Legend of the Ghost Lion

Overview / Review of Kemco’s 1992 NES game, Legend of the Ghost Lion.

Kemco’s 1992 release of Legend of the Ghost Lion’s was as an obscure and unlikely a candidate for English translation. The perceived appeal of a Western release is difficult to imagine, and a confluence of several factors inevitably contributed to the commercial failure of and apathetic feelings toward Ghost Lion. Limiting any significant market… Continue reading

Platoon

Overview / Review of Sunsoft’s 1988 NES game, Platoon.

Based on the star-studded Vietnam War epic of the same name, Platoon for the NES was released two years after the hit film saw a widespread US theater release. Bearing a tenuous connection to the events in the movie, Platoon makes a heroic effort to innovate on the trite and stale ideas that had, by 1988, pervaded the gameplay of most licensed-based games. While it does falter in its execution, Platoon blends numerous gaming conventions in unique and unexpected ways… Continue reading

Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road

Overview / Review of SNK’s 1988 NES game, Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road.

After liberating the Colonel from enemy forces at the end of Ikari Warriors, Paul and Vince graciously accept a plane ride provided in gratitude for their heroic rescue effort. As they are flying over the ocean, the sky turns dark and an ominous alien voice, booming from the heavens, informs the commandos of his hostile takeover of a planet. Paul and Vince, sucked into a time warp and flung into another planet’s distant future, meet Zada, a creature who begs the Ikari Warriors… 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

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 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

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

King’s Quest V

Overview / Review of Konami’s 1992 NES game, King’s Quest V.

Originally developed and released in 1990 by Sierra On-line for the PC, Roberta Williams’ King’s Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! marked a turning point in computer game development, benefitting from a massive million dollar budget, hand-painted VGA graphics produced under the direction of Emmy award winner Bill Davis, digital sound… Continue reading

Amagon

Overview / Review of American Sammy’s 1989 NES game, Amagon.

Amagon, developer Aicom’s first American released title, strands its titular hero on a mysterious island in the South Pacific. Several men have been sent to explore this isle that is rumored to harbor all sorts of horrible monsters, but none have returned alive. The celebrated Marine war hero, Amagon, is assigned to check things out. The situation quickly deteriorates… 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