Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring Time Homeport Games!

When ever spring rolls around I get the itch to play games with bright colors. Any game with bright colors, plants, flowers, food that just has a "spring" feeling is fair game for me. Well this year I decided to share some of my favorite spring themed games. Now my criteria is simply my criteria alone; there were no hard rules or guidelines when selecting these games. I also know that one of these games has also made our list of "winter/Christmas" games and, well it happens to be so damn good it is on this list as well.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game for the Nintendo Entertainment System

What can I say, we are bursting out of the gate with one of the best ARCADE PORTS EVER. While the Nintendo Entertainment System wasn't quite up to replicating the arcade quality graphics, Konami more than made up for it by throwing in a couple of extra stages. 

Pizza Hut!
Seriously, more Pizza Hut?!?
One of these stages involves saving New York City from a forever winter. Throw in the bounty hunter Tora (a new character design by Kevin Eastman) and an awesome cutscene and you have one gnarly springtime game. Stage 4 (scene 3) alone is reason enough to include this on any gamer's springtime list. Let your chosen turtle announce, "SPRING IS HERE!"


Super Mario Bros. 3 for the Nintendo Entertainment System

Incase you thought the list was going downhill from the first choice, we roll out Super Mario Bros. 3, one of the greatest video games ever. Now some of you may say this is cheating but again, my list, my rules. World 7 is where the spring time action is at. After traveling through deserts, water, and winter landscapes, you eventually end up in plant heaven.

Lots of Green Vegetation Here!
Seriously, get ready to traverse mazes of pipes as you dodge piranha plants left and right. This world is a chaotic challenge that, for me has always been the hardest world in all of Super Mario Bros. 3.

Best part is, you do not have to be a hardcore gamer to access Super Mario Bros. 3. There have been so many versions and ports over the years that odds are, you or a loved one has easy access to a copy. I myself own 5 versions if you count all of the digital ones released over the years.

TwinBee for the Famicom

Getting a little more obscure here, but stick with it. TwinBee is a classic Konami shmup that seems to get the shaft from American audiences. I never fully understood this since a lot of the games in the series are fun and hard as balls. Don't let the art style fool you, the (arguably) originator of "Cute 'em Ups" can be down right mean, yet you will find yourself coming back for more. The Famicom port however is not the hardest of the series which makes it more accessible.

Bright Colors, Vegetables, Green Grass...Perfect for Spring!
Besides some bright, lavish colors, TwinBee is also loaded with oddball enemies. Everything from what looks like toilet seats to knives, forks, bowls, even shrimp and octopus show up for some fun.

Are those...Toilet Seats?!?
Nothing Like Flying Shrimp and Octopus!
Luckily TwinBee is very easily accessible. Besides the original Famicom version being relatively cheap, the game has also been released as part of the 3D Classics series for the Nintendo 3DS and has also been included as one of the Nintendo games for the Nintendo Switch Online service

Personally the 3D Classics version is my favorite. The depth the 3D adds really enhances the game. Don't believe me? Check out an old video we did below:

Rainbow Islands for the PC-Engine

Join me as we travel down the more obscure path of arcade homeports. Rainbow Islands is the arcade sequel to the arcade platformer Bubble Bobble. While there have been a few ports of this game, the PC-Engine is hands down the best port. Unfortunately Rainbow Islands for the PC-Engine came out towards the end of the PC-Engine's lifespan which has created an inflated price tag. But do not let high eBay prices scare you away, the good folks over at PCEWorks have done an amazing reproduction of the game. We even did a review of this amazing boxset a little while ago.

I mean come on, you throw rainbows, fight caterpillars, collect flowers, fruit, vegetables, BEER... is there anything more spring like? While some may argue this is more of a summer game, I say nay; plants, flowers, veggies, life, growth, those are more associated with spring!

You also have some rather cool boss fights, some crazy themed island worlds to visit; the game is loaded with enough cheer and challenge to have spring oozing out of every one of your pores.

Even the artwork for the cover is pure springtime cheer and joy. There is no escaping it, Rainbow Islands is a great game to get you in the spring mood and the PC-Engine port is the best port around.

Also, PCE Works ALWAYS makes sure to put their logo on their work so their is no mistaking their reproductions as the original. 

Lady Bug Homebrew for the Atari 2600

Say we are not literal enough? Or, not old school enough? How about an excellent home-brew of Universal Entertainment Corporation's arcade classic Lady Bug?

This homebrew was created by John W. Champeau and if you have ever wanted a faithful port of Lady Bug on your Atari 2600, this is it! Lady Bug is a maze game that has you playing as, well, a lady bug, traveling through mazes, switching doors, and avoiding other bugs. The game takes the Pac-Man concept and truly creates something new. Best part, everything jives with spring!

 You can find a copy of this port over at Atari Age. If you have ever wanted to be a lady bug, this is your chance!

 So there you have it, my spring time homeport games. Be sure to give some of these games a try around this time of year as we celebrate winter's leaving with a big ol' boot! Not on your list, what games do you play to celebrate spring?

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