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.

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.

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

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

Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog Sega Genesis Box

Sonic the Hedgehog was released in 1991 by Sega for the Sega Genesis. Sonic the Hedgehog become know as one of the best platfomer games ever. It was definitely Sega’s biggest hit for the Genesis and the character Sonic has spawned countless sequels and spin offs. It sold more than 4 million copies for the Genesis.

The story goes that Sonic is trying to save his friends and the world from the evil Dr. Robotnik. The evil doctor is trying to collect chaos emeralds. Whomever has possession of all of the chaos emeralds could easily take over the world. Dr. Robotnik is transforming animals into monsters so Sonic needs to save all the animals and defeat Dr. Robotnik.

The gameplay is easy to pick up and fun to play. It’s a game that people of all ages enjoyed playing. Each stage is filled with rings that can be collected and used as Sonic’s energy. If you get damaged by an enemy and have rings Sonic will lose the rings but they can be recollected if you’re fast enough. If you don’t have any rings and you get damaged from an enemy you will lose a life. If you pass act one or two with more than fifty rings you have the chance to jump into a giant ring at the end of the stage for a bonus level.

Sonic can roll up into a ball and go through loops and jumps with great speed. The speed of the gameplay is what led to Sega calling it “Blast processing”.

Sonic the Hedgehog gave Sega a game that was quality enough to compete with Nintendo’s immensely popular Mario. It wasn’t uncommon to see Sega and Nintendo comparing Super Mario World and Sonic the Hedgehog.

As far as collecting goes if you don’t have Sonic the Hedgehog it’s very inexpensive to buy on eBay. You can find the loose cartridge for around $5.00.

Sonic the Hedgehog Gameplay
Sonic the Hedgehog Gameplay
Sonic the Hedgehog Gameplay 2
Sonic the Hedgehog Gameplay 2