The release of the NES Classic Edition and the continued prominence of retro-style indie titles has me thinking about those 8-bit Nintendo titles from yesteryear. I think many people are already looking forward to the SNES Classic, and with good reason — the 16-bit library was a step farther removed from arcade-style gameplay and a step forward in their presentation.
I am not saying these following titles are that great, but they do not get talked about very much. Here are a few 0ld cartridges that do not see much of a spotlight.
The back of the box calls for players to “batten down your mental hatches.” That says it all. It has its fans, but this is not exactly an easy game to pick up and play, especially amid its more accessible peers. In that era, if a game was set in World War II, it was likely to be a military shoot-’em-up that featured fighter plans in the skies above epic battlegrounds; but if you were looking for a submarine warfare by Konami, Silent Service has you covered. Further good news: It is extraordinarily common, and will likely remain absurdly cheap on Ebay for centuries to come.
There were a handful of casino sims for the NES, and this one even garnered a sequel. The sequel was called Casino Kid 2, in case you were wondering. The original has a lot of charm to it, with its faux-period-RPG style gameplay, and the questionable plot of a child seeking to become a card shark. Aside from the bizarre design choice of forcing the player to play specific opponents in a sequence yet not providing a guide to find them, Casino Kid might be a fun way to wile away your gambling fix.
Clu Clu Land
Excitebike, Kung Fu, Super Mario Bros… the original NES console-release cartridges remain black-box classics to this day, enjoyed and revered by countless players. And then there’s Clu Clu Land. Clu Clu Land is bizarre, difficult to play, and not entirely friendly; but as much as people make fun of me every time I bring it up, I will still persist in my belief that it holds its own little appeal. For one thing, it is a fun glimpse into the inner working of early Nintendo, as can be seen with their boldness in trying something original and new, along with those familiar-looking rupees.
There are plenty of other lesser-known, lesser-talked-about NES titles. I may not blog about them nearly as much as I used to, but they still hold a place in my heart, and I will keep discussing where I can. They’re kinda neat.