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Jaleco

By: Bubblun

   Certainly one of the quirkier NES game developers, Jaleco released quite a varied library of games:

Astyanax

Bases Loaded 1

Bases Loaded 2

Bases Loaded 3

Bases Loaded 4

City Connection

Cyberball

Goal

Goal 2

Hoops

Last Ninja

Maniac Mansion

Metal Mech

Pinball Quest

Pro Sport Hockey

Racket Attack

Rampart

Robo Warrior

Shatterhand

Totally Rad

Whomp 'Em

Young Indiana Jones

Notables: Jaleco never really had a big hit series for which they were known.  There were four Bases Loaded games for the NES, but none of the sequels were huge sellers, nor do I really see anything unique about the series in the first place.  There are far better baseball games on the NES, some even with real players, and there is absolutely no need for the 4 different games that have little difference between them. 

Jaleco's two most original titles would have to be City Connection and Pinball Quest.  City Connection takes an interesting twist on the classic Pac-Man formula and is definitely worth picking up.  Pinball Quest is just downright bizarre, and besides having some standard pinball tables, it features an "RPG" mode.  It freaked me out to see my pinball talking to other characters and the game is very challenging. I'd love to see someone beat it and write a walkthrough for it. 

Jaleco also handled a few NES ports for other companies.  Games like Maniac Mansion and Last Ninja had their start on the PC.  Rampart is an interesting Atari strategy title with tetris-like pieces used to build forts.

Probably due to their struggles to become a well-known company, they seemed to borrow the Mega Man formula for a few of their games.  Whomp 'Em, Shatterhand, and the hilarious Totally Rad share more than a few things in common with the SUPER FIGHTING ROBOT.

Status: Continuing to work hard in the American game market, Jaleco STILL doesn't have a series for which they are known.  They have created the series Carrier and are making it their benchmark title, but it is little more than a Resident Evil clone.  I would have predicted Jaleco to be in serious financial trouble at this point, but they were recently bought out by Pacific Century CyberWorks Japan, a large corporation.

Best Titles: City Connection is a long-time favorite of mine, and shouldn't be too tough to find.  Shatterhand was co-developed by Jaleco and is quite fun.  Rampart is also good for strategy game beginners.

Popularity of Games: Below average

Rarity of games: Above average, late releases like Bases Loaded 4 and Pro Sports Hockey can pose a challenge for collectors.

Overall rating: B-

Website: http://www.jaleco.com