Maniac Mansion. That's Mansion, with a Maniac in front of it, don't forget it. I originally played this game when I was in elementary school on my trusty dusty Nintendo Entertainment System. Oh, the stories would abound in the lunch room, particularly about how you could see Nurse Edna naked (fortunately, pure rumors). I think I actually completed the Mansion, a small feat, renting it time and again from the drug store with my $2 bills. Maniac Mansion is supposed to be one of those classic titles, so let's see how it measures up to the clean cage scale.
First off, Maniac Mansion has a history, like all good games do. The original game was developed by Lucasfilm Games, a now sadly defunct company (many of you will remember the news items concerning LucasArts). It was first released for the Commodore 64 and Apple II, but eventually approved for the Nintendo Entertainment System after lengthy technical and content modifications. Though released in 1987 as the company's first video game published, the original concept came from Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick in 1985. It was all gleaned from a mish mash of horror and B-movie inspirations, humor, people they knew, and other random characters they'd seen in movies, comics, and magazines. The mansion was based on the Skywalker Ranch. Sounds like an AWESOME game conception to me. Now, if only I could do that... oh yeah, uh, no, not quite. Guess I need more friends.Add a comment
I always wanted to rent this game, but life got in the way, human nine year old life. See, my rental place was at the drug store where I'd use my two dollar bills to pay for a week of Nintendo bliss. But there were other rental places, places with secret games and amazing wonders, and across the street from my grandparents ranch was the general store. I never worked up the courage to ask if I could go see if they even had Faxanadu, setting myself up to play the shit out of it and review it two decades later.
Faxanadu's inception and history is particularly mysterious. It's really a complimentary tale to Xanadu, a foundation of the action-RPG genre and the second installment in RPG series Dragon Slayer. What you've never heard of these? Good thing we got Faxanadu. In terms of history, all we know is that Hudson Soft licensed it from Nihon Falcom and released it in Japan in 1987. Nintendo picked it up as a first party title and released it 1989, The name actually plays little part in the game, I suppose you could assume it is the name of the nameless warrior, being a combination of the words Famicom and Xanadu. All this time I thought it was pronounced fox-on-do, but in reality its a lackluster fa-za-na-do. Blegh.Add a comment
I remember getting a hold of this game in the video game underworld called the playground. I can't remember what we traded in exchange for this odd title, but we couldn't find it anywhere else. My future brother-in-law and me together tried to tackle this game, pleasantly so. I don't think we ever beat it, or solved all the puzzles, but we had a good time. Then there's the sequel too.
Here's some background on the game dirt lickers: Dizzy was published by Codemasters in Europe. When I say Dizzy, I mean a whole franchise. I've barely scratched the surface with my little claws in this review in terms of scope. The title character Dizzy is an intelligent egg like creature created by the Oliver Twins (who later formed Interactive Studios). Later games were developed by Big Red Software. The original games were created for the Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum, with ports to Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga, NES, Mega Drive, Game Gear, and DOS. You can see what I meant by franchise, there are nine core games in all. I'm reviewing Dizzy the Adventurer but that's a renaming of Dizzy: Prince of the Yolkfolk. This game came out in approximately 1992.
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Remember everything I said about Blaster Master? Forget that, 'cause now there's Battle of Olympus. You want an engaging even engrossing game, AND a gouge your eyes out challenge? This is your game. I originally played this on cartridge (with my handy-dandy red-gold retro console), but upon visiting the first boss and defeating it I lost interest. This was a year ago (which is like fifteen years in rat years) and now today is all about Battle of Olympus. Here's some info on the game:
What is Battle of Olympus? It's a side-scrolling action/rpg in the vein of Zelda 2 (though no overhead map) and Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest diznick. You adventure through screens defeating monsters, collecting items and weapons, entering doors to other regions, and visiting 'townfolk' to learn of clues about the game's mysteries.Add a comment
I can't say that I played this game in my nostalgic childhood, getting up way early in the morning in my mickey mouse one-sy. That's because it never really came out in the United States as far as I know. So unfortunately, I had to experience this game as a translated ROM on my handy emulation device (that I connect to my color stereo CRT). Make sure you get Earthbound Zero, I got Mother and ended up not being able to play halfway through. This particular game I played in my cage, brain hooked up to the CRT, instead of on the go. Part of the reason for that is that I unfortunately had to have a walkthrough to play through the game. I'd always get stuck in solitaire. I could never discern where to go next, or what exactly I should do, or where to place the white queen. Bread and butter. This can be a boon if you like wandering around a huge map for hours upon hours leveling up in the process, whereupon you sound too much like my cousin, and I have to wonder about you. I just prefer the go here, go there, level up here type of gameplay, so it's a fashion choice.Add a comment
Ah, what can I say about this game. I've had it since childhood. It always taunted me on a sick day home from school, beat me, beat me, you can do it. (Get your mind out of the gutter) I would play it and try to beat it, but every time I fell short. Little did I realize how ridiculously nintendo-hard this game truly is as it gets further to the end. So, yeah, this is another game where I used save states so I could try any part over and over until I got it. I had to, to beat it I really had no choice unless I wanted to be an uber-gamer and try the thing until my thumbs bled. I'm sure there are people out there who can accomplish this feat, but I had to cave in.
The original NES Dragon Warrior is a special game. It brings back memories of my human childhood. My older brother played the original Dragon Warrior cartridge when it came out and actually defeated the Dragonlord! We'd listen to music from our family library instead of listen to the dinky NES acoustics. This made for some strange pairings such as Paula Abdul in Dragon Warrior or Handel's Messiah for The Legend of Zelda 3. I like it that way.
I recently replayed the game on my handy emulation device I can hook up to my color stereo CRT (hence no original screenshots, and oh so RetroRodentia). I played this one primarily on the go however, while waiting for my human partner to get out of human class. I don't know what they do, but it seems to involve a lot of writing.
Dragon Warrior or Dragon Quest was released in Japan by Enix in 1987. In 1989 it was released in the Americas. When it was translated into English, it was dubbed Dragon Warrior. This game is actually a landmark in the history of console RPGs. In Japan it is the premier RPG franchise, whereas here in America our imagination was caught more by Final Fantasy and so it overshadows most other RPG franchises.
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