Deadly Towers indeed…

Recently, there was a conversation regarding the worst NES game that any of the Best.Team.Ever staff has played or owned. We listed off the worst game we ever played on the good old NES and my choice was Deadly Towers. I had remembered it as an infinitely frustrating and mundane display of mediocrity. It just so happens that there was a list that proclaimed it to be THE WORST NES GAME OF ALL TIME. However, that surely was not good enough for me. I had to make sure that those memories, perhaps blocked like a tragedy of childhood, were true. I can’t say how I was able to play it again, but I can give you a review. Scores are out of 10 suicidal gamers.

  • Gameplay: Let’s start here, because it if so easy. If you could imagine the movie Groundhog Day, but strip away the comedic acting of Bill Murray, the beauty of Andy MacDowell, and anything resembling creativity, you would still have something ten times as good as Deadly Towers. The levels, or rooms, or whatever you want to call them, are monotonous at best. I know that the NES does have just two buttons and a D-pad, but there were so many games that did so much with just these three items. In fact, the Atari, with its one button and joystick, probably did more. You go around shooting swords at the same collection of about 7 types of enemies for as long as I cared to play. Every once in a while you came across a “boss”, but given that a hit from your sword would freeze its victim, they stood no chance and you were back to fighting bouncing balls and groups of pixels that I could only guess were actually swarms of bees.

Score: 2 suicidal gamers

  • Playability: This game is absolutely impossible. I would not say that any one enemy is that hard to beat, but imagine this. There is a game where if you die once, you get sent back all the way to the very first stage. To make matters worse, every hit from even a living Slinky takes about one third of your life. Power ups? Never heard of them. I mean, there are those health meter increases, but they only increase your max health. Oh, and if you die, you only start with the original amount, regardless of how many of those health meter increases you find. This is that game. Did I mention that there are many ledges to perish off of, and each time you get hit you spin uncontrollably towards one? Yeah, that happens.

Score: 1 suicidal gamer

  • Graphics: Seriously? Every single room looks the same. Not that the layouts are identical, but if you are looking for any way to tell areas apart in order to reasonably navigate this game, then good luck. My advice? Just keep going up. There are about five graphic features that are used repeatedly, and not very well at that. The bosses are alright. They do offer some variety, but not much. The graphic below is easily the most interesting stage I have seen in this game.

Score: 1 suicidal gamer

  • Sound: I have to admit that the music is fairly catchy, and it actually changes as the game goes on. It is kind of a medieval type of music, and might make the first five minutes you play the game tolerable. It does not however, make up for anything else.

Score: 6 suicidal gamers

Overall Impression: I hate this game. I hated it when I was 9 years old and I hate it today. It not only brings back bad memories, it makes me wonder just how in the hell this game met with the Nintendo Seal of Approval.

One of the funnier ones…

Role Models…

after having seen role models without spanky, qbix and I could not help but be reminded of what spanky’s childhood may have been like, what with the fake sword battles, and talking to girls just enough to have them (spoiler alert) stab you in the back/front to take control of your kingdom!

And then only to have this idea fortified once again we saw UCI geeks fighting a glorious starwars battle in public outside the boba tea store… amazing!

you really have to love how serious they were taking this stuff…

THE DARKest KNIGHT ever!

CAN SOMEONE SAY AWESOME… I THOUGHT IT LIVED UP TO THE HYPE. ROTTEN TOMATOES 100%…. pretty close. Certainly the Best Batman Ever!

Anyway here are a few visual aids literally from the movie…

darkest knight ever

but that’s all I am going to say about the show (no spoiler’s here!) other than it was so good it didn’t matter what size theater I saw it in, but qbix has the right idea waiting for the IMAX to open up with some tickets…

I’ll be trying to see it on Imax as well… I wish poor heath was still alive so he could do another one! but if you have to go I guess it’s much better to go out with a bang!

Netcasts (podcasts) for your consideration

You may have noticed a few links on the sidebar of this site to Gamers With Jobs and Games for Windows Radio. Those two sites host what I would consider some of the best gaming-related netcasts I’ve listened to. If you are new to netcasts/podcasts I will be writing an overview/tutorial on what they are and how to make the most of them in a future post, but for now think of them as syndicated radio shows in MP3 format without all the rules imposed by the FCC to commercial or public radio broadcasters. And by the way, free of charge, and for the most part, commercial-free.

You can subscribe to netcasts through iTunes if you have an iPod, or through the Zune software if you own a Zune. Subscribing to a netcast means your client (iTunes or Zune software) will download the latest episode automatically the moment it becomes available. I should also note that you do not need an iPod, a Zune or any other MP3 player to listen to netcasts. If you want, you can listen to them on your computer at any time since they are regular MP3 files. In fact, you can subscribe to netcasts through Google Reader which is a nice way to decentralize the content, but as I said I’ll go in depth in a future post.

For now, here’s a list of netcasts worth listening to and a sample episode (cherry picked by me) of each. I hope you enjoy them.

Games for Windows Radio (May 22nd, 2008)

Gamers With Jobs Conference Call (January 16th, 2008)

This Week in Tech (May 26th, 2008)

Major Nelson Blogcast (January 3rd, 2008)