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20 Years of NES 333

Posted by Zonk
from the now-you're-playing-with-power dept.
Twenty years ago, the NES changed the face of U.S. gaming. All this week, 1up.com has a series of features celebrating the anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System. From the site: "When the NES launched, America hated videogames. Well, sort of. The Atari 2600 had upset folks by flooding the market with bad software and, at first, retailers were reluctant to sell another system. But the NES was a hit, controlling a healthy 90 percent of the U.S. home videogame industry at the peak of its popularity."
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20 Years of NES

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  • by conJunk (779958) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:28PM (#13884328)
    Is it just me, or was the target of the link devoid of anything except ads?

    I thought I'd found the path to the rest of the story when I got to this sentance:

    And take a minute this week to unpack your dusty NES from its storage closet and go for a run-and-jump trip down memory lane.

    there was link on "memory" (which has since disappeared) that went to dell.com's RAM catalog. Ugh.
  • by MudButt (853616) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:28PM (#13884329)
    But the NES was a hit, controlling a healthy 90 percent of the U.S. home videogame industry at the peak of its popularity

    And I still have the bad report cards to prove it!

  • by ferrellcat (691126) * on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:29PM (#13884335)
    I'm officially OLD! :(
    • Whats worse, my reaction to this was to criticize the articles summary.

      The Atari 2600 had upset folks

      What about Intellivision and Colecovision? Way cooler and more powerful than Atari. And while bad games had been an issue, it was hardly the reason for the game recession

      • Re:THAT'S IT... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TClevenger (252206)
        It sure didn't hurt. One of the big things that NES had going for it was that the games you played on it were as good as the real machines in the arcade. The 2600 games, on the hand, were horrible approximations of the arcade games.
  • NES (Score:5, Interesting)

    by readin (838620) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:29PM (#13884337)
    I went from Atari 2600 straight to GameCube. Both are (were) great! I'm looking forward to my first experience with Zelda!
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:30PM (#13884346) Homepage Journal
    Ah yes, the good old days of gaming. Back when games had to be fun rather than bloody. I always found it nice that Nintendo took a solid stance about the family playability of games. It meant that the games had to be sold on the basis of something other than blood and gore. While there were quite a few Nintendo games that sold because they were either a) cheap or b) had a movie license (Karate Kid anyone?), a large number of the games for the old system were just good. Nintendo's "Seal of Quality" program came out, it helped keep the overall quality of games high, again because they had to be competitive on something other than shock factor. Not that the graphics of the time allowed much of that anyway...

    When the SuperNES came out, it wasn't long before the issue of blood and gore came up, especially in the light of the SuperNES's new graphics capabilities. But Nintendo pushed back at game creators and kept that era of gaming fun. Even more so because Nintendo didn't approve games that didn't meet their playtester approval.

    Then the Playstation came out, and despite its technical superiority, it sucked. But they had the Blood and Gore (and Loading...), and plenty of boring 3D games that only sold due to shock factor. But eventually Sony pushed long enough and hard enough, and now we have the games of today. Even Nintendo gets into the whole "adult" thing with their postively revolting Conq the Squirrel game. Thanks Sony. :-(
    • by jandrese (485) * <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:34PM (#13884382) Homepage Journal
      Uh, the "Seal of Quality" was just a measure to stop pirates, it was by no means an actual indication of a game's quality. There was plenty of crap out there with the Nintendo Seal of Quality on it.
      • If by "pirates" you mean "people who wanted to make NES compatible games without paying the almighty N for the privilege" then you are right.

        Nintendo has always amused me with their business tactics. They are as conniving and controlling as Microsoft or Sony, but since they only seem to want to rule their corner of the video game world with an iron fist (rather than using that control as a lever to get into every aspect of the electronics world, like the other two) it has seemed more amusing than disturbin
        • If by "pirates" you mean "people who wanted to make NES compatible games without paying the almighty N for the privilege" then you are right.

          The thing is, the whole point of a console is that it Just Works. If some non-authorized 3rd party releases bad code that causes problems, that would reflect very badly on the make of the console.
          • If some non-authorized 3rd party releases bad code that causes problems, that would reflect very badly on the make of the console.

            Of course, of course! Just like Microsoft's driver quality program (whatever they call it, don't care) is just there to make sure your hardware works well with Windows. Now, in order for us to perform the quality tests needed, you'll have to pay us $X, and sign this agreement saying you won't make any games for other consoles...
      • by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:56PM (#13884555)
        The seal wasn't used to stop pirates, it was the lock-out chip. Witness Tengen.

        If you'd read Game Over, you know the seal was part of a program to keep publishers from flooding the market; it wasn't to keep bad games from getting through, it was to to keep a metric fuckload of crap games from getting through (ala 2600). The seal was Nintendo's PR way of telling potential consumers that it wasn't going to be the cause of another Dark Age of Video Games.

        Nintendo also had a strict policy of limiting the number of titles a publisher could release in a year. They could still get away with crap games, but then they'd have to rely on that crap game for income before they're allowed to have another shot at finding player love.
        • Errr, I'm confused. If there was a lock-out chip, why do I recall playing Tengen games on the NES that weren't liscensed by Nintendo. I belive there were several Tengen games. Also I remeber the HARDEST GAME EVER: The Adventures of Dizzy. It was released unauthorized by Codemasters. I remeber there was a little switch in the back of the cart, and if the game didn't work in one position, you flicked it in the other.

          Here I found a link that gives a bit of a run down between all the different unauthorized
          • by Guppy06 (410832)
            "why do I recall playing Tengen games on the NES that weren't liscensed by Nintendo."

            Lawyers. Tengen (among others) reverse-engineered the lock-out chip and then fought Nintendo in court until they were able to use their work-around.

            • by realityfighter (811522) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @07:27PM (#13885243) Homepage
              Actually, the story is a little funnier than that. Tengen tried to reverse engineer the lockout chip, but they couldn't in time to make their deadline. So they called the USPTO and asked them to send a copy of the chip spec, claiming that they needed the information for an ongoing legal case. The Patent Office gladly passed over the specs, and Tengen started making copies. By the time Nintendo had sued the pants off Tengen, they'd figured out how to disable the lockout by sending a small power surge to knockout the chip inside the system.

              Another funny story from the NES era is the tale of Wisdom Tree Games, the derivative company created by Color Dreams to sell unauthorized NES cartridges out in the open without fear of retribution from Nintendo. How? The company and the games were biblically themed, and the carts were sold in Christian bookstores. Nintendo didn't dare sue a company making bible games, for fear of massive PR backlash. So Wisdom Tree thrived in its technically-illegal niche. In fact, it's still around today [wisdomtreegames.com] and still printing carts for the gameboy color.

              The 10NES chip certainly made for some interesting stories.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:40PM (#13884423)
      The first game I had for Nintendo was two murderous games in one:

      One where you leave a trail of death behind as you fight to rescue the human oppressor that subjugates the indiginous fungo-sapien population.

      And the other where you blow the crap out of ducks and, after missing a few times, attempt to blast the smartass dog.

      I don't even want to think about the mass genocide in Metroid...
    • "Adult Gamers" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kevin_conaway (585204) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:41PM (#13884438) Homepage
      I think the influx of high quality sports games attracted a whole new class of people to gaming, the "Adult Gamers." These are the folks that have money to spend but only play games casually with their friends.

      Whichever system had the best NBA 2K or Madden game won the pack. The others followed suit.

    • The issue of blood and gore truly hit a head with Mortal Kombat. The Genesis version of the game contained as much of the blood from the arcade version as the Genesis could render. The SNES version had "sweat" flying all over. Even though the SNES version was better, people were buying the Genesis version for that reason. I didn't play the SNES version much, so I can't remember what they did with the fatalities. It'd be pretty funny if they just colored the blood grey.

      While I can understand N's relucta
      • While I can understand N's reluctance to release an uncensored MK, it was somewhat hypocritical since the SNES version of Street Fighter II (which came out earlier) features the fighters vomiting blood in big streams.

        Actually, Nintendo forced them to recolor the blood as vomit in the first version, then relaxed their requirement for later releases based on fan pushback.

        At the time it was considered that Nintendo was being far too strict. If only we could have seen the slippery slope ahead of us.
        • The version of SF2 I had (which I would have no idea which release it was) had both vomit-colored vomit and blood-colored vomit. But in both cases it came spewing from the mouth of the fighter.

          As if just having the characters puking all over wouldn't be bad enough. I thought that was more disturbing than the blood! :)

          Heh. If I could have seen the slippery slope and where it would lead us, I would have been cheering them on. No, really. I liked Eternal Darkness a lot and want them to make more games lik
    • Ah yes, the good old days of gaming. Back when games had to be fun rather than bloody.

      What is it with old people and their constant condescention when comparing eras of time? I, and a lot of others, find today's bloody games to be fun and exciting. Sure the market's flooded now with 3D FPSs, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any gems out there. Doom3 had me on the edge of my seat for hours, I can't say the same thing about some chubby plumber busting rocks...
    • This gets brought up all the time, and it's an incredibly myopic statement to make. I mean, you have this horribly inaccurate view of NES as this rosy, wonderful system that didn't have any crap on there. Like with most things, time has filtered most of the shit out of memory. Here are some horrible games that are off the top of my head: Adventures of Lolo, Kid Niki: Radical Warrior, Bayou Billy, Commando, Trojan Warrior, Snake's Revenge, TMNT 1, Baseball Stars 2, Mach Rider, Athena, Bobsled, Any sports gam
  • Ahh! NES! (Score:3, Informative)

    by mister_llah (891540) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:30PM (#13884349) Homepage Journal
    Top 5 Favorite NES Games

    Final Fantasy
    Solar Jetman
    Super Mario 2
    River City Ransom
    Super Dodge Ball

    ===

    I can't count how many hours I spent playing these games, sadly... mostly because I wasn't keeping track when I was 8-14, but also because it was a godawful long time.

    NES is dead! Long live NES!
  • Still Got Mine! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MageWyn (6983)
    Gotta love the NES. Mine has been hooked up ever since I got it for my 7th birthday.

    It actually gets more play time than my Gamecube, PS2, or PSP...
  • Boo. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Seth Finklestein (582901) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:31PM (#13884356) Journal
    "By the end of the 1980s the courts found Nintendo guilty of anti-trust activities because it had abused its relationship with third party developers and created a monopoly in the gaming industry by not allowing developers to make games for any other platforms." -- Wikipedia

    All the fanboys seem to ignore that Nintendo broke the law repeatedly. When Microsoft does it, you guys pee your fake-lawyer trousers. When Nintendo does it, you pee your fanboy pants.

    Frankly, Nintendo did more to destroy proper homebrew gaming than a thousand Ataris helped to establish it. I look forward to their doom thanks to the GamePark open handheld gaming platform.
    • Re:Boo. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FidelCatsro (861135) * <fidelcatsroNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:42PM (#13884444) Journal
      Main difference is that Nintendo did it 15 years ago and now don't do it .
      Microsoft still are doing it .
      • "Main difference is that Nintendo did it 15 years ago and now don't do it .
        Microsoft still are doing it ."

        Yes, but Nintendo paved the way for what M$ does now. You should blame and bash Nintendo, but nooo, you all have your "bias blinders" on and unconditionally love anything Nintendo does these days.
        • Re:Boo. (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Agilus (471376)
          Maybe if Microsoft reformed, these people would be happy to support them, too.

          There's nothing wrong with liking someone who was once a criminal, and has since reformed (I won't get into the merits of punishment). It's also silly to say that I should blame one person for another's crimes, i.e. the reformed person, because "he did it first!"
        • Re:Boo. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by FidelCatsro (861135) *
          What about IBM , I think they were a far bigger influence on MS or Bell even ;)
    • User base? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tepples (727027)

      Frankly, Nintendo did more to destroy proper homebrew gaming than a thousand Ataris helped to establish it. I look forward to their doom thanks to the GamePark open handheld gaming platform.

      Where can I buy GP2X at retail in Fort Wayne, Indiana (pop 200K)? How many hundred thousand GP2X units will be sold in North America? Is it worth it to port a game to GP2X given the system's expected small user base?

    • "All the fanboys seem to ignore that Nintendo broke the law repeatedly. When Microsoft does it, you guys pee your fake-lawyer trousers. When Nintendo does it, you pee your fanboy pants."

      Because what Nintendo forced us to buy in the 1980's and 1990's was actually good, perhaps not even needing market coercion.

      Yeah, we're whipped, but Nintendo is that fine-ass chick that makes being whipped oh so worth it (think of a certain Bill Withers song, if you're old enough). Microsoft... isn't.

      "I look forward to thei
    • Re:Boo. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jdog1016 (703094) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @07:26PM (#13885237)
      You know, regardless of whether or not thats true, maybe try finding an actual source to backup your claims, and perhaps even LINK to it. Wikipedia does not count.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:34PM (#13884379)
    Top 15 games as posted by 1up:
    15. Dragon Warrior
    14. Duck Hunt
    13. StarTropics
    12. Bionic Commando
    11. Zelda II
    10. Duck Tales
    9. Super Mario Bros. 2
    8. Final Fantasy
    7. Mega Man 2
    6. Contra
    5. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
    4. River City Ransom
    3. Super Mario Bros.
    2. The Legend of Zelda
    1. Super Mario Bros. 3
    • There are some pretty good games that didn't make it up there.

      Silent Service
      Rampart
      Crystalis
      Metroid
      Castlevania III
      Skate or Die
      Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

      Nevermind. Some of those sucked. I like my PC better.

    • That list is, not surprisingly, missing the most underrated, unkown game of all time; Destiny of an Emperor.
    • Wow, I rarely see a "Top N Things" list that I agree with, but I'd say this is pretty spot on. There are so many NES classics though, it's hard to fit them all in a top 15 list. I'd say these a few more A+ titles that should be considered as top NES games.

      Metal Gear - This was the premier 'stealth' based game. And who can forget "the truck have started to move"?

      Castlevania. (I'd say 2 and 3 of the series were equally awesome, but in different ways. 2 with the RPG elements and open map, and 3 with the
  • NES #1? Ignorance. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ziggy the zagnut (639592) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:34PM (#13884380) Journal
    It's foolish, revisionist history to say that Americans hated videogames. Does anyone remember Pac Man fever? The album? It was a phenomenon. There was a veritable ton of Pac Man schwag (cheesy merchandise like bubble gum dispensers, keychains, Rubik's cube knockoffs, etc.) showing strong evidence of video games' pre-Nintendo dominance in American culture.

    I'm very weary of articles, especially on boingboing.net, that pitch Mario Bros. as the original videogame. You all should be making fan art of Yar's Revenge, Pitfall and River Raid.

    • ...hated game consoles... should have bene the text. Look at the 2600. With like 3 ok games none even came close the the arcade equivilant. Up until the NES there was nothing good.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)
        2600 games didn't have to be like the arcade because our expectations were not yet so damned high. I had great fun playing the 2600 versions of frogger, missile command, pac-man, river raid, jungle hunt, and others.
    • Buckner & Garcia have an official site [bucknergarcia.com] for the Pac Man Fever album. They sell a CD that is a newer recording of the original material. I bought it for nostalgia value. I have the original LP also but I no longer have a way to play it.

    • I know this is blasphemy here, but watch G4's Icons episode about the Video Game Industry. They discuss the crash of the Video Game market in the early 80's, and how the release of the NES brought the industry back to life.
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:48PM (#13884497) Homepage Journal
      PacMan was prior to the Video Game Crash. After the Video Game Crash, all the people who'd spent MegaBucks on Atari, Intellivison, and Coleco systems were left out in the cold with highly expensive hardware and no software to buy. A LOT of consumers became rather despondant over this, thus the line "Americans hated video games." It was so bad that Nintendo called the console an "Entertainment System" and marketed a Robot with it to keep people from thinking of it as Another Video Game Console(TM).

      Originally, Nintendo was also going to market a disk drive (which was available for the Fanicom in Japan) so that people could use it as a home PC. As it turned out, the market accepted the Nintendo well enough that they eventually ditched the whole "home computer" idea.
      • It was so bad that Nintendo called the console an "Entertainment System" and marketed a Robot with it to keep people from thinking of it as Another Video Game Console(TM).

        Yeah.. What was up with that robot?

        As a robot-crazed geek kid, I was hugely impressed by the Nintendo robot in their TV ads back in the 80's. I never owned one though, and never met anyone who did. Did anyone here have one? Was there more than one game for it? And how much fun was it? Or, as my adult mind tells me.. how badly did it suck?
        • My brother had one of the robots (I think it was called Rob). There were at least two games for it, but I only played Gyromite (the other game that I know of was Stack Up or something like that). You push buttons on your controller and the screen would flash sending a signal telling Rob what to do (open/close his grip, raise/lower the arms, rotate the arms around his body). For gyromite, you had to pick up a gyro from one side of his setup, stick it in the spinner thingy on the other side, and then place
        • A friend of mine had the robot. It was, in a word, crap. There were two games for it. Gyromite and some other game. They were, in a word, crap.

          Here's roughly (from my twenty year old memories) how Gyromite worked: You tried to navigate some guy through a side-scrolling platform maze which featured movable red and blue columns. Raising one color of columns would lower the other, and coordinating this was the basic challenge of the game.

          It was essentially a two-player game, and with another human it act
    • by nunchux (869574) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @06:03PM (#13884613)
      It's foolish, revisionist history to say that Americans hated videogames. Does anyone remember Pac Man fever? The album? It was a phenomenon. There was a veritable ton of Pac Man schwag (cheesy merchandise like bubble gum dispensers, keychains, Rubik's cube knockoffs, etc.) showing strong evidence of video games' pre-Nintendo dominance in American culture.

      I was 14 or 15 around the time and remember it well. A few years before, everyone loved games. Every family had an Atari. Every mall had an arcade. EVERYONE played games. Even parents. And girls. Then, there was a crash, for whatever reason-- most likely because even the best games were limited and got boring fast. In 1984-5, if you liked video games, you owned a Commodore 64. The days of families-- or really anyone but pasty-faced geeks-- buying consoles and games was very much over. That is, until Nintendo revolutionized the market. Their games were light years beyond previous generation because they weren't just three screens of action that repeated until you died, they were fun and interesting worlds that could be explored. And unlike the typical Atari game that just got faster and faster on the same screen until you inevitably died, Nintendo games could be beaten and won.

      As for revisionism-- I don't think there's any shortage of Pac Man or Atari nostalgia, especially on the web. 32-in-1 Atari joysticks sell by the millions and I see 20-somethings in vintage game shirts all the time. Are you really trying to suggest that no one remembers that era?

      I'm very weary of articles, especially on boingboing.net, that pitch Mario Bros. as the original videogame. You all should be making fan art of Yar's Revenge, Pitfall and River Raid.

      I haven't seen many articles like that, but I'll believe you. But I think this is a key to why Nintendo is so beloved-- you don't give a shit about Yar and why he wants revenge, or what the River Raid plane's mission was. You don't really even care why Pac Man does whatever he does. Nintendo's games and characters-- Zelda, Mario, Metroid, etc.-- have a story and a soul. They may look primitive now, but at the time they felt like cartoons brought to life.

    • by Guppy06 (410832)
      "It's foolish, revisionist history to say that Americans hated videogames. Does anyone remember Pac Man fever?"

      You named everything that had to do with Pac-Man other than the 2600 port, and it was that game that helped America to learn to hate video games.

      Pac-Man for the 2600 sucked long hard pixelated bars.
    • I'm very weary of articles, especially on boingboing.net, that pitch Mario Bros. as the original videogame. You all should be making fan art of Yar's Revenge, Pitfall and River Raid.

      And I'm very weary of people that pitch games like Yar's Revenge, Pitfall, and River Raid as the original videogame. You all should be making fan art of Pong and Tunnel Adventure!
  • SNES (Score:4, Funny)

    by killermookie (708026) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:36PM (#13884400) Homepage
    While the article details about NES (which I owned including the Atari 2600), I remember the day I went out and bought the SNES.

    I faked a sickness and fooled my parents, allowing me to stay home from school. Once they left, it was a quick ride to the local Woolworth store (remember those stores?) and a $200 purchase later I was at home playing Super Mario World.

    My parents didn't have a clue.
  • I got the NES for Christmas. It came with Super Mario Brothers and I also got Zelda. I must have played those games for 100+ hours the first Month. I spent so much time with my NES that my parents would make me go out and play with my friends and even signed me up for sports and swimming lessons etc so I would get outside. I thank my parents that I didn't just veg out, but still enjoy a good marathon game time from time to time. Ahhh, the good old days!
  • by antdude (79039) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:37PM (#13884406) Homepage Journal
    I noticed the article mentioned the cheesy lame cartoon series, Super Mario Bros. Super Show [tv.com]. You can watch that online on Yahooligans! TV [yahoo.com] for free. Even The Legend of Zelda [tv.com] cartoons are there.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vellmont (569020) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:40PM (#13884430)

    The Atari 2600 had upset folks by flooding the market with bad software

    What? I had an Atari 2600 and I don't remember being "upset at bad software" at all. Was everyone else upset and I just somehow missed it?
    • by acvh (120205)
      "Was everyone else upset and I just somehow missed it?"

      must be, because near the end of its life there were oodles of crap games out there. granted, it didn't take a PhD to guess which games would suck, if you played games, but for parents trying to buy games for kids it was a nightmare. keep in mind, also, there was no ign or slashdot to clue anyone in on game quality. ET wasn't alone in its suckitude either. PacMan was just as evil, maybe moreso given its arcade cousin. come to think of it, just about A

  • Tecmo Super Bowl? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by elbenito69 (868244)
    I find it hard to believe that Tecmo Super Bowl didn't make their top 15 list of games. Despite being the most unrealistic sports game I've ever played, it also manages to be the most pure fun.
  • Jaws..... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Sweep The Leg (925950)
    Did anyone ever beat Jaws? It's like almost 20 years later and I still can't kill Jaws at the end. Everyone I know has experienced the same. It's impossible. I've even tried looking up walkthrus and still he doesn't die. We've tried 15 different cartridges, still same. I can't die happy until I beat that game. Time to go summon the game genie.
  • NES inspired music (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Neva (630016) <jneva.mbnet@fi> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:51PM (#13884521)
    There are quite a few people nowadays, who have grown up with NES systems in their time, keeping the music alive in various forms. For instance:

    Minibosses [minibosses.com]
    Redefined - Nintendo A Cappella [slashdot.org]
    All Your Bass A Cappella [www.iki.fi]

    ..and as a side mention:
    http://www.pressplayontape.com/ [pressplayontape.com]
  • No Games? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by miyako (632510) <miyako@NospaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:55PM (#13884551) Homepage Journal
    I was expecting to see a list of reasons why the NES was great...like yet another top 10 list or something, so I'll post one, here are my top 10 NES games I think everyone should play if given a chance (in no particular order).
    1. Dragon Warrior - the game that started the JRPG.
    2. Blaster Master - the first game I remember playing that had something like an Isometric view
    3. Super Mario Bro's 3 - perhaps the finest mario game ever.
    4. Bionic Commando - Robotic Zombie Hitler and a huge bionic claw, what more could you ask for?
    5. The Ledgend of Zelda - A classic by any definition
    6. Kirby - one of the prettiest games for the NES and a fine platformer- too bad they changed the formula so much for later games
    7. Castlevania - the first survival horror game, the controls are a little clunky but it's still a classic platformer
    8. Megaman - I've never actually beaten any of the Megaman games, but a classic if you like HARD games
    9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II The Arcade Game - This is one of those games that's probably not great, but I remember it fondly
    10. Final Fantasy - The first in the series, a solid game but definitely different than today's FF games.
  • Unhappy with Atari? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StikyPad (445176) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:56PM (#13884557) Homepage
    The Atari 2600 had upset folks by flooding the market with bad software and, at first, retailers were reluctant to sell another system. But the NES was a hit, controlling a healthy 90 percent of the U.S. home videogame industry at the peak of its popularity.

    I don't remember anyone being upset by the quality of games on the Atari. Everyone I know, myself included, was amazed they they could have Pong, Pitfall, Frogger, Centipede, and Asteroids right on their own TV. It didn't matter that they sucked, because we had nothing to compare them to! They were new, innovative, and best of all you didn't need a pocket full of quarters and a ride to the mall. Maybe adults were unhappy, but I distinctly remember my friends and I having to wait (im)patiently while their dads would finish that last game of Pong (before the inevitable throwing of the paddle and the obligitory "God damnit, piece of $#@% fsking...!").
    • , but I distinctly remember my friends and I having to wait (im)patiently while their dads would finish that last game of Pong (before the inevitable throwing of the paddle and the obligitory "God damnit, piece of $#@% fsking...!")

      I distinctly remember giving my dad the second joypad of the Atari 2600, while I went along playing Space Invaders (leaving him under the illusion he was doing great).
      This only backstabbed me once "he" set a nice record and he would brag about it the whole week :)

  • Hot Air? (Score:2, Informative)

    by jimbonics (885295)
    Some people blew into their cartridges when they didn't work to "clean" them to work again.

    The smart folk simply breathed hot air into them, thus forming a little condensation mositure onto the cartridge slot contacts.

    worked every time.

    • Some people blew into their cartridges when they didn't work to "clean" them to work again.

      And some people even took a bit of dust out from under the carpet, rubbed the cartridge in it, and then returned it to the video-rental place, claiming that 'Total Recall' (or whatever else crappy game that got rented on a meager allowance) did not work :)

      *cough*

      'Course I'm not talking bout me, but a friend...

      *cracks*

      Ok, I was 12 at the time, ok, twelve !

    • A better method for cleaning your cartridges is to use rubbing alcohol, or anything with alcohol in it (I used Febreeze on a number of occasions and it worked great.) Just put some on a q-tip and scrub away. You'll know it's working because the q-tip will turn a different color after you clean the connectors. Green I think.

      I used Febreeze on a faulty GBA link connector recently and it worked like a charm. You'll never have to blow on your games again!
  • My Mother (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DrugCheese (266151) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:58PM (#13884571)
    still begs me to find her a NES system so she can play her Dr.Mario and other games she was more addicted to then I being addicted to Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior. Although I've set her up with nesticle and a generaic d-pad, it's not a Nintendo controller so she doesn't like it.

    NES was a family tradition with us, after dinner we'd all sit around and play duck hunt or Mario Brothers.
  • Hated? What hate? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SpiceWare (3438) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:59PM (#13884575)
    Nobody stopped gaming, they just changed where they gamed. The early to mid 80s was when home computers first became affordable. Everybody I knew turned off their Atari/Coleco/Intellivision game console and started gaming on their Atari/Commodore/TRS-80 computer system instead.
    • Let's not forget the fact of arcades - I spent way too many quarters there as a youth. While arcades have never really died (although there for a while it seemed that arcades had nothing but fighting games), the NES was the first system to really bring "arcade level" gaming to the consumer home market (although, one could argue the Vectrex did that, too). So, in the time between the fall of the Atari console and the rise of the NES, we had regular arcades, and home computers for everything else.
  • by red990033 (847260) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @06:01PM (#13884597)
    When I was 7, I figured out how to unlock the hidden sex scene inside of Super Mario Bros.

    That three-some between Mario, Lugi, and the Princess was hot.

    Needless to say, my mom threw out my NES system.
  • Sweet Mini-ITX mod (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dslauson (914147)
    NEVER think about destroying a functional NES, because that would be sacrelige. If you happen to have access to a broken NES, check out this awesome mod [lofi-gaming.org.uk].

    BTW, my top 5 games:
    1. Super Mario 3
    2. Metroid
    3. Zelda (The original, baby)
    4. Excitebike
    5. RC Pro-Am
  • US Copyrights (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cpu_fusion (705735) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @06:43PM (#13884923)
    Isn't it wonderful that 20 years later, those low res, obsolete games which many of would want to play as a trip down memory lane are STILL COPYRIGHTED, and will be for another 100 years or so?

    Intellectual property laws: they work so you don't have to.
  • Doesn't seem like it has been that long, but I guess it has. Now, there are some who are eagerly awaiting Nintendo's next-gen console, the Revolution. All that has been seen so far is the controller.

    The controller is innovative, but I wonder if it will really be the "revolution" promised? Will players like having the complex system this controller offers? I don't know. Furthermore, what will the actual system look like? We will have to wait and see, but it is likely to play, yet again, on a normal and borin

  • I never could get into the NES, because the graphics were so damned ugly compared to the coin arcades. At least the PC's of the day from Apple, Atari, and Commodore could begin to approximate arcade graphics. I only came to appreciate consoles with the 16-bit generation.

    It is clear in retrospect that Nintendo produced some remarkably creative games for that ugly little system--but I still can't stand to play it.
  • by Jagasian (129329) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @06:56PM (#13884997)
    There are a few hardware projects out there, for increasing your enjoyment of your NES. One is a special game cart that lets you write ROM images to a NES cart, called the FunkyFlashCart [ameba.lpt.fi], and then you can play ROM on a real NES. Because it uses flash for holding the ROMs, ROMs can be written many times to the cart. Similarly, it uses a CPLD in order to recreate the many different circuit-board types used in NES games. This is necessary because NES games lack a strong distinction between hardware and software common in modern games, i.e., NES games each include their own circuit board and ICs which must also be accurately recreated along with the game's ROM image in order to play the game. Note that the FunkyFlashCart is still under development, but will soon go on sale. No longer will you be stuck playing your NES games on a crappy inaccurate emulator!

    Another interesting device is actually a hardware modification for your NES called the "CopyNES". It has recently been redesigned, upgraded, and put into another round of production. Basically it is a device for ripping ROM images from carts, but it is also a ICE debugger for the NES, and it can even transfer ROM images to a RAM cart in the NES via a parallel port. The CopyNES has many other features, a favorite being the ability to play NSF files on the NES. NSF files are music ripped from NES games. Hence you can listen to your NES tunes on a real NES, as opposed to a NES emulator with poor emulation of the system's actual sound. The CopyNES is basically a circuit board that is placed between the NES's CPU and the NES's motherboard. This is how it is able to accomplish the ICE debugger features, as well as universal cart dumping, as it can force the CPU to do whatever you want. Here [tripoint.org] is the original site for the CopyNES. However, it shows an older version of the hardware. The creator announced in this thread [parodius.com] that he will begin selling kits to mod your NES with CopyNES, and he will also provide a slightly more expensive service so that people can send their NES systems in for professional modification.
  • The ol' switcheroo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RyoShin (610051) <tukaro AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @09:57PM (#13886126) Homepage Journal
    I find it interesting that, to get their system onto shelves, Nintendo promoted the NES as an Entertainment System, rather than a video game system.

    Now, Microsoft and Sony are trying to push their next game systems as "Entertainment" (Media) systems, and Nintendo has been on the "we are a pure video game company" horse for a while now.

    If the Revolution sells, then I think we'll see Microsoft and Sony follow the lead horse again and focus on being "enhanced gaming machines".

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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