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Old 03-09-2003, 12:25 AM   #107
Deal with it.
Icarus4578's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Wouldn't a sequel be nice

Marble Madness - NES/Arcade - Rating 6
Atari really had something special with the arcade release of Marble Madness in 1984. It wasn't the most graphically impressive game (back then, what was?) but it was completely different than anything else. You controlled a ball on-screen by rolling a metal ball that was built into where the arcade stick/buttons would normally be. On the NES it plays the same though; the object is to make it through each different stage in as short a time as possible by avoiding hazards like acid, mallets that attack, ground that pops up, vaccums, tiny railings to move across, etc. The faster you beat a stage, the more time is extended in the following stage. Time is your most valuable asset - if the time runs out, game over. No lives. No continues. You have one chance. With that said, it's a rather short game (less than 10 minutes) however you probably won't beat it until after many attempts. The music is a very real part of playing and enjoying the game. Each stage has wonderfully composed music that stimulates, entertains, agitates, annoys, and is excellently composed. There isn't much in the way of sound but what is there does the job.
So with that said, you should check out this classic gaming experience. You can get it very cheap and you will be glad you did. A short but sweet accomplishment.

The best time to be a gamer was for me undoubtably the 8-16 bit days. That was the time when individuals were allowed to have imaginations, experiment and expand their artistic gifts, when gamers both felt and knew they were in a special time, and there was an important communication between game designers and game players through the games themselves. Nowadays, it's different. It's more about money and survival, grasping at past glories and copying others, than it is about making a great gaming experience. We are at the mercy of the corporates. If one type of game sells then you can be sure you'll see many more follow suit. Exponential games like Street Fighter 2, Castlevania, and such existed because they did something different from the rest, whether it be a small or great difference, while being fun, creative, and communicative towards the gamer.

Metroid - NES - Rating 9
One such exponential game was the NES action/adventure genre-buster Metroid released in 1986. It was different than every other game and yet shared many of the same ideas: You run, jump and shoot at enemies. But you also roll into a ball, bomb, explore huge inter-connected areas, hidden walls that can be destroyed, hidden items scattered everywhere, special items that open up even more possibilities in areas previously visited, figuring out what to do next, etc. etc. all in one of the most unique game designs ever conceived. Even the look of Metroid is like no other (and this is on an 8-bit system). Sure, it's basic technically, but do you get the same feeling while playing any other game? Maybe another Metroid, but what else? So not only has Metroid established its own game structure but also never been faithfully duplicated, and that's saying something. The entire game is rather massive, with each area being impressively large and hiding a tremendous amount of secret items and areas. I think one of Metroid's greatest strengths lies in the game being designed in such a way as to NOT know what to expect next. The game told you nothing other than what was in your current inventory, and so you were pretty much on your own. It was your adventure.
Then there is the music. Metroid's soundtrack is so well done that it hurts to play it without the music turned on. The music sounds the same as the game's atmosphere; that's all there is to it. Haunting, creepy, unusual, and listenable - that's how I describe it. The sound effects are all perfect as well.
If the game has a fault, it lies in the fact that when you're moving from one room to the next, if an enemy gets stuck in-between rooms with you you're taking damage whilce the screen moves over to the next room. Also, some of the jumping is rather difficult when you're stuck in a pool of lava or whatnot. Some of you may feel this is actually a strength. No matter. Try to keep a footing on sturdy land.
That's all I can say about Metroid. It is in a class all by itself.

Oh, and here's a tremendous amount of codes and cheats ~ Enjoy.

Last edited by Icarus4578; 08-03-2004 at 10:00 AM.
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