Here we go then, we’re on another journey through the decades. This time we’re looking at games and I can’t wait to get going. This was the decade I really started getting my teeth into gaming so let’s go on a nostalgia trip.
22. Mad Dog McCree-Arcade
A light gun arcade game using laser disc technology and live action actors in a cheesy b movie western. I remember it being on the first episode of Gamesmaster and it blew my mind that you could use a light gun and real actors would react to the gunfire. I’d never seen anything like it. Look it’s not a great game but it’s a fun wee slice of nonsense that always attracted people to it in the arcade.
21. Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker-Arcade
I love old games that get artistic licensees and just go crazy with them. Here we have a kind of isometric beat em up/ shooter in which MJ dances and shoots magic at bad guys and hilariously at some points turns into a giant robot and goes mental. It’s utterly bizarre and a brilliant example of someone taking a license and just throwing it on top of any old thing.
I remember renting this as a kid and having absolutely no idea what to do.It looked like a standard side scrolling hack em up but that was only part of it. It has town building elements too as you kind of play god and have to save the city through building defenses etc. I hated it because I was so confused. I tried again much later in the early days of emulation and finally my brain was a little more formed (I stress “a little”) and I got it.
19. Chip N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers-NES
The NES had a good track record of making entertaining Disney games usually made by Capcom and Chip N’ Dale is one of them. Based on the entertaining tv show with the cracking theme tune. It’s the standard scrolling platformer that was all the rage. It’s polished, tight and plays very well.
A scrolling shooter based on the movie in which you choose Ripley or Hicks and blast your way through all sorts of aliens, some of which were designed for the game. It was upstaged by the Allen vs Predator arcade game a couple of years later but it’s a fun game to play particularly with a friend helping.
17.Gremlins 2: The New Batch-NES
I’m going to do a list of movie games at some point and this will be on it as it’s a surprisingly great platformer from Sunsoft based on the superb sequel to the 1984 classic.Movie games have a reputation for being rushed, style over substance and generally terrible which isn’t entirely unfair as there is plenty of that going on but there are also a number of really good adaptations. Gremlins 2 is one of them.
A graphic adventure game from Lucasarts, the masters of the genre. If you remember talking to the pirates early in The Secret Of Monkey Island then you’ll remember them plugging this game and it’s creator Brian Moriarty in an amusing conversation. It’s a fantasy adventure that is a little easier than most but gets by on it’s story and whimsy.
15. The Punisher-NES
Uh oh, not only is this a licensed game but it’s a licensed game made by the dreaded rainbow of death….LJN!. Well in many cases the hatred is justified, LJN have made some awful, unforgivable licensed games but I had a lot of fun with this one. I probably gave it a little more leeway because I like the character but it’s simple rail shooter in which grumpy Frank Castle lays waste to the scum of the streets.
14. A Nightmare On Elm Street-NES
Oh look it’s the rainbow of death again. Jeez I’ve put several games on this list that are considered to be awful. Oh well it’s all about opinions and in this case I enjoyed the hell out of this horror platformer based on a movie series I love. It’s hard, sometimes unfair but with determination and pattern recognition you can get there.
13. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:Fall Of The Foot Clan-Game Boy
Anything with TMNT on it and I was all about it….still am who am I kidding?. This game boy beat em up is as simple as it gets which is to be expected on a limited portable console but it does well with it’s limitation. People my age were happy enough with repetitive gameplay because it’s what we knew…..walk right and beat things up. Add in the fact that you’re playing as the turtles and I’m sold
12. Mega Man 3
I’m no Mega Man expert and I’m not very good at them either but I enjoy playing them and find them a fun challenge. It has a massive following of obsessive fandom which is cool but I just find it a pretty good series that I dip in and out of. It introduces Mega Man’s wee robot dog pal Rush and has bosses like Shadow Man, Needle Man, Hard Man (based on me for my square go wins) and more.
11 Dr Mario-NES
In which Mario becomes a representative of the American health system, throwing hundreds and thousands of pills at people who have a common cold!. It’s basically a take on Tetris with falling blocks (pills in this case) that you match up by colour. It’s one of those games that can sink hours of your time without you even knowing it.
10.Final Fantasy 3-FAMICOM
The third in the ludicrously successful fantasy rpg series was the first to introduce the job system in which characters could have specific abilities catering to their job such as thief and dragoon. It’s the first in the series to have a really fleshed out plot as well with characters acting as more than just avatars. Obviously due to it’s age it’s pretty primitive in terms of it’s rpg elements but that’s to be expected.
Another Capcom arcade classic, they really did have a knack of smashing it during the arcade era. This is a top down run and gun with an 80s action movie aesthetic starring beefy men shooting the crap out of everything in sight. It’s a sequel to the 1985 arcade game Commando.
A relaxing but challenging flight simulator in which you get a pilot’s license and take on a series of challenges like landing a plane, hang gliding, sky diving and more. This list only contains a couple of snes games because it was still very early in it’s life . In fact it was only out in Japan where it was known as the super famicom.
A super fast, futuristic racing game that was way above anything else in the genre for home consoles at the time. It even has a story of billionaires creating a hyper dangerous hovercar racing sport and you can pick between four characters each with their own car and story. It would go on to become a beloved franchise.
6. Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe-Amiga
An Amiga classic from the Bitmap Brothers that sees you playing a futuristic cyberpunk sport filled with violent play in a mix of basketball and hockey. Everyone with an Amiga around here had this and played it….a lot.
5. Castle Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse-Mega Drive
A wonderful platformer from the house of the mouse and one that seemingly everyone I knew with a megadrive had. Colourful, fun, tight gameplay and a beautiful art style makes for a hugely enjoyable game. An early mega drive game and one that would go on to be considered very highly even to this day.
4. Smash TV-Arcade
A violent, tongue in cheek dual stick shooter that takes heavy influence from Stephen King’s The Running Man. It also quotes pop culture, most notably Robocop with the “I’d buy that for a dollar” line. You battles waves upon waves of enemies in a sick and brutal tv game show preceded over by a maniacal host.
3. Super Mario Bros. 3-NES
I remember whn my next door neighbour and pal got this game and invited me round to play we were blown away by everything this classic had to offer. The colour, the imagination, the Shigeru Miyamoto magic he sprinkled over the world we got lost in, the perfect, challenging platforming gameplay made for an incredible experience.
2. The Secret Of Monkey Island-PC
I would imagine that this would have topped many lists had it been released on a different year. A masterful, hilarious, fun and trailblazing point and click adventure with a sense of humour that would come to define Lucasarts games. The bumbling Guybrush Threepwood sets off on an adventure with dreams of becoming a pirate and a hero. I played through it again recently….it’s still brilliant.
1 Super Mario World-Snes
It had to be!. When the first family on our street to get a snes along with this game, me and all my friends on the street would hover around outside waiting to be invited in to play it we were so desperate to see this new console with all it’s technical upgrades from what we were used to. To go from the nes….or in my house the SPECTRUM! to the snes was just a ridiculous jump in quality. It still holds up today with beautiful colours, awesome world design, the introduction of the adorable Yoshi, new power up and incredible visuals. It’s an amazing game that still has that pick up and play quality to it.
…and so we start our lists of video games. Hope you enjoyed this one and no doubt it brought back some memories. Keep looking i for the next list as we run through the 90s which was a fantastic decade for gaming. Catch me @swing_kinker cheers.