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

Tecmo Cup Soccer Game

Overview / Review of Tecmo’s 1992 NES game, Tecmo Cup Soccer Game.

Tecmo’s penultimate American NES release, Tecmo Cup Soccer Game, follows largely in the footsteps of the company’s games that came before it. Drawing from Ninja Gaiden’s revolutionary use of cinematic cut scenes, Tecmo World Wrestling’s textual play-by-play commentary, and the technical and artistic talents of the developers that shaped and defined the Tecmo brand name across all of the publisher’s products… Continue reading

Cyber Stadium Series: Base Wars

Overview / Review of Ultra’s 1991 NES game, Cyber Stadium Series: Base Wars.

At the turn of the 24th century, American baseball team owners are fed up paying the astronomical salaries demanded by even the worst players on their teams. At a board meeting, the owner of the Boston Banshees suggests robots as a replacement to traditional human participants, confident that cheaply produced players that do battle… 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

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

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

StarTropics

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

StarTropics represents Nintendo’s recognition of the popularity that its NES had achieved in the United States by the late 1980’s. Understanding that there were significant differences that defined fans’ interests between Japan and the US, Nintendo assigned one of its Japanese development teams, R&D3 (previously responsible for Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!… Continue reading

Felix the Cat

Overview / Review of Hudson’s 1992 NES game, Felix the Cat.

Originally appearing in 1919, Felix rose to fame during the reign of silent films, though Hudson’s Felix the Cat concentrates on the particulars of the franchise’s 1953 reboot, which, amongst several other changes, introduced Felix’s famous bag of tricks. In his NES outing, Felix must save… Continue reading

Lone Ranger, The

Overview / Review of Konami’s 1991 NES game, The Lone Ranger.

The Lone Ranger follows Konami’s penchant for quality licensed action titles, joining ranks with other notable Konami titles like Mission: Impossible, Monster in My Pocket, and Tiny Toon Adventures. The Lone Ranger founds its premise on the 1981 western film, The Legend of the Lone Ranger, which was in turn based on The Lone Ranger, a radio serial (running 1933-1954) and television series (1949-57). Continue reading