Category Archives: 2021 Posts

1942 (GBC)

Prediction

1942 for the Game Boy Color is a fairly standard port of the vertical scrolling shooter arcade game of the same name. Set in the Pacific Theater of World War II, you play an America pilot attempting to reach Tokyo and destroy Japan’s Air Fleet. It’s a rather odd concept coming from a Japanese company, but it was made with a western audience in mind and ended up being very successful.

Obviously, a vertical shooter isn’t going to have very much to talk about. The number of enemies and their flight patterns will gradually get more complicated until it becomes too much, and I die. So, this review is also going to be split with just some random chatting from me. I hope you’ll join me anyway, so let’s go!

Gameplay

1942 was one of the games I grew up on. Originally, I played it on the NES, but that was at my uncle’s house, so I was happy when I saw the Game Boy Color port of the game. Personally, I prefer the GBC version over the NES because it does have a few additions to the game. First, it has actual options that allow you to change the difficulty settings. More importantly, it actually has a password save system, which is quite an oddity for what is basically an arcade game.

You might notice, the game starts on Stage 32. This is because we’re actually counting down as we get closer to Tokyo. I think this is a nice twist on the usual Stage system, because it takes away any guess work over how many stages you have left. So, with that, we take off from our aircraft carrier and head off to war.

The gameplay is quite simple and should be familiar to anyone that has ever played a vertical shooter. You move around the screen trying to shoot down the enemies before they shoot down you. You also have a limited number of specials, which in this game causes you to do a loop to avoid damage. I also want to note that no matter how many times I play this game, I ALWAYS forget which button does which, and ALWAYS end up wasting a loop at the start of the game.

For anyone that has ever played some of the modern Bullet Hell style shooters, this game will probably seem laughable. There are never very many enemies on screen, they rarely shoot more than once, and they mostly die to a single hit. There are some larger planes that show up occasionally, and they do take a few more hits before they explode, but not many hits, and they don’t come very often.

Like most shooters, there are a few power-ups we can get. In order to get them, you’ll have to shoot down the groups of red planes that occasionally fly by. Once you shoot down all the planes the power-up POW is left behind by the final plane. There’s really only 2 power-ups to get, one changes your 2 guns into 4 guns, while the other adds 2 smaller planes to each side of you to add even more firepower.

Really, the only other thing of note in each level is to avoid riding the bottom edge of the screen, because sometimes planes will come up from behind without any warning. If you’re too close to the edge, you’ll probably get taken out instantly before you even see them. Avoid those traps, take down the enemy planes, and before long you’ll manage to land on the next aircraft carrier, completing the stage.

So, from here, each level gets slightly harder. There are more enemies on screen, they sometimes fly more complicated patterns, and might even shoot at you. But otherwise, each level is basically the same as the last. Shoot a bunch of planes, make it to the next aircraft carrier.

Before I get into my random ramblings, we’re almost at Christmas and the end of yet another year. I hope everyone managed to stay happy and healthy this year. Healthy especially, considering Covid isn’t exactly going away. But I don’t want to dwell on that here, just wanted to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to those who don’t celebrate it, and Happy New Year to everyone.

Note: on the left is a power-up to gain an extra loop, which is dropped by a normal looking plane. On the Right, note you can lose the side planes individually if they get hit.

Anyway, you might have noticed I haven’t posted much recently. Not a huge shock from this site. I just want to say it wasn’t entirely my fault. I made that post earlier in the year saying I wanted to get back into writing more often, and I meant that. Unfortunately, my job got in the way and stole any free time I had for a while.

Not to get into too much detail, but management decided to move to a new software, so our entire customer database had to be migrated over. Because of the workflow for this process, it wasn’t really possible to split the work up, and I ended up doing the whole thing myself. From mid-July until late September, I was working 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day. I don’t intend to complain, because the overtime pay was great, but needless to say, it didn’t leave me much time or energy to really do anything other than work.

It took me a while to recover after that. My first day off afterwards I was basically in shock and didn’t know what to do with myself. I had been working for something like 80 days straight and kind of forgot what it was I did on days I didn’t wake up and go to work.

Back to the game for a second, because we’ve finally come to our first password. These show up every 4 stages and let you start your game from that point. They don’t save any score or extra lives or anything, it’s just a checkpoint.

I still remember when I first got this game. Between the passwords and the continues after a game over, I managed to beat the whole game within 24 hours. My parents got mad a bit because they felt it was a waste of money if I could finish the whole thing that quickly, but I didn’t see it that way. I knew what the game was, I was happy to have actually beaten it, and I played it semi regularly after that.

Death Count: 2

In fact, I still do play it occasional. Whenever I want just a few minutes of arcade fun, this is one of a handful of games I turn to. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hardly a groundbreaking game. But it’s still fun in its simplicity. Oh, and we finally have our first death on Stage 26. Lasted longer than usual this time. Of course, I end up dying in nearly the exact same spot 2 seconds later, but whatever.

Stage 26 is also special because it gives us our first “Boss Battle”. For some reason, we’re not allowed to have our helper planes for this battle, since they ditch us just before the fight. However, they’re not really needed anyway. The enemy plane is quite big, taking up most of the screen, but it is taken out with only a handful of shots.

Death Count: 3

So back to my ramblings. It took me a little while to recover from all that overtime, and honestly, I just haven’t been playing as many games lately. For the most part, I’ve swapped over to manga and anime for the last couple of months.

Death Count: 4

Nothing really unusual. Reading One Piece and My Hero Academia, even though I’ve already watched both animes. I’m also finally watching Dragon Ball Z. I saw maybe 80% of it when it was airing on Toonami, but never in order. So even though it’s 50% power up screaming, I still feel I need to watch it properly. I’m also watching the old Lupin the 3rd anime, which is still fun today.

Death Count: 5

That said, it’s always in the back of my mind that I should be writing more articles. Not that I have a huge fan base on here or anything, it’s always been more for myself anyway. But I do want to play more classic games. I also really need to finish Final Fantasy VII. I know my articles are only about halfway through the game, but my gameplay is right up until the final boss. Maybe another hour and I will have FINALLY beaten the game a second time in my life, after having started and quit about 30 times.

Death Count: 7

Well, I finally got a game over on Stage 23, so how about we end it here. Not quite 30 minutes of gameplay, but I don’t have much more I wanted to talk about right now. So, if you’ve stayed with me through this, thank you for letting me ramble for a little while. Hopefully this will get me back in the writing mindset and I’ll see you again soon.

Verdict

Price – $78.47

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! This thing is going for $78 now?! Glad I held onto it all these years. Hell, I even have the cardboard box and manual, I could probably get over $100 if I wanted to sell it. The NES version is still cheap, at only $14.64, so maybe look at that one if you want to buy a copy for yourself.

Play Again? – Occasionally

I’ve already said this is one of my go-to games when I want to kill a few minutes. There are obviously better shooters out there, but this one is fun in its simplicity, and holds some special nostalgia for me.

Total Deaths – 7 deaths

I’m actually kind of surprised I lasted as long as I did. Even without it being a Bullet Hell, I’ve very out of practice for shooters. That said, I did manage to beat it as a kid, so it’s not particularly difficult in general.

Fun Rating – 6 / 10

I’m giving it a fairly low score because, while I enjoy it, I’m not blind to the fact there isn’t anything particularly special about it. I do also have to point out the music in the game, if it can even be called music. There are a few little jingles at the beginnings of the stages, but during most of the level all you get are random beeps that aren’t much better than Space Invader noises. There’s definitely a melody it’s TRYING to keep, but I have a hard time calling those sounds “Music”. Other than that, it’s a fairly standard shooter. The Game Boy Color port does add some improvements in the form of that password save. However, I can’t really claim that is worth the $78.47 price tag is seems to have now. Seriously, I can’t get over that, I was expecting it to be a $5 bargain bin game by now. So yeah, if you want to play this game, maybe look for the NES version. But if you’re willing to shell out that much for the GBC version, you’ll be happy with the few additions it offers.

How are you $78 now?!

I hope you enjoyed this 30 Minute Review of 1942 (GBC). If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling real generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

 

Pokemon Ruby – The Challenge Begins!

Welcome to yet another amazing Pokémon Adventure! I know we haven’t finished playing Pokémon Black yet, but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. You’ll see why in a second. Anyway, today we’re going to start our playthrough of Pokémon Ruby from the 3rd generation of Pokémon games. In retrospect I wish I had played Pokémon Emerald, since that’s basically the definitive version of the 3rd Gen games, but at the time of this writing I have about 15 hours of gameplay video already, and I’m not really willing to start over. I know what you’re thinking. “15 hours isn’t a long time.” Well, when you’re playing a challenge game, it can feel like an eternity.

That’s right, this is going to be a challenge playthrough. The Pokémon games are simply too easy if you play them normally, so there are a wide variety of rules you can impose on yourself to make the game more challenging. Some would even argue more fun. The most famous of these challenge rules being the Nuzlocke Challenge, where you have limited Pokémon, and you can never allow them to be knocked out. HA! Child’s play. No! What we’re going to do makes even the Nuzlocke Challenge look like a walk in the part. In fact, it may not even be possible to beat the game with the rules I am putting on myself. At least not without breeding a perfect IV Pokémon and EV Training them to absolute perfection. Neither of which I have the knowledge to do. So, what could this impossible challenge be?

Magikarp only! You heard that right. I plan to use ONLY Magikarp to beat the game. For those of you who may not know, Magikarp is useless. I don’t even mean they are weak Pokémon. There are lots of weak Pokémon that can be good if trained right. No. I mean they are quite literally useless. Until level 15, they don’t even have an attack. They can only use Splash, which does literally nothing. At level 15 they learn Tackle, one of the weakest, most basic attacks in the game. At level 30, they learn Flail, which has variable damage, but is in general not much better than Tackle. And that’s it. They don’t naturally learn any other attacks. They can’t even be taught other attacks through HMs and TMs. They will never, under normal circumstances, learn any attacks other than Splash, Tackle, and Flail.

So, let me make the rules clear for this challenge. I have found a rom editor that will replace the starter Pokémon with a Magikarp. Since Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire introduced Double Battles, I plan to catch and train a second Magikarp when the option becomes available. Other than those 2 Magikarps, no other Pokémon will be used in battle. I obviously need other Pokémon to learn HM moves to make progress in the game. That’s just unavoidable. But those other Pokémon will not be allowed to actually participate in battle. If, for some reason, they do come out in battle, it will only be to give me time to revive and heal the 2 Magikarps. They will not, for any reason, be allowed to attack. Other than that, it will be a normal playthrough. I’m not using a randomizer or anything like that.

So, there we have it. This playthrough is going to be just straight hell. It may even be impossible. But let’s see how far we can get under these insane rules.

Table of Contents

 

Gameplay

Our adventure begins with a quick introduction by Professor Birch. He shows us a Pokémon as an example, in this case an Azurill, and explains the basics about how people and Pokémon live together. He goes on to explain that, even though people and Pokémon have coexisted for a long time, there is still a lot that we don’t understand about them.

Now that we know about the Pokémon world, it’s time to learn about our player character. I don’t usually name my character anything special, but I happen to be re-watching “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy” right now. And since I’ll be the all-powerful master of life and death, forced to care for 2 tiny annoying creatures that make my life a living hell, I thought it would be fun to use that as my theme for naming this game. So, we will be playing as Grim, the new Pokémon Trainer who just recently moved to Littleroot Town.

Our first look of Grim is of him riding in the back of a moving truck with all the boxes. Not sure why we weren’t allowed to sit in the cab, but that’s going to be the least of our hardships going forward. At least we get our own room, or rather our own floor, of the new house. All our stuff is already up in our room, which makes me question what all those boxes in the truck were. But rather than worrying about that, we’ll simply gather our stuff up off the desk and head over to the lab to meet Professor Birch.

Before we manage to leave the house, our Mom calls us over to the TV to see our, surprisingly alive AND part of our lives, Dad. Apparently, he recently became the Gym leader of the Petalburg Gym, which is why we moved out here in the first place. Unfortunately, it looks like we missed seeing him on TV just now. Not that it mattered, we were heading next door to meet with Professor Birch right now anyway.

As would be expected, the Birch family was already looking forward to meeting us. Professor Birch isn’t home at the moment, but his wife suggests we introduce ourselves to their daughter while we’re here. With that invitation, we head upstairs, alone, to barge into the young girl’s bedroom, unexpected, and unannounced.

Rather than screaming at the sight of some stranger suddenly in her room, she’s actually happy to see us, or so she says. She introduces herself as May, and claims she already heard about us from her father. May claims she was hoping we would become friends. However, she’s acting very nervous talking to us right now and I’m not sure why. It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact we are just standing here in silence staring at her after forcing our way into her room.

Suddenly she remembers she was supposed to be helping her dad with research and runs out of the room. Leaving us standing there alone to do whatever we want in her bedroom.

We quickly follow her out of the house, but she’s nowhere to be found. Luckily, there’s only one entrance into town, so she must have headed north. Sure enough, a child at the edge of town says he hears someone shouting down the road. Looks like she managed to get herself in trouble already. Side note, where does this child live? There are only 3 building in town, My house, The Birch Family house, and Professor Birch’s Lab. Is this child homeless?

No time to worry about homeless children right now, we need to go see what’s going on up ahead. To our surprise, instead of May, we find some older man being attacked by a Poochyena. It has him cornered as he shouts for help. Upon seeing us, he tells us to look through his bag for a Poké Ball.

Normally, this is where you would get to choose between Treecko, Torchic, or Mudkip as your starter Pokémon. However, we don’t get that choice. Instead, we get Magikarp. What are we getting ourselves into…?

With this terrible decision, we send Magikarp into its first battle. Unfortunately, Magikarp is useless at the moment. It knows only a single move, Splash, which does literally nothing. There is honestly nothing we can do in this battle other than wait for death.

Thankfully, this particular Poochyena got bored of the fight just short of killing our Magikarp and left on its own. So, we somehow manage to survive the encounter and “save” this man from being killed.

Turns out, this is actually Professor Birch, so it’s a good thing we saved him. Birch wants to talk to us some more, but considering what just happened, we probably shouldn’t stay here much longer. Instead, we take this conversation back to the safety of his Lab.

As a thank you for saving his life, we get to keep the Pokémon we used earlier to save him. So, this Magikarp is now ours. Since it’s a girl Magikarp, we will be naming her Mandy.

After this, Professor Birch tells us that his daughter May is out on Route 103. Since she is also trying to become a Pokémon Trainer, it wouldn’t hurt to have her teach us a few things to get us started.

With that, we head north out of town and quickly make it to neighboring Oldale Town. Here, we find the Pokémon Center, which we will probably be visiting quite frequently, as well as the Poké Mart, where we buy as many potions as we can afford right now.

Before we leave town, I also want to bring attention to this person at the west exit. They are blocking our path and preventing us from leaving town that way. Apparently, they have discovered a rare Pokémon footprint in the mud across the exit and wish to make a sketch of it before it disappears. We’ll talk to him again later and see how that sketch comes out.

Anyway, from experience, I’m guessing we’ll end up having to battle May when we find her. So, before that happens, let’s try to train up Mandy a little. This is when the reality of this challenge really set in. In order for Mandy to get stronger, she needs to defeat opponents. But she can’t defeat any opponents because she doesn’t have any damage dealing attacks. The only option is to use up ALL 40 uses (PP) of Splash, at which point Mandy will use Struggle. This is a default move all Pokémon can use if they completely run out of their other moves. But to use all 40 PP of Splash, she needs to stay alive for at least 40 turns in battle. We also can’t heal at the Pokémon Center between battles because that will also restore the PP of Splash. To make matters worse, we only have 12 potions, and no way of getting more right now. We’re going to have to plan it out carefully, or this game will be over before it even begins.

After running from a few battles, we finally find a Level 2 Wurmple. These will probably be the weakest Pokémon we can encounter in this area. On top of having a very weak attack, they also use String Shot quite frequently, which slows Mandy down, but does no actual damage. After a lengthy battle, Mandy finally uses up all 40 PP of Splash. Unfortunately, it also took 4 potions to accomplish this. If we continue the battle, we can probably defeat this Wurmple, but Struggle has recoil damage, and no matter what we’d end up having to use a 5th potion after this battle. Taking that into consideration, we flee instead.

Our only hope of keeping this adventure going is if we make progress. So rather than wasting our few potions training, we head straight for May on Route 103. As expected, she immediately challenges us to a battle. Fingers crossed we can make it through this.

Thanks to our previous prep work, Mandy is able to use Struggle right from the beginning of the battle. It does very little damage, but it’s enough to make winning at least a possibility. After a few close calls, and a couple potions, we actually manage to defeat May’s Torchic. OUR FIRST VICTORY!

Following the battle, May compliments our abilities as a trainer. Of course we’re great, we just won a battle with a Level 5 Magikarp. Anyway, her Pokémon is dead now, so for her own safety she needs to head back to the Lab and report her findings.

We follow May back to the Lab since we really have no other options right now. When we arrive, Professor Birch compliments us for beating May on our first try. He mentions that she has been a trainer for a long time and is very knowledgeable. I find that hard to believe since she only had a level 5 Torchic, but whatever. Seeing as we are an amazing trainer, Professor Birch decides to give us the Pokédex he ordered to help his research. Any time we encounter a Pokémon, the Pokédex will automatically record information on it.

Now that we have the Pokédex, we might as well help fill it up by catching as many Pokémon as possible. With that in mind, May gives us a handful of Poké Balls to get us started, and sends us on our way.

Upon leaving the lab, we quickly find our mom waiting outside the house to catch us. She’s very happy to see that Professor Birch has given us a Pokémon of our own. She even gives us some Running Shoes to help us on our adventure. Because in this universe, the act of running is physically impossible if you don’t have the right shoes.

With that, we head back to Oldale Town and discover that the person blocking the west exit is done sketching the rare Pokémon footprint. We also quickly discover that this person is a complete moron. Not only was it NOT a rare Pokémon footprint, but it was literally his own footprints. How do you mistake your own footprints for that of a rare Pokémon?!

Whatever, at least we’re able to leave town now and head out to Route 102. Unfortunately, we still only have a weak Magikarp, no money, and few resources. We’re also quickly confronted with this unavoidable trainer battle we must win in order to move forward.

Thankfully, we haven’t healed since our battle with May, so Mandy can still use Struggle right away. Also, this trainer only has a single Level 5 Zigzagoon, so it isn’t a very difficult battle. Mandy even gained enough experience to Level Up and get a little stronger.

We sneak around a few other trainers in the area and head straight towards the most important thing we need for this game to become possible, an Oran Berry bush.

Berries in Pokémon games technically started in Generation 2. However, Ruby and Sapphire really overhauled the mechanic into what it is today. Throughout the region, we will find various plots of dirt where we can plant and grow berries that have various different effects. For right now, we are going to be focused on the Oran Berry, which restores 10 HP when consumed. Basically, we can grow an infinite number of weak potions to keep us going.

After we plant our only two Oran Berries we continue west, still avoiding the other trainers along the way. We quickly make it to Petalburg City and head to the Petalburg Gym. Obviously, we’re not challenging the gym yet, we’re just checking in with our dad. He’s a bit surprised to see that we managed to make the trip on our own, and honestly, that makes two of us.

We don’t get to talk much before we’re interrupted by a young boy named Wally. Apparently, he is going to be moving soon and thought maybe he wouldn’t be as lonely in his new home if he had a Pokémon to keep him company. I guess in this region handing out Pokémon is something the local Gym Leader would normally do. Unfortunately, our dad doesn’t have a spare Pokémon to give to Wally, so he instructs us to help Wally catch one for himself.

Our dad loans Wally his Zigzagoon and a Poké Ball, and together we head out to route 102 in search of a Pokémon. We quickly encounter a Ralts, which is surprising considering how rare they are, and Wally manages to catch it after a short battle.

Ralts in hand, we head back to the gym to report how things went. Wally thanks both of us for our help, and then rushes out the door since his mom has been waiting for him this whole time.

Now that that interruption is behind us, we can get back to the conversation we were trying to have. So, our dad is happy to see that we are going to become a Pokémon Trainer, and suggests we head to the next town to battle the Gym Leader there. Obviously, he is a Gym Leader too, but he doesn’t think it would be right to challenge us now. He’ll wait until we have a few badges already so it would be a fair fight.

After quickly checking out Petalburg and just as quickly deciding there isn’t anything to see here, we continue west to Route 104. Once again, we avoid all the trainers and make our way to the northern section where there is another patch of dirt with some berries growing.

If we keep heading north from here, we can go into Petalburg Woods. But at the moment, we really need to train Mandy until she can, at the very least, actually attack. So instead, we’re going to head all the way back to Route 102 and start fighting some random weak Pokémon.

Now we come to the main roadblock of this early stage of the game. After just a few battles, we do manage to gain a level, but we also burn through our entire stock of potions. Until those berries grow, we must stop playing for right now.

“How long could that take?” you might ask. Well, Oran Berries grow to fruit in 12 real world hours. Each plant will grow 2 Oran Berries, and I currently have access to 5 plots of dirt. Since I have to replant one of the Oran berries to grow a new plant, and each berry only heals 10 HP, that means every 12 hours Mandy can take 50 HP of damage before we need to stop training. Before anyone says it, yes, I’m playing on an emulator, so I COULD just advance the time. But I’m not going to do that. I’m really going to play for just a few minutes each day, training as much as I can with just the 5 Oran berries I can grow each day, just like I would have to on the real cartridge.

So, for the next couple days, I guess this is going to be my life. Pick a few berries, fight a few fights, then wait to do it all over again. Check back for more updates to see how long it takes for me to completely lose my sanity.

I hope you enjoyed Pokemon Ruby (GBA). If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling real generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

Dr. Mario (NES)

Cover Taken From TheCoverProject.net

Prediction

Ok, let’s get this out of the way right now. 2020 was a messed-up year and everyone knows it. I was lucky enough not to lose my job during the pandemic, and more importantly, never got sick. However, my work schedule has changed a bit, and I just haven’t figured out where this site really works into my typical day. I never forgot about it though, and I want to make an effort to get back into writing these articles. So, with that in mind, I thought a quick 30-Minute Review would get the creative juices flowing and remind how to put these things together.

Considering what’s going on, I thought it would only be appropriate to play Dr. Mario for the NES. I’m sure most people will be at least familiar with the name, even if they may have never actually played it themselves. It’s the game where everyone’s favorite plumber steals a lab coat and tries to pass himself off as a doctor. Of course, he is not qualified to be a doctor, and his solution to everything is to just pump the patient full of pills until either they’re cured or die of an overdose. So, let’s jump in and see if we can help Mario delay his inevitable jail time for impersonating a doctor.

Gameplay

Before we begin, we’re given a small number of options to enhance the experience. We can choose which level of the game we start on, the speed of the gameplay, and the music that plays. But really, who’s touching any of that. Maybe on later playthroughs we might start on a later level since we’ve already beaten the early ones. Not that we’d ever be good enough to beat the later levels. So let’s just accept the default settings, throw on that lab coat, and start throwing pills at patients.

Even if you’ve never played Dr Mario before, it should be quickly apparent what type of game it is. It’s basically a variant of Tetris. Unlike Tetris, however, the screen comes pre-populated with a handful of viruses which make up the main puzzle of the game. Our job is to move and rotate the multi-colored pills Mario throws until we can stack up a 4-section long chain of matching pills and viruses, at which point they all disappear. So really, it’s closer to Puyo Puyo than it is to Tetris. Now that I think about it, when did Puyo Puyo first come out? One second while I look that up… Google is telling me Puyo Puyo came out roughly 15 months after Dr Mario. So, I take that back. In reality, Puyo Puyo is like Dr. Mario.

Getting back on topic. Unlike Tetris, which is played until failure, each stage of Dr Mario has a clear end goal of removing all the viruses present on the screen. Thankfully, it doesn’t matter if there are extra pill pieces left on screen to accomplish this, just get rid of the viruses to win. After this, we move onto the next stage, which comes pre-populated with even more viruses, and we start the process all over again.

Obviously, as the number of viruses in each level increases, the levels become much more difficult. However, nothing can make the game more challenging than simply being stupid and dropping pills in just horrible positions. Honestly, current me wants to invent a time machine just so I can go back in time and strangle past me for whatever the heck this mess is that past me has created. Thankfully, Dr Mario has a very useful mechanic that makes it possible to get out of even this mess. That would be the fact that the pill pieces are affected by gravity. Once the viruses and whole pills holding the stacks up disappear, all the remaining pill pieces fall to the bottom rather than floating there like they typically would in Tetris.

To my surprise, after stage 5 there was actually a little scene where the viruses are sitting out on top of a tree just looking at clouds. Then for some reason a book flies through the air, flapping its covers like wings. NES cutscenes were weird.

Sadly, that will be the only cutscene we’ll be seeing today. By some miracle, we managed to make it all the way to level 9. But the power of my stupidity and frantic flailing eventually overcame any hope of completing the level as the pills eventually stacked up to the top of the screen. Mario better start running before the police show up.

Verdict

Price – $8.99

Even though a lot of retro games have skyrocketed in price over the last year, Dr. Mario stayed fairly stable. It was never a particularly rare or valuable game, so it’s to be expected.

Play Again? – Occasionally

Dr. Mario is easily one of those games you can enjoy coming back to on occasion and playing a game or two to unwind.

Total Deaths – 1 Dead Patient

I managed to keep the patient alive through 9 rounds, which for me ended up taking 40 minutes through a combination of stalling and bad problem solving. But one dead patient is still one too many when you’re pretending to be a doctor.

Fun Rating – 7 / 10

Tetris is fun, always has been. Likewise, most of the Tetris variants are fun. That’s why they’re still being made. Dr Mario even has a mobile game now that has pretty good reviews. So obviously, this was a fun, well received game that holds up to the test of time. It falls into a lot of the same pitfalls that old arcade style games fall into. Namely that it’s generally repetitive and becomes boring rather quickly. But it manages to be a game that you would be happy to come back to for the occasional challenge. Final thoughts, it’s cheap, it’s easy to find, and it’s a classic of the system. If you don’t already own a copy, pick it up now. It belongs in everyone’s NES library, even if it only gets played on rare occasion.

Don’t worry Mario. I’m sure Princess Peach can pull some strings so you avoid jail time.

I hope you enjoyed this 30 Minute Review of Dr. Mario (NES). If you did, like and follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Also leave your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. If you’re feeling really generous, you can even Donate to help me keep the site going. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time.