Welcome to this section. As you can see, itīs all about games, no more, no less. These SMS games are nothing but my all time favourites, games Iīve grown with, so I thought I could make some little reviews for them in a 'fan point of view', more than an 'informative' one, so donīt expect nothing really serious and objective from this!
Games from yesteryear
ALEX KIDD IN MIRACLE WORLD
I had bought Alex Kidd:The lost stars, and I supposed it was the only Alex game, but in 1989 a friend lent me this first part. What I found there were hours and hours of fun playing this colourful and addictive game. I liked it so much that I got a copy for me, but Iīve never finished it, and sure I never will. The game starts easy, but gets more and more difficult until reaching levels like the first castle (too hard for me). One day, I was drunk with some friends, and somehow we remembered that little cute music from the 'paper-rock-scissors' game, and also those names that the various vehicles that Alex could use had, like the 'Sukopako' motorbike, the Peticopter and the Sui Sui boat. We had a big laugh! Definately, itīs a must have for all collectors.
A guy from my school lent me Black Belt too many years ago (now I remember he had Ys, but if I asked him to sell it to me now, he would be VERY surprised, Iīm sure he doesnīt remember me at all) and it really hooked me. By that time I was into Karate scene, watching movies and so, so I loved this side-scroller, the 1-1 fighting part at the end of the levels and the way you fnish them amazed me (itīs not Tekken, but...maybe better!). I gave back it to that guy and I never played it again, since late 1998 when I bought it.
The good old Choplifter...one of the first games I bought. I traded Alien Syndrome for it and I really had fun playing it. You have to take hostages to your base flying on a helicopter, while planes, tanks and other stuff try to kill you and your cargo. I enjoy it, but not the caverns level, itīs IMPOSSIBLE for me to work it out! I've had some disgusting frustrations on those damned caves. Good game and a true classic, if youīre patient you can even see Superman or ET on your screen...
When I was younger I loved the film (and still I do!), so I bought the game to play the role of Peter, Ray of Egon. What I found is a game that, although most people say itīs quite boring and repetitive, I enjoyed and still enjoy. Itīs true that most of the game consists in driving and hunting the same two kinds of ghosts, but I think the fact of buying a car and different equipment is great and I love seeing my money rise. The rest of the game is quite short, first passing through the Marksmallow man that lasts less than one minute, and through the building that is the "action" part. Finally, the hard battle against Gorza and the poor ending. Anyway, I like it, being slimed is fun!
The 8 bit version of the famous arcade came to me with my first sms1, on card. For being one of the first sms titles itīs not so bad, in fact itīs great! It has the sms classic "feeling" like games such as Zillion, Wonder Boy or The Ninja, a feeling that games released after the sms2 didnīt transmit to me. Simply ride your motorcycle passing through different levels, even a beautiful stage at night, avoiding other motorcycles and the obstacles at the edges of the road. Simple, but very addictive, always looking at the top of the screen to see how much it lasts to reach the end. I suppose itīs quite hard to find today, at least on card format, although it was released on cart and lots of SMS1 consoles have it built-in, but I would recommend it to anyone.
Lots of years ago, I got for my birthday Kenseiden and Psycho Fox, and this last soon became one of my favourites. A great plattaform game about a fox trying to save his country from the evil Madfox Daimyojin (or something like that), with the special power to change his shape, being able to transform into a monkey, a tiger or a fat hipopotame (I donīt know how to say this word in English, maybe Iīve invented it...). A very long and hard game with difficult gameplay, but very colourful and funny, original bosses and anime-style characters. When I play this game I always think of my old friend Marcos who never was able to pronnounce "Psycho Fox" in english; he always said something like "Pishi Fos", as it sounds :) :) :)
I got with this game my first sega games catalogue, my friend Alfonso always tried to stole it...too bad he finally could, but by that time I had lots of them.
Well, another arcade conversion about a barbarian trying to save his land, Semia in the sms version, from some sort of dragon. Pass through the lands of Semia, through forests, caverns and other strange places fighting demons, naked medusas and evil centaurs (this reminds me of a tequila brand here in Spain, itīs poison! agh) to finally meet the dragon and maybe finish him (I did it once, and the ending is good, at least you see the princess). Great game, the day/night effect is good, although some people only look at the naked ladies...
In this arcade classic you, as Ricky or Mary, have to rescue all the hostages from several spaceships before the time of a timebomb is over. Many weapons to use, atmospheric music and great (although difficult) gameplay makes this game quite good for hours of fun. Too bad you die with only one impact. That makes the difficult level very high and even frustrating. Two or three hits would be better, in my opinnion. I remember I didnīt like this game at first (10 years ago?) and I got Choplifter instead of it, and, although it seems to be quite common, I was looking for it for ages, and even getting broken copies of it (right, Eric? hehehe, donīt worry) until I finally got it.
ALEX KIDD: THE LOST STARS
The second Alex game, almost all the people say itīs very kid-oriented and a bit silly, but I really love it! My sister choose it for me, back in 1989, because of the cover...the living cards did remind her of the ones in Alice in Wonderland (one of our favourite books) and she choose too right. Beautiful and colourful graphics (with a pseudo 3D effect), imaginative scenaries and enemies...everything is right to save the planet Aries on a journey through the Toy land, the land of Make Believe (with a funny guy throwing things from his ass), a giantīs body, underwater... There are even speechs: "Find the miracle ball"(my sister and I thought it was "Iīm the miracle boy", we didnīt understand English that wel back thenl...) and the frustrating "AAAAAH!" (how many times have I heard that?). Two words and an exclamation point: Get it!
Another arcade conversion (conversion not very well known in fact, like the Alex TLS one), and other of the crap games for most of the people (not for me). You were doing that kind of stupidities you do when youīre in love, when suddenly an evil king took your girlfriend and turned you into a blue duck with a shameful tie. Now itīs up to you to travel from the streets to the kingīs castle to beat him and rescue her (although not rescuing your girlfriend will avoid yourself some "love problems" in the future, believe me...oh well, I guess my own subjective opinions have nothing to do with the story of this duck). Cartoonish graphics and characters (most of the enemies are really shameful, like your tie) make this game very funny, even your face changes when you get too many hits! And donīt forget the super-punch, very useful, although most of the times youīll get cut in the middle :)
A totally psychedelic game! I suppose that the programmers were under the effects of any drug while making it, because of the colourful graphics, the crazy enemies, Opa Opa with wings and feet, and so on. Itīs a great shooting games where, after getting some money by killing enemies and entering the shop, you can upgrade your Opa-Opa by buying some items that will improve your speed, shot, bomb... I was really bad at Fantasy Zone when I was a child, but now Iīm a bit better...I even finished it one lucky and inspired day, and the ending really made me sad...well, maybe not so much. When I play this game I wish I had that Rapid Fire Unit...
One of the games I bought quite recently, although I had played it lots of years ago. The game starts with a terrific title music, although not that much, and you, as a Pinocchio-looking boy called Mickey, have to explore the old haunted house to kill Dracula and get your grandfatherīs treasure. By the way, this gameīs manual and backcover has some of the cheesiest words ever read on a videogame :) You can use Alex style punchs to kill bats, ghosts, fire throwing spots and WC paper made mummies. Funny game, although not very funny when you realise youīve been 2 hours doing the same, itīs not very innovative. Donīt play it on Halloween, because itīs very frightening (stupid joke).
I really love this game! This was the first fighting game I played, I didnīt know it was an arcade conversion. Iīve played it so much that I could beat it with my eyes closed without losing a live (well, not so much). I remember playing it with all my friends over and over again, without getting bored. When I got this game, like most of the 9 year old kids, I knew that my destiny was to become a martial arts master, and rescue my girlfriend, but it seems I was wrong, because today Iīm one of the most peaceful persons Iīve ever met. The object is to rescue your girlfriend from a gang, passing through four parts of the city, from the streets to the fortress. The final boss uses a gun, but fortunately the bullets are slow... BTW, anyone knows who is that guy on the wall poster? My old friend Marcos used to tell me that he knew him, but I always suspected he was lying...I was right.
And of course, my all-time loved Out Run. I bought a sms because of this game, lots and lots of years ago. You drive a red Ferrari from the beach to five different course endings. No chasing anybody, no shooting, all you have to do is race against the clock looking at beautiful scenaries like beaches or vineyards, and sometimes even relaxing (not very often though). In my oppinion, this is really a must-have, and I donīt think itīs very difficult to find and enjoy the three nice melodies. I still keep my mint copy of Out Run like if it was gold! In October 2000 I finally got my own copy of Out Run 3D, one of the rarest and most expensive SMS games ever, and I know I would have loved it back in 1989...I like it now, but being a child always magnifies everything. Oh, sweet memories.
In my oppinion, one of the best plattform games for the sms. I bought it a few weeks after buying my sms, and I remember playing it with my sister (it was one of the few games she wanted to play, she didnīt want to join me on a Double Dragon session...). As Tom Tom, you have to rescue your girlfriend Tanya from the evil king, through 9 stages with four levels each. At the end of each stage, the king appears and you have to throw axes at his head. Pick up fruits, mushrooms, milk, shoot the coyote on his back, take the sega letters... most of the stages are repeated slightly changed, but it keeps on being a true classic and a great game. I remember a weird thing that once happened to me while playing Wonder Boy, back in 1989. I was in stage 1-2, and, as it used to happen, I fell to the sea. Instead of seeing the water splash, it actually was Tom-Tomīs blonde hair what splashed. Iīve never seen it again.
WONDER BOY IN MONSTER LAND
A sequel to Wonder Boy, but very different. The same kid who saved the land long time ago, now a strong young man, has to save it again killing the fiery Meka dragon. The only thing is the same as the first game are the colour of Tom Tomīs hair and the gameplay: great. Itīs more an adventure game, you have to equip yourself getting armor, boots, shields, swords... also you have to give some items to certain people, resolve mazes, get information from people... I got this game by January 1990 or so, and I finished it 3 or 4 years ago, on a Game Gear via Master Gear Converter. The clock is very frustrating sometimes, but...itīs great, and maybe (in my oppinion) better than Wonder Boy III.
Long time ago, when I lived in my old house, I saw every day the arcade version of shinobi at a bar next to my house, but I had never played it. I bought it along with World Soccer, to get two different games, but I always liked Shinobi a thousand times more. The children of the presidents have been kidnapped, so you, as Joe Mushashi, have to save them and eliminate the Masked Ninja. Itīs a great game with cool scenaries, a good variety of weapons, many kinds of enemys, appropiate difficulty level and, the most important, Shinobi has the classic sms "feeling" I said before. Itīs very original about the final bosses (Mandara and her multiple bodies, Ken Oh and his weak point...) but maybe sometimes a bit frustrating (one of the last stages where blue flying ninjas attack you... :( ).
These are games that I discovered when I started collecting again, in around 1998. I had heard of them when I was a kid, but never had the chance to buy or play them. They soon became some true new classics!
Again not a classic for me, I got my copy in December ī98, but after rediscovering my SMS in October ī98, it has been the game Iīve enjoyed most. I donīt know why, but I never wanted to get it as a child. And in fact, itīs possibly one of the best SMS games! While the music is great, the cool scaling graphics are as good as the melodies. Itīs fast and has some amazing stages, while there are some speeches: "AAAARGH" and "Get ready!". Anyway, itīs a bit hard to save the Fantasy Zone from the evil dragons, but there are lots (and I mean lots) of cheats for whatever you want :)
This is not a classic for me. In fact, I bought it for the first time one Sunday in January 1999 (1-8-99, to be exact), but I think itīs one of the best phaser games, and the best of the ones Iīve played (I still have to try a few with an actual Light Phaser). Three medics are trying to cure the soldiers that have been hurt during combat, and you with your gun have to eliminate the enemy soldiers who try to "bother" your medic team. Simple, but very addictive, and as far as I know itīs not a hard to find game.
Wow, some say itīs the best 8 bit game, other say itīs the best videogame ever, hundreds of fans everywhere, web sites dedicated to it... There must be something right in all this madness, no? And in fact there are too many things right in this videogame! I never had it as a child, because it was too expensive and I didnīt like RPGs back then, but now, 11 or 12 years later, I managed to get a complete copy in February '99. Iīm now on the very beginning of my adventure (not many time, exams, parties, radio show...), but what Iīve seen is a great, long and involving game, with cool graphics (I wish Miracle Warriors had these 3D dungeons *snif*) that Iīll finish someday. If you can (a bit hard nowadays, I traded 4 games for it!), get it.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World & Black Belt
Choplifter & Ghostbusters
Hang On & Psycho Fox
Rastan & Alien Syndrome
Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars & Dynamite Dux
Fantasy Zone & Ghost House
Double Dragon & Out Run
Wonder Boy & Wonder Boy in Monster Land
Space Harrier & Rescue Mission
More to come soon!!