Nov 13 2017

Game Player’s Gametape Vol. 1 No. 6: Ultra Games

It’s been a while since we’ve last taken a look at the Game Players Game Tape series. In tape number 6 we have games from the publisher Ultra.

Now, this is a funny one – the last tape was Konami games, and this one is Ultra games. Thing about that, for the few of you who would read this who don’t know, is that Ultra was Konami! This is a side effect of the publishing limits that Nintendo had in the 80’s and early 90’s. To keep the games  produced by 3rd party publishers of quality rather than quantity, Nintendo set a limit of 5 games per year per publisher. Well, Konami had plenty of games to publish, more than Nintendo would allow, and so for the US market they created a shell company, Ultra games, to publish these titles.

I find it funny, back then there was a mistique about Ultra games being more difficult (ultra hard, we called it) than other companies titles. Only a few of us ever actually realized these were just Konami games rebranded – it seemed the Ultra games were all the “odd” titles that Konami decided weren’t worth releasing under Konami here in the states, but still were worth making available here. That’s my take how games were divided between publishing brands, at least.

Anyway, on to the tape itself, which is basically Konami games part 2, we have a nice assortment of absolute classics: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Metal Gear, Skate or Die, and lastly Defender of the Crown.

I don’t have much special to say about any given segment – the announcer getting the Turtles villains Beebop and Rocksteady wrong is somewhat funny, but otherwise the advice here is actually kind of decent. Don’t know what he’s on about wasting ammo in level 3 though, as bullets are unlimited. Whatever.

I can’t say much on the other segments at all, so, just enjoy them for what they are. You know what to expect with these tapes, by now, I’m sure. The Skate or Die commentary is funny enough given the nature of the game!

Enjoy!

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