Console TV 12-in-1 Game Cartridge

so, first in my look at the world of famicom piracy is this, the "Console TV 12-in-1 Game Cartridge", one of the "new wave" of pirate famicom products in which the games are disguised somewhat to make them appear original to the untrained eye. and, of course, there's no eye more untrained than the legal representatives of a major video game company. so here we go!

the cartridge.. well it's nice. haven't seen this design before. it has those "remarks" familiar to anyone who's ever been in the presence of a famicom pirate moulded into the back, albeit with a couple of small corrections (no really) - "avoid violent bumps is necessary" is now just "avoid violent bumps", and "defauts" is now "defaults". the printing on the label is terrible, of course, but they went to the trouble of putting screenshots on there. not that you can make out what's going on in them, but at least they tried.

anyway, enough of the exterior. when you plug the thing into your Super Power Station 2009 or whatever, you're confronted with this menu:

nothing too impressive there, it's just a menu - they haven't bothered to stick in a poorly drawn colourful background and annoying tune like some other recent efforts. so on to the games!

01. Super Fighter

Not, as you might think, some knockoff of Street Fighter, but actually a hacked up version of Super Contra. Obviously the new graphics look fairly terrible, and the palette choices are entirely inexplicable, but it's still Super Contra. And you start out with a spread gun, yay for spread guns. The music's different too, but I suspect they just changed the order, since it doesn't absolutely suck.

02. Alps Skiing

This I've never seen before. It might even be original. Basically, you select a course, then you ski on it, while an endless loop of "Jingle Bells" plays in the background. I think that's all there is to it. I don't think the courses end, or if they do, I didn't have the patience to find out. The timer seems to increase at random intervals too, so it isn't all that easy to lose either - you just keep skiing. I did manage to let the time run out by not touching any buttons, at which point it just booted me back to the selection screen without so much as a "game over". Yeah, definitely original.

03. X-War

Originally Silkworm, a shooter which was kind of unique in that you could control either a helicopter or a jeep (or both, with two players) for two different takes on the same levels. I actually like the new graphics in this version, and the music sounds like it's been slightly dicked with, but it's still passable. So overall it's a pretty good hack, although the vehicles are still referred to as "Heli" and "Jeep" even though they aren't anymore.

04. Shoot Glasses

Or the Clay Shooting part of Duck Hunt. I've played this before, although it didn't have a title sceen - now I can see that was with good reason, said title screen being a black screen with four words on it, one of which is misspelled. Not to mention the shite attempt and modifying the Duck Hunt theme. Anyway, the gameplay is still much the same, although the graphics are completely different - no idea what the things you're shooting at are supposed to be, but they don't look like any kind of glasses I've ever seen.

05. Archery

Formerly Pooyan. I like the Balloon Fight-inspired title screen on this one, and even the (as far as I can tell) original music is actually not bad. The new graphics are pretty cute as well. It's still basically the same thing, in that you shoot arrows at things floating down the screen - in the original they floated on balloons, but the creatures in this version use umbrellas (balloons becoming umbrellas being a recurring theme in this cart).

06. Zero Gravity

Well, it's not exactly zero gravity, is it? But taking a cue from the things in Archery, the hero of Zero Gravity now floats around using some kind of umbrella instead of the balloons employed in Balloon Fight. Which this game is a hack of, since I didn't mention. Of course, Sea Driftage is still where it's at, that being what Balloon Trip mode was renamed to. Quite appropriate really - there's driftage involved, and it is indeed over the sea. Plus they were sensible enough not to dick with the Balloon Trip music.

07. Bomb Helicopter

Now they're just getting lazy. Well, lazier. This is Raid on Bungeling Bay, a game that I could never be particularly arsed with, featuring a new title screen. The rest of it is exactly the same as it ever was - you're in a helicopter, and you bomb stuff. Hence the unimaginative new name, I suppose. One mildly interesting thing that came of this, though, is the discovery that if you reset on the title screen, you see some graphics from Chip 'n Dale no Daisakusen - maybe there's more to this cart than meets the eye? Or maybe not. Probably not.

08. Gold Digger

Or "Crazy Gold Digger" as the title screen has it. Either way, this is a hack of Super Arabian, but with some kind of dungeon setting instead of a pirate ship, and you're a poorly animated pink thing instead of a super arabian. The objective here is to collect what look like coins, with letters on them - if you collect them in the correct order and spell a word, you get a bonus of some kind. There's no digging involved, and the gold is questionable - maybe that's what makes it crazy. Oh, and the word in the first level isn't "lamina".

09. Hoodle

i have no idea what a "hoodle" is. well, in this context it's a hack of nintendo's pinball, featuring all kinds of oddities. including mice that hatch from eggs, and what look like some of those things from princess mononoke. i think it was princess mononoke. anyway. oh, and they changed the title screen music - it's passable. albeit even shorter than the original.

10. Risker

Excitebike, yeah? But with a car. Excitecar! Maybe. at least they didn't change the music on this one. and the other stuff? maybe. i don't really care anymore.

11. Special Misson

yeah, even on a mere 12 in 1 they have to resort to repeats and poor spelling. this is level 5 of super fighter (which happens to feature the music from level 1 of the original game)

12. Shoot Copter

The duck part of Duck Hunt, only with copters. Oh, and instead of the dog jumping into the grass at the start, a kid walks across the screen then dissolves. He doesn't pop up and laugh like a bastard when you miss, though.

So that's it for the Console TV 12-in-1 Game Cartridge. i'm sure you can see my motivation dropping off towards the end. more pirate oddities coming soon! Maybe.