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#nintendo

Out of this World Review Rewind

The Great Escape

Out of this World (aka Another World) was initially developed and released for the Amiga and Atari ST personal computers by French game designer Eric Chahi in 1991. The game was later ported to the Super Nintendo, among other home consoles. Out of this World garnered much praise for its intriguing visual style and storytelling ability. In most games from this era, text or dialogue was usually the vehicle used to drive the story forward. But this one did it differently. Instead, the ever-changing situations, dangers, and victories all worked together to tell the story without a word.

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Donkey Kong Review Rewind

More fun than a barrel of monkeys.

It all began on this day 40 years ago, in 1981. Nintendo- a then-obscure arcade machine manufacturer- had a problem with their latest game, Radar Scope. The machines weren’t selling as well as hoped, so the company decided to refit the unsold units with a brand new game. Young staff artist Shigeru Miyamoto was tasked with creating an arcade game that would capture the attention of the American audience. The finished product starred a stressed-out gorilla with an infinite supply of barrels who wasn't afraid to use them. It's the stubborn monkey himself, Donkey Kong.

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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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Super Mario Bros. 3 Review Rewind

Platforming perfection

On October 23, 1988, Mario series creator Shigeru Miyamoto and his crack team of Nintendo EAD ninjas released Super Mario Bros. 3 in Japan. To coincide with its US launch 16 months later, Nintendo produced a commercial featuring kids clamoring for the game like it was the second coming of Christ. The hype was intense, and it worked exceedingly well. The game went on to exceed the first one in sales, fandom, and legendary status. Mario and the crew had undeniably hit their stride.

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Mega Man 2 Review Rewind

The “Blue Bomber” hits his stride.

Mega Man 2 started as a side project that Capcom allowed artist Keiji Inafune’s team to work on during their downtime between higher priority projects. Much of the game's design included leftover ideas that didn’t make it into the inaugural entry. However, a few gameplay refinements and an incredible soundtrack combined to bring forth a classic that still attracts new fans despite being released over 30 years ago. Not bad for a side project.

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Snoopy's Magic Show Review Rewind

There never was any magic, was there?

There is nary a soul out there who hasn’t seen or heard of Snoopy- that lovable beagle in the Peanuts comic dating back to the 1950s. Having existed across various forms of media, it was only a matter of time before Snoopy and friends would end up on a Nintendo system or two. Such was the case in 1990 when Kemco released Snoopy’s Magic Show on the Game Boy. A few years later, one of my sister’s school friends let my brother borrow this game, which I eventually played and completed. Returning to this game as an adult, I have no idea how kid me finished it without a broken spirit.

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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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To the Earth Review Rewind

An exercise in futility.

After playing Duck Hunt as a child in 1987, I became an instant fan of Nintendo's Zapper peripheral. There was something magical about pointing the orange & grey gun at the screen and seeing the game respond to my attempts at shooting the waterfowl flying about. As the years passed, I played other enjoyable Zapper games like Hogan's Alley, Wild Gunman, and Barker Bill's Trick Shooting. After such great experiences, I was convinced that all Nintendo-developed light gun games were as good as the previous ones I played. "They can do no wrong!" I said—famous last words of a naive fool.

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Top Gear Review Rewind

The Super Nintendo shifts into gear

Ever since Namco’s Pole Position made its debut in the arcades in 1982, the racing genre has been considered an essential medium in the gaming world. The increase of video game consoles making their way into homes throughout the mid-to-late ’80s further solidified the popularity of racing games. Players looking for deeper mechanics than what was available from the current offerings of the day could rejoice when Kemco published Top Gear in 1992- one of the first driving games for the Super NES.

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Super Mario Land Review Rewind

As Told by Gunpei

The Game Boy- created by the late Gunpei Yokoi- was Nintendo's first handheld system to mix the portability of the Game & Watch with the seemingly infinite possibilities of interchangeable cartridges.  Although Tetris was the pack-in game with every unit, Nintendo still wanted to have at least one title in the 1989 launch lineup that their consumer base would instantly recognize.

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