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

Life Force

Lifeforce Boss

Life force was released by Konami in 1988 for the NES. It’s a classic space shooter and the sequel to another great NES space shooter Gradius. Life force is a port of Konami’s arcade game of the same name. You control the Vic Viper a sweet spaceship that is upgradeable.

The gameplay in Life force is split up between six levels. A cool feature is that some levels are horizontal scrolling and others are vertical scrolling. It’s a nice way to make things interesting in between levels.

Powerups can be collected and used to get multiple ship upgrades. Some of the upgrades cost more powerups than others. You can upgrade your speed, add missiles to your ship, get a ripple gun which is stronger than the standard bullets, get a laser gun which is the strongest gun, add options which are little dots that fire bullets like your ship, and finally force field which protects your ship from bullets until it takes too much damage.

The graphics and control are very well done. Each level has it’s own theme and the end bosses are very big and really do the best you can with the NES hardware limits. The in game music is timeless and a joy to listen to.

Life force also contained the famous Konami code: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start so you could start with 30 lives. Even if you didn’t use the Konami code you could continue your gameplay if you died. You would just have to start each level over again.

You can play 2 player co-op which is a lot of fun. Having a friend cover one side of the screen while you take the other sure does make things easier. If you share powerups each ship can be a beast.

Lifeforce is one of the best space shooters for the NES and a classic that is a must own. If you don’t have a NES you can purchase it on the Nintendo Virtual Console for the Wii.

Life force Title Screen
Lifeforce Title Screen
Life force Gameplay
Life force Gameplay
Life force Boss
Life force Boss
Life force Boss 2
Life force Boss 2
Life force Gameplay 2
Life force Gameplay 2
Life force Gameplay 3
Life force Gameplay 3
Life force Gameplay 4
Life force Gameplay 4
Life force Gameplay 5
Life force Gameplay 5
Life force Gameplay 6
Life force Gameplay 6

Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros Warp Zone 2

Super Mario Bros (SMB) was released in 1985 by Nintendo for the NES. It’s easily one of the most recognizable video games ever and the most popular game ever produced for the NES. SMB was the best selling video game for more than 20 years selling over 40 million copies. Super Mario Bros popularity is what led to Mario being a household name and on products from food to underwear. It also resurrected the video game industry after the great video game crash of 1983.

SMB was the sequel to the arcade classic Mario Brothers. The gameplay is similar to Mario Brothers but there are differences ie: in SMB you can jump on a turtle to kill it, in Mario Bros you had to jump to hit the turtle from underneath and then run up to it and kick it.
The story goes that the evil Bowser had kidnapped Princess Toadstool. You can play as either Mario or Luigi on your quest to find out what castle Bowser has Princess Toadstool hidden in. There are 8 worlds in the game. Each world consists of 3 levels and 1 castle level. To complete a world you must defeat all 4 levels.

SMB was the first time you could get a giant mushroom, a fireflower to throw fireballs or the famous invincibility star. These became Nintendo staples would be forever understood by gamers and appear in countless Nintendo games to this day.

SMB was available in several different cartridges for the NES. You could get SMB by itself, in a combo cart with Duck Hunt, and with Duck Hunt and World Class Track Meet in another combo cart. There are also 5 screw cart and 3 screw cart variations available.

There were some famous glitches in SMB. The infamous minus world glitch is one that comes to mind. Some of the other glitches involved mushrooms falling through the screen and infinite 1ups that can lock up the game.

SMB is one of the cheapest to purchase NES games so there’s no excuse if you don’t own a copy. It’s a video game masterpiece that will always be remembered as one of the greatest games ever.

Super Mario Bros Title Screen
Super Mario Bros Title Screen
Super Mario Bros Level Start
Super Mario Bros Level Start
Super Mario Bros Gameplay
Super Mario Bros Gameplay
Super Mario Bros Gameplay 2
Super Mario Bros Gameplay 2
Super Mario Bros Gameplay 3
Super Mario Bros Gameplay 3
Super Mario Bros Gameplay 4
Super Mario Bros Gameplay 4
Super Mario Bros Gameplay 5
Super Mario Bros Gameplay 5
Super Mario Bros Flag Pole
Super Mario Bros Flag Pole
Super Mario Bros 1up
Super Mario Bros 1up
Super Mario Bros Warp Zone
Super Mario Bros Warp Zone
Super Mario Bros Warp Zone 2
Super Mario Bros Warp Zone 2

Super Mario Bros 3

Super Mario Bros. 3 Gameplay 2

Super Mario Bros 3 (or SMB3) was released in 1990 by Nintendo for the NES. Super Mario Bros 3 was a huge success that was extremely popular and continues to be until this very day.

The story is pretty much the same as all the other Mario games in that the evil Bowser has kidnapped Princess Toadstool and it’s up to Mario and Luigi to rescue her. The gameplay is more like Super Mario Bros than Super Mario Bros 2 which depending on who you talk to is a great thing. There’s more powerups in Super Mario Bros 3 that allow you to do things like fly and turn into a statue.

There are 8 worlds to explore. Like in the previous Mario games you can warp to different worlds, only this time you need to use a whistle to accomplish this task. There are two different main screens for the gameplay. One being a map where you can move your character to go to different levels or mushroom houses, card games or castles. The other mode is the gameplay of each level. This is where the gameplay builds off of Super Mario Brothers. A fun feature is the ability in two player games to battle against each other in the original Mario Brothers mini game.

Super Mario Bros 3 was also featured in the 1989 movie titled The Wizard. It was basically an hour and a half long commercial about how cool Super Mario Bros 3 was and all the other Nintendo stuff back in the day. Even the crappy Power Glove makes an appearance. Who can forger the epic cheezy line from the Wizard: I love the Power Glove its so bad!

Super Mario Bros 3 is one of the best games ever released for the NES. It’s a must have if you have a NES.

River City Ransom

River City Ransom Gameplay

River City Ransom was released in 1989 by Technos of Japan for the NES. It’s a beat em up style game that combines RPG elements. These two genres make a good mix and River City Ransom has some excellent gameplay as well.

You play as Alex and Ryan. The story goes that Ryan’s girlfriend has been kidnapped by an evil dude named Slick. As you are on your way trying to rescue Ryan’s girlfriend, you are confronted by 9 different gangs depending where you are in the city. They all want to kill you for being on their turf. It’s up to you to show them who’s boss.

The fighting gameplay is like Double Dragon where you can pickup weapons that are dropped from defeated enemies. You can perform kicks, punches, and jump kicks. River City Ransom has two player simultaneous co-op which really makes the game a lot more fun. Teaming up to take on the gangs with a friend is a great time.

Enemies will drop coins after you defeat them which you can use in the vast amount of shops in the city. You can buy all different kinds of items and food to make Alex and Ryan stronger. The graphics and music are well done and the gameplay is challenging but not too hard. One memorable thing about River City Ransom is that after you defeat an enemy they have a phrase that they say. Barf seems to be a very popular one! =)

The NES cartridge is not terribly rare but it does fetch a bit more than most carts of it’s era. It’s usually around $20.00.

River City Ransom Title Screen
River City Ransom Title Screen
River City Ransom Gameplay
River City Ransom Gameplay
River City Ransom Gameplay 2
River City Ransom Gameplay 2
River City Ransom Stores
River City Ransom Stores
River City Ransom Shop
River City Ransom Shop

Battletoads

Battletoads Gameplay

Battletoads

Battletoads was released by Tradewest in 1991 for the NES. It’s is a beat em up platformer game.

The story goes that an evil woman named “the Dark Queen” is trying to take control of the universe. She kidnapped one of your toad buddies (Pimple) so you need to save him. You can play as either of the other toads: Rash or Zitz. As the story unfolds you learn more about the Dark Queen’s evil plans and how you can stop her.

This game has very good graphics for it’s time. Since it was released in 1991 a lot of gamers had moved on to other systems like the Sega Genesis or Turbografx 16. The gameplay is fun and very challenging. It’s really the best playing in two player simultaneous mode with a friend. It’s much more fun to play the game through in co-op except the only bad thing is that your friend can hit you so you need to be careful not to kill each other.

To me, this game is fondly remembered as one of the hardest games to complete for the NES or any system for that matter. It also has some of the best ever in game pause music. If you don’t believe me try it out!

Battletoads Title Screen
Battletoads Title Screen
Battletoads Intro
Battletoads Intro
Battletoads Gameplay
Battletoads Gameplay
Battletoads Gamplay 2
Battletoads Gamplay 2
Battletoads Boss
Battletoads Boss
Battletoads Cut Scene
Battletoads Cut Scene