood why the female ninja enemies were removed from the American version.
Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber (N64) (Game of the Month)
I seem to be one of the few people on the planet who liked Ogre Battle 64 much more than the original SNES Ogre Battle. Though I haven't played every RPG on the N64 yet, this one was the best of those I did.
Operation C (GB) - 3/5
A game so similar to Contra and Super C, yet different enough to be its own game, that it could be considered their long-lost third brother. Stage design is somewhat borrowed from Super C, but the boss fights are all new and the final stage is particularly good.
Operation Wolf (NES) - 3.5/10 (Old Format)
An NES light gun that is a conversion of an arcade game that used a "machine gun"-style controller. The transition didn't work too well. The Zapper doesn't have rapid fire and the game is boring with a regular controller.
Out of This World (SNES) - 3/5
I've had a love/hate relationship with this game over the years, but I think I finally settled into a permanent opinion of it. The SNES version is, so far, still the best version of this game I've played. Very challenging and great music. Just wish the story had a better resolution.
Over Horizon (NES) - 8.5/10 (Old Format)
The only game I've reviewed that I don't actually own the cartridge/disc for. A lost classic, Over Horizon was supposed to be released in America, but never was. It was even featured a few times in Nintendo Power. It is comparable to Life Force in terms of challenge, stage design, and graphic and sound quality.
Overlord (NES) - 2/10 (Old Format)
I couldn't figure out how to play this game, even though I own the manual and hint poster. I've received emails from people who have played the PC version, but the things they told me to do to advance in the game don't seem possible on the NES version.
Pac-Man (2600) - 1/5
One of the most infamous botched ports in videogame history. This was the first truly bad game I ever played. The most positive thing I can say about it is that I've played worse.
Puss N Boots: Pero's Great Adventure (NES) - 1.5/5
Puss n Boots is a game so short and easy that you could hold a contest to see which takes longer: finishing the game or watching the episode of Captain N that was inexplicably based on it.
Rad Racer (NES) - 3/5 (Old Format)
Fun cross-country racing game that provides some challenge and amusement while it lasts. Basically an Out Run/Pole Position clone for the NES.
Radar Ratrace (VIC20) - 2/5
If you really want to play this game, download Pfau Zeh and a ROM. A Pac-Man clone that's nowhere near as good as Pac-Man, but might be mildly amusing for a couple of plays.
Raiden Trad (SNES) - 1.5/5 (Old Format)
Everything that could possibly go wrong with a port went the distance here. The music is the only thing that remains somewhat intact.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (2600) - 2/5
In my opinion, a much harder and even more convoluted mess than E.T. The solution to this game eluded me for years. Thank goodness for the internet!
Retro Game Challenge (DS) - 4/5
A collection of mini-games based on a popular Japanese TV show that goes a step farther by attempting to represent, and take players back to, the entire 8-bit era of gaming. From simple shooters on up to sidescrollers, and a fully-fledged RPG, Retro Game Challenge has something for everyone.
Return of the Ninja (GBC) - 3/10 (Old Format)
A ninja sidescroller that tries to incorporate the "stealth" aspect of ninja lore into the gameplay, which only succeeds in creating tedium. Level design isn't particularly good, either.
Ring King (NES) - 1.5/5 (Old Format)
With abysmal controls, terrible music, and all the boxers being the exact same except for pallette-swapping, Ring King is one of the worst games I've ever played. (And let's not even get into the between-round stuff.) I don't really know why I gave the score that extra ".5".
River City Ransom (NES) - 5.5/10 (Old Format)
Although River City Ransom has its charms, including some funny humor and good play control, I don't really see why it's so hyped as one of the greatest NES games ever. It's much too short, easy, and like many beat-em-ups, repetitive.
Robotrek (SNES) (Game of the Month)
A quirky RPG with the twist of building and using robots to fight the battles for you. The game is interesting and fun, but suffers slightly from a poor translation and some annoying music.
Rockin' Kats (NES) - 2.5/5
Disappointing platformer that seems like it's trying to be something that it never really is. The boxing glove weapon is more awkward than fun to use and the stage design is bland and easy. Flat, boring characters, dialogue, graphics and music. A hidden, somewhat-challenging bonus round is the only thing that makes the difference between it being a "baby" game like Rescue Rangers and a run-of-the-mill mascot platformer.
Rygar (NES) (Game of the Month)
Rygar is an early NES Zelda-style adventure game that looks and sounds beautiful, but is a bit too short and easy. The play control and atmosphere are excellent, and the game has some neat item usage, but perhaps needed a save feature so that more challenge could've been added.
S.C.A.T. (NES) - 3/5
If only Natsume hadn't dumbed this game down as much from its Japanese counterpart, Final Mission, it would've been more worthwhile, even if playing as a (vertically-oriented) floating human in a space shooter is more awkward than playing as a (horizontally-oriented) spaceship. At least the last two stages are still a decent challenge.
Samurai Shodown (SNES) - 4/5
My second-favorite fighting game after Street Fighter 2 Turbo. Fun characters, great final boss fight, and the weapons system adds excitement and depth to the battles.
Scooby-Doo (SNES) - 2/5
Despite being a game based on a cartoon, which is usually a recipe for disaster, this one was fun to start out with, but ended much too abruptly. The animation and graphics are nice, and the game retains some of the show's humor, but I finished it in less than an afternoon. Disappointing.
Section-Z (NES) - 3/5 (Old Format)
Fun shooter game with excellent control in which you have to find the correct paths through the maze-like levels. Special weapons make the game too easy, but you still might have to map or chart the maze.
Shadow Man (N64) - 3/5 (Old Format)
Interesting gothic 3D adventure through the afterworld and some of the scariest places in the real world. Plays kind of like what I thought a 3D Metroid game would be like (before any actually existed). Exploring and puzzle-solving is the highlight, but the boss battles are too easy because they take cumulative damage, even if you die.
Shadowgate (NES) - 4/5
The original NES point-and-click adventure game that has you solving complex conundrums in an ancient and mysterious castle. Spooky atmosphere, memorable music, fun dialogue, and colorful settings make up for the lack of animation and action.
Shadowgate 64: Trials of the Four Towers (N64) - 2.5/5
Disappointing sequel to one of my favorite NES games. The bid to make Castle Shadowgate a more realistic setting has resulted in making it mundane and boring. Some puzzles are good, but the game runs out of air at the end.
Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams (Xbox) - 2.5/5
A survival horror game that's not very difficult to survive, and doesn't offer a whole lot of true "horror", either. While the game does have a creepy and lonely atmosphere, it's too drawn out with endless hallways full of locked doors. The annoying noise layer gave me eyestrain when I first played it, but thankfully it can be turned off after you finish the game once. Story tends to play out too much like a soap opera.
Snake Rattle N Roll (NES) - 7.5/10 (Old Format)
This was the first review I ever wrote for this site, and it really shows. Snake Rattle n Roll is a weird and different kind of platformer, but the "3D" isometric view makes the play control a little tricky.
Sneak King (Xbox) - 2.5/5
A budget title that was sold for a limited time at Burger King, Sneak King is a game where you play as the creepy King mascot and sneak up people to give them burgers and fries. It doesn't have a lot of depth and is casual enough for anyone to play it, but it's not completely without its challenges.
Solstice (NES) - 4/10 (Old Format)
A unique concept unraveled by the lack of a save feature and awkward controls. You really need to have shadows in isometric games and save features in long, complicated games.
Star Fox (SNES) (Rec Room Spotlight)
One of the most brilliant 3D games and rail shooters ever crafted. Insanely-challenging boss fights, unique graphics, and a stellar soundtrack all add up to the closest thing you can get to real space battles on the SNES as possible. My personal favorite game of all time.
Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight (NES) - 7/10 (Old Format)
Long before there was Gunstar Heroes and Contra: Hard Corps, Capcom attemped their own "boss-a-thon" game with Street Fighter 2010. Sometimes, you have to complete a sidescrolling stage, other times the entire stage is just the boss fight. An interesting concept hampered by awkward controls and uneven difficulty.
Super E.D.F.: Earth Defense Force (SNES) - 3/5 (Old Format)
A fast-paced, challenging shoot-em-up that has some fun stages and boss fights, and cool "Mode 7" visual tricks. The one major drawback is that the final boss is defeated by earning a ton of shield stocks in the earlier levels and then "cheesing" away.
Super Mario 64 (N64) - 4/5
Nintendo's revolutionary N64 title that launched the industry into the 3D age. Still one of the best and most fun "collect-a-thon" style games with lots of varied tasks and obstacles to overcome. Beginning stages are open and sprawling, while later stages are more straight-forward and platform-oriented.
Super Mario Advance (GBA) - 2.5/5 (Old Format)
The Gameboy Advance port of Super Mario Bros. 2 adds a few new things, but not enough to really justify the purchase if you already own the NES or SNES versions. Although the updated version of the original arcade Mario Bros. game that it contains is the best variation of that game I've played.
Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) - 10/10 (Old Format)
My all-time favorite NES game. This is the game that got me back into videogaming after I had been away from it for a few years, thus forever changing my life.
Sword Master (NES) - 3/5
Despite some annoying glitches, Sword Master is a decent NES sidescroller with an interesting sword-and-shield (fight-and-block) system. (Even though this review says that the final boss's attacks can't be blocked, I have since discovered that they can. The problem I was experiencing there must've been due to another glitch.)
TaleSpin (NES) - 2/5 (Old Format)
Considering the amount of praise the TV series got, I'm assuming it was better than this game. Imagine a Disney-themed shooter with awkward controls. The backtracking aspect is a useless gimmick, and the game isn't very challenging (aside from the control).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES) - 6/10 (Old Format)
As much as I loved the 80's TMNT cartoon, I have never been a huge fan of this game. I have two prominent memories associated with it: (1) Banging the keyboard when I got frustrated with the PC/DOS version and gaining unexpected invincibility (this can't be done on the NES version). (2) Splinter turning from a rat back into a human in the ending for no apparent reason whatsoever.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES) - 7/10 (Old Format)
I'm not the world's biggest fan of beat-em-up games, but this one is okay enough for the genre. As a TMNT game, I like it more than the first NES one, and as a beat-em-up, I like it more than some of the most popular ones, like River City Ransom and Double Dragon. Still gets repetitive after awhile, though.
Terra Cresta (NES) - 2/5
A faulty port of an arcade shooter that really should have been rethought as a home console game. The developers also should have dealt with those severe slowdown and flicker issues.
Towering Inferno (2600) - 3/5
Interesting concept that's fun for awhile, Towering Inferno has you battling blazes inside a skyscraper, although I don't understand why the game requires you to use controller #2. The farther you get, the more you'll have to rely on luck to advance.
Two Crude Dudes (Genesis) - 2/5
A beat-em-up that parodies the beat-em-up genre while not actually succeeding in being all that funny. Final Fight is more unintentionally hilarious than the humor in Two Crude Dudes. Even worse, the play control's not very good and I only found it playable with a turbo controller. All things considered, I'd rather play Ninja Warriors.
Uninvited (NES) - 7/10 (Old Format)
I didn't like this game as much as Shadowgate, but it's still another fun point-and-click adventure. This one manages to have some really gruesome "Game Over" scenes.
Virtual Hydlide (Saturn) - 2/5
No, it's not as bad as the NES Hydlide. No, it's not really "good", either. Yes, the best piece of armor in the game is a blue dress. No, don't pester me because he's wearing it in every one of my screen captures, I didn't feel like taking it off. Would you?
Wanderers From Ys (SNES) - 8.5/10 (Old Format)
I laugh hysterically whenever I try to read this review now. Ys 3 is a good game, but this review is one of the most ridiculously bad I've ever written.
Xexyz (NES) - 4.5/10 (Old Format)
Even though it's only been a few years since I reviewed this game, I realized I don't remember much about it now. The dominant impression it left on me was the awkward play control and a passing similarity to Monster Party in stage design, only not as much fun.
Yars' Revenge (2600) - 3.5/5 (Old Format)
Howard Scott Warshaw's shining moment on the Atari 2600, Yars Revenge is a game that stands the test of time surprisingly well. Excellent control and dynamic game elements that keep you moving at all times.
Zanac (NES) - 9/10 (Old Format)
One of the absolute best shoot-em-ups ever made. A masterpiece marriage of stage design and efficient programming produces one of the fastest and most hectic space flights this side of the trench battle in Star Wars. Great bosses, music, and even lots of little "secrets" for thorough players to discover.
Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II (NES) - 3.5/5
While some of my older reviews kind of suck, I think I can honestly say I have the best and most accurate Zoda's Revenge review on the internet. For one thing, I actually described the gameplay whereas most people ramble on about how silly the plot is while ignoring that the first StarTropics wasn't exactly the work of Tolstoy, either. Yes, the plot is goofy, but there's a lot of mazes, puzzles, boss fights, and all the other good stuff a Zelda clone should have.


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