Classic video gaming information including collecting, repair, modification, gameplay videos, and best and worst of Nintendo NES, Super Nintendo SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega 32X, Sega CD, Sega Master System, Turbografx16, and Atari.
Video games and video gaming systems that were were released in 1989
The U-Force (Uforce) is a controller that came out in 1989 for the NES by Broderbund. It was based on infrared technology that allowed the gamer to use hand and body motions (think of a 1980’s version of the Nintendo Wii only glitchy and problematic) to play games.
It was touted as:
A new dimension in video game excitement! The amazing U-Force controller is simply the most realistic, most responsive controller ever created for Nintendo games. U-Force uses exclusive, breakthrough technology to sens the auction motion and position of your hands and body. You can actually be a part of every game you play.
When you purchased the U-Force it came bundled with the unit itself, a “Power-Bar”, T-Bar, and Hand Grips. The Power-Bar was for Mike Tyson’s Punchout and “future games”.
The U-Force unit could be setup in 3 different “positions”. The “Upright” position which looked like a conventional laptop, the “Upright position with accessories” (such as using the Power Bar to play Mike Tyson’s Punch-out) and the “Flat” position.
Some games played semi-tolerably with the U-Force but most were unplayable or they were immensely harder than using the standard NES controller. With this being the case it was hard to justify purchasing the U-Force unless you wanted to deal with the quirkiness of it.
I hated the U-Force back in the day and I still don’t enjoy it even for “nostalgic sake”. It’s flaky and doesn’t live up to the promises stated. If you want to try it out on a game you’ve already mastered it might be fun for a few minutes but after that I’m sure you’ll get sick of it.
Here’s a photo of my Nintendo NES CIB (complete in box) collection. The games I have are as follows:
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Adventure of Link
Adventures of Bayou Billy
Back to the Future
Blades of Steel
Code name Viper
Donkey Kong Classics
Double Dragon 2
Dragon Warrior 2
Dragon Warrior 3
Friday the 13
Ghosts and Goblins
Loony Toon 2
Low G Man
Mario is Missing
Mike Tyson’s Punch Out
NES Cleaning Kit 1
NES Cleaning Kit 2
Nightmare on Elm Street
Skate or Die
Super Mario Bros
Super Mario Bros
Super Mario Bros 2
Super Mario Bros 3 Challenge Set Box
Super Mario Bros 3
Ultima Quest for the Avatar
WWF Wrestling Challenge
A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1989 by LJN for the NES. It’s a side scrolling platformer game. The gameplay is based on two different Freddy Krueger movies, A Nightmare on Elm Street part 3: Dream Warriors and part 4: The Dream master.
The goal of the game is to collect Freddy’s bones and burn them in the boiler at Elm Street High School. Freddy’s bones are scattered all over the place in each level.
You start out on Elm street and your first goal is to go into a house (NOTE: not all houses are open even if the door looks open) . You need to collect all the bones in order to unlock a boss fight at the end of the level. If you have missed a bone or two and get to the end of the level you will have no choice but to go back through the level to find the missing bones. Once you fight the boss you will get a key that lets you in another house.
The gameplay also has a twist in that your character can fall asleep. In order to stay awake you need to find coffee. There’s a meter in game that shows how close you are to falling asleep. If you do fall asleep the gameplay shifts to the “Dream World”. In the dream world the monsters are more powerful but you also get to use your special Dream Warrior abilities. There are three different Dream Warrior abilities based on which one you have collected: A ninja who can throw ninja stars and jump kick, an Acrobat who throws javelins and does a jumping somersault and a magician who shoots fireballs and can hover.
The controls can be touchy but they’re pretty easy to master after some practice. Some of the levels have spots where enemies will spawn out of nowhere (bats mostly) and you can get some cheap deaths. It’s not a huge problem but when the screen gets crowded it can be frustrating.
The graphics are good for a 1989 NES game. The graphics for the Freddy boss fights are good for its time.
The music is well done. It’s catchy and it fits the mood of the game. Some have complained because LJN has used some of the music before in different games. I don’t see what the big deal is because it’s not bad music. I could see criticizing LJN if they reused bad music. That’s not the case here.
Another unique thing about A Nightmare on Elm Street is you can play up to four players simulataneously if you have a NES Satellite or NES Four Score.
Bad Street Brawler was released by Mattel in 1989 for the NES. It’s a side scrolling beat em up game. It’s one of the few games that was to be used with the crappy Mattel Power Glove for the NES which is ironic because the Power Glove sucks too.
I remember getting this game as a gift when I was as a kid and wanting it to be good but it really, really sucks.
The music is the first thing that comes to mind about this game. It’s so repetitive and the sound effects are so annoying that it’s better to play with the sound muted. I hate the theme song and it gets stuck in my head for some reason!
The graphics are cheesy and have very little detail. The Flintstones type background of each level looks like it took five minutes to develop. Even the colors used are ugly.
For some reason in the story you’re fighting against a bunch of midget clones, meth head freaks with baseball bats and gorillas. The game doesn’t make any sense. During gameplay every once in a while some dude will come on screen and open his trench coat to flash you and out comes a heart with wings. That makes sense right?!
It’s a two player game but you alternate turns. I guess the only thing that would have made this crappy game a little more fun to play is if two people could actually play it at the same time. No dice.
River City Ransom was released in 1989 by Technos of Japan for the NES. It’s a beat em up style game that combines RPG elements. These two genres make a good mix and River City Ransom has some excellent gameplay as well.
You play as Alex and Ryan. The story goes that Ryan’s girlfriend has been kidnapped by an evil dude named Slick. As you are on your way trying to rescue Ryan’s girlfriend, you are confronted by 9 different gangs depending where you are in the city. They all want to kill you for being on their turf. It’s up to you to show them who’s boss.
The fighting gameplay is like Double Dragon where you can pickup weapons that are dropped from defeated enemies. You can perform kicks, punches, and jump kicks. River City Ransom has two player simultaneous co-op which really makes the game a lot more fun. Teaming up to take on the gangs with a friend is a great time.
Enemies will drop coins after you defeat them which you can use in the vast amount of shops in the city. You can buy all different kinds of items and food to make Alex and Ryan stronger. The graphics and music are well done and the gameplay is challenging but not too hard. One memorable thing about River City Ransom is that after you defeat an enemy they have a phrase that they say. Barf seems to be a very popular one! =)
The NES cartridge is not terribly rare but it does fetch a bit more than most carts of it’s era. It’s usually around $20.00.
Ninja Gaiden was released in 1989 by Tecmo for the NES. The gameplay is that of a side scrolling platformer game. The gameplay is addicting and challenging and that’s why there have been so many more sequels to this game. This is the one that started it all.
You play as ninja Ryu Hayabusa who has come to America to kill those who have murdered his father. As the story progresses you find out you need to help save the world. There are 6 main acts which comprise of 20 stages of levels.
This game received high praise for the get quality cut scenes it used. For it’s time it was well done and really added something to the game. It helped to better tell the story and make the game player feel more involved.
One of the negatives about the gameplay is how Ryu bounces back when hit. This can make some of the levels difficult especially when it’s crowded with enemies or there are pits nearby. Many games of this day used this type of collision detection schemes so it’s a small complaint.
When it was released it was well received and it soon become a favorite of many NES gamers. All of the sequels for the NES were also well remembered as quality games. If you’ve never tried this game you’re missing out on one of the best NES games ever!
Tetris was released in 1989 by Nintendo for the NES. This is the “officialy licensed” version of Tetris as there were two different versions of Tetris published on the NES.
The “other version” was released by Tengen (an unlicensed publisher that was owned by Atari). The Tengen version of the game created a huge mess of legal problems for both Nintendo and Tengen.
Atari’s version in a lot of ways was better than Nintendo’s version. In Atari’s version you could play two players cooperatively and versus each other, whereas in the Nintendo version it was only a single player game. Atari’s version was only on sale for one month before they lost the lawsuit and had to recall all the unsold games. Because of this Atari’s version is a collector’s item today. Anyway enough with the history lesson and I’ll get back on topic…
Tetris was one of those games that invited more than just the avid gamer. Adults and others who really didn’t play video games back in the 80’s started to play it and they quickly got addicted to the simple but challenging gameplay. This is something that made it one of the most famous games ever.
The gameplay is simple and fun: create lines using different shaped blocks called “Tetraminos”. Clearing 4 lines at once is a Tetris which you get the most points for.
There was a sequel on the NES but the gameplay was drastically changed so that while it still had the same name it really was an altogether different game.
Tetris is one of the best selling NES games of all time. It is a must have if you own a NES. It was so popular that it was the included add-in game with Nintendo’s portable system the GameBoy.