Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Famicoming on a Rainy Day

Today is a national holiday that awkwardly falls on a Tuesday.  It has been raining cats and dogs since last night.  With a Famicom firmly installed in our living room, however, we are well prepared to wile away the afternoon warm and dry indoors.
They key to enjoying a rainy afternoon playing Famicom with your better half is game selection.  I grabbed a dozen promising titles, pictured above, each carefully selected based on the fact that we both like playing it.

First, Dr. Mario.  A classic in two player, I always play at difficulty level 19, my wife at 18.  I take 3 out of 5.

Then Binary Land.  We take turns on that one, alternating with each level cleared.  We make it about 9 levels before we run out of lives.

Onyanko Town:  my wife is a million times better at that game than I am.  She makes it to level 3 our first try while I am stuck running around looking for the kitten on the first level.  I like that game a lot, but I suck at it.

Ninja JaJa Maru Kun:  I forgot how much I liked that game.  The music is one of my favorite 8-bit tunes.  We both do pretty well.

Tetris Flash: Safely back in my territory I take 3 straight before we decide to move on.

Poo-Yan: another classic, but it is so frustrating when the wolves deflect your arrows.

The rest of the games will be played tonight.  We are taking a break now while my wife gets dinner ready, which is really awesome of her.  Adventure Island and Antarctic Adventure are two I am eagerly looking forward to. 


  1. Man, I love Antarctic Adventure! Is it simultaneous 2P?

  2. Sounds like a fun way to spend a rainy holiday! Also, Onyanko Town is fun? I've been eyeing it up for a while now--ever since I saw its cute box art (of course). Also, you know I'm a big Binary Land fan. And Poo-Yan, too. Anyway, have fun with Son Son and the others tonight :)

  3. Logan - I love Antarctic Adventure too, unfortunately it doesn`t have simultaneous 2P (we just take turns on each level). It would be awesome if it did though.

    Bryan - it is indeed! Onyanko Town is actually a good game, I think you would like it. Its an overhead platformer, you are a cat who has to find her kitten, pick her up and take her home while avoiding dogs, angry fish shop owners, etc on the streets of a city. You trap your enemies by opening man holes and coaxing them into falling in. I`m no good at it but really like it. And I`m in total agreement on Binary Land and Poo-Yan - great games.

  4. Hiya Sean!

    I only just discovered your blog last week while doing a bit of Famicom research and I've spent the past couple of weeks reading the entire thing post-to-post. You're an inspiration. :D

    I'm a long-time gamer and Nintendo fan and I was planning on collecting NES games since I recently got an old TV and a shelf to put all my machines on, but your writing has made me seriously consider starting a Famicom collection instead. Only trouble is - I'm low on money, deals on eBay are getting harder and harder to come by, and your little shop on Famicom World may completely run out before I ever come up with some more dough. D:

    I don't suppose you have any advice for a US-based n00b Famicom collector, do you? It seemed like your start was completely spur-of-the-moment. x.x

  5. Hi Bob-Bob,

    Thanks for the nice comment and for reading my blog!

    I`m not sure what to suggest, I have been spoiled by living in Japan where its possible to get Famicom stuff pretty cheap if you are patient and look around for it. I started my Famicom collection more or less on impulse, I just found a cheap Famicom in a shop and it was sort of love at first sight (but I`m guessing they are pretty hard to find cheap in American stores). Famicom World and forums like that are probably your best bet for getting Famicom stuff on a small budget, most of the folks on there (including myself I guess) are pretty decent and keep things cheap!

  6. Your welcome, Sean. :D

    I'm actually in the process of making a checklist of my own. I'm not out to grab every single Famicom game, but merely the ones I want to/can play. I'm jealous of your fluency in Japanese, cuz if I had I'd actually be playing through all those exclusive RPGs and text adventures.

    What sucks is that all the best/most famous games go for higher than any others. I think its easier to get a copy of Bionic Commando for cheap than TOP SECRET or a copy of Castlevania III for cheap than Akumajō Densetsu. ;-;

    Believe me, if I had all the money I'd collect both NES *and* Famicom. One of my favorite subjects as a gamer is localization differences, and owning an English and Japanese copy of the same game that was drastically different in each region would be the best thing.

    Here are some of the better-known examples:

    - When Mad City was released in the west as The Adventures of Bayou Billy, they made it ten times more difficult. Every enemy was given more health and higher damage.

    - When Battletoads (a British-developed game) was initially released on NES, it became renowned for it's nigh-impossible difficulty. When it was later released on the Famicom a few adjustments were made to make it easier.

    - Ninja Ryūkenden III originally had unlimited continues like the first two games. When they released it in the west as Ninja Gaiden III, they removed that feature, thus exacerbating the difficulty greatly.

    - The first Dragon Quest had very primitive, featureless sprites that couldn't change direction. When speaking to somebody, you had to choose which direction to face. When they released the game in the west as Dragon Warrior (Nintendo themselves published it!) they gave the game a graphical and mechanical overhaul, with sprites that looked more like the game's sequels and the ability to face multiple directions.

    Hope you liked my little fact diatribe. I got plenty more if you're ever interested. :D

  7. That is interesting! I had an NES when I was a kid, but I only had about 7 games for it so I don`t know a great deal about the differences between Famicom and NES games (except some of the really famous examples). I didn`t know that Mad City was so difficult on the NES for example, interesting!

  8. It's really nice to play a game until you get a "Game Over" and then just pop in another no-load-time cart! It reminds me of when I was a kid, I didn't have the patience or perseverance to play most games to completion, I'd just play one until I was tired of it (for the time being) and then play something else.

  9. It is! Actually there are some games that I am good enough at (like 1942) where I can play for a very long time before getting a game over. I can`t play those in situations like this, its way too boring for the other person!

  10. Sounds like you've got it made. If I am ever at that point in life that will be my happy ending