Abadox – The Deadly Inner War

Overview / Review of Milton Bradley’s 1990 NES game, Abadox – The Deadly Inner War.

Long before achieving their first major commercial success with the Harvest Moon series (with the inaugural entry released in 1997), Abadox – The Deadly Inner War was developer Natsume’s second game to see a stateside release. Arriving four months after the Taito publication of the niche RPG title Dungeon Magic: Swords of Element, Abadox broke onto the US market with a heavy marketing push, complete with a television commercial campaign that terrorized children nationwide. Continue reading

Where’s Waldo?

Overview / Review of T*HQ’s 1991 NES game, Where’s Waldo?

Where’s Waldo?, the worldwide smash hit series of children’s books by British illustrator Martin Handford, dares adventurous readers to find the eponymous traveler, recognizable by his trademark red and white striped jumper, matching bobble hat, and large black specs. Waldo, or Wally, as he is known in his native England, has a habit of getting lost amongst giant throngs of people in a multitude of (often hilarious) situations… Continue reading

James Bond Jr.

Overview / Review of T*HQ’s 1992 NES game, James Bond Jr.

James Bond Jr., the early 1990s American-produced animated spinoff of Sir Ian Fleming’s iconic MI6 agent’s exploits, lasted only a single season before being cancelled. Despite its short run, the show bore several pieces of merchandise in an attempt increase brand awareness and popularity: several books, a Marvel produced comic, a line of Hasbro toys, and two different videogames made it to retailer shelves between… Continue reading

Monopoly

Overview / Review of Parker Brothers’ 1991 NES game, Monopoly.

Following “Black Tuesday,” the infamous stock market crash on Wall Street of 1929 that sent the world economy into a desperate tailspin, a board game rising from the wake of the previous crash in 1893 discovered a newfound resurgence at the hands of an unemployed laborer, Charles Darrow. Looking to make ends meet, he reinvigorated Lizzie Magie’s game, The Landlord’s Game, originally designed to illustrate the evils of monopolistic empires… Continue reading

Barbie

Overview / Review of Hi Tech Expressions’ 1991 NES game, Barbie.

Wildly popular and highly controversial since their introduction to the American public in 1959, Mattel’s Barbie has provided young girls a fashion savvy, boy crazy friend on whom they could depend to provide countless hours of entertainment. Throughout their lengthy tenure… Continue reading

Rollergames

Overview / Review of Ultra’s 1990 NES game, Rollergames.

Rollergames, Konami’s contribution to the blitz of marketing and merchandising accompanying the first (and only) season of 1989’s television show Rollergames, brings all of the cheese and drama of extreme skating home to the NES courtesy a cartridge officially endorsed by WAR (World Alliance of Rollersports). Bearing a number of similarities to Konami’s Skate or Die – Bad ‘N Rad released the Continue reading

Faxanadu

Overview / Review of Nintendo’s 1989 NES game, Faxanadu.

Published in America by Nintendo in 1990, Faxanadu is a spin-off title splintering from 1985’s Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu, the second game in the Japanese Dragon Slayer PC RPG series. Produced by Hudson Soft under license from Nihon Falcom (the original series’ developer and publisher that, while extremely popular in Japan, has languished in obscurity in the USA), Faxanadu is not a canonical entry in the Dragon Slayer series… Continue reading

Batman: The Video Game

Overview / Review of Sunsoft’s 1990 NES game, Batman: The Video Game.

Based on Tim Burton’s 1989 classic cinematic reimagining of the iconic American superhero, Sunsoft’s Batman: The Video Game for the NES was released in early 1990, four months after the movie was released on VHS, and eight months after Batman’s initial theatrical run. Riding on the long-lasting popularity of the Caped Crusader’s return to form, the arrival of Batman’s video game adaptation was warmly greeted by players nationwide, many of whom… Continue reading

Ninja Gaiden

Overview / Review for Tecmo’s 1989 NES game, Ninja Gaiden.

Though their previous efforts (Rygar, Solomon’s Key, et al) had been released to a smattering of critical praise and general apathy by the American gaming public, Tecmo finally hit their stride in the US NES market in early 1989 with the release of a pair of games that would go on to establish… Continue reading

Rescue: The Embassy Mission

Overview / Review of Kemco’s 1990 NES game, Rescue: The Embassy Mission.

Rescue: The Embassy Mission started life as a late eighties French PC game named Hostages, released to some acclaim in 1988 by development house Infogrames. Known for their proclivity for games that placed a heavier emphasis on thought than reflex (most famously the Alone in the Dark and Neverwinter Nights Continue reading

The Last Ninja

Overview / Review of Jaleco’s 1991 NES game, The Last Ninja.

The Last Ninja originally appeared on the Commodore 64 as The Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance in 1988, the second installment of System 3’s hugely successful adventure trilogy. All three games in the series became hits both critically and commercially; the three titles comprising The Last Ninja trilogy were considered the height of technical achievement in games… Continue reading

Kid Klown in Night Mayor World

Overview / Review of Kemco’s 1993 NES game, Kid Klown in Night Mayor World.

Kid Klown in Night Mayor World was Kemco’s final US release for the NES, being published near the end of the system’s production run in 1993. Kid Klown in Night Mayor World not only established the Kid Klown series, but also became the fourth game in Kemco’s Crazy Castle series, following The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle (released as Roger Rabbit on the Famicom, rereleased as Mickey Mouse… Continue reading

Contra Force

Overview / Review of Konami’s 1992 NES game, Contra Force.

Contra Force, the fourth American console title bearing the revered Contra name, proved to be an unexpected NES release late in the system’s life cycle. Following Contra (NES), Super C (NES), and Contra III: The Alien Wars (SNES), Contra Force was initially announced in Japan as Ark Hound (アークハウンド / Aakuhaundo), an original concept bearing no relation story wise to any other existing Konami franchises Continue reading

Final Fantasy

Overview / Review of Nintendo’s 1990 NES game, Final Fantasy.

The orbs of light that drive the world have gone dark, the balance they have long provided shattered. The wind ceases, the seas rage, fire engulfs the countryside, and the earth itself is beginning to die. As villages disappear and the desperate survivors are beset by chaos, the people’s final hope rests on a prophecy. The great sage, Lukahn, foretells the coming of four legendary warriors… Continue reading

Baseball Simulator 1.000

Overview / Review of Culture Brain’s 1990 NES game, Baseball Simulator 1.000.

Baseball Simulator 1.000 was developer and publisher Culture Brain’s first foray into video game sports, and served as the inaugural entry in the long running Ultra Baseball series, that would ultimately see five sequels on the Super Famicom through 1995 (only one, Super Baseball Simulator 1.000, saw a US release on the Super NES). The major defining traits of the series began here, most notably the “Ultra League”… Continue reading