Monday, July 16, 2012

Spider-Man Pinball at the Boardwalk Arcade

We're on vacation in Wells, Maine this week, and me and the kids washed no time in getting to the Boardwalk Arcade. One of the first games we hit was a Spider-Man pinball game featuring the villains of all three movies.

The table is pretty interesting, and was a blast to play. My son even matched the numbers at the end to win a free game.

He's couple of pics:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Retro Review--Balloon Fight (NES)

Last August, Nintendo launched its 3DS Ambassador Program as a way of recognizing early adopters when they cut the price of the 3DS. Anyone who had bought the handheld at its original price of $250 was able to download 10 NES games and 10 GBA games for free, some of which will not ever be showing up on the eShop.

The Ambassador games were a fantastic bunch overall, with classics like Super Mario Bros., Zelda and Metroid leading the way. For me, one game that got lost in the shuffle from that bunch was Balloon Fight, and I’m sad it took me so long to play it because it’s pretty great.

If you are a child of the 80s like I am, then you will immediately realize what game that Balloon Fight is a clone of as soon as you start it. There is no mistaking that the 1982 combat platformer Joust was the inspiration for Balloon Fight, right down to the physics of the game. Each stage consists of several platforms of different height that are suspended over water, which is a deadly hazard to your player. Whereas in Joust you were a mounted on an ostrich battling other mounted warriors, in Balloon Fight you are a guy with two balloons tied around him trying to knock other balloon-assisted fighters out of the air. By tapping the A or B button, you keep yourself aloft, and failing to stay aloft results in your plunging into the icy depths. As you navigate around the screen and the platforms, you try to pop the other fighters’ balloons by hitting them with your feet. They’ll do the same to you, and if they pop one of your balloons, it’s that much harder to stay aloft. lose both, and you’re done for.

When you knock another fighter into the water, a bubble rises from the surface, which you collect for bonus points. Your goal is to clear each stage of enemies. When you clear three stages, you get a bonus stage where you pop balloons for points.

The game can be played by one or two players, and there’s an additional game mode called “Balloon Trip” where you navigate through a side-scrolling level collecting balloons while avoiding lightning clouds. It serves as a nice change of pace from the regular game.

At the end of the day, Balloon Fight is really just Joust in a more charming and whimsical package. The physics are solid, and there’s a lot of replayability, especially with the extra game mode. After all these years, the game still holds up well.

4 out of 5

Monday, July 2, 2012

Nintendo - Mario Themes on Guitar!

One of my pals decided he was going share a video of a guy playing Mario themes and sounds on the guitar. I watched the first video, coin sounds and all, and was amazed. It started a frenzied search for more renditions. They just got crazier and crazier. Here are a few for your reading pleasure.

Here's the first, which is amazing.

Two guitars? At the same time? What!?

Not only is the engineering on this guitar amazing, but look at the way he plays it!

Which system do you like best!?