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An independent pharmacy expert concluded that the injection supplied by Guardian was compounded incorrectly, he said. This point-and-click adventure induced flashbacks of a game I reviewed last year called Uninvited Icom, For children particularly this is very useful for when they are tired and lack concentration. The game features large wooden ships, sword fighting, cannons, eye patches, rum, and plenty of booty. Spider-Man appears between the action to offer advice on how to beat upcoming levels and swings in to rescue hostages once their captors have been shot.

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The frustration factor is through the roof. I tried the two-player simultaneous mode, but my friends complained about the same issues. Snake Rattle and Roll is likeable enough on the surface, but poor controls prove to be its undoing.

The first time my friends and I played this game, we couldn't figure out what country code FRG stood for. It turned out to be the Federal Republic of Germany - the name for West Germany before it unified with the east! Wow, that really puts some perspective on things! Anyway, Nintendo Soccer isn't bad for a bare-bones soccer title.

The players look like a bunch of little kids running around, and the goalies appear to be wearing Devo hats. The players are slow, and sometimes it feels like the action is unfolding in slow motion.

Dribbling the ball and aiming at the goal is intuitive enough, but weak passing makes it hard to move the ball up the field. Those pesky off-sides penalties don't help matters. Playing against CPU-controlled players isn't too exciting they often pause for no reason , but competing against a friend can be exciting. When a goal is scored, the players run around the field waving their arms as if they're being attacked by a swarm of bees. Unleash the killer bees!! Too bad I don't have a killer bee icon for my reviews.

I was impressed that Soccer includes a pretty elaborate half-time show with dancing cheerleaders. Heck, even the new Madden doesn't have that! A happy-go-lucky song plays throughout the game. Soccer is primitive but you can't deny its brand of simple fun. Arthur Award for Extreme Difficulty. A lot of readers have recommended Solar Jetman over the years, but I'm sorry to say this game is severely overrated! Solar Jetman expands upon the Lunar Lander-style of gameplay, which frankly was never so hot to begin with.

You control an egg-shaped "jetpod" traveling from planet to planet while searching for parts. Your pod is very well-rounded literally and it looks very cool when it rotates. Enjoy that, because it's the best part of the game! Each planet offers a set of scrolling caverns lined with cannons, aliens, and items to collect. One button engages your thrusters and the other fires your weapon.

When your pod is destroyed, your pilot emerges in a jetpack, allowing him to trek back to the base for a new pod. Navigating the expansive caverns is confusing because they all look the same. Methodically collecting items and towing them back to your base requires a monumental amount of skill and patience, mainly because the gravity is so [expletive] strong! Each item you pick up seems to weigh a ton, and some require a good 15 seconds of continuous thrusting just to lift them off the ground!

And just when you gain a little momentum, the item swings on its tether, sending you crashing into the nearest wall. Advanced levels complicate matters by incorporating gravity generators! Just what we need - more gravity! At least the collision detection is forgiving, and you can activate a shield at any time. Sadly this causes you to drop the item you've been towing! I was hoping that power-ups like "efficient engines" might ease the pain, but I soon realized I was fighting a losing battle.

Some gamers will relish the challenge, but even the first level pushed my patience to the limit. Solar Jetman has a unique visual flair, but its fun factor is crushed under the weight of its outrageous difficulty. In Spelunker, you control a little miner in an underground area loaded with tunnels, elevators, and ropes.

You can jump over obstacles, climb ropes, collect items, and even blow up boulders. Colorful and detailed, Spelunker's graphics are pleasing to the eye, and the stages are so well-designed that you'll want to explore every passage. Unfortunately, the awful controls will have you throwing down your controller in frustration. The main problem is the tricky, unforgiving jumping controls.

Even fallling one inch is deadly! That's a shame, because Spelunker should have been a lot of fun. Is it true that this weak platformer is the only Spiderman game for the NES?!

Return of the Sinister Six is bogged down by awkward controls, dull stage designs, and predictable gameplay. And what's the deal with Spiderman's huge noggin?! He looks like a six-year old in a Halloween costume! Each of the game's brief six stages offers a new villain, including Electro, Sandman, Mysterio, Vulture, Hobgoblin, and Dr.

I enjoyed the outdoor environments with their bright blue skies and towering skyscrapers, but the indoor areas are dull and cramped. I especially hate the warehouse with its hard-to-see mines and rats that are constantly nipping at your heels. I was hoping that the house of illusion stage three might spice things up, but that was just as forgettable. As you forge through this by-the-numbers adventure, you'll engage in altercations with bad guys dressed in bright green suits.

When punched or kicked, they explode into meaty chunks, which is probably the highlight of the game. It's hardly necessary however, because you can breeze through most stages by simply running past these goons! The worst part of Sinister Six is definitely the controls. The whole web-slinging mechanism is so confusing and frustrating that you'll want to avoid using it whenever possible. The collision detection is terribly sloppy, making it hard to kick or punch an enemy without "overlapping" him.

Spiderman Return of the Sinister Six isn't a total loss though. The music is okay, and the gameplay is fairly easy and straightforward. But compared to most other Spiderman titles I've played, this one is far from impressive. Compared to the arcade original, this NES Spy Hunter boasts faster action and better graphics, yet it pales in terms of fun.

I can't say I'm surprised. Whenever you tinker with a classic formula, you're just asking for trouble. Spy Hunter is a vertical, overhead racer with a focus on car-on-car violence. Driving is a challenge as you navigate forking roads and jump bridges which happen to be under repair. Evil automobiles are in hot pursuit, including "tire slashers", "bullet-proof baddies", and limos that fire from the side windows. You can incapacitate most of these using your machine guns that fire forwards.

Red trucks periodically appear to outfit your car with more effective weapons like oil slicks and smoke screens. Eventually you'll contend with bomb-dropping helicopters, and you'll need a special missile weapon to take them out. Spy Hunter for the NES should have been a lot better. Your car only moves at two speeds: Slow driving lets bad guys sneak up from behind, but going fast makes you prone to rear-end collisions. It's infuriating when you crash into one of those motorcycles, which seem to be all over the road!

Spy Hunter offers an initial two-minute "grace period" that provides unlimited lives, but after that ends, the party's over. The gameplay feels erratic and even when making progress you feel like a fish swimming upstream. Spy Hunter for the NES isn't a total loss, but it's close. This game is funny!

I fondly recall playing this game on my Atari XL computer in the early 80s, when its graphics were absolutely cutting-edge. Who would have guessed that a silly Mad magazine cartoon would translate into such an innovative video game? Thankfully, this NES version is just like the one I remember. Played on a split-screen, the white spy patrols the top while the black one explores the bottom. Both spies freely move around a maze of rooms while searching furniture for items and planting traps for each other.

These traps, which trigger some wonderfully humorous animations, include bombs, springs, and electrified water buckets over doorways. There are tools to disable traps, including umbrellas and pliers, but you can only carry one item at a time. A handy map lets you track your position, but keeping an eye on your opponent is tough. Occasionally you'll both enter the same room, resulting in a quick brawl as you beat each other over the head with sticks.

The spy who collects four special items in a briefcase can win the game, and there's a great ending animation showing him flying away. But while Spy Vs. Spy's gameplay is certainly original, it's also rather difficult and confusing. It's very easy to accidentally trigger your own traps, and collecting the items can be tedious. In addition, there's nothing to stop your opponent from waiting by the exit door and mugging you for the items! Spy's background music is unforgettable, perfectly matching the whimsical theme.

Despite its flawed gameplay, Spy Vs. Spy is extremely entertaining and a nice addition to any NES collection. Spy Xbox , Spy Vs. Atari , Immortal, The Genesis. The Star Soldier series is held in high regard by shooter fans, so you'd expect the original NES game to be a classic right? To its credit, this vertical space shooter lets you amass some considerable firepower.

As you fly over platforms and girders you're attacked by waves of swarming robotic insects. You can employ an alternating-tap technique a la Track and Field to engage rapid-fire, although personally I use my Nintendo Advantage joystick with the turbo cranked up duh - I know, right?

The platforms are engraved with images of snakes, faces, and eye symbols you can shoot for points. I like how those faces change expressions when you hit them.

There are some super annoying enemies in this game. The blue X things can absorb an awful lot of shots and there are annoying orbs that are basically indestructible. Star Soldier's gameplay seems straightforward until your ship inexplicably disappears beneath a platform. You stop shooting under there, giving the impression you died.

Then you suddenly emerge and resume firing. This feature sucks so bad you would not believe it. You never know what platforms you'll disappear under. The stages are reasonable in length read: The Star Soldier series hit its stride in the bit era, but this NES outing is nothing to write home about.

Based on a film. Remember the scene in Star Wars where Luke was exploring a cave, got hit with some dripping green stuff, and was vaporized when he jumped on a spike? I don't either, and that's what I hate about this game. Instead of being inspired by the Star Wars universe, it feels like a generic platformer!

You play the role of Luke Skywalker, but look more like a little kid. In fact, all of the characters have been given the "kiddie" treatment, and they look awful. I like how you can travel between areas in your Landspeeder via a nifty overhead view , but the poorly-designed stages are appalling. All of the "worst practices" of video game design are at work here. There are creatures you can't see until you make a blind leap. Endless spike-laden pits spell instant death.

Falling even modest distances inflicts serious damage, and you're constantly being knocked off of narrow ledges. The first few stages take place in bland cave environments, with generic enemies that have nothing to do with Star Wars. The Sandcrawler and Cantina stages are more interesting visually but just as frustrating to play.

A few well-done cut scenes attempt to convey the film's storyline, but the music is awfully generic. There's no score, but there are plenty of continues to extend the agony. Star Wars for the NES is widely detested by most fans of the films, and deservedly so. Death Star Battle Atari Similar to Zelda, Startropics is a charming action-adventure that won me over almost immediately.

You play as a generic kid exploring tropical islands in search of your lost uncle. You'll travel between islands via a special submarine, and chat with villagers while enjoying bright scenery and festive steel drum music. Each island features caves that contain dungeons very much in the Zelda tradition. Wielding unusual weapons like a yo-yo and a baseball bat, you'll battle ninja monkeys, pirate ghouls, and belligerent starfish.

There's even a mutant ostrich who thinks he's the boss of me! You are not the boss of me mutant ostrich!! Each room has a secret that will reveal the exit. Sometimes you'll need to clear out the monsters, and sometimes you'll need to activate a hidden switch. Since your character is relatively large, you're an easy target for converging snakes and raining fireballs. Some of the hits are pretty cheap, and some seem downright mandatory! But the real problem with Startropics is its stiff controls.

You can't move diagonally, and there's a slight pause while turning 90 degrees. That's inconvenient when you want to side-step a swooping bat. Since your angles of attack are limited, you're forced to compensate by predicting your enemies' movements.

Fighting is awkward, but the jumping controls are a breeze, and hopping on panels to activate switches is surprisingly fun. The game automatically saves your progress at designated spots, and my battery still works! Startropics is a tough game, and I couldn't get through a dungeon without lashing out with a few expletives. I curse because I care , people you know that. Upon losing a life not only does the game set you back a few rooms, but you lose your weapons and only get half of your life back!

Give me a break! The magic items help a lot , but they can be pretty hard to come by. Startropics may test your resolve, but if you don't give it a try you're just letting the best things in life just pass you by. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: This first-person air combat title attempts to be realistic, but is a complete mess.

The object is to destroy a certain number of enemy planes before returning to your base. Unfortunately, the graphics are pitiful and the framerate is hopelessly choppy. Your first-person view is little more than a flat horizon with some black enemy aircraft that occassionally flash across the screen.

Your Stealth fighter is equipped with cannons and a limited number of missiles, but the rough animation make it hard to get a bead on anything. Your best bet is to keep an enemy in view and hope you accidentally hit it.

Should you actually complete a mission, you engage in a separate landing sequence where you view your plane from a side angle. You need to adjust you speed and angle of descent perfectly or risk blowing up.

And you will blow up - again and again. When you lose a dozen planes in a row just trying to land, something is very, very wrong! As frustrating as it is ugly, Stealth is one to avoid. Contra was a tough act to follow, but this excellent sequel delivers the same brand of one-man-army shooting fun while incorporating a few surprises of its own.

As Super C begins you are attacking a well-fortified stronghold, and the side-scrolling mayhem is practically identical to Contra. In fact, the graphic style and sound effects are almost exactly the same. Once you defeat the helicopter boss at the end of stage one however, the game shifts to an overhead, vertically-scrolling view.

The action never lets up as you run from room to room blasting tanks and cannons. Super C offers a few new weapons, but my favorite is still the multi-shot "spray". The awesome two-player simultaneous mode is back, and Super C has its own cheat code right, left, down, up, A, B that allows you to stock up with ten lives.

If you enjoyed Contra, this killer sequel is a must-have! I do wish they could have come up with a better name though. Even Contra 2 would have been better than "Super C". Now this is an original concept, and I think I like it! Super Dodge Ball is a contest between two teams playing in two connected boxed areas. Each box holds one team's "target players", with offensive players lining the perimeter. The goal is to knock out all of your opponent's target players, each of which has his own life meter.

You can pass the ball around, jump, duck, and catch a ball thrown at you. There's nothing more satisfying than nailing an opponent in the back of his head! Graphics are not Super Dodge Ball's strong suit.

There's a terrible amount of flicker, and the scrolling is extremely choppy. When you don't have the ball, your control is alternated between your players, which is confusing. But despite its flaws, this innovative game has become somewhat of a cult classic over the years. Not only did this game define platform gaming as we know it, but few games have ever surpassed Super Mario Bros in terms of fun and addictiveness.

The game's imaginative levels, tight control, and sheer variety are simply amazing for a release. Its familiar music and bright, inviting graphics are permanently etched into so many childhood memories. Mario can bash blocks, dash, swim, pounce on enemies, and kick turtle shells into groups of oncoming foes sweet! With the help of power-ups, he can double in size, hurl fireballs, or gain temporary invincibility.

There's ample room for technique and numerous secrets to discover. Coins are found all over the place, and collecting earns you an extra life. You can't save your game in progress, but this is partially remedied by secret warp areas that allow you to skip ahead to advanced stages. In addition, you can continue by holding the A button when you restart a game. Each world consists of four stages, the last concluding with an encounter with Mario's dragon arch-nemesis, Bowser.

In addition to seeing how far you can get, the game is also fun to play for high score. If you haven't played this brilliant game in a while, you owe it to yourself to see how Super Mario Bros has withstood the test of time like few others can.

Find Super Mario Bros. After the phenomenally successful first Super Mario Bros game, you might have expected Nintendo to stick with the same winning formula, but this second edition has a very different look and feel.

It's far more challenging and complicated than the original, but still retains the charm and quality gameplay you would expect from Nintendo. No longer limited to moving just right or left, vines, chains, and ladders allow you to climb areas up high, where you can hop between mountains or clouds.

You collect cherries instead of coins, and most adversaries are decked out in masks. Jumping on an enemy causes you to stand upon it, but by pressing the B button you then can pick it up to use as a projectile. It's a very unique control mechanism I don't recall seeing in any other game. You'll also see the tufts of unripened vegetables sticking out of the ground.

Picking these usually reveals a radish you can toss at foes, but they can also reveal power-ups, bombs, or doors to hidden areas. My personal favorite item is the "POW" block which triggers an earthquake, knocking all enemies off the screen.

Other innovative elements include flying carpets and bonus "slot machine" screens. Heck, you don't even have to play the game as Mario! Before each stage you get to select between Mario, Luigi, Princess, and Toad, each with their own distinct jumping and "picking" abilities. Decidedly more complex that the first game, some stages require you to solve puzzles by blowing up walls or stacking blocks. Three continues are available, along with warp areas and shortcuts. It might not be exactly what you'd expect, but Super Mario Bros 2 is still outstanding in its own unique way.

After taking a detour with Super Mario Bros 2, Nintendo got "back to the basics" with this third edition, giving gamers what they really wanted.

Super Mario Bros 3 uses the same gameplay as the first, but there's a lot more to discover here, with eight huge "worlds" to explore, each with its own collection of stages and bonus games.

This was one of the first video games to employ interactive maps, allowing the player to move freely between the stages. Numerous mini-games add variety and supply bonus items you can activate between stages. The stages themselves are expertly designed and many feature multiple routes. You can't save your game, but there are continues available and "warp whistles" that let you skip ahead. Like the first game, the graphics and music are simple but brimming with personality.

Supports three or more players May contain hotties Great head-to-head action. Super Off Road was an arcade racer known for its four-player action. Although each track fits on a single screen, they sport plenty of detail with steep hills, sharp curves, and ramps. The racing trucks look like little toys as they bounce over hills and slide around corners. This NES rendition is arguably superior to its bit cousins.

That's because it supports four-player simultaneous action so you can play this game how God intended. Each player is prompted to enter his initials and choose a country. An upgrade screen appears before each race, allowing players to soup up their vehicles.

In addition to standard upgrades acceleration, shocks, tires you'll want to keep a healthy supply of turbos on hand. The races are rough and tumble as the trucks bump into each other and sometimes even appear to ride over each other. It's advantageous to remain ahead of the pack because you usually have first dibs on power-ups that appear randomly around the course. I've seen CPU trucks double-back to snag these, but wouldn't recommend trying that. A race ends when one racer completes the required number of laps - no need to wait for the stragglers.

The victory screen shows the top three winners with babes in arm, but the chicks all look alike. There seems to be an inexhaustible supply of tracks. Racing against CPU opponents is good practice but not very challenging. As a pure head-to-head racer however, Super Off Road is a classic, and this is the version to own.

In an attempt to resurrect its biggest hit, Activision gave Pitfall Harry a Nintendo makeover for this ill-advised "update". Sadly, the only thing Super Pitfall accomplished was to make people want to play the original Pitfall Atari , In this version Harry is short and pudgy with a bright blue outfit. Initially the scenery consists of ruins and pyramids, but it soon degenerates into a dreadful maze of generic underground platforms.

The waterfalls that looked so inviting in Pitfall 2 look like blinking blue blobs in this game. The jumping controls are dreadful, and the collision detection is utterly horrendous! You're armed with a gun, but too often your shots pass right through their intended targets!

Cheap hits and bad background music apply the finishing touches to this disappointing debacle. Beyond the Jungle Playstation , Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure Super Nintendo. Supports three or more players Seasonal summer fun. Here's a decent volleyball game that attempts to improve on Kings of the Beach, but comes up a little short. The players are large and muscular, and the side-scrolling courts are finely detailed. I really enjoyed the variety of backdrops, ranging from sunny Daytona to flashy Las Vegas.

Super Spike wisely employs the same basic control scheme as Kings of the Beach, making it easy to set, jump, and spike the ball. And boy can these guys jump high! Super Spike's action is smooth enough, but sometimes it's hard to tell if the ball has been blocked or if it hit the net. A visual marker is used to show where the ball will land, and while this makes the ball easier to track, it also eliminates much of the suspense.

The music and sound effects are pretty lame. Super Spike is a respectable effort overall, but for sheer playability it can't quite match Kings of the Beach. You'd probably expect an old-school gamer like myself to love Super Sprint, but I'm not a fan. Each track consumes a single screen, and you get an overhead view of the action. There are four racecars that are small but easy to make out. The idea is to win races, rack up points, and gradually upgrade your car.

Races tend to be short and the courses become more sophisticated as you progress, eventually incorporating overpasses and shortcuts.

You'll face hazards like oil slicks, water puddles, and small tornadoes.

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