So the impossible finally happened, I was able to get my hands on an NES Classic. While I was posting one of our stories to Twitter yesterday a tweet from Amazon popped up saying that Amazon Prime Now had a few in select areas, one being Washington DC so I quickly clicked the link put it in the cart and to my surprise, unlike last time Amazon had some it didn’t disappear from my cart and I was able to get one and that evening it was waiting for me at my house (I love you Amazon Prime Now, you get a 10 out of 10).
So how is the NES Classic? It’s pretty awesome really. Some of the line up (like Balloon Fight) are less than stellar, but overall the game line up is pretty legit, with the first 3 Marios, Super Contra, Excite Bike, Double Dragon, Castlevania, Tecmo Bowl, Kirby, Metroid, Legend of Zelda and Punch Out, just to name a few (see full list below). Overall with the games you have to choose from with the NES Classic I’d give the system an easy 9 out of 10. There are some notable missing games (Kid Icarus for one), but that aside this has a solid game line up that will give you hours of entertainment.
Also with the excellent selection of games are various picture modes to pic from, classic CRT style, complete with flickering, basic 4:3 picture, and pixel perfect mode which gives you the best colors and sharpest picture and is what I decided to play in. It’s nice to have the ability to choose how you want the game to look. No matter what display you choose the games look great on modern TVs unlike the other plug and plays that have distorted colors and just don’t look as good as the NES Classic or their original systems they’re based around.
Another great feature of the NES Classic is the ability to save games. Sure some games like The Legend of Zelda had a battery pack and you could save your progress, or Mega Man 2 had a password system, but the NES Classic gives you the ability to say all these games at the exact moment you need to leave. You get four slots per game so even if you share the system with family or roommate there should be enough slots for everyone to save their games.
The feel of the system is nice, it doesn’t feel cheap like the Sega and Atari plug and play systems, this feels like quality. Also the control feels just as good as it did in the 80’s, though my hands are much bigger now so long play sessions can feel just a bit uncomfortable given the controller has right angles instead of curved like modern controllers, but it feels great using an NES controller. Also the buttons and d-pad give great feed back and feel sturdy. This whole package just reeks of quality and I’m glad Nintendo (in spite of the shortages) made this instead of farming out the license like Sega and Atari did.
However, in spite of the glowing reviews above the NES Classic does have to faults. First off, the cord for the controller is way to short. On the original NES this wasn’t that big of a deal since there was a good chance it was owned by a kid who kept the system in his or her room with a tiny TV so sitting close wasn’t a problem. But, this system is more than likely going to be owned by us 30 somethings and not kept in our bedrooms but probably in our living rooms or basements where we have probably at least a 50 inch TV and a couch more than two feet away from it. I’m sure what Nintendo was going for here was an authentic look, but you changed the plug in port from the original NES to what is used for Wii Motes so they could have given us a longer cord, however I’m sure anything under 10 feet and people would bitch so it was probably lose lose either way.
Also, proving Nintendo doesn’t like making money (as apparent by their massive shortage) this system is locked. There is no internet connection options, not Ethernet input and no wifi and no way to download more games. I think was a huge missed opportunity for Nintendo. Treating this like it’s own Virtual Console and the ability to buy new games for it would have been a huge plus, but it was not meant to be and Nintendo has left a lot of money on the table.
Overall the NES Classic (in spite of its rarity) is a pretty good little system. The look of all the games on an HDTV is fabulous and using a corded NES controller they feel just like they did back in the 80’s. The vast majority of the games are fantastic and worth the price of admission since if you try to buy the original cartridges many will cost you more than $60 and buying them on your Wii U will cost you between $5-$10 each and they won’t look as good. It’s a blast taking this walk down memory lane and playing games I loved as a kid, many of which I never got to beat because I never owned them and only got to rent them from time to time when my parents would let me or if I saved up enough money. The Ups definitely out weigh the downs to this and because of that I give the NES Classic an 8 out of 10.
List of Games:
Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Ghosts ‘n Goblins
Mega Man 2
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3
The Legend of Zelda
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link