After completing Ys: The Vanished Omens, I decided to pause my Sega Master System playthroughs and turn my attention to a couple of recently acquired Atari 2600 games. Kangaroo was the first on my list. Published by Atari in 1983, it’s a port of the Sun Electronics (Sunsoft) arcade game released the year before, itself a derivative of Nintendo’s Donkey Kong. Playing as a mother kangaroo, I had to scale three distinct stages to rescue her captive joey. Along the way, I dealt with an endless barrel of apple throwing monkeys by boxing them into submission or avoiding them altogether. Continue reading Kangaroo [Atari 2600] – Review and Let’s Play→
What can I say about Super Mario Bros.? I mean, it’s Super Mario Bros.Everyone knows about the 1985 classic. Everyone can recall Mario’s initial journey through the Mushroom Kingdom on his quest to rescue Princess Toadstool from the diabolical Bowser. Everyone has stomped on the heads of numerous Goombas, kicked several Koopa shells, and found the game shortening Warp Zones. Everyone has beaten it, ecstatic to see the princess instead of yet another Toad. Well, that is everyone but me.
After briefly playing Vs. Super Mario Bros. at PJ Gamers, one of my local arcades, I realized I had never beaten the Mario game that started it all. Never mind Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., or Mario Bros.Super Mario Bros. really kicked off the career of Nintendo’s mascot. Thus, I’ve spent the last week or so playing the game in hours-long sessions attempting to beat it. Finally, after discovering secrets and honing my platforming skills, I’ve gotten good enough to reach the end.
Among other elements, I feel two of the most important are the game’s precise controls and simplicity. They tied together in an interesting way after spending hours learning stage layouts and adapting to the controls. I’d often get reckless and misjudge a jump or run into enemies enough times to deplete my stock of lives OVER AND OVER AGAIN. It could get frustrating, but it was psychological – I was getting too comfortable with my abilities. In many ways, overcoming my careless tendency to hold down the run button was the key to my success.
My experience with the game was enhanced by playing it with a friend, switching off when we’d lost all of our lives. Like most things, playing this game was improved with a partner. The kicker was discovering the hidden 1ups that were necessary to extending our sessions and devising strategies for dealing with tough sections. Accessing the Warp Zones was the most fruitful of our discoveries. I wouldn’t have been able to complete the game without accessing the secrets we did and I wanted to be able to say I completed Super Mario Bros. so there, I said it.
Donkey Kong has captured Jumpman’s current flame, Pauline, and Jumpman will go to great heights to rescue his beloved. Of course Donkey Kong isn’t a pushover. Jumpman has to avoid obstacles and enemies in four tough stages. Released in 1982 for the Intellivision, Donkey Kong was published by Coleco. A modern-day equivalent would be Microsoft publishing games for the PlayStation 3. The 80s were a weird time indeed!
John: I’ve heard rumors that Coleco made this game inferior to sabotage the rival to their Colecovision, and after playing this version, I can see why those rumors began circulating. This was a poor rendition of the arcade game, but it was playable enough to get the idea. The graphics were passable, as were the sounds, but the gameplay was poor.
Jeff: I did not like this game at all and ended up stopping after my first three lives were spent. Easily the worst game I’ve played on this ancient system. Glad Nintendo didn’t take Donkey Kong out back to shoot after this poor version was released.