Art Attack went on and on and on about the new Game Over store, a haven where you can pick up pretty much any system, any game, any thing to do with video games regardless of how old it is.
This year our Christmas present to ourselves is that we're going to go buy an old NES and ten games. We're going to set up a tiny man cave in the walk-in closet with an old VCR/TV combination, and don't be surprised if you never hear from our happy ass again. The only question is, "What games are the must-haves on our shopping list?" Well here they are...
We're not big sports gamers, but Bad News Baseball was a blast. The best part of the game was a switch to animated cut scenes for close plays, and for the 8-bit era they were pretty damned impressive. You had to keep an eye on your pitchers, though. It usually took them several games to recoup their stamina. It's actually still our favorite sports game after SNES's Super High Impact and NBA Jam.
This game is tough, no joke, but it's a brilliant little adventure game full of fun powers like invisibility and slowed falling. The soundtrack is tops, and for some reason we just can't get enough of the fight animation. Prepare to curse God during the boss fights, though, as they're some of the toughest we've ever had.
Call us crazy, we never really enjoyed the original Legend of Zelda. Even though Adventure of Link is much maligned for being a sidescroller, we think that it brought a lot of innovation and action to the series, and the modern 3D installations borrow heavily from it in our opinion. Using the down stab to bounce on enemies never gets old, either.
How Metal Storm didn't become a star series we'll never know. You control a robot that can reverse gravity at will, making the game a short but diabolic series of action puzzles that requires quick, outside-the-box thinking. Imagine a game half Contra, half Portal and you'll get the idea.
Don't let anyone fool you, Castlevania II is a terrible game that is almost impossible to play without an FAQ. Castlevania III is a much more straightforward affair with the added bonus of Trevor Belmont's three companions, all of whom outclass him in every way. Our favorite will always be Grant and his wall-climbing ability, though it did make the final battle a little harder. This is still one of the best in the series.
Billed as the first family board game for the NES, Anticipation involved guessing what a picture was going to be when it was finally drawn. We remember being absolutely addicted to the game as a kid, and it was one of the few multi-player games we really got into. Without something like Anticipation to lead the way, we doubt there ever would've been a Mario Party series.
We've mentioned it a hundred times before, but the MacVenture game kicks so much ass there are reports of an ass market shortage. It's one of the few games that gleefully describe your unfortunate death in a dry, sarcastic tone as you try and find your way through the castle to stop an evil wizard. Think Professor Layton if Robert E. Howard had written it.
Gang warfare has never been more fun. Everything that made Double Dragon famous is done way better in River City Ransom, and for our money it's still the best beat 'em up ever done. Plus, if you play it while listening to the West Side Story soundtrack, it eerily matches up.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
It's sad to think how many times they've tried to do a modern Jaws game and how badly they continue to get trumped by an 8-bit incarnation. Sure, the graphics are ridiculous and the end fight is damn near impossible, but you'll never get tired of trying to rid the ocean of the mighty Jaws.
Still the best game on the NES and the one we're most proud of beating. Scrooge McDuck makes his money the old-fashioned way, by raiding other countries and beating up their native population, flora and fauna. All so you can be richer than another old rich guy. The game is difficult, but not overly so, full of secrets, and sports a wonderful 8-bit version of the best Disney Afternoon theme song ever. We can't wait to play it again.