Video Game Review: Fester’s Quest (NES)

What a terrible, horrible, insipid piece of donkey shit.

Back in the day, I was kind of excited when this came out. My cousin and I rented it and immediately had renter’s remorse. We were then stuck with it for the whole weekend and tried to make the best out of it but nothing in the game seemed clear and it was a confusing mess where we aimlessly walked around with one of the worst weapons in video game history. We got nowhere and we never rented the game again.

All these years later, I though that I’d try it again. Primarily because there are a lot of games I didn’t like or have the patience for in my youth that I have replayed now and found enjoyable.

This is not one of those games.

While I did figure some things out and did play this game through to completion, it was still tough to get through due to the terrible weapon, the terrible level design and overall repetitiveness of the whole game. Hell, even most of the bosses are pretty much the same with just a sprite change and a modified attack.

It actually boggles the mind how bad this game is. I can’t believe that it ever got released or wasn’t reworked at the design stage. But as I have said before, 8-bit video games of licensed properties don’t have good track records.

This might be the worst thing ever made that is associated with The Addams Family franchise.

Rating: 2/10
Pairs well with: punching yourself in the genitals, which you should not do.

Video Game Review: A Nightmare On Elm Street (NES)

I actually hated this game as a kid. I didn’t really understand what you were supposed to do and it wasn’t made clear within the game. The similar Friday the 13th made some sense and ultimately, I figured out how to beat it.

Well, I fully grasp this game now, thanks to skimming over an online walkthrough, which weren’t available in the late ’80s. So now I’ve played through this and beat it and have more of an appreciation for it, even if it is a pretty flawed game.

I’d actually say that I prefer this a bit more than Friday the 13th but it still isn’t as great as an A Nightmare On Elm Street game could’ve been in the 8-bit realm. However, it is better than most licensed games based on larger properties.

My main gripe with this is that there isn’t much difference between the real world and the dream world. I love that you can play in both but I find the real world to be more of a pain in the ass, even if the enemies seem somewhat weaker. But why are there zombies, monster snakes and giant rats in the real world? Is Elm Street next to a zoo that did insane lab experiments and then released them on the suburbs?

That being said, this game lacks creativity. What sucks about that, is that A Nightmare On Elm Street is a franchise full of some of the most creative slasher movies ever made. I don’t think anyone can really deny that.

Granted, this offers up more boss battles than Friday the 13th, which only really has two. However, the boss battles in this game primarily consist of disembodied pieces of Freddy Krueger floating around a screen or being attached to a chain like Chain Chomps from the Super Mario games.

When you do actually fight Freddy in his normal form, the boss battle is pretty underwhelming.

Additionally, the level design isn’t great and the game is pretty repetitive.

Still, this isn’t a bad way to waste about an hour of your time. While it’s damn difficult, it’s not unbeatable and it does give you a sense of accomplishment once you toss Freddy’s bones into the furnace.

Rating: 5.75/10
Pairs well with: the Friday the 13th game for the original Nintendo.

Video Game Review: Dirty Harry (NES)

Man, this is a really, really shitty video game. And it’s actually unfortunate too because there are things about it that are kind of great and fairly cool.

Focusing on the positives first, this game has multiple gameplay modes. There’s the side scrolling street action and then there’s a side scrolling mixed with three-dimensional exploring element when you take Dirty Harry into buildings.

I also think that the game looks fairly good for a licensed property game made for the original Nintendo. The reason I point that out is because the NES was synonymous for having terrible games based on movies. Honestly, that wasn’t just an NES problem, though.

That’s it for the positives; so on to the negatives.

To start, this game is completely wrecked by how terrible the controls are.

It is then further wrecked by what appears to be interesting level design but ultimately is just a frustrating maze where it’s fairly easy to trap yourself and then become overwhelmed by thugs that just keep spawning, again and again. And with really limited ammo and a punch that couldn’t tear a hole through a wet paper bag, you’ll probably end up throwing your controller across the room.

Additionally, some things just don’t make any fucking sense!

Why are these ghetto apartments full of snakes and laser floor traps? Couldn’t these thugs have spent some money on fixing up the place before buying all the snake babies at the San Francisco Zoo? Floor lasers… seriously? Couldn’t they have hired a maid or thirty-seven with that money?

Also, why is Dirty Harry wearing an electric blue suit and black shirt? He’s Dirty fucking Harry not a random pimp from an episode of Miami Vice!

When I first fired this up, I thought, “Okay… this actually looks promising.” Two minutes later, I thought, “Someone get me some gasoline and a blowtorch, I’m roasting this fucker!”

Rating: 3.5/10
Pairs well with: its very diverse gameplay reminded me of The Lone Ranger for the original Nintendo but this pales in comparison to that.

Video Game Review: Balloon Fight (NES)

I vaguely remember Balloon Fight from my childhood, as I never owned it and it was one of those games your friends’ would have but you’d pass it up in favor of Castlevania or Zelda.

It’s pretty fun, though, and it feels a lot like Joust but with balloons attached to the characters and more environmental dangers.

Also, each level gives you a fresh new layout, so that you’re not playing the same screen over and over again.

While I don’t enjoy it as much as Joust, it is an improvement in design with the same general concept and playing style. However, it’s mostly a slower paced game. But don’t be fooled, as the lack of speed can also work against you in that it can be really hard trying to traverse yourself out of a real pickle.

The game isn’t complicated, it should probably appeal to all ages and skill levels and it’s a good way to kill twenty minutes.

Rating: 6.5/10
Pairs well with: Joust, the original Mario Bros., Solomon’s Key, Fire ‘n Ice and other 4-bit/8-bit era single screen action/puzzle games.

Video Game Review: Athena (NES)

Athena is a game I hated vehemently when I was a kid. But since there are other games I didn’t like that I actually enjoyed, after revisiting them, as an adult, I thought that giving this another shot was years overdue.

Sadly, it’s still a frustrating, infuriating piece of shit and one of the worst SNK games of the era.

While it’s a beautiful looking game with luscious landscapes, cool character designs and a whole plethora of interesting enemies, it is bogged down by absolute shit mechanics and controls.

The worst thing about the game is that there really isn’t a clear objective and I still can’t figure out how the hell to kill the first boss, as you become easily overwhelmed and can’t seem to hit him without his longer reach killing you with one quick hit.

Additionally, the level design is mind boggingly bad.

I wanted this to be good. It looks great, visually speaking. I just thought that maybe there was something I missed when I was a kid that if I played it now, I’d be able to figure out and have a more enriching and pleasurable experience.

Nope.

Athena is still a steaming pile of crap obscured by colorful and delightful window dressing.

Rating: 3/10
Pairs well with: hitting yourself in the head with a gavel, which you should never do.

Video Game Review: Lethal Weapon (NES)

I understand why a lot of people hate this game. And I did too for a long time.

However, after putting time and work into it, I was able to beat this insanely difficult son of a bitch and ended up feeling pretty damned accomplished in doing so.

It’s a simple 8-bit, side scrolling game that allows you shoot and beat people up with your fists if you’re out of ammo. It behooves you to not waste ammo and to try and keep as much as possible because the game gets much more difficult when you have to resort to fisticuffs. There are some Game Genie codes to help, if need be.

Like many licensed games based on popular franchises, this was probably made quickly as a cash cow and thus, not a lot of time was given to fine tuning the mechanics. It’s a clunky, infuriating game at times and some enemies are a real pain in the ass to hit, not to mention those f’n bombs that you have to blow up without trying to take damage.

This is a game that isn’t worthy of its namesake but after dedicating time to it, in an effort to get good enough to beat it, I don’t completely hate it.

Rating: 6/10
Pairs well with: other side scrolling beat’em ups and shooters of the 8-bit era.

Video Game Review: Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers 2 (NES)

While my experience with the first game in this series didn’t live up to my fond memories of it, this game, one I’ve never played, actually improved on its predecessor and was more fun to play, overall.

The game graphics, sprites, controls and playing style are the same as the first Rescue Rangers outing. However, the level design is better and smoother and this feels like it’s closer to a final, solid draft, where the other one needed some corrections.

I also felt like the boss battles here were better and not as repetitious as the first game. Granted, none of them were all that memorable or great.

I like that this allows you to take very different routes. While the first game employed that, it was done on more of a minor scale and this one actually opens up different options that may inspire you to play through it a couple times in an effort to have different experiences.

This series is okay. It’s not as good as the DuckTales games but those were a blast and set a really high precedent that all other 8-bit Disney games would be unfairly compared to.

Rating: 6.75/10
Pairs well with: its predecessor, as well as the other Disney games for the original Nintendo.