It is time for all the painting-lovers to begin playing MAME !!! Because there is a game where they can both play and enjoy all the famous paintings they have ever seen !!!
Info: This game is split into 3 different game options:
BEGINNER: As it says you play 10 stages so you can practise before playing the other two game options. Before each stage, different tips will appear:
NORMAL: You aim is to destroy all the bubbles in order to reclaim the famous paintings. The are 18 paintings and the stages are 50:
Don't think you can play the final stage at once. I did a trick and they all appeared . There are 4 characters, Don Tacos, Captain Hog, Shiela the Thief and Pink Leopard. Each one has a unique characteristic:
There are some power-ups here including, a Bubble Shield:
Another power-up is a clock that freezes the time and allows you to destroy as many bubbles as you can:
Those blue beams you saw came out of the Power Shot. With this shot you can quickly destroy huge bubbles for a certain amount of time. Some stages have blocks that need to get destroyed:
PANIC: You are in a stage where bubbles are falling and falling and falling... After the time passes by the level increases and more bubbles are falling. At the same time the background changes. If you manage to destroy the Star Bubble when the level gets 10, 20, 30... you will proceed to the next stage. The characters have different characteristics here:
Here, instead of the time-stopping clock, there are some little bubbles that glow and when you destroy them the time freezes:
Advantages: The whole game plot, the stages and especially the music that is very funny.
Disadvantages: Don't try to play the PANIC without practising because you are gonna have a really hard time. Also the final stage of the NORMAL is TOO difficult and you definitely need a partner.
Videos: Here is my Pang! 3 gameplay video, where I have chosen Captain Hog.
A classic game where you have your aircraft and you destroy as many enemies as you can to proceed.
Info: If you search the game's history at Arcade History you will find this: "A full-screen vertically scrolling shoot 'em up game."
However this game is different than the old-school flying vertical games, such as 1941 or 1942. Because here you get additional armor and fire for your aircraft to make it more powerful. This armor can be obtained by collecting its parts...
...or by getting it immediately after you complete an area:
The default artillery of your aircraft is a laser beam and a missile. However when you get the "L" or "M" power-ups (L=laser and M=missile) the number of the laser beams as well as the firing missiles increases:
Advantages: The game is not regarded as good as the classic flying verticals but it is pretty good because of the areas and especially the power-ups that are provided.
Disadvantages: Each time you are get hit while you have equipped an armor its energy decreases. Plus when you change armor the former one disappears.
Snapshots: Check out your fire when you have equipped the Laser armor and the Nuclear one:
In some areas you go into huge spaceships. Check this out:
"Apparently it wasn't a good idea to go inside THAT spaceship..."
Videos: This is my Alpha Mission II gameplay video.
There are few feuds as heated and long lasting as the one between SNK and Capcom. Who stole which feature from whom, who had the better art styles, the better game play, the most innovations? All these questions are debated and almost all of them can be answered one or the other depending on which games you choose. But let's start at the beginning effort put forth by SNK: Fatal Fury.
Fatal Fury's story actually starts further back, but at the release of the game we only knew this: Geese Howard runs South Town. 10 years ago Geese killed a man named Jeff Bogard. Jeff had adopted two children previously, named Terry and Andy, and now these children have grown up and returned to avenge the death of their adopted father. Joining them is their friend Joe, a kick-boxer that has agreed to help the two in their quest. These three fighters make up the selectable characters.
The game differed from its competition by having a "How to play" screen before you began your fighting. This became a staple in almost all SNK games to follow and really helped newer players with any changes to a particular game. Fatal Fury uses only 3 buttons, Punch, Kick and Throw. Variations come from connecting the regular attacks together without being hit, after a set number your punch or kick will differ in animation and damage.
The selectable characters are pretty low, but none of them are clones of other fighters in game. Each has their own "charging forward" attacks, their own projectile, and their own upward attack. Each of these attacks vary greatly from character to character. Terry's projectile is pretty fast, but stays low to the ground. Andy's projectile has a very long initiation time. Joe's projectile is harder to dodge, but is somewhere in the middle between the other two's speeds.
Another difference even with later games is that when a second player joins in, it becomes a 2 vs. 1 battle between the two players on one side, and the CPU enemy on the other. Once that is over the two players fight between themselves. Probably Fatal Fury's most famous feature was its multi-plane fighting system. Certain attacks could knock characters back or forward to one of two planes on the screen. From there the fighters could jump to the plane with the other character while using an attack, if they prefer they can just quickly roll there. Some stages had interactive backgrounds along with this, such as the cars on Billy Kane's stage, or the bystanders during Michael Max's stage. One of the downfalls of the system was that players could not switch between the planes at will, they had to wait for the CPU to move there or knock them there.
The graphics were sluggish when compared to Street Fighter 2 at the time. The animations were also a notch below Street Fighter 2, being a bit stiff and not enough frames to really show what was going on. The backgrounds I like more than Street Fighter 2 as they are very colorful, interactive, and also features a raining stage. A fighting game first I believe.
This last paragraph is a bit of opinion. With Street Fighter 2 coming out less than a year before Fatal Fury, I think it is unfair to call it a Street Fighter 2 clone. If you look at similarities I think Fatal Fury was going to be a Final Fight beat 'em up. Three selectable characters, just like Final Fight. A similar name. Both games revolved around a city. Each one dealt with government corruption in the city, and even their maps were similar.
The game is not balanced to be a 1 vs 1 fighter. The opponents have unfair advantages like dual-states such as Tung Fue Rue's muscle transformation, or Hwai Jai's drunken state. They each also have obvious flaws to them, such as being able to scare Raiden into doing his spitting attack, to Billy Kane becoming helpless when he loses his staff. All very similar to Final Fight. I think in the months after Street Fighter 2 came out, SNK decided they didn't have enough time to do a proper new game, they retooled Fatal Fury into a 1 vs 1 fighter. People also criticize Michael Max for looking like Balrog. Balrog did not get his yellow shirt until Championship edition, when 2 Balrogs could fight each other. Face it, any character made to look like Mike Tyson is going to look similar, they rip off Mike Tyson, not each other.
So play the game and decide for yourself if it plays, looks, or feels like a Street Fighter 2 clone. I'd consider it a sort of Punch-out/Final Fight/1v1 hybrid. It for sure doesn't stack up to later games, but it's a good history lesson.
Capcom, supported by Cave, 2001, Shooter / Flying Horizontal
What do you get when you cross Metal Slug with a shooter? You get the only arcade team up of fighting game giant Capcom, and shooter extraordinaire Cave. Cave is known for their innovative shooters and their adoption of "bullet hell" game play. In 2000 Capcom and Cave decided to make a game using Capcom's CPS2 board, and the result is Progear.
The story of Progear takes place in an alternate world roughly around World War I. The propeller and immortality were discovered around the same time. Only the rich could afford immortality, and they took over the world with their money and power. It is only the discovery of a new gunner weapon system that society is able to fight back, the only catch is that this gunner system can only be used by children. Enter our heroes, a band of teens and children ready to fight for their freedom. Each choice changes your gunning style, for example: Ring, the Gambling Pilot, fires a spread of bullets, while Bolt, the militant pilot, fires a concentrated line. Each of the 3 accessory gunners also have their firing style. Like most games by Cave, a turbo button would be a hindrance. You tap the main fire button for a low damage but fast repeating shot. When you hold down the main fire button you get a concentrated blast from gunner and pilot, but your ship slows down greatly. You have the usual bomb button, but if you use it while firing the concentrated mode, you will fire the bomb across the screen. Unlike other Cave games, you do not get varied bombs according to your pilot, but the combinations of pilots and gunner make up for it in my opinion.
What drew me to this game is my experiences with Gradius and R-Type. They seemed to be nondescript, generalized sci fi future settings with stages barely recognizable as anything other than random machinery strung together. Progear however has a story, has characters, and has a style all its own. It reminds me a ton of Porco Rosso, a Miyazaki film you should all check out. The world is very similar to the Red Baron and World War 1 flying aces romances. Bi-planes fill the skies, and oddly shaped mechanized tanks rule the grounds. In the water you can find gigantic battleships full of more guns than you would ever think float. The characters are cartoonish, but have a sort of flare to them, and every boss has his own portrait. Upon defeating them they even have a small scene that goes across the screen. The stages are animated beautifully and have some breathtaking images to them. These pictures do not do it justice, you have to see it in motion.
The game play is similar to other "manic shooters" in that there is tons of things going on screen at all times, and most of the time you may not see them because you are dodging all the bullets. The changes are in the fact that it is a side to side scroller instead of a overhead shooter, in fact it is the first side scroller Cave ever did. These images do not have filters applied to them, and for good reason, there is so much going on, and so much animation, that it slows down with any sort of image enhancements.
So if you like shooters, and you like Metal Slug, give this game a go.
Although SNK already had the beginnings of some notable fighting series under their belt with games like 'Fatal Fury' and 'Art of Fighting', it was their multi-award winning 1993 smash hit, Samurai Shodown (aka Samurai Spirits in Japan), that really laid the foundations for the company's rise in popularity with arcade enthusiasts. Many outstanding features of what is arguably SNK's most important game distinguished it from the rest of the burgeoning 2D fighter scene at the time. While the craze for 'Street Fighter II' and 'Mortal Kombat' was still going strong in 1993, there was something about Samurai Shodown that began attracting people's interest in the midst of all the competing action.
Bad boy, Earthquake, gets turned on his big fat head by Haohmaru's Senpuuretsuzan.
Being the first really high quality weapons-based 2D fighter, I can well remember how the exciting sound of clashing steel coming from Samurai Shodown cabinets stole a lot of attention away from the usual fisticuffs of other fighters. Also in the sound department, instead of the catchy tunes that were the norm for most fighting games, Samurai Shodown set itself apart from the crowd with it's inimitable use of feudal Japanese court music. The sounds of traditional instruments created a unique atmospheric accompaniment to the game's pseudo-historical setting.
Arcade History gives a detailed account of some Samurai Shodown characters and their real-life historical counterparts:
"Haohmaru is based on the legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), whose fighting philosophy heavily influenced that of the Haohmaru character.
Ukyo Tachibana is Based on Sasaki Kojiro Genryu (1572-1612), Musashi's skilled rival.
Jubei Yagyu is based on the historical Yagyu Jubei Mitsuyoshi (1606-1644), who was a sword instructor to the Tokugawa shogunate. The Yagyu clan was a famous clan of samurai.
Hattori Hanzo Masashige (1541-1596) was the most famous of the Iga Ninja clan. He was a genius at leading night raids on forts and fiefs and became a feared assassin. Under his leadership, Iga Ninja became so notorious that Nobunaga felt it necessary to obliterate the Iga Ninja clan.
Wan-Fu seems to be a combination of two famous Chinese warriors. The first is a famous Chinese swordsman who was a rebel during the Ch'ing Dynasty. His name was Wang Ts-bin Wu, but he became known as Da Dao Wang Wu ('Big Scimitar Wang Wu'). The second lead bases Wan Fu upon the ancient, almost legendary, founder of the Chou Dynasty, King Wu Wang.
Amakusa Shiro Tokisada (1622-1638) led a Christian uprising against the Tokugawa shogunate in the Shimabara region of Japan."
Practice your swordsmanship in this cool bonus stage.
Another interesting connection, that some readers may have suspected but not been fully aware of, exists between the game and a certain influential anime that was released in the same year. Ever noticed any similarities between Samurai Shodown and the awesome 'Ninja Scroll' movie? If you have then there's a reason why. As well as the aforementioned historical sources of some characters, Arcade History also states that, "In fact, a few designers that worked on Samurai Shodown also worked on the Ninja Scroll anime...". In the game this is most noticeable in the character, Gen-an, who shares some attributes with two of the Devils of Kimon, Mushizo and Shijima. Also, the main character in Ninja Scroll, Kibagami Jubei, is a tribute to the historical Yagyu Jubei Mitsuyoshi.
Gen-an feels the pinch as he suffers heavy damage from Haohmaru's Kogetsuzan.
No self-respecting anime fan would be seen dead without a copy of this in their collection.
Parallel with censorship controversy surrounding the extreme carnage and other explicit scenes in Ninja Scroll, Samurai Shodown was embroiled in the whole 'violence in video games' uproar generated by Mortal Kombat. The effect on Samurai Shodown was that these concerns caused SNK to censor the game's gore, and even some of it's textual references to death and blood, for it's console releases outside of Japan. This was a contentious issue for overseas fans who bought the cartridges for their Neo Geo AES home consoles under the otherwise normally correct assumption that they would be getting an identical port of the MVS arcade version which, after all, was the original purpose of the AES. This in turn gave rise to a flood AES region modifications as disgruntled gamers set out to restore the home port to it's rightful blood drenched glory. In spite of these difficulties Samurai Shodown is still the most successful cartridge ever produced for the AES.
Arterial spray against the San Francisco sunset.
The art style of Samurai Shodown, probably in part due to its association with Ninja Scroll, introduced a new look that was more strongly anime-based than its rivals. In Street Fighter II, Capcom applied a more shaded, rounded look to it's characters, presumably to make it more appealing to a worldwide audience; an almost self-conscious denial of their own manga culture. The breakthrough international success of anime films like Ninja Scroll and others heralded a change in this perception. Samurai Shodown crystallised a mysterious world of imagination, humour, and dark beauty unlike anything else seen in arcades at the time. This in turn seemed to influence Capcom with their release of games like 'Darkstalkers' the following year, which suddenly sported full anime style characters. All this was a prelude to Capcom adopting these same anime stylings into their main franchise with the release of 'Street Fighter Alpha' in 1995.
Sparks fly in a battle for supremacy.
With its array of weaponry Samurai Shodown's gameplay was a departure from the usual fare. Occasionally swords will lock and a furious struggle will ensue that could result in one of the combatants becoming disarmed. Using special moves or even heavy sword strokes can be risky business for a samurai. Precision is called for if you don't want to leave yourself exposed to a swipe of the enemy's blade. That's not to say gameplay is slow however, far from it in fact. You just have to work hard to pick your sweet spots against the game's tough AI. One fun aspect of gameplay is the character's ability to sprint with a double tap of the joystick towards the opponent. The sight of a fearless warrior charging in for the kill can really throw the other guy off their equilibrium sometimes. Double tapping away results in a quick defensive dodge that can also be used to create openings. These abilities add an extra layer of strategy to combat. Then there is the unexpected element of the delivery man who often runs past in the background throwing various items into the fray that can either help or hinder. Although characters do have limited combo possibilities, gameplay leans more towards tactical defense and well-timed counterattack maneuvers, which is eminently suitable to the tension of swordplay. There's nothing quite like the drama of catching an opponent wide open and decimating their life with a rage powered heavy slash!
Awh yeah... that's what I'm talkin' about!
Another cool addition to Samurai Shodown is the way the game's story elements are implemented in single player mode. Rather than the standard method of defeat all opponents and get an ending as a reward, Samurai Shodown treats the player to several story interludes along the way towards each character's ending. Some of the game's trademark one-liners are just hilarious. Apart from anything else, just going after all the character's individual story quotes can add a huge amount of replay value to the game. You can't help feeling a strong sense of identification with all of Samurai Shodown's different personalities the more you play. While story development in fighting games is a small consideration compared to play mechanics, this is a fine example of the extra care and attention to detail that SNK devotes to their best games.
Who is this crazy funster anyway?
For me, walking into an arcade back in the day and seeing Samurai Shodown running on one of those giant projector screen setups for the first time was a memorable moment and the beginning of a costly obsession. That passion for the game was not just of the coin munching arcade variety, but also translated into a ridiculously expensive compulsion for the home system and it's high priced cartridges. If you've ever wondered why there are still so many dedicated Neo Geo freaks around the world today, then look to the source; Samurai Shodown, the original cult classic!
I am not what you would call a Puzzle game fan. My gaming usually has to have narrative, and even in school I was never one for mind tests and spatial thinking. This also happens to put me at odds with people because I hate Tetris. After four stages I get bored and turn the game off. It was just never fun for me. Give the blocks names, or give them a purpose maybe add in some tricks and maybe you'll hook me.
Boom. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.
This game had me addicted for several years. What is it exactly? Well first off, it's not a sequel to Super Puzzle Fighter, or a variation of some Super Puzzle Fighter II that Capcom was so in love with doing in those days. It is its own fun little self deprecating oddball versus puzzle fighting game. Its set up is similar to other versus puzzle games such as Doctor Mario or Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. You have two characters facing each other, and through playing a Tetris like game well, you can perform special moves on them, dropping more and more blocks upon the enemy. Once someone's side is totally full, to the top, they lose.
This is the character screen. As you can see there are 8 initial characters to choose from. From Street Fighter Alpha 2 there is Ryu, Chun Li, Sakura and Ken. Then from Dark Stalkers 2 there was Morrigan, Donovan, Hsien-Ko, and finally Felicia. The only real difference between characters, aside from art, is their Counter Gem set up. Whenever you play the game well, you will drop blocks on your opponent. The counter gem determines the pattern which drops.
There are four basic types of blocks. Red, Blue, Green and Yellow. As you can see in the screenshot they drop from the top 2 at a time, and the game even tells you which is coming next so you can plan. Next are Gem Cutters. These gems are clear spheres with a color inside, and what they do is break the color they represent, and all those adjacent that are of the same color until they hit a gem of another color. A last type of cutter is the Diamond Cutter, which will destroy all the colors of whatever gem it hits on your side.
When the colors arrange in certain combinations they grow into large gems. Destroying these gems and creating combo destruction causes your character to rain timed gems down on the other side of the screen. These gems are determined by your Gem Counter, and they count down. When they reach zero they become breakable, but until then they just mess up your enemy's strategy as they can not be broken till they reach zero(or a diamond cutter hits them).
Your little characters duke it out as you break gems and battle your opponent. They do everything from Taunts to Super Combo finishers. There is something satisfying about finishing off an opponent and seeing your little Ken blow a flaming dragon punch finisher, or your Chun Li do her super kicks. The game is a real breath of fresh air after you've been knee deep in fighting games, and is a ton of fun. Like with most fighting games it is most fun with a room full of people having a good time. Even if you hate puzzle games try it, it is addicting.
Besides, where else can you see Akuma beat the crap out of a kitten?
Pleasure Goal is a different type of football game. Because here the teams are 5-vs-5 and not 11-vs-11.
Info: Pleasure Goal is not like the traditional football games where you play a few matches in order to regard yourself as a champion. Here after a series of preliminary matches you advance to the finals. There, if you successfully beat the opponent teams you become the champion. But let's start from the basics. When you are about to select a team, its appearance as well as its statistics appear on the screen:
After you pick a team it is time for action !! The preliminary matches begin !!! The teams are divided into 2 groups, group A and group B. Then it is time for the first match:
Your goal here is, well, to score of course. After each goal the player will celebrate in a unique, and sometimes funny, way:
After that the speaker comments the goal and after that the scorer appears on the screen, along with the rest of the goals he scored on the current match:
After the time passes the referee does the final whistle, and then the man of the match appears on the screen:
Advantages: The special kind of the game as well as the music that is heard during the match.
Disadvantages: The matches may last a little time but they are too many. In fact I wasted over 1 hour playing this game when I had it on the arcade.
If the palaeontologists didn't enjoy playing Caveman Ninja then this game is gonna make them don't stop playing. Because here there are ONLY dinosaurs and some ancient people and animals.
Info: In this game you are taken to an island district where you deal with groups of dinosaurs, either flying or walking. Here, there are 2 power-ups. The Speed Boost and the Power Shot:
The Speed Boost makes your aircraft fly faster, which is good for avoiding enemy fire and for obtaining items. The Power Shot is a cannon which fits in certain parts of the aircraft and shoots different fire from each side:
If you keep obtaining these power-ups then your aircraft will move even faster and will shoot even bigger fire:
Advantages: The whole landscape as well as the enemies.
Disadvantages: If you are a young person (<12 years old) don't play that game. Because it is VERY scaring. Just wait till you see what the bosses can do.
Snapshots: Here are some pictures of some bosses you will meet during your game. Let's start with the Brachiosaurus:
"Wow it is HUGE !!!"
Then we move to the Allosaurus:
"If you think it is harmless due to its size then wait till you see its huge mouth."
And finally here is the Rhamphorhynchus:
"What a difficult name to spell..."
Videos: My Prehistoric Isle In 1930 gameplay video. You have no idea how many times I failed killing the Allosaurus without losing!
In my countless adventures through MAME I have stumbled across games I have long forgotten, simply never played, or had never heard of. Some games were easy, some hard. Others would eat an entire roll of quarters and laugh at you as you headed to the change machine. I ran across In the Hunt simply because it was a game that reminded me artistically of the Metal Slug Series. I decided to give it a try as I had never heard of the title and in my opinion there are not enough Submarine games in the world.
I have played many scrolling shooters before both horizontal and vertical. None of them really prepares you for In the Hunt. In true scrolling fashion the enemies progress from Right to left in a pretty normal attack pattern and then ramps it up. The difference with In the Hunt is that you notice right away you do not get the full screen to move around in. In the Hunt is constantly changing how much water you have. You have from the whole screen at times to as little as 1/4 of the screen. In the Hunt requires that you deftly use what little space you have. With Enemies below and above, coming in from the left and the right, that space becomes very small, very quick. The game also you requires you to ride the surface (depending on your weapons) to deal with air attacks. Ensuring that there is no safety in the depths of the ocean.
If you have never heard of or played In the Hunt I highly recommend it. Just be glad you don't have to pay with your dear shiny quarters anymore.
Note: This video is not game footage provided by me. Just a really good player making the first level look super easy.
Capcom's Warriors of Fate (WoF) is another one of those games that chewed its way through tons of my spare change back in the arcade days. This game is good, honest, violent fun! New players may sense a level of historical depth behind the ferocious slaughter going on in the game, and with good reason too.
The Japan version, Tenchi wo Kurau II - Sekiheki no Tatakai (The Eater of Heaven and Earth II: Battle of Red Cliffs), is set in the largely historically-based world of the popular Chinese tale of the Han Dynasty, 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms'; a setting that has been an inspiration for other developers too, particularly Koei with their long-running 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' series of strategic wargames, and their more recent 'Dynasty Warriors' series. Tenchi wo Kurau II stayed true to the the Three Kingdoms milieu. However, in the world version, WoF, the theme was fictionalised and most names were changed from Chinese to Mongolian. Many scenes of dialogue were also cut. The characters, graphics, and gameplay still retain that Three Kingdoms flavour though, which is an aspect of the game that I've always found appealing. Arcade History also states: "Character designs were based on a popular Japanese manga called 'Destruction of Heaven and Earth' published by Shueisha in Japan and created by Moto Kikaku."
Nostalgia and I set out on our epic journey.
One cool addition to the gameplay is the ability to fight on horseback. Your character begins the game already mounted and ready to wage war. In later stages there is an item that will appear from time to time which will allow you to summon a fresh horse. The characters already have a good variety of moves at their disposal on foot. Mounted combat adds another dimension to your attack capabilities, allowing you to cut swathes of destruction through the enemy hordes.
WoF was fairly gory for it's time and genre, which is another gameplay element that keeps me coming back for more. It's all very tastefully done though and feels appropriate to the onscreen action. On the death blow there are specific moves or weapons that will sever the bodies of enemy soldiers in two. There are other moves and weapons that will literally smash enemies to a pulp. The main deal with all this is violent boss kills. The larger size of the enemy commanders can make their deaths particularly gruesome to behold. In certain instances they may even be decapitated. In typical Capcom style there is some slow motion added for dramatic effect whenever a boss is defeated. Go for as many violent boss kills as possible for a nice surprise later on!
Nos is a handy guy to have around if you ever need to carve a Sunday roast.
If you're after an addictive brawler with a bit more barbaric carnage than what's on offer in the usual crowd of urban-based scrolling fighters, then WoF is well worth checking out.