Oh, I’m not done with these TAS capsule reviews yet. See part 1 for a broader explanation.
Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six (NES) makes me long for Bionic Commando. It also makes me research who the Sinister Six are so I can write accurate descriptions for MobyGames (these licensed games often make me to that). Random notes: killer targeted electricity is a threat in the first level; stage 3 has an area without light, not sure how I would negotiate it if I had to actually play; it might be possible to turn on the light but the speedrunner didn’t have a need.
It also occurs to me that having yourself a gang of 6 really lends itself well to a platformer video game.
No matter how horrifying the NES Ghosts ‘N Goblins title was, Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts for SNES is worse in just about every way. The game (at least the speedun version) opens with the opening boss urinating fireballs on you.
Then there is the giant sperm wafting through the air in a later level. And what’s with the many swinging guillotines on the ship level? Who thought that would be a neat idea?
Milon’s Secret Castle (NES) was a bit painful to watch, only because I remember how arduous it was to play and finish, which I did, fair and square, back in 1991, when it was on loan from a friend. Before that, however, I had rented it one weekend and was immediately stuck on the first floor of the castle, just as most players find themselves. For those not in the know on this game, it is impossible to make any progress without knowing how to do a certain block shooting and moving trick that is completely non-obvious. I can attest to the non-obviousness of this since my highly trained, Nintendo nerd eyes spent an entire weekend trying to figure out how to make any progress whatsoever.
Oh, the things I used to put up with. What was I thinking?
As for Demon Sword (NES), it’s fun to watch the TAS but I’m glad I never bothered to play it. Though I found it humorous that this miniboss apparently shops at Target:
The musical score seems heavily influenced by Ninja Gaiden. Also, who builds graveyards on large, steep mountains?
I already knew that Trojan (NES) was a short game. After I mastered it (in a single, short rental period), I figured I could probably play it from start to finish in about 10 minutes. The TAS managed to do it in a little more than 6 minutes.
Ghosts ‘N Goblins for the NES is every bit as insane as I recall. ‘Nuff said.
Nightshade (NES) always looked fascinating, and I even own a copy that I picked up cheap. But I never got a chance to play it. The TAS is utterly bewildering. Something about a private detective/wannabe superhero (in a town where the real superhero has just been knocked off) is trying to stop an ancient Egyptian-themed villain. Something like that.
Tom & Jerry: The Ultimate Game of Cat and Mouse! (NES) makes me wonder why Tom is so obsessed with one measly mouse– Jerry is honestly the least of the house’s pest problems (roaches, ants, spiders and even some ghost insects). My favorite part was the NES in-game. How very meta.
Enemy boats and even UFOs are dragging swimmers out of the safe zone and you have to drag them back.
And then I come to Hydlide (NES). I have unresolved issues regarding this game which I easily place in my bottom 5 list of all NES games. I think it may have been a little cathartic to view this TAS as I got to relive my most painful gaming experience in all of about 10 minutes. Everything about this game is the epitome of awful and it must be preserved in MobyGames for all time. I actually rented it twice and eventually completed it. And I remember a screen with a background identical to this one, on which I ground out many an experience level, giving me perhaps the worst headache of my entire life:
This is about the time when I snapped and decided I didn’t want to do this TAS screenshot recon any longer.