Broken Bootlegs is a series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers an all out Mario-themed Famicom Fighter: Kart Fighter!
Like World Heroes 2, Kart Fighter was one of the earlier bootleg fighting games I played when I first started getting into playing bootlegs. Even before I really knew about the bootlegging scene, I could just tell that Kart Fighter was some sort of import knockoff . That said, it’s an interesting game, especially since it was one of those all out fighters where characters from Super Mario Kart could duke it out.Read More
Broken Bootlegs is a series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers possibly one of my favorite Famicom fighters: World Heroes 2.
During the prime of fighting games in the 90s, there were a few game characters that I wanted to see duke it out on the screen, including Mario and Sonic. Sadly, this wouldn’t be realized to its fullest extent till Super Smash Brothers Brawl. There was one bootleg game that fulfilled some of those fantasies, though. Not to be confused with game that shares the same name released by AES and SNK, World Heroes 2 by Cony Soft pits 12 playable fighters against each other in all it’s bootleg glory!Read More
Broken Bootlegs is a series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers one of the more difficult Russian-made Mario games for the Mega Drive- Mario 4: A Space Odyssey (Космическая Одиссея).
After having previously covered a Super Mario World deport for the Famicom, I found somewhat interesting gem that was made for Russian Mega Drive systems. Космическая Одиссея (Kosmicheskaya Odisseya), translated to Mario 4: A Space Odyssey, feels like more of a game that would have been released by one of those awful licensed 8-bit computer system games. Mario 4 is a quite challenge to play due classic issues of bad game physics and awful level design that plague many a bootleg game.
Broken Bootlegs is a weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers something that could have really interesting: a Command and Conquer beta for the Sega Genesis!
I’ve played a few RTS games over the years, and love the heck out of em. Myth 2, and the Age of Empires series immediately comes to mind, but there’s one series that I have yet to play: Command and Conquer. While this beta is in a very incomplete state, it can give players a small look of how the original game plays. Developed with the Tomsoft MegaDrive SDK, Command and Conquer was an attempt to backport the original DOS game to the Genesis. The reasons why development stopped are currently unknown, and is probably lost to time.Read More
Broken Bootlegs is a series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers one of the Harry Potter games for the Mega Drive.
First off, I want to say , to possibly my family’s shock and horror, I’ve really never had any exposure to Harry Potter whatsoever when I was growing up. Save for this exception, I have yet to read nor see the series to this day. During my search of Mega Drive games more than a decade ago, I found a Harry Potter game, and thought to myself that this game might be a pirate or a bootleg. After starting up the game, I was greeted with the title Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen, which made me think it was possibly a German release. Unfortunately, it was followed by a bunch of Cryllic text, so I honestly have no idea where this game came from. Off to a great start already, I delved into the game.
Broken Bootlegs is a weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers a fun, but somewhat unfinished MegaDrive game, Rockman X3
While many of us are familiar with X and his escapades in destroying Sigma, only to have to destroy him again in the following game, the Mega Man X series (known originally as Rockman X in Japan), has seen many a release across various platforms. While having played several of the Mega Man and X series for the SNES and Playstation, I noticed that Sega’s 16-bit system didn’t get much love, with only The Wily Wars being released, and even then, it was only available for the Sega Channel in the US. With Rockman X3 receiving multiple ports for systems like SNES, PS1, and Saturn, the Genesis never saw an official release, so it was bootleggers to the rescue!Read More
Broken Bootlegs is a weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s entry brings one of the more well-known fighting game series to the Sega Genesis/MegaDrive: King of Fighters!
While on a neverending quest to find fighting games to play some years back, I eventually started exploring outside of the realm of Capcom and rediscovered SNK since I played Samurai Showdown IV back when it was new. From Art of Fighting, to Fatal Fury, to King of Fighters, I fell in love with the older KOF games, with ’98 being one of my favorites from that group. As I didn’t have regular access to arcade hardware, I looked to seeing what ports were out there at the time, and my only options were to get it for the PS1 or Dreamcast, neither of which I had about a decade ago. Low and behold, I found three games for the Sega Genesis- King of Fighters ’98, King of Fighters ’99, and King of Fighters 2000. While they’re bootlegs, they provide an interesting take on the King of Fighters series as a whole.Read More
Broken Bootlegs is a weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s entry covers one of the more interesting Donkey Kong bootlegs that’s available for the Game Boy Color: Donkey Kong 5: The Journey of Over Time and Space.
At first glance, it might seem like an interesting knockoff which deviates considerably from the Donkey Kong Country and Land series. After reading the Engrish introduction, I got the general idea of the game, Donkey Kong’s friend Sodoma, who takes care of all plant life, was kidnapped by someone who didn’t like what she did. Because there was now no bananas, Donkey Kong lost weight and turned into a monkey and now goes in search for her. Sounds fun, right? It would be if it didn’t have bad control response that other bootlegs are known for.Read More
Broken Bootlegs is a series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition is covers my experiences with my first bit of pirate hardware that originally my interest in playing around with bootleg games and hardware: the Power Joy.
It what seems feels a very long time ago, which probably was a little over a decade ago, I was traveling around going to garage sales looking for anything computer or video game-related like I usually do. I eventually happened upon something very unusual: a white device in the shape of a Nintendo 64 controller with a Playstation 1-styled controller that could hook into the former, and a very odd-looking cartridge that was attached bottom of first controller. Nothing else came with it except a cardboard box that had POWER JOY printed on the side. After buying it and taking it home, I found some batteries to put into it, hooked it up to my tv and after turning everything on, I saw a menu that had “64-in-1” at the top of it. I start going though some of the games like Aladdin, Circus Charlie, Karate, Formation Z, and some light gun games, to name a few. Read More
Broken Bootlegs is a weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers a few of the unlicensed games I’ve played for the NES and Game Boy that were produced by Wisdom Tree.
A long, long time ago, in an early-90s era far far away, I was starting to realize how fun Game Boy and Atari 2600 games were, and my parents were mostly careful that I didn’t play anything overtly awful or violent. Being brought up in a Christian household, my mom tried to make sure I stayed innocent enough and she’d shop at the local Christian Bookstore every so often while taking me with. I usually got to go to Funcoland either before or after we spent time in the store so I didn’t complain too much. I remember one day that the bookstore had an NES set up with a couple of different Biblical-themed games and I was pretty much glued to them while mom browsed around the store. It’s bible-themed so it’s ok, right? Right. The three games that really stood out were Joshua & The Battle of Jericho, Exodus, and Bible Adventures. Read More
Broken Bootlegs is a weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition covers possibly one of the most well-known bootlegs out there: Somari!
As briefly mentioned in the first entry of this series, Somari is not only is a bootleg of one game, Sonic the Hedgehog, but also redone to star Mario! Developed by Hummer Team, known as Someri or Somari Team for this release, is standard fare of their in-house conversions of 16-bit games to the Famicom. Things are similar enough, while having that A+ bootleg quality one would expect from Hummer Team. With that said, it’s a mixed experience while playing the game. It starts off with the Sonic 1 title screen with Mario’s face plastered on it, which was actually nicely done. While playing, I’ve noticed that the physics were a bit off, just like with other Hummer Team games, which can make timing some jumps and attacks a bit difficult. Fortunately though, is that Somari can spindash! While not cannon to the original Sonic, this does help out during a play-through and can make the game a little easier. The stages are similar to the source material, which is also good, but if you’re expecting something right out of the original game, then you’re in for a surprise. Read More
Broken Bootlegs is a weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition is something a little bit more obscure than other bootlegs out there: an emulation of Windows 98 for the Famicom.
It’s a MS-DOS prompt-that doesn’t work!
At first glance, one might wonder how a developer might be able to replicate a 32-bit operating system onto an 8-bit system, and the sad thing is that it’s not possible to do that and have anything work. “Booting up” the cartridge will show an AwardBios startup screen from which the BIOS setup screen can be launched from if the A or B buttons are pressed quickly enough. That screen will only stay for a few seconds before automatically rebooting. Eventually, a login screen pops up to which one can “log in” with the pre-entered, non-alterable credentials. After being brought to the desktop, one can use the d-pad to navigate the mouse though the various items on the desktop and start menu. Upon further investigation, into these programs, one will notice that even though it’ll bring up what appears to be the programs and images, nothing can be done with them at all except to exit out of things to return to the desktop. Worse still, there’s no audio that accompanies this cartridge at all, making the volume slider on the taskbar utterly useless.
Whether or not that these design choices were intentionally made to get a shoddy emulation of Windows 98 made for the Famicom, it’s still interesting to see this out there in the wild. Surprisingly, there also emulations of Windows 2000 and Windows XP out in the wild and are possibly based off of each other. If it included something like Famicom BASIC within the programming, then it might be something interesting to acquire. Sadly though, it’s not included nor is there any known keyboard support for this. Unless you’re a hardcore bootleg collector for Famicom games, I would not recommend acquiring this “game” to play.
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Broken Bootlegs is a weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. This week’s edition is the appearance of one of the more well-known bootlegs out there, a pirate port of Super Mario World for the Famicom!
Due to poor jumping physics, expect this to happen quite a bit
Developed by Hummer Team and released in 1995, this bootleg did something that Nintendo developers said that couldn’t be done: giving Mario a dino companion on their former flagship 8-bit system. Surprisingly, the development team did a somewhat decent job in recreating the experience of playing the game so that it’s actually playable. Surprisingly, features and items like Yoshi, Fire Flower, and Cape Feather all work just about as they did on the original game. The music is mostly faithful to the original tunes, though some of the instrument choices can be a bit hard on the ears. Unfortunately, but understandably, the level layouts that were put into the game were either partially or completely redone, and enemies were either not included or replaced with another to help with system slowdown due to too many objects on the screen at the time. One such enemy replaced is the giant Bullet Bill replaced with a series of three Podoboos. As for system slowdown, this is most noticeable while playing though the Ghost Houses, as at times, the screens are quite populated with Boos.Read More
Broken Bootlegs is a new weekly series covering unlicensed games (also known as bootleg games) for mainly 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. For this week I’ll introduce what bootleg games are, along with a review for A Link to the Past for the Famicom.
Sometimes these types of games are an unauthorized port of one game to another system, a ROM hack of existing games that were commercially distributed, or could be original games that use copyright characters without the owners permission. One of the more infamous examples of a bootleg game that’s out there is Somari.Read More