Folks, if you’re like me and grew up in the 80s and 9os, then you remember that we had some pretty odd, bizarre and sometimes completely insane advertising. Video games were no exception. So let’s dig into to some old ads for classic games and remember when video game advertising was as weird as the games,
This video is from YouTuber jeremy8780. It consists of 21 ads for the NES, games and accessories. Not all of these are English, there are several Japanese ads thrown in.I’m going to go through each one, with a link to that part of the video and some comments on highlights. Lets dig in!
Our first ad is for the Nintendo Entertainment System (known from here on as the NES) itself. It highlight R.O.B The Robot and the Light Gun. It also has a very excited Zack Morris doppelganger.
This is one of those ads that you could date even if you knew nothing about video games. The inside of the house does not look at all like a house would look in 2016, and screams 1980s interior design. These kids are also really getting into Duck Hunt and RBI Baseball but that was all we had back then.
0:37 - Star Wars, NES 1991
This ad is for Star Wars on the NES. I played it and it was an ok game. The ad features Darth Vader getting turned into pixels which is certainly not the dumbest thing that was every foisted upon Star Wars. This would be years before the prequels would be made after all.
I can still remember when this ad for Super Mario Brothers 3 aired. Mario 3 was my jam, I knew all the secrets of that game.
If there is one thing that can get people of all races and creeds together, it’s a corporate mascot.
Honestly not even having Nancy Cartwright doing the voice of Bart will make me forget what a shit game this was.
If you played this game for the NES, you know what I’m talking about. If not, look up The Angry Video Game Nerd’s video.
Ah yes, the Power Glove. For those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s, it was THE NES accessory to get. That was in part...well mostly due to it being featured in the 1990 feature length Nintendo commercial I MEAN family entertaining motion picture “The Wizard”.
I never had one of these. I’ve seen the Nerd video. But I want to know, did anyone out there reading this have one of these and get it to work? of course the commercial makes it look super easy and bad ass.
I never owned this game, but I played the first one at a friend’s house.
Not much to say about this ad other than it has some really crappy animation. I mean we’re talking anime filler arc bad here.
The previous ad was obviously done cheap. This one on the other hand had some real effort went into it. I never played the game so i can’t comment on that.But just look at some of these clips from the ad. This looks like scenes from some indie made fantasy movie, the kind that shows on MST3K or Rifftrax. The ones that might not have a lot of money but have a lot of heart and passion in the cast and crew.
This is pretty good for a 1990 video game ad, if I do say so myself. Of course the game might blow, as I said I never played it. But since when has the quality of the marketing ever been a barometer to the quality of the game?
Skipping an ad for Meteroid and Rad Racer because they’re rather uninteresting (aside from the odd choice of using an NES Advantage controller to play a racing game), our next entry is Paperboy. It’s also known as “Dying Industry The Video Game”. You want to feel old? Watch this ad for something you might have done when you were kid that probably no kid will be doing in 10 years.
The ad does a good job of representing the game play in a real world setting, where literally everything in this neighbhorhood is sentient and out for your blood. I mean, yes the kid is terrible at this but that’s not a good reason to run him down with a lawn mower. That aside, kid is really bad. He should probably be fired.
Here we have our first...Japanese ad. Many of you should recognize this game. It’s Doki Doki Panic, or as it’s known in the west the game that became Super Mario Brothers 2.
For those who don’t know, SMB2 was not the actual second game made. That game was never released in the USA until it came as part of the Super Mario Brothers All Star cartridge for the SNES in 1993. It was deemed to be to difficult for an American audience.
Nintendo decided to take the existing Doki Doki Panic and retrofit it with the Mario characters. A lot of the original game play elements, such as enemies and powers were kept in. A lot of these enemies, such as Shy Guys, Bob-ombs and Pokeys, have become part of Mario canon. The Mario characters replaced the ones from the original game.
Folks, we have a lot here and we’re only halfway done. So I am going to split this into two parts. I will post the second part in the next couple of days. I hope you all enjoyed this trip down video game memory lane and I’ll see you in part 2.