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Coda Coda is offline
Default Game Mini-Reviews   #1  
I've tried out a bunch old games recently, in part because of a retro arcade in my area and in part because of some impulsive "huh, that sounds interesting" moments of looking up stuff I heard about. I thought it might be interesting to write up my thoughts on them.

I'm not going to give any of these games numeric scores, but I'll conclude with my recommendations.


Game: Wing of Madoola
Developer: Sunsoft
Platform: NES (Japan only)
Year: 1986

This definitely isn't a diamond in the rough. In fact, it's pretty rough. But... it's not terrible either.

Things start off pretty sparse. There's no animation on the title screen, not even a message saying to press start. At least the music here is decent. Sounds sort of Pokemon-ish.

If you press start, then you get a status screen showing what powerups you'll eventually be able to get, but you only have a sword right now, then you get dropped into the game. It seems this is one of those games where you have to have read the instruction manual, because there's NOTHING in the game itself to tell you who you are, what you're doing, why you're doing it, how to do it... The music is all right. Not great, but not bad.

The gameplay is kind of clumsy. It's more controllable than Castlevania, at least, but it doesn't have the kind of polish that Super Mario Bros had. You have minimal control over your jump while in the air, and your jump (before you get upgrades) is even shorter than Mega Man's. The hitboxes on your weapons are small and there's a dead zone where your sword can't hit between the frame where it's above your head and the frame where it's in front of you.

It's also ridiculously punishing. You start with 1000 health, but making physical contact with a boss deals 400 damage, and there are no extra lives -- if you die even once, you start the game over. (However, like Super Mario Bros, there's a cheat code you can enter at the title screen to continue the game.) Healing items are rare. And it's possible to skip powerups that you need in order to complete the game; at one point, I got stuck in a valley I couldn't jump out of because I had missed a set of boots. I recommend a walkthrough.

And yet despite all of these complaints, the game isn't without its charm. It looks pretty good for 1986 -- the environments are more colorful than Metroid and more varied than Super Mario Bros, and the sprite work is mostly good (if a bit flat, but that's typical of the era). The game world is surprisingly large, especially relative to other contemporary titles. Once I got used to the awkward controls, I found it reasonably enjoyable.

Would I recommend it to someone looking for a good game to play? Certainly not. But I also won't tell you to stay away from it. It compares favorably to other games from 1985-1986 and capably demonstrates the technology of the time.
Mega Man: The Light of Will (Mega Man / Green Lantern crossover: In the lead-up to the events of Mega Man 2, Dr. Wily has discovered emotional light technology. How will his creations change how humankind thinks about artificial intelligence? Sadly abandoned. Sufficient Velocity x-post)

Games by Coda (updated 11/24/2019 - New game: Jigsawmino)
Art by Coda (updated 4/20/2020 - untitled original music)
Old Posted 08-16-2019, 02:22 PM Reply With Quote