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  • Fantastic Night Dreams: Cotton 

    Fantastic Night Dreams: Cotton (generally just referred to as Cotton) is an arcade shooter released in 1991 that defined a new sub-genre (the cute ’em up though I don’t know anybody who actually says that). In 1993 a port was released for the TurboGrafx-CD. This version, particularly the U.S. release, is very rare and demands exorbitant prices on eBay. It was also released on the PlayStation in 1999 but only in Japan. The prices for that one are not much better.

    In Cotton, the player controls a young witch on a broomstick. Fans of arcade shooters, anime and extremely cute games all love this one so I suppose that explains its relative rarity and high demand. As far as shooters go, it is not really exceptional and got mostly average reviews but the uniqueness adds a certain appeal. You would think that the publisher just would have released more of them…

    There was also a much more limited Neo Geo Pocket Color port, available only in Japan and again very expensive. There have been various spinoffs and follow-ups including a sequel (Cotton 2: Magical Night Dreams). Cotton 2 was released for the Sega Saturn but once again it is quite expensive if you are looking to buy it today. It seems like these games would be good Virtual Console candidates given their expense but as of today you’ll have to lay out the cash or look into emulation options.

    The above screen shots are from the 1999 PlayStation release of Fantastic Night Dreams: Cotton.

    Release Date: 1991

    Platforms: Arcade, TurboGrafx-CD, Sharp X68000, PlayStation1, Neo Geo pocket color

    Genre: shooter

    Developer: Success

    Darkness has surrounded the fairies world, and with that, the prism that brought joy and life to the land doesn’t work anymore. The fairy queen told Silk, a young fairy, to find some help and get the seven magical candies, Willows, that you need to fix the prism. Silk finds Cotton, a witch who loves Willows, and thanks to that, the fairy is able to trick her into the adventure.


  • Star Wars (Arcade)

    Electronic Games August 1983 Page 063 (Advertisement) Atari Star Wars
    Electronic Games
    August 1983
    Page 063 (Advertisement)
    Star Wars

    Source: Electronic Games – August 1983

    The Star Wars arcade game was developed and released by Atari in 1983. Star Wars made use of vector graphics which were becoming pretty uncommon by 1983 but they were used to good effect and would also be used in the arcade sequel, The Empire Strikes Back.

    Star Wars recreated Luke’s attack on the Death Star and it was one of the most popular arcade games of all time. The bright vector wire frame graphics made for some impressive visuals. There were also voice and sound samples from Luke, Obi-Wan, Han, Chewbacca and R2-D2.

    A number of home ports were created including for the Commodore 64, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision, PC (DOS), Atari ST and Amiga among others. The Amiga and Atari ST versions were especially good and close to the arcade original. Much Later, the original was included as an unlockable bonus in Star Wars Rogue Squadron III for the GameCube.

    It isn’t terribly common to see ads for arcade games in home video game magazines but the above ad is from the August 1983 issue of Electronic Games.

  • Final Fight (1989)

    Final Fight
    Publisher: Capcom (Arcade, X68000, SNES, JP/NA GBA, PS2, PS3, Xbox, 360, iOS)  U.S. Gold (Amiga, CPC, ST, C64, ZX), SEGA (Sega CD), Ubisoft (EU GBA)
    Developer: Capcom (Arcade, X68000, SNES, GBA, PS3, 360, iOS), Creative Materials (Amiga, CPC, ST, C64, ZX), A Wave (Sega CD), Backbone Entertainment (PS2, Xbox)
    Platform: Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, X68000, Super Famicom / Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Mega CD / Sega CD, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS
    Year: 1989 (Arcade), 1990 (SFC), 1991 (SNES, Amiga, CPC, ST, C64, ZX), 1992 (X68000), 1993 (Sega CD), 2001 (GBA), 2005 (NA/EU PS2/Xbox), 2006 (JP PS2), 2010 (PS3, 360), 2011 (iOS)

    Final Fight was released by Capcom as an arcade game in 1989. Final Fight is a side-scrolling beat-em-up playable by two players and is one of the classics of the genre. The game was originally intended to be a sequel to Street Fighter (which did eventually come around a little later) and was initially titled Street Fighter ’89 but after the success of Double Dragon it was changed from a fighting game to a side-scrolling beat-em-up. According to the developers, inspiration for much of the game came from Double Dragon II and the movie Streets of Fire. Much of the same development team did go on to create Street Fighter II.

    Final Fight was ported to a large number of home systems in various waves. The initial wave in 1991 saw ports for the Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga and Super Nintendo (probably the highest profile port) among others. In 1993 a Sega CD port was released. In 2001 a Game Boy Advance port came along. In 2005 PS2 and Xbox versions were developed. In 2010 PS3 and Xbox 360 ports happened. Finally, in 2011 there was an iOS port. The Super Nintendo version was also released for the Wii Virtual Console in 2007 and the Wii U Virtual Console in 2013.

    The 8-bit ports were not great, partially due to the limitations of those systems but also partially because insufficient time was spent actually developing them. The 16-bit computer ports didn’t fare much better. The Super Nintendo port was the best of the early ports but even it lacked two-player mode and a few other things. The Sega CD version which came a couple of years later was probably the best 16-bit port and did have the two-player mode.