Other Memories of the NES:
Part I – Part II – Part IV
I have another 20 games slotted up for a trip back down memory lane. I’ve included some games I REALLY don’t like this go-around, as well as some of my fondest, so it ought to be interesting! Enjoy!
A Boy and His Blob (Absolute Ent./Imagineering)
This is a very confusing game. Heh. I remember trekking around in the underground caves, gathering up the jellybeans needed to fly to space, and then being horribly lost as to what to do from there. Curse those marshmallow things! I think WayForward’s stab on the franchise is much better, to be honest.
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (Konami)
Another baffling game – Simon’s Quest may be the progenitor of the later Metroidvanias, but damned if it’s difficult to know what the hell to do! With poorly translated dialogue (Flying Omelette has choice quotes here), figuring out where to go and what you need to do there is a frustrating task. However, the experiment is a worthy piece of Castlevania’s history, with grand music, tense gameplay and, if you can figure out what to do, an enjoyable adventure.
Donkey Kong Jr. Math (Nintendo)
WORSE GAME NINTENDO’S EVER MADE.
I believe this without any doubt. It’s a poor idea (let’s make DK Jr. climb up his vines to select numbers for math! That’s the ticket!), marred by inadequate concepts (i.e. climbing the vines slowly to solve anything) and an awkward two-player mode. Gah. No need to revisit this one.
Final Fantasy (Nintendo/Square)
Final Fantasy is the one that got away from me. By that, I mean that I had the final boss, Chaos, in my grasp. I lost to him, so I turned the game off to try again later. Alas, either by my failing to hold Reset or faulty batteries, my save went “POOF” and vanished from this world. The time I had spent working my way through the game was now lost. I wouldn’t mind giving the game a second chance, but it sure as hell will not be my NES cartridge that gets the privilege. As for the game itself, it’s probably the finest RPG on the NES that I’ve played (which is not all that many, to be truthful).
Mega Man 5 (Capcom)
I bought Mega Man 5 from KB Toys on clearance, and when I first played it back in Utah, I loved it. As I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered that MM5 is the weakest of the NES line (with MM4), and that I will likely not replay it any time soon. The Charge Shot ruined the series. It really did. I much prefer MM2 and MM3′s blasting compared to the slower, charged-up firing in the later three games. Music is good, though!
Nintendo World Cup (Nintendo/Technos)
I have not played Technos’ biggest NES game, River City Ransom, but I have tooled around with some of their sports games. World Cup was entertaining when I was young, and is likely the best soccer game for the console, but after the joys of International Superstar Soccer for the N64, I don’t think I can come back to this.
Super Dodge Ball (CSG Imagesoft/Technos)
I rented this once and got to the end somehow. I had a blast with it, but I really wonder if I’d feel the same today. It’ll be one of the first Virtual Console games I buy if I ever hook up the system to the Internet. What I remember was elation, though, so I hope I do still enjoy it.
Pro Wrestling (Nintendo)
A Winner is You! Pro Wrestling gets a lot of fondness, but it didn’t really resonate with me. I do think Starman and Amazon are some of Nintendo’s crazier designs, though. I support either inclusion into the next Smash Bros.
Battle of Olympus (Brøderbund/Infinity)
I think this is far superior to Zelda II. It’s similar in its gameplay, but the world seems more exciting, the gameplay is tighter, and the interaction with the Gods is much more intriguing than Zelda II’s glut of villagers. Wish I remembered more about it, though – it’s been too long.
Caveman Games (Data East)
Data East took a page from Epyx’s playbook and created their own kooky derivative of their Games series, focusing on the antics of the caveman. While not quite up to that pedigree, I do recall renting this more than once, so I don’t think it was an absolute failure if I liked it enough to try it again. Would like to see if the memories hold up here.
Adventures of Bayou Billy (Konami)
An early blender of gameplay styles, Bayou Billy is most likely heralded for its music moreso than anything else. The game wasn’t all that polished for a Konami title, in my opinion.
Ghosts n’ Goblins (Capcom)
When I was a kid, my dentist had this title on the NES meant to entertain children waiting for their dental work. Made the horrific check-ups better! The arcade original is much better, but I do hold a bit of softness for my time spent with the NES port, even though it wasn’t the finest.
One of Nintendo’s weirder games, it’s a platformer controlled by the Zapper. Blast Mr. Stevenson to make him leap, and shoot down all the obstacles flying his way to keep him safe. I tore into it once for a Neomega article, but I don’t think it’s a terrible game these days – just odd.
Home Alone (THQ/Bethesda)
I am a stalwart supporter of this game – it’s one I want to replay very badly, because I remember being awestruck with its quality (which is very bizarre, considering its publisher and its license). Controlling Kevin as he laid traps, scampered about his house avoiding the burglars, and hid in special locales was a tense but pleasurable exercise. May not be to everybody’s tastes, but I consider it one of the best early attempts of stealth in gaming.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (THQ)
The sequel to Home Alone blew, sucked, and can be any other term associated with a “shitty product” you can think of. Horribly programmed, THQ’s decision to make the game into a platformer over revisiting the stealth of the original is a unfathomable one to me. There’s nothing redeeming or likable about this. Avoid it like the plague.
Mighty Final Fight (Capcom)
I wasn’t impressed that much with Mighty Final Fight. It grew tedious to me in a hurry. I don’t know what I would have done to improve it beyond suggesting a 2-player mode, but I was quite bored tackling this game’s slow, sluggish levels. Not for me.
RBI Baseball (Tengen/Namco)
Between this and Baseball Stars, you’ll find the cream of the NES baseball crop. I don’t own this anymore (I’m not huge on baseball, personally), but I did play it considerably when I was younger, and think it’s a well-executed stab at the sport. The graphics are sort of cute, too.
Zelda II: The Adventures of Link (Nintendo)
I’ve shredded Zelda II enough on LVLs. – I’ll just say that this may be the most disappointing sequel I’ve played.
Tiger Heli (Acclaim/Toaplan)
I really loved this as a kid, even though the port was handled by notoriously bad developers Micronics. I’d love a revisit to see if I should be recalling this so well. :p
Super Mario Bros. 2 (Nintendo)
The first game I bought myself, Mario 2 may not have been quite as good as its predecessor or successor, but it’s well worth remembering as a fine platformer and the origin of some of Mario’s more awesome enemies. Imagine Mario without Shyguys, Pokeys, Bon-Ombs and Birdo. It’s a little hard, isn’t it?
I’ll be doing one last article with another 10 games, plus some other aspects of the NES era. See you soon!