Monday, September 24, 2007

2005 Minigame Multicart (Homebrew 2005)

I know I need to give allowances since the games here (except M-4) are only 1k, and I commend the programing talent of those involved, but my main concern is playability and THAT is what I am going to take into account here. Seven games on one cart is a compelling feature; not only that, but an actual selection screen with cool electronic music!! I almost felt I was playing one of my retro-comps on the ps2! Unfortunately the games have next to no depth, and are marginally fun at best. I have never played the original version of Hunchy, and this port doesn't stir any curiosity to investigate it. Basically, I feel I'm playing a substandard boring rip-off of Pitfall!, albeit without the complex challenge that underscores the gameplay of the latter. I question the unlimited lives feature; maybe it's needed to complete all the levels, but playing without consequence eliminates any tight-rope urgency and sweat. I have that problem with arcade games that are equipped to eat your quarters for progress. I don't see the point in playing games like Gauntlet when all you have to do is hit the start button to continue. Jetman is a decent idea that's fun up to a point. It's basically a semi-platformer in which you fly around by means of your jetpack to grab fuel for a rocket while avoiding missiles. Once you get hit a certain amount of times, the game starts over from the beginning. I wish there was a level counter so you could compete against your previous progress. Sort of reminds me of a simpler Saboteur. Nightrider is a "live fast and die" little ditty in which you cruise at great speed with your vehicle without crashing into the bumpy terrain while a helicopter tries to bomb you back to the Stone Age. As in life, you have one chance, and let me tell you, it's hard not to crash and burn. It takes allot of patience to amount a sizable score on this game. It's sort of like Moon Patrol's little immature brother on speed. Zirconium is one of my favorite entries served up on this cart. It's really a pretty looking game with it's shimmering squares of zirconium to blast a path through to take on the mother ship. Really, a Breakout-like shooter. My biggest complaint is that the first four levels are too easy, then the difficulty level jumps considerably on the fifth mind field; your shield is easily fried. Rocket Command is my other favorite. Simplistic fun and challenge along the lines of Kool-Aid Man...well, almost. Goal is to blast the invaders as they move up the screen and score enough points to earn yourself another missile arsenal to keep fighting. Gets a little fast and furious. Good scoring system adds depth. Not bad. Allot of hype surrounds the port of the 1977 arcade game M-4 in which your tank and opponent tank shoot at each other from behind a wall. The glory of this game must come from the two player variation, because I can defeat the computer two out of three times by just repeatedly hitting the fire button. Not very challenging. Honestly, I haven't played Marble Jumper that much, being I'm not that big into puzzle games. When I get the puzzle itch, I'll update this review. This is a mildly entertaining collection of games, but it doesn't make me want to go in search of more 1k experiments.

Rating: C+