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

Jeopardy!

Review / Overview of GameTek’s 1988 NES game, Jeopardy!

The venerable American trivia game show staple Jeopardy!, sitting atop the Merv Griffin Enterprises throne alongside Wheel of Fortune, originally aired to a lukewarm debut on US television in the spring of 1964, and though it garnered enough popularity to keep it on the airwaves for the next eleven years, it was eventually cancelled in 1975. After a failed attempt to reclaim its relevance in a short-lived reboot… 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

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

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

Milon’s Secret Castle

Overview / Review of Hudson’s 1988 NES game, Milon’s Secret Castle.

After offering players points as a hidden bonus in Star Force, Milon formally introduces himself to the public in his first headlining role, Milon’s Secret Castle for the NES. Despite three of the Japanese developer’s games having already shown up on US shores courtesy Brøderbund (Lode Runner, Raid on… Continue reading

Metal Gear

Overview / Review of Konami’s 1988 NES game, Metal Gear.

Metal Gear, the inaugural entry into a series that would come to receive worldwide acclaim with the release of the Playstation’s masterfully executed Metal Gear Solid, was originally brought to life by the now infamous game-designer Hideo Kojima on the 8-bit MSX2 computer platform in 1987. The NES version, ported in-house by Konami (though without the blessing of or input from anyone on the original development team) is a significantly changed version of the original Metal Gear, and as such has been savagely criticized by Kojima in the years since its release, going so far as to exclude it from series’ canon 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

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

Hudson’s Adventure Island

Overview / Review of Hudson’s 1988 NES game, Hudson’s Adventure Island.

Hudson’s Adventure Island, the first game of the long running Adventure Island series, is a conversion of Sega’s 1986 arcade game, Wonder Boy. Hudson sought the rights to develop a Nintendo port of Wonder Boy from the original arcade developer, Escape… Continue reading