Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden Cut Scene

Ninja Gaiden was released in 1989 by Tecmo for the NES. The gameplay is that of a side scrolling platformer game. The gameplay is addicting and challenging and that’s why there have been so many more sequels to this game. This is the one that started it all.

You play as ninja Ryu Hayabusa who has come to America to kill those who have murdered his father. As the story progresses you find out you need to help save the world. There are 6 main acts which comprise of 20 stages of levels.

This game received high praise for the get quality cut scenes it used. For it’s time it was well done and really added something to the game. It helped to better tell the story and make the game player feel more involved.

One of the negatives about the gameplay is how Ryu bounces back when hit. This can make some of the levels difficult especially when it’s crowded with enemies or there are pits nearby. Many games of this day used this type of collision detection schemes so it’s a small complaint.

When it was released it was well received and it soon become a favorite of many NES gamers. All of the sequels for the NES were also well remembered as quality games. If you’ve never tried this game you’re missing out on one of the best NES games ever!

Ninja Gaiden Title Screen
Ninja Gaiden Title Screen
Ninja Gaiden Gameplay
Ninja Gaiden Gameplay
Ninja Gaiden Gameplay 2
Ninja Gaiden Gameplay 2
Ninja Gaiden Gameplay 3
Ninja Gaiden Gameplay 3
Ninja Gaiden Boss
Ninja Gaiden Boss

Ninja Gaiden Cut Scene
Ninja Gaiden Cut Scene

Ninja Gaiden Cut Scene 2
Ninja Gaiden Cut Scene 2

Ninja Gaiden Act 2
Ninja Gaiden Act 2

Metroid

Metroid Title Screen

Metroid was released in 1986 by Nintendo for the NES. It’s a game that combines many different genres: action, adventure, and shooter. Nintendo definitely pulled it off in the form of an epic game that would spawn countless incarnations.

One of the spectacular things was that the world was wide open for you to explore. Some of the rooms could only opened by using weapons or techniques you would obtain later in the game, this kept you exploring the world and pushing onward.

Metroid was one of the first games to have a female as the hero. Your character Samus, is on the planet Zebes trying to thwart space pirates that are using the Metriods for world domination. Samus must defeat the evil Motherbrain, and the two other bosses Ridley and Kraid.

One thing that I will always remember about this game is the outstanding music! It was so atmospheric and it set the mood, whether it was dark and brooding or light and airy. It’s been remixed over and over during the years since it came out and is one of the favorites of “Chip Tuners” around the world.

The graphics don’t disappoint either. For an early NES game the graphics are sharp and well detailed. The play control is also spot on, so you really can’t blame the game if you can’t make a jump or get out of the way fast enough. It was actually built on the same engine as another Nintendo classic “Kid Icarus” which is another fine game by the way.

You really can’t go wrong with Metroid and it should be part of you classic gaming collection. If you haven’t played it you owe it to yourself to experience one of the best NES games.

Metroid Title Screen
Metroid Title Screen
Metroid Gameplay
Metroid Gameplay
Metroid Gameplay 2
Metroid Gameplay 2
Metroid Password
Metroid Password

Tetris

Tetris Title Screen

Tetris was released in 1989 by Nintendo for the NES. This is the “officialy licensed” version of Tetris as there were two different versions of Tetris published on the NES.

The “other version” was released by Tengen (an unlicensed publisher that was owned by Atari). The Tengen version of the game created a huge mess of legal problems for both Nintendo and Tengen.

Atari’s version in a lot of ways was better than Nintendo’s version. In Atari’s version you could play two players cooperatively and versus each other, whereas in the Nintendo version it was only a single player game. Atari’s version was only on sale for one month before they lost the lawsuit and had to recall all the unsold games. Because of this Atari’s version is a collector’s item today. Anyway enough with the history lesson and I’ll get back on topic…

Tetris was one of those games that invited more than just the avid gamer. Adults and others who really didn’t play video games back in the 80’s started to play it and they quickly got addicted to the simple but challenging gameplay. This is something that made it one of the most famous games ever.

The gameplay is simple and fun: create lines using different shaped blocks called “Tetraminos”. Clearing 4 lines at once is a Tetris which you get the most points for.

There was a sequel on the NES but the gameplay was drastically changed so that while it still had the same name it really was an altogether different game.

Tetris is one of the best selling NES games of all time. It is a must have if you own a NES. It was so popular that it was the included add-in game with Nintendo’s portable system the GameBoy.

Tetris Title Screen
Tetris Title Screen
Tetris Select Game Screen
Tetris Select Game Screen
Tetris Select Level Screen
Tetris Select Level Screen
Tetris Gameplay
Tetris Gameplay

Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy Town

Final Fantasy was released in 1990 by Square for the NES. It was the first of many epic games that Square would produce in the Final Fantasy series.

This game was responsible for teaching many gamers what a role playing game or RPG was. The story was huge and had you exploring dungeons, sailing ships, flying airships and more.

It’s about a team of four light warriors who set out on a quest to destroy evil and bring peace to the land.
You must defeat the bosses of the different elements earth, fire, water, and wind. There are a vast amount of items to collect. You can customize your characters weapons, armor and purchase different spells for certain characters.

The cool thing is you can choose your own characters to make your team. You can choose from a Fighter, Thief, Black Belt, Red Mage, Black Mage, and a White Mage. Later on in the game your characters will grow up and you will realize the full potential of their skills.

The graphics and music are classic 8 bit at it’s best. The music has been remixed multiple times and is regarded as instantly recognizable and timeless.

Final Fantasy Title Screen
Final Fantasy Title Screen
Final Fantasy Character Select Screen
Final Fantasy Character Select Screen

Final Fantasy Gameplay
Final Fantasy Gameplay

Final Fantasy Battle
Final Fantasy Battle

Final Fantasy Town
Final Fantasy Town
Final Fantasy Weapon Shop
Final Fantasy Weapon Shop
Final Fantasy Magic
Final Fantasy Magic

Mega Man 2

Mega Man 2 Title Screen

Mega Man 2 released in 1988 by Capcom for the NES. It was the sequel to Mega Man which was a good game but Mega Man 2 placed the series on the map to stay.

The evil Dr. Wily has 8 new bosses for you to defeat: Air Man, Bubble Man, Quick Man, Crash Man, Flash Man, Heat Man, Metal Man, and Wood Man. After you defeat each boss you get a unique weapon that you can use for the rest of the game.

Mega Man games have always been challenging and this one follows the same formula. The gameplay is the classic mix of action and platforming rolled into one. The music is still hailed to this day as some of the best video game music ever.

This game differs from the original NES game in that you can collect an energy tank (it has a letter E on it) that will refill your health when used. The only other new feature was tha you now have a password system so a player could continue their game progress at a later date.

This is the highest selling Mega Man game Capcom has ever released and it’s also known as the most popular game of the series.

The graphics look much like the first game but that’s a good thing. The controls are tight and responsive. The music is absolutely classic in fact it’s known as one of the best soundtracks of any game on the NES. The music to this day is constantly remixed due to it’s quality. Chip Tuners around the world love this music and it’s easy to understand why.

If you haven’t played this game you really need to! It’s very inexpensive and it should be a part of any retro gamer’s collection.

Mega Man 2 Title Screen
Mega Man 2 Title Screen

Mega Man 2 Stage Select
Mega Man 2 Stage Select

Mega Man 2 Flash Man
Mega Man 2 Flash Man
Mega Man 2 Gameplay
Mega Man 2 Gameplay

Mike Tyson’s Punch Out

Mike Tyson Punchout Title Screen

Released for the NES in 1987 by Nintendo. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out is one of the most fun sports games released for the Nintendo. You play as the new comer “Little Mac”. You need to fight your way up the ranks to prove you are worthy of a title shot with the champion Mike Tyson.

The gameplay is excellent. Little Mac has to win his way to the top by defeating lowly opponents all the way up to the world champ Mike Tyson.

Each opponent you face has their own special moves, and their patterns you need to learn. This keeps the game fresh and fun to play.

The graphics are well drawn and give each opponent their own personality and style. The game sprites are large and the animation is well done.

The music and sound effects are nothing spectacular, but they get the job done effectively. The play control is simple to learn and it’s tight and responsive which adds to the overall game experience.

This game is one of the best ever released for the NES and it actually got a re-release after the license expired with Mike Tyson. After that the game was known only as “Punch-out” and instead of fighting Mike Tyson as the final opponent you fought Mr. Dream.

This game was so successful that it has spawned unrelated sequels on the Super Nintendo and the Nintendo Wii. You really can’t go wrong by adding this game to your collection. It holds up to the test of time, and it’s still as fun to play as when it was new.

Password to fight Mike Tyson right away:
007 373 5963

Mike Tyson Punchout
Mike Tyson Punchout
Mike Tyson Punchout Title Screen
Mike Tyson Punchout Title Screen
Mike Tyson Punchout Gameplay TKO
Mike Tyson Punchout Gameplay TKO
Mike Tyson Punchout Results
Mike Tyson Punchout Results

Contra

Contra Title Screen

Contra was released for the NES in 1988 by Konami. Contra is one of the best side scrolling shooter games for the NES. It’s a game that defines what a side scrolling shooter should be. Contra is a port of the Konmai arcade game of the same name.

The gameplay in Contra is fast paced and exciting. There’s never a dull moment and always an enemy that needs to be taken out. It’s fun as a one player game, but as a 2 player game it’s outstanding. To me it’s just so much more fun with a partner because you can split up and take down the aliens together. To me, the nostalgic memories of playing Contra with a friend and seeing how fast you can complete the game will last a lifetime.

Contra will also be remembered for the infamous Konami code. The “Contra Code” as some people call it give you for 30 lives which made the game so much easier. The code is: Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start.

The graphics are well drawn and bright and colorful. The environments are very detailed and keep you immersed in the action.

The sound and music is outstanding. From the gun shots to the explosions it all sounds right. The music is catchy and classic with it still being used in remixed form to this day. Any of the stage music would fit right in on your iPod.

The game control is near perfect with everything feeling tight and responsive.

Contra is without a doubt one of the best NES games. It’s a valuable NES game if you have it in your collection but it still is priced inexpensively enough for most any retro gamer’s budget.

Since it’s one of my favorite NES games of all time, I own a nearly mint complete in box (CIB) copy that is a treasured part of my personal game collection.

Contra by Konami for the NES complete in box (CIB)
Contra by Konami for the NES complete in box (CIB)

Contra Title Screen
Contra Title Screen

Contra Nintendo NES Gameplay
Contra Nintendo NES Gameplay

Double Dragon

Double Dragon Title Screen

Released for the NES in 1988 by Tradewest

Double Dragon for the Nintendo NES is a port of the arcade game of the same name. Since it was a port going from the arcade to the NES some of the game content had to be dropped due to the limitations of the NES.

One of the things that was dropped in the arcade to NES port unfortunately was 2 player simultaneous play during the normal game mode. Instead a 2 player versus mode was included but it wasn’t as good as the regular 2 player cooperative mode could’ve been.

The gameplay was still as fun and fast paced and depending on who you talked to it was more fun than the arcade game.

The story is that your girlfriend has been kidnapped and you need to save her. The gameplay is pretty balanced and has a nice experience system where you get points based on the kind of attacks you use on your enemies. Every time you gain 1000 experience points you get a heart which is equivalent to “leveling up”. Each heart designates a new move added to your character’s arsenal.

The graphics are colorful and detailed for a fairly early NES game. The play control is tight and responsive and each move is easy to pull off. The sounds effects and the music are also well done with some of the stage’s tracks being memorable.

This game is pretty challenging but most players will be able to finish the game with enough practice. This isn’t an expensive game for collectors and it should be in your retro game collection if you want one of the best NES beat em up games.

Double Dragon Title Screen
Double Dragon Title Screen
Double Dragon Mission 1
Double Dragon Mission 1
Double Dragon Kidnapped

Athena – Worst NES Games

Athena Nintendo NES Title Screen

Released for the NES in 1987 by SNK

Athena for the Nintendo NES was a port of developer SNK’s arcade game Athena. The arcade game was only released in Japan. It was know for being a decent fun game. The NES port of the arcade is horrible.

It was an early port for SNK who in the end made a few good NES games like Crystalis. Anyway Athena sucks and here’s why…

The gameplay and controls are the worst problem about this game. You start out with this crappy baseball type weapon that as you kill enemies can be upgraded to whatever the enemy happens to drop.

One of the best weapons is the sword but the problem is once you get one you are likely to die immediately. The game spawn enemies endlessly and in really bad positions like right next to your character sometimes. It’s really cheap and annoying.

The other problem is that when you take damage you don’t turn invincible for a second or two so you can get wiped out if you get stuck in between enemies. The controls are stiff and just a pain to use.

All in all, if you want to play a crappy Nintendo NES game try Athena!

Athena Nintendo NES Cart
Athena Nintendo NES Cart
Athena Nintendo NES Title Screen
This is the title screen for Athena
Athena Nintendo NES Gameplay Pic
Athena Nintendo NES Gameplay Pic

Castlevania

Castlevania Title Screen

Released for the NES in 1987 by Konami Castlevania is an action adventure platformer for the NES. This game was the beginning of one of the most famous video game franchises of all time.

You play as Simon Belmont a vampire hunter who’s quest is to destory the evil Count Dracula. Simon’s main form of attack is a whip that can be upgraded in size and power. Simon also gets additional usuable weapons which include axes, knives, boomerangs, holy water, and a stop watch to freeze time.

There are several levels to be completed and each level has an end boss to defeat. The end bosses consist of a giant vampire bat, Medussa, Mummies, Frankenstein, the Grim Reaper, and finally Count Dracula himself.

The graphics look nice for an early NES game. They aren’t all that impressive but they definitely get the job done. The levels are well drawn and designed to keep the gameplayer immersed in the action.

The control is tight and responsive. One thing that frustrates many gamers is when Simon gets hit by an enemy he will “bounce” back which can lead to many deaths due to falling in pits or into water. This gameplay mechanic definitely makes the game tougher but it doesn’t feel cheap or like it’s a bad design.

The music is truly classic. Castlevania has some of the best music on the NES. The newer games in the series pay homage and include remixes of this classic’s 8 bit tracks.

Castlevania is priced affordably so it should be within the budget of all retro gamers. This is one game that belongs in any retro gaming collection.

Konami Castlevania Box For Nintendo Entertainment System
Konami Castlevania Box For Nintendo Entertainment System
Konami Castlevania Box Rear For Nintendo Entertainment System
Konami Castlevania Box Rear For Nintendo Entertainment System

Castlevania Title Screen
Castlevania Title Screen

Castlevania Opening
Castlevania Opening

Castlevania Gameplay
Castlevania Gameplay