Monday, August 04, 2014

#PlatforMonth game suggestions for some systems that aren't the PC Engine

In my last post, I discussed a handful of PC Engine platformers that I think would be well worth playing as part of Anne "apricotsushi" Lee's just-announced #PlatforMonth game-along.

Today, I'm going to share some #PlatforMonth recommendations for a few other systems--namely, the Famicom (NES), Mega Drive (Genesis), Super Famicom (SNES), PlayStation and, of course, the GameBoy.


Don Doko Don 2 (Famicom)--I've long considered this to be a rather under-appreciated gem given its pedigree (made by the masters at Taito, follow-up to sort-of-classic Don Doko Don) and its overall quality. I'm guessing the lack of attention from the Famicom set stems, in part, from the fact that this sequel's basically a straight-up, side-scrolling platformer rather than the single-screen sort like its predecessor. Plus, Don Doko Don 2 doesn't do a whole heck of a lot to separate itself from the Famicom-platformer pack. Still, I've always found it to be an enjoyable little romp that sports a bit of that "classic Taito" look as well as a unique gameplay hook--involving the same hammer used to such success in the first Don Doko Don--for the genre.


Marvel Land (Mega Drive)--It took me a while to warm up to this console port of Namco's amusement-park-themed arcade title from 1989. I'm not sure why that is, to tell you the truth, as the game's appreciably bright and colorful and the princely protagonist calls to mind the kind of characters Sega was known for during its heyday. Maybe it's because the first few levels are far from thrilling? Thankfully, I eventually found a way to work through my ho-hum feelings for this cart and I now consider it to be one of my favorite platformers for Sega's 16-bit system.


Nail 'N Scale (GameBoy)--I only just discovered this Data East-made game, which was released in Japan (in 1990, with its North American release coming in 1992) as Dragon Tail, a few weeks ago thanks to a recommendation made by someone on Twitter, I believe. Regardless, I'm glad it found its way onto my radar, as it's a surprisingly unique entry in the platforming genre largely due to the fact that its hat-wearing main charatcer can climb--and sometimes destroy--the walls that populate each stage by shooting spikes into them.


Shake Kids (PlayStation)--OK, so this platformer recommendation is on a different level than the ones I've made so far--as in, this one's a far less polished and accomplished offering, to be completely honest. That said, I think people who get a kick out of undeniably odd Japanese games will enjoy the time they spend with On Demand's Shake Kids, what with its cocktail-shaking protagonists and poor man's Rankin/Bass aesthetic (to put it nicely)--as long as they don't spend too much money to acquire a copy of it.


Spanky's Quest (Super Famicom)--Is this Natsume title really a platformer? Probably not, or at least not entirely, but it features enough of the genre's tried-and-true elements that I think it warrants being included here. For those of you who've never heard of it, Spanky's Quest (Hansei Zaru: JirĊ-kun no Daibouken in Japan) stars an adorable monkey who subdues enemies by tossing various kinds of sports balls (baseballs, soccer balls, volleyballs) at them. Don't worry, it's far more engaging than it sounds--and it's so darn cute that I think it would be worth checking out even if it weren't. (Oh, and a similar game was released for the GameBoy, too--as Spanky's Quest in the West and Lucky Monkey in Japan.)

Have you played any or all of the above-mentioned platformers? If so, do you agree with my assessments of them, or do you feel differently?

Also, if you were asked to do so, what are some of the platformers you'd suggest to people who are planning to participate in this #PlatforMonth game-along?

14 comments:

Justin Difazzio said...

I haven't played a single one of these, but I drooled over images of Spanky's Quest way back when Nintendo Power announced it. Nail 'n' Scale sounds AWESOME, btw. I might have to hunt that down.


Suggestions? Mischief Makers for the N64. Thomas Was Alone for pretty much any platform. Maybe I'll load up Super Mario Sunshine again for this month...

thegaygamer.com said...

I also drooled over Spanky's Quest back in the day, Justin! Anyway, you should play it sometime. It's a lot of fun--and challenging!


Nail 'N Scale is fun, too, although I've only spent a bit of time with it so far. I love how I'm still discovering gems like this one long after they were originally released. Here's hoping that continues to happen for all systems I'm interested in :)


Thanks for your suggestions, by the way! I actually considered including Mischief Makers, by the way, but in the end decided against it as I was worried I'd included too many Nintendo games already. Still, I agree that it should be considered by folks who are taking part in this game-along (and even those who aren't)!

Kaze said...

Great suggestions! I only really know Spanky's Quest. Although I drooled over the pixel art as a kid I never owned it! ^^ For me I think I'm going to go with Super Princess Peach (Since you reminded me of it! lol) or Super Bonk! ^^

thegaygamer.com said...

Hmmm, what is it with you, Justin and I all drooling over Spanky's Quest back in the day but not playing it? I guess we can partially blame ourselves for its lack of success in the States :(


As for you possibly playing Super Princess Peach: that sounds like a great idea to me! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it should you play it.


I haven't spent too much time with Super Bonk, strangely, though I remember at least somewhat liking back in the day.

Zaphod65 said...

I haven't played any of them, but my standard platformer suggestion is Blaster Master for the NES. Jumping from platform to platform in a big-ass tank is a lot of fun.

thegaygamer.com said...

I always forget there are platforming sections in that game, Terry XD Seriously, the parts I remember are the overhead ones, with the cute protagonist. Anyway, I love me some Blaster Master, so I really should give it another go soon.

Kensloth said...

I have never played a PC engine game other than Y's 1 (which I loved). Interesting to see some other titles that look pretty fun!

RetroKingSimon said...

Nice selection again Bryan :) The only one of these I've played is Marvel Land which is great but the others all look interesting, especially the amusingly-named Spanky's Quest :P

apricotsushi said...

Another great list! I've never actually heard of any of these, haha

apricotsushi said...

I forgot all about Thomas Was Alone! I have that on PS+, maybe I'll whip it out this month (by whip it out, I mean download lol)

thegaygamer.com said...

I totally missed Justin's Thomas Was Alone mention until now XD Also, I don't remember anything about the game at the moment. Hmmm, maybe that means I should play it at some point, too?

thegaygamer.com said...

Hey there, Ken! Just be aware that the games included in this post are for systems like the Famicom, Mega Drive and PlayStation. The post I published on Friday is the one that features PCE recommendations.

thegaygamer.com said...

Well then, Simon, you should play these games--with the possible exception of Shake Kids. That one's probably only for folks with really odd taste in games--which may include you, now that I think about it... ;)

thegaygamer.com said...

Thanks, Anne! I'm glad I could introduce you to a few new games. BTW, I'm actually going to publish *another* #PlatforMonth post in a few days. It will share impressions of six PC Engine platformers that I either hadn't played in quite a while or hadn't played at all.