3 Forgotten NES Classics
A look at some underplayed NES gems.
At this point we've all seen about 50 different lists that run down the top NES games of all time, and we've already seen Mario 3, Contra, and Mega Man 2 mentioned so often that they're almost beginning to lose their appeal just from overexposure.
So, here's a short list of some NES games that were fantastic and merit a play through on your computer. Again, this list is an attempt to mention some games that maybe not everyone played, so don't bitch at me because you don't see Tecmo Bowl, Metroid, or Tetris on here because we've already played/read about them to death.
3) Little Samson
I know the title sucks, but then so do a lot of NES titles. What you need to do is look past the fact that it's got a horrible name and check out the gameplay. Little Samson is a solid platformer with good action and surprisingly good graphics, but what really puts it over the top is its combination of great ideas from other games. That's right, Little Samson might not be an innovator, but it definitely does a great job at combining peanut butter with chocolate.
Take the 4 character selection scheme from SMB2, and pair it with the animal companions from Little Nemo, and you get Little Samson. Like SMB2 there are 4 characters you can choose between, but instead of getting stuck with just 1 person for an entire level, Samson lets you change characters on the fly in the middle of the stage, which gives the game some great puzzle solving/combat skill pairings that you wouldn't normally have otherwise.
The main character Samson plays a lot like Ryu from Ninja Gaiden, letting you climb up walls and do crazy flips, the dragon lets you shoot fireballs (which you can charge up just like a Mega Buster shot) and fly for short periods, the Golem has wicked strength and lets you walk over spikes, and the mouse lets you climb across any wall or ceiling, and lay down some bombs to take out the bad guys.
Throw in a few RPG elements, some epic boss battles, and Little Samson blends together like a good chili: Lots of different flavors, and just enough kick to make you keep wanting more.
Play Little Samson: http://www.playnes.net/play/476/Little_Samson.html
2) Metal Storm
Unlike Little Samson, Metal Storm has an awesome name, and it's a good thing because this game is flat out fantastic. You play as a robot in the future that shoots lasers at other robots. The concept alone is enough to make me happy, but then you realize you can invert gravity anytime you want, and that's when the fun really kicks in.
The gravity flip is such an obvious gaming evolution that you wonder why no one used it before, or why games rarely use it now, but it adds a huge amount of gameplay variation to break up the monotony of the basic run and gun formula.
Shooting enemies, getting power ups, solving puzzles, and beating bosses will all depend on your ability to master the gravity flip. The learning curve is a little steep (about 10 minutes), but once your fingers get up to speed and your reaction time catches up, you'll be flipping upside down and laser blasting robots in the face with sadistic glee.
Metal Storm deserves a place amongst the best NES games, and is definitely one of the best run and guns ever made. Easy to play, hard to master, and once you can start blazing through levels in just a minute or two, you'll make Jimmy Woods from the Wizard look like a chump.
Play Metal Storm: http://www.playnes.net/play/518/Metal_Storm.html
1) Vice: Project Doom
Honestly, this game is so fucking cool that the more I play it, I actually like it more than SMB3. Like Little Samson, it borrows a lot from other games, but it took the best part of every game out there and packaged it all together beautifully.
Vice mixes the driving and shooting of Spy Hunter, the platforming and weapon changing of Batman, the storytelling of Ninja Gaiden, and the early FPS elements of Operation Wolf. The graphics are superb, and none of the gameplay has been toned down between levels. I hate when games randomly throw in a driving level and it feels like a poorly constructed minigame, but thankfully Vice doesn't fall victim to that. Seriously, this game is as highly polished as it gets.
The driving levels and the FPS levels are sprinkled throughout the game and are a nice deviation from the platforming levels, which is where you'll spend the majority of your time. Your weapons are a laser whip, a gun, and grenades. I know the laser whip sounds kinda cheesy, but it basically functions like a sword, so if you've played Ninja Gaiden you'll feel right at home.
You can cycle through your weapons on the fly with the Select Button -no pausing or bringing up menus- so the action is fast and furious, especially during the later levels and the boss fights.
The style of the game is pretty awesome (you won't have to suffer through cutesy cartoon graphics) and you get plenty of action movie clichÃ© shots like â€œDude in sunglasses walking away from giant explosionâ€ and â€œClose up of a .45 before going on a shooting spree.â€
There isn't a single aspect of this game that isn't fantastic. The gameplay is flawless, the action is intense, the story is solid, and there's enough variety that it never gets boring. Vice is undoubtedly one of the best NES games ever made, and it honestly could be a fantastic reboot if anyone decides to go back and rediscover it.
Play Vice Project Doom: http://www.playnes.net/play/851/Vice.html
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