Some are arguable, while others are real head-scratchers.
By Hypebeast – When Nintendo announced it would be creating a modernized, miniaturized version of its classic NES console, fans rejoiced with a loud hurrah for nostalgia gaming. The console will not only segue the world into the largest #tbt fury Instagram will ever see, but it will also give present day gamers a taste of what hours upon hours of video games were like back in the ’80s. And with technology these days allowing anyone to catch a Charmander at their local grocery store around the corner, it’s refreshing to see Nintendo is not only honoring its past but actually marketing it along with future tech and innovation.
The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition will be sold as a unit with a controller for $60 USD, an option for a second controller for only $10 USD, and a pre-selected assortment of 30 classic games built right in and ready to be played via a HDMI-equipped connection to your super hi-res TV. Yes, the Kyoto-based company hit a home run with the game selection — the fact there’s Mega Man II (not I or III), Metroid, Dr. Mario and both Castlevania titles mean the personnel who chose these games knew exactly what gamers wanted. But with that, a few selections and omissions are questionable —SUPER C and a certain pack of mutants are two starter examples. So with that, we here at HYPEBEAST wanted to add to the 30 list with 10 titles that we feel should’ve made the list, and a short explanation as to why. It’s not the final answer and perhaps Nintendo didn’t include these for a specific reason, but these fallacies can not go unvoiced. Check out our selection below and chime in on what else they got wrong.
R.C. Pro Am
R.C. Pro Am was one of those games that had the formula down, of which made the game fun, exciting and best of all re-playable. Starting off with the remote control trucks model, it was very simple for players to get used to the pace, before speeding up to the faster “racer” types. The gameplay was easy to learn, the driving was really fast (with turbo and tire upgrades scattered on the track, along with the speed strips), and nothing was ever too difficult to pick up, plus the rockets and bombs added a run-and-gun style of play long before the SNES introduced Mario Kart. Too bad this title wasn’t multiplayer.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
To exclude this game is unforgivable. TMNT2: The Arcade Game was perhaps the console’s highest quality beat-em-up that, compared to its arcade cabinet counterpart, brought similarly fast gameplay, fluid dynamics and a glorious comeback from the atrocity that was the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesgame for the NES. Choose from your favorite turtle (don’t even bother and just pick Donatello), team up with a friend and wreak havoc against the foot soldiers, mini-bosses and eventually the incredibly-difficult Shredder before starting all over again. Jump kicks, “power moves” and interactive environments made this an instant classic.
Ok, this one might be out of Nintendo’s control since a light gun only works with those old tube TVs and not your LED flatscreens, but Duck Hunt was the first to bring an arcade peripheral shooting game to the masses. Super easy to learn and get the hang of, players were challenged with shooting distant ducks as they were chased away by your trusty “Laughing Dog” that ultimately taunted you for your fails. Obviously the game was a huge success because of its mechanics, due to the fact that the Zapper gun was actually quite accurate with its shots, but its simplicity, fun factor, through-the-roof replay-ability and overall balance of challenge and mindlessness should have cemented the title, somehow, onto the NES: Classic Edition.
Yes, SUPER C is included with the NES: Classic Edition, but this is a case of “first is best.” The sheer challenge of the original Contra made the title that much more fun, with weapon upgrades (via a floating football?) and a really keen sense of hand-eye coordination absolutely necessary to survive. The side-scrolling stages remain our favorite but even the “up-scroll” levels weren’t that much of a chore. Don’t forget the Konami code (shame if you don’t know it by now) for 30 lives right off the bat — another necessity to surviving this monster of a game.
The perfect “fight me” game that allowed you and your best bud to bomb the crap out of each other, Bomberman was a great case of strategy-over-excitement, as the game rewarded those with a plan rather than quick hands. Think of it as a digital, interactive chessboard with explosives. Certain people will have specific strategies (forcing players into corners for example) but the vast majority could agree — skipping out on this for the NES: Classic Edition puts much pressure on Dr. Mario for puzzle-game strategy fun and Pac-Man for two-player battles across a board game-esque playing field. Bombermanwould’ve been the best of both these worlds.
Now if you’re looking for more of a spur-of-the-moment “fight me” title, look no further then Pro Wrestling. Arguably one of the first fighting games to be really picked up, PW allowed two friends to duke it out in the ring with a selection of characters and special abilities. Our favorites were Star-Man with his “Flying Cross Chop” and “Somersault Kick” special moves, King Slender’s “Backbreaker” and Giant Panther’s hysterical “Iron Claw,” but special honor and mention goes to Fighter Hayabusa and his ultra-satisfying-yet-incredbily-hard-to-pull-off Back Brain Kick — both of which were actually modeled after a real Japanese fighter Antonio Inoki.
Blaster Master is an odd one. Not many people understood what was going on with a tank-car named S.O.P.H.I.A. that could jump and shoot from above ground to underground locations, but a good time was almost always had. Shooter games were around for the NES (Gradius being one of them which is thankfully included) but BM somehow combined a shooter game with a platforming mechanic, and the dynamics to include game play inside and outside the tank. Plus it was easy to pick up and play so passively — a key component for gamers with very little time before dinner started. Action, an odd story and a great soundtrack — all for the sake of your mutated frog Fred.
Enter Rad Racer, an arcade style racing game that many equate to as the predecessor to games like Need for Speed. Choose from a Ferrari 328 or a Formula 1 car, racing along the coast line from checkpoint to checkpoint. The gameplay gave a true sense of speed as your car topped out at 255 kmph, while jamming out to tunes on the radio that can be toggled on or off. Best of all, the game even had a built-in 3D mode by pressing Select, to be used in conjunction those awesome retro red/blue paper 3D glasses. You could even utilize the Power Glove for a “steering” experience, at the expense of your dignity of course.
How could we forget one of the pioneers of beat-em-up games? Kung Fuironically was anything but — little fighting actually went on, with the majority of your foes simply running straight at you. Kick, punch and kick some more all the way throughout a level, as your enemies cascaded through the floor for some strange reason. Nevertheless, Kung Fu success was in its simplicity, even if all you had to do was crouch the entire time and sweep the leg, … Johnny.
And perhaps the biggest disappointment from the NES: Classic Edition exclusions comes in the form of a text-based graphic adventure game. Maniac Mansion never set out to win any awards in action, adventure, ming blowing graphics or edge-of-your-seat sound and experience. In fact, some even found the game to be quite lackluster. The cult following however had a much different take on the game, voted by many as one of the best adventure/exploration games ever released. Find hidden keys, utilize your teammates, examine every nook and cranny of the mansion and ultimately rescue your girlfriend from an evil mad scientist — satisfaction guaranteed. Depending on how many and which characters survived the point-and-click adventure, the player would be presented with up to five different endings to the game, thus allowing owners to replay and solve the game dynamically each time. Critically acclaimed as a triumph in storytelling, Maniac Mansion and its publisher LucasFilms — yes, thatLucasFilms — received positive marks and placed it amongst the upper echelon of graphic adventure titles; it’s a mystery in itself why this title is not included in the NES Classic Edition.