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reviews >> nes
NES Review Archive

written by Shaun McCracken

For those who want to know how games of the past fare, look no further to the NES archive section right here on BlueStorm. Sure, the reviews may be shorter, but you still get the same scoring as the big reviews do, and that's really what you want to know in the end, huh? Oh, and take into consideration that the scores given here are comparable to other games on the system, not exactally what's on more powerful consoles (unless we're talking about games that score 9 or higher).

1942 6.75
An average arcade translation with some horrible sound effects and background noise.
Abadox 5.75
Basically a clone of R-Type, with an unappealing art design and high difficuty level.
Anticipation 8
A decent arcade party game that's a bit like Pictionary. Developed by Rare. Stupid box art, though.
Back To The Future 0.25
One of the worst games to be based upon a film, and just a terrible game period. The graphics are flat, the sound is awful and it does a disservice to the film franchise.
Back To The Future Part II and III 2.75
Take me away, I don't mind, just as long as it's away from this game. Not a terrible as the first BTTF game, but it's still pretty bad. It's more platform oriented than the first game, but still doesn't make it better.
Baloon Fight 7.75
Essentially, Nintendo's version of Joust with a couple of twists. Not a bad game, but has some annoying sounds.
Batman 8.75
Where Back To The Future and Total Recall were at the awful end of the movie-game spectrum, Batman was one of the better movie games to appear on the NES. It matched the style of the film pretty well, and had some pretty memorable music as well. Was really hard, though.
Batman: Return Of The Joker 8.75
It's not direct sequel to the movie-based Batman title, but it's still a good game. ROTJ had some of the best graphics of NES game made, looking really close to a Genesis game. Again, it was on the challenging side.
A Boy And His Blob 6
The game attempts some interesting gameplay elements, but the overall level design lacks any sort of direction.
Bubble Bobble 7.75
Faithful port of the arcade game, but really doesn't have a lot of depth.
Catlevania II 7
The second installment of Castlevania sort of takes cues from The Legend Of Zelda II, but it lacks direction in some spots and really needs a battery save.
Castlevania III 8.5
The best of the NES Castlevania games goes back to the design of the first Castlevania, and offers multiple stage paths this time around.
Chip And Dale Rescue Rangers 8
A good Capcom game that's a bit on the easy side, and not that long.
Commando 6.25
Port of the arcade game that really is average at best. Weaker color pallete and sound, and lacks replay value.
Contra 8.5
Classic Konami shooter thats pretty damn hard (unless you cheat).
Dr. Mario 8.75
A great and addictive puzzle game that offers something different from Tetris. Basically, just match the vitamins with the viruses to clear the stage, and do it for hours on end.
Duck Hunt 8.5
If you have an NES, you pretty much have this game. Originally bundled with Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt was the first, and probably best Zapper games for the NES system. It's an undeniable classic.
Duck Tales 8.75
One of the better known and classic Capcom games on the NES, Duck Tales was a fairly good platformer that was also faithful to the material of the cartoon.
Excitebike 8
It was one of the first, if not the first, motocross games made. It had a limited design, basically side-scrolling with a set of obstacles, but it was still fun. Included a course editor.
Fester's Quest 7
It took me years to finally realize that this was a character from the Addams Family. Anyway, Fester's Quest is an "okay" game, where it doesn't really excell in a certain area. It's certainly not one of Sunsoft's finest, but it's not terrible, either.
Gradius 7.75
Decent arcade port, but the visuals are pretty weak.
Ice Climber 8
This game's popularity varies from person to person. Some people like it, others hate it. Ice Climber is a decent arcade game, but it's very repetitve. Still, it's a classic and somewhat unique NES game.
Kirby's Adventure 9.5
One of the last great NES games that Nintendo published, Kirby's Adventure was an excellent platformer developed by HAL Labratory. The game had plenty of stages, some good level design, nice graphics and some memorable music. Better than the Game Boy original.
Klax 8
Klax was a pretty fun puzzle game that was a decent port of the arcade game. Interestingly enough, it's one of the only versions of Klax that actually had music. It was also an unlicensed game made by Tengen.
The Legend Of Zelda 9
A definite NES classic, Zelda was one of the first adventure/RPG games that really took off. It was also the first console game that allowed you to save your progress to the cartridge after the game was shut off. Now, even though the original Zelda is a classic game that has it's place in history, it's not really my favorite in the series. I think the Super NES "Link To The Past" is the best one so far, and I even like the second NES Zelda game a little more than the original. But that's just my opinion.
The Legend Of Zelda II 9.5
There a lot of people out there who were disappointed by this game, and some people flat-out don't like it. I, on the other hand, do. I liked the mix of platforming elements along with the RPG elements. It's very much a classic, just like the first, and it's one of the best NES games made.
LifeForce 8
From what I know, this is a sequel to Gradius. It looks better than the first Gradius, and plays a little better, and is basically a substitue for the lack of R-Type appearing on the NES.
Mach Rider 8
This was one of the first NES games to be released, and it's not exactally one of the most popular games made. It's a fun racer/shooter that feels a little like Road Blasters. It included a course editor that was a little more extensive than Excitebike's, but you couldn't save anything you created.
Marble Madness 7.75
Decent arcade port that gets the job done, but not as colorful as the Genesis version. Very short, but difficult game.
Mario Bros. 7.75
Basically a straight-up port of the arcade game that's fun at first, but feels redundant after time.
Mega Man 8.5
This is where the series all began: 1987 on the NES. Iceman, Cutsman, Bomberman, Fireman, Elecman, Gutsman and Dr. Wily were your adversaries here in this classic action platformer. It's not exactally the best Megaman game made, since it lacked a password feature and had one of the worst box-art designs made, but it's still a fun classic. The only Megaman game that had a scoring system, too.
Mega Man 2 9.25
This is where it becomes debatable on which Megaman game is the best one made. Capcom improved upon the original Megaman release by including a password feature, as well as increase the robot boss stages from 6 to 8. It also features some of the most meorable music in gaming history. It's a very solid action platformer, and one of the NES's best.
Mega Man 3 9.5
This is what Megaman 2 has to go against. Megaman 3 is probably one of the most recognizable and common games in the franchise, and it does much of what made Megaman 2 great, but added a couple of new things as well. This game introduced Rush and Protoman, extended the capacity of E-tanks you could carry, and sliding! While I have some issues about the translation through localization, Megaman 3 does edge out Megaman 2 just because it's a more solid and balanced showing than the previous game .
Mega Man 4 9
The games start to decline a little here, just because each installment really does less in terms of changes. This is still a solid action platformer, and a great NES game.
Mega Man 5 9
For some reason, Megaman 5 turned out to be the rarest game in the NES Megaman series, and I'm not too sure why. Like Megaman 4, not a whole lot has changed other than the addition of Beat.
Mega Man 6 9
The last Megaman game released on the NES was interestingly enough, published by Nintendo in North America. The game also features two robots, Windman and Knightman, that were winners in a Nintendo Power robot-design contest. It's pretty much the best looking Megaman game on the NES, but quickly became overshadowed by Megaman X, which was released on the NES one month later.
Metroid 9
Another NES classic that pretty much creates the sci-fi genre of game. It also was one of the first games to allow for exploration in a fairly open-ended world. However, it's hard for me to get into since it's so easy to get lost, and the concept of including a map really didn't happen until 1994 with Super Metroid. Pretty much the first game to have a female as a lead character.
Rad Racer 8
A decent OutRun clone developed by Squaresoft (now Square-Enix). Included 3-D glasses.
Rad Racer II 8
The 3-D glasses are gone, but the gameplay is pretty much the same. The graphics did improve a bit, but it was still pretty short.
R.C. Pro Am 7.75
An "okay" racer developed by Rare that was perhaps seen as one of the first kart racers made. The game definitley has it's fans, but I'm really not one of them.
Roadblasters 4
Disappointing and dumbed down port of one of my favorite arcade games.
Rollerball 8.75
Despite it's name, Rollerball has no relation to the film with the same name. Rather, it's a pretty fun pinball game developed by HAL Labratory. The biggest drawback here is that there's only one multi-tiered table.
Rush And Attack 6
Mediocre arcade port from Konami that really doesn't offer much than stabbing people and the occasional gunfight.
Super Mario Bros. 10
The game that revived the gaming industry is also one of the most well-known and popular videogames of all time. Without a doubt one of the best games ever made, and one of the most influential designs ever created. If you ever want to see a video game done right, play the original Super Mario Bros..
Super Mario Bros. 2 9.25
Super Mario Bros. 2 pulls a 180 from the orignal classic. The design is a little more open to exploration, and is not restrictive to time limits. Also, you had the option of selecting from four different characters with different attributes. Back in 1988, it's not totally what we expected for a Mario sequel to be, but loooking back on it now, there were definitley innovations that we pick up on. It's not the best Mario game, but it's still a great game.
Super Mario Bros. 3 10
Super Mario Bros. 3 may arguably be the best Mario game made, and pretty much the best game made for the NES system. Super Mario 3 took cues from the original SMB, as well as SMB2, and threw in so many more gameplay elements. It was what we expected to want in a Mario game, and then some. It's one of the highest selling games in history, as well as the only game to have a movie based around it.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 9
This is one of the better TMNT games made, and certainly the best one on the NES. It looks pretty good, and has a fairly memorable soundtrack. One interesting thing about this game is it's difficulty: it was really hard! Especially since there was never a password function thrown in.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game 7.5
A fairly disappointing port of the arcade game that attempts to caputre the fun of the arcade version, but got lost somewhere in the transition. Would have been better if Konami ported the game to the Genesis.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project 7.75
Basically take the design of the arcade game and create something new. I preffered the 2-D style of the first TMNT game than the psuedo 3-D style they went for here. Like the second NES TMNT game, this one just didn't work out as well as I would have hoped.
Tetris (Nintendo) 9
Tetris came in two forms on the NES, the Tengen version and the Nintendo/BPS version. There are many out there who preffered the Tengen version of Tetris, but I'm the opposite. I actually liked the Nintendo version more, and it had a better scoring system. One thing this version lacked, however, was two-player support.
Tetris 2 8.5
Tetris 2 is a decent sequel to the original Tetris, but doesn't have much relevance to it. In actuality, it plays more like Dr. Mario with Tetris pieces. Still, it was pretty fun, and a fairly decent classic.
To The Earth 6.5
Makes use out of your Zapper, but it's not exactally a great game.
Total Recall 0.25
The infamy. The shame. The audacity. The endless refrences. Total Recall is one of the worst NES games to appear on the system. The gameplay was poor, the graphics and sound were bad, and why in holy hell would you make a game based upon an R-rated movie when you damn well knew that the main video game audience were kids (this is before developers relaized there was a market for adult gamers)? Oh govenor, say it isn't so?
Totally Rad 5
Note to developers: having the word "total" in your title may be a curse. Case in point: Totally Rad, which is totally anything but-. The game is a basic action platformer that really doesn't entertain or delight.
Where's Waldo 0.25
This is just a plain-ass stupid game. The only reason why this game was made was to capitalize on the book's success. The problem is that the NES has a much more limited color pallate than a printer does, and it really doesn't help that Waldo is hardly distinguishable at all. On top of that, this really isn't a "game", it's more or less moving a cursor and pushing a buttton. Glad that phase was over. HEY, MACARANA!
Xevious: The Return 4
Xevious, in my opinion, isn't that great of an arcade game to begin with, and this port is even worse due to some really bad sound.
Yoshi 6
This puzzle game is basically a "miss" for Nintendo. It really isn't that fun, and it's not very intuitive.
Yoshi's Cookie 8
An odd, but decent puzzle game where you need to align similar cookies in a row by moving the columns.