Memory Wipe: The Wizard cloaked its heart in unfortunate gimmickry

The internet is choked with nostalgia for the youth-oriented entertainments of the not-too-distant past: Tumblr blogs regurgitating images of half-forgotten toys; YouTube compilations of long-lost TV-show intros; countless blogs playing “Remember when?” with movies and video games whose rose-colored recollections aren’t always properly earned. With Memory Wipe, The A.V. Club takes a look at some of our formative favorites with clearer eyes and asks that all-important question: Were they really that great to begin with?

The recent Nintendo World Championships reboot immediately made me flash back to 1989’s The Wizard, a movie whose finale was anchored by a video game contest, Video Armageddon. For any Nintendo-obsessed kid in the late-’80s, this movie was pretty much heaven: Not only was it full of familiar game references (Double Dragon! Metroid! Ninja Gaiden! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!), but it was also where we had our first glimpse of the …

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