Monday, November 26, 2012

Acclaim's Nintendo Double Player Wireless Head-to-Head System, 1989

Here we are presented with the grim spectacle of two angry preppies -- seemingly the same spoiled pair as on the box art. Bet these overstuffed rich kids not only got their parents to shell out for the wireless controllers, but a special vibrating gaming chair with cup-holders and speakers in the head-rest.

GO HEAD-TO-HEAD,
WIRELESS!

With The Nintendo Double Player
Wireless Head-To-Head System From Acclaim.

Playing games on the Nintendo Entertainment System will never be the same with Acclaim's new DOUBLE PLAYER System -- the two player set of wireless controllers that really gives you and a friend the power to move when playing your favorite video games -- especially games with head-to-head, 2-player action!

Officially approved by Nintendo, the DOUBLE PLAYER System scores BIG with score-raising features like twin turbo rapid-fire, slow-motion, and pin-point accuracy from up to 30' away. Get the winning edge.

THE HEAD-TO-HEAD WIRELESS winning edge!

Two wireless controls are never really needed, since with one wireless and one wired, the players would never get entangled.

But the (questionable) premise is that the wireless controller gives players an "edge" over the competition (not just an edge, a winning edge -- and not just a winning edge, THE HEAD-TO-HEAD WIRELESS winning edge!), so this is the only way they can duel on an even playing field. So like many 3rd-party controllers, it has rapid-fire (here somewhat overstated as the hyperbolic "twin turbo rapid-fire" -- so not just one player at a time can enjoy it? And it's turbo rapid-fire, not the regular logey kind. Er, unless you engage the slow-motion. Maybe if you enable both simultaneously, Acclaim delivers an unprecedented approximation of gameplay at regular speed, now called ACCLAIM ACTION SPEED!)

(Am I the only one getting a vaguely homoerotic subtext with all the emphasis on "head-to-head, 2-player action"?) (A: Yes.)

I must confess to some curiosity regarding how this product would differ from, say, a pair of the Acclaim Remote Controllers. An infra-red receiver tuned to two frequencies instead of just one? The joysticks definitely appear to be thoroughly skinned with their new brand. There are a lot of buttons on these joysticks; it looks like Acclaim is offering rapid-fire not only with A and B but also with Start and Select. (Maybe rapid-firing Start is the sad secret of how they achieve their slow-motion effect?)

It's good to see Acclaim continuing to get good mileage out of their renting of the WWF license. And because you can see a few pixels of Hulk Hogan (seemingly getting kicked in the nuts by Andre the Giant... that's gotta hurt!) in the background -- hey, if these guys are posing with their controllers, who's playing that game? -- you catch a hilarious bit of business in the very small print at the bottom: Hulk HoganTM is a trademark of the Marvel Comics Group. The word "Hulk" existed before Stan Lee, and it's not like Hogan was green, incredible, or irradiated with gamma radiation. It makes one wonder how that bit of backroom paperwork played out. (I don't even want to imagine just how the complicated Sgt. Slaughter's dual existence between the wrestling ring and G.I. Joe was hashed out.) In any case, you can bet that this ad appeared in a Marvel comic... who knows if they would have bothered with that in a DC one?