Sunday, November 21, 2010

Binary Land

Game: Binary Land
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Release Date: 1983
Platform: Famicom

My first foray into my challenge is Binary Land. Don't let the name fool you, it doesn't involve computers, numbers, faceless slender entities, or math. It's actually the touching tale of two penguins in love who have to free caged hearts held hostage by evil spiders.

The premise and design of this is actually pretty intriguing. You have two penguins, a pink one and a blue one, and have to guide them both through various mazes to free a heart and achieve true love. The twist is you control them both, at the same time. Each penguin begins on the opposite side of the screen with spiders, webs, rocks and walls between them. You control both penguins at once, you can be either pink or blue (depending on if you want your main character to be left or right, respectively) and the other penguin is mirrored. So if your blue penguin is speedily heading right to get to the heart, the pink penguin is speedily heading left, into a spider, or a web, or a wall.

It's frustrating but fulfilling. It's great as far as puzzlers go, but it's a bit mind numbing to think in reverse when you're trying to get your opposite penguin to shoot down a spider. You're armed with a freeze gun (though I don't have the manual so it could be pepper, a yo-yo or a whip for all I can tell) and can shoot down the sticky webs and the spiders. The game actually wouldn't be all that difficult if there wasn't also a time limit. Another challenge is that the penguins need to get to the hearts at exactly the same time. And it takes a lot of maneuvering to get them to do this.

All in all I'm on stage 5 and I'm pretty sure I'll keep on going with this one. My brain might be fried by the end of this, but at least I can say I helped two penguins achieve true love. Can any of you say the same?

Time to get RetroGraded

So recently I embarked on a quest to finally beat all those old NES games I never finished as a child. I didn't have a very long attention span and the only game out of the 50 or so I own that I actually remember beating is Adventure Island.

I figured with age came experience. I've played enough Geometry Wars that my hand eye coordination should be amazing right? After spending a frustrating few days with Dr. Mario, Burger Time and Doki Doki Panic (my three favorites as a kid) I realized that this wasn't the case. I actually think I've somehow gotten worse.

Since I made this pact with myself I've started about 10 games, but haven't finished any of them. Well the time has come to rectify this. Time to grab the Dr. Pepper, put on my Power Glove, and beat these suckers.

It's time to achieve glory. 8-bit style.