First thought upon seeing the new mini-NES announced by Nintendo: OH WOW. Hit us right in the nostalgia-feels, and appealed to our natural instinct to love cute smaller versions of things. Packed with 30 classic NES games and supporting two retro controllers (the second one costs extra, but we don’t care), it’s an amazing deal for $60.
Looking at the games gave us a thrill, but then after our excitement waned, some omissions leapt out at us. Granted, there are probably plenty of reasons that these games didn’t get included in the mini-NES, and most of them probably deal with licensing. And most video game compilations/devices mix in plenty of coal with the diamonds.
But that wasn’t the case with the mini-NES. It’s packed with classics such as the first three “Super Mario Brothers,” “Gradius,” “The Legend of Zelda,” “Metroid,” “Mega-man 2,” “Castlevania,” “Final Fantasy,” and “Ninja Gaiden,” mediocre games such as “Balloon Fight,” “Double Dragon 2: The Revenge,” “Ice Climber” and “Super C” are puzzling, and arcade classics such as “Galaga” and “Pac-Man” are a waste — we played those in arcades and feel no nostalgic attachment to console versions.
We know that no games will be added, thanks to this interview featured on Kotaku.com, so we can officially say that the absence of these games on the mini-NES are disappointing:
“Dr. Mario” is OK, but it’s a “Tetris” variant at its heart. This game’s simple premise and escalating difficulty opened up puzzle gaming to new levels on the NES.
This is where all the “Metal Gear” madness started. Its detection-based mechanics made each screen a terrifying, heart-stopping ordeal. And thanks to Jennifer’s brother, we always take the left elevator.
We’d rather have the original than the clunky “Super C.” “Contra’s” spread cannon remains one of the best video game weapons in the history of ever, and the Konami code unlocked god mode.
This addictive combination of “Zelda”-style overhead and “Metroid”-style platform shooting was expertly done. The levels were massive and contained secrets that were unlocked only with new, powerful weapons.
This simple, small-scale game provided some of the most interesting racing action on the NES. Once players got used to the different control scheme, racing became cutthroat.
BLADES OF STEEL
No complaints about “Tecmo Bowl’s” inclusion; it’s legendary for a reason. But “Blades of Steel” offered one of the best sports experiences on the NES. Its fight sequences were better than most fighting games.
BATMAN: THE VIDEO GAME
Before Rocksteady’s “Arkham” series, this was not only the best “Batman” game, but arguably one of the best movie franchise games in history. Incredible soundtrack, outstanding platforming action; it had everything.