I didn’t actually make it to the fifth installment of the Mega Man series for the old NES. I’m not exactly sure why that was. Did this one come about after I’d already switched over to Sega? Did I lose interest in video games for a little while? Did I just get sick of never being ABLE TO BEAT THOSE FREAKING GAMES?! Whoa, sorry about that, I lost myself for a moment.
My first exposure to the franchise was Mega Man 2. There was actually a rumor among my friends in those pre-internet days that there wasn’t a previous installment. I don’t remember what the logic behind that was supposed to be. When I finally came across the game in a store, I bought it more to prove my friends wrong than to actually enjoy the game. While I loved MM2 and spent a memorable New Year’s Eve of childhood playing with my dad in an attempt to finally defeat the game, the difficulty level of the first and third installments left me a little cold.
Still, I think the basic idea of the franchise is fantastic — a hero who absorbs the powers of his fallen foes — and should be better utilized these days. How were the ad-on powers in this game? Was Rex in it? Maybe I should find one of those old Mega Man compilation discs and give these another whirl.
Anyone remember these NES handheld games starring Mario, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr.? I didn’t even know they existed until I saw this ad while reading Punisher #15 from 1989. I was mostly taken by the artwork on this ad which seems more stylized than a lot of other DK/Mario artwork I remember from being a kid around this time. Man, that Mario looks MAD.
I am far less interested in what this ad is actually for, but the art that it features. Sure, it’s kind of neat to check out the 1-900 number you could call to order NES systems and games from Sears, but dig those crazy pictures, man. Sure, that’s a pretty classic Mario running around with a mushroom, but check out that wonky drawing of Koopa. Yeah, that’s right, he looks like Satan. Pretty scary stuff.
I believe in my heart that this ad would have blown my mind had I seen it as a kid. Why? Because I never read ad text and just looked at pictures. As such, I would have thought that there was some insane video game coming out featuring a skater kid, the Ninja Turtles AND a knight! Of course, that’s not really the case. This is an ad from Ultra Games showing off their upcoming games Skate Or Die, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Defender Of The Crown. I never played Defender, but I remember being disappointed by both Skate and TMNT. I loved the idea of both games, but they never lived up to what I wanted from games like that. I remember the Skate Or Die controls being really sensitive and tough to master — even more so because I didn’t own the game — and that first TMNT game was just kind of a mess. You spend half the time in a top-down driving thing and then pop down into the sewers where you’ve got some stiff side scrolling action. Ah well, both games acted as stepping stones that lead to some amazing games later on down the line like the TMNT arcade game and the Skate series.
Going as far back as I can remember, I’ve been a big fan of comic book-based video games, even before I started reading them. Unfortunately, most of them kind of sucked, including the X-Men game seen in the ad above. If memory serves, this one was a top-down game much like Zelda, a game I never got into. As such, I only rented this one a time or two. Still, that art in the main part of the ad is pretty rad, right?
While I don’t quite remember which comic I snapped this ad from, I do very clearly remember the Nintendo Cereal System. Set up like the candy Nerds, the inside of the cereal box was split down the middle. You popped open one side and poured out the fruity Mario cereal while the other distributed Link’s fruity concoction. How’d it taste? Probably way too sweat to my grown up pallet, but I imagine that, being the cereal fan that I was, I quite enjoyed it as a kid.
Today’s Ad It Up is a double whammy! I saw this one in Silver Surfer #21 (1989) and it made me smile immediately. This comic is from before I read comics, but features not one, but two things that were a part of my childhood. I’ll start with the Quick Shot controllers first because this is a simpler story and boils down to the fact that I had one of these NES controllers (the one on the far right in the smaller picture). I didn’t use it a ton because it was a little awkward, but I actually still have it and it’s sitting in my living room as I type.
The WWF (as it was known when I was a youngin’), I had a more complex relationship with. My dad wrestled in college and always hated this fake stuff and didn’t want me watching it. I assume there was also an element of my parents not wanting me to watch the violent sport, but I bet legit wrestling pride was an equally strong, if not stronger motivator. As such, I thought the WWF was fake and lame and didn’t care about it. But I did like Hulk Hogan (what kid my age didn’t?) and watched the WWF cartoon and oddly enough became a fan of the video games. I remember playing the NES game advertised about at a friend’s house and it was fun. Later, when I was a teenager and regularly babysitting three boys, we spent many an hour playing one of the Sega versions (it had Doink the Clown if that helps). They’re just fun, beat em up games with colorful characters and big personalities, the same thing that drew me to comics, really. I’ve even thought of picking up the WWE Legends game for Xbox hoping it’s kind of in that same vein. Anyone played it? How does it stack up against games I played on occasion almost 20 years ago?