Tag Archives: 1991

Dark Side, Commodore 16/Plus4

There are currently two different homebrew conversions of Dark Side available for the Commodore 16/Plus4 – one by Tarzan, and one by Csory. Both are shown here.

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Solar Jetman, Commodore 64

Developed by Software Creations for Sales Curve Interactive, Solar Jetman is a legendary ‘lost’ game that was canned by its publisher in 1991 and has since resurfaced and been ‘preserved’ online.

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Mega Man 4, NES

Mega Man 4 was published by Capcom for the Nintendo Famicom in 1991.

Other than a new intro sequence (still not making much sense having been badly translated into English), a new set of bad guys, and some newly-designed levels, there’s not a great deal different in this game to what has preceded it.

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Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge, Game Boy

In essence: a cut-down version of the first Mega Man game, but with graphics made to fit the monochromatic Game Boy. First published in 1991 by Capcom.

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Cap’n’ Carnage, Atari ST

Cap’n’ Carnage is so bad that the programmer hasn’t even spelled the word “captain” correctly in the game itself… When you see a mistake like that you know you’re playing a low quality piece of software. Professionals do not make that kind of mistake on commercial releases. Oh dear me, this game is bad…

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Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, PC

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge is the 1991 sequel to the classic The Secret of Monkey Island and is arguably even better than its fondly-remembered predecessor.

Created by essentially the same team as the previous game, Monkey Island 2 once again follows the exploits of Guybrush Threepwood and his adventures into pirating and comedy. And once again he is up against his arch nemesis, LeChuck, only this time LeChuck is a rotting zombie due to him having been killed in the last game and brought back to life in this.

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SimCity, Super Nintendo

The 1991 Super Nintendo version of Will Wright‘s classic SimCity was developed by Nintendo themselves, so is somewhat different to previous versions. It’s actually one of the best versions of SimCity around.

SimCity is about city-building, land/power/transportation management, taxation, and dealing with natural disasters. Basically: keeping your growing (or maybe even declining) population happy.

The viewpoint is overhead, and you build your city by clearing land and laying tiles on the scrolling landscape. You build roads, rail tracks, residential areas, industrial areas, and commercial areas – not to mention your own house – and must attract people to come live with you. When you reach a certain size you can then build more advanced structures, such as airports and sports stadia. Of course, you need power stations and police departments, and maybe even a port if you’ve got some coastline.

Nintendo‘s involvement added a lot of nice touches to SimCity on the SNES that aren’t in other versions, not least of which is a Bowser attack on Tokyo! Aping the Godzilla attack of the original game… Or the golden Mario statue awarded for reaching a half million population. Or the special buildings that are awarded for reaching certain milestones, such as casinos, amusement parks, and expo centres. Some of these ideas were incorporated into SimCity 2000 later, so it was prudent of Maxis to approve Nintendo‘s own development of their precious game, in exchange for new ideas.

A regular game of SimCity is an open-ended ‘sandbox’ affair, where you choose a random map and just build on it until you run out of steam. There are also six different disaster scenarios to “beat” – earthquake, pollution, crimewave, nuclear meltdown, coastal flooding, and the aforementioned monster attack.

Not as boring as it looks, SimCity is a classic SNES game and still a lot of fun to play.

More: SimCity on Wikipedia

Final Fantasy IV, Super Nintendo

Looking a little primitive compared to the 2005 remake for the Game Boy Advance, this original, 1991 Super Nintendo adventure nevertheless is a pioneering game. It was the first Final Fantasy game released for the Super Nintendo (the previous three all being Famicom releases), and the first to use the “Active Time Battle” system.

You play a dark knight, called Cecil, who is on a mission to stop the evil sorcerer Golbez from destroying the world. During the game you control a variety of different characters, all of whom can be added to your party as the story dictates. You explore the world, completing quests, and fighting monsters at random intervals for what seems like forever… I’m laughing, although every good RPG fan knows that grinding is good…

Final Fantasy IV established a look and feel for the series that continued, really, until Final Fantasy VII came along. I suppose you could call this the “SNES period” of Final Fantasy history.

While I do like Final Fantasy IV on the SNES I have to confess that I prefer playing the enhanced GBA remake, given the choice. The remake looks and plays so much better.

Note: there is some confusion over the naming of Final Fantasy IV, because it was initially released in North America as Final Fantasy II. Lord knows why, and I think this has pretty much been forgotten about with subsequent re-releases reverting back to the original title.

More: Final Fantasy IV on Wikipedia

Super Castlevania IV, Super Nintendo

Released in 1991, Konami‘s Super Castlevania IV was one of the earliest releases for the Super Nintendo console – and one of the best.

And it remains one of the best – to this day – with spectacular, horror-themed platforming action, full of deadly ghosts and monsters, and demanding boss battles.

The Super Nintendo‘s famous Mode 7 graphics rotation and scaling is used to great effect too, with drawbridges raising and falling smoothly, and entire levels rotating around effortlessly at certain points.

Super Castlevania IV gave the series the boost it needed to go on to become legendary, and Simon Belmont’s quest to defeat Dracula is still enjoyed by gamers to this day.

More: Super Castlevania IV on Wikipedia

Smash TV, Atari ST

On the face of it the Atari ST conversion of Williams Electronics‘ classic Smash TV looks pretty good, but scratch below the surface and you might realise that it has one or two major deficiencies.

Like – for example – the fact that using the rotating shield prevents you from walking near the outer walls (the shield’s collision detection seems to prevent this). Which I would call a major bug – one that ruins the game.

Secondly, why doesn’t the single joystick control system employ a more logical use of joystick and keys? Then a player might have been able fire in directions other than the one they’re facing. A bit of creative thinking – and programming – might have even had a joystick and mouse combination, or at least something better than there is.

Graphically, this conversion is not bad in places, but certain things (such as the bosses) are very amateurishly drawn.

Gameplay-wise: this seems like a rough approximation of Smash TV. The boss battles in particular are grossly unfair in terms of survivability – particularly in single-player mode.

Overall: not a good conversion. Not a patch on the original, or the SNES version, or any half-decent Smash TV conversion for that matter.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smash_TV