NES Reviews - Page 2

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...

Ice Hockey (Wii U eShop / NES)

Ice Hockey (Wii U eShop / NES)

Not that cool any more

Nintendo released a number of sports titles in the NES era, a reflection of a simpler time when having a fancy home console was enough of a novelty that a game simply called Ice Hockey would seem like an awesome prospect. You like Ice Hockey? You've got Nintendo? Get Ice Hockey, which is Ice Hockey on your Nintendo! That...

Galaga (3DS eShop / NES)

Galaga (3DS eShop / NES)

Space: The Original Frontier

There are a few reasons so many early video games took place in space. While the most obvious one is budgetary — a flat black background being quite literally the easiest possible background to render, thereby making "space" a pretty natural choice of setting — there's a psychological reason as well: space is a...

Renegade (Wii U eShop / NES)

Renegade (Wii U eShop / NES)

GET LOST, PUNK!

What's the expiration date for nostalgia? Is there a certain amount of time that has to pass before we start looking fondly back at the old, often inferior, games of our youth? It's undeniable that some games have aged gracefully and are still just as good today as they were at their initial launch, but that's far from a steadfast...

Dr. Mario (Wii U eShop)

Dr. Mario (Wii U eShop)

One play a day...

It feels as if Dr. Mario has been a near constant presence — in some form — over recent years, but the oddity is that the Wii U Virtual Console release of the NES version is the début for that iteration over the most recent system generations. We've had fresh DSiWare and WiiWare releases, with the latter perhaps halting a...

Renegade (3DS eShop / NES)

Renegade (3DS eShop / NES)

Crime doesn't pay

The company known as Technos might be best known for creating Double Dragon and River City Ransom, but before coming up with either of its two big hits, it made a number of lesser known titles — of which perhaps Renegade is the most well-known. Renegade is actually the first game in the Kunio-kun series, which River City Ransom...

Sky Kid (3DS eShop / NES)

Sky Kid (3DS eShop / NES)

Heavy Weather

An arcade force to be reckoned with, Namco graced the Famicom and NES with impressive cartridge conversions of quite a few of its enduring coin-op classics. From Dig Dug and Pac-Man to Galaga and Xevious, Nintendo's console quickly amassed a collection of A-list arcade hits, and — along with the heavy hitters and household names —...

NES Open Tournament Golf (Wii U eShop / NES)

NES Open Tournament Golf (Wii U eShop / NES)

Par for the course

If there's one specific niche of which there is no longer any shortage, it's sports titles featuring Mario. The iconic plumber's unlikely prowess at just about any athletic challenge is now extensively and frequently documented, with the likes of Mario Tennis and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games gracing home consoles on a...

Super C (Wii U eShop / NES)

Super C (Wii U eShop / NES)

Junco Partners

Konami's massively popular Contra became synonymous with side-scrolling shoot-'em-up action when it was released for the NES in 1988 — so much so that when the sequel hit Nintendo's home console in 1990, Konami felt confident that a single, stylized 'C' would be enough to evoke the series' name in the hearts and minds of loyal fans...

Ninja Gaiden (Wii U eShop / NES)

Ninja Gaiden (Wii U eShop / NES)

Original Gaiden

With a hit-list of sequels and spin-offs spanning more than two decades and its latest iteration — Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge — even slicing out a spot in the Wii U's launch lineup, Ninja Gaiden's reputation precedes it. An East-meets-West action platformer with an Japanese aesthetic and an American action-hero heart, this is...

Mighty Bomb Jack (Wii U eShop / NES)

Mighty Bomb Jack (Wii U eShop / NES)

Pyramid schemes

Bomb Jack, released in 1984, was one of Tecmo's early hits, a single-screen arcade game that had players rushing to diffuse bright red bombs planted at major tourist attractions around the globe. By the time its sequel rolled around in 1987, the Super Mario Bros.-induced side-scrolling craze had taken hold of the gaming world, and...