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

I used to watch the hell out of Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers after school, back in the late ’80s. So when this game came out, I was pretty stoked to play it. From memory, I mostly remember liking it quite a bit.

Playing it in 2020, for the first time since probably 1990, I have to say that it hasn’t held up very well. Especially, after having recently revisited the far superior DuckTales games.

It’s a competent game with good controls, simple and sharp mechanics and easy gameplay. However, the level design is overly simplistic and not very exciting. Also, the game is pretty damn easy. At least, I found it to be lacking any real challenge.

The boss battles were pie. Most enemies were just easy to dodge and there didn’t seem to be much incentive in going out of your way to grab items. I just blew through every level and crushed the whole game in about 30 minutes or so.

It’s not a bad game, it’s well built and executed in spite of its basic bitch levels. There are many games that are much worse for the NES.

Rating: 6/10
Pairs well with: its sequel, as well as the other Disney games for the original Nintendo.

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.

Vids I Dig 268: Whang!: Mysterious Posters in ‘Resident Evil 3’ – Gaming Mysteries

Taken from Justin Whang’s YouTube description: Video games often use assets from other sources as filler, such as the Kindergarten Cop references in Silent Hill and Wikipedia articles in Resident Evil 2. As it turns out, there are similar images present in Resident Evil 3 in the form of promotional images from 90s movies found in the gas station. However, not all of these images have been identified.

Video Game Review: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4)

I’ve wanted to play this for awhile but I put it off for so long. After seeing the television show, however, I was inspired to finally play the most recent game in the franchise. I was also told by several people to just play this, as I didn’t need the previous two games for context due to this game pretty much filling you in on everything you need to know.

Even though this was the third game, it was the first one released for consoles. That’s another reason why I played it. Also, it was on sale on the PlayStation Store just after the TV show proved to be a massive hit.

While I’ve heard people debate for years as to which is better, this or Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there are some stark differences between the games despite many similarities.

To start, this is much more character and story driven. That works for it in that regard but I kind of like the anonymity and mystery of your Skyrim character and also the customization options the game gives you. But I don’t want to write up a comparison, I’ll just say that I still prefer Skyrim but this is a very worthy game in the action fantasy genre.

The graphics are incredible, there doesn’t seem to be any major glitches and it runs and plays really smoothly with mostly great mechanics. Although, I think the horse riding is a bit wonky and I mostly preferred to run around on foot. It was also easier to fight random things in the wild when you aren’t on horseback.

I thought the story started strong but about two-thirds of the way through the main quest, I was growing tired of it and I dipped out of it to catch up on side quests. Now while a lot of these are fun, some of them get to be repetitive after awhile. In fact, I mostly enjoyed hunting down and killing beasts. The rest of the missions felt more like busy work or wastes of time. And then there are just so many side quests. Every time I cracked out a half dozen, I’d have triggered more new ones than ones I’d completed.

Still, this is a great game. I’m mostly done with it but I’ve put in so many hours that I started to get burnt out. I know that some people want the games that they love to go on forever but this feels like it is overloaded, which isn’t a criticism I’ve ever had for an epic RPG.

My only other negative is that there isn’t enough diversity in the environments. One thing I loved about Skyrim and even Conan: Exiles was that different parts of the map were completely different biomes. With The Witcher 3, most of it all looks the same.

Rating: 8.5/10
Pairs well with: other epic fantasy action games of the modern era: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The Elder Scrolls: Online, Conan: Exiles, etc.

 

Video Game Review: Mighty Bomb Jack (NES)

Man, I haven’t played Mighty Bomb Jack in ages! But I had pretty fond memories of it, even though I remember it being frustrating as hell.

Overall, it’s a really solid, fast paced game that is also tremendously hard after the first few stages. It has strange mechanics that are tough to adapt to but once you do, the gameplay does get a lot more fun. There’s definitely an in-game physics learning curve though.

I like the graphics, the level design (until the last few levels) and the music.

It reminds me of a lot of other scrolling 8-bit platformers but it mostly reminds me of great puzzle games like Solomon’s Key and its sequel Fire & Ice. While this isn’t exactly a puzzle game, it just feels similar to those other ones.

I did beat this game but I had to play it on an emulator with infinite lives. I don’t think I could’ve beaten it otherwise, as it can get pretty maddening towards the end, as some jumps are incredibly difficult and you get easily overwhelmed by enemies.

For the record, I got the bad ending because just getting that one was hard enough.

Rating: 7/10
Pairs well with: Solomon’s Key, Fire & Ice, Kid Icarus and the early Mario games.

Video Game Review: Pro Wrestling (NES)

Pro Wrestling for the original Nintendo is not only the first wrestling video game that I ever played but it is also my favorite wrestling game on the NES. Full disclosure, I’ve never played Tecmo World Wrestling but I’ve heard good things about it.

What I loved about this was the characters, the graphics, the music and the gameplay.

There aren’t any wrestling games from the 8-bit era that had good controls or mechanics. The games of the time were pretty limited and because of that, wrestling games could only provide the player with a few basic moves. But at least Pro Wrestling gave you different signature “finishers” for each character.

This game is easy to play, once you get the hang of it, which should only take a few matches to grasp. You work your way through matches with every wrestler on the quest to win the World Championship. Once that’s achieved, you have to successfully defend it ten times in order to fight the World Champion of a rival league, which gives you the opportunity to unify the two titles.

I love this game despite its limitations and I’ve always hoped that Nintendo would make a sequel on a more advanced console. But since this is over three decades old now, I doubt we’ll ever get to revisit these characters and their cool wrestling league.

Rating: 7/10
Pairs well with: other NES wrestling games but this one is my favorite and the best I’ve played.

Vids I Dig 257: Whang!: You Can’t Play This Game – Tales From the Internet

Taken from Justin Whang’s YouTube description: Moirai was an experimental indie game that took place on a farm. Although it is not “that evil farming game” as some thought, it is a farming game with a mysterious twist. With huge word of mouth support and after massive YouTubers like jacksepticeye and markiplier played it, it becam an unexpected success, becoming the number one game on Steam. The developer had a hard time keeping the servers up to meet demand. But this success story would soon turn sour.