Monday, March 29, 2010

v2, d29: Random Nintendo Game of the Month!!!

I think it's time for some "features" on this blog.

When I started back up for another year of blogging, one of things I told myself was that there would be more semi-regular features. I tried to do this last time, and I think I only ended up reviewing one title. But oh, it was a winner.

I used to sample these beautiful old NES games via a program I'd downloaded called Console Classix, but compy is currently on the fritz somewhat, and Console Classix is one of the programs it won't currently let me access. No worries, this month's Random Nintento Game (RNG) is brought to you in part by the folks at

And the financial support of viewers like you.

On to this month's game: Amagon!

Now, I read the description of Amagon before I decided to play it. Amagon (known in Japan as Totzusen! Machoman) is a side-scroller and an action game that centers around a marooned marine named Amagon. Amagon's plane has crashed on an island, and here I have to quote the description I read: "Inconveniently, his rescue ship is on the other side of the island." Inconvenient! I should most certainly say so! And so, Amagon has to fight his way across the island in order to get to his rescue and get off the hostile island.

Not a bad premise. Sounds like a good old-fashioned run-back-and-forth-while-shooting-bad-guys type of game. Plus, it's got a marine. Yes! I've always wanted to be a marine! (This was apparently the grandfather of the newer, gorier, sinfuller Alien vs. Predator game)

Click on the title. The first thing I see is a barefoot man with pink hair atop a ginormous head standing barefoot on the beach in a pink tank top and pink shorts. A few feet away, a pink biplane is sticking straight up out of the ground, almost entirely intact. (Marines fly biplanes???) Over the man's head is the title, "Amagon" in big cartoony balloon letters. The "O" in Amagon has eyes and fangs. The music That's the only way I can describe it.

As you would expect of a stranded marine, Amagon prances barefoot while carrying what looks and sounds like an automatic weapon, but it actually shoots out one large pink gumball at a time. (Or maybe it's a marble? A masher?) He wields this weapon against hostile birds, snakes, bats, bees that shoot stuff at you, and of course, jumping mushrooms. Amagon can duck, jump, shoot, and prance, and that's about it. If any of these small creatures touch Amagon, he flails his arms and legs, leaps high into the air, sticks out his tongue, and dies. I want to know how the man survived the airplane crash and then croaked because a swallow grazed him on the shoulder.

Bird flu?

As the game goes on, Amagon's enemies get tougher. There are cavemen, elephants that walk on their hind legs, porcupines, dragonflies, tubby rodents of some kind, alligators that walk on their hind legs, lobsters, tiny flying get the idea.

Oh, and there are bosses. To fight the bosses, Amagon becomes a giant, high-stepping, shirtless wonder that tosses energy waves of some sort. Bosses include a double-sided flying lion head, a walking evil know. The kinds of things marines fight in the forest.

You've got a limited amount of ammo, though it's pretty hard to run out. Right next to your ammo counter, there's often a flashing "GO!" encouraging you to get a move on. I'm not sure why; there's no time limit and there's no indication that your rescue ship is going to leave without you.

Would be nice if the rescue ship sent some reinforcements to help you blow away dinosaurs and hippos with your pink gumball pellet gun. "No, no, that's fine. You guys just sit on the boat and play cards. I'm a marine, I can handle this. AAAHHH, NOT A SPARROW!"

Anyway. The longer you play, the weirder the game gets. And while I didn't play all the way through, I caught most of the highlights thanks to youtube. Don't read on if you don't want spoilers for the ending.

The final boss is an alien wizard that is--get ready for it--aboard your own ship!!! Which, for the record, is powered entirely by one massive sail. fly in on a biplane, you have a pseudo-automatic rifle, and your rescue ship is a leftover from the Trojan War.

All in all, a tad disappointing. Though you do get to use the cool one-liner, " about to die!" while fighting the final boss, and really, isn't the final boss one-liner what 8-bit Nintendo games are all about?

By the way, click that link. It's a Five Iron Frenzy music video, for those of you who missed the reference. You're welcome.