5 vintage gaming ads that haven’t aged well (and 5 that are timeless)

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A trip to the pre-2000s can be as surprising as it is nostalgic. In terms of video games, the difference between yesterday and today is glaring. Everything from graphics to games to what was acceptable in an advertisement is a far cry from what it is now.

RELATED: 10 Retro Video Games That Aren’t As Good As You Remember

Gaming ads have used a variety of tactics to sell games over the years. At one point, it was about bashing a rival or trying to be as nervous and weird as possible to please children by shocking their parents. Some of the ads of yore have stood the test of time thanks to their humor and insight, while others are better left in the past.


ten Hasn’t Aged Well: The Legend of Zelda Rap

nintendo legend of zelda ad tim robbins

Two boys, one of whom looks suspiciously like Tim Robbins, are sitting on a sofa. One of the boys shows the other a picture of the Nintendo entertainment system in the Nintendo Fun Club newsletter, prompting the other boy to deliver, with an impressive stilt, this line: “Woah beautiful graphics, I’d like to get my hands on this game. “

The two then embark on a Zelda– a themed rap that is unmatched in its level of silliness and that must be heard to be believed.

9 Timeless: Crash Bandicoot encroaches on Nintendo ownership

playstation bandicoot crash announcement

This ad was made during the days when video game companies were shamelessly arguing in their ads. He sees Crash Bandicoot tip over the premises of Nintendo’s US headquarters with a megaphone, revealing a load of TVs in the back of a van showing all of the original Crash Bandicoot and shout out how good the PlayStation is and what its features are.

RELATED: 10 Modern PS4 Games That Have Already Aged Badly

Crash is finally told to leave by a security guard who injures his elbow, but by then he has already made his point. The concept and the humor were fresh back then and still are today.

8 Did not age well: give a man an atari and he will grow into a little boy

atari ad man playing

This 1982 Atari commercial played on an idea that prevailed at the time: that only men were interested in gambling and that it was considered a juvenile activity.

It shows a man on a couch, smiling and laughing in an almost manic manner as he plays escape on the Atari, while his wife watches him from the door as if he were a child. The game has since evolved from that kind of thinking, becoming much more inclusive and less patronizing.

7 Timeless: Zelda – A link to the iconic sword-in-stone announcement from the past

legend of zelda ad for a link to the past

The somersaults, lightning bolts and swords drawn from rocks will never get old, and this 1992 commercial for THE Legend of Zelda: A link to the past has them all. It shows an actor climbing a mountain to reach the Master Sword, which he comes out of the ground.

There aren’t any actual images from the game, but the atmosphere, the music, the voiceover, and the fact that it’s a Zelda game are enough to excite you or at least intrigue you.

6 Haven’t Aged Well: Superman – Shadow Of Apokolips Commercial Glorifies Boy Trying To See Classmates Naked Without Their Permission

Superman shadow of apokolips ad boy and girls

This ad for Superman: Shadow of Apokolips shows a high school student standing in front of a girl’s bathroom with a strained look on his face. Two cheerleaders then come out and a voiceover says that while you can’t have x-ray vision in real life, you can in this game.

It’s a really weird and unpleasant commercial that thankfully wouldn’t see the light of day in this day and age, and it’s hard to think about what it did, even then.

5 Timeless: Gameboy Advance Platinum Ad Predicted Things Like TikTok and Viral Fame

gameboy advance platinum ad bubblegum man

The series of commercials for the Gameboy Advance Platinum featured a number of aspiring singers, dancers and musicians. The performers’ footage looks like something you might see on TikTok today, making it way ahead of its time.

The best has to be a special character, “the man with the gum”, who sings “go biking on the beach”. Words appear on the screen that say “He dreams of going platinum. Now he can.” With his seriousness but obvious lack of talent, he might not be worthy of going platinum, but he’s definitely worthy of a meme.

4 Hasn’t aged well: family is getting addicted to the Atari 2600

atari 2600 ad man playing atari with dog

With this publicity, Atari tried to play on the public’s perception that gambling was a problem and a waste of time. A woman recites a letter to Atari Anonymous, comparing video games to alcohol addiction, while footage shows her children and husband immersed in various Atari games.

The kicker is when the woman says, “With Atari games so ingenious, so involving, so intense”, when the game shown is clearly none of that, at least by today’s standards. .

3 Timeless: Battletanx hilariously targets another ad campaign

battletanx N64 ad hug bear

Battletanx for the N64 might not be a game that many people remember, but the ad was and still is funny and clever. The opening shot shows the Snuggle Bear laundry detergent mascot folding the laundry as pleasant piano music plays over it, only to be interrupted by a huge tank swooping down on Snuggle’s house, creating a explosion that sends it flying.

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Gameplay footage is interspersed with shots of an injured and burning Snuggle running for life from the tank. The commercial for the sequel shows Snuggle gradually readjusting, running on a treadmill and getting “stronger, faster and smoother”, only to get run over by a tank again.

2 Hasn’t Aged Well: Sega’s Ability to Brag About Its Superiority over Nintendo in Its “Genesis Does What Nintendon Does Not” Ad Would Be Short-lived

Genesis does what it doesn't intend to do

The “Genesis Does” ad was clever, clever and memorable, but looking at what happened to Sega in the years since its inception, it no longer has the same oomph it did when Sega and Nintendo faced off in one. huge console war.

It’s kind of a sad watch from Sega’s point of view, given that they don’t do much these days, at least in terms of consoles, when what they scoffed at Nintendo saw. the Kyoto-based company achieve great success.

1 Timeless: Sega Blast processing ads took an entirely invented tech trick and convinced millions to buy it

sega blast processing ad nintendo van

The production values ​​of this ad went beyond what most ads were offering at the time. It features two vehicles, a van with an old-fashioned TV showing Nintendo games attached to the back, representing Nintendo, and a racing car with modern TVs attached showing Sega games, representing Sega.

As the van spits and stalls, an allusion to its lack of blast handling, the race car spins smoothly along an expanse of tarmac. It’s a quick, eye-catching ad that makes it clear that you don’t need to know what blast processing is, just that it speeds things up, and that Sega has it and Nintendo doesn’t.

NEXT: 10 Modern Nintendo Games That Have Already Aged Badly

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