Mega Cat Studios Review Roundup. Almost Hero, Log Jammers and Coffee Crisis
Over the past few years the NES, SNES and Genesis have seen new games come out in the form of homebrews. This games usually are made by a few guys in their home and they use old sports titles to bring their games to consoles. There are a few small studios out there that want to bring brand new games to these 30 year old consoles , No, these are not homebrew games using harvested parts. I'm talking brand new games, built from the ground up by professionals, that are made with high quality new parts and true new games. Mega Cat Studios out of Pittsburgh, PA is one of those studios and I was lucky enough to receive a box of a few of their latest releases for review.
Almost Hero (NES)
Almost Hero is a classic beat'em up that is in the vein of Ninja Gaiden or Shinobi in terms of difficulty and enjoyment. You play as either Orville or Reginald (yes, this has 2 player co-op) who are apprentices of Master Chow Khan who carries on the long-lost art of specially decorated bonsai trees. The protagonist, McRibs, has taken the bonsai seeds and you need to get them back to save the business community of Omisai.
Controls are your standard A punches and B kicks but if you press A & B at the same time you perform a jump kick that comes in very handy. The game is challenging, as you would expect from the genre. The game has 5 levels ranging from the city streets to the dojo, each with a boss battle at the end. In the level select area, you can buy health and character enhancements from Master Chow Khan with money from defeated enemies. Overall, the game is great, but can be frustrating due to the difficulty, but once you get the hang of it, the game becomes very enjoyable. This is a must buy for fans of the genre.
Log Jammers (NES)
Log Jammers can be summed up pretty simply. It's a fast-paced sports game where players continuously throw axes at the goals of their opponent while spinning on logs and attempting to score. There is Exhibition Mode, which can be played in 1 or 2 player, and Tournament Mode. Both modes have two goals (top and bottom of the screen) and in each goal are three different sections providing different point totals. The corners are 5 points and the larger center of the goal is worth 2 points. First to score 12 wins the set and it’s best of 5 sets per match.
This game is very fast paced and can be a real challenge. The game has 3 stages, 4 different power ups and 6 different characters with names like Mayonnaise Monsoon and Sparerib Boneaparte. This one may not be for everyone, but fun can be had with friends playing your own tournaments on game night.
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Coffee Crisis (Genesis)
Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Coffee Crisis made its way to the Sega Genesis. An arcade-style beat 'em up you play as Black Forge Coffeehouse baristas Nick and Ashley who are out to stop the Smurglian who have come to earth to steal our four most prized commodities: our metal music, the best coffee, cat videos, and all of the WiFi.
The levels are inspired by real-life areas around Pittsburgh. The game has 6 levels, weapons, power ups and more. This game is classic Streets of Rage or Final Fight. The graphics and sound are top notch for the Genesis with 12 metal tracks in the game. Overall, the game has the right bit of challenge, but isn't so hard that it is frustrating. Anyone who is a fan of Beat'ems on the Genesis will be happy to have this one in their collection.
Are they worth it?
So the bottom line is are these games worth it? I have to say yes. You can buy cart only versions for $40 but I recommend spending the $50 and get the whole package. Each NES game comes includes a cardboard box with high quality printing, a full color manual and even the styrofoam insert. Coffee Crisis has a clam shell case, full color cover art and manual as well. Mega Cat has gone to great lengths to make a quality game. Take Log Jammers with it’s see though shell. You see the custom chip used to make the game and it allows you to see the quality your dollars provide. I can not say enough about how great these games are, not only to play, but to collect. Do yourself a favor and if you are a retro gaming enthusiast, check out Mega Cat Studios.
A big thanks to Mega Cat for supplying the games for review.
Be sure to check out our unboxing video!