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  • Mega Game 101, the Action 52 for the 21st century

    Posted on May 25th, 2010 keving 1 comment

    The next PC Engine game on the docket is Tengai Makyō ZIRIA, which is going to take a while, so why don’t we discuss this little sucker for a bit instead? (I find that when you’re shopping for fun gadgets, Fry’s and the Apple Store have nothing on the local Vietnamese supermarket.)

    After poking around the Internet for information, it turns out that the Mega Game 101 (メガゲーム百一式) has been on sale in Japan since January, mainly at discount-store chain Don Quijote, for the equivalent of about twenty bucks. It’s yet another plug-and-play game controller that runs off a standard Famicom-compatible all-in-one chip. There’s no cartridge port, and the device is meant to run on three AA batteries. (There’s a port for a standard AC adapter, but you’ll be bored of the thing long before the batteries run out, so…)

    Dozens of these devices have floated around Chinatowns and Big Lots over the past decade, but this one’s unique because all 101 games are original. Not good, mind you, but at least original. Most of the games are very short, control jankily, and feature plinky out-of-tune music. Some either reset at the end or seemingly go unplayable after a couple stages, much like a lot of stuff in the infamous Action 52.

    I’m a bit surprised that someone hasn’t gone and dumped the ROM on this sucker yet, but until then, someone on Nicovideo has uploaded a video digest of all 101 games. Part 1 is above. You may notice that any music that doesn’t sound China-janky was ripped from other games — WONDER RABBIT uses the bonus-stage tune from Nintendo’s Devil World, for example. The hero of DUNE WAR is one of the foot soldiers you get to run over at the very beginning of Konami’s Jackal.

    I’m a big fan of the realistic graphics on the POLICE DOG LASY title screen. Stick around for MAD XMAS, too; it’s worth it.

    Here’s part 2. Game 51 is an advanced lawnmower simulator, which makes me wonder if the designer is a closet fan of the ZX Spectrum.