Toki

Overview / Review of Taito’s 1991 NES game, Toki.

Despite a box that prominently features some of the worst box art to ever grace the shelves of video game retailers, Toki is an excellent port of the underrated 1988 arcade classic of the same name. As is the case with many of Taito’s 8-bit releases, Toki’s late 1991 release buried it beneath the massive shadow cast by Nintendo’s aggressive promotion of their newly launched 16-bit successor to the NES. Though a quality title, the lack of media coverage and retail shelf… Continue reading

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

Pinball

Overview / Review of Nintendo’s 1985 NES game, Pinball.

Released with the 1985 test market launch in New York City of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Pinball stands as one of the eighteen titles buttressing the very foundation of the newly founded Nintendo of America’s experimental business venture. Working within the confines of an impossibly claustrophobic 24k ROM chip, Nintendo rewarded early-adopters with the most advanced pinball simulator of its time in this pixel-perfect port of their 1983 arcade game of the same name. Continue reading

Sky Shark

Overview / Review of Taito’s 1989 NES game, Sky Shark.

In Taito’s 1989 NES port of the 1987 arcade game, Sky Shark (known as 飛翔鮫 / Hishouzame in Japan and Flying Shark in European territories), the player takes on the role of the ace pilot in the most renowned American flight squadrons to take to the skies of World War II combat. Managing against all odds to break through the enemy front lines, a lone Warhawk pilot glimpses the enemy command post where… 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

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

Super Mario Bros.

Overview / Review for Nintendo’s 1985 NES game, Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. is widely considered the savior of the American video game market, marking Nintendo’s dominance after the fallout resulting from the infamous industry crash of 1983. The original NES version alone has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, and until it was overtaken by Nintendo’s Wii launch pack-in game, Wii Sports (2006), the Guinness Book of World Records recognized it as the best-selling video game… Continue reading

Golf

Overview / Review of Nintendo’s 1985 NES game, Golf.

Released as a launch game for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the fall of 1985, Golf presents an interesting conundrum: while it is infinitely more playable than golf games released on earlier, significantly less powerful systems (PGA Golf for the Intellivision, 1979; Golf for the Atari 2600, 1980), it is so primitive by comparison to every other… Continue reading

Double Dragon

Overview / Review of Tradewest’s 1988 NES game, Double Dragon.

Building off of the successful innovations of Technos Japan’s previous beat ’em up, Renegade (1986, Arcade/1988, NES), Double Dragon for the NES is a port of the first in a successful trilogy arcade games. Twin brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee, well skilled martial artists, learned how to survive growing up on the streets. When Marian, Billy’s girlfriend, is brutally assaulted… Continue reading

Kung Fu

Overview / Review of Nintendo’s 1985 NES game, Kung Fu.

Kung-Fu is a port of Irem’s wildly popular 1984 arcade game, Kung-Fu Master. Produced by Takashi Nishiyama (responsible for some extremely famous arcade games, including Street Fighter, Fatal Fury, King of Fighters, amongst others), Kung-Fu has the honor of being the first NES game to star Jackie Chan (the second, of course, being Hudson’s Jackie Chan’s Action Kung-Fu)… Continue reading