NES/Famicom Appreciation Thread - Playing With Power, Then and Now


Yeah my exact experience. I thought it was a more primitive series (no pun intended) but playing it now it’s really well done.

I guess as a kid I preferred system depth as it seemed more sopistocated. Eg Mario World’s map with so many secrets and ideas. And Castlevania 4’s more whip control and mid air jump control.

But now I can appreciate high quality moment to moment gameplay design as being more important.

On the other side of the coin, these ‘trashy’ games I’m playing are the opposite. Some have cool ideas but their immediate gameplay is often really crap. So few games got both really right.


I like Adventure Island 2, but the level design is a bit sub-par imo, not a lot of levels stand out. I also hated how the game randomly decided for you what level to play next. Need to check out 3 and 4 one of these days, own both on the Fami.


Jackpot today.

Obviously not all trash with Tetris, Batman, Heavy Barrel etc, but hey I already have those CIB on Famicom.

The loose set so far. I think I’ve gone a bit silly but they’re just so cheap!


Bart vs the Space Mutants is incredi-bad. I had that one growing up.

Also, your “loose cart” stack is amazing. Makes me nostalgic!


I spent a ton of time with RC Pro-Am as a kid. It sucks and is also amazing that it never ends, lol.


This demonstrates that you CAN have a neat collection and have a lot of fun for not all that much money. It’s not all high-roller stuff as some would say.


Oh hell yes you can!

I gave up on Nintendo games boxed with manuals years ago now for anything pre-Gamecube. That’s the path to financial ruin. I have piles of carts. I play the games. I smile and enjoy life and can still afford beer. :joy:


Yeah the whole lot there cost me $5-10 each, in 2018 when everyone is whining about resellers etc. I bought every one off a reseller lol.

Mini Reviews of some so far:

Heavy Barrel - really great overhead run and gun action adventure.

Friday the 13th - cheap feeling but quite good adventure game. I think I’ll need a walkthough, but I always loved the movies so this feels like a treat

Monster Party - very weird but solid platformer

Where’s Waldo - surprisingly playable, plays as you’d expect for a game based on a picture book. But the presentation is very solid.

Breakthru - solid action vehicle game. Kind of like a whole game of the turtles skateboard stages? Or a forced left-right scrolling Jackal.

Rambo - repeating Friday the 13th review - cheap feeling but quite good action adventure game. I think I’ll need a walkthough.

Gilligan’s Island - again, another cheap but seemingly solid action adventure. You play as the Skipper, and Gilligan follows you around saying stupid things. It’s like, way better than it has a right to be, though the actual action is pretty iffy.

Rollergames - one of my favourite NES games, already finished it on my silver box Konami PAL version but grabbed NTSC Ultra edition for the loose set. Simply superb honestly

Dirty Harry - again, another action adventure. Even cheaper looking and sounding than the others, but still kinda okay.

Temple of Doom - pretty clunky, but man just hearing that Temple of Doom theme on the Famicom sound chip… better than I expected so far, it was apparently an arcade game originally.

Fabio - I’d never played much W&W, feels very much like a typical Rare NES game, floaty jumps, scabby hit detection.

Batman - obviously superb. Minor changes from the Famicom version which I’ve used for many years.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes - genuinely good adventure platformer. Great graphics and music too.

Mad Max - It has two types of gameplay, car combat (which is kind of like Jackal mised with RC Pro Am) which is great looking and really solid. And indoor areas, which are really scabby. But again, it’s an adventure game.

It’s just crazy to me how many of these are non-linear with adventure elements. Even though many have some jank, the designs at least have some depth.


That’s when everyone was experimenting. Even shovelware had great ideas.


I really love collecting for the NES, and I am totally on board with the loose carts. If you dig in local classified sites you can amass a pretty decent collection without breaking the bank.

I’ve put a lot of time into Jackal, Metroid, Gradius, Blades of Steel, Double Dragon II, Mario and Super Spike V’Ball.

I need to work on getting some of the heavy hitters to really flesh out the collection. Mario 2, 3, Bubble Bobble, Castlevania, Contra etc.


This is definitely one of Konami’s most underrated games. It’s just too bad being licensed and not super popular like TMNT means it probably will never be officially re-released.


Yeah, it’s a super cool game.


This has been a great project, and is genuinely giving me a new perspective on the console for several reasons. So many of these games were US specific. I was originally PAL Australia, and later went Japan-centric when I got an AV Fami in the early 2000s, and have had plenty to play for many years (particularly getting into the hundreds of great Japan-only games) so haven’t gone into this part of the library.

While obviously Japan got all sorts, PAL typically missed the non-linear games, as well as many licensed games. The licensed ones make sense as even combined PAL was a much smaller market, and getting a licence in so many countries would be tough for all but the biggest names. But I’m also thinking any games that relied too much on written clues were likely to be skipped, since publishers looked as PAL as a multi-lingual market as a whole. Even PAL A alone included Italy.

So those are likely why PAL never got the likes of Friday the 13th, Rambo, Gilligan etc, but I can’t help but think that not getting games with more depth (in terms of overall game design - not just run left to right and kill all enemies) also prevented the NES from being more successful in PAL territories. It’s a real selling point, especially when back then this kind of depth was the selling point of home PC games (RPGs, adventure games) even though typically PC games had much worse action design and implementation.

On a related note, I have something approaching a near complete Mark III and very solid Master System collection. The vast majority of M3/MS games are arcade action games, with only a few non-linear action adventure games, which is why solid non-linear action adventure games like Wonder Boy III and ports like Ys and Ultima IV really stick out. So I can’t help but think that PAL NES getting more of these non-linear games it did not get, as well as others it didn’t get like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Startropics etc would have been a good differentiator from the Sega. We had to do with only a few like Battle of Olympus, Faxanadu etc.


It’s kind of crazy to me when I look at release dates and see how many NES games came out in PAL regions two years later than other regions or not at all.

I think marketing and distribution were bigger factors for sales than having non-linear games, though. From a North American perspective, I remember there was a point (late 1988) where the SMS had more variety in major non-linear titles because of turn-based RPGs like Miracle Warriors and Phantasy Star. The general public wasn’t going to care with Super Mario Bros. 2 commercials dominating the TV. Outside of the hardcore computer gaming crowd, RPGs weren’t a big seller here. When Dragon Warrior came out, it wasn’t as successful as Nintendo hoped.

I thought Star Tropics did get a PAL release but maybe that was just Europe and not Australia/New Zealand.


On another note, since I have been playing Galaga on NES Classic, one area of the NES I can enjoy more in my old age is ports of early '80s games. I always loved ones that didn’t have other (Western) home ports like Donkey Kong 3 but for stuff like Galaga, Defender II, Burger Time, etc., I had played these so many times in the arcade and on earlier home systems, I understandably never paid much attention to them in the late '80s even though they’re well made. The same goes for the Atari 7800’s library.


Great observations in the last few posts. There’s just so much to explore in this library.


I just got Wild Gunman.

This is all the small box games now I think?


Man, USA really got the uglier boxes.


It’s bothering me that Pinball is upside down in that picture


I didn’t notice that, but now you’ve pointed it out it’s now bothering me too :face_with_raised_eyebrow: