Game Overview: 8-Bit Runner-Up

Here’s the funny thing about this list of all-star games per era I’ve been constructing: there are more than three games that I feel are worth mentioning. What’s a guy like me to do?

The answer is simpler than you think. I just write blog posts about the ones that didn’t quite make it. These games do not automatically earn spots at the Table of Honor, but they are definitely all-star games and the post will be tagged as such. Some eras will have only one game in them, like the 8-bit era, but others will have several runner-ups spread across several blog posts.

So what’s bringing up the caboose of the radical games from the 8-bit era? What just couldn’t pop the bubble and make its way into the top three to receive such a dubious awesome award? Why it’s Bubble Bobble!

Runner-up: Bubble Bobble

You boot up Bubble Bobble, select 2P mode (is there any other way to play?) and then subject yourself to some difficult, old-school, tortuously hard gameplay. Now, given some of the videos and whatnot that I’ve seen related to Bubble Bobble, it seems that it was my youth and lack of practice that caused me to be so bad at the game, it being yet another NES game that I never actually completed, but I still stand by the fact that the epic journey of Bub and Bob (they had names?) was and still is quite challenging.

I have so many memories of plowing through the levels of Bubble Bobble with my brothers, encasing monsters in bubbly prisons and transmuting them from their monstery essence to delicious treats for us to eat. The wikipedia article lists all sorts of complex bubble jumps and other moves that, as far as I knew, none of the three of us ever mastered or even cared about. That never mattered though, the fact of the matter was that Bubble Bobble was fun and we totally loved to play it, die, and start over. If there were ever a game that needed a DS or XBL update, this would undoubtedly be in the top ten list.

Check out this Video Game Vault feature on Bubble Bobble:

So with that, I officially close out the 8-bit era, but feel free to throw out any suggestions that you think deserve to make this list. If I’ve played it and have something to say about it, I’ll either laud the game as genius as I have for this past four or I’ll let you know why you’re wrong.





4 responses to “Game Overview: 8-Bit Runner-Up”

  1. Eric Avatar

    Bubble Bobble holds a special place in my heart. I remember playing it for hours with you and a little with Dave. It is, hands down, my absolute favorite game from this time period. It’s like Tetris or Puzzle Bobble – you can play it forever and never care about the fact that the graphics are crap and the soundtrack is a series of blips and beeps.

    The gameplay was perfect and the puzzle-ness was just right. I loved the 2 player action, as I mentioned before about Contra. It meant you weren’t sitting there sadistically waiting for your friends/brothers to “die” in the game so you could get your turn. You could cooperate.

    I remember all the tricks like stealing lives from the other person and shooting bubbles into the corners to get bad guys. I’d love to play this game again!

  2. Dan Avatar

    One thing I totally forgot to mention that your corner trick reminded me of is how the levels allowed you to fall through the floor and come back out the ceiling. Mind blowing!

  3. Eric Mesa Avatar

    It’s funny that my wish was granted and we got to play it again via Wiiware. It was pretty amazing that we beat it all in one evening. Also, it sucks that the corner trick no longer worked.

    1. Dan Avatar

      The problem is less that the corner trick didn’t work and more that the corner mechanic (which was vital to completing the game!) didn’t work.

      Just seeing the title to this post reminded me that Mega Man 2 was one of my 8-Bit All-Stars and got the theme for Wily’s level stuck in my head. SO GOOD! I should have looked harder in the Super Potato for a Rockman 2 soundtrack.

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