Thirty-five years ago, Japanese brand Nintendo released a console which came to be a household necessity for gaming families – hence, being heralded as “family computer” — beating its then competitor, Sega. Called Nintendo Entertainment System and simply known as NES, it reached the United States just a few years after its initial launch in Japan, after which, it gained worldwide popularity.
Its Classic Edition, a miniaturized modern version that’s complete with the classic gray controller, was recently released and is still gaining fans, proving its vast influence since it was introduced in the ‘80s. The sudden hit in demand of the NES may be attributed to those who want to feel nostalgic of playing the retro games as well as the younger generations that want to know what the hype back in the days was all about.
During the time, role-playing games (RPGs), which means the player assumes the role of the character in the program, were incomparable. Associating with a superhero or a leader made the experience more fun, which explains the numerous games that surely made anyone hooked in.
Despite this game having one of the most advanced graphics among other RPGs today, its earlier version remains a classic among NES fans. Final Fantasy was far from the sprawling franchises kids have now known, the original game easily became the backbone of the adventure of the fan-favorite game.
At the time, it was one of the greatest games of Nintendo, with the Japanese company giving it a much-needed promotion. There were far lesser commands and less complicated battles, with details like upgrades and elemental crystals a few reasons Final Fantasy was loved.
One thing remained constant all throughout the years, Final Fantasy’s twisted plot. The original game consisted of a boss that you need to fight, which will be the final boss in the end thanks to the time loop.
Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda is probably one of the most iconic games of the NES. It came out on a gold cartridge, something unusual back in the days, but it still amassed quite a following. Sure, its graphics aren’t as perfect as now, but judging it for its release at the time with the modern criteria would be unfair.
To the avid fans of the Legend of Zelda, Link had already encapsulated gamers even with his limited movements that were subject to cardinal directions. The game relied on pure luck as a player try to find secret chambers and dungeons. Most of the time, finding these would result in being bombed, so players in the ‘80s spent quite some time finishing and figuring out the discovery.
The story line of Faxanadu revolves around a nameless wanderer who returned to a hometown. Once home, you discover that the place is a mess – Elves and Dwarves are at odds after the Evil One turned the latter into monsters.
Despite all the adventures and things to be handled, you can’t level up. The only reward is that you get to purchase better tools as you progress. Faxanadu, a Dragon Slayer spin-off game, revolved around a lengthy story which made players busy for hours.
StarTropics revolved around Mike Jones who visited his uncle Dr. Steven Jones in the South Seas, only to find him mysteriously missing. The protagonist then sees himself in the middle of an alien invasion and he must fight and win against Zoda.
Like Zelda, the character explores the vast land and is able to go to dungeons, where the battles await him. In these places, Mike can acquire items like a baseball bat and slingshots which will add to his original equipment, a yo-yo.
Dragon Warrior 4
The fourth of one of the most influential RPGs of all time, this version may arguably be the best as developers have smoothened out the kinks from the earlier franchises. Dragon Warrior 4 allows players to visit town where they can engage in battles, which is turn-based style.
Although the enemies are controlled by the CPU which means the move will totally be unpredictable, players have the advantage of choosing the perfect action. What’s more is that, players get to travel the mysterious story behind the man that seeks revenge.