Well, I made another in a long series of disappointingly horrible NES purchases.
(rapidly press "B" to make Mark Twain spin in his grave)
(I died three to five times whilst facing these invulnerable barrels, which are the first enemies)
But as always, this website allows me to take that lousy NES playing experience and make lousy-NES-playing-experience-ade lemonade!
Basically the play control is terrible: Tom Sawyer's running, jumping and cornering make Amagon look like Super Mario Bros 3. But a big part of Tom's uselessness is his attack: he lobs tiny pebbles in a widely ineffective arc.
And that made me think about how many NES games require you to chuck, toss, heave or lob various weapons in a rising-then-falling curve. This gives you the twin drawbacks of finite range AND limited effective arcs, where an enemy can be right in front of you as your projectile sails merrily over its head.
I could think of eight games which have this drawback -- half of them have SOME lobbing weapons, but the other half require that you use these fire-arc-du-lack-of-triumph weapons almost all the time.
Games with a variety of weapons, some of which are lobbed:
In Ghosts & Goblins or Friday the 13th, do whatever you can to replace arcing torches/rocks with better weapons; otherwise even the zombies will laugh at you.
DynoWarz and the NES version of Bram Stoker's Dracula* are mediocre games with a variety of weapons...the crummiest of which fly in an arc.
Games where you have to rely on lobbed weapons almost all the time:
Super Mario Bros 2
The mustached brothers and their entourage are somehow unable to stomp their foes in dream-land. Instead they have to rely on hefting and flinging vegetables, miscellaneous things, or the bad guys themselves.
Hudson's Adventure Island
You're not always armed in the Adventure Island series...but when you are, you're usually lobbing these spinning stone axes.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
For some reason, SETA adds Mark Twain to the long list of centuries-dead authors whose legacy was slandered by cheap NES games which supposedly feature their characters.
Here, Tom (and optionally Player 2 as Huck, a Luigi-style alternating-turn palette swap) ineffectually chuck pebbles at fast-moving opponents and animals, all while controlling like they wear sticky, slippery shoes that will make you wish for the responsiveness of any other platformer.
And did I mention that one hit kills you? If not: "one hit kills you." There, that's that taken care of...
Little Nemo: the Dream Master
Not only is Nemo's candy-flinging arc the shortest of the lot, but it doesn't even defeat enemies, it just stuns them. Rather, it stuns them very briefly...and they're too big for your puny legs to jump over them while stunned.
I think a good therapist would have some things to say about why Little Nemo has dreams that seem bent on punishing him...but considering the other things that happen in Little Nemo's dreams,
(like distracting certain animals with candy then wearing their skins like a suit)
it's possible that Little Nemo should just keep his dreams to himself.
I hope you've enjoyed this parabolically arcing trip down memory lane!
Tune in next week where I'll undoubtedly look at another tosser of a game!