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Entries Tagged ‘Tecmo’:

Famicom Dojo Podcast: Take Your Knight and Shovel It

Famicom Dojo Podcast 101: Take Your Knight and Shovel It

Shovel Knight is more than a retro-styled game made to make you wistful of a bygone era — it makes you wish that era had never ended, and gives a glimpse of what it may have been like if it hadn’t. From emulating an actual Famicom sound chip to sticking almost entirely within the capabilities of the NES hardware, Shovel Knight is nothing less than a work of art. It’s also pretty fun to play! And it learns lessons from the last three decades that its proper 8-bit brethren never had time to internalize. Vinnk and Sean share their views on Yacht Club Games’ maiden voyage, heap praises on the Metroid series and Sakura Wars in Future Retro, and try to talk themselves into taking some more games off their pile of shame.

iTunes Chicklet

Leave your own voicemail at 608-492-1923, or just share your thoughts in the show notes at FamicomDojo.TV:
http://famicomdojo.tv/podcast/101

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Maximum Letdown: “Namco Bandai X Tecmo Koei”

At the end of last August, this countdown went up, and the gaming scene went crazy. Sure it wasn’t exactly Marvel vs Capcom, and granted, these companies have worked together before, particularly on the Dynasty Warriors vs Gundam franchise (which just saw its third title released this past summer), but this could potentially be huge. What could this signify? Could Taki and Mitsurugi be joining Samurai Warriors’ Yukimura Sanada and Magoichi Saika on the battlefield, killing thousands of enemies? Could Soulcalibur 5 be seeing Ryu Huyabusa stepping onto the stage of history? Could Dynasty Warriors 8 see Lu Bu weild the dreaded Soul Edge against the three kingdoms? Could DOATEC be sponsoring the next King of Iron Fist Tournament, allowing Hayate and Kasumi to do battle with the Mishima Zaibatsu? Could the Fatal Frame 2 sisters be teaming up with Rick and the Terror Mask to discover the secret of Splatterhouse? Could the secret agent duo from Rolling Thunder be teaming up with Rygar and his mighty diskarmor? Could Paul Pheonix and Marshall Law be hitting the field in Tecmo Bowl with Nina and Anna as cheerleaders? Could we be getting a sequel to Winback featuring Gituaroo Man? Could that douche from Winback join with that guy from Time Crisis to thwart the mother of all terrorist attacks? Could the ladies of Tekken and SoulCalibur be joining the DOA girls on the beach? It would be a week before gamers would find out.

Then a week passed.

And boy, was it a letdown….
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Powet Alphabet: N is for Nintendo Entertainment System

nes

During the early 80s, the video game market was in danger of dying off before it could take off. Too many manufacturers were releasing too many consoles no one cared for, and developers were making too many games that were mediocre at best. This would lead to a diminished demand for them in the consumer market as well. If that wasn’t enough, the home computer market was slowly beginning to emerge, as PCs were becoming cheaper and more easily accessible to consumers. It would be a fool’s errand for a company to attempt to reenter the market, yet Japanese developer Nintendo would jump in the market head first.
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$20 Game of the Week: Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword (DS)

ninjagaidendragonswordAnyone who has read my articles on Contra 4 and the Mega Man ZX games knows how much I loathe it when DS game developers use stylus/touch screen controls for the sake of using them. However, I have equal praise for those who can make stylus functionality work well. After all, it is the main selling point of the DS, and if a developer can implement in a way which enhances gameplay, then more power to them. Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword is one of those games which utilizes a stylus-driven control scheme in a way that’s intuitive and innovative. Not only that, it makes this DS entry in the series every bit as engaging as its console counterparts.
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$20 Game of the Week: Ninja Gaiden Sigma (PS3)

ngsigmaYou gotta love system fanboyism. In exchange for the feeling you get of supporting your favorite console manufacturer, you screw yourself out of the chance to play some of the best games available on the other guy’s system(s). Back in the 16-bit days, I couldn’t throw a stone without hitting a Sega fanboy bragging about playing Sonic 2, Streets of Rage, and Madden football while secretly wishing to play Final Fantasy 2 and Super Castlevania 4. Likewise, I knew many a Nintendo fanboy who, while singing praises of their Mario Karts, Secret of Manas, and Contra IIIs during the day, secretly cried themselves to sleep each night over their version of Mortal Kombat having no blood in it. Even in this age of console exclusivity shrinking, I can’t think of one Sony fanboy who didn’t secretly wish to play Mass Effect or Xbox 360 owner who didn’t want to play Meta Gear Solid 4 (even if they wouldn’t admit it out loud). During the last console generation, if there was at least one game that Sony fanboys would have gladly given their first born child for a chance to play, it was the Xbox exclusive Ninja Gaiden, and for good reason. Team Ninja’s 2004 classic not only reintroduced the series to a new generation of gamers, but it crafted one of the finest, hyperactive, gaming experiences on any console, past or present. Thankfully, Tecmo decided to relent, and give Sony PS3 owners a bone. Thus, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, the definitive version of Ninja Gaiden hit PS3s in 2007.
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Lost Classics: Ninja Gaiden – The NES Trilogy (NES)

ninjagaiden.JPGTecmo’s Team Ninja is bringing the highly anticipated Ninja Gaiden 2 to Xbox 360 very soon. What better way to celebrate than to take a look back to the very beginning, when Ninja Gaiden was at the peak of its popularity on the 8-bit Nintendo? Even back then, Ninja Gaiden was known for its cutting-edge action gameplay, catchy music, and punishing difficulty. After three well-received games on the NES, a game boy spin off , various Sega-developed games featuring the title, and a Super Nintendo compilation pack of the three NES games, the most we would ever see of the series would be Ryu Hayabusa’s appearance among the cast of the Dead or Alive series. When the Xbox was nearing its release, one of the games announced for it was Tecmo’s Ninja Gaiden, an all new game unrelated to any previous game in the series. It would finally see a release in 2004, and became as much of a favorite among Xbox players as the originals had been among Nintendo players. The Xbox game took what was awesome about the NES games and bought it into 3-d. As a nod back to it’s past, it even included the three NES games as unlockables. Lets take a look now at this franchise’s 8-bit roots.

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$20 Game of the Week: Dead or Alive 4 (Xbox 360)

doa4.jpgIn the world of 3-d fighting, there are two kings: Namco (Tekken and Soul Calibur) and Sega’s AM2 (Virtua Fighter). Tecmo’s Team Ninja and its Dead Or Alive franchise is closely behind the two, and is quickly gaining steam. Although Dead Or Alive has been criticized for it’s more simplistic play mechanics and heavy focus on the female form, it has earned praise for it’s envelope-pushing graphics, gorgeous backdrops, awesome looking player models, and robust online system. While DOA may not be a huge innovator in the fighting world, Team Ninja’s fighting franchise becomes deeper and more enjoyable with each iteration, and the series’s first appearance on the Xbox 360 is no different.

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Lost Classics: Tecmo Bowl (NES, Game Boy, Wii Virtual Console)

tecmobowl.jpgBefore Madden, ESPN/All-Pro 2k, NFL Gameday, NFL Blitz, or any other football game, there was Tecmo Bowl. Tecmo’s 1989 NES port of its arcade game was way ahead of its time. It had rosters and playbooks for each of its twelve fictional teams. Although there were no real teams in the game, (as Tecmo couldn’t get the NFL’s permission to use actual team names) an NFL Player’s Association license allowed the game to feature real life players such as Bo Jackson and Joe Montana. The game was surprisingly deep even with the small amount of plays available. Even though the gameplay was a bit unbalanced at times, the game was still downright fun. A sequel, Tecmo Super Bowl was released a year later, this time featuring actual NFL team names. In fact, TSB was the first home football video game to use actual NFL teams. The series continued on Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis before a final entry on Playstation. It didn’t do so well in its final years, but it was still loved by its fans. In fact, many rom patches exist on the internet that update the rosters for Tecmo Super Bowl on the NES. Thankfully Tecmo will be bringing back the series later this year to unspecified gaming platforms. Until then, football fans owe it to themselves to play one of the classics of the genre. It may not have a franchise mode, superstar mode, color commentary, or fancy graphics, but it has a certain charm that can’t be found in today’s games.

By the way, the virtual console version of Tecmo Bowl has obviously been edited, due to the fact that EA has exclusive licensing rights to the NFL and the NFLPA.

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