Confession time: I spent my holiday weekend playing Final Fantasy II. So I understand if, even in this age of bump mapping, lens flares, and bloom lighting, you feel the need to play games lacking in polygons (or level design that values rote memorization more than critical thinking — I’m looking at you, Mega Man!). To that end, let me introduce you to Sivak Games’ Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril, the newest addition to the Nintendo Entertainment System’s already-formidable library.
Even though Battle Kid might have the best name ever, I doubt Nintendo stamped its seal of quality on the game. Nevertheless, for what amounts to homebrew development, Battle Kid isn’t a bad deal. It comes on a brand-new, playable cartridge with new chips and motherboards and the works. And, hey, the character sprites excluded, Battle Kid looks really nice; I especially like the backgrounds.
Battle Kid is being sold through RetroZone, purveyors of “new tech for old school gamers.” If some of RetroZone’s other offerings are a good gauge, you might expect to pay anywhere between $30 and $45 for Battle Kid when it becomes available next month. Whether a cartridge and the authentic feel of an NES controller in your hands is worth $30 is up to you, but, for my part (and I hate to be a scrooge), I think Sivak might be better served by digital distribution. At the very least, you have to admire them: Battle Kid is obviously a labor of love.