About ultrasonic9

I am a retro gamer, aspiring writer, and podcaster who loves music from the 80s and great movies, both classic and modern.

Video Game Boom Box: History of Mario Music

To celebrate Thanksgiving, as well continue Mario’s 35th Anniversary, here’s a video by Youtuber String Player Gamer with an awesome medley of the themes.

(Thanks for the suggestion @ubernerd527 !)

Happy Thanksgiving Arcaders!

Nintendo’s Arcade Archives: Puzzle Bobble (Ultrasonic’s thoughts)

For those who remember playing the Bubble Bobble video games, you remember the cuteness and bright cartoon-like atmosphere which balanced out a very deep game, and one that caught the attention of many an Arcader, myself included. After all, what’s not fun about trapping creatures in bubbles and then popping them once trapped? It’s quirky, yet good fun all at the same time.

But there’s no way anything else could be done with these two lovable dinosaurs, right?

Wrong!

In June of 1994, Taito created a game called Puzzle Bobble (also called Bust-A-Move) that featured their two dinos in a new type of game, but one that wasn’t too unfamiliar. Much like other puzzle games like Tetris, Dr. Mario and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, this puzzle game was distinct over how to solve the puzzles.

The way each stage starts, you have an assortment of creatures trapped in different colored bubbles, and our two dino heroes are at the bottom with more bubbles which you can then shoot onto the field, with one being loaded onto the launcher and another waiting in the wings to be used right after. The bubbles then go flying until they either touch the wall or until they touch another bubble. The objective is to line up three or more bubbles of the same color which then clears that specific assortment. Now one would think that would be all to it – which it is to some extents – but if an assortment of bubbles is cleared, and there’s another set below it that’s connected to the former collection, then that set will drop and increase your score more, which can come in handy in tight moments, plus as you play the stages more Arcaders can get pretty creative with this, which only increases the replay value.

But to be able to pull this off takes a great deal of practice, not just with knowing how to use the color bubbles given to you but also how the launcher is positioned, for that is what really makes the difference. Even the slightest adjustment can make or break your game, but since this part is trial-and-error, you won’t really know until after you make a mistake a few times.

But make sure not to take too long, because while you don’t have a timer counting down, the ceiling of the playing field starts to narrow the more time goes by, so the game does force you to think on your feet a bit.

In all, this Arcade game is definitely a must have if you are a fan of puzzle-type arcade games, and while I myself was more of a fan of the regular Bubble Bobble titles, I got hooked on this the moment I played it the first time back during my Disney Quest days, and now that I have this game on my Switch I get to relive those moments again.

Screenshot from my Nintendo Switch.

While this game does take quite a long time to master, the learning curve is small, and the fun factor is high, plus the colorfulness and whimsicalness of the game make it appealing for everyone. And even if you aren’t the biggest fan of puzzle-games, it will grab your attention for sure. It’s 2-Player mode also makes it ideal for two friends to play together, especially since you can get competitive as you clear out your own field and fill up your opponent’s in the process.

So whether it be as a digital copy for any of the consoles, or if you’re fortunate enough to have the Arcade cabinet, go turn it on and Bust-A-Move!

Video Game Boom Box: Super Mario Bros. 35th – Super Mario Bros. Super Show Tracks

Ready your NES Controllers and Zappers Arcaders, because here’s a track composed by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban (of Power Rangers fame) for the show, or rather, a pretty awesome remix of a classic track from the first Mario game!

Video Game Boom Box: Super Mario Bros. 35: Mario Medley

To start off this month’s Video Game Boom Box – as well as to celebrate not just National Video Games Day but the 35th Anniversary of the original Super Mario Bros., here’s a medley that Nintendo came up with to help celebrate.

But that’s not all-stay tuned Arcaders, for more tracks are coming!

Mouse Trap Arcade (Ultrasonic’s thoughts)

As many Arcaders know, after the phenomenal success of Pac-Man, a whole slew of maze games were made, some of which have been covered here on the site. But there was one that also merits mentioning, and that title is Mouse Trap.

Created by Exidy in 1981, this Arcade definitely emulated Pac-Man in many respects, yet it had a style all its own.

In this game Arcaders were placed in the role of a mouse who is trying to collect/eat cheese in a maze. Sounds pretty simple right? Wrong, because there are cats in this maze as well as occasional hawks who are looking for their next meal, and you are on the menu.

But fortunately, you are no ordinary mouse, for you have the ability to open/close doors in the maze to help you, plus there are bones that can turn you into a dog once you eat them. Much like how the energizer dots allow Pac-Man to eat the ghosts, Once you are a dog you can attack the cats with gusto.

In all, it is a really unique Arcade game and one that truly deserves notice, even among all the copycats that came out after Pac-Man, as well as one that stood out among the many Arcade games that were in Disney Quest. So this game definitely gets an okay from me.

And on a lighter note here’s hoping that this title comes to the Switch down the road!

Ultrasonic’s thoughts: Independence Day video game (Sega Saturn, Playstation 1)

When Independence Day came out in theaters, it was definitely a movie that helped bring back the summer blockbuster, which had been in a bit of slump for a while until the mid/late 90s. Given the science-fiction/action nature of the film – particularly with regards to the dogfight scenes between Earth’s fighter planes and the Alien Attackers – it felt like there was a video game that could be made out of this. Or at least that was the mindset the developers at Radical Entertainment had when they got the call to create a video game tie-in to the film.

Much like the flight simulator games that came out during this time, ID4 puts you in the cockpit of a fighter plane – with Steve Hiller as your wingmate – and you have to complete an objective for the place you are at (destroy Shield generators, protect an AWAC, shoot down X amount of Alien craft) and then once you complete that objective you then have to take out the City Destroyer’s primary weapon to complete the whole mission.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, there’s the fact that you have to contend with Alien Attackers that will try to shoot you down, to say nothing of everything else the enemy will try to throw at you – gun turrets, smaller transport ships, and other types of attackers besides the one audiences know from the film.

In just about every location you will find yourself confined to flying underneath the Destroyer so you can only go so far. However, the space is large enough to where you can take it all in, while trying not to get shot down, of course. Plus the fact that you can shoot down the Alien Attackers is definitely a plus.

While the fighters you fly can take punishment – unlike the movie – that’s not to say they are invincible, for the life gauge – or shield gauge if you want to call it that – does decrease as as you get hit by enemies weapons or even if you accidentally run into buildings or even get up close and personal with either the City Destroyer or the perimeter shield. Plus the missiles you have will also decrease as you use them, and if you run out you’ll be in quite a pickle because while the cannon you have shoots unlimited tracers, it’s not going to inflict as much damage as missiles will.

But of course, what kind of shooter is complete without power-ups? And this game has plenty. From to missile power-ups to Health power-ups to repair your fighter jet, even one that not only repairs your fighter’s life gauge to the max, but gives you an energy shield of your very own, you’re pretty much set. But’s only the tip of the iceberg, because there’s plenty of other power-ups to discover, from finding other fighter planes to unlock, along with other types of power ups that can range from freezing aliens for a short time, as well as weapons that can either blind alien craft from seeing where they’re going to sending them out of control, and even unlocking portals that can take you to different places, this game definitely wasn’t lacking in material.

(The Alien attackers definitely got my attention more, given their design aesthetic. I wonder if some of these were done by concept artists from the movie but never made it into the final cut)

In all, this game was a decent one to me. While it was no StarFox 64 epic by any means it isn’t as awful as some say it is, and if nothing else it was a game that tried to be more than just a cash-in.

So if nothing else it is a game that will at least keep you entertained for a while.


References: https://independenceday.fandom.com/wiki/Independence_Day_(video_game)