Wow. I have now amazed even myself with the incredible amount of time it took me to get Episode 5 ready. Especially considering it was "60% finished" two months ago. Unfortunately, the holidays and illness resulted in Chrontendo being put on hold for the last two months. But the new episode is now ready to download and it is a hella rad one.
Episode 5 covers August through November of 1985. A few major events in the lifespan of the Famicom occurred during those months and are discussed in Ep. 5. And of course, 15 more games are played.
Our MVG this month is:
Super Mario Bros
Really, what other choice could it have been? SMB is sort of the turning point around which the history of the Famicom revolves. It was not only hugely successful and influential but also a shining example of a damn fine game.
Other games worth mentioning:
Challenger - Strange, interesting, Frankenstein monster of a game from Hudson Soft. Unusual for its time, it features a large overworld, horizontal and vertical scrolling and a rather lengthy quest to rescue a Princess. The same basic idea would be vastly improved upon by Nintendo in Legend of Zelda.
10 Yard Fight - Early football game from Irem.
Pooyan - Uber-cute port of the Konami arcade game. Pigs versus wolves.
Battle City - Tanks roll around and shoot other tanks. More difficult than it sounds.
Ninja Jajamaru Kun - Decent spin-off of Jaleco's Ninja Kun. This ninja is so hard that after killing a monster he then goes after the monster's ghost.
Games worth mentioning due to their awfulness:
Kinnikuman Muscle Tag Match -- Cheap, ugly tie-in to manga series/toy line, designed by the stealth development company Tose. Perhaps the worst Famicom game so far. Amazingly, this sold huge numbers in Japan. As the first game on the Famicom based on a comic book/cartoon/TV show, this paved the way for countless terrible games featuring licensed properties. Thanks, Kinnikuman! Also, this was one of the very first third-party developed games to be released in the US.
Onyanko Town -- Mother cat wanders around town, looking for lost kitten. This is what happens when a record company start making video games.
Pachicom -- It's a Pachinko game. You watch imaginary ball bearings bounce around in order win more imaginary ball bearings.
Also this episode: Sky Destroyer, City Connection, Mach Rider, Pac-Land, Route 16 Turbo and Hyper Sports.
This episode documents the beginning of an exciting time for the Famicom, when it was making the transition from its infancy to maturity. In the wake of Super Mario Bros, a number of games will appear featuring SMB-like features: rudimentary plots, lots of scrolling, and larger, more defined "worlds" to traverse through. Intriguingly, these sorts of games began appearing almost immediately after SMB. Such titles as Challenger, Obake no Q-Tarou AKA Chubby Cherub, Thexder, and Goonies would all hit the Famicom shortly.
We'll also see a slow increase in the number of games created specifically for the Famicom. Prior to this, there were only two non-Nintendo Famicom titles that were not based on an earlier arcade or computer game. This episode will see six more, including the first Famicom-only game from an established arcade giant, Taito's Sky Destroyer. For better or worse, the displacement of game designers' primary focus from the arcades to home consoles begins here.
Chrontendo Episode 5 may be downloaded here.