Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Generalising video game impostors throughout history - Triple Pixels

It's all true, there are more, I'll get you some as they're hanging out to dry on the line.  I can do that, I'm a doctor.

Unless otherwise stated, screens are from the arcade original.

Taking a deep breath, let's huff, puff and blow this house down.

Pong, Atari 1972
Table Tennis, Magnavox Odyssey 1972
Before a series of Pong consoles, Magnavox sued...  We all know Pong, but we now know it wasn't coated with Atari originality.

Atari did pioneer Breakout in 1976, which had the balls to base itself on Pong and in 1986, Taito's Arkanoid managed to spawn many clones of its own.

Isn't it great that you can reap great success and popularity from something that wasn't even your idea in the first place?

In 1997, Video System released a 'similar' game in Pop 'n Bounce on the Neo Geo.  Let's not hold back, why the fuck would you?

These are basically the same concept but with new licks of paint.


Battle Flip Shot, Visco 1998 vs Windjammers, Data East 1994.





Okay, the core idea was a total shit storm but at least Visco kicked ass on the presentation front.





The racing genre has been around for literally decades but when Mario and chums burned rubber and attacked with classic objects, it was almost inevitable that others would get in on the act...

I'll start with the grandfather.

Super Mario Kart, Nintendo 1992 (SNES)
Unsurprisingly, Nintendo didn't rest on their laurels and successfully managed to spread their premier racer across the board.  Personally, I still think the Nintendo 64 version rules supreme. 

Namco even brought out Mario Kart GP as an exclusive arcade title in 2005 which not only featured Pac Man, but was also housed with an on-board camera so the player's mugshot could be taken and then customised.

Titles of world famous franchises released solely for coin gobbling machines include Silent Hill, Castlevania and wait for it, Half Life.  Yes, you are reading this shit right.

Released in 2006, Taito and their X+ board ensured that Half Life 2: Survivor was the ballsiest and most ambitious jump from home to arcade ever.  Too bad that Britain will probably never get the opportunity to insert coin.  Oh well.

So getting back on track, here are some from the near present to the past.

Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing, Sega 2010 (Various)
Cocoto Kart Racer, Neko Entertainment 2005 (Various)
Konami Kart Racers, Konami 2001 (Game Boy Advance)
Bomberman Kart, Racjin 2001 (PS2)
Chocobo Racing, Square 1999 (PS1)
Mega Man Battle & Chase, Capcom 1997 (PS1)
Street Racer, Vivid Image 1994 (Various)
What a great set.  Ahem!

Crusader of Centy, Sega 1994 (Mega Drive) vs The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Nintendo 1991, 1992 (SNES).







To finish off, we have...

...Alundra, Sony 1997 (PS1)
Well whatever you think of this one, the perspective is undeniable.

Viewpoint, Sammy 1992
Zaxxon, Sega 1982
While Sammy's amazing shmup is second only to Aicom's Pulstar on SNK's mean machine, it remains one of gaming's greatest disappointments that a sequel never surfaced.

Here's a perfect excuse to erupt expletives.

Just have a look at this fucking bombardment of bullshit.

Master of Darkness, SIMS 1992 (Mega Drive)

Ha ha ha!  It's bullshit, such bullshit.  Is it bullshit?  You bet your bare ass it is.

Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo 1989 (NES)
The original 1988 arcade version was more of a scrolling beat 'em up and hence is nothing like its console equivalent.  The former was a fucking piece of shit and this shamelessly cashed in on the success of such a legendary franchise.

Castlevania, Konami 1986 (NES)

Although I've used what most grew up with, this first appeared on the Famicom Disk System and then ported to the MSX.  For what it's worth, there are practically no differences when comparing whatever version.

For whatever reason, drugs were snorted and this came into being.   It was downright ugly and cracked several mirrors.
Before the plug was pulled on the Neo Geo's life support, those who had a few dedicated quid could experience this.

Zupapa, SNK 2001
I admit this is debatable but Jaleco's 1990 cutesy Rod Land springs to mind... 


While not a total cut and paste job, SNK certainly can't deny their 'inspiration'.

Last Resort, SNK 1992 vs Gallop: Armed Police Unit, Irem 1991.

Like a wise old owl who's still capable of a few spinning pile drivers, admire these bits that weren't left on the cutting room floor...

The student...


You can't see them...
...but now you can.
The detail and design of this boss is still two dimensional brilliance.  Incidentally, this is after you deprive this robotic romper stomper of its legs.
The teacher...


You can't see them...
...but now you can (again).
Although on a smaller and inferior scale, Irem's mechanical monster still looks pretty snazzy.
  
Nightmare in the Dark, Eleven/Gavaking 2000
The above was another weird title for the Neo Geo.

Now we continue with relative familiarity as Data East takes a strangle hold for the grandstand finish.

Joe & Mac Returns, 1994
Diet Go Go, 1992
Both are clones of their own 1991 game.

Tumblepop
But wait, even this based itself on a 1990 Toaplan game.

Snow Bros.
The plot reaches extreme viscosity and Taito has the final say.

If you've never suffered a hammering at the hands of these gnomes, it's a lesson you'll never forget...

Dondokodon, 1989

And now, please give a warm round of applause and go absolutely wild for an inspriational classic.


Bubble Bobble, 1986
Please observe as this seminal classic displays onomatopoeia. 

This may seem like an incredible coincidence but this 1995 Visco effort was published by Taito and the title derives from when bubbles go 'pon'.  Unsurprisingly, it played pretty much like Puzzle Bobble. 

I must crank the volume up before I announce these on the loud speaker.

The following are still Taito's babies and proves there was life before the truly famous.

The Fairyland Story, 1985
Chack 'n Pop, 1983
Are you looking at the genesis of Bubble Bobble?  Definitely!

Chack even appeared as a tinkered kiwi in 1988.

The New Zealand Story
So another fantastic journey ends and another will open (at some undisclosed point).

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