Whether you're old enough to remember buying your very own, or you're simply interested in gaming history, you'll no doubt be aware of the NES. The Nintendo Entertainment System - to give it its full name - first found its way into people's homes during the '80s, introducing players to the likes of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda and going on to be a huge part of Nintendo's history in the process.
If you want to reminisce on all your old favourites, or learn a thing or two about the console's complete lineup of games, this NES encyclopedia could well be for you. A full colour, A4, hardback release, this book features 187,000 words dedicated to every single game in the console's library, and even features a bonus section covering a further 162 unlicensed games, giving you the lowdown on every ‘unauthorised’ release for the system.
This monstrously ambitious project comes from the mind - and hard work - of Chris Scullion, a games journalist who has written for Official Nintendo Magazine, Nintendo Gamer, CVG, and now his own website, Tired Old Hack. He's also written a fair amount of words for us here at Nintendo Life, so we hope you'll send some love his way. In an article on Tired Old Hack, Chris explains why the console means so much to him - and why he's the perfect man for the job.
Essentially, had I not discovered the NES at the age of four when visiting my aunt in America, I may never have fallen in love with gaming, I may never have gone to University to try and write for a games magazine, I may never have moved to London to work for ONM, I may never have met my future wife there, and so on.
The NES isn’t just one of my favourite systems: that little grey box has literally shaped every major beat of my life for the past 30+ years.
You can read that full article here to learn more about the project and keep tabs on the book's release; it's aiming for a March 2019 launch in the UK with other regions to follow shortly after. Its success could even spawn an entire series dedicated to gaming systems in the future.
"The good news is that White Owl have agreed in principle that if The NES Encyclopedia meets a certain sales target, I’ll be given the green light to go ahead with book two, The SNES Encyclopedia."
Does this look like the perfect book for your coffee table at home? Let us know if you like the sound of this one with a comment below.
Was reading about this.
Why did I think Chris Scullion was an author at NintendoLife though
"Tired Old Hack" - doesn't instill a lot of confidence.
@JaxonH he is
"He's also written a fair amount of words for us here at Nintendo Life"
Chris' writing has stood out since the days of ONM. I'm not a big fan of the NES but I'm certainly looking forward to this book.
Great, as long as it's available on Amazon, because I couldn't buy SNES Visual Compendium there apparently because Bitmap Books didn't want it on Amazon, strangely after all their other books are still there to buy. Why Amazon? Because there are frequent discounts. I got my NES Visual Compendium for less than 20 euros. Buying directly to the source is way more expensive.
@JaxonH he’s done some freelance work for Nintendo Life. Most memorably, maybe, was one that was recently part of a certain scandal involving another writer plagiarizing him...
Yup. That's where I recognize him from with NintendoLife. Thanks
@Velocirapstar The site name's a joke: when CVG closed down, some random troll emailed me to say he was glad I was losing my job because games journalism is a young person's game and I was a "tired old hack" who kept going on about how old games were better. So I thought "thanks, I'll have that".
NL - Thanks for the write-up guys, much love.
@Velocirapstar Tired Old Hack is actually @scully1888, so it immediately fills me with confidence.
Had all these games been available for download on the 19th rather than just 20 games, we could have viewed and experienced them first hand.
Anyway I do not have a coffee table.
A person would never know how incredible the NES library of games is by the limited number of rereleases Nintendo has done over the years and it’s a real crying shame. Greatest console ever made
Wow. I need this on my bookshelf.
Maybe it's just me, but there seems to a pretty big flaw in the whole marketing and coverage of this book on most sites, including Chris' own website, because I just can't find an obvious link to the Kickstarter (not even in the article where he reveals the book). Or am I just not seeing the obvious links here?
It is on Kickstarter, right? I don't think I'm just imagining that. I'm pretty sure I [somehow] got to the Kickstarter page for the book the other day when I first saw a tweet about it.
It certainly was a huge research project and it looks like one I will buy.
Cool looking book. If I didn't already own Pat Contri's NES guidebook I'd grab this.
@impurekind There's no Kickstarter! The book's written, it has a deal with a publisher, it's currently being laid out and will be available in March 2019 in the UK and May-ish 2019 in North America. I don't need backing, I just hope people buy it when it comes out
@scully1888 Having said what I said I'm still tempted to buy this....lol. I like the page layout.
Ultimate Guide to the NES Library by Pat Contri was awesome too
@NinChocolate Yes and no. In it's era, absolutely. And it still had a lot of life in the SNES era as well. But in retrospect so many of those games while "great for its day" don't really hold up so well when you return to them. The little design tropes and limitations of the era really are annoying once you know it doesn't have to be that way. We were just used to it back then. Heck much of the design was based on the fact that you couldn't save your progress in so many games. I still hold that SMB3 is one of the 10 greatest games ever made, though. Everything about that game, the original NES version, not the SNES remaster, sticks in my head to this day. The music, sounds, "feel". So many games had great "feel" back then. But then they were so much simpler, with simpler sounds, for a simpler time...those 8 bit sounds seemed so representative of the era as a whole.
100% sold. Keep us informed of progress! I’m sure there will be a lot of folks on the watch for this to be released. Looks awesome.
Great, I love a good retro gaming book. The only NES book I have is the Bitmap books NES Visual Compendium, which is great but I’d like a book like this given it covers every NES game. The NES is the one Nintendo console I know the least about, so hope to learn something from this.
@ogo79 There's another NES guidebook besides that Certain One? I think the world is crumbling.
But will it be as good as a certain NES Guidebook by a certain NES Punk?
I've already got Ultimate Guide to the NES Library by Pat Contri and the NES visual compendium by Bitmap. Don't need another one.
Same with SNES. I've got the SNES visual compendium and Pat's got a SNES book in the making now.
@scully1888 Then God knows what I checked out the other day!
Regardless, the book is looking real good.
@KingMike eye kant reed.
@scully1888 what exactly differentiates your book from Pat's, that would entice me to make the purchase? Not trolling, honest and curious question. A few standout points of comparison would be great. Thanks.
Pat the NES Punk should sue.
This looks good, I might keep an eye out for it when it comes out. Aside from that, there sure are a lot of Pat shills in this comments section. I guess no one else is allowed to write a book about the NES but him now.
@Herman187 To be perfectly honest, I was only made aware of this other book a couple of weeks ago, long after mine was submitted to the publisher. As a result, I haven't read it yet, so I can't really comment on what makes mine different or 'better' (even though that's obviously down to personal opinion).
What I can do is tell you what I think makes mine worth getting, bearing in mind I don't know if any of this applies to his too. My book:
A) is written by someone with 30+ years of experience with the NES and 17 years of journalism experience
B) is written from a British point of view, with a dry sense of humour
C) is (sales permitting) going to be the first in a large series of books covering a number of systems
D) is being published by a publisher with experience in global distribution, meaning it will be readily available in physical and online stores around the world
Based on the sample pages of Pat's book available online, it also seems that his book is subjective – there are reviews of each game – whereas mine is more objective and is designed to be a reference book. Like the names suggest, mine is an encyclopedia, his is a review guide.
Also, while I haven't read Pat's book and completely understand why people would make comparisons, I don't see why there can't be two takes on the same subject. I see @NTELLIGENTMAN is saying he should sue me: nobody owns the concept of cataloguing a system's library, so that's frankly silly.
I wish Pat all the best with his book, and accept that those happy with it won't necessarily need to buy mine. There's room for two books in this world.
Wow that cover is about as generic and uninteresting as one coukld be. Seeing as this has already been done several times, that's not a great way to start.
Great, no excellent, no brilliant news.
I buy this day one . Done
Pls and SNES too...
I'll be picking this book up day 1.
@Onion A lot of shills? I’ve seen like three people commenting about Pat Contri’s book in this thread, and for the most part they seem pretty rational about it. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to point out that this author is essentially doing the exact same books that another author has already written/published, especially considering that this article is seemingly promoting this writer’s work (not to mention a writer that’s affiliated with this site) as though Contri’s books don’t exist.
I don’t think anyone’s trying to accuse this guy of anything, they’re just pointing out some facts and wondering out loud about their relevance.
(And yes, I realize that this article is old now, but oh well.)
@BAN Not that I want to get into this, but I don't think someone suggesting I should be sued for writing my book is "rational".
It's also inaccurate to suggest my book will be "the exact same book", and I don't appreciate the implication that there's something underhanded going on with regards to the book being mentioned on this site. While this coverage is welcome, I didn't ask for it and there was no deal in place.
I wrote my book with no knowledge of Pat's, and when I found out about it (by which point my book had already been finished and sent off to the publishers) I reached out to him to explain that I was also writing an NES Encyclopedia.
He couldn't have been cooler about it, and we agreed there's more than enough room for two books with a similar subject matter, especially because our books are very different in tone: his consists of subjective opinions written from an American point of view, mine is more of a reference guide (hence Encyclopedia) with a more British style of writing (bad jokes and all).
The plan (if this sells well) is also to turn my book into a series that goes beyond just Nintendo, so hopefully once the bigger picture is seen a couple of years down the line it'll be clear that the NES book is just one part of a larger project.
I can assure you that if I wanted to rip someone off to make easy money off their idea, there are infinitely easier ways to go about it than writing a 180,000 word book.
Long story short, I'm not interested in this turning into a Pat vs Chris internet battle. If you don't want to buy my book that's fine, you aren't being held at gunpoint. I'd rather focus my energy on those who do buy it, and try to give them the best possible book for their money.
@scully1888 Uhhhh okay? There’s so much nuance (and not to mention conversational context) in my comment that seems to have gone completely over your head that for me to tackle your points would basically just amount to me rewriting and reiterating my first post. So maybe take a step back and read it again from a non-defensive point of view. I’m not accusing you of anything. But I also don’t really care. I don’t even own Pat’s book.
He's basically talking about the comments that were directed towards him, which is what I meant by "shills". I'm guessing you didn't read through and see, but one comment was something akin to "Pat should sue" because someone else is writing a book on a similar subject. Stuff like that is a tad silly, and that's basically what he was saying.
I find it funny you were trying to tell me what I was reading when you yourself don't even seem fully aware of what has been said. I would argue that it's the total opposite, with only 1 comment really coming off as rational while the rest just come off as Pat shills bashing the idea of someone else doing a book about the NES. When I read a comment that says the kinda stuff that has been said here, I'm gonna call a spade a spade. People bringing up Pat's book are being shills, plain and simple. Especially when they start saying he should sue, as if he somehow owns the idea.
Good to hear that Pat was cool about it though, I hear he's a pretty nice guy. Sometimes it's the fanbase that's toxic, not the youtuber themselves.
@Onion I am aware. I read basically every comment. If you want to cherrypick like two comments out of an entire comment section to support your idiotic assertions, that’s not my problem. So, bye.
Whatever dude, but when two people have to point out to you that you basically misread something, you probably misread. "Cherry picking" indeed, I don't even think you know what that term means. You just don't want to admit that you completely missed one of the comments and are resorting to childish responses. Next time, don't pretend to read stuff you clearly didn't read and you won't have this problem. If it were just that one post, the author would have no reason to have to bring up or defend himself about Pat's book, but it's MULTIPLE comments, hence why I said a lot of shills.
Remember, your original post to me was about my usage of "shills". Outside of one post, the rest definitely qualify as shills because they're literally turning the subject away from this book to talk about Pat's. That literally defines the term "shill". That was basically what I was originally referring to, but since you wanted to bring up "reasonable posts", I brought up the one saying Pat should sue. You were wrong twice and just don't want to admit it. I'm not denying one post is worst than the others mind you, it definitely is, but the others are still very shilly for reasons I stated above. The comments should have never escalated to this point in the first place.
Honestly I feel bad for the guy who wrote the book because some people from another fanbase are basically just dismissing it without having read a single word of it. That would be really frustrating, I think. Based on what I've seen here, Pat's fanbase looks to be just a bit toxic when someone else can't even write a book on the same subject without his fanbase jumping in to remind us all that Pat wrote it first. That's not my "idiotic assumptions", that's a blatant fact. You can see it plain as day in the comments section. The article is not about Pat, Pat's name is never mentioned. The fanbase took it upon themselves to advertise for Pat and in some cases, put down this writer's book. I'm very comfortable calling those what they are: Shills.
@Onion You know, it’s a little strange that you both just coincidentally replied to my comment at roughly the same time, like two weeks after I posted it. Are you this guy’s mom? Are you just one person using two accounts? Regardless, both of you need to learn to handle mild criticisms and to deal with others in tones other than hyperbolic. Especially the author in question, who is supposedly a separate person from you.
Oh my god what a load of grumpy people there are here! This book is different enough from the others out there to deserve to be published.
Also, Pat’s book is good I’m sure, but @scully1888 has gone with a decent publisher who can ship worldwide.. Obviously most people here are American because you should try ordering Pat’s book outside the US and you’ll see just how stupidly expensive it is. $68 to ship to the United Kingdom FFS!! That’s $128 for a book! Chris’s book on the other hand, £21. No book is worth $128.
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