On The End Of A Quill

On The End Of A Quill

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Video Game Ads from Comic Books of the late 80s, early 90s

Some more NES games and a few GameBoy games this time, as we move into the early nineties. As we move forward the standard of advertising is surely going to get better!
Tengen here were going right ahead with releasing games that did not have the official Nintendo seal of quality on them. Here are four games packed and ready to go. Gauntlet, Pac-Man and RBI Baseball would all later be repackaged as licenced games. Tetris on the other hand would only be on the shelves for a few weeks before Nintendo got it removed so they could release their own, some would say inferior, version. Tengen Tetris is now one of the rarer NES carts.

The original Metal Gear on NES. Here we see all the amazing gadgets you could use in your mission, stressing that your transceiver is the most important piece of kit. Of course 'you'll have to supply the wits'!!

Ultra Games were a division of Konami, founded as a way to get around Nintendo's strict rules on publishers releasing games for the NES. You were only allowed release five games a year according to Nintendo. This page scan shows Defender of the Crown, Skate or Die and the Turtles, but even Ultra knew we only wanted some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action. Palcom was Konami's equivalent to Ultra in Europe.

LJN released video games for their parent company Acclaim, usually licenced games. Usually bad licenced games! These Bill & Ted tie-in games are no exceptions. The NES version has you searching different time periods for historical figures, while the GameBoy game is just a one screen action/puzzle game. Both are far from excellent.

Konami had a Castlevania series on the GameBoy that ran parallel to the NES games. It's main character was Christopher Belmont, who I think only appears in these early GameBoy releases. I believe he may be Simon Belmont of NES Castlevania's, Great Grandfather.

This two page spread is unbelievably for the GameBoy version of Street Fighter II. Was 'Your Momma' really that funny back then? I'm not sure who this ad was aimed at, but seeing as they only included two SuperGameBoy screenshots of the game, I presume it was the millions (may have figures wrong) of owners of that particular piece of SNES gaming equipment.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Video Game Ads from Comic Books of the late 80s

Now we start moving up in years, and onto the powerhouse advertising of the NES. By far the biggest console of the late eighties and early nineties. If you did not have one under your telly yourself, you would certainly know someone who did.

Back in 1989 Hulk Hogan and the WWF were massively popular. And Acclaim brought out the first official game just in time for WrestleMania V, where the Hulkster defeated the Macho Man Randy Savage to win back the Championship belt. The game featured 6 of the most popular wrestlers of the day, and despite the limited move-set was good fun in multiplayer. It was very different from the WWF games that followed over the next number of years. It was developed by Rare and I'm guessing sold bloody millions. Well, maybe an exaggeration, but surely sold more than the VCR board game they also advertised. How would that work?

Who doesn't know Pac-Man right? Althought the picture of him on this Tengen NES conversion isn't the most flattering! Tengen released an unlicensed and licensed version for the NES, (this one's licensed) but it was just a reworking of Namcots Famicom Pac-Man that had come out in 1984.

Taito had a big hit on their hands with the Operation Wolf coin-op, and it was released on every system around at the time. This NES version was a little slow for my taste, but at least you could dust off the old Zapper gun, which was only used for shooting ducks. This ad has some pretty cool Commando style artwork, but sadly no screenshots. Hmmm... something to hide maybe? You weren't expecting an arcade perfect conversion now were you?

Again Taito refrain from putting screen shots on the advertisement. This time for the arcade conversion of Bubble Bobble. Maybe they thought the text would suffice in selling the game to people? But when the first line is the rather tongue-twisting, 'These are two hungry Dino-Mights and they've got bubble fight'n fun down tight', I'm not so sure.

Here Taito show four of their NES arcade conversions on one page. Focusing mainly on the rather solid conversion of Bubble Bobble. The ropey Operation Wolf conversion that has already been mentioned. A conversion of Toaplan's Sky Shark, also known as Flying Shark. Taito also converted Technos' Renegade, but it was only one-player and not a patch on the later Double Dragon.