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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:09 pm

1. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (Famicom)
2. Dragon Scroll: Yomigaerishi Maryuu (Famicom)
3. Ninja-kun: Majou no Bouken (Famicom)
4. Hello Kitty World (Famicom)
5. Galaxian (Famicom)
6. Esper Dream 2: Aratanaru Tatakai (Famicom)
7. Ninja Jajamaru-kun (Famicom)
8. Jajamaru no Daibouken (Famicom)
9. Front Line (Famicom)
10. Field Combat (Famicom)
11. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (Famicom)
12. Mississippi Satsujin Jiken: Murder on the Mississippi (Famicom)
13. Space Harrier (Famicom)
14. Geimos (Famicom)
15. Attack Animal Gakuen (Famicom)
16. Sky Destroyer (Famicom)
17. Ripple Island (Famicom)
18. Oishinbo: Kyukyoku no Menu 3bon Syoubu (Famicom)
19. Bird Week (Famicom)
20. Baltron (Famicom)
21. Yie Ar Kung-Fu (Famicom)
22. Challenger (Famicom)
23. Ikki (Famicom)
24. Dough Boy (Famicom)
25. Atlantis no Nazo (Famicom)
26. Bio Senshi Dan: Increaser tono Tatakai (Famicom)
27. Yume Penguin Monogatari (Famicom)
28. King Kong 2: Ikari no Megaton Punch (Famicom)
29. Congo Bongo (Atari 2600)
30. Coconuts (Atari 2600)
31. Arcade Archives: Donkey Kong (Switch eShop)
32. Dragon Quest V: Tenkuu no Hanayome (Super Famicom)
33. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Super Burger Time (Switch eShop)
34. Fire Fly (Atari 2600)
35. Fire Fighter (Atari 2600)
36. Space Jockey (Atari 2600)
37. Airlock (Atari 2600)
38. Makai Hakkenden Shada (PC Engine)
39. Squeeze Box (Atari 2600)
40. Lagoon (SNES)
41. Atlantis (Atari 2600)
42. Xak III: The Eternal Recurrence (PC Engine CD)

43. Blue Blink (PC Engine)
Blue Blink (or Aoi Blink) is a Japan-exclusive PC Engine platformer, released in 1990. It was published by Hudson (who else?), but actual development was handled by Westone (of Wonder Boy fame). The game is a licensed one, based on the anime by the legendary Osamu Tezuka, who died during production. I haven't seen said anime, but the game provides something of a plot synopsis during its opening. A boy named Kakeru saves a blue pony named Blink that falls from the sky. Upon returning home, it's discovered that Kakeru's father is missing. Thus begins his journey to rescue the old man. Accompanying Kakeru are two thieves (dressed in stereotypical striped garb), a swole sailor, and a cutie pie princess. Yeah, I think I'm definitely missing some context from the source material here. Though the game contains little text, a complete fan translation for Blue Blink was released in 2001.

Blue Blink is certainly a unique platformer, albeit one that feels like a hodgepodge of ideas seen in previous titans of the genre. There are five "worlds" each consisting of a series of stages, some of which can be conceivably skipped. It's heavily reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. 3, but with some odd aesthetic inconsistencies. The world maps all display city streets, while individual stages are comprised of "random" environments: castles, caves, forests, trees, whatever. Gameplay is fairly inventive. Each level begins with the game assigning three (of five) characters to the player, always with Kakeru in the lead. All three move, attack, and jump in tandem, and only the lead character can be damaged. Falcom's Sorcerian comes to mind immediately, as does Hudson's own Mickey Mousecapade. Kakeru's a pretty useful protagonist, with a decent jump range and quick-moving horizontal projectile attack. Pressing the select button shuffles the lead around, and Kakeru's pals have varying capabilities. For instance, the sailor launches an arcing projectile that can reach otherwise inaccessible items, but his jump range is pitiful. Meanwhile, the princess has some great jumps, but can't attack at all. While this "swap" mechanic is intriguing, it's severely underutilized. All characters share a lifebar, and Kakeru's abilities seem perfectly sufficient for 90+% of the game. Controls are a little looser than I'd prefer, which makes the pitfall-laden stages the most difficult overall. Interestingly, Kakeru and friends will automatically climb up small platforms if they run into them, a rarely-seen mechanic that I mostly associate with 2016's Super Mario Run.
The stages of Blue Blink are typically short affairs. All scroll horizontally, with some employing auto-scrolling. Certain stages have two exits. Most exits are represented by doorways, which will lead to an interaction with a choice NPC before whisking Kakeru and co. away. Other exits are, oddly, located at the screen's top edge, at the peak of a staircase. Items are found scattered about each stage, with the majority being invisible. They're uncovered by shooting the air at their specific location. It's straight out of Milon's Secret Castle (hi again Hudson). There are extra lives, health refills, speed upgrades, coins, and keys to open treasure chests. The treasure chests simply contain more of the aforementioned items, which makes the whole thing seem a bit extraneous. Gathering 100 coins results in a permanent increase to the party's lifebar, rather than a 1-up, so it can be useful to repeat stages to "gold grind." Actually, repeating stages is an inevitability anyway. See, unlocking the door to each world's boss requires the acquisition of a special red key. Once again, it's hidden somewhere in the void. Searching for these keys... well, it ain't fun. Mercifully, the NPCs scattered across each world will spell out the location of each key, but they have to be tracked down first.

Combat is rather enjoyable, mainly due to the flurry of projectiles that fill the screen. The game's not particularly tough, generally speaking, though some of the bosses put up quite a fight. These skirmishes see Kakeru mount the pony Blink, who blasts rapid-fire bubbles across the screen. Bosses are all competently crafted, with some devious attack patterns that need to be studied before success can be achieved. I did find the boss difficulty to be a little inconsistent, however, with the second one being the most difficult in the game! In addition to his job as bubble-pony, Blue has a secondary role as the Keeper of Lives. The "life system" of Blue Blink is rather unorthodox. If the party's lifebar hits zero, Blue immediately revives them (arcade-style), with partial health restored and one life subtracted from the total. However, the player may also pause the game at any time and summon Blink to refill health to the max, which also comes at the expense of one life. With proper timing, this mechanic can be heavily exploited to break the game in the player's favor.

Blue Blink is unmistakably a PC Engine title, in the best way possible. It has those gorgeous distinct "12-bit graphics" that make the game resemble a late-era NES platformer, or an early-era SNES platformer. Except few are as bright and bold as Blue Blink. This is a colorful game, with a cheerful aesthetic. The accompanying soundtrack is also rather quaint, with the "house" theme being one of the most memorable tunes on NEC's hardware. This is one of those single-sitting hour-long experiences, supposedly with limited continues (I was lucky enough to not find out).

Overall, I like Blue Blink. It's undeniably experimental, and while not every element is finely-tuned, there's enough good here to put a grin on any old platforming fanatic's face. If anything, this provides a good excuse to get into PC Engine fan translations.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:26 pm

Solid review, Bone. Maybe we’ll get Blue Blink on the TG16 Mini? :lol:


First 25
1. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary (NDS)
2. Reigns (iOS)
3. Castlevania: The Adventure (GB)
4. Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (GB)
5. Castlevania Legends (GB)
6. Yankai’s Triangle (iOS)
7. Mega Man III (GB)
8. Mega Man IV (GB)
9. Mega Man V (GB)
10. Sin & Punishment (N64)
11. Love You to Bits (iOS)
12. Mega Man Powered Up - Old Style (PSP)
13. Mega Man Powered Up - New Style (PSP)
14. Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA)
15. Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (NDS)
16. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! (NDS)
17. Detective Pikachu (3DS)
18. Super Fantasy Zone (Genesis)
19. Fantasy Zone Gear (GG)
20. Fantasy Zone - The Maze (SMS)
21. Fantasy Zone (Famicom)
22. Fantasy Zone (NES)
23. Kung Fu Master (2600)
24. Kid Dracula (Famicom)
25. Kid Dracula (GB)

26. Fantasy Zone (TG16)
27. Double Dragon V (SNES)
28. Fantasy Zone II (Famicom)
29. Street Fighter: The Movie (PS1)
30. Fire Fly (2600)
31. Pac Man (2600)
32. Extreme Sports with the Berenstain Bears (GBC)
33. Fantasy Zone (PS2)
34. Space Fantasy Zone (TG16)
35. Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf Fantasy Zone (Genesis)
36. Mega Man (GG)
37. Konami Pixel Puzzle (iOS)
38. Qix (Arcade/NES)
39. Congo Bongo (Arcade)
40. Phantasy Star Gaiden (GG)
41. Phantasy Star Adventure (GG)
42. Panzer Dragoon Mini (GG)
43. Spartan X-2 (Famicom)

I am coming to the realization that, perhaps, the Gameboy’s vastly superior library played a larger role in it besting the Game Gear than its superior battery life...Panzer Dragoon Mini is a bad rail shooter I wrote about into thos month’s TR thread. You can easily beat it in a sitting, but I don’t recommend doing that.

Spartan X-2 (Famicom) is a solid Japan-exclusive sequel to Kung Fu (NES). I wrote more about it in this month’s TR thread.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pook99 Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:38 am

@Bone: Great review of another game I had no idea existed. It looks pretty fun and I will have to check it out sometime

@prfsnlgamer: 100% the gameboys superior library is what led it to dominance, the other portable systems at the time did not hold a candle to it.

I'll have to check out your review of spartn x 2 when I get a minute, I have always been meaning to play it since i discovered its existence given my fondness for kung fu.

79. Uncharted: lost legacy (ps4)
80. Guns, Gore, and cannoli 2

79. Uncharted: lost legacy

It is exactly what I expected and well worth the playthrough for fans of the series. Outside of one impossibly stupid puzzle I would have never solved without a walkthrough, I really enjoyed this game.

80. Guns, Gore, and Cannoli 2

Super fun run n gun style game. Control is set up so left stick(or d pad) moves and right stick aims. Lots of awesome weapons, lots of stuff to shoot and a ridiculous story that involves the mafia, zombies, and nazis. I will try and write more if I have time later, but this game(and its predecessor) are both really fun playthoughs and well worth your time if you enjoy run n gun games.
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