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I ought to be ashamed. I didn’t post once in April, which was the longest stretch of me not posting here. Bad Salzman – bad! Anywho this week I will received a boxed copy of Rampage for SEGA Master System. I’m excited about this because its an excellent port, where as the Nintendo version… was kinda lacking.
Rampage will always have a special place in my heart. I remember seeing it in arcades at only four locations: 1. Pistol Pete’s Pizza, 2. Scandia, 3. Disneyland, 4. Colorado Belle Casino in Laughlin Nevada.
I would have first played it between the 4th and 6th grade, and I know for a fact I had to have played it because I had a friend in the 6th grade named Chris Smith and we used to talk about the game all the time. Of the three monsters George was my man, only because he was centered on the machine, which made it seem as though he was the most comfortable to use. It was also the only game I remember playing as a kid where you were the bad guy. It had a standard that would make the developers of Grand Theft Auto blush:
First of all when you “died” you would shrink to human naked form. Secondly the monsters were turned into monsters because they injected drugs – hardcore illegal narcotics. Third you did nothing but kill people and destroy property. Forth, sexual assault was implied as grabbing the girl would force all of the army men and helicopters to disappear while your score would rack up super fast. Eventually the hussy would slap you and you’d drop her and she’d try to run off. Fifth, the destruction of the skyscrapers forshadowed 9/11 – including the conspiracy theory that WTC7 or even the towers themselves were destroyed by explosives – which the army does in the game, even to buildings that aren’t damaged And lets not forget the bottles of booze in the buildings you can eat!
But the game wasn’t entirely corrupting. Since you’d see a newspaper clipping before each city you’d learn a lot about American cities. Without Rampage I’d probably think that Joliet was a venereal disease.
So one day, a friend of mine named Noel shows me has has Rampage on Nintendo. I didn’t have a Nintendo and I was jealous, and he knew it. I would never get to see the game in action on the NES during my youth. I’ve said it plenty here that once the NES came along all of my friends left me in the dust with my ColecoVision and Atari 2600. I’d never have the joys of playing Rampage at home. Or would I?
Several weeks later my family and I are at the Boulevard Mall here in Las Vegas, and at a Kay-Bee toystore I spy a copy of Rampage for Atari 2600. I remember thinking there was no was no way in hell my mother was going to buy it for me. And I was right. She did say hell no (maybe not in those words), and we left the mall empty handed. I don’t remember the price but I can’t remember it being more than $15 or so. That evening my mother and I would work out a chore/payment plan to obtain the game. Several weeks later, we’re back at the mall, and of course – no copies available. I settle for a Blue Label River Raid for Atari 2600. Damn. It.
A few days later at school a reprobate friend of mine who appreciated taking every moment to rub in the fact that he was playing Nintendo and I wasn’t listens to my sad tale of not getting a copy of Rampage for Atari 2600. He tells me he has a copy of it at his step dad’s house, and that he would go there this weekend and bring it to school with him on Monday. That Sunday night I sat on the stairs leading up to the patio of my apartment and dreamed of what would soon be the world of Rampage in my bedroom. It would not matter that the game would be in black and white. It would not matter that the game would be played on a 5 inch TV. It was Rampage and I WAS HAPPY…
Until the next day at school when I learned the kid was no longer enrolled and the previous Friday was his last day. Damn. It. Again.
Rampage became a huge disenchantment to me and in the two or three years that followed I mostly forgotten about it. That was until I got an Atari Lynx.
Rampage was the game I picked when I got the Atari Lynx. My mom died the previous year and I just started high school and Street Fighter II was a few months away from becoming popular. It was a very weird time for me. It made sense to pick a game I was familiar with. One with destruction. One that I was already friends with which seemed important to me at the time. The game was a decent port even though graphically everything was disproportionate and cramped. The lousy contrast of the Lynx didn’t help either. Bleh. Rampage was finally dead to me. Or was it?
The next four years was abotu Super Mario World, Sonic, Street Fighter II, and Mortal Kombat. Immediately after graduating high school I joined the army, and that October (1995) I reported for basic training at Ft. Sill Oklahoma. After an early discharged I returned home and the SEGA Saturn and Sony PlayStation were the current generation of consoles. I got a job for SEGA on the Las Vegas Strip, and I quickly became familiar with all of the arcades the casinos had. In a matter of a few years most arcades converted to Remdemption games, and Fighting, Driving, and Shooting. Traditional arcade games were mostly gone, except for a few titles on Neo Geo.
Then one day I saw Rampage World Tour. A reboot of the franchise which featured rendered CGI characters. It was basically an enhanced Rampage, but the premise was still the same: kill and destroy. It stirred new interest in me, and playing a few times in the arcade was enough to convince me to purchase it. So I did from an Electronics Boutique in the Fashion Show mall on the strip for the original PlayStation. The last thing the punk kid told me behind the counter was that the game was “a little kid’s game.” It wasn’t quite a kids game, but I knew what he meant.
A girl I was seeing at the time and I tried playing through the entire game one weekend, but in the typical doom associated with Rampage and I, the damn PS1 would randomly reset. So much for getting a launch model SCPH1001.
A few sequels for World Tour have since came out, and other consoles have come on gone, and I finally got re-acquainted properly with the arcade version on the Midway Arcade Classics collection for PS1 – so much so that I have a Twin Galaxies record on it. I also have the Game Boy Advance version which is a near identical port of the arcade, except that its too fast. And some time later this week, I’ll learn the joys of the SEGA Master System version. Visually, it looks a million times better than the NES version that I finally experienced a few years ago. It does nothing but pee failure.
Here I show off a cheap copy of Final Fantasy VIII for the original PlayStation. PlayStation games are not high on my collecting list so I am looking to trade it quickly. I also show of Ninja Gaiden III for Atari Lynx – this was found real low cheap from videogamepriceguides.com
There are many people who might say that Pit Fighter was a terrible game, possibly one of the worst ever. I can see where that hate comes from. The game has lousy controls the animation is choppy and the music mostly does not exist.
But the game does have some historical value to it. For starters it pre-dates Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat by at least a year and possibly longer. It has digitized graphics with real human actors. There is plenty of attention to detail including a well orchestrated audience. Visually, Pit Fighter is a beautiful game. And despite its short comings many people recognize it and some are still willing to play it even if its a sub par game.
Pit Fighter like many Tengen releases -were dumped on to as many consoles as possible. The screen shots above are for the SEGA Genesis version. But a lousy Super Nintendo, Atari Lynx, and even a Game Boy version exists as well. Now that I think about it… I gotta get that Game Boy version!
I’ve uploaded an Atari 5200 Price Guide over at videogamepriceguides.com. This was one of the easier price guides to produce. And it Atari 5200 isn’t your thing, well there is a price guide for NES, SNES, N64, Game Boy, Advance, PS1, PS2, PS3, Wii, Atari Lynx, 7800, 2600, ColecoVision, and more. WHEW!