30 Awesome Famicom Games that Didn’t Come to North America – Part 3: 21-30
21. Nazo no Murasame Jou/The Mysterious Murasame Castle
I never would have known about The Mysterious Murasame Castle if it weren’t for the inclusion of the Takamaru’s Ninja Castle attraction in Nintendo Land. The game, set in Japan, features an overhead view that makes it look similar to The Legend of Zelda; however, The Mysterious Murasame Castle focuses on action over adventure. Its stages are linear, contained experiences, unlike the open-world of The Legend of Zelda. Also, taking inspiration from the Japanese culture gives the game a unique feel.
22. Nuts & Milk
Nuts & Milk is an awesome arcade-style platformer from the now defunct Hudson Soft, which features characters that appear to be blobs. You play as Milk and must collect every piece of fruit on the board before heading to the exit. You must carefully outwit the villainous blob, Nuts, to achieve your goal. It is reminiscent of games like Donkey Kong, even going as far as to stylize the game after early Nintendo games, which is most apparent in its simplistic title screen.
23. Samurai Pizza Cats
Remember the Samurai Pizza Cats? Well, I certainly do, and I jumped at the chance to include a game based on them to this list. Known as Kyatto Ninden Teyandee in Japan, the Samurai Pizza Cats video game is a typical sidescrolling action game. In this game, you choose between one of the three main characters and gain support from a help team comprised of other cats. You can switch between these cats on the fly, with each cat having a unique ability. It’s a fun, easy action game that should appeal to many gamers.
Developed by Capcom, SonSon started as an arcade game before being ported to the Famicom. It is a straight forward arcade-style game with the goal of reaching Buddha. The action continuously scrolls to the right as you control SonSon’s shooting power and vertical movement over six platforms. It’s far from the most awesome game on this list, but its arcade-style gameplay is fun and challenging.
25. Splatterhouse: Wanapaku Graffiti
Splatterhouse for the NES is different from its arcade and TurboGrafx-16 counterparts, but it certainly brings the difficulty. It plays very much the same as the other two – standard sidescrolling beat ‘em up – but one thing makes this game really tough, you only get one life. You can increase your health meter by defeating enemies, and passwords and continues can help you push to the next stage. The game also has a chibi-style look that is unique to this Splatterhouse game.
26. Summer Carnival ’92: Recca
Recca is one of the fastest and arduous shooters I have ever played, but it’s still a lot of fun. Recca was actually created for the shoot ‘em up competition, Summer Carnival ’92, as is proudly displayed in the title of the game. It comes out of the gate strong with waves of ships raining down terror on the player. It has a variety of power-ups that will help you endure the pain, but skill will be your best asset here.
27. Super Mario Bros. 2
As I’m sure most gamers known by now, the Super Mario Bros. 2 game we received in North America wasn’t the real Super Mario Bros. 2. Well, I still consider Super Mario Bros. 2 to be Super Mario Bros. 2, but the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 was the real Super Mario Bros. 2, also known as Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels in the west. Super Mario Bros. 2 is longer, more challenging, and definitely more unforgivable than its predecessor. Fans of platformers with an extreme difficulty will enjoy Super Mario Bros. 2.
28. The Wing of Madoola
The Wing of Madoola is yet another sidescrolling action game released only in Japan. Wing of Madoola is broken up into stages and challenges you to reach the end without getting killed. That sounds like a lot of other games, but Wing of Madoola allows you to upgrade your warrior by finding hidden doors holding a variety of equipment. Finding these items is the key to your survival; otherwise, one death spells Game Over.
It’s official: Konami released the most awesome, Famicom only games. TwinBee has since been released in North America as part of the 3D Classics series on the Nintendo eShop. It’s a fairly slow paced shoot ‘em up game, when compared to other shooters, but it’s still a lot of fun to play. You take control of TwinBee while clearing the screen of waves of enemies, and of course, larger than life bosses. Powering up TwinBee can be done by bombing trees on the ground and revealing bells hidden inside of clouds. The neat thing about TwinBee is that you can select the power-up you want by changing the color of the bell once it’s been revealed. It also sports a nifty cartoon style, which is quite different compared to the countless gritty shooters available in that era.
30. Yume Penguin Monogatari
Just when you thought the Konami party has ended, it comes back with yet another awesome Famicom only game. Yume Penguin Monogatari is a platforming game about a fat penguin who is struggling with his weight, I shit you not. The objective is to help him shape up before his heart explodes. To do this, you must find and drink weight-loss shakes. As he loses weight, he becomes more nimble and can perform different attacks. However, be on the lookout for enemies that keep trying to stuff food down his gullet. I couldn’t dream about a better game to end this Famicom feature.