2015/3/21: NES: Balloon Fight, Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing, Batman

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VideoGameCritic
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2015/3/21: NES: Balloon Fight, Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing, Batman

Postby VideoGameCritic » March 21st, 2015, 11:15 am

Please let me know what you think about this new set of NES reviews.  Ballon Fight and Turbo Racing are new.  Batman is a much-needed update (grade raised from C to C+).

eneuman961
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2015/3/21: NES: Balloon Fight, Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing, Batman

Postby eneuman961 » March 21st, 2015, 4:37 pm

Slight error in the Balloon Fight review: "...it's hard to believe Nintendo wasn't sued by Atari!" Joust was originally created by Williams (though Midway owned it for a while in the late 90's and 2000's, hence why it's in several Midway collections), and Atari only produced the versions of Joust released on its respective consoles.

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2015/3/21: NES: Balloon Fight, Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing, Batman

Postby Paul1231 » March 22nd, 2015, 12:55 am

This is one of those reviews where I completely disagree with the grade but I can't tell which of the positives and negatives you mentioned are actually effecting the grade itself, or are just worth mentioning, and when it's on a game that I think is one of the best on the system, I can't help but feel like you were looking for reasons not to like it. Would it have been a B- if not for the "unrealistic-ness" of being forced to jump off a ledge you are standing on? Did recent Mario games lose a grade when Mario learned how to slowly slide down sheer walls in a similarly unrealistic way? Did it also lose points for the invincible enemies, as if that were a new thing to video games? Your review really seems to be taking a glass-half-empty approach, perhaps to appear less swayed by popular opinion...

This game has some of the best graphics and music on the NES, with heavily and realistically animated backgrounds of a quality seldom seen on the NES, worthy of much more praise than you gave it. Switching between weapons is a little slow, but usually you can see what you are fighting before you fight it and have a chance to prepare the proper weapon. While it could be better, it certainly isn't a deal-breaker. The linearity of the levels isn't any more notable than most other side-scrolling NES games (did this cost it another grade?), and the layout of the levels does not "look" linear. You still feel like you are simply finding the best way to get to the end. Another supposed "negative" that doesn't seem worthy of even mentioning.

Maybe do the review again after a GOOD day at work. [smile]

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2015/3/21: NES: Balloon Fight, Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing, Batman

Postby VideoGameCritic » March 22nd, 2015, 11:29 am

Paul,
I think I can explain a few of the points.

The problem with falling off a block and kicking off the side is that you don't know you CAN do it.  At one point I kept trying to jump a gap normally, and I think I discovered the kick off the side thing by accident.  

As for the non-linear levels, a friend of mine spent five minutes trying to get to a hard-to-reach area, thinking it would at least have a weapon or health power-up.  But there was nothing, which really negates the fun of exploring.

VGC

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2015/3/21: NES: Balloon Fight, Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing, Batman

Postby Rev1 » March 22nd, 2015, 12:28 pm

I agree with the review for Balloon Fight as I find it a really fun, pick up and play, kind of game on the NES. It has a very simply approach but can be really addicting. I love games like this. As far as Batman, I think I would have been fine with a B- or B review but I can't see the game being a C+. I know that means the game is still above average but I think the game fits a higher grade scale than what you gave it. I can understand the critiques but I think you were way too harsh. I agree with Paul123.

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2015/3/21: NES: Balloon Fight, Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing, Batman

Postby Leo1 » March 22nd, 2015, 3:22 pm

[QUOTE=eneuman96]Slight error in the Balloon Fight review: "...it's hard to believe Nintendo wasn't sued by Atari!" Joust was originally created by Williams (though Midway owned it for a while in the late 90's and 2000's, hence why it's in several Midway collections), and Atari only produced the versions of Joust released on its respective consoles.[/QUOTE]

Atari Incorporated, followed by Atari Corporation after the split, had the exclusive home rights to Joust until the late 1980's. So I'm sure they'd also of had something to say about it if they had deemed Balloon Fight as too similar to Joust. 

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2015/3/21: NES: Balloon Fight, Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing, Batman

Postby Tim1 » March 22nd, 2015, 5:19 pm

I'm generally a fan of Batman but it is most definitely flawed.  I agree it feels like a generic platformer with a Batman licence slapped on it: if it weren't for the main Batman sprite and the shoe-horned intermission screens, you wouldn't know it was a Batman game.  Since it purports to be loosely based off the film, it would be nice if the levels resembled scenes from the film, like most of the other console/computer versions did.  There's also no driving or flying stages to break up the platforming monotony - again, other versions had these.  I'm always pausing the game when trying to change weapons - I've no idea why they reversed the functions of start & select.  And the game is in general just relentlessly unforgiving.  I find that your weapons are often paramount to defeating the bosses (eg. the Electrocutioner), so if you die and have to re-complete the level losing most of your power-ups along the way, you stand almost no chance of beating them.  I'm up for a challenge, but this really is an overly tough platformer.  It's still good fun and the music is great (particularly level 2!), but I think the VGC has the grade about right now, given its flaws.

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2015/3/21: NES: Balloon Fight, Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing, Batman

Postby Gentlegamer1 » March 22nd, 2015, 10:29 pm

[QUOTE=videogamecritic]
The problem with falling off a block and kicking off the side is that you don't know you CAN do it.  At one point I kept trying to jump a gap normally, and I think I discovered the kick off the side thing by accident.[/QUOTE]

I intuitively figured that out first try when I was twelve, since you can press jump any time you are next to a wall to perform the wall jump. In fact, that particular jump is itself a type of tutorial, it prompts you to try it to avoid taking damage. That is a feature, not a bug, and an example of excellent game design.

This is like your complaint about jumping over tombstones in Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts and not understanding how to use the double jump.

You blame games for your own poor play and lack of attention.

Most will agree Batman is an A game for NES, if not A+. It was the shining example of a good licensed game from both a comic property *and* a movie, which was as rare as hen's teeth for many years.

It has tight action, great platforming, superb graphics, and that iconic Sunsoft music. It's one of the must haves for any NES gamer.

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2015/3/21: NES: Balloon Fight, Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing, Batman

Postby Paul1231 » March 22nd, 2015, 11:55 pm

[QUOTE=videogamecritic]Paul,
I think I can explain a few of the points.

The problem with falling off a block and kicking off the side is that you don't know you CAN do it.  At one point I kept trying to jump a gap normally, and I think I discovered the kick off the side thing by accident.  

As for the non-linear levels, a friend of mine spent five minutes trying to get to a hard-to-reach area, thinking it would at least have a weapon or health power-up.  But there was nothing, which really negates the fun of exploring.

VGC[/QUOTE]

This leads me back to my point. Did the fact you didn't know you could do it immediately cost the game brownie points, or was it the idea that it's "unrealistic"? And it seems like a seasoned gamer would know that there are occasionally game play methods that need to be learned from experience. It still seems like a normal part of 8-bit platforming that you are docking this game points for. And if a game is fairly linear, I don't think a person is disappointed when they discover they can't explore. Levels in Megaman are almost always completely linear with little to no exploration possible, but I'll bet you didn't mention that as a fault of the Megaman games. I still get a distinct feeling that you were swayed into a lesser grade from the get-go, perhaps by your friend that presented the redundant insight that an 8-bit video game didn't perfectly match the universe of the comics and movies, (when this one does a better job of it than most 8-bit efforts) and subsequently had to dig for reasoning behind your grade.

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2015/3/21: NES: Balloon Fight, Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing, Batman

Postby Jake_JacobZu7zu71 » March 23rd, 2015, 1:04 am

Batman is impressive on NES, great graphics and feel... but I dont see it on par with Bionic Commando, Mario Bros 1-3, MegaMans or Ninja Gaidens, in terms of gameplay and action. So A or A+ seems a bit too generous for Batman and C+, sorta implies its on par with Monster Party and Nightmare on Elm St. two scary games, I really enjoyed those too,

Fair Enough for me...


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