A Grown Man Attempts to Review NES Games, part 1

February 09, 2009 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

The Exquisite Horror of 8 Eyes

Spoiler: This is the most sensible part of this game.
Okay, the premise is simple: I have several hundred NES roms that I have downloaded; I have never/rarely played most of them. I am currently 32 years old and need to face my nostalgia for the old NES days fairly (rejected title: “Overrated: Retro Gaming”). To wit, what sort of first impression do I get from any given NES game from “Back in the DayTM?”

I will be rating this on a Points Scale of my own devising that makes absolutely no sense. Also, I will be doing no research on the game – I don’t want my viewpoint colored by learning anything other than what I see on the screen.

The game in question is 8 Eyes. I’ve never played this game, nor even heard of it before last week. It comes from the Golden Age of the NES, circa 1988-89.

Graphics: The graphics on this game were about par for the course for that era. The first level looks a little busy, but maybe the designer was going for an “Arabesque” feel. Points detracted for kinda ripping off the look of Castlevania, but added back in because, dude, if you’re gonna rip off a game, there are worse ones. Although, I’m not 100% sure if your character is supposed to be an albino, or coloring was deemed “too expensive.” (3/5)

Bollywood, the Game!
Sound: The music, or what I heard before turning the sound down in annoyance, sounded like a shitty demo harpsichord played by your best friend’s kid sister who later dreamed of joining Dead Can Dance. Given the unabashed radness of sound design on games like the Mega Man, Castlevania, and Ninja Gaiden series, that is unacceptable. (1/5)

Look at all the places you'll never play long enough to see.
Gameplay: This game plays like a not very fun Castlevania ripoff, which I can only assume it is. And that means you have the same lame gravity and jumping physics that marred that series. Otherwise, you run around and stab culturally sensitive A-rabs and Skeletons and birds (and apparently Jawas). Add to it the total tease of board that looks like you’re given the choice to select worlds a la Megaman, while not really being given a choice, and this game can go to hell. Oh, and like all games made between 1987-1991, it’s ridiculously, unrewardingly hard and there is no password function (2/5)

Level of Adult Confusion: Very, very high. Maybe the instruction book would explain the premise of this game (I somehow doubt it), but apparently you are an Albino Knife Guy with a Pet Bird that May or May not be Helping You When You Fight. You are clearly traveling the world to accomplish something. Or find someone. Or just because you like stabbing things. The first level consists largely of stabbing things and opening doors. Which you open by stabbing the switches which are…um…well

Longer than it is wide.
More than a little phallic. Thank God once you stab them they look…



Oh, and speaking of God, this game is apparently religious or something. When you stab the not at all racist Turbaned Arab Guys, they turn into crosses, as do all the other villains – except for the Jawas. Apparently, they drop throwing weapons. These include (as far as I’ve gotten) ANOTHER KNIFE (so you can stab people from far away) and a ball that rolls around and seemed to do little or no actual damage.

Wait a minute…albino hero…crosses…is this game made by Opus Dei? Do I have to fight a giant Tom Hanks head that shoots Audrey Tatous at me? If not, why not?

Maybe this would be cleared up if I could make it to the end of a level, but I somehow doubt it. (5/5)

Level of Childhood Rage If I Had Spent My Own Money On This: Pretty damn high, I’m guessing. Games weren’t cheap back then, and I didn’t have a job. If I had spent between 25 and 40 bucks on this swillpile because the store was out of Mega Man 2 (and not buying a new game was not an option), I would have been beside myself with fury. Oh, I would have played it for hours, because it’s not like I had a life, but I wouldn’t have been pleased. Oh, no. (5/5)

Time Spent Playing as an Adult Before Quitting In Annoyance: Not including making screen caps? 3 minutes, tops. To put this into perspective, I spent at least 2 minutes just fantasizing about miniature Amelie's raining on me when composing this.

Composite Grade: D-

Honestly, even Castlevania 2 was more fun than this pile o’crap. Of course, if you like crypto-religious games about albinos that like to stab doorwangs, by all means download this. If you ever see me replaying it, then I am punishing myself for my sins and couldn’t find my flail.