Don’t be fooled by the key art depicting the game’s protagonist as some sort of Indiana Jones inspired bad ass. You won’t be raiding tombs and seeking treasure but instead taking out poachers and freeing captured animals. Basically the human equivalent of Sonic the Hedgehog. Lest you get hippy notions of peace and happiness and […]

Operation Wolf

I’ve always appreciated light gun games from afar but was rarely interested enough to spend my quarters on them for various reasons. Light gun games back then were typically always a quarter more than everything else and when it came down to it I’d rather spend my 2 or 3 quarters on Street Fighter or […]

A Brief Hiatus

The holiday season is coming and I’m taking a little break.  I like to kick back and enjoy myself too you know.  I’ll see you all in the new year!

Super Nova

I wonder why Taito decided to rename Darius Force when bringing it to the US. Did Darius Twin leave such a bad impression that they wanted to distance themselves from it that bad? While I found that game middling it still had its good points. This isn’t the first time they’ve done this: Darius II […]

Seirei Senshi Spriggan

Games like Seirei Senshi Spriggan are the reason I wish the Turbo Grafx-16 were more popular in the US. Even taking into account the glut of shooters released in the 16-bit era Spriggan would have stood out. With the masters of the genre Compile behind the wheel that should be expected but even still Spriggan […]

DJ Boy

What the hell happened here? How could Kaneko mess up a simple port of DJ boy so badly? Let’s be clear, I’m not holding up DJ boy as some paragon of the genre. It was simply an enjoyable brawler with a unique aesthetic and well within the Genesis’ capabilities. This sad home port loses most […]


I can distinctly remember reading about so many NES games in Nintendo Power that were scheduled to be released in the US but were cancelled for one reason or another. For the longest time once a game was cancelled that was that and you would never hear about it again. But in these modern times […]

Top 10 Underrated NES Classics

  As with any console there are plenty of games that slipped through the cracks on the NES.  Considering the state of the industry at the time and the lack of publications extensively covering the system at first it should come as no surprise that some truly great games have gone unappreciated.  There were so […]

Robocco Wars

I really miss Taito as a publisher. I realize that technically they still exist as a part of Square Enix but between their arcade output and console games they were once a known quantity worldwide and that has been lost. They were somewhat underrated back in the day too; everyone knows Capcom and Konami but […]

Don Doko Don

You know I’ve never stopped to really examine just how much I really like single screen platformers. In my mind it is easy to dismiss the “genre” since I got more than my fill of it during the Atari 2600 days. But later games such as Bubble Bobble, Snow Bros. and even Joe & Mac […]

Mamono Hunter Yohko: Makai Kara no Tenkosei

Mamono Hunter Yohko: Makai Kara no Tenkosei (Devil Hunter Yohko: the Seven Balls) is a game that has managed to slip under the radar for quite some time which is surprising considering how loyal the Sega fan base has been over the years. I’m surprised the game was never localized, especially as Sega of America […]


For years I avoided DinoCity, not because I heard that it was a bad game but because I had preconceived ideas about it. The few reviews I read painted it as a shallow platformer for kids and to a certain extent they are right. Looking at the screenshots and that god awful box art I’ll […]


While the PC Engine was a solid number two in Japan its aging hardware was starting to fall behind the Genesis and SNES. Clever programming tricks allowed its games to shine but it was only a matter of time before consumers moved on. The Supergrafx was supposed to be its successor, boasting true 16-bit hardware […]

The Adventures of Little Ralph

The Adventures of Little Ralph is the type of platformer those of us naive as to where the industry was headed expected to see more of. As 16-bit waned we as gamers were treated to a feast of future classics such as Donkey Kong Country 2, Yoshi’s Island 2, Sonic & Knuckles and many others. […]

X-Men: Children of the Atom

As a lifelong comic book fan seeing my favorite characters take to the streets and engage in fisticuffs was a dream come true. And with Capcom doing the honors there was little to fear. X-Men: Children of the Atom was an awesome game when released in the arcade in 1994 and its home ports would […]

Rendering Ranger: R2

Whenever Rendering Ranger: R2 is mentioned the first topic of discussion is its exorbitant price. With a low print run due to its late release in Japan the game can sometimes run well over a thousand dollars. It’s insane that any game can ever sell for that much but the mystique surrounding RR is something […]

Renny Blaster

When Rondo of Blood was passed over for a US release I was dismayed to say the least. As one of the lone Turbo Grafx owners in my neighborhood it was supposed to be the game that justified owning the damn system in the first place (at least in my mind) but it simply wasn’t […]

Crusader of Centy

While RPGs were not as plentiful on the Genesis the ones it did receive were generally excellent. Everyone is aware of Phantasy Star and the Shining series but the system’s action RPGs enjoy a lower profile. Crusader of Centy was a late 1994 release that snuck onto store shelves with little fanfare. That is unfortunate […]

Dragon Scroll

I’m always kind of amazed that with the popularity of the Legend of Zelda the US and Europe received very few of the games that were inspired by it in Japan. Over in Japan there is quite a large volume of action RPGs that have almost the exact same structure (as well as more Dragon […]


Nowadays I have little interest in military shooters but growing up I couldn’t get enough of it. Commando, Contra, GI Joe, I loved that shit. Cabal was fairly innocuous release back in the day but looking back it was pretty ground breaking. It’s actually kind of funny to think about it but Cabal was a […]

Castlevania III (Japan)

I’ve wanted to do a thorough review on this one for quite some time. For years I’ve read about the differences between Castlevania III and its Japanese counterpart, Akumajou Densetsu. Most of that information was concerning the music but rarely ever went into the gameplay changes between the two versions of the game. Some of […]

Crystal Beans from Dungeon Explorer

The SNES and Genesis shared many multiplatform games both stateside and abroad yet that wasn’t the case with the Turbo Grafx. The system’s shooter library shared many arcade conversions with the Genesis but none of its games saw a Super Nintendo release, at least in the US. In Japan it was the opposite with many […]

Dick Tracy

I remember the insane marketing blitz surrounding the release of the Dick Tracy movie back in 1990. I was too young to know about its origin as a newspaper strip from the 1920s and viewed it as a movie starring a colorful cast of villains like batman. With all the radio watches, fast food meals […]

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

There were many licensed games for the NES, some from pretty obvious video game fodder like Batman and others that even I question why they bothered such as Home Alone. But even bearing that in mind the Adventures of Tom Sawyer stands out. This sure as hell wouldn’t have been the first novel I would […]

Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems

I joined the 32-bit generation a little bit late and so had to make due with my Super Nintendo and Genesis until 1997. While I certainly had nothing to complain about as the later years for both consoles produced some true classics it did start to sting as the more advanced arcade games were no […]

Chiki Chiki Boys

I can remember ignoring Chiki Chiki Boys for a long time during my Genesis owning days. For one I though the name was stupid. And two compared to the other releases for the system that year (Shining Force and Landstalker owned my soul) it seemed like a throwback. One desperate rental and I was pleasantly […]

Great Battle Cyber

Trying to parse out which titles in the long line of super robot and sentai games that Bandai has put out are actually good is harder than you can possibly imagine. There are innumerable Gundam, Kamen Rider, and Ultraman games under strange names that I dare you to try and figure out. The Compati Hero […]

Faussete Amour

Faussete Amour is a game that I coveted for many long years. A random screenshot in a magazine is all I had to go on but it looked so awesome. As a fan of the Valis series (while at the same time acknowledging that they were OK at best) it looked set to scratch that action […]

Dashin Desperadoes

Next to Joe & Mac I would say Will & Rick (or Johnny & Tom) from Dashin Desperadoes/Spinmaster are the closest Data East came to having a mascot. Although they only starred in two games I could easily have seen them star in more, especially if they were of the same quality present here. Despite […]


I remember NARC as that ridiculously violent video game about drugs. After seeing a brief clip of it in the Ninja Turtles movie I wanted to play it badly because it looked really cool. The anti-drug message was lost on me as I didn’t care, I just wanted to shoot guys in the face with […]

Rockman & Forte

Up until recently a large number of current generation games were still seeing a release on prior platforms, one to leverage the large install base of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 but also because not many had moved on to the newer platforms. This phenomena is not unprecedented however as Capcom began work on […]

Bimini Run

Yikes, this game. I came into contact with Bimini Run when I made an unfortunate trade with someone at school. I won’t mention the game I traded away but let’s just say the other guy made out like a bandit. Bimini Run looks really cool on the box art but in reality is one of […]

Contra Spirits

It’s interesting just how many unlicensed and bootleg variants of Contra are out there. There are enough for it to be its own subgenre at this point. I can see why: even though it was released early in the system’s lifespan Contra remains one of the NES’s best action games. Hell it is one of […]

Metroid Prime

Metroid Prime should not have worked. When the game was first announced to use the first person perspective it would be an understatement to say that many expected the worst. It also didn’t help that its developer, Retro Studios, had undergone turmoil within the company leading to Nintendo having to step in and create order […]

The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers

When you think of the Lord of the Rings you think of an epic adventure. I certainly wouldn’t begrudge anyone from assuming that the games that would accompany the three Peter Jackson movies would probably be action RPGs but kudos to Electronic Arts for defying expectations and creating some of the best beat em ups […]

Dynamite Cop

It’s no exaggeration to say that by the end of the 16-bit era the beat em up genre was a bit long in the tooth. At least on console. Even with that in mind it was a bit sad to see the genre all but disappear during the 32-bit days outside of a few really […]

Cruis’n USA

I remember when Cruis’n USA and Killer Instinct were shown off and allegedly were using Nintendo 64 technology. It was 64-bits! Fuck your 32-bits, they were leap frogging that shit! Both games seemed far ahead of their time and the prospect of arcade perfect ports of these two games on Nintendo’s future console made many […]

Darius Gaiden

As much as I have enjoyed the Darius games over these past decades to be completely honest the first few entries were merely solid games, more notable for their use of a triple monitor setup in the arcade than any interesting mechanics. Darius Gaiden changes all of that as it introduces a host of new […]


By the mid-90s SNK’s fighting game factory was running at full capacity, with a series to cover a variety of niches. Curiously Capcom did not follow suit and were content to pump out further iterations of Street Fighter. But it was only a matter of time and when they did finally pursue a new IP […]

the Addams Family

While I have thrown my share of vitriol at Akklaim and LJN for their terrible licensed games I would be remiss if I didn’t get around to Ocean. In many ways Ocean were LJN’s European counterpart as they flooded the market over there with garbage. Thankfully we were spared the vast majority of their output […]

Macross 2036

Macross 2036 was one of my first imports when I finally had enough disposable income to indulge my video gaming habit back in the early 2000s. An obscure PC Engine title might seem like an odd choice in light of the innumerable PlayStation games that should have come overseas. But I had just seen Macross […]

Dragon’s Fury

Pinball has never really been my forte. Over the years I’ve dumped a random quarter into any number of licensed pinball arcade units but aside from appreciating the novelty of smacking a ball around and ogling the craftsmanship that went into each table’s construction I’ve never found them engaging. Which is why it is so […]

the Little Mermaid

  Of all of Capcom’s Disney licensed titles the one you probably hear about the least would be the Little Mermaid. I imagine creating a compelling 8-bit game of the seminal animated film must have been quite the conundrum. With Darkwing Duck they could easily ape their own Mega Man formula and Duck Tales practically […]

Metal Force

If one were to peruse the unlicensed and pirate game market you’d be surprised at the stuff you’ll find. Usually bootleg games show up long after a hardware manufacturer stops supporting a given platform which is how you end up with stuff like Somari and even an NES version of Final Fantasy 7.   These games […]

Die Hard

Say what you will about Activision’s NES output but at least they tried. Most publishers at the time were guilty of putting out the cheapest tie-ins possible and hoped to coast on the brand alone but some thought was put into their licensed titles and they were at least somewhat unique. That however doesn’t mean […]

Go Go Ackman 2

Go Go Ackman was something of a surprise for me. Much like in the rest of the world licensed manga and anime games are usually garbage in Japan yet GGA bucked that trend and was a surprisingly well done platformer. Especially considering the manga is only about 60 pages long and mostly consisted of disparate […]


I really love seeing the period at the end of a console generation when developers have more or less fully tapped each system’s potential and can produce truly phenomenal games. Donkey Kong Country 2 is one of my favorite platformers of all time; Resident Evil 4 might be in my personal top 10 games list […]

Space Harrier (Famicom)

While I found it strange growing up to see bootleg cartridges of Sega arcade games for the NES I will admit there was something pretty cool about playing the “other” guys games on your platform of choice. Alien Syndrome turned out pretty cool and Fantasy Zone was decent. It wasn’t all gravy however; the less […]


Sengoku was one of those Neo Geo games I always wanted to play in the arcade but because it occupied a spot in a four slot MVS unit that had Samurai Shodown it almost never happened. The one or two times I finally did get to play it I found a pretty good brawler that […]


Sunsoft’s Batman was one of the first licensed games I truly fell in love with back in the day. When you’ve been exposed to a steady diet of LJN trash it’s hard not to become skeptical after a while. Yet this one little game completely my perception of what a licensed can and should be. […]

Hammerin Harry

I’ve always been fascinated by Japanese games that manage to retain their heavily localized flavor when brought to the US. There was a silly notion in the early days of the industry that gamers would be turned off by anything too foreign which is why publishers went out of their way to hide the fact […]

Panorama Cotton

It was commonly accepted as fact that the Genesis simply was no good at scaling sprites without the Sega CD. Early titles such as Super Thunder Blade and the sad port of Galaxy Force 2 were choppy disasters while later games such as Dick Vitale’s Awesome Baby Basketball and Red Zone showed that it could […]

Psychic Storm

Psychic Storm was a game I bought blindly years ago after only seeing a few sparse screenshots and thinking the name was cool. Once upon a time I had more money than common sense but in this case it didn’t bite me in the ass. This is a pretty good game that only suffers due […]


It’s always amazed me how widespread bootleg and unlicensed video games are. Even as far back as the mid to late 80s I can distinctly recall seeing one or two Chinese NES carts that somehow crammed 50 shitty games in one package. The vast majority of these games are absolutely terrible but every so often […]

Breath of Fire

Of all the genres Capcom covered during their prolific days on the NES they had very rarely dabbled with RPGs. With the possible exceptions of Destiny of an Emperor (which is more of a strategy game) and Willow (action RPG) they seemed pretty content to more or less dominate the action category. As their first […]

The Adventures of Batman & Robin

Disappointing games are a dime a dozen, with many aiming for greatness and falling far short. Bad games are quickly forgotten yet it is the games that were on the cusp of greatness that seem to leave the most lasting impression. The Adventures of Batman & Robin is one of those games. There are so […]

The Adventures of Bayou Billy

The Adventures of Bayou Billy should have been a great game. And in fact it is in its original Japanese form as Mad City. But someone decided to screw with the game’s balance for…..reasons and ruined what should have been another feather in Konami’s cap. Bayou Billy is an aggravating game not just because it […]

Super Turrican 2

1995 saw the 16-bit generation go through a downward spiral as the promise of the new 32-bit platforms could not be ignored. 3-d graphics at home was a big draw along with all the new possibilities it could bring. This left the SNES and Genesis looking a bit long in the tooth as many gamers […]


Keith Courage in the Alpha Zones was a middling experience at best, only remembered because it was the pack-in game with the Turbo Grafx-16. Let’s be honest, most of us would never have bought the game separately as it was just so bland. Despite outward appearances Granzort is not a sequel to that game but […]

Uchuu Keibitai SDF

I’d say we received a pretty solid spectrum of shoot em up choices in the US when it comes to the NES. There are some dogs but the classics outweigh them. But even with that in mind there were still plenty of classics from big publishers that slipped through the cracks. How bizarre is it […]

Kidou Butoden G-Gundam

I have mixed feelings about the various Mobile Suit Gundam series but the one thing I can say for sure is that I hate Gundam Seed. And that I kind of like G-Gundam. G-Gundam absolutely embraces its stupidity and whether I actually like it or not I can at least respect that. The entire premise […]


I love Outrun and it’s funny to track my history with the series as I came to it in a backwards fashion. The pretty good Master System conversion was my first exposure to it and while good my mind was blown upon seeing the arcade game. The ridiculous number of scaling sprites was practically a […]

Spartan X2

Looking back I have fond memories of Kung-Fu for NES. If you were there when the NES launched it was slim pickings for the first year so more than likely many played it and were done with it in an hour or so. At the time I was not aware it was not only an […]

Darius Twin

When the SNES first launched it was kind of funny to see all of the shooters released with crippling slowdown. Some of these were absolutely dire like Super R-Type and Gradius III despite still turning out pretty good. Meanwhile the less ambitious games within the genre turned out alright. Darius Twin is a forgotten relic […]

McDonalds Treasure Land Adventure

When Treasure exploded on to the scene with Gunstar Heroes they could do no wrong and for the smart gamers who played it I’m sure there was some anticipation as to what they would do next. Considering their pedigree as Konami veterans who had worked on so many of the classics gamers loved it shouldn’t […]

Makai Island

As prolific as Capcom were on the NES there was always bound to be a few games that slipped through the cracks. The early years of their publishing saw a consistent string of arcade ports, almost all completely awesome. That would change with the release of Mega Man and more original titles would become the […]


When you have a genre that is as saturated as shooters on a console it is only a matter of time before the games start to blend together. I like a good outer space romp as much as the next man but good god was it run into the ground in the early to mid-90s. […]


  I remember seeing Curse in old issues of EGM in their import coverage. The trippy pictures of the box art with its exposed brain inside a mannequin’s head was certainly eye catching. It obviously did not give off the impression that this was a shooter but I’m sure plenty would have looked at it […]


For the longest time I ignored Rollergames. In my mind I associated it with that corny TV show from 1989 that my mom probably watched and assumed that the game would be more of the same tripe. Well to a certain extent it is. But! Leave it to Konami to take such a simple premise […]

Daytona USA: Championship Circuit Edition

The anticipation for the Saturn port of Daytona USA was only matched by the disappointment of its technical shortcomings. For those that stuck with it the gameplay was more or less accurate but it’s kind of hard to appreciate when the game is damn near building the track right in front of your face. The […]


I wonder why Gungage was released only in Europe and Japan. There was definitely a shortage of arcade style action games and it wasn’t as if the two Contra games were filling that void. Games like One and Apocalypse were good but flawed, a trait that Gungage also shares. While this is not most accomplished […]

Duke Nukem 64

I would not own my own computer until 1999 so I could only look on with envy at the PC gaming renaissance of the mid-90s. While I would occasionally get the chance to dabble with Doom and Hexen I only got to experience the majority of the really popular titles that made PC gaming unique […]

Gunple: Gunman’s Proof

  The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is not only one of the most influential action RPGs of all time but also one of the best in gaming history. With that in mind it is a bit odd that it inspired so few clones during the 16-bit era. While most would point […]


And now something different from the shmup masters at Compile. With the exception of the Aleste series nearly all of Compile’s shooter output were of the space variety. As much as I like a good space shooter they don’t offer as much diversity as you would expect. With its fantasy theme Sylphia is like Phelios’ […]

ToeJam & Earl

Once upon a time two funky alien dudes came to Earth and gifted Genesis owners with a cool coop game unlike few on the market. That period in 1991-92 was when Sega really began to hit their stride with unique releases and ToeJam & Earl were a part of it. The recent kickstarter for the […]

Mission Impossible

My view of Mission Impossible is incredibly skewed for some reason and I’ve never been able to tell why. The game is every bit as good as the rest of Konami’s classic NES lineup yet it seems to fly under the radar. That fact is doubly strange considering just how popular the movies starring Tom […]

Bio Senshi Dan

Bio Senshi Dan was once scheduled for a US release under the title Bashi Bazook: Morphoid Masher. Honestly they should have stuck with its original title as Bashi Bazook is flat out stupid. And this is coming from someone who liked Kabuki Quantum Fighter in spite of its dumb name. While I won’t go so […]


As shallow as many of them were I do genuinely miss the beat em up genre. Games like Final Fight showed just how amazing the genre could be but unfortunately it was run into the ground during the 16-bit era by games that didn’t aspire to be more than simple clones. It sucked because the […]

Super Bomberman

I was not fond of Bomberman on the NES. My initial interest in the game mostly came from the fact that the title sounded like the name of a Mega Man boss. So I went into it expecting a fast paced action game and was instead greeted by a plodding maze game. And while that […]

Rayxanber II

For some inexplicable reason I was obsessed with Rayxanber II & III. I’ve already described how being a Turbo Grafx owner was a lonely experience so if I wanted new games I had to buy them. It was just another shooter among a sea of the things but the screenshots in EGM looked really cool. […]

Cross Fire

Looking back it is surprising that there weren’t more games released in the style of Contra for the NES. There is no question that Contra is one of the most popular games for the system and while there were plenty of character action games such as Mega Man and Shatterhand most run and gun action […]

Ardy Lightfoot

If you were a third party during the 16-bit era it was a prerequisite that you needed some kind of furry mascot to be taken seriously. It’s a silly concept in retrospect but back then a smarmy farm animal in a t-shirt could help your business thrive. Some resisted like Sunsoft but even they eventually […]

Dahna: Megami Tanjō

One thing I absolutely love about the Sega Genesis library is the fact that the vast majority of worthwhile games released in Japan were brought overseas. Thanks to Sega of America’s aggressive support of the system future classics like Gunstar Heroes, Landstalker, and Beyond Oasis all found homes in a smart gamer’s system. It does […]


There was something magical about every NES game released in the first year of the system’s life. For those of us that cut our teeth on the Atari 2600 and its contemporaries NES games were on a completely different level. With each new release the foundations of many of the genres we still enjoy today […]

Super Return of the Jedi

While there have been plenty of video games based on Star Wars and the Empire Strikes Back oddly enough Return of the Jedi has seen few adaptations, making Super Return of the Jedi all the more distinct. Aside from the pretty cool arcade game and a few obscure PC games the final chapter in the […]


Fans of mindless action games had little to celebrate entering the 32-bit era. With the move to 3d the venerable action shooter was at a crossroads and would have to weather a tough storm like nearly every genre alongside it. Unfortunately the first few attempts at such were just plain sad; Contra tried and failed […]


With the advent of the Saturn and PlayStation in the mid-90s the chances of seeing home ports of all the big budget arcade games increased dramatically. While the 3d games like Tekken and Ridge Racer were exciting I looked forward to the 2d stuff more, specifically Capcom and SNK’s fighting games.   I was still too […]

Adventure Island III

While I was not a humongous fan of Adventure Island the second game in the series went a long way toward making me appreciate what Master Higgins had to offer. It also helped that it also distinguished the games from the Wonder Boy series from which they were derived. After a solid second outing Adventure […]

Doom Troopers: Mutant Chronicles

I loved side scrolling action games during the 16-bit era and they were second only to RPGs as my favorite genre. But to an extent the pickings were a bit slim. After loving Contra III, Hard Corps, Alien Soldier, and the various Turrican games what was left were games of middling quality, especially by 1995. […]


I briefly played Truxton in the arcade but had no recollection of it before finally renting it completely by chance. My memories of a fast action game that never let up held true but I wasn’t prepared for just how difficult the game is. Truxton manages to pack more action into its five levels than […]

Mickey to Donald: Magical Adventure 3

Looking back it sucks that Capcom took such a huge bath on the console ports of Super Street Fighter 2 and as such began to cut back on their cartridge based titles as we missed out on a few cool games. If you would have told me at any point in the 90s that a […]


Any fan of NES shooters is undoubtedly familiar with Life Force. As the sequel to Gradius we all thought the game was excellent, building on what we loved about Gradius and more. However what nearly all of us were not aware of is that Life Force was actually a loose port of Salamander, an entirely […]

Astro Fang

While I have a great deal of nostalgia for 8-bit games of all stripes racing games are the hardest to go back to. The march of technology has left the vast majority of these games lacking and while I can still appreciate Excitebike I’d just as soon rather play something more modern. Square’s Rad Racer […]

Melfand Stories

Side scrolling beat em ups were at the height of their popularity in the early 90s with every console not named the Turbo Grafx-16 receiving their fair share. While the SNES had a solid lineup of brawlers some of its best were left behind in Japan such as Undercover Cops and Iron Commando. Melfand Stories […]

Syd of Valis

I’ve never understood the appeal of the whole super deformed thing. I get the whole “cute” angle of it but aside from the novelty of seeing chibi renditions of your fan favorite characters (as SD is usually applied to popular properties) it does nothing for gameplay. The only time I guess it added any benefit […]

Image Fight

I was always surprised that Irem never produced an NES port of R-Type. The NES/Famicom basically ruled the world at that point and it would make sense to bring your hottest property onto the best-selling console of the day but it never happened. While the Master System and Turbo Grafx-16 ports were well done those […]

Go Go Ackman

Next to shooters platformers are some of the easiest games to import as any semblance of a story is merely window dressing to get you into the game. With platformers being the de facto genre of choice during the early 90s it’s hard to believe a few slipped through the cracks. The Go Go Ackman […]

Mega Turrican

I really did not like Turrican on Genesis and I’m sure I’ve elaborated on why in my review. So the fact that I love Mega Turrican and its follow-ups so much is an absolute miracle. All it took were the developers abandoning a lot of what made the game unique in favor of a tighter […]

Mugen Senshi Valis

It’s strange; by any metric the Valis series is nothing but a bunch of solid and sometimes below average games yet I love them to death. Maybe that love stems from their uniquely Japanese aesthetic or the fact that they make use of extensive cutscenes which to my teenaged mind was the greatest thing ever. […]

Cosmic Epsilon

It’s curious to look back on the NES library and see which genres were underrepresented. Despite Nintendo’s absolute dominance of that era not every genre was fully supported in the US with the rail shooter being a prime example. Outside of Tengen’s illegal port of After Burner and 3-D World Runner (if you can even […]

Super Spy Hunter

Spy Hunter is remembered as an NES classic but if you go back and actually play it you’ll wonder why. The game is really simple, has no end, and is far more frustrating to play than it should be considering it doesn’t have the most complex mechanics. But it did have a really cool musical […]


I remember the insane marketing blitz surrounding the Rocketeer. From toys, fast food tie-ins, to commercials Disney went all out in a bid to convince you that this was the next big thing. I specifically remember the art deco movie poster and thinking this guy looked incredibly cool. Mind you I was 11 and didn’t […]

the Firemen

Years before Sega would bless the world with Burning Rangers and Brave Firefighters the SNES was gifted with a pair of really awesome games about firefighting. The Ignition Factor is heavily underrated and worth tracking down but the true gem is Human Entertainment’s the Firemen. With its almost action RPG structure the Firemen is better […]

Mystic Formula

Top down shooters were pretty rough affairs on the Turbo Grafx. Final Zone 2 is just a bad game overall, Last Alert is decent but has some of the worst voice acting in history and as much as I want to like Kiki Kaikai Pocky & Rocky simply outclasses it. Mystic Formula is one of […]

Titan Warriors

Overall there is no question that Capcom was one of the top NES publishers in the US, with a library that spans nearly all genres. However looking back there shooter output for the system was a bit mediocre. 1942 was a typical Micronics hack job and an embarrassment; TaleSpin could have been decent if not […]

Pop’n Twinbee

The Twinbee style of shooters never really appealed to me, although I must admit that my disdain comes from playing Stinger on the NES. After spending the better part of two hours going to and from the department store to buy a new game only to be greeted by…..that I’m pretty sure soured me on […]

Ren & Stimpy: Stimpy’s Invention

I’ll admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Ren & Stimpy back in the day. That type of weird gross out humor just wasn’t my cup of tea. But I could recognize a brilliant show despite my lack of interest and Ren & Stimpy was great for what it was. So it came as […]

Star Tropics 2

Star Tropics was a solid game, one that was heavily inspired by Zelda and sort of scratched that itch for those seeking more adventure in that mold. While I enjoyed it I can’t say that I ever found myself hoping for a sequel. Aside from the shocking fact that Star Tropics actually received a sequel […]

Spriggan Powered

Spriggan Powered is a game I discovered years after having seen the anime Spriggan. As much as I try to associate the two in my brain they have nothing in common aside from the name. As an offshoot of Compile’s incredible PC Engine CD series the game has a lot to live up to. And […]


Once it became obvious that the Turbo Duo was not going to save the Turbo Grafx in the US I turned my attention towards the game’s released only in Japan with envy. There were so many cool Rpgs and legions of shooters we would never receive (although shooters were a bit saturated over here at […]

Captain Silver

Captain Silver was released for the Sega Master System at a time where I wasn’t even aware Sega were still supporting the thing in the US. While a decent game it had its fair share of problems, many of them endemic to the arcade game it was based on. With just a few more tweaks […]

X-Kalibur 2097

It’s interesting to look back and see how 2d action titles tried to differentiate themselves. Castlevania relied on its gothic theme and nuanced gameplay while Gunstar Heroes is all about balls to the wall action. With the advent of the 16-bit consoles came better sound chips along with better graphics and some games tried to […]

Risky Woods

Electronic Arts is most famous for their numerous sports games and it is fair to say that they are still number one in that category worldwide. This legacy began on the Genesis however in their early days on the platform they published ports of various PC games. Some were interesting, such as Budokan and the […]


There have been a ton of bad licensed video games and Rambo counts as one of the absolute worst. Even back in the day I distinctly remember my family going into it with low expectations based on the back of the box and it couldn’t even meet that low bar. This 1988 release came from […]

A brief hiatus

As much as I like updating every other day there’s a project I’ve been working on the side that could use my undivided attention for a bit.  As such I’ll be taking a one month break. When I come back I plan on tackling quite a number of under appreciated titles that could use a […]

Ushio to Tora

Darker themed SNES games were not as plentiful as on the Genesis but generally speaking for the most part they were all good. There are many import gems waiting to be discovered such as King of Demons and Jaki Crush but not everything can rise to that level. Ushio to Tora is based on the […]

Dinosaurs for Hire

Dinosaurs for Hire? Sure why not? We have Turtles that are ninjas and toads that love to battle so mercenary alien dinosaurs aren’t too far-fetched. It would be easy to lump this in the same category as Battletoads, the Street Sharks, and Biker Mice from Mars but DFH predates all those by almost a decade […]

TwinBee 3: Poko Poko Daimaō

Well they certainly tried with the Twinbee series on NES. For all of their faults the Famicom editions of the games had good ideas buried under average production values. My experience with the series for the longest time came from Stinger, and I was not impressed to say the least. After spending a few hours […]

Fatal Fury 2

I think we can all agree that some of the first Neo Geo to SNES and Genesis ports were pretty dire. Fatal Fury suffered heavily in the transition from SNK’s beast of a console, to the point where I’m sure many wondered if faithful conversions of some of the biggest arcade games of the time […]

Batman – Revenge of the Joker

Of all the publishers entering the 16-market I’m sure many like myself were anticipating what Sunsoft would cook up on the new platforms. As one of the most technically proficient developers during the 8-bit era many of their releases would go on to become videogame classics. While they would create many a fine game during […]

Chuuka Taisen

Cloudmaster was one of the last Sega Master System games I ever played and it was kind of a bittersweet send off for the little system that could. It wasn’t an especially good game but it certainly stood out due to its setting. While it isn’t based on Journey to the West it certainly has […]

Gaia Seed

I’ve always been fascinated by the expensive, rare import games. You hear stories of games like Radiant Silvergun and Psychic Assassin Taromaru that used to routinely fetch anywhere between $150-300 on Ebay and wonder what all the fuss was about. Limited print runs or publishers going out of business tend to make even mediocre games […]

Alien Crush

Alien Crush is a game that I went into with no expectations and was completely blown away. As one of the few Turbo Grafx-16 owners in my neighborhood let alone school I was forced to turn to rentals for new games and I can tell you the selection at Blockbuster was slim. After perusing the […]

Cowboy Kid

Legend of the Mystical Ninja came out of left field during the SNES’s launch window and delighted anyone fortunate enough to have played it with its heavily Japanese flavor and unique gameplay. Unfortunately it didn’t sell well enough to warrant localization of any of its three sequels which will forever be a god damn shame. […]

Thunder Spirits

Where the Turbo Grafx and the Genesis shared many multiplatform shooters the same definitely could not be said with the SNES. It’s an irrefutable fact that the system’s slow processor hampered it when it came to the genre and so most developers wisely chose to either create new titles aimed specifically at either platform or […]


Generally speaking I’m not fond of overly cute games. I don’t want to give the impression that I’m some kind of man’s man but I can only take so much saccharine sweetness before my eyes glaze over. Ever play Paladin’s Quest? That was a little too much for me. I’ve mostly avoided the cute em […]

Adventures of Dino Riki

The Adventures of Dino Riki is a game that should have been decent but instead suffers from the types of bad game design and balance that most early NES efforts grappled with. For a game released in 1987 you could maybe overlook its problems but it took two years to make the trip overseas. By […]

Pirates of Dark Water (SNES)

I have to say, as much as I loved side scrolling beat em ups by the mid-90s I was already growing tired of the genre. While we all praised Capcom and Final Fight for laying a foundation that the majority of games would follow we really were not prepared for the glut of crap to […]

Shadow Blasters

Sage’s Creation were an anomaly in the early days of the Genesis. As one of the few supporters of the system in the face of Nintendo’s strong arm tactics with third parties they certainly stood out for that reason. I can’t really say the same about their games though. All of their published titles were […]

Fantasy Zone

Fantasy Zone is a strange case in my video game playing history. Like After Burner I played it on the NES before ever learning that these were originally Sega games repurposed semi illegally by Tengen in those weird black cartridges. While I certainly was not a console fan boy (or even would have known what […]

Ridge Racer 64

Back in the 32-bit era the thought of Ridge Racer or any Namco property appearing on a rival platform was pretty much blasphemous. Their partnership with Sony was one of the most lucrative in history but in the waning years of the generation there was nothing to lose in experimenting with a new user base. […]

Metal Slug

  Does anyone remember Cyber Lip? It was the pack in game for the Neo Geo and let me tell you it had nothing on Contra. For the price you were paying for the system they really could have packed in a better game to show off the hardware. Now if Metal Slug was that […]

Gradius Gaiden

I’ll always lament the death of the shmup in the transition to 3d. There were still a few released in the US thanks to Working Designs and their Spaz label but the truly exceptional games in the genre were left to become high priced imports. Honestly I could see it coming; dear god were the […]

Sparkster (SNES)

Konami’s Rocket Knight Adventures was one of the few mascot platformers to truly bring something new to the table back in 1993 and was able to rise above the sheer overload of terrible, generic platformers to achieve greatness. In a year filled with numerous excellent Genesis titles such as Ecco the Dolphin, Gunstar Heroes, and […]

Dungeon Explorer

If you were a Turbo Grafx-16 fan and also liked RPGs the pickings were incredibly slim unless you owned the CD add-on. And even then it wasn’t much better. Seeing as how most of us weren’t old enough to hold down a job there weren’t many who had a Turbo CD, with the sales number […]

Virtua Racing

As early as the beginning of the 90s it was obvious that 3d and polygons were the future of the industry and Sega were one of the main players pushing technology forward with their big budget arcade titles. Virtua Racing was not the first 3d racing game but it is probably the most important. The […]


Sunsoft continually raised the bar as to what was technically possible on the NES with all of their work seemingly culminating in Batman: Revenge of the Joker. But as brilliant as that game is graphically there was one other unknown Sunsoft gem that can compete in a different sense. Gimmick! was once scheduled for a […]

Alpha Mission

Going to Sears and Toys R Us to buy new games in the mid to late 80s was practically a religious experience growing up. Video game magazines were still in their nascent stages if they even existed at all so perusing the back of the box was still enough to get excited. Occasionally however there […]

Robocop 3

I have to give Ocean credit, they certainly tried with the Robocop license. Data East’s Nes game based on the first film was decent but flawed but Ocean’s first stab at this license was a complete disaster which is saying a lot considering how bad the movie is. Sadly Robocop 3 follows along the same […]

Congo’s Caper

I loved Joe & Mac, both in the arcade and at home. I wasn’t too fond of the many caveman platformers that seemed to spring up out of nowhere back in the day but I’ll tell you one thing, Joe & Mac was far better than pap like Chuck Rock. A sequel was inevitable but […]

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle

Sega Master System fans are intimately familiar with Alex Kidd, the Sega mascot who tried to carry the company to fame years before a certain blue hedgehog was born. Let’s not mince words, Alex Kidd was no substitute for Mario no matter how much you lied to yourself and tried to say otherwise. The monkey […]


Although it was sheer coincidence that both the movie and Capcom’s arcade game Commando were released in the same window in my mind I can’t separate the two. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a brutal bad ass in the movie (I can’t believe I was allowed to watch it when I was 6 or 7!) and in […]

Road Runner’s Death Valley Rally

Once Sunsoft gained the Looney Tunes license we all knew the usual suspects would be first at bat in terms of videogame adaptations. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck starred in games of varying quality but it was the less famous of the bunch that would receive the most interesting titles. Taz-Mania used a unique perspective […]

Detana!! Twinbee

I love Detana!! Twinbee. Even I can’t believe I just typed those words. For the longest time I abhorred the Twinbee series but that was based solely on my dislike of the NES/Famicom games. Their hearts were in the right place but it was obvious the tech was holding the games back from truly being […]

Ninja Crusaders

Words can’t describe how much I loved Ninja Gaiden growing up. Until the Revenge of Shinobi it was the quintessential ninja game in my opinion and so any game that even remotely seemed similar had my attention. As much as I craved a sequel (which would eventually come and was awesome) there is something to […]

Undercover Cops

For as much as I associate Irem with shooters and R-Type specifically they released many arcade gems that I so desperately hoped would receive home ports. Blade Master, Gunforce 2, and especially Undercover Cops were all games that I loved in the arcade and the prospect of a SNES or Genesis port for any of […]

Rambo III

Rambo comes from an era where one man could take out an entire platoon of soldiers and it was still believable. This was the 80s, the king of the big dumb action movie and yet despite growing up during that period I have no fondness for the character of John Rambo. I’ll admit that might […]

Bubble Bobble 2

1992 saw many late classics for the NES and allowed the system to go out with its head held high. Or it would have if the flow of games didn’t keep coming. As the last full year the system was supported 1993 had many gems that have now gone on to become highly sought rarities […]

Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil

2001 would prove to be a crucial year for the PlayStation 2 as the software that truly showed off the system’s potential and made early adopters proud of their purchase would finally arrive. While the early months after launch were barren by June 2001 games like Gran Turismo 3, Twisted Metal Black and Klonoa 2 […]

Wave Race Blue Storm

I can safely say that I’ve sunk more hours into Wave Race 64 than any other racing game outside of Super Mario Kart. I went into it with no expectations and was completely blown away. Who would have thought a sequel to a little known Game Boy title would be one of the most stunning […]

Crazy Taxi

With the exception of fighting games and the occasional sports title most arcade games are not built to be a lasting experience. Most offer quick thrills to occupy your time for a few minutes in between activities and while fun it becomes a hard sell when ported to a home console. Then there are games […]

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was on old comic’s property from the 1950s that I’m sure not many remembered until it was brought back by Valiant Comics in the 90s. However even with that resurgence in popularity for the character I was surprised Acclaim chose this to make a video game adaptation. Personally I would have picked […]

Spyro the Dragon

Spyro the Dragon was something of a landmark title for the PlayStation. For years it was assumed that the system was not capable of a free roaming 3d platformer like the Nintendo 64 was inundated with. While Crash Bandicoot might have been Sony’s franchise player in that battle it was confined to a straight path; […]

Galactic Attack

For as much as I might have made fun of the deluge of shmups during the 16-bit era (and rightfully so I might add) I genuinely missed the genre when it all but disappeared when the PlayStation and Saturn released. The concept of one lone ship fighting off an alien armada might have been done […]

Super Smash TV

Man I really love Smash TV. The twin stick shooter has exploded in popularity in the last decade or so thanks to digital download services and while I’ve enjoyed many of them I’ll admit before the advent of dual analog sticks I sucked at them. Which makes my love of Smash TV all the more […]

Syd Mead’s Terraforming

Throughout the history of the video game industry there have been many games that have relied on their graphical prowess to carry their mediocre gameplay. Usually everyone is fooled at first but it isn’t long before the realization sets in that these games just aren’t very good. Syd Mead’s Terraforming almost falls into that category […]

Sparkster (Genesis)

It will forever remain a mystery to me as to why Konami’s Sparkster became a forgotten relic of a time long past. Rocket Knight Adventures was fantastic, both highly original and just an all-around great game. Sequels followed a year later but then nothing for close to 16 years until the decent 3d game. While […]

Kirby’s Adventure

After his initial Gameboy outing it has become somewhat of a tradition that Kirby’s best outings are released toward the end of given platform’s lifespan. Kirby 64 was one of the last Nintendo 64 games and Kirby’s Return to Dream Land was also one of Nintendo’s last Wii games. Kirby’s Dream Land 3 was released […]

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (NES)

1992’s Dracula movie was one of the biggest film events of the year. With the insane amount of hype behind it Sony Imagesoft were keen to cash in the following year with a series of video games for every conceivable platform available at the time. Seriously even the Sega Master System received a version of […]

Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy

I’ve always been fascinated by the European gaming industry. Where the video game market crashed in the US in the early 80s in Europe gaming shifted to the various computer formats and the arcade. While the Commodore 64 might not hold much reverence among American gamers it along with the ZX Spectrum and Amiga were […]

Ninja Gaiden (PC Engine)

The NES version of Ninja Gaiden is one of my favorite games of all time. If you were to do an examination of just how much time I’ve spent playing the game it would border on illegal. Of course it helps that the game is pure awesome but it’s also balls out hard.   Of the […]

Battle Mania Daiginjou

In the rush leading up to the Saturn’s surprise US launch Sega of Japan effectively killed support for the Genesis worldwide. It made sense for Japan as the system tanked there but it was still thriving in every other market. With little support from Sega third parties also followed suit with some of the most […]

G.I. Joe: the Atlantis Factor

1992 is the year I started to buy video game magazines consistently and with that my eyes were opened to a ton of new releases that I would never have heard about. GI Joe: the Atlantis Factor is a game that would have escaped my radar without seeing a review of it in Gamepro. As […]


I really wanted to like Xardion. I remember seeing the magazine ads in Gamepro and the thought of controlling not one, not two, but three giant robots seemed cool as hell. But somewhere along the way that initial promise (in my mind at least) went wrong and we were left with an average that tries […]

Samurai Ghost

Namco were one of the few developers to support the Turbo Grafx-16 in the US with a wide range of software. Some of these were hidden gems like Final Lap Twin and others classics like Splatterhouse. Unfortunately they weren’t all winners as Samurai Ghost can attest. Pure action games along the lines Shinobi and its […]

Batman Returns (NES)

  With the onslaught of Batman Returns video games I found it surprising that they bothered to create an NES edition although looking back it should have been common sense. One of the biggest movies of the previous year would of course hit the biggest platform of the time (in terms of install base) even […]

Marchen Adventure Cotton 100%

Like platformers starring Cavemen shooters starring witches at one point had their time in the spotlight, at least in Japan. A few would trickle over to the US like Magical Quest yet the granddaddy of them all, the Cotton series, has only seen one lone installment reach the US. Fantastic Night Dreams: Cotton had a […]

Last Battle

Everyone remembers Altered Beast, Golden Axe, and Ghouls N’ Ghosts at the Sega Genesis launch but there is one game that no one dares speak of. The Last Battle is a bad game no matter how you look at it and while most terrible launch games manage to skate by based on sheer wow factor […]

Demon Sword

I was never a fan of the Legend of Kage, not in the arcade and especially not on the NES. The idea of running through the treetops and fighting ninjas and assassins like in the Kung Fu flicks I used to watch was enticing for all of five minutes before I grew bored of it. […]

Psycho Dream

When Sega bought publisher Renovation they inadvertently screwed many SNES gamers out of some pretty cool imports. Arcus Odyssey was cancelled (but the full game still exists online), The Journey Home’s localization went kaput, and the subject of this review was also canned. Psycho Dream should have been released here as Dream Probe but sadly […]


Turrican is a series that garnered a massive following in the UK on the various computer formats it debuted on. As Britain’s sort of answer to Contra it isn’t really fair to compare the two series since they are different games gameplay wise. Honestly I’ve always wondered what was the big deal? This became even […]

1943 – the Battle of Midway

What a difference a year makes! At least not literally. While I could appreciate 1942 for its unique setting (for the time) in a shooter the reality is the game was a bit too spartan too be enjoyable and was definitely a product of its time. 1943: the Battle for Midway was released around 2 […]

Lost Kingdoms

These days From Software are mostly known for the Dark Souls series of games as well as an endless parade of Armored Core sequels and expansions. However before they hit the mainstream they were a diverse developer and one of their most unique efforts was Lost Kingdoms, a game centered around card battling conveniently around […]

Proactively redefine flexible

Of all delectable islands the Neverland is the snuggest and most compact, not large and sprawly, you know, with tedious distances between one adventure and another, but nicely crammed. When you play at it by day with the chairs and table-cloth, it is not in the least alarming, but in the two minutes before you go to sleep it becomes very real. That is why there are night-lights.

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Mega Man X7

This review hurts to write. I love the Mega Man games through all of their various incarnations through the good times and the bad. The formula does become repetitive after a while but even in spite of that the games are still good at their core. Mega Man X6 was one of the series’ low […]

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Power Stone

It is interesting to look back on Capcom’s history with 3d fighting games. Where they more or less invented and perfected the modern interpretation of 2d fighters their 3d efforts, at least in the beginning, were less than thrilling. While some were solid efforts like Street Fighter Ex others like Star Gladiator, Tech Romancer, and […]

Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer

When the Star Wars: Episode One video game adaptations were announced I’ll admit, I was disappointed that the N64 would be “saddled” with just a pod racing game, especially in light of the PlayStation receiving the action game I thought I was looking for. The Nintendo 64 sure as hell did not need another racing […]

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Silhouette Mirage

It was a sad day when Treasure’s Silhouette Mirage was passed over for US release. As the Saturn floundered in America at the very least Sega still provided a consistent calendar of releases to appease fans. Outside of one or two outliers all of some Treasure’s output came over but it just wasn’t meant to […]

Battle Arena Toshinden: URA

Toshinden URA what? It sure as hell isn’t a good fighting game. The jokes can practically write themselves. Battle Arena Toshinden managed to fool thousands with its arcade quality graphics but it didn’t take long before everyone realized the gameplay was shallower than a kiddie pool. By the time Toshinden 2 came around better 3d […]

Dragon Saber

I loved Dragon Spirit in the arcade and at home in both of its ports. So when Dragon Saber hit the arcade I was ecstatic but also anticipated a home port like before. Sadly it never came, at least not in the US. Dragon Saber’s PC Engine port would remain a Japanese exclusive and while […]

Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Once Super Star Wars was released everyone knew it was a question of when and not if they would produce a sequel. The Empire Strikes Back has gone on to become the most beloved film in the original trilogy and I’m sure many expected the same of the game. It lives up to expectations in […]

Skeleton Krew

Long before Core Design became synonymous with Lara Croft they were one of Sega’s strongest supporters, releasing a string of quality titles on both the Genesis and Sega CD. While Tomb Raider came out of nowhere and shocked the industry those who had followed the company knew at one point they constantly pushed technical boundaries. […]

Déjà vu

Of all the Macventure ports to the NES Déjà vu is my favorite. I love period piece movies and Déjà vu definitely follows in the same vein. While I like Shadowgate and the Uninvited the ambiguity regarding exactly when each game takes place as well as the world surrounding the events that transpire left me […]


We’ve all had our moments of desperation. As little kids most of us only received new games on birthdays, Christmas, or the odd random holiday. Unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, in which case fuck you. I’m kidding. To fill in that dead time you either had to trade games […]

Akumajou Special – Boku Dracula-Kun

As one of the biggest supporters of the NES in America Konami released a host of titles in nearly every genre. They had so many games in fact that they created a second label (Ultra Games) to get around Nintendo’s 5 games a year limit. But even that wasn’t enough and many of their best […]

Super Turrican

After the nightmare of playing the original Turrican on both the Genesis and Turbo Grafx-16 I thought for sure the rest of the world was nuts in their love for this series. I realize to some extent you had to be there at the game’s original release on the Commodore 64 and other UK computer […]

Tiny Toon Adventures – Buster’s Hidden Treasure

I’ve never envied developers who have to create games based on licenses. Some like DuckTales practically lend themselves to an epic adventure due to the nature of the show. But then there are the likes of the Little Mermaid and Chicken Little; how the hell do you make those compelling? Tiny Toons could easily have […]

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Continually integrate impactful benefits after backend relationships. Energistically network technically sound ideas and innovative value. Objectively simplify equity invested.Appropriately leverage existing interactive core competencies vis-a-vis web-enabled deliverables. Holisticly maximize cooperative resources without cross-platform channels. Uniquely provide access to visionary total linkage via interoperable experiences. Energistically provide access to inexpensive web-readiness for plug-and-play expertise. Continually repurpose […]

Interactively foster sustainable

Appropriately disseminate vertical sources without web-enabled expertise. Progressively target open-source materials rather than exceptional quality vectors. Enthusiastically build global benefits with value-added methods of empowerment. Interactively exploit high standards in architectures with process-centric action items. Enthusiastically maintain best-of-breed solutions for impactful supply chains.

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Adventures of Lolo

These days developer Hal labs seems to release a new Kirby game every six months and while normally milking a series to that degree would be bad I am continually amazed at how unique nearly every entry in the series has been, with some like Kirby Canvas curse being truly innovative. However during the 8-bit […]

Pocky & Rocky 2

One of the greatest joys of being a gamer is coming across a hidden gem every now and then that is an absolute blast to play. It isn’t as easy for most games to fly under the radar these days due to social media but back in the 80s and 90s we still relied on […]

Eliminate Down

I’ve always been amazed by video game developers who only create a single title and then disappear overnight. It’s tempting to call them a one hit wonder but in most cases the games weren’t hits regardless of their quality. Clockwork Tortoise created the Sega version of the Adventures of Batman & Robin, a game so […]

Power Blazer

A long time ago Japan would get the better versions of most games simply by virtue of the fact that the games originally came from there. Many things can and will change during localization however back in the 80s that undeniable fact was taken to the extreme. Sometimes a license has to be stripped (Tokkyū […]

MRC: Multi Racing Championship

During the Nintendo 64’s first year on the market new releases were incredibly sparse and as such each and every game was scrutinized. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that War Gods was terrible while an unknown (at least in video games) quantity like Turok stood out more due to a lack of […]

Bushido Blade

When gaming fully embraced 3d with the dawning of the 32-bit platforms nearly every genre went through a renaissance period of seemingly infinite possibilities now that their 2d boundaries had been shattered. Platformers, first person shooters, and racing games saw the most benefit and while games like Tekken and Virtua Fighter showed some of the […]

In the Hunt

Launch window games are usually shallow affairs designed to dazzle you with new technology to hide their lack of inspired gameplay. There are exceptions of course; many of the early PlayStation games such as Twisted Metal and Wipeout were incredible. But in that rush to make everything in 3d plenty of 2d games were lost […]


We should have received Terranigma in America. The localization was complete however Enix had already closed their US office, thanks in no small part to their oddball decisions on what games to bring to America. Robotrek, 7th Saga, and E.V.O. instead of Dragon Quest? Yeah. However the game oddly enough was picked up by Nintendo […]

Riot Zone

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery or so they say. But what about an imitation of an imitation? There’s no question that Final Fight more or less established the modern take beat em up genre with everyone keen to cash in on its success. Sega’s Streets of Rage was one of the better takes […]


Blue Sky Software were Sega of America’s silent partner, responsible for some of the most beloved games SOA published. They were the ones behind the excellent Shadowrun, the graphically impressive but gameplay challenged Jurassic Park, and the awesome World Series Baseball. With that pedigree behind them it should come as no surprise that Vectorman was […]

Almana no Kiseki

Anyone else remember looking at the bottom of your NES and wondering what that expansion port was for? I did and it wasn’t until years later that I would discover it was for the Famicom Disk System, which would never leave Japan. While that is unfortunate we did receive a sizable chunk of its more […]

Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout

Capcom worked wonders with the Disney license for NES gamers around the world, creating some of the best platformers money could buy. No small feat considering the stiff competition. Unfortunately we were still a few years away from Sunsoft and Sega doing the same for the Looney Tunes in the 16-bit era. Interestingly enough there […]


Cocoron is the type of game that was desperately needed in the US. Platform games were a dime a dozen in the US by 1991 and many of the established series were starting to churn out formulaic sequels. Meanwhile awesome new titles such as Shatterhand and Vice: Project Doom were flying under the radar. Cocoron […]

Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius

I really love examining the later games released during any console generation. Once the technology has matured and tool chains have been mastered its nothing short of miraculous what is pulled from aging hardware. Look at Vectorman and the Adventures of Batman & Robin for Genesis. Or Seiken Densetsu 3 and Donkey Kong Country 2 […]

Android Assault

Next to the Saturn and Turbo Duo I wish the Sega CD had found some measure of success in the US. By 1995 the system had managed to build up a respectable amount of titles that made the cost (at that point anywhere between $50-100) worth it. In Japan it was a different story as […]

Summer Carnival ’92 Recca

Wow, that’s all I can say. Prepare to see your NES do things you never thought possible. Recca is the fastest shooter available for the NES and moves with the speed of a Genesis title but has almost no slowdown whatsoever. I don’t know what feat of technical programming Naxat Soft used to accomplish this […]

the Peace Keepers

  It’s funny, for as much as they are generic I still can’t help but like the Rival Turf/Rushing Beat series. While the first game was generic as all get out Brawl Brothers had a few features I genuinely liked and if it weren’t for the repetition and collision issues I would have rated it […]

Taz-Mania (Genesis)

Of all of the Looney Tunes characters I am genuinely surprised that the Tazmanian devil exploded in popularity in the early 90s. The cartoon series ran for a number of years and would eventually lead to a slew of loosely based games. The Genesis version, produced by Sega and Recreational Brainware is probably the most […]


Looking back Capcom were one of the few developers who shied away from movie licenses. Other licenses such as Disney were fair game but the realm of Hollywood was left to Akklaim and LJN. Their lone forays into that highly contested arena was an unlikely source, Willow. The film was a modest hit that Capcom […]

Phantasy Star IV – End of the Millenium

All good things must come to an end and it’s with this axiom in mind that the Phantasy Star team created possibly the series finest hour, Phantasy Star IV. Such was the damage caused by the third installment’s lack of quality that there for a while it looked as though that would be the series […]

Phantasy Star III – Generations of Doom

And now we’ve come to the black sheep of the family. Many volumes of vitriol has been written about the missteps Sega took with Phantasy Star III, most of it true. Coming off the success of the seminal second installment one would think a sequel containing all of the elements that game got right would […]

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Phantasy Star II

I count myself truly blessed to have been able to play Phantasy Star not long after its original release and experience just how far above it was from its contemporaries, Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy. In a fair world it would have received the recognition it deserved but alas. A year later Sega would deliver […]

Phantasy Star

If there were any justice in the world the Phantasy Star series would be held up in the same light as Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. As the quintessential sci-fi RPGs of the era Phantasy Star was the opposite of its two main competitors, going for an anime infused brand of science fiction rather than […]

Phantasy Star week

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these.  Sega’s Phantasy Star is one of the best series of RPGs that has somehow flown under the radar.  A large part of that is definitely due to Sega’s uphill battle within the console market but even on the Genesis most gamers still did not […]


Uninvited was the last of the three Macventure ports released on the NES but technically came first on the Macintosh. While it may seem odd that these games were brought over to the action heavy NES all three were a nice change of pace for those seeking something a little more cerebral. With redrawn graphics […]

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For a shooter to enter the crowded Turbo Grafx-16 market and stand out it has to do something different. Between the Turbo and the Genesis the market was flooded with nearly every incarnation of the genre possible. We remember the likes of R-Type, Super Star Soldier, and Thunder Force but for every one of those […]

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Alien 3 (Nes)

Alien 3 was a movie with a troubled production history but that didn’t stop the onslaught of video game tie-ins. Nearly every major platform at the time would receive some version of the game, with some wildly different than others. Developed by Probe Software in conjunction with LJN (any NES fan’s worst nightmare) the NES […]

Top Gear Overdrive

I will admit that of all the franchises to make the leap to the 32-bit generation I never expected Top Gear would be one of them. I enjoyed the 16-bit installments but never thought much of them however Kemco did an excellent job of expanding the brand on the N64 with Top Gear Rally, Top […]

Harmful Park

  I don’t know when the American videogame industry decided that the shmup genres time had passed but I mourned its loss. I guess most of the games being 2d arcade ports of some truly brilliant games wasn’t good for the new 32-bit platforms. True, every so often a gem or two would escape Japan […]

Die Hard Arcade

The 32-bit generation saw a renaissance within many genres as they moved to 3d, most specifically sports, racing, and 3d platformers. But it also many take a step back or disappear altogether. The scrolling shoot em up all but disappeared from America and the other mainstay of the 16-bit days, the beat em up was […]

Forgotten Worlds (Turbo Grafx-16)

Forgotten Worlds was one of the first Genesis games released and also one of the first I had the pleasure of playing. While clearly downgraded its pretty amazing what Sega managed to pull off in a mere 4-meg cart. The Turbo CD game would come a few years later and while it isn’t the absolute […]

Super Metroid

The greatest video game of all time. The best overall Super Nintendo game. Masterpiece. Many are the accolades that Super Metroid has received over the years and they are all accurate to an extent. The scary thing is the game really is that good; Super Metroid is one of the best video games ever created […]

Streets of Rage 3

For many Streets of Rage 2 is a perfect beat em up, one that successfully expanded on the foundation laid down by Final Fight. It stole the crown from that venerable series to become the standard by which all future brawlers would be judged. And so anticipation ran high when Streets of Rage 3 was […]

Wai Wai World 2

Konami’s Wai Wai World was one of the most interesting imports that never made it to the US. As a crossover starring their most famous intellectual properties it had many good ideas buried under some slight missteps. Though flawed it was still a solid game with fantastic graphics. Wai Wai World 2 came three years […]

Silver Surfer

Of all the superheroes to star in a videogame I can honestly say I never would have expected the Silver Surfer to be one of them. Don’t get me wrong I love the character (the Ron Marz/Ron Lim team made some of the best stories with the character) but he is the definition of obscure, […]

Adventure Island II

As much as I wanted to like Adventure Island it skewed a little too closely to the platformer archetype laid down by Super Mario Brothers. It was also a reskin of Wonder Boy, a game I was never too fond of. However while it was fairly unremarkable there were the kernels of a good game […]


The 16-bit generation certainly didn’t need another mascot platformer but any game that at least tried to do something different was appreciated. Plok is a little known platformer from that era that went unnoticed yet managed to introduce elements that would show up in far better games a year or two later. While it has […]

Top Ten Genesis Shooters

Shooters were a dime a dozen during the 8 & 16-bit era in the US, to the point we were drowning in them.  From R-Type to Gradius there were many interesting takes on the genre across many platforms and the arcade with most placing a focus on fast action and quick reflexes.  As such the […]

TaleSpin (Genesis)

TaleSpin really can’t catch a break when it comes to video games it seems. The NES game was heavily flawed but had the kernel of a good game buried underneath shoddy execution. The Turbo Grafx game…..the less said the better. There was reason to hope the Sega Genesis game would turn out okay as Sega […]

Over Horizon

In the pantheon of great NES shooters you’ll generally see names like Gradius, Life Force, and maybe Zanac thrown around. For the import savvy Crisis Force and Recca: Summer Carnival 92 will undoubtedly make the cut. But you’ll rarely hear about Over Horizon. This Japanese and European exclusive has maintained a low profile throughout the […]

Rock N’ Roll Racing

Of all the genres that are hard to go back to pre-3d racing games probably rank first.  It’s not to say every 2d racing game is bad but the move to 3d gave the most benefit to the genre.  Stand out titles like Super Mario Kart and F-Zero still hold up but for the vast […]

Pirates of Dark Water (Genesis)

Now here’s a cartoon that I had all but forgotten about.  The pirates of Dark Water was an intriguing opus in a unique world that was a bit darker than other children’s cartoons of the time.  Although my interest in the show waned I always assumed it completed its run however apparently it wasn’t popular […]

Star Tropics

These days there are probably few who remember Star Tropics as it seems Nintendo has washed their hands of it completely.  While some remember it fondly to others it has a bad rap as a cheesy Legend of Zelda rip-off.  To some extent it’s true; it’s immediately obvious where the game’s inspiration came from.  But […]

Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie

It really is shame that due to licensing issues Macross hasn’t been able to develop a presence in America despite being one of the major series that introduced anime to the US.  The series has seen many installments over the years, from Macross 7 to the semi recent Macross Frontier with none of it reaching […]


On its face Gleylancer shouldn’t be so great.  It has many features in common with the vast majority of shooters such as its weapons and even the look of its stages.  But through its clever gameplay additions and actual plot it manages to become greater than the sum of its parts.  Released in 1992 it […]

Top 10 Underrated SNES Classics

Every successful platform will have tons of awesome titles to choose from with many going on to enjoy massive success.  However not every game gets to enjoy its time in the limelight.  These are the unsung heroes, the games that are just as good if not better than the classics everyone defaults to and help […]


I’ve always loved point and click adventure games, dating as far back as some random Apple II game I played in an elementary school computer lab I’ve long since forgotten.  Despite my fondness for the genre I missed out on its golden age due to a lack of a computer; back then they cost about […]

the Lion King

Once upon a time Virgin Interactive were one of the hottest development studios in the industry.  With the likes of Dave Perry, Tommy Tallarico, and Doug Tenapel on their roster they turned out some pretty awesome games, especially with the Disney license.  After Capcom and Sega Virgin would continue the quality streak set forth by […]

Batman Returns (Genesis)

I freely admit to getting caught up in the hype leading to Batman Returns release in theaters.  For anyone that grew up reading comic books 1989’s Batman may as well have been the second coming of Christ.  It took certain liberties here and there but those were forgiven as we just wanted to see the […]

Splatterhouse Wanpaku Graffiti

Namco’s Splatterhouse was a significant arcade release for a few reasons.  The protagonist with his vaguely Friday the 13thesque mask was an imposing figure and the gobs of gore spilled left and right was definitely unheard of at the time.  But forget about the violence, it was an arcade beat em up that didn’t focus […]

Gokujō Parodius

By 1994 the American arcade was dominated by countless fighting games, light gun shooters and some truly awesome 3d racing games.  This left the once popular shooter clearly on the outs, which sucked as that was about the point when some of the most unique games in the genre would hit the market.  Fans were […]


Releasing a new IP or sequel in a long running series towards the end of a console generation is equal parts risk and reward.  On the one hand you have potentially millions of gamers to sell to but also have to worry that said fans aren’t already awaiting a new console.  When it pays off […]

Top 10 Hardest NES Games

Everyone loves a good challenge every now and then but some games take it a little too far.  Be it brutal level design, busted controls, or just a flat out broken game, these are some of the worst offenders for everyone’s favorite 8-bit buddy.  A hard game doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad as some […]

Krion Conquest

Krion Conquest is one of the most blatant rip-offs you’ll more than likely ever come across.  That’s a strong statement but one only has to take a cursory glance at the game for a few minutes to see the rampant similarities to Mega Man.  There’s nothing wrong with, ahem, taking inspiration from a popular source […]

Wai Wai World

I know I can’t be the only who has thought of how awesome it would be if Nintendo or Sega were to create a game starring all of their mascot characters.  Of course Smash Bros. came along and wasn’t what I was expecting but still turned out pretty damn awesome.  Late in the NES era […]

Dragon Spirit (TG-16)

Looking back Dragon Spirit was one of the first arcade games I can remember playing and it isn’t a stretch to say that it left an indelible impression on me.  The NES was a significant step up from the bare Atari 2600 and games like Dragon Spirit and Double Dragon made me aware that the […]

Ikari III – the Rescue

I have a love hate relationship with the Ikari Warriors series; I liked them in the arcade to a degree but absolutely cannot stand them in their NES forms.  Both Ikari Warriors and Victory Road are two of the worst games in the system’s library and I’ve more than made my disdain for them public.  […]

Dragon View

Drakkhen was the first SNES RPG I had the misfortune of experiencing.  As a PC game ported to console it was certainly unique but its interface and gameplay were more suited to a mouse and keyboard than a controller.  Yet I somehow still found it compelling but not enough that I would ever recommend it […]

Twinkle Tale

Much like platformers starring cavemen (RIP Chuck Rock, Bonk, Bignose the Caveman, Dino Riki, etc.) shooters starring witches seemed to undergo their own renaissance in the 16-bit era and would last up until the PlayStation 2’s release.  Gamers in America were completely oblivious to this as 90% of these games never came over with the […]


I’ve always been fascinated by Japanese games that were released in Europe and not the US.  Cultural differences are usually the culprit most of the time however there are many cases that are baffling upon closer inspection.  The Parodius series is one of these; a good number of the games were released by Konami in […]


Hal Laboratory has been an indispensable partner to Nintendo dating as far back as the Famicom era.  A diverse developer able to create titles in nearly any genre they have been a Nintendo first party for almost 20 years.  But prior to achieving that status they published their own titles as well as developed for […]


As varied as the Sega Genesis shooter library is the vertical shooter is strangely underrepresented.  There were a few stand out titles such as M.U.S.H.A, Zenon 2, and the infamous Zero Wing but nothing on the level of Lightening Force or Gaiares.  Oddly enough the vast majority of its vertical catalog never left Japan.  Undeadline […]

Panic Restaurant

Jumping to conclusions and making assumptions about video games is common nature when there are so many to choose from.  This was especially prominent in the 8-bit era where there were few video game magazines aside from Nintendo Power and EGM providing coverage of the games released.  By the latter years of the generation as […]


Halo hit the industry pretty hard in 2001 and is largely responsible for sparking the console first person shooter market along with Goldeneye.  It also legitimized Microsoft as a participant in the console war and was the best launch title for the Xbox.  Actually it might have been the only worthwhile game available but I […]

Mario Kart Double Dash

Mario Kart Double Dash is often looked on as the black sheep of the series as it introduced many new elements that were not fully embraced by the fans.  Let’s face it, innovating within the kart racing genre (or racing games in general) is damn near impossible as their mechanics are pretty well set.  Which […]

Hydro Thunder

When Sega reentered the home console market with the Dreamcast no one knew what to expect.  After all the Saturn had a pretty miserable exit and its handling in the US left a bad taste in gamer’s mouths.  However the Dreamcast launch would go down in history as one of the most successful of all […]

Shining Wisdom

While I love the Shining Force strategy RPGs I have a love/hate relationship with the various attempts made at branching out of that genre.  Shining in the Darkness was a decent attempt at a dungeon crawler which would lead to the beyond awesome Shining the Holy Ark years later.  The Shining Soul games for GBA […]

Wipeout XL

Wipeout was one of the early superstars of the PlayStation launch, earning Sony legitimacy as a platform holder and being one of the better titles available in spite of its difficulty.  The futuristic racing genre had not been firmly established yet and so alongside F-Zero Wipeout would come to define its mechanics.  While solid there […]

Banjo Kazooie

Once Super Mario 64 revolutionized the industry we all knew, it was only a matter of time until the clones came running.  And boy did they!  Collectathon 3d adventures replaced the generic 2d mascots of yesteryear and most were just as insipid as Bubsies, Zools, Awesome Possums, and every other furry animal you can imagine.  […]

Gradius II (TG-16)

Of all the publisher’s that supported the PC Engine CD in Japan Konami was the most surprising.  Even though their output was sparse their PC Engine efforts were simply incredible but sadly stayed in Japan, which sucks as they were one of the few developers that really made that hardware sing.  Dracula X – Rondo […]

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest

Donkey Kong Country hit the industry with a level of hype not seen since the release of Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario Brothers 3.  With its revival of a long forgotten gaming icon, tight gameplay, arresting visuals, and oh yeah, the insane graphics no one was prepared and it became a monster hit.  And […]

Beyond Oasis

It was a well-known fact during the 16-bit era that if you were into RPGs the SNES was the system to own.  With the likes of Square and Enix dedicating their entire output to the console the SNES was graced with some of the most legendary RPGs, no, games period, of all time.  In their […]

Bubble Bobble

With the advent of games like Pitfall and Super Mario Brothers the days of the single screen platformer were numbered.  Popular at a point in time where consoles and arcade hardware were not equipped to handle scrolling backgrounds 1985 marked a turning point for the genre.  However even in spite of the brilliance of the […]

Bonk’s Adventure (NES)

Like Mario and Nintendo Bonk was the closest the Turbo Grafx-16 ever came to having an official mascot.  While Bonk’s Adventure wasn’t the pack-in title it was the one of the first games to garner the system widespread attention.  His judiciously large noggin was also heavily used in ads trying to sell the system.  But […]

Robocop 2

Licensed video games going as far back as ET have been terrible regardless of the quality of the product they are based on.  Movie licensed games in particular it seems have a 90% chance to suck especially if the source material is bad.  Robocop 2 falls in this category; the movie was so bad even […]

Final Zone II

It really is a shame that the Turbo Grafx-16 and its CD add-on never achieved the level of success it deserved.  Now I’m not saying that the US library was in anyway comparable to the Genesis or SNES but it deserved better, especially from its parent company.  If even a fraction of the games released […]

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Goof Troop

While licensed video games have been a staple of the industry almost from its inception sometimes you have to wonder what the hell goes through a publisher’s mind (aside from potentially easy money) when deciding to pick up a particular license.  How the hell do you create a compelling video game based around ET anyway?  […]

Starship Hector

Star Soldier was one of the first big shooters for the NES after Gradius and Xevious and would go on to become a staple in Japan with yearly installments.  Starship Hector was the 1987 entry and is somewhat of a bastard child as it completely throws out everything established previously.  Which isn’t bad necessarily but […]

Final Zone

You have to give Wolfteam/Telenet credit, they certainly tried their hand at every genre during the 16-bit era.  While they weren’t all success stories (Earnest Evans, yikes!) most of their output was at least solid.  The Final Zone series certainly had a rough start, with an absolutely terrible first entry for Japanese PCs.  Its sequel […]

King of Demons

I’ve never been much of an import guy for the simple reason that it is frustrating to play a game without the slightest clue about what’s going on.  But there are legions of games where the language barrier is non-existent and these I enjoy.  Majuu Ou (or King of Demons) was a late Super Famicom […]

Mendel Palace

I’m pretty sure most aren’t aware how long Pokemon developer Game Freak have been in the industry.  The few who were lucky enough to have the Sega channel might have played their Megadrive title Pulseman in 1995 but their history goes back even further.  Game Freak got their start on the Famicom with Quinty, released […]

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Chameleon Twist 2

With Mario 64’s impact on the market we all knew it was only a matter of time before a legion of imitators would follow.  While most were generic trash there a few that were particularly inspired.  Chameleon Twist marked Sunsoft’s reentry as a publisher and although it did not live up to their past exploits […]

Strider 2

Considering he had only starred in three games (and the less said about Strider Returns the better) it’s amazing that Strider’s popularity persisted through the years.  In 1998 Strider Hiryu received a pretty bad ass redesign and appeared in the popular Marvel vs. Capcom and was introduced to a brand new audience of gamers.  Striking […]

Burning Rangers

The last days of the Sega Saturn were a dark period for Sega of America as it meant the end of their North American presence for close to two years until the Dreamcast.  While the releases were sparse in 1998 the few titles Sega brought to market were spectacular with the likes of Shining Force […]

Valis II

With so many versions of each installment in the Valis series floating around it’s pretty challenging to figure out which are worth your time.  As much as I’d like to remember the series fondly in truth each game released in the US had problems.  Valis II for the Turbo CD is a stripped down version […]

Metal Warriors

Even with the knowledge that Metal Warriors was developed by Lucas Arts it’s still hard to believe that this is not an official entry in the Assault Suit series. Adding to the confusion is the fact that Konami also published it in the US.  Cybernator is a lost classic of the 16-bit era and so […]

Lightening Force

No one will probably ever know why Sega of America renamed the last 16-bit installment of the Thunder Force series but make no mistake: Lightening Force is Thunder Force IV.  As the final game in the venerable series for Sega’s console LF set the bar high and is quite possibly the greatest shooter for the […]

Altered Beast (NES)

What’s this?  A Sega game on the Famicom?  Much like Tengen’s arcade ports of a few Sega classics the same licensing situation was happening in Japan.  While it might sound like sacrilege that Sega would allow ports of their respected properties on the competition in the end they did benefit as they still got a […]

Adventure Island

I’ll be the first to admit I was never a big fan of the Wonder Boy series.  It was one of the first Master System games I ever played and it just rubbed me the wrong way.  So it’s really odd that I found myself overly hyped for Adventure Island.  Mind you all I had […]

Little Nemo the Dream Master

Little Nemo: the Dream Master was always a title that managed to escape my grasp growing up.  Whether it was the flea market, pawn shops, or even Blockbuster video it somehow managed to elude me for years.  After all that build up was it worth it?  Hell yes.  Little Nemo is Capcom at their peak […]

Alisia Dragoon

Years before Lunar and Grandia Game Arts collaborated with animation studio Gainax to create a pretty kick ass action game that went unnoticed by everyone.  I can’t possibly imagine why, I mean it went through the same Boris Vallejo filter that so many of Sega of America’s other obscure products went through, how could anyone […]

Fatal Fury (SNES)

I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that the vast majority of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s did not have the money to buy a Neo Geo.  At $600 you would have to hold your parents at gunpoint if they even had the cash to spare.  So the only way […]


For some games I guess you just had to be there to experience it when it was new.  Capcom’s 19XX series of shooters were some of their first shooters and their longest running.  Originally released in the arcade in 1984 it saw ports to nearly every format imaginable, signifying its success.  To me however I […]

Trouble Shooter

As oversaturated as the shooter genre would eventually become during the 16-bit era original ideas would still pop up from time to time.   Vik Tokai were one of the first NES supporters to dip their toes in the Sega waters in 1991 and produced a shooter that was definitely different from the rest of its […]

Target: Renegade

Every genre has to start somewhere and in many cases it is fun to examine those early titles and break them down, seeing which parts would set the standard for all future titles that would follow.  The side scrolling platformer began with Pitfall and Super Mario Bros., two superlative games that are still fun to […]

Contra (Japan)

In the early days of the video game industry when most games came from Japan it wasn’t uncommon for them to see massive changes before release.  It’s only natural; what might fly over there certainly doesn’t always apply in the good old USA.  Nintendo of America were notoriously bad with the edits and to an […]

Operation: Logic Bomb

Jaleco is one of the few publishers that I don’t really have a strong opinion of.  Throughout the 8 & 16-bit era they released many titles however outside of the Bases Loaded and Rushing Beat series never managed to achieve a breakout hit.  It always seemed as though the majority of their output were right […]

Midnight Resistance

Looking back on the Genesis library there were shooters of all sorts from the overhead, vertical and horizontal kind.  One lacking omission is the side scrolling shooter a la Contra.  Contra would eventually grace the system in 1994 but there was very little else aside from the legendary Gunstar Heroes and Ranger-X in those early […]

Tiny Toons Adventures 2: Trouble in Wackyland

While there were many truly spectacular NES titles released in its waning days not every game was a lost classic.  The original Tiny Toons Adventures was a fun if average platformer that could just as easily have been any other game outside of its license.  Whether they were trying to squeeze as much as possible […]

Magic Sword

You know for as much as I liked arcade games during the 80s and 90s looking back I realize I pissed away a ton of money on games that were gigantic money sinks.  I’m not complaining of course; I enjoyed nearly every quarter I sunk into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Black Tiger (a game […]

Devilish: the Next Possession

I’ll be the first to admit that while I respect videogame history I have absolutely no interest in bothering to replay almost any pre NES era games.  There are very few exceptions to this of course such as Pitfall, Demon Attack, and most importantly Breakout.  I hold Breakout in the same esteem as Tetris and […]

Alien Syndrome

Somehow even as a child I knew about platform exclusivity although I’m sure I never used that phrase.  As one of the lucky few who got to play the Sega Master system on a regular basis I knew that Sega games would never appear on a Nintendo platform and vice versa.  Fast forward about 15 […]

Welcome to the new Retro Game Age!

It’s been a long time coming but now it’s finally here!  Long time readers will notice that I’ve done little touch ups here and there but nothing as major as a total site overhaul.  But after close to three years it was long overdue and even I was tired of looking at the same front […]

Forsaken 64

Back in the day before the average computer became affordable to the poor masses I could only sit and dream about how cool games like Doom, Command and Conquer, and Descent were like.  Eventually I would get to play some of these titles and they were everything I expected and more (Diablo, so damn good).  […]

Clockwork Knight 2

The original Clockwork Knight was an above average platformer that offered new 32-bit owners a tantalizing glimpse at what the new platforms of the time had to offer with its insane rendered graphics mixed with polygonal elements.  It may not have lived up to its potential due to shallow gameplay but was still fun in […]

Ridge Racer

When Sony announced their entry into the home console market many were skeptical due to their less than stellar track record as a third party publisher.  With no notable intellectual properties under their belt the question became who would supply them with the killer app they needed to be taken seriously by consumers.  Battle Arena […]


Owning the losing console during any console generation frankly sucks with the exception of the 16-bit era.  While momentum shifted back and forth between the SNES and Genesis both systems were still host to a horde of exclusive and multiplatform titles that made each worth owning.  If you were a Turbo Grafx-16 owner you were […]

Genocide 2

The Sharp X68000 was an interesting piece of hardware.  More powerful than most contemporary video game hardware at the time it was host to many pixel perfect arcade ports; while US gamers argued over whether the Genesis or SNES versions of Street Fighter 2 Turbo had more colors or better sound Sharp owners in Japan […]


Star Fox offered a tantalizing glimpse of the future of gaming back in 1993 with its polygonal graphics enabled by the Super FX chip.  In a rare bit of aggressive marketing from Nintendo they even mocked Sega’s then slogan of “welcome to the next level.”  All eyes turned to Sega to see what their reaction […]

Tiger Heli

Micronics we meet again.  I’ll freely admit that I never liked Tiger Heli; I think it just comes down to finding helicopters lamer than sleek sci-fi jets.  I think my disdain for helicopters stems from Airwolf, an insipid show from the 80s that I could not stand.  Toaplan were the creators of many a classic […]

R.C. Pro Am II

There were many late NES titles that went overlooked as the SNES took the spotlight, some of them classics, some technically brilliant but sorely lacking in gameplay.  The racing genre was not one of the most crowded in the NES library and so R.C. Pro Am stood out for its unique viewpoint and tight gameplay.  […]

Snow Bros.

Any dedicated shooter fan probably knows the name Toaplan.  Even during the 8 and 16-bit when information about the developers of games wasn’t too common I noticed their name in the credits of many of the shmups I played such as Tiger Heli, Sky Shark, Hellfire, and the infamous Zero Wing.  But their output wasn’t […]

Sonic Blast Man

As much as I liked to peruse the selection of arcade titles on display at the mall in my youth there were still the deluxe cabinets that remained tantalizingly out of my grasp, be it due to lack of availability or because they were so expensive.  I remember seeing photos of the massive G-Loc cabinet […]

Eternal Champions

When Street Fighter 2 was successfully ported to the SNES in 1992 it was a phenomenon that is rarely seen in the industry.  This was the hottest arcade game of the time, possibly ever, now available for the newest console on the market and more or less arcade perfect to our untrained eyes.  Needless to […]

Frankenstein – the Monster Returns

For as much as I harp on bad licensed videogames in the US it’s not as if Japan and Europe were not subjected to the same rash of cheap product.  In the UK Ocean were generally the first to jump on any movie license and usually flooded every PC format with sub-par pap.  And Japan […]

World Heroes 2

Being a Neo Geo fan in the early to mid-90s was a painful proposition for those of us that were only teenagers at the time.  You’d love the games in the arcade but to actually own a Neo Geo back then you had to be an adult with a job, rich, or pull a knife […]


If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Mario should be blushing red as a beet at this point.  The success of Super Mario Brothers inspired the video game industry to spawn a sea of blatant clones.  Amongst the mascot platformer rush of the 90s Sonic the Hedgehog became the most popular due to […]


Whomp’Em huh?  I’m sure there is someone out there patting themselves on the back for that one.  “Clever” name aside Whomp’Em is one of many titles that were changed during the localization process to something that would be more recognizable to an American audience.  Sometimes these changes were for licensing reasons; the anime that Shatterhand […]

The Ninja Warriors

By late 1994 fighting games were about to undergo another renaissance due to 3-d technology.  Sega’s Virtua Fighter would pave the way and would soon be followed by Namco’s Tekken and a slew of others.  But while fighting games would increase in popularity again the beat em up was on the wane.  A few stand […]


Anyone remember the deluxe arcade setups from back in the day?  There were numerous cabinets such as Konami’s G.I. Joe and X-Men that used a series of multiple monitors linked together to create massively multiplayer games.  In an age before HD existed this was probably as close as it got.  Darius made extensive use of […]

Werewolf – the Last Warrior

As a retro games site I spend a good portion of my time revisiting old games from my childhood and seeing how they’ve held up over time.  I can honestly say that when a game such as Contra or Secret of Mana is still just as awesome now as it was back then it’s a […]


As much as I’ve had a good laugh publicly shaming the terrible licensed games of the past occasionally there is one that hits a little close to home and Predator is one of those titles.  Folks what I’m about to write hurts; Predator for the NES sucks.  I saw Predator in the theater in 1987 […]

Jackie Chan’s Action Kung-Fu (TG-16)

For as much as I lament the Turbo Grafx-16’s library for its overabundance of shooters it’s not because of a lack of games in other genres, it’s because they were terrible.  Fans of platformers were especially screwed as they had to watch Sega and Nintendo practically reinvent the genre every year with new Sonic and […]

Phantom Fighter

Here’s a title that always eluded me somehow back in the day.  The only review I can ever recall reading for Phantom Fighter was in Nintendo Power and their small write-up made the game seem a lot more awesome than their score would indicate.  Phantom Fighter’s hot pink box art might make it seem like […]

RETRO magazine

I just found out about a kickstarter fans of this site and retro videogames in general might be interested in.  RETRO magazine aims to be a digital and print publication that will be published in bimonthly installments.  Don’t let the name fool you, although old games are its main focus there will still be some […]

Brawl Brothers

1993 proved to be a huge year for the side scrolling beat em up as the genre seemed to flourish both in the arcade and on home consoles. SNK’s Sengoku 2, Konami’s lesser known Gaiaopolis, and more importantly Capcom’s the Punisher and Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom were either kick ass games or brought […]

Michael Jackson Moonwalker

Of all the major stars Sega signed licensing deals with in the early 90s to support the Genesis Michael Jackson was undoubtedly the biggest name possible.  This was MJ near his absolute peak in popularity; Bad was stilling enjoying success years after its release and Moonwalker had hit theaters and enjoyed success, although honestly I […]


Looking back, for all of the Legend of Zelda’s popularity in the US there were not as many action RPGs available that were worth a damn to follow in its footsteps.  At least in America.  The Hydlides and Deadly Towers of the world far outnumbered quality games like Willow and the Magic of Scheherezade.  Before […]

Pocky & Rocky

Natsume does it again!  We were still a few years away from losing them to the Harvest Moon bug in 1993 and so it should come as no surprise that Pocky and Rocky rocks like no other.  Cute em ups were all the rage at the time with the likes of Cotton, Magical Chase, and […]

Burning Force

I’m kind of amazed that there weren’t more games that followed in Space Harrier’s footsteps.  Was it a lack of technology?  Or a lack of imagination?  It seems kind of fitting that it would be Namco, Sega’s eternal arcade rival who would put their own unique spin on it.  Although Burning Force has its similarities […]

Heavy Barrel

For as much as I can’t seem to get into most multiplayer games of any kind nowadays (it’s me, not the games themselves) I really overdosed on them back in the day.  Contra, Double Dragon, Tecmo Bowl, River City Ransom, I was there.  Data East were never the hot developer of the day as most […]

Wipeout 64

Well this was certainly unexpected.  Psygnosis were the jewel in Sony’s development cap and the key to gaining them respectability as a console manufacturer.  Let’s be honest, Sony Imagesoft sure as hell were not the ones you looked to for quality gaming.  Sometime around 1996 for a brief period Psygnosis regained some of their autonomy […]

Cyber Speedway

Sega’s racing game history in arcades probably stretches back farther than anyone with the likes of Outrun and Hang-On putting them on the map.  They were even one of the pioneers in pushing 3d with Virtua Racing and Virtua Fighter.  Their original home efforts usually didn’t receive as much fanfare. While everyone remembers Daytona and […]

Gundam the Battle Master

In Japan Gundam is an institution.  Bandai has set up an entire cottage industry of goods based around the franchise that caters to all needs and hobbies including manga, anime, model kits and of course games.  There have been hundreds of Gundam games spanning the last 3 decades however the US has seen a little […]

Soldier Blade

All good things must come to an end and so Hudson decided to end the Star Soldier series with a bang, at least for that generation of consoles.  The last 16-bit installment in the series, Soldier Blade, is one of its strongest entries before the series would see a dip in quality as it experimented […]

Parodius – Non Sense Fantasy

The Gradius style power-up system is one of the most versatile and creative in the history of the shooter genre, so good in fact that many games have cribbed it.  Konami themselves have used a variation of it in a variety of spin offs, most notably Salamander and Twin Bee.  2 obviously wasn’t enough so […]

Quackshot starring Donald Duck

We all remember Capcom pumping out a stream of hit Disney titles during the 8-bit era followed by Virgin who also did the license proud with the likes of the Lion King and Jungle Book.  But Sega seems to be forgotten constantly when reminiscing about those halcyon days when a licensed game could be good.  […]

The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants

When you stop and analyze all of the releases it’s incredible that there are really only three or four actual good Simpsons games.  With the show becoming such a breakout hit after its debut I’m sure there were many potential licensors champing at the bit to exploit the license in search of a quick buck, […]

The Guardian Legend

I can still remember it like it was yesterday.  Christmas of 1990 I tore through all of my presents with reckless abandon until I came upon one lone box the shape of an NES cartridge.  For most kids who grew up in the 80s you usually only received new games on Birthdays, Christmas, and the […]

Isolated Warrior

Isolated Warrior?  Join the club buddy.  Literally every video game hero is sent on a one man mission to fight the forces of evil.  Your emo tears will have to do better than that to get any sympathy from me!  In all seriousness Isolated Warrior, aside from the silly name is an excellent NES action […]


I will say this, if you loved arcade games from the late 80s and early 90s the Genesis was your best friend.  Sega had yet to create its stable of popular properties and so relied on a consistent stream of strong arcade ports to carry the platform in its early years.  Some like Super Thunderblade […]


I realize I’ve reviewed quite a few shooters but the shocking truth is growing up I never actively sought them out.  Whether they were cheaper than other games or just the hot genre of the moment I don’t remember, I just know that everyone had at least one or two.  To stand out in this […]

Ikari Warriors

The glory days 80s, home of the big dumb action movie were a pretty glorious time.  While the cinema saw an endless list of action vehicles starring functionally retarded actors the video game world would soon see the fallout of that success.  Capcom, Konami, Data East and eventually SNK would all flood arcades with games […]


Legend.  Its Legend-ary how little information there is about this game.  To the best of my recollection I can only remember one review at the time of the game’s release.  Even with the vast resources of the internet there are maybe 2 or 3 reviews and only a few youtube videos.  But why is that?  […]

Two Crude Dudes

I think we can all agree that Bad Dudes was an average game overall.  Despite the game’s cheesy premise the game play was strictly average at best.  But we were able to overlook that for some gold old fashioned beat em up fun, at least for about 30 minutes.  Take away the cornball story and […]

Guerrilla War

Sometimes I wonder where Japanese developers get their inspiration to create certain games.  The NES era was full of downright strange games such as Square’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Columbus.  Most of the weirder stuff was left behind in Japan, usually for obvious reasons but there were a few fairly inconspicuous releases that were […]

Legend of Kage

Remember those old ninja movies from the 80s?  Or if you’re part of the younger set Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?  Remember how awesome it looked when the ninjas were flying through the tree tops like magic?  Of course back then I was stupid and thought ninjas were real my point still stands.  Ninjas were the […]

Thunder Force 3

What a difference a year makes.  Thunder Force 2 was a decent but flawed game with boring overhead levels that were merely tolerated to get to the more enjoyable side-scrolling stags.  As a port from the X68000 it was well done but as a game judged on its own merits kind of forgettable.  Even taking […]

Rad Racer 2

These days we live in a world where every game has a dedicated release date and Gamestop employees relentlessly hound you to preorder every game you’re even slightly interested in.  But back in the 80s that wasn’t the case.  Games more or less showed up in stores with little fanfare; even when video game magazines […]

E.V.O. – Search for Eden

We’ll more than likely never know why Enix USA was so hell bent on keeping the SNES installments of Dragon Quest in Japan but in the interim they certainly released some very…..esoteric RPGs.  Some were interesting takes on established tropes that were marred by balance issues (7th Saga) while others were just plain strange (Robotrek, […]

Saint Sword

Growing up I loved fantasy movies like Willow and the Never Ending Story.  This fetish for the material fostered an interest in hack and slash action games like Legendary Axe and Astyanax.  So you can imagine my excitement when I heard of Saint Sword for the Genesis.  Rastan Saga II had already disappointed me (after […]


I can’t really pinpoint why I was so disappointed in Breakthru.  I certainly never saw it in the arcade so I had no fond memories of the game nor was I anticipating its home port.  If I were to hazard a guess it would probably be the massive let down that came when my family […]

Super Star Soldier

In Japan the Star Soldier series was so popular that Hudson Soft held annual gaming tournaments based around it known as the Caravan festival.  These competitions were held for many years with a new iteration of the series serving as the focus each time.  Super Star Soldier would be the first true 16-bit installment in […]

Super Earth Defense Force

Who knew that the bug blasting Earth Defense Force series stretched back as far as the SNES? I kid, I kid. Super Earth Defense Force was part of an onslaught of arcade ports that arrived shortly after the SNES launch. There were quite a few shooters in that early lineup, most of them bad but […]


When you think of mascot games they’re usually extremely polished affairs that put their best foot forward to present their home company in a positive light.  Mario, Sonic, Crash Bandicoot, even Gex managed to star in some pretty awesome games (that’s not a slight against Gex, but honestly he was in the C-tier of mascots).   […]

Spider-Man vs. the Kingpin

Years before Sonic the Hedgehog was a twinkle in Sega’s collective eye they had no mascot to market the Genesis with and no real notable franchises with name power like Nintendo to sell the system with.  And no, Alex Kidd does not count no matter how much you lied to yourself and believed his games […]


Now here’s an obscure release.  There were many heavily Japanese games that were never localized for the SNES; in most cases these games were based on a manga or anime such as Ushio to Tora or King of Demons.  Musya is steeped in Japanese folklore which sets it apart from most of its action contemporaries.  […]


I’ll be the first to admit that I preferred Checkers to Chess in my youth.  I had little care for strategic thinking in those days and the simplicity of eating pieces one square at a time was enough to hold my attention versus learning the movement radius of each Chess piece.  Truthfully not much has […]

A minor setback

In what seems to be an annual occurrence my computer died a horrible death much like it did last year. However! This time I was prepared for it and have only lost a minor bit of content. In order to get back to where I was prior a one week break is in order and […]

Robo Aleste

In spite of the jokes constantly made about the Sega CD’s library and it’s over reliance on FMV titles (which was true) by 1995 it managed to accrue a respectable library of titles spanning numerous genres.  Admittedly a decent number of those were Genesis ports with terrible grainy cutscenes but there were some fantastic exclusives […]

Art of Fighting

At the time of SNK’s fighting game renaissance Art of Fighting was one of its most unique series and next to World Heroes less popular.  As the next game to follow Fatal Fury and to also back in Street Fighter 2’s light it had its fans but its gameplay systems were probably a bit too […]

Holy Diver

It’s a shame that Irem is mainly known for R-Type as they have crafted a number of little known classics over the years such as Metal Storm and Ninja Baseball Bat Man (look it up its awesome!).  While they were partly responsible for unleashing Spelunker on the world everyone has their skeletons in the closet.  […]

Eternal Darkness

Eternal Darkness was a long time in coming, having started life on the Nintendo 64 before moving to the GameCube sometime before its release.  As one of the N64’s last games it had a large amount of hype behind it; there were very few if any adventure games half as ambitious that were even attempted […]


In the inevitable transition to 3d during the PlayStation era many beloved classic franchises either went into hibernation or suffered immensely as the technology/designer’s level of skill were not up to the task of accurately representing their gameplay.  For every Super Mario 64 there was two or three Contra Legacy of Wars or Sonic 3d […]


These days what was once considered a strictly PC style RPG has now become the norm with turn based Japanese RPGS retreating to handhelds.  But back in the late 90s or so it was the exact opposite; Final Fantasy and its ilk were at their peak and heavily PC centric games like Diablo and Deus […]


As innovative and addicting as Tetris is for years every developer who touched the license was content to simply put out their own version of the same game over and over again.  Whether  it was due to restrictions placed on them or fear of screwing up a sure thing, the most popular puzzle game in […]

Guardian Heroes

By the mid-90s beat ‘em ups had run their course in terms of popularity.  The once popular side scrolling brawler could not bear the burden of mediocrity that had infected the genre on the 16-bit platforms.  Most of these games were content to implement the bare minimum in terms of play mechanics with no innovation […]


I’m pretty sure no one thought Psygnosis would be Sony’s ace in the hole when they made the leap to console manufacturer.  Not to downplay the many great games they’ve made over the years but around 94-95 I imagine most people still thought of them as the company that made the Lemmings games.  However the […]

Space Harrier

It’s safe to say that Space Harrier was one of the most popular arcade games of the 80s.  With its impressive use of Sega’s Super Scaler technology and unique viewpoint there wasn’t anything else quite like it.  It would inspire a few similar games on competing formats such as Square’s 3-D World Runner but honestly […]

Indiana Jones Greatest Adventures

With the success of the their Star Wars trilogy of games for the Super NES it only makes sense that Lucas Arts would turn to their second biggest property as the next to receive the all-star treatment.  While they had their share of flaws that series would still serve as an excellent template for Indiana […]


In Japan Visual Novels are the equivalent of our point and click adventure games, although they are released more frequently overseas than their US counterparts.  Focusing more on story than gathering items and solving puzzles visual novels are usually dense story wise and have branching paths such as Fate/Stay Night and Steins Gate.  As you […]

Mighty Final Fight

As much as gamers loved Final Fight in the arcade we all somehow knew it wasn’t possible to stuff into an NES cartridge.  I was far from being aware of any technical details but accepted it as fact.  Maybe it was seeing all of the compromises Konami made with the TMNT arcade game, despite it […]

Kickle Cubicle

Growing up I had a middling appreciation for puzzle games.  There were few released for the NES and outside of Tetris I barely gave them a second glance.  But it was games like Adventures of Lolo that showed me the light (so to speak) and gave me a newfound admiration for a genre that is […]

Gargoyle’s Quest 2

Despite his status as one of the most frustrating enemies to deal with in videogame history alongside Castlevania’s Medusa heads Firebrand/Red Arremer has been fortunate to star in 3 outstanding games.  The Gargoyle’s quest series has spanned 3 consoles, the original Gameboy outing, the final SNES installment and this lesser known NES entry.  1992 can […]

Rad Racer

Christmas 1987 stands out for a number of reasons for me personally because I distinctly remember receiving numerous games as presents that year.  Kid Niki and Rad Racer were the two lucky recipients in my household that fateful day and while Kid Niki was decent for its time this is what kept us occupied all […]


I think we have a front runner for the worst box art of all time.  Seriously what the hell were they thinking?  From a marketing stand point I can see what they were going for: most people would at least pick it up and look at it to figure out what an old dude with […]

Crisis Force

The last two years of the NES’ reign in the US saw a number of technically outstanding games that took the aging hardware places no one ever dreamed.  Games like Shatterhand, Ninja Gaiden 3, Castlevania 3 and Kirby’s Adventure made waiting for the 16-bit consoles to drop in price bearable.  But in spite of their […]

Thunder Force 2

Looking back of the six or seven launch titles available for the Sega Genesis in 1989 only one or two were worth a damn.  Altered Beast was the supposed star of the lineup as the pack-in title but even I, in my 9 year old stupidity could tell it wasn’t a very good game. Last […]

Donkey Kong Country

Few games have hit the market with the impact of Donkey Kong Country.  By the time 1994 rolled around the Genesis had been on the market for 6 years and the SNES was entering its 4th.  It was reasonable to assume most developers knew the limits of both consoles but then the Summer CES came […]

Goonies II

The Goonies was something of a cultural touchstone for many of us who are children of the 80s.  A group of teenagers on the adventure of a lifetime searching for a long lost buried treasure is something most kids dream of in one fashion or another.  Personally while I liked the movie I can’t say […]

Golden Axe: the Duel

Sure why not?  Everyone else was doing it.  Golden Axe: the Duel is another in the long line of franchises that ditched their original genre and took to the streets to settle their differences.  After the dismal Golden Axe 3 I suppose anything is an improvement.  The Duel is a decent Street Fighter that simply […]

Quake 64

Remember when first person shooters were new and exciting?  Obviously we’ve come a long way from the heady days of Doom and while I won’t say they’ve ruined the industry (because it’s not true) no one can deny that there are far too many generic FPS on the market.  But it wasn’t always this way. […]

King of Fighters ’95

When you think about the King of Fighters was such a great idea I’m surprised no one else had attempted before.  The idea of an inter-company crossover is the stuff of fan boy dreams when you get right down to it, that’s why Super Smash Brothers is so popular.  Applying that to a fighting game […]

Exile: Wicked Phenomenon

As flawed as it was I really enjoyed the original Exile.  Once upon a time I was a broke teenager too poor to afford a $400 Turbo CD add-on and so had to settle for the lesser Genesis version.  I still managed to enjoy the game, busted localization and all.  The game’s unique (for the […]

Shadowrun (SNES)

With two Kickstarter funded Shadowrun games in the works all I can say is “What took so long?”  Of all the properties that have sat languishing in licensing hell why Shadowrun?  While we’ve had a near endless procession of terrible Ben 10 and Spongebob games but to date there are only 4 Shadowrun games.  With […]

Final Fight CD

After the disappointment of Final Fight’s SNES release it seemed as though gamers would have to stick to pumping an arcade unit with quarters if they wanted an unfettered experience.  The SNES version was a highly anticipated release and even in spite of its flaws most of us were able to overlook it because the […]


The kids of today really missed out on the golden era of Disney cartoons.  Back in the late 80s and early 90s every self-respecting kid hauled ass to get home in time to watch the Disney afternoon block of shows.  For a solid 2 hours you could catch Duck Tales, Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, and […]

DuckTales 2

I don’t envy the development team at Capcom who were tasked with creating a sequel to DuckTales.  The original was a huge international success and is universally voted as one of the greatest games of all time.  Following up that level of acclaim would be a tall order for anyone and it would be pointless […]

Gradius II

I know what you’re thinking, “isn’t Life Force Gradius 2”?  And the answer is no.  While the two series share similarities Life Force is actually a part of the Salamander series.  The real Gradius II never saw a release in the US in the arcade or on consoles.  As to why I sure as hell […]

Side Arms

Being a Turbo Grafx-16 owner was a lonely existence, speaking from personal experience.  I knew only two people that actually owned one, meaning whenever I had finished the games I owned I was screwed, first because I was too young for a job and two because there wasn’t anyone to trade games with.  After completing […]

World Heroes

At some point SNK fell completely head over heels with fighting games.  Seriously, if fighting games were your favorite genre you needed a Neo Geo, as much as 50-60% of its library is comprised of just that.  Had the Neo Geo been reasonably priced (you think the PS3 was bad?   Try $600 dollars back in […]

Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers 2

By 1993 the writing was on the wall and it was time for the NES to walk off into the sunset with its head held high.  Nintendo graced the system with one of its finest games, Kirby’s Adventure the Christmas and publisher support had all but dried up, to the point where Capcom would pass […]


I wonder how many are aware how badly Sega of Japan was trounced overseas during the 16-bit era.  While the Genesis fought neck and neck with the SNES in America in Japan it was a distant third.  While most of the most popular third parties would eventually develop for the system due to its status […]


When you examine the differences between the many Genesis shooters and the few that were released for the SNES it basically boils down to two fundamental schools of design.  You have your fast action twitch shooters versus a slower, more measured pace.   Compare Gradius III to Thunderforce 3 or U.N. Squadron to Gaiares.  That’s not […]

Dragon Fighter

There’s obscure and then there’s the really obscure.  In all of my younger years when I would voraciously devour any and all information about video games I could find I never saw a single review of this game, let alone a preview.  Even on the internet, the home of lost and forgotten games that at […]

Fighting Force

Coming of the success of Tomb Raider Core Design and Eidos could do no wrong.  Flush with Lara Croft money they began an aggressive marketing campaign for nearly all of their games supposedly based on “character” when in reality it was mostly tits and ass.  Badly shaped polygonal asses at that that; look up any […]

Bomberman 64

As much as we love Bomberman for its riotous multiplayer mode let’s be honest, the single player campaign has been tolerable at best.  Through five installments on the SNES and the awesome Bomberman ’93 on the Turbo Grafx-16 this has held true but the N64’s release provided an opportunity to put a new spin on […]

Dragon Force

I wasn’t always a fan of strategy games, I‘ll freely admit to that.  I was raised in a simpler time where big dumb action movies starring Sly and Schwarzenegger were released practically every week.  The games of the time reflected that leaving me with little reason to flex my brain muscles.  But as I became […]

Great Circus Mystery starring Mickey and Minnie

Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse was a huge success for Capcom, one in a long line of successful Disney licensed games from their development studios but even more so as it was their first one for a 16-bit console.  So it stands to reason  that a sequel would follow, cuz we all know just how […]

the Punisher (Genesis)

I remember the Punisher arcade game as a bad ass beat em up that fully captured the essence of the character’s brutal war on crime.  It was one of the few arcade games I actually managed to finish before the inevitable home port, a feat that sticks out in my mind considering most coin ops […]

Lords of Thunder

This might be lofty praise but I stand by these words: Lords of Thunder is pound for pound the best shooter released for the Turbo Duo.  Those aren’t words I use lightly; next to the Genesis and Saturn NEC’s console played host to the greatest lineup of shooters you can imagine so for one to […]

Back to the Future

Ah, LJN, my arch nemesis, we meet again.  Wherever a popular license existed back in the 80s and 90s LJN were there to completely fuck it up in search of the quick and easy buck.  The number of franchises from other media ruined by this company reads like a hit list; X-Men, Terminator, Jaws, and […]

Air Fortress

I remember Air Fortress primarily from its cheesy commercial.  The advertisement was full of all of the typical 80s tropes when promoting videogames: corny extreme voiceover, footage cut to make the game seem action packed, and a call to action to buy it now.  Anyone who has actually played the game knows it’s anything but […]

King’s Knight

Well every publisher has to start somewhere.  Even the likes of Capcom and Nintendo have a few skeletons in their closets that they wish gamers would forget about.  While Square is known for their legendary RPGs today prior to the success of Final Fantasy they “experimented”  with nearly every genre before finding their legs in […]

Final Fight 3

1995 was an interesting transition year for the gaming industry.  The PlayStation, Saturn, and (supposedly) N64 were all set to be released in the fourth quarter meanwhile the SNES and Genesis were still trucking along.  That’s not even counting the 3DO, Jaguar, and CDi although all 3 were pretty much irrelevant by that point.  While […]

Grind Stormer

During the 16-bit era the shmup seemed to reach the height of its popularity in the west, with releases seemingly every week.   But as with all things its moment in the sun was brief and would eventually start to fade by 1993-94.  In Japan it was a different story with the genre prospering well into […]

Kick Master

Now here’s another lost gem from an underrated publisher.  During the NES era when the likes of Capcom, Konami, and Acclaim (for all the wrong reasons) dominated the headlines Taito released a slew of solid action games over the years.  With the likes of Little Samson, Power Blade, and Cadash under their belt they should […]

Final Lap Twin

Have you ever played a Carpg?  I just made up that term but it adequately describes Final Lap Twin.  Long before Square Enix shit the bed with Racing Lagoon, a game we were mercifully spared, Namco graced the Turbo Grafx-16 with Final Lap Twin and its exclusive quest mode in a rare third party release […]

Super Punch Out!

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out was an international phenomenon and something of a cultural touchstone in America for every child of the 80s.  If you watch any retrospective of that decade chances are Punch-Out! will come up.  Even A-list celebrities have played the game, that’s how popular it was.  The question is how do you follow that […]


If anyone is familiar with M.U.S.H.A it’s probably because of its ridiculous acronym, which stands for Metallic Uniframe Super Hybrid Armor, just to get that out of the way.  The Aleste series of shooters has a long lineage spanning multiple consoles and computer formats but this Genesis installment is possibly one of its strongest. Developed […]

Monster Party

You know, there’s no other way to describe Monster Party then weird.  That should clue you in as to the amount of strange shit going on in the game considering the thousands of games released since.  As a loose homage to the classic movie monster films of yesteryear Monster Party certainly lives up to its […]


Jesus what a terrible game.  Shinobi in the arcade was hugely popular and one of Sega’s biggest quarter crunchers of the time.  The original arcade game was markedly different from the exclusive home console Shinobi games, resembling Rolling Thunder more than the straight up action games on the Genesis.  It saw many home ports to […]


In creating the Gradius series Konami made one of the most durable and beloved shooter franchises in console history.  With its unique power-up system countless other games have been “inspired” by Gradius with some degree of success.  The Gradius formula is so well defined in fact that a separate series created as a parody of […]

Luigi’s Mansion

It’s hard to believe that it took nearly 20 years for Luigi to finally get the starring role in his own game (I’m well aware Mario is Missing exists but if you consider that a game I have a copy of Captain Novolin to sell you).  For the entirety of his existence Luigi had been […]


For many years the action genre suffered in the transition to 3d.  Whether it was an atrocious camera, terrible combat mechanics, or a simple lack of understanding as to how to move the buttery smooth gameplay of the best action games of the times into the third dimension, the PS One era was rough for […]

Millennium Soldier: Expendable

I remember Rage software as a developer who was all style with little substance.  Quick to jump on any new piece of technology chances are if a new console or video card debuted Rage would be there with a shallow game that would at least wow you with its visuals.  The PC game Incoming is […]

Castlevania – Legacy of Darkness

Konami had lofty plans for Castlevania 64, setting out to create one of the most ambitious 3d adventures of the time.  However between their developmental inexperience and the reality of the monster they were trying to create Castlevania 64’s initial release was a scaled back version of what they originally planned.  Less than a year […]

Metal Slug X

For any Neo Geo fan during the mid-90s unless you absolutely loved fighting games there was little else to spend your money on.  Dear God SNK must have had a third world country’s worth of artists and programmers to pump those games out at such a record pace.  If you liked action games you had […]

Shinobi Legions

Coming off the heels of Shinobi III Sega basically could do no wrong when it came to the ninja action genre.  They OWNED that shit.  After creating what could be viewed as the quintessential action game of the 16-bit era they had a tall order on their hands in terms of one upping themselves.  Just […]

U.N. Squadron

There sure were a lot of shooters in the first year of the SNES’ life.  I realize it was the hot genre at the time but even taking that into consideration, god damn.  Most publishers would eventually back off when faced with the system’s slow processor but there were quite a few gems released in […]

Arcus Odyssey

How many of you played the original Gauntlet in the arcade?  There was something compelling about exploring a horde of dungeons with a couple of friends using traditional fantasy archetypes.  But for all of its success as a multiplayer game it did get repetitive, especially considering there were 100 levels to complete.  Arcus Odyssey follows […]

Gate of Thunder

For the longest time it’s always been assumed that the video game market cannot support 3 platforms at the same time.  And for a large part of the industry’s history this has been true.  It wasn’t until the sixth generation that we saw the PS2, GameCube, and X-Box coexist for the most part.  Prior to […]

Moon Crystal

Even on a console as awesome as the NES there were still many games that fell through the cracks or never saw US shores.  For the most part we did receive most of the absolute cream of the crop but there are some glaring omissions.  I still question why Konami left Parodius, Wai Wai World […]

Totally Rad

1991-92 were truly epic years in the NES’s life.  At that point the hardware had been on the market for 6 years in the US (8 in Japan) meaning developers were squeezing every last drop of power the little grey box could muster.  Some true classics were released in that time frame such as Super […]

Little Samson

I really miss Taito.  While they never quite achieved the level of acclaim as Capcom & Konami they were a lot like Natsume in that they still released many kick ass action games that were just as good if not better than their competition.  Games like Power Blade and Kickmaster were some of the best […]

High Seas Havoc

He’s a freaking seal!  Think about all of the mascot platformers you’ve either seen or played in the past.  Mario, Sonic, Crash Bandicoot, Bubsy, Aero the Acrobat……Croc.   They were all based around cool animals (except Mario, but we can excuse him because his games are awesome) but a Seal?  I don’t think there’s ever been […]

Captain Commando

By now I suppose everyone is familiar with Captain Commando through his cameo appearances in the Marvel vs. Capcom series.  But I doubt many are familiar with his original arcade and console debut.  Captain Commando’s appearances have been so sparse he might as well have been a new character by 1999.  So in the face […]

Ninja Spirit

The NES had Ninja Gaiden, the Genesis had the Shinobi series, it’s only right that the Turbo-Grafx get in on that ninja action as well.  Ninjas were all the rage back in the day so why not spread the love?  Irem’s arcade game saw ports to many different formats but it’s the Turbo Grafx-16 version […]

Gun Nac

For a system with such a slow processor the NES sure did receive more than its fair share of shooters.  In some ways it comes with the territory; when you’re number one everyone wants a piece of that apple.  The specialists in the genre such as Konami and Compile graced the NES with many a […]

the Punisher (NES)

It’s kind of funny how so many of the early Marvel movies from the early 90s have been forgotten in light of their recent cinematic success.  To be fair there’s a reason why; have you seen Captain America?  Yikes!  Rubber ears and terrible acting abounds in that abomination.   And don’t get me started on the […]

Tiny Toon Adventures

For the publishers that hung in there toward the end of the NES life it might as well have been a license to print money.  With an audience in the millions and years of platformers under their belts most publishers probably had plenty of engines they could use to spit out a game in record […]

Star Fox Assault

This should have been a match made in heaven.  When Nintendo and Namco announced a joint collaboration to create the next Star Fox in the summer of 2002 heads turned.  With the Ace Combat team at the helm along with Shigeru Miyamoto and EAD supervising the results could only turn out legendary.  However as the […]


Typically RPGs don’t usually show up until well into the first year of a console’s life.  For obvious reasons of course, it takes time to craft an epic adventure.  But with the advent of the PS2’s release this ironclad changed.  With the North American release coming nearly 8 months after its Japanese debut quite a […]

Zombie Revenge

In the mass exodus to 3d one genre that was oddly left behind was the side scrolling beat em up.  Once as prolific as the shmup outside of a few notable exceptions such as Guardian Heroes and Fighting Force no one seemed interested in exploring its conventions outside of Sega.  As they had done previously […]

Doom 64

When the inevitable move to 3d gaming came certain genres benefited the most.  Racing games and fighting games in particular made the transition extremely well but above all others came first person shooters.  Prior to 1996 all fps were created using different sprite scaling methods to create 3d environments and it’s a testament to ID’s […]

Crash Bandicoot

Where is the PlayStation mascot?  It’s hard to believe but in the mid-90s there was still the prevailing myth that every console needed a wise ass animal to be the corporate shill of the company.  Nintendo had Mario, Sega had Sonic, 3DO had….Gex I guess, and Atari had… one gave a damn.  As the PlayStation […]

Christmas Nights

Say what you will about Sega but at the very least they’ve always shown that they care about their fans.  The period between 1995-1998 was tumultuous for them to say the least but even in spite of their sinking fortunes they still found time to throw the fans a bone.  Nights into Dreams was their […]


Although we were too young to know anything about technical details back in the 8-bit era it was obvious that the NES and Sega Master System were not up to the task of replicating the arcade games of the era perfectly.  Arcade perfect ports were the forbidden fruit of the day, always chased but never […]


Thanks to its relatively fast processor the Genesis is home to nearly any incarnation of the shooter genre.  You like space ships?  Thunderforce.  You like cutesy shit?  Panorama Cotton (which is incredible by the way).  Arcade ports?  Afterburner 2.  You get the point.  For a game to truly stand out in a sea of similar […]

Hyper Zone

Remember how over used Mode 7 was at the beginning of the SNES life?  Dear god most developers showed little restraint shoving it in their games!   Did we really need the gratuitous map zoom in Actraiser?  Personally I didn’t really care if Master Higgins was swallowed by a giant scaling whale but whatever.  For every […]

Kid Niki – Radical Ninja

I remember Christmas of 1990.  Opening the gifts and seeing two NES carts: Rad Racer and Kid Niki.  Rad Racer was awesome for what it is but it was that pink box with the bad ass ninja in a yellow gi (I know, an oxymoron) that intrigued me.  Misleading box arts had been taken to […]

G.I. Joe

For some strange reason I avoided the G.I. Joe NES game back in the day.  There might be a few reasons why of course; licensed videogames were hit and miss in that period, hell they still are even now.   While Capcom and Konami were virtually the gold standard in terms of treating a license with […]


I really do miss Compile.  I freely admit that shooters aren’t necessarily my favorite genre and that I tapped out somewhere around the PlayStation generation.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good old fashioned romp as a lone fighter against an alien armada.  Much like Konami and their various Gradius spinoffs Compile’s shooters […]

Automobilli Lamborghini

I suppose everyone had to find their niche somehow.  By the end of the N64’s first year on the market there were entirely too many racing games in my opinion.  Any developer trying to make a splash in that crowded space would have to do something different; the standard Ridge Racer style power slide extravaganza […]


It never fails.  At every system launch there’s always that one game.  You know the one.  The game that attempts to use every hardware feature of a console in a vain effort to shock and surprise you with sights you’ve never seen before.  In truth behind the shiny veneer is a shitty game with good […]

Clockwork Knight

For all of Sega’s misfortune in the gaming you have to give credit where it’s due, they were always thinking ahead of the curve.  The Sega Channel can be seen as an early form of the digital distribution system we enjoy today.  They were one of the first to embrace CD technology in video games […]

Mickey Mousecapade

For all of its eventual Disney classics Capcom certainly got off to a rocky start.  Mickey Mousecapade is a terrible game that more than likely was snatched up to fully exploits their Disney license.  While Capcom would later go on to release a number of consistently excellent platformers it was inevitable that one would be […]

Journey from Darkness: Strider Returns

Man what were Capcom thinking?  I don’t know how the deal was worked out to allow a European company to produce a sequel to a beloved classic but whoever negotiated that contract has a silver tongue.  Strider in the arcade and its Sega Genesis port were both amazing games and any word of a sequel […]

Ninja Gaiden Trilogy

It’s hard to believe that Ninja Gaiden was once a forgotten property during the 16-bit era like Metal Gear and Rygar.  These were all beloved NES classics screaming for an update but none would appear.  In the case of Metal Gear it’s understandable; realistically what advancements to the series could they have added with the […]

Rolling Thunder

The modern day cover based shooters that the gaming public has fallen in love with all owe a debt to Namco’s Rolling Thunder.  Gears of War, Resident Evil, and hell even Call of Duty to an extent, all share similar gameplay aesthetics, eschewing straight run and gun action for a more tactical approach to combat.  […]

Fester’s Quest

I hold a special contempt for this game for one main reason: it nearly ruined my thumbs with its shit gameplay.  Fester’s Quest isn’t a shooter but at times it certainly feels like one if you do not have a turbo controller, which I didn’t back in 1989.  Although it has aspirations of becoming a […]

Godzilla – Monster of Monsters

Even after all of these years I still have a soft spot for all of those Godzilla movies I watched growing up in the 80s.  The Godzilla franchise was my first exposure along with many to the Tokusatsu genre of Japanese entertainment.  What Power Rangers represents to a younger generation Godzilla was the same for […]

Tube Slider

NEC came back to the US gaming scene initially with the weird Dreamcast game Industrial Spy: Operation Espionage in 2000, ending a 7-year publishing hiatus.  While they had disappeared after the failure of the Turbo Grafx-16 in Japan they were a prolific publisher, supporting nearly every console overseas.  With their resurgence it was thought that […]

Rygar – the Legendary Adventure

I thought for sure Rygar would be one of those brands that would be forever locked inside a vault.  Tecmo seemed completely uninterested in it and when you consider that it skipped two entire console generations you can see that it was a reasonable assumption.  But this industry is nothing if not surprising, so when […]

Maken X

Years before Metroid Prime came along and coined the phrase “first person adventure” Maken X fell into that category.  The Shin Megami Tensei has been one of the most popular series of RPGs in Japan, dating as far back as the Famicom era.  The series has spawned countless spinoffs, of which Maken X is one.  […]

Extreme G2

Although Extreme G was not an exceptional game it at least had the foundation for a competent futuristic racing game.  It simply lacked polish in terms of its play mechanics.  Extreme G-2 manages to fix the majority of the flaws of the first game but introduces new ones all its own that unfortunately bring down […]

Daytona USA

There’s no polite way to say it: the Saturn version of Daytona USA is one of the most disappointing home console ports of all time.  As the 16-bit era waned and magazines were flooded with all kinds of technical details of the upcoming consoles the dream of owning arcade perfect ports of the most famous […]

Battle Arena Toshinden

I wonder just how many remember the insane hype among the press for Battle Arena Toshinden.  If you were to base your impressions of the game off what the press at the time had to say Toshinden is one of the greatest games of all time, receiving many near perfect scores.  So in the end […]

Fist of the North Star

Anyone who is a fan of anime knows that there has been a severe lack of manly anime (henceforth called manime) in the last decade or so.  It’s been a rough road for those of us who are not a fan of clearly underage girls put in adult situations or the Moe fad.  What the […]


I remember playing Gyruss in the arcade back in the mid-80s and liking it well enough.  Of course I didn’t have enough money to complete it back then so the presence of an NES port should have been cause for celebration.  However some of the additions made to the game exacerbate its problems instead of […]

Adventures in the Magic Kingdom

Well they can’t all be winners.  While Capcom did the Disney license justice there was bound to be a runt in the litter sooner or later.  Adventures in the Magic Kingdom is basically an advertisement for Disney world in video game form.  For poor people like me who never got to go to those fabled […]

Galaxy Force 2

Ugh, some games simply weren’t meant to be ported.  I can certainly see Sega’s reasoning; at the time they needed anything they could get to stop the impending Nintendo juggernaut.  Third parties were still afraid to do anything to piss Nintendo off and more importantly they sure as hell were not going to ruin that […]

Aero Fighters

Nowadays anyone that remembers the Aero Fighters series knows it for one of two things: the bat shit crazy story and characters of later installments or the ridiculous prices the rare third installment commands on Ebay.  How or why the series went off the rails no one knows but it is a far cry from […]


In the late 70s and early 80s Jaws hit the movie industry like an atomic bomb.  Preying on our worst fears about the darkest depths of the sea we couldn’t help being enthralled by this giant shark as it chowed on unsuspecting swimmers even though we were terrified.  Personally I was more afraid of a […]

Rolling Thunder 3

Home console sequels to established arcade games were usually disastrous for any number of reasons.  Back in the day arcade cabinets usually housed technology a generation or two removed from what we were playing at home and usually featured dazzling graphics and sound in addition to polished gameplay.  But there are those few exceptions that […]

Alien vs. Predator

Robocop vs. Terminator.  Freddy vs. Jason.  These things go together like Chocolate and Peanut Butter.  All of these smashups not only seemed like good ideas but were also inevitable.  At the end of Predator 2 when an alien skull was counted among the Predator’s trophies fans knew; it was on.  So when the first slate […]

Monster in my Pocket

Long before Pokemon a different monster collecting craze swept the world:  Monster in my Pocket.  Oh you’ve never heard of them?  Truth be told neither had I at the time.  Not to make it sound as though I was in tune with all the hot trends of the early 90s but Monster in my Pocket […]

Bonk 3: Bonk’s Big Adventure

It’s always sad to see a mascot fall from grace.  Like Hollywood movie stars the trip to the bottom is usually a painful process, with few bowing out of the spotlight gracefully.  While the Crash Bandicoot games never degenerated to the level of repetition of the later Mega Man games he never reached the height […]


As much as I liked E-Swat in the arcade I have to admit, its resemblance to a poor man’s Robocop is undeniable.  You have an armored police officer protected a shit hole of a city from thugs and while the officer in question wasn’t blown to bits by Red Foreman from that 70s Show you […]


You know I miss Vic Tokai.  They were never as mainstream as Capcom, Konami, or Sunsoft but they published many quirky and otherwise excellent little gems like Clash at Demonhead and Golgo 13.  Granted the video game division was only a small part of a much larger conglomerate but their presence is missed.  One of […]

Section Z

You know once upon a time I actually liked Section Z somewhat.  I was and still am a huge Metroid fan and the NES version of Section Z is eerily similar to Nintendo’s classic series.  However Nintendo realized a sprawling adventure of that size should not and in most cases could not be completed in […]

Gun Smoke

Christmas of 1988.  After a solid week of being cooped up in the house with no NES or video games for some reason that escapes me I was finally able to leave and sample my friend’s Christmas stash.  Tiger Heli?  I guess it’s alright.  Bases Loaded?  Not into sports.  Dr. Chaos?  Yeah fuck that game.  […]

Ghosts N Goblins

Why must you hurt us so bad Capcom?  By now everyone has least heard of or played at least one game in the Ghouls N Ghosts series.  Known for their technical excellence as well as their perfect blend of platforming with white knuckle action the series also holds another distinction: ridiculous challenge.  Every game in […]

Jewel Master

This is a classic case of don’t judge a book by its cover.  I’m not talking about the box art so much, although it does nothing to entice you into playing the game.  If you ask me it looks like a poor man’s version of the Mandarin’s rings (a reference I’m sure only comic book […]


It’s funny but the SNES never had its Shinobi counterpart.  There were numerous Ninja games to be sure, such as the Ninja Warriors or Legend of the Mystical Ninja but never a straight action masterpiece on the level of Shinobi 3.  It’s a noticeable hole in the system’s library, one that Hudson Soft and Red […]

S.C.A.T: Special Cybernetic Attack Team

I really wonder if the developers knew what they were doing when they came up with the acronym S.C.A.T.  Sure it’s a bit juvenile to laugh at the name and what it implies but so what?  I can’t help it if it’s funny.  All jokes aside S.C.A.T (which stands for Special Cybernetic Attack Team) is […]

Dead Moon

You know even as a Turbo Grafx-16 owner back in the day I said enough is enough when it came to shooters.  The system was sorely lacking in variety in its library so every new shooter announcement that wasn’t on the level of Gate of Thunder was groan inducing.  As you can imagine with that […]

Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse

With the close of the 8-bit era all eyes turned to Capcom to see what they would do with their Disney license.  Sunsoft had already moved on and acquired the Looney Tunes license and begun to release games of varying quality.  The majority of Capcom’s 8-bit releases ranged from excellent to classic.  So it was […]

Space Harrier 2

I loves me some Space Harrier 2.  As an original launch title for the Sega Genesis Space Harrier 2 might have been the best of the bunch.  Well, that’s not exactly saying much considering what it was competing with.  Yeah the world was waiting with baited breath for Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle and […]

Dynowarz – The Destruction of Spondylus

I was never too fond of Dynowarz growing up.  It isn’t necessarily a bad game like Ikari Warriors II; it just suffers from being bland and uninteresting.  How they managed to accomplish that feat in a game about robotic dinosaur mechs beating the hell out of each other I’ll never understand.  Dynowarz does not capitalize […]

Bucky O’Hare

Show of hands, how many of you remember or have even heard of Bucky O’Hare?  I thought as much.  Bucky O’Hare was a short lived comic book series published in the mid-80s by future G.I. Joe scribe Larry Hama and Michael Golden.   Apparently someone believed in it enough to spawn a cartoon series, toy line, […]

Jackie Chan’s Action Kung-Fu

It’s kind of a mystery to me as to why the games starring Jackie Chan aren’t very popular.  Not only is he one of the most bad ass action movie stars of all time but his goofy persona lends itself well to nearly any setting you can imagine.   Even prior to his debut in American […]


Well that was a sucky week.  Due to a hard drive failure I was unable to update for the last week.  In addition because of said problem I have lost everything so I’ll have to take a little time to rebuild and rewrite a lot of the reviews I had planned.  On the bright side […]

8 Eyes

You know for some strange reason I really wanted to play 8 Eyes.   Fresh off the Guardian Legend (awesome game go play it now) I saw an advertisement for it in one of my comic books and the flowery ad copy hooked me.  Dual Attack Mode!  You can control a falcon and a dude at […]

Earnest Evans

Ah Earnest Evans you could have been a contender.  In 1991 the Sega Genesis had only just begun its surge in popularity on the back of Sonic the Hedgehog and at that point the major third parties like Capcom and Konami were still not on board.  An action game in the same vein as Castlevania […]

Tiny Toon Adventures – Buster Busts Loose!

It’s hard to believe kids today have no knowledge of or exposure to the Tiny Toons Adventure characters.  I mean back in the early 90s this was huge.  After well over a decade of simply showing reruns of the classic Looney Tunes characters Warner Brothers, in collaboration with Steven Spielberg created a new batch of […]

Rush ‘N Attack

What a clever title.  I was perhaps a little too young to realize what the title of the game implied at the time but even then I thought it was awesome.  About the only thing I knew of the Cold War came from Rocky IV, where Sylvester Stallone, armed only with his 2 fists and […]

Shadowrun (Genesis)

Of all the settings that I have experienced the Shadowrun universe ranks among my favorite.  Something about the cyberpunk setting and mix of future technology captured my imagination like nothing else when I first became aware of it in 1993.  This made it optimal for use in the videogame space and in the 90s Sega […]

Wild Guns

Oh Natsume.  Most modern gamers know Natsume as the publisher of a never ending stream of Harvest Moon games and related spin offs.  This isn’t a bad thing, my hats off to the developers as they’ve somehow managed to make a game ostensibly about farming fun.  But for those of us who grew up in […]


Ah yes, the Battletoads.  Initially written off as a lame Ninja Turtles rip off based on the first advertisements any gamer who took the time to sample its greatness found that not only was that misconception far from the truth it might actually be a better game period.  Now legendary for its insane difficulty the […]

One Week Break

Just a quick little break, hopefully I can come back next week with a new theme that will liven up the look of the site as well but no promises!

Shadows of the Empire

The Star Wars franchise has always enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Nintendo consoles, dating as far back as the NES.  The Star Wars trilogy of platformers on the SNES were all high quality games so it came as no surprise when LucasArts announced a new game in the series for the unreleased N64.  Heads turned […]

Silent Bomber

Who remembers Bomberman Act Zero?  I’m sure Konami/Hudson wishes everyone would forget but it stands as a perfect example of how not to update a franchise for modern audiences.  With its dude bro look and sterilized graphic style it pandered to the American audience but everyone was far too smart to fall for it.  There […]


At the end of the 16-bit era the platformer had been perfected.  With nearly the entire industry cranking them out for the better part of a decade the mechanics typical of the genre were honed to perfection and gamers were treated to some of the finest games ever made such as Donkey Kong Country 2, […]


Developer Treasure were no strangers to the shmup genre, having released what many consider to be one of the finest shooters of all time, Radiant Silvergun for the Saturn and arcade.  Sadly it never saw the light of day in the US until its recent XBLA release but even a decade of time did nothing […]

Legend of Hero Tonma

Now that I look back on it the Turbo Grafx-16 has very few pure side scrolling platformers.  Oh it’s well documented just ridiculously over crowded the system is with shooters but for those that enjoy a good butt bouncing like Mario or Sonic there were few choices.  Irem’s Legend of Hero Tonma was an arcade […]


As an adult I look back on my childhood and remember the times when I had near infinite free time to get my game on as I saw fit.  Any tasks such as homework or chores were merely distractions in my quest to become the biggest game junkie the world had seen (not really).  The […]

the Karate Kid

Ugh what an awful fucking game.  This happened to be released pretty early on in the NES life, before kids around the world knew that movie licensed games sucked.  It also happened to be based on a pretty popular movie, so of course we thought the game would be awesome.  We couldn’t have been more […]


This was certainly an odd one to port to a home platform.  I realize when new consoles are launched its more or less anything goes in terms of what games are available but in 1991 a very “PC” RPG in terms of interface was not what everyone expected.  Drakkhen was one of the first RPG’s […]

Dragon Spirit – the New Legend

I’ve always liked Dragon Spirit.  As one of the first arcade machines that I put a lot of time in its left an indelible impression on me.  But I don’t hold it in high esteem simply for that reason; it’s also a good game.  The NES port has its differences from the arcade version but […]

Elemental Master

I’m pretty sure very few have played this great shmup.  Technosoft were no stranger to the genre and some would say they were the undisputed master during the 16-bit era.  This little known gem slipped under the radar somehow which is a shame considering its creator’s pedigree.  The Thunderforce series is legendary and while this […]

On the Ball

Sometimes it’s the most unlikely concepts that hook you.  It happened with Tetris; sure you can obviously see why it was so addicting but back in the 80’s no one thought simply completing lines with geometric shapes could take over the world.  Along the same lines Taito’s Cameltry allowed you to manipulate a marble by […]


For those of you too young to remember Robocop he was sort of the Master Chief of the 80s to young kids everywhere.  He was a cool cyborg cop who dispatched criminals with extreme prejudice when necessary.  Sure you might look at him now and think his design is quaint but in 1987 this shit […]

X-Men (Genesis)

For a long time licensed comic book games sucked horribly.  This never made much sense to me.  How hard can it be to take the action depicted on the colored page and spin that into gaming greatness?  Apparently too hard seeing as how 90% of them were terrible.  I should preface this by saying most […]

Super Mario Kart

Who would have thought a simple racing game made with crude Mode 7 effects would go on to become one of the most beloved series in gaming?  Mario had somewhat of a reputation for starring in games other than platformers, such as Wrecking Crew, Dr. Mario, and even the referee in Mike Tyson’s Punchout so […]

Burai Fighter

  How many of you remember Taxan?  This little known publisher during the NES era released a number of gems for the system, like Low G Man (my first review!) and the first G.I. Joe game.  Although they never achieved the level of notoriety of a Capcom or Konami their games were just as good […]


In the early years of the NES the concept of replay value hadn’t sunk in yet.  Oh I’m sure there were games that had hidden secrets waiting to be discovered but for the most part we replayed those old classics over and over for two reasons: they were just plain good games and you know, […]

Nights into Dreams

Inspiration for game ideas can come from all walks of life.  Allegedly Yuji Naka came up with the concept of Nights while on a flight back to Japan and in that moment a star was born.  Or should have been if Sega had not spent the following years doing their best not acknowledge his existence.  […]

Charge ‘N Blast

  I’ll say this:  Sega’s Naomi arcade board was a versatile piece of hardware and one of the most widely used, and its synergistic relationship with the Dreamcast allowed for a large number of home ports of arcade favorites.  But that also begs the question should you port everything just because you can?  In the […]

Cool Spot

  Once upon a time David Perry was part of an incredible team at Virgin Interactive who were capable of turning any license into gold.  The likes of McDonalds, Disney, and Warner Bros. were graced by their hands and in 1993 they created their strangest product yet, Cool Spot. There is no story, all you […]

Sky Blazer

Talk about flying under the radar.  Sony Imagesoft weren’t known for putting out quality games during the 16-bit era; I’m talking drek like Cliffhanger and Last Action Hero.  Every so often the planets would align and we were graced with classic gems like Hook or Mickey Mania.  However few were even aware of this classic […]

R.C. Pro AM

My memories of RC Pro AM are distinct: one of the first vehicular combat games with a unique perspective and tight gameplay.  It could possibly be the best racing game on the NES.  However there is one flaw that drags the game down, and while it doesn’t knock it from its top position on the […]


Many genres in the 32-bit era went through a terrible birthing process, for lack of a better term.  While the gameplay of platformers, shooters, and action games had been more or less perfected in 2d translating that into 3d was a different beast altogether.  There were some truly awful action games released early on for […]


  One thing you can say about the N64, it has more than its fair share of racing games.  Of the 290 or so North American releases for the system almost 50 are some form of racing game.  With that many nearly every incarnationof the genre were covered from car combat to the more esoteric […]

Air Zonk

On a console filled with more shooters than you can count you need some kind of “hook” to garner some attention.  That could be anything from insane graphics, unique level design, art direction, etc.  In the case of Air Zonk you need only gaze upon the title character and be intrigued.  It would have been […]

Review Scores

You’ve asked for them and now they’re here!  I’ll be going back and adding a score to every review and hopefully by the end of the week I’ll catch every one.  Feel free to comment on the review text itself and the score that goes along with and lets get some discussion going!

World of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck

  During the great mascot battle of the 16-bit era Mickey Mouse was one of the few to star in some of the most consistently excellent platformers during that period.  It’s hard to believe an icon of his stature would somehow be overlooked but considering the glut of platformers it was bound to happen to […]


What an utterly forgettable game.  This wasn’t exactly a beloved classic in the arcade so why Irem thought that would change with a home port is beyond me.  And it was released the same year as Contra III!  Holy shit, can you imagine someone looking at the back of the box for both games and […]

3-D World Runner

To be frank I don’t know if I actually like 3-D World Runner or hate its guts.  It’s that divisive.  In the time before Final Fantasy Square tried their hand at many genres with games like Rad Racer and King’s Knight.  3-D World Runner could be billed as a failed experiment, at least in the […]

El Viento

Good side-scrolling action games weren’t exactly overflowing in the Genesis’ early years.  While the likes of Mystic Defender were passable classics like Revenge of Shinobi were practically events.Renovation, one of Sega’s biggest supporters in those days tried to fill that gap with El Viento and while it doesn’t reach the heights of Joe Musashi’s adventure […]

Final Fight 2

It’s an understatement to say that Capcom disappointed everyone with the SNES port of Final Fight.  The missing 2 player coop, levels, and character smacked of a rushed product.  And then they did it all over again with Final Fight Guy, which instead of adding him to the game removed Cody in his place.  The […]

A Boy & his Blob

Truly unique ideas in the video game industry are few and far between so when a game comes along that is different it tends to stand out.  While the majority of these innovative games have the gameplay to back up their fresh concept some don’t always manage that feat; A Boy and his Blob happens […]

Whip Rush

  Whip Rush wants to be R-Type so bad it’s not even funny.  It stands to reason that with as many shmups released on the Genesis some of them would bear striking resemblances to each other.  There’s nothing particularly wrong with that; some of the best games ever made were, *ahem*, inspired by others.  So […]

Super Valis IV

Time certainly can be cruel.  I remember Valis as a kick butt series of action games for each platform they graced.  However as time passed and the bar was raised they were simply competent in the face of such classics as Earthworm Jim, Gunstar Heroes, etc.  While Valis IV is one of the stronger entries […]


What an odd little game.  Karnov was Data East’s mascot, appearing in a few of his own games and cameo appearances in their Fighter’s History series.  How they decided a fat Russian strongman would be the mascot for a Japanese company we’ll probably never know however the game he starred in is a pretty decent […]


  I don’t think I’ve ever met a single human being who has ever played Abadox.  Talk about flying under the radar.  There are very few reviews of the game on the internet as well.  Which is a shame as it is one of the better shmups for the NES and only suffers from a […]

Cannon Spike

Who doesn’t love fan service?  I’m not talking about the cheap and oftentimes pedo bait that permeates most anime nowadays.  I’m talking about the likes of Super Smash Brothers or Capcom vs. SNK.  Looking back on the Dreamcast library there weren’t too many straight up action games in the Contra mold.  Capcom were damn near […]


I’ve seen my share of rip offs but this is in a special class of its own.  If you were a Turbo Grafx-16 owner RPGS were not all too common on the platform so any new release in that category was cause for celebration.  For the most part, at least.  There’s nothing wrong with aping […]


In the early days of the 32-bit era the majority of the development community floundered as they tried to figure out the best way to translate certain genres to 3D.  Through their years of working with the 3DO Crystal Dynamics certainly had a leg up on the competition but it’s still even so the quality […]

Super Smash Brothers

Nintendo has always excelled at taking genre’s they are not comfortable with and putting their own unique spin on them.  The Mario Kart series was born from this as an example.  So when word came of a fighting game starring their most iconic characters the gaming world lost their shit.  You could say it was […]

Panzer Dragoon Zwei

The beginning of the 32-bit generation was interesting to watch.  Most developers had never worked with 3d so it was interesting to see the experimental games that were created.  Sega had a huge advantage in that they had extensive experience with 3d due to their many arcade games, so when Panzer Dragoon sprang from one […]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Tournament Fighters (NES)

This was a bit of an odd duck.  I can see what Konami were going for and as a last hurrah for the NES it works.  But the NES simply lacks the horsepower necessary to do a fighting game justice, leaving this 8-bit version in a weird place.  It’s decent for what it is but […]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Tournament Fighters (SNES)

When you think about it, of all the obscure licenses that were turned into fighting games in the mid 90s the Ninja Turtles made the most sense.  Between the two comic book series and the cartoon there are a wealth of characters to throw down with.  While the Sega was a valiant attempt the SNES […]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Tournament Fighters (Genesis)

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting!  At least in the mid 90s they were.  From big publishers to small, everyone wanted a piece of the fighting game pie.  While some like SNK were able to make an entire cottage industry out of it (seriously, if you like fighting games the Neo Geo is an all you […]

Legendary Wings

Being young and a video game fan was pretty damn rough back in the 80s and 90s.  With no job parents and relatives were the main source of new games, and I can safely say for the majority of us that only happened on birthdays, Christmas and the odd holiday.  As such amassing a large […]

Super Star Wars

It was only a matter of time before George Lucas would bring his Star Wars licensing monster to the 16-bit consoles and the SNES was the lucky recipient of the onslaught.  Super Star Wars was the first, naturally, and would set the tone for the ones to follow.  Considered one of the best games in […]

Gremlins 2 – the New Batch

God damn, Sunsoft were so awesome they could even make an obscure (well now it is) license like Gremlins into video game gold.  I doubt many of you even know what the hell the Gremlins are; basically don’t feed them after midnight, never get them wet, and never expose them to sunlight or bad shit […]

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Arrow Flash

Shmups were a dime a dozen during the 16-bit era, with every console getting their fare share.  God, there were so many you could almost use them as currency (1 Lightening Force=$50. 1 Divine Sealing=-$20, yeah shame on you if you bought it).  With as many choices within the genre a game would have to […]

Kabuki Quantum Fighter

This right here is one of the strangest games in the NES library.  You’re probably looking at the box art and wondering what does a Kabuki actor have to do with demons and computers.  The answer? Absolutely nothing.  Ignore that aspect of the game however and what is left is one of the strongest platformers […]


As big as the Gundam craze is in Japan it took nearly 20 years before the mega franchise would hit US shores, meaning there are an army of related video games that we missed as a result.  Now, in all fairness most of them suck but it would have been nice to get the few […]

Valis III

And now we come to the penultimate chapter in the Valis saga (at least until Telenet fell on hard times and whored out Yuko in porn games.  True story).  The Valis series were sort of bastions of merging cinematics with side scrolling action and part 3 ups the ante in that regard.  Far better than […]

Panzer Dragoon

Of the Saturn’s early lineup one game garnered more attention than everything else; no not Virtua Fighter, I’m talking about Panzer Dragoon.  With its distinctive art style and world it dazzled gamers on both sides of the Pacific.  Luckily it also had the gameplay to back up its pretty graphics and was one of the […]

Kid Icarus

Among the opening salvo of first party Nintendo games Kid Icarus has always been the red headed stepchild of the bunch (literally).  I’ve never been able to figure out why it never achieved the same level of popularity that classics such as Metroid or the Legend of Zelda did.  This is a shame because even […]

Golden Axe III

Talk about a day late and a dollar short.  Golden Axe III was released in Japan in 1993 however it was released in the US on the Sega channel in 1995.  I wonder how many of you even know or remember what the Sega channel is?  Anyhow, while it was a decent game at the […]

Darkwing Duck

I love me some Darkwing Duck.  Created as a spoof of superheroes, the show was one of Disney’s best original creations back in the early 90s.  This was the golden age of Disney properties so it came as no surprise when Capcom, purveyors of many a classic Disney platformer released one based on the series […]

X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse

  In 1994 Capcom were on a roll with the X-Men license.  The arcade was graced with X-Men: Children of the Atom while the home market had this little gem.  Not only did it do the comics justice it also wiped away the stink of the prior game, Spider-Man/X-men – Arcade’s Revenge.  I honestly was […]

F-Zero X

I remember the racing games of the 32-bit era pretty well.  Most were a stuttering mess that could barely keep a decent framerate and even when they did it was in the low 20s at best.  Sure we had our Gran Turismos and Ridge Racers but those were the exception, not the rule.  The N64 […]


What makes Suikoden unique?  On the surface is a game that could just as easily have been created for the SNES.  Outside of the quality of the music and color depth, there was nothing about the game that screamed 32-bit on the still new Playstation.  Loosely based on the Chinese novel Shui Hu Zuan, inspiration […]

Jet Grind Radio

For the latter half of the 90s the gaming industry had become accustomed to referring to Sega as the old washed up boxer of the industry.  Falling far from their height at the top of the industry with the Genesis the Sega CD, 32X and Saturn destroyed the last bits of good will they had […]

Bad Dudes

It’s funny how our minds work.  Nostalgia can cloud our memories and we’ll remember something fondly when in actuality we never liked it to begin with.  In this particular instance I recall fond recollections of playing Bad Dudes in coop mode and loving every second of it.  The reality is anything but nice. Bad Dudes […]

Super Dodge Ball

This is going to sound strange but growing up my elementary school never played dodge ball.  I can’t count the number of TV shows and cartoons that portrayed this physical activity as an essential institution of youth yet I was never able to partake in this slice of Americana.  Now that I think about it […]

Alien Storm

In the early years of the Genesis life Sega did not have it easy providing a steady stream of content.  Because of Nintendo’s strong arm tactics third party support was non-existent at first so in addition to their original home games Sega fell back on their arcade ports.  One such port was Alien Storm, which […]

Final Fight

It’s not a stretch to say that Final Fight did to the arcade beat em up what Street Fighter 2 did for fighting games.  It was electrifying.  There had been plenty of exemplary games prior to it but none that exhibited the level of production values and polish of Capcom’s classic.  So when it was […]

Life Force

After the success of Gradius a sequel was bound to appear.  You don’t create such an awesome power-up system just to use it one game, no sir.  While Gradius 2 did eventually appear for the majority of us in North America we mistakenly assumed Life Force was that sequel.  However despite the similarities it was […]

Magical Chase

There are games that, due to their scarcity, become highly coveted by gamers and collectors. A variety of factors can lead to this such as the publisher going out of business, low retail shipments and such.  In the case of Magical Chase it was released at the very end of the Turbo Grafx-16’s life.  As […]

Gradius III

The early days of the SNES saw many arcade ports, most of which were somewhat designed to show off the power of the new console.  Gradius III was one of those early games that managed to do just that while also falling flat on its face.  Despite that it still manages to be a good […]

Double Dragon 3 – the Rosetta Stone

This is truly, truly terrible.  Double Dragon 3 in all of its various incarnations is a bad game and somehow this Genesis port of the arcade game is the worst of all of them.  My mind is boggled at how any decent human being could release this in the state it’s in.  As much as […]


In the grand sea of shooters the Gradius series stands near the top due to its many distinguishing characteristics.  Whether it’s the innovative power up system, the Vic Viper, or just the curious fascination with Moai statues, even if you’ve never played a game in the series you’ve heard of it.  Despite a number of […]


Before Sonic the Hedgehog Sega threw a lot of shit (not literally) at the wall to see what would stick, most of it oddly enough from American developers.  The likes of Kid Chameleon, Alex Kidd, and the like vied for the coveted company mascot spot.  One contender which came later in 1992 was Greendog, a […]

Knights of the Round

Capcom has had a long history with side scrolling beat em ups.  Most credit them with popularizing the genre with Final Fight but they also released plenty of other games released around the same time, such as Magic Sword and King of Dragons.  Like the aforementioned games Knights of the Round attempted to add RPG […]

Legendary Axe 2

Talk about going as far to the left as possible.  What the hell happened here?  Legendary Axe was one of the few bright spots in the Turbo Grafx-16’s early life so when a sequel was announced everyone paid attention.   However what we got was anything but a follow-up but instead a lame attempt to ride […]

Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II

Despite its issues Wizards & Warriors became a hit and like all hit games a sequel was soon to follow.  It’s always interesting to see what direction a developer will take when it comes to following up a successful game.  Will they simply copy & paste a new skin and essentially create an expansion pack […]

Captain America & the Avengers

In the early 90s licensed beat em ups were all the rage in the arcade.  Capcom, Konami, and a host of other third parties spun gold out of such obscure licenses such as Buck O’ Hare and Asterix.  In 1991 Data East dropped the bombshell that was Captain America and the Avengers in the arcade […]

Cobra Triangle

You know secretly I think Rare hated all gamers in the 80s.  They created so many classic NES games during that period (the actual number of games they made is somewhere around 60!) that were amazing but ball-bustingly hard.  Everyone knows about and has probably had their little gaming heart crushed by Battletoads but the […]

Yoshi’s Story

Absolute crushing disappointment.  That’s the only way I can sum up Yoshi’s Story.  You have to understand: this was the sequel to Yoshi’s Island, one of the greatest platformers ever made!  And now the next iteration was going to the N64, imagine what they could achieve with 64-Bits!  Well their vision and our imaginations took […]

Time Stalkers

I can’t count the number of times when I was younger that I imagined what it would be like if all of Nintendo’s characters starred in one game.  Can you imagine?  Link rubbing shoulders with Mario and Samus?  Of course in my mind I was also there too but so what if it’s corny, I […]

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

In the early days of the Playstation era no other third party was crucial to Sony’s success than Namco.  Their (near) arcade perfect ports of Ridge Racer and Tekken not only helped spur console sales but were excellent showcases of the hardware, especially at a time when Sega had crapped out sub par versions of […]

R-Type III – the Third Lightning

Now this is how it’s supposed to be done!  Good shooters were few and far on the SNES thanks to that slow processor so when a truly exceptional game in the genre appeared it was cause for celebration.  Even considering the series pedigree R-Type III is one of the best games in the franchise with […]

Golden Axe 2

Creating a sequel is a tricky proposition.  You want to retain the elements that fans loved and made the original popular while adding new components that bring them back.  Many times this tends to back fire and can kill a series.  It’s a balancing act that not too many developers get right.  But there is […]

Power Blade 2

  Toward the end of nearly every console’s life a number of hidden gems are released.  Sadly these games go unnoticed because the majority of the console’s user base has moved on.  The NES was no stranger to this phenomenon, and admittedly it’s kind of hard to pay attention to the little buddy when one […]

King of Dragons

  I never saw King of Dragons in the arcade back in 1991 but I’m sure if I had I would have loved it.  When Capcom announced a home port in 1994 I looked forward to it for a number of reasons.  I like beat em ups and combining it with the fantasy genre seemed […]

Strider (Genesis)

  During the 8-bit era gamers were accustomed to gimped arcade ports.  True, there were some that came close or even surpassed their arcade counterpart, usually because the hardware was so dated.  But true arcade perfection remained a dream.  It wasn’t until the advent of the 16-bit consoles that it became a reality, and one […]


  These days any game that has an open world that allows you to collect items and pass previously insurmountable obstacles is referred to as a Metroid clone.  But back in 1986 no such distinction existed.  The only thing we were aware of is that this was unlike anything we had played before and that […]

Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics

Joe & Mac was a fun if flawed action romp released early in the SNES’s life and was a pretty damn good if rushed arcade port.  Congo’s Caper, a little known platformer released the following year was actually a sequel developed exclusively for the home market and continued the tradition despite being a strange game.  […]

Sol Deace

Now here’s an odd one.  Usually ports between the Genesis to the Sega CD were a one way street.  The vast majority of these only added grainy FMV intros and a CD soundtrack but at least it was something.  Sol Feace went the other way: a CD game that was ported to the Genesis with […]

Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers

During the Disney “renaissance” years in gaming there were bound to be a few games that slipped through the cracks.  When you’re rubbing shoulders with the likes of Ducktales and Darkwing Duck it’s kind of hard to stand out.  While it was somewhat popular in its day Chip & Dale’s Rescue Rangers has been forgotten, […]

A Little Break

  Just a heads up, I will be taking a two week break. Since starting the site in January I have consistently updated every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with one planned exception. I think I deserve a little break don’t you? All in all seriousness I plan to spend the time catching up on some […]

Chrono Trigger

Hironobu Sakaguchi.  Yuji Hori.  Akira Toriyama.  Three names, each a giant in their respective field.  Years before Square and Enix would merge they were at odds with one another with their respective franchises, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.  So the thought of both companies pooling their resources to create what could almost be labeled as […]

China Warrior

Ah deceptive advertising.  In the video game industry’s nascent youth advertisers knew the vast majority of the gaming populace was little kids.  Young impressionable kids open to the wonders of electronic entertainment.  If it was big and shiny chances are we would at least give it a spin.  Sega did this excellently during the 16-bit […]

Journey to Silius

The world of video game development is often a rocky road to getting a finished product to market.  The majority of games released can often yield many interesting stories about features that were planned, elements removed, or even odd changes of genre.  Not every game turns out the way the designers hoped or expected which […]

Sword Master

  With all the resources available on the internet it’s hard to believe some games still slip through the cracks.  Especially for the NES.  Look through any list of the Top 100 games for the console and I can almost guarantee you will never see Sword Master on that list.  To be completely honest if […]


When Sony entered the console arena with the PlayStation they were not known as an exceptionally strong developer.  Psygnosis and Singletrac created many of their initial hits but the memory of 16-bit turds such as Cliffhanger and Last Action Hero still lingered.  So it was quite a surprise when Medievil showed up at the 1997 […]

Rolling Thunder 2

My first experience with the Rolling Thunder series came with the unlicensed port of the first game on the NES.  That black cartridge was weird as hell but the game itself was even stranger, with hooded enemies that looked like members of the Ku Klux Klan.   While it wasn’t the greatest game in the world […]


It’s not very often that a launch title for a new console can withstand the test of time.  More often than not most launch games are shallow experiences that aim to coast by on sheer wow factor in terms of graphics.   The SNES was fortunate in this regard since it had two groundbreaking titles as […]

Bloody Wolf

  You know when I really think about it the Turbo Grafx-16 didn’t have a wide variety of side scrolling shooters.  Oh there were plenty of shmups, in fact far too damn many if you ask me, but not too many in the Contra mold.  Which is a shame, as the console’s library could have […]

Vice: Project Doom

On a system with as many classics as the NES it’s only natural that some games will slip through the cracks.  Whether it’s a lack of marketing, low print run, or sometimes even the death of the publisher there are a number of games that go unnoticed.  Vice Project Doom is one of them. Vice […]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: the Hyperstone Heist

  I never really thought about it but Sega owners back in the day must have been envious of Nintendo players when it came to Turtlemania.  Konami wasted no time exploiting that license in a wide range of products, exclusively for Nintendo.  This was a bitter pill to swallow, as the TMNT arcade games especially […]

Super Off Road – the Baja

Racing games during the 16-bit era were an interesting animal.    3-D had yet to take the market by storm, being relegated to expensive arcade cabinets.  The advent of Mode 7 and various other scaling methods to simulate a 3-d plane were fascinating to say the least.  One of the most striking attempts was Super Off […]

Wizards & Warriors

Every so often as I take my daily trips down memory lane with retro video games I come across a game that I initially look back on as a classic.  However once the controller is in hand I discover they’re anything but.  You could argue that Wizards and Warriors is classic but then my question […]

Splatterhouse 3

Now this is more like it!  After the mediocrity of Splatterhouse 2 I don’t think anyone really expected much from part 3.  Kudos to Namco for going above and beyond to make it the definitive game in the series by largely starting over from scratch and abandoning most of the series’ tropes. Splatterhouse 3 was […]

Chameleon Twist

To a legion of gamers the analogue stick has always been the preferred method of control in video games.  To them it always existed.  But that isn’t the case.  Those of us who have been at this hobby for 2 decades or more remember the early years of the Playstation and Saturn.  3d games were […]

Join the Retro Game Age Facebook Group

I probably should have put out a notice for this a lot sooner but whatever.  Join the Retro Game Age Facebook group to be notified as soon as I update the site.  And you know, let’s get some kind of community going!  I appreciate the emails so keep em coming.  

Castlevania Chronicles

In the last days of the PlayStation Sony more or less stopped giving a damn about what was released and as such many publishers used it as an opportunity to release terrible games at budget prices.  It’s downright fascinating just how much of this cheap crap went on to become record best sellers.  Spec Ops […]

Rival Turf

  Well what do we have here?  The Rival Turf trilogy of games overall were pretty decent.  While they didn’t reinvent the genre they still provided awesome beat em up action in the same vein as Final Fight or Streets of Rage.  The first in the series, however, is not a good game.   I mean […]

Blazing Lazers

  It’s not easy being the fan of a dying console.  It usually goes one of two ways: you’re not aware how dire the prospects for your chosen console are so blindly hope things work out for the best.  Or you know just how fucked it is but still cling to a misguided belief that […]

Wrath of the Black Manta

There aren’t too many games that I hate as much as this one.  Wrath of the Black Manta just screams rip off to me in every single way.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with that mind you; some of the best games ever made were……”inspired” by others.  But there’s just something about this one that is […]

Sonic Adventure 2

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog Sega pulled out all of the stops in creating Sonic Adventure 2.  Though their venerable mascot had seen many highs and lows there was a resurgence in popularity due to his previous adventure.  Keen to capitalize on that his second Dreamcast adventure was given all the […]

Sonic Adventure

Somewhere along the way Sonic missed a step.  A slew of lame spinoffs in an attempt to mimic the success Nintendo had achieved with Mario left the plucky Hedgehog with one foot in the mascot grave.  But like a phoenix (corny I know) Sega came out swinging and restored some measure of respect to their […]

Sonic R

It only made sense that Sega would follow in Nintendo’s footsteps and branch Sonic out into other genres.  The public couldn’t get enough of him and spinoffs allowed them some breathing room while working on the next major installment in the series.  This goes back as far as Sonic Spinball but it was still disappointing […]

Sonic Jam

In this day and age of constant retro compilations anyone can experience classic gaming from years past.  It’s hard to believe but at one point such collections of old games were not very common, with the main standout being Super Mario Allstars.  In 1997 Sega graced us with Sonic Jam, a set that was more […]

Sonic 3D Blast

Volumes can be written about the various missteps Sega made with the Saturn.  From the surprise early release, exorbitant price point, and lackluster offerings Sega of America focused on instead of bringing Japanese exclusives it was an unmitigated disaster.  Probably the biggest crime was never releasing a pure Sonic game.  Oh there were Sonic games […]

Sonic & Knuckles

It was a lot easier to surprise gamers in the 90s since the internet was not readily available.  Most of us received our info from magazines that were usually 2-3 months behind current events.  So in mid 1994 when Sega announced Sonic & Knuckles it came as a surprise to everyone since Sonic 3 had […]

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

After missing the crucial 1993 holiday season and leaving us with the subpar Sonic Spinball, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 had a lot to live up to.  Sonic 2’s release was a worldwide event with its simultaneous launch around the world so the expectations were high to live up to or surpass that standard.  The question […]

Sonic Spinball

………I reaaaaally hate this game.  I hate it so much I’m not even going to review it.  It’s Sonic, its pinball, that’s all you need to know.  It was hastily created to fill a hole in Sega’s holiday lineup because of Sonic 3’s delay and it shows.  Those screenshots?  That’s about all I could tolerate […]

Sonic CD

For all of its successes there was still a vocal contingent who felt Sonic the Hedgehog 2 somehow strayed from its roots.  Honestly I don’t see it but there are nutty people in all walks of life.  Some attribute this to its development in America but regardless something was off.  The remaining members of Sonic […]

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic the Hedgehog did the impossible: give Sega its own mascot and to also showcase just how different they were from Nintendo, in the process achieving god tier status.  Everyone knew it was just a matter of time until a sequel would come and it sure did.  Its release would become an event around the […]

Sonic the Hedgehog

The videogame graveyard is littered with the bodies of failed mascots from publishers past who tried to get a piece of that sweet Mario platforming pie.  In their eyes it should have been easy to replicate that success:  create a cute character, give him some floating platforms to jump on and call it a day.  […]

Sonic the Hedgehog Month

It’s that time once again!. For the rest of this month I’ll be examining the Sonic the Hedgehog series up through the Dreamcast. Join me as I explore the highs and lows of one of the most popular mascots the video gaming world has seen. What did Sega do right? Where did they go wrong? […]

Power Blade

There’s a section of the gaming population that believe everything that comes from Japan is golden and that US publishers can’t do anything right.  These people are idiots.  It wasn’t often during the 8-bit era that an American publisher would take the initiative to drastically improve an otherwise terrible game that had potential.  In the […]

Awesome Possum….Kicks Dr. Machino’s Butt

  I figure I’ve made fun of it enough that I should give it it’s just due.  Much has been written about Awesome Possum, another contestant in the generic mascot platform wars.  And none of it good.  But on closer inspection is it really as bad as it is portrayed?   Well someone has to put […]

Battletoads in Battlemaniacs

If you look around the internet you’ll read various horror stories of Battletoads, the game that ruined childhoods across the globe.   With its technically proficient graphics and engaging gameplay it stood poised to be a phenomenon like the Ninja Turtles except for one fatal flaw: it was too fucking hard.  I can guarantee 90% of […]

Azure Dreams

In Japan the dating simulator genre has created some of the best selling franchises in the country, games such as Sakura Taisen and the Tokimeki Memorial series.  While the US has received scant few games in the genre occasionally a few slip the cracks.  The majority of these releases are relegated to the PC but […]


I have a confession to make: I never liked Jackal growing up.   Maybe it was because I always played it multiplayer and back then I was the scrub that held back the team.  But I thought the game sucked.  Looking back at it now and divorcing myself from my childhood memories I can see it […]

Steel Empire

While the modern day shmup has become dominated by bullet hell shooters impenetrable to the average man and loli bait for the otaku, it wasn’t always this way.  Once upon a time there were shmups for everyone, vertical shooters, horizontal shooters, shooters in planes, hell even shooters with witches.  Amidst this flood there was one […]

Star Fox 64

The early months of the Nintendo 64’s life were dark day’s man.  As someone who lived through it, I can tell you the anemic release schedule up until the end of its first year was enough to send most gamers back to their Playstations.  So why did so many of us put up with for […]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV – Turtles in Time

Ah Turtles in Time. It’s a bit of an understatement when I say I spent illegal amounts of time playing it back in the day. The original Turtles arcade game was awesome, and in my mind that meant this would be too. I wasn’t fortunate enough to have an arcade or mom and pop store […]

Street Fighter 2010 – the Final Fight

When I look back, many of the NES instruction manuals had retarded localizations.  The cause of much confusion and speculation because of the way it was marketed/presented, Street Fighter 2010 is a completely separate product from the revered series it shares a name with and is a pretty decent action game when judged on its […]

Double Dragon III – the Sacred Stones

Man oh man where do I even begin?  The Double Dragon games have always been enjoyable beat em ups despite the problems each game had.  In some circles it is looked at as one of the classic franchises of the 80s.  Double Dragon 3 in all its forms was a wretched game, and while the […]


The early months of the SNES’s launch saw a slew of developers shoehorn Mode 7 effects into their games for no discernable reason.  Seriously, how many games in the first year did the “zoom into the map” effect?  Not that I blame them, it was an easy effect used to dazzle tween minds across the […]

Valis – the Fantasm Soldier

Some things are best left in the past.  Nostalgia can obscure your memory to the truth, making you fondly remember something that in all actuality was pretty terrible.  He-Man for instance was not a good cartoon no matter how badly I wish otherwise.  In my mind Valis was a kick ass action game but in […]

Ninja Gaiden III – the Ancient Ship of Doom

Pure awesome ninja action.  Ninja Gaiden 3 was the last in the NES trilogy and the greatest by far.  Like Castlevania 3, Super Mario Brothers 3, etc. it improved upon its predecessor in every way to deliver the ultimate 8-bit installment possible. Released in the fall of 1991, although the third game in the series […]

Super Adventure Island

It’s amazing what a graphical face lift can do for a game.  I was never fond of the Adventure Island games on NES or their Master System counterpart, Wonder Boy (the whole lineage between the two will break your brain trust me).  However when the series made its 16-bit debut on the SNES it made […]

Golden Axe

When I look back on it I was pretty fortunate during my youth.  I had a friend whose older brother bought a Genesis near its release and proceeded to buy nearly every new game for the first year.   For a 9 year old it’s absolutely mind blowing getting to experience a new console and all […]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: the Manhattan Project

TMNT III will always have a special place in my heart.  You see, the February 1992 issue of Gamepro is the very first gaming magazine I ever bought and this game adorned the cover, starting my magazine collecting habit that persists to this day.  And the game itself?  A pretty well done exclusive that refines […]


By now Goldeneye has gone on to become legendary. There were honestly no expectations placed on upon its release; if anything you could say it was expected to be horrible. Movie licensed games on average usually turned out terrible, and Goldeneye had a protracted development schedule, further placing it in the doghouse. But its release […]


Shooters on the SNES were usually painful affairs, full of unnecessary slowdown in a genre known for its twitch action and break neck pacing.  That isn’t to say the system wasn’t capable; on the contrary, many exclusives designed specifically for it were stellar.  The arcade ports were usually the games that suffered the most.  Play […]

Splatterhouse 2

Now here is a case of a game not living up to my fond memories.  The original Splatterhouse received a lot of attention for its gore and violence even despite its release on the (relatively) obscure Turbo Grafx-16.  The gameplay could be described as adequate at best; about the only thing going for it were […]

Keith Courage in the Alpha Zones

New console launches are always full of promise.  New technology!  New ideas!  We look to new hardware to see what years of new technology can do to wow us and give us that feeling of being a kid all over again.  Super Mario Brothers revolutionized the industry, Super Mario 64 did the same once again, […]

Double Dragon II – The Revenge

It was pretty common during the NES era for ports of arcade games to differ drastically from the source material due to the hardware’s constraints.  It wasn’t very often though that the home game was superior to the arcade but in the case of Double Dragon 2 it is very true.  In the arcade Double […]

Valkyrie Profile

It isn’t everyday that a game comes along and completely shatters your perceptions of what an RPG can and should be.  RPGs by nature have very set mechanics and story structure and while there have been a few that innovate by attempting something different for the most part the majority are comfortable sticking to the […]

Batman: Return of the Joker

The original Batman for NES was everything we were looking for in a Batman game: pretty, challenging, and most of all fun.  After its success it was only a matter of time until a sequel was announced.  Batman: Return of the Joker in many ways surpassed expectations while also falling short of them. Batman: Return […]

Lucky Number 100

  So this Friday will mark my 100th article.  It feels like just yesterday I celebrated my 50th.  Its hard to believe that I’ve managed to stick to the schedule I set for myself of updating every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but nearly 8 months later and outside of 2 exceptions (1 intentional, 1 unavoidable) […]

Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse

  In its early years I guess you could say the Genesis floundered about in the marketplace as it struggled to find its identity.  Sega’s expertise has always been its arcade heritage and the arcade ports it created for the Genesis certainly helped its position.  But for home consoles most gamers look for an experience […]


In the 80s’s the Friday the 13th series of movies were all the rage.  For Christ sake, it starred a serial killer with a hockey mask, even if you were terrified you were at least interested in seeing what the movies were about.  While there was a Friday the 13th game for NES, the less […]

Mega Man X6

Shame on you Capcom.  Mega Man X5 wrapped up the X saga more or less completely and should have lead into the Mega Man Zero series like planned.  But you had to get greedy.  The first question is: Why?  It’s not as though gamers were begging for another game in the X series on the […]

Mega Man X5

All good things must come to an end and so Capcom (initially) decided to end the X series at installment number 5.  This was a bit of a shock considering Capcom were the masters of milking a franchise dry at the time.   Although it would later turn out to be false Mega Man X5 was […]

Mega Man X4

The 32-bit era were dark days for 2d gaming in the early years.  Sony actively limited the number of 2d games released on their console and while the Saturn was a powerhouse in that department the Sega of that generation had their head too far up their ass to show it off.  That Mega Man […]

Mega Man X3

At a time when most series were being held back for their 32-bit debut Capcom decided to give Mega Man X one last hurrah on the SNES.   Mega Man X3 was released at the tail end of the system’s life in the US and is among its last major releases.  As absurd as it sounds […]

Mega Man X2

It was a foregone conclusion.  It took Capcom many years to bring Mega Man to the SNES and when they did rather than retread the same ground they created a new character with a new continuity.  Mega Man X reinvigorated the franchise with some much needed improvements to the well trodden formula.  We all know […]

Mega Man X

Throughout the 16-bit era almost every major franchise saw an update.  These iterations used the advanced features of the consoles of the time to really go to town and flesh out the original creators intentions.  From Mario to Castlevania to the Ninja Turtles your favorite gaming heroes were stepping out in style.  But one icon […]

Mega Man X Week

Welcome to another feature special.  This week I’ll be taking a look at the Mega Man X series of games across a number of platforms.  Capcom took their sweet time bringing Mega Man to the 16-bit consoles but when they finally did we as gamers benefitted.  It also gave the aging formula a much needed […]

Double Dragon

For anyone that has played a game by Technos Japan their style is unmistakable.  From the graphics and art style used to the sound programming you can instantly identify any game they’ve created just by using one of those criteria.  Most American’s first exposure to their works would start with the Double Dragon series, the […]

Illusion of Gaia

While most of developer Quintet’s SNES output focused on creating/recreating the world, Illusion of Gaia bucked that trend and instead focused on discovery.  The second in the unofficial creation trilogy Illusion of Gaia continued the steady progression in quality with excellent action, higher production values  and strong writing.  Illusion of Gaia was released by Enix […]

Ninja Gaiden II: the Dark Sword of Chaos

It was a strange time in the 8-bit era when it came to release dates.  No one actively kept track, there wasn’t an EB Games aggressively pushing you to preorder a game or you’d miss out; as far as most kids were concerned games simply showed up in stores when they were ready.  If you […]

Joe & Mac

Whatever happened to Caveman video games?  It’s a weird tangent to start on but at one point there were an assortment of Neanderthal heroes across the video game landscape, protecting us from the animal mascot menace.  The likes of Chuck Rock, Bonk, Big Nose the Caveman, and even puzzle games like the Humans were all […]

Forgotten Worlds

During the 80s and 90s we all looked forward to arcade ports.  When you’re only 10 and money is sparse the thought of dropping spare change to play the latest and greatest for 5-10 minutes, while awesome, becomes less appealing over time.   Whenever an arcade favorite was announced for home consoles it was cause for […]

Conquest of the Crystal Palace

Whenever we think of the NES the legendary games that carved out the modern gaming landscape we still enjoy come to mind.   Super Mario Brothers, Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, Castlevania, the games that still benefit from new releases to this day.  Unfortunately in the wake of those heavy hitters many games that were just […]

Super R-Type

  The R-Type series is famous for a number of reasons.  Ball busting difficulty, unique weapons and that infamous alien that adorns the box art doesn’t hurt either.  Most popular in the arcades the original R-Type was ported to nearly every home console of the time with varying degrees of success.  With its later release […]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: the Arcade Game

    After the crushing disappointment of the first Ninja Turtles game for NES Konami had to make it up to gamer’s big time.  What made it even worse: the first arcade game had been released around the same time, giving gamers the exact gameplay they were expecting.  So it makes sense that for the […]

Aladdin (Genesis)

Disney’s Aladdin was a phenomenon the likes of which hadn’t been seen in quite awhile.  Even I was a fan and got swept up in the marketing blitz, and I was more or less indifferent to most of Disney’s offerings by that point.  The videogames that followed were almost all excellent with the Sega Genesis […]

Aero Blasters

Nowadays we’re suffering through a glut of first person shooters.  I imagine fans of the genre are happier than a pig swimming in its own feces right about now.  In the 80s and 90s a different brand of shooter was all the rage: the shmup.  From the arcades to home consoles there were an army […]

Batman (NES)

Movie to game adaptations have to walk a thin line.  Depending on how faithful to the source material they are the gameplay opportunities can be limited.  On the other hand take too many liberties and you might as well have created an original game to begin with.  Most of these “conversions” tend to go a […]

Demon’s Crest

It’s always a shame when an outstanding game goes completely under the radar.  We would like to believe if a game is good enough it will find an audience.  This isn’t always the case, with many of the highest rated games being ignored at retail. This occurs frequently during the holiday season as every publisher […]

Mario Kart 64

The early days of the N64 can be summed up in 1 word: waiting.  As third parties ran screaming from cartridges and Nintendo’s hefty license fees not only were releases few and far between but constantly delayed as well.  As someone who lived through that period it was infuriating, let me tell you.  The games […]

Ninja Gaiden

The Shinobi series is often seen as the pinnacle of classic ninja action gaming and for good reason with many high quality releases to back it up.  But nipping on its heels is the Ninja Gaiden franchise which enjoyed resurgence in popularity in 2004 and is still going strong to this day.  It’s interesting to […]


Early on in my RPG fandom I was willing to play anything regardless of reputation.  This led to discovering many an unappreciated gem, such as Dragon View or Magic of Scheherazade.   Then there are the games that were decent but the only reason you bothered playing them were availability.  Lagoon falls squarely into that second […]

Altered Beast

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that most people think the Genesis launched with Sonic the Hedgehog.  Sega’s mascot completely redefined that platform and it’s hard to imagine life without him.  But the reality is Sonic didn’t show up until 1991, 2-3 years after the system had been on the market.  Instead we […]

Aladdin (SNES)

In 1992 Disney’s Aladdin was practically the movie event of the year.  Featuring fantastic animation and a wonderful story it was one of the most successful movies of the year which meant a deluge of video games were soon to follow.  The Sega game garnered the most attention, and rightfully so, but the SNES game […]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

In the 80s the Ninja Turtles were ……the shit.  From the comics to the cartoons to the action figures Turtle mania was in full effect.   The apex of it all came with the movie in 1989, introducing the “fad” to everyone in the nation.  At the crest of all this anticipation of the NES game […]

Mystic Defender

Ah the early days of the Sega Genesis.  In those early days Sega was the only one supporting the system so they could not afford to be picky with the games they brought over.  These would also encompass games based on anime or manga that next to no one was familiar with.  In the case […]

Wave Race 64

Hype is an inescapable part of the video game industry.  Whether it is a developer extolling the virtues of their latest creation to game journalists struggling to put into words how awesome a new product they’ve just seen is, we are all guilty of falling for it.  New console launches are when these events are […]

Shadow of the Ninja

Natsume were a force to be reckoned with on the NES, with their games reaching near Sunsoft levels of quality.  The only thing holding them back from the upper echelons of the development community would be that they did not publish their own games until 1990, a bit late in the console’s lifespan. Shadow of […]

Castlevania 64

  During the 32-bit era there was a disturbing trend of taking beloved franchises and slapping them in 3d, as if that were enough to instantly make them better.  Once you take into account 90% of the developers in the industry had no experience working with 3d you can see how the results were usually […]

Castlevania – Symphony of the Night

It isn’t very often that a game comes along that is so great it transcends genre.  Super Metroid is considered one of the greatest games of all time and is deserving of that status.  Not too many games follow that same gameplay structure, which is a shame but I imagine its a nightmare to design […]

Castlevania – Dracula X

It was a crying shame when Castlevania: Rondo of Blood was passed over for US release.  The TG-16 had floundered in North America but still everyone hoped that the series high profile would afford it a bit of leeway.  We all should have known better: if Street Fighter Championship Edition wasn’t brought over no way […]

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood

We all have them.  Objects of desire.   Those things that for whatever reason have reached such near mythical status in our minds that we feel we absolutely must have them.  In the gaming world these usually take the form of limited editions of games, imports, or unreleased games.  In this case, long time fans of […]

Castlevania Bloodlines

It’s strange that Konami was one of the last major publishers to come to the Genesis.  While most third parties did not hesitate to run screaming from Nintendo’s strong arm tactics of the 80s they held fast.  Granted, their SNES output was more than enough to sustain them but why not chase the dollars of […]

Super Castlevania IV

The early years of the SNES life were a pretty magical time.   Many beloved franchises received new installments, usually with the Super moniker to remind you that now you’re playing with power.  Super power.  While the vast majority of those games were good, one game that was truly exceptional and deserving of the Super moniker […]

Castlevania III – Dracula’s Curse

They say the third time is the charm and on the NES that definitely seemed to be the case.  A very weird trend emerged on the system where the second game in each series was a departure from what made the first game popular.  You can see this in Super Mario Brothers 2, Zelda 2, […]

Castlevania II – Simon’s Quest

Though it was popularized by Symphony of the Night that wasn’t the first time the Castlevania series had flirted with RPG mechanics.  That distinction belongs to Castlevania II, a game with a very storied history among gamers for a variety of reasons.  It would continue the streak among NES games in which the 2nd game […]


  It’s funny how some of the most legendary franchises in gaming got their start.  Werewolves, mummies, vampires, these are all classic movie monsters that people are familiar with.  Basing a game on fighting these creatures doesn’t seem all that exciting at first; plenty of games by that point had at least dabbled with with […]

Castlevania Week

It’s time once again for a themed week, this time for the Castlevania series.  We’ve all enjoyed the series for its interesting mix of platform action and later blending of rpg elements.  Join me as I examine each of the main entries in the series, from the good to the few that are legitimately bad.  […]

Parasite Eve

For the longest time Square games were some of the best rpgs you could find on both sides of the Pacific.   They released far fewer games in the US than Japan but the majority they did were of the highest quality.  In Japan however they were extremely prolific, unfortunately some of their best output was […]

Diddy Kong Racing

During the 32-bit era no exclusive developer was more important to their partner than Rare was to Nintendo.  You could argue Squaresoft filled that role for Sony but the truth is even without them there were a ton of other third parties that would have picked up the slack.  Whenever Nintendo would delay a game […]


I don’t know when my obsession with playing Faxanadu began.  Hell I don’t even remember why.  If I remember correctly I think I first came across it in the back of the instruction manual for another game.  All it had was the box art and the cover blurb about daggers, wing boots and monsters with […]

Super Ghouls n Ghosts

I have a love and hate relationship with the Ghouls and Ghosts series.  When the games are good they are phenomenal.  When they’re bad they are some of the most god awful terrible games known to man.  The NES port of the arcade game is one of the most frustrating games created and should be […]

Streets of Rage 2

It isn’t very often that a sequel makes such a dramatic leap in quality over its predecessor.  Super Mario Brothers 3 stands as one of the greatest examples of such.  The original Streets of Rage was quite good for what it was: a first attempt at cloning a popular arcade game, in this case Final […]

Bonk’s Revenge

After the success of Bonk’s Adventure a sequel was inevitable. That it turned out so well was no surprise as the first game, while rough around the edges, was still a fun game.  All they had to do was smooth out those flaws but instead they went above and beyond the call of duty.  The […]

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master

Revenge of Shinobi was a landmark title in the Genesis’s life early on.  It truly made everyone take notice of what the system was capable of with excellent action, superb graphics, and an amazing soundtrack.  2 years later and we have a game that absolutely obliterates it: Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master.  This […]

Magic of Scheherezade

Culture Brain was always a strange publisher that no one knew what to make of.  Most active during the NES & SNES era they never quite managed to create an intellectual property that people would associate them with.  By that I mean a Mario Brothers, a Mega Man, a Castlevania, etc.,  a series that immediately […]

Number 50? Can you believe it?

Today marks my 50th article and I have to say I’m proud of the fact that I’ve stuck to the schedule I set for myself outside of 2 exceptions.  I can remember thinking in the outset that this day was a long ways off and now here we are.  To mark this occasion I figure […]

Run Saber

When you think of Atlus more than likely images of the niche RPGs they have published over the years are conjured up.  For the longest time that has been their MO, nabbing games no one else wants and localizing them.  And they’re quite good at it.  Recently they have started to branch out into other […]

Bonk’s Adventure

In the great pantheon of console mascots everyone remembers Mario, Sonic, and Crash Bandicoot.  Those are the most obvious, and the ones that achieved the most success out of the glut of platformers that bombarded the market.  But there’s one mascot that is never remembered and forced to sit in the back of the bus.  […]

Streets of Rage

When Final Fight hit arcades it hit big.  The beat em up genre existed long before it but Final Fight dragged it kicking and screaming into the modern age.  Renegade may have started the genre and Double Dragon popularized it but Final Fight took the baton and ran with it.  Every publisher wanted a piece […]


Astyanax.  What a weird choice for a game title.  Most games live or die on store shelves from factors not even related to whether the game is good or not.  Box art, customer awareness, the screenshots used to “sell it”, all of these are elements that can make or break a game at retail.  I […]


Remember when old video game magazines would have numerous screenshots of cut scenes?  These were never labeled as such and often times would be mistaken for actual gameplay.  At least I did, but maybe I was just a dumb kid.  From the Y’s series to Cosmic Fantasy I would see these games and thought they […]


In the 8-bit era Capcom were one of a few publishers that were virtually untouchable.  Nearly every game they put out was a classic, with franchises that endure to this day.  Licensed products from Acclaim and Ocean cluttered up store shelves but Capcom were able to turn that license into the equivalent of video game […]

Soul Blazer

  Before the PlayStation busted open the floodgates for RPGs in America the SNES was the reigning champion of the genre.  While we didn’t get the breadth of titles the PS One eventually would, there was still quite a selection to choose from.  Enix of America was a very active publisher at the time despite […]

Batman Returns (Snes)

Love them or hate them, licensed videogames are a permanent part of the industry.  Anyone can see the attraction of a popular license: a built in fan base that will (hopefully) carry over to the videogame landscape and give its publisher massive amounts of money.  The majority of the time this never works as planned, […]


Once upon a time the house that Harvest Moon built used to make some of the most awesome action games known to man.  That factoid is probably blowing the minds of a good lot of you reading this but it’s true.  Natsume during the NES era were home to some incredible games that gave the […]

Legendary Axe

Whenever a new system launches everyone looks for that one title.  The one that justifies whatever price you have to pay just to experience it.  In the past these would usually be packed in with the system, like Sonic the Hedgehog or Super Mario Brothers.  For the Turbographx-16 that game was Legendary Axe. Legendary Axe […]

Ikari Warriors II

You know I really hate this game.  Mind you I never thought highly of the first game either but I know stink when I smell it. And this game stinks.  Back in the day when getting new games was not exactly a weekly occurrence we wound up with this piece of crap.  By that point […]

Neugier/The Journey Home

I remember wanting to play the Journey Home so bad but fate decided it was not meant to be.  An interesting bit of history behind this game.  Once scheduled for release in the US it was cancelled when Sega bought out its publisher, Renovation.  Man what a dick move.  There were a few reviews of […]

Mike Tyson’s Punchout!

The boxing game even non fans of the sport like.  That describes Mike Tyson’s Punchout! aptly well.  The game’s reputation has transcended even the video game industry, largely thanks to Mike Tyson’s endorsement and later shenanigans.  However, at the heart of it all lays an excellent take on video boxing. Developed by Nintendo in Japan […]

C: the Contra Adventure

Sometimes I’m left speechless.  As bad as Legacy of War turned out you’d think Konami would have gone in a completely different direction to get away from that abomination.  But less than 2 years later we have another terrible Contra game that has many of the same flaws as the original. C: the Contra Adventure […]

Contra Legacy of War

Oh lord where do I even begin.  I don’t go into a game expecting to absolutely detest its existence but sometimes its unavoidable.  This is one of those cases.  I just don’t understand how a developer can create such a flawed experience that shows its cracks right from the start, let alone a publisher of […]

Contra Hard Corps

This should have been the ultimate Contra experience.  In many ways it still is.  But god damn it, if it were not for one stupid change this would undoubtedly be the greatest Contra ever.  Contra Hard Corps lives up to that name in more ways than one, some good, some bad. Contra: Hard Corps was […]

Contra Force

I hope all of you appreciate this.  It’s not just any day that a game legitimately makes me mad just by being terrible.  But this is Contra man!  I love this series and have many fond memories of playing each installment for weeks long after I had finished them because the gameplay is so good.  […]

Contra III – the Alien Wars

A Hollywood blockbuster in video game form.  That’s the simplest way to describe Contra III.  Take everything from summer action movies, the explosions, the booming soundtrack, and distill it down to its essence and you have the Alien Wars.  By this point the Contra series had achieved iconic status so the game was highly anticipated, […]

Super C

When I first played Super C I didn’t think much of it.  Maybe it was due to my extremely limited amount of time with it or I just didn’t feel like playing a Contra game at the time.  My first real sit down with it came in Christmas of 1991when my cousins received it as […]

Contra Week

For my second feature I’ll be examining the Contra series.  Once the very definition of action games the series would eventually fade into obscurity for a number of years before seeing a resurgence with its PS2 installment.  From the highs to the lows you’ll see a franchise born then die in a fire.  How could […]


In the 80s there weren’t really any dedicated videogame stores like GameStop or Electronic Boutique.  You went to your local Sears, K-Mart, or if you were really lucky, Toys R Us for the latest games.  Since they didn’t know any better, they were very lax when it came to returns.  You didn’t even need a […]

Blaster Master

  My summer of 1994 was mostly dedicated to two games: Battletoads and this gem here, Blaster Master.  Oddly enough, I had read the Worlds of Power (remember those books?) adaptation before playing the game itself which might have slightly clouded my perception of the game beforehand.  Those preconceived notions would quickly disappear however as […]

Shadow Dancer

After the release of Revenge of Shinobi the franchise saw new life and momentum behind it.  When Sega announced a sequel, I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that expectations were high.  ROS had established itself as the ninja game, so it’s a bit of a disappointment that its sequel was a retuned port […]


It’s funny, some franchises that got their start in the arcade and NES are practically legendary, and then there are others that seemed to fall just short of the mark.  Rygar is one of those games, a game that is fondly remembered but didn’t quite reach the same plateau as your Mega Mans, Castlevanias, etc. […]

Bionic Commando

You can’t jump. It’s a weird way to start but I can guarantee nearly everyone fortunate enough to play this back then had the same thought. This was platform gaming during its rise to power man! Not having the ability to jump in a platformer back then was like Mario without pipes (wait a second, […]

Rapid Reload

At what point does a clone cross the line? While the industry is more or less built on the back of clones, it’s a shame when a game very callously follows in the footsteps of another.  But at the same time, clones are great in that they give you a taste of the same gameplay […]

Ghouls n Ghosts

For those of us that love arcade games the early years of the Sega Genesis life were practically a dream come true.   The holy grail in those days was the arcade perfect port, or at least as close as possible to recreate the arcade feel at home.  The NES and Master System saw their share […]

Strider (NES)

Strider.  Most people immediately conjure up images of the arcade game from the late 80s or even the character’s more recent appearances in the Marvel vs. Capcom series.  But for me, my mind drifts back to the little known NES game, which funnily was not released in Japan although developed there.  I wasn’t even aware […]

Legend of the Mystical Ninja

It’s not very often that a company will take a chance on a game as far out as this.  The only way I can describe it is just so very….Japanese.  From the setting, the enemies, the locations, everything is 100% raw Japanese.  And pure awesome. Legend of the Mystical Ninja was released for the SNES […]

Revenge of Shinobi

Early in the Sega Genesis’ life the system was dominated by arcade ports.  The reasons for this are numerous of course, but not as overt as you would think.  Sega has always had a strong arcade heritage which continues even today.  With the release of the Genesis they now had a home console powerful enough […]

Codename: Viper

Back in the 80’s clones of popular games were a dime a dozen.  Well I guess you could say that still persists even to this day.  Super Mario Brothers was revolutionary, so naturally everyone proceeded to follow in its footsteps.  Of course they didn’t analyze why it was so revolutionary, they simply figured if they […]

Star Fox

We live in an era right now where, through the wonders of modern gaming technology, we can create any possible game world you can imagine in 3d.  From fantasy to hard sci-fi if you can picture it you can create it, and quite beautifully I might add.  But things weren’t always like this.  There was […]

Wings of Wor

Much like today in the 16-bit era there was a deluge of shooters. But not the kind of shooters you’re thinking of. No, I’m speaking of shoot em ups, or the more popular phrase shmups. You couldn’t turn your head without bumping into a shooter, they were everywhere.  Every console, arcade, and computer had em, […]

Mega Man 8

Unlike the 16-bit generation Capcom didn’t wait very long to start their Mega Man releases when the 5th generation came along.  Both Mega Man and the X series would see new releases in the US in 1997.  Mega Man 8 was released in the beginning of 1997 for both the Saturn and the Playstation to […]

Mega Man 7

Just as it took years for the Mega Man X series to get its start on the SNES, the continuation of the original series did not come until the tail end of the SNES lifespan in the US.  Mega Man 7 was released in 1995 and unlike before is the only game in the main […]

Mega Man 6

The final installment in the series for NES, Mega Man 6 oddly enough was released well after everyone else had moved on from publishing 8-bit games.  This included Capcom who opted not to release the game themselves and instead publishing duties fell to Nintendo of America, who released the game in the beginning of 1994 […]

Mega Man 5

After the backlash against Mega Man 4 Capcom went back to the drawing board and released the follow up in the same year.  Mega Man 5 was released in December 1992 for all territories except Europe.  A bold move, as the 16-bit systems were hitting their stride and most other franchises had moved on.  It […]

Mega Man 4

Ah Mega Man 4. This is truly the love it or hate game in the series. For various reasons opinions on this one are mixed. Some felt that four games on one platform is a bit too much (and they would have further cause to complain when two more sequels would follow) while others hate […]

Mega Man 3

Coming off the momentum gained from Mega Man 2 it would have been easy for Capcom to rest on their laurels and churn out an easy sequel.  Mega Man 2 has achieved legendary status and rightfully so.  But in creating part 3 they introduced  a host of improvements on the series formula, many that would […]

Mega Man 2

The story goes that the original Mega Man was not a huge success.  Looking at that box art I think we can all agree that it isn’t very shocking.  However the team believed in the character and wanted to fully explore the world that they had created and were given the green light to work […]

Mega Man

It shouldn’t have happened.  He shouldn’t have been popular.  Oh I don’t mean because the game sucks, far from it.  I’m talking about the giant elephant in the room that comes up whenever the first Mega Man game is brought up.  Here take a look: I’ve been looking at this box art for over 20 […]

This week

I’m proud to present the first in a series of themed weeks I plan on doing.  This week is Mega Man week!  Join me as I look at the first 8 installments in the original Mega Man series.  First up will naturally be the one that started it all, Mega Man.

Sunset Riders (SNES)

Once upon a time the arcade played host to a large variety of games.  From shooters to platform games, you could find them in the arcade, and with the superior technology of the arcade machines you were also treated to a visual and aural spectacle.  But as the age of the fighting game began, games […]

Metal Storm

Now here’s an oldie I bet very few have heard about let alone played.  I first became aware of Metal Storm around 1994 or so.  I had been big into collecting video game magazines, especially old ones, and my local library had a nice collection of old Nintendo Power issues.  I checked out Issue #22 […]

Gunstar Heroes

Look at those screenshots.  You’re looking at them and probably wondering what the hell is going on?  This my friends is Gunstar Heroes in a nutshell.  A balls to the wall action game that makes no apology for the sheer amount of chaos it thrown in your wake because it knows you have the tools […]

This week

Coming up this week are Gunstar Heroes, Sunset Riders, and Metal Storm.  One is a 16-bit classic, one is an awesome arcade game that had a pretty damn good home port, and the other is an under appreciated gem that didn’t get the attention it deserved.

The story so far…….

So its been about 2 weeks and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made so far.  But all of it means nothing without you, the fans that are reading this site.  I want to say thank you for coming and I’m going to continue to do my best to update frequently and entertain you while […]

Actraiser 2

For its time the original Actraiser was phenomenal.  As a near launch title there wasn’t much to compare it to and the game was so different from everything else that its flaws were easy to overlook.  As time passed and better action games were released the side scrolling stages just did not hold up anymore.  […]


What we have here is a perfect example of the launch effect. Many companies make it a point to have a game ready for the launch of a new system, sometimes stooping as low as porting an old game just to have something there. The theory is that the early adopters are the hardcore who […]

Rocket Knight Adventures

The great mascot platformer rush of the early 90s was really a sight to behold.  Mario and Sonic were king of the roost, and still are (well one of them is) and like sharks that smell blood in the water every publisher wanted in.  This led to a really horrible glut of generic platformers starring […]

The Battle of Olympus

    I’ve always been a sucker for Greek mythology.  Whenever the topic came up in history class it was my favorite time of the day.  Naturally it makes for excellent video game source material and as such there have been a wide range of spins on the subject.  From the God of War series […]


Buying a licensed video game nowadays is like playing Russian Roulette in that more often than not you’ll end up with a giant turd.  But once upon a time that wasn’t the case!  The likes of Capcom and Konami spun video game gold out of some of the most unlikely licenses, especially Disney.  You could […]

Low G Man

Those of us who grew up in the 80s are familiar with using the back of the box to determine if a game is worth buying or not.  Gaming magazines weren’t on most of our radars until the 90s or so, so to take their place all we had to go on were either word […]

Hello world!

Welcome to Retro Game Age, your soon to be home for retro game discussion.  Join me on a trip down memory lane as I revisit classic and not so classic games and share my thoughts.  Who knows, you might discover a em you’ve never heard of or might look at certain games differently.  Feel free […]