Tag Archives: Famicom

Spartan X

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
06/21/1985 (Japan), 10/1985 (US), 04/15/1987 (PAL)
スパルタンX
Kung Fu
We often assume that simplistic games don't have a very rich history, but Spartan X is a perfect example of why this isn't true. It acted not only as a door to a brand new genre that would rule a large portion of the late 80s and 90s, a potential pathway to multiple world-changing games, a licensed game (sort of) and a transitional game for some notable individuals. When playing "Kung Fu" (the name that it was released under in the US) on my NES as a kid around 1988, I was unable to get past the third floor and would think "This game seems a little primitive..." (little did I know at the time how old the game itself actually was). I truly had no idea how significant what I was playing actually was. Continue Reading

Gradius

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
04/25/1986 (Japan), 12/1986 (US), 11/30/1988 (PAL)
グラディウス
Nearly one year after the original, Gradius finally came home to the Famicom/NES. This home port does as respectable of a job as a Famicom game can of replicating the look and feel of the original. Sure you don't get the Big Core boss rising directly from the ashes of whatever thing came before it, or the full depth of music found in the arcade version, but at least this is a game that looks good and still has the original music scaled down for the Famicom. Continue Reading

Makai Mura

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
06/13/1986 (Japan), 11/1986 (US), 03/23/89 (PAL)
魔界村
Demon World Village
Ghosts 'n Goblins
Despite its high level of difficulty, Makai Mura was an arcade success. And in these days of console gaming, that meant a port to home consoles would be highly sought after. It was generally accepted that (for the most part) because console hardware was still very young it probably wasn't advanced enough to look, sound and feel like it was an arcade game. As long as it captured the essence of the original though, that was usually good enough. The Famicom was no longer a young system in June 1986, at least not in Japan. It had seen its share of arcade ports by this time, and quality had been all over the board. Capcom (who was at this point still a fairly young company) had only had two of its arcade titles ported to the Famicom at this point though: 1942 and Son Son. Unfortunately, neither of them were very good ports at all. Continue Reading

Dragon Quest

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom
05/27/1986 (Japan), 08/1989 (US)
ドラゴンクエスト
Dragon Warrior
When you look at the immense popularity of Dragon Quest in Japan these days, it's hard to believe that it came from anything but itself. It's often credited as the first and most influential Japanese RPG. While it's certainly one of the most influential, it's not the first. It owes its design to a handful of different predecessors, many of which are western and were released on home computers. Dragon Quest can lay claim to being the first turn-based console RPG (the first non-turn-based console RPG being Hydlide) though. Continue Reading

Hokuto no Ken

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
08/10/1986 (Japan)
北斗の拳
Fist of the North Star
Not even one month after the very first Hokuto no Ken game on the Sega Master System/Mark III came the first series installment on the Famicom/NES. Those who are knowledgeable on the history of the NES or Hokuto no Ken games may know that a game was released outside of Japan as "Fist of the Northstar", however it was not this game. That release corresponds to Japan's Hokuto no Ken 2 on the Famicom. The Master System/Mark III game its faults and oddities, but was a fairly good side-scrolling beat-em-up game at the time, and generally was a credit to its source material. Hokuto no Ken on the Famicom is the opposite of all of these things. Continue Reading
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