Review by Leetdude

Reviewed: 09/10/01 | Updated: 09/10/01

God, I feel so old, reliving my childhood with this...

I don't think there is anybody who classifies themself a true gamer that hasn't played the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Brought to America in October, 1985, it was destined to be a classic. I mean, its star video game had a plumber who jumped on the head of a bunch of turtles and mushrooms! How awesome is that? The little system was a huge jump from such things as the Atari 2600, out before it. The Atari out before it had a button and a joystick. The NES had a control pad, two main buttons, a button to start the game, and an extra button. Four buttons to one is quite a jump. Amazed by its new features and quality games, people did pick it up. They loved it, and software sales show it. Words such as Mario became household stuff. And I am here today to explain to you the good reasons behind it.

Graphic capabilities
This system is amazing! In the past, we had two dimensional cardboard cutouts that were dubbed ''Pac Man'' and ''Ghosts''. They were on a completely flat maze. The NES is capable of the sequel, Pac Mania, which has 3D maps and many ghosts on the screen at once. No longer were systems only capable of a few Graphics. Now we could have much more detailed games. Such good looking games include the latter Dragon Warrior games, and Wario's Woods. Earlier in the system's life included The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy. These games were large steps up from previous system's Graphics. They really seem more close to today's Graphics than almost anything before, no matter how close to the release of this it is.

Sound capabilities
The NES had something that very few systems before were capable of, and that was consistent background music! Throughout almost every NES game released, there was music in the background instead of simple sound effects. While the music still wasn't impressive in quality, it was much better than what came before it. The sound effects are also more clear than what game before, and more consistent. For example, you could actually somewhat imagine the spells in Final Fantasy, or the jumping on the enemy's head in Super Mario Brothers. The music also added a lot of effect to the games that were released. I could not imagine, say, Metroid without the awesome background music that came with it. Overall, the sound was a great jump over the previous systems out.

The controller
The NES controller is shaped like a rectangle. The outline of the controller, and the back of it, is gray. The main front part is black. It has the Nintendo logo in the upper right corner. There are silver oval shapes going down the middle. The colors give the controller a very sleek look, and the rectangle shape is easy to hold. However, it is fairly small. In the lower left corner is a directional pad. There are two circular buttons in the lower right corner, labelled A and B. In the middle are two oval shaped buttons labelled Select and Start. The buttons are fairly easy to grab at. There are also three more buttons on the controller than on the Atari 2600, which says something. The main problem is the lack of buttons for Fighting games, so the genre thus wasn't very good for the system.

The games
Yes, indeed. The specs may be good, but no system is well represented without good GAMES! I am happy to say that the NES library is one of the best out there, even today. With the possible exception of tournament fighting, almost every genre is represented well somewhere throughout the course of its lifetime.

Action/RPG: The Legend of Zelda and its sequel, Castlevania and its sequels, Faxandu, Crystalis, Metroid
RPG: Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior 2 and its sequels (INVENTED the genre!)
Platformer: Super Mario Brothers and its sequels, Mega Man, and tons of clones
Action: Contra, Double Dragon and its sequels, Ninja Gaiden and its sequels, Battletoads
Racing: RC Pro Am, Rad Racer and its sequel, Excitebike
Fighting: Punch Out!
Puzzle: Tetris, Dr. Mario, Wario's Woods

Yeah, that seems like a bunch of good choices to me.

The Graphics: 9/10
The Sound: 9/10
The Controller: 27/30
The Games: 47/50
OVERALL: 93/100, rounded up for reviewer's tilt: 10/10

The NES is a truly classic system. Anybody who doesn't mind the ''old school'' Graphics should definitely pick it up.

The Leetdude's Prize Recommendation for the NES Newbie:
-NES System ($20 with controller)
-Extra controller ($4)
-Light Gun ($5)
-Super Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt ($1)
-Super Mario Brothers 3 ($5)
-Tetris ($5)
-The Legend of Zelda ($10)
-Metroid ($8)
-Excitebike ($3)
-Contra ($8)
-Punch Out! ($5)
Overall: 10 games, 1 system, 2 controllers, Light Gun: $74

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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