Video Games 1988: Intro
Video Games 1988: In July, Nintendo releases the first issue of Nintendo Power magazine. New companies like Eurocom, Image Works, Koeo, Stormfront, Visual Concepts, Walt Disney Computer Software were formed. In October, Sega Mega Drive was released in Japan.
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Hardware of 1988
Namco releases the Namco System 21, the first arcade system board specifically designed for 3D polygon graphics. Nintendo buys the rights to Bandai’s Family Trainer and re-releases it as the Power Pad. Sega Mega Drive was released in Japan. Read more about Sega here: History of Sega
Video Games of 1988
Arcade Games of 1988
Namco releases Assault, which may be the first game to use hardware rotation of sprites and the background. Namco also releases Winning Run, the first polygonal 3D arcade racing game. Splatterhouse by Namco is the first game to get a parental advisory disclaimer. Sega releases infamous Altered Beast which was later ported to the Mega Drive/Genesis. Capcom releases Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, the sequel to Ghosts ‘n Goblins. Also, Technōs Japan releases Double Dragon II: The Revenge, the first sequel to Double Dragon.
Williams releases the violent, drug-themed NARC, beginning a run of major hits for the company. And if that was not enough, Namco also releases World Stadium, Berabow Man, Marchen Maze, Bakutotsu Kijuutei, Ordyne, Metal Hawk, World Court, Mirai Ninja, Face Off and Phelios.
Console Games of 1988
Nintendo revamps Doki Doki Panic and releases it as Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo Entertainment System in America and the PAL region. Nintendo also releases Super Mario Bros. 3 for the Famicom in Japan. For the Americans, Nintendo releases Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The game had been released nearly two years earlier in Japan on the Famicom Disk System.
Tecmo releases Ninja Gaiden for the NES/Famicom. Capcom releases Mega Man 2 in Japan, eventually becoming the highest-selling installment of the entire Mega Man franchise. Bionic Commando was released for NES/Famicom, also by Capcom.
Sega releases Phantasy Star outside Japan for the Sega Master System, the first in the company’s most successful series of role-playing video games.
Computer Games of 1988
Electronic Arts releases Wasteland. Origin Systems releases Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny. This was the first game in the Ultima series to implement a time-of-day system with day/night cycles and daily schedules for non-player characters. Shareware game The Adventures of Captain Comic is one of the first NES-style scrolling platformers for the PC, setting the stage for a subsequent shareware platformer boom.
Pool of Radiance the first of the SSI Gold Box games is released, the first computer RPG officially based on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Superior Software release Exile on the Acorn Electron and BBC Micro. A complex arcade adventure, it is the first with a full physics engine.
Electronic Arts releases John Madden Football for the Apple II, starting its highly successful line of American football games.