Another WW II shooter
Electronic board game/adventure game based on Sherlock Holmes
Created by Origin Systems, who should have just stuck with Ultima
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 an 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 had to pick only one game, however, and for better or worse Metal Gear won out. So let’s take a look.
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 amazing.
The year after the Famicom came to the US as the Nintendo Entertainment System, the American video game industry finally started to heat up again. Here are all of their efforts.
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).
A slime draws near! Command?
For this year’s Honorable Mention, let’s take a look at the grandfather of all Japanese RPGs. Dragon Quest, sometimes called “Japan’s national game” for its popularity, longstanding status as a classic, and its influence on the genre and industry.
Every legend has a beginning. Some are more humble than others, but what almost all of them have in common is starting with a very rough first draft. The Legend of Zelda, on the other hand, seemed to hatch fully grown. Of course, it was still a first draft in that it established rules and conventions that later entries built upon, but a surprising amount of its structure began here. It seems to have everything: an open world that emphasizes exploration and secret-finding, items such as the ocarina and boomerang, the main cast of characters, and the instantly recognizable theme music that we couldn’t imagine going along with any other game. Let’s take a look at what made this first entry in the long-running series so legendary.
The Japanese obsession with all things cute continues! Let’s join the little bubble dragons Bub and Bob as they explore a world of bubbles, food, and secrets to collect. What’s not to love?
Here are all the games from 1985. There are plenty of interesting games here; just not many good ones.
1985 was a really boring year in video games. That can be attributed to the video game crash of 1983, which didn’t really end until 1986. For the same reason, most of the games mentioned here are computer games. As is always the case, there are a few gems to be found among the riff-raff.