This marathon sure took me a lot of time, almost one year exactly. For one thing, I can point out things that happen in my life that were the reason for the many delays, but I won’t. As far as I see it, this marathon gave me a great insight as to my own personal skill level along with what I can access at the time on technical level, regarding video game emulation. Overall, among the 101 titles that I completed, the majority of them were of a pretty good quality, with only few titles being pretty awful. A tier list will be provided in this post, but I won’t delve too deep on to each title, as I think I’ve said enough about each game already on my twitter.
“Drill Dozer” takes the special 0 place on this list. I went over the game two times on hard mode and I’ve written quite a lot on it regarding everything it has in store on my twitter. While I personally would gladly put this game on my all time top 10, I do think the game has lots of problems that would alienate it from major groups of players. It’s a unique and fantastic experience, but then again, I am also a person who does not drink coffee.
The good cheese:
1. Klonoa: Empire of Dreams
My top pick for this volume… This is a really good game! It has a really good flow and the platforming and puzzles were on a level that I would consider higher than 95% of what I’ve played so far in my life. Regarding plot, music and graphics, this game manages to put one in a pretty comfortable spot. I can’t say it’s a game that I didn’t get enough of, but it felt so satisfying to 100% complete. One thing that I dislike was the last speed board level, which felt way harder than anything else in the game.
2. Klonoa: Moonlight Museum
The handheld Klonoa games are pretty good! I guess what I said about the previous game can also be applied here, but for one thing, this game served as my introduction to Wonderswan and its capabilities. I am actually glad this one doesn’t have hover board levels! Moonlight Museum also felt a bit easier, but just as good as Empire of Dreams.
3. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
While this is a pretty good platformer, it is not as good when it comes to puzzles. It’s pretty atmospheric and easy- going. I liked the fact that money affect your ending and going for the worst one was pretty fun. This is probably my favorite game starring Wario up to now…
4. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
I am not a big fan of the Zelda games, especially the 3D ones, but this particular title felt really good. I think that to a certain degree, what played a major role in me having a good impression on this game, was the fact that gameplay elements were explained clearly. Never have I felt frustrated or feeling stuck at any point during my playthrough. This game had a very lovely character cast!
5. Wario Land II
Didn’t enjoy this one as the first game really. Wario being invulnerable didn’t affect that in any way whatsoever. I just think that the game lost a bit of its original charm. Was it due to the level design or the overall level variety? I cannot tell. What I enjoyed mostly was the split paths in the story that you can take. Not a big fan of the mini- games though. Still, a pretty solid platformer with decent puzzles.
6. Donkey Kong
As I kid, all I had was Donkey Kong Jr. on the NES. Now that I got this out of my system… This Game Boy adaptation of the series is really good, what with billion levels, actual plot and whatnot. Mario also has some new moves, which goes for the overall level design as well, of course. Pretty fun game with a decent challenge to it. Each level feels unique and you are unlikely to get bored of the game, especially with the constant expansion of gimmicks and level variety.
7. New Adventure Island
This is the Adventure Island game I’ve always wanted to play, but never could in the past. It has everything that I always wanted from an Adventure Island game – Decent controls, less jerk design by Hudson and good boss variety. The skateboard feels like a decent choice when it comes to power- ups and not like something that can screw you over due to difficulty spikes in the platforming segments. This game is tough, but it’s also very reasonable. Thank you Hudson, now I can rest in peace…
8. Toki Tori
Whoever designed the final level (excluding the extra level sets) of this game is a motherfucker that I would love to meet, hug and kiss. This game starts you off all easy and casually, only to pick up in terms of difficulty shortly after. It’s a great puzzle game, where each level feels really satisfying to complete. A game designed by people with giant functional brains. Surprisingly, the same people now also work on a new technology for a warp space travel.
9. Flash Koibito-kun!
Imagine a simple game and watch, but spice it with some light comedy and romance, along with some colorful graphics. There you have it! A very underrated and unpopular game, which I find to be really, really good. Simple to pick and learn, yet hard for one to master. If multitasking is your thing, this game is just the cake for you!
10. Bomberman GB 3
It has bikes as an upgrades and each level revolves around accomplishing different tasks. As far as I know, this is all I need in a Bomberman game for me to have a good time. Also, a reasonable difficulty. Then again, Bomberman games aren’t really all that hard… But seriously, this title is touched up pretty clean. If the main game doesn’t satisfy you enough, there are also side challenges that add to the fun even further.
The expired milk:
1-2: Cliffhanger [Game Gear] + Cliffhanger [Game Boy]
While the NES game is an average platformer with awful bits of beat-em up, the GG and GB versions manage to take on the challenge and make things worse even further. If I have to point regarding what exactly, I’ll have to go with “everything”. Worse hit detection, worse graphics, worse music… I really thought that these two versions would be any different compared to the NES and I was right! They are both worse reimagination of an already full garbage can!
3-4 Totally Spies + Totally Spies 2 : Undercover
The design of these two games is identical – A compilation of platforming levels with sloppy design, through which you have to control a character with just as awful controls. Along the way there are also mini- games that were added to the level count, which are pretty much used as a filter, given their boring nature. The hit detection is not all that great. The endings are very disappointing. Were they trying to milk these ones for the franchise alone? Or were they very bad at programming video games? I am willing to throw my hoop at the “Both” cone.
5. Super Bioman 1
This is a classic case of a bootleg Mario attempt yielding not all that good of a results. While it does have some different and new ideas regarding level design and enemies, this game is still held back by awful controls. Although short in terms of length, it is unlikely that someone would go for a loop two. I did though. I regrettably did so…
6. Barney’s Hide and Seek Game
This game falls short not because it does something awful, but more on the side of not doing anything whatsoever. It is a very boring and slow paced platformer, designed for kids who do not wish to behave. Compared to other, awful educational games for kids that I’ve played, this one is the perfect punishment for youngsters who refuse to eat their healthy oats with milk at 3.00 AM.
7. Battle Network Rockman Crystal
A bootleg MegaMan clone with high enemy respawn rates and tough as rock bosses. Lucky for you, lunchboxes are a common drop, so one is unlikely to ever lose their HP juice at any time. Also featuring – Respawn points for your character that can put you in a very bad spot due to how awful the controls in this game are.
8. Babar – To the Rescue
A bit less boring than the Barney game, up until the point where you have to drive vehicles, where it just goes to complete bowl of crap. This game feels way too long and repetitive for its own good. Another good game for your child if they refuse to take their clothes off under the shower.
9. Ninja Gaiden [Game Gear]
This one is more on the goofy side and “Being so awful it’s actually good”. My only real trouble with this one was the last boss, who took me a couple of tries. The rest of the game is like one big joke, with linear, boring level design and enemies coming towards you like flies towards a fly swatter. The bosses are pretty lame in terms of patterns, but their design is pretty… cool?
10. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon [Game Boy]
After navigating through a maze with the pace of a snail, searching for NPCs that would further direct you through more maze navigation, get ready for the action stage! Awful hitbox detection and good powerups that actually handicap you await, but don’t worry! Bosses have pretty laughable patterns and you can breeze through most of the levels while being under the effect of the invulnerability power up. Just avoid the upgrade that gives you ranged attack…
…and that’s it. What an year this was! I am looking forward to a bright future where I could play through even more great/ awful games.