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Old School Gaming

Old School Gaming article

But the game would frustrate me to no end, and that's part of the reason why I would like to bring it back. I still own the original side-scroller, and as I play it now I remember how difficult this game actually was. I remember not being able to make it past the third level and for good reason - I was 8. But even now I get all nervous as I try to leap Batman platform to platform, weary of the vat of acid below, while a disgruntled Axis union worker shoots chemicals at me. Timing is critical in this game as Batman's leap has some hangtime to it, which takes getting used to. Sunsoft really mastered the wall hanging as well, which becomes another integral part of the game as Batman must travel up and across maze-like levels. It's awesome how a game that is structured so simply can be so difficult. And although you can continue as much as you want when Batman dies, having to reach the part of the level you worked so hard to get to is extremely intimidating. Stuff like that is what makes games like this so classic. The timing and patience needed to pass each level can be extremely nerve-racking, and the game makes you pay dearly for your fatal mistakes.

NES' Batman was ahead of its time and one of my favorites on the console. It is also part of the reason why I lacked exercise as a child, spending hours and hours trying to beat that damn third level. Hopefully Nintendo will revive this game, maybe putting it on Nintendo's Virtual Console to coincide with the next Batman movie.


Matthew Au, Freelance Writer

There's an undeniable charm in being able to play old-school games (yes, Mario 64 is now old school) on next-gen consoles. With features such as the Sony Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Nintendo's Virtual Console, such charm is easily attainable for a relatively nominal fee. While many games deemed as classics have been showcased, there is, in this gamer's opinion, a glaring omission that would warm my 2-D retro heart if it were to be implemented.

Any kid not living under a rock during the early 1990s was lucky enough to experience a cultural phenomenon of, I dare say, epic proportions. Absurd in theory, but intuitively one of the greatest creations of all time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was in the hearts and minds of every pre-teen child, as well as every marketing institution. Sure I had the videos, the action figures, and more embarrassingly, the underwear, but nothing creates as fond a memory as the video games, more specifically, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game for the NES.

Old School Gaming article

Some may argue that Turtles in Time for the SNES or the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for NES were all around better games, however, TMNT II definitely wins in term for giddy retro value, an aspect arguably more important for this particular situation. Staying true to its roots on Nintendo, I look forward to seeing TMNT II for the Wii's Virtual Console to lavish myself in childhood memories of side scrolling action. Relishers of the past won't easily forget the colorful and exciting environments from burning buildings to snowy boardwalks along with the sheer simplistic fun of beating up foot soldiers and other various baddies with the extensive repertoires of slashing with your respective weapon and jump-kicks. Any doubts of the Wii not being the ultimate partying console would instantly vanish after putting down Wii Sports and loading up TMNT II for you and three of your buddies. If Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game was finally realized for Virtual Console, immeasurable amounts of fun is as almost guaranteed as the inevitable "Cowabunga!" joke.

Cole Smith, Senior Freelance Writer

Long before we ever heard of Tony Hawk or Sonic, there was Wonderboy.

Wonderboy is the skateboarding, 80s, island dude that battled a variety of enemies, terrain, and pitfalls in an effort to rescue his girlfriend. He also robbed me of a lot of pocket change back in the day.

This side-scrolling adventure game was originally released in Japan and has spawned five sequels and numerous ports to home console systems. It was one of the genre's first long-running series. I've always admired the colorful graphics and flawless mechanics of the original arcade version, and although the ports have come close, I still haven't played anything that rivals the original. I would love to see this game available on the Xbox Live for numerous reasons. Not only do I think that it would stand a great chance of being a spot-on port of the arcade game, but the convenience and price of the game would make it possible for me to be playing this classic in my own home in a matter of minutes. I've had really good luck with Xbox Live products in terms of quality. Living in the country, it's a long way to go to the rental store. It would cost me more in gas than it would to purchase a game like this online.

Old School Gaming article

Wonderboy resembles a cool-looking caveman. He wields primitive weapons such as an axe, but he also makes use of a skateboard which allows him to jump over obstacles such as falling rocks and increase his speed. The skateboard will also allow him to run headlong into one enemy, essentially acting as an extra life, after which it will be lost. Wonderboy replenishes his energy by collecting fruit. Power-ups are contained in eggs. Here you will find items such as the skateboard, axe, and even a protective fairy that grants him temporary invincibility. But these eggs can also contain negative surprises such as the poisonous mushroom which will severely increase the drain on Wonderboy's health.

As much money as I've spent on this game in arcades, I was never able to master it. I would like the opportunity to attack this game for hours on end so that I can finally defeat the evil Drancon once and for all. Then, perhaps, I can brag about my high score to all the other Wonderboy enthusiasts online.

Jwan Jordan, Freelance Writer

I doubt if anyone, other than me, remembers a long buried gem titled Jackie Chan Stuntmaster. Jackie Chan Stuntmaster was released on the PS One in the year 2000, only one year after the artist formerly known as Prince, finished partying like it was 1999. Jackie Chan Stuntmaster starred the very likeness of Jackie Chan himself and he didn't hold back any of his comical, Kung Fu charm from the game. The game featured motion capture by Jackie Chan himself and his voice work. The game put you in the very shoes of the world's most famous Asian acrobat, and it served as a great adventure through the dangerously comical world of Jackie Chan.

For the aforementioned reasons, I would love to see Jackie Chan Stuntmaster reincarnated onto a new generation console, particularly the Xbox 360's Live Marketplace. Jackie Chan Stuntmaster was a great game but one of its most obvious drawbacks was the graphics. It featured enormously blocky characters that made Virtua Fighter look like poetry in motion. Even during the animated movie clips it was impossible to distinguish his massively square fingers. If remade on the Xbox 360, the game could easily be a thing of Asian Martial Arts beauty.

A highly praiseworthy feature was how Jackie Chan Stuntmaster so naturally captured the persona of Jackie's humor, fighting style, and character. I believe the perfect developer of such a game would BioWare, the creators of Jade Empire. Jade Empire was home to an assortment of martial arts and that would translate well into a Jackie Chan video game. If BioWare took on the task the action and fighting scheme would be superb.

Old School Gaming article

The best feature of Jackie Chan Stuntmaster was, and still is, his uncanny ability to fight enemies in the most creative fashion. If done correctly, BioWare could emulate Jackie Chan with ease due to their previous experience with a Martial Arts game. The game could lead you on a somewhat linear path as you dodged obstacles and performed amazing feats of agility. Light platforming elements would be a must as this would best showcase Jackie's abilities to the fullest. Flipping, jumping, rolling, cliff hanging, and of course fighting would be well incorporated into the game. It would help if every available move set had a feasible use. For instance, while chasing a group of thugs, as Jackie often does, a car could appear and attempt to run him over, allowing you to perform a quick wall jump. If it is going to be a Jackie Chan game, there can be no time for standing still and the game should constantly keep you on your toes. To keep your adrenaline going, there should be occasional button press sequences similar to God of War, in which you must press the correct button which would translate into Jackie performing an amazing feat on screen.

Of course, the main attraction of the game would be the fighting. Jackie Chan is well known for his Wushu and Drunken Kung Fu skills. The Legend of the Drunken Master is one of Jackie's most renowned films. The objects in the environment would naturally have to be interactive in order to utilize the skills of Jackie. Any random item you pick up in the game should have a completely unique weapon scheme. A tire, for example, could be used to restrain an enemy from movement. Enemies should also take damage from being thrown into walls or other objects. Developers of the Jackie Chan game could also borrow fighting mechanics from Shiny Entertainment, the creators of The Matrix: Path of Neo. In The Matrix: Path of Neo, when surrounded by a large amount of enemies, you could use the combat buttons in conjunction with the direction pad to perform an endless amount of uninterrupted combos.

The enemies would need well developed artificial intelligence. When fighting baddies they should not be appear as simple minded objects waiting to be punched. Enemies should fight as if truly fighting for their lives. Group interaction between enemies would be a creative addition to a Jackie Chan game. For example, when an enemy is being beaten badly, enemies should attempt to surround Jackie, but with the use of Jackie's enhanced combat options, their plan would of course fall short.

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