Tuesday, November 13, 2012

'89 Game Power from Bandai

Because advertising is expensive and game development is cheap (?!), an early strategy of some publishers was to just throw their entire catalogue in a full-page ad, casting a wide net -- or rather, throwing everything out there and seeing if any of it would stick. Bandai is still with us, a major toy company (counting among their holdings not only Gundam and the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers but also Pac-Man's creators Namco) ... This ad is surprisingly effective, packing a lot of punchy information in for each game (and, hilariously, showing a redundant miniature game box beneath each game's thumbnail, for the exclusive benefit of readers with magnifying glasses.) Without hyperbole, I can state that in some cases each of the six games profiled here get more air time than some games with full-page ads.
'89 Game Power from Bandai
STREET COP
You're a rookie cop walking the meanest streets of the city. Using the Power Pad controls you can run down and catch the thugs and villains and make the neighborhood safe again!
MONSTER PARTY
Fighting a vast array of monsters is made more difficult than ever when rewards turn into demons and nightmares into reality! Help the metamorphised Mark battle the demons!
DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
Play the dual-world challenge of Dr. Jekyll's London and Mr. Hyde's World of Demons. Battle the demons with Hyde's Psycho-Wave to save his life!
ATHLETIC WORLD
Test your athletic ability on Power Pad by taking on Athletic World's five challenging courses. Hurdles, Animal Trail, Dark Tunnel, Hop a Log, and Rafting. Multiple skill levels keep you constantly challenged - and in shape!
GOLF Challenge Pebble Beach
Play one of the world's most difficult and challenging golf courses on your Nintendo! Super-realistic play lets you control every aspect of playing real golf!
XEVIOUS the Avenger
Skillfully maneuver the fighter plane at warp speeds through treacherous air space and gain the strike advantage. Fire the laser-pulse weaponry at Xevious enemy aircraft and equipment.
Street Cop is a funny concept that may as well be refashioned "Jogger Citizen's Arrest"; Monster Party is the reason this ad was sent in (this ad courtesy of Doruk Özaydın, my first successful guest-contributed art); Jekyll & Hyde looks like an interesting visit to Ikaruga territory (where everything has a light and dark side, also seen in Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest (no, not that one), King's Quest 4, the Soul Reaver games, and, say, Super Mario Bros. 2.) Athletic World seems to be taking liberties with what are conventionally considered to be athletic events, Golf reminds me of Pebble Beach's interminable status as the only universally known "named" golf venue even for laymen. And Xevious, whose previous main selling point was its arcade exclusivity, here... no longer is. But why play up its intriguing Peruvian setting? Let's try to make it a little more generic here.