Capcom released The Punisher as a beat ’em up arcade game in 1993 where you could play alone or with a friend (as a cigar chomping Nick Fury) taking down hoards of bad guys in a quest to topple Kingpin’s criminal empire. Fans of the Marvel comic book series in general and Frank Castle in particular were enamored with the game’s unrelenting violence and honestly expected no less from an anti-hero who feels no remorse for the scum of the underworld.
Coming shortly after the creation of the ESRB though, The Punisher was going to be a tough sell to parents of young children, let alone to the industry critics who were just as merciless in their attack on violent video games. Sega, Capcom and their developer Sculptured Software did the only thing they thought they could do – water everything WAY the hell down. In the process the game became overly simplistic, fans of the arcade game were left nonplussed, and the game sold extremely poorly as a result.
The U.S. version is stupidly expensive and the PAL version is even harder to come by, so despite having a loose copy with a rough label and no manual, I can live with what I’ve got — and unless you are a die hard Frank Castle fan you can live without it altogether. Subscribe to Mistah MegaManFan for new episodes every Thursday at 8 PM ET. Like, share and comment to help the channel out — it really does make a difference. Thanks for watching!