Nintendo Entertainment System
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Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)


Even though the capacity of the NES1 wasn't that great in comparison to the Arcade, Nintendo brought quality to the home of gamers. Finally a console with joypads that did't break. Even if your hands did get a bit sore after playing for a longer period of time, it still had good ergonomics in comparison to other home consoles.

Favorite Games
Name Developer Year
Ice Climber Nintendo R&D1 1986
Excitebike Nintendo 1986
Balloon Fight Nintendo 1986
Metroid Nintendo 1986
Super Mario Bros Nintendo 1987
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!2 Nintendo 1987
Duck Hunt Nintendo R&D1 1987
Rygar3 Tecmo 1987
The Legend of Zelda Nintendo 1987
Zelda 2: "The Adventure of Link" Nintendo 1989
Castlevania 2 Konami 1988
R.C. Pro Am Rare Ltd. 1988
Cobra Triangle Rare 1989
Duck Tales Capcom 1990





Ice Climber

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Ice Climber was the first game I played on the NES. It came bundled with the console. I instantly got amazed of the quality of the game. Fluid animations, great graphics for a home console, and just very well made over all. It also had 2 player support.
Even if it was a well made game, it's gameplay got pretty repetitive after a while. Today it stands out from the crowd as it was the first impression of the NES and it was a good one.




Balloon Fight

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The quality of the gameplay enthralls me still today. It is a bit similar to the arcade game "Joust" from 1982 but Nintendo made such a wonderful job on developing it a lot further. This game has such a wonderful gameplay that I love to play it still today. It has a nice skill level even if it is quite easy. It's a very good game for beginners. It also have a very good 2 player mode. You can either help each other out or try to work against each other. This makes it one of the first co-op games ever.




Super Mario Brothers

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I remember when I first saw Super Mario Brothers. I rented it early in the morning, ran home and played it the whole day without moving nor eating. What a wonderful world to explore. The movement of the character was fluid and filled with skill. The exploration was awesome consider it being a platform game. Hidden blocks to jump on, places to find and even warp zones which could take you to further into the game. There were so many ways of playing than just jump and hit stuff. You could jump on turtles so they went upside down and then jump again to shoot the shell at other enemies. This could hurt you as the shell could bounce back if it hit a wall. You could upgrade the character to grow bigger and be able to crush your environment. If you upgraded yourself a second time you got shots that shoot diagonally and which bounced. All this and more gave a great depth in gameplay and exploration.




Metroid

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When I pushed the cartridge into the console, I had no idea of what was waiting for me. Metroid was a very large game for it's time. The level design was something I had never seen before. It started the whole genre of what later became known as "Metroidvanias"4. The atmosphere was built up by awesome graphics, music and gameplay to boot.

Exploring this awesome alien world to figure out how to get further inside was absolutely amazing. I remember jumping and shooting my way deeper and deeper into this biological alien world full of strange creatures. Then all of the sudden I came to an odd looking door. It didn't open until I fired several missiles straight into it. Walking through it I found a metallic room with a mysterious statue holding a ball in it's hand. I fired a shot at the ball and it revealed something. I picked it up and my weapons fire turned from red to blue. I shot some enemies which froze in the middle of the air. Wow! Then it suddenly hit me. I had earlier been in a tunnel that went straight up into the air with lots of monsters flying around. Maybe I could use them as a spring board to find out where that tunnel led to. Shooting these monsters in a position that made it possible for me to jump on them, was a bit tricky. But I finally made it and came to a new frontier with even more exploration and excitement. What a feeling to achieve all of this and it just kept on going. Metroid is the game that I've played the most on the NES and I still enjoy playing it today.

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Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!

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"Punch-Out!!"5 is a true masterpiece of gamedesign that was directed by Nintendo's general manager Genyo Takeda. He also created the 2 earlier arcade games "Punch-Out!!" and "Super Punch-Out!!" together with his partner Makoto Wada.

Even today, very few games understand what makes a good twitch gameplay. This game could be seen as the perfect example of how to do it. There is no way to button mash your way through this game. Action and reaction all have their consequences. If you try to hit your opponent without finding an opening, your opponent will most likely block and you'll get yourself tired. If you hit to much in one place, your opponent will learn and anticipate your hit. If you miss, your opponent might place his blows right after yours, so you cant protect yourself. You cant duck "just in case", if you do, and the opponent is prepared, he will hit you on your way back. You have to learn, be quick, and not panic. If you panic and do something before your supposed to, you will get hit.

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Everything happening on the screen is very easy to read and usually accompanied by sound. The graphics are suited for the gameplay instead of trying to push gameplay into the graphics which is an all to common mistake. The characters looks very different from each other and have their own moves. So for every new character you have to learn something new. Even if you beat the game you can still try to beat your own time for each opponent.

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Duck Hunt

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Duck Hunt didn't have much of a gameplay, but as it was bundled with Nintendos lightgun the "Zapper", it still made an impression. It was however well made. Nice cartoonish graphics with a funny mood to it.




The Legend of Zelda

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The Legend of Zelda is legendary in how long a game could last without loosing it's excitement back when it first came out. I played it with my, at that time, 26 years old wonderful cousin. When he slept, I played. When I played he slept, for 2 weeks 24 hours non stop gaming. We burned every bush in the game just in case there was something special hidden. If anything special happened, we woke the other person up so that nothing would get missed. What a fond time to remember.




Zelda 2 - The adventure of Link

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When I for the first time saw Zelda 2 I thought it was awesome! You control Link walking in a semi top view world map until you enter a fight, village or dungeon, then it becomes a platform. It became a bit more like other RPG's. Now you leveled up, a feature which was abandoned by future Zelda games. You had more interaction with NPC's of which you could get life or magic back, learn clues of where to find stuff, learn abilities and more. A new ability like the downwards thrust was so very exciting to get as it changed and expanded your gameplay.

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I loved that they took it sidescrolling to make it more twitch based. They had a really good idea of how to do an interesting fighting system of which they didn't follow through. Instead of the usual platforming gameplay "avoid everything to not get hurt", Link could block incoming arrows, shots or weapons with his shield. You protected the front of your upper or lower body depending on standing or kneeling. It felt so very exciting to get into a fight by running towards an enemy, straight through it's shots, trying to block either high or low, instead of just jumping. I've rarely seen anything like this in a platform which is really sad, and strange for that matter. This truly was an awesome thing to master. All this awesomeness fell utterly hard as shots could (and commonly did) come from above as well. I really wonder why they didn't implement block in all directions. It would extend the gameplay, give more skill to the player and get rid of random bad luck. It could also have been implemented as an upgrade such as the up and downwards thrust of which the players learns throughout the game. My guess is that development time played a great role in this. But they also put in enemies with weapons that could not be blocked or avoided which was a bit strange.



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Not being able to block everything sadly wasn't the only annoying thing. Random encounters appear after a few seconds of walking beside the road. It felt even more annoying here than in other Japanese RPG's. This might be because of how safe you feel walking on the road free from enemies, and as soon as you try to explore a bit, instead of being able to do that, you have to fight monsters, which makes you not want to explore. Stopping the players motivation to do something is a very negative thing. This was never an issue in the first Zelda game as the fighting was part of the exploration. The time window for when the enemies attack you after you leave the road feels very narrow. You can see the monsters pop up on the worldmap before they enter a battle with you, but you cant avoid them in a very good way or you must be extremely lucky. Seeing them and not being able to do anything good about it makes it even more annoying. It's like your looking at your inevitable doom.

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People often say that they should have kept the fighting topdown as the first game. Sure, they could and it probably been a better game than the one that was, but I think they took the game in a good direction which felt very fresh and interesting. They just didn't implement it in a good way. Probably due to time restriction and lack of earlier experience which is understandable ans they were pioneers. The ideas are good and I can see what could have made this game a much greater hit than it was. It was also plagued by the old belief in punishing the player, making it very frustrating not only to try to avoid battles, but also if death occurred, go back and do lots of pointless fighting again just to get where you were.

But even though Zelda 2 had some issues and could have been a lot better, it still is one of the best gameplay experiences I had on the NES.




Castlevania 2 - Simon's Quest

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I am one of those that when I heard James Rolfe6 say "This game sucks." I went like "Wait… WHAT???" because I had so many fond memories of it.

I owned the previous Castlevania as well but even if I liked it, it was nothing more than a common platform like so many others that I'd played before. I didn't like the stiff controls, and fighting monsters near a staircase was a mess. Even if Castlevania 2 had the same controls, it had a lot more depth to it, combining RPG/Adventure with platforming action.

I liked trying to figure out what all the villagers were talking about and then go out to explore and try it out. The long delay before the whole text was shown of what the townspeople said, was annoying, but as I didn't know any English I had to sit with a lexicon, translating every single word which took a lot of time anyway. It was such a feeling of achievement to figure out the riddles. Some were a bit to hard though, but the worst of all, some of the townspeople lied.

This time when you got a weapon upgrade, you got it permanently which was great. So when you finally got something, it really counted. The music was as the first one, very good, but with even more nice tunes.

Even if Castlevania 2 had it's flaws, it was a great game for those liking the almost non-existent genre.




R.C. Pro-AM

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R.C. Pro-Am had great skill and a smooth flow rarely seen before. It incorporated arrows in the ground which made the vehicle move faster and weapon pickups such as missiles or bombs, all similar to Mario Kart7. The car could be upgraded for better grip, acceleration and top speed. These were collectibles found on the road.



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