Friday, March 11, 2011

The Great Gaymathon Review #12: Monster Lair (PC Engine CD-ROM2)

Game: Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
Genre: Platformer/Shooter
Developer: Alfa System
Publisher: Hudson
System: PC Engine CD-ROM2
Release date: 1989

I'm pretty sure I've told this story a number of times before, but I'm going to share it again just in case my memory is failing me (it certainly wouldn't be the first time): Monster Lair was the game that prompted me to buy the TurboGrafx-16 CD attachment way back when. I'd never played--or even heard of--the arcade original, so that wasn't what attracted me to this platformer-shooter hybrid. No, what attracted me to it was its bright, beautifully drawn graphics--especially its so-cute-they-could-make-you-puke enemies and bosses. There's more to Monster Lair than fetching foes, though; there's also a rockin' Red Book soundtrack and a whole lotta challenging levels (14, to be exact). All that said, I wouldn't buy this game expecting it to become your favorite PC Engine title, but I would expect it to be well worth whatever you pay for it (which, at this point, should be less than $20).

See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Parasol Stars have aligned

You may or may not know this (I'm pretty sure I've whined about it here a few times, but I may be wrong), but Taito's Parasol Stars has been on my "to buy" list for quite some time.

Well, it's not on it anymore. I recently found a cheap-ish copy of this rather precious PC Engine platformer on eBay and promptly snatched it up.

Here's a photo of this Bubble Bobble sequel's colorful front cover (sitting artfully atop the package in which it delivered, of course):

And here's a photo of the HuCard itself:

It's too bad this game has yet to appear on the Wii Virtual Console (or on the PlayStation Store's PC Engine Archives or the iPhone's PC Engine GameBox services), as it definitely deserves a wider audience.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Great Gaymathon Review #11: Tennis (Famicom)

Game: Tennis
Genre: Sports
System: Famicom
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release date: 1984

I like tennis games. A lot. Always have. This one? Not so much. In fact, it's no stretch to say that I hate it. Although its graphics and sound effects were acceptable at the time this game was released, today they're the definition of archaic. That's not my biggest beef with the game, though--no, that would be its slippery, sluggish controls, which make the game, if not completely unplayable, thoroughly unenjoyable. As such, I'd recommend Tennis to just two types of players: Those looking to acquire every Famicom/NES game ever made or those who consider themselves to be masochists.

See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

More Dreamcast drawings

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I'm a big fan of alliteration.

More often than not, this, er, fascination shows up in the headlines that I write. Recently, though, it's also served as a source of inspiration for the doodles and drawings I create.

Case in point: "Diamonds are a Dreamcast's best friend," "PC Engine Punch-Out!!" and "Strawberry slime."

Another example for all of you fellow alliteration freaks is "Dizzy Dreamcast" (below).

I'm not sure what caused this poor Dreamcast to become dizzy, to tell you the truth. Maybe its owner dropped it, or dropped something on it?

Regardless, I'm sure he'll recover soon.

Anyway, "Dreamcast + dog" is another example of my alliteration fetish.

Again, I'm not sure why a cute little puppy has decided to park itself atop this Dreamcast. Hopefully it won't slobber too much while it's asleep up there.

Have I mentioned that I'm now posting my drawings to as well as to Flickr? Well, I am. If you're at all interested, you can check out the contents of my gallery here.

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Great Gaymathon Review #10: Rakugaki Showtime (PlayStation)

Game: Rakugaki Showtime
Genre: Fighting
System: PlayStation
Developer: Treasure
Publisher: Enix
Release date: 1999

On the one hand, I find this Treasure-developed (and Enix-published) title's graphics and premise delicious. On the other, I don't find its Poy Poy-esque gameplay nearly as appetizing. That's not to suggest that this extremely pricey game is bad, but it can be a bit boring--especially if it's played solo. (I've heard the multiplayer experience is much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, I've yet to play it that way.) Still, I can't help but boot it up now and then just so I can gaze at its charmingly rendered graphics--which resemble doodles that have been torn, rather haphazardly, from a child's scrapbook. That's hardly enough to earn it a hearty recommendation, though, is it--especially when you consider that used copies of this game commonly carry price tags of over $100? Given that, I'd only recommend picking it up if you're a total Treasure nut or if you're one of those freaks--or should I say lucky ducks--who regularly throws stacks of $100 bills into your fireplace to keep warm at night.

See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts