Nathan (vovat) wrote,

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Rental Blocks

Pretty much everyone had a Nintendo before my family did, but once we DID get one, we made sure to try out plenty of games. I have fond memories of renting Super Mario Bros. 3 from the grocery store on a Friday night, having chicken nuggets for dinner, and getting up early on Saturday morning to play it. There were other cool games that we rented as well, including Dragon Warrior III (which I ended up buying) and Street Fighter II (and yes, I know that's a Super NES game). But when trying out new games, you're pretty much guaranteed to come across a few crappy ones, and it's better to rent them than to buy them. Here are a few of the clunkers I can remember renting:

Back to the Future: One of the first games we rented from the grocery store. The Angry Video Game Nerd has covered this one, and there's not much more I have to say about it, other than that it really IS that bad. But at least we had SOME idea what to do, which is more than I can say for the sequel.

Castle of Dragon: Yeah, we probably should have figured this one would suck from the poorly translated title. I think we rented this at the same time as BTTF. It was generally the rule that rental games would be missing the instruction booklets. One place we rented from actually printed up their own abridged instructions, and put them in the plastic cases they used. I forget whether CoD had the original instructions or the store's own, but I remember they had a somewhat complex story that involved a knight rescuing a princess from a dragon (original, huh? :P). We were never able to get past, like, the fifth enemy. I'm sure it's possible to do so, unless this is like the game I made up where you start out in a place that kills you, but we couldn't do it.

X-Men: No, not the arcade game, which was actually quite enjoyable. There was some NES X-Men game that my brother rented, and I don't think he could ever quite figure out what to do. (Are you noticing a trend here? {g}) I think there was a training stage in it, but that's about all I remember.

After Burner: I'll admit that we probably didn't give this one a fair shot, because it wasn't what we had intended to rent. My brother brought up the box for Metroid, and the clerk gave us this game instead, but we didn't realize it until we'd gotten back home. We gave it a try, but once again, we couldn't figure out what we were supposed to be doing. It was a flight simulation game, but not a particularly good one.

Ultima Exodus: I believe the Ultima series was popular on the PC at one point, but I never played any of them. I have a general interest in fantasy role-playing games, though, so I rented this NES title, and found it really primitive, well below the technological level of the first Dragon Warrior. Not that that's necessarily a problem, but the lousy graphics made it difficult to get anywhere. About all I found out was that, if you attacked a townsperson or tried to steal their belongings, the guards would show up and beat the crap out of you. I'm not sure I ever actually ended up fighting any actual monsters. Oh, and one of the character races was "Bobbit," probably derived from "Hobbit," but which got a new meaning with Lorena and John Wayne a few years down the road.

And to deviate from my main theme for the last item, one game that was kind of hard to figure out but enjoyable nonetheless was Battle for Olympus. It was based on Greek mythology, and somewhat similar in gameplay to Zelda II, but more polished. I've heard that it let you use an ocarina to summon a dolphin (and this was some time before The Ocarina of Time came out), but none of us ever made it that far. I do remember wandering around the Forest of Peloponnesus quite a bit.
Tags: nostalgia, video games

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