Sunday, March 3, 2013

DOWNGRADED: Popeye (Nintendo, 1982-1983)

I thought it would be fun to showcase the occasional little examination of video game ports that had to make sacrifices to fit on home hardware.

I was playing Popeye tonight at Pinballz arcade and not only is it much more difficult than the NES version, Nintendo used an interesting method of creating high-res character sprites on low-res backgrounds. While this results in character detail that honestly amazed me for such an old game, it made porting the game to consoles tricky. So, how did the NES version handle it?

To be fair, the NES port is very faithful to the arcade, gameplay-wise. This was in the era of Donkey Kong and the original Mario Bros. as well, when cartridge space was tight? A hefty 8 kilobytes of "character" (graphics) data to work with. Well blow me down.