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NES Obscurity Quicky!

Note from Carl Marks Guy: It's been fun writing a new articles every Friday for 6 months (1/13/2012 through 7/13/2012...well, ok, so the last one was delayed a week, but they were BOTH Friday the 13th-s!), but now I'm stepping back from that. Instead of trying to write 700 to 2,000 words about some Super Nintendo game every Friday, jam-packed with pictures and excitement wit wise-acre-yness, I'm just going to write a pro/con list about a relatively obscure NES game that you should or shouldn't play.
So, without further ado, the first NES Obscurity Quicky, about Athena!
Good Points
  • Lots of colorful enemies.
  • 4-5 different upgradable weapons
  • Lots of stuff to bash to find items and weapons
Bad News
A really aggressive timer, which was a rarity even in Nintendo Hard games. This undercuts your ability to bash all the "hidden stuff" blocks, AND makes the "this pit/exit loops you back to the beginning of the level" stuff really annoying.
Flighty jumping controls: you have a "small jump" and a "Big jump", and most of the time it seems like it alternates from jump to jump. If you can directly choose which you want, it's not consistent/easy to tell how.
Deadly Towers-esque "drill through you" enemy collisions: you get bumped back slightly with no invulnerability...meaning if you or the enemy continue to overlap, you can repeatedly get hit and die or lose massive amounts of energy from what would be one "bump" if you had a period of invulnerability. Here's, an example:
You might wonder why I'm so high in the air, with my back to that little pile of rocks. That bearded fellow shot out a stream of arrows, and I was hit by one, which bumped me back and to the left into the next, and again back and to the left into the third arrow.
Finally, a lot of the weapons are useless. There are a lot of different weapon types/upgrades, but some of them don't break blocks (limiting your item-gathering), and only a fewer let you shoot projectiles. That'd be fine, except its very difficult to beat most of the bosses WITHOUT projectile weapons. Again, an example...see this tree?
In addition to his fireballs, the branch nearest you is flailing around in front of his mouth. Good luck on living long enough to get close and hit him 10-15 times with your slow-swinging melee weapons!
Quicky Verdict?
Stay away!
— carlmarksguy, 2012-07-27
1
Without wishing to mock the afflicted, that first animation sure does make it look like Athena is having a stroke.
2
Maybe that explains the jumping controls...
3
Yeah, I might have missed screengrabbing a few frames on that animation. But then again, in the game she only winks once when you press "Start" (and then the game loads, which is another problem), so maybe it looks less like a seizure/tic/serious medical problem in that context. OR MAYBE NOT!
4
And to think, SNK once made games that weren't two-dimensional one-on-one fighters...Not that these early efforts were any good.
5
SNK made some good NES games! Like Crystalis. And....uh....well, that's all I can remember. 'American Sammy' had some non-clunker games too if I recall!
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