If you’ve been reading Nintendo Times over the past few months, then you’ll know there has been a worldwide microchip shortage. This has had a big impact on Nintendo and its third party licensees, creating a vast shortfall in the number of games each company can produce. As a result, Nintendo has revised its slate of games for the rest of 1988 and will put a major focus on just two titles: Super Mario Bros. 2 and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Both are expected to be in high demand this holiday season.
Both games were shown off at this year’s summer CES and we think gamers everywhere are going to love what’s in store when they finally ship these highly anticipated sequels. Super Mario Bros. 2 plays completely different from the original classic. We detailed much of the game in our previous special, but suffice to say you no longer will be able to just stomp on enemy’s heads. Instead you’ll have to pluck up vegetables and throw them at your adversaries. In some cases you’ll have to ride them to gain access to new areas. In one instance we came across an enemy that shot eggs at us and we had to time our jump perfectly to land on the egg, pick it up, and toss it back at the enemy to defeat it! From flying carpet rides to digging new paths in the desert, the worlds are highly varied. We’re told to expect this one this fall for $49.95.
Not to be outdone, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link looks even better than the last time we saw it. The game’s graphics look quite a bit better than the first, with highly detailed sprites shown off in an all-new side-scrolling 2D perspective. This time around Link has grown up and will have to learn new skills and techniques to vanquish the land from evil. This one plays a bit more like a computer RPG with you visiting multiple towns to talk to villagers and gain hints on where to go next. Just like last time, Link will come across a wide variety of items and tools to aid in his quest. Princess Zelda has been put under a diabolical sleeping spell and it’s up to you to find a cure. Each enemy you defeat gives you experience points, and you’ll be able to learn new moves over the course of the game. Nintendo is expecting this one to be a megahit just like the original (which we’re told is approaching 1.5 million sold) and will come on a gold cartridge with battery backup as well. Nintendo hopes to have this one out this fall, which is about a year later than originally promised, and will have a suggested retail of $49.95.
In the next month or so Nintendo is also releasing a dual Game Pak that contains both Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. on one cartridge. It’s called, appropriately enough, Donkey Kong Classics and will have a suggested retail price of $42.95. Nothing has changed with the games other than they’re both together in one place. The old separate versions have been discontinued.
Also gone from Nintendo’s docket of games that were originally scheduled to release this year are Dragon Warrior and Return of Donkey Kong. Dragon Warrior was set to become Nintendo’s next big adventure game with role-playing elements. The series is known as Dragon Quest in Japan and is developed by a company named Enix. It’s one of the biggest sensations overseas with the third iteration selling millions of copies. Nintendo wouldn’t say if or when the game would come out over here, but we imagine they have enough problems just trying to keep up with demand of current titles. Apparently Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is on track to becoming the next million-seller! As for Return of Donkey Kong, we’re filing this one under vaporware. We’ve yet to see a shred of artwork or any screens and there’s no Japanese equivalent that’s been released yet, so we don’t know if it will ever show up.
So, which upcoming Nintendo game are you more excited for: Super Mario Bros. 2 or Zelda II? After playing both, we’re not sure we could make a choice. It looks like it’s both for us!