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.
One of the interesting things about fully exploring retro gaming is discovering the subtle differences between different versions of a game.
Back in the early to mid ’80s, there were sometimes quite significant differences between the various platforms’ take on an established game. This was due to a combination of factors: most frequently it was down to the technical limitations of the host platforms, but sometimes it was due to the programmers responsible for the ports not having all of the resources they needed, and consequently having to do the coder’s equivalent of holding things together with sticky tape.
Namco’s port of its classic arcade title Dig Dug for the Famicom — easily accessible today as part of the Namco Museum Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming platform — is a good example of (probably) the former. Either way, it’s a distinctive version of Dig Dug that is well worth playing, even if you’re well familiar with the arcade original!
Do you like to shoot, but also to think? Then you should give Namco’s Galaxian a shot (no pun intended) — it’s a game where attempting to go in all guns blazing will quickly end in failure.
The Famicom version, seen here as part of the Namco Museum Collection 1cartridge for the Evercade, is a great adaptation of the arcade classic with pretty authentic sound and visuals — and a very authentic challenge factor!
Witness my intergalactic incompetence in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Helicopters are cool. At least they used to be in the ’80s and early ’90s. I’m not sure we’d get a TV show where the helicopter was the star today.
Anyway, with how fashionable helicopters were in this time period, it’s not surprising that we got a fair few video games where helicopters played a leading role. And one such example was FireHawk, developed by the Oliver Twins and published by Codemasters and Camerica in 1991 as an unlicensed cartridge for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The Oliver Twins are, it’s fair to say, probably best known for their Dizzy series of arcade adventures on 8- and 16-bit home computers. But they made a bunch of other interesting games, too.
Super Robin Hood for NES is a reimagining of the twins’ very first commercially successful game, originally released for Amstrad CPC. It’s a fun platformer that gives you a sense of freely exploring an interesting environment, despite it actually leading you on a linear path from start to finish.
It’s time to kick some ass with the excellent NES version of Double Dragon, which as you’ll know if you’ve read my piece on the subject, is deliberately different from the arcade version.
This version, found on the Technos Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade — number 10 in the collection, if you’re counting — is a solid brawler with some interesting mechanics, and remains fun to play today, even with its numerous rough edges.
As a great man once said: kick, punch, it’s all in the mind. It’s also all within easy reach of two buttons and a directional pad, as Exploding Fist demonstrates.
Originally released on 8-bit home computers and helping to birth the whole fighting game genre, Exploding Fist’s NES port never quite got finished and released back in the day — but thanks to Piko Interactive and the Evercade, we can now enjoy this early take on virtual martial arts at our leisure.
The Tower of Druaga is an important part of gaming history — yet it’s also a game that has somewhat divided opinion over the years.
Back in its native Japan, it was widely loved and appreciated for its revolutionary nature at the time of its original release; in the West, however, it was lambasted for its slow pace, obtuse mechanics and monstrous level of difficulty.
One of the nice things about the Evercade is how it’s not only bringing us new opportunities to enjoy classic games, it’s also fully embracing the “new games for old platforms” indie development scene.
A specialist publisher in this part of the business is Mega Cat Studios, who make it their business to pick out some exciting examples of modern games for classic hardware, and bring them to a wider audience. And a fine selection of such titles can be found on the Mega Cat Studios Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade.
Multidude is a great example of the sort of thing you can expect: fun, enjoyable experiences that work within the limits of classic platforms but provide distinctly modern-feeling gameplay challenges to explore. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Everyone knows and loves Namco’s Dig Dug — it’s an all-time classic of arcade gaming’s golden age. But not so many people know about Dig Dug’s official sequel.
This is partly due to the fact that it didn’t leave Japan until pretty late in the 8-bit home console era, several years after its original launch — and as such, it got rather overshadowed by most of its contemporaries.