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GG's Quick Retro Review Thread
#1
I've made like 4 arcades now, and built so many RetroPie's for myself and mates (which I need to make another thread about). It's become a real hobby putting together machines designed to play older games and it's made me explore many old game consoles and arcade systems.

I'm continually tweaking the games included on the RetroPie systems I make which means I end up testing loads of games as they are added and tweaked. Since I've been playing and enjoying so many, I wanted to make a 'quick review thread' on some of my favorites played.

First up: Donkey Kong '94

Game: Donkey Kong '94
Release: 1994
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer
Platform: Game Boy

The game is called Donkey Kong, but seems to be referred as Donkey Kong '94 to avoid confusion with the 1981 release. Not that Nintendo and their naming conventions make much sense usually.

Anyway I discovered this game when mucking around with Game Boy games that had support for the Super Game Boy, which is a peripheral for playing Game Boy games on your TV using a Super Nintendo. The game has extensive SGB support including almost full colour support and a cool border making it look like the original Donkey Kong arcade. I've been able to emulate SGB on my RetroPie so I've been playing it like this.

At a surface glance, it looks like a straight port of arcade Donkey Kong for Game Boy. The first few levels which are just straight Donkey Kong: climb the ladders and platforms, jump barrels, get to the top, save the lady. Once you do this 3 times, the game changes:

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You kick Donkey Kong's shit, then BAM its time for the Big City baby!

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All the sudden the game is different. It goes way past being a straight Donkey Kong port and reveals itself to be it's own game. It becomes more like a puzzle platformer, and Mario himself becomes more of an acrobat. He is able to handstand and do super jumps, it's great. Every few levels or so you have a boss encounter with Kong and then one at the end of the world you are in. Each subsequent world starts to introduce new puzzle elements like spring jumps and horizontal or vertical platforms you can place, all while keeping the same goal: get to the top.

Right now im in Egypt world I guess:

[Image: mN1gvU0.png]

And I'm having a blast. Each world is unique enough in design, with it's own enemies and so forth. It's great for pickup and play sessions and each level only takes a minute or two really. I loved it so much I had to own a copy, hence my recent purchase of a Jap copy in my pickups thread.

10/10 do play.

Bonus: here's some gameplay:
Liams Wrote:make a car out of scrap metal from genie lamps
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#2
Looks pretty cool actually.
I laughed at the ' oil ' label on the oil fireballs. What better way to represent oil than to actually write OIL on the sprite.
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#3
Game Boy resources were precious, so maybe it was easier than making a detailed sprite haha.

Thanks though, I have a Metal Slug 4 review up next.
Liams Wrote:make a car out of scrap metal from genie lamps
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#4
Metal Slug 4 hell yeah!

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Game: Metal Slug 4
Release: 2002
Developer: Mega Enterprise/SNK
Genre: Run n' Gun
Platform: Neo Geo MVS (Multi-Video System) (Arcade)

Metal Slug is my favorite run n gun series ever. SNK basically pioneered and fully realized this genre, and nothing has beat the original Metal Slug games (1-7) in this genre to date. This is not even opinion it is FACT. HARD FACTS. It's simply an amazing series.

Hot off the heels of Metal Slug 3 (considering by most of the fan base to be the best, and for dam good reason) Metal Slug 4 is more of the same exact thing except brand new levels, bosses, and guns which is why you turned up in the first place.

As per the series standard, 4 characters to play as: Marco, Eri, Fio, and .....Trevor (some chad they swapped Tarma out for. RIP Tarma). 2 Player coop, 6 levels, 4 new slugs, a new weapon (Double Machine Gun! My favorite in the series) and a new body transformation: Monkey. Some levels have multiple paths, but it's not as common or deep as Metal Slug 3. Of the 6 bosses, 2 are eh, 2 are OP as fuck, and 2 are pretty decent.

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The Metal Slug games are fucking hard games. They are coin munchers, but well designed coin munchers. The game rewards you for pattern recognition, response time, and control mastery. Metal Slug has some tight controls, but the jumping can be a little 'floaty' once get the feel for things it's all good. The only way you get decent is through repetition, which funnily enough is the exact mindset behind these old arcade games. They need to strike that balance between just hard enough, fair, and fun to keep you coming back and playing more. Metal Slug has always nailed this. It's a real decent, but fun, challenge. 

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Level design fantastic, as always. Following MS3 there are multiple paths to take for each level, and you get decent variation in each level throughout the game. I mean, how can you not like absolution destroying a giant tank in the beautiful snow, just to end the next level sinking a battleship in the middle of the ocean. All this, while adding in just the right amount of platforming to accompany it to. Metal Slug also has some of the best pixel-animation of the era, rivaled only by other SNK games. You just have to look at literally any animation (especially the bosses) to see the level of detail that has gone into the animation. And them musical score is fantastic too. Good low-beat rocky-military sounding tracks to go along with blowing shit up.

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So the bosses get their own paragraph. The bosses in Metal Slug are one of the draws of playing the game. 99% of the time they are over-the-top in nature, and really ass-clenchingly hard. These fuckers have theoretically wasted hundreds of my dollars. Usually the first boss is just a dick-tease. It gets you nice and flustered, and isn't a total push over and leaves you wanting more. Then level fucking 2 as in the case of this game, just cucks you man. The second boss, Toschka Dalanue (Pillbox tower), is just a straight up cunt. It's 5 storeys of total bullshit, screen-filling, bullet-hell, nightmare. I can usually get up to the level 2 boss without dying. At which point I can then spend the equivalent of $10nzd kicking this things shit in. Heres what it looks like:

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I didn't get a good screen shot really, but the screen is continually full of bullets from not only the 2 levels you can see, but the 3 off screen too. The amount of time and learning it would take to not take a hit from this thing is crazy. It is a good boss though, just really hard. It's designed intentionally to be a lot harder, and probably earn the Arcade owner so coin. Of the 6 bosses, they are all a decent challenge really, but this one and the final boss are particular cunts is all. You are only rewarded for your efforts by continual practice by fighting the bosses over and over again. So get good or get mad.

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Also you can turn into a money in this game which gives you 2 Uzi's with unlimited ammo. Plus you can swing from things:

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Truly a 10/10 game.

So in conclusion I had 28 game overs, which in today's $$$ is really $2 nzd per 'continue' (I'd say that's pretty accurate of today's arcade prices). So $2 to play for 3 lives. So in total I virtually spent $56 on this fucking game and died 84 times. In all honesty though, that's pretty dam decent. But I have played this game idk how many times, along with the rest of them.

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So yeah, go play literally any Metal Slug for a good time. Its a good way to kill 50 minutes to an hour. They are no longer than that. I think I might review Metal Slug 3 at some point, otherwise they are all really the same sort of thing and blend together. Can't go wrong with any of em. I am thinking I want to make a thread reviewing and ranking all the bosses across all 7 games though, that would be fun.
Liams Wrote:make a car out of scrap metal from genie lamps
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