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Wizards & Warriors

I remember thinking pretty highly of Wizards & Warriors back in the day.  I’ll admit some of my fondness for the game stems from its Worlds of Power novelization.  This cheesy novel starred a boy named Ma...

Rygar

I’m sure like myself the NES version of Rygar was the first exposure to the series for many.  Like Strider Rygar switched genres, becoming an expansive adventure rather than a straight action game.  It was qu...

The Magic of Scheherazade

I never knew what to make of Culture Brain.  Where Capcom and Konami had signature brands everyone associated them with as well as arcade ports Culture Brain were just plain weird.  Many of their titles added v...

Jackal

Jackal was a game that I had to warm up to.  By the time Jackal came out I was familiar with the name Konami and knew to expect quality.  But it also came at a time when I became jaded with coop, and unfortunat...

Gokujou Parodius

As much as I love Street Fighter I do hate what it inadvertently caused.  In the 80s and early 90s arcades were home to a large variety of games in every genre.  That variety dried up as fighting games took ove...

Ranma ½: Hard Battle

As bad as licensed games have been in the US in Japan they were even worse if you can believe it.  With so much anime airing on TV even to this day there are legions of bad games released almost every week.  Mo...

Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts

When I step back and analyze why I like Dark Souls so much I think it stems from my love of the Ghouls ‘N Ghosts series.  Both series are incredibly punishing but when you adjust to their particular mechanics are ...

Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose

I really miss Tiny Toons.  Today’s generation really missed out on a brilliant reinvention of the classic Looney Toons characters and their humor.  The characters themselves were more than just stand-ins for ...

Genesis

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Disney’s Aladdin

It really is incredible just how much Aladdin dominated 1992.  The movie is one Disney’s greatest achievements and the subsequent video games were all fantastic.  The Genesis version of Aladdin garnered the m...
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Quackshot starring Donald Duck

Looking back its kind of surprising how overlooked Sega’s handling of the Disney is.  While Capcom and Virgin churned out unambitious platformers Sega were not afraid to take risks.  While Castle of Illusion ...

Undead Line

I really liked Twinkle Tale, a little known Genesis import that suffered from a low print run.  This brilliant game housed excellent art direction and gameplay but somehow never left Japan.  So when I learned o...

Crack Down

Over the years what I’ve come to appreciate most about the Genesis library is its large range of arcade ports.  More specifically Sega arcade ports.  I don’t think most of us truly understand just how deep ...

Turbo Grafx-16

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Cyber Cross

The Turbo Grafx-16 library was woefully inadequate in many genres.  It had its share of platformers and my god did It have shooters.  But side scrolling beat ‘em ups were a rarity, at least in the US.  T...

Bonk’s Revenge

Bonk’s Adventure was a good first step in establishing a new franchise.  It was original, had good gameplay, and certainly looked nice for the time.  NEC knew this as it was one of the few games to receive an...

Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams

Growing up there were certain games that had attained mythical status due to their rarity.  Most of these games such as Radiant Silvergun, Psychic Killer Taromaru, and Harmful Park are imports but the occasional dom...

Sylphia

Any true shooter fan knows the name Compile.  They were literally the masters of the genre, creating many beloved classics.  But as with any company there are always bound to be a few games that slip through th...

Saturn

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Panzer Dragoon

Sega’s surprise launch of the Saturn in May of 1995 was disastrous for a number of reasons.  Retailers were not prepared, gamers certainly weren’t, and more importantly third party titles were not ready in time....
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Nekketsu Oyako

Any serious fan of shooters during the 16-bit era should be familiar with the name Technosoft.  These underrated developers created some of the finest gems during that period.  Thunder Force is their most popul...
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Contra: Legacy of War

Coming off the back of Hard Corps Contra enjoyed a new wave of popularity and quality.  That game was one of the best action games of that era and raised the bar for its genre.  Going into the 32-bit era expect...

Elevator Action Returns

To get the most out of the Sega Saturn you had to be a fan of import gaming.  There were plenty of great releases but the vast majority of the truly great games were left in Japan, where the system was more successf...

PlayStation

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Harmful Park

By the mid-90s the shooter genre had a problem: there were too many!  Whether it was on consoles or especially in the arcade no other genre suffered from a glut of product other than fighting games.  It wasn’...

Castlevania Chronicles

I remember the final years of the PlayStation One as being particularly dreadful.  Once Sony stopped giving a damn the flood gates opened with legions of budget titles flooding store shelves.  We were subjected...
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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the greatest games of all time.  Let’s get that out the way right now.  In 1997 when everyone was creating 3d games, whether they had the skill or not, Konami took...

Parasite Eve

There was a lot of anticipation for Square’s next releases after Final Fantasy VII.  Saga Frontier was interesting but like most of Akitoshi Kawazu’s games was impenetrable to the masses.  The fall of 1998 ...

Nintendo 64

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Extreme-G

With the advent of home console 3d the racing genre literally exploded in the late 90s.  It isn’t like today where we are lucky to get a few sim racers and maybe an arcade racer a year.  Racing games run the ...
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Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness

Castlevania 64 was a game with its heart in the right place.  As every other series made the move to 3d it was inevitable.  And as a first attempt Konami actually did a decent job with the game.  Would I r...

Castlevania 64

It had to happen.  Castlevania finally went 3d in 1999 on the Nintendo 64.  Looking back Symphony of the Night is a bit of an anomaly.  At a time where every major series went 2d Konami turned their noses ...

Diddy Kong Racing

Mario Kart 64 was one of the biggest releases of 1997.  As the long awaited sequel to the original SNES game the move to 3d did wonders for its track design.  As great as it was it more fondly remembered for it...

Dreamcast

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Zombie Revenge

The 16-bit era was a gold mine for quality beat em ups.  From arcade greats like Final Fight to home console exclusives such as Streets of Rage, if you liked fighting in the streets you were well served.  The g...

Cannon Spike

By the late 90s arcades had all but disappeared in my area. While I was content playing console games at the time I did lament their absence. There was nothing like hitting the arcade and seeing a game years more advance...

Swords of Destiny

Back in 2005 SCEA blocked Konami’s Oz from a US release.  This was a game I was heavily looking forward to which absolutely sucked.  There were many reasons bandied about, the most common being less competiti...

James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire

Electronic Arts first forays into the Bond license were not all that well received.  Tomorrow Never Dies and the PS One version of the World is Not Enough were simply not good games.  So you can imagine expecta...
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Castlevania: Curse of Darkness

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence went a long way towards redeeming the series after two failed N64 outings.  It established a clear beginning for the rivalry between the Belmont clan and Dracula and laid the groundw...

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

Castlevania was headed down a dark path.  After the sublime Symphony of the Night fans were greeted with two flawed N64 adventures.  There were good ideas buried in those games but they were surrounded by slopp...

Evergrace

Back in the day there were usually large gaps between console releases in each region. Before gaming publications and the internet it didn’t matter as you would never know. But it sucked once you could go online and re...

Neo Contra

Contra saw some dark days but Konami was able to right the ship with Contra: Shattered Soldier.  Although it was incredibly difficult it had everything you could have wanted in a next generation action game: stylish...

GameCube

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James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire

Electronic Arts first forays into the Bond license were not all that well received.  Tomorrow Never Dies and the PS One version of the World is Not Enough were simply not good games.  So you can imagine expecta...

Wave Race: Blue Storm

In terms of sheer number of hours I have probably spent more time playing Wave Race 64 than the vast majority of games in my thirty seven years. Of course a large part of that was due to the anemic N64 release schedule. ...

Features

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Spotlight: Castlevania

Castlevania has been one of my favorite series in gaming for as long as I can remember.  Always difficult and yet so satisfying their measured pace and dark theme stood out among the early NES library.  The ser...

SNES Classic announced, 09/29, $80.00, 21 games including Star Fox...

Gaming’s worst kept secret! We all knew it was just a matter of time after the wild success of the NES Classic last year.  There’s been retailer talk and such for the last few months as well.  But n...

Spotlight: Contra

Its time once again to shine the spotlight on another beloved series.  For many of us Contra was the action series of the 80s and 90s.  What started out as a decent arcade game became a beloved classic on the N...

Spotlight: Valis

The Valis series were some of the first action games I played on the Genesis.  For many old school gamers it was their first introduction to publisher Renovation, who brought many a hidden gem to the US.  The s...