Alien Brigade Ė By Atari


 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - By Tengen

In 1985, Atari Games released an arcade game based on the second Indiana Jones movie. Adapted for the NES, the game finds Indiana Jones infiltrating the lair of the evil Thuggee cult with his whip as his main weapon. Indy must free kidnapped children and recover the Sankara Stones before he can escape the temple. This NES port preserves the storyline of the arcade but does have many differences in the layout and how the player progresses through the different areas. On this version of IJTOD, the player must advance through 12 different waves. The first nine waves involve Indy traveling through the palace to recover the Sankara Stones and collecting items from the children he saves (including very important map pieces). All of these levels contain mines and mine cart rooms for Indy to traverse. Once all nine waves are completed, the player enters wave 10 which requires the map pieces to find the secret exit. Wave 11 leads to the exit and wave 12 takes you to the rope bridge where you fight Mola Ram. IJTOD on the NES is not an easy game. Because it really isnít a direct port of the arcade, the graphics are different but share common elements with the original game. The cool thing that is preserved is the background music which is derived from John Williamsí score for the movie. Control for the game can feel a bit awkward (e.g., you have to hold down select while using the directional pad to select the weapon you want to use, Indy slips easily from the ladders) but you can get used to it. If you are looking for a direct port of the arcade, this game is not for you.

Review by TrekMD



  Jackal Ė By Konami

Just where are the good Konami franchises when you need them? Stuck in 1986, probably. At least thatís where we left Jackal, an overhead shooter that hasnít seen much love these days, but is surely deserving of some. Though itís easy to write off Jackal as another generic army game released amidst a deluge of war titles (i.e., 1942), Jackal is executed so well and so cleanly that you canít help wondering why Konami never followed up with a sequel. The NES port features a two-player co-operative mode and is a pretty faithful recreation of the arcade version, retaining the simplistic but effective control scheme for Nintendoís two-button controller. The game puts you in the driverís seat of a military jeep carrying heavy weapons. You can move freely in all eight directions, fire your standard cannon with the B button, and launch grenades and rockets with A. The goal is to rescue all the POWs imprisoned in enemy camps throughout the level, take them to the extraction zone, and confront a boss at the end of the level to progress to the next area. Hostiles come in the form of foot soldiers, turrets, gunboats, and tanks, and thereís a lot of variety in the level layout, so no two places will ever look or play alike. The control scheme is perfect for the NES pad, allowing you to zigzag through enemy fire and take out your targets with ease. You earn points for rescuing POWs, but more importantly, you can upgrade your arsenal by finding special flashing POWs who reward you with rockets. The gameplay is a tad repetitive, but the action-packed campaign will keep you entertained the whole way through, especially if youíre playing with a partner. Overall, Jackal is a solid entry in Konamiís vast NES library.

Review by wyldephang



  Kirbyís Adventure Ė By HAL Laboratory/Nintendo

After an auspicious monochrome debut on the Game Boy, Kirby was ready for his full-color close-up on the NES with more enemies, more challenges, and a bigger adventure. Kirbyís Adventure introduced copy abilities to the series, allowing Kirby to learn the special moves of his enemies by inhaling and swallowing them. Previously, Kirby could only spit objects back out at enemies, but the copy abilities broaden the gameplay by a substantial degree, giving you access to various melee and ranged attacks. The adventure will take you across seven worlds inhabited by King Dededeís assorted minions. Dedede has stolen the Star Rod, the source of all dreams in Dream Land, and shattered it to pieces. Kirby must gather the segments and repair the Rod, but a mysterious power lies dormant within the artifact and Kirby is unaware of the danger it presents. The story mode is longer and more involved than the Game Boy gameólong enough, in fact, to justify the new save function. Thereís a grand adventure packed onto that 6 megabit cartridge, along with astonishing visuals and a great musical score. All the worlds are well detailed and there are some neat 3D effects strewn about for good measure. The game looks and sounds excellent and plays that way, too. The controls are simple to learn and consist of one button for inhaling enemies and attacking and another button for jumping and floating. Kirbyís a light fellow and can inflate himself to fly, giving him access to higher platforms that would otherwise be out-of-reach for a certain beloved Italian plumber. With an extended campaign and improved gameplay, Kirbyís Adventure is a worthy follow-up to Masahiro Sakuraiís Game Boy classic and an essential part of the NES library in its own right.

Review by wyldephang


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