Gaming History 101

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Posts Tagged ‘punisher

Podcast: Edited For Content

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banned

This week we are joined by Derrick H of All Games Radio to discuss games that have been banned.  As a medium that started marketing to children, governing bodies and the games industry have consistently worked together to avoid the dangerous word of censorship.  Our panel discusses the roots, press, and various actions taken to edit or ban games that are deemed inappropriate for public consumption.


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Written by Fred Rojas

March 26, 2014 at 11:02 am

Podcast: Excelsior!

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marvel

This week Chip Cella (@CaptinChaos) and Andy Urquhart (@damien14273) from the Agents of Shieldcast join Fred to discuss retro titles featuring Marvel Characters.  They learn that the distinction of titles early in gaming were almost nonexistent and perhaps Marvel having Disney behind it may actually be a good thing.  Listen on true believers!


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Written by Fred Rojas

January 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

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)  pricecharting.com
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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Dropping the Ban Hammer

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Have you ever eagerly anticipated the release of a game only to find out it isn’t coming to the United States?  Imagine if the reasoning wasn’t due to licensing issues or internal policies by the ESRB and console developers.  Aside from Rapelay, a game I can barely give credit as a video game and was never intended to see a release anyway, I’ve never heard of a game that isn’t welcome in the US.  It’s one of those great freedoms that we take completely for granted in this country – we don’t have our media banned or censored federally.  This isn’t to say content isn’t stripped down, many of us remember Manhunt 2 getting an AO rating that rendered it unable to release on its intended platforms (PS2 and Wii).  As a result, developer Rockstar released a “toned down” version that was approved with an M rating and saw retail release.  The difference between this situation and the situation in other countries is that the industry self polices and decides what is allowed and what is not.  Currently the major console manufacturers refuse to  release AO titles, but that doesn’t restrict a developer from releasing on PC or an available platform.  In some other countries, you’re given a stringent refusal to release your product after you’ve created it.

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Written by Fred Rojas

December 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm