Cadash is a side-scrolling RPG released in 1991 for the Turbo Grafix and in 1992 for the Sega Genesis. It’s a console port of an arcade game of the same name which was released by Taito in 1989. It was also re-released in 2005 for the Playstation 2 as part of the Taito Legends compilation. Cadash has a high fantasy setting and the player is able to choose between a warrior and a wizard. The arcade version included a priestess and a Ninja as playable characters, because nothing screams medieval fantasy like a Ninja. On starting the game I was surprised at just how massive the character sprites are.… Read the rest

Arkista’s Ring is a top-down action RPG released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990 by Sammy of America. Despite Sammy of America being a subsidiary of a Japanese company, Arkista’s Ring was only ever released in North America. The game centres around a green haired elf named Christine as she searches the land for Arkista’s Ring which was taken by the evil Shogun (again, never released in Japan) and is needed to return light to the land of the elves. Arkista’s Ring has a top-down view similar to The Legend of Zelda. While both games have a similar style of game play, Arkista’s Ring fells a bit more … ‘tight’.… Read the rest

Jackie Chan’s Action Kung Fu, or just ‘Jackie Chan’ as my Japanese version reads, is a side-scrolling platformer published by Hudson Soft in 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and it also made an appearance on the Turbo Graphix 16. It was developed by Now Production Co., a game development studio that started out in 1986 and, surprisingly, is still around. A little digging revealed that these were the same glorious bastards behind Adventure Island and Splatterhouse. They even worked on a couple of Sonic titles. It doesn’t seem like they are all that busy these days, but I’m impressed both by the company’s history and resilience.… Read the rest

Alex Kidd in Miracle World was developed and published by Sega before being released in 1986 on the Sega Master System. It would eventually prove to be the defining game of the Master System, until and certain blue hedgehog with a disregard for speed limits would hit the scene much later in the 90s. When the Master System 2 was released, Alex Kidd in Miracle world was actually built into the console, with no cartridge needed to play the game. Alex was designed by Reiko Kodama, who would later work on such titles as Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star, Shinobi and a host of other notable titles.… Read the rest

Blackthorne is a platform based shoot-em-up published by Blizzard Entertainment for the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis and PC. Blizzard actually has a long history of producing innovative and original games, even if all they do now is sell online multiplayer crack to anyone willing to cough up enough dough. It was originally released in 1994, but was re-released for the Game Boy Advance in 2002. It was then re-re-released by Blizzard on battle.net as a free download. Blackthorne looks fantastic. The colors are vivid, the character animations are fan-fucking-tastic and the cut scenes between levels are that 1980s-saturday-morning-cartoon kind of awesome.… Read the rest

Future Cop LAPD was published by Electronic Arts (before they turned into the glorified crap factory they are today) and was released in 1998 for the Sony Playstation. Future Cop puts the player in the giant metallic shoes of an X1 Alpha; a sophisticated anti-crime vehicle murder factory on legs. The X1 Alpha is a run-of-the-mill combat mecha which also has the ability to transform into a fast, deadly and damn near uncontrollable hover-craft. The game and its plot revolves around a crime wave taking place in Los Angeles. It seems that in the year 2098, conventional crime fighting techniques have been replaced with a more efficient, “kill anything that moves” approach.… Read the rest

Judge Dredd was developed by Probe Software, published by Acclaim and released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Game Gear and Game Boy. It was based on the film of the same name which in turn was based on the long running 2000AD series of comic books which featured Judge Dredd as its flag ship character. I love the comics, I actually quite liked the movie and I really enjoyed this game. I have to admit that I had no expectations of this game when I tried it out for the first time. If anything I was ready for the worst.… Read the rest

Dragon Crystal is a rogue-like rpg for the Sega Master System. Released in 1992 on the Sega Master System and Game Gear, it would go on to gain somewhat of a cult following and was eventually released on the 3DS virtual console in 2012. It was released to rave reviews back in the early 90s and currently holds a 4.5 out of 5 star user rating rating in the 3DSs’ Virtual Console. So it’s basically been getting top reviews for over 20 years. Nice. The game is a rogue-like. This means that it is based on the core principal of the game Rogue and it’s close cousin Net Hack.… Read the rest

Wonder Boy III : The Dragon’s Trap is the third Wonder Boy game on the Sega Master System, following on from Wonder Boy in Monster Land. The game was created by West One studios, published by Sega in 1989 and was later ported to the Game Gear. Despite being created by a Japanese company, Wonder Boy III was first released in English on the Sega Master System in North America and Europe, before being ported to the PC Engine in Japan a few years later as an Adventure Island title. In fact, Wonder Boy III, in it’s original form, didn’t see a Japanese release until 2007 when it was bundled with the Sega Ages : Monster World Complete Collection for the Playstation 2.… Read the rest

Download (project homepage) Tyrian is a top-down shooter which was wildly popular back in the mid 90s. The game packs as much fun as is physically possible to fit on a single CD. The game was released as shareware first, with a purchase being required to unlock the full game. Shareware was a great concept. Nowadays a lot of games have demos, trailers and what-not, but there is something about getting your hands on a shareware CD that was really special. Tyrian is currently being offered for free as part of the Open Tyrian Project and is available across a number of platforms.… Read the rest