Review by matt91486

Reviewed: 08/11/00 | Updated: 06/14/02

The most successful console in history has good reason why it was just that

The Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES as from now on I will call it) was released in 1985 to the public. Despite the inital cold reaction from stores (due to the video game crash prior to the NES’s release) sales soon took off. People bought the console like hotcakes. Everyone wanted a piece of Mario and Zelda, and whatever else the mysterious Japanese game geniuses could think up next. Well, seventeen years later, people still want what Nintendo’s making, and that all started with the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The NES is capable of showing off spectacular graphics and sound for its time. All of the graphics on the console are two dimensional sprites. The NES is capable of a wide array of colors for your viewing pleasure. Some of the games are very good, and others had no time spent on them

The NES’s sound capabilities are much more sub par. Everything sounds synthisizerish, nothing really fluid. Nearly all of the songs are just a series of different toned beeps and bleeps, instead of really an actual song. But, for the time period, these bleeps and beeps were very advanced, and they were of the highest quality.

There are really only three peripherals that you need for your NES. Two Nintendo Controllers, and a Nintendo Zapper Gun. None of the controllers are spectacular in form, but Nintendo’s is the best. I do not like the square controller shape, and it can be very uncomfortable. Also, the cord on the controller frays rather easily. The Zapper Gun is a must have so you can play the fantastic Duck Hunt game.

There are no memory cards for the NES. All of the saving is handled inside the cartridge or by a password system. There is about an equal number of both of these systems, plus an equal number of games that do not allow you to save your progress. I prefer saving to the cartridge more so than passwords, cause passwords are very easy to lose or forget.

The NES has one of the largest, if not the largest, game libraries of any console. I will tell you some good choices in each of the major genres, for you to look out for.

This is by far and away the chink in the NES’s near perfect armor. As far as I know there is only one tournament fighter for the system. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighter. Even if this game was perfect, which it is not, that is not nearly enough to keep game players happy. There are a couple of boxing games that are close to tournament fighters, but you will read more about them later on in another section.

The NES does not have a lot of RPGs, but most of what it has are good. First of all, there is the first Final Fantasy game. There is also the Dragon Warrior series. The Magic of Scheherazade is an adequate RPG, but it is not on the level of the aforementioned kings of the genre.

There are not a lot of strategy games on the NES. There are two Koei historical period pieces: Gengis Khan, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and not much else. However, puzzle games abound on the console, but there are only two you should really play. Tetris and Doctor Mario. There are two versions of Tetris one by Tengen and one by Nintendo and both are great. You can get the Nintendo version of Tetris packaged on the same cartridge as Doctor Mario, a spectacular bargain indeed.

Most of the sports games on the NES are completely awful. The only good ones are the baseball and boxing ones. The Bases Loaded series and Bo Jackson’s Baseball are my favorite baseball games. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out! is still the best boxing game ever made. ArchRivals is an average “NBA Jam-esque” basketball game, and Blades of Steel is OK in hockey. The plus side is that many NES sports games you can get for under a dollar these days.

The racing outlook is not much better. Other than Micro Machines and Rad Racer II there are not any good ones really out there. Super Carsis average, but not as good as those two. Well, and of course, ExciteBike

This is the NES’s strongest genre. My wonderful NES gave me the Mega Man series, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, the Super Mario Brothers series, Kirby’s Adventure, the Ninja Gaiden series, and many, many other great action and adventure games. The NES gave me almost all of my favorite sidescrolling action games. Plus, the NES has the first two games of the Zelda series.

This is another strong department for the NES. First, there are the light gun games, like Duck Hunt that you need the Zapper Gun to play. Then there are the sidescrolling shooters like Guerrilla War, the Contra series, and the decidedly average Platoon. If you like shooters, the NES is a must have. It also has the wonderful space shooter, Captain Skyhawk.

This may be stronger than the Action and Adventure Games. There are classics like Paperboy. There are game show games for almost every game show imaginable, such as Hollywood Squares, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and Family Feud. There are many other games that just do not fit anywhere else that make the Miscellaneous Games so great.

*The first widely successful system.
*Made Mario a star.
*Maybe the most games of any console.

*Too many horrible games.
*Only one or two tournament fighters.
*Other than Dragon Warrior, the RPGs were not all that impressive.

The NES was the first hugely successful console, and now you know why. It has many spectacular games, many of which are classics. It led to what the video game market is today. Without the NES, none of these current systems may have been around.


Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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