GameWTFs.com

Super Nintendo, NES & GameBoy tomfoolery;
3 times a day: pic/caption fluff. — Sometimes - articles  

(back to article list)

Smorgasbored!

Hi everyone, this week I'm going to look at two pretty good NES military shootin' games, and one not-so-good movie cash-in (surprise of surprises).
And what theme ties these games together? Well, I have two explanations prepared:
Thoughtful and False Explanation: This week I was thinking about games where one of the buttons does something that's "locked" into a certain direction, while the other button is effected by the direction you're facing.
Accurate Explanation: I was remembering about how sloppy and loose the controls are on this one game, and I thought, "hey, that's kind of like games where you have a fixed-forwards attack and an any-direction attack! If I write about two of those then I can rag on the lousy game last, then boom -- I've got another 3-part Smorgasbored article!"
Jackal
Jackal is a military-jeep-em-up by Konami, so you know it's going to be solid, and it is.
It plays kind of like a simpler/less-chibi version of Iron Tank: good gameplay, slightly less power-ups, but a nice variety of enemy soldiers and vehicles to blast. It has a similar "blow open a jail, rescue captured soldiers, sometimes get power-ups" mechanic, but there's only 1 power-up: the flashing captured soldier boosts your grenades into missiles, then more powerful missiles, etc.
Unlike Iron Tank, you only take one hit to kill, but on the upside it can do two-player simultaneous!
Also, while Iron Tank gives you a low-power machine gun which shoots the direction you're driving, then lets you rotate your cannon independent of that, Jackal has a simpler Machine Gun/Grenades system:
You can throw your grenades/missiles/etc in any direction, but your machine gun always shoots towards the top of the screen.
Commando
Commando: the pedestrian "prequel" to Bionic Commando (here you play as "Super Joe", the same guy that Bionic Commando is gettin' his grappling-hook-arm on to rescue in his game). It's also the game that the NES Ikari Warriors port desperately wanted to be:
First off, you start with unlimited bullets.
Also, though you can only walk in the eight cardinal directions, you can shoot your machine gun and wiggle the controller from walking "north" to "northeast" to "northwest", it definitely feels like you get a few shots that go north-by-northeast and north-by-northwest. Its so subtle it may just be an illusion, but I think it helps mow down the infinite gray dudes that oppose you.
Oh, and finally Super Joe can turn in place at will: if Super Joe is walking north and you press south, Super Joe is now actually walking south. You'd think this was an obvious design decision, but Paul and Vince in Ikari Warriors have the a turn radius of a Yugo:
This is what your Ikari Warrior does if you press "Up" then "Down" in rapid succession.
Anyway, I've already discussed Super Joe's super machine gun; but what about his grenades? Well, in a reversal of Jackal:
You can shoot in any direction, but you always throw grenades towards the top of the screen.
(This leads to the amusing situation pictured above -- where Super Joe is in his "toss a grenade" animation sequence whilst mysteriously firing bullets from his rear end)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Ok, I basically planned this whole article for the purpose of complaining about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom's incredibly loose overhead-platforming, mostly because of its poorly-designed jumping controls...but I guess I should talk a little about the game first.
Psych! I'll just show some funny pictures, instead.
Suffice to say, this game has mining cart levels
Great, we're cruising along with this; but let's briefly mention the incredibly bizarre "select your weapon" interface: where you hold down the "select" button, and simultaneously press either Up, Down, Left, or Right to switch between your four different armaments. Meanwhile, the game around you is going on as normal; it's like a clunkier version of Karnov's item selection system.
Okay, that's squared away; now we can take a look at how the "Jump" button doesn't work:
When you press "jump" by itself, no matter which direction you're facing, you jump straight down.
When you hold "left" (or right) and press "jump", you jump over AND somewhat down.
If you actually want to move sideways without moving down, you have to hold "up AND left" (or right) while pressing "jump".
Golly.
I can't top that; what kind of game would require you to simultaneously hold TWO directions on the D-pad AND a button to perform what should be a basic move?
*cough*
— carlmarksguy, 2013-11-02
1
The thing I hated the most about that Temple of Doom game is the way Indy pants like an out-of-shape chain smoker after every few steps he takes.
2
Ha! Yeah, I definitely noticed "Winded"iana Jones for the few seconds I spent getting pics from the game. I can't BELIEVE how long I played that damn game when I got it in the early '00s. Even after you get used to the game's normal crap, the last 2 levels (lava beasts, map maze) BLOW.
(back to article list)

more me!

LameComics.com
GameWTFs on Tumblr

latest comments

7/1/16: Family Kombat! by Laytruce
6/30/16: Family Kombat! by CarlMarksGuy
6/30/16: Family Kombat! by Laytruce
4/24/16: Multi-Sports Unlicensed-Straviganza, part 4: Anyone for Tennis? by CarlMarksGuy

systems

NES
Super Nintendo
GameBoy

categories

Articles
Up from (Super) Obscurity (87)
NES Obscurity Quicky! (49)
Smorgasbored! (30)
Cover Art Theatre (24)
Boy in Gray (24)
killer Vaniller filler (14)
Four Reflections for Filler (7)

Short + Sweet
New Ancient Wisdom (383)
Shenanigans &/or Shinola (33)
Picture-in-Picture (22)
Miscquoted (21)
Pointless Point Pointers (11)
Made Up Facts! (6)

tags

Bats/Cats/Rats/Gnats (33)
Beat-em-ups (44)
Bees Will End You (11)
Button Zone Defense (7)
CarlMarksGiger (5)
Censors on Maximum! (6)
Character DeCreation (7)
CHOPPAH (get to da) (8)
Cover Art...yeah. (9)
CRAZYGRAMPS-Approved (10)
Cross Hairs (14)
CTRL-ALT-Sports (39)
Cut the Cut Scenes! (50)
Delicious Power-Ups! (19)
Digitized Photos=Bad (34)
Dojo Mojo (15)
e-Pistolary Whipped (2)
Faces in the Crowd (8)
Fighty-Fight-Fight (39)
Foreground Peekaboo (3)
Form of: Plat! (86)
Fun with Cybernetics (28)
Glitched Pictures (12)
Go for the Gold! (19)
GOLF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (4)
Grappling Hook-y (5)
Gritty Urbs & Spices (37)
Haberdasher Galaxy (19)
Haiku You! (11)
Hellish Moppet (24)
Hi, Explosives! (16)
High Fashion (43)
I Give Up! (59)
I have bad taste (18)
Ice is Nice (14)
Informative Info! (46)
It's a Holiday! (12)
Jumpy-Stabby (43)
Keep on Truckin' (12)
Kids today! :P (15)
Laser-Powered Fist (10)
LevHELL Select (14)
Melting Flooring (6)
Mini(scule) Games (12)
Mission: Implausible (26)
Moto-cross/-cycle (14)
Movie Cash-In! (59)
Muscles n' Mullets (20)
no pants (19)
Not the BOSS of me! (21)
Oh, Aliens did it. (25)
Paid Celeb Spokesman (31)
Pigging Out (8)
Pirates &/or Ninjas (47)
Player 2 I <3 You (17)
Port-a-Porty (29)
Prehistoria Euphoria (18)
Puzzling, yes? (27)
Racing a La Mode 7 (11)
Random Spotlight! (15)
Rasslin'!!! (7)
Recursive Recursion (7)
Rushing Beat-ings (8)
Scan Th Funny Manual (3)
Scoot or Die (7)
Shabby Olive Drabby (20)
Shoot-em-U/D/L/R (62)
Shpiiidah! (10)
Snap th Game's a Job (13)
Spiky Apocalypse! (22)
SPOOKY (56)
Stupor Heroes! (16)
Sum-Sum-Summertime! (9)
Swords, Elves, Etc (32)
THAT'S how you win? (3)
The Grating Outdoors (24)
The InterNOT (2)
The Name Game! (18)
The Time Warp Excuse (18)
Toon In! (31)
Top 10 or so! (23)
U Stink But I <3 U (9)
Un-licensed to kill (22)
Uneven Challenge (18)
Unwieldly Projectile (33)
Warp Door Mazes (5)
Weird Animals (67)
What a scoop! (10)
What's the Password? (20)
Wheels + Feet = Go (7)
Whirled Tour! (13)
Woebegotten Sequels (21)
X marks the XTREME! (9)

etc.

elsewhere on the web...
VGJUNK
Flying Omelette
Rage Quitter 87
Codiekitty
Random Hoo Haas
JustGamesRetro
SNES HUB
ScrollBoss