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

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

Abadox – The Deadly Inner War

Overview / Review of Milton Bradley’s 1990 NES game, Abadox – The Deadly Inner War.

Long before achieving their first major commercial success with the Harvest Moon series (with the inaugural entry released in 1997), Abadox – The Deadly Inner War was developer Natsume’s second game to see a stateside release. Arriving four months after the Taito publication of the niche RPG title Dungeon Magic: Swords of Element, Abadox broke onto the US market with a heavy marketing push, complete with a television commercial campaign that terrorized children nationwide. 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

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

Faxanadu

Overview / Review of Nintendo’s 1989 NES game, Faxanadu.

Published in America by Nintendo in 1990, Faxanadu is a spin-off title splintering from 1985’s Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu, the second game in the Japanese Dragon Slayer PC RPG series. Produced by Hudson Soft under license from Nihon Falcom (the original series’ developer and publisher that, while extremely popular in Japan, has languished in obscurity in the USA), Faxanadu is not a canonical entry in the Dragon Slayer series… 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

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

Rescue: The Embassy Mission

Overview / Review of Kemco’s 1990 NES game, Rescue: The Embassy Mission.

Rescue: The Embassy Mission started life as a late eighties French PC game named Hostages, released to some acclaim in 1988 by development house Infogrames. Known for their proclivity for games that placed a heavier emphasis on thought than reflex (most famously the Alone in the Dark and Neverwinter Nights 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

Kid Klown in Night Mayor World

Overview / Review of Kemco’s 1993 NES game, Kid Klown in Night Mayor World.

Kid Klown in Night Mayor World was Kemco’s final US release for the NES, being published near the end of the system’s production run in 1993. Kid Klown in Night Mayor World not only established the Kid Klown series, but also became the fourth game in Kemco’s Crazy Castle series, following The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle (released as Roger Rabbit on the Famicom, rereleased as Mickey Mouse… 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

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