The original Super Smash Bros had some pretty funny ads and commercials. Here’s one from a French magazine. Good luck to everyone who will be spending their weekend trying to unlock the last few characters!
Challenger / チャレンジャー
Hudson Soft 1985
Challenger is an early multi-genre action game which starts off with a bang, featuring a side-scrolling segment on a moving train which must have been notably cinematic by mid-80s standards. Your small hero is armed with an infinite supply of knives to throw, which are utilized using the A button, unlike the vast majority of attacks in Famicom games. Here, you’ll be using B to jump in the side-scrolling portions, which honestly account for a minority of the game. In this train level, you’ll have to jump and scroll your way all the way to the right to enter the train, then backtrack to the left in order to confront your rival, who’ll escape shortly after. It’s unique and ambitious for a game of its age, though said age certainly shows in the choppiness of the scrolling. Once this segment wraps up, you’ll be thrust into the meat of the game, where you’ll have to locate the princess within a large overhead map. You’re unable to jump in this mode, but can move in four directions, and you’re granted a health bar to work with here. These sections obviously demand a little bit exploring, but their visuals change up as you move along, and it’s not too terribly overwhelming. However, what makes these parts a chore is that to enter the doors to the cave sections (which are guarded by skeleton enemies), you’ll actually first need to gain a power-up from an enemy kill, which’ll drop at random. This means that, if luck isn’t on your side, it isn’t unrealistic to be stuck running out the time limit grinding enemy kills over and over, until you get one of the two desired items, which consist of a speed-up, and an orb which kills all enemies on screen. And contrary to convention, to pick up these items you’ll have to throw a knife at them, otherwise they’ll actually damage you. The cave sections are nothing special, just the same single-room jumping puzzle repeated, for the sake of collecting different items needed to complete the game. I wanted to like Challenger much more than I did, but despite its ambitious nature, the bulk of the game can’t live up to the standard set by its introductory level.