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What the heck is on this $10 Retro Game handheld? Let’s find out!

Kzinssie

(she/her)
I, and I imagine a lot of other people, primarily know Devil World for its Smash cameo, where the Devil appears as an assist trophy to shift the borders of the screen much as he does in the game.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I think we need Vitor Vilela to tackle the game after he finishes optimizing Star Fox.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Is that a possibility? Because the idea of Star Fox and Stunt Race FX with a proper frame rate is genuinely exciting to me
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
I think this video probably best encapsulates what's possible with his SA-1 conversions:

 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I'm no programmer but I thought the frame rate was actually a DMA bandwidth issue with the SNES. There's a limit to how many times a second you can feed a frame through the cartridge or something. If they can work round that he's outed himself as an actual wizard

Edit: yeah, the man himself says:

"Even if I make Super FX fast enough to output graphics at 60 FPS, the frame buffer copy operation from GSU RAM to SNES VRAM is still stuck at 2.68 MB/s. At 224x192, 70 blanking scanlines and 165.5 bytes per scanline, it's not possible to transfer the whole image on a single frame"

I've never hoped that someone is wrong harder
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Yeah, there's a bandwidth issue there. He's got a Patreon post on it, but I can't see it, and I've seen the Twitter post you're referring to. Still, even if the framebuffer is at 20 FPS, if he can get the game to actually run at that 20 FPS (it's clearly much lower than that despite the framebuffer interval), it will be a big improvement.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I will say that Devil World is a distant second place behind Clu-Clu Land for being my favourite attempt at Nintendo making a maze-chase game, but it’s certainly the more elaborate of the two
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)


326. DONALD MAGIC

What I expected: Donald Duck. What I got: A Ronald McDonald themed Burger Time hack! (We saw Burger Time itself as #81.)



327. EIGO ASOBI

Again with things I wasn’t expecting: An English-language Hangman game starring Popeye!

Apparently the full title is Popeye no Eigo Asobi, or Popeye’s English Game. You choose a category and have to pick letters to spell out the word. Each wrong one gets Sweet Pea bumped along the green track until he falls off.



328. EXERION

A pseudo-3D Space Invaders clone with more space that your ship can move in to dodge, but even more need to dodge than usual. Also, some sort of ammo limitations I couldn’t quite figure out.



329. F1 RACE

A race where the other racers get a head start (they aren’t on the starting line; you can just catch up to them) but touching them instantly makes you explode, so there isn’t much you can do except hold A to go fast and hope you can get around them.



330. FINALY LAND

A hack of Binary Land (#74) starring a Final Fantasy Knight and a chocobo.
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
Popeye no Eigo Asobi is a really fascinating one since it was a sort of "sister game" to DK Jr. Math, but it obviously never came out here. The intent was to serve as an English-teaching tool.
 

WildcatJF

Red After Image
(he / his / him)
There is a proper Donald Duck game on the Famicom. It was brought out by Kemco, and ended up following the same wild licensing changeovers the Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle titles did and morphed into Snoopy's Sports Spectacular when it was released overseas.
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him)
In addition to that Popeye game and DK Jr Math, there was going to be a music game based off the original Donkey Kong: Donkey Kong no Ongaku Asobi

Also, Finaly Land is an excellent pun on Binary Land.
 
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Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)


327. EIGO ASOBI

Again with things I wasn’t expecting: An English-language Hangman game starring Popeye!

Apparently the full title is Popeye no Eigo Asobi, or Popeye’s English Game. You choose a category and have to pick letters to spell out the word. Each wrong one gets Sweet Pea bumped along the green track until he falls off.
I wonder if this was originally based on the Popeye arcade game? Because I can see some similarities between the two.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
There is a proper Donald Duck game on the Famicom. It was brought out by Kemco, and ended up following the same wild licensing changeovers the Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle titles did and morphed into Snoopy's Sports Spectacular when it was released overseas.

There is also a proper Ronald McDonald game. Data East made Donald Land, a pretty typical hop-'n'-bop platformer where you play as Ronald, but it never came stateside. I was kinda hoping that's what was on here, not a Burgertime hack.

Further fun fact: there was an official Flintstones hack of Burgertime for the Game Boy Color. The Flintstones: Burgertime in Bedrock!
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
Devil World was one of the first FC games I ever got, almost entirely for the mystique of being one of a handful of early first-party games which didn't get localized to the NES. The Miyamoto angle is even more strong when you notice the similarity between the lil' dinos and Yoshi - and the egg-cracking sound effect is even nearly identical to the one in Super Mario World.

I also enjoy Exerion as another one of those primitive Jaleco games (along with Field Combat, Argus, and some others we've seen) which didn't make it stateside. It's got great cover art:



F-1 Race is another early Nintendo title which we didn't get on NES. I think it's pretty fun for what it is!
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)


331. FORMATION Z

This is neat—it’s a mix of run-and-gun and side-scrolling shooter, because your dude there can transform into a plane when you hold the jump button. Apparently the arcade version was called Aeroboto outside of Japan.



332. FRONT LINE

We saw a hack of this as Hassle (#249) already. The hitboxes make a lot more sense in the original game, though the character is really silly-looking for a serious game of tank combat.



333. GALAGA PLUS

I’m reasonably certain this is just a graphics hack of the original Galaga that makes bullets big and your ship tiny. (And I don’t think it actually changed the hitboxes for either!)



334. GALAXY PATROL

Well, this one I think I can call pretty terrible. You need to fly your ship down through the scrolling starfield, grabbing the blue fuel containers and avoiding the stars. The ship drifts quickly left or right no matter how you control it, and touching a star is an instant game over. This seems to be a homebrew game by somebody named Michael Martin.



335. GLOMMY CHESS

It’s a board game of some sort that is most definitely not chess—I think it involves flipping over and matching the characters on tiles, but I really don’t know.

That gets us to the two-thirds mark on our 500 games! I currently have 257 unique games tallied. There are 59 Nice Code titles (including sprite hacks), 35 games that include Mario (which includes 8 copies of Super Mario 16, 6 copies of Wrecking Crew, and 13 versions of Super Mario Brothers, including hacks), and 16 Adventure Island games (which have really dropped off in their appearances).
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I had Frontline on the Colecovision.

Lemme tell you; the Colecovision was not well suited for a rotary twin stick shooter
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him)
I've actually played Galaxy Patrol before! I played it for like 2 minutes and never touched it again.

The game makes much more sense when you consider that it was made for a 4 kilobyte coding competition back in 2003.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
Formation Z is another deceptively interesting early Jaleco game with box art I love. Heck, I even took pics of this one!



I enjoy that the robot is holding its bazooka like a club, and behind is what appears to be A Baoa Qu.

Also love the Cheetos-orange cartridge.

 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I hold a special grudge against Formation Z, because it was on a multi-cart I had as a child and I always died really quickly in it and I never forgave it for that.

And more recently because I keep confusing it with Section Z, which had a much more appealing and elaborate NES port that I’d really like to try some day.
 

MrBlarney

(he / him)
"Glommy Chess" looks to be an implementation of Banqi, which is a game that uses the same pieces as the Chinese flavor of chess, Xiangqi. The "ban" of Banqi stands for "half", and the game takes place on one half of the chess board. But like Go and Gomoku, Xiangqi and Banqi really only share their components in common, and differ greatly in how they play.

In terms of gameplay, Banqi is a bit like a mixed up Stratego. You can take your turn to turn over a piece face up or to move a piece orthogonally one space. One piece can capture another if it is of equal or higher rank than the piece it is moving onto, with the special rule that the weakest Soldier unit can be used to capture the strongest General piece. (The Cannon piece also has a special capture rule, reflecting its functionality in Xiangqi.) Since the initial arrangement of pieces involves shuffling up all 32 pieces into a 4x8 grid, it's not a particularly serious game to play. But hey, sometimes you don't always need to burn your brain on the highest-level strategic games all the time.
 
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ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)


336. GOLF

Nintendo’s golf game. I’m not really into golf games, but that’s what this is. (We're back to a few of the Touchgameplayer.com hacked title screens. It's interesting how they clearly made an effort to scramble up the original games, Nice Code titles, hacks and such in the list.)



337. HELICOPTER

Bomb Helicopter is a badly-done hack of Raid on Bungeling Bay. Land masses appear and disappear at random and nothing seems able to hit anything. We saw a different hack as Cobra of Sky (#272)



338. HEXAPOD

This appears to be a sprite hack of Galaxian, though I can’t find anything else about it online.



339. DORA BROS

A sprite hack of the original Mario Brothers game, starring a snow-suited character I presume is from Doremon. (Not, as I would have hoped, Dora the Explora.)



340. MARS

Vertical-scrolling outer space shoot-em-up. I have no idea where this one came from; I can’t find any reference to it online. I don’t think it’s a hack? There was an arcade game called Mars that it clearly isn’t.



341. KARATEKA

Port of an Apple II game about a karate dude going to rescue a princess from some other karate dudes. You do a series of long one-on-one battles to deplete the other guy’s health and block their strikes. Apparently this was re-released for mobile devices in 2012.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Also man I have some fierce nostalgia for Karateka from having played it a bunch on Apple II in grade-school. I wonder how accurate the NES port is.
 
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