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About Hoskat

  • Birthday July 27

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  1. The guys welcome special guest Wes from Reel Talk: A Movie Podcast for the 4th annual unappreciated horror movie episode. Each of the guys brings some intriguing movies. Wes and Jason find they love 1970's vampire twins and Matt reveals why he really skipped Luke's wedding. Keep up with everyone: Matt Video Game BlogMovie Review Facebook GroupMovie Review YouTube ChannelLuke Luke wrote a novel, Into the Wallwood, you can buy it HERE Jason Follow his art page on Facebook - Jason Shepard ArtworXWes Reel Talk: A Movie Podcast
  2. I beat Starship Hector. It only took me 5 months https://hoz14nes.wordpress.com/2021/10/11/starship-hector/
  3. The second installment of a 3 part audio play that will be released this October. All 3 installments revolve around strange stories in a small town narrated by Terry, the towns gravedigger. This installment features the story of a serial killer. Disclaimer: Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Keep up with everyone: Matt Video Game BlogMovie Review Facebook GroupMovie Review YouTube ChannelLuke Luke wrote a novel, Into the Wallwood, you can buy it HERE Jason Follow his art page on Facebook - Jason Shepard ArtworX
  4. Genre: Shooter Publisher: Hudson Soft Total time played: 40 Hours Short review: A vertical and horizontal shooter that is easy to pick up and nearly impossible to master. Interesting links related to Starship Hector Full Playthrough (19min 16sec)SoundtrackThis Won’t Take Too Long This was my first time playing Starship Hector. When my random number generator told me this was the next game I needed to play I immediately went to find TMR playing through the game on YouTube. I also went to www.NESMania.com and saw that the game received a fun rating of 10/10 and a difficulty rating of 4.5 out of 10. TMR beat the game in under 3 hours. I guess you don’t become the first guy to beat every NES game on camera without being really good at video games. While I agree this is a very fun game and it is very polished with great music and responsive controls it is also one of the hardest games I’ve played for the blog up until now. I would give this a 9/10 or 10/10 for difficulty. What I thought was going to take a few hours ended up taking months. What Kind of Game is it? Starship Hector is a shooter that features 6 stages. The odd numbered stages are vertical shooters and the even number shooters are horizontal shooters that are broken up into two sections, an outdoor section and an indoor section. How Do You Play? Your ship is equipped with 2 shots, both have unlimited ammo and there are no upgrades or alternate weapons. The B button shoots your straight bullets that are used for hitting any enemy ships. The A button shoots a shot that attacks enemies and structures on the ground. In the vertical shooting stages this isn’t obvious, in the horizontal shooting stages B shoots straight and A lobs to the ground. The goal of the game is to survive each stage and beat the boss at the end. You start with 3 lives and there are no continues. You earn an extra life at 200,000 points, 500,000 points and 1,000,000 points. Shooting as much stuff as possible is a necessity for 2 reasons: you need the points and the more stuff you shoot the more points you getif you don’t start killing the bad guys the screen gets overrun quickly causing the action to slow down and the bullets become invisible as they flicker because of the limited NES hardware.The start of level 1, I saw this screen a lot Are There Powerups? There are not powerups in the traditional sense. You have the same guns throughout the entire game. Each stage features a structure that if you shoot it releases what look like mini hot dogs that replenish your health. I found these to be a double edged sword. Sure, it was nice to be able to replenish health but they were almost always placed in a spot that caused enemies to swarm and you have to decide do you want to shoot the bad guys or shoot the thing that spits out hotdogs. Many times I’d end up losing more health than I gained trying to eat the hotdogs. Speaking of health, you do have a health bar and it is fairly substantial looking on the screen. But it really doesn’t mean much. If you hit a wall it is instant death, if you come into directly contact with an enemy it is instant death. It will provide a small buffer if you get hit by 2-3 bullets but for the most part the game feels like a one hit kill kind of game. In the vertical levels there are a bunch of hidden spots on the ground that you can shoot with the A button. Some of these reveal what appears to be glowing wiring like you’d see on a computer motherboard, but, very small, maybe the size of a dime on the screen. Shooting this spot after it is revealed will destroy every ground enemy currently on screen. Many times it is necessary to reveal the spot and let the screen scroll to allow more enemies to appear before shooting it. This way you get the maximum benefit of the screen clearing item. Keep in mind, this has no effect on flying enemies. Stage 2. What you can’t see here is those 4 orange guys on screen were about to shoot 12 bullets at me. There are also hidden items that when shot a dozen or so times reveal a letter. These letters spell out H-E-C-T-O-R. I thought you’d get something for spelling out the word but you don’t. However, in level 5 one of the letters always seemed to give me a “Hector Bonus” which played some fun music and gave me a lot of points. Ouch, My Arm! I can honestly say this is the only game I’ve ever played where I physically am not strong enough to play it. There is no rapid fire and you have to shoot constantly if you stand a chance at surviving. Each run I’d have to change my grip multiple times and pause and stretch my right arm. After a single stage of mashing the buttons my forearm would start seizing up. I tried pulling out the NES Advantage controller and turning on the turbo which quickly killed all enemies. Unfortunately, I am not good with a joystick (that’s what she said) so I did worse than using the regular non-turbo controller. Eventually I learned the levels so well I knew when I could lay off of constantly firing my weapon and give myself a couple of second break in each stage without pausing. This is what I felt like after playing through Starship Hector. My shooting arm got a good workout. The Bosses I have to say, as hard as the stages were the bosses were all pretty easy. Sure, I died several times on most of the bosses but I never felt like they were unfair. If I got hit it was my fault. There are no checkpoints in the game so if you get to the boss and die it is back to the start of the level. Stage 3 Boss – Shoot his eyes closed to defeat him AI Manipulation I watched probably every video of people playing through this game on YouTube and learned a few things. In the first part of horizontal scrolling stages 4 and 6 if you move your ship to the top left corner of the screen above the icon showing how many lives you have left it makes the stages much easier. Most of the enemies go right by and never hit you and the few that can hit you are easily taken out. Once I discovered this those stages became much easier. Going Against My Instinct Another thing I learned in the horizontal stages is that you want to keep your ship close to the front of the screen. This seems counterintuitive as it gives you less time to react to enemies appearing from the right. But, many times the enemies appearing from the right are on the ground and you can take them out before they start firing bullets at you. I found this to be the saving grace on the last part of the final stage. Once I learned to move closer to the right edge of the screen than I was comfortable with I started doing better. Don’t get me wrong, even with these tricks the game is tough and you really do have to just memorize it. If you don’t know where the enemies are coming from they are hard to react to. Luckily, the levels are all much harder than the bosses. If you can get to a boss 2-3 times you should be able to easily learn the pattern and take them out quickly. It Sure Doesn’t Look That Hard If you watched me play Starship Hector you’d think it didn’t look hard. The game looks to move at a slow pace and the way I’ve memorized every level makes it easy for me to dodge bullets and move my ship to prepare for the next threat. I’ve played so many times I could probably beat the first few levels with my eyes closed. I think if I played 2-3 times each night instead of 2-3 times per week I’d have beaten it long ago. Final Level/Boss The final level is a side scrolling level that features 2 sections, an outside section and an indoor. Once I learned that you can literally hang out in the top left corner of the screen in the outside section that part became very easy. The inside section will put all your skills and stamina to the test. There are a lot of one hit kills and if you can avoid them you still have the dozens of enemies and dozens of dozens of bullets to dodge. It didn’t happen often, but, once I learned the level inside and out I could sometimes get to the final boss with full health. When this happened my heart rate went into overdrive and my right forearm was on fire from mashing the buttons to shoot the enemies in the level. The boss isn’t that hard but the anticipation of beating the game after months of trial and error really made the final minutes of the game an edge of my seat thrill ride. The final boss has 2 phases. Phase 1 you must take out the shield surrounding it. You can shoot the shield or drop bombs on top of it. I found dropping bombs was safer so that is what I did. Phase 2 you must shoot the boss in the eye. I didn’t realize this for probably 4-5 attempts and continued to drop bombs from above which I didn’t realize didn’t damage the boss at all. Once I found the secret rhythm of moving above the boss as far to the right side of the screen and wait for the boss to shoot 2 waves of bullets and then quickly moving the ship in front of the bosses eye to shoot it and repeating this the final boss became very easy. The final boss…it is giving off a bit of a Mother Brain from Metroid vibe. Final Thoughts While it did take me months to beat this game it wasn’t something I got to play every day. The game is fast paced and short so when I did have a chance to play I’d get 3-4 good attempts in. I’d usually stop once my arm got too sore and it was effecting my gameplay. By the day I beat the game every level felt almost like second nature. I should probably record myself playing through it before I lose the muscle memory. I never grew tired of the game as it is very well designed. I do think a more generous health bar, level check points and continues would have elevated my thoughts on this game. I have absolutely no complaints other than the difficulty. I feel like most people wouldn’t spend the time to give this one a chance, but, if you do you will find a very competent shooter. View the full article
  5. The first installment of a 3 part audio play that will be released this October. All 3 installments revolve around strange stories in a small town narrated by Terry, the towns gravedigger. This installment features a story of Nate, a new boy in town who meets a girl and her dog while walking in the woods. Keep up with everyone: Matt Video Game BlogMovie Review Facebook GroupMovie Review YouTube ChannelLuke Luke wrote a novel, Into the Wallwood, you can buy it HERE Jason Follow his art page on Facebook - Jason Shepard ArtworX
  6. The guys sit down to talk about going back to school. It turns out the first day back to school left an imprint and there are stories about avoiding bullies, making friends and asking out teachers. Keep up with everyone: Matt Video Game BlogMovie Review Facebook GroupMovie Review YouTube ChannelLuke Luke wrote a novel, Into the Wallwood, you can buy it HERE Jason Follow his art page on Facebook - Jason Shepard ArtworX
  7. The guys welcome special guest Gabe from Reel Talk: A Movie Podcast to discuss their favorite music of 1998. Some time is spent analyzing the lyrics or Meet Virginia, Gabe realizes he likes depressing songs and Matt talks about the best lyrics from the Can-I-Bus album. Keep up with everyone: Matt Video Game BlogMovie Review Facebook GroupMovie Review YouTube ChannelLuke Luke wrote a novel, Into the Wallwood, you can buy it HERE Jason Follow his art page on Facebook - Jason Shepard ArtworXGabe Reel Talk: A Movie Podcast
  8. The guys sit down to talk about the TV shows that shaped their life in 1993.
  9. The guys sit down to talk about the pools, parks and vacations that shaped them. Matt and Luke introduce Jason to the childhood classic game M.A.S.H. Matt tells the story of Luke getting body slammed by a WCW wrestler and flashing his entire baseball team. Matt and Luke talk about their friend Taylor’s pool where they spent a lot of their summer days hanging out.
  10. It's hard to believe that Matt, Luke and Jason have now recorded 50 episodes of The Lost Art of Podcast. The guys talk about their favorite episodes and favorite moments from episodes past. Don Knotts and James Brown stop in for a visit and the guys confuse each other on video game release dates as they talk through their favorite video games of 1986. Wordpress Site: https://thelostartofpodcast.wordpress.com/ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheLostArtOfPodcast Matt's Video Game Blog: https://hoz14nes.wordpress.com/
  11. Genre: Action Publisher: Data East Total time played: 2 hours Short review: An early beat em up that plays similar to Double Dragon but doesn’t have quite as much charm. Interesting links related to Bad Dudes Speed Run (15min 07sec)SoundtrackVideo Review (TheHeineHouse)Memories I have a vague memory of playing this as a kid. I’m pretty sure that there was an extra lives code that we used to beat the game. The only things I remembered were that the Level 1 boss is Karnov from the NES game Karnov and that at some point in the early 90’s I rented Two Crude Dudes on Sega Genesis which felt like a sequel to Bad Dudes. What’s the Story? In the late 1980’s everything was bad. First there was Michael Jackson’s hit song Bad and then there was Bad Dudes on the NES and then there was Lucas from The Wizard, he had the Power Glove…which was also Bad. In this game two bad dudes are hired to rescue the president. That’s right, the secret service couldn’t handle it so they hired two guys in black tank tops to do the job. I’ve always wondered why the president was kidnapped by ninjas. We never find out. Controls This is one of those unique NES games where B jumps and A attacks. No matter how many games I play like this it never feels natural. Jump: B High Jump: B + Up Jump Down to a Lower Platform: B + Down Jump Kick: B + A Spinning Jump Kick: B + A + Right or Left Punch: A Foot Sweep: A + Down Fire Punch: Hold A until character begins flashing and then release A Pick Up Item: Down + A while standing next to item Power Ups What would an NES game be without enemies who drop powerups? Luckily for us only the red enemies drop power ups so we know if we see a red ninja we definitely want to take him out and see what goodies he leaves. Clock: if a ninja drops a clock you can pick it up to add some time to the stage. At the end of the stage you get points for how much time is left on the clock. But, points don’t matter and I never once ran out of time so this power up was useless. I still always pick it up though. Soda: If you’ve ever played a beat em up game before you probably already know that a soda replenishes health. The powerups stay on screen until you pick them up or walk out of frame. This was handy if I found a soda can while I had full health. I could fight some guys until I needed it and then pick it up. Nunchaku: the weapon of choice for Michaelangelo Turtle (I assume that is his last name). This weapon seems to be much more powerful than the regular punch and has a longer range. It does have one downside though. The gray ninjas throw what I assume are ninja stars at you, you can punch or knife them out of the air but your dude isn’t bad enough to swat them away with the nunchaku so you almost always take a hit. Knife: Pretty much the exact same benefits as the nunchaku but can hit the gray ninja’s ninja stars out of the air so this is a much more useful weapon. Stage 1 – The Streets To no ones surprise the president wasn’t on the streets In this stage your bad dude takes it to the streets where he must fight a bunch of street ninjas before finally reaching the stage 1 boss, Karnov. Being the first stage a spent the first few times I played Bad Dudes to try out all the moves mentioned in the section above and mastered them as best I could. Then, on subsequent playthroughs I discovered that if you just do the spinning jump kick across the stage you can skip most of the enemies and reach the boss in well under a minute. In a game like Double Dragon you can’t move forward until all enemies are defeated. On top of that you earn experience points that help you learn new moves. In Bad Dudes none of that happens, you can rush through the stages and not kill all the ninjas because there is no advantage for doing so. This is the type of game where you would expect to earn an extra life when you hit a certain number of points. But, you’d be wrong. The only way to earn an extra life is to complete a stage. To beat Karnov I found hitting him with the fire punch and then immediately jumping up or down to the higher/lower level and waiting on him to jump next to me and then hitting him with the fire punch again worked wonders. Most times I could beat him without taking a hit. Karnov, the stage one boss in a perfectly timed screenshot where it looks like his chest is censored Stage 2 – Top of the Truck How are there so many guys on this moving truck? The bad dudes now find themselves on top of a really long semi moving down the highway. This is an autoscroller level meaning you can’t move forward until the screen scrolls by itself. The screen scrolls very very slowly so be prepared to punch and kick a lot of ninjas. You can’t skip fights in this stage like you could in stage 1. Be careful, you can fall between the trailers and land on the road below. This doesn’t kill you but does take a big chunk of health and because the truck is moving it is hard to jump back up top. Eventually the truck stops and you must defeat the stage 2 boss. After I beat the game I found out the best strategy is to stand on the hood of the truck and hit the guy with the fire punch as he tries to jump up and hit you. But, I took the less glamorous approach of just mashing buttons. I didn’t know his name but called him long claws short boy Stage 3 – The Sewer What was it with ninjas hanging out in sewers in the 1980s? No ninja turtles here, just regular old ninjas. This stage I handled much like stage 1. Just jump kick as fast as you can to the right until you reach the boss. There are some spots where you have to jump over holes which makes this slightly harder than stage 1. If you fall in the hole you don’t lose a life you just lose some health from the stinky sewer water touching your tank top. The boss in stage 3 is a regular looking ninja. But, as you approach that regular ninja turns into 5 ninjas. Lucky for us the NES isn’t super powerful so even though there are 5 ninjas on screen only 2 of them can attack you at once. Once you defeat 4 of the ninjas you get to fight the main ninja. After hitting him a couple of times he turns back into 5 ninjas. Rinse and repeat a few times to take him out. It is impossible to get a shot of all 5 ninjas on screen due to the NES screen flicker. I won’t explain how it works here but is a neat trick to get more items on screen at once than the NES hardware can handle Stage 4 – The Jungle The jungle plays just like the streets and the sewer with a different background. In the jungle you fight some more ninjas. This is the first stage to feature vertical scrolling.It is pretty clunky but makes the stage feel bigger than it is. After you reach a certain spot in the stage and clear out all the ninjas the screen freezes and then begin to very clunkily pan down. Once the screen stops moving you can drop to a lower level and continue forward. This doesn’t add much to the game but I guess the developers wanted to try it out anyway. The stage 4 boss is impossible if you don’t know what you are doing and super easy if you do. My first couple of attempts ended on this stage. The boss is really strong so you want to not let him hit you (seems so obvious). When the boss is close, hit him with a fire punch, he will jump back and wave his arms and then walk towards you again. Hit him with another fire punch where he will jump back and do a back flip kick. Be sure you aren’t too close when he does his punch or back flip kick and you’ll be fine. This fight is all about timing and going slow and steady. A robot! Stage 5 – The Train Just like the top of the truck level, but, now we autoscroll left This is the stage that gave me the most trouble. It is another auto scrolling stage but this time it scrolls much faster. It isn’t super fast but much faster than the snails pace of stage 2. The gaps between the train cars are larger making it easier to fall below and take out a lot of your health. There are also a lot of ninjas here. The regular blue guys aren’t bad but the gray guys that throw projectiles, the fire ninjas (yes, fire ninjas), short guys, jumping sword guys, girl ninjas and even a green Karnov (stage 1 boss) make this stage much harder than anything that came before. On top of the storm of ninjas the final boss is tough. He swings a rope with a spear on the end of it above his head. (This could be (but I doubt it) where the idea for Scorpion’s weapon in Mortal Kombat came from.) I never found a good strategy on this guy. Much like the stage 2 boss I just mashed buttons and tried to dodge his attacks. The key for me was to not die in earlier stages. Since you earn an extra life at the end of each stage it would be possible to have 5 or 6 lives on this stage giving me a little buffer. While each stage ends with a digitized voice saying “I’m Bad” I would have preferred this boss saying “Get Over Here” Stage 6 – The Cave These bad dudes have literally looked everywhere for the president. The cave plays just like the streets or the jungle or the sewer. There is one added stage obstacle, the falling stalactite. Much like the earlier side scroller stages I’d just run and jump as fast as I could through the barrage of enemies, over spike pits, holes and dogs (yes, we are fighting dogs now, or maybe foxes?) There really isn’t much to note about this stage that is different than what we’ve seen before. The final boss is fast and has a long stick that does a lot of damage. The one saving grace is there is a red ninja who drops a can of soda that sticks around once the boss shows up. I used this to my advantage and picked it up at the last moment when my health was low. Even so, this guy was hard to beat without losing a life. Prepare to lose a life on this guy Stage 7 – The Warehouse lots of ninjas on screen at once here After searching high and low we ended up in a warehouse full on ninjas where every enemy you have encountered in the game has come to heal after you beat them earlier. The stage itself is just as straight forward and easy to skip as most of the others but once you get to the end you are faced with the famous old school video game boss rush mode where you must fight every end stage boss in a row. It seemed like they were all a little easier than when you first fought them but I can’t be sure since this time they don’t have a life bar. You also don’t fight the bosses in the same order but Karnov is still first making him the only boss you fight 3 times. They must have really liked this character as he ended up getting his own spin off game after Bad Dudes. It has been a while since I’ve played Karnov but I’m pretty sure there is no mention of the time he was involved in capturing the US President. After defeating all the bosses again you meet the final boss of the game and fight him on a helicopter. Things don’t get much more epic than this on the NES. The boss looks like the lead singer of an 80’s hair band and honestly I can’t tell you much else about him. I had 1 life left so was pretty nervous once I got here and just mashed buttons and somehow took him out. I don’t remember what kind of moves he performed as I think I got lucky and caught him in a pattern where he couldn’t hit me. A fight to the death on the side of a helicopter. Final Thoughts Bad Dudes is a bit clunky to play but is pretty fun. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of it and there does seem to be some skill involved. It took me 7 tries to beat the game which is much shorter than the past few games I’ve played. The game is not easy but not frustratingly hard. I would say the difficulty balance is nearly perfect. This isn’t a great game but it is a good game and one I’d recommend playing. From beginning to end you can beat it in 20-30 minutes. I’ve now saved the president and seen one of the greatest end screens on the NES where the President thanks me for saving his life by going to get a burger with me. Classic. View the full article
  12. The guys sit down to discuss one of cultural icon and one of the most dominant athletes of all-time, Bo Jackson. Starting in Bessemer, AL through his childhood, high school, college and professional career Bo impressed everyone he met. Jason wasn’t as familiar with Bo Jackson as Matt and Luke so they try to convince him of Bo’s greatness.
  13. Genre: Action Publisher: LJN Total time played: 10 Hours Short review: Does a decent job of hitting all of the beats of the film of the same name but it fails to make a video game worth playing. Interesting links related to Back to the Future Speedrun (17min 11sec)SoundtrackVideo Review (Angry Video Game Nerd)Video Review (LJN Defender)Where Have I Been? It has been a while since I posted a review which means it has been 3 months since I have beaten an NES game. This is partly due to the fact that I lucked into a PS5 and have been playing through Spider-Man Miles Morales and partially because I started a YouTube channel where I am posting short spoiler free movie reviews. No fear, I’m still playing NES and hope to have a nice run of fun and easy games so it isn’t 3 months between reviews again. An All Time Classic To me, Back to the Future is a perfect movie. On top of being a perfect movie I also have a strong nostalgic attachment to it based on how young I was when I first saw it. As much as me and pretty much everyone else my age loves the movie I don’t really remember anyone ever talking about the NES game. I wonder why? It’s Kind of Like the Movie On paper this game sounds just like the movie. We get to see our hero Marty McFly riding a skateboard down the street, we see him in the 50’s diner, trying to keep his mother from falling in love with him, inventing rock n roll to make his parents fall in love and barreling down the street at 88mph to travel back to 1985. We even see the photo of him and his siblings that is slowly fading away. How could the game fail? Level 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 The first stage of the game you find Marty walking vertically from the bottom to the top of the screen. The goal is to get to the end of the street before time runs out. On the way there you have to dodge bullies like Biff from the movie. You also can find a skateboard just like Marty in the movie and it makes you move a lot faster. It’s so much like the movie!! At the bottom of the screen is a photo of your family. If you take too long to complete the level the family photo fades away. This also happens in the movie, if Marty doesn’t get back to modern day before his photo fades he won’t exist. To combat this you must pick up a lot of clocks in the street to delay the photo from fading. Oh, also, there are open manholes, a lot of bees, hula hooping girls, bowling pins, men carrying invisible panes of glass, oil slicks and other obstacles that aren’t in the movie. I guess they just needed to add a few things to flesh out the levels and make them more game like. Hope you like this screen as you’ll be seeing it a lot. But then the next level is the exact same thing again, and so is the next level and the level after that. In fact, the only differences in the levels are the color palette and how many obstacles there are. Honestly, the level design isn’t bad. The issue is there is only really one level in the entire game. It’s the repetition that makes the game so bad. Tips Points are your friend, you get extra lives pretty frequently (I think every 30,000 points).If you pick up a bowling ball you can hurl it at enemies and rack up points quickly. Bees and Bowling pins each reward you with 500 points so knock out as many as you can. You keep the bowling ball until you die.Pick up as many clocks as you can, if you don’t the photo of your family in the bottom of the screen will slowly fade away. If it disappears you lose a life. In the last stages (after the guitar mini-game) I don’t think you need to pick up clocks anymore because it seems the photo no longer fades.The “Time” in the bottom right corner counts down really fast, if it hits 0 you lose a life. In the later levels if you hit a single object in the level and fall over it is nearly impossible to complete the stage before time runs out.The skateboard is your friend. You travel much quicker on the skateboard meaning you can finish levels quickly and every second left adds to your score. You keep the skateboard until you die. The skateboard doesn’t appear unless you have the bowling ball.At the end of each stage if you jump in the air you will earn between 100-900 points depending on how high in the air you are when the stage ends.The bees attack Marty from every angle and circle around him constantly, if you stand close to the bottom of the screen the bees will disappear when they try to fly behind Marty. This is a must in later stages.Music The movie Back to the Future has an iconic score and soundtrack. The music is timeless just like the movie. The music in the game isn’t horrible, it has a pretty decent little melody to it. But, just like the repetitive level design the music in the game is also repetitive. The melody in the ONLY song in the game (other the the guitar mini-game which has a rendition of Johnny B Goode) is short, very very short. You will hear the less than 10 seconds loop something like 250 times as you play through the game. By the end you will have been driven crazy by the song. Have you ever heard how police will sometimes blast annoying music to draw people out of a house or building during hostage situations? I honestly can’t think of any song that would drive someone out quicker than the song in the game. Mini Games The game features a map that has a few iconic locations from the movie. As you progress through the one level over and over again you reach one of these locations and play a mini game from the movie. In fact, these games are by far the best part of the game even if they are all short and not that fun. The game map The Diner – Marty finds himself behind the counter at the diner throwing milkshakes at approaching bullies. In order to beat the game you must hit 50 bullies before a single bully makes it to the diner counter. To me, this is the hardest mini game in the entire game. The issue is Marty can stand in 6 different positions behind the counter and must be perfectly aligned with the approaching bullies to hit them. As you hit more bullies they move faster making it imperative to have perfect placement and quick reaction time to beat the level. As you get close to 50 bullies they began throwing projectiles at Marty adding another layer of complexity. If you are lucky, a waitress will bring you a milkshake, if you pick up the milkshake you can hit the B button to clear all bullies from the screen. Honestly, once you get past this mini-game the rest of them aren’t that bad. While it only takes 50 points to win the maximum score is 99. On more than 1 occasion I scored all 99 possible points. The School – On the surface this mini game looks and plays a lot like the diner mini game. But, now you are on the left side of the screen and instead of hitting bullies with milkshakes you are blocking kisses with a school book. What makes this easier than the diner is the hearts always come at the same rate and are pretty easy to catch. Again you must catch 50 to beat the level. I was able to score the maximum score of 99 points more than half of the time. The Dance – In the movie’s climax Marty plays guitar on stage at the school dance where his parents fall in love and in the process he invents rock n roll music. In this mini game Marty must catch music notes to fill up the heart meter until his parents kiss. This is the easiest mini game in my opinion…once you know what to do. Marty can face left or right and move his guitar to a high position, mid position or low position. Notes fly at him from both directions and he must align his guitar to catch them. The sharp notes always land in the high position, the regular notes land in the mid position and the flat notes land in the low position. Once you know this the game is pretty easy. I bet Chuck Berry will want to hear about this. The Lightning Storm – The final level is just like the climax of the movie. Marty must drive the Deloreon time machine at 88MPH and hit the pole right as lightning strikes in order to generate the power needed to return to 1985. It is an all or nothing event and the game takes this a little too seriously. You get a single try on the final stage, if you don’t do it, no matter how many lives you have left it is game over! Talk about unfair. If you hit any lightning bolts in the road it slows you down quite a bit. From what I can tell this is 100% luck as the lightning strikes so quickly it is almost impossible to dodge. No Cigar I experienced the greatest frustration any gamer can experience. I got as close to beating this game as humanly possible without doing it. As stated above you must be traveling 88MPH in the final stage as you cross the “finish line” or it is an instant game over. On one of my attempts I crossed the line going 87MPH. This is equivalent to being at the final boss in a game and getting game over when one more hit would have killed him. Where is doc? It wasn’t uncommon for NES games based off of movies like Batman to have incredible cut scenes recreating scenes from the movie. Back to the Future didn’t do that. There were cut scenes but it was just text scenes like you may see in a silent film. If other games didn’t have great cut scenes I wouldn’t feel like this was an omission but just a limitation of the hardware. But, if Ninja Gaiden can have killer cut scenes that makes me think the programmers of Back to the Future were just lazy or ran out of time. But, I can live without the cut scenes if the game included the co-star of the movie Doc Brown. He is such an iconic character and is a huge part of the story. He deserved more than being the voice of the words in the silent movie style cut scenes. Final Thoughts I honestly didn’t hate this game. it is really simple and repetitive but is mildly entertaining. It hits a lot more of the movie beats than most games in the genre even if the co-star of the movie, Doc Brown, is never shown on screen. I’d say this game is worth playing but not worth the time investment to beat. It is a short game, 15-20 minutes, but, it will take you dozens of attempts to get through it unless you get really lucky. By the time I beat the game I could get to the final stage every time. From what I’ve read and watched online the Deloreon stage seems to just be pure luck. The lightning bolts seems to be random and appear so quickly they are hard to dodge. You have to use your instincts to anticipate where they are going to land and get lucky. I had some theories that the better you did in the mini-games the easier the final stage would be but I ended up scrapping that idea after my dozens of attempts did not produce results to back up my hypothesis. View the full article
  14. The guys sit down to discuss one of their all time favorite years in movies, 1987. Jason finally picks some movies that weren't panned by the critics and Luke picks a B movie that makes Jason proud. For the first time Luke doesn't bleep all of the cuss words (mostly Jason's) so for the first time, this is a PG-13 episode.
  15. The guys sit down to discuss one of their all time favorite years in movies, 1987. Jason finally picks some movies that weren't panned by the critics and Luke picks a B movie that makes Jason proud. For the first time Luke doesn't bleep all of the cuss words (mostly Jason's) so for the first time, this is a PG-13 episode.
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