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

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

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

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

Rollergames

Overview / Review of Ultra’s 1990 NES game, Rollergames.

Rollergames, Konami’s contribution to the blitz of marketing and merchandising accompanying the first (and only) season of 1989’s television show Rollergames, brings all of the cheese and drama of extreme skating home to the NES courtesy a cartridge officially endorsed by WAR (World Alliance of Rollersports). Bearing a number of similarities to Konami’s Skate or Die – Bad ‘N Rad released the 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

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

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 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

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