RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Jul 29th 2016 at 02:42:45 PM by (wildbil52)
Posted under NES, Games, Emulators

Video game collectors, as a kind of purist rule, don't like emulators...that is unless Nintendo wants to sell us one, then we're cool with it.  The recently announced NES Classic Edition will be here before you know it and I suspect that most Nintendo fans out there will do their best to pick one up.  Let's take a look at some of the details.

Seriously, look at how tiny this thing is.  It's shorter than the grey bottom portion of the original NES!

The NES Classic Edition (NESC for the rest of this article) will be available on November 11th for $59.99.  You can add one more controller for $9.99.  From collectors and Nintendo enthusiasts who will scoop up this first party piece of nostalgia juice, to the casual player who hasn't touched a Nintendo in years, this (very) little system is going to sell like gangbusters.  Even the most vocal "anti emulator" crowd will still pick one up eventually, even if it just sits on a shelf to look good.  For $60 plus $10 for player 2, how could you go wrong? Sure, it would be more authentic to pack your NES and a bunch of games if you are traveling, but this thing may fit in your pocket.  The game selection is very solid, even if there is a little head scratching depending on who you talk to.  Opinions, as always, will vary, but let me give you my take on the games and you can tell me why I'm right in the comments.

The Games

The games are what really matter, right?  I mean none of us would remember the NES fondly without countless memories of amazing and mostly original gameplay.  At the risk of coming across a little snarky, I wanted to go through each game with a quick 1-2 sentence reaction.  Feel free to disagree, it's all in good fun.

Balloon Fight - The game that your wife will play with you until you stop letting her win, then you can play by yourself.  At least that was my experience.

Bubble Bobble - Does it ever end?  No? OK, I can listen to this music forever.

Castlevania - Great game that never seems to get old.  With so many awesome soundtracks on the NES it's hard to call out the one that is best but Castlevania has a strong arguement.

Castelvania II Simon's Quest - We get 2 Castlevania games on the NESC and they aren't the 2 best Castlevania games that were released on the NES.  Do the math.  #WhyNoCastlevaniaIII?

Donkey Kong/Donkey Kong Jr - Solid port of a solid arcade game that you will almost never fire up given the opportunity to play the other games available.

Dr Mario - The reason your sister is buying one.

Excitebike - Simple little crowd pleaser that will definitely see regular play as a warm up game until the sound of your engine overheating scares your 9 month old into a crying fit.

Final Fantasy - The game that everyone buying the NESC will swear to play.  "This time, it's gonna be different, I'm finally going to complete this game.  (It's not going to be different, you aren't going to finish this game).

Galaga - That's the one with the space invaders, right?  Or was that Space Invaders? I can't remember, let's just play Mario 3.

Ghosts N Goblins - A so so port of a phenomenal arcade game.  Will make you sad that you aren't playing the coin-op version, but it's a good kind of sad, like the end of Return of the King, only not so emotional.  Unless you get REALLY emotional about Ghosts n Goblins, then its the same.

Gradius - Aw, I kind of wish it was Life Force.  Oh, wait, it is Life Force kind of?  Oh, OK, that sounds good.

Ice Climber - A game that proves there is no problem that cannot be solved by hitting the problem with a hammer/pickaxe thing.

Kid Icarus - Good game with a decent difficulty curve and really unfortunate sound.

Kirby's Adventure - Kirby has been around forever and you either get the appeal and love him or you are me.

Legend of Zelda - Arguably the best game of the bunch.  The biggest gaming phenomenon of my youth and a classic that everyone who plays games should play through from start to finish. So do yourself a favor and play with the Playcast crew next month! (no, singlebanana did not add this last sentence while editing this article...)

Mario Bros - Great game spoiled by the superior jumping mechanics of Super Mario Bros.

Mega Man 2 - Seriously?  Mega Man 2?  They had a golden opportunity to put Mega Man 4, the greatest Mega Man game of all time into the hands of millions of people this November and they squandered it. 

Metroid - The best Metroid game being released this year is the Origninal Metroid.  #FederationForceBurn

Ninja Gaiden - Lovers of action platformers and gluttons for punishment everywhere rejoice!

Pac-Man - See Donkey Kong/Donkey Kong Jr. above.

Punch Out!! - Would have been great if this was Mike Tyson's Punch Out!!.  I wonder if 007-373-5963 is the passcode for Mr Dream?  #MTForLife

StarTropics - One of those games that you see quite often and don't know that much about.  Would be harsh calling it a Zelda clone, solid RPG that deserves a look.

Super C - Really? Not Contra?

Super Mario Bros 1, 2, 3 - You would expect to have at least 1 Mario Bros. game on the NESC but 3?  Bravo.

Tecmo Bowl - Even though it's a personal favorite, its hard to wonder why this isn't Tecmo Super Bowl.  Still. Bo Jackson and you win.

Zelda II The Adventure of Link - Do you know anyone who finished this game as a kid?  I don't. 

I'm not going to dive too deeply into the list of games that weren't included but should have been.  Off the top of my head, I would have loved to have seen Bionic Commando, Battletoads, Blades of Steel, RBI Baseball, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles included, but overall, the included games are great.

The Hardware

There aren't many gripes to be had with the hardware. The few I have are admittedly small, but lets explore them anyways.  The only output the unit has is HDMI.  This is perfect for any modern TV and even better if the NESC has some sort of method of selecting aspect ratio so that you aren't forced to play games originally designed for a 4:3 screen on a 16:9/10 screen.  However, it means that you will not be able to connect your new, little friend to the old CRT in the basement or playroom for some original NES vibes.  Not the end of the world for those of us who have at least 2 NES systems in the house, just would have been nice to see composite A/V outs as well.  This leads into my only other hardware gripe: The length of the controller cord. 

It's short.  Like really short...

You see the original NES controller cable on the left side of the above image?  Compare that to the length of the cable on the Classic Controller.  It looks to be about the length of the cable on a Wii Nunchuk.  This means that you will probably have to pull the system out to the floor for it to be close enough to accommodate the short controller cable.  In turn, this means that you will likely need either a longer HDMI cable than the one included with the NESC or resort to third party controller extension cabels.  Wait...THIRD PARTY?!  The whole reason the NESC is cool is because it's FIRST party!  If you are going to desecrate your NESC with Third party accessories, you might as well be playing ESWAT: City Under Siege on your AtGames Flash Genesis.  OK, I got a little carried away there.

The last hardware gripe is arguably the biggest one: The cart door doesn't open.  Almost a dealbreaker but I will Keep Calm and Nintendo On.

So what do you think?  Getting one? Not getting one? Am I right about my observations or REALLY right about them?

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I'm grabbing one but I'm not sure if I will buy one at launch. The OSSC + NES combo has most of my attention right now.
I'm probably one of the few here who aren't into this. I don't like that it's the size of a pop tart, I own nearly all of the games I'd want to play on it, and I could use $60 much more wisely...like buying 2/3 of Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom.

First off, great article!  Secondly, my main issue with the system is the length of the controller cables.  I understand why they did it, but it doesn't make it any easier of a pill to swallow.  As you mentioned, due to this design setup, they should at least be smart and make extension cables for the controllers themselves as I imagine that will be the most popular add-on for this particular system.  It doesn't bother me that the door can't open only because it serves no purpose anyway. 

On that note, someone on YouTube made EXACTLY the kind of emulation NES that Nintendo should have put out.  It has all working components, including cartridges!  Why couldn't Nintendo pull that off?  Price is my guess.
New Playcast (Sidecast #2) coming this Sunday from your friendly neighborhood podcasters. Shawn and I discuss this new console toward the end of our episode, so I won't spoil our thoughts here, you'll have to listen. Smiley 

Rather than emulation, I think what they should have done is what was done for the Commodore 64: 30 Games in One. This plug 'n' play joystick was running on actual shrunken down C64 hardware. Because of this, the really creative and dedicated could even hack the thing up and attach keyboards, additional controllers or even a disk drive to play their C64 games they already owned on it.
The length of the controller cord is a bit of an issue for me as well.  Using a standard length SNES controller cord is awkward and I had to buy an extension cable to play PS1 and PS2 games comfortably.  Also, NO AC ADAPTOR!!!

I assume you mean Raspberry Pi? I liked how his "carts" used NFC.  It seems like a missed opportunity for Nintendo - 30 games available from the outset, 10-20 unlockable through amiibo.  But then again, it seems that 1st party emulators are never as good as what the emulation community churn out.
@Cobra:we won't know the details until someone tears one open but I would be shocked it it were shrunken down Nintendo hardware modified for hdmi out and save states.

@JerryGreenwood:first of all, yes I do stink but I just mowed the lawn so give me a break.  Second, good luck with princess tomato, she is a fickle one.

@Addicted:would be very interested if you end up getting that new scaler hardware,  I don't know much about it, I'll defer to your wisdom.

@Raidou:the NESC does come with an AC adapter, unless I misunderstood your post and you were talking about something else..
I think if you could buy more than one item at a time more people would play the first NES Final Fantasy more.  Stocking up for the Marsh Cave is wretched and time consuming.

Castlevania III can be somewhat difficult to emulate, so I imagine Nintendo, rather than spend the R&D time to figure it out in an "official" capacity, went with games they knew would work w/o a hitch.

@Raidou: Wait, 10-20 unlockable through Amiibo?  Is this confirmed?  That would be a big win for Nintendo, methinks.

I'll probably be down for one of these, though I'm not sure where I'd put it.  I mostly use my OG Xbox to play NES games in the living room, and that may be supplanted by a Pi 3 once I can get one together.  My NES is in the bedroom, where my cart collection is, but sadly, it looks like poo on the CRT I have there, not sure why.  I also really need to invest in a Blinking Light Win for it, because the crappy Chinese knockoff 72-pin connector I bought a decade ago is just not cutting it.
Like many of you, I own each of these games on original hardware as well as different ports, rereleases, and other methods to play. Some probably five times over or more.

And, also like many of you, I'll likely pick one of these up because it is a cool, fun, new way to play some of my favorite games (for the price of one new current-Gen game) through HDMI with classic-style controllers that double as Wii controllers.  Redundant? Like pretty much any actual video game, yup. Fun? Looks like it to me!

This thing is actually Nintendo at their most Nintendo; New hardware from old hardware, closed box, cheap, simple, interesting to many who want to play games of their youth but left the hardware behind, or Nintendo die-hards that want a fresh way to play a few favorites.

Sure, its easy to have a wish list. But I personally think those who are frustrated that this thing is not update-able are missing that this is supposed to be; not a new platform, but a fun little toy to play with every now and then, designed and priced accordingly.
Oh, and #TeamCIII.
Although I really, really like II. And I. And Bloodlines. And X on SNES. And the TurboDuo one. And all of the portable ones (except Mirror of Fate.) And Lords of Shadow.

But not Judgment. No, not Judgment. Ew.

From Nintendo Australia, Nintendo UK:

The Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System comes packaged with an HDMI cable, a USB cable for powering the system*, and one Nintendo Classic Mini: NES Controller. And whether itís rediscovering an old favourite or experiencing the joy of NES for the first time, the fantastic collection of NES classics included with each and every system should have something for all players. The included titles are:

*Note that an AC adapter for the USB cable is required to play the system but is not included in the packaging.

Nintendo US claim that there is an AC adapter.  So it appears that Nintendo are trying to pull the same trick they did with the New Nintendo 3DS, just not in the US.

As for why no Castlevania III/Contra, I am amazed that there are ANY Konami titles on that list.  Actually, I am amazed at the range of 3rd party titles in general.

@MetalFRO:  No, I was wistfully thinking aloud about what could have been - there's no extra unlockable games or amiibo functionality.  Frankly, I think Nintendo don't know what to do with amiibo anymore. Sorry to get your hopes up.
re: Tecmo Bowl - two big reasons it would never be TSB:

Super Bowl is trademarked and the NFL would never be onboard with it.

The original Tecmo Bowl has been a mainstay on the Virtual Console and it's actually the Famicom vers of Tecmo Bowl - with slightly updated rosters - like John Taylor on the 49ers. No real names but the numbers are there. This was a pretty smart inclusion with the work done for a while and appeals to a lot of sports gamers' nostalgia.
The original FF is the only FF I've ever finished. Cheesy
I agree with slackur, this isn't for hard core gamers. It's for the same crowd that will buy those knock-off 50-in-1 emulator boxes you find in Walmart and other department stores. It's a shame really, and represents one of my biggest issues with Nintendo. Every time they do something like this, or start releasing Virtual Console games, it makes me think that maybe they do understand what would make their most die-hard/long-time fans happy, but then they stop short. Charging customers for copies of VC games on multiple platforms, only including 30 (admittedly great) games in a tiny emulator box, not including AC adapters, it says to me they're either deliberately trying to get more money out of people, or that they really don't get it at all. It's so frustrating. And the worst part is, I'm the type that will most likely end up with one of these because they're super cute and it'll just sit on a shelf somewhere for me to look at every now and then and think "yep, that thing's pretty neat," and never play. Kind of like what I did with my PlayStation TV that's never left it's box lol.
+3 for Simon's Quest

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