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#Konami

Double Dribble Review Rewind

A slam dunk on the NES.

With the 2022 NBA Finals set to conclude this week (possibly tonight), now is as good a time as any to look back at Double Dribble- Konami’s take on professional basketball initially released in 1986. Like many of their arcade hits arcades, the game was forever immortalized when it was ported to the NES a year later. With its accessible gameplay mechanics and realistic presentation, Double Dribble quickly became known as one of the best sports experiences on the home console.

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Life Force Review Rewind

Journey to the belly of the beast.

If you ever want to know how Konami became so successful, just look at their arcade history of the 1980s. Not only were the games entertaining, but there was also a good chance that their best hits would appear on NES and a wealth of other home consoles. Life Force was no exception. Released initially as Salamander in Japan 35 years ago today, the game came to America as Life Force and received an NES port two years later.

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Castlevania II: Simon's Quest Review Rewind

Dracula’s Revenge

It was common practice for game developers to make radical design changes for the first sequel of a popular game in the early NES days. It was no different with Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. Released in North America in 1988, Konami decided that a few changes were in order. The previous game primarily focused on platforming, defeating the boss of the current stage, and moving on to the next location in linear order. Conversely, Simon’s Quest took the series in a new direction with an open, Metroid-esque style of exploration and a few RPG elements to boot. Castlevania had entered a new frontier.

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Track & Field II Review Rewind

Bigger, but not better.

In 1988, the Summer Olympics took place in Seoul, South Korea. Capitalizing on this event, Konami released the latest game in their Hyper Sports series, Konamic Sports in Seoul on the Famicom. The game was released a year later in the US as Track & Field II. If the original Track & Field were a person, it would be the humble, modest friend quietly entering the room. Track & Field II, on the other hand, is more like the gregarious guy that wants to be the life of the party. Instead of the meager eight sporting events of the first game, this one features 15 athletic events (11 of which were new to the NES series).

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Snake's Revenge Review Rewind

Revenge never tasted so bland

Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear series enjoys the distinction of being an icon that still resonates with the majority of the gaming community. Even if you've never played any of them, chances are you've at least heard of it by now. With all of the positive attention that the relatively recent Metal Gear Solid 5 has received, it’s easy to forget about the game that that could have potentially killed the series. And no-- it’s not MGS 2 (although I’ll never forgive it for those protracted conversations between Raiden and his nagging girlfriend). Nope, I'm referring to something much, much worse-- Snake's Revenge.

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Track & Field Review Rewind

Let the games begin.

Well, it's that time again-- the time that comes around every 4 years when hundreds of athletes from around the world compete in some of the most physically demanding competitions ever. Each athlete is highly skilled in their discipline of sport, but only the best get the gold. Of course, I'm talking about the 2016 Summer Olympics taking place in Rio de Janeiro today. With this exciting occasion just hours away, now is as good a time as any to take a look at Track & Field from Konami.

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Castlevania Review Rewind

Stalk the Night

For years, the story of Count Dracula has been told many times over, with different spins on how he wrecked havoc on human society and such things. I dare say that there isn't a person on Earth who hasn't heard of the guy...at some point in their lifetime. So given the popularity of this character, it was only natural that Dracula would find a new life on the NES. And sure enough, in 1987, Konami released Castlevania-- a game that featured a whip-wielding hero on a mission to defend the local townsfolk and stop Dracula's bite for good, or so he hoped.

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Gradius Review Rewind

Destroy the core!

The 1980s was a true renaissance period for the budding video game industry. Arcade games like Xevious, Donkey Kong, and OutRun gave us new levels of visual, audio and strategic detail that took us beyond the comparatively simple mechanics of Pong and Space Invaders. It was indeed the golden age of gaming.

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Metal Gear Review Rewind

Not Bad for a Rookie

Alright, let’s get the obvious out of the way: Yes, Metal Gear was originally released on the MSX in Japan.  Yes, it looked and played better than the NES version. And yes, the NES version is riddled with typos, inaccurate plot elements, and a counter-intuitive menu system.  But let’s be honest-- few, if any of us were aware of the MSX version before internet gaming sites came into full blossom. Be that as it may, the NES version was respected as one of the most innovative (albeit frustrating) games of its time, and rightfully so. Despite the many differences from the MSX version, Metal Gear still provided a unique experience you couldn’t get elsewhere.

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Backloggers Anonymous Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Part 2

The Halloween special we finished before Christmas. We're just that lazy.

First off, I'm sorry about the audio. Technical issues caused my feed to sound a little on the distorted side. It's not horrible, but it's noticeable. I believe I've found the cause of the problem and fixed it, but unfortunately this recording is what it is.

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