"The game system that opened the flood gates"

If you ask most people around my age what one of the first systems they owned was, they will almost certainly say ''Nintendo Entertainment System.'' This system, due to how advanced it was at the time, revolutionized gaming and set a major standard for many genres of gaming. Just how does it stack up?

Graphical Capability
Graphically, this game is impressive for 8-bit. I've seem some pretty good graphics done with this game. Games that come to mind in terms of graphics include Super Mario Brothers 2 and 3, Captain Skyhawk, Astyanax, Wizards and Warriors 2, and many other games. Graphics, however, are not this system's strong point.

In terms of music an sound effects, this system is really a mixed bag. A lot of sounds that come from this sound pretty corny, but some of them have a welcoming and catchy sound. I really can't name too many games that had a very good (or at least memorable) sound to them, to be honest with you.

Control Setup
The controls are well done and very simplistic. Four directional buttons which are a lot better than Atari's stiff analog control, and four standard buttons: A, B, Start, and Select. No shoulder buttons to fuss with. No triggers underneath it. Sometimes simplicity can be a blessing within itself.

Game Library
In terms of games, this one had some very interesting games. Here's a list of what I liked, didn't like, and thought were rather interesting and unique:

Liked: Super Mario Bros. 3, Magic of Scheherazade, Legend of Zelda, Captain Skyhawk, Clash at Demonhead, Star Tropics, Faxanadu, Archon, Crystalis and many more.

Disliked: Ring King, Road Runner, Legend of Kage, Godzilla, Wizards and Warriors 3, Super Glove Ball, and quite a few others.

Unique and Interesting: Dr. Chaos, Ghoul School, The Adventures of Rad Gravity, Toki, Solar Jetman, etc.

What I mean when I say this system opened up the flood gates is that it really expanded many genres. Games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior changed the RPG genre for the better. The beat 'em up genre boomed with Double Dragon, Battletoads, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The platform genre took one of the biggest turns for the better. Games now had a reason for you to keep playing. They had a definite end. It wasn't always continuous levels of mindlessness and the same thing over and over. You had endings, storylines that developed, a new sense of getting into the role of the character. Tell me, could you honestly get a better feel playing as the frog from Frogger or playing as Ryu from Ninja Gaiden? You had a better sense of your character and what exactly he was up to. Now, I'm not saying stories were extremely well developed with this system, at least not compared to stories we see in games today, but this system launched the development of stories for console games.

Graphical capability: Set an 8-bit standard. Still not one of its strong points 8/10
Sounds: Nothing memorable compared with today, but certainly better than what was out before NES 8/10
Control Design: Simple, the way controls almost ought to be. Honestly, when I look at some of the controls today and see a ton of buttons, I feel a bit intimidated 10/10
Games: You really have to do some digging. A lot of good and bad games. Still, the good games more than make up for the bad 8/10
Worth: This system is well worthy of being owned. One of the greatest consoles made 10/10
All Together: 10/10

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/22/01, Updated 04/16/01

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