Review by Swordlord

Reviewed: 07/10/03 | Updated: 07/10/03

The king has no clothes... good underwear, but no clothes!

The Nintendo Entertainment System is considered the best video-gaming console of all time, by many. The one that saved it all, the one that revived them all, the one that re-started it all, the king of'em all, yo! Hi, I'm Swordlord, and my primary intention with GameFAQs for now is to review as many systems as possible, so that people could be able to actually compare consoles, not just read praises for each system without a common denominator to see if those praises are adequate. There are 5 aspects, by which I will rate each system I review. I think it's clear so far that there's something wrong with the NES and, even if it was the first system I played and it still holds sentimental value to me, the problems need to be emphasized. Why are there all 10s here, when there probably shouldn't be any?

1)Software: The NES has many, many games. And good games, for that matter. Most of the famous gaming series that still spawn sequels today have started on the NES. There are more action games on this system than on any other, so far. The best-sold game of all time, 'Super Mario Bros. 3' was created for the NES. If you own a NES, you can play side-scrolling games, beat'em-ups, 1st-person shooters, 1st-person exploring games, RPGs, sports and racing games, and even 3-D games. Games that combine different types of gameplay, like 'Battletoads', 'The Legend of Zelda' or 'The Adventures of Bayou Billy' deserve to be mentioned, too. But there are almost no fighting games; the only one worth mentioning is 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters'. Of course, if you're in Europe or Asia, you can find a few pirated Mortal Kombats and Street Fighters, but they're sub-par and ultimately not available in North America. Also, the sports games are not too good, either; one cannot compare 'Soccer' with 'FIFA 2001', can one? 32% out of 40%

2)Aspect: Although aspect is not important (right, guys?), I think it's still worth mentioning. The NES looks cooler than a few other systems, in my opinion, and its colour is a nice change from all that black. Simple and easy on the eyes, but not perfect. 3% out of 6%

3)Power: Almost all gamers know the Nintendo Entertainment System is a 8-bit machine. And not even the most powerful 8-bit machine at that. The NES can beat the Commodore 64 and the Atari 7800, but the Sega Master System is undoubtedly superior. The game developers were, however, able to use Nintendo's power to the maximum. Nintendo's first major system has a palette of 52 colours, of which 16 are available on screen. Pretty limited, compared to today's (10.07.2003) standards. On the other hand, the NES was the most powerful system for a long time and the most popular (to be read as 'powerful' again) for even longer. On a scale that measures how well-endowed all consoles created so far are, the NES is situated pretty much in the middle, though. 8% out of 15%

4)Fidelity: Oh, how this will weigh the NES down, more than any other system! I suppose all North Americans have experienced problems with Nintendo's Entertainment System. The cartridges collect a lot of dust, even when covered perfectly, and so does the system itself. Basically no NES game, that doesn't come with the system, will work on the first try and cleaning the carts with alcohol has become a ritual among NES players. Moreover, games freeze and lines of pixelation occur on the screen every so often, bigger and more annoying every time. Seeing this, Nintendo offered cleaning kits and, later, ''top-loading'' machines. But they should have given them for free to all the disappointed customers, and not capitalized on, like it happened. They also created a robot (operating buddy), that came with the system at first, but they deprived the buyers of that feature very soon. The zapper gun does not work with all TVs and the American Nintendo cannot play games from Japan or PAL games. Nintendo didn't care much about Japanese and American customers (they cared about their pockets, yes, you better believe it!), but they really totally ignored the European and Asian markets. No wonder piracy is abundant there. Why is this category so important? Well, because gamers everywhere are the buyers who make companies like Nintendo filthy rich. 2% out of 30%

5)Accessories: The NES accessories are many and varied. The big, square AC Adaptor, the RF Unit and the controllers seem to work fine, but those of other systems work just as fine, too. You can use 2 controllers, or one controller and the zapper gun, which is used for shooting things on the screen in certain games. Controllers with auto fire and arcade sticks can also be found. There is a Game Genie cartridge to help you cheat in way-too-hard games, but it has the same dust problems. A 'PowerGlove', a 'NES Satellite' (which allows 4-player gameplay) and even a 'Family Fun Fitness' kit were available for the NES at some points in the prime of its life. 8% out of 9%

Total: 53% out of 100%. That gives a GameFAQs score of 5/10. As much as I would like to give the American NES a higher score, I can't. Sure, the European Nintendo and the Japanese Famicom are better, but I'm rating the NES here. It offered me many hours of enjoyment and wonderful gameplay in Europe, but many hours of frustration and pain here, in North America, while moving back and forth between the bottle of rubbing alcohol and the table on which the console sits. From Swordlord, no sword!

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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