Tag Archives: Game and Watch

Play Blackpool 2015

Sorry for the lack of content recently. I’ve been a little under the weather due to some financial problems I’ve had. Because of this I’ve had to go back to full time working on my day job, and I won’t be blogging as much as I used to compared to how I was at the beginning of the year.

Receiving my pay cheque as a full timer again at my day job, I was able to afford to head over to Blackpool with the British IBM’s Adrian Killins, Mike and Scott from Retro Gaming Roundup, and forum members, Random Dave, UK Neil and Ben Jones.

gallery-Norbreck_Castle-Print-1500 x 1004 Norbreck Castle External.jpg

Play Blackpool is situated in Norbreck Castle. A pretty bad looking hotel shaped as a castle on the coast. Thing is, it’s not the looks, but it’s what’s in the venue that counts. Continue reading

Game & Watch Collection for DS Review.

Many thanks to Vipp from RetroGaming RoundUp as he gave me his spare copy of the Club Nintendo exclusive Game & Watch Collection for DS. So I sent him a game on Steam, and I received this in the post a few days later!

The name “Game & Watch Collection” is a little misleading as you can download Game & Watch games onto the DSi and 3DS. But this game is a little special as it only has the Multi Screen Game & Watch games on it, which you can’t download from the DSi/3DS eShop. They should have called this the “Multi Screen Collection”, then again, I’m not Nintendo, and they are, so I better stop whining.

Let’s boot up this baby!
There are three games on the Game & Watch collection, these are the first three Game & Watch Multi Screen games that got launched in Japan in 1982. These are Oil Panic, Donkey Kong, and Green House.
Oil Panic is the first game in the collection, and it’s a simple game that plays a lot like Activision’s Kaboom on the Atari 2600. However, it’s not as simple as Kaboom. Not only do you have to catch droplets of flammable oil falling onto a stove at a petrol station (do they really have kitchens at petrol stations?), but you bucket can only hold three units of oil, and once you have filled your bucket, you have to empty it by throwing it out the window and into your college’s bucket (who you don’t control) outside below you on the bottom screen, who is aimlessly walking left and right and not being any real help to you. It’s an OK game, maybe a little bit too simple, but enjoyable non the less, I found out a trick where you don’t have to fill the bucket all the way before you go and empty it. In fact, sometimes it’s better to empty the bucket when you only have two units of oil inside. It’s a good game on the collection, but it’s not the best.

Next we have Donkey Kong. Well, I own Donkey Kong on the Game & Watch in physical form, so an emulation of it isn’t going to excite me too much. But for those who never played it before, here’s the gameplay. The game itself plays a bit like the arcade, with barrels heading for you, but what makes this different to the arcade game is that there are now moving suspended girders that pass by on the bottom screen where if Mario hits his head on it, you lose a life. Taking out Donkey Kong himself is a little different too as he’s standing on a platform suspended by four hooks that can be removed when Mario grabs a different hook from another crane to remove one of the hooks holding up DK’s platform. Remove all four hooks, and DK falls over and injures himself that cost 30 points.
You can read more about this on a previous blog post where I talk about the physical version of the game.

Finally we have Green House, the only game I haven’t played before I played this collection. I’ll have to say, out of all the games in this collection, this is my favourite. You simply play as a gardener working in a green house looking after flowers, as menacing worms and spiders appear that want to ruin your little garden. You have to protect the four flowers that appear in the four corners of the game, in this case as it’s two screens, two flowers on the lower left and right hand corners on the bottom screen, and two flowers on the upper left and right hand corners on the top screen. The worms appear on the top screen, starting from sprouting out of a plant pot, and head towards the flowers by inching across a vine. You need to climb up the ladder to the top screen, get under the worm and shoot insecticide at it to kill it before it eats the flower. The Spiders appear on the bottom screen from a web and crawl down a strand of web towards the flowers at the lower corners of the bottom screen. The Spiders are stronger against the insecticide, they move back a frame each time you shoot insecticide at them, so you have to push them back into their web, and they won’t come back out for a little while. Now the trick in this game to earn more point is to spray the insecticide just before they try to eat the flower, this will earn you 3 points instead of the typical 1 point. Do this to the spiders, not only do you earn 3 points, but you kill them out right, the insecticide works on them at close range, not long range.
Out of all the games in this collection, Green House is my favourite!
So, thanks to Vipp for giving me his spare copy of the Game & Watch Collection on the DS. It’s a good collection, though only one of the games got my seal of approval, but it’s still a great little compilation of Game & Watch Multi Screen games. The emulation of the games are pretty good, though you’re not going to get those smooth LCD sprites on the DS’s low resolution screen. The sound, well it’s a Game and Watch collection, the most sound you’re going to get are bleeps and bloops, you’re not really going to get a full blown symphony out of this, but the sound does what it has to do, and does it well it indicate movement, when you earn points and when you lose a life. There’s an added feature in the game to treat your DS as if it’s an alarm clock just like the alarm feature on the original Game & Watches, but what sucks is that it doesn’t work if you close the DS, meaning you’ll be kept awake as the glow from your DS’s screen fills your bedroom, not practical in the slightest, play the game, don’t use the alarm clock!

It’s worth getting if you earned enough stars and coins in your Club Nintendo account. Though it’s worth trying to get all those stars and coins for that Game & Watch Ball reproduction! 😀

I so want this! But it’s so expensive!

My Latest Purchase: Donkey Kong Hockey Micro Vs System.

So yeah, more Retro Nintendo time! Something you don’t see everyday, a Micro Vs System, Donkey Kong Hockey.

Instagram time! Let’s make some retro looking photos for retro games!
Released in 1984, Nintendo launched three Micro Vs Systems. Donkey Kong 3, Donkey Kong Hockey, and Boxing, which later on got re-branded as Punch-Out! The idea to the Micro Vs System was to provide simultaneous multiplayer gaming on a Game&Watch portable game. Before the GameBoy and it’s link cable, the only way to have a tiny machine to provide multiplayer was to include little game console-like controllers.
The System with it’s itty bitty controllers…
It’s bizarre that Player 1’s controller is on the right hand side of the system, rather than the traditional left hand side.
The System opens out like a clam shell where the controllers are kept inside.

The controllers are stored inside the system. You open it up like a clam shell, revealing the controllers inside and the controllers can be pulled out. The cables for the controllers are actually wrapped up inside and act as a reel, when you stop playing and close everything up, you reel the cables back in by turning a black disc on the back of each controller, and you would reel the cable up to a red ring that acts as a stop point.

OK, not an Instagram picture, but I needed a wide screen shot to take a picture of the screen.
So, what is Donkey Kong Hockey like, and how do you play it? Well, it’s pretty much a Pong clone, but it’s not a clone to verbatim. Donkey Kong Hockey changes a few things to the Pong formula, there’s a referee, moving discs on the floor called “Crazy Zones”, and Mario and DK wield a hockey stick, of course, this is Donkey Kong Hockey. The game begins as the referee would throw the puck towards either Mario (Player 1) or Donkey Kong (Player 2) and a game of pong begins, as the punk moves towards your character, you can just let it bounce from you by standing there, or you can hit it with your hockey stick to send the punk faster than how the referee threw it. The Crazy Zone discs move up and down, and if the puck slides over one of them, the puck moves even faster and changes it’s trajectory. But just like Pong, or many other object based team sports, you win a point by getting the puck in your opponent’s goal. The game changes a little when a player earns 5 points; the referee stays on the field and acts a bit like a crazy zone himself. However unlike a crazy zone, the referee kicks the puck back at you. The first player to earn 10 points wins the game.

DK Vs Mario in a game of Ice Hockey. With a silly referee getting in the way!
The game is OK, though I might say playing an actual Pong game on a real raster display with control paddles is better than this, but what would you’d expect from an LCD screen? The Crazy Zones and the referee do make the game that bit different compared to Atari’s Pong, and it’s a portable system too, back in 1984, if Pong fans knew about this game, they might very well love the fact that there’s a portable Pong-like game with a two player mode. Speaking of Multiplayer, the game really needs two players, there’s a single player mode, but it’s really damn hard, and not terribly entertaining either. This is the kind of game where you need a buddy to play with you just so that you have an equal to play with, the computer player on this is ruthless and knows where the puck is going, even at it’s highest speed and change in trajectory!
So, should you get one? Why not!? There’s only 3 of these in the Game&Watch series and it’s much an interesting system to look at. Personally I would love to get a copy of Donkey Kong 3 and Boxing to complete the series and know how they compare to this game gameplay-wise.

What’s my greatest gaming possession?

The Crown Jewel of my gaming collection…
The greatest piece of gaming material I possess is my Game & Watch Multi screen Donkey Kong! Not only do I have this complete, with it’s battery cover in place, but it’s a historic piece of video game history, because of it’s worlds first…
…Direction Pad!
Yes, Nintendo created the first direction pad, and it was used first on the Game & Watch Multi Screen Donkey Kong.
More Instagram! …Hey at least it’s not food right?
That and the Multi Screen series of Game & Watches would be the inspiration towards Nintendo’s DS portable console!
The evolution of the Game & Watch Multi Screen.
The way that the two screens would work together is a very thin ribbon cable between the hinges made of laminate paper and copper strips that connect the two screens together.
When you install a pair of LR44 button cell batteries into a Game & Watch, the LCD screen does this, where it shows all the LCD on the screen until you press the Game or Time.
The game itself is Donkey Kong, but it plays a little different to it’s arcade predecessor. There are no hammers, you can get hurt from suspended girders, and Donkey Kong himself is standing on a platform raised with hooks.
The bottom screen, shown above here, plays pretty much like the original Donkey Kong, where you’re jumping over rolling barrels, but something new in this game are suspended girders that move from right to left just above Mario’s head on the second platform. If Mario jumps under one of these girders, he hurts his head and loses a life.
Not a great picture, but I managed to snap a picture of one of the girders in the game.
Fighting DK is a bit different, just as you enter the top you have to press left on the directional pad to activate a swing that raises a crane with a swinging hook on it. In a kind of Pitfall style, you have to time the jump right to reach the hook, whilst avoiding barrels been thrown at you and than grab another hook that’s holding up DK’s platform. There are four of these hooks holding up DK’s platform, grabbing the fourth hook and making DK fall awards you with twenty point, and you keep playing the game again with DK’s platform built, and with slightly faster moving barrels.
So ok, it’s not the original Donkey Kong machine by any stretch of the imagination, and there parts of the game where you might be stuck standing in the spot jumping over a horde of barrels. But this is a piece of video game history, plus it’s better than some other Game & Watch games too. It’s a shame that Donkey Kong Multi Screen on eBay fetches for a lot of money, especially if you don’t own one. But if you do find one at a reasonable price, get it! It’s enjoyable, and a part of history, which you can tell to your children to generations to come!