This week’s ROMs of the week are once again two NES games: Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers and Super Dodge Ball.
“Okay”, you’re asking, “Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers? Seriously?”
Yes, seriously. Despite the deservedly horrible reputation of licensed games, Disney has got it right on many occassions: DuckTales, Kingdom Hearts, Mickey Mousecapades, and Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers.
This game is a co-op platformer. It’s like a combination of Contra and Mario. It’s fun, has good level design, and has great Capcom music–very Megaman-esque.
You can find it somewhere on the web to download, I’m sure.
Super Dodge Ball is a great game. It’s part of the Kunio-kun series of games, which you might know for River City Ransom, Renegade, Nintendo World Cup, and Crash ‘n the Boys. They didn’t really form a coherent franchise in the US, but there are a ton of Japanese games in this series.
Bean ball was one of my favorite game types from Super Dodge Ball. It’s a free-for-all similar to ball tag that I used to play during recess in middle school. Except that, you know, if I lost, I didn’t turn into an angel and fly away. This game also has catchy music.
I’m sure it’s out there somewhere on the internet to download.
This week’s ROMs of the week are once again two NES games: Cobra Triangle and Bombliss.
Bullet Proof Software release a dual-game cartridge called “Tetris 2 and Bombliss” for NES. No one is really sure why they called it “Tetris 2″ because it is practically identical to Tetris. But anyway, Bombliss. Or as it’s sometimes known, “Tetris Blast”. This is a really fun variant of Tetris where you can set off bombs of varying sizes to destroy blocks instead of the old “row clearing” method. What’s even more fun is the ability to set off explosive chains.
I highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys Tetris, especially the “puzzle” mode. This specific game may have only had a Japanese release, but there are many other variants on the name for other systems. You can probably find it on Google .
The next game is a somewhat obscure title from Rare for the NES: Cobra Triangle. This was released after RC Pro-Am, and has a similar style of play. However, this is less of a racing game and more of an action/shooter game. You race your boat around rivers and what not and have to fight bosses, like this one:
I remember it being a very short game, but apparently there are 25 levels. You can find this game on Google if you want to play it.
This week’s ROMs of the week are Deja Vu and Jackal, both for NES.
Deju Vu is a “point ‘n’ click” adventure game. It’s not a Sierra/LucasArts style game, but it’s more of a first-person perspective game, with little or no animation. You wake up with amnesia in some bar bathroom and have to figure out who you are, who did this to you, and why they did it.
The screen has three areas: a view of the room you’re in, a “notebook” which mostly represents inventory, but this can include inventory of information as well, and a control area at the bottom with various commands and messages/dialog. The story is told in something of a noir-style, and is set in a 30s/40s gangster type of setting. This game was also released for PC/Mac, and there was even a sequel released on PC/Mac/Gameboy Color.
You can find this ROM somewhere on Google.
Jackal is a scrolling shooter like 1942 or Gradius, but it’s ground-based instead of air/space based, like Ikari Warriors. You control a jeep’s movement and gun movement independently, so you can be driving east while shooting west, for instance.
Your task is to recue P.O.W. behind enemy lines, but the enemy is some sort of weird Contra-like enemy, possibly alien, or whatever.
You can also find this somewhere on Google.
Yes, I know that Absolute, Acclaim, Active Enterprises, Activision, American Game Carts Inc, American Sammy, American Softworks, American Technos, American Video, Arcadia, Ascii, Asmik, Atlus, Bandai, Broderbund, Bullet Proof, Bunch Games, Caltron, Camerica, Capcom, Color Dreams, CSG Imagesoft, Culture Brain, Data East, Electro Brain, Electronic Arts, Enix, FCI, Galoob, Gametek, HAL, Hi Tech, Hot B, Hudson, Imagesoft, Infocom, INTV, Irem, Jaleco, JVC, Kemco, Koei, Konami, LJN, Matchbox, Mattel, Meldac, Microprose, Milton Bradley, Mindscape, Namco, Natsume, Nexoft, Nintendo, NTVIC, Ocean, Panesian, Parker Brothers, Romstar, SEI, Seta, SNK, Sofel, Square, STD, Sunsoft, T*HQ, Taito, Taxan, Tecmo, Tengen, Titus, Toho, Tradewest, Triffix, UBI Soft, Ultra, Vic Tokai, Virgin, and Wisdom Tree will all sue me.
This week’s ROMs of the week are Donkey Kong for Gameboy and Wario’s Woods for NES.
Now I’m sure you’ve all played Donkey Kong, and are thinking that this is an odd/obvious choice for a good game to play. However, the game that I’m featuring is not like any other Donkey Kong you’ve played. It’s commonly known as “Donkey Kong ’94″. The first three levels are identical to the Donkey Kong you all know and love, but after that, it turns into a multi-world mini-platforming game, much like the Super Mario series. It’s like a side-scrolling puzzle platforming game, and it’s really quite fun.
You can find it for download somewhere on Google, I’m sure.
This next one is available on the Wii Virtual Console. Wario’s Woods is a Tetris-style falling puzzle game starring Toad. The idea is to run around inside the puzzle, pick up the falling creatures and stack them in corresponding colors to make them disappear until the entire board is clear. There is actually a lot of depth and challenge to this game which differentiates it from the rest of Nintendo’s late 80′s/early 90′s falling puzzle bonanza.
You can probably also find this game somewhere on Google. It’s also available on SNES.
This week’s ROMSs of the week are again two Game Boy ROMs. One is the much overlooked/underrated Rampart, and the other is an adaptation of Scrabble.
There are two different Scrabble games for Game Boy, Super Scrabble, which is a black & white Game Boy game, and Scrabble, which is a color game, but only released in Europe. The one I’ve been playing is the latter.
The gameplay is very good, and it has a very nice interface that leaves you only a few button presses away from making a move–not clunky in the least. The rest of the game is kinda bizarre, especially watching computer opponents “think” about their word. Apparently in Europe, thinking involves twisting your mouth and eyes around in bizarre ways while not moving any other part of your body. If you win, you are treated to a bottle of champagne!
The computer opponents consist of a mentally handicapped dunce, a lesbian, a tattooed ruffian or possibly hairdresser, Irma P. Hall from the recent Ladykillers remake, and a mad scientist, by increasing levels of difficulty respectively.
Another game I’ve been playing is Rampart, mostly the old Game Boy mono version (since the NES and Color versions are buggy on the Game King). This game is similar to the recent string of tower defense games. You build walls around your castles, defend them from attackers, and then rebuild damaged walls. It’s kinda like Warcraft meets Tetris, if that makes any sense.
These are both commercial ROMs, so I can’t offer them here for you to download, but there’s a torrent of information on the web that you can use to track them down on your own.
This week’s ROMSs of the week features two of my favorite puzzle games: picross and boxxle, both for Game Boy.
I didn’t know I was a fan of Picross until I stumbled on Mario’s Picross for Game Boy many years ago. I was so addicted that I played every single puzzle of the game within a one-month period (around 200 total puzzles).
If you’ve never played picross before, it’s a puzzle game similar in nature to sudoku, but I think much more enjoyable. You get a grid that could be 5×5 up to 15×15 or whatever. Next to each row and column is a series of numbers that describes that row/column. For instance, for one column on a 15×15 grid, you might see “4 5 4″, which means in that column, there will be 3 series of filled boxes of length 4, 5, and 4 with at least 1 empty box between each series. Your job is to use logic to figure out exactly what boxes those series will be in. “4,5,4″ is an easy example, and so is “15″, but what about “1″?
I enjoy Mario’s Picross especially because of features it has that other picross games (or even picross books) don’t have: instant feedback if I fill in a wrong square, hints (revealing of one row and one column at the beginning of the puzzle), and the ability to mark spots as “empty” if you are sure that it’s not a filled space.
If you want to download this ROM, you can probably find it someplace on Google.
One of my favorite Game Boy games has always been Boxxle. It’s another puzzle game, similar to The Adventures of Lolo (if you’ve even heard of that) in which you have to push boxes from wherever they are to the “target” spaces on the board. The boards can be just one simple obstacle to a complex design that takes multiple steps to get each box to where it needs to go.
Imagine my disappointment when Boxxle and Boxxle 2 could not be emulated on the Game King-II. I was so sad that I cried for days. Fortunately for me, I stumbled on a public domain homebrew version of the game called “Boxes”. It plays almost exactly the same, except with slightly more modest graphics (no big deal, we’re talking Game Boy here).
You can download the Boxes ROM here.
Keep those suggestions coming for next week’s ROMs of the week!
Since getting the Game King-II, I’ve been loading it up with a bunch of NES and Game Boy ROMs. This got me thinking: why not feature a couple ROMs every week on the blog?
So here’s the newest weekly feature on mgroves.com: roms of the week.
This feature will mostly look at games that may have been overlooked or underrated in the past that are worth checking out, as well as new releases, translations of games not available in the U.S., and whatever else. Don’t worry, I’m not going to feature Super Mario 3: everyone knows about Super Mario 3.
First up, if you don’t have an emulator, I recommend that you visit Zophar.net and get a few. I’m going to mostly cover NES and Game Boy games here, so I recommend downloading FCE Ultra for NES and VirtualBoyAdvance (which also emulates GBA games). Now, on to the ROMs:
This first ROM is a relatively new release (2004), and I think it’s still technically an “unfinished” game. However, it looks like it has a high level of polish and is kinda fun to play. It’s a side-scrolling platformer called NeoToxin, and I first saw it at NES World. You can download it here.
The next game has achieved something of a cult hit status: Earthbound Zero for NES. It’s a game that was released in Japan, fully translated to English, but never release in the US. The English version was dumped to ROM in 1998. Despite only one Earthbound game ever being released in the U.S. (Earthbound for SNES), there’s a huge cult following of this series. It’s an RPG that’s very much like Dragon Warrior, except not boring. All the dialog is written in a tongue-in-cheek style, making the game even more enjoyable even as you trudge through the boredom of leveling-up. You can probably find the ROM on Google somewhere.
That’s all for this week. Send me suggestions of ROMs you think are overlooked or underappreciated at email@example.com.