Trojan

Overview / Review of Capcom’s 1987 NES game, Trojan.

Released under Capcom’s Captain Command “Challenge Series” label in 1987, Trojan is a port of a moderately successful arcade title, joining the trend established by Capcom’s prior US releases, including ports of 1942, Commando, and Ghosts ‘n Goblins. As the company’s earliest side-scrolling beat ’em up, Trojan laid an important foundation for many of the company’s later … Continue reading

DuckTales

Overview / Review of Capcom’s 1989 NES game, DuckTales.

To those who grew up in 1980s America, there are few symbols of pop-culture as widely recognized and fondly recalled as DuckTales. As Disney’s first ever syndicated cartoon, DuckTales managed to permanently ingrain itself in the consciousness of a generation with its Reaganomics inspired political slant, the introduction of some of the most memorable Disney characters ever created, and a thoroughly amazing theme song… Continue reading

Jeopardy!

Review / Overview of GameTek’s 1988 NES game, Jeopardy!

The venerable American trivia game show staple Jeopardy!, sitting atop the Merv Griffin Enterprises throne alongside Wheel of Fortune, originally aired to a lukewarm debut on US television in the spring of 1964, and though it garnered enough popularity to keep it on the airwaves for the next eleven years, it was eventually cancelled in 1975. After a failed attempt to reclaim its relevance in a short-lived reboot… Continue reading

Renegade

Overview / Review of Taito’s 1988 NES game, Renegade.

Renegade is a respectable port of the 1986 arcade beat `em up that revolutionized the genre, introducing several concepts (such as combos and the ability to move not just left and right, but also up and down) that would become staples in later hits like Golden Axe, Final Fight, and Streets of Rage. It is typically recognized as the progenitor of the infamous Double Dragon series … Continue reading

Marble Madness

Overview / Review of Milton Bradley’s 1989 NES game, Marble Madness.

Marble Madness, Atari’s 1984 arcade hit, was a landmark game for several reasons. As the flagship title for Atari’s 16-bit System 1 arcade hardware, it flaunted its state-of-the-art muscle with its convincing pseudo-3D graphics, unique trackball controls, and the first ever implementation of … Continue reading

Metroid

Overview / Review of Nintendo’s 1987 NES game, Metroid.

While Nintendo’s golden child has often dominated the spotlight, Miyamoto was not the only force instrumental to Nintendo’s meteoric rise: equally prolific and influential was Gunpei Yokoi, the head of Nintendo’s R&D1 development team. As the one responsible for the mantra under Nintendo owes its continuing success in recent years (the “imaginative consideration of matured technology”), Yokoi headed… Continue reading

Rygar

Overview / Review of Tecmo’s 1987 NES game, Rygar.

Though it shares its name with the Tecmo coin-op game released in 1986, Rygar for the NES bears little resemblance to its namesake. Transmuting a coin-munching side-scrolling action game into an action adventure title with strong RPG elements, the Nintendo version of Rygar avoids becoming a subpar port on weaker hardware… Continue reading

Metal Gear

Overview / Review of Konami’s 1988 NES game, Metal Gear.

Metal Gear, the inaugural entry into a series that would come to receive worldwide acclaim with the release of the Playstation’s masterfully executed Metal Gear Solid, was originally brought to life by the now infamous game-designer Hideo Kojima on the 8-bit MSX2 computer platform in 1987. The NES version, ported in-house by Konami (though without the blessing of or input from anyone on the original development team) is a significantly changed version of the original Metal Gear, and as such has been savagely criticized by Kojima in the years since its release, going so far as to exclude it from series’ canon Continue reading

Puss ‘n Boots: Pero’s Great Adventure

Overview / Review of Electro Brain’s 1990 NES game, Puss ‘n Boots: Pero’s Great Adventure.

Based on Toei Animation’s 1976 anime film Puss ‘n Boots: Around the World in 80 Days, which was in turn based on the novel Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, Puss ‘n Boots: Pero’s Great Adventure sets Pero (the Japanese spelling for the surname of author of the original French fairytale Puss in Boots, Charles Perrault) on a platforming adventure spanning both time and the globe. In this American only sequel to the Japanese only 1986 Famicom game… Continue reading

The Legend of Zelda

Overview / Review of Nintendo’s 1987 NES game, The Legend of Zelda.

Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary producer and designer of many of Nintendo’s biggest hits, is easily one of the most important and influential creative forces the industry has ever seen, almost single-handedly building Nintendo into the empire it became virtually overnight. Following the creation of some of gaming’s most beloved… Continue reading

Deadly Towers

Overview / Review of Broderbund’s 1987 NES game, Deadly Towers.

Deadly Towers presents an interesting conundrum when viewed in hindsight. When originally released in North America in the fall of 1987, it represented an interesting twist on the established RPG and action game conventions of the time, and it sold reasonably well. With nearly three decades having passed since Deadly Towers’ NES appearance, however, it has become one of the most reviled game titles of all-time…
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Dragon’s Lair

Overview / Review of Sony Imagesoft’s 1990 NES game, Dragon’s Lair.

When originally published in 1983, Dragon’s Lair was a true technological marvel. Released at a time when Spy Hunter, Mario Bros., and Ms. Pac-Man were wowing arcade goers with cutting edge graphics, the innovation introduced by Dragon’s Lair hardly seemed possible. Utilizing the storage space granted by brand-new optical storage media technologies… Continue reading

Castlevania

Overview / Review of Konami’s 1987 NES game, Castlevania.

The first of a legendary series, Konami’s Castlevania was one of the first games to truly prove the worth of third-party developers to Nintendo. As an extraordinarily well polished first offering in what would become one of the most prolific series of all time, Castlevania stands as a testament to the skill and sheer willpower of the crew at Konami; not only is the game aesthetically light years… Continue reading

Casino Kid

Overview / Review of Sofel’s 1989 NES game, Casino Kid.

Sofel, a company known in Japan for PC business application development rather than video games, released their first American NES title, Casino Kid, in 1989. The player is the titular Casino Kid, a fresh face at the Golden Crumbs (a mock of the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas), with $500 in pocket and a dream to become the King of the Casino… Continue reading