Friday, June 15, 2007

Revenge Of The 80's presents The 50 Greatest NES Games Of All Times (According To Us) Part Two

Now we’ve come to the top 25 NES games of all times (according to us). You’ve probably noticed that a lot of games that are usually featured by video game magazines aren’t on this list. There were also a lot of hood staples that just missed the cut like Burai Fighter, Chrystalis, Astyanax, Cobra Triangle, Goonies II, Operation: Wolf, Kid Niki: Radical Ninja, Escitebike, Trojan, Commando, Ice Hockey, Iron Tank, P.O.W, Rad Racer, Robocop, Top Gun, Racket Attack, World Class Wrestling and the list goes on. Nothing used to annoy me more than when people used to call Nintendo cartridges “tapes”. “Tapes”? That was the dumbest slang term ever next to “No homo”. Of course, Nintendo went ahead and gave ‘em the worst name ever...Game paks. WTF? How about cartridges?

These are our 25 favorite games from a bygone era. Now we can find the data from every single NES game ever released in North America AND Japan just floating around on the internet, download them and fit 'em all on one DVD....sad, huh? Well, let’s get started:

25. Blades Of Steel
This was the only hockey game I ever played and liked for the NES and I was heated there was no Boston team...haven’t these bastards ever heard of the Original Six? The Bruins were one of them! How could Boston not have a damn team on a hockey game? Wait, what I talking about again? Oh yeah, I used to love this game, especially the fights. Reminded me of watching WSBK TV 38 when Moog and Lemelin were both in net back in the old days...After we got cable I never watched hockey again (with only 10 channels available I was a captive audience).

24. Section Z/Ring King (tie)
Section Z was was pretty much just Side Arms for Nintendo. Ring King was one of the most fun boxing sims of all times. You could knock fools out of the ring and the two player was the reason it got so much burn back in the Crack Era. You could pick up some power ups when they were tossed in the ring and in between rounds...I’m not even gonna go there (below).

23. Bases Loaded
This was the 2nd best baseball game ever made for the NES. When I finally clinched the pennant on my 80th win after writing down all of those damn passwords and all I got for my troubles was a damn parade. Beating Nintendo games back in the days didn’t pay off for shit!

22. Double Dribble
This was the joint right here! We used have challenges where we would go to other people’s houses after school just to find who was the nicest at Double Dribble. Once you learned all the sweet spots on the court, how to spin around and do ill stuff in the air before you shoot so you couldn’t be blocked and how to shoot with your back to the basket, it was on. There were was a way you could shoot going out of bounds and there was a way to guarantee you didn’t miss when you went in for a dunk screen. We used to have best out of fives and best out of sevens at this shit. After you beat Level 3 by more than 50 points you HAD to play people. Me and Illy Haze of Free Agents Entertainment used to have epic battles that we used to tape so no one could lie about who beat who. The Boston Frogs were the squidad!!!

21. Track & Field II
If you didn’t own a NES Max or an Advantage, you shouldn’t have even bothered with this game. Mad events and some of the illest graphics on a NES game ever. I liked playing with people from different countries, too. This was dope.

20. Pro Wrestling
This was one of the very first NES games I ever got and I kept it for as long as I owned the system. They put out mad wrestling games, but this one never got old. I was nice with the back brain kick and Fighter Hayabusa but nothing pissed me off more when people used Starman and kept doing the damn flip kick or they used The Amazon and kept forking you in the face...Learn some damn moves you cheatin’ bastards! I actually beat this and my hands hurt so bad I could play basketball for a couple of days. I cut back on my Pro Wrestling after that. The trick was to do the brain buster 12x fast as possible (quickest move to get off) and THEN you start doing suplexes (they'll be too weak to stop it). Then you go to your special moves and toss the dude out the ring. As soon as they get back in the ring hit 'em with a quick suplex, brain buster or special move and then pin ‘em. You win.

19. Mega Man 2
I used to WATCH people play this because it was too damn hard to me. I hate playing games where you can die repeatedly. If you could die in sports games it’d have been a wrap on those, too.

18. Strider
Yet another game I used to watch my friends play. I was relegated to calling out directions like “Go back to Russia and get Disk #2!” and things of that nature. I used to like this game. Even though Genesis came out and put out the arcade version. I liked the Nintendo one better.

17. River City Ransom
I used to love this game right here. This was a game that was all about the asswhuppin’. You beat people until money fell out their pockets and you used the money to buy food and books that allowed you to whup peoples asses even worse than before. This game was became a must have in a short amount of time. Technos released some other dope games in Japan that emulator fans have since translated to English just like it. Check out the ROM for Technos Samurai for NES. Google it.

16. Baseball Stars
This was the best NES baseball game ever made. You could make your own team for one and there ws a trick that allowed you to make female players. You could have your team go up against the American Heroes, Lovely Ladies, or the dreaded Ninja Black Sox (they used to steal mad bases and climb the wall and steal your home runs...I hated them!). My boy Jamile made a team called the Roxbury A Dogs (Adidas) with a big blue A and they were fast as shit! I always went for power hitters. The two controllers trick where you beat up on a team with mad prestige helped you build your squad quicker by earning cash to buy attributes. If you forgot to hold down the Reset button when you turned it off you’d be HEATED!

15. Mega Man
This shit was too damn hard. If I ever beat Gutsman and Cutman in a row I just passed the controller to the left, got up and made myself a sandwich in celebration. No need to fuck up a hot streak by trying to beat anyone else and dying before the checkpoint. Nah, I’m good. You play now...where’s the Miracle Whip at?

14. Final Fantasy
This game was crazy. It was the biggest and best RPG ever made for the NES. It started a new franchise of successful RPG’s as well. Since I never beat it, it’s stuck on this list at #14.

13. Rygar
This game was a riddle wrapped in an enigma and then locked in a conundrum with a key that was tossed into the Charles River. I loved this game but it was so damn confusing, especially the menu screen. What in the hell was Tone, Mind and Last? What was the difference between Recover and Attack & Assail? The other confusing thing was that the game was took mad long to beat, but there was no password feature or a battery back up so you couldn’t save the damn game!

Plus there were times you’d find a door and inside was this dude sitting in a place he could never get down from (was he waiting for Rygar to show up or was he just chillin’ there?) and he’d give you some ol’ vague directions like “Travel until you’re directly under the Earth's sun” or “What you seek is next to the middle”. What? This game made many a parent backhand the shit out of their kids for calling that bullshit Nintendo Help Line and running up their phone bills. We’d just play it anyways and know we would never beat it...Just like Karnov.

12. Dragon Warrior
This was my favorite RPG ever made for the NES. I never got so damn sick of killing slimes with a club and buying torches as I did playing this game. I had a trick for bulding my character up. I’d trek to the next far away town and barely make it there alive. Once I got there I’d hit the Inn and recover. Then I’d buy some herbs and fight the much stronger enemies around that town and retreat back before I died. Since the tougher enemies brought in more money, I’d buy the weapons and armor from that town and hang around there until I could whoop those enemies asses easily. Then I’d go back to where to town I was supposed to be in and beat the shit out of all my enemies. Rinse, lather, repeat. I beat this game and then waited around shook for a second quest. Wasn’t one. Whew!

11. Castlevania
This game was illmatic. A dude with a whip enters a castle full of undead creatures with a whip so he can kill Count Dracula...Fuck all that “your beef is mine’s” shit, if he was my boy he’d have been on his own. Konami scored a big hit with Castlevania and the subsequent franchise. Games like 8 Eyes tried to copy it but they fell way short. The next game on the list bumped it out of the top 10.

10. Legend Of Zelda 2: The Adventure Of Link
This games release marked the beginning of Nintendo’s “Soprano” years. First, Nintendo delays the game because of a “chip shortage”. Then they release the game around the holidays in limited supply but the price is hiked up from the regular $49 to $59, $69 and in some cases $99. A couple of months later the game drops in regular shipments and shortly thereafter it’s revealed that there was NEVER a chip shortage in the first place! The heads at Nintendo were paper gangsters WAY before Diddy!. As for the game, it was dope but I never played it that much...I never even beat the second quest on the first one!

9. Contra
The Gully Game Hall Of Fame has it’s own wing for this one! This was Ikari Warriors x50. The spread weapon was the best thing since the creation of the Koss Pro 25 headphones. This game was made infinitely better by the 30 man cheat code. It never got old shooting at aliens and blowing up that island. If this game ever had trouble playing you tried all the tricks. Blowing into the cartridge, reinserting it and pressing it down as close to the edge as possible, or just placing the cartridge on the floor and dancing around it (Steve Martin, Kid N’ Play kick step, The Wop, The Biz Dance or The Hype was most popular...if you ever did the Running Man, I pity you) and try it again. For some odd reason, it usually worked again right away. The Reset button NEVER worked...ever. I was playing this game on my laptop right before it died on me.

8. Ninja Gaiden
My big brother Dave bought Buc and I Ninja Gaiden and Tecmo Bowl on the same day. It was like Christmas all over again. Ninja Gaiden was about 5 years ahead of it’s time. It had cinema screens to make up for it not being like the arcade but it was it’s own game. It was pretty damn hard, too. I always died fighting Basaquer, the dude that jumped around with the two knifes. I always ended up doing like Musical Youth and passing the contoller to the left hand side when I got the end of that level.

7. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out
Back when middle America liked Mike Tyson enough to allow him to endorse a game played by children all over these United States, his name and likeness graced one of the best NES games ever made. Much like the Fresh Prince, I never beat Mike Tyson. I always got killed (I’m sure I died...fuck just losing!) within the first 90 seconds of the fight. The trick was to dodge for the first 90 seconds and then start punching...I never got that far. Damn, I really sucked at these games, huh?

6. Tecmo Bowl
This was more than a game to us, it was a rite of passage. A tradition passed down from sibling to sibling. Once you learned all of the tricks, glitches and nuances of this game you were regarded as a Tecmologist. We used to beat each other up playing this game all the time. There were players that could always block the kick and plays that couldn’t be intercepted (Cap Boso and Dave Duerson WISH they were really that good!) . Some plays were unstoppable (you only had four!). Some players were unstoppable (Bo Jackson and Lawrence Taylor). Some people knew every glitch and could even gain yards when you picked their play!

5. Metroid
This was by far one of the best adventure/shootesr ever made for the NES. I don’t think they knew how big it would become, either. This was another game where I would be shouting directions from the back like “Set a bomb and turn into a ball!”. Neddless to say I didn’t play this one that much, either. The codes were long as hell and if you had bad handwriting you were fucked on some ol’ “Is that an o or a 0?” shit. This game forced many of America’s youngsters to improve their penmanship so that they didn’t have to go through having to fight Ridley again.

4. Metal Gear
I played the hell out of this game! You started out with nothing but a pack of cigarettes, but once you got your first gun and shot a fool it was a wrap and you were hooked! Solid Snake was the only dude who could have a gunfight with a tank, set some mines, get shot up like Curtis Jackson, eat some rations and get all of his health right back. Answering those damn calls and remembering those frequencies was a pain in the ass, though. Who knew it would become such a big franchise?

3. Tecmo Super Bowl
Tecmo Super Bowl was the illest sports game on the NES. You had the entire NFL to play with, you could line up Barry Sanders in a receiver slot on some plays, you could run all day with Randall Cunningham (my bad, QB Eagles) or wild out with some of the best players in NFL history. This game was the ultimate test of talent. It had mad plays, you could fumble, and it was harder and more sophisticated than Tecmo Bowl. Unfortunately, this was as good as the Tecmo Bowl series got. They’re bringing it back in 2007...I wonder what it’s gonna look like?

2. The Legend Of Zelda
In my personal opinion, this is the greatest game ever made for the Nintendo Entertainment System. I blew up more rocks, shoved more boulders and burned more bushes than I care to remember looking for some damn caves and heart containers. Those old dudes in the caves always gave you some vague messages like “Search the uppermost pennisula”. Huh? What? Fuck this! Hand me that Electronic Gaming Monthly with the Zelda walkthrough already! Thank God for the battery back up. I of course would get shook it didn’t save and have to check right after I turned it off. I thought this should be #1, but my brother and friends thought different.

1. Super Mario Bros./Super Mario Bros. 2 (tie)
Mario Bros. was the pack in title that helped to sell millions of Nintendo Entertainment Systems. It also appealed to people of all ages and it quickly became one of themost popular and influential titles of the 80’s. I couldn’t get past World 6-2. Even to this day, I can’t understand why people got shook when all they had to do was either run underneath or jump over Bowser. When I see the enemies on God Of War or Shadow Of The Collosus I can’t help but laugh at that.

Super Mario Bros. 2 was an even bigger success and Nintendo took FULL advantage. Right around this time they began tightening up their licensing agreements and looking to set marks and enforce them, they wanted to expand their borders. It was time to think big now . Next thing you know, Nintendo had cereals and cartoons on syndication AND network TV. The first wave of sequel hits cemented Nintendo’s firm, vicelike grip on the marketplace (If you’re wondering why my writing style switched up and got all serious on this game is guessed it, I sucked at it and rarely ever played it.)

There it is! The top 50 NES games of all times according to us. Revenge Of The 80's will be a new set of blogs inspired by the conversations and debates/arguments my friends and I have from time to time. I'm already researching for the next one that I'll try to drop next week if nothing weird happens.

Of course, Nintendo had peddled their “Heroin” and “Coke”, caked up something fierce and had the whole country hooked on their product, then they went to phase two of Operation: Lockdown...”Crack” (below).



Unknown said...

Rygar and Metal Gear had to be amongst the most evil games that I ever played when I was a kid. I honestly though to myself "who the hell is making this and why? It's not beatable?". I still have friends who defend Rygar when we all know that game was worse than water torture. And as for Rush N'Attack, I got the game when I was 11 back in '87 and didn't beat till I was 15. It was just that intense! Great blog. Peace.

Anonymous said...

damn dart, that was awesome. I still have my Nintendo hooked up to my shitty little t.v. the only two games that have survived all these years are tetris and contra.

Mike Dikk said...

Great posts.

My all time favorite NES game was Baseball Stars. I bought a Neo Geo Pocket when those came out just for Baseball Stars but it wasn't nearly as good as the NES version.

The worst payoff for beating a game on the NES was Rampage. I think it was something like 180 stages and all you got once you beat it was a blue screen with "congratulation!"[sic] written on it.

I got all the NES ROMS on my computer a couples years back, and there's games I don't even understand how I played, no less beat. Shit like Wizards & Warriors is completely unplayable now, but I took the time to beat it. I also beat Ninja Gaiden which is still one of my crowning video games achiements.

I still remember the code for Mike Tyson too. 007-373-5963. I remembered that shit like it was my social security number.

Anonymous said...

I would crush with Hawaii on Bases Loaded 2...

Thought everyone had forgotten about that "other" baseball title... customization in that game was sick.

My cousin used to get pissed when we would hit him with the Amazons bite.

Anonymous said...

Straight fiiii-yaah on the top 25, Dart.

Did you ever play the game "Deja Vu?" Probably the illest RPG/detective/noir game ever.

dak, thegonzo said...

how could excitebike not make it into the top 50??
doing flips and shit. the motorbike sound. i think it would even get dark sometimes, but maybe that's just my cloudy childhood memories being creepy on me.
but, certainly, you could make your own tracks for harold's sake... you could design the freaking game! that feature alone sets this one miles ahead of most games of the time...or any time for that matter. you really dropped the ball here. >shaking head in shame<

speaking of balls...(no homo)what about arch rivals? you could punch a power forward dead in the face and nab the ball. the graphics were ridiculous. seems like one of the best arcade to NES translations ever.

good looks on the legend of kage, though. criminally snoozed on. also, rc pro-am deserves a few grammys or something.

Mjb0123Butcher said...

Enjoyed the list! Thanks!