In yet another week Lusipurr.com has travelled a full 365 days into the magical year of 1992. What surprises lie inside the year whose numbers add up to the legal drinking age in the United States? Only one way to tell: continuous reading and emotional support.
The games in 1992 were as fun as they are old because this faithful year blessed us with not one but two games in the “Mega Man” franchise. That is correct, Mega Man 4 was released in North America in early January while Mega Man 5 was released on December 31st in North America. Back then, the action platformers starting blue androids were wholesome and entertaining, now all gamers have is Mighty No. 9 which is underwhelming at best. However, the Blue Bomber was not alone in notable releases from 1992 as it also gave gamers the gift of the one and only Night Trap! Yes, the very same game that helped shape the ESRB and is being re-released this year for a modern audience with retro tastes. In addition to Night Trap, Mortal Kombat was also released this year which had parents in a tizzy thanks to gruesome gameplay. Along with gruesome, id Software took a sharp turn in content when compared to Commander Keen as Wolfenstein 3D was also released in 1992 drawing inspiration from the original Castle Wolfenstein created by the then defunct Muse Software. On the other side of the violence spectrum, Kirby’s Dream Land came out in 1992, the very first game to star the pink puff ball and his journey through Dream Land to stop King Dedede. To close out the games in 1992 is none other than the first game in a long and lauded series known as Super Mario Kart. The start of a cartoon racing series that captured the hearts of gamers worldwide then, and has continued to do so with future entries such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Onto hardware, as mentioned in last week’s post the Mega-CD released in Japan in 1991 but it was not until 1992 that it released in North America as the Sega-CD. The add-on to the Sega Genesis was able to play CD-based games which allowed for much larger games to be released onto the Genesis including controversial titles like Night Trap and critically acclaimed titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog CD, and Lunar: Eternal Blue. The Sega CD also greatly helped the FMV genre take shape in the home console market thanks to this disc-based advancement. These titles helped sell the Sega CD, but ultimately the add-on lost steam due to its price and the fact that it quickly became outdated in comparison to other consoles through its lifetime. Also released in North America in 1992 was the TurboDuo, (aka the PC Engine Duo in other regions), which supported both CD-Roms and the proprietary TurboChip. Although the system was powerful, the marketing campaign for it was less than stellar with the mean-spirited character of Johnny Turbo who has to be seen to be believed. This system was also short-lived however as it was discontinued in 1995 and followed up by the PC-FX which failed to find a market as well (more on that in 1994!).
Last up for this editorial is not a grouping of new businesses for the time, but instead an event which occurred in 1992 that is equally educational. Back in 1990, the Game Genie came out to the delight of video game players, and the horror of Nintendo who subsequently took the device’s creator, Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc, to court claiming that the device was infringing on their copyright by creating a derivative work each time the device was used. After a little over a year of battling it out in court, Galoob ended up victorious and was allowed to continue selling Game Genies. However, as they were not able to sell them during the trial, Nintendo had to recuperate the company’s losses which totaled to $15 million and on top of this Nintendo also had to pay the legal fees of the toy company as well (something Nintendo failed to appeal in court afterwards). The case was officially decided on May 21, 1992, as judges felt that the device was the same thing as fast-forwarding through a movie or speed-reading a book, which does affect how the consumer enjoys the product but does not create a derivative work, which was Nintendo’s position on the matter.
Just like that, the wrap-up on gaming in 1992 is over with a victory for cheaters everywhere. Did you learn something new? Or were you already knowledgeable in all the court cases Nintendo has been part of? Whatever the case may be, make sure to let us know by leaving a comment below!