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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Sat Dec 26, 2015 7:59 pm

Dark Chambers (Atari 7800, 1988)

Graphics: 17/25
Sound: 13/25
Controls: 19/25
Fun: 24/25

Beneath a mediocre first glance and wonky controls is a strangely addictive and fun treasure.

So many games about defeating monsters, unlocking doors and gathering treasure out in the world, it just makes your head spin. Dragon Warrior and Gauntlet, are series that we often compare these standards with and most folks would probably consider them the grandfathers of the genre. Not quite.

Gauntlet is not the starter of this genre, shocker as it may be. Gauntlet was simply inspired by another series, which started off as Dandy. Dandy was released for the Atari 8-bit computer system way back in 1983 and was at the time, one of the first video games to allow 4 player cooperative gameplay. What does this have to do with Dark Chambers, you ponder? Dark Chambers is actually a SEQUEL to Dandy. Most folks will come to pass this game off as a poor man's version of Gauntlet, when indeed it is actually the sequel to Dandy, which actually is what inspired Gauntlet a short time later and gave in to its arcade release. Dark Chambers was released to just about every Atari system known to man, I'm reviewing its 7800 version. I'll explain this game now:

Graphics: Besides the 3-D effect that line the walls, this game is actually nothing spectacular in the department. The enemy sprites have little animation and the character you control has about the same. Bombs look like bombs, food looks like food and respawn areas look decent enough. The ground is black so most enemies won't blend into the background and give you fits. Like its predecessor Dandy, this game has a top down view. You can see plenty of the map around you since the walls and enemy sprites are so small, which may or may not be your thing.

Sound: Even less spectacular is the sound in this game. If you're looking for music in this one, there is pretty much none. The opening menu has a nice dark tone to it and when you reach the ladders to go to the next chamber, you get a short little tune that is relatively dark as well. Sound effects are about what you'd hear on a 2600 title and is really nothing special.
I'd like to point out one thing though, when you pick up bombs it sounds an awful lot like the tune you get in Wolfenstine 3-D when picking up treasure. I think somebody was influenced by this game, but only old school gamers would most likely know this reference.

Controls: Much like the other 7800 titles that I've reviewed, the joystick that comes with this system can be a little bit different to get used to. Moving through tight doorways require precision, which the joystick is definitely not known for, and shooting sideways can be a bit of a challenge. I'd also like to point out that you can only shoot one shot at a time, so until your shot clears the screen or hits an enemy or respawn, that's it. The closer enemies are, the faster you can shoot, which is nice but often enough you don't want to go in too close and take a lot of damage. The left red button shoots and the right detonates a bomb, which clears the entire screen around you of enemies and respawn points. Controlwise, this game takes a few spins to really get a hold of things.

Fun: Despite my wishy washy points above, Dark Chambers is strangely addicting. With 27 floors to clear (rooms are simply titled A and go to Z), there's plenty of enemies to shoot and treasure to loot up. The game's default difficulty can get tough after Room M, with its 'Advanced' difficulty making things even more challenging by not letting you destroy the enemy respawns and that they spawn much quicker. Two players are bound to have fun with this one in the more difficult sections, and something I find unique in this game is that if one of your party members die, there is a heart in just about every level that if you touch it, your other guy comes back. It really encourages players to work together, and especially with only having 1 life in this game, this is really the definition of team work. There is no ending boss to this game or no ending in general, which may be seen as a flaw to this game. Once you get through Room Z, you start in Room AA and the difficulty picks up more. I found this to be an awful load of fun to run through, my brother found it to be the same as well.

You probably entered this review thinking that this was just another Gauntlet clone, but hopefully now you're educated to know that this game is actually different from it and has its own charm to it. Dark Chambers may not be anywhere near as known as Gauntlet or Dragon Warrior, but deserves to be played at least once in its own right. So often we're taught not to judge a book by its cover.. don't judge this one by pictures, they don't do it justice. Pick it up. You just might be surprised by what's inside.

73% ~~~ C

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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:12 am

Commando (Atari 7800, 1989)

Graphics: 23/25
Sound: 21/25
Controls: 15/25
Fun: 20/25

An interesting port of the Capcom arcade classic.

For those who don't know, Commando was an arcade game released in 1985 by Capcom. A 'vertical run and gunner', the game was released to many home consoles including the Atari 7800 in 1989. Pretty much the story is that you run around as 'Joe', a soldier,  and clear each area full of enemy soldiers until you get to the 4th area, which your mission is completed and then starts over again at a harder difficulty.

The strange thing about the 7800 version is that it was developed and released by Sculptured Software instead of just Capcom. Would the 7800 version be able to keep up with the NES version, which is perhaps the most popular home console version of the classic? Let's find out:

Graphics: The detail in this game is quite good for a 1989 release. The battlegrounds look a bit more detailed than the NES version and the buildings and huts that soldiers come from are well detailed and actually have a 3D rendering to them. The dungeons look amazing and also have lit candles and bats to bring the detail even higher. The cutscenes from each area, your soldier is in wonderfully done detail as well and very animated. Did I mention that your character and the enemy characters are extremely well done in terms of detail as well? From your helmet down to the uniform and gun, they all look far ahead of the NES title in that department and maybe even the arcade version in some aspects.

Sound: As one of only 2 games to have an enhanced sound chip to make the most of the Atari 7800 hardware, the soundtrack in this game is phenomenal and perhaps the best version of arcade music that I've seen on the system so far. The sound effects themselves, explosions and the deaths of the enemy soldiers, are nothing special and go about on par with the 2600 version.

Controls: What really plagues this title are the controls. The 7800 joystick doesn't always move you in the direction that you want to go or in the direction you want to fire, which can cause a lot of initial frustration and takes quite some time to get used to. Throwing grenades and firing can be difficult when there's a lot on the screen and the game suffers a little slow down from that but no flickering, unlike the NES counterpart. This makes Commando require precision and the player being smart on anticipating gunfire from the enemy while clearing the end areas, so if you do get the controls down and don't mind a challenge you should be fine.
A Genesis controller does soak up some of the movement problems but it does not give you a bomb button and all you can do is walk around and fire your gun. Pick your poisons here.

Fun: Controller problems aside and the occasional slowdown, I found this version of Commando to be very enjoyable and well designed. The levels differ from the arcade version and the great thing about this version is that once you complete the first four stages and your first tour is done, you get a second tour with four new maps that have an increased angle of difficulty with them such as having much more water to maneuver around, trees and bushes, etc. etc. Once I got used to things, I found this game to be a great change of pace from other versions of Commando. My other complaint is that the game is too short. Once you complete the four stages the second time through, your tour is over and you get the hot nurse and the game over screen.

Though this version of Commando is unique in compared to the other versions that got released, the main thing that will turn gamers off is the price of this game which can run over $70 due to being released late in the console's lifespan. I was lucky to get mine for under $50. Is it worth the money to play this rather obscure gem of the arcade classic? That's your call to make. If you want an interesting version of Commando, it very well may be. Not the greatest port of a classic, but a very interesting one. Check it out.

79% ~~~ C+

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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:47 pm

Galaga (Atari 7800, 1984)



Graphics: 15/25
Sound: 22/25
Controls: 25/25
Fun: 25/25

Proof that graphics aren't everything in this magnificent version of the arcade classic.

What is there to really say about Galaga? Released by Namco in 1981, it's considered one of the greatest video games ever created and was a big part of the arcade craze back in the early 80's. There was no less joy than blasting away waves of alien ships and getting that 'perfect' score in the challenge stages and putting in those initials with your high score, proving to others in the local arcade, or at least on that day or week, that you were the master of the blasters.

Naturally, expectations would be high for any home console version of Galaga. I haven't reviewed the NES port but all I can say its faithful to the original game. Today however, we're discussing the 7800 version. Just how well does this revolutionary classic hold up on the ole Atari? I'll tell you:

Graphics: For what would of been a 1984 console release, you couldn't get much better than this. But being this was pushed back with the 7800 into 1987, other systems have passed this game by in this department. The ship you control doesn't have anywhere near as much detail as the arcade version, let alone the NES. The alien ships are decently detailed but once again was beaten out by the NES in terms of capability. The tractor beams that the Galaga ships drop down over your ship are just white and blue lines with no real animation to it. The starry background is also just average. For its late release, it is a bit bland and a touch dated. The gunfire from the ships however is big, yellow and easy to see.

Sound: First of all, the music when you start the 'Challenge Round', the ending music for the rounds and when you start up the game sound fantastic and very faithful to the arcade version. The sound effects aren't quite up to par but don't lag too far behind the arcade and I honestly feel they are an improvement over the other versions in its time period. Overall, it sounds great and keeps that atmosphere intact.

Controls: No, that score is not a typo or a mirage. The rather difficult 7800 joystick handles Galaga like a dream. Left to right movements are near fluid as the arcade counterpart and the fire button works just as well as it does in that port. Even as the game picks up, the speed of your ship's movement and fire increases as well, so you never feel sluggish or behind. Brilliantly handled, Atari. Brilliant.

Fun: All the fun that is in the arcade classic is perfectly captured in the 7800 port. The action becomes fast and frantic in about 10 levels if you play on 'Advanced' difficulty and feels very much at home with the arcade version and 'Expert' jumps you right into Level 10 with the speed intact. Gunfire on these two difficulties becomes hectic and the enemies show no mercy and it gets even crazier as you move into higher levels after that. I do not suggest you try 'Novice' however, which is far too easy. The speed never really picks up and the ships hardly bat an eye or a shot at you. I got to Level 36 on Novice, I kid you not.

So in a nutshell, is the 7800 version a worthy sibling of its arcade brother? Absolutely. This version of the game proves that a game doesn't have to have great graphics to get the full arcade feel, and Atari was always notorious for that, even through the 2600 console. Don't judge this game by screenshots, this port is an excellent version of the arcade classic it represents. If the game was any better graphically, I'd say this was the best home console video game I ever played. Pick this one up, I highly recommend it.

87% ~~~ B+

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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:57 pm

Asteroids (Atari 7800, 1987)

Graphics: 24/25
Sound: 24/25
Controls: 20/25
Fun: 25/25

A great update of the timeless classic with some new additions makes this perhaps the ultimate Asteroids port.

For those who don't know, Asteroids is often considered one of the best arcade video games ever created. Originally created back in 1979 by Atari, the purpose of this timeless gem is that you control a ship in outer space, blasting asteroids that fill your screen as you hyperspace and use your boosters to get out of their path. Alien ships will also come in on occasion and try to blast you out of the atmosphere, but often fail and crash into the asteroids.

What I mentioned above, that's really all there is in terms of a story to this one. Games back in the day didn't need a story and resorted to great gameplay, challenge and a high replay value.  That truly is the definition of fun, so you ask does the 7800 port deliver the goods? I'll explain below:

Graphics: This is a major overhaul of the vector classic from 1979. The asteroids are beautifully detailed as they hurl through space and the starry background behind it all is animated as they twinkle. The ship you control isn't spectacularly detailed but is still a great improvement over the arcade original and the alien ships are about the same size as in the arcade port and have those small little tweaks that add a sense of realism to it. This is perhaps the best looking game for the 7800 that I've seen yet.

Sound: All the sound effects that you heard in the arcade version is flawlessly inserted into this port. The gun fire from your ship is just as good, the explosions as the bullets hits the asteroids is perfect and even the "heart-beat" in the background that picks up as you clear more of the space rocks is intact.
So why did I rate the sound so highly, you ask? They added more sound effects and small jingles to give off that space atmosphere. The jingles have a very alien sound to them and have a great echo effect to it. You really feel like your in space with this game, they really brought the sound home. Fantastic.

Controls: Like most games that I've reviewed before this, the one thing that really does take getting used to is the 7800 joystick. You really have to use precise movements to keep from thrusting right into an asteroid, but after a few minutes the control scheme becomes second nature. Just a light tap in the opposite direction off of a thrust acts as a brake and idles you and its just as easy to make a quick move to get around the asteroids. The fire button responds nicely and hyperspace works well (though as in the arcade version, can put you in some bad spots as it goes off of random). It's one of the better games for the 7800 joystick and I really don't have any major gripes towards it.

Fun: Where this game really shines is the fun factor. The 7800 port contains all of the fun and joy from the arcade classic and ups it a notch in many areas. You have multiple difficulty settings and with two players, you can have a friend join you in some new exciting game modes like 'Team Play', where you work together with a pool set of lives to see how far you can go, and 'Competitive Play', where you go up against each other for the highest score and you can even shoot or blast each other, or you can also do the standard 'One Player' if you want to take on that universe alone. It's a blast to play and you'll certainly get a lot of good runs from this game.

The Atari 7800 port went well beyond my expectations with Asteroids. Atari ported their own classic and they did it perfectly. When I said that Galaga was perhaps the best home port of an arcade game I've ever played, I think Asteroids just took it one step further. The 7800 was home to some amazing arcade games and this is definitely one of the best of the library. Asteroids fans need to check this one out and those new to the experience, this is a great entry point for you. Arcade gaming at its very finest, pick it up.

93% ~~~ A

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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:40 am

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (NES, 1987)

Graphics: 23/25
Sound: 23/25
Controls: 24/25
Fun: 25/25

The classic boxing game that knocks all boxing video games before it out of the ring with a big KO.

Boxing has been around for well over 100 years, at least the modernized sport that is as we know it. Boxing video games have been around since the Atari 2600 and got its first big push on the console with Boxing by Activision. Real Sports Boxing came along afterwards, and a slew of others. But what do you get when you mix the greatest boxer at the time, Mike Tyson, into an arcade boxing game? You'll find out.

But real quick, I'll go into a quick overview of the game's story and history. This is actually a port of the arcade classic Punch-Out and Super Punch-Out, released by Nintendo in 1983. What you do is that you start from the bottom of the bottom ranks with your character, Little Mac, and work your way up to the champ of the champs. The arcade game required its players to dodge, block and punch and uppercut through your opponents. How does the NES port deliver? Let me explain.

Graphics: First of all, the boxers are excellently detailed and looks ahead of its time for a 1987 release. They're also highly animated and Little Mac looks good as well and is the true meaning of the 'underdog'. The boxing ring you fight in looks like enough of a boxing ring and the crowd goes wild when a knock-out is performed. Did I forget to mention Mario is the referee in this game? Why wouldn't he be. The knock-out animations of your opponents vary between each boxer and are very animated as well, to bring that realism home. In this aspect, Punch-Out delivers the atmosphere in an excellent manner with no complaints.

Sound: From the crowd cheering you on as you leave your opponent laying on the mat down to the ringing of the bell, the sounds in this game fit the boxing atmosphere flawlessly and help add excitement to it. The soundtrack as you go through the rounds also fits the action very well and can be rather catchy. The music that plays when your going in for a title bout achieves excitement and mystery to who you're about to fight. This is really about as good as it gets in terms of a sports title.

Controls: Everything in this game is very responsive and any mistake is basically on your part. Left and right arrows move you in said direction when dodging and the 'A' and 'B' button perform left and right jabs when you hold 'up' on the directional pad and without the pad, you can do shots to the body with either hand. The only thing that takes getting used to is executing your special punch (an uppercut), which is with the 'Start' button, absurd choice of them all. It doesn't make it any less responsive, but may not feel natural your first few go rounds.

Fun: The fun lies within the excellent atmosphere this game gives off and also with the strategy that's involved. Each opponent has weaknesses that can be given off by a physical mannerism that they give off or when you can happen to stun them with a few good shots. Timing is also part of the fun in Punch-Out, where you have to time each dodge and punch based on the speed of your opponent and the said mannerisms that they give off.
There are two things that may turn folks off with this game, and that is the difficulty and that this game is only one player. When you get to King Hippo, the game really requires you to be on your toes and look for the obvious weakness and just becomes harder from there. Could this game have benefited from a two-player mode? It's hard to tell, since the game is already great as it is. Also, Mike Tyson (or Mr. Dream, depending on what version you pick up) is relatively cheap and can knock you out in one punch, which depending on the type of gamer you are, can encourage you to keep at it or throw your controller down in frustration and quit.

Why didn't I review this classic game sooner? It doesn't matter. Punch-Out is a classic and still stands out against some of the more arcadey boxing titles out there today, in some cases it surpasses. The excellent amount of strategy and timing involved really bring this game home and is an absolute must to purchase, whether you do it through the Virtual Console or for your own NES system. Classic game, you'd be a fool to not check this one out.

95% ~~~ A

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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:17 pm

Metroid Fusion (GBA, 2002)

Graphics: 25/25
Sound: 25/25
Controls: 23/25
Fun: 17/25

Mix the classic Metroid formula with a unique story and you get a solid entry in the historic series on the go.

In case your not familiar with the Metroid franchise, it got its start on the NES back in 1986. You assume the role of Samus Aran, the female space bounty hunter, who is out to defeat the Metroids that are at risk to destroying the world and achieving domination. With several power-ups at her arsenal, you jump, run and explore the planets and destroy anything that gets in your way of ridding those dangerous Metroids.

The story in Fusion is that Samus Aran is infected with the 'X Parasite' while acting as bodyguard to the researchers on planet SR338. On the verge of dying, doctors surgically repair Samus to the best they can from the damage caused by the parasite and the vaccine that cures her is the DNA from the Metroid hatchling she found in Metriod II. Her damaged armor is lost throughout the sectors of the planet and becomes occupied by another parasite, creating essentially a heartless clone of herself, except this one is set on destruction and retains all the powers that Samus lost. Going through the sectors, she repairs the messes and cleans the world of the X parasites that her clone let loose and eventually destroying the clone.

Metroid Fusion is the 2nd game of the series to go to the portable side, following Metroid II: Return of Samus back in 1991 for the original Game Boy. Metroid II is often considered one of the best games of the series, does Fusion have the same amount of success to match or exceed it? I'll let you know:

Graphics: I'll just say this now, the game is gorgeous and makes great use of the GBA hardware. The levels are beautifully created and each one retains the atmosphere of each sector you are going into, the enemies are wonderfully detailed as well and they are all very colorful. The presentation overall is slickly done and the cutscenes are just as good as they were for Super Metroid, perhaps a touch better with the advancing technology.

Sound: The music and sound effects retain the eerie atmosphere of the previous Metroid games, as expected. You can really feel a sense of danger and mysteriousness through it all and the sound effects have that spacey feel to it as well and keep you in the game as well. The voices of the aliens when you blast through them also keep the atmosphere intact also. Superbly done on the GBA hardware.

Controls: For the most part, everything in terms of controls handles fine and most errors made are made on your end. Things can be a little bit frustrating until you recover your abilities throughout the game, but once you defeat bosses and various enemies to retrieve them there's really no complaints. My lone gripe, though not much of one, is that some of the platform grabs you have to make can be a little tricky, particularly in tight areas or when you have to leap from left to right to get to the top.

Fun: While there is enjoyment to be had in this title, there is one thing that turns me off in Metroid Fusion that the previous games in the series got right, which was the exploration process of the levels. Some areas, you can go through the door but they either remain locked until you clear out the sector entirely of its threat or they can be blown up by her clone and become unusable. It feels too paint-by-number, if you know what I mean. Often I felt like if I had missed picking up a power-up or upgrade, I wouldn't be able to go back and retrieve it and it would make the rest of the game that much more difficult.
I also didn't find this game as difficult as the first Metroid or even Metroid II. Though the game is loaded with all sorts of enemies to kill and things to explore in attempt to rid of the 'X parasite', I felt it takes things too easily and most bosses don't require a great amount of skill to kill.

If these things that I mentioned don't distract you from your Metroid fix, then I'm sure you'll find this game loads of fun. I just didn't feel like it was quite as fun as it could of been. It doesn't mean I hate this game, I really do enjoy it and think its a great and unique addition to the Metroid franchise and storyline. I just expected a little bit more to it. Worthy of Metroid fans to pick up.

90% ~~~ A-

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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:14 pm

The Legend of the Mystical Ninja (SNES, 1992)

Graphics: 23/25
Sound: 23/25
Controls: 23/25
Fun: 25/25

Another RPG/Platforming hybrid of a game that pulls you in with its addictive challenge.

RPG style games mixed with platform and top-down elements are nothing new, they've been around since the days of the NES. Most of them are run of the mill, you explore the levels, pick up power-ups, buy items with currency obtained through the enemy and then power up enough to fight the boss of that level and then move on.

So is Mystical Ninja a run of the mill title? It was critically acclaimed upon its first release for the SNES back in 1992 and the first entry of the series is what we're covering here today. The plot of the game isn't really much of one, Kid Yang and Dr. Yang are the heroes of this one as they fight through odd occurrences that have been set up initially by the Ghost Lady (who is actually a Ninja Cat that in the end is on your side) as you go on to save the princess from the Otafu army that has been kidnapped. Sounds pretty standard so far doesn't it? Does something lie beyond this that makes the game special? I'll explain now:

Graphics: First of all, the character sprites from the hero down to the enemies and bosses you face, are very well detailed and extremely animated. Some of the Japanese references that this game covers also works well enough with the game's atmosphere. The backgrounds and world around you are also nicely detailed and also retain the atmosphere. The 3-D effect for some of the mini-games are pretty good for the console limitations and considering this game was released early in the SNES's lifespan. Overall, it is pleasant to the eye.

Sound: The oriental themed music that goes throughout the game is beautifully orchestrated and doesn't come across as too cliché or corny like so many other titles tend to come off. Sound effects have a nice arcade sound to them and this isn't surprising, considering Konami's reputation. The boss level fight music throughout the game carry that frantic tone but are still as enjoyable as the rest of the soundtrack.

Controls: Control-wise, everything here is solid. In the platforming and exploratory sections, you move with the d-pad and can also shoot your weapon up, down, left or right to get enemies from all around you. You can easily change to a throwing projectile with the top buttons and the pause button shows your inventory. Jumping and firing or using your weapon (it starts out as a pipe but works its way up to a very effective yo-yo), is very easy and with the game requiring expert timing, is rather pleasant and enjoyable to do.

Fun: Where this game truly excels is in just how fun it can be. With two-players, you work together collecting money and items while exploring and can also team up during platforming sections and during boss fights which is something unique that this game brings to the table. Also the ability to upgrade weapons through buying and collecting pieces throughout the game doesn't feel monotonous and each player can decide if they want to choose more speed (sandals that you can purchase) or just a slice of pizza (which helps prolong your health for a few hits). Also the ability to upgrade your Judo level is a nice touch, (Level 1 you ride an animal that helps you defeat enemies, Level 2 releases an attack that affects all enemies on screen, 3 gives you ability to fly for a short time and Level 4 is a powerful rapid fire attack) and is necessary to get you through the latter parts of the game.
Mini-games are located throughout and really add another element of fun and replay value to Mystical Ninja, which can include the first level of the classic Gradius, air hockey, trivia, dice games and even a lottery.
Another fun thing about this game is the difficulty. It isn't overwhelming like Ghosts N' Goblins but adds just enough challenge to keep you playing on to see what's coming up next. It isn't the toughest video game ever made by any means, but it is a hard game. It can get very addicting because of this, I warn you.

Overall, Mystical Ninja doesn't add anything really special in terms of the RPG and Platforming elements to the mix. But with its unique leveling up (you collect cats and scrolls that enemies drop for weapon upgrades) and its fun mini-games, it brings some new editions to the genre and helps it stand out. In terms of difficulty and the pure addictiveness that it brings, this is what makes Mystical Ninja one of the best games for the SNES library. It's a rare breed that throws expert timing in your face but doesn't do it in a frustrating fashion. If you can find this game (it's going for well over $40 as we speak), do yourself a favor and pick it up. Highly recommended.

94% ~~~ A


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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:13 am

PGA Tour Golf (SNES, 1991)

Graphics: 10/25
Sound: 12/25
Controls: 15/25
Fun: 9/25

There's good golf games out there and then absolutely hilarious failures. This is the latter.

Golf games have been around since the Atari 2600, while the sport itself has been around for ages. Some of the games are pretty innovative for their time and can be rather fun and then there's games like the one I'm about to cover that are absolutely hilarious and not in a good way. I hope you guys appreciate this review because I sure don't.

Graphics: An ugly muddy mess about says it all. I applaud the creators for trying to create a bit of a zoom in of each course before teeing off but everything is pixelated beyond words, the water looks like a blue pile of crap, bunkers look like a pale brown turd and well that about covers it. Your golfer looks somewhat human but that isn't an achievement for a 16 bit entry. Disgusting, yucky and ugly.. did I already say ugly?

Sound: Sound effects sounds like someone knocked on a wall or banged their fist in a bowl of rotten mashed potatoes, literally. The music can get in your head at times and there are probably far worse soundtracks but more than not you'll play on mute. Nothing in this game breaks any ground in the sound department and it makes you wonder if the people at EA really even tried.

Controls: The lone good thing about this game that the controls are for the most part responsive. Up and down arrows pick your club, left and right moves your aim and the 'B' button lines up your shot on the two-hit power percentage bar, such as most of the golf games around the time period. Nothing to write home about, but probably the least broken thing about this game.

Fun: If there's any fun here, it is very limited and will only likely find a particular audience. Estimating the power on your shots can either be a challenge that you just get lucky at random or about as fun as watching flies bang each other. There's a few golf courses that you can go through and you can play in tournament mode or just do one round among other things, but for the casual gamer you most likely won't bother playing for more than a few minutes.

There are good golf games and then there is PGA Tour Golf. Is it Castlequest bad? Not quite. At least you can get somewhere, but after about two or three holes is it really worth the trip? If your a golf nut, perhaps.. otherwise, it's just a waste of time.

46% ~~~ F

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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:26 pm

The Ren & Stimpy Show: Time Warp (SNES, 1994)

Graphics: 21/25
Sound: 21/25
Controls: 12/25
Fun: 17/25

Ren & Stimpy fans only apply on an otherwise average beat 'em up.

For those that didn't have the benefit of growing up in the 1990's, Ren & Stimpy was one of the Nicktoon original shows that aired from 1991 to 1995 and starred an ill-tempered Chihuahua named Ren and a very stupid and happy cat named Stimpy. Unlike the shows that Nickelodeon aired at the time, the humor in the show was off-color and often crude. The pair go on crazy adventures and wind up in some rather disgusting places and some of the said topics that come along with it. The show was considered controversial for its humor and adult content but is still renowned for its style and originality in its artwork and character in today's society and was critically acclaimed by adult viewers upon its original run. The show also made a return in 2003 for Spike TV specifically made for adult audiences, but did not turn out well and was quickly cancelled.

But the reason your really here isn't for the show, but for the games that this series spawned off. Seven games were made in all, all of them based on episodes of the show. The one we are looking at today is the seventh and final game in the series, Time Warp. Basically you are controlling the main stars Ren and Stimpy as you go through several crazy environments as you collect coins, special items required to beat each level (such as box tops from Nitty Gritty Cat Litter) and through major bosses at the end of each stage to board your time machine and 'warp' to another place. Does the game hold up with the cartoon in terms of its colorful nature and outlandish content? I'll explain:

Graphics: I'll say this now, the animation work in Time Warp is fantastic. Ren and Stimpy are just as detailed and animated as they are in the show. From screaming and moving around the world down to their death and emotional states, everything is captured perfectly. Bosses and other characters you come across in the game are just as well done in that category. The levels look like something pulled straight from the show and also fit the atmosphere perfectly. It captures the charm of the show in this aspect without missing a beat.

Sound: The music throughout the game represents the show accurately and the voice samples for Ren and Stimpy sound fantastic. From Stimpy's "Oh Joy!" down to Ren's "You swine!", it's all there in the glory that only the show could produce. It doesn't try to be better than other games out there and in this case it doesn't need to be.

Controls: Now we're getting into the problems that this game contains. Controls here feel a little on the slippery side in general and the hit detection more often than not goes in the direction of having to be in a specific spot to pick something up or to strike or feeling a bit delayed. Power-ups that you pick up are activated through the 'L' top button and is for the most part responsive. The power-ups are most often self explanatory (the "rubber nipples" work as suction cups and let you climb up walls to get hard to reach items) and easy to cycle through even as the action gets frantic.
As I mentioned, hit detection is a problem. It isn't so often that it goes through your enemies as you can hit the enemy from just about anywhere. This can either make for some ridiculously easy kills or some insanely frustrating segments that are just harder than it needs to be.

Fun: This really depends on the taste of the gamer with Time Warp. If you're a Ren and Stimpy fan, you'll be able to pass the mostly forgiving faults within and have a great time with this one as it accurately represents the feel and humor of the television series. For those who aren't fans of the cat and dog, you'll most likely just be turned off by the game or not understand it at all.
The difficulty in this game can often seem a bit tough and not always in a good way. Certain levels require you to pick up a certain amount of money or specific items and it won't tell you how much you need until you get to the end of the level. If you don't get enough of an item, you are game over and have to start all over again, which can be a real pain in the butt. There is a password system though, which passcodes can be picked up at indicated parts of each level and be inserted through the 'Options' screen on the main menu of the game to pick up where you left off.

Casual gamers beware, Time Warp is a mixed bag. It feels like this game was made more for the fans of the show, in which they will not be disappointed with the charm and feel of it. If you're not a fan, just stay clear of this one. I had fun with this game mostly because I love the cartoon series and much like the show during its original run you'll either love it or just be disgusted by it.

71% ~~~ C-

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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:36 pm

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES, 1987)

Graphics: 22/25
Sound: 21/25
Controls: 15/25
Fun: 10/25

In what could of been a great addition to the series turns out to be a load of cryptic BS.

If you're a Nintendo fan, you are most likely familiar with the Castlevania series. It got its start in 1986 with the original Castlevania game and featured the character of Simon Belmont as he travels through Count Dracula's castle and defeats enemies and bosses such as the grip reaper with his leather whip (you can pick up such upgrades as the chain whip later on), holy water, daggers, etc. etc. This first game is often considered a classic for the system by many folks and paved the way for other games in the genre and in such infused its system into future games in the series as well.

The second game Simon's Quest however, is set sometime after the ending of the first game. Dracula has set a curse on Simon and the land around him after being defeated by Belmont and has now scattered his five main body parts across several mansions. Simon must collect all the pieces and then with that, go back to Dracula's Castle and defeat and seal the vampire for good. This certainly sounds interesting on paper and like a good idea. Does it really deliver though? I'll explain:

Graphics: First of all, the world is finely detailed. The trees look like you'd expect them to in a horror theme, as do the walls that line each mansion and the caverns that you travel through. The enemy models look considerably improved over the first entry and are in greater detail. Simon himself looks almost identical and the weaponry you pick up is well enough defined to be able to know what your using. Overall, it's a pretty good looking game for 1987.

Sound: The soundtrack in this one is very good and isn't difficult on the ears at all. The sound effects, from the snap of your whip to the hearts that you pick up, are almost identical from the first game and that's nothing to gripe about.

Controls: Now we're getting into the dirty parts of Simon's Quest. The controls in this one feel a little stiff, particularly in timing your jumps. There's a lot more complex jumps to make in this game as if it was trying to be a genuine platformer, though Simon is FAR from built to handle it was well as per say Mario. His stiff jumping makes precision about impossible and this can result in some lost lives which is frustrating. He also moves considerably slower than in the first game and with enemies that are much quicker than you, this can also be a major pain in the butt. I've also noticed that selecting and using some items can either feel delayed or take a few times to select when you hit start and choose from the appropriate menu. In terms of how it plays, this game tries to be something that it just isn't meant to be.

Fun: The main flaw in Castlevania II, which most folks will agree with and have complained about before, is the cryptic nonsense. You're literally thrown into a world with no items and no sense of direction and you just have to assume you know where to go and what items to pick up. The usual slew of cryptic spots in this is kneeling down with the blue crystal that enables a tornado that takes you through a wall of solid rock to your next mansion, dropping garlic in front of the first stone in the graveyard to get the gold dagger and kneeling in front of the lake with another crystal that allows a hidden passage to open up under the water for you to venture into. Unless you've got playthroughs and strategy guides to tell you where to go and where all of this can be found, you're pretty much screwed and stuck in a very frustrating mess.
What is fun however is that there are several endings to the game, depending on how long it takes you to complete it. Defeat the game in 8 playing days for the best ending, and then it goes on from there as you take longer. Another fun thing that this game tries to do is take the old RPG approach when it comes to purchasing power-ups and items, which is great if you know what exactly to go after but can be bothersome and irritating if you don't know. The fun you can get out of this game, solely depends on the type of gamer that you are and how much patience you got in going back and forth and solving puzzles.

It's a mixed bag really. This game is often considered the weakest of the Castlevania series and for mostly the reasons that I've mentioned. It tries to be different, which is a good thing if done correctly and it wasn't done right with this one. It's not Castlequest bad by any stretch and is playable, but you'll either love or hate this game. There's no medium ground here, beware.

68% ~~~ D+

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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:35 pm

Fester's Quest (NES, 1989)

Graphics: 19/25
Sound: 22/25
Controls: 7/25
Fun: 7/25

This is a quest you just don't want to go on.

If your wondering why the name Fester sounds so familiar then your thinking in the right direction, unless your thinking a wrinkly old guy that's married to your cousin and makes moonshine. This is actually a game involving Uncle Fester from The Addams Family, most popularly known as the television show from the 1960's that involves a rather odd family that is into macabre interests and have abilities of the supernatural without no real rhyme or explanation of how they got them.

This is the first of five games that were based on The Addams Family and the only one to be released by Sunsoft. The story of the game is that Uncle Fester is out moonbathing and to his surprise he witnesses an alien invasion. He then decides to take things into his own hands and goes to save the city, blasting through buildings and sewers containing frogs and other strange creatures with his gun as he makes it to the UFO, defeats the big boss and stops the invasion with help from the other members of the family along the way. It sounds interesting but does this mean the game is any good? I'll explain now:

Graphics: From a graphical standpoint, Fester's Quest is a pretty decent looking game. The world is decently detailed and this goes from the buildings down to the sewers that you investigate. The frogs and other enemies you encounter are decently detailed and Fester looks fairly close to his television counterpart as well.

Sound: In terms of soundtracks go on the NES, this game actually has a pretty thumpin' one. It has that slight sense of horror but is lively and bouncy at the same time. The sound effects are solid and have that nice arcade effect to it that Sunsoft so often got right in their NES titles.

Controls: The game's biggest flaws aren't in the response time of the controls but the poor design of the gun and its power-ups. As you pick up the power-ups, it causes your gun to fire in a wave which wouldn't be bad but so often it misses the enemies entirely, which most of them take several hits to kill as is. This often results in having to retreat to get rid of them without taking damage or just having to risk running past them entirely, which can often result in taking more damage or finding more enemies ahead that are just as problematic. Narrow hallways and areas can even affect your gun and cause it to shoot into walls or buildings, which makes enemies impossible to kill or make you leave the area and come back just to find that enemy respawn, which they do ALOT in this game. It is absolutely frustrating to the point where you just wanna turn the game off.
The second thing that bites the bullet is that Fester is INCREDIBLY slow and stiff to maneuver. When enemies hit him, he becomes even slower which just makes things worse when you are having to retreat. Being he only lasts two hits in the beginning levels of the game, you are literally screwed over by this.

Fun: The enjoyment that could of been had in Fester's Quest is really defined by its horrible controls and perhaps the worst shooting of any gun I've used in a game so far. It's even worse than Commando for the Atari 7800 in this aspect, because at least there the absurd controller for the console contributes to its faults. Even worse, this is one of those where do you go games and trying to make things work with the items you pick up leaves no explanation and with only two main buttons to work with on the NES controller, there's no excuse for something of that complexity. Also when you defeat a boss, you cannot backtrack through the previous levels so this means if there was an item that you needed and you failed to pick it up, the game pretty much says tough crap. To boot, you only have one life. Fester runs out of hits, the game is over and your only option is to 'continue', which starts you back at the VERY BEGINNING but at least you keep your power-ups and items which I guess is nice but why not have at least a password system to start in the place you died or left off at? Is that too much to ASK?
The other thing that detracts the fun to be had from Fester's Quest is ENEMY RESPAWN. It's bad in Ninja Gaiden to historic proportions but this game has it even worse. With the crappy gun and enemies reproducing like rabbits, you either get cornered and have to die because of it or you make a run for it and take damage for it, pretty much wrecking you over. They overkilled it with enemies and its simply inexcusable.

In a nutshell, this game may be enjoyable to some but in VERY limited dosage. To others that enjoy top down shooting games and exploration, just do yourselves a favor and pass on this dud. There are way too many control problems to even bother with it plus with having no clue where to go and how to go about doing things, it's just a frustration tumor in the waiting. Don't go on this quest, just stay home and play something else. You'll thank yourself for it.

55% ~~~ F



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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:36 am

Back to the Future (NES, 1989)

Graphics: 15/25
Sound: 10/25
Controls: 19/25
Fun: 18/25

Beneath its very loose resemblance to the movie is a decent game by LJN, which really says something.

Unless you live under a rock, Back to the Future was a trilogy of action/science fiction films that starred Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Doc Emmett Brown in which Doc creates a time machine out of a DeLorean. Finding out that the car is fueled by stolen plutonium that Doc kidnapped from the Libyans, Marty is forced to take the time machine to get away from the said Libyans and winds up hitting the speed of 88 MPH, which is the key to time travel but he goes to 1955 in the first film which coincidentally was released in 1985. With no way to get home because there is no plutonium in 1955, he reunites with the 1955 Doc Brown and with the help of a projected lightning storm and the clock tower, the car is struck with the gigawatts of electricity required and Marty is sent back to 1985 with history still intact. I could go in depth of the other two films but we're covering the first film in this game.

So of course, there had to be video games released and based on such a great film. One company that butchered franchises and movie video games in the NES era however, was LJN. Responsible for such disasters as Friday the 13th and Roger Rabbit (which I've previously reviewed), there was no doubt that this game was going to fail living to the movie's tall expectations. Is this game another in line of the ginormous bombs released by LJN? Let's find out:

Graphics: Average but somewhat uninspired, the graphics in the world surrounding Marty McFly are a touch above Atari standards but nothing special. The streets have curbs, houses look like houses and the enemies are decently detailed and animated. Marty McFly, who you control throughout the game however, looks incredibly bizarre with a black t-shirt and blue jeans along with black hair (none of these he sports in the movie). Also when he dies in the game, he spazzes out on the ground like he's having a seizure, which is particularly strange. The DeLorean on the final stage of the game however looks pretty good, which could make movie fans happy.

Sound: There's very little to be said about the sound in this one. You have two songs, "The Power of Love" (though its sped up and nearly unrecognizable) which runs through most of the game and "Johnny B. Goode" which is played during the Enchantment Under the Sea guitar level. Neither of them are anything special and the sound effects through the game are really just the standard run of the mill variety and nothing to write home about. You may spend a lot of time playing this game muted after a few minutes.

Controls: Besides feeling slippery and making things hard to keep up on the street segments since the level scrolls upward, the fire buttons and jump button seem to be responsive. Bees, which can be extremely challenging to navigate around (and once again have nothing to do with the film), doesn't take much to get used to after you manage to adjust to the slippery scheme.

Fun: Though there is plenty of challenge in the game, in terms of keeping up on picking up enough clocks to keep you and your family from fading away from existence and dodging various enemies who just seem to be out to kill poor Marty McFly, the slippery controls and the fact that the game itself has so little to do with the film might be what determines how much fun this really is.
Also a problem in this game, not a huge one but could be a frustrating one, is the iffy hit detection, particularly while dealing with Biff's goons in the diner as you throw objects at them to stop them from reaching Marty and the counter. Once you get it down, it isn't too bad but it can take quite some time to get the feel to be playable. If you can ignore these two main issues in the game, there is a pretty decent amount of fun to be had.

Back to the Future isn't quite the disaster that E.T. for the Atari 2600 was in the hype but it could of been so much better. Maybe if LJN didn't try cashing in on the franchise, that could of helped and perhaps this game could of been a classic. But really, it doesn't do any good to think of the what could of beens and instead just focus on what we have here. A decent arcade style adventure game beyond its relatively major flaws. I know some will think WTF after reading this review, but I honestly wasn't as let down by my purchase of this game like I thought I would of been. It may or may not be for you.

62% ~~~ D-

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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:24 am

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Atari 2600, 1982)

Graphics: 2/10
Controls: 0/10
Fun: 0/10

One of the two biggest contributors of the 1983 Video Game Industry Crash, E.T. is an absolute disaster.

Picture this, your in 1982 and one of the biggest movies of all time, E.T. has just came out. There's announcement of a video game based on the movie, you're super hyped about it. We've yet to find the internet in homes so all you can really do is wait for it to come out and buy it.

So what exactly do we have here? To start things off, the game was developed in only 5 weeks. I crap you not. Secondly, 4 million copies of this was sold when it came out for the Christmas season but 3.5 million were estimated to be returned to Atari by gamers. Yeah, this is all real bad news and in today's industry would just as easily wipe out video games as it nearly did back in 1983. I'll provide a review of this nightmare now:

Graphics: It's an ugly mess by even 2600 hardware standards. Very boring and uninspired, the lone good thing about this department is that the agents and Elliott look decent. E.T. is a boring green blob with a dot for an eye and the surroundings are beyond boring and inexcusable for such a hyped title.

Controls: I'll start with the obvious first, the hit detection is absolutely hideous. If a single pixel of E.T. is touching a pit, he'll fall in. Getting out of these pits is just as much of a nightmare due to the said thing about the pixels touching the holes or you'll just have an agent standing next to where ever you can land so it's just B.S. no matter what you choose. Getting E.T. to raise his neck to exit pits feels ridiculously clunky as well and moving E.T. through the rest of the level is extremely sluggish. Picking up items isn't so difficult but the said flaws in the controls in this game are an absolute killer and deprive ANY good that can be found.

Fun: Is this the worst game I've ever played in my life? Absolutely, by a long shot and the other main contributor to the industry crash is pretty much a tie. E.T. makes Castlequest look like the greatest game ever made in comparison and that says a LOT. With the horrible controls and the fact this game was so badly rushed to meet the big holiday deadline, that's a recipe for disaster and E.T. is the dish that nobody would want to eat or even wish on their enemies.
One last thing I'll mention that is just as fatal as the rest of the flaws in this mess is that even with the instruction booklet, this game gives you literally no indication on what to do or where to go. It's simply inexcusable and shame on Atari for trying to throw this wreck on gamers.

Atari pretty much got killed off by this game and it's other train-wreck Pac-Man, that I'll soon have the unfortunate dismay to review. I don't kid you when I say Atari lost over $500 million dollars mostly in due to games like this. I also don't kid you when I say, STAY AWAY from this pile of crap. It stunk back in 1982, it stunk when I was 9 years old and it stinks just as badly now.

6% ~~~ F


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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:50 pm

Taz in Escape From Mars (Genesis, 1994)



Graphics: 22/25
Sound: 18/25
Controls: 9/25
Fun: 17/25

A great idea for a Taz game mangled with awkward and frustrating controls.

Anybody who is a Warner Bros. fan is aware of the Tazmanian Devil character, today he is a staple of attitude and seems to be appearing everywhere. Back in Warner Bros. cartoon heyday, Taz was only included in 5 cartoon shorts.. yes I said 5. In the early 90's, Taz took off and became a huge part of culture and society, having his own Saturday morning cartoon and even spawning into video games. The video game we are looking into is his 3rd appearance as the main character, Taz in Escape From Mars. He got his first start on the Atari 2600 game Taz in 1983, but that's irrelevant to today's review.

The storyline behind the game is simple, Marvin the Martian is looking through his book of earth creatures and is struck by the idea of capturing the Tazmanian Devil. Marvin takes Taz back to the planet Mars and its up to Taz to escape the zoo that Marvin has put him on the planet and get back home through various levels including the zoo and other places like a haunted house. This game brought a lot of childhood memories for me, was the trip back worth it? Take a peek:

Graphics: The animation and detail of Taz, Marvin and the Martians is fantastic and really drives the feel of the old shorts home. Other enemies are nicely detailed as well and at least from that aspect keeps things fresh. The backgrounds of each level aren't anything to write home about but keep the environment appropriate and give it a fair feel. Not the best stuff for the console, but a lot of effort was thrown into it which does gain my respect.

Sound: While Taz retains his grunts and yells from the cartoons, which sounds great on the Genesis might I add, the sound effects are standard at best. The background music, much like the background graphics that I mentioned earlier, are nothing to write home about but it doesn't get to the point where you want to mute it. Could they have done more with the music like other masterpieces for the system like Aladdin or Lion King? Absolutely, but there are far worse out there than this game.

Controls: The controls in this game are so awkward, its hard to describe. It isn't so much that there's delay in your actions and not bad to where your falling through solid platforms but more in fault to the scheme itself. Taz uses the ability to do his trademark spin to bounce up corridors which if done right isn't a problem, but having to hit the jump button while pointing the D-Pad in the direction of the wall your facing is a challenge to the point where its almost Bigfoot bad, but not quite. Another bad thing about the spin is that sometimes you need to use it as a sort of a running start to make it to another platform that's far away from you or of higher reach and so often it takes a few tries to pull it off successfully. You can also accidentally get rid of items on platforms with the spin and when it comes to Health power ups that can be destroyed by it, this is a major problem.
Jumping from platform to platform without having to use the spin can also be difficult, though it isn't as bad as navigating corridors. Controlling the spin is another challenge upon itself, often you'll fall to your death or take hits from enemies if you don't get them in just the right spot. It's really just more frustration than it really should of been, though I totally get where they were going by making a game unique to Taz and his abilities. The idea is there but the execution is lacking.

Fun: The plotline is interesting, the characters are well woven into the game and the game offers a different concept to the platformer genre. It's just unfortunate that the control scheme for it came out so sketchy, because it really keeps Taz in Escape From Mars from being a classic. Once you get used to the controls, it is a playable experience but a frustrating experience that you may or may not want to come back to again.

Is this game fun? Once you get past the major flaws in terms of control, absolutely. Any Warner Bros. fan or Taz fan in general will want to look into this game but most likely nothing more than that, it really eats up your patience and not in a good way. Unique and exciting concept marred by poor execution, choose wisely on this one.

66% ~~~ D

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PostSubject: Re: Video Game Reviews   Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:46 pm

Monster Truck Madness 64 (Nintendo 64, 1999)

Graphics: 21/25
Sound: 19/25
Controls: 5/25
Fun: 15/25

In what could of been a fun PC port, Monster Truck Madness 64 falls short with its horrible controls and physics.

Monster Truck Madness was original released for the Windows operating system in 1996 and really brought the feeling of the whole Monster Truckin' experience home from car crushing rallies and with some challenging circuit racing with wacky jumps. Its sequel came out in 1998 for Windows and added even more crazy modes to the game, including a deathmatch/king of the hill type of game called Summit Rumble and even added weather conditions and an even bigger batch of trucks to use.

This sequel received an N64 port about a year after its PC release and the expectations were high for it. The system was definitely able to handle the challenge, but would it retain the experience and fun from the PC version? I'll get into that now:

Graphics: The graphical detail of each monster truck down to the world around you is very well done on the Nintendo 64 and in some cases rivals the PC port. It isn't as sharp however, but there is no graphical breakup and the pop-up in this game is minimal. The menus are basic but get the job done as well. It's solid here and some of the better graphics on the system.

Sound: The sound and general atmosphere from the PC port are well brought over in this version as well. The monster trucks roar and just scream power at you and the music, though nothing catchy, fits the atmosphere of the game as well.
My one gripe though, and a very annoying and constant one in this game, is the announcer Army Armstrong. He's listenable and sometimes humorous in the PC port but in this game he has a VERY limited amount of lines and he only says them about every five seconds or so. I liked him in the PC port but I found myself getting tired of him very quickly here and muting him out early on.

Controls: The biggest problem with MTM64 is the controls. They are horribly stiff and at times unresponsive. I understand that they may have been going for the realistic experience here but even the PC version on a keyboard was more responsive and intuitive and that's saying a lot. Turning requires you to literally slow to a crawl and gingerly make your move without having any problems spinning yourself out or keeping on the road. I literally had to look up the manual online to learn how to just go in reverse, which is down on the analog joystick which isn't too bad after you get used to it but you should never have to look up controls to do a basic maneuver with your truck.
The physics in this game are incredibly wonky to say the least, and not in a fun way. It feels like your driving on an ice sheet in every weather condition in game and hitting the slightest bump will cause your truck to tip over and cost you precious time in the circuit races. Driving on slopes is also a horrible experience as you are just guaranteed to either spin out coming back onto the main road or once again tipping. The PC version was still playable even with its stiff feel, but this port takes it to a whole 'nother level of bad. Some of the worst controls I've come across in a game yet.

Fun: Besides the standard circuit racing mode, this game introduces some new multiplayer modes that are a blast to do with friends and even with computer AI. The newcomers is Soccer, Hockey, Tag and Chase mode with an old favorite Summit Rumble, even making a return and allowing for a 4 player party and a lot of good times to be had from it. The powerups in the circuit racing, going from missiles to a hovercraft option, are also a lot of fun and can make multiplayer racing very interesting.
What really detracts from the fun factor in this game however are the controls and physics that I mentioned and they at times make this game almost unplayable. If you can get used to how stiff and ridiculous they are, then you've got a blast of a game on your hands.

I was seriously disappointed with MTM64. Underneath some great graphics and multiplayer modes is what killed this game for me, awful controls and equally awful and frustrating physics. In terms of the racing experience, you can do way better than this one for your N64. Go get Mario Kart 64 instead, you'll thank me for it someday.

60% ~~~ D-

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