Archive for the ‘Head to Head’ Category
The two notoriously addictive and challenging 3D racing games produced for the Nintendo 64 were Mario Kart 64, developed by Nintendo and released on February 10th 1997, and Diddy Kong Racing, developed by Rareware and released on the 21st of November 1997. Both games skyrocketed in sales and popularity, with Diddy Kong selling over 4.5 million copies and Mario Kart selling over 9 million copies. The outrageous sales of Mario Kart 64 was arguably due to the fact that the characters were previously known and established by Nintendo in previous games, whilst the characters featured on Diddy Kong Racing were generally new installments.
In fact, Nintendo used Diddy Kong Racing as a platform to set up new characters to be released in other Nintendo games; these were characters such as Banjo the bear (the Banjo Kazooie series following) and Conker the Squirrel (the infamous Conkers Bad Fur Day followed). But the age old debate between old school and retro gamers remains: which was better? There are hardcore advocates and arguments on both sides, some of which we will take a look at.
Ask anyone who grew up playing NES games and they will tell you that Super Mario Bros. 2 was somewhat of an anomaly. It is completely unlike the other games in the series, complete with an Arabian theme, veggie-pulling, the option to select one of four protagonists, and Bowser (King Koopa) is nowhere to be seen. Fortunately for Nintendo it blended right in with sequels to various other popular franchises in the console, including the radically different Zelda II: Adventures of Link and Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. As a seven-year-old gamer back then I shrugged it off and said, “why not?” It may shock you to discover that the American version of Super Mario Bros. 2 is not actually the intended sequel to the original Super Mario Bros., nor is it in Japan. The true Super Mario Bros. 2 is better known as Lost Levels in America and our Super Mario Bros. 2 began life as the game Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic! and based on a Saturday morning cartoon in Japan and was later re-worked, improved, and re-released as Super Mario Bros. USA. Both versions of Super Mario Bros. 2 are as different as two games can get and thus warrant a head to head.
In many cases, games with the same name – and even the same game ported to various consoles – can be drastically different. This was especially true in the 8-bit era where plenty of popular arcade games were deemed too limited for a boxed release on consoles like the NES. Head to Head takes two particular games and explains the drastic difference between the two that often keep fans of each camp drastically divided. Aside from ports, you can also expect several other types of comparisons such as localization.
In 1987 Technos released a spiritual successor to its popular brawler Renegade (Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun) known as Double Dragon. It told the story of two brothers, Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee (Hammer and Spike in US arcades), who are fighting the mean streets of the Black Warriors turf to get back Billy’s girlfriend. It released first to arcades and eventually saw a port over to the NES, which drastically changed the game. Chances are if you are an American that played the game in your past, then you remember the NES version. Now that arcade ports of many games we loved on the NES are releasing on services like Xbox Live and Playstation Network, it’s important to know the drastic differences between the two because they are different games. Love ’em or hate ’em, here’s the Head to Head on Double Dragon.