U.N. Squadron (SNES, 1991) – Part of Tomcat Tuesday

UN_Squadron-SNES-cartridge-title_screen

F-14s are pictured on the cover, but not immediately available in the game. Also, at the time of this writing it can be speculated that the logo on the right is a Galarian Rapidash.

Oh boy, another arcade-style shooter, this time sidescrolling instead of moving forward.. You might recall how terrible I am at these.

UN_Squadron-SNES-Character_Select

The guy on the left is the main character of the series. The guy on the right appears to be Mario. He’s pretty good at these sidescrolling shooters.

Anyway, this here game is a victim of localization. It’s actually a port of a 1989 arcade game based on a 1979 manga (titled Area 88), and in Japan it bore the title of the manga whereas internationally it was retitled. There is no characterization here that I saw or in-depth storytelling, instead the enjoyment comes from killing a bunch of people but without the shame and self-loathing that the hero felt according to the Wikipedia page. Really, kinda runs contrary to the message of the story. And the fact that I played as the hero character makes it doubly ironic- while he was a top ace, I am absolutely terrible. For a triple irony score, we have the game being called “U.N. Squadron” when you play as a mercenary group that has no affiliation with the U.N., an organization that frowns upon mercenary activity. Hell, let’s go all-in for quad-irony: the manga was praised for realistic depictions of air combat, while this game is very much unrealistic.

The Game

UN_Squadron-SNES-gameplayDidn’t I tell you? Side-scrolling shooter. You can pickup power-ups that change your gun from being some kind of infinite energy bulb shooter to an infinite energy crescent shooter. The eventual form of your energy bolts reminded me of one of the ultimate weapon upgrade in the SNES Star Wars games. You also can have several secondary weapons, but they’re in a finite supply.

You start with a screen showing a map of the area, and can pick a mission on that grid. Then you go to a screen where you can select your fighter. You start with an F-8 Crusader, but can upgrade to various other planes as your amount of money increases… so I guess that’s something from the manga they were able to translate to good effect without too much of the irony thing happening. You can buy other planes to fly, such as the F-14. Once you select your plane, you are taken to a screen where you can pick what secondary weapons you wish to equip. Go ahead- buy an F-14 and load it up with all sorts of insane things, then fly at real low speeds mopping up enemies. Pretend you’re flying the Turbokat. You choose your science-fiction fantasy, you’ll be living it every time you play this game based on a manga lauded for realistic depictions of air combat.

UN_Squadron-SNES-F-14-submarine

What did I tell you last time? I told you that an F-14 could only attack a sub on the surface. Here you are. An F-14 vs what looks mostly like a Soviet Delta-II class, borrowing the sail of an Ohio-class.

The missions don’t happen in a vacuum- while you are doing one, the enemy has units advancing elsewhere. So you might finish a mission to find that an enemy sub is shooting-up your base, or an enemy mercenary squad has finally reached  your base. Or you might take a million turns failing to fight off the enemy air force as it advances to your base until it finally arrives and becomes the only mission you can select.

That’s it really as far as I can tell. Just keep playing until there aren’t any more missions? I’ll never know.

Final Opinion

UN_Squadron-SNES-Fighter_Select

They gambled wrongly on the F-20 and YF-23, since between the two only 5 prototypes exist. The F200 is apparently based on a Clint Eastwood movie that I’ve wanted to see for decades but never got around to.

It’s not a budget title, it runs at around $25. As I recall for $15 more I was able to get arcade ports of R-Type I and II on the PlayStation. So… to me it didn’t have much to offer that differed it significantly from other games like this or that would make it more cost-effective to buy it over another side-scrolling shooter, but if you like the Area 88 series then I’d suggest this game over the other side-scrolling shooters.

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Turn and Burn: No-Fly Zone (SNES, 1994), F-14 Tomcat (Game Boy Advance, 2001), and Super Hornet F/A-18F (Game Boy Advance, 2004) – Part of Tomcat Tuesday

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I wanted to do this in November, but then work and laziness mixed into a toxic smoothie. So here we go now for December. On Tuesdays, I will have a post about games featuring the venerable and maintenance-heavy F-14 Tomcat. Not because I’m an Iranian sympathizer, but because I grew up with them flying over my head.

It’s really the same game, but they changed the title. I guess because over the course of 7 years kids forgot what “Turn and Burn” meant. Or maybe it’s because Nintendo wanted to continue misleading the public on how its first set of GBA games were just retitled remakes, like release title Super Mario Advance. Seriously, 14 or more of the games released in its first seven months were just ports, slight remakes, or collections.

What Is This Game?

Turn_And_Burn-Night_landing

From the SNES version. I had a teacher once who told about two Air Force pilots that tried a night landing on an aircraft carrier, as seen depicted above. One was terrified, the other transferred to the Navy.

It’s a flight simulator. A fun one, I should add. I’ve played others that were terrible (like a virtual reality one that got waaaay to realistic in that you had to have a real-life manual to run the plane, and F-22 Raptor for the Sega Genesis which is kind of slow and clunky). You pretend you are piloting an F-14. For those who don’t remember, they were a very needy plane that Iran still uses, being the only country to use them that wasn’t the United States. We got rid of ours because at the time (2006) we didn’t need them. Now we do, or rather we need a ship that has the same range and speed as a Tomcat. But maybe without the expense or high maintenance needs.

Of course the military has been getting away with wasteful idiotic and likely corrupt projects (like the F-35, the Bradley, and body armor that doesn’t work) or at-one-time worthwhile projects that work but end up being done in the most asinine corrupt way possible (like the F-22, the C-5, and buying hammers and toilet seats), and politicking and fraudulent accusations of fraud between services and with contractors has been laughably dangerous for our national security, so we’ll probably get a proper replacement for the Tomcat exactly 10 years after the next war, and it will only be half as good as it needs to be.

Back In The Game

Turn_And_Burn-refueling

Refueling on the SNES version

You start each mission with a briefing telling you what you need to shoot down. Then you take off from USS America (which was retired 2 years after the game came out on the SNES. It looks like you still launch from her in the Game Boy Advance version despite this being 5 years after the carrier’s decommissioning, though when you takeoff the number is indecipherable and on the title screen it looks like the carrier is numbered with the rather unconventional “6E”). You’re in a first-person view all the way. When it shows the rear view of your character flying, that’s just looking through the rearview mirror. Yes, they had those.

Turn_And_Burn-F-14-dogfight

GBA on the left, and the SNES version with the bottom of the screen cropped by accident on the right.

While up in the air, you take on enemy planes, MiG-29s. This presents a problem in the GBA version as while the SNES keeps the enemy vague, on the GBA you are fighting China who never used the MiG-29. Later on, submarines appear on the map and send missiles at you- while you can use your countermeasures to get the missiles off your tail, you can’t do much about the subs, just like real F-14s which could only attack a sub if they could see it on the surface. Sometimes, you are given a special target, which basically ends up being you shooting at the ground. Let me explain: Mode 7 allows for certain effects, like how for landing on carriers in the game it looks like you’re flying at a blue wall with a picture of an aircraft carrier. Well, that dynamic is repeated when you attack a ground target (they just have you fly at a picture of the ground and shoot various points of interest on it) and when you attack a new surveillance plane (you just shoot sprites of propellers as you fly at the picture, also- I assume it’s either supposed to be a Yak-44 which never went into production and was probably classified at the time, or they just used an image of the American Hawkeye). I didn’t make it much farther than that into the game, but it’s probably safe to assume you have to do it to some other stuff too. I’m not criticizing the technique, I rather enjoy it.

The dogfighting in the game made me think of Star Fox 64. Maybe the visuals, cockpit view, and mechanics are why. Some instinct honed over years of playing that game and its 3DS remake told me “this is like that”. It seemed kind of fast-pace, I guess. Anyway, that’s entirely subjective, but I was impressed by the dogfighting and sensation of speed this game was able to provide.

You don’t have to dogfight, you can lock onto the enemy with one of three different types of missiles. Upon impact, in the little screen where your radar is, instead a small video clip from Top Gun plays that shows a plane getting hit by a missile. One possible clip is of an F-14 getting hit, the other possible clip is the one famously used by China where an F-5 is hit. This happens in both versions of the game.

I don’t know how it proceeds through the rest of the game since I didn’t bother getting far, but the first set of missions came as a group of four. Day, evening, night, sunrise. Kind of like Super Battletank.

Since I am but one person, I did not have a chance to sample the multiplayer modes.

Version Differences

Turn_And_Burn-F-14-takeoff

Here’s you taking off backwards on the GBA version (left) and taking off like it really works, on the SNES (right). This view also appears when you want to deploy electronic countermeasures to hit a missile tailing you.

Some bullet points:

  • Bullets are blue on the GBA but yellow on the SNES
  • GBA’s overall play field map does not show the whole area, unlike on the SNES.
  • On the GBA version you takeoff from the front of the carrier, but then when it flips to the rear view your plane is seen taking off from the back of the carrier (which is physically impossible).
  • GBA’s close-range radar screen is different
  • The GBA game pits you against China, while on the SNES the enemy was not named though assumed to be Middle Eastern since the manual says you are in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Dogfighting was a lot harder on the GBA
  • Of the two difficulties, novice and ace, the GBA version makes novice even easier than on the SNES. It takes off and lands the jet for you on the GBA novice setting, and when all the MiGs are destroyed you are immediately teleported back to the carrier for the landing sequence. On the SNES, you controlled takeoff and landing, and you had to find the carrier yourself on the novice setting.
  • the multiplayer modes: for the SNES, your fellow player is your R.I.O. while on the GBA you instead deathmatch with up to three others.

I had some difficulty getting my copy to work. It might just be my copy, but it almost didn’t work on my DS lite and absolutely refused to work on my GameCube Game Boy Advance Player, this after the game had been cleaned.

Overall Impression

It’s a great budget title if you like flying fighters and dogfighting. Some bits of it reminded of Super Battletank and Super Battletank 2 (I mention this because the tactical map in that game is similar to the one here), probably because the same company made those games. The GBA and SNES versions both ran about $5 (I think the GBA version might’ve been cheaper).

Turn_And_Burn-shot_down

From the SNES version, after I got shot down

Addendum/Post Script/After The Fact/Super Hornet F/A-18F

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Looks familiar, doesn’t it.

Super_Hornet_F_A_18F-GBA-carrier_takeoff

If it ain’t unplayably broke, don’t fix it… I guess…

Wow. This game is just… I knew Majesco was cheap, but damn! Basically, it’s the above two games but with an F/A-18 pasted over the F-14 stuff. It even does the same screwup that F-14 Tomcat does where you takeoff the carrier backwards. Instead of showing footage from Top Gun of exploding planes, to their credit they show different scenes. But otherwise, it is just a slight sprite update with some new terrain to fly over. Basically, it’s Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 to F-14/Turn And Burn’s Mortal Kombat 3. I had already completed the above post and was originally going to start a new post on this game, and set it for release in the new year, but it’s the same as the above two games so this seemed more appropriate. Plus, when F-14s weren’t flying over my head growing up it was F/A-18s (and when I went golfing the occasional EA-6 and E-2 flew by, and once an F-15 for some reason).

Super_Hornet_F_A_18F-GBA-combat

Apparently, I should be losing in a dogfight at this close range with a MiG-29, but I should have been able to shoot the MiGs down from farther away. Except you run out of missiles pretty quick, and have to land to reload in all the games. Y’know, instead of sending up multiple fighters to meet the threat.

The game’s story is at least different, you’re now going against Iraq. Iraq used MiG-29s so keeping them as the enemy isn’t a problem. But there is a problem when you fight submarines and destroyers. Iraq didn’t have destroyers in 2004, and never had submarines. So I guess this rules out Iraq being the adversary in Turn And Burn.

 

 

Wordtris (SNES, 1992)

Wordtris-SNES-Title_Screen

I should note that the backwards “R” in the title is a Cyrillic letter, which is pronounced “yaw”. But I guess “Wordtyawis” isn’t as catchy as “Wordtris”.

Oh yeah, for the last two and a half months I kinda forgot that games are supposed to be covered in this blog. I was trying to keep up with the news cycles.

Wordtris-SNES-Children-Head_In_Lion_Mouth

On the right it tells you there is a difficulty setting for children, on the left is a reason why children should not be playing this game. Or maybe kids no longer get nightmares when they see lions eating people. I’m not hip on modern trends, and have not been hip to them since a little after Pokemon came to the U.S. Believe it or not, I’m probably half the age this makes me sound.

So Wordtris is a puzzle game. Like Tetris or Dr. Mario, you have blocks dropping from the top of the screen that you have to lineup in a specific way in order to eliminate the blocks accumulating at the bottom… well, middle of the screen. There’s a red field that your block will land on when the screen is empty. It goes about 2/3 the way up the screen. Your first block in a column to land on there will just sit there, but any block you put on top of it will push the rest of the column down. Once the column stretches from the bottom of the screen to the top of the red field, the blocks are no longer pushed down. They just stack like normal.

Wordtris-SNES-Cow_Pig

The images can get a little Freudian.

These blocks have a letter on them. You have to arrange them so that when they land they form a word, either when read left-to-right on a row or top-to-bottom on a column. It starts out easy enough, the blocks descend at a leisurely pace so you can think of the word possibilities. But the longer you play, the faster things get, until eventually you don’t even have time to read what letter is coming down and just move it to the nearest open spot, hoping that it makes a word.

There are three blocks you might get aside from one of 26 letters. The question mark block allows you to scroll through letters, otherwise it will just pick a random letter when it lands. Bombs will destroy one block, whichever it lands on. Sticks of dynamite can destroy anywhere from three to five blocks from what I saw.

Why Are There Clowns?

Wordtris-SNES-ClownSo naturally the first thing you think of when you hear “Scrabble Meets Tetris” is “I hope there’s clowns”. It isn’t? Well, it was for somebody. As you saw in the pic of the title screen, this game involves a circus. The depressing red and brown colors of the play field I guess mimic a circus environment (my experience with circuses is limited). Your play area is on the left of the screen, while on the right is a circus-related picture. The music is composed of dreary, depressing tunes that you might’ve heard depicting a circus in the Victorian-era. Between the music and the colors, you almost welcome the promise of death brought to you by that clown.

Wordtris-SNES-Mime_Thing

Is that a mime or a clown? Or a clown mime?

I had to settle for a “Game Over” screen. There are only 10 play fields, labelled alphabetically AJ with “J” being the last and fastest. I didn’t make it there. By the time I got to “G” the letters were dropping too fast for my pathetic excuse for grey matter to keep up. Even in the “F” play field, the only reason I advanced was that random chance kept popping in to cause words to form where I had no awareness they would.

So… if you like an eventually-fast-paced dull and bleak word-game version of Tetris with a circus theme that makes the average rainy day seem like the perfect time to down a bottle of sleeping pills, this is the game for you. Fortunately, my day was saved by “The Flintstones” arriving on MeTV about 10 minutes after I was done with the game.

Wordtris-SNES-Score_Screen

Every time you stop playing, they force a kitty to jump through a ring of fire.

Arcade’s Greatest Hits: The Atari Collection 1 (PlayStation 1996, Sega Saturn and SNES 1997)

Midway_Arcade's_Greatest_HitsYou might recall the Sega Saturn edition from previous entries. I thought it was interesting that the Super Nintendo version wouldn’t be released until August 1997, coming behind the Saturn and PlayStation releases by months- there were only 8 SNES games released after it in the U.S., a line which stopped in 1998 (in Japan they kept going right up until November of 2000, less than a year before GameCube was released). Nintendo 64 came out in 1996, 11 months before this game was released on the SNES, which makes me wonder why they didn’t do an N64 release.

Midway_Arcade's_Greatest_Hits-PlayStation-menu

the in-game menu on the PlayStation release

Unlike other compilation releases I’ve seen, like the Atari Anniversary one, each port here comes complete with all 6 games: Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Missile Command, Super Breakout, and Tempest.

Sega Saturn and PlayStation

I’m wanting to say these releases are identical. The only thing that sticks out is this: for Battlezone, the tank controls sort of reflected how real tanks work in that the buttons sort of simulated levers like you’d use to drive one. But I don’t remember dealing with that on the Saturn.

Midway_Arcade's_Greatest_Hits-PlayStation-Missile_Command

Missile Command on the PlayStation

Otherwise, it’s the same game. Same intro movie, same transitions when you start a game, same documentary. The games emulate the same way- in the documentary they’re claimed to be “arcade perfect”. You wonder how the same game can play differently? Just look at Mortal Kombat Trilogy and Doom on the PlayStation and Saturn. MKT has longer loading times, and while running smoothly on the PlayStation, Doom on the Saturn runs like your system is also trying to download Doom 2016 in the background- a choppy mess.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Midway_Arcade's_Greatest_Hits-SNES-Missile_Command

You’ll notice that the score isn’t cutoff at the top of the screen on the SNES version.

I only tried two of the games on the SNES. Instead of having a menu to switch between games like on the disc versions, for the SNES you have to reset every time you want to change the game you’re playing. Fortunately the menu loads pretty quick.

Midway_Arcade's_Greatest_Hits-SNES-Battlezone

The crosshairs for Battlezone flickered in and out of existence on the SNES version

As for emulation, I noticed that it isn’t quite arcade perfect. Missile Command played ok, actually better than the PlayStation as you’ll notice in the screenshots that some parts of the PlayStation screen got cutoff. Battlezone on the other hand didn’t fare so well, it seemed a little sluggish. The best comparison I can think of is that is that it was like playing SNES Doom compared to PlayStation Doom.

Should You Buy It?

It’s the only 16-bit way to play Asteroids, Centipede, and Tempest. Battlezone had a few modernized clones, Missile Command made its way to the Sega Genesis, and Super Breakout had a clone in the form of Arkanoid. I suppose you could argue that Tempest was succeeded by games like HyperZone with the whole “3rd person perspective as you shoot up incoming enemies” notion, but that’s a bit of a stretch in my view.

Midway_Arcade's_Greatest_Hits-PlayStation-Centipede-start

Usually it’s bad if you see caterpillars coming right at you (centipedes are flat, caterpillars are round like the creature pictured).

As for 32-bit systems? Missile Command and Tempest received updated versions that came out on the Atari Jaguar, Sega Saturn, and PlayStation. Super Breakout found its way to the Jaguar in an updated form, and another altered version ended up on the PlayStation. Asteroids was remade on the PlayStation. And every game in this collection (plus 6 others) was re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-released for the PlayStation later on in the Atari Anniversary Collection Redux.

Atari_Anniversary_Advance

Game Boy Advance counts as 32-bit, so here is another release. Like with the PlayStation Atari Anniversary game, all 6 of the games in the Arcade’s Greatest Hits collection are on here. Actually, those are the ONLY six games on here- aside from the added trivia challenge this might as well be just another port of Arcade’s Greatest Hits.

HyperZone (SNES, 1991)

HyperZone-cartridgeIt’s like someone made a ROM hack of F-Zero.

The Book of Wikipedia says that HyperZone’s design was based off the trippy climax to “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Well… it sort of looks like that, but it seems more like it just happened because of how the game would look if you made a shooter like this. Mode 7 and those slit scan effects look a bit alike, the way flat surfaces run at you from a well-defined horizon. I suppose they could have seen what they were able to do with Mode 7 and someone said “Hey this looks like 2001” and they ran with it for the backgrounds.

HyperZone-recharge

And they stole the yellow box obstacles from Super Mario World!

But as for the tracks you fly along… basically they took F-Zero tracks and gave you movement along the y-axis. I mean you are flying along the tracks from F-Zero. Same road, same yellow circles and black barrier, same health recharging portions of the track (though they’re colored differently) that are often in the same locations as their F-Zero counterparts. Your ship looks like it could be a car in F-Zero.

The controls weren’t particularly fast or responsive in this game, but on the other hand when you got to smaller areas it felt like the ship jumped a little too fast, like every tap on the D-pad moved you thirty feet. So maybe the struck the proper balance and my varying levels of desparateness shaped my interpretation. I also think you couldn’t fire rapidly enough.

HyperZone-Stage_2_Boss

Cyborg lava monster that shoots blue balls of energy past your HUD? Sure. Whatever.

There isn’t much of a story to the game. Just blast your way through 8 levels because evil alien cyborgs are attacking humanity’s attempt to leave a version of Earth where global warming alarmism was ignored for too long… or maybe we all decided to follow China/the USSR’s model and pollute like there was no tomorrow until eventually there wasn’t a tomorrow. I’m glad it said the enemies were evil anyway, because otherwise it looks like you’re playing as something/someone from Earth who is killing aliens so that we can steal their territory because we screwed ours up too much. That would be morally objectionable if the aliens weren’t already bad hombres.

My Take On It

HyperZone-Ship_Change

For some reason, at the start of Level 3 (you’d be forgiven for thinking this was Mute City) you change cars.

I suck at shooter games of any kind. I think I alluded to that before. But I do like me some Mode 7 effects like what we see in this game. Super Mario Kart, F-Zero, and Pilotwings will always be tops with me, and for weirdos like me who said “I want Star Fox but without the Super-FX chip” then this is the best thing I’ve played like that… well, at least the best dedicated game like that. The Star Wars games have some Mode 7 stuff goin’ on, but A: there’s too much detail dagnabbit! and B: it’s not entirely what the games are about. And C: they are hard. Very hard. I only was ever able to beat Super Star Wars without cheating; the rest I needed infinite lives for. And I’m pretty sure Super Return of the Jedi’s graphics were achieved by infusing the microchips with midichlorians.

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Level 3, out of 8. But I think I got to the boss anyway… during an earlier run that I lost a life on leading up to this final life lost.

Children Of Battlezone (M1 Abrams Battle Tank, Battle Tank, Super Battletank, T-Mek, 1988-1994. Part 9 of the War Games series)

Battletank-NES-Super-Battletank-M1-Abrams-Battle-Tank

It’s because they’re obvious Battlezone knockoffs.

.Well, the elections are over so that makes this the last of this particular series, though I’ve got a few more games to review out of all this. A fitting way to end would be to revisit the follow-ups to a game covered in a previous entry, while also discussing a game that covers the last battle of the Cold War

Battle Tank

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That enemy tank looks like an American-made M48 or an M60. Which is odd, because the only tanks with anything approaching a 150mm gun like the tank you drive in this game has are the American-made M551 Sheridan and M60A2 Starship, which mount a 152mm gun. The next closest gun on a tank is 128mm. You also fight Apache helicopters. Is this like a second Civil War?

Battle Tank on the NES puts you in the driver’s seat of a tank of some fictional variety. Ostensibly you’re playing as an M1 Abrams affiliated with NATO, but what you drive is not an Abrams and it looks very much like you are fighting NATO, based on the vehicles you encounter.

Battlezone already gave us first-person tank combat, and with its simple interface Battle Tank seems to follow-on in the Battlezone spirit (unlike one of the other games we’ll be getting to). Upgrades from the Battlezone formula include health, multiple weapons, and a better radar screen, as well as more enemies and actual missions to conduct. Rather than flying saucers, tanks, and missiles, in Battle Tank you face tanks, helicopters, random objects to destroy, minefields, and fortifications.

M60A2-Starship

M60A2 “Starship”, the tank I assume you play as because the Abrams just isn’t as well-endowed with its barrel size. Image from the Danville, VA tank museum

It looks alright, and plays good especially compared to a game I will review in a moment. I found the controls awkward because I grew up with the many more buttons on the Super NES controllers, playing Super Battletank 2 (occasionally, but enough to build habits).

 

 

 

M-1 Abrams Battle Tank

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A Soviet T-64, with the Soviet’s well-known trapezoidal prism chassis. The bright red feather at the top indicates it is a male. Female T-64s are attracted to the tank with the brightest feather, as they know that a T-64 with such distinct plumage must be a strong warrior to have survived natural predators like the M60.

It might be unfair to say these are all knockoffs of Battlezone just because Battlezone came first and was pretty much the same game. But even if such a statement were fair, Abrams Battle Tank would be an exception. It’s more of a simulator than a game. It was originally released on one of them thar 1980s computers I can’t be bothered to look up the name of. I never played the computer version, but my difficulty with the controls makes a lot of sense if the game originally took advantage of the many more buttons a keyboard offers.

 

First of all, I hate simulators. They’re dry and unfun because of their focus on realistic controls. One glaring flaw in that notion is when the simulator is of a vehicle that requires more than one person to operate it. 4 people are needed for an Abrams. So you simulate handling 4 positions at once. Could be worse, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy on the PC is a simulator where you simultaneously must manage the jobs of anywhere between 80 and 430 different people.

Sega-Genesis-M-1-Abrams-Battle-Tank-George-H-W

Is that supposed to be George H.W. Bush in the upper left? It looks like they shrank George W. Bush’s face and pasted it on Richard Nixon’s head.

Second, Abrams Battle Tank does it poorly. They should not have taken the 3D polygon approach. The game did not have a smooth framerate, which only exacerbated frustration caused by odd controls and needing to control so many positions at once. And controlling the tank gets very awkward. While Battle Tank had the turret move with the tank, always facing forward (with limited traverse to target the enemies in front of you), in Abrams Battle Tank the turret (and any point of view you scroll to that is based on it) could be facing whatever direction. So you could be facing front with the commander or driver perspective, but then end up staring in the turret’s direction from the gunner or cupola positions. And re-orienting the turret to the front is a bit difficult.

 

Third, it might’ve been easier on the computer but is really lousy on the Genesis. The buttons could certainly have been better- instead of scrolling through the different perspectives in the tank with a pop-up menu, you could do it with the number keys. It’s like the pacing was slowed by that, but they either didn’t care to change the rest of the gameplay accordingly or they just assumed the naturally slow nature of polygon graphics on video game systems at the time compensated.

Super Battletank

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“…looks so real that you’ll wonder if it’s Super NES or CNN.” If it looks real then there’s no way it’s from CNN.

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Back when “VCR-quality video sequences” was a selling point. Also, I think you are fighting T-72 tanks in the game. While Iraq did have T-62 tanks, most of the Iraqi heavy divisions had the T-72. Not like I can tell the difference.

Super Battletank isn’t simulating a fictional war between an M60A2 and the rest of NATO. Instead, it simulates the First Gulf War. It’s basically Battle Tank but with spiffy new graphics… and actual enemies that the U.S. fought. You still meet minefields and fight helicopters, tanks, fortifications, and have to blast various static objects.

Super-Battletank-Game-Gear-Map

From the Game Gear version.

You actually do get to drive an M1 Abrams in this game… I think. I’m pretty sure a real Abrams doesn’t have these big windows immediately under the cannon. Anyway, there are only 10 stages. I managed to get to stage 9, before being defeated by my own ignorance. You do I have a set amount of lives, but I was not counting so I don’t know how many.

You have I guess pretty much the same weapons in Battle Tank on the NES, and the same number of things you can control. You just have more buttons with which to control things.

Super-Battletank-Sega-Genesis-Nomad

This is what a Wii-U would’ve looked like in 1995.

This game came out across multiple platforms. No computers, but we did see it on SNES, Sega Genesis, and Game Gear. The Game Gear version looks pretty good, fairly similar to its console counterparts. I tried to get pictures from each, but it didn’t go too well with the Genesis version. First, my original copy simply didn’t work. I tried to find one in a used game store, and went to half a dozen but didn’t find it. Finally I find it and try it on my Sega Nomad (because my Genesis is 200 miles away), and sure enough my Nomad doesn’t work. I probably should have tested that console in the last 5 years, and maybe brought its battery pack too (without it, you can only power it via an outlet.

 

You’ll notice in the graphics for this game that they went for the best realism the console at the time could offer, achieved by scanning images for sprites rather than 3D polygon work. And it looked great; flowed smoothly, gave a level of realism within technological limits that worked well. Hear that guys behind M-1 Abrams Battle Tank?

SNES-Super-Battletank-T-72

that’s totally a T-72

Yes, I understand games like Star Fox on the SNES are meant to push the envelope of what the console can do, and not necessarily go for great artwork, but M-1 Abrams Battle Tank puts too much effort into being a realistic tank simulator for me to let them get away with lousy graphics when superior options were available. In other words- their controls were so bothersome and intricate and distracting to me that I want to complain about everything I can from that game. Hmph!

The Last Major Cold War Conflict

The Cold War still had 10 months left when the Gulf War wrapped in February of 1991. So while the Soviet Union was still around, they were able to see how their equipment faired against the West. While the Soviets had a few valid points in their post-Gulf-War review, sometimes they were just laughable. In comparing the T-62 and the M1 Abrams, a Soviet General said the T-62 was perfectly acceptable because the Abrams kept needing to have sand cleaned out of its filters. Which did nothing to affect how the gun works, and the gun of an Abrams routinely blasted Iraqi tanks before the Iraqi tanks could even get into firing range. However, as the article referenced above states, this was not a battle of Soviet vs American weaponry like the Korean War. Iraq’s military and training were mixtures of Soviet and Western practices, plus whatever they learned from their recent war with Iran. Iraq barely had Soviet advisers to tell them about what weapons they did have, and their technology was far behind what the West and even what the Soviets had (as you’ll see in the NYT article, Soviet leaders did admit to some inferiority).

But the Soviets seemed to have a bout of Multiple Personality Disorder when dealing with the Iraq crisis. Aside from “we have no advisers yes we do” schism, they also started by breaking with Iraq and condemning them both for invading Kuwait and wiping out Iraqi communists over the years. Yet they still kept their advisers and the like in there. Then of course the Soviets were/weren’t sharing their intelligence on Iraq with the U.S. Yeah, it was a mess and this fractured response was symbolic I guess of the Soviet Union’s dissolution.

SNES-Super-Battletank-Mission-Fail

Moving Right Along

Alrighty… maybe later I’ll cover Super Battletank 2. That had a fun new gameplay mode, but otherwise was fairly identical to Super Battletank.

As for this next section, since there is no way I could possibly write this after knowing how the midterms turned out, I wrote two different sections. One for a Republican victory, one for a Democratic victory. The first covers Republicans, the second Democrats… even though I wrote the second first because that’s what I expected, a Democratic House and another 4 years with Nancy “Hamas Is A Humanitarian Organization, MS-13 Are Divine Beings, and Republicans Are Legislative Arsonists” Pelosi as House Speaker because she is so connected in the Democratic Party that removing her would be like removing the screen from your monitor and expecting it to work. If Democrats sweep the House and Senate, section 2 is still mostly valid, just figure that they’ll have more progress in trying to impeach Trump but will still be wasting everyone’s time. Also, if section 2 is true, where the hell was Russia? Didn’t they hack the election already? Trump will be sending Putin a nasty letter for sure! And I guess the GOP kinda sucks at suppressing voters.

By the way, no better place to note it I guess, but Trump has actually been delivering on his promises. So with all the negative coverage, accusations of hatred that have led to no tangible policy measures (I’ll stop you right here- children in cages was Obama’s fault, and the liberal 9th Circuit Court’s ruling made child separation into law, and the travel ban was something Obama considered. Are liberal black Obama and the liberal 9th Circuit Court racists? Oh yeah, and to you folks at Vox, with your 2017 headline “Trump says Obama banned refugees too. He’s wrong.”, I guess since you liberal reporters gloat over having sex with mass murderer Fidel Castro you would not see Cubans as refugees, so you would not believe that the many Cubans who Obama banned from entering the U.S. were refugees.), it’s all aimed at carrying Democrats into power. Proof positive whose side ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, Univision, Telemundo, and Hollywood are on. If any were impartial, this would’ve been reported. If you only had those networks for reality, America would right now be a place where a white male can go out and rape the first woman he comes across and gut the first black or Jew he sees, all while the economy is failing and Trump is sending illegal immigrants to concentration camps. That’s what the Left believes is happening. Depending on how the election went, I guess Americans might believe it too.

1. Communism Fell… Or Did It?

Iraqi-T-72A

A mighty T-72, symbol of the USSR and communism, late of the Iraqi Army, crushes an unsuspecting car at the Danville tank museum.

The Midterms showed that the American voters were willing to put off communism for one more election cycle. But DNC Chairman Tom Perez noted that there weren’t any moderates left in the party, that socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (who believes you have no right to question her, your only role is to obey her commands; who believes that a male challenging her to a debate is sexual harassment, a belief which the Left immediately claimed was true as indicated by Jessica Valentine at Medium with her headline “Yes, demanding women debate you is like catcalling”.) was the future, with her unfunded policies and hatred of the liberal media because even they can’t make her interviews look good (She’s one of those slogan people Khrushchev was critical of in Khrushchev Remembers– the type of person who can spout Communist slogans, would give their life for Communism, but has no clue what they’re fighting for or what their slogans even mean… I like this, I wrote this line BEFORE I knew of how when asked how to pay for medicare her response was “you just pay for it”). So… some future for the party.

And the more they lose, the louder the liberal media screams. Until eventually the public thinks that so many screaming people can’t be wrong, or until the voices of m

oderation are drowned out by the screams. Or until the folks our liberal schools and colleges have been grooming to be good little Stalinists takeover.

So with another election not going the way they planned, what else can we expect from the Left? They still have two largely unassailed bastions of liberalism- the courts and the Deep State. Like with the many 9th Circuit Court cases, and the many Deep State acts of sabotage, we can expect this to be the crutch the Left leans on to get what they want.

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The Left is being stubborn as a… as a… did I make this joke already? I’m not a fan of this symbol of communism. Needs less blue, more red, and change white for yellow.

But don’t be fooled by the crutch. The reason the Left isn’t using its left leg to walk is so that when they kick you with it you’ll be all the more surprised. I’m thinking of the mobs here. Like a faked injury, liberals in power and in the media claim that mobs aren’t a working part of their group. But they encourage the mobs, sic them on targets, and then liberal leaders claim that the threat of the very liberal mobs they encourage is enough to stop conservatives from entering their town. Mob rule, in other words, as we see in Portland. As we saw in Baltimore when the mayor told police to stand down.

My prediction, in other words, is the same five tactics the Left has been using since Hillary lost, except much more intense: officially smearing anyone disagreeing with them as being racist/sexist/Nazis/etc because liberals (much like their face of the future Ocasio-Cortez) can’t be bothered to argue their points and instead think you should just believe them merely because they tell you to, and if you don’t believe them then it’s not  because the liberal is wrong, it’s because you’re wrong, ie racist/bigoted/Nazi/or just stupid. Tactic 2 would be liberal courts passing the liberal agenda into law on their own, 3 would be the Deep State doing that as well, 4 would be mob violence, and 5 would be censoring opposing viewpoints while claiming to be a neutral centrist group- like liberal Google censoring Republicans and then claiming they’re not politically biased, with no Democrat talking points regardless of how extreme they are being censored.

And remember- the culture wars are ongoing. Communism has repeatedly failed, but the Left still wants to bring it to you. The idea keeps coming back. American youth now want it, badly. The media is happy with it too- even in 2009, Newsweek proudly declared that under Obama we were all socialists (which is ironic given how one of my college professors insisted that we didn’t have socialism, and given how many times the media claimed calling Obama a socialist was fearmongering). The Cold War ended, but it was not the end of history. We haven’t run out of history quite yet.

2. So… The Soviets Won This Cold War

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Kiss it goodbye. Well, not literally unless you want a smear on your monitor, but you get the idea. Image from National Conference of State Legislatures.

Yup, even though Republicans kept the Senate, Democrats gained a majority in the House. We know what to expect- votes to engage impeachment hearings (on Trump and Kavanaugh) that will be just as futile as Republican votes to overturn Obamacare when Obama was still President. You remember- those safe ones that allowed RINOs to hide, until they had to put their money where their mouth was and we learned that fair-weather rightwingers were at best center-right, maybe center-left.

I don’t at all believe that the Democrats will have invited such people into their ranks. The most we could hope for there are 2016 Clinton liberals masquerading as Ocasio-Cortezes. I’ve been watching this circus closely for four years- it always seems like Republicans are the ones trying to hold themselves together and get the party to vote as one organ, while Democrats seem to do that every time it’s not just before an election (at which point those in red states have to pretend they’re just as red to keep their jobs).

I’ve already shared what liberal rule looks like. We all hope I’m wrong and that things will go alright, but as you’ll recall last time we had a Republican President, Democrats in Congress refused to let him stop the Housing Crisis, and Democrats just let the Housing Market burn, and then used that to win the 2008 elections. What will they do to regain the Senate and White House in 2020?

Rainbow-Flag-wikimedia

As you can see, white is not present on this flag. Image from wikimedia commons.

We’ve seen them attack people wholesale based on race and religion, we’ve seen them say people are guilty of crimes solely based on party affiliation that had nothing to do with those crimes (both with Kavanaugh and, let’s be honest, that whole Russian Collusion thing), we’ve seen them protecting Deep State swamp creatures (even going so far as to offer to hire them). So in all honesty we now have 4 years of corruption, gridlock, and destructive policies, while anti-White/anti-Capitalism/anti-American rhetoric will fill the airwaves even more since liberals will believe Democrats regaining the House was more than just a pattern as they dismissed it in 2010. They will tell America, as they have every day since Trump was elected, that we need to end our system of government and that anyone supporting Trump or Republicans is in the minority, and that what was a pattern merely 8 years ago is now a referendum.

They want to destroy white people, want white men GONE. They want to destroy males. They want to destroy our economic system. They want to destroy our economy. They want to destroy our position in the world, leaving power vacuums that countries like Russia can fill, much like ISIS filled the void Democrats were warned about. Which means these lines of thought are what Americans voted for. While it fits the pattern that we’ve seen for decades, as the media has conveniently forgotten with their “referendum on Trump” talk, in today’s political climate a very dangerous thing has been unleashed, like with Obama’s Presidency. Bouncing between Republican and Democrat is normal. But Obama came in and left us with a radicalized Democratic Party out to destroy the country. Now the tide is bringing that party back in. The anti-Trump, anti-America, anti-White, anti-Law screeching the media is prone to on every issue from terrorism to the economy will only increase now that they believe the public is listening. They’re not going to shut up, they’re going to rightly believe what they’re doing is working.

An undated picture shows German Nazi Cha

Pictured here is a gathering of America First and MAGA supporters, according to the Left. They had an odd way of showing it. Image from National Post

Democrats think you are a Nazi for supporting America, but Democrats also believe that joining the Taliban to kill American soldiers is perfectly acceptable. You’ll note in that link that the Democratic candidate for Arizona Senate believes Americans are the terrorists, like Don Lemon as you’ll see in a moment. Nicholle Wallace stated in the Nazi clip that to love this country is to be a Nazi, to put the interests of yourself and your home country above those of others like say China or Syria makes you a Nazi, while another Democrat says that it doesn’t matter if you join the Taliban to kill Americans. These are the people that just gained power in Congress. Elected officials sworn to serve America’s interests who think that doing so makes them Nazis.

What do YOU think they’re going to do? Democrat Don Lemon says whites are the largest source of terror, but Democrats have no problem if an American helps foreign Muslim terrorists kill Americans, in fact Lemon says we should not take action to stop Muslim or any other foreign terrorists from entering the country. This is mainstream thought on the Left, coming from candidates and mainstream media outlets. They dehumanize people they disagree with. They hate America (look here- Farrakhan, who Democrats love, is even chanting their party line that Obama‘s team tried to downplay as meaningless), hate Trump, hate white people, so they dehumanize them by equating them to pretty much the only villain’s they acknowledge in history aside from Confederates: Nazis. It’s ok to punch a Nazi, it’s ok to punch anyone who likes America, it’s ok to chase them out of public spaces (coming from the Washington Post no less), it’s ok to censor them, it’s ok to ban them, it’s ok to form mobs to attack them. How long before it’ll be ok to load them into boxcars (it’s already ok to try to assassinate them)? Seems like the Left is the one leaning towards Nazi ideology.

From_Russia_With_Love_Xbox-Tank

Maybe they made that statement after playing From Russia With Love, where Bond is a mass murdering terrorist who mass murders white terrorists and innocent Soviet soldiers.

So if you think Don Lemon declaring on CNN that white male Republicans are terrorists, that we don’t have to worry about terror threats from around the world and thus should open our borders to the next band of 9/11 hijackers, if you think Don Lemon, a mainstream thought leader listened to by mainstream allegedly centrist Democrats, if you think that rhetoric from him is outlandish, by the time 2020 rolls around you’ll be looking back and thinking he was very tame and controlled. Just like you’ll be looking back at the mobs in Portland, the mob that chased Milo Yiannopolous out of Berkeley and left injury and fire in their wake, and the mobs that chased Republicans out of restaurants and thinking how restrained they were. The mobs saw you vote the way they wanted you to vote, and realized their thus far non-lethal terrorism is working, and so will continue with it, maybe even intensify it. Afterall, with liberals dismissing mob violence, it’s not so crazy an idea that liberals will dismiss any charges against mobs once they’re in power. Like whites in the south not charging lynch mobs.

Liberals in power will not be so merciful or tolerant as conservatives. (Honestly, if they win enough seats to impeach Trump and make it stick, I would not be surprised if they acted on America’s “it’s legal to forcibly sterilize people” rule, and start sterilizing conservatives, probably in the name of fighting global warming. I did mention that some not-very-far-left figures wanted us to stop having babies to save the Earth, and since liberal scientists already view conservatives as inferior, genetically different with liberals having a liberal gene that makes them more open to differences despite the many displays of rancid intolerance you’ve seen presented to you here and in my past posts, it stands to reason that with the entire party radicalized -as party Chairman Tom Perez stated- anything can happen. The ideas and legal groundwork are all there, you can hardly call it paranoid ranting if they keep telling us this is what they want to do and already have the ideological, legal, and scientific infrastructure in place to make it happen. Remember- all rightwinger white males are terrorists, Lemon isn’t the only one who says so. Mainstream thought. If it’s ok to punch a Nazi, isn’t it ok to experiment on one too? 5 years ago you would be shocked to hear mob violence, and punching people, be considered good behavior and condoned by a mainstream political party, so who’s to say in 5 years we won’t be at this point either? It only took 10 years for Jews to go from discrimination to mass extermination, at the hands of the National Socialists. What will Ocasio-Cortez’s breed of Democratic Socialists do?)

Just an aside to debunk Don Lemon’s remark- he cites how jihadists killed more, but white male terrorists had led more attacks. This stat debunks his argument: those jihadists are a very small percent of the population. Just a couple of them in the country.

Osama-Bin-Laden-ABC

#AlQaedaSoWhite

They launched fewer attacks. Yet more died. Meanwhile, whites are the MAJORITY race in this country. Statistically, if the terror statistics reflected the population, whites should have killed WAAAAY more than those few jihadists. But they didn’t. Whites killed fewer. Jihadists, even at the small fraction of a percent of the population that they’re at vs whites at’ 60%, are clearly more dangerous. Or to put the argument into language the Left understands: guns (whites) are big and scary and so widespread in the country and so prolific that we have a 1 in 315 chance of dying from them every year, while the chance of a car accident (Jihadists) killing you is  1 in 491. But only 38,000 people died from guns in 2016, versus 40,000 dying from cars. You, liberal, want to ban the gun (whites). So at least you’re logically consistent- you want to liquidate the lesser of two evils because it happens more frequently, and claim that you’re saving the world and ushering in a peaceful utopia by doing so. Also, like Don Lemon, you claim it’s a false comparison, that cars are above criticism, like how Don says he tells people not to criticize any ethnicity that isn’t white, according to his own words.

Also, let’s turn the Left’s word association games against them on the Lemon issue. Blacks are the largest bloc of terrorists in the country, exponentially moreso than whites. How? Only 106 deaths, according to Don, came from white terrorist attacks over many years. Blacks killed 7,405 other blacks in just one year, 2016. 17,250 people were killed that year. Blacks are 13% of the population, but responsible for 42.9% of the murders. We have statements along the lines of “most black killings in Baltimore were gang-related”, and if we are to believe Don Lemon and his ilk’s gun control meme then every shooting of a black person is by a gang member who illegally got a gun, or at least a black person who got a gun from a gang member. So what is a black gang? A local political group. What is a political group? People who come together to exert control over a region or a group of people or both, ie a gang. So when gangs use murders to intimidate people, to increase their political power, to destroy the political power of those nominally in charge of the area as evidenced by how black males at 6% of the population are behind 42% of police officer killings, isn’t that terrorism, since terrorism is the use of violence for political ends? Gangs kill to get power and stay in power. Terrorists kill for the exact same reason. So, Don, it seems your own skin color should, as you say, have travel bans placed on it. (Look, if Trump is literally Hitler as various media outlets and panels declared simply because he said he’s a nationalist, then black gangs get to be terrorists.)

Anti-Trump-Riots-AP_RWC_Fox_quora

What “winning” looks like to the Left. Images from AP, RWC, Fox News, and Quora

Yeah, at least 2 more years of the media thinking Lemon, mobs, screaming, and Stalinism is a successful strategy, with the DNC Chairman telling us it’ll only get worse. I’m not going to say Kristallnacht will happen tomorrow, even though Republicans have already been firebombed, shot, ran off the road, dragged behind cars, mobbed, chased out of restaurants, and the suggestion has been floated of denying Republicans the right to vote and the right to live, all of which I’ve discussed previously. But I will say I’ve heard glass shattering in the distance… probably the local RNC HQ. Or maybe, just maybe, that wasn’t glass shattering, but Fort Sumter taking a hit. Will the Left (who traded plantations for welfare, equality-for-only-the-whites for communism/equality-for-only-the-strong, and whips for peer pressure) rise again?

Bonus Stage!

T-MEK-Sega-32x-cartridge

I’ll end on a high note. T-Mek. It’s like Battlezone, and was made by Atari. Except Shao Kahn from Mortal Kombat exclaims things at various points, and you’re fighting for the amusement of an alien warlord or something. It’s easier than Battlezone, and you have more weapons to choose from.

Sega-32x-T-Mek

Made by Atari, and even has the crosshairs and radar from Battlezone

It’s a fancy offering for your Sega 32X, one of the less-than-40 games made for it. If you’re collecting-to-collect it’s usually a cheap grab, but if you’re collecting-to-play then you’ll find this is superior to some other games, like BC Racers and that motorbike one. That one was AWFUL. BC Racers just had a bad frame rate and slow controls, not too shabby (except it runs worse than Super Mario Kart which it’s a clear imitation of), but T-Mek came off as faster.

What Do You Think?

Not much to say now. Polling places are closed, voting is done. I’ve said it all above. Try to have a good day (as mentioned before, I’m writing this the night before)?

 

The Hunt For Red October (Various, 1991-1993. Part 3 of the War Games series)

If you’ve never heard of it, pull your head out of your butt, actually look up what Family Guy references ya hipster millennial jackanape, and at least watch the gallderned movie.

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Image from uproxx, property of WWE

As the midterms approach and the Democrats continue to run on impeachment (why does the Left’s drive for impeachment against a Republican sound familiar?), so that they can start a new Cold War or something, let’s take another look at some more Cold War games… that came out a little late. Sort of.

Hunt-For-Red-October-NES-Game-Boy-SNES-title

It was a flat orange-ish color for the NES on the left, it just came out like that because of the screen used.

Today, we take a look at defectors. Historically from the Cold War, foreshadowing defectors in the Left’s future Cold War, as well as looking at political defectors from the Left.

Since the game is based on a movie based on a book, let’s just get the game out of the way first.

Game Boy

Hunt-For-Red-October-Game-Boy-original

Yes, that was the best picture I could get.

Lousy, but it is one of only two video games I know of (that was made before any hipster with a phone could produce an app) whose title screen features a hammer and sickle and the Soviet Anthem (because those hipster-commie bastards who think (if you can credit what little activity in their brain there is as such) mass murder is trendy (1 in 5 millennials in the U.S. think Stalin was a hero) or take the Pulitzer-winning NYT’s stance that it doesn’t happen, and are so used to their parasite lifestyle of mummy and puhpah giving them everything in the world that they can’t conceive of how an economy based on free stuff would fail, and hate America because this country should not exist according to their ideals and their favorite tenured professors who also live at someone else’s expense, would just loooooove to make an unironic Soviet game with a title screen like that, if they haven’t already). That alone makes it awesome.

No save feature, no password screen, no continues, and you die pretty easily. I was surprised at what happened with my playthrough- I struggled for an hour total over two days to get through the first level, but when I did it was an instant breakout the likes of which we haven’t seen since what Obama gave Russian ally Iran in the nuke deal. I tore ass through the next two levels, and then died at the boss for level 3.

Hunt-For-Red-October-Game-Boy-MapYou face other submarines, destroyers, aircraft carriers that send up depth-charge dropping jets (F-14s are what they look like, which is weird since they are incapable of hunting submarines or even using anti-submarine weapons). But you have some help in this. You can activate Red October’s caterpillar drive, which inverts your sub’s colors and makes people stop shooting at you unless you pass too close. You also have a limited number of missiles that are way stronger than your torpedoes. Just like the Blue Marine, you have infinite torpedoes. Soviet engineering; it’s no wonder they ran out of money and collapsed.

The levels are just long horizontal courses you must navigate your submarine through. Islands that float on the surface but have nothing under them, random large collections of rocks that dwarf your 198m submarine, that are way larger than an aircraft carrier, just floating about 120m under the water’s surface with no geological feature holding them up. Also in each level we have a boss. Level 3’s caught me flat-footed since it has cannons that knock you out in one shot (which you start in the line of fire of) and depth charges that knock you out in I believe 3 shots. I lost all my lives and called it quits, because this is a very frustrating game. Luck is all that propelled me that far. I knew mine had ran out.

Hunt-For-Red-October-AtlantisAs far as I can tell, it’s a very loose adaptation. In the movie, Red October didn’t blow up other submarines (except the one, but Red October didn’t fire a shot), didn’t fire missiles at helicopters and jets, and didn’t face random bosses that I don’t even know what the heck they’re supposed to be. A giant naval mine that shoots torpedoes, an undersea base that sort of reminded me of Atlantis’ central structure, and some kind of underwater death pagoda. I watched a YouTube video of the rest of the game- apparently the 3 bosses I faced are repeated in harder variations, then two different bosses, then you’re done after 8 levels. And I lost it on level 3. We ain’t doin’ this, the “L” in “Flagg” stands for “lazy”!

NES

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on the left is the Game Boy’s intro, on the right is the NES’, both had the radar sweep spawning the hammer and sickle, I just took the pictures at different points.

It’s a similar intro to the Game Boy, we even get the radar graphic. But the title screen is different, just the movie logo. And you don’t get a menu or anything, the moment you press start you’re thrown right into the action. You don’t even get the map showing where you are. But that plays into the different cutscene setup, I guess. This game featured dialog from the movie in between levels. It’s the only one that does, at least as far into them as I was able to play.

Hunt-For-Red-October-NES-cutscenes

They a did a good job with the Russian Ambassador on the right. I assume the guy on the left is supposed to be David Stockman.

Hunt-For-Red-October-NESThe control configuration is also slightly different. The levels though look way different. Your submarine looks like a bigger version of the Game Boy sprite, one of the enemy sub types seems to have carried over, and I think one of the surface ship types too, but that’s it. Different levels, more varied enemies, and different hazards, such as the iceberg level involving ice falling on your sub this time. Sure ice is buoyant and shouldn’t be falling on you and shattering on the iceberg under you, only to have the pieces bounce up and fall again, but… explanations and science. I’m playing as Captain Marko Ramius here, not Captain Cold! I’m not some Ice Man that knows all about ice!

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I strongly doubt the Soviets called anything the “Arctic Zone”

Just like the Game Boy game, you get some lives, and can add to them if you pick up the right item, and like the Game Boy version once they’re all gone you’re done. No passwords or continues, the game restarts as if you just turned the power on and off, just as the Game Boy version does. So no, I did not beat it. It’s harder than the Game Boy version

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It’s also the only version with the Paramount Logo

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One more point of interest- if you’ll look on your right, you’ll notice that the HUD is way different on the screenshots for the back of the NES box compared to the screenshot I showed of what really was in the game. The colors look a little faded for the water and icebergs in the ice stage, compared to the screenshot, but that may just be because of poor printing processes on the box or poor picture quality when taking it.

SNES

Hunt-For-Red-October-SNESWell, FINALLY someone bothers to explain what the missions are! The Game Boy version just throws you into them, the NES version does too but at least puts dialog from the movie into the game to make the contrast between what was on film and what you’re doing all the more obvious. The SNES game goes in a different direction and shows the missions the sub has, with as much effort to tie it into the movie as the Game Boy version. And they all make so much since. I mean, what Soviet Captain WOULDN’T want to stop arms dealers while on his way to defecting? It’s a no-brainer!

Hunt-For-Red-October-SNES-Intermission

There is exactly nothing in both the book and the movie about illegal arms merchants. What the hell is this?

The inter-mission screen looks like an upgraded version of the Game Boy game’s, and the HUD looks like a 16-bit version of what you’ve seen so far in the NES and Game Boy games. But here we get more weapons, and the torpedoes are no longer unlimited. They also don’t home in on the enemy, an enemy that is now harder to kill because it can endure more hits, even the most basic enemies.

 

Hunt-For-Red-October-SNES-Super-Scope-Level

The SNES version introduces a new mode of gameplay, for I guess secret bonus stages or something. You have to pick up an item to trigger it. We get a first-person view of enemy boats in the distance and enemy attack helicopters coming at us. This is designed for use with the Super Scope. Mine is not on-hand and I wouldn’t waste my pack of 20 Toys ‘R’ Us AA batteries on it. Well, 18 of them anyway. The makers of the game obviously wanted you to suffer for not having a Super Scope, because when just using the controller your aiming cursor crawls along the screen like a depressed sloth (ie Eric Holder after he quit).

October, 1943, Two soldiers of the American army loading up a bazooka gun during training exercises in England during World War Two

Pro Tip: Minimize interruption of gameplay when using a Super Scope by having a buddy replace expired batteries.

The SNES version added an innovative feature- if you lose a single life, the game resets itself. I guess you could justify that by making the claim that it’s also easier than the Game Boy and NES versions so you don’t need as many lives, because I made it all the way through the first level on my first try. So I didn’t learn about this until level 2. No passwords or save options here either.

Did I comment on the music yet? I should. Both the Game Boy and NES versions start off with 8-bit versions of the Soviet Anthem while the SNES version has… silence. The Game Boy version has some custom music for its levels. The NES version does too, though it’s a different tune and it’s AWFUL. Hey buddy, you know there’s more than one instrument and more than four notes, right? Anyway, the SNES version gives us generic public domain music. I’m not sure about the menu or Level 1, but Level 2 was Night On Bald Mountain (which at least is Russian) and the Game Over screen is Beethoven’s 9th. Ode To Joy for a submarine captained by a Soviet defector sinking; I always thought Comrade Beethoven was more Marx than musician.

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I have a strong suspicion about whose bright idea the Game Over screen music was. Either that or every time you die in this game Conrad McMasters breaks into a vault. Which do YOU think is likeliest? Image from macduff1797

The powerups are different too. Instead of grabbing a wrench icon to repair your ship like in the other games, you grab… a snail. Between this, the weird missions, and the soundtrack I am going to go ahead and make the assumption that the SNES version started out as a different game, and maybe a whale or a Nintendo-Not-Ecco-The-Dolphin was swapped for Krasnye Oktiabr. Even though it was the third one released it just felt and sounded way too different, like someone had a game that played similarly and gave some graphics a Red October paint job.

The Story Of The Story

The Tom Clancy novel came out in 1984. Plenty of Cold War tension still existed, to the point that we even had Russian reversal in full swing (particularly its variant of in Soviet Russia, Democrat asks Russians to interfere in Presidential election- and ignore the Politifact debunking, they cite an article that outright says this was the case to support their claim that this was false). Heck, just one year before, MI6 stopped a rogue Soviet general from executing his scheme to invade Western Europe unopposed. But these video games came out later- the NES and Game Boy ones were released within the 11 months preceding the USSR’s collapse on Boxing Day 1991 (Japan and Europe though didn’t get the Game Boy release until 1992), while the SNES version came out in 1993.

As is obvious from their labels, the games were released as tie-ins to the movie, which came out in early 1990 (about 4 months after the Berlin Wall fell). Still some Cold War tensions in this time sorta maybe, but not having been cognizant of the realities around me at the time I can say at least in hindsight it seemed the Cold War was on its way out. (Maybe that’s why liberals are so eager to start a new one- the first one ended under George H.W. Bush, a Republican, after 12 years of Republican Presidents. Democrats are jealous- they want to start a new Cold War so that they can claim to be the ones that ended it, like how Obama undid a lot of progress in attitudes towards racial equality so that the Left could exploit it for future elections… even if their candidate is a snow-white elderly millionaire).

The Story’s Story

As you may have gleaned from the trailer and what I’ve said in this writing thus far, the plot centers on the efforts of a Soviet submarine commander to reach America, dodging the Soviet Navy, while the U.S. Navy tries to help him (while standing by to blow him out of the water in case they’re wrong about his intent).

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Hollywood was ahead of its time. They were Reds before the country turned red in 2016. Hollywood (and the media) spent the election cycle screaming until they were blue in the face. Image from Medium

Frankly, I’m surprised that Hollywood made a movie out of this and that the video game industry made a tie-in. Hollywood was quite enamored with commies, and liberals like our Hollywood elite saw (and still see) the USSR and its ilk as the closest thing to paradise that the world has achieved. Heck, liberal/friend-to-draft-dodgers/hero/peacenik/Sen. George McGovern (D-SD) said that the South Vietnamese would be better off if they stayed under the North’s occupation instead of fleeing to America, that the North was trustworthy in its promises not to hurt them. You can guess how well that went for the South Vietnamese left behind; McGovern should really have put down the Astro Boy manga for a few seconds (As for the refugees, those of you who claim racist Democrats became Republicans after the alleged great civil rights racist switcheroo of the 60s, take a look at how your valued Democrats including such luminaries as Joe Biden and Jerry Brown treated Vietnamese refugees with Brown’s own appointee saying a “large minority” group would be “unwelcome“… and of course your liberal Democrat friends at the time were the ones that voted to cut off aid to Vietnam, leading to the refugee crisis which these Democrats you have on a pedestal refused to handle, refugees which according to liberals at the time should never have existed because America was to blame for everything and the North was really not so bad and there’d be peace once America left and this is so pervasive of an ideology that I spent hours searching Google and found little related to North Vietnamese war crimes much as this 1972 NYT article laments, It’s almost like after the war everyone decided the North were angels or something (or in the case of the American Left, during the war) and the Americans were sadistic butchers (note that the BBC readily used the debunked Turse book)… so I guess in regards to treating communist oppressors as heroes and being their propaganda agents, not much has changed (read how willing Ted Kennedy thought the media was to help the USSR spread a message calling for America to disarm), since Obama ended our program for accepting Cuban refugees who might actually like America while advocating for and passing orders helpful for some openlyantiAmerican peoples looking to become citizens… and I noticed a decidedly leftwing bias in the Google search results for trying to find examples of illegals hating on America ie my searches only showed results talking about discrimination faced by illegals, what a shock, especially after the North Vietnam search trouble I mentioned. Granted, my searches improved slightly when I used the terms “undocumented” andDREAMer“).

Uh… where was I? As for the video game industry, I always just assumed they were lefties because all creative and tech types tend to be that way. Find me an Art major (different from Arts… but really kinda the same) or someone in Silicon Valley that doesn’t have Das Kapital memorized and hasn’t burned an American Flag. Plus, you know, stuff sort of creeps (the folks at that link go way overboard in my opinion, but they raised too many good examples to disregard it- don’t you just hate it when someone you disagree with has a point? It’s like saying they’re right about X legitimizes their wrong views on Y and Z.) into their work.

Re: not knowing the intents of the Soviet sub commander, that was the way it was. We had no idea if someone with nuclear missiles was coming to defect or destroy (good thing card-carrying communist and Obama acolyte John Brennan was not head of the CIA then- he’d take his orders from Soviet Moscow just like the party he voted for in 1976 (and let’s be honest- just like the spirit of the party he currently serves), so Red October would be a dead duck) A little less serious now, the Russian Federation isn’t that much of an adversary, but the Left’s aforementioned nostalgia for the Civil Rights Movement and now I guess the 60s in general- since they want/don’t want a proxy war (in Syria this time) and want a new Cold War- makes it so that a situation like this would be just as terrifying today. I mean, maybe this is just part of that remake-itis that has swept across Hollywood and brought us such gems as that recent Ghostbusters movie- the Left now wants to remake the 1960s, but updated for the 2010s.

Liberal Defectors

It’s worth mentioning how the Left treats people that defect from it (like saying all the people who voted for Obama twice are now and always were racists for voting Trump): just as badly as the Soviets treated their defectors. Liberals are always sure to give their ex-

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Go on, try to defect. The guards need a little excitement to keep themselves sharp. Image from wikimedia

comrades the Trotsky treatment. If you’re homosexual, well… you’re not even part of the LGBTQ community anymore according to them. If you’re black you’re an “Uncle Tom”, and this goes for other races and genders with equivalent slurs replacing “Uncle Tom” (sometimes regardless of if they know what your political affiliation is, they might be racist to you because you are part of a government agency they don’t like, just ask ICE). If you’re a Muslim, you’re an extremist (according to Facebook’s, Amazon’s, Twitter’s, and Google’s approved fact-checker SPLC) if you dare challenge the radicals in your own religion (whose radicals employ a very Liberal style) according to Democrats. If you’re a woman, not voting the way the Left tells you that you must vote means that you’re incapable of thinking for yourself, and you’re letting someone else control you- the men in your life, either your father or husband or son or that male friend you have or some male relative or your male boss. If you’re a liberal I guess you don’t really catch the irony here of telling someone they’re willingly enslaved by someone else if they’re not blindly enslaved by you, so I needed this sentence here to make it clear to you.

And then of course there’s how the Left treats Conservative defectors. Parade them around (Communist regimes in general kinda do that with those who defect to them), but give them nothing significant (part-time pundits that rarely say anything worthy of RealClearPolitics or worthy of debunking like on Newsbusters, like David Jolly and George Will, are hardly significant) and maybe let them disappear once they’ve outlived their usefulness (anyone remember Jeff Flake? He was in the news…). Similar to the Soviets’ treatment of Western defectors, really. I mean, given how much the Left hates Trumpers, I find it hard to believe that deeply-entrenched hatreds just disappear the moment someone changes their party label, just as you find it hard to believe that simply electing a black President means America is no longer racist, right?

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Here are pictures of liberals being tolerant that one time half the country expressed dissent against their policies. Images from AP, RWC, Fox News, and Quora

As I mentioned in the California piece, all this happens because the Left can’t tolerate dissent, and certainly can’t defend its policies. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the future of the party, has become the poster-child for this. Listen to her talk- she hasn’t a clue. So naturally when a conservative host challenges her, she refuses. And tries to equate challenging her on her beliefs to sexism, meaning that asking her to explain why socialism works would be a sexist act. According to her. Huffington Post reliably endorsed this method of not explaining your views.

She outright says that she does not have to explain her views to anyone, and says any males asking will be labelled as sexist. “Don’t challenge me, just do what I tell you, otherwise you face punishment, I’m right and anyone opposed to me has an ulterior motive because I’m so right on everything that no other points of view are acceptable.” This coming from the party that says women who vote Republican aren’t thinking for themselves, from the self-proclaimed party of tolerance and intellectualism. Well, Ocasio-Cortez IS a socialist (who tried to sell medicare-for-all by saying it would cut funeral expenses, because to her I guess the VA scandal never happened or soldiers don’t matter. Given her desire to slash military spending to fund her corruption-ready programs…), and every socialist government has this kind of governing style where they tell you what you are supposed to think and you’re an enemy if you dare object, and intellectuals love communism, so there you go.

And ironically, the same media that carries Ocasio-Cortez on their shoulders as the next big thing are the very same ones worrying that Democracy is at an end. What kind of Democracy is it where you’re only allowed to think and vote in one way? The USSR held mock elections (so fake that voters stopped voting and just wrote on the back of their ballots what the problems were in their area), I guess that’s the kind of Democracy liberals in the media and liberals like Ocasio-Cortez want. Ocasio-Cortez did say she was all for universal employment, I guess that means politicians get to keep their jobs too.

I suppose you’re now calling me a hypocrite.

You’re the party that claimed Trump was bad for attacking a gold star family after the father attacked him, and then you went and attacked the mother of a cancer survivor because she thanked Trump’s son for donating to a childrens’ hospital.

I admit, I rarely hesitate to toss insults at the Left and probably seem about as welcoming to a defector as the 38th Parallel’s DMZ. Well, darn it I get so flustered seeing

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It would be a little more welcoming if it were greener (not Army green but green green)… and had fewer landmines. Image from thrifty nomads

the Left spew insults about people like me to the majority of the country and across the world, certainly way more people than anyone on my side could ever hope to reach! Think about it- if you insult me, it can be on social media to millions of followers worldwide because you’re a celebrity, in a movie that millions worldwide will see and will provide millions of dollars to you to fuel your messaging against me, on one of the big three TV news providers or part of your 2-1 cable news advantage (CNN and MSNBC vs Fox News, BloombergTV and CNBC vs Fox Business), in printed media which your side dominates whether it’s books or newspapers or magazines, in any artistic field from poetry to painting (NEA grants are only given to liberals, just like arts organizations, which makes the kerfluffle about Trump defunding NEA hilarious because it means liberals aren’t even willing to privately fund their own art projects despite all the Silicon Valley billionaires, liberal millionaires, and celebrities like Rosie O’Donnell), in most forums, blogs, online publications, and comments sections of websites and YouTube videos and the like, ie everywhere on the internet- which seems dominated by liberals- (that’s more of a qualitative assessment), in our public schools and universities (which follow the Communist Party model of telling you what to think, not allowing for contrary opinions, like in Europe which is no wonder why the Left says they’re the model to follow, which make it ironic when the Left complains that people who vote against them are either brainwashed or not thinking for themselves), and in our living rooms if we watch just about anything on TV that isn’t Fox News, from late-night “comedy” shows to prime time programming, all of which is consumed by people worldwide.

Then of course there’s the wealth gap– your side whines about Republicans and dark money and the like, when your side routinely raises much more money. You complain that the rich are destroying the country when most of them vote Democrat. SO- money and mouthpieces are all on your side, and all insulting me for daring to disagree, despite every fact I base my views on still being available for you to consume, and the biases of your fact-givers disclosed, if you dared to do more than listen to the party line. How do you think I’m going to react, greet your side with tea and cookies? To me, I guess much as it is to you, your defectors are just people who decided that racism, corruption, poverty for all, and mass murder are bits of history not worth repeating. Bravo?

What Do You Think?

Looks like such a fun game, vote Democrat and make it happen! Consider the party you want to support. Vote independent if you don’t like the Republicans, write-in someone’s name. Just don’t assume that the Democrats are any better just because they claim they are. Unless you’ve read all there is and somehow think an inverted Cold War with America as the commie superpower and Russia as the leader of the not-so-free world is the best possible scenario. I bet you’re one of those liberal writers who thinks there are no such things as heroes, so you want to self-destruct the closest country in the world to that state and make the world stage just some game of morally-gray-to-morally-repugnant superpowers clashing with each other. You sick psychopath.

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