Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PSX) Review

Released in 1997, SOTN is a direct sequel to Castlevania Rondo of Blood, which at the time hadn’t gotten a proper US release. In this one, Richter Belmont has disappeared and Castlevania itself reappeared 4 years after the events of Rondo of Blood. Alucard, Dracula’s son last seen in Castlevania 3, awakens to discover what has happened with the help of an older maria from the previous game. This is the first of the Metroidvania style games, where the player explores an entire castle, gains new abilities, and fights bosses to uncover the plot. A second mode letting you play as Richter in a traditional Castlevania is opened up upon finishing the game. The game sports an amazing soundtrack and a number of dialogue scenes with voice acting (even if it is cheesy). SOTN wasn’t a big hit at first, until critic scores and word of mouth raised its status among gamers, prompting a number of re-releases.

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Tecmo Super Bowl Sundays 2020 Hack (NES)

So for fun I streamed a season playing the Tecmo Super Bowl 2020 hack as the 49ers. This hack is an updated roster for the start of the 2020 NFL season, some improved ai and more. I’m a big fan of the orginial 1991 Tecmo Super Bowl and it was fun playing this! Many games went better than others, worse games due to opponent ai and some bad choices and limped my way into the playoffs. Everything changed in the playoffs and tore my way to a Super Bowl victory against the Raiders! Also did a Pro Bowl game as the NFC and tore it up there too.

You can see all the game results here and my final record for the 2020 season here:

Here’s the playlist for the 2020 season from my youtube videos:

You can get the rom hack here:

Tecmo Super Bowl 2020 – SBlueman Edition (Updated 8/4/20)

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Shadowgate/Uninvited (NES) Review

Shadowgate was ported to the NES in 1989, The Uninvited in 1991 and are 2 games as part of the Macventure series, the other 2 games being Deju Vu I and II. Originally on Macs and PCs, these games are point and click adventure titles which involve solving clues, picking up items, and overcoming obstacles. Death is something you’ll get used to a lot in these games as they involve a lot of trial and error. You’re shown the room you are in, and you can see your inventory along with any magic spells you may discover. At the bottom of the screen you have a list of simple commands you use to manipulate objects in the rooms you encounter, along with using items on yourself. Shadowgate has a time limit, shown with how lit your torches are as you travel the castle. A time limit comes into play upon picking up a certain item in Uninvited. Seeing how the games in the Macventure series are all pretty much the same, except for settings, this review will be for both Shadowgate and The Uninvited.

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River City Ransom (NES) Review

Released by Tecnos Japan in the US in 1990, River City Ransom is an open-world beat em up title with many rpg elements. It’s part of the Kunio-Kun series, which also include Renegade, Super Dodge ball, and the Crash n The Boys series. The plot involves Alex and Ryan as they fight their way through mobs of gangs to break into the River City High School to beat down the leader of the gangs named Slick and save Ryan’s girlfriend. You’ll encounter a number of mobs all wearing different shirts and some stronger than others with names like “The Frat Guys” and “The Generic Dudes”and get money from them upon defeating them and the gang leaders on your way to the high school. One funny aspect is your enemies yelling “BARF!!” upon defeat. Collected money can be used to increase all your stats along with your endurance and max health bar. Items to buy include special books to make your attacks faster, items to wear to increase your stats, other goodies, and various foods. The game doesn’t tell you what these items you can buy in the malls do, so it’s a lot of trial and error or looking up a walkthrough, or having the map from Nintendo Power. There is one path to getting to the high school and you have to fight a series of gang leaders on the way, and sometime backtrack to fight others. Fighting style is punches and kicks, using weapons, and jumping like the Double Dragon games.

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Mega Man Derusting: Mega Man 3 (NES)

So I have a long history with the Mega Man games growing up. I came up with the Mega Man Derusting series to do such a task. The goal is to play and finish Mega Man 1-8, and possibly 9-11 later, along with Mega Man X1-4. I still have my Mega Man 1-4 carts and hadn’t really played them in years but I wanted to share my adventures on stream of relearning my way through the classic titles, and in some cases finish the later games to completion! 

THE REVIEW: Mega Man 3 is my favorite of the classic series and the one i have the most experience with. I still love it to this day even with its faults. The story goes Dr. Wily and Dr. Light are working together to build a peace keeping robot(?) named Gamma. They needed extra material so they sent Mega Man out to acquire them and he has to fight 8 new Robot Masters. There’s also the fights with the mysterious Break Man who shows up in some levels to test you. This is also the first of the Mega Man games where after the 8 Robot Masters you don’t go straight to Wily. You have to fight the might 8 Doc Robots in 4 of the previous stages. The Doc Robots have the powers of the Robot Masters from Mega Man 2! Wily was behind everything all along! In Dr. Wily’s newest castle, you’re gonna find yourself fighting a rebuilt Yellow Devil too! Dr. Light also built Rush, a robotic dog to assist Mega Man instead of using utility items. Rush can fly, bounce you higher, and act as a submarine. This is the first MM title with Rush, who becomes a recurring helper in the later games, and the second MM title (and last) where the password system also carries your up to 9 Energy tanks too. Learning a lot about this title recently I’ve discovered there was quite a bit about MM3 that was unfinished or unpolished.

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Mega Man Derusting: Mega Man 2 (NES)

So I have a long history with the Mega Man games growing up. I came up with the Mega Man Derusting series to do such a task. The goal is to play and finish Mega Man 1-8, and possibly 9-11 later, along with Mega Man X1-4. I still have my Mega Man 1-4 carts and hadn’t really played them in years but I wanted to share my adventures on stream of relearning my way through the classic titles, and in some cases finish the later games to completion! 

THE REVIEW: Mega Man 2 is actually the best selling Mega Man game of the series by Capcom. Released in 1988 in Japan and then in 1989 in North America, MM2 takes place a year after the events of the first game. Dr Wily is on a mission to take over the world and get revenge on Mega Man and this time built his own 8 Robot masters for his plans. Like the first game and many more after it, each lair of the Robot master is a reflection of their powers and each one will tax your gameplaying to the limit as you learn new tricks to avoid enemies and obstacles. Defeating a Robot master gains his special weapon which you can use on other bosses and to get you through stages. Defeating certain Robot Masters will gain you special items for flying across places and for getting to higher ledges. Defeating the 8 will open up Wily’s Castle where you’ll fight through many stages and fight incredible bosses before a rematch with the mad doctor himself twice. new additions to MM2 in this game became staples to the series in later editions such as new graphics for weapon energy and your own energy, energy tanks and a password system to resume where you left off later.

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Who Framed Roger Rabbit Gameboy & NES Review

The NES and Gameboy Who Framed Roger Rabbit games were released in 1989 and 1991 as tie-ins to the Disney Who Framed Roger Rabbit movie. Rare programmed the NES game and it was published by LJN, the Gameboy title was designed by Capcom. Both game play differently through the events of the movie. The NES game taking control of Eddie Valiant to solve the mystery of Roger Rabbit, the Gameboy title you take control of Roger himself to fight the Weasels and then confront Judge Doom. I’ve recently played and finished the Gameboy title for the first time and revisited the janky NES game after not playing it since I was a kid. Mistakes were made.

GAMEBOY ROGER RABBIT: The Gameboy Roger Rabbit has you playing as Roger trying to figure out who killed Marvin and get the deed to save Toontown from Judge Doom. Each chapter of the game has you solving a puzzle or 2 to get items to fight one of the 4 weasels. You’ll meet up with other people from the movie who help you out, and your life consists of 3 hearts. Losing all 3 hearts mean a game over and you start over at the start of the chapter again. Carrots are found around the overworld which will restore a heart, but they don’t regenerate until you game over and restart. Graphics in this game are very large and well-drawn and the music can be annoying at times. Controlling Roger can be janky sometimes, but other than that Roger will do what you instruct of him. This game is actually fun! Each chapter is a bit different with a puzzle or gameplay element, from shooting weasels with a toon gun to driving Benny the Taxi. Judge Doom’s warehouse is a maze to solve before fighting Judge Doom at the end. Graphics when you finish a chapter are vibrant and resemble a comic book or cartoon. It’s not very hard, but getting to the end of a chapter by finding the right person or item to get can be annoying and involve a lot of backtracking. A password is given when you finish a chapter for continuing your adventure. Losing to a weasel at the end of a chapter means restarting the chapter from the start, but each chapter isn’t very long but going from point a to b to fight the weasels can be annoying.


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Mega Man X SNES Review

Mega Man X was released by Capcom in January 1994 in America. This is a continuation of the Mega man series, taking place in the future of the classic series. X retains the basic gameplay of the classic series with a number of improvements, along with the 16 bit graphics and music upgrades. In X, Dr. Cain discovered mega Man X sealed in a capsule by the long deceased Dr. light. X was to be sealed to insure his programing of free will would work properly and he wouldn’t turn against humanity. Cain used the basis of X to created the Reploids, robots with free will. Life was good until some Reploids turned against humanity and went Maverick, which a group led by Sigma called the Maverick Hunters were forced to fight them. Sigma eventually went Maverick and Mega Man X, feeling responsible, went out to stop the Maverick War.

Besides the graphical and music improvements, X sports a number of new moves and features. One of them being the 8 bosses you fight being called Mavericks and their names being based upon different animals and plants and are humanoid in appearance, and of course Sigma replacing Dr. Wily as the final boss. X can still gain new weapons from defeating the 8 Mavericks just like in the classic series. Another change are the upgrades to X’s helmet, armor, boots and gun which are found hidden in capsules around the 8 levels. The spirit of Dr. Light will upgrade X, the gun upgrade giving you a more powered up shot for your X Buster and the weapons you receive from the bosses. X now sports a dash move when you upgrade his boots, along with a wall jump move letting the player jump up walls and slide down them, along with doing dashes off walls themselves. Other upgrades found in stages include heart tanks which increase X’s life bar and 4 sub-tanks which replace energy tanks from the classic series. Unlike the classic series, you can fill these with energy until max, and use as needed, and keep refilling them with energy when your life bar is full. A password system like the classic series, saves your progress on fought Mavericks and other upgrades.

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Legacy of the Wizard NES Review

Legacy of the Wizard is the only game in the Dragon Slayer series localized outside of Japan. LotW was originally titled Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family and was released on the Famicom, MSX and MSX2 systems along with the NES in the United States by Brøderbund. It was release din Japan in 1987, the NES port came out in 1989. This is an open world dungeon exploration action-RPG game, and could be likened to what were later called “Metroidvania” type games in recent years. This game follows the adventures of the Drasle family, a family of woodcutters descended from a great wizard destined to defeat an evil dragon that was returning to life after a number of years. You will end up using and needing all members of the family to explore the underground dungeon, as only certain members can get to some areas and use certain items. You’ll buy items and shops scattered in the dungeon along with finding some in treasure chests along with finding health and magic restoration items and inns to restore all your health and magic. Saving the game involves a long password of random letters and characters, something made infamous back in those days on the NES where writing one character down incorrectly locks you out of your progress. Thankfully most of us have phones with cameras now so we don’t have to write anything down.

Your family includes Xemn, the father who’s tough and strong and can push blocks, the mother Meyna who can fly and use magic, Roas, the son who is the only one capable of using the Dragon Slayer sword, lyll the daughter who can jump really high. Then Pochi the family pet who monsters cannot harm and is a lovable ball of destruction who smiles as he murders his own kind. Going through each part of the dungeon requires one of these family members and you’ll be looking for one of the 4 Crowns. Finding a Crown result sin a tough boss fight. Finding all 4 Crowns means Roas can find the Dragon Slayer sword and fight the evil dragon Keela.

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Mega Man Derusting: Mega Man 1 (NES)

So I have a long history with the Mega Man games growing up. I came up with the Mega Man Derusting series to do such a task. The goal is to play and finish Mega Man 1-8, and possibly 9-11 later, along with Mega Man X1-4. I still have my Mega Man 1-4 carts and hadn’t really played them in years but I wanted to share my adventures on stream of relearning my way through the classic titles, and in some cases finish the later games to completion! 

Mega Man 1 was released by Capcom in 1987. Comparing this to the later games is rough due to the differences between the first title and later games in the series. Mega Man puts you in the role of the super robot Mega Man as he fights Dr. Wily. To get to Wily, you need to beat the 6 robots that he reprogrammed for nefarious deeds first. Traveling through each world is a reflection of which Robot Master lives there. Guts Man’s area is a construction zone, Elec Man’s stage has many electric beams and so on. Beating one of the Robot Masters will gain you their special weapon and a ton of points. This weapon can be used against enemies throughout other stages and the other Robot Masters themselves. Each Mega Man game has an order, or multiple, to progress through the game to beat one Robot Master and use its weapon against the next one. The Robot Masters paths are compared to playing rock, paper, scissors. Finishing off the 6 Robot Masters will open up Dr. Wily’s castle where you’ll use all those weapons, and a special support item called the Magnet Beam, to fight your way through Wily’s horrors and stop him from trying to take over the world.

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