NES Games That Are Still Relevant in 2024

You might not spend so much time with NES games as you do with modern games that directly aim to keep you focused for tens or even hundreds of hours. This has everything to do with quickly advancing technology. Designing games goes forward also when the developers learn more and more and more hobbyists are starting to get into the world or playing video games. In this blog post I go through some NES games that are, in my opinion, still relevant today.

There are practically hundreds of games in the whole gaming library of NES. If you don’t have a clue what gaming console I am referring to I can tell you that NES comes from words Nintendo Entertainment System. It is a retro console that was introduced to us, gamers, in 1983. I have picked up these five games that I own. These all are very good games and I can definitely recommend them.

I have a Retro Trio console that plays NES, SNES and Mega Drive games. I can also use an adapter to play Master System or even Game Boy games. These adapters I have bought for a cheap price. I think I paid just under 40 euros for the Master System adapter and maybe 35 euros for the game boy adapter. It is very nice to play Game Boy games this way. The screen is very clear and bright compared to the screen of Game Boy or Game Boy color. There are some other ways also that you can play Game Boy games but lets not get carried away too much.

You can of course take your chance and use any NES emulator to play NES games on your PC. If you are going with this option I definitely recommend to get a replica of the original NES controller that you can attach with a USB cable. This brings the certain sense of authenticity to your NES games. These physical copies can be a bit pricey. They can cost anything from I think 15 euros to even 100 euros. Some rare games are even more expensive. So, I totally understand if you go the emulator way at least when you are just starting to get into NES games. The USB controller I mentioned earlier has a price tag of maybe 20 euros. I have never got into troubles with the compatibility and you can probably get it to work easily even if you use Linux.

You can sense that for example Super Mario Bros, that was released in 1988, has this certain lightness in the whole gaming experience. I mean the fact that it uses only so little memory. You can talk about randomly accessed memory or even hard disk. As I think you have witnessed NES doesn’t have a hard disk at all. You can use saved games in some games since they have an extra battery that enables long term memory usage. With emulators you can of course go around this and use saved states that come with your favorite NES emulator. So, this is one more reason to use software emulators instead of old retro hardware.

Graphics are two dimensional in these games. Sound is of course pretty terrible. If you are deeply into “chip tune” musical genre you might even like it that way. I personally think it is some kind of miracle how they could program the music for these games with all these limitations. Same goes to the overall design of these games. There are over 600 NES games that were released. These five are the ones that I have managed to grab. I have a total of maybe ten or twelve NES games in my collection. I did buy these all already some years ago. I can definitely say that I enjoy these games even if they are old and even if the time keeps moving forward. I think Nintendo did  agret job!

Super Mario Bros Wonder

Today I have spent maybe three to four hours into continuing to play Super Mario Bros Wonder for Nintendo Switch. This game deserves its spot as one of the best games available for this console. I proceeded to world number four. This game has eight worlds in it.

I just love the game play. Nintendo has put together a definite classic once again. There are many elements from earlier games but there is also something new for those of us that have witnessed the whole legacy of Super Mario Bros. I can picture gamer’s of all ages playing this video game.

It is said that Super Mario Bros Wonder takes ten hours to complete. That being that you manage to pass through slightly demanding puzzles that this game offers. There is a lot to explore. Mario or which one of the characters you happen to play the game with has many new abilities. You can add a special tag that can give you a skill like floating in the air or jumping a bit higher.

These certain elements are present here that are always relating my thoughts to this game series. We have seen earlier games like New Super Mario that have tried to bring back that feel of a nice platform game. This game reminds me a lot of the first game that was released in 1985. I also see many similarities to Super Mario Bros 3.

A big plus also in commercial sense is that kids and adults can all play this game. As you can see that the game is recommended for ages three above. Getting into the game isn’t difficult. I only got a bit stuck in these certain puzzles and made it to the end of the world 4. I had slight problems with tasks in the game that concerned invisibility. It was hard to jump to a certain spot while the character wasn’t almost at all visible. I think I will try to get through this point some day but it isn’t just today.

I don’t think you can complete the game in one sitting. Otherwise the game is very playable and progresses very fluently. The levels information that is provided to the player before entering the stage includes a rating of difficulty starting from 1 star and ending to I think 4 stars or maybe 5 stars. At least that was the way as I played these levels.

You can explore the whole surroundings quite freely. To progress you have to collect these some sort of rewards. You don’t always have to have everything completed to advance. So you can also skip some parts that might seem difficult. There are lots of item to collect. Coins are of course present as are cash points that enable you to buy many other items including extra lives. One hundred coins collected gives you of course one extra life as is usual in Mario games.

I definitely think this is the best Nintendo Switch game that I own currently. It is targeted to all ages but I wouldn’t call it childish in any way. More so it reminds of a deep technical fantasy type of product. Something that engineers and computer enthusiast have brought to all video game fans. And I have to mention one thing. I never got into Tears of the Kingdom so I cannot compare these two games directly. And how would you compare them? That’s like comparing an apple to a pear.

I am going to write one more paragraph to finish this post. I love Super Mario Bros Wonder. It being directed to whole family just makes it a better game and a better product. Congratulations Nintendo! You managed to bring Super Mario to us gamer’s once again with this game: Super Mario Bros Wonder.

Should Retro Games Be Declared as Public Domain?

How popular are old NES or SNES games? Just think about how popular were NES Classic Mini and also the one that had tens of SNES games on it. I remember that I was working in a game shop as we had hundreds of customers that had ordered a NES mini. They had to wait moths to get one. This same happened with SNES mini. Although customers started to understand and not order a device that couldn’t even be delivered in a reasonable time.

This is exactly the matter when we are talking about the popularity of retro games. These games were released 30 or 40 years ago. They aren’t properly available to us gamers. Nintendo has made them available on their web service. That alone doesn’t make me want to pay for the subscription. You can get a console, maybe original NES or some other type of console, that you can play original games with. This however is expensive. You might have to pay 40 euros for a game. Some games are sold for hundreds or even thousands of euros.

Publishers seem to be holding on to these game titles. How does this make sense? If someone buys a used game from a game shop that is a private entrepreneur how does this give any more profit to the publisher of the game? There have been many sore comments on Facebook ads of this certain web shop that offers money for used retro titles. They pay you about fifty percentage or maybe even less than that for your rare games of the price they are actually selling it. This makes producing and downloading so called pirated copies of these games popular and tempting.

I just today read a story that was dealing with the ability to play old games that were released in 2010 or earlier. This is actually very hard. The writer was very concerned about older games just disappearing somewhere. These games are valuable in a certain way. Future game designers can learn a lot from old games. Someone might be willing to play these games. And many are having this certain appeal to these games now and also in the future.

What would be the solution? I think that certain games should be made a public domain. You could download them and share and even maybe modify them freely. We should have devices available that could convert the game cartridge to a rom file and they should be easily available. There could be devices dedicated to this in libraries or maybe in some other places. I have to tell you that we are already seeing all sorts of video games available in libraries already today.

So, to conclude, we should, in my opinion, share these old games and make them as widely available as possible. We already have these most important video game systems emulators available. Someone might support legalizing some mild drug. I am right now stating that I support the freeing of retro games. This is even today illegal. Who is this statute working for one might ask. I am not supporting or saying that you should break law. That is not the case. I am saying that we should change the law since it seems that old games are getting hard to play and to enjoy.

New and Better Controller for Mobile Video Gaming

I just got this piece of joy by mail. It is Turtle Beach Atom which is a controller for mobile devices. Actually it’s for smart phones. It cost me only 70 euros. I have seen this model being sold for about 100 euros. So, I got some discount.

I have been thinking about bringing my retro gaming to a zone of emulation. You know that you can fit every released NES game to a 237 MB of disk space. And all SNES games would take 1,7 GB. If you consider it you can probably get a micro SD card that has 128 GB of space for maybe 20 euros. That should hold a lot of games.

Of course only the required disk space isn’t the only matter that comes to consideration. You would certainly like to have a system setup that can handle as many high quality retro games on as many consoles as is possible. I figured that you need at least 512 MB of RAM, about a half of a GB, for running a Dreamcast emulation. I started to think about getting a new phone. It would cost me about 200 euros. I checked some smart phone models. They all seemed to have 2 or 3 GB of RAM. Then I remembered that I have an old phone laying around. So, I decided to use that.

Of course only the RAM that is available is not everything that an emulator needs. My old phone has decent level of performance. The model is Huawei P10 Lite. It is an old phone from 2017. I haven’t used it since the beginning of 2021. That is when I bought a new phone. Let’s consider some specs of my P10 Lite. It is capable of displaying Full HD quality video. That’s 1080 x 1920 pixels. It has 3 GB of RAM. It has a processor that is octa-core which translates to “4×2.1 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53”. I am not a big specialist on multiple core processors. The phone only has 32 GB of space so it definitely needs a memory card. I did have one laying around so I decided to put it to good use.

I set up some emulators. Duckstation was one that I installed. I also installed Retroarch which can handle many systems. I aimed for being able to play at least systems including GameCube, Dreamcast, PS1 and Nintendo 64. You don’t actually need a lot of power for playing games on systems that are older than SNES. I didn’t think to play newer systems like PS3 or Xbox 360. Some might want to play also PS4 on an emulator. That would require a higher permance personal computer. I am not saying it’s not possible.

So I am currently charging the battery of my Turtle Beach Atom controller. I have installed already some games. I picked one game from here and another game from there. PS1 emulation seems to be running fine and I am able to play N64 games also. Even only this is very satisfying. I remember having some tough luck trying to set up a Lakka OS based system some years ago and then I struggled with PS1 and Dreamcast games. I had an old PC that could quite handle the performance.

I am ready, soon, to try to test some games. At this time things seem to be working fine. I have to wait for about 2,5 hours for the battery to charge. It was then promised that the controller would be functional for 20 hours. This is a huge upgrade to the controller that I used with smart phones earlier. I have written a blog post about it in this blog earlier. I have broken the glass of my screen of my P10 Lite. I didn’t want to show it. That was the reason why I didn’t include ít to this blog posts featured image.

I hope this blog post gave you inspiration. There is a very good guide for someone that wants to build or assemble a system like this for retro gaming. Here is the link:

Android Emulation Starter Guide

 

My Tiny Collection of Sega Master System Games

I have an adapter that can bring me to games of the game system that was originally released before Mega Drive. This gaming console is Sega Master System. It wasn’t the first console that was manufactured by Sega. It was although something that could be a challenge for Nintendo Entertainment System. NES was released in 1983. Some years later Master System was released.

The complete game library of Sega Master System has a bit over 300 games. Mega Drive was strongly advertised to be a 16-bit system. Master System is a 8-bit system. It sold something from 10 to 13 million units worldwide. After all this was not enough for Sega that wanted to dominate the markets. The sligt failure of Master System caused Sega to really invest in the development of Mega Drive.

What am I playing my Master System games with? Well, I have a Retro Trio console that I can play Mega Drive games with. Already some years ago I was lucky to spot an adapter that enables you to play Master System games on a Mega Drive. It was also cheap but very difficult to find from any game shop or even elctronics web shop.

I have collected for Master System already some time. About a month ago I bought three more games for it. I already had this game that features Mickey Mouse. The game is titled Castle of Illusion. It’s a fun platformer type of a game. Three other games are Wonder Boy, Super Space Invaders and Psycho Fox.

It has to be said that if we make a comparison between NES and MS and think about all games that were released NES has more of them. In fact NES has about two times more games than MS. This is of course clear since NES was such a popular system back in the 80s and especially before the release of its serious competitor Sega MD. In fact it is said that back in 1988 Nintendo held 83 percentage of the video game market (in North America alone).

The latest addition to my Sega MS collection will be Bubble Bobble. I have ordered it but it hasn’t yet arrived (that’s why it isn’t in the featured image of this blog post). Bubble Bobble is an exciting game and it was released in the 80s for several gaming systems. It was released also for PC, C-64 and  NES. You can probably right now hear the theme music already playing if you are familiar with this game. This game is familair to me and I was introduced to it in the form of a PC game. I used to play it a lot when I was a kid. Today, I enjoy more the console version because I can use a game pad to play it. It is said also that the MS version was the best.

I can recommend any of these MS games if you got interested. These four games weren’t actually so expensive. Psycho Fox was 40 euros. Other games were something below 30 euros. Bubble Bobble was a bit more expensive. It cost me 75 euros. I have seen these prices going up a bit in last five years or so. Retro games seem to have a higher price today as this hobby seems to be popular.

My Current Tiny Collection of NES Games

I didn’t have a Nintendo Entertainment System when I was a child. It didn’t prevent me from getting my hands to this console. I remember that at least two of my friends from school had this gaming system. We played Super Mario and Mega Man just to name a few of my favorites. This nostalgic feeling is the reason I started collecting NES games.

I have a retro gaming console that can handle NES, SNES, Mega Drive, Game Boy and Master System game cartridges. That’s right. I play my 80s and 90s retro games from real physichal cartridges. I have used also emulators on different computers, including Raspberry Pi, but I find it satisfying to play my retro games the way that I do.

I have also an original NES controller that I use while I play NES games. Let’s get to my collection. I have 12 NES games. I have been collecting games of this game console for about three years. That’s when I got the first game of this system.

The first game in this collection was Super Mario Bros. 3. It is in my opinion maybe the best game and definitely the best platformer game for this legendary gaming system. If you look carefully to this image we have here you can find that I have Double Dragon 1 and 2, Big Foot, Gremlins 2, Kid Ikarus, Gradius, The Adventure of Link, Tetris, Total Recall, Ice Climber and Gauntlet 2.

There are still some games I would like to buy and add to my collection. Some of these games are Mega Man, Metal Gear Solid, Super Mario 1 and 2, Punch Out, Probotector and some others that just don’t come to mind right now. There are also many great games that I don’t even yet know about. I have imagined that I would some day get a CRT television that would enable me to play shooter games like Duck Hunt. There are also some very good shooters for PlayStation 1.

How much have I paid for these games. I think the most expensive from these games is the Zelda game. It cost me 80 euros. I just had to buy it. This game is a bit rare so I was lucky to even have an opportunity to buy it. I buy my NES games usually from different game shops. Sometimes I find a game from flee market. Because of corona I haven’t been to flee markets a lot lately but this I know is going to change. The cheapest games in this collection are somewhere around 15 euros.

So for this small collection you can probably spend something from 300 euros to 500 euros. I suggest that if you are going to play your NES games also and not just collect them just buy them like two or three games at a time. This way you can enjoy playing them. I think one of the most important ways to enjoy games that bring you nostalgia is to just give them enough time. You can definitely spend two to three hours for one game. You can also try to complete them. To this day I haven’t been able to beat Super Mario Bros 3. I have spent lot of time in trying to do so.

I think you have already some good ideas for starting to collect NES cartridges to your own collection. Buying retro games can also be a way to invest your money in case you become financially challenged some day. There are lots of collectors out there. I almost forgot one good title and that is the first Final Fantasy. This is a one rare game. Also some NES games are very expensive today. You can see a game that costs several hundreds of euros or even more than that.

Why Am I a SEGA Person?

Sega was my key to this whole video gaming hobby. I think it was 1993 when I got my Sega Mega Drive. I played a lot of it. This was of course making me not to play so much NES, SNES and even later Nintendo 64 and GameCube. Lately I have tried to catch up on Nintendo’s retro stuff. I have even studied some Game Boy games.

Nothing created such a rage inside me than a Mega Drive game that I was trying to beat. You can say that Mega Drive games are a bit repetitive in their nature so you had to be perfect on a try and if you failed you had to start all over again until you eventually would run out of lives and after that continues. Yeah. We didn’t have lots of memory for saved games back then.

Sega also made me to be angry to my mates that were playing some Streets of Rage 2 with me in collaboration mode. It became aggresive so suddenly. As I was playing with my brother we had many arguments. We were told that we took the game too seriously. We were separated and we both couldn’t play Mega Drive for that day anymore. This made me think even when I was a small ten-year-old child. And I didn’t take it so seriously. There was just something about how Sega made players a bit frustrated. I think that is some of the appeal of this franchise.

After Sega my life with Nintendo’s gaming products was again pushed towards later times because it happened that I bought a Sony PlayStation in 1997. This of course made me distant also to Sega Saturn. I have only lately been again interested in it. As PlayStation had real 3D games I thought it would absolutely have so much more to offer compared to Saturn. This thinking has changed, maybe just this year, and I have been interested in Saturns games which aren’t actually so much 3D games but it has some very interesting titles that Sony doens’t have.

So these choices made me to play certain games. Today I understand that the variety of different and good or decent game titles are from many different consoles and every consoles have at least some good or decent games be it that many of the best games are released on certain systems. This makes me definitely interested in exclusives. And this interest hasn’t faded when it comes to modern consoles.

What I was essentially missing a lot as a child were mainly NES, SNES and Game Boy titles. Later I missed some Saturn titles and N64 and GameCube titles. I also didn’t ever get a Dreamcast. So what caught my attention was first Sega and then Sony. Did I follow Sony a lot? Maybe not. I never had a PS2. Can you think about this? I hardly can.

All in all we can say that there are for all of us these gaming consoles that brought us to the hobby or maybe to some to the profession. It is your own curiosity that makes you want to dig deep and try to discover some old games that you haven’t yet played. And this is also what makes video gaming interesting.

Who Is This Guy (Super Mario)?

What’s the game you start to play when you want a nice platform game and you don’t mind if it is a bit retro? Of course you play Super Mario Bros or Super Mario Land or Super Mario Bros 3 or the New Super Mario. Whatever your choice is one thing is certain – there are lots of options here. That’s basically because there seems to be no limit to how many and how varying game titles have been released in this video game characters lifetime.

The featured image of this blog post is the cover of a book about how Nintendo and Mario “conquered” USA. Of course this character made its way into the minds of all gamer’s across the whole wide world. Super Mario was chosen to be the main character that represented the whole Nintendo as a company. There are lots of games and also some other material in which Super Mario has been used.

But who is this guy actually? We get to understand that he’s a plumber. He has a brother named Luigi. I think he’s a plumber too. Mario has the tendency to try to be a hero and he is always trying to save the princess. Mario is a bit softer than Sega’s mascot Sonic. Basically Mario is a product of the beginning of 80s while Sonic seems to be from the end of 80s and also from the beginning of 90s.

Of course all the real hardcore retro gamers know that Crash Bandicoot took the title of the most fascinating video game mascot back in the 90s. But you have to realize that Mario was the first of them. Nintendo was the brand that made gaming great again after Atari had effed up the whole game with it’s foolish strategy on releasing poor quality video games. Basically, back then, Atari just got too greedy.

And only Nintendo is able to come up with this kind of material. At the same time it seems a bit naive and childish but do you know what kinds of mushrooms he actually is able to consume? A mushroom that looks like Amanita Muscaria and makes him to grow. Wow! How did that happen and how did it happen so fast. Maybe there is something more to it than we at first can observe. Maybe parents should look after their children despite the fact that Nintendo seems to be so settled with its in game content.

Super Mario remains as a character that is a bit mysterious. You don’t get to talk with him in deep conversations. You might remember him from your childhood. Is he the one that is responsible for luring all these people in to video gaming? There haven’t been so many interviews or story lines in games that would have described his personality. Yet you definitely recognize his voice as he says “It’s me…Mario!”.

Why are things this way? Maybe it has everything to do with how under developed video games were. We had two dimensional pixel graphics and the audio quality was poor. There just weren’t enough space for this character to form some kind of a more progressed image in our minds. I think this is also a strength for him. He is kind of abstract figure. He was made to be simple and easy to approach. So Mario is at the same time very simple and also very attractive in a mind of a determined retro gamer.

A Recent Purchase

Yesterday I went to a large local mall. Well, actually it’s in Vantaa and it’s called Jumbo. It’s near the airport and there is lots of stores of different kinds. There is also a hotel, spa and everything. It has also many restaurants. So, you probably get that it’s a huge and complex building that we have here in my home city. I went there by bus. Yeah, I don’t have a car. I don’t need a car.

As I told you in some earlier post, there is also a shopping center in Myyrmäki called Myyrmanni. I told you earlier that there was only one game title for Xbox Series X. As I went to Jumbo I realized that there was, in a shop, a huge shelf of games. And there were tens of titles available. So this made me realize and think again about my opinions about general stores that sell games even today. There was a nice collection. Prices were also low in general.

So I bought one 4K movie, a game pad for my Nintendo Switch, a USB hub and this cool title, Turtles – The Cowabunga Collection, for Xbox Series X. This time I didn’t buy any gift cards. I also didn’t buy more PS4 games. This shopping experience was somewhat refreshing. I was a bit tired. I also got one book from a book store.

If you don’t know anything, yet, about Cowabunga Collection I can tell you that it features thirteen retro titles that were released back in the day for NES, SNES and Sega Mega Drive. I think there is also a title from Game Boy. This might be actually very interesting. There are also some titles that were released only in arcades.

The original price of this compilation was 40 euros, but it was on sale, so I got it for 20 euros. They did have some difficulties at cash register about removing the alarm device from around the packing. Heh, I don’t know if this was important or not, but it’s my gaming diary, so it doesn’t matter. I like to tell these thought quite openly. And if the cashier or anybody from the store might be reading this, well, let’s say hello to you. I think they don’t actually read my blog. But you read, so thank you about that.

There actually weren’t so many 4K movie titles available and the ones I was at least a bit interested in were pricey. They were sold for like 30 euros a piece. I picked up a Star Wars title that was released originally in 2002. It was 20 euros. Later that evening I watched that new movie about Queen and Freddie Mercury form telly. It was a good day and refreshed me as I had also a work day yesterday.

I’d like to spend this last paragraph of this blog post to tell you about my plannings of releasing a book from around the topics that I have written about in this blog. I am currently trying to find time to write this book. I have already written almost 30 pages. The book is still heavily in the making. But if you’re interested about this I can tell you that I am planning to release it as a digital book. If I get to releasing it, it is my aim that the book as it is in English would be available for anyone anywhere in the world. So, stay tuned for that, also.

Some Notes About Kid Icarus

How it feels to play a game that has been released over 35 years ago? It feels amazing and so nostalgic. I didn’t play Kid Icarus as a child. I was so small kid back then. I think I might have seen someone else playing this. But I never played this back in the 80s.

I picked up Kid Icarus as I was browsing a local game shops NES games. It isn’t a pricey game. It cost me 35 euros. I ordered also some other games. I now have a total of seven games for Nintendo Entertainment System right now. I am playing these games with my Retro Trio Plus console.

Kid Icarus is a simple platform and shooting game. You have unlimited amount of arrows that you can use to eliminate enemies which are flying or crawling and attacking you. When you kill an enemy you get hearts. With one controller button you can jump. The other button is used for shooting an arrow. You can shoot to your left or right or even up. You also come across some enemies that take lots of arrows to kill. You can find the ground to be slippery or icy at times.

You basically move upwards in a level and keep shooting at ghosts and other monsters. When you reach a certain stage the game gives you a check point where you can continue your game from. As is usual with NES games the saving is not possible. There is some kind of a password system but I didn’t get so close to utilizing it.

Kid Icarus is a fun game. And it’s a very old game. I don’t know if it’s so interesting after you have played it for a while. If you are really into some 80s stuff and NES I can recommend this game for you. I just don’t think it would be so valuable as a game for someone that likes to play the greatest or latest games.

As times have progressed Kid Icarus is a blast from the past. It makes me think how designing of games has evolved. It makes me think about all the limitations these developers faced in 1986. So, to sum it all up I have to say that it is a nice game but I don’t think its worth to spend an eternity playing it. So, today I’m going to play my Gran Turismo 7 for a while and maybe I have time to try to finish Diablo II Resurrected. Who knows?

 

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