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?

 

What to Think About Game Collections?

I have mixed thoughts and feelings about game collections released on modern gaming systems. These collections try as hard as they can to bring some retro consoles most impressive games to consoles like PS3 or PC or even some newer ones like PS5. I own many game collections. In the featured image of this blog post there is a Dreamcast collection for PC and Mega Drive collection for PS3. Dreamcast collection has four games which are Sega Bass Fishing, Sonic Adventure DX, Crazy Taxi and Space Channel 5 Part 2. The list of games in Mega Drive collection has over 40 titles. Some of the games included are Sonic The Hedgehog 1, 2 and 3, Streets of Rage 1, 2 and 3, Ecco The Dolphin, Golden Axe series and Phantasy Star I to IV just to mention some of them.

How much would you pay for this kind of a collection of games that have been released on some earlier retro gaming system? Is it fair to sell them for the price of a completely new and unreleased game? Are these collections a good way to get deeper into a gaming system? I have to say that I didn’t pay the full price of these two collections. I bought both of them from sale. I remember getting my Dreamcast Collection for PC for about 10 euros and this Mega Drive Collection for PS3 was about 20 euros. I wouldn’t have paid 60 euros to have one of these even if it were some years ago.

Why would I make my decisions the way I do in this matter? I think there is a point in getting to know your gaming consoles games may they be retro or new. I like to think that every system has its own strengths and weaknesses. Mega Drive is great for 2D platform and shooting games and Dreamcast is capable of bringing you the experience of early 3D games of the end of the 90s. I think you have to get into the system you play these games on. That’s what makes it interesting for me and this is true for especially retro games.

There are limitations in gaming systems that were released in the 1980s but you might still have the motivation to play some Commodore 64 games to have some nostalgic feelings. Of course it has its limitations. After all it is an old system. But that same limitation becomes an advantage when thinking about what game designers had to face and how where they able to get around these technical limitations. The design process and the ways and skills in how to design games has progressed. It is also not so odd to find a new game, released last year or something like that, released for older gaming system.

It is not also common that all of your games in your full gaming library can be actually even played at all. As a game hobbyist you have to think about what games you have, or what games you are going to acquire, and how can you play them. Do you use emulators? Do you buy all the games as physical copies? What systems you have and what systems do you want to have in the future?

So, as a conclusion to this blog post, I think there is some sense in re-releasing old retro games as a collection to a newer system. They might be even quite playable. This is not, in my opinion, a proper way to sell games although and the price would have to be a bit lower than for a new game. There are many ways you can play your retro games. Original systems is just a one way. There are also consoles like Evercade and we have definitely seen mini consoles of Mega Drive, NES and SNES and there might be some new releases in the future also.

How Many Buttons Can You Handle?

First of all I am sorry for not posting anything for a while. I haven’t had time, effort and, or, motivation to write here. So it’s been three weeks since I last posted here. But, now it’s time for me to write something for you guys. As you may have noticed I have added some advertisements to this blog. Maybe I get something out of this. I don’t know and we’ll figure out as I keep writing these stories here. I am trying to write something at least once in two weeks or so.

So, I decided to make a bit of a comparison between game controllers. In that featured image we have a NES controller. Now that’s about as old of a game pad as can be. Or do you remember something more older or simpler? Now, it has only buttons A and B, select, start and the directional control. There are older controllers but basically it doesn’t come much simpler than this. And look at the shape of that thing. It’s actually a piece of block with all those sharp edges.

To make this comparison as concrete as can be I chose the other game pad to be the standard Xbox Series S/X controller that I got shipped with my Xbox Series S. This controller has Y, A, X and B buttons, two thumb sticks, a button to control directions, four shoulder buttons and four more buttons. As you can notice I have acquired a cable for my controller so I don’t need to keep changing batteries all the time. This game pad is also very neat, good looking and fits in the players hand smoothly.

It is definitely simpler to play NES games. While playing Xbox Series S or X games you have lots of going on. Your ways to interact in the game is more diverse. As you might have or might have not heard there is actually a limit for things that a human being can handle at a time. That’s why all the menus in the user interface usually have limited amount of choices that the user has to make. This isn’t directly what is happening here but this gives us a view to what’s really going on as you are playing a game.

Remember those annoying selections you have to make when you make a phone call. You are given maybe three or four choices and you have to press a number corresponding to the selection. The user is unable to see the options that he or she has. So that’s an example of bad user interface design. I know this isn’t exactly what is going on but this is just an example of these psychological rules that our brains use to work.

So we have a more advanced controller here. As you can see the shape has been developed to be more friendly for the user. You have more options but also more responsibility. You have the ability to move accurately the cursor. So the thumb stick can actually replace the control of computers mouse. There has been almost thirty years and you can clearly see that things have in this matter progressed. I probably have to say that this controller is also if used so completely wireless.

One important thing I have to mention while we’re on this subject. It is important that the user can get out of the game and exit from it and maybe even pause the game for a while. Both of these controllers have this option. While using NES you can hit the right button to pause the game. When using Xbox Series S you have the option to pause and exit the game mode and kind of return to the operating system mode. You can also think about how this works with virtual reality. You definitely need a way to pause the game at any time you have to.

Some changes we have seen – Gaming from 1984 to 2021

I am going to go through the most important changes that have happened inside gaming from my birthday to this day. Back in 1984 we had already NES in some gamer’s living rooms. This wasn’t the first gaming device that I ever played. That place was conquered by PC. Computer games in the 80s might have had black and white or eight color graphics. Some games might have had 16 colors from which the graphics would be presented. The resolution was much lower than what we are used to today.

For games’ sounds there was only this horrible noise that was produced by the computers own speaker. In the 90s it was possible to buy a sound card for your PC and some gaming consoles, like Mega Drive, offered a better quality of sound. We were still far from a CD quality of sound effects and background and theme music. The quality of sound progressed as more and more and better consoles became available and as the technology advanced.

Getting the input from player has progressed. From keyboards, joysticks and simple controllers to game pads like Dual Sense and Xbox Elite. We have seen the beginning of real virtual experience. If you compare the controller that is seen in the related picture to the latest Dual Shock you really can see the difference. When the NES controller has only axis buttons and four other buttons my Dual Shock 4 has way more buttons. You really cannot compare these two in the means of human engineering.

What else has progressed? Designing games has taken major steps forward. Consider for example how much games like Doom and Diablo have influenced almost all types of video games. Besides bringing more technical advancements these games brought us some improvements in pure game design. Many games today have taken influences from role playing games. These features include developing and choosing a role or abilities to develop inside the game. You can gather experience and rare items that are able to be gathered by the player.

We have also seen how social media and internet have both made an impact. Did you at some time go to LAN parties? Well, I did. Haven’t been in those kinds of happenings in a while and this is also the trend as connectivity has increased so that you can get online almost everywhere in the world. Also the size of computers, mobile phones and consoles has been getting smaller all the time.

So if you would travel back to 80s you would see a different world. I think today we are dealing with lots of devices and activities that require more and more these skills that can probably be called something like “digital skills”. These skills include using social media and even marketing and using your visibility in your own advance and in collaboration with your friends and people also that you work with. We are all connected together and there is huge amount of data moving in these networks all the time. As some of us have combined sport activities to the new digital world I think that the amount spent exercising has decreased in overall.

Time will show in what direction we are moving. It has become clear that skills with internet, mobile devices, laptop and desktop computers and different kinds of networks are required. And so are also skills in teaching and providing a decent support for the final users of this technology. Big data has already made it’s impact on games that are actually gathering all kinds of data from within the game as the player makes its moves and progresses in the game.

Importance of Nintendo to Console Gaming

Nintendo was founded in 1889. It was originally named as Nintendo Karuta. As you can probably conclude – the end of 1800s wasn’t yet the time for this company to develop a gaming console to be played at thousands of living rooms worldwide. But it was the same company that brought NES or Nintendo Entertainment System to markets in 1983.

NES wasn’t the first video game console that was introduced to consumers. Atari brought their very popular console to the markets at the end of 1970s. It was very popular device but it got into real problems as the quality of games that were released did drop. These games included a game that was well-known and often named as the worst game ever made. It was a game based on Steven Spielbergs movie “E.T.” . This and many other games were buried to wasteland. And this is a true story. When Nintendo released NES the industry started to get over this crisis of games that didn’t have a good quality. Nintendo was making sure that only good and playable games would be released to the system.

If you have to name one game console you probably get your mind to NES. I remember clearly that it also was the first gaming device that I remember seeing ever. In the 1980s we had Commodore 64 but what Nintendo offered was something that revolutionized gaming.

Nintendo had to compete with Sega and later with such big names like Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo has been in gaming industry for a long time. Somehow Nintendo kind of missed mobile gaming and approached handheld gaming by bringing new handheld consoles to the market. Lately there was introduced a new handheld device and this device is the one I acquired very recently – Nintendo Switch Lite. Thinking about this makes me puzzled. I bought this for about 220 euros. A new smart phones price is from about 150 to 400 euros. Would you buy a handheld device for gaming if you have your smart phone already? This is something to think about. Although I have been very satisfied with my purchase this far.

So Nintendo was the company that brought 8-bit gaming to our living rooms. It might not have been the first but in my opinion it had the strongest impact on this culture that was already starting to rise it’s head. This brings out the question – Why are games so popular? I think Nintendo has come up with the answer and they are, after all these years, still coming up with new innovative devices and games to gamers worldwide. So the impact to the whole industry is undisputed.

 

Sega vs Nintendo – What was it all about?

Nintendo released a maximum mega hit gaming console back in the 80’s. It was called NES or Nintendo Entertainment System. Atari had released gaming consoles targeted to use inside customers living rooms. It was about the time when arcades were quickly challenged by these kinds of devices you could easily set up inside your own home. The trend was there. Personal computers, PCs, were becoming more and more popular also.

While Sega Master System wasn’t a very bad console it couldn’t fully challenge NES. Sega knew they had to release a better, more powerful, gaming console to compete with Nintendo. Mega Drive, or Genesis as it was called in the USA, was released at the end of 1980’s and in Europe right at the beginning of 90’s.

I remember clearly the commercial of Mega Drive. It was a promise to bring arcades to homes. It delivered graphics and sound at 16-bit quality instead of earlier gaming consoles 8-bits. If Master System didn’t have so many hit games Sega promised also to bring good quality software in the form of great games. Sonic The Hedgehog and Golden Axe II were some of the most popular titles back then with not forgetting some greatness that was brought to paying customers by games like Splatterhouse, Streets Of Rage and for example Kid Chameleon.

Nintendo had Super Mario. Can someone say seriously that Super Mario wasn’t a great game? I think no one would say or think that way. So he was the mascot of the whole NES and also Nintendo. The battle for the gamers hearts (and money) was ultimately bloody and sweaty. You can have, if you wish, a great debate about which console had better games then the other.

As the battle continued Nintendo seemed to take in consideration how violent some games were. They started to deliver fighting games with no blood, hockey games without fights and cute characters that might seem to appeal to younger audience. Sega instead was reaching for customers that wanted this kind of rawness in their games. They didn’t remove the blood or the violence. You have to remember that things were a bit different back then since games in general weren’t so realistic. Sega was also paying more attention to the packaging of their games since Master Systems games were catching critic on that issue.

So who won the battle? You can definitely say that both consoles and companies were doing great. Sega was successful and so was Nintendo. Later, Sega made some bad decisions and started to be in trouble. The last console that was released was Dreamcast. Nintendo instead has been bringing gaming consoles up to this day as Switch is their latest console. Dreamcast was released in the end of 90’s and Switch was released 2017.

 

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