Read the full review here.

“The pixels seem to be as big as goats, even if the game is technically no more pixelated than most NES cartridge visuals. It is almost as though the visual effects are so crude that it enhances the nostalgic presentation to the point that it could be considered good. If you think about it too much, it can be confusing.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.

Growing up, my family rented NES every once in a while. I remember, as a kid, choosing Popeye and thinking I would get some kind of slick platformer beat-’em-up with a classic cartoon hero as the protagonist. Instead, I got an arcade-style, repeating-level, high-score-type video game similar to Donkey Kong, which I already owned.

… which was fine, I guess, but perhaps unfairly (at the time!) disappointing, in light of my expectation. I still remember the first time I played it, I was immediately frustrated, and simply was not very good at it, even when I knew what I was supposed to be doing. For some reason, this was one game that took me longer than most to “get the hang of it.”

For me, more so than a personal positive gameplay experience, Popeye is more a historical point of context for the NES and video gaming in general. The full review contains a short history lesson that elaborates slightly more, but I believe Popeye can be planted into the groundwork as a discernible point in gaming. The significance, relevance, name, or point of that point, I am not sure, but the historical oomph is there somehow, I am sure.

One Response to “ Popeye ”

  1. […] old-school video games that aim for a high score and repeat their gameplay ad infinitum. Go read my Popeye coverage for an example; not even my harshest example, but a case of me looking at a cartridge and […]

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