NES Reviews

Mega Man 6 (Wii U eShop / NES)

Mega Man 6 (Wii U eShop / NES)

Let battle commence. Awooga!

Arriving on the same day as Mega Man 5 on the Wii U Virtual Console, Capcom has decided to grace us with the final NES entry to wrap up that era of the franchise. Released in 1993, when the SNES was already out and Mega Man X was on the verge of release, Capcom just couldn't let itself say goodbye to the NES and made one...

Mega Man 5 (Wii U eShop / NES)

Mega Man 5 (Wii U eShop / NES)

Proto Man problems

Over a year ago, the first four Mega Man games were released on Wii U Virtual Console in quick succession. We don't know exactly what took so long for the remainder, but the fifth entry is finally here. As you might expect, Mega Man 5 is quite similar to the four games before it; eight new Robot Masters have appeared, and it's up...

Bases Loaded (Wii U eShop / NES)

Bases Loaded (Wii U eShop / NES)

America’s 8-bit pastime

Is there anything more American than hotdogs and apple pie? Yes. Yes there is. It’s baseball. The answer is baseball. It’s a game that has permeated the American culture and inserted itself firmly into so many of our lives. As such, it comes as no surprise that there are a plethora of video games available based on the...

Bases Loaded (3DS eShop / NES)

Bases Loaded (3DS eShop / NES)

Can this old timer still make contact?

Back in the mid-to-late 80s, when the NES was the dominant force in video games, cyber sporting wasn’t exactly the complex affair that it is now. With modern controllers having about a dozen buttons and joysticks to manage, it’s common for every one of those to be utilized for numerous functions —...

Adventure Island (Wii U eShop / NES)

Adventure Island (Wii U eShop / NES)

Skate and die

Adventure Island started life as the SEGA-produced arcade title Wonder Boy, which itself was ported to several different home consoles and spawned a popular series of sequels with show-stealing box art. NES-owners missed out on the title, and would have to wait until Hudson Soft teamed up with original developer Escape to release a...

Pac-Land (Wii U eShop / NES)

Pac-Land (Wii U eShop / NES)

Pac your bags, man

Never before released for the NES in the west, Namco has dropped its Pac-Man platformer Pac-Land onto the eShop to celebrate the announcement of Pac-Man in the new Super Smash Bros. games. A departure from the simple, addictive gameplay the Pac-Man series is known for, Pac-Land attempts to expand the scope and appeal of its iconic...

Soccer (Wii U eShop / NES)

Soccer (Wii U eShop / NES)

A well timed blast from the past

Just in time for the World Cup this week, Intelligent Systems' Soccer arrives on Wii U Virtual Console – but all is not well. One of the early titles in Nintendo's "Sports Series" on NES, Soccer seems to garner boatloads of hate from players compared to companions like Golf and Ice Hockey. These detractors are not...

Super Dodge Ball (3DS eShop / NES)

Super Dodge Ball (3DS eShop / NES)

Super Lag Ball

Many people are familiar with River City Ransom, the cult classic NES game, but what you might not know is that it's actually part of a series with many, many more titles. Of course, that can be hard to figure out when those that were localized all got completely unrelated names. Interestingly, while the series is mostly known in the...

The Mysterious Murasame Castle (3DS eShop / NES)

The Mysterious Murasame Castle (3DS eShop / NES)

The mystery is why this took so long to be released outside Japan

If you've played a bunch of Wii and Wii U games over the past few years, chances are that you might have noticed some references to a title you were completely unfamiliar with. Takamaru's Ninja Castle in Nintendo Land? Murasame Castle mode in Samurai Warriors 3? Or perhaps some music...

Double Dragon II: The Revenge (3DS eShop / NES)

Double Dragon II: The Revenge (3DS eShop / NES)

Now actually living up to its name

As one of the first scrolling beat 'em ups ever made, the original Double Dragon became a smash hit when it was released way back in 1987, and like most arcade games at the time quickly received a port to the NES. A single year later, Double Dragon II was released in arcades and, as was to be expected, it was also...

Adventures of Lolo (Wii U eShop / NES)

Adventures of Lolo (Wii U eShop / NES)

YOLO, Lolo

HAL Laboratory's 1989 puzzler Adventures of Lolo falls into the same category as titles like Mach Rider and Clu Clu Land: C-list NES classics that are often overlooked today but provide an arcade-like fun experience for those searching out Nintendo's "deep cuts" from the '80s. Adventures of Lolo is probably best remembered these days as...

Mach Rider (Wii U eShop / NES)

Mach Rider (Wii U eShop / NES)

Groovy little motorbike

If you were lucky enough to pick up a shiny new NES way back in 1985, you would have had your pick of several future classics from a legendary launch-day lineup. If your idea of a digital good time happened to involve motorcycles, you were particularly spoilt for choice, with Excitebike and Mach Rider representing two-wheeled...

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (3DS eShop / NES)

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (3DS eShop / NES)

Join the fang club

Looking back, it's incredible to think that Konami took such a risk with the Castlevania series during its formative years. Having tasted critical and commercial success with the original NES outing, the Japanese company decided to give its direct sequel a different spin. The result was Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, a game which...

Mach Rider (3DS eShop / NES)

Mach Rider (3DS eShop / NES)

A forgotten gem from the NES launch library

Mach Rider is an impressive feat for an NES title — a faux-3D motorcycle combat game with dozens of courses, an endurance mode, and a track editor. Not only was Mach Rider an NES title, but it was an October 1985 NES launch title. Namco's Pole Position had only hit arcades three years earlier, and...

Super Dodge Ball (Wii U eShop / NES)

Super Dodge Ball (Wii U eShop / NES)

Utterly ridiculous and sublime

When firing up an NES game in the modern day, no less a silly spin-off sports title from the era, a certain mindset is required. If you're intolerant of sticky animation, that flickering effect that NES games have when there's too much on screen and wonky frame performance, there are plenty of games that are immediate...

Clu Clu Land (3DS eShop / NES)

Clu Clu Land (3DS eShop / NES)

Spinning from poles as a fish with human limbs...

Clu Clu Land is one of those unassuming early Nintendo Entertainment System releases that seems to show up all the time these days, from cameos in Super Smash Bros. to minigames in NES Remix, right alongside classics like Mario and Zelda. Even if you didn't grow up playing Clu Clu Land, most Nintendo...

Volleyball (Wii U eShop / NES)

Volleyball (Wii U eShop / NES)

Flat ball

What’s your favourite major sport? If you answered “volleyball,” there’s a good chance that you’re among a minority of sports fans. That’s not to say that volleyball is a lesser game than the titanic football – European or American, your choice – or any other major sport, but it does make one wonder why Nintendo would...

Devil World (3DS eShop / NES)

Devil World (3DS eShop / NES)

Absolutely Diabolical

Very few developers can boast the introduction of as many unique and refreshing gameplay concepts as game-crafting master Shigeru Miyamoto. Nintendo’s iconic developer has reinvented and reinvigorated countless genres, breathing new life into stale and tired gameplay tropes and carving a name for himself as one of the...

Adventure Island II (3DS eShop / NES)

Adventure Island II (3DS eShop / NES)

"Just you wait, Master Higgins!"

The original Adventure Island — though a fun little platformer in its own right — is most fondly remembered today for being a strikingly comprehensive clone of SEGA's Wonder Boy, as a result of developer Escape licensing the property (minus SEGA's character designs) to Hudson Soft for an NES port. Adventure...