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Four Reflections for Filler

Ok, here's my second 4-F article, this time examining ROMSTAR, the "I can't believe it's not unlicensed" NES game creator!
#1: Rally Bike, my gateway drug introduction to ROMSTAR
They're bikes! And they rally!
Quite some time ago, I talked a little bit about Rally Bike's cover art...but I didn't really get into the game itself.
#2: Rally < Excite
I guess it would be easiest to summarize it as "an overhead version of ExciteBike"
There's other racers and a "Ranking" count (making it seem like you're racing), but its really just a race against the clock.
However, unlike ExciteBike, it acts a little bit more like the overhead-shooting-game it faintly resembles: racers, walls and obstacles will all kill you if you crash into them; you have a short supply of lives; and on top of that there's a "gas gauge" that runs down as you go and basically functions like a fake energy meter.
There's also some fun power-ups, the most bizarre of which summons two tiny motorcyclists that hover next to you, Gradius-"Option"-like, and allow you to safely bump other rallyin' bikes out of your way if they get too close.
But still, it's a pretty dry, bare-bones experience. Not the blandest race-the-clock NES game I've played (that would be Rollerblade Racer), but not great.
#3: But recently, I've reached a little further into the ROMSTAR catalog, and found...
Championship Bowling
Never let it be said that I don't like a bit of the ol' video game bowling, but...yeah. I mean, sure: you get to choose to play as a bunch of funny lookin' fellers and gals, which is always a plus in a bowling game, and you can choose different ball weights (har)...
#4: but there's really not a lot there...
you position yourself, then tap and tap again to set the two sliders...
There's the "control" slider (for left/right tilt) and the 'power' slider (for...uh, how much blasting power and/or override of tilt it does).
It's kind of fun, and it's hard to get a strike each time (so you get to play with placement and control to pick up some wicked "spares")...but each frame is pretty much like every other frame.
To make matters worse, the only thing that happens, other than the bowling screen, is the "end of a game" screen and trophies: after all 10 frames have been bowled, you only get a Bronze/Silver/Gold trophy if you have bowled over 270. After playing for an hour and a half, the highest score I ever got was in the mid-100s...
So, I'd basically experienced all that this game had to offer within the first ten minutes. That makes for a game that's pretty light on content, Mr. ROMSTAR
Buh-bye!
...but tune in next time -- the third ROMSTAR game I tried had a little bit more going on; including one of the best broken-English subtitles since GunForce!
— carlmarksguy, 2016-06-13
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