Tag Archives: nes

Sharks And Video Games – We’re gonna need a bigger boat

I am of the opinion that Shark Week on The Discovery Channel should be made into a national week of celebration. Festivals, shark-shaped snacks on sticks,  a concert by Toby Keith, fireworks, and all the inspired jubilation – because Shark Week is just that great.

Sadly, there’s not much for a gamer looking to “sink his teeth” (haha, Shark analogies haters!) for some virtual shark action, at least to my collective knowledge. The only games I do so happen to remember all have the Steven Spielberg’s Jaws license tied to them.

The first game, came years after the first Jaws, and was roughly tied to Jaws: The Revenge – the fourth and final Jaws movie.  Yet, this Nintendo Entertainment System game was simply titled – Jaws.

Jaws was published back in 1987 by LJN, a wonderful video game maker who gave us such fabulous movie tie-ins such as Back To The Future, The Karate Kid, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Videogame Adventure, and Friday The 13th.

Ahem… excuse me while I laugh to myself at that last sentence. (LOL)

Jaws for the N.E.S., is a rather short and kinda bland experience of a game. How so? Well, you can beat it in almost 6 minuets; give a couple of hours or so depending on how much the few first minuets bored you to death, walked away, and then realized that you left your N.E.S. on and picked up from there.

I don’t want to bag on Jaws too hardly though. I mean for a mildly interesting time killer the game is perfect. There’s nothing Earth-shattering bad about that either, but I  do kinda wish you could play as the shark.

Isn’t that the only reason why someone would pick up a game featuring a great sea-predator such as a shark, but to experience it’s mighty ocean-mastering power?

Thank goodness someone listened to our collective prayers years later, with the 2006 release of Jaws Unleashed for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

Unlike Jaws’ 2D side-scrolling nature, Jaws Unleashed is drastically different, and can be easily summarized as Grand Theft Auto with sharks.

The premise is that you take control of the original great white from the first Jaws film, and prey on the unsuspecting beach goers of Amity Island. It’s all open-world mission based; from taking down marine obstacles that poses a threat to your survival, or facing off against boats, divers, and other water-dwelling life.

Sounds like fun – and if not – at least a bit humorously (or horrifically) enjoyable if this game play video is any indication.

I’m pretty sure Jaws Unleashed, though with its bad camera problems, glitchy game bugs, and freeze ups, is well-regarded as a cult hit. So as Bob Barker would say, if the price is right, Jaws Unleashed is worth a go at.

If anyone knows of  any other shark related games, hit the comments, and share your experience.

Oh and Shark Week 2011 is only a year away! (I thought I should mention that because for no other reason is that Shark Week is kick-ass! Okay, okay, I’ll stop now.)

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Super Mario Crossover Is A Retro Gamer’s Dream

As the name implies, Super Mario Crossover is a flash-based remix of the classic Super Mario Bros. game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, that features not only Mario, but a few of his iconic 8-bit friends.

It’s practically the videogame equivalent of that Cartoon AllStars to the Rescue special from the early 90’s, without the heavy-handed anti-drugs message. Which, no disrespect to the overall message (Say no to drugs kids!), wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for all my favorite cartoons to be doing in my childhood-inspired dreams.

None the less, Super Mario Crossover is a successful blending of those favorite 8-bit games, albeit it in a straightforward package. Basically if you’ve played Super Mario Bros., well then there is really nothing to explain gameplay or structure wise. It’s all the same here, but the main difference is the character selection department. Besides good old Mario to control, you can select other classic protagonists from other retro games of that era.

You can also choose from Simon Belmont from Castlevaina, Link from The Legend of Zelda, Samus from Metroid, Mega Man, and Bill from Contra. All of them include their standard set of abilities worked perfectly into the game.

For example, in his standard form, Simon Belmont is equipped with his whip and axe special (which is mapped with an alternative button.) Receiving a power up though, mushroom or flower in this case, changes this up by now giving Simon his throwing cross that can pass through multiple goobas and return just like it’s usual Castlevania form.

The same formula works with each character as Mega Man gains his Mega Buster, or Bill gains his rapid-fire gun. It’s pretty fun just to mess around and experiment with each character’s unique ability and see how they work in Mario’s block-hitting and tube-jumping world.

A really fantastic touch which was incorporated in to the game’s presentation, was the individual theme songs that are played depending on which character is selected. I don’t think I could have imagined playing word 1-2 and having the tune to Metroid fit together so well, but take my word for it, it does.

I should also mention, that there have been other flash games that have done the crossover feature. But for some reason when you do a Mario one, the name seems to gain more attention, and deservedly so. It’s a well polished little game with lots of cool details packed in.

Recently the creator, Jay Pavlina, sat down with GameXplain to discuss Super Mario Bros. Crossover and some of the content that was left out- apparently quite a but. So I highly recommend taking a gander at that after you’re done fooling with the game on Newgrounds.

Super Mario Crossover – explodingRabbit [Newgrounds]

Super Mario Bros. Crossover Xplained: An Interview with the Creator [GameXplain]

New AVGN

Thanks to Tommy over at 411mania for the link!

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