The nerd world is abuzz with the announcement from Nintendo today that they are bringing the original NES back in “Classic Edition” form: 30 pre-installed games (featuring first- and third-party games), no internet access, no option to install more games. Nintendo has said there are no plans to a second volume of NES Classic Edition (stating that these 30 games represent the best variety the NES had to offer) or SNES or N64 versions, but come on… money talks. If this does well (and it will), I’m sure a second volume of NES Classic Edition and certainly a SNES Classic Edition will pop up in a year or three.
Yes, we can all do the emulation thing and avoid paying $59.99 for the NES Classic, but with this, we can hook up to our HD TV and play with an actual NES controller (which can also be used for the Wii and Wii U). After feeling very disappointed by the Wii, I haven’t bothered to pick up a Wii U and I probably never will. I can’t say I’m all that interested in the NX either, but this? I’m extremely excited about this.
Here’s the full list of games that I copied and pasted from Nintendo’s website. No, I’m not sure what some titles ARE LISTED ALL IN CAPS EITHER:
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest™
Donkey Kong Jr. ™
DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE
Mario Bros. ™
MEGA MAN® 2
Punch-Out!! ™ Featuring Mr. Dream
Super Mario Bros.™
Super Mario Bros. ™ 2
Super Mario Bros. ™ 3
The Legend of Zelda™
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link™
That’s a pretty great list. But, why did they include Super C and not the original Contra?
Though the U.S. version of Super Mario Bros. 2 is considered a fine game by many, I don’t think it gets the full credit it deserves. Often times whenever I see it mentioned in a video game magazine or site, it is a one-off line about it being weird, “not really a Mario game” or not being able to compare to the original game or Super Mario Bros. 3. WRONG!!!
Look, everyone knows the story behind SMB2. For those that don’t, here’s a recap:
In 1986, the original version of Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in Japan and it was very similar to the first Super Mario Bros. game known the world over. Nintendo of America was uncomfortable with the difficulty of the game, thinking that Americans were just too stupid and they also deemed it as being too similar to the first game. They ended up taking a Japanese game called Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (translation -“Dream Factory: Heart Pounding Panic”) and giving it a redesign and plugged Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad into the four starring roles (my favorites to use were Peach and Toad).
This alternate version of Super Mario Bros. 2 hits American shores in 1988 just in time for Christmas and it was the top priority for my sister and I. I think technically it was her game (I think I got Castlevania that year), but it didn’t matter — I basically reigned supreme over the NES in our house. Once I got over the initial shock of such a drastically different Mario game, I ended up having a lot of great memories playing this game, the most vivid memory I have is playing it during the following summer while having our babysitter around. In the 1980s, what better way could you spend your summer vacation than playing Super Mario Bros. 2 nonstop for three months?
This ad is ridiculously cheesy and homoerotic but have you ever seen anything as cool as the Jackal squad standing side by side with the Contra boys? The guy in the back looks like a constipated James Franco and it’s nice to see Kane Roberts was smart enough to realize he couldn’t play in Alice Cooper’s band forever.
Personally, I was never much of a fan of Jackal. I played it almost every weekend at my friend’s house and it was fun for the time just because it was Nintendo and it was military stuff, but I don’t remember us ever getting very far in it. Same deal with Metal Gear.
Contra, on the other hand, was flippin’ awesome. Still a great game to this day and thank Zeus for the Konami Code because I don’t know how anyone was ever supposed to make it through that game with only three lives. The game was recently given makeover as the retro-iffic Contra ReBirth and is available for download on Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console. Haven’t played it yet, but I plan to.
Ah, now we’re moving onto the more famous (and infamous) of the NES’ ghoulish output…
Castlevania (1986)/Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (1988)/Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (1989)
The original Castlevania was one of my first games for the system, so I was into it for that reason alone, but it was always a hard game for me and I never got very far in it. All told, I’m not really a fan of the game or the series. I get frustrated easily with games and the Castlevania series is too maddeningly difficult for some with a short-fuse like me.
Frankenstein: The Monster Returns (1991)
A Frankenstein Nintendo game? Hey, cool! Oh wait, no it’s not. I played this one a couple of years ago and it’s pretty bad.
An unlicensed Nintendo game, but if this game doesn’t deserve mention, I don’t know what does. If you’ve never played this game, you owe it to yourself to download find a copy. Easily the sickest NES game ever, but it’s fun in a “I feel dirty for doing this” way.
Oh, what the heck! Let’s take a look at some horror-inspired NES box art!
Xenophobe (1988) – Xenophobe was an arcade game ported to multiple home consoles, but the box art is unique for each system. Hmm… What does this remind you of? Could it be… ALIEN ???
Uninvited (1991) – Originally a computer game, the art for the NES port is downright inspired.