Take on the NES Library

An 8-bit Extravaganza!



Baby Steps

Progress on Ikari Warriors is creeping forward. There are no huge milestones to report but there are some tiny pebbles of progress at least! I reached my personal best just last night which is some point deep into Level 2. My hunch is that I got to the final segment of that stage, but until I actually clear the stage I can’t say for sure if I am really close or not. I had two other attempts yesterday that were just about as far as my best. Hopefully that means I am better handling the more random aspects of the game. That should turn into advancing my progress more quickly as I will have more opportunities to memorize the fixed enemy positions. However, Ikari Warriors has a tendency to beat me down so the next attempts may very well be worse!

I am continuing to evolve my strategy on the first level and I am at the point now where I can clear it just about every time. I am finishing it without deaths a whole lot more often too. There are still some attempts where I make horrible mistakes that contain me to the first level, and there are a few points in the stage toward the end where I am not yet consistent. Some of that is on me and some of that is on the game being mean.

Progress in a given run is tied very closely to keeping a tank. The tank gives better firepower, absorbs small bullets, and gives you an extra hit against stronger attacks. Lose the tank and the difficulty leaps up considerably. Some spots are mandatory on foot and those are the exact portions that give me problems. What’s worse is that a good chunk of the beginning of Level 2 must be done without the tank, and whenever I do reach the first tank in the level there is a decent probability of losing it right away. This initial segment currently demands the most practice.

Before my next progress report, my goal is to start learning Level 3. I think I am a few days away from beating Stage 2 for the first time. With enough repetition I should be able to begin clearing the entire first half of the game with some consistency. We shall see if my prediction comes true!

In other news, I did have a bit of distraction last week that limited my time with Ikari Warriors. Last week’s game in the NintendoAge weekly contest was Battletoads and I spent a significant amount of time playing it. Even though it is highly regarded as one of the most difficult NES games, I know the game inside and out and I can beat the game pretty easily. The contest was scored on furthest progression without warping with the tiebreaker of lowest score wins. Battletoads is difficult enough to play normally, but beating the game while keeping the score low provides a very interesting challenge. I won the exact same contest a year ago and I successfully defended my title this time around! My final score was 673,150 and as far as I know that is the lowest final score ever recorded in a warpless run of Battletoads. I’ll confidently lay claim to this unofficial world record!

Next week I will be reviewing another game! I know which one I would like to cover but I will need to set aside some time to play it. In case that falls through I have a backup already in mind. Until then, happy gaming!

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