Monday, September 08, 2014

Recommend me some Taito-made Famicom, PC Engine and GameBoy titles

You may have noticed--you know, by reading this recent post, as well as this one and this one--that I'm on a bit of a Taito kick as of late.

Granted, I've been interested in this now basically defunct developer and publisher--and its output, of course--since I first came across a Bubble Bobble cabinet in the arcade that was tucked into the corner of my hometown's bowling alley as a teen, but recently I become even more of a Taito fan.

There's no particular reason I can point to for this increase of affection--other than I've played and written about a bunch of Taito-made games (Bubble Bobble, Don Doko DonInsector X and Rainbow Islands among them) in the last week or two, I mean.

Anyway, as a result, I'd really like to delve even deeper into this Tokyo-based company's catalog. The thing is, though, I've already spent time with a good number of the games it released for my current favorite systems, the Famicom (NES), PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16) and GameBoy.

Specifically, for the Famicom I've played: Bubble BobbleBubble Bobble 2Chuka TaisenDon Doko DonDon Doko Don 2Elevator ActionInsector XRainbow Islands and Wanpaku Kokkun no Gourmet World (aka Panic Restaurant in the West).

When it comes to the company's PC Engine titles, I've played: Darius PlusDon Doko DonGokuraku Chuka TaisenHana Taka Daka!?Jigoku MeguriKiki KaikaiMizubaku DaiboukenThe New Zealand StoryParasol Stars and Rainbow Islands.

Finally, I've played two Taito-made GameBoy carts thus far, with the pair in question being Bubble Bobble and Bobble Bobble Junior.

Should any of you have any Taito-focused recommendations--especially for the aforementioned systems--to share, I'd love to hear them.

To help get you started, here are a handful of the company's games I've been curious about for some time but have yet to experience: Cadash (PC Engine), JuJu Densetsu (Famicom), Power Blazer (Famicom), Sagaia (GameBoy) and Taito Chase H.Q. (PC Engine).

34 comments:

Justin Difazzio said...

I don't think I'll be any help. I haven't played the majority of the ones you HAVE played...let alone the ones you haven't. But now I really want to play Rainbow Islands again...

thegaygamer.com said...

That's OK, Justin. I knew from the start it was kind of a weird idea for a post, or that few folks would be able to offer up advice. Still, I thought I'd give it a try!


Plus, if it prompts people like you to go back to Rainbow Islands or Parasol Stars or Don Doko Don, it's done more than I could have asked of it :)


BTW, thank you for favoriting and passing along the tweet I sent out this morning regarding this post. I really appreciate it!

sharc said...

consider robocco wars, the stealth taito famicom game. it was dropped late in development and picked up by IGS for the final haul to release, but some bits from the taito phase were mysteriously left untouched. http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=42976

it's honestly nothing too special, though i can promise the presentation will not disappoint; excellent music by masaharu iwata, and some really impressive visuals. it's amazing how many unique backdrops they cram into the tileset for stage 6.

when you're done you can join me in puzzling over its treasure trove of unused content :U http://jul.rustedlogic.net/thread.php?id=15136

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh! Why did I think--before now, I mean--that Robocco Wars was a Capcom game, sharc? Huh. Anyway, I'll definitely check it out ASAP.

BTW, do you have any thoughts on any of the games I mentioned at the end of this post, in particular JuJu Densetsu (Famicom) or Power Blazer (Famicom)? I've been curious about both of them for ages now...

Scott said...

On Taito Legends 1 for PS2 I REALLY loved The New Zealand Story. If a game has a cool intro, I'm sold. This one begins with a big walrus bagging up and kidnapping all the kiwi birds in the zoo except one escapes. I like where this is going! This is the kiwi you play as LOL and have to rescue your fat little kiwi friends on each level. I think it was later repackaged as Kiwi Craze for NES and maybe Famicom.

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, yes, I also like New Zealand Story quite a bit, Scott. And you're right that it was released for the Famicom and NES--as well as the PC Engine, Mega Drive and some other consoles, too, I'm sure. A wonderful, if surprisingly tough, little game, IMO :)

sharc said...

never played juju/toki. didn't appeal to me as a kid for some reason? should probably give it a shot, though.

power blazer is one of the most radically overhauled games out there; the US version is a very different beast. http://www.unseen64.net/2008/04/20/powerblazer-vs-power-blade/


not a bad story behind it, either. http://www.nintendoplayer.com/feature/the-man-behind-captain-nintendo/chapter-8-new-worlds-to-conquer-and-a-new-superpower/

thegaygamer.com said...

Yeah, JuJu hasn't much appealed to me until now either, I have to say. I really like its JP box art, though, which is why I'm now considering it.


I previously read about the changes made to the NA version of Power Blazer on VideoGameDen, I believe. Yowza!


Anyway, although the NA version is supposed to be better than the JP one, I of course want the Japanese version due to its more appealing (IMO) protagonist...

Scott said...

It has the same cutesy factor as Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands and just as colorful.

Another one that's fun but best saved for a rainy day is Plump Pop. If you're one of those people who like to pop bubble wrapping like some people annoying do LOL - it's kinda therapeutic in a way.

You can play as a group of dogs, kitties or pigs and I always pick the pigs because bouncing a baby pig on a trampoline is one of my heathen Kentuckian favorite pasttimes!


I have some Plump Pop gameplay on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIk6Qw3w5c0&list=UUizFpQMPjfm8q6zgwyoKjMg

thegaygamer.com said...

Plump Pop! I've only ever heard/read/seen the title before now, Scott. I believe it's on one of the Taito Legends releases, right? If so, I'll have to play it soon.


Regardless, thank you for bringing it up and bringing it to my attention!


On a related note: I have a feeling that one of the main reasons I've long ignored that game is that I confuse its name/title with another of Taito's efforts, that being Pop'n Pop (which I've also yet to play--although I do own a copy of the PS1 version).

Scott said...

Yes, Taito Legends 1 for PS2. The title also made me avoid it but the arcade cabinet on the game carousel looked interesting. Plump Pop is like wasabi seaweed snacks - once you start, it's hard to stop. Especially those seaweed snacks, they're like eating nothing!

thegaygamer.com said...

Ha ha! I love it, Scott :) Also, I can see why you've found Plump Pop appealing since you first played it, as it looks really cute as well as addicting--as most Arkanoid-like games tend to be, in my experience!

Scott said...

One thing I love about those collections (Capcom Classics, Namco Classics, etc) and especially the MAME/JNES/KOLEKO etc emulators, I get to try games I never knew existed. A couple accidental game finds are now right up there with Q*Bert in my book and Q*Bert is my all-time #1 favorite game since 1983!

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, yes, I agree completely, Scott. These collections are great for all sorts of reasons!

Scott said...

Even though I'm phasing out of PS2 FINALLY - I am still keeping my more rare ones like Mega Man Anniversary Collection and Mega Man X Collection for PS2 as well as Marvel VS Capcom 2.

thegaygamer.com said...

Ah, I understand that, Scott. I still have a PS2 and a bunch of PS2 games, but I can't say I've pulled out either of them for some time :|

Scott said...

For one, my slimline PS2 is wearing out and I'd much rather upgrade and just buy another PS2 later at Movie Trading Company or something, and preferably the original flat model not slimline. Slimline has lots of "disc error" reading problems.

thegaygamer.com said...

Oh, that's too bad. I've never heard that the slimlines tend to break down, etc. Hopefully mine's still OK :|

Scott said...

Oh I'm totally cool with it - I like change! Like I'm in the process of looking for a new place to relocate, new chapter and all. Been in Dallas/Fort Worth since 2000 and I've BEEN done with the place.


*sings* "I'm not feeling you - No matter what you do, no matter what you say I'm leaving, anyway!" LOL!!! ;)

thegaygamer.com said...

Ha ha! Well, best of luck to you and your potential/probable change of location, Scott :)

Scott said...

I'm originally from a small Kentucky town and was brought up in a place that (loosely) felt like a community. I'm not getting that here, city people and I don't mesh well. I'm unrefined AND cultured at the same time so I need something more laid back and definitely less superficial kinda people. Not into plastic people.

Scott said...

By the way, I posted 3 vintage gaming videos I recorded recently on my channel today!


https://www.youtube.com/user/SSMYOBGAMINGPLUS/videos



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxJyL4kTmY0&list=UUizFpQMPjfm8q6zgwyoKjMg

TheGameroomBlitz said...

Ooh, ooh! Little Samson! Hard as hell to find but loads of fun. Very Mega Man-esque.

thegaygamer.com said...

Hmmmm, so do you have any particular places in mind for your possible move? Or is all of that still up in the air?

thegaygamer.com said...

Thanks, Scott!

thegaygamer.com said...

Little Samson! How could I forget that one? Sadly, though, not only is it hard to find, but when you do find it, it's EXPENSIVE! Maybe I'll play it via emulation in the meantime :)

Scott said...

I was kinda on a roll - I'm trying out Bandicam to record gameplay and I think I'll buy it. I've tried a couple other programs but they were hard for me to figure out how to use. I'm not 100% tech-saavy LOL

Scott said...

Preferably a state north of Kentucky, more in the blue states area. I've ALWAYS lived in red states and quite frankly I'm done with their nasty attitudes and if I want to look at ugly in-bred babies, I can always watch The Hills Have Eyes.

TheGameroomBlitz said...

That's what I do!


You asked about Toki, and I would recommend playing it... on the Atari Lynx. It shines on that system, with a chunky resolution but vivid colors and responsive, varied gameplay. It's likely the best platformer on the Lynx, although considering its competition that's not a high honor.


The NES version of Toki isn't too bad, but is clearly compromised from the arcade game. The Genesis version is not to be played under any circumstances. They really dropped the ball on this one... the levels are different from the arcade game, without the creative spark, and they're massively ugly besides.

thegaygamer.com said...

Ha ha! Well, again, I wish you luck. Hope you eventually find a great place in "blue" state!

thegaygamer.com said...

Man, what is it with Taito arcade games being gimped/altered when moved to the Genesis/MD? I guess the company must have wanted to give console owners a different/new/unique experience?


As for playing the Lynx version of Toki: if it's easily emulatable, I'll definitely give it a try that way, but other than that? I really can't see myself buying an actual Lynx anytime soon. It's nice to hear this port is a good one, though!


I think my most likely course of action, though, will be to play the Fami version via emulation; should I like it, I'll go ahead and pick up the real deal :)

Scott said...

I'm sure it'll be a good decision no matter where the final pick is - choose wisely LOL


This morning for the helluvit broke out my original gold Zelda cart and played it long enough to score two Triforce's, surprisingly! I never beat the entire game back in the day and for once, playing without the help of a Game Genie. GG comes in handy with the ones I cursed out endlessly back in the day, like Amazon - which is now one of my most favorites today, with the help of GG.

Bguyle said...

Has anyone recommended Whomp Em for NES? I didn't see it mentioned and I'm pretty sure it's Tito but yeah you will most definitely enjoy it!

thegaygamer.com said...

Sorry for the late reply, Bguyle! This is the first I've heard of Whomp Em. Hmmm, guess I'll have to check it out. Thank you!