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randombullseye avatar 3:35 AM on 08.15.2008  (server time)
Old School Games: Werewolf The Last Warrior

Since I've been on such an old Nintendo run lately, I thought I'd mention one of my favorite obscure nes games - Werewolf: The Last Warrior. Would you like to know more?

At one store in particular, they had a wide selection of NES games. Most were overpriced into the eighty dollar range, and looking back it feels silly paying that much for stuff like Ghostbusters 2, but then there are those hidden gems I picked as a kid just because of how cool the box looked. Werewolf has one of the most epic covers you'll ever see, as a child of the eighties of course.

As for the game itself? Do you like Ninja Gaiden? Its about the closest game I could compare Werewolf to. Its not quite a Turtles style beat em up, but there is a fair amount of fighting. The game begins with a boss battle as your weaker human character. He has three moves: jumping, punching, and if you hold the punch button he fires out an energy blast. Once you've defeated the first boss you pick up a red W and see one of the coolest cut scenes ever produced on the Nintendo Entertainment System. In the video towards the bottom of the article you can see it in all its glorious 8-bits.

As for the Werewolf, he has several unique moves. If you hold up whilst jumping he does a high spinning jump. He can climb walls with his giant spike hands. If you hold the attack button down he raises his arms into the air and unleashes an attack that harms himself as well as any enemies on screen for massive damage. Pressing both attack and jump has your wolf back flip around, which is VERY useful when trying to dodge stuff. Not as complicated to figure out now, but in 1990 this was as tactical as I wanted.

There is also a lot of acrobatics going on. Jumping over spikes. Doing black flips through laser beams. Climbing a steel beam and then jumping over it onto another one. The usual bottomless pits. A lot of general stuff like ladders, crawling around, and hanging on pipes is also included. My favorite is the back flip the Werewolf does. Its just so completely out of nowhere and he flips three times.

Here's something you don't see me talk about very often, the storyline. Werewolf is one of the few NES games to include a story within the game. According to it, you are the last hero in a world full of super villains. How cool is that premise? If you answered hilariously cool, you are correct sir or madam. All the super villains have wild super powers such as one of the later bosses who has super speed. All are quite beatable as well, but good luck.

I've gotten a good ways through the game, but do to frustration or my Nintendo messing up I haven't finished this one. Its not very long with only five stages, its just completely unflinching in its assault on you at times. Some of the sound effects are just silly. Such as this sound that plays over and over, usually while transforming. You'll know it when you hear it. The songs are really catchy and fit perfectly. Bleeps and bloops at their finest.

Should you pick this one up? Depends if you like action platformers or cheesy stories. If you like games to be unfairly difficult also helps with interest in this one. The odds are always stacked against you. Plus when you take too much damage you turn back into the wimpy human character. I would love to see a sequel or some kind of continuation of this series but maybe I'm looking at it with retro goggles. I played it until the third level this morning and found it to be more or less exactly as I remembered. Action platforming with a hilarious story. What more could you want from an old school Nintendo game?

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