Friday, May 27, 2016

My Top 7 Sega Master System Games

I'm not a fan of most popular 3rd generation games so I like to find interesting games that are maybe just outside of mainstream. On the Sega Master System I found 7 of these. However, ss you may know from My Top (6) 8 NES Games, I like updating my list with more games that I think are worthy, so please let me know which of your favorite games were not included. And now, the list:

1. Road Rash 

Quite simply the best racing game of third generation consoles, Road Rash takes classic motorcycle racing and adds a twist. Everything you're doing is illegal. This means that you can hit other racers to try to knock them out, it means that the police are chasing you, it means much added excitement to an already topnotch game.

2. Lemmings 

Disclaimer: I have nostalgia for this game, so it may not be as good as I think it is.
The game that started it all, Lemmings was a really good puzzle game that introduced the concept of rts (real time strategy). You must get the lemmings to the exit by giving them a limited number of special abilities that the game let's you use. This game doesn't play tricks like giving you lives and such, it just plain and simple gives you a puzzle to solve and let's you try to solve it; can't solve it now? Here's a password so you can come back later. The only thing this version of Lemmings is missing is a fast forward button

3. Bonanza Bros. 

I've never seen anything quite like Bonanza Bros. It's technically a platformer, but it's got the feel of an early version of a stealth game. The goal is to go around buildings stealing things without being shot at. It's got some stealth mechanics like guards alerting each other and not being able to permanently kill them. It also has interesting difficulty settings where you choose how many lives you have and the time limit, but the levels stay the same.

4. Ancient Ys Vanished Omen 

Instead of the turn-based combat in final fantasy or the real time combat in the legend of zelda, Ys went with a system of their own invention. In Ys you attack enemies by bumping into them. Enemies also attack you by walking into you, so you have to be careful not to walk into their weapon. The combat takes a bit of getting used to, but it offers a refreshing change from the usual. My only gripe is that there's what level you're on matters too much so you will not be able to damage the first boss if you're still on level two for example. However, if you play without a guide you'll end up doing enough grinding that it won't matter, just make sure to save often, very often. 

5. Sonic Chaos 

I wish this wouldn't be called sonic, it's really not a Sonic game. Once you have that out of the way this is a really good platformer, the level design is spectacular and it's an overall great game. You can pick tails if you want to play on easy mode and be able fly or sonic if you like bonus stages and want to do a super peal out, I'm not sure what the difference is between that and spin dash, but whatever... (also, it makes the game slightly harder)

6. Penguin Land

The goal in Penguin Land is to move an egg from the top to the bottom. This means protecting it from baddies trying to crack it and from long drops. Like lemmings, this game doesn't make you start from the starting, but let's you start from wherever you want to.

7. Bubble Bobble

Arguably the best port of the arcade game, in Bubble Bobble you must blow bubbles at opponents, which then get swallowed by the bubbles. When there's just one enemy left, it goes into a fury and goes faster. Simple mechanics but it gets pretty hard

As I was making this list, I noticed that unlike in My Top 6 (8) NES Games, I didn't mention graphics once. I think the graphics on the sms were much better than the nes, if only the sms would have been as popular as it deserved... I was going to make an honorable mentions section, but there are so many games that deserve an honorable mention that I skipped it.
I hope you enjoyed this list and found it different than the average list. I'll probably make a top turbografx 16 list next so stay tuned if that sounds interesting.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Top (6) 8 NES Games (updated)

Update: I've put together a list of various YouTubers' reviews of the games on this list. You can find the playlist at

This post was partially inspired by u/xeynx's comment that the top xx posts are repetitive and unoriginal. Well this post is not the top 6, but my top 6. Some overlap with the regular top 10 lists, but that's simply because they're good games.

1. Super Mario Bros. 3

SMB1 may have started the series, but the controls were clunky, and while 2 was an improvement (in my opinion), it wasn't until 3 that we got a good Mario game. This game just does it right and feels like a normal Mario game. The controls work, the graphics are great (especially for the NES) and the gameplay is intuitive. We finally got an overworld map, there's some interesting mini games, and it's just an amazing platformer. My only gripe is that I prefer Fire Mario to Raccoon Mario, but Raccoon Mario definitely has some interesting mechanics that Fire Mario doesn't.

 2. (Mike Tyson's) Punch-Out!!

This game almost made it first on the list. Though it's technically a boxing game, it plays more like a puzzle game. New opponent comes out, what's his weakness? Can I carry out my plan? This game does require fast reflexes, but it eases you into it. It's got a password system so that you'll never start more than a few matches behind where you were up to. Though the graphics don't look as good as Mario, they don't look bad; they've got the emphasis where it counts and the graphics work. I think this is what all NES games should look like.

3. Kirby's Adventure 

Thanks to u/Grond19 for kindly reminding me about this one. I had forgotten about it because I had the gba version sitting around and never got around to playing it. Anyway, this game is a platformer where the way you get power ups is by sucking in enemies and swallowing them. That may not sound like much, but with over two dozen different abilities you can get, it really adds a lot of depth. Also, it's got some really great level design. The graphics in this game are even better than Super Mario Bros. 3 and are probably the best on the NES. 

4. Crystalis

Thanks to u/Weltall548 for suggesting this game to me. Crystalis is a 2d top-down arpg similar to zelda, but with more combat and less puzzles. One thing I like about Crystalis is that it's much more forgiving than the average NES game. If you die, instead of starting back from who-knows-where it starts you from the starting of the dungeon, not only that, but it removes any bad status effects like poison. Also, unlike most NES games, this game has a story outside of the manual. The graphics are ok, could be better, but they're not bad. All in all, I'm surprised I missed this one originally.

5. Battletoads

Truth to be told, I'm not sure why I like this game. The first stage is a beat 'em up, and though it's great, I'm not usually a fan of beat' em ups and the NES is over saturated with them. I never even made it past the second stage! For some reason though, I like this game enough to put it number 5. On thing I can say in its favor is that the graphics are as good as punch-out's.
Edit: Having gotten past the starting, I don't actually like Battletoads. Maybe if the whole game is like stage one, but instead, each stage is like a different game and it doesn't do a good job of it like half life did

6. Maniac Mansion

If you've played point and click adventures (like monkey island) then you'll be familiar with how this game works. Out of the five or so point and clicks on the NES, Manic Mansion is pretty good. You play as a teenage boy trying to rescue your girlfriend from a literal maniac mansion with lots of weird npcs. One interesting thing about this game is that you come with two friends (in-game not real life); this enables you to do cool things like having one person get another out of the dungeon and being in three places at once. Also, this adds replay value because you can choose who your friends are and different friends have different abilities. The graphics are not as nice as the previous games, but they're solid.

7. Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warship

This is a fun game in which you move around with the physics of Asteroids getting things and bringing them back to base. Graphics aren't too bad.

8. Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos

Truth to be told, I didn't really enjoy this game, but it's unique and different from all the beat 'em ups plaguing the NES. It's a weird sort of puzzle game where you go around avoiding monsters and using objects from the environment to get places and get keys with the eventual goal of rebuilding the staff of Demnos. The graphics work.

Honorable mention goes to Final Fantasy. I did not enjoy the NES version, but it gets an honorable mention for its gba and psp versions. I hope you liked this top six list and I hope you found it different than the usual lists.

Edit: I noticed that I mentioned the graphics a lot. This is not because graphics are all that important, just that a lot of nes games look dated, so graphics become somewhat of a big deal. I do agree with this video in general