Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
by Garon Cockrell
Video Game Review: Summer Carnival '92: Recca
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By Garon Cockrell
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Sept. 8, 2013 5:06 p.m.

Platform: Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
On the very rare occasion, we get a nice treat on Nintendoís
Virtual Console. We saw some games that never saw a release in North America
come to the Wii through the service, giving people a chance to play them
without spending a good chunk of change on importing or going through that grey
area of emulation. I booted up my 3DS this past week to a rather nice surprise:
Summer Carnival í92: Recca. It never
made its way to North America, as production for the cart was extremely limited,
so itís developed a bit of a cult following and the premium prices that go
along with that.<>
If youíre interested, Hardcore Gaming 101 has an interesting
write up about Recca, so if youíre looking for some
backstory, please check that out.
Recca is a ridiculously
challenging and fast shooter (or ďshmupĒ) that was released for the Famicom. Itís actually quite the impressive technical
feat considering the hardware limitations, but a game canít survive on flash
alone. Letís dig into it a bit more, shall we?<>
From the moment you start playing it, Recca is going to make sure youíre aware of what youíre getting
yourself into. While other shooters will attempt to ease you in so you get a
feel for the game, youíre going to be hit hard and fast almost immediately
here. Unless you dig through the manual (which I would recommend just so you
understand them), the power-ups are pretty vague. Even if you could decipher
what does what, trying to figure them out on the go is going to get you killed.
Enemies fly at you at speeds and in quantities that you wouldnít think the
Famicom was capable of without it coming to a crawl. Thereís a surprising
amount of depth and customization to your loadouts. Not only do you get a
variety of different power-ups for your ship, but youíre also given different
Option Units (support ships that fly along aside you), allowing for a fair
amount of customization.<>
There are three different modes to play in Recca, each adding their own set of
challenges. The normal game mode is tough enough - tons of fast moving enemies,
a mid-stage boss, another wave of enemies, and then the stageboss. And there
are four stages! It took more than a few tries before I even managed to beat
the first stage, let alone being able to get anywhere near the fourth stage.
Score attack gives you two minutes to rack up as many points as you can. Once
the two minutes is up, the game ends. Well, if you donít run out of lives
before that anyway. Finally, time attack challenges you to hit one million points
within five minutes. Itís certainly doable, but, like everything else in Recca, itís going to take some (re: a
lot of) practice.<>
While the game is fairly simple, there are enough modes to
keep even the most skilled shooter player busy for a while. Itís almost worth
the $4.99 entry just to see what Naxat Soft wrung out of the Famicom from a
technical standpoint. Recca is an
insanely challenging game, but its beauty lies in the rewards of repeated play.
Seeing yourself progress just a little more with each try is a truly rewarding
experience. Itís certainly a product of its time, but if you can overlook the
initial frustration you may feel with the difficulty, youíre going to have a pretty
damn good time with a shooter thatís held up remarkably better than one would
think a shooter on the Famicom could have.<>
9 out of 10 NES controllers thrown through your TV

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