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NINTENDO REVIEWS

Arkanoid (Grade B)-A very good translation that was improved with the special pack-in controller.  Has all the wonderful features of the arcade game and makes for some enjoyable brick smashing!

Balloon Fight (Grade B)-Can you say Joust?  Well, a well picked jury probably could as this game is so close to Joust, it borders on criminal.  But it is a fun game!  You are a little guy with some balloons that help you fly around.  Much like Joust, you have to beat enemies by popping their balloons, which is done in much the same manner as Joust, by being higher up than your opponent.  There are some differences from Joust, but only a few.  For the most part, this is a copy of Joust, but a good one!

Baseball Stars (Grade A)-Still one of the best baseball games for any system!  One of the first that let you build your team, instead of just being stuck with the same old team.  Win games and use your points to make some really awesome players! 

Bases Loaded (Grade B)-Next to Baseball Stars, this is my other favorite baseball game on the NES.  Sure it had numerous sequels, but this one is still the best.  While you don't have real major league players or teams, you do get alot of fun!  There really is a difference in speed from a 100 mph pitch and an 80 mph pitch.  Unlike some games where the speed isn't as noticeable, this one is.  I remember having a guy who would throw about 115 mph and I converted him to a closer.  Nothing would throw your opponent off like going from a pitcher who was tiring and throwing about 75-80 mph to a Randy Johnson clone throwing speeds that are deadly.  The other great feature is the fights.  Hit the right guy and a brawl would ensue.  Nothing like adding a little violence to improve a game.

Bomberman (Grade B-)-While this is Bomberman and still a fun game, it is a pale version of the games to come.  This is a bare bones version without all the power-ups and other bells and whistles we have come to expect from the Bomberman series.  But it is a nice piece of nostalgia and a chance to see the beginning of a great series.

Bomberman II (Grade A)-Has everything that the other versions on the more sophisticated systems has.  There is one or two player mode, power-ups, tons of action and more!  A great and hard to find game!  If you can find it, keep it!  You will be happy you did!

Bump n Jump (Grade A)-While many would disagree with me on this one, it is my favorite console version of the game.  Sure they took a few liberties with the game and it isn't an exact translation, but I find it a more enjoyable game.  The music is exciting and the game is set at a nice level.  It isn't so easy that you conquer it right away, yet it is not so hard that you give up on it either.   It will keep you coming back to try and get a little further.

Burgertime (Grade C+)-You get all the levels, all the bad guys and twice the speed!  Huh???  Yes, it is Burgertime on speed!  You are zipping along like a chef with his head cut off and it can be pretty annoying.  Once you get used to the boost in speed, you will find an enjoyable game.   So grab some pepper and waste them eggs.  Boy that sounded stupid.

Dig Dug II (Grade B-)-That is right, Dig Dug had a sequel.  This was something that was unknown to me until a few years ago.   Yessir, it was an arcade game and everything.  Much of the same gameplay as Dig Dug, with one major difference, this time you can break off pieces of land and drop the bad guys into the ocean.  Oh yeah,  make that two differences.  You have come up from the underground and now are on islands.  A decent game, but nothing spectacular.  I still enjoy the original more.

Donkey Kong (Grade D)-While it plays as well as the 7800 version, I cannot give it a better rating due to the still missing fourth level. Why? If the TI version could include the pie factory, then surely you would think that the Nintendo version would have it. I mean come on, they created the darn game. Too bad, because otherwise it is a good version.

Donkey Kong 3 (Grade B+)-This was one of those games I barely played at the arcade, mainly because it was gone before I knew it. But thanks to the Nintendo, I can play the only home version of this forgotten classic. There is no Mario, and Donkey Kong is back to being a bad guy. You play the role of some guy with a bug sprayer and must either kill all the bugs or push Donkey Kong up till his head gets a bee hive on it. I really enjoy this game and am finally getting so worthwhile scores on it. The action can be quite frantic as the amount of bugs begins to build up.

Dragon's Lair (Grade Incomplete)-I would give this a real grade, but unfortunately I cannot get past the first screen.  I feel so awful for not being able to clear one measly little screen.  Thank heaven I didn't pay big money for this game or I would be screaming bloody murder.

Dragon Warrior (Grade B-)-While it is a very fun game, killing that many slimes is enough to drive anyone crazy.  If you are into RPGs, then this is a good one to start with.  To its credit, each sequel gets bigger and better!  

Duck Hunt (Grade C+)-A decent pack-in game and one that will give you a reason to use that gun.  Ducks fly and you shoot them.   Then the dog goes to retrieve them.  If they allowed you to shoot the mangy mutt, then this game would gain a whole rating!  That pooch has irritated me one time too many.

Final Fantasy (Grade A)-The game that started it all!  While Nintendo was doing the Dragon Warrior series and the Zelda series, this little game snuck in and became a legend.  A combination of turn based action, cool spells, tons of monsters and some story made this a must have game for the NES.  While there have been numerous incarnations of the game on all different platforms, there is still a certain charm about the first one.  I have recently went back and played it again and still found myself captivated.

Galaga (Grade A)-A perfect translation of one of the all-time great arcade games. The bonus levels, the enemies, the whole package is here for you to enjoy. Another reason why the Nintendo is one of my fave systems and doesn't deserve the flack alot of classic game collectors give it.

Genghis Khan (Grade A)-Still one of my favorite games from the classic era!  You take control of Genghis Khan or one of the other leaders during that era and try to build your dynasty.  A good mix of battle and economy made this a great game!  Plus you could build up your successors, so your legacy will carry on after you have died.  I love the Koei games and this was among the best made!

Gunsmoke (Grade C+)-Think of it as Xevious in the old west.  You must go after bad guys and collect rewards.  Along the way, you can pick up power-ups in the form of better guns.  A few power-ups in and you are spraying the town full of lead!  Along the way, hundreds of bad guys come out and you blow them away.  Along the way, you can stop and buy stuff from people on the street.   A shooter in disguise of a western.  Only on Nintendo.

Gyruss (Grade B)-Some people like it and some people hate it.  It has the gameplay of Gyruss and many of the same features, but there is new stuff added.  Different opponents, different graphics and other little features that shows that it is not the same old Gyruss game.  I look it as a welcome change, but you may not.  Have an open mind and you may enjoy the game.

Ice Climber (Grade A)-This is one of those fun little games that has a classic feel to it!  You have to move your little climber up through all kinds of obstacles.  There are birds, dropping icicles, moving platforms and more!  It is a fun little game that will have you back again and again!  

Klax (Grade B)-The other great puzzle game from the 8 Bit era.  This one involved you stacking tiles and trying to make matches of three or more tiles of the same color.  One of the most imaginative parts of this game was the fact that you had to complete certain guidelines to move onto the next level.   Sometimes it was so many klaxes, other times it was diagonals or you had to stack so many tiles.  But it was this variety that kept things interesting and made it such a memorable game. 

Mario Bros (Grade B-)-A very good two player game and a decent one player game.  You have to beat up turtles, crabs and other creatures in the sewers.  Of course there are many obstacles to avoid.   Many of the elements that later appeared in Super Mario Bros were first done here.   If you liked the arcade game, you should like this as they are very similar.

Mike Tyson's Punchout (Grade B)-It is just Punchout with the former champ as the last opponent.  Plays very good and is alot of fun beating the likes of Glass Joe and Bald Bull.  But what makes this version is just how dumb the champ looks.  With that goofy face, you cannot help but laugh at him. 

Pacmania (Grade A)-One of the only conversions for this great arcade game!  Pacmania has all the levels and fun of the arcade game, with a drop in graphics (as to be expected).  But the rest is there, the animations, the jumps, the different mazes, all that you come to love about this obscure Pacman game.   Another expensive game, but worth every penny!

Platoon (Grade D)-"The first casualty of war is innocence" is what the movie poster said.  Same could be said for anyone who had this as one of their first games.  Your first casualty of video game is a game that is so bad it wastes your money and makes you lose the magic feeling about video games.  That game is Platoon.  You must venture through the jungle and find who cares what and are constantly ambushed by the enemy.  To give you the feeling of being over there, they just pop out of everywhere.  Walk past a tree and one jumps out.  See those bushes, there is one in there and watch out as they jump out of the ground like gophers.  So you end up taking alot of damage.  There are also traps to contend with.  And this is the first screen!  The frustration level is very high and your desire to continue one is not.  This game will quickly join the dust pile and you will be a casualty.

Pooyan (Grade B)-Another of those fun little games from the past. I really enjoyed replaying this gem. You are a little piggy and you must stop the onslaught of evil wolves who want to have an extra helping of pork chops. While the different levels are similar in design, there is some uniqueness to them. A fun timewaster and another of those time warps.

Pipe Dream (Grade B)-A very good puzzler!  You have to drop the different pieces of pipe to keep the green sludge from spilling.  Time is ticking down and that sludge stops for no man!  If you like puzzlers it is a great game, but if you are more for the action games, then avoid.

Qix (Grade B+)-A very good translation of this arcade classic and a very hard to find cart.  Fill in the screen and move on, but avoid that weird zapping thing in the middle and those pesky little blips of energy that will zap you.  There is the slow and fast speeds and all the fun from the arcade game.  Very good, but good luck finding it. 

Rampart (Grade A)-I never played the arcade version, mainly because there was always someone else playing it. So, when I saw a version was available for the Nintendo (actually picked it up at the Electronicon), I snagged it up. Best ten bucks I spent there. Part war game/part tetris. While this combo may sound real strange, it is quite addictive. First you place your cannons and proceed to clear the water of enemy ships. All the while, they are shooting back and damaging your fort. After the battle is done, you have to move pieces to fill in the holes in the walls before the time is up. A unique concept and a great game.

Ring King (Grade B)-One of my favorite boxing games and a darn good bout!  Just get in there and punch like a maniac!  Enough hits and you win, too many hits taken and you are kissing canvas.   Little strategy and alot of action!  Now that is boxing! 

Snoopy's Silly Sports (Grade C+)-At first I thought this was going to be a very dumb game, but I was pleasantly surprised.  You get a bunch of decathlon type events, only they are not your usual events.  You have a race where you are carrying pizzas and other equally bizarre events.  You may actually find yourself playing this more than you care to admit.

Super Mario Bros (Grade A)-Still my favorite of the series because of the simplicity of it.  While the others kept adding in all these new moves and powers, this one was just a fun game to play.  No need to get crazy with flying and all the other nonsense.  You could move, jump, duck and shoot fireballs.  Very easy and very fun!  I still pull this bad boy out and give it a whirl.  Considering you can get this and Duck Hunt together for a buck or less, you are talking one of the best deals in video games! 

Tecmo Bowl (Grade B)-For many of gamers, this was the beginning of a love affair with football games on consoles.  The first game that I know of where you could be different teams and had actual game players!  Plus, there was the touchdown animations and those ridiculously high scores!  A great game that is still fun to play.  Go Bo Jackson!

Tengen Tetris (Grade B+)-If you don't mind shelling out some extra cash (anywhere from $20-$40), then this is the only real choice for Tetris on the Nintendo.  Great two player mode and an all around better game then the Nintendo version.  Yes it will cost more, but all good things in life cost more.   Aren't you worth the best?

Toobin (Grade A)-The only home version of this fun arcade game!  You and a buddy can hop into inner tubes and shoot the rapids!   There are all kinds of hazards along the way like pointy branches, fishermen, guys with guns and more.  Your only weapon is pop cans you can throw at them.  A very fun little game that thankfully was ported to the NES.

Wild Gunman (Grade C+)-A very simple, yet addictive game.  Gunmen pop up and you have to draw and shoot them first.   Of course, you can cheat and just aim at them and blow them to kingdom come, but if you actually put your gun at your side and even the odds, it is pretty fun.  Of course if someone walks in and sees you standing there, you are in for some major ridicule.  I have been laughed at a few times for it, but I must save the wild west, even if it means getting made fun of!

Have a good game.

These games can be found on ebay!   Click below to find them!

 

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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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