Retrogaming Times #31
Table of Contents
Crazy Climber 2000
Not only is Crazy Climber popular in Japan, but they have continued to make new versions. There was the arcade game, Crazy Climber 2, followed by the updated version found on the Super Famicom cart. There was also Hyper Crazy Climber for the Playstation and now Crazy Climber 2000!
Crazy Climber 2000 is essentially the original game, only this time it is more 3D. For starters, you are no longer limited to one side of the building. You can move all over the building to avoid the crazies that make it their home. While this can save your skin a few times, you will soon find that the whole building is occupied by lunatics. That's right, the maniacs that drop anything and everything on your head are back. And they don't limit their projectiles to stuff that just gives you a headache, no some of these bozos will lob a refrigerator down on you. Needless to say that a refrigerator will kill you. I just wish for once, that I could reach into those windows and pull these yahoos out and drop them. I mean flower pots are one thing, but refrigerators? What is wrong with these idiots?
Human opponents are the least of your worries. There is the ever famous potty bird. Yes, he is back in all his disgusting glory. Fortunately he hasn't gotten any smarter, just uglier. But the improvement is King Kong. In the original Crazy Climber, he was a googly eyed fool that didn't scare anyone. You could easily zip right by him and laugh. But not anymore. This gorilla is not only in 3D and scary as an overdrawn bank account, but he is as aggressive as a collection agency! He hunts you down and looks for your sorry butt. And when he finds you, he will knock you off. The first time I encountered him, I was scared! Know what? I am still scared of him. I give the big guy his due.
There are some new obstacles to contend with. There are signs that just fall off and head at you. You want to know the meaning of sheer terror? Have a billboard heading towards your noggin and you will get a crash course! But these are only one of the new people who want to stop you dead. There are the seemingly innocent window washers. They go around the building and just do their job. But if you get in their way, they will run you over like a armadillo on a Texas highway. Plus there is the squeegee of death to worry about. Be careful around these guys as they can send you to your death in quick fashion.
Of course what Crazy Climber wouldn't be complete without girders? I hate the girders in the worst way. If I had to choose between a root canal and these girders, I would have to stop and think. They are that annoying. At least with the larger playing field, you can avoid them a little easier.
All in all, Crazy Climber 2000 is the same game, only greatly improved! It is alot of fun to play and will challenge you. The only flaw is there are only four different building and then you start all over again. I really wanted more! But maybe they will do more in Crazy Climber 2001: The Climbing Odyssey! But be warned that this game is import only and while it was available at places like Tronix (www.tronix.com), when I ordered my copy, it may be sold out now.
Like all of these Mario 64 type games, you have many different areas to explore. There are pirate themed areas, haunted houses, outer space and more! Some require different types of gameplay like flying in a ship and fighting other space ships, ala Galaxian. Of course, there are end of the level bosses to defeat and stuff to collect. And this Pacman can run, swim, jump, bounce, throw pellets and other powers to defeat the ghosts!
The sound effects feature alot of the classic sounds of the original! This adds a feel of nostalgia, even though you are playing a game that would have been impossible when Pacman originally came out. I give the programmers credit for little touches like this that will endear this game with any classic game fan.
The graphics as expected are very modern and very nice. All the typical eye candy of today's games is present and you will find the level of detail is very high. They really pack alot of stuff onto this CD and it shows!
While the game is modern, the roots are classic. If you like these type of games, you will really like this one! Pacman World provides alot of gameplay and will keep you busy for awhile. While it get difficult at times, the game can be defeated and is not going to drive you insane. I do recommend it to all game fans, new or old!
While the gameplay is the same, this time there are obstacles that can get in the way. You can also have things happen like multiple balls, platforms that rise and fall and more. This really adds to the game and can change the outcome in a big way! Plus, you can have up to four people playing at one time! Try doing that on an old Pong unit!
Another nice addition is that you are no longer limited to one playing field. The days of the black background as your only choice is over! Now you can battle in the artic, on a pinball field and many other fields. Each one adds a little to the gameplay and makes for some fun The variety really adds to the game and will keep you coming back! So now the ultimate two player game has gotten a huge facelift and I think it is long overdue!
One of the first things you will notice is the days of one screen pyramids is over. That is left in the past with quarter arcade games and home consoles that came packed with a game. This Q*Bert has huge screens to complete, with some having different levels and all kinds of enemies running in. It is enough to give you a headache. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the game, it is just that some of the levels make me reach for some Excedrin.
This game features all the old foes from the original game, including good old Coiley. That's right, the stupid snake comes back to be fooled all over again. So while the game got a big facelift and there is more to see and do, the good old Coiley is the same. Looks better, but still a moron. Oh well, guess an intelligent snake would be too much for the poor Q*Bert to handle.
One of the fun little things about the game is the cute cartoon at the beginning. While it is something that you will only watch once or twice, it is a fun little cartoon. Figured they had to do something to fill the CD.
While not an incredible game, it does remain faithful to the original. The controls are the same, so if you can play the original, you can play this. While using a gamepad takes a little getting used to, once you do, you can move pretty good. You just need a little patience to get used to the huge levels and many different obstacles. Once you learn to expect the unexpected, you are halfway home!
Reviews....Emu DX Reviews
For anyone who is not familiar with Emu DX, you need to get out and download this program. It is free, it is fun and most of all, it puts your favorite games in a new look! This ingenious program takes classic games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Frogger and leaves the gameplay alone. Why tinker with a classic? Instead, it vastly improves the graphics and sound, to give your old games a whole new lease on life! You will find yourself playing these games, solely to see what is new and improved! It really is alot of fun!
At the time of this article, there were a number of games already updated. This list included Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Galaxian and a few others. There is also a list of games that were either in production or being considered as future projects. Today, I am going to look at two of the games that I played. Hopefully, I can do a few more in the future.
The ghosts are not only more full, but they have a glow to them. They look great! You almost want to go over and compliment them, instead of eating them, but that is a fatal mistake. Plus, their colors are more vibrant as are the fruits that float around. It really is stunning and it will take a game or two to get over it and get down to some serious gameplay.
The only flaw I found in the version that I played is the sound. While the sound was fuller and more vibrant, there was some missing. I am guessing since this is a beta version that it would be corrected in upcoming versions. But the sound that was there was a major improvement over the original.
Fear not, the gameplay is identical to the original as you use the original roms. So that is not changed one bit. Also, the animations between levels are the same, only prettier. So the gameplay or the design of the game wasn't changed at all, just given a shiny new coat of paint and some enhancements.
The sound has been upgraded as well and Donkey Kong is more menacing. Unlike Ms. Pacman, the sounds all seemed to be there for me. There may have been a few missing, I don't know as I was so entranced with the graphics.
I did encounter one problem with the game and if anyone can help, I would be very happy. The screen is so large, that part of the bottom is cut off. While it isn't a big problem, it adds a bit of a challenge as I cannot see Mario until he is up one level. On early levels, it is not a problem, but on later levels it can add to a quick death. But once again, this is a beta version and I am sure the Emu DX team is working on it.
If you like Donkey Kong, you will love this version. It has all that made the original great and now looks so nice you will find yourself kissing your screen. You will be in love with it, I know that I am. Only problem is that I had to explain to my wife why I was hugging the monitor. When she saw it was Donkey Kong and not some adult site, she was quite worried.
Both games can be found at: http://emudx.emuviews.com/
Playstation system (twice)
a Freezer! That's right, I got a really nice freezer in trade for some classic games! Works much better for freezing food than any Atari ever did! So you see that with a little trading skills, you can get all kind of interesting items for video games.
Have you seen the Atari Age April Fool's joke with the diamond studded joystick? I think they called it the Gemstick. The price tag was $1,000,000, and it looked really cool - like something right out of a Gary Glitter music video - but obviously a joke.
Anyhow, I've always wanted to do something creative along those lines and the Eyeball Benders is as good a place as any for this April Fool's special. But there is a catch. Nothing about these 10 images is really a typical Eyeball Bender. You are not challenged to figure it out what it is, and much as what it is supposed to represent. What you see is what you get.
Once again, there are 10, numbered 21 through 30. But I apologize that given a limited time, a couple are just rips offs from a game catalog, and one is really silly, but I think that you'll enjoy them overall. I had other ideas, but some I've forgotten as of the time of this writing, and others didn't pan out, or would have taken too much effort.
So click here to go to the Eyeball Benders. If you are a new reader, then make sure to go check out the previous 20 that I've done. Look for the return of more typical Eyeball Benders in an upcoming issue of both the Bit Age Times and the Retro Times.
(Alan's Atari 2600 collection is sitting on 293, and he's looking forward to Garage Sale Season. Alan can be reached at: email@example.com).
An internationally known toy collecting organization came to town this weekend. People from all over the area dug out their old Barbie Dolls and hobbie horses and had them appraised. People were startled to discover that either a) the item that has been collecting dust in the attic is worth more than the car they drove to get it appraised or b) they better not spend junior’s college money on a trip to Atlantic City just yet. Many items were even purchased by the people in this organization. Though that seems a little fishy to me. Bring me something I’m and expert in, I’ll tell you what it’s worth and then I’ll offer to buy it from you. Anyhoo, this got me thinking about video games…
Ten years from now, this organization rolls into town. Just for fun, I go to it with a Vectrex 3D imager, in its box, with Minestorm 3D and the color wheel and pretend I don’t know what it is.
What reaction will I get ? Will it be like the seagull in “The Little Mermaid” that tells Ariel that the fork is used to comb the surface people’s hair ? Or will the knowledge base of “collectable” toy people be up speed when it comes to out favorite hobby ? Maybe they’ll even enlist the aid of some of our hobby’s experts in the years to come. I just hope that by that time, the person doesn’t just break out a 15 year old Digital Press Guide and go with what’s there. Any guide, even one as good as DP’s needs updating. I hear that a new version is in the works. That’s good news for all of us.
I also did some thinking as I looked at the pile upon pile of loose Atari carts I have. Any collectable toy, when it comes in its box is worth more than the just the toy alone. Will that be true for video games ?
For those people that are just game “players” and look down on collectors as some form of pond scum that keeps prices high and prevents them from finding all the games they want, you may not find any discussions in this article applicable to you.
Anyhow, how will boxed games be viewed in the future ?
I think that, just maybe, depending on the game, a game box in good condition just might end up being worth more than the game itself.
I know ebay is not the truest judge of items values (though any future price guides must take it into consideration when determining prices). But I do recall seeing a boxed Atari 2600 Crazy Climber go for well over $300 when the going rate for a loose copy was around $100. That means that someone, somewhere felt that the Crazy Climber box alone was worth over $200.
How many loose carts have you found ? How many boxed ? How many people do you know that threw the box away, filed the instructions and kept the game ? Lots I’ll bet. And I bet there are still plenty that do it to this day. Playstation and Dreamcast games come in standard CD cases and you have plenty of storage options for them. Saturn games came in those awful over-sized boxes and were nigh impossible to store well. Genesis games (for the most part) came in those nice plastic boxes. But I know plenty of people that ditched those as well. SNES and NES games are the most commonly trashed boxes of the current generations of machines.
So what to do ? It is waaay to late to try to replace the boxes in your classic collection. Many times, if you’re like me, you’re just happy to find a new game for the collection that works. Unless I want to buy a complete game, there is very little chance to get a box that I need for my naked classic games.
But there is still time to get the boxes you need for your more modern games. I’ve found that some used video game store managers of a national chain (wink wink), will sometimes let you have the boxes you need. Some advice, don’t overdo your requests (like asking for 5 or 6 boxes every time you go in), be polite and accept “no” for an answer. Buying something at the same time makes asking for a box a little harder for the person behind the counter to say no to. If you get a couple extra boxes, give them back in exchange for boxes you need.
Will having the box for your game make it more valuable ? In the long run, the answer is yes. But it won’t make the game any more or any less fun to play.
Fred has been playing games for over 25 years and actively collecting them for over 10. The 2400+ games in his collection takes up most of his home office and living room. He lives in Denver, PA with his understanding wife Jennie, his 4 year old, button-loving son Max and his newly acquired 4th player, Lynzie. He would have liked to have seen the expression on the toy collector’s faces if he rolled in there with a boxed Microvision or Vectrex. If you have had a video game experience with these people, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Harrison is a 21 year-old collector from Brantford, Ontario, Canada, who grew up on a constant diet of Atari 2600, Commodore 64, Nintendo, and Game Boy. Known locally as the guy "who keeps wasting quarters on that old Ms. Pac-Man game" at the local bar, he's the Sumguy you'll run into at the local Thrift in Southern Ontario looking for new stuff for his collection and hopes Bira Bira will find him Sumgirl that will take part of his mind off retrogames. He currently makes his own "label variations" as a Packaging Engineer with 3M Canada. Ryan can be contacted at email@example.com
Check back next month when we focus on Atari 2600 games from Sears, Spectravideo, and 20th Century Fox in Canada.
Many Labels of Intellivision
But while Sears was very wealthy, they were also a bit cheap. They decided not to pay licensing fees on the carts and just released the same games, without the official names. So NFL Football became Football, ML Baseball became Baseball and so on and so forth. So if you see a cart with a colored label that just says football or baseball, it is a Sears release.
Some of the games from INTV were new releases and they also featured the plain, white label. INTV also made a cheaper manual than the glossy, color ones from Mattel. Another difference is most of their new releases did not come with overlays or the sports games that were redone and improved, usually featured the same overlays as the earlier versions.
So there you have it. Next time you are looking at Intellivision carts, you now have a basic idea why the labels are different.
to the Editor
I was looking over your website and wondered if you had any really rare carts that aren't on the site? Any prototypes or really, really rare carts? If so, what do you have, the condition and how much?
Editor-This is a question I hear way too often. People assume that I have this huge, secret stash of stuff that I put aside for whatever reason. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but the 5 cases of boxed Chase the Chuckwagons and the 200+ prototypes that I have are not for sale. You cannot have my "Revenge of the Jedi" cart or the sequel to Alligator People, aptly named "Crocodile People". Seriously, I don't have any secret stash of stuff. What you see on the site is what I have, unless it is something I just picked up. So please don't call or email me for stuff like this.
While I am on this subject, I have a rule that I follow on my site. I don't want to sell any cart for over $50.00, since that is what they originally sold for (not all, but some did). Now before you try to get on a waiting list to buy the next Coke Wins or Tooth Protectors for $50.00, know that when I do get these type of carts in (which is very rare), I don't sell them on the site. Rather, I take them and trade them to another dealer or collector for a bunch of uncommon and rare stuff or systems and accessories. Or I may trade them for stuff on my want list.
I know you may find this odd, but I am not a collector of carts. I really have no interest in having all the Atari carts. My modest collection is about 150 carts total and that is including Atari, Intellivision, Colecovision, Nintendo and Super Nintendo. My actual Atari collection is only about 20 games (with nothing very rare) that I enjoy playing.
I was wondering on the condition of some of your carts. Are they mint condition? Please let me know as I am looking for mint carts. Thanks!
Editor-The quickest way to be ignored is to email me a letter like this. Nothing drives me crazier than people who want "mint" anything. My site is not set up to sell to the hard core collectors or people who put the condition of the cart ahead of the quality of the game. I have a saying that I coined and I live by. "When I am perfect, then I will seek perfection." Quite simply, I am human and so I am flawed. Since I am not perfect, why I should expect things to be something that I myself cannot be?
My site is set up to sell to gamers. Whether they are new to the classic game market or long time fans, I offer a large selection of stuff for very low prices. I want to hear how the consumer is enjoying their new Atari or recently purchased Pitfall cart. I don't want to hear some collector whining about how the cart I sold him is on C-8.5, when he expected it to be at least a C-9.
of the Month
The site itself is broken into three sections. The first one is the history section and has a good amount of data on this fun little game. The second section deals with all the versions of the game out there. The last section is for links. While you will not spend alot of time on the site, you will really enjoy the time there. Every page is fun to view and explore! I suggest you take a little time out and check out this site! It will put a smile on your face! Here is the simple to remember URL: http://www.digdug.com.
This site also features some information on up and coming projects, some hints on games they have done, where they will be and more! It is a great look into the careers of two veterans who have made many of my favorite games and probably some of yours as well. So take a look and enjoy the nostalgia as well as all the new projects that are in the works! Here is the URL: http://www.gamerefuge.com.
Odyssey 2 Homepage
This site is full and I mean full of information! There are pictures, reviews, sounds and more from the Odyssey 2, the other game system. William has even put a list of all the tokens that come in the Master Strategy series, so you can make sure yours are complete! Is that cool or what? But there is alot more than that! There is a rarity list, links to other O2 sites, game cheats and more! If you are a fan of the Odyssey 2, then this site will be a second home for you! Here is the URL:
These new changes in categories on eBay has forced me and most collectors to just use the search feature. While this is an easier way to find stuff, there are always those odds items that you miss or the ever famous misspellings. I have seen Atari spelled at least six different ways (with Arari being the most unique yet), plus sometimes they put it as just "games" or "stack of carts" which you would not find with a search. Plus, there are all the different names for the same thing. I have seen carts called: carts, tapes, cassettes, games, programs and a few that I have forgotten. Good luck!
So eBay has taken a step forward and two steps backwards. It all depends on how you look at it. Guess that will make it easier to find deals and harder to find what you are looking for. I still remember the good old days when the video game section on eBay was only about 10-20 total and you could explore it all in a few hours tops (I have been on there since 1996, just look at my feedback). Oh well, guess success has a price and this time it is paid in frustration.
(This issue was done while listening to songs downloaded from Napster. Now I can listen to old favorites like "Everybody's Talking" and "If I Had a Rocket Launcher" whenever I want!)