Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Posts Tagged ‘adventure island

Wonder Boy Retrospective Part 1: Grass Skirt Roots

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One might argue that the Wonder Boy series has a more convoluted timeline than Zelda and since no one will make a book about it, I thought I would give it a bash in this series of articles. While this article series will explore the facts, it will be from my perspective, which means I’ll mostly be discussing the PAL (European) release of each game and only referencing other regions where necessary.

The Wonder Boy series holds an especially large place in my nostalgic heart. When I was growing up I didn’t have a Nintendo so the idea of the Zelda series being this amazing adventure title, was more of a myth that I’d only read about in magazines than a reality. For me, it was a very different kind of ‘Boy’ that took me on multiple adventures and filled my head with ‘wonder’ and captured my heart.  I’ve wanted to delve into the Wonder Boy series for a long time so thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Now without further adieu let me take you on a wonderful journey back to the first….

Wonder Boy

Released: 1986

Original hardware: Arcade

Other releases: SG-1000, Sega Master System, Game Gear, ZX Spectrum, C64, Amstrad, mobile, Wii (Virtual Console)

How to play today: PS4 (Japanese Store Only)

It seems appropriate that my introduction to Wonder Boy would begin with the very first game of the series. Although Wonder Boy did make it to the arcades in the UK my first experience of the game was on Sega’s portable system: Game Gear. Yes, that little portable system owners used to think was better than the Game Boy because it had colour! The Game Gear port was practically the same as the popular Master System port, the only main difference between them was that the screen size was adjusted for the portable system. A lot later down the road, at a retro convention in Blackpool, I was eventually able to appreciate the original arcade game. It was great to get that added wow factor of it being an arcade game, but I was more impressed by how similar the arcade was to the Game Gear version.

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Written by jamalais

December 8, 2018 at 12:00 pm

24 Hour Live Stream Videos

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Here you go, the entire playlist of all 18 hours (Fred passed out early) of the 24 hour live stream.  We want to thank everyone who donated, joined us, and have ever enjoyed any of the content from Gaming History 101.  Below is the playlist in order starting with the first video, but you can also click this link to go directly to the list and pick your favorite video.

Please note: Due to a copyright claim involving the music in a certain video, our Shadows of the Empire stream has been taken down.  We tried to remove the Hoth theme from the video but it ended up with a video that was only 4 minutes long and you couldn’t make sense of it.  It is possible to view this stream for a short time on our Twitch channel.

Review: Adventure Island (NES)

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Console: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Released: 1988
Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Famicom? Yes (as Takahashi Meijin no Bouken Shima)
Instruction Manual: Not necessary – Link
Difficulty: Easy
Played it as a child? Yes
Value: $4.75 (used) $100.00 (new) (pricecharting.com)
Price (eBay): $8-$15 (used) $600 (new)
Digital Release? Yes – Virtual Console (NES version) – $5.00

What Are You Supposed To Do?

Much in the same vein of Super Mario Bros., your goal is to navigate caveman Master Higgins through various levels and avoid enemies along the way.  You can collect weapons that are used to kill enemies, lots of platforming sections, and a boss battle completes the third or fourth level of each “world”.

Review

I know I’m going to get some criticism saying that Adventure Island is easy, but it very much is.  Even as a child it didn’t take long to see the ending and the lass boss had a very simplified pattern that I could quickly learn.  That doesn’t prevent this title from being one of the best games and series to grace the NES and anyone who hasn’t played Hudson’s classic platformer should make this a must play.  After having its name proudly on most top 100 and even a few top 10 lists for the NES, not to mention the millions in sales it achieved when it came out, this game is what you look for in an NES title.

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Written by Fred Rojas

January 26, 2012 at 10:22 am

Generation Gap Pt. 2: 8-Bit

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Amidst the video game crash of 1983, it seemed pretty unlikely that home consoles would have a future.  Fortunately a Japanese toy maker had figured out how to re-sell video games to the masses despite the world economy turning its back.  That company was Nintendo.

8-bit Generation (1985 – 1995)

Nintendo Entertainment System – Launch Price: $200 – Released: 1985
Depending on your age, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) probably needs the least introduction or background, but there were many things going on behind the scenes that assisted this console in becoming the giant it was.  Initially Nintendo had to figure out how to overcome the world economy’s opinion on video game consoles, which the Famicom/NES clearly was.  In Japan, where personal home computers were all the rage, it was marketed as a computer for your family, hence the name Famicom (for “family computer”).  In America the better way to sell it was as a toy, which everything from the console’s marketing to the simple boxy aesthetic suggests.  It worked and in both regions this little 8-bit system assisted Nintendo in virtually running the 8-bit era.

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Written by Fred Rojas

October 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm