TV Sports Basketball
Publisher: NEC (1990)
TV Sports Basketball features exceptional graphics and audio, but it's all for naught thanks to the most confusing, convoluted control scheme ever devised for a basketball game. The realistic-looking players don't look bad at all, and the vertical court looks pretty sharp. Crisp sound effects punctuate the "whoosh" of a basket and the "clank" of a brick, and penalties are called out using clear voice samples. If only TV Sports Basketball was the least bit playable! The controls are absolutely bewildering, and with players constantly bunching up, it's never clear who has possession. The same button is used to pass, shoot, steal, and
call plays! For the love of God man - there has got
to be a better way! The foul shooting is deplorable, with an arrow that continues to move long after you've hit the button
! Jump shots travel at unnatural trajectories, and once they make contact with the rim, they inexplicably blast off into the stratosphere! When bringing the ball across mid-court, the game switches to a side view, and all you can do is call a play as players drag their slow asses to the other end. TV Sports Basketball lacks an NBA license, which is evident by the team names, which include the Ninjas, Shadows, Snipers
, Zombies, and get this - the Wizards
(now that's just silly)! You can manipulate your roster, but when you're dealing with fictional players, why bother? Last but not least, the game periodically displays a blonde cheerleader who doesn't look quite right
. Good Lord - she's sporting a package
!! Sadly, penis-packing cheerleaders are the most entertaining aspect of the entire game. © Copyright 2007 The Video Game Critic.
TV Sports Football
Publisher: Cinemaware (1991)
TV Sports Hockey
Publisher: NEC (1991)
Takin' It To The Hoop
Publisher: NEC (1989)
Whenever you turn on a basketball game and see some white boy soaring above a rim and throwing down a dunk, you know you're headed for some crap
. But as bad as Takin' It To The Hoop is, it still
stands head and shoulders above that God-awful TV Sports Basketball. With a little more effort, this could
have been a lot of fun. The graphics are well-defined and somewhat whimsical. The players sport oversized heads, and they appear to be scampering around in diapers! That red, white, and blue basketball looks like a freakin' beach ball! Controlling your player is easy enough, but switching between them is confusing. The selected player flickers only slightly, making him hard to locate - especially when he's off the screen! Remarkably, you cannot jump at all
(even for rebounds), and the computer-controlled team steals the ball at will. When a player attempts a shot near the hoop, the game switches to a full-screen close-up showing the slam (or block) being executed. While it's easily the highlight of the game, it's strange how the players suddenly change from goofy cartoon characters to realistic players! Close-ups are also employed for foul shots, and you can't help but laugh when you witness every one of these players shooting like a girl! You can't adjust the excessively long periods, and you're forced to constantly rotate out tired players. Considering the inclusion of extraneous features like switching defensive schemes, you really wish the programmers would have invested more time in the stuff that really matters
. Takin' It To The Hoop may be the best basketball game available for the Turbografx, but let's not kid ourselves here - it's still pretty bad. © Copyright 2007 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: NEC (1991)
Talespin was released for several systems but I can't imagine any are as pretty as this Turbografx edition. Wow. From the foamy blue waterfalls to the lush palm trees to the hazy green mountains, the scenery is a feast for the eyes. Based on the popular Disney TV series, Talespin puts you in the role of Baloo the bear. The platform action is cheerful and fun as you hop across hippo heads and chuck coconuts at monkeys hanging from trees. Later you'll explore an airplane hangar, slide across glaciers, and walk across the sea floor. You select the order in which you play the first four stages, and that adds replay value. You have an unlimited supply of coconuts to hurl, and it doesn't hurt to set your turbo to max. The action is pretty much by-the-numbers but certain stages do have multiple paths. I find it funny how Talespin cuts to the chase by displaying bonus icons as actual numbers
like "500" and "1000". The game is surprisingly tough and it doesn't help that enemies tend to throw stuff from offscreen. In the airplane hangar you're pelted relentlessly!
Fortunately you can usually knock down incoming projectiles with your own. I found the sluggish underwater stage to be a real headache yet my friend Chris managed to finish it on his first try!
Complete a stage and enjoy an entertaining "sky surfing" bonus stage where you try to snag bonus items while swinging below a plane. Good times! Complementing the bright cartoon graphics is a light tropical soundtrack with a carefree vibe. I would expect a game geared toward kids to be more forgiving, but Talespin has a way of making you forget all your troubles. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 42,700
Publisher: Right Stuff (1991)
Our high score: 294,463
Publisher: Victor (1990)
I usually appreciate side-scrolling martial arts games, but Tiger Road falls victim to poor design. You control a martial arts student armed with weapons like swords, morning stars, and maces. The characters are cartoonish in appearance, but the graphics do have an appealing, clean look to them. Gameplay mainly involves jumping from generic platforms and beating up an endless supply of goons. The two buttons are used for jump and attack, and I do recommend activating the turbo control on your attack button. The controls are responsive, but no match for the relentless armies you face. Enemies appear from out of nowhere, and they're always pouncing on your head, where you are completely vulnerable (you can't attack up!). Also annoying is how these thugs constantly regenerate, so once you defeat an enemy, you turn around and he's right there again! One of the better stages has you actually flying
around a series of obstacles - sort of a precursor to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. I also enjoyed the bonus "training sessions", which challenge you to perform feats like putting out fire with your weapon. But these novelties can't save Tiger Road's poorly-designed levels and unforgiving gameplay. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 35000
Publisher: Face (1992)
This exceptional video pinball game features a huge board that's as wide as it is tall. The up and down scrolling is smooth, although the side scrolling is a bit choppy. Time Cruise's control is responsive, although the ball has been known to hesitate momentarily. A nudge button comes in very handy for emergency situations. The time-machine style graphics are both attractive and original, but all areas of the table look pretty much the same. The pinball action is solid, but it takes a back seat to the numerous bonus stages that can take you either backward or forward in time. Each of these unique stages offer its own unique brand of fun, usually in the form of mini-pinball games. One requires you to guide a ball through a maze by tilting a board, and while it's quite challenging, it takes too long and slows down the pace of the game. Still, Time Cruise has a lot of depth for a pinball game. It's more playable than Alien Crush, but not as good as Devil's Crush. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 1400600
Publisher: IGS (1990)
Tricky Kick is a perplexing puzzler disguised as an arcade game. Each maze-like screen is strewn with obstacles and colorful people, animals, and monsters. Your dude goes around "kicking" these guys, causing them to slide until they hit something. Knock one creature into his twin and they both go up in smoke. Clear the screen within the time limit to win and progress to the next challenge. It's a simple premise but very easy to get stuck. Once you kick something in a corner it's not going anywhere. After all, this isn't Tricky Pull
(noted my friend Kevin). Often it's necessary to use one character as a "backstop" for another, and another as a backstop for that
guy. Kevin called Tricky Kick "chess in eight dimensions" although I think he may have been exaggerating. My favorite button is the one that lets you start over once you realize you've screwed up beyond all hope. Tricky Kick contains 60 unique stages (!) with six unique themes, each with its own animated intro and music. You'll kick animals around in a forest, robots in a city, and even creeps in a haunted house. Tricky Kick's graphics are colorful but some of the characters are hard to make out. While offering advice to one another my friends would awkwardly describe things like "that purple guy" or "the avocado thingie". They loved the concept though and Brent wondered why this game hasn't been reintroduced for modern devices. Tricky Kick is a thinking man's game but unfortunately I'm not one of those. Instead of calculating moves I start sliding things around and hope for the best. It's not really my cup of tea but those who enjoy puzzles are permitted to bump up the grade by one letter. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Accolade (1991)
Our high score: 29,950
Publisher: Telenet (1992)
Our high score: 62,400
Publisher: LaserSoft (1990)
If you feel the urge to get back-to-basics Valis II will not disappoint. It delivers platform-slashing fun in a world of endless mythological creatures. Our heroine Yuko begins as a Japanese schoolgirl running through city streets while hurling knifes at samurai warriors and slinky weasels. The difficulty is low and the scenery sparse as you venture through subways, caves, and colorful sky kingdoms. The projectile-based combat is moderately fun, but while moving forward you're a little too close to the edge of the screen, making it hard to react in time. You'll find yourself taking a stop-and-go approach, which is kind of annoying. Yuko squeals like a puppy when hit, but not to worry because she has a huge life bar. I find it strange how the life bar of the next boss remains permanently displayed below yours. Weapon upgrades appear early and often, and you'll soon find yourself nearly invincible, firing deadly waves of energy while being protected by a rotating orbs. You don't even lose your weapon when you die. Valis II is so easy I worried I might beat it on my first try! You get tons of extra lives and there's even a save function. The challenge finally kicks in during stage four, where you battle floating brains and dudes dashing around on fire. I have to admit there are some very cool-looking creatures like slithering snake-men. The CD-quality music is fair but the cutscenes fall flat with long, awkward silences between lines of dialog. Scary demonic bosses sound more like college professors and the dialog is dreadful. But don't attempt to skip the dialog - I did and accidentally reset the entire game
. Valis II probably didn't need a CD, but it does deliver old-school fun with a low frustration factor. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 248,000
Publisher: Telenet (1991)
Valis IV (Japan)
Publisher: Telenet (1991)
Publisher: NEC (1989)
This racing game challenges you to complete an eight-mile course within a set period of time. The track segments include everything from a French countryside to the Sahara desert, and the graphics are impressively smooth. There's nothing on the side of the road, but the distant scenery and the colorful skylines look great. As day turns to night, the lights go on in the buildings - a nice touch. The smooth scaling of oncoming cars and the rolling hills reminded me of Road Rash on the Genesis, but why are all of the vehicles so huge? My car looks like a toy compared to these other cars! Heck, even the motorcycles tower over me. And what's up with all the garbage trucks? Victory Run's gameplay just didn't do it for me. Driving down the road dodging cars gets old after a while. Between track segments you can upgrade you tires, gears, engine, suspension, and brakes, but I could never tell which ones I needed. Even worse, you can damage your engine by running it too high! That goes against my natural instinct to go fast, and it really hurts this game's overall score. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Irem (1989)
Here's a side-scrolling brawler with terrific graphics but just so-so gameplay. The fighters are large and well-defined, and your character resembles Jackie Chan. The gameplay is completely 2D, so you can only move from side to side. The storyline definitely caught my attention: "The skinheads have taken Madonna hostage!" - I kid you not. The girl does have blond hair but is dressed far too modest to be mistaken for the real Madonna. Through five action-packed stages, your kung-fu hero faces the same thugs over and over until you reach the end-of-level boss. The moves are limited to the standard punch, kick, jump, and crouch, but occasionally you'll come across a pair of devastating nun-chucks which kick the action into high gear. If you want to be really
cheap, use the turbo with these things for some rapid-fire attacks. It's especially effective against bosses, who normally take forever
to kill. The graphics in Vigilante are better than average, and the New York skyline looks fantastic. In terms of sound, the music isn't bad, and there's a satisfying "thud" whenever you whack somebody. Vigilante is fun while it lasts, but it's definitely a shallow experience. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 7950
World Class Baseball
Publisher: NEC (1989)
The Turbografx never excelled in terms of sports games, and this is yet another example of that. World Class Baseball's graphics are crisp and colorful, but the gameplay lacks polish. It's easy to see the pitch coming thanks to the nice behind-the-batter view, but trying to hit the ball is another story. The game routinely calls pitches far off the plate as strikes. When a ball is put into play, the game switches to an unimpressive overhead view with slow fielders and unresponsive dive controls. The throws are so weak that routine grounders turn into base hits, and you can forget about turning any double plays. It's pretty obvious that NEC didn't put a lot of effort into the game. The umpire voices are in Japanese, and runners don't overrun bases - they stop on a dime, which looks dumb. World Class Baseball is easy enough to play and moves at a steady pace, but it can't compete with other great baseball games of its time. © Copyright 2003 The Video Game Critic.
World Court Tennis
Publisher: NEC (1991)
When the cover of a game sports a photo of a tennis player, you don't expect to see chubby little anime players when you turn it on. They look like kids running around in diapers
for Pete's sake! In terms of gameplay however there's something pure and organic about World Court Tennis. The controls feel super responsive and clear audio effects provide positive reinforcement. The animation is fluid and the ball bounces are true. It's nice how players angle their rackets and even dive. There's an element of chance as balls sometime bounce off the net or drift out of bounds. During serves, one button is an aggressive serve and the other is a safe serve. Likewise during volleys one button is a normal return and the other is a lob. Your player stops in his tracks when you execute your swing, so proper positioning is critical. It takes a while to get a feel for the game but it plays great. After each point the camera pans up to the crowd, and I think I spotted Colonel Sanders in the first row. World Court Tennis supports the multitap (for doubles action) but it's the RPG mode
that steals the show. You did not misread that last sentence! It sounds like an awful idea but it's awesome! The totally believable premise has you trying to restore peace in a kingdom taken over by an evil tennis king. As you roam the wilderness you are confronted by preppy-looking people who challenge you to tennis matches. You use your winnings to upgrade your equipment. It's fun and addictive. World Court Tennis is no doubt one of the silliest tennis games you'll ever play but it's also one of the most fun. © Copyright 2016 The Video Game Critic.
World Sports Competition
Publisher: Hudson Soft (1993)
Recommended variation: long jump
Our high score: SDZ 8m04
1 to 5 players
Publisher: NEC (1991)
I was hoping this would be a racially insensitive title I could tear apart, but sadly it's just an innocuous skateboarding game. Yo Bro lets you control a skateboarding bear
who rolls around town while saving humans and defeating monsters with his slingshot. When you ride over people big point values appear, calling to mind Robotron. Unfortunately the shooting aspect is very unlike
Robotron. Basically it sucks. First off, it's really
hard to navigate the streets on your skateboard. Lining up for a shot is difficult enough, but your momentum usually sends you drifting right into your target! That's a serious problem when enemies like man-eating plants requires about 15 shots
to kill! Be sure to enable the rapid-fire setting on your controller. Advanced stages pit you against bee swarms, dinosaurs, and aliens, but the action always feels the same. The maze-like town is boring and the non-stop Beach Boys music will have you lunging for the mute button. Yo Bro drags on and on, so by the time you're prompted to "continue?" the decision is a no-brainer. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 51,600
1 or 2 players