Video Game Review
Nintendo Entertainment System
Developed by: Konami
Published by: Konami
If it weren’t for one special thing about Gradius for the NES, the game would be an average shoot-em-up for the system. The power-up selector made Gradius a worthwhile game. Not only does it make it better than most of the games in its genre on the NES but also makes it a standout game compared to titles of the same genre on more powerful systems. Konami got lucky with Gradius because aside from this major part of gameplay, the game at its core feels very generic. Still, Gradius is still an enjoyable game.
Hall of Fame Inductee
Original Release: 1981 (Arcade)
Publisher: Sega, Gremlin
It’s weird how the simplest of concepts that have no business of becoming popular find their way to the front of the mass-market audience. Konami’s Frogger is an example of this. Considering it was released in 1981, an era where the best games involved shooting at things or had at least more than one screen, Frogger was very modest in contrast. It only had one screen and the goal was to get a frog to run across traffic to go home. On paper it sounds like a dud. In reality, it’s a game that became an icon in the industry.
Video Game Review
Developer: Hijinx Studios
Frogger is considered a legendary arcade title. Like many of its early arcade compatriots like Missile Command and Centipede, Frogger has had trouble sustaining itself as a viable franchise after home consoles became popular. Frogger had simple yet addictive gameplay which could be easily replicated on a home system but had trouble competing against games which offered more complex gameplay and more detailed design. Frogger Returns brings the series back to its roots: get the little frog from point A to point B. The graphics are slicker and the game design is a little more complex but as interesting a title this is, it still has trouble keeping up with the original.