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#Review Rewind

Ninja Gaiden Review Rewind

Tecmo Ninja

When I hear the word "ninja", one thing immediately comes to mind- the 80's. It was an era that was very friendly to ninja culture and the kids that embraced it. Meanwhile, video game developers where busy cooking up games of the same nature in the arcades. Tecmo was one of those developers, and in 1988, they released a brawler of sorts called Ninja Gaiden. A year later, they ported the game over to the NES, but changed the style of gameplay to better fit the style of home console gaming. They replaced the "beat 'em up" theme with a simple action/platformer approach with a bigger emphasis on well-timed jumps and using awesome ninja skills. Tecmo also added a deeper story and a new way to tell it.

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Thunder Force II Review Rewind

Thunder rumbles on the Genesis.

If there was one thing that Techno Soft did very well in the 16-bits days, it was shoot ‘em ups.  It all started when they created Thunder Force in 1984. It was released on the NEC PC-8801 and several other Japanese home computers at the time, but never saw the light of day in the US.  The game featured an overhead free-roaming viewpoint and the goal was to destroy the enemy’s shield generators, using your main shot for air targets and the bomb shot for ground targets in each stage. While it’s tough to gauge the game’s popularity from back then, it apparently did well enough to warrant a sequel.  So Thunder Force II was released four years later for the Sega Genesis in 1989, making it the very first shoot ‘em up on the system.

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Pilotwings Review Rewind

Get ready to earn your wings.

In the early ‘90s, a new video game console was only as strong as its launch titles.  When we look back at a console’s history and wonder what attracted us to it, often it’s those first games that we think of and say ”that’s why I fell in love with that system.”  Nintendo understood this concept when they released the Super Nintendo. Included among a short list of launch games was the flight simulation, Pilotwings. Beginning as an early tech demo in 1988 to show off the “Mode 7” graphical capabilities of the 16-bit system, Pilotwings was developed into a full-fledged game that gave us the opportunity to take to the skies in a way never before possible on a home console.

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R-Type Review Rewind

In space, no one can hear you flicker.

When R-Type showed up on the arcade scene in 1987, it was a force to be reckoned with. With its razor sharp graphics and techno-organic alien atmosphere, the game quickly became considered to be one of the best shoot ‘em ups of its time, rivaling the popularity of the Gradius series. With the success of this arcade gem, it was only logical that it should be ported to every major home console, right? In theory yes, but in reality it was released on only two video game systems in contrast to being ported to at least eight personal computer systems available at the time. Of the scarce home console releases, the Sega Master System saw a port of R-Type in 1988. Although faithful to the arcade version in terms of content, the game takes a nosedive when the action gets heavy.

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The Legend of Zelda Review Rewind

Remember kids, "Dodongo dislikes smoke".

With its deceptively easy gameplay and deep exploration, The Legend of Zelda represented a few first-time accomplishments for Nintendo, as well as the gaming industry itself. It was one of the first Famicom Disk Systems games to hit Japan in February of 1986, sporting the ability to save progress without the need of a password. With its 1987 debut in America, it was released on a golden cartridge featuring a small backup battery to save progress -- making it the first game to use the technology. But most importantly, it was the first game to truly revolutionize the action/adventure genre with elements that would be borrowed from (and ripped off) for years to come.

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Xexyz Review Rewind

The space action adventure you couldn't pronounce -- until now!

Every now and then, game developers like to mix it up a little and create a game that pitches together several genres into one, like Xexyz (pronounced “zeks-zees”) on the NES -- a rarely seen attempt to blend elements from the platformer and shoot 'em up genres, with just a pinch of RPG/adventure thrown in there for extra measure.  Released by Hudson Soft in 1990, Xexyz proved that fusing three genres together can work quite well. 

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Rad Racer Review Rewind

Still one of the best racing games 26 years later.

Updated 2-23-2019

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project Review Rewind

Want to know what the best TMNT game is? …It's still Turtles in Time, but this one is close!

TMNT III’s gameplay will be readily familiar to those who have played the other TMNT brawlers. For a quick refresher, imagine Final Fight but with a faster pace and instead of drug dealers and scantily clad transvestites you fight Foot Ninjas and a variety of robots, with an end-of-level boss to fight.

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Tales of Vesperia Review Rewind

In anticipation of Tales of Graces f and Tales of the Abyss 3D, JD reviews his favorite game in the Tales series.

This console generation hasn’t been very kind to people who love console JRPGs. There have been very few released, and hardly any of those were actually good. Tales of Vesperia is an exception. Though the game isn’t as popular as its predecessor, Tales of Symphonia, Vesperia makes its mark as one of the best in the series.

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