The two Double Dragon games on NES are markedly different from their arcade counterparts — and a great deal of fun in their own right.
Double Dragon II: The Revenge plays up the platform game elements quite considerably — and also introduces the simultaneous two-player mode that was absent from the original NES game. It’s a great brawler well worth spending some time with today.
When I was a kid, Nigel Mansell occupied a curious position in popular culture. He was, without a doubt, respected for his solid performance in motorsports — but he was also regarded as an enormously boring man.
Thankfully his official video game adaptation by Gremlin certainly wasn’t boring. Building on the tech used for the Top Racer and Lotus Turbo Challenge series, Nigel Mansell’s World Championship provides plenty of fun arcade-style thrills in a Super Monaco GP sort of way.
Top Racer (originally known as Top Gear in the west) has a long and proud tradition — and it’s a classic vanishing point racer that still holds up super-well today.
When it originally released on Evercade as part of the Piko Interactive Collection 1 cartridge, you could only play it in single-player against the computer. With the advent of the Evercade VS, though, split-screen funtimes are yours for the taking!
Every genre needs to start somewhere, and in the top-down run-and-gun shooter’s case, it pretty much started with Taito’s Front Line.
By modern standards, Front Line might look a bit laughable — particularly when it comes to its animations. But give it a bit of time and you’ll find a thoroughly playable — and very hard! — game to enjoy in the mix here. Without this game, we likely wouldn’t have had SNK classics like TNK III and Ikari Warriors!
Moon Patrol is a great arcade game, and it’s had some excellent ports over the years. The Atari ST one was quite late, but it certainly nails the visuals.
The gameplay, however, is another matter; there’s something about Atari ST Moon Patrol that just doesn’t quite feel right. Still, if you want a game that looks like Moon Patrol but provides a slightly different challenge to the versions you may be more familiar with, it might be worth a look — it’s not a bad game, after all!
Trailblazer is an early game from Gremlin Graphics — and one which still holds up well today. Just as well, really, as it’s actually had a surprising number of rereleases and ports over the years!
The concept is simple: control a rolling ball as it speeds down cosmic causeways, doing your best not to fall in the big black holes. And there are a lot of big black holes to fall into, as well as speedy-uppy tiles, jumpy tiles and warp tiles. Never a dull moment!
You can dance if you want to, and leave your friends behind. In fact, you’ll have to, since Tanzer is a single-player game — and one of the most exciting games in the Evercade’s launch lineup.
Taking on the role of some sort of cybernetic ballet dancer fleeing a deadly plague, it’s your job to travel through time and beat the crap out of all manner of robotic and alien nasties. Why? Not sure. It’s fun, though, and very hard!
Supposedly, “pooyan” is a Japanese word that means “little pigs”, but I am yet to find a more authoritative source for this piece of information online than some random blog that said this was the case with no supporting evidence whatsoever.
Regardless, Pooyan is indeed a game about little pigs, and an unusual twist on the fixed shooter formula. It’s a game that I used to find oddly unsettling as a child, also — and as an adult, I find the more you play it and the more you think about it, the more unsettling it becomes once again. Fun, though!
LED Storm is not an arcade game I played back in the day, but after spending some time with the Atari ST version here, I’m kind of curious to.
If you like Data East’s classic Bump ‘n’ Jump, you’ll probably get along with LED Storm, since it’s a similar sort of idea: drive fast car from top-down perspective, hop over obstacles and onto the heads of enemies, yell at the inherently and deliberately unfair design of ’80s and ’90s arcade games.