Review by Tarrun

Reviewed: 06/20/04 | Updated: 08/31/04

Top Ten Reasons To HATE The NES: #1 -... Ummmm... Hold On... I'll Think Of Something...

Back in the mid-1980s, the video game market collapsed because of cheap, rushed games; games like Beat ‘Em And Eat ‘Em, E.T., and Chase The Chuck Wagon were so awful that most Americans became deterred from buying new video games. Mattel, Magnavox, and Coleco were forced out of the industry, and Atari wasn’t doing much better, eventually selling out to Warner Communications. Only two major companies were still trying to sell games, Intellivision and Nintendo, a Japanese company that had been selling their Famicom in Asia. Even after they had created hit games such as Mario Bros and Donkey Kong, their attempts to sell their system to Atari failed, which eventually made them decide to market it as their own company.

But even with their above average reputation in Japan, Nintendo wasn’t even able to sell the system to any stores, most of them had lost enormous amounts of money from the 1984 crash. To persuade them, Nintendo instilled a large list of rules that would ensure that their system wouldn’t be flooded with terrible games like the Atari had been. Nintendo put an extremely strict third-party licensing policy into affect; anyone who wanted to make a Nintendo game was charged a licensing fee, and then their game also had to pass inspection for any risque content. At first, Nintendo manufactured all of the cartridges themselves, but they later cut that idea when it became too expensive; instead they gave developers a chip that would allow the game to be read by the console. This allowed Nintendo to keep developer’s on a tight leash, which built confidence in parents who didn’t want to expose their children to games like Custard’s Revenge. And by promising to buy back any systems that didn’t sell, stores were more than happy to put the NES on the market. Also, to ensure that the Nintendo controlled the industry with an iron fist, any programmers who worked for Nintendo could only work for Nintendo, which basically drove every other competitor out of business because no one would pass up a chance to cash in on the Nintendo's success.

The NES’ eight-bit graphics were a huge upgrade compared to even the most advanced visuals on the Atari; they were groundbreaking for the time. Even though the amount of colors that each sprite had was limited, anyone who saw a Nintendo screenshot couldn’t help but be impressed. Also the Nintendo was also the first console to ever really have music in their games. There are so many classic tunes that you just can’t help but hum along to as you play; the Mega Man and Castlevania series’ are known for having great soundtracks, and that was true even back then.

Because Nintendo kept a careful watch on the games being made, developers had to make games that were actually fun to play instead of using outrageous ideas like having sex with Indians. Games like Super Mario Bros Mega Man, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, Contra, Ninja Gaiden, Metal Gear, The Legend of Zelda, Tetris, and Metroid were released; many of them that have becoming popular, long running series. A lot of the games, although they’re relatively short, will provide you with more entertainment than most of the next-generation games that are out right now; although the NES does have it’s share of horrible games. But how is it possible that there were so many great games for one system, was it just luck? No, it was actually due to the fact that most of the games were completely new ideas, no one had ever seen games like Dragon Warrior or The Legend of Zelda before. Also, Nintendo had a rule that each developer could only release two games every year, which meant that the companies wanted to release the best games to compete with every other game out. Of course, someone finally figured out away to bypass that rule; the fellows at Konami decided that they had too many great ideas to wait a whole year, and they branched off to form Ultra, a sister team that was unofficially Konami. This is why the first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle games were made by Ultra, but the third game, The Manhattan Project, was developed under Konami.

And there are games for every single genre; so fans of sports, fighting, action, RPGs, and puzzles will be able to find myriads of games to keep them busy. While a lot of the more well known games like Super Mario Bros, Castlevania, Mega Man, and The Legend of Zelda are action games, there are plenty of other games out there. One of the best sports games ever made, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, is a Nintendo game, as is Duck Hunt, one of the few games that used the Light Gun.

Also, the Nintendo controller has to be the best controller I have ever used, how can anyone not love it when comparing it to the big, bulky XBox controllers. Sure, it’s simple; the A and B buttons, Start, Select, and a D-Pad, but that red and black color combinations and that sexy rectangular shape fits perfectly in your hand. Later on a number of different controllers were manufactured, the most popular being the Dog Bone, which, while still having the same buttons, had rounded edges that made it look like a dog bone.

In a nutshell, the Nintendo is my favorite video game system hands down; the games are addicting and easy to get into. Sure, I love my PlayStation and Nintendo 64, but how can they compare to masterpieces that are the Nintendo and Super Nintendo? Also, Nintendo games are cheap as hell nowadays; the systems usually go for about thirty-five dollars, and that’s including hookups, controllers, and a Light Gun. The games themselves are normally in the price-range of five to fifteen dollars, although rare games like Contra or Mega Man 1 can go as high as twenty-five. But even then, do the math. Would you rather spend fifty dollars for a next-generation game or ten for a Nintendo game that’s as good if not better?

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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