Another one of those monster-sized games with a massive legacy lands on NES. There really was something in the water in summer 1989, huh? Guess that’s what they mean when they say the NES had The Juice. The Juice was the mysterious thing in the water.

In this case, we have a console adaptation of a groundbreaking Japanese computer game—their own take on the hex-based war simulations that the American grognards loved so much. Unlike Dragon Warrior, Nobunaga’s Ambition was not built from the ground-up for consoles; this is a computer game through and through, and it makes few concessions for play on a two-button controller on a system marketed to kids. Nobunaga tosses you into the deep end and expects you to swim, and it isn’t afraid to stick you with a game over before you make your first move. It’s confusing, overwhelming, and opaque, and it makes no apologies for any of those things.

Naturally, it became a long-running series and transformed Koei into one of the most powerful and sustainable game publishers in the world.

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