Category Archives: Retro Look

NES Challenge Continues!

Time for another NES game I never played. This time:

Felix the Cat by Hudson Soft.

Felix The Cat is a video game released in 1992 for the Nintendo Entertainment System and in 1993 for the Game Boy, published and developed by Hudson Soft. It is based on the cartoon character Felix the Cat.

The game involves the player controlling Felix the Cat as he sets out to defeat the evil mad Professor who has kidnapped Felix’s lovely girlfriend, Kitty. The Game Boy version plays virtually the same as the NES version, but features fewer levels. – Wikipedia Page 

A look at (some of) Felix the Cat – with Sharon!

 

The challenge continues all the time. Submit your pick for the NES challenge in the comments below.

Until next time be sure to check out some of my work over at www.fromthedpad.com

 

I Salute the Joystick

Published on April 26th, 2012 by Sharon at FromtheDpad.com

A  Salute to Gaming Roots

In this salute to gaming roots Sharon salutes The Joystick. Not the first game controller ever made, certainly not the last, but the one with a high impact on life outside the world of electronic entertainment. Let’s consider… the joystick.
 
 

There I stood, a blissfully tardy teenager, in the long narrow arcade of the rural Ontario town where I went to high school. I was a ‘minor-niner’ at the time, painfully aware of the friends who had invited me here on my lunch but equally aware of the curriculum I was missing by not rushing back to class. Part of me longed to be back in the classroom taking notes and raising my hand with answers but an equal part of me was mesmerized by the bleeps and bloops and dings of the arcade. Little did I know how many years before this day had gone into creating my perfect post pizza experience. Though I would come to this arcade again and again, it wasn’t until I grew much older that I realized just how much had gone into the development of these cases, buttons, and joysticks.

Though the idea started with Sega’s 1966 electro-mechanical submarine game Periscope, the target audience of the first ever arcade box was all too familiar with this up and coming gaming tool. Prior to its adaptation for electronic entertainment the Joystick was (and still is) widely used in military and civilian aircrafts. Periscope, a game designed by Sega to entertain military personnel in Honolulu (who maybe had a little extra time on their hands), used a moving periscope and light animated torpedoes, BUT would make way for the scores of arcade cases to come. The inevitable marriage of coin operated and joystick style gaming continued for Sega during these years. This marriage is one that would populate arcades and make its way into home gaming thanks to Magnavox inventor Ralph H. Baer who is said to have designed the gaming joystick for home console in 1967.

As was the nature at the time, suddenly …….

 

 Click Here to read the rest of this Article at www.FromThe Dpad.com

Exploring history in the DPad

Originally posted on March 21st, 2012 by Sharon at FromtheDpad.com

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A  Salute to Gaming Roots

1889: The Canadian Pacific Railway is completed from coast to coast, the Great Fire in Seattle destroys 25 downtown blocks, Thomas Edison shows his 1st motion picture, cable cars begin service in LA, the 300m Eiffel Tower officially opens commemorating the French Revolution, and 29 year old Fusajiro Yamauchi opens the doors to his company Nintendo Koppai.

A ban of foreign (western) playing cards plagued the fun loving people of Japan (after the communications break in 1633) but playing card games was not entirely banned….exactly. Crafty and persistent gamblers found ways in which card decks were created using imagery as a way to get around the prohibition.   Unfortunately each time gambling with a card deck of a particular design became too popular, the government banned those cards, which then prompted the creation of new ones. As a result of this back and forth a game was developed. That game was called Hanafuda and it combined traditional Japanese games with Western-style playing cards. Eventually the game had become popular enough that the government threw its hands in the air and conceded to loosening the reigns, so to speak.  And when big brother stopped trying to control the card playing it magically became less interesting to mass consumers. It is funny how that works, isn’t it?

                                                                                        photocredit:todayontoday.com

Enter Nintendo. Nintendo, which began with the purpose of producing and selling hand-crafted Hanafuda cards. Instead of just making general illustrations for use with the game, Fusajiro Yamauchi would develop unique hand crafted artwork that would drive the sales of the cards far beyond the competition. Nintendo quickly became the top game company in Japan, and over the next 40 years Fusajiro’s small store expanded into a major corporation adding an expansive library of original card games developed specifically for Nintendo.

Did you know: During the early years of Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo expanded to include ….

Click here to read the rest of the Sharon’s Salute to Gaming Roots and learn more about Nintendo’s beginnings.

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One Woman Wrecking Crew

The final days of 2011 included my dear fella, an old NES, and boxes of original NES titles. For him, a true test of all that has been locked away to memory, for me, a mix of nostalgia and ‘new’ excitement breathing the same air. As I’ve mentioned in previous NES Challenge , my continued goal is to explore all of the NES titles I glossed over in those days due, almost wholey, to my fascination with PC gaming. I’ve not updated in a while, but have been continuing on the path of rediscovery.

A recently discovered title, for me, was a little gem called Wrecking Crew.  This Yoshio Sakamoto designed Nintendo launch title had never been a part of my collection as a kid. A travesty I will learn to live with, in time.

We hunkered down for some two player good times and I sat in my familiar player 2 position (that is, cross legged on the floor in front of the tv). As player one began I watched the game and made an attempt to understand just how the game worked. Not too difficult to figure out. Mario and Luigi are faced with a vertical challenge of barrels, walls, ladders, bombs, pillars, and enemies.   Some objects are destructible, others are not, and the enemies should be avoided at all costs. The challenge, of course, is to avoid the enemies while destroying all of the destructible items on each level.

Player one did formidable and left me with the knowledge needed to get going. Mario and Luigi can not jump and so it is important to scan the level to have an understanding of where you need to be, and go, before you start wrecking up the place. If your only way to the top platform is by way of a ladder that you just destroyed… well my friend, you’re boned. You may as well make kissy with that enemy you’ve been avoiding for so long.

The levels become increasingly difficult (as they should) and just when you think you’ve gotten the hang of the game mechanics the sides of the screen start shooting fireballs at you, or a construction worker begins running around the background of the game knocking you down to the bottom of the screen.

In my haste I had a few fireball induced panic moments and found my eventual death but there is much more to the game than my brief encounter.  Destroying multiple objects in a row (usually with a chain of bombs) scores extra bonus points, and occasionally bonus items may appear that Mario and Luigi can collect,  the start screen allows selecting any level to start on, and best of all Wrecking Crew also features a level editor, which allows the player to design up to four levels.

It may have been a humble introduction to the greatness that is Wrecking Crew, but this original Nintendo launch title instantly earned a place in my heart. It is my understanding that as part of the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program, Nintendo 3DS ambassadors have been  able to enjoy a 3DS release since September of 2011.

My intentions to player one this game straight to the end are just a non cartridge blowing, finicky old NES, afternoon away.  Wherever there are things need to be wrecked, I will be there!

Think you know which title I should play? Be sure to let me know which game was your favorite of the platform!