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

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

Wonderboy in Monster Land is the second installment in the Wonderboy franchise and the first game in the Monster Land series. This game is another example of Westone Studios playing Sega like a fool. Much like the first Wonder Boy game, the code for Monster Land was again sold to Hudson who released it as Bikkuriman World and changed the graphics and sprites to match the characters from an anime series of the same name. The game starts with Wonder Boy in nothing but a grass skirt. The girl he just risked his life to save in the last game seems to be gone as well.… Read the rest

Wonderboy was first released as an arcade game in 1986 and was later ported to the Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear. It featured a young man in a grass skirt taking down defenceless animals with a tomahawk and jumping skateboards over ice caverns. Needless to say this game blew me away as a small child. Wonderboy eventually found it’s way from the arcade to the living room via the Sega Master System and is considered to be a classic by most Master System fans. Any NES fans who play Wonderboy for the first time are bound to get a strange feeling of deja-vu.… Read the rest

Holy shit, where do I start with this one. I found this cart while browsing around a local second hand shop. It was about 80 yen (still less than a dollar) so I thought “fuck it” and added it to the already sizable pile of carts that my wife would no doubt grill me over once I got home. Seriously, I’m a simple man, as long as I have my whiskey and my vidya games I’m happy. And being a Friday night with no work the next day, the door to an all night bender was wide open, but really, not even alcohol could help me enjoy this game.… Read the rest