Maniac Mansion

Overview / Review of Jaleco’s 1990 NES game, Maniac Mansion.

Tapping the bizarrely violent and perverse tone of 70s and 80s B-movies, Maniac Mansion features the twisted exploits of Dr. Fred Edison, a peculiarly green hued man who has been conducting experiments in his basement for the past twenty years. When a local high school cheerleader goes missing, her boyfriend Dave takes his friends to check out the Edison Mansion, believing that she fell victim to foul play at the hands of the mad scientist… Continue reading

Punch-Out!!

Overview / Review of Nintendo’s 1990 NES game, Punch-Out!!

Before releasing the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo had already established themselves as a power-player in the western arcade entertainment business. Previously finding success in bringing Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., and Popeye to the coin-op markets, the Japanese corporation had owners of gaming centers of the early 1980s waiting with bated breath for their next highly-anticipated quarter muncher. Nintendo answered with 1984’s Punch-Out!!… Continue reading

Super Mario Bros. 2

Overview / Review of Nintendo’s 1988 NES game, Super Mario Bros. 2.

Super Mario Bros. 2 has long since been considered the “odd-duck” of the Mario series, eschewing many of the gameplay elements that its older brother established when released with the NES in 1985. Unbeknownst to the American public when Super Mario Bros. 2 appeared on US shelves in 1988, the true sequel to Nintendo’s smash launch Continue reading

Mega Man 2

Overview / Review of Capcom’s 1989 NES game, Mega Man 2.

Despite the original game not selling enough copies to warrant an immediate follow-up, Mega Man 2 saw its initial release on the Japanese market a mere twelve months after Mega Man’s initial publication. Completed over a hellishly short four month development cycle, Mega Man 2 was to become an industry-wide symbol of the passion and dedication that went into many early NES projects: Capcom… Continue reading

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

Overview / Review of Nintendo’s 1987 NES game, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

Before releasing the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo had already established themselves as a power-player in the western arcade entertainment business. Previously finding success in bringing Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., and Popeye to the coin-op markets, the Japanese corporation had owners of gaming centers of the early 1980s waiting with bated breath for their next highly-anticipated quarter muncher. Nintendo answered with 1984’s Punch-Out!!… 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

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

Crystalis

Overview / Review of SNK’s 1990 NES game, Crystalis.

Crystalis (or God Slayer, as it was called in its native Japan) was different from the releases that the public generally expected from celebrated arcade developer and publisher SNK. Known primarily for action and war games, the company broke from tradition in releasing Crystalis, providing gamers with a slower paced, plot-driven narrative in place of the tanks and guns that usually populated well-known previous games such as Ikari Warriors, Alpha Mission, or P.O.W. Combining… 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

Castlevania III – Dracula’s Curse

Overview / Review of Konami’s 1990 NES game, Castlevania III – Dracula’s Curse.

Konami’s final chapter of their classic NES trilogy, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse is a true 8-bit technological tour de force, constantly pushing the hardware to (and occasionally beyond) its limits. Staged as a prequel to the first two Castlevania games, the player assumes the role of Simon’s ancestor, Trevor Belmont… Continue reading

Castlevania II – Simon’s Quest

Review / Overview of Konami’s 1988 NES game, Castlevania II – Simon’s Quest.

Reprising his role from Castlevania, Simon Belmont (renamed to fix the awkward and semi-correct Japanese transliteration of the name Berumondo Shimon used in the first game) sets off once again in pursuit of pure evil. This time, however, the adventure is much more personal in nature: Simon was badly injured in his fight with Dracula seven years ago… 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