U-Force NES Controller – Uforce Controller

Uforce Box Front
Uforce
Uforce
Uforce Box Front
Uforce Box Front
Uforce Box Back
Uforce Box Back
UForce Box Back Close Up
UForce Box Back Close Up
Uforce Bar & Handle Grips
Uforce Bar & Handle Grips

The U-Force (Uforce) is a controller that came out in 1989 for the NES by Broderbund. It was based on infrared technology that allowed the gamer to use hand and body motions (think of a 1980’s version of the Nintendo Wii only glitchy and problematic) to play games.

It was touted as:

A new dimension in video game excitement! The amazing U-Force controller is simply the most realistic, most responsive controller ever created for Nintendo games. U-Force uses exclusive, breakthrough technology to sens the auction motion and position of your hands and body. You can actually be a part of every game you play.

When you purchased the U-Force it came bundled with the unit itself, a “Power-Bar”, T-Bar, and Hand Grips. The Power-Bar was for Mike Tyson’s Punchout and “future games”.

The U-Force unit could be setup in 3 different “positions”. The “Upright” position which looked like a conventional laptop, the “Upright position with accessories” (such as using the Power Bar to play Mike Tyson’s Punch-out) and the “Flat” position.

Some games played semi-tolerably with the U-Force but most were unplayable or they were immensely harder than using the standard NES controller. With this being the case it was hard to justify purchasing the U-Force unless you wanted to deal with the quirkiness of it.

I hated the U-Force back in the day and I still don’t enjoy it even for “nostalgic sake”. It’s flaky and doesn’t live up to the promises stated. If you want to try it out on a game you’ve already mastered it might be fun for a few minutes but after that I’m sure you’ll get sick of it.

How to fix ROB the Robot

NES Deluxe Set Box Front

I recently picked up an original NES Deluxe set from a garage sale for only $40. It was a complete set and in the original box with Rob the Robot! Obviously I couldn’t pass up a deal this good.

Here’s some pics of the NES Deluxe Set Box for your viewing pleasure =)

NES Deluxe Set Box Front
NES Deluxe Set Box Front
NES Deluxe Set Box Bottom
NES Deluxe Set Box Bottom
NES Deluxe Set Box Back
NES Deluxe Set Box Back
NES Deluxe Set Box Side
NES Deluxe Set Box Side
NES Deluxe Set Box Styrofoam
NES Deluxe Set Box Styrofoam
NES Deluxe Set Box Contents
NES Deluxe Set Box Contents

Upon returning home to test it I found that everything worked perfectly except ROB wouldn’t move up or down. I was able to fix ROB so I thought I would share some knowledge on what I did to fix the problem.

How to fix ROB

It’s much easier to fix him if you turn him upside down. This is due to the fact that ROB is filled with gears and if he’s upside down the gears will not fall out when you remove the screws that hold ROB’s torso together.

NES ROB Repair - ROB Turned Upside Down
NES ROB Repair - ROB Turned Upside Down

Once the ROB’s torso screws are out the inside will look like this:

NES ROB Inside View
NES ROB Inside View

When ROB can’t move up or down it’s almost always do the the front gear/axle assembly. Back in the day Nintendo glued a part of it together and over time the glue can dry out and when that happens the gears won’t turn on the axle. Below is a picture of the gear I’m talking about:

NES ROB Inside Problems
NES ROB Inside Problems

All you need to do is remove of ROB’s as well as the gears that move the arms. Next you can remove the gear/axle assembly and put super glue on the part listed in the previous pic.

Reassembly

It’s much easier if you prop up ROB’s arms when you put him back together. You need to make sure everything lines up otherwise you will have to take it apart again because it will not work unless it’s lined up perfectly.

The outcome

NES games with Famicom converters inside

View of inside a 5 screw NES Game containing a Famicom Converter
View of the inside of a regular 5 screw NES game
View of the inside of a regular 5 screw NES game
View of inside a 5 screw NES Game containing a Famicom Converter
View of inside a 5 screw NES Game containing a Famicom Converter

Some of the early released NES games from 1985 have a hidden treasure inside: Famicom to NES converters/adapters.

These converters will allow you play Japanese Famicom games on your NES Top Loader or NES Toaster.

All the early NES games are of the 5 screw case design so it’s easy to open them with a standard flat blade screw driver. This is a great reason to check your games to see if you have a surprise inside. If the NES game has a converter inside it’s going to weigh more than a regular NES game so you may be able to tell without even having to open it.

I’ve checked several of my games and was lucky to find out that my copies of Gyromite and Pinball both contain Famicom to NES converters.

The games you are most likely to find the Famicom converters in are in no:
(Note: this is from my own personal experience so use at your own discretion)

  • Stack Up (All should have it)
  • Gyromite (Some will have it)
  • Pinball (Some will have it)
  • Kung Fu (Some will have it)
  • Excitebike (Some will have it)
  • Wrecking Crew (Some will have it)
  • Golf (Some will have it)
  • Duck Hunt (Some will have it)

Nintendo NES Blue LED Console Mod

View of Blue LED modded Nintendo NES

Nintendo NES Blue LED Console Mod

One way to make your Nintendo NES stand out is to remove that boring old red power LED and replace it with a different color LED of your choice.

I recently installed a blue LED in my NES so I took pics and figured I’d do a write up for someone if they wanted to do this mod. It doesn’t take a lot of skill and it’s very inexpensive to do. I hope you enjoy my DIY how to.

Requirements:


A Nintendo NES (duh)
Soldering Iron
Solder
De-soldering braid
LED (duh again)
Phillips screwdriver
About 20 minutes total time (or more depending on your skill level) to take apart the NES and solder in the new LED

Tools required to install the new led on the Nintendo NES
Tools required: Soldering Iron, Solder, and De-Soldering Braid

Lets begin!

Start taking apart the Nintendo NES:
1. Remove the 6 Phillips screws from the bottom of the Nintendo’s case.

View of the bottom of the Nintendo NES showing the 6 screws that need to be removed.
View of the bottom of the Nintendo NES showing the 6 screws that need to be removed.

2. Remove the top case and unscrew the 7 Phillips screws that attach the metal casing. Remove the metal case.

View of the 7 screws that hold on the metal shielding on Nintendo NES
View of the 7 screws that hold on the metal shielding on the Nintendo NES

3. Remove the 4 Phillips screws that attach the game cartridge caddy. Slip out the caddy.

View of the 4 screws that attach on the cartridge caddy on the Nintendo NES
View of the 4 screws that attach on the cartridge caddy on the Nintendo NES

4. Remove the final 2 Phillips screws that hold in the NES motherboard.

View of the 2 screws that hold in the Nintendo NES motherboard
View of the 2 screws that hold in the Nintendo NES motherboard

5. Re position the motherboard out of the way and remove the 2 Phillips screws that secure the Power/Reset board.

View of the 2 screws that secure the power-reset board in the Nintendo NES
View of the 2 screws that secure the power-reset board in the Nintendo NES

Now plug in your soldering iron and get your de-soldering braid ready. Desolder the old LED and remove the plastic light spreader with it.

Make a note of the polarity of your new LED because it WON’T work if you install it the wrong way. The way you can tell the polarity of the LED is by looking at the legs. One leg will be longer than the other. The longer leg should be on the right side if your looking at the NES from the front. If you install it with the wrong polarity it won’t damage it or the NES it just won’t light up.

View of the Nintendo NES LED polarity
View of the Nintendo NES LED polarity
View of the Nintendo NES light spreader and stock Red LED
View of the Nintendo NES light spreader and stock Red LED

Insert your new LED into the light spreader and solder the new LED into the power/reset board.

Put the NES back together and enjoy your new colorful NES power LED.

View of Blue LED modded Nintendo NES
View of Blue LED modded Nintendo NES

I hope you found this DIY how to helpful. Please leave me a comment if you feel so inclined.

Happy gaming!

Nintendo NES MAX

Nintendo NES MAX
Nintendo NES MAX
Nintendo NES MAX

The NES MAX Controller was released in 1988 by Nintendo. Comparing it to the standard Nintendo NES controller it only has one thing better which are turbo A and B buttons. Everything else about the NES MAX sucks.

It seems the NES MAX was designed to be primarily used by young kids because the size of the controller is small. Width wise it’s shorter than the standard NES controller.

The NES MAX Cycloid SUCKS
The NES MAX Cycloid SUCKS

The worst part about the NES MAX is the “cycloid”. Instead of using the standard NES controller’s cross shaped four directional joypad Nintendo used a round disc called the cycloid. It wasn’t very responsive at all and it was uncomfortable to use for long gaming periods. Most gamers ended up using NES MAX’s 8 way controller ring that surrounded the cycloid.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Nightmare on Elm Street Title Freddy

A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1989 by LJN for the NES. It’s a side scrolling platformer game. The gameplay is based on two different Freddy Krueger movies, A Nightmare on Elm Street part 3: Dream Warriors and part 4: The Dream master.

The goal of the game is to collect Freddy’s bones and burn them in the boiler at Elm Street High School. Freddy’s bones are scattered all over the place in each level.

You start out on Elm street and your first goal is to go into a house (NOTE: not all houses are open even if the door looks open) . You need to collect all the bones in order to unlock a boss fight at the end of the level. If you have missed a bone or two and get to the end of the level you will have no choice but to go back through the level to find the missing bones. Once you fight the boss you will get a key that lets you in another house.

The gameplay also has a twist in that your character can fall asleep. In order to stay awake you need to find coffee. There’s a meter in game that shows how close you are to falling asleep. If you do fall asleep the gameplay shifts to the “Dream World”. In the dream world the monsters are more powerful but you also get to use your special Dream Warrior abilities. There are three different Dream Warrior abilities based on which one you have collected: A ninja who can throw ninja stars and jump kick, an Acrobat who throws javelins and does a jumping somersault and a magician who shoots fireballs and can hover.

The controls can be touchy but they’re pretty easy to master after some practice. Some of the levels have spots where enemies will spawn out of nowhere (bats mostly) and you can get some cheap deaths. It’s not a huge problem but when the screen gets crowded it can be frustrating.

The graphics are good for a 1989 NES game. The graphics for the Freddy boss fights are good for its time.

The music is well done. It’s catchy and it fits the mood of the game. Some have complained because LJN has used some of the music before in different games. I don’t see what the big deal is because it’s not bad music. I could see criticizing LJN if they reused bad music. That’s not the case here.

Another unique thing about A Nightmare on Elm Street is you can play up to four players simulataneously if you have a NES Satellite or NES Four Score.

Bad Street Brawler – Worst NES Games

Bad Street Brawler Title Screen

Bad Street Brawler was released by Mattel in 1989 for the NES. It’s a side scrolling beat em up game. It’s one of the few games that was to be used with the crappy Mattel Power Glove for the NES which is ironic because the Power Glove sucks too.

Mattel Power Glove
Mattel Power Glove

I remember getting this game as a gift when I was as a kid and wanting it to be good but it really, really sucks.

The music is the first thing that comes to mind about this game. It’s so repetitive and the sound effects are so annoying that it’s better to play with the sound muted. I hate the theme song and it gets stuck in my head for some reason!

The graphics are cheesy and have very little detail. The Flintstones type background of each level looks like it took five minutes to develop. Even the colors used are ugly.

For some reason in the story you’re fighting against a bunch of midget clones, meth head freaks with baseball bats and gorillas. The game doesn’t make any sense. During gameplay every once in a while some dude will come on screen and open his trench coat to flash you and out comes a heart with wings. That makes sense right?!

It’s a two player game but you alternate turns. I guess the only thing that would have made this crappy game a little more fun to play is if two people could actually play it at the same time. No dice.

Bad Street Brawler Title Screen
Bad Street Brawler Title Screen
Bad Street Brawler Trip
Bad Street Brawler Trip
Bad Street Brawler Gameplay
Bad Street Brawler Gameplay
Bad Street Brawler End Level 1
Bad Street Brawler End Level 1
Bad Street Brawler- Mattel
Bad Street Brawler- Mattel

Jackal

Jackal Gameplay

Jackal was released in 1988 by Konami for the NES. It’s a port of the Top Gunner arcade game. It’s a run and gun shooting game. The goal of Jackal is to save hostage POWs that have been captured by the enemy army. You must battle your way through six levels of hostile tanks, soldiers, planes, boats, and cannons.

You drive a Jeep that fires bullets and you can throw hand grenades. Your Jeep can be upgraded which makes the gameplay much more interesting. Every time you pickup a hostage POW that’s flashing you will get a missile upgrade. The first missile upgrade will turn your hand grenades into a one shot missile. You can collect a total of four hostage POW powerups that will turn your Jeep into a multi missile launching machine! Once you fully upgrade the Jeep you will shoot a missile that when it explodes it will shoot in four directions killing anything in its path.

As you progress through the levels you will find a helicopter pick up for the hostage POWs. If you drop off enough hostages you will full max out your Jeep’s weapon upgrades.

Jackal is a great multi player game. Two player simultaneous coop mode is a lot of fun. You can really get on a roll once both players have their Jeeps fully upgraded.

Unlike other Konami games Jackal does not have the “Konami Code”. You have a limited amout of lives and continues. You can collect extra lives for getting high scores.

Game Genie codes for Jackal
SZPTSI Both players have infinite lives
PAPKXZ Both players start with 1 life
PAPKXX Both players start with 9 lives
GXZTSG Keep weapons after death
LEZTKG Full weapons after death

Jackal Title Screen
Jackal Title Screen
Jackal Gameplay
Jackal Gameplay
Jackal Cut Scene
Jackal Cut Scene
Jackal Dropping off POWs
Jackal Dropping off POWs
Jackal Cut Scene 2
Jackal Cut Scene 2
Jackal Level Screen
Jackal Level Screen
Jackal Gameplay 4
Jackal Gameplay 4

Bionic Commando

Bionic Commando Gameplay 2

Bionic Commando was released in 1988 by Capcom for the NES. It’s an action adventure game with platformer elements. It is similar to the Bionic Commando arcade game but it’s been changed quite a bit for the NES. You play as Radd Spencer and your mission is to save Super Joe. Radd gets some sweet guns but by far your best weapon is your bionic arm. You can’t jump in Bionic Commando and at first it seems like that really sucks but you find out the gameplay is more exciting and challenging using the bionic arm instead.

The bionic arm acts like a grappling hook that you can use to move Radd around the screen. You can shoot it and pull yourself up and across pits as long as you have something to swing off of. This really set apart Bionic Commando from the other games of the era where you usually jumped on screen from place to place.

Radd can collect health powerups from killed enemies. There are several different guns available to upgrade your standard pistol. They are the rifle, three way gun, wide gun, rocket launcher, and the bazooka. You can also find items like a bullet proof vest and different communicators.

Another interesting gameplay twist that Bionic Commando offers is being able to select your stage. You don’t have to go from level one to level two and so on. You select your level by controller a helicopter on a mini map screen. This was an original idea and kept the gameplay fresh.

Bionic Commando is not a terribly difficult game. Getting used to using the bionic arm controls is really all you need to learn. You can’t bring all your items into each stage with you so you must plan out exactly how you’re going to attack a stage. You are allowed one gun, one protective device, one special item and one communicator per level.

Much of the game had to be censored from the Japanese release. In the Japanese version they had Nazi logos that have been removed from the US version.

Bionic Commando Title Screen
Bionic Commando Title Screen
Bionic Commando Gameplay
Bionic Commando Gameplay

Bionic Commando Level Select
Bionic Commando Level Select

Bionic Commando Gameplay 2
Bionic Commando Gameplay 2

Bionic Commando Gamplay 3
Bionic Commando Gamplay 3

Double Dragon 2 The Revenge

Double Dragon 2 Boss 2

Double Dragon 2 was released in 1990 by Acclaim for the NES. Double Dragon 2 was a port of the beat em up arcade game of the same name. The NES version contains five more levels of gameplay for a total of nine levels. The NES version also added cut scenes in between levels. Double Dragon 2 is remembered as being one of the better arcade game to NES ports from back in the day.

You play as the brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee. You are fighting to avenge the death of your girlfriend Marian who was killed by the last boss of the game called the Mysterious Warrior.

Double Dragon 2 had something that was missing in the first NES version of Double Dragon: two player co-op mode. Now you could play through the story with a friend which made things a lot more fun. Thankfully you can choose whether or not you wanted to be able to hurt your co-op partner by selecting either game mode A or B. In Mode A, if you hit the other player you will not hurt each other and with Mode B, attacking the other player will give damage.

The fighting gameplay has changed from the first Double Dragon a bit also. Depending on what side of your character the enemy is on the punch and kicks button switch. So instead of just A for punch and B for kick it changes. A lot of gamers didn’t like this but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. It didn’t take me long to get used to it but I guess everybody is different. A new move was added a spinning hurricane jump kick. It’s a good move to use to clear out areas with a lot of enemies.

The controls are good but in some areas of the gameplay and in other areas they are bad. The player vs enemy controls are well done but in some parts of the game you need to make jumps over pits like in a platformer game but Double Dragon 2 isn’t really made for that. It can be difficult and frustrating in some areas but it’s not enough that it ruins the gameplay. It just feels like you can die some really cheap deaths.

Double Dragon 2 is cheap to purchase off the internet on sites like eBay. It’s defiantly worth the little money it costs to add it to your NES game collection. The two player co-op mode is where it’s at!

Double Dragon 2 Title Screen
Double Dragon 2 Title Screen
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay 2
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay 2
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay 3
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay 3
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay 4
Double Dragon 2 Gameplay 4

Double Dragon 2 Boss
Double Dragon 2 Boss

Double Dragon 2 Boss 2
Double Dragon 2 Boss 2