A Thumb To The Eye Number 5

Well, there comes a time in every man’s life when he takes stock in his past and looks eagerly to his future. Since my past was all video games and rocking out, it was a pretty kick ass life to review. Unfortunately, this look into the mists of time has awakened ancient hungers inside of me, hungers of an almost supernatural intensity. So what deepest hunger am I feeling? The hunger for NES games. The desire, no, need to play copious amounts of classic NES games until my thumbs are bloody, my eyes dried out, and my legs rendered useless by lack of movement. Hell, I’ll even play non- classic NES games until it hurts. I will stoop so low as to play Final Fantasy and risk falling from the grace of Alex Lucard’s love. No, I cannot risk that for a mere NES game.

These memories of pure, unadulterated gaming bliss are hard to shake, but one thing makes it easier: knowing that River City Ransom, Double Dragon, and Super Mario 3 are going to be available for the Game Boy Advance soon. Thinking of these glorious classics being available in handheld form warms the cockles of my heart. It also sets my rather enormous brain to wondering. Wondering what, you , the supposed and wonderful reader ask? Wondering what other games from the 8- Bit era and beyond should come back to save us from the grasp of terrible games and return human kind to the righteous and noble path of quality gaming. Wondering what games NEED to be resurrected, updated, and dropped on the glorious hand held desire in my life. So, without further exposition, here they are…

Tecmo Bowl. In my unscientific survey (ummm I asked Alex), I determined that Tecmo Bowl for NES was, is, and always will be the masterpiece of football artistry rising above the dregs of offal other, less competent companies produce. The purest form of football ever made, Tecmo Bowl let’s the player select from a very scant selection of plays, has limited to no simulation aspects, and is the home of primitive music and graphics. Oh, you thought those were detriments? No, those are part of Tecmo Bowl’s charm. The REAL beauty of Tecmo Bowl was the cut scenes to show off money plays, the way certain players became icons of quality playmaking (Wither Lawrence Taylor?), and the look of sheer frustration when your insane ideas worked on your opponent. Two buttons provided all the control you needed and they worked flawlessly. In the end, Tecmo Bowl, was the quintessential 8- Bit football game, if not sports as a whole, and made a plethora of great gaming memories.

So what could Tecmo do to make this the best football game ever on the Game Boy Advance? Well they could go one of two routes; an almost exact port of the original with no updating or extras for $10 would be impossible for me to pass on. Okoye rides again! Or they could keep the classic look and sounds, update the roster, and hide the old school teams as an unlockable. I know they are bringing Madden over to the GBA, but good old horizontal football shouldn’t die. Am I the minority? Yes, but I have a feeling that there are more people out there emulating, thinking about, or whipping out the NES to play Tecmo Bowl than you might expect. Unfortunately, Tecmo hasn’t been doing much aside from jiggle games lately and don’t seem too interested in making an update to this classic or the equally classic Wrestling. Where did you go, El Tigre? Have you left us and gone away? Hey hey hey…

Pocket Fighter. A nearly forgotten classic from those positively prolific purveyors of furious fighting, Capcom, Pocket Fighter was an arcade, PSX, and Saturn classic with super deformed Street Fighter and Vampire Hunter characters beating each other up. Sure, they used fireballs and dragon uppercuts, but they also disguised themselves as other characters and used donkeys to attack. I cannot think of a game more perfectly suited for the Game Boy Advance then this. Capcom already brought over Puzzle Fighter and this game is even named perfectly for a portable edition. If the programmers at Capcom were in a good mood they could even bring over some more characters to round out the roster and really, that’s about the only improvement they would need to make. Pocket Fighter in your pocket, it doesn’t get more perfect than that.

Wonder 3. Yikes, this is me getting obscure on you. Sorry to do that, really I am, but this Capcom arcade game is my girlfriend’s favorite game ever in the history of gaming and is a blast two player. There is a pretty rare home version for PSX and Saturn, import only, put out by Xing as part of the Arcade Gears line and it is emulated by the Callus emulator. I have to say that I am a huge fan of this game to the point of e- mailing Capcom to put it on a Capcom Generations disc with Punisher, Final Fight, and Captain Commando. For those of you unfamiliar with this gem, Wonder 3 contains 3 games in it’s confines: a fantasy Contra type game with Elf freedom fighters, a side scrolling shooter ala Gradius with the same Elf freedom fighters on da Vinci’s flying machines, and a completely unrelated pushing and pulling puzzle game. They would be easy to port, great fun to play, and they would keep a great game in circulation. I can think of about 50 Capcom games that need to be ported over to the Game Boy Advance, but Wonder 3 and Pocket Fighter NEED to be available on the Game Boy Advance.

Adventure Island. If you smiled when you read that, you must know what I mean. Master Higgins in a grass skirt, riding a skateboard and tossing rocks to save his girlfriend from evil. I have no idea why I love Adventure island so much, but I do know that Higgins should be at least as big an icon as Bomberman but Hudson hasn’t seen fit to make him more games. That is a crying shame, as the Adventure Island series was great fun and would translate well to the Game Boy Advance. Oh, and he’s extreme now, thanks to his skateboard antics.

Well, that’s about it for this week. Next week, you get another double shot of me when I review Soul Calibur II for Gamecube (gee, I wonder if it’s good?) and give you another thumb to the eye.







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