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The Week With Only One Halloween Game
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on October 27, 2013   |   Episode 43 (Show Archive)  

   

After several months on hiatus, daily retro reviews are back at Defunct Games! Starting this week, Defunct Games will offer classic game reviews running every Monday through Friday. That's five games a week and at least twenty old school reviews a month. To properly launch our new fall schedule, we wanted to bring back the weekly guessing game. Take a few minutes reading over this these clues and see if you can guess what games we'll be reviewing the week of October 28 through November 1.

CONTEST: Can you guess what games I'm reviewing? Below you will find clues for to all five games I'm reviewing. Tweet me @DefunctGames with your guesses for a chance to win a download codes and other valuable prizes. The person that gets the most right before Friday wins!
Battle Chess
[ System: NES | Pub: Data East | Release: 1990 | Score: D- ]
In 1988, Interplay released Battle Chess for the Amiga. It's a game that helped emancipate chess as a video game. In Battle Chess the pieces are actually animated characters and when one piece takes another, a nice animation of them battling is shown. The game found its way to nearly every other platform, and in 1991 the original game was finally released on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System.

Unfortunately, porting Battle Chess to the NES was not a very good idea. This is easily one of the most horrible versions of Battle Chess I have experienced. The worst part is that this may actually be the slowest game I have ever played. All pieces move like they're stuck in clay and the unskippable fighting animations are even slower! [READ MORE]

Die Hard
[ System: NES | Pub: Activision | Release: 1992 | Score: F ]
Film license games have a bad reputation for being quick, dumb cash-ins with hacked together set pieces and mediocre copycat gameplay. Die Hard on the Nintendo Entertainment System is no exception and is quite possibly one of the worst licensed games ever made.

On the positive note, Die Hard does contain some Interesting little connections to the film script, such as having an injured foot. Sadly, these additions quickly evaporate under the sweaty weight of all the bad ideas above them. Gameplay is a hybrid of Gauntlet and Commando, with various floors of a skyscraper for John McClane to fight forty deadly terrorists in. [READ MORE]

The Lion King (Bootleg)
[ System: NES | Pub: Super Games | Release: 2000 | Score: B- ]
The Lion King (Bootleg)
No matter how old I get, The Lion King remains on the short list as one of my all-time favorite movies. With its winning story, excellent musical score and brilliant animation, The Lion King will remain a classic in my heart forever. But you didn't come here for a glowing movie review. You want to read about GAMES, right? Well I've got a game for you: The Hong Kong pirate game, The Lion King.

"Wait, a pirate game?" you may ask. "Don't you know that there exists an official Nintendo Entertainment System port?" Why yes, of course I do. But the 1995 Virgin Interactive game is total garbage. On the other hand, the unofficial pirate version of The Lion King is a surprisingly great game! [READ MORE]

Gargoyle's Quest
[ System: Game Boy | Pub: Capcom | Release: 1990 | Score: B ]
This Capcom adventure could have easily been a forgettable spinoff of Ghosts n' Goblins, but Gargoyle's Quest on the Game Boy goes beyond the gimmick of playing as a monster. Despite showing its age, Gargoyle's Quest is a worthwhile handheld experience, even during the eighth generation of home consoles.

You control Firebrand, a villain from Ghosts n' Goblins. You can spit fire, jump, hover, and clamp onto walls (where you can spit more fire). Hovering and clamping onto walls are the mechanics that set Gargoyle's Quest apart from other adventures like The Battle of Olympus and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. It takes a little time getting used to Firebrand's mechanics, but thankfully they are dynamic and understandable. For example, after jumping you can press the jump button again to hover, press the button again to stop hovering, and press it yet again to hover at a lower height, provided that you have enough stamina. Your stamina bar for hovering refills once you hit the ground or clamp onto a wall. [READ MORE]

Battle Ping Pong
[ System: Game Boy | Pub: Quest | Release: 1990 | Score: C- ]
Game #5
Ping pong is not just a game ... it's a BATTLE! At least it is in Japan, where Quest Corporation (of Tactics Ogre fame) released Battle Ping Pong for Nintendo's Game Boy. The last time I played ping pong on a handheld device was in the underrated Sight Training (aka Flash Focus) for Nintendo DS. Battle Ping Pong is very reminiscent of that mini-game, only this game has more style and worse controls.

Just like in the Sight Training mini-game, you control a mysterious floating table tennis racket. Across from you is your opponent, who is not a floating racket, but rather a real character. Now this is the part where Battle Ping Pong shines: You can select opponents out of eight different countries and all are totally stereotypical, which is fun. The guy from the United States is a typical Texan, with a cowboy hat. The opponent from Japan looks like a ninja, with a bandana. The Russian adversary wears a typical Russian ushanka (fur cap with ear flaps). The opponent from Sweden looks like an aggressive Viking. [READ MORE]

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