Never send a man to do a robot’s job. Sometimes you have to fight robots with robots. A robot a day keeps Doc Wily away. Today’s game is Mega Man – the game that kicked off one of the greatest game franchises in history.
While the Nintendo certainly wasn’t the first video game system, during its run, video games were still a relatively new arrival to the arena of personal entertainment. The issue of media censorship as anything from necessary evil to patriotic duty still came up in the United States, and even with media-friendly video-game-loving Reagan in the White House, it was clear that combating any PR snafu would be an uphill battle.
Nintendo’s headquarters in Japan had already instituted strict guidelines for their video games prohibiting sexual imagery, but Nintendo of America took this all a step further and released strict overarching content guidelines that included things like prohibitions against depictions of domestic violence, drug or alcohol use and, most notably, religious imagery. Though exceptions were allowed for video games such as Castlevania (which has crosses), Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins and a few others that may have been intentional or may have simply slipped in under the radar, the general rule was obeyed to the extent that crosses were on some occasions removed from tombstones and other only vaguely religious depictions.
As such, a game in which you are a green monster using crosses and Bibles to combat a speedo-clad Satan would be a hard sell to say the least.
Publisher: Nintendo Year: 1986 Genre: Static Platformer (Not to be confused with Super Mario Bros.)
We’ve already spoken of the origin of Mario and the glory that is Super Mario Bros., so it seems almost redundant (or ill-placed) that the prequel should come after the original, and yet – here we are, looking at Mario Bros., the game that introduced Segale’s digital doppelgänger to the world.
In this thrilling sequel (prequel?) to the original Donkey Kong title, you are Donkey Kong Jr., and you must rescue your father from Mario, who has locked Donkey Kong up, possibly for kidnapping Pauline in the previous game. Naturally, therefore, the best course of action would be to release him and allow Stupid Monkey to continue his rampage, possibly at an oversized greenhouse. I digress – as his son, it is your duty, and if you should knock some fruit down or injure some plumbers along the way SO BE IT!
Donkey Kong Jr., while not perhaps the most memorable or diverse game, was still a worthy addition to the Donkey Kong series and to the Donkey Kong family canon. The controls are well-composed, so movement feels natural and makes sense. The climbing mechanics are interesting and logical, and the power up are predictably fruit-flavored. The enemies consist primarily of some sort of living jaw-traps and, of course, the levels themselves, which are often built specifically to confound the physics under which our gorilla baby operates.
John’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0. It’s quirky, but generally loveable. It’s not exactly the sort of game that amounts to “hours of fun,” but I’ll often settle for “minutes of enjoyment” or “moments of nostalgia” in a pinch.
Year: 1985 Publisher: Nintendo Genre: Platform – Top-Scroll
Few games capture the true essence of the Esquimaux peoples of the arctic circle, expressing the spirit and character of the proud native heritage they all bear within them. This game isn’t one of them. This is a game about hitting polar bears with a hammer.