RA Invasion [Part 4] – Short tales from a twisted land

ducketales

Not a lot has been going on this weekend for me at RA. I’ve been clearing mainly old entries and working on “WarioWare: Twisted!”. It’s an entry in which I’ve soaked quite a lot of time and I would like to finish it within’ the next few RA sessions. It’s a great game, I really love it! In the meantime, I’ve also covered some older entries regarding mainly Disney related platformers for the Game Boy. Achievement- wise, I have no complains for “The Little Mermaid”, though I would love to try my skills at the BONUS set, if at some point the link to the patch becomes available again. The first “DuckTales” for the Game Boy could use a bit more achievements when it comes to it’s current set. By that I mean achievements for finding all the treasures, as there is only one ending for this version for some reason. In my opinion, this one is also a port that is way worse compared to the superior one for the second game. No replay value and some sections require some very (out- of- nowhere) precise timing! Well, at least the Moon stage soundtrack wasn’t butchered all that much, it is still enjoyable as it is. It’s a great track, but I am not really all that much obsessed with it, as people tend to be.

DuckTales 2 [Game Boy]

As I mentioned earlier, I think this game is a much better port to the original second game than the port to the original first. You get to experience and play for the three different endings! There is now the addition of a special chest that tells you how much treasure there is left in the stage, so for those craving a bit more exploration, it’s quite the handy thing. It could have been a bit more clear if they used the word “Treasure” instead of “Boxes”, because for a while I thought I only need to go after the chests only. Apart from that, there is also some level layout changes. I don’t think I used to have as much trouble as crossing the bridges in the original Niagara level for the NES as I did in the Game Boy version… The boss from the special stage was also removed, sadly. Other than that, there is not much more to say about this game. Everything else within’ it is perfectly fine.

With this one, I’ve pretty much covered all of Capcom’s retro DuckTales series. Looking forward to one day try the Remastered version. I’m sure that it would be as satisfying platformer as the old games were.

AT LEAST I HOPE SO…

RA Invasion [Part 2] – The “Very average platformers” hour!

alfred

This weekend went quite alright. I played lots of games on RA, mainly platformers. Baby needs his daily dose of platforming, can’t handle shoot ’em ups or plain breakout clones! Listen! I always clean the easy stuff first and leave the best for the last! Now in maybe a decade, I might decide to finally get down to business and do the difficult entries. It really depends on how much longer am I going to keep believing that there are actual difficult video games…

The Adventures of Star Saver [Game Boy]

The Adventures of Star Saver DONE!

Jumping straight into this game, I had the weird feeling that it would turn out to be pretty tough in terms of difficulty and full of jerk settings. Turns out this game is a pretty alright platformer and not all that hard to beat… which I did on my first try! Everything feels a bit chaotic on the first level, but once you realize that enemies aren’t all that mobile and much of a threat to you, progressing further into the game feels like mowing a lawn. You just go with the flow and at some point you wonder why some platforms are flashing or why do things change when you jump and shoot around randomly. The game is not very clear on the way it handles simple puzzles, but everyone with half a brain can figure those out no problem. The bosses are pretty simple in terms of patterns, though the issues might be more in learning the hit box of the harmful projectiles that they throw at you. I really like the overall design of the levels, enemies and bosses. It’s pretty messy, but it’s the type of mess that you are comfortable with. The levels give the vibe of a post apocalyptic theme, though I am not sure how much is this true to the actual plot of the game. I like to believe that you are trying to save your sibling and escape the wrath of the aliens who managed to obliterate humanity as a whole. It’s a sad tale, a strong fuel for my dreams and passion. Very nice! I like it!

I hate the grappling hook that you shoot god knows how! That thing managed to get me into some pretty silly and nerve wrecking situations… IT ALWAYS POP OUT WHEN YOU LEAST NEED IT!

Alfred Chicken [Game Boy]

Alfred Chicken GB DONE!

As a person who only played the NES version of Alfred Chicken, going through the original Game Boy title was such a treat! This is a pretty great platformer! The pace switches from taking your time to going fast and swiftly. Alfred has a decent amount of moves to his disposal and the game makes sure to put you through a lot of situations where you have to make the best out of your abilities. Doing those tight, one tile jumps over spikes in small corridors can be really frustrating, but once you learn the timing… it still doesn’t feel all that great… This is probably the only tough thing about this game when it comes to difficulty. I personally like the part where you have to make that jump over dozen of spikes, after which you get to one of the rooms containing one of the important collectable holy Jesus watering cans. Oh, but to find the secret in that room, you have to reset it once, but it turns out the room hasn’t been reset, it’s just a brand new room that looks identical and what the hell man!

WHY?

Collecting all the watering cans is what separates men from the chickens! Those are hidden quite well and I had to take my time to explore every single level tile by tile. Here’s where the superior Japanese version kicks in! SGB enhanced AND with the addition of a level select! Also, the ending is much better, with a character credits and additional art put in. You can take your time to try and find all the hidden doors, jumping pads and fake walls/ spikes! Even if you miss a watering can, you won’t have to restart the whole game to try again! Just go back and replay the level, isn’t that much more generous and well thought off?

RA does not support the Japanese version for some reason, so I had to do the western version. It’s not a big deal, since I played the Japanese one first and managed to learn the game so… hey! I didn’t know you could get to over 40 lives when you don’t die looking for secret stuff!

Alfred’s Adventure [Game Boy Color]

Alfred's Adventure DONE!

After I was done with “Alfred Chicken” for the Game Boy, I decided to go back to this game. Back? Yes, I tried to beat this game during the event for the 500th entries, but had no success and I dropped it. Now, having still retained a momentum and mindset from clearing the original game, I hopped on this remake right away and… Everything went so much more different than the time when I just blindly tried to beat it.

For one thing, there are a lot of changes in the level design and the overall gameplay as a whole. You no longer get jam, so no projectile attacks for you! Does this make this game harder? Not at all. If anything, this remake kind of makes a lot of things way more easier than they were in the original game. Those tough tight spike jumps? No longer an issue! The watering cans locations have also been altered a bit. You no longer have to bother looking for hidden doors or fake spikes! There is also a level select too! I feel like they wanted the remake to fix on some issues from the original game but… They overdid it a bit…¬† There are no boss fights like in the original. With how the ending is set, it feels like Alfred was just dreaming of his glory’s past, but as we know, dreams are still dreams, no matter how realistic they might seem.

Sleep tight, Alfred…

How did they managed to make the puzzle with the ladybug much more difficult however is beyond my understanding… I’m either bad at controlling Alfred or I kept missing on a hidden jump pad. Do you really have to do the whole jump over spikes using the ladybug in one go? Hmm…

HMM…!!!

Donkey Kong Land [Game Boy]

Donkey Kong Land DONE!

Yeah, I spent over five hours fooling around in stages looking for the secret bonus rooms? What about it?… It’s was my first time… I had no idea what I was doing… Those barrels tend to blend in with the background so easily…

I hope the timer didn’t account for the few breaks that I took. Does pausing stop the timer? I don’t know and I don’t care. This game was pretty fun! It’s much easier than the original “Donkey Kong Country”, but I still enjoyed it nevertheless! The city world was pretty great in terms of stages and overall vibe. The bosses in this game are pretty cute! Each one has a different gimmick to it, but the patterns are still quite simple.

I still couldn’t understand how the momentum works with running and rolling of a ledge… Sometimes you roll off while going with the running speed, sometimes you slow down for some reason… How weird…

This game still retains the fast and fluid pace from the original game, but without the goofy dying enemy sounds, I’m having a mixed feelings…

Yeah, no! I have to put this one down! Awful, awful game! Won’t recommend it even to my penguin!

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“VIDEO GAMES WARNING!” is my favorite amine!

Oh, yeah! I forgot to talk about the achievements… “The Adventures of Star Saver” needs to cover the secret bonus areas and warps. “Alfred’s Adventure” needs to cover the watering cans collectables. Everything else is fine!

Snow Bros. – [Extra levels edition]

snow bros

Initially, I was planning for this to be “All the Snow Bros.” special event for the holiday season. Sadly, the idea was dropped off around few days before Christmas. There are various reasons behind that, one of them being that I could not run properly two of the games on my PC machine – Those were the Amiga version of “Snow Bros.” and that one awful- looking, fan- made, arcade sequel under the name of “Snow Brothers 3 – Magical Adventure”. I would not say that it was impossible for me to make them work, rather, I felt quite lazy towards the end of the project. I did play through the rest of the games. However, with the arcade games, I felt like I needed to explore them additionally, mainly regarding regional differences and difficulty settings. I did 1CC the original Arcade game and the sequel, which I really, really enjoyed for its variety, what with the new characters and a new takes to some of the level design. I also played that one Spectrum homebrew, which I liked as an idea a lot, but the execution was just… well… The game wasn’t all that fun for me, honestly…

So I decided to write about the Genesis and Game Boy versions for a time being. Also, a bit about the NES one, which I completed around the time I made this site. At some point in the future, I’ll probably get back to the other titles and try to finish and post about them as well.

There are enough unfinished volumes in the vault anyways…

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Snow Bros. is your typical floors- type of game. Similar to the “Bubble Bobble”, “Don Doko Don” and “Rod Land” games, along with many others that wanted to bathe in the glory of the hyped genre of the late 80s/early 90s. By “floors”, I refer to games, where your objective is to clear various one- screen rooms full of enemies, one after another, up until a potential boss battle, which usually marks the end of the game. Also, collecting letters and spelling out words for extra lives! Some of those games have boss battles on every tenth floor or so. “Snow Bros.” is one of those games. The bosses in it are quite easy compared to the bosses of other games from the genre. The “Snow Bros.” games as a whole are quite easy to get into. You control a dude made out of snow, who shoots , believe it or not, SNOW, that can turn enemies into snowballs. Then you push them and magic happens! Power- ups are in the form of differently- colored potions that improve your movement speed/shot range/shot power.There are also FOOD pick ups that just give you points. Usually, the plot revolves around saving a princess or two from the clutches of a demon or something. As a snow person, the main character has an affinity for SUSHI! Now you know how good the “Snow Bros.” games are! If you kill all enemies in one go with a snowball, cash rains upon the land. Sumo men might try to harm you, but if you get them, they will try to bribe you for the sake of their own safety. Bunch of cowards!!! No wonder the occupy the highest, hard to reach [?] platforms!

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I had Snow Bros. for my Famiclone when I was a kid. Me and my brother loved the game for its fun, innovative idea of turning baddies into snowballs and pushing them around for laughs. Maybe we laughed, I don’t remember. We never knew why sometimes we would get one of the two different endings. Punishment for using continues was a factor we would have never guessed. We weren’t really trying to, in first place. Another thing that I remember was that the game would unlock automatically “time trail” mode after we beat the game. You cannot select which difficulty level you want to play though. Rather, it would randomly choose from one, each time you start a new game. How weird… The Famiclone was a freak of gaming nature indeed! Famiclone controllers were pretty bad and would break constantly. That’s why we didn’t play all that much “Snow Bros.” together with my brother. Same goes for other games as well. At some point, when I was visiting one of my billion cousins in another town, she showed me her Famiclone, which had a “Snow Bros.” cartridge as well. Heh, she thought I was new to video games… WHAT A SILLY GIRL SHE WAS! Her second controller was also damaged, but I beat the game for her solo, regardless. GOOD TIMES!

The NES version of “Snow Bros.” is one of the easiest in the series! The long invulnerability time at the start of each stage lets you position pretty much wherever you want. This lets you clear floors pretty quickly and set up some good combos. The NES version does not provide you with extra lives for scoring high amount of points. Instead, you get to gamble on a slot machine, after each boss, for them or for letters to spell that 1- life awarding “SNOW” word. The pick- up that spawns the dudes that give you letters is also as rare as chicken tooth. Additionally, there are various spots on some floors, where if you shoot constantly, a thing might appear in the form of a food item that gives you a lot of points or a money bag that sends you to the slot machines again. However, those slot machines are different! They award you with skipping floors, instead of lives¬† and letters.

Bosses are pretty weak! They don’t spawn enemies as much as in the other versions of “Snow Bros.” Apart from that, they also have fewer hit points, which makes them easier to bring down. The devil duo boss battle has only one of the guys and you use the flames which he spawn to turn into snowballs and push at him.

Enemies as a whole are not all that vicious in the NES version, like they are in the others. This version lets you easily pick up a momentum and the learning curve is really generous. As a first “Snow Bros.” game, it’s a pretty solid choice! I didn’t had a choice though, but I like how things turned out for me!

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Snow Bros Jr. DONE!

The Game Boy version is titled “Snow Bros. Jr.”! It’s a bit of a downgrade in terms of gameplay, what with worse momentum, controls and the lower number of enemies on some floors. Bosses that you fight in pairs are following a solo career in this version, making things significantly easier. This is the only game where the plot is not about rescuing princesses, but fighting and restoring the sun which was corrupted by forces unknown. [?] That’s right! There is a special, extra boss fight in this version, along with the addition of a whole new and unique world- set of 10 levels! New enemies too! This version lacks a 2- player mode, but it has its own unique mini- game after each boss fight, which is similar to the one in “Super Mario Land”.

It’s not the best version ever, but it’s not something completely awful either. It’s a good pick for that one afternoon, where your boyfriend or girlfriend choose to go to a book club, instead of asking you out for some sweet “Atlantis no Nazo” , BDSM- gaming session with nachos.

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Snow Bros. Genesis DONE!

Here we are with the Sega Genesis version of “Snow Bros.”, which I honestly think is the best one in the series. First of all, it has a sweet anime opening sequence, which might not seem all that great, but that’s just you being picky, really! I love that intro! It’s silly and I love it!

In all honesty, this version is like the original Arcade one, BUT polished in many, many aspects. There is the difficulty level select option, along with one being able to adjust the setting of a certain number of starting initial lives to their preferences. The gap in the difficulty between NORMAL and HARD mode is not all that big, but it’s certainly noticeable. Bosses have more hits on HARD and some enemies have a longer range on their projectiles, along with the tendency of spamming them to a potentially annoying level on certain floors.

The last boss from the original Arcade game has been adjusted a bit, wherein the rate of spawned bubbles has been reduced. I really like this change! That boss was such a hate in the arcade version, it was truly my one and only complain about the game – The billion spawned bubbles were really not- fun to deal with, I’m glad that the Genesis version was not ruined by this factor!

Another cool thing about the Genesis version is the fact that they made snowball looping easier to achieve! In the Arcade games and in the Genesis version, [Also in that awful homebrew [?] ] when you push a snowball towards the bottom of the level and there is no flooring, just like with the main characters and the enemies, it will loop from the top to the bottom again, potentially annihilating everything in it’s path, like all enemies on the floor for example! Not only does that makes some level more easier to be dealt with, it also makes cash rain more often, which helps with obtaining additional lives and overall, it’s fun to do and watch! The NES lacks this feature. I can’t remember about the Game Boy version though, I think it lacks that as well!

That’s not all though! The Genesis version also contains two additional set of worlds, that’s 20 more levels, with two unique boss battles! The story continues! Once you rescue the princesses, the snow bros. get kidnapped instead! NOW YOU ARE THE PRINCESS/ES and you are ’bout to whoop some ass! These additional levels do not feel all that tough, they are actually fairly balanced in terms of difficulty. If anything, getting points on them is pretty easy, given that some are designed to be cleared with a single snowball loop right from the start! The levels are fun! The additional boss battles are pretty challenging, especially the final one, where you have to pull off your best princess moves ever! Best of all, the game rewards you with more silly and sweet animated cutscenes! How can you not love this version???

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But Flare, what about the music?

Well, maybe I’m deaf! I don’t tend to talk to music in video games, unless it’s a complete turtle poop. I liked the music in each of these three versions. “Snow Bros.” series have some good tracks that play well on each system, really!

I had fun!