Review by Emptyeye
"Some of the best and worst gaming memories...."
The NES, or Nintendo Entertainment System, was released by Nintendo in 1985. It was an 8-bit system, and I believe it was the first of its kind, the Master System coming out a year later, and the Atari 7800 after that. As we all know, this system had along lifespan of roughly 10 years, rivaled only by the Game Boy and its various incarnations.
Graphics: 8/10- When the NES first game out, Super Mario Bros. royally blew everyone's mind. Look at all the colors on the screen! And the way Mario moves! Whoa! He's more than just a stick figure! Seriously, all this was incredible stuff back in 1985. Early in its life the graphics, while mostly flat and 2-dimensional, were revolutionary. As time passed, however, the graphics took a back seat to the Genesis and Super NES, because it just couldn't compete, try as it did with games like Battletoads. Toward the end of its lifespan, however, the little system churned out some pretty incredible stuff that rivaled these systems, as can be shown in Kirby's Adventure.
Sound: 9/10- While it took the programmers awhile to fully realize the sound capabilities of the NES--roughly about 1989 and Ironsword--the themes they came up with were, in general, great. There are some classic themes from this era such as Level 1 from Castlevania, most of Ninja Gaiden's music, and (Of course) the Super Mario theme. Even when it wasn't groundbreaking, the themes were just plain catchy (Pro Wrestling). The amazing thing is, for some reason the sound actually came in cleaner that on the Genesis! The sound effects, well, weren't all that great in general, but some games had some originality, such as (Once again) Kirby's adventure.
The games (Good): What we all remember from the NES is its great games. Because the rules of video gaming weren't firmly established yet, the developers had a lot more room to play around with new ideas. The result was a whole lot of classic games that live on today in various forms--Mario, Castlevania, Zelda, Mega Man, and so on. Yet because of their 2-d, beat em up nature, these games somehow seemed more fun than even the games of today. They manage to never get old. And that, my friends, is what makes a system great. There were lots of other cool concepts that didn't live on, but should have, like Marble Madness, which is about a marble trying to roll its way through some mazes. Classic!
The games (Bad): Ah, but the NES wasn't perfect. What a lot of people seem to forget is that, while the good games on the system were indeed classic (Most of them anyway), when an idea didn't work and a game crashed, it crashed HARD. If you ask a person what the worst video game ever is, most will name a game off of the NES. Most of the first-generation sports games, made by Nintendo, were simply not very good. Other clunkers were Deadly Towers (Which I've actually beaten), Total Recall, and almost any movie to game translation save for Willow and Batman. But the mother of them all was the FCI release Heroes of the Lance. I'm not even going to talk about this game, just take a look at the NINE (As of this writing) scores of 1 for the game on this site and see for yourself.
Overall: 8/10- But overall, the NES was a great little system that single-handedly revived and rescued the video game market from the Atari crash of 1983. Though it was only 8-bits, in comparison to today's 128, I continue to get more fun out of this system than I do out of my Dreamcast. If you look on the Internet you can find sites dedicated to this system. Ah...the memories.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/02/00, Updated 05/02/00
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