TV Play Power
Review by Dave Giarrusso
|You’ve seen those “controller/game
console all in one units”, haven’t you?
Remember the last time you ventured to the local flea market and
saw Super Mario Bros. being
played with an N64 controller? But
then it turned out that it wasn’t an N64 controller at all?
Instead, it’s a knockoff N64 controller with anywhere between 100
and 10,000 “different” games hidden away in its innards.
More often than not, these Taiwanese ripoff “consoles” merely
repackage bootleg NES roms.
The TV Power Play is no exception.
Also known as the “Handy Boy”
according to the screen when the unit is turned on, TVPP contains eleven
allegedly different games (10 games + 1 bonus game! screams the package)
most, if not all of which appear to be graphics hacks of existing NES
carts. In reality, there are
only ten different games: GP Race and Racing Pioneer are hacks of the same
NES game. The unit could
easily pass for a cheap third party PC or Dreamcast controller, and is
powered by four AA batteries. An
equally cheap, eight-foot long A/V cord is packaged with the unit and
connects to the A/V ports on the TV.
So what games are included?
Balloon Boy 2, Big
Racing, Block Shock, GP Race, Jewel Master, Jump
Car, Omega Zone, Race One, Racing
Pioneer, Space Castle, and finally, Ultra
Doggy. Ultra Doggy is
identified as the “bonus game.” And
now the part you’ve ALL been waiting for… a rundown of game
Balloon Boy2 is simply a graphics
hack of Nintendo’s own Balloon
Big Racing is a candidate for the
“might NOT be a hack of an NES game” award.
However, even if it is an “original,” the game is clearly
trying to be a strictly top down (as opposed to isometric) version of RC Pro Am. In this one,
“DJ Jungle” lifted the opening sounds of RC Pro Am, but slowed them
down in a clever attempt to fool the consumer.
Way to go Jungle!
Block Shot is another NES graphics
hack. This time, DJ
Jungle has hacked Taito’s Arkanoid
cart for the NES.
Jewel Master is a Columns clone.
Jump Car is a graphics hack of the
NES version of Bump N Jump.
Except here, DJ Jungle has transformed everything into a river/boat
setting where you jump over land. So,
someone remind me, why’s the game called “Jump Car”?
Omega Zone is a graphics hack of
the NES version of Galaga.
DJ Jungle has turned everyone’s favorite outer space shooter into
a submarine (the Galaga ship) vs. octopus (enemy ships) battle.
Race One is another potential “non-hack”
game. It wants to be a
futuristic racing game, but doesn’t even make it to the dizzying heights
of 2600 Night Driver.
Technical note: this game is the only one that requires the player
to use the “analog stick” (it’s not really an analog stick, but for
lack of a better descriptive term) portion of the controller.
Racing Pioneer AND GP Race are BOTH
hacks of the NES version of Rally
Bike. In Pioneer, you
drive a car, and in GP, you control a motorcycle.
Who is DJ Jungle trying to fool?
Space Castle appears to not be a
hack of a preexisting NES title, but is instead an extraordinarily poor Space
Invaders clone. Too slow,
and way too lame.
Ultra Doggy is a bad Frogger
ripoff that may or may not be a graphics hack of an existing NES game.
Based on the fact that all or nearly all of the other games ARE
hacks, I’d bet that this one is too.
Slow pacing and bad control wreck this one, kids.
And by all means, if Ultra Doggy, Race One and Big Racing ARE hacks
of existing NES games, please let us know!
Is the thing a complete waste of
It’s not like you wouldn’t expect this kind of crap from a
sweatshop game manufacturer. And
if you dig Balloon Fight, Arkanoid and Galaga and have absolutely no other
means of playing the original games, this little unit might work just
fine. Until it breaks, which
judging by the level of craftsmanship, might be shortly after opening the
Recommended only for those gamers who have an affinity for obscure,
odball-ripoff video game items.
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