Tag: Nintendo

Super Mario Brothers Minifigures Available in the Minifigure Market

Listen up all you retro gaming fans…..Super Mario Brothers minifigures are now available!  Nintendo’s earliest icons, Mario and Luigi now have minifigure versions, and you can get a set of your own through my Minifigures Market store on ebay.

The stars of Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers 2, Super Mario Brothers 3, Super Mario World, and countless other games would look great displayed in your retro collections.  These are not official LEGO releases, but they were made from genuine LEGO parts with a UV printing process.  These things are totally compatible with all LEGO pieces and sets, and are the exact same size as all standard minifigures.

Just $6.00 + shipping will get you a set of these swank Nintendo collectibles.  Check them out in my store here.

Plus, there’s plenty more retro themed minifigures in the store to check out like Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Thundercats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and lots more.  If you’ve not checked out Minifigures Market yet, swing by and have a look!

Five Old Nintendo Games I Love

Like so many of you reading this, I spent a great many hours of my youth playing my favorite Nintendo games. Saturday afternoon, after school, most of the night on Friday nights….you know, anytime available was spent with that gray and black controller in my hand.  It was one of the great joys in life to just shut my bedroom door, tune out the world, and kill a few hours on the NES.

Of course, not all games we had lived up to the hype we placed on them in our minds, and some games far exceeded the level of enjoyment we thought we were going to get from them. Some games we played only a handful of times, and some games we kept going back to time and time again.

So today I’m going on a deep dive and looking back at five of my favorite games for the Nintendo Entertainment System.  This is by no means a ranking of the ‘greatest’ or ‘best’ games. It’s simply some of my favorite games to play, in no particular order, along with some of my memories of each one.  Every game has it’s own story as far as our memories of them go.  Sometimes you loved the game so much you can remember exactly when and where you got it.  Some, on the other hand, it’s hard to remember very much about.  But just the fact we are still talking about some of the games over 30 years later means they left some kind of mark on us.  I would love to hear what some of your favorite games were in the comments!

 

Simon's Quest

Castlevania 2:  Simon’s Quest

When Konami unleashed the first Castlevania cartridge on the Nintendo world in 1987, I was still too wrapped up in Super Mario Bros., Excite Bike, Pro Wrestling, and Rad Racer to pay much attention. Even though the original game was much loved and had a lot of hype around it, I was still impervious to the franchise’s existence when Castlevania 2 rolled out.

How much advertising was put into it? I couldn’t tell you. All I know is, that one Saturday afternoon I took all the money I had saved up to the local Roses department store when my Mom went to do her usual shopping.  I went straight to the electronics section and starting scanning the available Nintendo games, as I was intent on picking one up that day. I remember there not being too many different games to choose from, and to this day, I’m still not sure what led me to pick Simon’s Quest.  Maybe it was the lack of selection, or maybe the box art just got to me.  But whatever the reason, I ended up bringing this bad boy home with me that day, and I’m so glad I did.

 

Simon 2

The quest of Simon to destroy Dracula was the simple premise, but the much more complicated facet of the game was just where in the heck do you find Dracula, and what weapon do you use on him when you find him? You spent your time traveling through towns, forests, and mansions killing skeletons, wolfmen, sea creatures and anything else that got in your way like spiders and floating eyeballs. You earned “hearts” that were like money and you used that money to upgrade your whip and buy additional weapons like Holy Water, Laurel Bushes, Diamonds, and numerous other curiosities. You also had to talk to the townspeople to get clues on which direction to go to find Dracula and how to beat him.  I guess this was the first RPG that I ever played.  I don’t even think that term existed back then.  But all this wrapped up in the game made it one heck of a time waster, and I can’t forget the Saturday afternoon that I finally beat this game.

Saturday afternoons were the time I typically got to put the most time into playing Nintendo.  After the cartoons were off and my room was cleaned, I was free to kill whatever time was left doing whatever I wanted.  So I usually would turn on the NES and try my hand at getting all the way through this game.  That Saturday I finally beat it was euphoric!  I went running into the kitchen to proudly tell Mom that I had won, but her excitement was not what I had hoped.  I had to find joy all by myself in the victory.

Castlevania II was the first role-playing game that I can ever remember playing, and even to this day, RPG’s are not my cup of tea. But Simon’s Quest has stood the test of time, and holds a special place in my heart as one of the first video games I ever loved.  It was actually the second game that had stolen my heart, only because Pro Wrestling came first.

 

ExciteBike

ExciteBike

ExciteBike was one of the Nintendo consoles most beloved games, and a favorite of mine too. I killed many hours with this bad boy. Racing on a motorcycle! Design your own tracks! Put 100 jumps in a row! This was one awesome game for those three reasons, and why it’s so fondly remembered. That and the fact that you could wreck others by coming down the track with your rear wheel in their front wheel and watch them tumble over and over down the track. With the possibility of using any combination of 19 different obstacles to design your track with, it had great replay value just in designing new courses to race.

I was introduced to this game at my cousin’s house shortly after I got my Nintendo. This is the same who cousin who also introduced me to the games Kung Fu and Ring King.  Needless to see, he rocketed up the charts on my favorite cousin’s list.  I was instantly hooked and we spent several hours that night playing it. I never actually owned the game, but several of my friends did, and a copy of it was at my house more often than not through the magic of swapping games with a friend for a period of time. This game still holds its own in the “fun factor” today against such newer and more complicated games.

I could spend more time playing this title than I could modern titles today. Just designing courses loaded with obstacles and then racing against friends provided endless fun for us. Many a Saturday afternoon was spent on a virtual dirt bike in my house.  Although, to this day, I still can’t let off the turbo.

 

Alpha Mission

Alpha Mission

The great space saga known as Alpha Mission…..or Space Invaders knockoff. This was a cool game where you had a space fighter and the ability to upgrade it’s weapons and defense systems in the course of the gameplay. Once you earned more weapons, you could switch back and forth between them. At the end of each level was a boss, and that boss was only beatable by one of those special weapons….and you had to figure out which one and select it before you got to him. It was hard in the beginning, but soon it became one of those games that I would sit down for an hour and a half and run through the whole thing for fun.

I got Alpha Mission on the same night I got my Nintendo. When we went to pick it up, all my local Hills department store had were the Nintendo systems without any games. So my Dad let me pick a game, and I picked Pro Wrestling. While there in the store, he decided he wanted to pick a game and he chose Alpha Mission. I was astounded that my old man was picking out a game to play.  He was genuinely excited about getting a Nintendo, but I had my doubts just how much he would actually sit down and play.  Turned out I was right, as he only played Alpha Mission once.  I’m glad he picked it up though because as noted earlier, it became one of my favorite games to kill time with.


Ring King

Ring King

What red-blooded American boy didn’t want to put on the gloves and go to battle with one another inside the squared circle? With this game, you and your best friend could live that out without anyone getting a bloody nose.  As I mentioned earlier, my cousin David introduced me to the game at his house, and we spent hours that first night battling for ring supremacy.

The action was slow and plodding, but man was it fun. You really had to battle for the full 3 minutes to stay alive, and then you had to work your thumbs to the limit in the rest period to regain needed energy.  I loved the fact that this game had a tournament mode. That meant a lot of “Championship Tournament” afternoons for me.

I would have friends come over, and we would each pick four combatants, and then have them square off in tournament mode. A tournament like this could last 2-3 hours before a champion was finally declared. Once done, it was time to ice down our swollen thumbs and enjoy some tasty snack like Jiffy Pop or Jello Pudding Pops. This game contributed to many a fun Saturday afternoons.

Once Mike Tyson’s Punch Out hit the scene, it became the favorite boxing game of many, myself included.  But the big difference between the titles was the fact that only one player could play Punch Out, whereas you and a buddy could both play Ring King.  That kept Ring King relevant through the years that Nintendo was king, and what kept my interest in it so long.

 

Goonies 2

The Goonies 2

I guess after the success the movie had, a video game was inevitable. But playing this game didn’t feel very much like watching the movie. You had Mikey, the hero of course, traveling through caves and various other locations slinging his yo-yo at the bad guys to dispose of them. But the focus of the game was on collecting different objects to help you get farther along. It was a constant maze of entering different rooms and trying to find secret doorways to get someplace else. It was quite the brain bender, and I spent many hours on this puppy on Saturday afternoons.

This was another game that I never actually owned.  But my best friend Geoffrey had it, and quickly tired of it.  Geoffrey was one of those kids that got whatever he wanted, and what he always wanted was a new video game.  He would get one, play it for a few weeks, and then tire of it.  Once he was done with one, it was offered to me to take home for a few weeks and play.  That was a pretty good setup on my end.  He sent me home one day with this game, and being a fan of the movie, I was excited to pop it in and give it a whirl.  But like I already said, it differed from the movie quite a bit.  Not to say that as a bad thing though.  I feel like they had a game developed, and then just added the tie into the Goonies after the fact to sell more copies.

Well, there’s five old Nintendo games I loved back then, and still do today.  There are a lot more of those old games that I cherish, so this is by no means the only time I’ll be visiting that corner of my memory.  I’ll be back again one day to talk about more of my favorite Nintendo games, but in the meantime, let me know if you enjoyed these games, and if not, tell me about YOUR favorite Nintendo games in the comments.

 

Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins

Ghosts 'n' Goblins

 

Ghosts ‘n Goblins took the baddie-battling, princess-rescuing formula and went Medieval, casting Knight Arthur in the hero’s role and pitting him against the combined forces of Hades. Strapping into his suit of armor, Arthur ran to the rescue, braving six levels of ghosts, goblins ‘n much more.

Designed as a scrolling action game, Ghosts ‘n Goblins only required three skills: running, jumping and firing. If it moved, it had to be killed. Arthur began the game armed with throwing lances, but new weapons—fire, axe, dagger and cross—were available by killing certain enemies (those carrying clay pots).

With those implements of demonic destruction, Arthur wended his way through a graveyard, a dark forest, a run-down town, a series of caves, across a bridge and on to the castle where the Princess was held. Each stage was filled with scary beasts of every kind—zombies, ghosts, giants, demons, skeletons, etc.—each capped off by a particularly hideous boss. And just to save you several hours’ worth of frustration, you can only kill that devil boss at the end with the shield weapon. Try anything else, and you’ll find yourself flying back to level one with a teardrop in your eye, bucko.

Arthur began the game with the customary three lives, but that was where the suit of armor came in handy. The first hit on Arthur’s mortal body smashed the armor off, leaving Arthur alive but wearing nothing but his Medieval skivvies. Another hit cost one life, but extra suits of armor were conveniently stashed at certain points in the game if Arthur survived that long.

A hit both in the arcades and on the then-new Nintendo Entertainment System, Ghosts ‘n Goblins won players over with its fundamental action gameplay and its cartoony, yet somehow still creepy graphics. A sequel, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, was released in 1988, adding flashier graphics and new power-ups (including the power-enhancing golden armor) to a brand-new storyline. And yes, it did involve rescuing that perpetually-victimized princess from the devil again (when will these royals ever learn?).

Nintendo Nostalgia: Game Genie

Game Genie

Now I don’t know about you, but the Game Genie did more to change my video gaming experience than any other device with the exception of the Nintendo itself.  Once I got my hands on it, it was in use every single time I played a Nintendo Game.  My best friend at the time, Geoffrey, was one of those kids that got whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it.  He saw the commercial for this thing and went nuts.  I still remember the conversation we had on the phone that fateful night.  He said he had pitched such a huge fit wanting it, that his Dad drove him the half hour to the nearest department store and bought it for him.

The next day at school, he looked like a hungover zombie, as he had stayed up all night playing Nintendo.  I knew that I just had to make the trip to his house that weekend for a sleepover and check it out myself.  Sure enough, I had the chance that weekend, and was blown away with just how awesome that thing was.

More Nintendo Nostalgia | My Earliest Video Game Memories

I started saving my allowances immediately, and doing chores for folks around the neighborhood to earn extra money.  It actually didn’t take too long to get enough scratch together to go get one for myself.  Man, that thing revolutionized my game play.  Games that had previously had parts that I go so frustrated with that I quit playing the game, were now easily navigated, and I pulled those old suckers out and gave them new life.

It was some of the best money I’ve ever spent in my life.  And yes, I can say that still today.  It was revolutionary to be able to have unlimited lives, or unlimited ammo, or be able to make super jumps.  Now I know in all reality, it was cheating, but it made crappy games fun, and made fun games incredible.  Even now when playing roms on an emulator, I still google those old Game Genie codes and put them in play.

Retro Comic Book Ads #3

Old comic books often act as a time capsule.  They’re full of advertisements of products from long ago, and can tell us a lot about the culture of the time in which they were printed.  Some of those products are still with us, while others are not.  I often like to crack open the pages of a long forgotten comic book and just browse the advertisements found inside with which to take a trip back in time to another era.  Let’s open one of those time capsules here today and see what we find….

 

 

This week’s time capsule is Superman #30 from DC Comics, that came out in 1989.  The Superman titles have always one of my favorite books to read, but this is from the era just before I started to read his stories on a regular basis.  I picked up in the summer of 1990, and read consistently up until about 1998.  Let’s see what old advertising goodness is hidden behind this cover.

 

Morning Funnies Cereal

 

How appropriate this is to find an ad for Morning Funnies Cereal since I just did a post detailing my love for the cereal a short while ago.  You can check out the full article here, but I’ll add to it and say that it was a great idea to spend advertising dollars on it to run in a comic book since the whole gimmick to the cereal is that the box is covered with comic strips.  Makes perfect sense.

More:  Retro Comic Book Ads #1

 

 

It wouldn’t be a comic book from the late 80’s without some advertisements for video games, and Nintendo specifically.  These look like some lesser known titles, but Taito was big in the arcade world with Space Invaders and Super Chase H.Q. being two of their bigger titles.  I think Bubble Bobble was a moderate success on the Nintendo, but the other three games I have no recollection of.

Continue reading “Retro Comic Book Ads #3”

My Earliest Video Game Memories

 

When Christmas day rolled around, I felt this huge urge to hook up the old Super Nintendo and spend the day playing some of my old favorites like Super Mario World, Duck Dogers, Street Fighter II, and more.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to, but I did think back on some of my first memories of video games and shared them with the kids.

The very first memory would actually be about going to the Bristol Mall in Bristol TN and seeing the arcade there that was called The Gold Mine.  However, on that fateful trip, I didn’t get to step inside and relish in all the goodness it had to offer.  I simply got to walk by it and gaze in amazement at all the flashing lights and tingle with excitement from all the sounds coming from within.

 

 

So my actual first experiences with video games in any form would be when my cousin Tim first got his Nintendo.  Somehow, I had missed out on all of the marketing and talk surrounding the Nintendo when it was launched.  I had never seen nor heard of such a thing.  One day while visiting the grandparents, my uncle Ernest mentioned that he had gotten Tim a Nintendo Entertainment System, and that I should come over and play Super Mario Brothers.

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Games I Wish Were Included on the SNES Classic

After the success of the NES Classic Edition,  this Christmas season will see the release of a SUPER Nintento Classic Edition!  Sadly, I missed out on the NES Classic, but if the rumors of an SNES Classic prove true, I will definitely pick one up if the game selection looks good.  With that said, thoughts turn to what games may or may not be included on the system.  I know there are a lot of licensing issues with some games that keep them from being included, but for the sake of this post, I’m going to ignore all of that and just focus on the games I WISH were included on it, whether it could ever happen or not.  At the end, be sure to drop a line in the comments section about what games YOU want to see included.

 

Super Mario World

Super Mario World

I don’t know how you could release a mini SNES classic and not include the flag-ship game of the original console.  Mario IS Nintendo, and Super Mario World was not just the flagship title, but one of the best games on the system.  It’s a shoe-in.

 

Super Mario Kart

Super Mario Kart

Another Mario title, and the last one I’m including in this list.  I know there are plenty more great Mario based games on the system, but I never really got into them.  Mario Kart on the other hand is a classic with a quite a pedigree in the world of gaming, and is my personal favorite racing game on the system.

 

Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda:  A Link to the Past

The Zelda franchise is synonymous with the Nintendo brand, and this game has a reputation as being one of the better incarnations of the game.  I played it a few times, and really hope it’s included in the mini version so I can finally get to sit down and play all the way through it.

 

Mega Man X

Mega Man X

Another icon of the Nintendo era was Mega Man, and any system looking to capitalize on its history needs to include a Mega Man title.  I never played this Mega Man for some reason, but I always loved the various Mega Man games on the NES, so I’d like to see this included to relieve those days.

Continue reading “Games I Wish Were Included on the SNES Classic”