28 February 2015

Pickups 29: Famicom Cartridges 29 (22.02.2015 - 27.02.2015)

Here's the time for yet another pickups post! :)
As you can see, I got 3 CIB games (well, one of those isn't CIB by 100%, but we will get to that in a moment), 9 pirate carts, 6 official carts (loose), and one manual.
So, let's start from pirate carts first...

Chip & Dales (aka. Chip to Dale no Daisakusen)
So, this is just the first Chip'n Dale Rescue Rangers game for NES/Famicom, except they made a typo in the title to the game, calling it "Chip & Dales". The label is taken from the boxart of the game.
Inside, there's a regular Japanese Famicom version of the game, completely unhacked right down to the copyright information.

City Power H.Q. (aka. Chase H.Q.)
 This is just Taito Chase H.Q., except they called it "City Power H.Q." on the label for some odd reason. The label is taken from the official cart.
Also, if you can notice, the cartridge case was clearly stolen from those that were released by Sunsoft, except they removed "Sunsoft" logo on the cartridge, and replaced it with the lighting bolt symbol.
The game inside is unhacked again, they used the Japanese version.
Of course, on the back, there's a Remarks label, which you can clearly notice on the photos. ;)

Haven't played much of this game, but I've seen that this game was quite good, and also I played a bit of Chase H.Q. II on Mega Drive, and it was kinda good there.

Getsu Fūma Den [LH13]
This is some sort of action role-playing game by Konami. :)
I picked it up, because it was another Whirlwind Manu pirate cart, which can be clearly seen by the ID, and the "Whirlwind Manu" text itself on the cartridge.
The cartridge case seems to be taken from those ones by Bandai, excpet they removed "Bandai" logo here and replaced it with "LEFT". I have no idea what they meant by "LEFT" on the cartridge case, but whatever...

Mighty Bomb Jack [TCF-MB]
This cartridge is kinda interesting, because at first glance it might look like an official Famicom cartridge. But if you look more carefully at it, you will notice that this looks like a nice fake copy of Mighty Bomb Jack. :P
In other words, a pirate cart.

Why is it more like a pirate cart, than official cart?
1) If you look at the front label, it doesn't look like exactly as high quality as the label on official cart.
Also the label should fullfill the place that was given for the label on official cartridges, but as you can see here, the label is a bit smaller, than the spot for it.
2) The back label uses both simplified chinese (Thanks to Ott Vlk from Facebook!) and Japanese Katakana, which is really weird.
On official Famicom cartridges, you would never see a chinese combined with Japanese, the text would be written in Japanese only. Plus there was never such label on any official Famicom cart.
Also, it's not very noticable on the photo, but the spot given for the back is slightly bigger, than it should be. It's yet another difference tha makes this cartridge look more like a pirate cart.
And a pretty early pirate copy of Mighty Bomb Jack as well.

Funnily enough, the version itself is completely unhacked, not even copyrights were removed in it, which is kinda funnny.
Yeah, it's one of the weirdest cartridges in my collection, as you can clearly notice, but it's pretty cool noneless. XD

TMNT2: The Arcade Game
 This is just TMNT2: The Arcade Game, as I mentioned above, but the label is not from original TMNT2 boxart, and seems to be a custom made by pirates, or stolen from somewhere...
The "Remarks" label is on the back, which is kinda cool. :)
Also, there was an end label, but it's all ripped out. Later, I will make a custom one for this cart.
Inside, there is almost the same version as I already had before, with the same front label: no title screen, but on that other cartridge that I covered on my blog, there was a version with 9 lives.
Here, you only get 3 lives. Other than that, everything else seems to be exactly the same, as in the original game.

TMNT3: The Manhattan Project [NT-818]
 So, this is TMNT3: The Manhattan Project, and unlike the version of my 2-in-1 cartridge that had both TMNT2 and TMNT3, this one has the copyrights completely unchanged, so the game plays exactly like the original deal, and enemies don't require twice or four times as much hits as in the version that had the copyrights changed.
I have no idea where this lable originally came from, but the cartridge itself is from KaSheng, that can be noticed by the ID on the cartridge, and they always put some of the most ridiculous arts for their cartridges.

Top Gun [LF53]
This is a Japanese version of Top Gun, which can be noticed by the front label, and the fact that there is a main BGM, when you playing the game, unlike in the US version, where there was no music or anything like that, during the gameplay. :(
Sadly, the stickers are not exactly in a great condition, especially the back label, but thankfully, the game itself actually works quite well, and I see that it's one of those games that quite a few people are "fighting" over on the actuions, and I was glad I was able to win it just for about 500 Russian roubles. ;)
The copyright screen is skipped, and as soon as you start up the game, you get to the title screen. The Konami logo is also removed here, but other than that, it's just the Japanese version of Top Gun.

11-in-1 Ball Series
This is a multicart that includes quite a few "Ball Games" on it.
Despite the fact what the label claims, it only includes 7 games out of 11. Still not bad.
It includes the followin' games: Soccer (Nintendo), Baseball (Nintendo), Lunar Ball (Pony Canyon/Compile), Tennis (Nintendo), Golf (Nintendo), 10 Yard Fight (Irem), Pac-Man (Namcot).

I don't know what Pac-Man is doing among other games, considering that most other games are sports games, but whatever... Not a bad multicart though.
And you get the Unchained Melody playing in the menu, which is nice. :)

1996 11-in-1 Ball Series
It's another "Ball Series" multicart I got recently, and it's almost the same as the other one, sans Pac-Man. Instead, there are 6 more games included here.
I love how they also put the sticker on the front that lists all the included games in Russian. Really awesome! :D (no sarcasm)

So, it includes Soccer (Nintendo), Volleyball (Nintendo), Baseball (Nintendo), Lunar Ball (Pony Canyon/Compile), Golf (Nintendo), Tennis (Nintendo), Smash Table Tennis (Konami / Nintendo [FDS]), Dynamite Bowl (Soft Vision International / Toshiba EMI), Pinball (Nintendo), 10 Yard Fight (Irem), Double Dribble (Konami)

It was surprising for me to find one FDS conversion on here, being Smash Table Tennis. It was originally released on FDS by Konami, but it was ported on a pirate carts by some companies. Well... it turns out that this is the third FDS conversion I happen to own so far. :D
The game's title in that one is removed, but other than that, I figured that it could be an FDS game, judging by the FDS icon looking guy on the title screen. ;)
After searching for that game on gamefaqs, I found out that it's indeed an FDS game, but converted for Famicom cartridge. Well, yeah...
As some games are the same as on the previous multicart, I didn't bother making captures of those (unless, there are some changes, like copyright information and such).

And now it's time for some official Famicom carts (loose carts first):
 I hope this game doesn't need any introduction. :P
And as it's weird to think about it, but this is the 4th copy of this game I've come across so far.
I picked it up, just because it came bundled with the manual, which I really wanted to get since when I got interested in scanning Japanese video game manuals.
If I ever get this game again, I hope that it will be a CIB copy. lol

Anyway... I've talked about this game on this blog, and even made a "Gameplay & Commentary" video in English about it.
The only thing I should mention that probably you don't know, is that not so long ago (at the beginning of this February, I think), I was finally able to beat it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejXqd_5uoos 

The last stage was kinda difficult at first to figure out what to do, but then after re-watching some videos and trying to beat it myself, I was finally able to beat this game.
Maybe, I should make a text review about this game on my blog some day later... we will see. ;)
(the manual scans will be made much later)

King Kong 2 Ikari no Megaton Punch
I am not exactly too familiar with this game. From what I remember it was based of the movie, under the same name.
I only saw the video about this game on YouTube, and it seemed pretty cool, so I decided to pick it up, as it wasn't too expensive as well. ;)

Well, I don't think that this game begs any introduction, as you all know what Excitebike is. You played it on NES, Famicom before.
The only thing I'd mention here, is that there's a level design mode, and in Japan, there was a Famicom Data Recorder, that would help you to save your created levels, and re-play them later. Sadly, NES users or Famicom piracy users, like me, didn't have a chance to try out that feature.

Sky Destroyer
 One of the most common games on Famicom pirate carts, including multicarts. Just fly around, destroy other planes. Not exactly a great game, but it's decent enough, at least to fill some free time.

Star Force
 This is just a regular Star Force for Famicom. The title screen and the music were a bit changed for the US release.
Really awesome vertical shooter, which I like playing through a little bit sometimes, of course, using Hudson's Turbo controller, when I play it on my AV Famicom console. ;)
I think that you all know what this game is as well. There is a high chance, that if you owned a NES or Famiclone, you would probably have played this game before. ;)

Super Mario USA
 This is just Super Mario Bros. 2, as it was originally called on NES in North America and Europe. Originally based of Famicom Disk System by Nintendo, called Doki! Doki! Panic.
The major difference, is that the characters were changed into the ones from Mario games, as well as some few other changes, like a storyline, and some music tracks.
It was done, because Nintendo thought that FDS Super Mario Bros. 2 would be too difficult for NES gamers, as well as it looked really similar to original Super Mario Bros., so they used Doki! Doki! Panic, changed some stuff in it that was described above, and called it Super Mario Bros. 2.
And that "hack" was also released on Famicom, but it was in 1992, 4 years after Super Mario Bros. 3 came out on Famicom, in fact...

And to finish up your post, let's look at the games that I got in the boxes.
Nagagutsu o Haita Neko: Sekai Isshuu 80 Nichi Daibouken
 The box wasn't in the greatest condition, and just like with Adventure Island 2, one of the sides of the box was missing. Thankfully, the contents were in much better condition overall. :D
 The manual itself is kinda interesting, and it has some pretty cool artwork, so I will scan it some time later, as well as Doraemon manual. ;)
The game itself is mediocre. The repetitive music, the fact that you have to start the whole level all over again, as well as dull graphics don't really make a good atmosphere in-game.
At first, it looks like a platformer, but then you would have to ride a boat on some later stages.
Kinda interesting, but at the same time, mediocre game. Dunno what else to say about it...

Super Star Force
 The box itself is in really good condition. Sadly, I didn't get the manual with this game, but I saw that on some Japanese auctions, you can get the manual from some game separately if you want to. And I will hope to be able to get it in the future. ;)
The cartridge itself is in excellent condition, as if it's new. There might be a few stratches on the plastic itself, but it's not a huge problem.
Basically, it's kinda like original Star Force, but you can also visit some shops, and travel in time. So, it's not just a scrolling shooter, but also an adventure game. :)

Ok... the last but not least...
Star Luster
 The box is in pretty good condition, and besides just the manual, we get an advertisement paper, some sort of registration card, and three end labels we can glue on the cartridge.
I decided not to use the end labels, and keep them in box just for the sake of collection value. ;)
 I consider this game to be one of the best early Famicom games.
Basically, it's kinda like a space simulator game, where you are travelling in space and destroy evil forces and defend the universe. Really fun, and relaxing game (to me at least).
When I am listening to the flying sound effects of the spaceship that we control, it makes me feel peaceful and relaxed, as if I am really flying in the space.
Also, really cool thing is that if you pause the game, the background is still moving. And the background reminds me a bit of screensavers from Windows 95, where there was one, called "Through the Space" or something like that. That screensaver was really awesome. :)
And besides all that, we get three modes to play: Training, Command, Adventure.
In Training, you basically destroy the enemies and get the high score.
In Command, more bases, enemies, planets, and asteroid fields are being added to differ from the previous mode.
The Adventure mode is another different mode. It's kinda like Command, but here you now have to collect planet keys, search for the dark planet, and ultimately defeat the Battura force.
It's one of the early Famicom games, but it's pretty cool that it has 3 different modes, like that, and it can be met on some pirate multicarts.
And, in my opinion, this game is really worth checking out, especially if you like space simulators, or space shooters or something similar to that! Definitely play it.

And also, I forgot to mention how small this box is. It seems to be much smaller than any other Famicom game boxes I have. Here's the comparison of the box and a regular Famicom cartridge, so you could see the difference.
Yeah, a very small box that's basically the same size as the cartridge. Of course, there would be no cartridge holder, unlike in most other Famicom boxed games. But, it's pretty interesting that Namco decided to make the box for this game that small...
I am looking forward to getting more Namco games CIB that I enjoy playing to this day. ;)

Thanks for reading this post! "Famicom Manual Scans" posts will be made later. ;)
(C) SomeRussianMarioDude Productions (2015)

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