Super Mario Bros. was the best game of 1985, and the only game that year to receive a Games Appreciation article. It’s not too surprising, then, that the same applies to SMB3 in 1988. It was almost hopeless that any game could reach the same heights–but there are a few games that got close. And here they are.
Original version: スナッチャー, released on 1988/11/26 for PC-8801
Recommended version: Snatcher, released in January 1995 for Sega CD
What happens when film buff Kojima Hideo has a chance to make a game that’s not Metal Gear? Well, in this case, a science fiction cyberpunk thriller influenced by “Blade Runner,” “The Terminator,” and “Akira,” among others. Kojima being his usual self, the game’s development took twice as long as that of the average game, even after the higher-ups ordered Kojima to cut about half the story. What resulted was a highly intriguing and atmospheric experience that was hindered by its limitations. Let’s take a look at this curious game.
Seriously! 2020 is a science fiction year! It’s the year of “Cyberpunk 2020.” We’ve already passed Blade Runner and Crysis. Before this decade is over we’ll have caught up to Terminator! What is happening?!?
Anyway, 2019 was a pretty momentous year for me. Come with me as I journey back in time and halfway across the world.
1987 was a great year. Now I know why Strong Bad constantly refers to it.
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Another WW II shooter
Electronic board game/adventure game based on Sherlock Holmes
Created by Origin Systems, who should have just stuck with Ultima
These are the best games of 1987 that didn’t quite make the cut to get their own spotlight. You might recognize a few.
Original version: メタルギア, released on 1987/07/13 for MSX2
Recommended version: Disk 2 of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, released on 2005/12/22 for PlayStation 2
1987 was a very difficult year to evaluate. There were many, many great games that didn’t quite make the cut to receive a game appreciation article. Even more difficult was choosing which game ought to receive the honorable mention. I desperately wanted to include Final Fantasy, a buggy grind-fest, Contra, the game that popularized the Konami code because it’s unreasonably difficult, and Rock Man (Mega Man in the U.S.), which was a rough draft of the masterpiece Rock Man 2. I could pick only one game, however, and Metal Gear won out. So let’s take a look.
Original version: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, released on 1987/11/21 for Nintendo Entertainment System
It’s great to live in America, the land of opportunity, where any boy can grow up to be the queen. In the Punch-Out!! series, you play the role of underdog boxer “Little” Mac, a new, up-and-coming fighter set on claiming the championship title. But standing between you and the title is none other than world-renowned boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson! Lend me your ear and I’ll tell you why this game is good.
2019, May 31st – June 9th
Following the success of Super Mario Bros. in 1985/86, there was an explosion of games in the US, especially for the NES. Most of these, I must confess, were awful. But among the fields of thorns there were quite a few roses. These are the ones that almost made it into the bouquet, but had to be pruned off for the benefit of the fair recipient (that would be you).
After years of dreaming and wishing, I finally did it. God blessed me with the opportunity to go to Japan. This was my first time outside the US and it was, in a word, amazing. At the request of friends and family, I took many pictures. I also captured some short videos. Here they are for your viewing pleasure. Click an image to view the full-sized version. Page 1: Week one. Page 2: Week two. Page 3: Gallery.