Showing posts with label 80s Video Game Print Ads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 80s Video Game Print Ads. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bandai Games video game (1989)

Bandai Games video game advertisment
Original ad published in the October 1989 edition of EGM (no. 04)
Press to view or download image in higher resolution.

Historical Background and Graphical Analysis

Bandai, the Japanese toy and electronics giant, was an active player in the NES video game market. They applied a hit-and-miss strategy, preferring quantity over quality. The five games presented in the ad were mainly of the first group of products.

Now I won’t lie. I only owned Shooting Range (1989), which was a decent attempt to implement Nintendo’s Light Gun (my father made an enormous effort to buy me this game when I was very young, so it holds special emotional value to me).

Other than that, I can only relay YouTube reviews which pretty much destroy Monster Party, Street Cop, and Golf Challenge Pebble Beach, all released in 1989. And…Wild Boys was never even released! It was supposed to be some sort of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles clone.

The infamous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (also released in 1989 in North America) deserves a special mentioned as the NES game claiming the highest amount of animosity of the big retro reviewers on YouTube. You probably know the Nerd’s famous diatribe against this piece of "dog vomit", but there are some other very funny reviews out there.

Even with Bandai’s considerable financial muscle, The print ad is pathetic. What? No artwork? They scanned the game’s box-art and pasted them on their page editor. And that’s it. “Excellent!” my ass.

Bandai Games print ad copy


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hoops for NES (1989)

Hoops for NES advertisement
Ad published in the May 1989 issue of EGM (no. 1)

Historical Background & Graphical Analysis

A less than average b-ball game, Hoops (1989) by Jaleco was one of those half-court style outings that left much to be desired. Leagues away from Double Dribble (1986), by Konami, a game that also features dunks and special moves but was actually fun and actually featured the whole court as your playing area. Gaelic produced some good sports games, in particular the original Bases Loaded (1987). Sadly, Hoops was not very good at all. It's now become famous for the "meat-beating loading screens". 

As for the artwork of this ad, it's also pretty ho-hum. It's a good photograph, but it does not show actual gameplay from the game nor does it make me want to play it, much less buy it. Very Vanilla. 

Original Copy:

In Your Face! 
Hoops: the most realistic rendition of roundball ever! 
On this playground, basketball is very serious business. A half court battle of fast hands and moves, monster dunks and defense. Featuring 8 different players shakin' and bakin' and showcasing their own individual styles. 
You can team un with another player against the computer. Or play one-on-one or two-on-two, against the computer or another player. And you've got all the moves: steals, blocks, lighting passes and monsters slams. 
In fact, you control just about everything in this incredible new title from Jaleco. What Bases Loaded is to baseball, HOOPS is to basketball: sports action at its very best!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Airwolf for NES (1989)

Airwolf for NES advertisement
Ad published in May 1989 issue of EGM (no. 1)

Historical Background & Graphical Analysis 

Another game that takes the Cold War era theatre of decades past and transforms it into an average product. This time, it's called Airwolf (1987), based on the popular TV series of the same name.

The publisher is Akklaim, famous for the Double Dragon series but also some terrible games like Rambo (1987). Airwolf is one another one of those impossibly hard video games where replayability is only related to your tolerance level of frustration. It's very hard indeed, much more than Top Gun (1987).  

As for the editorial design of the advert...well it's average. The cool kid on the cover bears no relation to me in my NES playing days. I was never that cool. I also never held my NES controller that high, not like a 40 year-old uncle. 

Original Copy:
It takes more than guts
to command Airwolf 
Deep within enemy territory your fellow countrymen are imprisoned. Only one man would dare attempt save them. You. Strinfellow Hawke commander of Airwolf the Mach I jetcopter. Your heatseeking missles and superpowered machine guns are fired up. But can you evade the enemy? Headquarters kowns you have the firepower and skill. You say you've got the prove it!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Thundercade for NES (1989)

Thundercade for NES advertisement
Ad published in the May 1989 issue of EGM (no. 1)

Historical Background & Graphical Analysis 

As you probably guessed by now, the 80's where a violent decade. You had one clear enemy in the form of Communism and all that became associated with it: mainly terrorist activities of various kinds. Thundercade for the NES (1989) takes those fears and crystallizes them in the atomic obsession of the era.

Thundercade was originally released in the arcades and like most ports of the era, the NES version leaves a lot to be desired in both graphics and sound.  You could play with a friend on your Nintendo, so that garnered some points for an otherwise average shooter. 

As for the artwork, I like the bike's design and the fact that bombers, your backup during the game, is well represented. Not so much the tanks and submarines, your enemies. The very successful G.I. Joe line of toys and animated series, another 80s icon, seems like a direct inspiration for Thundercade.

Original Copy:
Terrorism has reached new heights. AATOM (Atomic Age Terrorist Organization of Miracali) has constructed its own nuclear power plant, and threatens the world with atomic terror.  
The world powers have deciden to initiate operation THUNDERCADE to stop AATOM. Equipped with with a high performance combat motorcycle, sidecar canons, and backed by a precision B-7 bomber, you set out on your dangerous mission. 
Start in the city streets and continue through bases, woodlands and the fortress before reaching the heavily guarded nuclear power plant. 
With a hit-miss ratio display at the en d of each stage, you can improve your attack efficiency. 
Have a friend join in and save the worlds together! 
Go for the challenge!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Taxan games for NES (1989)

Taxan games for NES advertisement
Ad published in the May 1989 issue of EGM (no. 1)

Historical Background & Graphical Analysis 

Adverts like this were common in the 80's. Here you have one entire magazine page dedicated to four different games: Star Soldier, Fist of the North Star, Mystery Quest, and Mappy-Land. What's interesting is that Taxan was just a conglomerate for different Japanese brands to enter the US market.

In Japan, Star Soldier was originally published by Hudson en 1986; Mystery Quest was an 1987 effort by Carry Lab for the Family Computer Disk System that played with 3" floppy disks (on a side note (Square published it in Japan and is one of the first games to feature music by Nobuo Uematsu, of Final Fantasy fame); Fist of the North Star is of course a Toei game; and, finally, Mappy-Land belongs to Namco. The text of the print ad emphasises the importance of this Oriental heritage.

 Original Copy:

"Really Rad."

Now Japan's hottest games are getting America's highest reviews. 
A whole new crop of Japanese Nintendo favourites are getting thumbs-up across the U.S. Intense graphics. Endless action. Blasting sounds. Cool moves. There here now from Taxan. 
Star Soldier. The same game used for the Japanese Nintendo game championships. A tough, riveting, fast-moving classic. Master the complex tactics of interstellar warfare as you're warped through 16 increasingly difficult levels. Before you meet the final Starbrainm you'll have to outwit, and outfight a slew of evil warriors, each with their own attack patterns. Only a master will make it to the final showdown, but the nerve-tingling, super galactic action will give you light years of great playing. 
Mystery Quest. You are the wizards apprentice, Hao. To prove yourself worthy of becoming a wizard, you must journey to four mystery castles on a quest for the magic talismans. Through endless underground passages and intricate mazes, you will discover the sources of energy to continue your quest. Weird creatures lurk in every corner. Get past them all, find the keys, get to the magic and become a wizard! Get really good and go for 100 million points! 
Fist of the North Star. In this thriller, you are Ken, the Fist. You have returned to Central Imperial Capital to free it from the malevolent Emperor Heaven and his battle-hardened troops. With moves you've never seen on the screen before, you must confront and defeat eight opponents, and their martial arts gangs. Even when you get really good, you'll probably never get past Shula. Only the best ever do. 
Mappy-Land. Finally, a game that's tough enough to challenge the Nintendo Expert, while still being fun for children of all ages. Mappy, the policeman, takes you on four increasingly difficult adventures through eight lands, each with secret entrances, exits, and complex sub-areas. In your various adventures, you'll be armed with an unusual arsenal of weapons. Toys, pots, fish, pulleys, punching bags, fireworks, horizontal bars, sticks, even bowling balls. And just when you think you've got it down, Mappy-Land will toss you another surprise.  
What are you waiting for? Try out these fun, exciting new games today and find out why the most dedicated Nintendo players think Taxan games are so "Rad". Call or write us for further information: Taxan USA, 161 Nortech Parkway, San Jose, CA 95134. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Super Dodge Ball for NES (1989)

Super Dodge Ball for NES advertisement
Ad published in the May 1989 issue of EGM (no. 1)

Historical Background & Graphical Analysis 

An off-shot of River City Ransom, the addictive Super Dodge Ball (1989) became quite popular at the end of the 80s. Practically the same game for the NES made future reincarnations on the SNES and Nintendo handhelds, a testament to the solid gameplay and fun mechanics of the original release. 

And, you know, actually playing like Dodge Ball plays in real life: a combination of brutality and fun for most of the people involved. But I digress. What's interesting here is the Cold-War era copy of the print ad, taken directly out of the 1980 Moscow Olympiad where the USA performed the now legendary Miracle on Ice by defeating the USSR with a final score of 4-3 ("Do you believe in miracles???!!!", a very young Al Michaels shouted from the TV booth at the end of the match).  

That same spirit is imported into the copy of Super Dodge Ball, making this probably one of the most interesting sports ads in NintendoLand, never mind the super-deformed characters and questionable nationalism of the prose.

Original Copy:
Super Dodge Ball 
Thrash, Bash and Smash the Competition 
Team USA is on its way to a Cinderella success story in the Super Dodge Ball World Cup Championships. From out of nowhere, this scrappy bunch of rookies is advancing to the final round of competition. But, seven powerful teams still stand between Team USA and their ultimate challenge: the long awaited grudge match with the undefeated defending world champions, Team Russia. Only you can lead the U.S. to victory over the highly favored competition, and give them the chance to crush the mighty Soviets. 
  • 1 or 2 players
  • Multi-dimensional, high-resolution graphics
  • 3 increasing levels of challenge
Watch for details on the Super Dodge Ball World Cup. It's coming soon to a city near you Co-Sponsored by CSG Imagesoft Inc and Sony Corporation of America

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Konami portable video game devices (1989)

Konami portable video game devices advertisement
Ad published in the May 1989 issue of EGM (no. 1)

Historical Background

I never owned or played one of Konami's hand held gaming devices, but even at the end of the 80's they did not seemed that impressive. I did own Tiger's portable version of Castlevania II: Simon's Quest and found the experience atrocious.

I doubt Konami's set was better, though it is interesting that they offered a varied experience, at least, with Double Dribble, Top Gun, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gradius, Skate or Die and Contra. All of the were very popular and most of them good NES game, save for Skate or Die.

Nintendo's Game Boy would be released in July of 1989, the same year these systems were being sold, and of course would destroy their product for decades to come, totaling and impressive 118 million units shipped up until to 2003. 

Original Copy:

The Next Time You're Bored
Twiddle Your Thumbs 
Put your knuckles and fire up your fingers, because Konami's coming at you with six awesome new hand held video games. 
Based on your favorite arcade and home video hits, these boredom busters are packed with action. And they're portable, so you can take Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles out to lunch, or launch a heat seeking missile from your grandma's condo!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Phantasy Star for Sega Master System (1989)

Phantasy Star for Sega Master System advertisement
Ad published in the May 1989 issue of EGM (no. 1)

Historical Background & Graphical Analysis 

Before Final Fantasy became the JRPG everyone talked about, happy Sega Master System owned Phantasy Star (1987), possibly Sega's best role playing franchise to this day.  While it's true that Final Fantasy (1987)  and Dragons Quest (1986) for the NES were released before PS, those two franchises were no match for the graphical and aural prowess of Sega's now classic JRPG.

No console game to that date had done 3-D dungeon crawling (good luck drawing them on a piece of paper!) no over the shoulder field battles like PS. You also must account for the story: Sega's product placed you a female protagonist in a sci-fi universe, not some traditional medieval land populated by warriors and bards. Heck, you could use lasers as a weapon! Another notable feature was the built-in memory so you could save your progress and enjoy your quest at your own pace.

The printed ad is something of a relics piece. Very Sega, very 80s. It would make a great poster next to your Lord of the Rings life-size Sauron helmet. I like how the female lead is about to strike after deflecting that laser blast. Great action pose. Not quite Frank Frazzetta in quality, but interesting never the less.  It also depicts exactly what you'll find through your quest: monsters, mages and story full of great characters with memorable twists and turns.     

Original Copy:
Experience a New Phantasy...
Phantasy Star
The Next Wave of Video Gaming 
Attack! The galactic tyrant Lassic hurls lighting bolts at you. But your magic blade responds with a blast of blue fire...and your team of adventurers is about to join the battle! 
Welcome to the worlds of Phantasy Star, Sega's newest adventure role-playing video game. Phantasy Start is full of traps and treasures, magic and monsters, not to mention dungeons and towers so real you'll want to wipe the slime from your boots...and recoil from dragon fire! 
Phantasy Star features space travel to three worlds, a magician's dream book of spells, 16-level dungeons, and more monsters than you can cremate with a laser gun"
And Phantasy Star also includes a built-in memory so you can save up to five separate adventures! 
Phantasy Star is just one of eight adventure role-playing video games for the Sega video game system. Look for MIRACLE WARRIORS and LORD OF THE SWORD coming soon!