[EXPRESSO] Congo’s Caper/Joe & Mac 2 SNES | Sun Wukong Upon A Star

Ah, yes, the three inescapable truths of life: death, taxes and SNES caveman platformers that somehow you didn’t play or knew existed, like todays’s Congo’s Caper, just recently rereleased on the NSW Online subscription/retro apps.

This one it’s a bit more recognizable than stuff like Prehistorik Man, as it’s basically a spin-off of the Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja series by Data East, but also the second game in the series, since it was actually sold as Joe & Mac 2 in Japan and PAL regions.

And i kinda get why, as Data East also recycled some characters from the mainline Joe & Mac series, like the devil or the first stage t-rex boss , and the controls are similar, as it retains the high jump, but not the weapons, as you use only a small club to attack.

The more distinctive feature is the player character turning back into a monkey if hit, and regaining your human form with a red crystal (Mario style), with the ability to enter a “super saiyan” invincibility state too, you’re a half-monkey man after all.

Controls are actually pretty smooth, arguably better than the original Joe & Mac, the new protagonist has some new abilities like hanging from vines, so it should be better…. and it arguably is, it’s definitely more polished, has a lot more levels, BUT it’s too easy for its own good, it’s fun, but it lacks challenge, and the level themselves are very short, while also not providing anything you haven’t seen (or heard, as some of the sound effects are pretty much “ripped off” of Super Mario World…. or its sound libraries) done better in terms of level design.

So it’s not a bad game, but a decent one that could have been potentially quite good.

Shame, really.

[EXPRESSO] Rival Turf SNES | Dashing Beat

So, Nintendo opened its maw again to spit out another meager assortment of old titles for the NES and SNES Online services, but this time it did add Rival Turf, as in the localized version of the first Rushing Beat, so i guess it’s time to complete my trifecta of reviews for the Rushing Beat trilogy, with the others being localized as Brawl Brothers and The Peacekeepers respectively.

Like The Peacekeepers the throwing and suplex moves are so overpowered that you’ll rely too much on those, especially since the enemies knows this as well, and can deal way too much damage even without using throws, made worse by the fact this is the only beat ‘em up i know that has “recovery damage”, as in you lose life even by getting up from getting knocked down.

At least it works for both you and the enemies, but still, weird.

Everything else is crappy bootleg Final Fight, from the bootleg enemies with smaller sprites, the iffy collision detection, the punches and moves lacking much “oomph”. The only difference being the “run” button which allows to also execute dash moves, despite the hilarity of the character not so much running (there’s no running animation per se) but “walking-gliding” at a faster pace.

It’s also such a blatant rip-off of Final Fight you really have to compare it to that game, and its own only reason of being was the 2 player co-op mode that the SNES release of Final Fight lacked, but nowadays means squat.

It’s aged crap from Jaleco, and while the sequels – mostly – improved gameplay…. there’s very little reason to bother with the original Rival Turf/Rushing Beat, unless you’re a beat em up buff on a mission to play them all for fun, education and/or profit. There’s worse.

[EXPRESSO] Jelly Boy SNES | Europlatforming Of Old

Figured i’d check in with the SNES and NES online measly offering and see if some obscure back catalogue title dropped while Nintendo forgot to say it or did but we didn’t care.

And Jelly Boy is indeed one of those titles you might have gone your entire life without knowing about as it blends perfectly into the humungous pile of platformers of the 90s, and only came out in Europe, to boot.

So, it’s one of those 16 bit platformers that wanted to jump on the bandwagon, so it has a Sonic style health system, and often very tight time limits for the levels…. which i guess were made to make it feel more like Sonic when it’s otherwise a more linear “europlatformer” of british descent starring a humanoid shaped jelly in baby pink that can morph in various shapes, including a duck… when you duck, so the game has a sense of humour.

The main issue is that you have to find jigsaw pieces hidden in the level to unlock the zone’s boss, bu beating bosses only nets you item needed to finish the game, but to actually enter the next zone/world you have to find out first that there’s a hub area to access each world’s map, and you need to find a key in each zone to access the next one.

The game doesn’t tell you about any of these, most likely on purpose to sell guides and avoid people from easily beating it while renting it in the day, even more because just the first world it’s so obtuse. Once you know what the hell you’re supposed to, the game is actually decent, looks good , has a lot of levels, i’d say it’s worth a play by platformers buffs…. with a walkthrough on hand.

The Spooktacular Eight #2: The Slayer (1982)

I did promise i would cover more Arrow Video releases.

I didn’t specify or pointed out that they also re-released a lot of slasher flicks, so we’re not talking about the works of Park Chan-wook, Miike or Buttgereit, not today.

Today we’re talking about one of the many cult slashers from the 80s (really, what slasher from that era ISN’T a cult sensation today?), The Slayer, the debut feature from genre director J.S. Cardone, and yet another one for the “video nasty” list, which in retrospect helped these movies gain more notoriety than they ever could wish for, so yeah, good one Thatcher and co.

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One Piece: Unlimited World Red (Deluxe Edition) PS4 [REVIEW] | Pirate Cruisin’

You know what, it’s summer, so a good excuse as any for more One Piece videogame reviews, even more as a coda to the One Piece TV Specials retrospective!

This time we’ll focus on the more recent entry in the Unlimited sub-series of One Piece videogames, Unlimited World R/Red, specifically on its Deluxe Edition re-release/port for PS4, Switch and Steam. It was originally released for 3DS, but it proved popular enough to see a release on PS3, PS Vita and Wii U. I’ve actually played (and reviewed) the Wii U version back in the day, but it’s been a while, more than enough for the experience to feel fresh again and for review purposes.

While the original version had cross-save (3DS to Wii U and PS3 to PS Vita respectively), i feel i should point out right away this Deluxe version… doesn’t for the PS platforms. I didn’t really expect it, but since even the Dragon Crown’s Pro re-release had it, it wouldn’t be absurd to have it here.

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Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition NSWITCH [REVIEW]

This is like the 4th time i review Hyrule Warriors overall (and the second i review the Definitive Edition), but it IS the first time in english, and it IS Hyrule Warriors, so….

Since i also wanted to review Age Of Calamity, might as well do the previous iteration of “Zelda Musou”, one that was conceived as most Dynasty Warriors crossovers with other IP are, as in this is just a spin-off where we have an original story made pretty much to have most character from said license/series/brand appear together and fight in a hack n slash manner through opposing armies, through the power of the usual convenient “dimensional portals”.

Still, even there Nintendo was involved in the project more than previous companies “crossing” their properties with Koei’s trademark style of hack n slash, even Team Ninja (which survived the Itagaki exodus better than Itagaki’s career) helped in the development alongside ol’ Omega Force.

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