Video Game Review: The Lone Ranger (NES)

I have never played The Lone Ranger for the original Nintendo but I went into this knowing nothing about the game and without having any expectations.

What I was really surprised to discover is that this is one of the greatest 8-bit action RPGs of all-time!

Seriously, no one talks about this game, I’ve never heard anything about it and because of that, I have to consider it a real hidden gem among the 600+ titles that were released for the system.

The thing that makes this game so great is that it employs multiple gameplay styles from bird’s eye view world traveling to side scrolling, vertical scrolling and first person shooter action levels. You fight in towns, on moving trains, in caves, in forts, in hotels, on mountains, in the desert and even get to fight on horseback in two different ways.

Man, this game is just cool as hell and a shitload of fun! It’s really damn difficult but it isn’t unbeatable. I did beat the game, even though it took some time, and it gave me a real sense of accomplishment unlike many games from the era that have really underwhelming endings. This game’s ending was pretty superb for the time.

There isn’t a dull moment or a boring mission. The game designers did a fantastic job at keeping every area of the game fresh and unique, always adding new twists and ways to play the game.

For the 8-bit era, this is close to a masterpiece. The only things working against it are a lack of maps in the first-person stages and frustrating controls that switch your weapon when you jump.

Rating: 9.5/10
Pairs well with: other action RPGs and western games for the NES.

Video Game Review: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – Ubisoft Version (NES)

I’m going to start this review with a really bold statement: this is the worst game that I have played on the original Nintendo.

It surpasses the awfulness of Conan the Barbarian and Bible Adventures. This game truly takes the cake in its awfulness, from top to bottom.

To start, it’s the clunkiest fucking game I have ever played from the 8-bit era. It barely functions, the mechanics are horrendous and it caused me to lose about 30 percent of my remaining hair.

Just when I thought that Indiana Jones games for the NES couldn’t get any worse than the Taito version of Last Crusade, I decided to give this one a shot, hoping it’d be an improvement over that other piece of shit with the same title.

This also boasts some of the worst graphics I’ve ever seen from the terrible sprites, basic as fuck environments, boring colors and complete static backgrounds in scenes that need to convey motion (like the train level).

All in all, this is the worst game I’ve played out of all the ones I have reviewed for this site.

Rating: 0/10
Pairs well with: a ghost pepper juice enema.

Video Game Review: The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (NES)

I have never played this game, as it came out at the end of the original Nintendo era and I had moved on to Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. I probably wouldn’t have appreciated it, anyway, as I was into better graphics, better sound and hadn’t had good experiences with other Indiana Jones games for the NES.

Playing it now, this is the best Indiana Jones game on the NES console. It’s actually kind of fun and it has better controls and overall mechanics than the other games.

Now the controls can still be wonky and frustrating but as bad as the other games were, this is actually a step up.

Additionally, there is more than one gameplay mode. You do the standard side scrolling action stuff but you also get to fly a plane and drive a motorcycle. There are also cool locations. I enjoyed the train level, as you punch and whip your way through baddies on a train moving through the European countryside.

For those familiar with the G.I. Joe games released on the NES, this has a similar gameplay style on most levels.

The game is rather difficult, however, especially some of the later boss battles, as the amount of damage you can take is pretty minimal.

Ultimately, I was pleasantly surprised by the game and, for the most part, like it.

Rating: 6.75/10
Pairs well with: the other NES Indiana Jones games, as well as the NES G.I. Joe titles.

Video Game Review: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – Taito Version (NES)

Having recently revisited the original Nintendo port of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, I felt the urge to revisit the first version of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Yes, I said first version, as there was also a second game released by another developer a few years later.

I don’t actually remember playing the one that was made by Ubisoft but I distinctly remember this Taito game and how frustrating it was.

Playing it now, it’s still frustrating and maybe even more so.

The controls are shit. Total shit. The in-game mechanics are wonky and terrible. Controlling Indiana Jones is like controlling an elderly person with a walker that can do awkward, seldomly landing, Taekwondo kicks.

The game itself is fairly easy but the stage with the Austrian castle is one of the worst designed and laid out levels of the 8-bit era. It’s a confusing clusterfuck where if you don’t know where you need to go, which you won’t, you just get your ass destroyed by Nazi soldiers waiting behind just about every door. It’s like a maze that punches you in the face at every turn, whether you take the right one or the wrong one.

Some of the levels could have been cool if this were made by better designers. The film it’s based on is one of the greatest adventure movies of all-time and provides a great number of action sequences that could’ve made for a really awesome game.

Instead, we got this clunky bag of shit.

Rating: 2.5/10
Pairs well with: pooping… but the runny, messy, unpleasant kind.

Video Game Review: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (NES)

This game is absolute torture. Still, I like playing it and it’s fun up to a certain point.

It’s absurdly difficult though, as the gameplay mechanics are horrendous and the jump and attack buttons are the opposite of what they should be. So often times, my muscle memory would kill me because I’d go to attack and instead, jump right into some f’n lava!

Also, I can understand bullets being limited… but swords? Every time you use your sword, you lose one and have to keep collecting more sword icons, so that you at least have enough to slay the nine dozen lava beasts that you need as stepping stones to cross the overabundance of lava pits late in the game.

On a side note: why do you collect guns, swords and TNT from the little kids you rescue? If they’re armed to the fucking teeth, why do they need rescue? The baddies just have swords, these dozens upon dozens of well armed children could blow these Thugee douchebags to kingdom come.

Anyway, the game is still fun even if it is maddening. It’s not too difficult for about half the game but eventually, you get to the point where there are so many traps and baddies that you’re often times overwhelmed and the shitty mechanics don’t help you slay those annoying bats and snakes.

Once you get to Wave 10, if you even get that far, you might as well give up. Even with the help of Game Genie codes, I’ve never been able to get beyond it, as the exit is damn near impossible to find. You’ll never get there with the timer working against you and if you have to backtrack through the massive lava stage where you deplete all your swords and guns, you’ll be shit out of luck.

Sure, some people have beat the game but there are also people that dedicate their entire lives to mastering the kazoo.

Rating: 5.5/10
Pairs well with: the much superior arcade version of the game, as well as the more frustrating Nintendo version of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Video Game Review: Gremlins 2: The New Batch (NES)

While Gremlins 2: The New Batch isn’t as good as the original film, it was actually more imaginative, creative and dare I say, more fun? And the plot of the movie created a great story to be adapted into a video game, which it was.

Now Gizmo doesn’t just have to deal with regular Gremlins, things have gotten much, much worse.

This is because of their exposure to a crazy genetics lab ran by a mad scientist (the legendary Christopher Lee in the film). Now, the Gremlins have a wide array of superpowers and abilities that they didn’t have previously.

Because of that neat plot development, this video game has a bunch of different types of Gremlins to fight throughout this 8-bit adventure.

This is a really challenging game and honestly, it’s way too hard for the normie and even with my decades of video game experience and having played this multiple times over thirty years or so, I still found it extremely difficult and ended up resorting to a Game Genie code in order to complete it.

Even with my infinite lives code, the game is still tough as hell and frustrating. However, it’s that good kind of frustrating that leads to a feeling of accomplishment once you tough it out.

Overall, this has pretty good level design that is only slightly hindered by the game’s difficulty, a lot of which has to do with enemy placement. My only real complaint about anything design-wise though is the boss fights. They all take place in a single room the size of the screen and are comprised of oversized Gremlins in a confined space with floor traps. It makes navigated the space safely near impossible. In most boss battles, I mostly had to try and unleash as much damage as possible while trying to outlast the villain. There didn’t seem to be much point in putting an effort into developing an actual strategy.

Gremlins 2 is a pretty good game. It’s better than I remembered and it uses the movie’s plot and environments well.

Rating: 7/10
Pairs well with: other top down action platformers for the original Nintendo.

Video Game Review: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – The Atlantis Factor (NES)

Where the first G.I. Joe game for the Nintendo was almost shit, this one actually succeeds at being total shit.

The main reason for this being terrible is that I got stuck at a point really early in the game and couldn’t advance. I’m not sure if it was a glitch but there’s a point in the early level with the space shuttle where I couldn’t get the game to advance.

I tried replaying it, starting over, and I kept getting to that same problem. So fuck this game.

Also, it’s just a rehash of the game we already played except it just adds some new characters to play with. However, the interface and how everything works is stupid and bizarre.

I can only add Joes to my team as I find them in the field? G.I. Joe has like 200 members. You mean to tell me that I can’t just grab three Joes to go on a mission? Especially since the first playable character is General f’n Hawk?!

I also hated the map system that looked like it was ripped off from Bionic Commando or Super Mario Bros. 3. It didn’t need to exist and the game could’ve just had simple levels that went in a simple order like the first game.

I think they were trying to make the game better but their attempts at refining it made it worse.

It’s 2019 now. I’m still waiting for a good G.I. Joe game.

Rating: 4/10
Pairs well with: it’s predecessor, which is mostly just more of the same.