Marble Madness – NES (and others)

1942

The year was 1985 and Capcom decided to make a game about the year 1942…..

It’s a vertical shooter- it’s got some cool history behind the game but without the instruction manual, you wouldn’t know it.   Is it in bad taste or just accurate when the suicide fighters come straight at you, over and over again?  There’s limited power ups in this game which is one thing vertical shooters really upgraded too.  There’s that and it’s just not as much fun or even look comparably good on NES as some Atari games just like it, even River Raid is a better vertically moving title.   Has IGN ever done a vertical moving top 100?

Scores:
Playability/Controls- 7        Graphics- 4        Music/Sound- 4.5      Replay Value- 5.5      Originality- 2.5        Final: 47%

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The Dragon

Gotta say I loved the concept; you play as Bruce Lee on a fictitious mission to help save all these people that just want to be rescued by the Dragon himself.  The very first screen of the story mode is Bruce Lee fighting Scorpion.  Yes, Scorpion from Mortal Kombat.   Or at least we can gather that it’s a guy in Scorpion’s outfit because he doesn’t have any of his special abilities.  Then you go to a side scrolling mess with stagnant backgrounds and ridiculous, redundant enemies.  Bruce’s moves are a bit stale too; slow kicks and a terrible jump that is slow on the uptake to combo with other moves as you’re jumping.  The Dragon deserved better than this.  And the translation’s really awful too.

Scores:

Playability/ Controls- 3        Graphics- 5        Music/Sound- 4        Replay Value- 1.5      Originality- 4

Final: 35%

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Joe & Mac- Caveman Ninja

I’m not sure what’s “Ninja” about these guys- and who am I playing as- Joe or Mac?   All cards on the table; I didn’t get very far into this game; a few levels.   I hate when games just have enemies coming at you on a straight, flat level and that’s it.  It’s the weakest kind of adventure game because there’s no thinking involved.  The boss battles were fun; but that’s about it.

Scores:
Playability/Controls- 5.5     graphics- 5.5     Music/Sound- 5.5     Replay Value- 4.5     Originality- 5

Final: 53%

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Trolls on Treasure Island

Any kid from the 90’s remembers the Trolls!   Short little nude creatures with different colored hair that would stick straight up into the air.  Well, they got their own game.  But  it’s not what you would expect- it’s a puzzle game.   A fairly creative one too as each level, takes time to dissect what exactly the order of operations is.

The graphics look damn near an Atari 7800 game; and for some reason, you’re not supposed to move left or right- did the Trolls have an aversion to left and right?  How do they drive?  all in all, it’s a bizarre game that does have a fun hook and can keep gamers playing for a little while.

Scores:

Playability/ Controls- 5        Graphics- 2.5        Music/Sound- 1     Replay Value- 6.5      Originality- 6.5

Final: 43%

 

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Marble Madness

Some say this game accurately highlights the struggle of the common man, every day moving down treacherous paths, constantly keeping himself walking a straight line to stay right with the world and whatever religion he believes in, facing unknown obstacles and dangers put there for the exact purpose of testing his goal, making sure he’s unwavering in his mission.

Others say it’s a stupid marble game.

Whatever camp you fall into, there’s 1 thing we can all agree on: this game is bloody hard!   I always pick 90 degrees controls; damn those 45 degrees people.   You’re either just better than me or masochists.

I’ve always had a fascination with this game , I think because on the surface, it looks like it should be easy but in fact, it’s just insanely tough.  But, I keep playing it.  And you should too!

Scores:

Playability/ Controls- 7         Graphics- 4         Music/Sound- 9       Replay Value- 8      Origniality- 7.5

Final: 71%

 

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