I think there's a healthy homebrew community for the NES, but perhaps we don't hear as much about it. After all, NES homebrewers struggle to create games that stand out amidst a library that already includes Mario, Castlevania, Metroid, Bionic Commando, Mega Man, Final Fantasy, and Zelda. Since the Vectrex faded out so early in its lifespan, I think there'd be a greater demand for games to bolster the library. The Dreamcast suffered a similar fate, and incidentally, it has one of the largest homebrew communities I've ever seen. Homebrew games tend to travel through Dreamcast channels rapidly, as every game can easily be burned onto a CD-R with minimal costs incurred on the part of the player.
Here's a NES homebrew list that is fairly current (cartridge releases only):
The list is inflated in number because multiple editions of many games are included. As you can see it pales in comparison to Vectrex. I think Fury alone has the entire NES scene beat, in terms of volume of titles released in cartridge form.
The author of Nomolos and the author of Battle Kid (perhaps the two biggest NES homebrew projects) are both active on Nintendoage forums, encouraging new people to get into NES programming.
... Like you say the competition with the original library is much different between NES and Vectrex. Vectrex homebrew may more reasonably aspire to surpass the originals in scale and quality. Also, it's the only legitimate outlet for new VECTOR GAMES. ... But perhaps the bigger issue is that most homebrew projects are really a one man operation. On Vectrex that much more closely resembles the original process, where as the original NES games involved whole teams of people. A lot of content (level design, backgrounds, writing) involved in a typical NES game.
...Back to the thread subject, I tried an unreleased NES prototype game yesterday (only in emulation so far), BIO FORCE APE.
Download here, (discreet link at the bottom of the page):
This game is crazy!!!! I highly recommend checking it out. Very interesting article (and images) about it on the same page I linked. (This is NOT a homebrew game BTW. The edition listed on that NES homebrew list is apparently a hacked version. The original was a full scale commercial project.)
I haven't spent much time with it yet, but supposedly it is fully playable from start to finish. The gameplay is a bit strange, with super fast scrolling and with many opportunities for your character to fall an extremely long distance, (and then have to climb back up). BUT THE STYLE OF THIS GAME REALLY AMAZES ME. The exotic and clandestine nature of the game (completely lost for many years) is surely part of the excitement. But the imagery really has a lot of character.
The animation of the Ape is really interesting and expressive and I'm not sure I've ever seen anything like it on NES or any other console of that era.
Last Edit: May 22, 2013 11:59:06 GMT -5 by gliptitude
Post by wyldephang on May 22, 2013 22:09:03 GMT -5
Trek, I'm happy that you're looking into Crystalis. I hope you find a copy for the price you'd like to pay. Rest assured that it's the best action RPG for the NES. The learning curve is reasonable, and the controls are very responsive.
If you're interested in the more peculiar titles, I remember having a lot of fun with Little Nemo and A Boy and His Blob, so I'd suggest tracking them down.
Although original, a lot of people didn't think Boy/Blob was very fun, so I wouldn't pay too much for it, although I don't think it's real expensive (but I could be wrong, as I don't know much about the NES).
That's true: the game isn't for everyone. It could be difficult to remember the powers of the various jellybeans. Feed the blob one flavor and he'll turn into a ladder; feed him another, and he'll become a trampoline or an umbrella. I always seemed to forget the flavor correlations, so I needed a strategy guide to help me through the levels. Still, it was quirky enough to hold my interest.
Getting back to the original topic, I've been playing a lot of Vectrex lately, due to some guy on the Retrocade Magazine forums posting high scores on several games, so I've been joining in So I've played (so far) Y*A*S*I, Protector, Bedlam and Space Frenzy, and Spike and Scramble are going to be next.
Post by wyldephang on May 28, 2013 16:14:33 GMT -5
Trek, you're getting your NES collection off to a fantastic start. The Mega Man franchise is one of the 8-bit era's most venerated offerings. And if you like the first game, you'll love the second one for its expanded gameplay: more Robot Masters, more weapons and items, and a password system. Every subsequent game in the series would follow the basic model set by Mega Man 2, but the first game is where it all began. I hope you continue to dig into the Mega Man universe and explore its rich potential. My personal NES rankings would put Mega Man 3 at the top of the list, with Mega Man 2 and 5 in the next tier, followed by MM1, MM4, and MM6, in that order. Always stay alert for good deals.
I've been playing through the Mass Effect series, starting with the first game on Xbox 360. I've just worked my way through the second game, having rescued all possible survivors and established a loyal crew, and I'm hesitant to start on the third adventure because I know how it ends. I might consider downloading the extra content, but as far as I understand, it doesn't repair the way the narrative falls apart in the last 10-20 minutes of the game. If I decide against Mass Effect 3, I'll either finish Shining Force--I'm at the last battle--or I'll work on one of my SNES RPGs.
Post by gliptitude on May 28, 2013 19:01:10 GMT -5
I've been playing Vectrex too. Cleaned up my VecFlash and put a nice collection on there, (exclusively stuff that I don't already have on dedicated carts), a nice assortment of games, demos, tests and my own sprite prototypes - a real delirium inducing vectorfest.
I changed the file names of the four ROMs that are compatible with the Starblast controller to begin with 0, so that they would show on the first page in the menu, (so I wouldn't need to swap controllers to navigate to them). ... The first Rockaroids is really fun since it uses button 4 for thrusting (the big button on Starblast).
Sat down and spent some time with Continuum (free version, flashed), very stylish and also fun. (the flashing squares started to aggravate me though.)
Also flashed is a demo I'd never seen before, a Labyrinth game by Chris Salomon, which is pretty sweet. He used a clever trick for making left and right turns, where a voice announces the turn, rather than fully animating it.
So I have been alternating from this flashed collection and Fortress of Narzod and War of the Worlds.
Post by gliptitude on Jun 10, 2013 18:12:17 GMT -5
^- Nice. How did you snag Battlekid? Last I checked both games were not currently available for purchase. Neither was Nomolos, which is the one I really want to play.
... I've recently gotten the donor carts together to ship out to Canada for the repro guy to put Bio Force Ape on cart for me. I finally broke down this weekend and bought a NES 101 (toploader) which I've wanted for a long time. ... So I'm about to revisit the NES in a big way myself.