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Old 01-15-2012, 08:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Four Games for the Road

It's been a blast, but I'll be taking a break from 1UP, at least for the time being. I can't say when I'll be back, but I can give you a parting gift... four brief reviews of games that might have slipped under your radar.

Solaris
Atari 2600

The NES was one of the best things about the 1980s, but many middle-class kids (including myself) had to get by with the Atari 2600 until they could scrape together the money for Nintendo's hit console. It was just our luck that the 2600 experienced a late 1980s renaissance, with both Atari and third parties releasing some of the best games for the system. It didn't get any better than Solaris, a thrilling yet surprisingly deep shooter with special effects even the NES couldn't beat!

Rollerball
NES

Pinball was probably not high on your list of reasons to buy an NES, but there were two excellent simulations in case you needed to scratch that silver ball itch. While Pin-Bot made a strong first impression with its stunning graphics and digitized speech, Rollerball offered a lengthy playfield based on New York skyscrapers and challenged players to climb to the top. Authentic ball physics and an energetic soundtrack kept pinball fanatics and ordinary gamers fighting for hours to earn the "Sky High" bonus!

Q*Bert 3
Super NES

Q*Bert's offbeat gameplay and personable characters made a strong impression in 1983, but the game vanished from the public eye after the industry crash later in the year. Fame has eluded the orange puffball ever since... which is a shame, because Q*Bert 3 is the most wonderfully weird of his adventures. The gameplay is the same as it's always been, with Q*Bert hopping on blocks to change their color, but the lush psychedelic graphics will blow your mind. Less mesmerizing but still welcome are dozens of brand new levels along with the classic pyramid. You'll also find elusive fruit prizes which could net you bonus points... or put Q*Bert in peril!

Double Dragon Advance
Game Boy Advance

This game got a lot of grief for being repetitive, but uh... it's Double Dragon. It's like complaining that Grand Theft Auto has too much carjacking. Yes, you'll be beating up dozens of guys who look like the dozens of guys you beat up in the previous stage. However, it's never been done this well. The technique has tripled from the original game, with dozens of attacks for your thug-thumping pleasure, and there's a perfect blend of classic stages and new content. The only problem with the game are those bedeviled Smiths. The Matrix, in my Double Dragon? It's more likely, and annoying, than you'd think.



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