A little over three years ago, AiPT! posted the first batch of our favorite video game ads from the 1980s and 1990s. The article lampooned how far video game companies went to capture the interest of young children across the nation. At the time we had so much fun with it, we created a sequel to the article, selected new images, added new commentary, and were ready to post…
…But then we never did.
So now, from the AiPT! vaults, we proudly present – Retro Gaming Ads: They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used 2!
Hot dogs are what kids like ad (Neo-Geo)
Dave: Screw cold fusion – hot dogs are the answer! Or they are used as a not so thinly veiled comparison to the erection power of NeoGeo.
Dog: Well, it does call the other systems “limp.” Although I’ve instead decided to imagine the Sonic restaurant pitchmen riffing about 16-bit chili cheese Coneys. Half price on Tuesdays.
Patrick: The only way this works as an analogy is if the weenie costs $1, and the Neo-Geo weenie costs $96, plus an additional $50 per topping.
Hulking out (Acclaim)
Dave: I’m just glad they maintained Hulk Hogan’s very important faith in Christianity.
Dog: Why do I feel like the real Hulk Hogan still has a VCR? And that he regularly uses it to watch his commissioned director’s cut of Rocky III where Thunderlips beats Sylvester Stallone and brings Mickey back to life with prayers, vitamins and a reviving legdrop?
Patrick: “Imma come at you brother! Imma come at you like imma come at Gawker when they publish a tape of me boning another man’s wife, brother!” I mean, he’s practically Jesus.
Calling all kids! (F.I.S.T.)
Dave: “In the world of F.I.S.T., there are those who are fisted and those who are scared little babies who won’t get a little adventurous.”
Dog: “New dimension”? I thought all fantasy role-playing games ended in idealized yet slightly perverse caricatures of what adult sex is actually like.
Patrick: I SAW this ad easily a THOUSAND times growing up – as it was in every Marvel COMIC between 1984 and 1988. Does ANYONE know why THERE’S a lot of just UNNECESSARY capitalization?
Guilt trip the kids! (Konami)
Dave: Yet another retro gaming ad that’s trying to make kids feel guilty if they don’t play them. Way to go Christian guilt!
Dog: I’m gonna cancel my subscription to “Bad News;” it’s too depressing. Maybe I’ll switch to “The Crushed Dreams Gazette.”
Patrick: Trivia moment! Snakes Revenge is an unofficial sequel to Metal Gear that Kojima did not approve. Because Kojima was not involved, it has things like, a coherent plot, no one wets themselves, and Solid Snake doesn’t spend 90% of the game being tricked by his friends on the radio.
Mario is in my bathroom… (Nintendo)
Dave: First you let your kids play Nintendo, then you let Nintendo clean your kids with Revlon, then Nintendo sells your kids into slavery. I’ve seen it a thousand times!
Dog: “Thanks for the 1912 zinger, Mario, but how about unclogging this fucking drain already? I’ve been swimming in my own body soil and urine for five hours now.”
Patrick: I convinced my parents to purchase this, and Nintendo cereal for me. In the 1980s, any tenuous media tie-in to my favorite properties was fair game. Well done Nintendo. I smelled like a banana split for a month and got two cavities, but you made your $1.20 licensing fee.
Kids love quarterbacks! (Nintendo)
Dave: CLEARLY, this is the reason the Broncos never showed up to the Super Bowl.
Dog: Because they had the quarterback kick the ball? I don’t know what sports are, but even I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s typically played.
Patrick: Don’t sleep on Danny Wimpasinger. At age 8, he’s got a higher IQ than Elway, and more poise in the pocket.
Scary Peeping Tom (TAXAN)
Dog: “Get in line behind the craft store commandant here.”
Dave: “…you can help squash this terrorist and his boys…” His boys? What is he a scout or some kind of pedophile? Judging by how he hides in bushes I’d say the latter.
Patrick: *incredibly crazy Starscream voice* SOME ONNNNE HELLLLP MEEEEEE. I’M COVVVERRRRD IN LEECHES AND I CAN’T SEE OUT OF MY MAAASSSSSSKKKKKKK
Hit the kids with the clothing line (Sega Genesis)
Dave: Whose bright idea was it to attract children through socks and belts?
Dog: “Dad, I hate getting socks for Christmas!”
“Wanna try for the belt?”
Patrick: As a Nintendo fanboy, I’m not commenting on this one. The scars from the console wars run deep, and Sega kids were fucking weirdos. Nintendo for life*
*by life, I mean up to the N64/Gamecube, because after that, man did the wheels come off.
Buff Models will sell video games! (Acclaim)
Dave: They made a serious mistake not calling this Ultimate Fabio.
Dog: The bonus level is riding a roller coaster while trying to avoid dive-bombing birds.
Patrick: At Acclaim’s year end board meeting, they realized the wife of the CEO greenlit the ad budget for this game and bankrupted the company.
The wall of text ad (Ultra Games)
Dave: No please, don’t say more … oh and then you go and give us an essay on the game. Thanks a lot.
Dog: Obviously this ad was written in a time before kids’ attention spans self-destruct in five seconds.
Patrick: Just what every kid wants to play. A 64-year-old in a pinstriped suit, or a nerd with a boomerang.
Chill or Be Chilled (Ultra Games)
Dave: I stare into the eye of that penguin and I’m lost in a nightmare of spit, flames and downhill torment.
Dog: Was that copy written by an undercover cop looking to bust some pot-smoking snowboarders? “Do you know where I can shred some bodacious reefer, fellow dudemeister?”
Patrick: I’m going to choose die. Thanks!
What is that collage!? (Turbo Grafx 16)
Dave: This isn’t normal, but on meth it is!
Dog: Graphics by Picasso.
Patrick: Has anyone ever met anyone that actually owned a Turbo Grafx 16? I know Splatterhouse existed, because I saw it in a store, but I have never met anyone that owned it. Is this just a CIA front? What’s going on? I assume we can get an independent investigator on this? It’s NOT LIKE THEY’RE BUSY RIGHT NOW.
Children like threesomes, right? (N-Gage)
Dog: “Now your mobile device can order hotel porn from anywhere in the world!”
Dave: Jesus, N-Gage, at least buy me dinner first.
Patrick: To be fair, N-Gage did just about anything it could to try to distract from the fact that you had to hold the GOD-DAMN PHONE LIKE THIS:
Sell kids with the allusion of masturbation (Sega)
Dave: God knows why I’d want something to get harder – OH MY GOD I SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE!
Patrick: Ah yes, the rare “pinky-up” position. This guy has class when he’s abusing his controller.