Kung-Fu Master (Arcade)

Kung-Fu Master was my first lesson in corporate ambition. This game was hard; nigh-on impossible for any coin-loaded juvenile with a pixelated glare.

I must have been five years old when I first laid eyes on it, and King Kong couldn’t have dragged me away. Remember, this was the 80s, and Kung-Fu Master was quite the novelty, a complex and fluid side-scrolling beat ’em up which was as addictive as it was infuriating…

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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Sony PlayStation)

It’s impossible to hurl too many superlatives at Castlevania: Symphony of the Night because it deserves each and every one of them. Is it the best PlayStation game ever made? Is it the best game of the 1990s? Is it the best game ever? These are legitimate questions that gamers and fans of the title have been asking themselves and others since its release in 1997 . . .

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WWF WrestleFest (Arcade)

By the mid-90s, the World Wrestling Federation was on something of a downward spiral.

During the mid-1980’s, company CEO Vince McMahon systematically destroyed the then regional wrestling territories by stealing all of their talent and transforming the business into a nationwide, pay-per-view industry. Plunging all of his finances into a make-or-break event known as Wrestlemania, Vince capitalised on the youth-orientated MTV market by enlisting the services of stars such as Cyndi Lauper, and thereby introducing his own larger-than-life stars to an already established audience . . .

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)

The original ‘Ninja Turtles’ release has gotten a lot of stick over the years.

A lot of it is warranted, but there are far more cynical franchise spin-offs out there. The game may have gotten a lot of things wrong, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. Konami tried something new with a lot of variations in an attempt to set the game apart from other side-scrolling actioners, and if nothing else it was interesting upon first impression . . .

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Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (Arcade)

Capcom have made some classic games in their five decades as developers, but for me they will always be synonymous with the Street Fighter series.

Back in 1991, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior took arcade arenas by storm. After lukewarm reviews for the original Street Fighter coin-op, Capcom upped the stakes by completely revolutionising the competitive fighting game. Of course, the transition from pedestrian punch-out to fluid, fast-paced milestone did not come easy . . .

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Super Mario Bros. (NES)

Home video gaming in the 1980’s was ultimately defined by two consoles, the Atari Video Computer System (2600) and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

Sure, there were many other popular, well received, and well made consoles during that time, but it ultimately came down to two. The Atari era defined the first half of the decade and the NES defined the latter half. There was one game in particular that catapulted the NES into the stratosphere and made not only Nintendo synonymous with video games, but also a mustachioed Italian plumber named Mario a household name…

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