26 June 2016

Pickups 42: Famicom Cartridges 42 (April 2016 Pickups)

Hello everyone!
Here there are my overall pickups as for April 2016.
There are quite a few interesting carts overall that I got in that month: a few bootlegs as well as official Famicom carts.
So, let's get to them.

NOTE: I will possibly add title screens to each game cartridge later.

Mappy [LA22]
A bigger cartridge case copy of Mappy. The copyrights are removed in game.
Pretty good condition of the cartridge overall, nothing is broken or anything like that. Really great to hold this cartridge in hands.
I have "Cassette/Remarks" copy of this game, with the same ID, but I think that I will leave both copies in collection, even though I am more interested in Cassette/Remarks copies. :)

As I said before, one of my favourite games on Famicom, that I played a lot on one of multicarts.

Galaga [LA25]
Same deal as with previous cartridge. I already had this cartridge before, and with "Cassette/Remarks" label on the back.
This particular bootleg cart has copyrights completely unchanged, so it still says "Namco" on the title screen.
The condition of this cartridge is even better than on previous cart, heh. :)

As with previous game, I played this one quite a lot on Famicom. Also, this game was one of the first ones that I played on that system, as it was on my very first multicart, 10-in-1 without repeats.

Binary Land [LA53]
A pirate singlecart of Binary Land for Famicom. Finally I was able to get this cartridge in my collection. Copyrights were removed in the game.
The cartridge case really reminds me of Konami cartridge... at least, the whole in the left side, as well as overall top part of the cart case looks somewhat similar to the official Konami Famicom cartridges.

The goal of the actual game is to guide two penguins to the top middle part of the screen, where it says "Exit". And you control both penguins at the same time, yet while one penguin moves to the left, the other one moves to the right and vice-versa. :)
Really good game that you should definitely check out, if you haven't.

Ninja Hattori-kun [LB19]
I had this cartridge before, but here, there is "Town & Country Surf Designs" advertisement on the back, possibly one of the games that Whirlwind Manu could have released on their cartridges.

Just like on my previous cartridge, this one has copyrights unchanged in-game.
I had this game in childhood on a multicart. Still haven't got around to try and beat it to the end. :D
(at any difficulty you choose, the ending will be the same, so I should give it a chance, when I can)

B-Wings [LB27]
I had this game before, but I got it in much more preferrable format. :)
Same deal as with my other copy: no copyrights in the actual game.

Overall the game itself is mediocre. The only interesting thing about it is that you can chosoe any weapon at the beginning of the game. Your best bet is choose "Hammer" weapon, because you have a shield, and enemies can't touch it. Other than that, it's not exactly too exciting game, but it's not as awful as Exed Exes for example.

Mickey Mouse [LD28]
Got a better condition copy of Mickey Mouse. My previous copy was sadly sun-faded, and the front cartridge case was of different color, than the back side. No Steepler label on the back, but that's not a huge problem to me. At least, the label features "LD28" ID, which is more important to me here. :)

Alien 3
Another copy of Alien 3, but I like the label of this one a bit more than on the copy that I already had.
The label is a bit damaged, but it's not too major.
The game based of the movie.

Batman Returns [NT856]
This looks like a hacked version of Batman Returns that removes copyrights, and changed "Returns" to "III".
I've heard some rumours that this particular copy, where it says "Batman III", instead of "Batman Returns" is unbeatable at one place. I am not too sure about that, as I haven't got to that point.
I will test that later.

An unusual bootleg of Chip'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2
Umm... I'll save this one for later, folks! There'll be a separate post here about this cartridge, so stay tuned for it! :)
Here, there'll be a link to that post: (WIP!)
So, for now, let's move on to the next bootleg cart that we have today:

Flintstones - The Rescue of Dino and Hoppy
The cartridge with label, taken from original NES cart. No copyrights on the title screen.
I've seen that in Argentina, usually there is Grand Dad 7 hack under this cartridge. It's really odd, why pirates choose to include a hacked version under the original label, or include unhacked version, under the label with hack (for example: Don Doko Don 2 under Super Bros. 8 label).
But here, it's the proper Flintstones game, without Mario added to it.

Hunt for Red October
The game, based of the movie. I had a PCB with this game for quite some time, but one person sent me the suggestion about getting this cartridge case. I agreed to do so, and so, I inserted the PCB, and now, it's the proper cartridge with PCB and everything.
The version is without copyrights, and with a cheat, that lets you get about 40-50 lifes: you hold Select and press Start, and then die. After that, the number of extra lives increases. I think that it's incredibly useful, given the fact, that this game is not really that easy, at least in my opinion.

Nigel Mansell's World Championship [Y-C1]
I've had this game on PCB for quite some time since childhood pretty much, but sold it. Later, I got this cartridge. Well, it's not one of my most favourite NES games, but it's actually one of the most common ones on bootleg carts, either singlecart or multicart.
A racing game in a driver's perspective. Hmm... as for racing games, I prefer Road Blasters or Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge instead. But this is not too bad game, it's just not 100% my taste.

Punisher [P-R7]
One of the better LJN/Beam Software games out there. This is a third-person perspective, where you shoot thugs and battle supervillains. You can get powerups by shooting them on screen.
It's pretty common game among bootlegs. I've seen it on quite a lot of singlecarts, like this one, and on some multicarts, like 2-in-1 multicarts. ;)

Saiyuuki World II
The Japanese version of the game, called Whomp'Em. It was also known as "Son Son 2" on pirate multicarts, or "Super Mario 13" as a hacked version, with Mario in it. To my knowledge, also US version was released on bootlegs, but I see it more rarely than Japanese one.
Pretty good game, that's based of "Journey to the West" novel. It has some gameplay elements from games, like Rockman (level select, after you beat the first one).

Tale Spin
Just a replacement of my other Talespin cartridge that I had before. There was nothing wrong with that cart, but a person wanted to trade it for this cart.
Pretty decent condition overall, and just like with previous cartridge, the copyrights remained unchanged. But, to my knowledge, this doesn't change the gameplay too much.

TMNT3: Manhattan Project
This is a rather odd looking label, actually. XD
What pirates did, is that, they tried to re-draw Japanese artwork of TMNT3. Well, they tried to do so, yet we get weird colored shells, random weapons, and some weird masks and glasses on turtles themselves. Really, this label cracks me up. It's so bad, it's hilarious. :D
Anyway, inside of my cartridge, there is actually US version of TMNT3, with copyrights. So Technodrome, and first Shredder are beatable, and enemies require 2 hits.

But, I've seen that they would also be the version without copyrights, and therefore, a harder version. Sometimes, there would also be Zonaxi hack, although, I've seen that only once. Also, there can be Japanese version, that's titled TMNT2, and no matter, with copyrights or not, it will be without Konami piracy protection.

Later, I got Japanese version of this game on bootleg, but under different label, but I got it in June, and you'll get to see it in appropriate post. ;)

TMNT: Tournament Fighters [T-N4]
One of the most common cartridges to be found among bootlegs, but the reason I got this one, is because of:
1) The unusual cartridge case form. In fact, it's the same size as Dodge Danpei 1 and 2 by Sunsoft that I have. It's a bit bigger than any regular cartridge
2) It has "Remarks" sign on the back, printed right into the plastic

Tom & Jerry: The Ultimate Game of Cat and Mouse!
I traded my other copy of Tom & Jerry, so I got this one.
The version with changed up copyrights. But still, it's the same good-old Tom & Jerry NES game from Hi-Tech Expressions that we all know, based of one of the most popular US cartoons from decades ago. :)

Now, we get to multicarts that I got in April.
Super 2-in-1
This multicart features Heavy Barrel and Dead Fox (aka. Code Name Viper).
The games are changed by pressing Reset button on the console.
Oddly enough, they used Power Blazer artwork for Dead Fox, yet, there is actually Dead Fox inside, and not Power Blazer.
The PCB is quite heavy, it's entirely chip-based. :)

3-in-1 Over valude selling card [RUS.001]
This is one of the cartridges that I wanted to get, after I saw that these games from Alexander Chudov were actually released in multicart form, and not just singlecarts. :)
This cartridge features Морской Бой / Battleship, Угадайка / Guessing Game, Поле Чудес / Pole Chudes.
The only thing I was disappointed in is that there is no actual menu, as I'd actually be glad to see how pirates would have named these games in the menu. But nope, just like the previous cartridge, the games are changed by pressing Reset button.
Glob-top PCB, but at least it works perfectly fine on Famicom.
I think that this is a really great find. Not only these are actually Russian game, developed by a Russian guy, Alexander Chudov, but a few of his games were actually put on one cartridge.

4-in-1 Gold Cassette Series Super Game [4A11]
Another multicart that has common light gun games, but unlike my other cartridge, instead of Macross, this one features Excitebike. I bet that there are a lot more variations of this cart, where instead of Macross or Excitebike, you'd get another game on the cartridge.
Overall, not bad. :)

And that's all for bootleg awesomeness for today. But that's not all! Because I got myself a few official cartridges as well. And we'll briefly take a look at them.

Astro Robo Sasa
Some really odd shooter, where you collect "E" items. Once you shoot, you fly to the opposite direction, which makes the game somewhat challenging. You can also play this game with your friend.
The best I could get in this game is level 11 (the underwater level). After that, I wasn't able to progress further.
Well, it's pretty odd game, but worth checking out imo.

Chack'n Pop
Yes, I also got a few mediocre or somewhat awful games, only for collection purposes. And I doubt that I'll attempt to play through and see how far I can get in them.
And this is one of those games, Chack'n Pop. You use bombs, to release heart from cages, that open up an entrance to the next stage.
You may destroy bolbs that are on the ceilings, but it's unlikely that you'll be able to destroy all of them, as enemies will start popping out of them, that can be harder to beat, and it's more likely that you'll lose a life quicker than than get all of those destroyed.

Exed Exes
Ohh... This is what I consider to be one of the worst games ever released on Famicom. This is basically just a really awful port of arcade's game under the same name.
Really slow gameplay, terrible and earrapy music, and overall zero fun to play this game.
This game is only good for collection purposes, but not for playing. So, if you want to play it, better try arcade version, and stay away from this rubbish.

Well, it's a better game than previous one.
It's a puzzle game, where you control a mole, and you need to move a blue flashing rock into a blue flashing platform. Not a game, and if you are into puzzles, you might as well try out to play through it.

Front Line
I don't even know how to describe this... It's better than Exed Exes or Super Arabian, but still quite bad.
You can't even pause the damn game... That's just friggin' awesome (NOT).

Some sort of space shooter. You have Mode A (camera in fixed position, ship moves all over the screen), and Mode B (ship is always in the middle).
Unfortunately, this game was developed by the same people, who ported Exed Exes on Famicom, but thankfully, this one is a bit more fun to play. I played it quite a bit and actually enjoyed it a bit, yet there were some odd glitches at the beginning of the level, than disappeared afterwards.

Another side scrolling shooter. It was one of the few common games among bootleg multicart to be found on carts, like 7-in-1 NS03 or 0701(?), that would have Darkwing Duck, Talespin, Robocop 3, etc..
Pretty decent game from Nihon Bussan that also released Terra Cresta, Booby Kids (the name isnt made up, it's real name), Mag Max, etc..

Sky Destroyer
One of the most common games amng bootleg carts. And now, I have it in official cartridge form. :)
I think that it doesn't beg any explanation, and who ever played Famicom, knows about this game at any point.

This is not exactly too great game, because of main character being weakling that falls down an inch and dies. But I got it, because of LED on the cartridge. If I remember correctly, I aslo don't have 10 Yard Fight, and Mashou: two other games that has LED light right on the cartridge. I already have Zippy Race and Sqoon.
Maybe later, I'll get the missing games into collection. :)

Super Chinese
An action game from Namco. :)
I had this game on pirate singlecart, and now I got it in official cartridge form.
You punch others and destroy things on the levels. I love how Super Mario Bros. sound effects play, when you destroy something, like 1-up sound, or break a brick sound. Did Namco agree with Nintendo on using their sound effects in-game or not? I dunno... but the sound effects are really similar to the ones from SMB.

Super Arabian
This game actually could have been at least decent, if the gameplay mechanics weren't rubbish. You just collect letters to spell out a random word.
But what ruins this game, is the controls and physics.
If I remember correctly, B button was jumping, and A button was kicking.

Kicking enemies in air, while jumping, or kicking them, while they are on the carpet, leads you to death.
And remember, that there is no such thing as "continues", so once you lose all your lifes, you are screwed, and you have to play the whole game all over again from the beginning.

The third level (or page, as the game calls it) ruins it all, because once enemies landed on a carpet, you are out of luck, and once carpet goes off the screen, you can move to the other part of it, unless you jump.
Actually, I was able to beat four levels. The forth level is slightly better, than third one.
After that, you just start with higher difficulty.

And that's it for my pickups for April. :)
Thanks for reading this post. Soon enough, I will try to get May and June pickups posts released. ;)
(C) AlexSRMD Productions (2016)


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