RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Aug 8th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Links Awakening, The Legend of Zelda, TLoZ, Game Boy Guru, Game Boy, game review, Nintendo


As many of you may be aware, I came very late to the Zelda party. In fact, one might say I crashed the party. I tried to get in many times over the years, but it seemed as though the DJ never played my tune. Or in my case, the songs being spun just didn't grab me until I finally understood the lyrics. Whatever the case, The Legend of Zelda finally clicked with me when playing the original game for the August 2016 RF Generation Play Through, and I further cemented my newfound appreciation for the series when I played this game, in January 2017. I revisit it again here for this video review, and still find myself enchanted.

What was your first Legend of Zelda experience, and better yet, when did the magic capture you? Which game was it, and what about it captivated you?



Posted on Apr 8th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Dramatic Readings, Castlevania, The Adventure, Konami, game review, Game Boy Guru, Game Boy


Konami's Castlevania: The Adventure is an old favorite.  It was a birthday gift from my parents at age 13, and the first 3rd party Game Boy game I owned.  I have many fond memories of late nights and trips to my grandparents' house, bringing the Game Boy with me, and camping out in the living room to play it while the family talked.  However, time hasn't been kind to the game, with many people decrying it as one of the worst entries in the series.  What are my thoughts on the game now, as we approach 30 years since its release?  Watch my review, and then let's discuss!  What do you think of Castlevania: The Adventure?  And what are your favorite games in the series?



Posted on Mar 10th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Game Boy Guru, Asteroids, Game Boy, game review, Dramatic Readings, arcade port


Here's a Game Boy conversion of a true arcade classic - Asteroids!  Atari hit it big with this game, and it became their biggest arcade title ever.  When it came time to bring it to the small screen, how was this vector graphics game going to fare?  And would it be fun?  Watch and see my take on the game!  What do you think?  Is Asteroids on the Game Boy fun?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.



Posted on Feb 10th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Game Boy Guru, Star Wars, Game Boy, game review



Over the years, MANY games based on the Star Wars franchise have been released.  Some to great acclaim, like the Rogue Squadron series on the N64 and GameCube, or the original Star Wars Battlefront games during the 6th generation.  Others haven't fared so well.  Many SW universe games have been lost to time, like the Jedi archives.  Where does Star Wars on the Game Boy rank among the list?  You'll have to watch to find out! 



Posted on Jan 13th 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Play Action Football, Dramatic Readings, Game Boy Guru, Game Boy, Nintendo, Football, sports game


Welcome to another episode of Dramatic Readings!  In this edition, I take a look at Nintendo's own attempt at a pigskin game, with Play Action Football!  Nintendo isn't known for sports games, outside of their more recent Mario sports line, and a few early NES attempts, like Ice Hockey.  Does the Big N's attempt at a football title score a touchdown, or merely fumble the ball?  Watch my review, and decide for yourself!



Posted on Dec 10th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Nail n Scale, Game Boy Guru, Game Boy, Data East, IMax, game review, puzzle platformer


This is an interesting curio - Nail 'n Scale from Japanese developer I'Max, and published by Data East.  Originally released in 1990 in Japan as Dragon Tail, this unique puzzle platformer didn't make its way to Western shores for nearly a year and a half.  By the time the game was released in 1992, most developers had begun to really take advantage of the Game Boy's hardware capabilities.  Nail 'n Scale, however, still looks and plays like an early Game Boy title.  Does this ruin the game's chances of standing up against some of its then peers?  Watch the review, and decide for yourself!



Posted on Nov 14th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Alleyway, Dramatic Readings, Game Boy Guru, Game Boy, Nintendo, launch title, game review


Here's Episode 006 of my Dramatic Readings! series. This episode is all about the Game Boy launch title, Alleyway!  Nintendo's simple paddle & ball game, based on one of their earliest video game attempts, brings the basic formula to the small screen.  Is this game a breakout success, or does it drop the ball into the void?  Watch and find out!



Posted on Oct 7th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Super Mario Land, Dramatic Readings, Game Boy Guru, Game Boy, Nintendo, Gunpei Yokoi, Hip Tanaka, launch title game review


Super Mario Land is a launch title for the Nintendo Game Boy, and the first portable entry into the flagship platforming game series.  Series creator Shigeru Miyamoto wasn't directly involved with the design, so while the game was relatively faithful to many conventions of the original game, this particular entry took a few liberties with the formula, and created a fun, unique, and rewarding experience, to help sell Nintendo's then-new handheld game console to the Mario faithful.  Did they succeed?  Watch, and discover for yourself!



Posted on Feb 8th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Links Awakening, The Legend of Zelda, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, review, classic


Box art shamelessly stolen from MobyGames.
It doesn't get much more iconic than seeing The Legend of Zelda
in that stylized font, with the Triforce shield and Master Sword.

I was never a "Zelda kid" at all.  I played a lot of NES games, because most of my friends had a NES console in their house, and as an introverted, geeky, chubby guy in the early 90's, gaming was the common escape I could share with my friends after school and on weekends.  But since we played games together, we usually opted for games that either included 2-player cooperative modes, 2-player competitive modes, or some form of 2-player mode where you would take turns, such as Double Dragon or Super Mario Bros. 3.  I occasionally dabbled in other genres when my friends fell asleep at 2 AM during a sleepover, but I usually just stuck with platformers, shooters, and action or puzzle games, because they were the kind of "pick up and play" games that I gravitated toward.  For me, the very idea of The Legend of Zelda seemed foreign to me, because my idea of an adventure game was King's Quest, which I played obsessively on my family's home computer.



Continue reading The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, 1993



Posted on Dec 8th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Gargoyles Quest, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, review, Capcom, Ghosts n Goblins, Ghouls n Ghosts, Red Arremer, Firebrand


Box art scan shamelessly stolen from GameFAQs.
Someone at Capcom USA should have been sacked for turning
Firebrand into a green gargoyle instead of his signature crimson.

From time to time, video game companies see fit to tinker with their intellectual properties.  This may be due to creative surges within the development teams wanting to try something new.  Sometimes a dev team knows the formula within a given series has become stale or rote, and they feel the need to mix things up.  There are examples where changing the formula has had resounding success, such as Konami's Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, as well as instances where this approach completely flopped, as was the case with Accolade's Bubsy 3D.  Whatever the reason, creative minds generally need to branch out to do different things to keep things fresh and flex their creative muscle.

Such is the case with Gargoyle's Quest from Capcom.  It's sort of an off-shoot of the Makai-Mura series, better known as Ghosts 'n Goblins, or Ghouls 'n Ghosts.  In Japan, the game is known as Reddo Arima: Makai-Mura Gaiden, which can be roughly translated as Red Arremer: Demon World Village Side-Story.  Rather than starring the main protagonist of the Ghosts/Ghouls series, Arthur, it actually stars the "red arremer" enemy from the original game known as Firebrand.  Based on the game's plot, it could be seen as a prequel to the original game, which you find out at the end.


Continue reading Gargoyles Quest, 1990



Posted on Sep 7th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Castlevania, The Adventure, review, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, Konami, Igarashi


Image shamelessly stolen from the Castlevania Wikia page.
When I was a kid, this was the baddest looking box art in all the land
when it came to Game Boy games. And by bad, I mean AWESOME.

Nostalgia can be a very powerful force.  It can make adults look back fondly on all sorts of things that, viewed objectively, probably aren't as great as we remember them.  For a child of the 80's, that can be almost anything.  From VCRs and teased hair, to classic cartoons and our favorite movies and video games, there are times when it's hard to take a step back and look at those old favorites with a more critical eye.  Sure, that one Poison album might be one of your favorites of all time, but musically, does it still hold up?  What about your favorite childhood cartoon...could you watch it today without cringing or thinking it's nothing but pure cheese?

Now think about your favorite video games as a child.  Sure, some of them probably stand the test of time.  But for every Super Mario Bros or Contra, there's always a handful of games that we may still hold in high regard and still have much affection for.  If we could set aside our own memories and youthful experiences, would we still hold those works in the same esteem?  For me, one of those games is Konami's Castlevania: The Adventure on the Game Boy.


Continue reading Castlevania The Adventure, 1989



Posted on Mar 8th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Star Wars, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, review


Image shamelessly linked from GameFaqs.
It's Star Wars, and it's a "Million Seller" - how bad can it be?

I am a fan of Star Wars.  I'm a big fan of the original trilogy of movies, I don't completely hate the prequel films, and even got some level of enjoyment (as a kid, anyway) out of the two "Ewok Adventure" films, and the short-lived Droids cartoon.  Though I didn't get to go see it right away, I did go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens and enjoyed it very much.  I plan to go see it again, if I have the opportunity before it's out of theaters, and will be purchasing the BluRay once it's available.  I own at least 3 Star Wars-themed t-shirts and a zipper hoodie, and as of this writing, I own 2-dozen video games set within the Star Wars universe.  I have the final VHS release of the original trilogy (before George Lucas began changing subsequent releases with his revisionist history), I own the "special" edition DVD set, and at some point, I hope to own the original trilogy on LaserDisc.  I'm holding out for a BluRay release, hoping that, at some point, Disney will decide it's worth putting out something equivalent to the original theatrical release (or at least the final VHS/LaserDisc version), though that could be a sticky Wicket (see what I did there?), if Lucas made that a stipulation of his $4 billion sale of Lucasfilm to the Disney corporation.  After all, those of us "in the know" won't settle for a cut of the original film where Han Solo didn't shoot Greedo first, right?  Needless to say, I'm a big fan of the Star Wars universe, characters, and mythos.


Continue reading Star Wars, 1990



Posted on Feb 8th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Review, Bugs Bunny, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, licensed game, Kemco


Image shamelessly linked from GameFAQS. I'm not seeing much that
screams "castle" here, save for the faux family crest with carrots on
it.  And never once does Yosemite Sam fire a gun in the game.
Not once. False advertising, or just paying homage to a lovable,
idiosyncratic cartoon character from a bygone era? You decide.

Licensed properties can be a tricky beast.  If you pay for licensing rights to a property, chances are, you're not going to have exclusive rights to that property, or your rights won't cross all borders.  Your licensing rights will expire at some point, and you'll have to weigh the pros and cons of paying to continue those rights, or let them lapse.  Sometimes, the window of opportunity for a licensed property is relatively small, and you are forced to come up with a product based upon that property in a rather short time frame.  Sometimes, the results can be less than stellar.  Such is the case with Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle.


Continue reading Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle, 1990



Posted on Dec 7th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Game Boy Guru, review, football, game boy


Image shamelessly linked from Adventure Amigos.
"I choose" the realistic offensive strategies, but the defensive strategies
are tough - does that mean they're not realistic? Or are they both
tough AND realistic? Can the game possibly live up to this box art?

I must begin this review with a bit of history, nostalgia, and a confession.  As I write this, I'm reeling from the news that the Kansas City Royals, long the proverbial butt of many a baseball joke, have won the World Series against the New York Mets.  Though I don't consider myself a sports fan, I got a little bit of whiplash with that announcement, and had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't 1985 again.  I was a fan of baseball for many years, as a kid, until the player strike brought the ugly realization that athletes can often be petty, whining oafs that are just money hungry.  Granted, they're not all like that, but the strike certainly gave me a new perspective on things.  So while my love for baseball lasted a number of years, my interest in professional football was relatively short-lived.  In 1985 and 1986, I fancied myself a pro football fan, if only to impress my classmates and the neighbor kids, who all thought I was a giant dork (spoiler alert: I was).  I told people I was into the Dolphins and the Bengals, and that Dan Marino was pretty much the best quarterback on the planet.  Of course, I never really watched any football games, because we had 1 TV in the house, my parents weren't into pro football, and none of my friends invited me over to watch with them.  Subsequently, my neighborhood kids (and kids at school) saw through my petty charade.  Yes, I was destined to be a nerd.


Continue reading Play Action Football, 1990



Posted on Nov 19th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (MetalFRO)
Posted under Tennis, Game Boy, Game Boy Guru, Review, launch title


Image shamelessly linked from GameFAQs.
2 out of 5 Game Boy launch titles were sports games.
I'm not sure what that says about Nintendo, but it does
make me wonder why every platform got so many.

So this is Tennis, the final of 5 launch titles for the Nintendo Game Boy.  The 2nd of 2 sports titles in the launch line-up, Nintendo of America must really have been banking on the popularity of sports games, because the launch line-up included 2 games, much like the Japanese launch included Yakuman, a mahjong game.  In the same way that every video game console ever released in Japan has likely seen a mahjong game (or thirty), every game system ever released in North America is generally peppered with sports titles throughout the console's life span.  The Game Boy was no exception, and it received both Baseball and Tennis.


Continue reading Tennis, 1989


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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