Welcome again to the 1980s, an era of great political and cultural change and importantly for us, changes in the entertainment we played and watched. But does any of this media that people have great nostalgia for hold up to someone who wasn’t there? Last time we judged the animation, this time we judge the games.
The 1980s saw video games grow up from a niche market that shop owners thought was going to be a passing fad, to a massive industry that would one day rival the might of older industries like film and music. It saw the 1983 video game crash, the golden age of the arcades, the rise of Nintendo and the beginning of the bit wars.
But like with animation, today I am here to see whether or not these games are still considered good by someone who was born in 1993, aka, one of the dreaded millennials your era likes to blame all the time. Because of the sheer amount of games made in this era, I have decided to split this review up into three parts. Part one will be the Nintendo Entertainment System’s games, Part two will focus on the arcade games and part three will be Atari, Gameboy, Sega & PC games.
Before I start, I played most of these games using the Wii’s Virtual store. I had bought a ton of these games ages ago because I was interested in seeing what they were like. All the rest were done via PC emulators which didn’t quite give me the same experience. Sadly, I couldn’t play the NES Batman or the TMNT game and if you’re wondering where Tetris is, that will be on the Gameboy reviews.
I also used no glitches, no exploits (no warp zones for example), and no save states. Nothing that would give me an unfair advantage.
So without further delay, let us begin and review the top NES games of the 1980s, which sadly means I can’t talk about my favourite NES game (guess which one that is).
(Its come to my attention that I screwed up here, Battletoads was 1991 and not in the 80s. Sorry about that.)
Two things I should point out before I start the review. First, I had to use an emulator from an online source because I don’t have an Xbox One and couldn’t get the Rare collection and there was no way I could get this game legally. Secondly, because of that, I couldn’t do the two player option which means I can’t talk about it, which sucks because I know this game is considered one of the hardest two player games ever.
Is it just me or did the late 90s NES games look worse than the early-mid games overall? It just seemed they like to use the colours of brown and black a lot which made them look quite grim and murky in appearance, even if that wasn’t the intent.
I don’t know whether or not they were going for a grim and gritty look, but looking at the artwork, I’m guessing yes. I just find it funny then that if were to make a modern day 3D remake of Battletoads, it would have the basic colour scheme as Gears of War.
The gameplay is a hybrid of a side-scroller and a beat ‘em up which works fairly well overall. I like the little animations the toads use when they attack, but like I said earlier, the graphics are kind of dull. The music is dull to with the exception of the weird toad rap when you pause the game.
I’m going to be saying this a lot but for a game that was supposed to be one of the hardest games ever, it was rather easy all things considered. It’s not easy, but challenging enough to be fun without being rage inducing.
Overall, a good game that suffered from bad graphic design.
First of all, am I the only one who is creeped out by the fact that Simon doesn’t have a face in the game? It’s something that doesn’t get brought up that much when talking about this game. I don’t know, it’s like Simon is really the Slender Man in disguise and is taking out Dracula because he is taking all his victims.
Anyway, the game is probably one of the best games on the system and has a right balance of difficulty and fun that makes it a really worthwhile experience.
Graphically it looks really cool. Though many games used black background as money savers and usually to the detriment to the games, it really works for Castlevania as it creates the atmosphere of darkness and evil being around every corner. The enemies are well detailed as well, especially the gorgons who are annoying at first, but once you are able to get the pattern of their movements, and they are real easy to get passed.
Speaking of enemies, the bosses in this game are also brutal as hell and deserve mentioning. The giant bat and Medusa aren’t really all that bad. But it’s when you get to the Mummy do things get really serious. Again the game does a really good job with making them tough enough without being just annoying. Then you had the Frankenstein’s Monster (which no matter how much you want it Linkara, is not named Frankenstein) and Ygor who are difficult because you have to multi task between the two. Then there is Death itself which goes down rather faster than you’d expect. Then finally Dracula himself who oddly, is easier then Death. I know that sounds obvious, but you’d think they’d put the strongest enemy last.
Also, why isn’t the music considered one of the NES’s classics. It’s really good.
Konami may have gone insane and all around evil nowadays. But back then, they really knew how to make a really good game. I would recommend this for most people as it really does hold up and one of the NES’s best games.
Remember I said I wasn’t going to use any cheats, glitches or exploits? That also includes no Konami code as well which means I was able to finish this game with only three lives instead of the thirty most of you did it under.
In an oddity, I’d actually say that the NES version of the game is actually harder than the original arcade release. The reason for this is because the screen is far smaller, which also makes the map smaller in size also. This makes manoeuvring much harder to do, making you an easier target for the not xenomorph enemies.
The gameplay is pretty much a 2D version of Doom, where you pretty much shoot everything in sight with an increasing amount of firepower. It can be pretty much be described like this:
The graphics seem to be very dark. I don’t know what it is, but the game looks like a low budget 70s film thanks to the extensive use of brown and sage. This is not a problem with the arcade version either so I think the developers for the port really dropped the ball.
I don’t have much to add to this one so overall, I’d stick to the arcade version of the game as it has a better colour scheme and is just a better experience.
I tried to find the arcade version of the game, but I couldn’t find any good emulator for the game so I played this version instead.
Double Dragon is a beat em’ up with a very far away perspective. This would have been great for hundreds of bad guys on the screen, but sadly because of the NES’s limitations, it could only show two villains at once. I don’t blame the game for this, but it’s still kind of disappointing.
As for the controls, they are very messy, especially when trying to jump and attacks that require using multiple button to activate. It’s feels so unresponsive & awkward and makes part of the game unnecessarily hard.
The graphics are okay, but it appears that this game takes place in the same universe as Doug, as people come in many colours like olive, purple and blue. I can’t say the game looks bad, but it isn’t the best the console could show off.
(Another big screw up here, I confused myself with the second one which I also played)
Because it is a two player game, I got my brother to help me out on this one and it is a good game for co-op as it halves the difficulty and there are a lot of times where you can mess with each other.
Overall, a good game, but not one I would recommend unless you really wanted to play it. There are other better beat em’ ups out there that do the job of this game like X-Men, Final Fight and Street of Rage.
I’m against hunting, especially when it’s only for sport like depicted in this game. There are only two times where I feel hunting is acceptable and that is when it is for food and that should only be done by professionals who are trained in knowing in how to hunt without disturbing the balance of nature. The second is when it has to be done such as when a species like the British common deer overpopulates and it’s needed to make sure that the race doesn’t wipe itself out, but even then, that should only be a temporary solution for a problem which let’s be honest, we as human beings created by wiping out their natural predators.
So to put it simply, I was not the best person to review this as I can’t really come in with an objective mind. Not helped was that this was one of the games not available on the Wii virtual store and so I had to use an emulator. I also don’t have a light gun or any equivalent so trying to do this on a PC (which I’m not good at because wasd is very unfriendly for left handed people) so this was not a very good experience for me.
That being said, it’s not all that special as it just a shooting game like House of the Dead or the Terminator 2 arcade game with less variety. It’s colourful I’ll give it that, but the dog ruins it and when your already struggling to play the game, that dog insulting you constantly is just cream in the F you cake.
Needless to say, I don’t recommend it.
If you think nowadays are bad for crappy movie video game adaptations… Well you’re right, but it was nowhere near as bad as it was during this era of gaming. Most of truly terrible movie games for the console would come out in the 90s, but even in the 80s these games were known to be utter crap.
Rambo for example, a game I randomly found from finding a good emulator for Battletoads and Duck Hunt, is amazingly abysmal and is nothing more than a crappy side-scroller. However, like GoldenEye after it, there were a few though that broke the all movie game suck rule. One of those being Duck Tales, a video game based on the TV series.
Now, it really isn’t anything that particularly special, it’s a side-scroller like most games that came out at this time. But it is very competently made and never feels like it’s insulting you or being unfair in its difficulty. I do find it funny that Scrooge is just whacking everyone with his cane. It’s pretty much a good example of how if these games would be rated M for mature nowadays, just for the sheer amount of corpses that would have been left lying there with cane sized holes in them.
Sadly, I couldn’t find the Stephan Fry clip I wanted for this bit, so here is Fawlty Towers which pretty much gives the same idea:
Something that sadly seemed to be a rarity in even the good ones, the characters in the game actually look like there TV show counterparts and aren’t disfigured or given the wrong colour (unlike purple Batman). They’re very good for the NES and levels always felt unique and different.
Overall, a good game for the system and one of the best movie games as well. I would recommend getting the remastered version that came out a few years ago if you are looking to play it.
Not much to say about this one because it is an odd ball when it comes to the NES library. The closest game I can compare it to is Ubisoft’s Trials series. It’s pretty much a racing game, without actual racing but instead have to avoid falling from mud and hills.
I can’t really say this one impressed me all that much as there is really only about 10 minutes of gameplay at best. I would feel a bit cheated if I got this as a kid if I got this for a Christmas or birthday present if I was born back then.
Even with the ability to create your own race tracks, there is only so far you can take that until that gets boring as well.
I don’t recommend this game and instead recommend just getting one of the Trials games instead.
One thing that I find funny is given the nostalgia for this game, I wonder why the biker has never been a playable character in one of the Super Smash Bros games?
When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to play any of the Final Fantasy games. This was not because of my parents or any strict censorship, but because of my brother. He didn’t like anything he considered to Japanese being allowed in the house and thought it was to girly for me to play. Odd given he didn’t seem to care about Pokémon and Hello Kitty being in the house. This is also why I wasn’t able to watch any Dragon Ball until I watched it online in the mid-00s.
Because of this, the very first Final Fantasy game I played would be Final Fantasy XIII on the Xbox 360 which was probably not the best game to start off with as the story (or lack of it) was confusing and didn’t make sense, the fighting was awful and there was no exploration, just one large corridor. Really the only good things about it were Lightning herself and the art design.
Since then, I have played most of the series except for 2, 3 (and those are Japanese 2 & 3 and not 4 & 6), Tactics and any of the Kingdom Hearts games.
As for this game, the party I decided for this game was a Warrior, a monk, a Black Mage and a Red Mage named Kilo, Mega, Giga and Tera. As a bit of advice for anyone wanting to play this game in the future, never, never, never choose the Red Mage!
Why you may ask? Well he/she starts off alright as he can do both white and black magic, basically being able to both heal and freeze at the same time. The problem is that over time, the Red Mages magic becomes under levelled so that both the white and black magic the Mage uses becomes useless. This becomes a problem when you need to heal up quickly and his magic isn’t enough to either hold back the enemy hordes or protect your wounded party. Just pick the White Mage if you play this game.
The gameplay is pretty decent, your basic RPG like what would come afterwards. There is nothing wrong with it, except for one big oversight that becomes a pain later in the game. You see, if you kill an enemy, but still have another team member targeting that enemy, he/she will attack nothing. This is amusing quirk at the beginning of the game, but when you’re fighting an Ice demons and your warrior keep wasting valuable hits at nothing when your party is low on health, you healer is useless and you forgot to buy ice weapons at the previous town, it becomes a bit annoying.
The story is okay, but full of tropes and clichés. You might be saying that this is very unfair given that it was one of the first of its kind. But given that another game on this list was able to do it as well as many PC games at the time, I don’t consider that a great excuse.
The graphics are good but it seems like the art designer liked drawing the monsters compared to the player characters because the monster are incredibly detailed compared to how plain they are. That being said, sometimes they can be a bit to detailed as it can be hard sometimes to figure out was I am actually looking at. The music is also good but can be very repetitive, especially the overworld music that can become annoying after a while.
Overall, it’s a decent RPG but I’d recommend of others in the franchise like VI, VII, IX and IV first before I you play this game.
Ghost N’ Goblins
This is actually the fifth time I’ve attempted this. I’ve have never before have even been able to finish the first level of this game and while I’ve and will say that some games on this list don’t deserve their mantra of hardest games of all time. This one really does truly deserve it.
Graphically speaking the game it is alright and for the consoles early days, probably was one of the most unique looking games of its time. Gameplay wise, it’s your typical side-scroller, just pumped to eleven and hard as hell, which given the bad guy is Satan, is rather fitting.
Which is something rather odd. Why on this occurrence did Nintendo allow Satan to be in one of their games? Remember, even in the late 90s, they hated the idea of any game on their system having any religious symbolism. But yet Capcom was able to include Satan?
I forced myself through this game, I was not going to let this game beat me again and once I had reached stage three, the anger in me was in full force. I was pumped up to never surrender and when I met the last boss, when I set my eyes on Satan, I knew I was ready. I pierced my blade into the beast’s belly and vanquished that spawn back to one of the religions hells.
But then… what?!
Now, even though I’ve played this five times before, I didn’t know about the twist. I didn’t know you had to repeat the game all over again to actually finish the game and get the real ending. When that happened, I was just dumb struck and was silent in sheer shock about what happened. After I got my senses back, I realised that I would have to do all of this again, beat the game that I could barely do the first time.
Now what I’m about to say is going to sound insane, I realise this and please, call me out on this in the comments. I have been thinking about whether or not I should keep this part in because it sounds so stupid, so far-fetched, that it sounds like I’m making it up. But I’m not and I know some of you are going to think I’m mentally unstable or a freak for this and there is nothing I can say that can disagree with you.
(Starts insane rambling)
After much frustration and drunk Diet Coke cans, I entered the fifth stage of game frustration which I like to call introspection. It happens so rarely that most people will never experience it, but it happened to me after playing for 23 hours straight and 27 cans of diet coke (this is really not recommend), truly determined not to let this game beat me.
The four previous stages are Joy, annoyance, anger and disillusionment nearly always happens only very briefly before you quickly go back into anger or quit the game. However, one in a full moon, your own will power will not let you revert to stage 3 and will not let you physically quit. As such, I stayed in a state of disillusionment for over 40 minutes, my physical body just going on auto pilot while my mind was fixated on answering the question of why am I playing?
Then my mind asked one question, “Why are you here?”
I froze, like I had become braindead and then something happened that I don’t think I can fully detail. It was like all physical pain just ceased. The headache I had from the diet coke vanished, as did the pain in my legs and my heavy need for sleep. “Why are you here? Why are you here?” My mind kept repeating to itself, the world appearing to slow down all around me.
My mind then started contemplating my own existence and asked questions I had never asked before (some I’d rather not repeat here for personal reasons). Then I looked at the game and speculated why its creators made it the way it was. I know this sounds Insane, I know this sounds like the ramblings of a psychopath who should be put away in some cell and forgotten about, but for 5 minutes, I felt clarity I had never felt before. But then, in less than two minutes, I had went back into disillusionment and then right back into anger, with none of the questions my mind I had asked answered.
To put it simply, I had a brief existential crisis.
This is why I feel there is a 6th stage called Acceptance, where if you stay in stage 5 long enough, you will finally find the answers you seek. This isn’t religious, this isn’t enlightenment. Just an acceptance of your own existence.
Or and this is the more likely option, after playing a game for 23 hours straight, my mind had went haywire and was not thinking straight. Hell, I can barely recall anything after this and once I beat the game, I went to sleep for a very long time.
Make your own conclusions and please feel free to call me any word for insane you want.
(Insane little side story over, you may now start calling the men in white if you so wish)
It took me over 26 hours of non-stop playing to beat this game and honestly, it just isn’t worth it. I really, really, don’t recommend this game for anyone, old or young. Just do anything else.
This is a game where I think the lack of a background colour really worked, as it helped get the feeling that we’re are in the cold and unforgiving climate of the Arctic Circle (or at least I assume it is the Arctic Circle). I get the feeling that if the two climbers weren’t able to climb up to safety in time, they’ll die of the cold.
The gameplay is simple but effective. It has the right amount of increasing difficulty to keep you on your toes, but not too hard that to be annoying.
Like a lot of the earlier NES games, this was made for two players and as such, I got my mother to help me with this one as she just happened to be in my home at the time. We got three levels together before we both died. It works quite well as a two player game though I feel more could have been done with making the game co-op focus.
I also have to admit that I prefer the censored version of this game more than I did the original release because I don’t have to kill seals. Again, I know they are not real, but I just wouldn’t have found that appealing or fun to play given what happens in the real world.
Overall, a simple game, but a good one.
If you are a fan of Kid Icarus… I’m sorry but I don’t have a lot of nice things to say about this game.
First of all, this game just looks ugly. The game colour scheme are shades of grey, green and browns and all in front of a constant black background which even in other games like that such as Ghost N’ Goblins, feels miserable. Which would be fine if that was the tone they were going for except, I seriously doubt that is what they were looking for.
Not helped is that Pit himself doesn’t look good either, weirdly looking like a fat, hunching builder who has somehow become an angel. It’s just a weird design and I’m so glad that they gave him a new look in Smash Bros Brawl.
People have said that this game is hard and is one of the most difficult on the NES. I disagree with that assessment. I don’t think this game is hard but just that it feels tedious playing thanks to the repetitive enemies and depressing colour scheme.
Just not recommended, there a whole lot better games on the system.
Question again, who is Kid Icarus if the main character’s name is Pit? Did I miss that?
Mega Man 2
This seems to be considered one of the finest games that the NES had to offer, nearly always appearing on best NES games lists. Though I personally don’t quite agree on that point, it is a very well made game and fun to play.
The music is very enjoyable and it’s amazing seeing how many tracks they could put into a game that’s data size is smaller than most modern day gifs. That being said, the game doesn’t really have many truly memorable tracks, with the possible exception of the opening cutscene’s theme.
The graphics are okay and I don’t know if it was just the Wii, but sometimes the game would slow down if there were many enemies, like the game was struggling to keep its framerate. I also played the recently released Megaman collection on the PS4 to see if it had the same problems and though it was better, it still struggled at times.
The robot masters are mixed when it came to design, with some really cool ones like Metal Man and Crash Man as well as some really ugly looking ones like Wood Man who was even worse as his power, the leaf shield was useless. If you’re wondering, the order I beat them was Metal Man, Wood Man, Flash Man, Bubble Man, Heat Man, Air Man, Quick Man and Crash Man.
My biggest problem with the game though is that I find it too easy to beat. I was under the impression that Mega Man games were some of the hardest games on the system and 1, 3 and 4 most definitely live up to this. This one though? I was able to beat this one in under 4 hours and that was because all the enemies follow a simple pattern with no variation so once you have figured it out, you can beat them every time. The second reason is the metal blade which is ridiculously overpowered, basically being able to do the job of the other weapons in most occasions.
Overall, good game but not the best.
Lastly as a trivia note. If you play the new Mega Man collection in the PAL region and thought the music sounded slightly different from the original NES and Wii Virtual Console versions, you aren’t wrong. The sound effects and music used in the new version are from the NTSC release of the game and not the original PAL version.
Out of all the NES games that used black backgrounds (which seemed to be most of them), this one used it the best as it helps create a sense of dread and mystery. The thought of being alone in a small place with nothing but the evil monsters ever searching, ever seeing you through the darkness.
And that’s only the beginning of what I have to say about the graphics. The objects and villains are all very different and very detailed, especially the bosses like Ridley and Mother Brain. Speaking of which, have they ever explained why Ridley is far smaller and purple in this one compared to how he looks like in the rest of the series?
The music is absolutely chilling and some of the best the NES has to offer. The opening theme especially which is just spooky in the best ways possible.
The maze like nature of Metroid works to its advantage as well. It rewards exploration and trial and error, as you go deeper into the structure, just hoping you can find something that can help you like the ice canon or the morph ball.
I cannot say enough nice things about this game and I highly recommend it. I’d also recommend you getting Super Metroid after you’ve completed the original as it is even better.
Sadly, I don’t own a WiiU and as such, couldn’t play the official western release version that was on its virtual console. Instead, my version was a fan translated version, which was pretty accurate for the most part though if I screw up any of the names, I apologies in advance.
This is why I gave Final Fantasy such a hard time when it came to it story telling as Mother blows that game out of the boat in this regard. Ninten is far more compelling than any of the silent light warriors in that game and the story, while still pretty basic, is rather unique and doesn’t fall into many tropes and leaps of logic. It actually would have made a better anime film rather than a video game in all honesty.
That said, gameplay wise, Final Fantasy is far better than Mother as the controls can be very stiff and awkward (though some of that could have been because I was playing this on a PC). The random encounters use a first person perspective which is cool at first. But because of the lack of detail on the screen, it feels boring after a while and you wish you could see your characters actually fighting.
I’d recommend this game if you are looking for a good and simple story and are patient enough to playthrough the gameplay. If not, I’d stick with Final Fantasy as it is much more accessible and is more fun to play.
Ninja Gaiden is probably the third hardest of all the NES games I played for this megareview and out of all of them, I’d argue that this was the most unfair thanks to two major flaws.
The first one is a massive oversight in the games respawn system that just has the enemies keep resurrecting themselves after dying and continue to do so until you reach a certain point on the screen. This is simply not fun and just adds hours of unnecessary busy work and just frustrating to play. This is not helped because of the constant need for precision jumping which is next to impossible when a green Santa Clause committing suicide over and over again while a priest fires crosses at me.
The second biggest problem is the wall climbing. This shouldn’t be a problem and could have been a cool feature. However, it’s screwed up because of the fact he constantly clings to things, even when it’s pointless. I kind of wish they just killed you when this happened because it’s just a waste of time.
As I hinted earlier, the graphics for this game are ugly with the exception of the cut scenes which just make me think that this game should have just been a manga or even a graphic novel rather than a video game. It’s hard to figure out what some of the people you are fighting even are, especially in the prison level.
Overall, just an ugly and overly complex game and is not recommended. Just stick to the modern ones.
The version on the Wii virtual console is the updated version that took out Mike Tyson and replaced him with Mr Dream. Also, before I started this mega review, I never realised that this was a port of an arcade game (though from what I have gathered, a very loose port). I think I’ll put that one on the list of arcade games to review.
Anyway, the game itself is quite enjoyable. The gameplay can get a bit samey after a while and it can be a bit confusing to start off with trying to figure out how to do everything. But after a while, it gets easier and this is good because the later fights are hellish.
The game does a massive difficulty curve once you beat the second opponent. I got a great shock when I was getting my arse kicked badly. At this point, I feel the game moves from fun to annoying. Even once I got the pattern for the fights, it still felt tedious and it only got worse from there.
Personally fan theory, I think Mr Dream is quite literally that, a dream the character is having. That would explain why he never appeared again and why his bio says he’s from dreamland.
The graphics are okay, but what really hurts the game is the lack of music. The score for this game gets really tiresome quickly and I wish they added more scores into the game to mix it up.
Overall, a decent game with a ridiculous difficulty curve.
Super Mario Bros (Plus The Lost Levels)
Here we are, the legend among gaming. Even if you hate video games, you know about this game and what it is about. The game that became a pop culture icon. But does its legacy hold up?
I actually had never played a Mario game before I bought some of the classics on the Wii Virtual Console. I’ve played games with Mario in it like Super Smash Bros Brawl, but never a solo Mario game.
First of all, the gameplay, even today, still holds up well. It’s the typical side-scroller, but a perfected one, It never feels cheap, it never feesl like the different level felt silly or misplaced, never feels like the game is being unfair to you.
The graphics hold up quite well, especially for a launch title and I can tell what everything is supposed to be. One thing I find odd and I’ve noticed is never mentioned is that in this game, Mario’s overalls are red and brown rather than the red and blue that he wears in most games before and after. Why the change?
The music, do I even have to mention it? It’s pretty much iconic for the video game industry and there is no way of imaging anything else being played while doing a run through of the game. The only score I feel is weak is the underwater theme which is also the weakest part of the game.
Overall, the game holds up well and it is no surprise why this game became the classic. I recommend to anyone, it’s pretty much the Da Vinci of the gaming world.
Briefly, I like to mention the original Super Mario 2 or what is called the Lost Levels in the west. I don’t want to do a full review of this one as I never finished it. But needless to say, I didn’t like it and felt it did many unfair moves to annoy the player that made it an inferior product.
Super Mario Bros 2: USA
I’ll be honest, out of all the Mario games I have played, this is actually my favourite. I know some of you are going to say, “But it isn’t a real Mario game” which I don’t agree with. All the Die Hard movie except 5 didn’t start out as Die Hard movies, but they were made to be Die Hard films. In that regard, this may have started out as Doki Doki Panic, but they made it into a Mario game and given all the elements that were used in later titles like Luigi’s body proportions, Shy-Guys, Peach’s flight and Birdo, It’s a Mario game, except it.
Anyway, the reason why I like this more than I do 1 & 3 is the gameplay. I love being able to jump on enemies, then grabbing them and throwing it at the rest of the birds and Shy-Guys, I like the idea of Mario throwing random vegetables and eggs and fire them at bad guys so hard, it kills them. Anyone can kill you with a fireball, only a true master can kill you with a radish.
The graphics in my opinion are the best of the original NES video games and the games difficulty is just perfect. I like being able to choose which character I want to play as and each having their own powers and abilities. The music in my opinion is better than the original and it is sad that it isn’t as well known.
Overall, a really good game that needs more respect. Highly recommended.
Super Mario Bros 3
Often called the best game on the system, I don’t quite agree with that assessment. It’s a great game, but I think it has flaws that hurt it ever so slightly.
The colour scheme I find is the weakest of all the original NES Mario games. I don’t know what it is, but it’s just so plain looking and lacking colour. A problem that wasn’t there in 1 or the two sequels. It seems to have the opposite problem that I had with Kid Icarus.
The gameplay is excellent and expands greatly on the originals, with new power ups like the frog suit and tanooki suit. There are however weak elements like I feel the boss battles are very anti climatic. They just feel week after having to masterfully go through cannon and bullet fire to get to them, then they go down in three jumps. I also find the mini games to be weak and could have been done better.
The music is also the weakest, with none of the songs standing out in my opinion. A shame given that the three previous titles again, didn’t have this problem. Plus, none of the cool features from 2 were not present like the ability to choose your character and the new enemies.
It’s not a bad game and it is most certainly one of the best games on the system, it just has a few problems that make It weaker than 2. Recommend it.
The Legend of Zelda
One of the most classic games on the system, the Legend of Zelda became one of Nintendo’s flagship franchises, evolving greatly from this first outing and having many classics under its chicken coop like Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time and the Wind Waker. However, does the original classic still hold up by today’s standards?
But first, a little history of my experience with the Zelda franchise. The first game I played was the Oracle of Ages on the Nintendo Colour which I enjoyed very much as a kid. I didn’t own any of the other Zelda games until I bought a bunch of them on the Wii virtual store.
First of all, I like the freedom that this game gives you. Being able to explore anywhere you want, even bypassing the wooden sword if you want to. Speaking of which, who is the old man? I know that the old woman you find in the caves is an elderly Impa, but I don’t think we’re ever told who the old man is.
The graphics are simple but effective and I can at least tell what everything is unlike other games like Ninja Gaiden and Final Fantasy. The game is very colourful and doesn’t feel like it’s ever cheating on the graphics. That being said, some of the enemies are just weird like the strange bunny head monster. What am I looking at exactly? Is it really a bunnies severed head or just a monster that looks like a bunnies severed head?
The music is classic and is probably one of the single most well-known music pieces in the video game industry. But I will say that it can be a bit tiring hearing the underworld theme after being beaten by the dungeons boss over and over.
Overall, though not the best in the series, it is a good game that is recommended.