Never send a man to do a robot’s job. Sometimes you have to fight robots with robots. A robot a day keeps Doc Wily away. Today’s game is Mega Man – the game that kicked off one of the greatest game franchises in history.
Warning! This review contains spoilers such as THIS GAME MAKES YOU START THE WHOLE THING OVER WHEN YOU “BEAT” IT!
When I saw this game next on the list, I was immediately overcome with nostalgia. “Ghosts ‘n Goblins!” I thought, “I remember this game! It sure was challenging, but it was cool how large the selection of weapons was and the kind of powers they granted when you upgraded your armor!” Those of you who have played the game are probably scratching your head right now. You don’t remember any of that! Here’s the problem: I’m remembering Super Ghouls and Ghosts a much better version of essentially the same game for the SNES. Ghosts ‘n Goblins is different. Ghosts ‘n Goblins is… unfortunate.
John’s Rating: 1.5 out of 5.0. It isn’t that this game is Nintendo Hard, it’s that it’s arbitrary and unfun about it. A lot of Nintendo Hard games are fun, mostly because they’re HARD, but don’t CHEAT. In the forest just before the above screenshot, I lost my armor because an enemy spawned inside me. I literally did EVERYTHING correctly and still got hit. That’s the kind of game this is, right up until it makes you go back to the beginning and do it all again. Which it does. When you beat the final boss.
While it may well be the first game I have encountered with poor response on the title screen, Commando is a strong proponent of the shmup truism, “You never run out of bullets: just grenades.”
It’s a respectable title as far as top-scrolling walking shmups go, but, as should be expected of the era, brings very little to the table as far as what we modern folk think of as originality. For its time, it was groundbreaking, of course, because when nothing has been done yet, everything is fresh.
John’s Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0, because it’s kinda fun, but not something you can maintain significant interest in – that is to say, it’s in the video game “friend zone.”
It’s World War II and you’re a U.S. pilot flying a super-plane to Tokyo to destroy the Japanese air force! I have to admit, I initially had some serious misgivings about any game by a Japanese company about destroying the Japanese air force, and had to wonder whether it was the opposite in the original Japanese (and the game was, perhaps, called “Happy Pearl Harbor Fun Time Airstrike!”), but as far as I can tell (and according to Wikipedia) the Japanese just sometimes make games about destroying their own airforce.
John’s Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 – this game is about as vanilla as a shoot-’em’-up can possibly get. As far as I can tell, there’s exactly one power-up, which basically makes your guns wider, and a grand total of three different enemies (not counting palette swaps).