Sonic the Hedgehog: Chaos, known as ‘Sonic and Tails’ in Japan, is one of the final 8bit incarnations of everyone’s favorite hyperactive blue hedgehog, and the first 8bit appearance of his unassuming fox-that-flies-for-some-reason, Tails. Released in late 1993 for both the Sega Master System and the Game Gear, Sonic the Hedgehog: Chaos (or just ‘Sonic Chaos’ as it is normally called) was met with positive, yet unenthusiastic, reviews. Kind of like a hungover father, half asleep at his daughter’s ballet recital and giving her a thumbs up with one hand while using his other to cover up a yawn. Sonic Chaos is one of the easiest games I have ever played, ever.… Read the rest

Dragon Quest, or Dragon Warrior as it was known outside of Japan, is the first in a series of role playing games that really need no introduction. The game launched a legitimate phenomenon in Japan which continues on to this day. The game’s artwork being penned by Dragonball creator Akira Toriyama is the icing on the cake. But while this is all well and good, I recently realized that I have never actually played the very first instalment of the series. Partly due to not having a NES as a child (long live the Sega Master System). As I grew up and started getting my grubby hands on new systems, and even discovered the world of emulation, I still never got around to playing the game which started the Dragon Quest series.… Read the rest

Fist of the North Star is a legendary manga series which ran for several years during the mid-80’s in Japan. Naturally it spawned an anime series, a (terrible) live action film and, of course, a string of tie-in video games. The Famicon version isn’t the very first video game incarnation of the series, but it is as good a place to start as any. For those who are not familiar with the original manga series, it revolves around Kenshiro, a wandering ass-kicker who wanders around a post-apocalyptic wasteland kicking the asses of all he feels deserve and ass kicking. His signature move is the ‘Holy Fist of the North Star’ which consists of Ken attacking his opponent with a flurry of well-placed blows to the abdomen which results in a delayed explosion of the body.… Read the rest

James Bond : The Duel was released on the Sega Genesis and its 8bit relative, the Master System in 1993 by Domark, which no longer exists as a game creator. Domark actually produced a long list of games before being swallowed by Edios software, with Klax and Desert Strike being among their more notable releases. They also produced video game adaptations of A View to a Kill, 007: License to Kill, The Spy who Loved Me and The Living Daylights, so it’s probably safe to say that they know their shit when it comes to James Bond video games. The game stars Timothy Dalton in his last ever role as 007.… Read the rest

Most people who grew up with a gaming console know of the Ninja Gaiden franchise. It started life as a beat em’ up arcade game which was later ported to a number of systems, most notably the Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES port changed it from a beat em’ up to a fantastically fast-paced but damn-near impossible action platformer which was very well received. There were three Ninja Gaiden games for the NES which are commonly called the “Ninja Gaiden Trilogy”, mostly due to the fact that unlike a many other action platformers of its time, the Ninja Gaiden games told a coherent and immersive story (even if the stories of all three games aren’t exactly related).… Read the rest

The first Goonies game for the Japanese Nintendo Entertainment System, simply titled Goonies, was a simple yet playable affair. It didn’t break any ground in the world of 8bit platforming action, but wasn’t a slap in the face to the genre either. For whatever reason it never saw a North American release, which is odd considering the success of the film. A little while after the release of the first Goonies game, Goonies 2 hit the shelves in Japan for the NES (or Famicon as purists like to point out) and was later released in North America, also under the title Goonies 2.… Read the rest

What a mouthful. The title translates roughly to something like “Legend of the Intergalactic Police Women Sapphire”. I really don’t know what that ‘sapphire’ is doing there, but who really gives a shit? I don’t and neither should you. The game was produced by Hudson and released for the PC Engine in 1995. It is a top-down 2d vertical shooter featuring four playable characters who, like the name of the game would suggest, are police women. Despite them all looking about 14 years old, they have no problem kicking some serious ass in their space crafts. The game has you traveling through time and each level takes place in a different point in history (and the future, of course).… Read the rest

Prehistorik and Prehistorik 2 are a pair of platform games released in 1991 and 1993 (respectively) for various computer systems, including MS-DOS and Amiga. They were developed by the now defunct Titus Software. The last game Titus Software put out was Xena: Warrior Princess in 2001, so it’s safe to say that they are dead and buried. While they did give us such classics The Blues Brothers, Fire and Forget II and Carmageddon, they are also the group responsible for Superman 64. I’m surprised they didn’t go out of business and face a lynch mob after that spectacular fuck-up of a game.… Read the rest

Ungra Walker is a rogue-like dungeon crawler from game studio Success and was released in 2002 for the Sony Playstation. To the best of my knowledge it was Japan-only and never saw a translation nor a release overseas. The title seems a bit odd, but I’m pretty sure it’s a bastardization of “Underground Walker,” as in someone who walks under ground, which is actually pretty fitting for a dungeon crawler like this. The game starts you off picking a name, a gender and a class. You are able to play as a warrior, a thief, a wizard or a priest. You can change the color of your characters outfit as well, but it’s completely arbitrary.… Read the rest

Cloud Master was designed by Taito, published by Hot-B in 1988 and was later ported to both the Sega Master System, the Nintendo Entertainment System and a couple of other systems. Unlike many other ports that appeared on both the NES and the SMS, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of difference between the two versions. This game is hard as all sweet-fuck. There, I said it. The difficulty of this game is legendary. Well maybe not legendary, but it is hard enough to make me want to put my fist through my TV screen. The thing about Cloud Master is that it’s doesn’t seem very difficult.… Read the rest