The Nintendo Entertainment System
If there is one video game system I can relate to my generation, it would be the original Nintendo 8-bit. The unfortunate truth is that I came late in the game for earlier systems. On the flipside, I got to grow up with one of the best systems ever made. I have been seriously collecting NES for about a decade and if anything my love for the system has grown beyond anything I ever expected. I have enjoyed every minute of my NES collecting career. There is nothing quite like digging through piles of debris to find my own personal pot of gold in the form of a grey plastic cart. One of the things I enjoy the most when it comes to the NES is the playability of most of the games. The NES truly expanded upon the one screen game play of the 2600, and perfected the side-scrolling action as evidenced in the classic Super Mario Bros. The perfection of game play was not limited to one franchise, but spanned across a multitude of tremendous games. Castlevania, Double Dragon, Zelda, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden and Dragon Warrior are just a few of the great classic games, whose names and characters live on in today’s gaming market.
Something the NES was most known for was the simplicity of control. Its controller, in it’s time, was truly remarkable. It was simplistic in its design, but had wondrous range and depth. Controllers today are more of an evolution of the NES controller than stand alones. With just a directional pad and two buttons it was able to give you a feeling of ultimate control, whether you were piloting a jet, fighting off scores of baddies, or behind the wheel of one Rad Racer. Also, I personally can attest to the durability of the NES controller…
‘It was late…so late it was early. I didn’t care. All thoughts of punishments or responsibilities were set aside as I scrolled across a lovingly crafted 8-bit landscape. It was easily my most difficult quest yet, as I was a boy at the tender age of 9. I was bound and determined to guide Ryu through his perilous journey. After hours and hours I found myself at the final boss. The name escapes me but all I knew was that he was big, and ugly, and HARD. I tried and I tried. I let myself be cast back to the beginning of the level time and time again, only to be trounced soundly by this big bad boss-man. I knew it couldn’t be me…’it must be the controller,’ I thought, and tried to vent my frustration by attempting to punch a hole through the start button. Luckily, with Nintendo controllers being rather expensive at the time, I was unsuccessful. It did show me, however, that it would take a Sherman tank to put a NES controller out of commission.’
Though many of my childhood memories are intangible and will last only as long as my mind can hold them, my time spent playing the NES in my youth can be relived by a simple press of the Power button. It makes me smile to think that the system that hooked such a hardcore collector as myself is still readily available. It truly was the system that revolutionized gaming, and though there are systems that would revolutionize the industry yet again, the NES was the one that would coin the phrase uttered by every non-gamer…”playing your Nintendo.”