Tag Archives: Famicom

Gegege no Kitarou: Youkai Daimakyou

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
04/17/1986 (Japan), 10/29/1986 (US)
ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 妖怪大魔境
Gegege no Kitarou: Ghost Haunts
Ninja Kid
It's interesting to see the early results of a piece of distinctly Japanese source material being made into a game franchise. Gegege no Kitarou is a manga series by Shigeru Mizuki, created way back in 1959. Though Mizuki's series was originally named "Hakaba Kitarou" ("Kitarou of the Graveyard"), "Gegege no Kitarou" was the name of the slightly more kid friendly animated series that was created by Toei in 1968, based on the manga series. It has since been adapted into numerous other animated and live action series and features. While the light hearted and humorous horror vibe that Gegege no Kitarou gives off is not a completely Japanese idea, the ghosts and various monsters (or "youkai") that appear in the series are brought to life straight out of Japanese fairy tales and folk lore. The aesthetic is one not often experienced, so one might wonder how something so unique would translate into a video game back in 1986. The answer, thankfully, is not badly. Continue Reading

Ys

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
08/26/1988 (Japan)
イース
Nihon Falcom's Ys series is known as a sprawling epic of games, spanning across many different consoles and computer systems. Back in the summer of 1988 though, the first game in the series had only been released on various Japanese home computers (though it originated on the NEC PC-8801) within the last year. The second game in the series had even already hit the PC-8801 just a couple of months prior. Nihon Falcom began life as a computer game developer, and wasn't very interested in porting their games to home consoles themselves. When one of their titles did make it outside of the home computer world, it was nearly always ported and published by other companies and with little involvement from Falcom themselves. It took Victor Entertainment, music company gone game publisher, and ghost-developer Advance Communication Company to bring us the very first home console port of Ys 1. And it's a very interesting foot note in the history of the Ys franchise for many reasons. Continue Reading

Choujikuu Yousai Macross

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
12/10/1985 (Japan)
超時空要塞マクロス
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross
Horizontal and vertically scrolling shooters were incredibly popular in the arcades in the 80s, so naturally that popularity extended to home consoles too. In fact, by the end of 1985 the Famicom had already seen home ports of a lot of the popular arcade shooters of the time: Xevious, Galaxian, Galaga, Space Invaders, and Star Force. It only made sense that the hit anime franchise Macross, known for its mech/fighter plane hybrids, would be transformed into a horizontally scrolling shooter on the Famicom. Actually Macross had already had its first console shooting game on Bandai's own short lived home console, the Arcadia, just about 2 years prior. Though this came after the aforementioned genre establishing shooters, it beat some others (such as Gradius) to the home market by several months. Continue Reading

Mobile Suit Z Gundam – Hot Scramble

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
08/28/1986 (Japan)
機動戦士Ζガンダム・ホットスクランブル
Mobile Suit Z Gundam - Hot Scramble
In February of 1986 the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam TV anime had just finished its fifty episode run of nearly one year in length. It received critical acclaim all around, garnered the highest ratings of any televised Gundam anime thus far and is widely regarded as one of Yoshiyuki Tomino's (the creator of the Gundam franchise) best works. With Gundam fever spreading across Japan, it only made sense that the franchise should have a game on the Famicom. Continue Reading

Dragon Ball: Shen Long no Nazo

Reviews
Dragon Ball - Shen Long no Nazo Title Screen
Hardware: Famicom/NES
11/27/1986 (Japan), 1988 (US and PAL)
ドラゴンボール 神龍の謎
Dragon Ball: The Mystery of Shen Long
Dragon Power
Dragon Ball: Le Secret Du Dragon
While not the very first Dragon Ball console game (that honor goes to an extraordinarily expensive Dragon Ball title on the Super Cassette Vision), this was the first on a console with a significant install base. There was never any doubt that the Dragon Ball franchise would spin-off into the world of home video games: The manga began its run in 1984, and the TV animation in 1986. This game covers the first major story arc in the Dragon Ball series, which involves Son Goku and friends gathering the Dragon Balls, foiling the plans of Emperor Pilaf, and finally summoning the wish-granting dragon Shen Long. For those not familiar with the progression of the Dragon Ball series, it wasn't always the action heavy Dragon Ball Z in which a single fight could span over the course of a dozen episodes. The series started as a much more fun loving story of Goku and friends going on actual adventures, and meeting an assortment of wacky characters. Shen Long no Nazo is centered around this period of the series. Continue Reading
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