Dragon Spirit

Developer: Namco     Publisher NEC     Released: November 1989     Genre: Shooter Dragon’s Spirit is one of the earliest arcade games I ever played which is partly why I’m so fond of it.  The game is also good to boot so it isn’t a case of rose tinted glasses.  I enjoyed many a NES port of arcade classics […]

Operation Wolf

Developer: Taito     Publisher:Taito     Released: 1989     Genre: Action I’ve never been the biggest fan of light gun games. I was not enamored with Duck Hunt when the NES launched and outside of Gum Shoe found the NES Zapper useless.  I respected light gun games in the arcade but sure as hell didn’t spend my money on […]

Dungeon Explorer

Developer: Atlus     Publisher: NEC     Released: September 1989    Genre: Action RPG The Turbo Grafx-16 released right when my love affair with RPGs began.  Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, and Phantasy Star all came out within the same time frame and I was hooked and looked for more. Sadly the Turbo Grafx was not the place to look […]

China Warrior

Developer: Hudson     Publisher: NEC    Released: October 1989     Genre: Beat ’em up China Warrior is a piss poor game and one of the worst in the Turbo Grafx-16 library.  But you would not know that based on its marketing. When the system was first brought overseas NEC went hard in their marketing. China Warrior was compared […]


Developer: Capcom     Publisher: Capcom     Released: 1989     Genre: Action RPG Capcom was one of the most prolific NES developers.  Next to Konami, Sunsoft and Nintendo they also probably have the highest hit ratio in terms of their releases.  And while they tackled licenses of all stripes they mostly shied away from movie arena.  Which is […]

Star Soldier 001

Star Soldier

Developer: Hudson Soft     Publisher: Taxan     Released: 1989     Genre: Shooter The Star Soldier series was once an institution in Japan, with yearly installments to complement their shooting caravan competition.  The fact that most of the games were good/bordering on fantastic also helped.  But in the West it went largely unnoticed. It is kind […]

Hydlide 001


Developer: T & E Soft     Publisher: FCI     Released: June 1989     Genre: Action RPG Hydlide is one of the worst games of all time; I’m going to put that out there now.  Everyone who has played it knows this.  But it is interesting to examine just how and why the game fails so hard.  It says […]

Guerilla War

Developer: SNK     Publisher: SNK     Released:1989     Genre: Action SNK had a strange fascination with war games in the 80s.  From Ikari Warriors to P.O.W. and Iron Tank the theme was pretty consistent.  More than likely they were simply leveraging their assets from one game to the next but still.  But even considering that pedigree Guerilla […]


Developer: Pack-In-Video     Publisher: Activision     Released: 1989     Genre: Action We make fun of Acclaim and LJN for their history of terrible licensed games because they deserve it.  But in my opinion Activision deserves their share of derision.  From the Three Stooges to Thunderbirds, Activision’s licensed games were just as bad.  To some extent once could even […]


How?  How do you mess up Altered Beast?  Somehow they found a way with the PC Engine version.  By now everyone agrees that Altered Beast was not a good game.  The best thing Sega ever did with it was pack it in with the Genesis.  But while it is an average brawler it was at […]