Episode 33 should be ready before too much longer. We're lucky to have not one, two or three great games this time around, but four! Granted, July 1988 is not quite as epoch-making as December 1987, but having four high quality games in such a sort period of time is a bit of a rarity for the Famicom. Strangely, all are conversions of arcade games.
First and foremost is one of the most fondly remembered titles from Capcom: Bionic Commando. Capcom has not been the most prolific publisher for the NES, nor does it have the most impressive track record. That honor goes to Konami. But with Mega Man, Capcom released their first truly great console game, and now, with Bionic Commando, their second.
Why can't I fire my gun straight up??!!
Capcom have been making changes to their arcade games when porting them to the NES; making them more "console like," -- perhaps adding to the length of the game, or throwing in some secrets or the ever-present "RPG elements." But Bionic Commando has been completely rebuilt from the ground up. It's not even clear whether it is a port or a sequel to its arcade namesake. But that doesn't really matter. What matters is this: you are a super-soldier with a robotic arm, whose job is to kill Hitler.
Taito's NES Bubble Bobble cartridge was almost identical to the arcade game. But when it came time to port BB's sequel, Rainbow Islands, Taito fiddled with the game's layout a bit. Still, it's a game where you kill using rainbows! How brutal is that?! While the Famicom can't reproduce the arcade game's cotton candy and ice cream color scheme, it's a near perfect port, fun-wise.
Rainbows + rows of razor sharp spikes = good old fashioned fun.
Sports games on the Famicom have been hit or miss so far. But, Konami, hot off Double Dribble, scores another win with Blades of Steel. Essentially just Double Dribble on ice, Blades adds one very nice feature: fighting. Yep, winning a fighting minigame will get a member of the opposing team kicked off the ice! Factor in tight controls, fast action, and - amazingly - excellent automated switching between active players. The result is one of the best 8 bit sports games.
Blood on the ice!
Another is Technos Japan's Super Dodge Ball. Sort of a cross between the dodge ball you played as a kid and Rollerball, your team must literally murder their way through an international dodge ball tournament. Despite the inappropriateness of beating your opponents to death with a rubber ball, the game is tons of violent fun. It just shows how the best sports video games are often the least based in reality.
This guy got hit so hard he went flying off the right side of the screen and reappeared on the left.
Just to sum up: Episode 33 will feature many unusual means of killing, such as dodge balls, robotic arms and rainbows. Also a game called Blades of Steel. Seriously, this episode is going to be so badass it's like Danny Trejo in video game podcast form.