As well as seeing their hero in several films, fans of Frank Castle have also had the opportunity to play as their favourite vigilante in several video games that have been released, over several different formats.
The Punisher. 1990. NES.
Developed by Beam Software and released by LJN, the first video game outing for Frank Castle was one of the few NES on-rail shooters, and allowed the player to play as The Punisher as he went to war with several gangs of criminals including gangsters and ninja, and into direct conflict with Jigsaw and The Kingpin.
The game featured six different stages to play through and had an over the shoulder view and was an all out shooter. The player had various types of weapon at his disposal including Uzis, Assault Rifle and Rocket Launcher.
There was also a port of this released for the Nintendo Gameboy in 1991 titled The Punisher: Ultimate Payback and featured Jigsaw replacing The Kingpin as the final boss and also a cameo from Spider-Man.
The Punisher. 1993. Arcade.
This arcade game was developed and released by Capcom; who would later go on to make the highly successful Resident Evil and Devil May Cry series of games. This Punisher game was a side-scrolling beat 'em up, which was all the rage make in the 1990's, and was similar in gameplay to Final Fight and Streets of Rage.
Here you played as The Punisher, as he and Nick Fury (who was a second playable character) set out to kill The Kingpin. This game also featured appearances from Marvel Universe villains Jigsaw, Bushwacker and Bonebreaker as end of level bosses.
There was also a port of this for the Sega Mega Drive which was developed by Sculptured Software and was censored for the home video game market.
The game was ranked #10 on ign.com's list of the greatest superhero games back in 2007: http://uk.cube.ign.com/articles/788/788708p1.html
It was also was ranked #5 on ifanboy.com's list of top 5 Marvel Arcade Games: http://www.ifanboy.com/content/articles/Top_Five_Marvel_Arcade_Games
The Punisher. 2005. Playstation 2 and X-Box.
Probably the most well known of appearance by Frank Castle in video game form, this was developed by Volition, Inc and published by THQ. This was a third-person action game which was based on the Welcome Back, Frank mini-series and the 2004 Punisher film. It also featured the vocal talent of Thomas Jane who reprised his role of Frank Castle.
In this game you played as The Punisher, as he went to war with the Gnucci crime family. Featuring appearances from a whole host of character from the Marvel Universe including Jigsaw, Bushwacker, Bullseye, Iron Man, Black Widow and Matt (Daredevil) Murdock, the game had mixed reviews and was at the center of controversy due to it's use of torture as means of progressing in the game. The interrogation scenes were shown in black and white as a way of limiting the amount of violence seen on screen and in the UK, the BBFC made THQ make further changes to these scenes to enable the game to be released with an 18 certificate.
The Punisher: No Mercy. 2009. Playstation 3.
Released through the PSN store, this was an arena based first-person shooter, much like the Unreal series of video games.
In this game there was a short single-player story, which featured artwork by Mike Deodato Jr, which basically had The Punisher killing an array of bad guys spread over four levels, but it was the multi-player aspect that was the main point of the game. Here the players got to choose from Marvel Universe characters such as Barracuda, Silver Sable, Jigsaw as well as The Punisher himself, and engage in death matches and co op modes all spread over eight arenas.
This got very mixed reviews with some praising the game and others being heavily critical of it, but most agreed that the multi-player mode was easily the best aspect of this game. It was took down from the PSN store as of 2011.
So there you have it; The Punisher, in all his video gaming glory. Hope you guys had fun reading this article, cause i sure had fun writing it. Take care.