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Monday, May 18, 2015

Much Needed Re-Releases Part 2

Some games get more love than others and some games get little to no love at all. For every Mega Man 2 and Final Fantasy VII you have your games with pink haired thieves that got overlooked in favor of games on dual screen hardware.

Drill Dozer (GBA)

There were a lot of ports on the GBA, most of them being quite good but some of the 32-bit handheld's best material were the original offerings. Drill Dozer is one of those games. Little Jill may be cute as a button but driving a mini drill tank makes her nothing to scoff at. Jill's tricked out machine can crush blocks, go through walls, solve puzzles and unsurprisingly, undo screws, which really comes in handy for bringing down bosses. The game's drill mechanic rarely grows dull. Game Freak's Drill Dozer was quite the imaginative platformer that is sadly, one most have never played. The game was released in 2006 where everyone was singing the praises of the Nintendo DS. The fact that Jill was a fresh face probably worked against her as well. If Mario had come out with a new GBA game in 2006 we would have eaten it up. When Jill popped out of that Assist Trophy case in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and started letting the opposition have it, more than a few players probably raised an eyebrow, wondering who she was. With more and more GBA games hitting the Wii U eShop, we can only hope Jill will get another chance to shine and be exposed to a wider audience.

R-Type Leo (ARC)

Every family has a black sheep, so meet the member of the R-Type family, R-Type Leo. Can you guess why this game has that furry black status? If you answered "because it doesn't feel like an R-Type game," give yourself a gold star. Sure, there's no Force Pod, which kills the strategic elements the other R-Type games are known for. But in it's place are a pair of satellites that stay at your ship's side. As you move forward, they take aim to the back and the opposite is true when you move backwards. Even though Leo doesn't play like a traditional R-Type game, it's still a solid shooter and one of my favorite games in the series. The soundtrack is also quite good. What isn't good is the fact that R-Type Leo has never received a home release of any kind. This baby is begging for a digital release, or at least I am.

Blast Corps (N64)

Michael Bay might have made blowing stuff up seem uncool, but wanton destruction feels so good when you're the one doing the wrecking. This is something that Blast Corps excels at. Your job is to clear a path for a truck carrying a pair of nuclear missiles. If that truck collides with anything, it's bye-bye life for everything on planet Earth. You get to control a variety of vehicles including your every day car and super cool, giant sized mechs, some capable of flight, others capable of transforming into a wrecking ball of sorts. There are tons of missions that take you across the globe and while it starts off simple enough, Blast Corps approaches controller breaking levels of Nintendo Hard difficulty later on. Still, this is often remembered as a cult classic and its one of my favorite N64 titles. Blast Corps doesn't cost much and is easy to find but it could still benefit from a digital release.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)

Like the NES game TMNTII, TMNTIV isn't just a straight up port of the 1991 beat 'em up. A number of changes set this apart from its coin-operated arcade brother. For one the Technodrome is an exclusive stage. The game also utilizes the system's Mode 7 capabilities for the Neon Night Riders stage, which was simply a side scrolling level in the arcade version. Mode 7 is also used for a very memorable boss fight with Shedder where you have to hurl Foot Soldiers at him. Also among the new bosses are Slash and the Rat King. The SNES version my not have four player support but I've always gotten along just find with it being a two player affair and I feel the game works better with less voice samples as the Turtles chattered grated on my nerves.  2009's Turtles in Time Re-Shelled was based on the arcade version but its no longer available and it sucked anyhow. The SNES version of Turtles in Time is the best way to experience it and a while some music would more than likely be changed due to licensing issues, playing this version on the current consoles would still be welcomed.

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