Gaming History 101

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Video: Happy Friday the 13th

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In honor of our favorite Fridays of the year we play a little Friday the 13th for the NES.  Feel free to check out our review of it as well.

Written by Fred Rojas

December 13, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Posted in NES, Videos

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Review: The Punisher (NES)

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punisher_nes_boxConsole: NES
Released: 1990
Developer: Beam Software
Publisher: LJN
Difficulty: Moderate
Instruction Manual: Not Necessary – Link
Played as a child? Yes
Price: $5.88 (used)  $27.47 (complete) $130.00 (new)
Famicom Version? No, this was Nintendo only
Ports: Gameboy (differences, see below)
Digital Release? No

In probably one of the most doomed to fail ideas, I have to admit that in my childhood The Punisher was my first taste of what would later establish a love for light gun and first-person shooters alike.  Ironically, this title is neither.  It takes the crosshair light gun motif we first saw in Operation Wolf and adapts it into a third-person shooter (without light gun) that integrated upgrades and even brawler elements to an otherwise rote shooter title.  Released in 1990, and despite the common license and title that holds no similarity to other games, The Punisher was a licensed LJN game that proved you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  In short, I loved this flawed, aggressive shooter.

punisher_2Your task is to take down some of the biggest criminals the city has to offer, including longtime Punisher nemesis Jigsaw, in a series of levels.  Interestingly enough, you aren’t forced into linear progression; the game allows you to choose any of the three initial targets to go after.  As you take out each one, the remaining two targets become available levels until your final option, Kingpin, becomes the only level and boss.  With each target you are given two levels to conquer, each containing power-ups, ammo, and grenades to help build up your arsenal, and a final encounter with the target themself.  Unfortunately the power of choice, at least for me, is tarnished by the fact that doing the levels in their obvious order (from left to right) seems to be the only viable way to complete the game.  Along the way you will take out a massive army of the game’s three or four enemy types and eventually make your way to a boss.  The biggest hurdle is that if you run out of lives, it’s game over.  No continues, no second chances.  This isn’t really a deal breaker, it just establishes long bouts between attempts to finish the game.

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Written by Fred Rojas

April 14, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Posted in NES, Reviews, Videos

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