NES S-U

Alien Brigade Ė By Atari

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 Sting Ė By Khan Games

Sting is basically the twisted combination of Asteroids and Lunar Lander and it doesnít like you very much. The goalís simple enough: take out the enemies, grab the white card and exit the level through the portal. And itís not the enemies thatíll give you a problem, since their firing patterns arenít very complex. The thing is though itís just like Lunar Lander or Thrust and unlike most other space shooters, gravity and inertia are very much a thing here. You thrust with the A button, but once you let go, youíll keep moving forward for as long as your inertia holds, possibly into a wall or an enemy if youíre not careful. The trick is to carefully tap the A button to make sure youíre moving at the right speed and direction you want to go, careful not to let go for too long so you donít sink like a rock and smash into a wall. Itís definitely a challenge but itís a pretty interesting control set up, if not entirely original. You also get a score multiplier for each enemy you destroy, but as a trade off, you lose one for every shot you donít hit with. If you want the best score for each stage, youíll want to take out every enemy on the first shot and try to get through the level as quickly and carefully as you can. Itís a simple concept to be sure, but itís a challenge, and itís worth playing if you enjoy these sorts of games. You might want to give yourself nine lives so you stand more of a chance, though. Nobody will laugh at you, honest!

Review by Bobinator

6/10

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 Super C Ė By Konami

The Ď80s was an era of larger-than-life action movies and brawny superheroes. Everything that was worth doing was worth overdoing, so itís fitting that the opening to Super C has our two intrepid heroes Bill and Lance vaulting out of a helicopter 100 feet in the air. A mission like theirs, to exterminate the Red Falcon alien menace, warrants a rad entrance and some mean firepower, and Super C delivers in both regards. Heavily muscled and sporting skintight color-coordinated combat fatigues, Bill and Lance certainly look the part, but theyíre not quite as durable as their chiseled physiques would imply: one hit from a projectile, a piece of shrapnel, or a passing enemyís shoelace will instantly take either soldier out of commission. This could be problematic. You start with three lives, and youíll want to make every one of them last because the famous thirty-lives cheat from the original Contra has inexplicably been watered down to ten. Luckily, youíll collect more than enough firepower to even the score, including a newly upgraded version of the Fire Gun. Most of the enemies give up after one hit, but in addition to the standard infantry, youíll battle tanks and helicopters. As you advance deeper into the alien lairs, the enemies become more grotesque. Super C compares well to its predecessor, but there are some differences. For one, Super C seems to minimize the amount of platforming and gets right to the run-and-gun action. Also, the pseudo-3D levels from Contra have been phased out and youíll encounter some top-down stages instead. In Europe, Super C was localized as Probotector II and featured the robotic protagonists RD-008 and RC-011, which rolls right off the tongue. Whichever version you pick, Super C is an action-packed thriller that should not be overlooked.

Review by wyldephang

9/10

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  Super Mario Bros. Ė By Nintendo

What more can be said about this platforming game that introduced an entire generation to video games? If the history of video games can be divided in two, Super Mario Bros. must be seen as the landmark title that changed the direction of game development forever. Simple enough for younger gamers to pick up but deceptively hard to master, Super Mario Bros. utilizes an easy control scheme of A to jump and B to run or shoot fireballs. The button configuration fits the hand nicely and has become the standard for all platforming games since. The goal of each stage is to make it to the flagpole at the end of the level, bringing Mario one step closer to rescuing Princess Toadstool from Nintendoís beloved miscreant Bowser. Youíll traverse a wide variety of stages, from caves and castles to rivers and treetops, and pick up power-ups like the Fire Flower to even the odds against Bowserís minions. You can speed through the levels if youíre feeling confident, but it sometimes pays to be on the lookout for secret areas. One notable warp zone in World 1-2 will send you three worlds forward. You canít spend too much time sniffing out hidden treasures, however, as there is a timer at the top of the screen politely nudging you forward at all times. Boss battles are relatively few in number and mostly involve encounters against Bowserís many clones. The castles and boss fights get more difficult as time goes on, and the challenge really escalates for the final showdown with the real Bowser. Super Mario Bros. birthed a franchise and treated gamers to a glimpse of new horizons in gaming. Though the series would only become more polished with time, the first game is a classic thatís hard to top.

Review by wyldephang

8/10

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  Super Mario Bros. 2 Ė By Nintendo

A true sequel to Super Mario Bros. was released in Japan in 1986, but Nintendo determined that Western gamers would find it too difficult, so they decided to take an existing Famicom game, Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic, and reskin it with Mario characters. So, if the jump from Super Mario Bros. to Mario 2 was a bit jarring for Westerners, itís because it wasnít intended to be a Mario game at all. Itís still a platforming game, but the world has been expanded and there are new gameplay and character dynamics to get used to. Incidentally, this version of Mario 2 was so popular that it eventually was shipped back to Japan as Super Mario USA, and time has been kind to the Mario game that originally had nothing to do with Mario. For instance, many of the characters now associated with the Mario franchise, like Birdo and Shy Guys, got their start here. Super Mario Bros. 2 offers players the choice to play as other characters, including Peach and Toad. Each character has unique jump, running, and throwing mechanics, so your path through each stage may depend on which character youíre usingóLuigi jumps the highest, Peach floats, Toad is the strongest, and Mario is the most balanced. As mentioned before, you can now pick up objects from the ground and throw them to damage enemies. You can also manipulate other objects, like door keys, in the same fashion. The story mode will take you through seven unique worlds ranging from deserts to snowfields, and youíll encounter a diverse cast of enemies who seem to draw on this arabesque fantasy motif. Following Super Mario Bros. was a tall order, but Mario 2 does a wonderful job. Itís an integral part of the NES library and is well recommended.

Review by wyldephang

8/10

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  Super Mario Bros. 3 Ė By Nintendo

The buildup to Super Mario Bros. 3 was a memorable time in a young gamerís life. With a year and a half of anticipation followed by a motion picture releaseóThe Wizard, better known as a glorified advertisementóit would have been easy for Super Mario Bros. 3 to fall short of our expectations. To the contrary, Nintendo surpassed them. Super Mario Bros. 3 is more than just a fresh coat of paint for the Mario series; itís a vastly expanded game in comparison to its predecessors with a longer story mode and tons of new features. To start with, the two-player mode has been given renewed purpose by the addition of a co-operative story mode in which you and a friend, who plays as Luigi, work together to complete levels and traverse the world map. Once you finish a level, your partner moves forward to the next one, so you rely on each other to fulfill Marioís quest. The new world map is a hub that connects all the levels in the game, and at different times, youíll get to travel down side roads to find Toad Houses, where you can gamble for 1-Ups or open chests for items. The items are placed in your inventory and are accessible from the world map whenever you want a boost going into a level. Overall, the number of items has been increased with additions like the Super Leaf, which enables limited flight, and Kuriboís Shoe, which allows you to pass over spikes unharmed. Youíll need all the power-ups you can muster for the extended campaign, which will take you through land, sea, and air to do battle with the seven Koopalings and Bowser. Super Mario Bros. 3 is the definitive Mario game on the NES and one of the all-time classics.

Review by wyldephang

10/10

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  Tecmo World Wrestling Ė By Tecmo

Cashing in on the incredible wrestling boom of the late-Ď80s, Tecmo World Wrestling might appear to be just another sports game to collect dust in the closet, but itís actually quite the opposite. In fact, I would venture to say that even non-wrestling fans could enjoy the simplistic yet addictive gameplay and become drawn in by this gameís atmosphere and charm. After all, a great game is defined by how well it appeals to players outside of the niche it was created for, and I think you wonít be disappointed with this one. On the surface, Tecmo World Wrestling is a fairly standard one-on-one wrestling game where the goal is to pummel your opponent to the mat and pin him to win the match. But if youíre a wrestling fan, then youíll appreciate Tecmoís attention to detail in creating authentic move sets. Wrestlers can execute dropkicks, body slams, piledrivers, and suplexes, as well as submission holds like the scorpion deathlock and figure-four leglock. Each of the ten wrestlers has their own individual move set and finishing moves, and itís pretty easy to perform devastating slams right off the bat. To grapple, you simply walk into your opponent and press a button combination to pull off the move. One feature that is unique to Tecmo World Wrestling is the ability to power up your wrestler between matches. In story mode, you can train in a number of exercises and build your strength and endurance so that youíre ready for your next match. Presentation is of the highest quality. Instant replay cutscenes get you up close and personal to those high-impact moves, and a commentator provides play-by-play analyses via text bubbles. Tecmo World Wrestling is a great example of a game that was designed for a specific audience yet appeals to everyone.

Review by wyldephang

8/10

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 Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game - By Tengen

Ah, the tetrominos are back and they are here in all their glory. The NES had two different ports of the classic Tetris game, one by Nintendo and one by Tengen. Many debate which version is best of the two but most people agree that Tengenís version edges the Nintendo version because of the variations it offers. The goal in Tetris is to build lines using the falling pieces of tetrominos (puzzle pieces made out of four square that come in varied shapes). Fail to align the pieces properly, and the stack of pieces builds up until you can no longer make lines which ends the game. This Tengen version offers the player several variations which include one-player, two-player, cooperative, versus computer, and with computer. Depending on the variation selected the screen will display two game boards or a single board. Single-player, two-player, and versus modes will display two boards, while the cooperative modes will display one in the center. At the top of the screen youíll find the statistics showing the score and number of lines made. The next piece can be seen at the top corners of the playing field. As you complete lines, the words single, double, triple, and tetris are displayed. Once youíve completed a certain number of lines, the game has an intermission in which you are awarded bonus points and several Russian dancers appear in the middle of the screen dancing. The game also boasts a gorgeous title screen that displays St. Basilís Cathedral and some fireworks. You can select the type of music you want to hear (from 4 different types, or silence), starting level, and handicap. This is true for each player on the two-player mode as well. This is a superb game that should be in every NES ownerís library.

Review by TrekMD

10/10

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