Wednesday 30 December 2009

3D Bomberman

Managed to get a hold of the Sharp X1's entire library of games... I think. There's no doubt that it was a terrible system, but it did get a few strange obscurities in its several year run. Obscurities such as...

3D BOMBERMAN. Yep, back before Hudson had even given their character the classic "robot" look they were toying with the idea of bringing the series into the third dimension. Obviously attempting to pull it off on systems like the Sharp X1 meant the end result is pretty horrible, but the series hasn't done anything like this since so it must count for something.

Saturday 26 December 2009

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Truth be told I hadn't played Super Mario Bros. 3 until fairly recently. I wasn't part of the American generation that dragged their parents to the cinema to see The Wizard and that damned Power Glove, and as a Sega fan I didn't see much of a reason to play as the plumber until the days of the Dreamcast came to an end. Thanks to the wonders of emulation in the space of the last six years I've come to know pretty much every Mario title to date, from the dangerously mainstream, to the obscure, to the spin-offs, to the rip-offs and of course the pirates, hacks and homebrews. Admittedly I never saw a reason to dabble in the sports series much, and Mario Party wasn't my thing, but you name a Mario platformer and I'll have probably seen or played it, and then I'll proceed to name ones you haven't.

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Hurt me plenty

Saxman of ProSonic fame is writing a program that'll let you transfer WADs to and from the Sega 32X port of id's legendary FPS, Doom. It's still at a preliminary stage but as a proof of concept release here's Doom II's first level running on Sega's craptacular add-on:

Can't get that on Nintendo... yet. The textures aren't all there and things like the music are still relying on the original game, but it does pave the way for 32X ports of Final Doom and of course, Chex Quest. And what better way to spread Christmas cheer than pixelation and horrible music conversions.

Friday 18 December 2009

Sharpen up

The tORP Super Mario Bros. Special page has been updated. I may have to do a similar thing with Punch Ball Mario Bros. in the future, but that probably won't be quite as interesting.

Monday 14 December 2009

Super Mario Bros. Special: The Sharp Edition

Remember Super Mario Bros. Special for NEC's obscure PC-88 computer? Well turns out it spread into Sharp territory as well.

Presenting the hideously rare Sharp X1 port, kindly pointed out by local legend Techokami. Like the PC-88, the Sharp X1 is a fairly obscure computer that didn't get very far outside of Japan, but because the Sharp X1 has the advantage of being a better bit of kit, this time the game is actually bearable.

Though it's mostly the same game, the X1 port benefits from slightly better graphics, "Zelda-like" scrolling (as opposed to the static screens of the PC-88 copy) and significantly less lag. It also seems to have introduced several new enemies and powerups, inspired by the Arcade classics Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong, and is the first Mario game in history to sport a "flight" powerup. It's actually quite a good game, which is a lot more than can be said of its awful NEC-licensed cousin.

I'll be going into more detail with this in due time, which may possibly involve some sprite ripping like the good old days. Until then, spread the word that this thing exists, because it's been hidden from the mainstream general public for the best part of twenty-five years.

Sunday 13 December 2009


You can never guess where the obscure Mario titles will pop up next. "BROS" for the Atari 800 computer, a public domain release by German group "KE Soft" in 1989. Initially bundled with a bunch of polish demos on a double-sided disk, this game has largely escaped the gaming public, probably because like the MSX, nobody really cared for what the Atari 800 had to offer in terms of forgotten titles, and because it was a demo infringing Nintendo's copyrights it won't have been widely distributed in the first place.