Lode Runner… where to begin? In this “action packed” game, you are a galactic commando, deep behind enemy lines. The evil Bungeling Empire (no, I am not making this up) have extorted a fortune in gold from the people of the galaxy with (still not making this up) excessive fast food taxes.
Ignoring the double-grey morality of robbing the government of money they earned through vice taxes, this game sucks. Despite being some sort of space commando, your only weapon is a drill pistol that can cut holes in the brick floors. These holes, however, regenerate slowly, which can kill you or the guards. And that’s the whole game.
I don’t want to waste more time on this game than it deserves. Not being able to jump in a platform game is not, I suppose, an absolute proof of poor design, but it seems to be a tell. As with Wrecking Crew, the designers realized that removing this feature could potentially leave the player unable to win a given level, and built in a failsafe that takes you right back to the level select screen simply by hitting select… instantly wiping out your score! What a great feature!
John’s Rating: 1.5 out of 5. Technically, this is a game. Technically, you can play it. I just don’t see why you would.
The Karate Kid is based on the 1980’s film of the same name. Karate was (and, I guess, is) a martial arts form developed in Okinawa that rose to enormous popularity in the 1980’s and early 90’s, when it was basically the atom bomb of martial arts forms, capable of defeating any foe or group of foes.
Like nearly all games based off movies, the Karate Kid is terrible.
The game starts with you fighting a bland karate tournament where, as in the movie, jump kicks to the face are against the rules, but still the best way to win. Then, between tournament screens, you travel between tournaments being attacked by tons of nameless thugs who sometimes drop crane kick and drum punch tokens for you to use in the tournament screens or (accidentally) on the nameless thugs.
John’s Score: 1.5 out of 5.0. The game is playable. That’s about the best that can be said for it. Fighting games on the NES are notoriously clunky, as are movie game. This is just about the worst of both worlds.
Jaws, the film, was about a shark that ate people. More than that, Jaws was about human conflict, fear of the unknown, fear of nature and fear of stagnation. The video game is still about a shark that eats people, but that’s really about it. Oh, and ecoterrorism. I’m pretty sure you play an ecoterrorist.
Like virtually all video games based on movies, Jaws is terrible and has little to do with the source material. In it, you are a fishing trawler / diver who must kill hundreds of jellyfish, manta ray and small sharks to collect enough shells to upgrade your weapons so you can kill Jaws. Like any good ecoterrorism simulator, there is a mini game where you drop bombs from a biplane onto dancing jellyfish.
John’s Rating: 1.5 out of 5.0. The gameplay is monotonous and dull, the “plot” in no way resembles that of the actual Jaws film or book and you never get a bigger boat, which was one of the shortcomings of the movie the game could have addressed.
In Deadly Towers, you’re a knight or prince of some sort (it’s in the opening cinematic, I just forgot and refuse to waste my time reading it again) and everything is trying to kill you. Fortunately, you throw knives. Knives that can kill anything. Fire attacking you? Stab it until it dies! Blue orb? Stab it until it dies!
The game is, for the most part, a collection of poorly thought out or incompetently executed game mechanics. You have 100 hit points to start with, but it probably wouldn’t help you to have a million hit points. The game has mercy invincibility, for example, but it lasts for less than half a second and paralyzes and knocks you backwards in the process. If you are against the wall, the enemy hits you again immediately, and you’re doomed. If you fall off a cliff, you die, and enemies can and will push you off. And speaking of enemies, it’s also worth noting that the game has, essentially, four enemies with dozens of different skins and palette schemes. Oh, look – it’s the knight guy from the last room, only now he’s inexplicably a dragon-headed man. Oh, look – it’s another kind of bat with the exact same movement pattern as all the other varieties.
John’s Rating: 1.5 out of 5. Deadly Towers is a game that has been hailed by some as the very worst Nintendo has to offer, and while I heartily agree that the game is terrible, it sadly wouldn’t even make my top 10 list of worst Nintendo games of all time.
The gods must be crazy retarded. Athena is a game about the Greek Goddess of Wisdom a princess and her quest to rid the land of evil make really stupid life decisions.
The plot begins with her opening Pandora’s Box the Door Which Shouldn’t Be Opened at Mount Olympus Victory Castle, leading her to enter the Underworld Fantasy World to battle some evil guy named Dante… no wait, that last one’s right.
John’s Rating: 1.5 out of 5.0. Athena jumps a randomly determined height when you hit A. Let me say that again – you jump a randomly determined height when you hit A. It doesn’t matter how long or short you hold the button, Athena either jumps very high or makes a tiny near-useless hop. Nothing I can figure out influences which one it will be. That alone would be a game-breaker, but it also suffers from obnoxious music, poor hit detection and a collection of nearly useless weapons that replace your useful weapons if you so much as look at them wrong. Oh, and levels have no check points. You’re welcome.
As a final note, I know that the first two games by SNK were phenomenally lousy, but they really were a great company, and in upcoming releases, I will be able to sing their praises rather than cursing their name.