Yesterday, the internet went insane after Nintendo announced that they would be relaunching their classic NES system as the NES Classic Edition. The new console will come with 30 built-in games, many of them classics, like Super Mario Bros., Metroid and The Legend of Zelda. Initially launched in 1985, the Nintendo Entertainment System brought back video gaming after a huge crash in 1983, and was a part of just about everyone’s life that was a kid in the mid to late ’80s. In between Pokemon Go and this announcement, it’s been a great week for Nintendo. With nostalgia running at a super-high level, we reached out to some musicians and asked them point blank: What was your favorite NES game and why?
I’ve always been a fan of Super Mario Bros. Who isn’t but I’d have to say Double Dragon II because I remember when this came out and I would spend all summer long with my cousins playing this game. Good times, cold beers and great memories. Take that Willy! We got you!
– CJ Pierce, Drowning Pool
Oh man, picking one is hard it’s almost a tie between Contra and Super Mario Bros., but I guess we would have to go with Super Mario Bros. Probably have 100 hours on that damn game as a kid! It had everything you needed, plus it was almost impossible to beat. It had some of the most original game hacks, you could skip levels with secret tunnels, kill enemies and level up. Super Mario Bros. created the base for all modern day gaming, it truly was one of a kind!
– Gus McArthur
My favorite Nintendo game was Excitebike. When this game came out it blew my mind! I loved dirt bikes and it was the closet I was allowed to get to having one!! The best part of the game was being able to build your own tracks anyway you want! The best!!!
–Connor Garritty, All Hail The Yeti
Battletoads, because you could ruthlessly prevent your teammate from making it to the next level”
– Pustulus Maximus, GWAR
Tough call. I have a soft spot for the extremely lo-fi NES. There’s too many great games to choose from. They had this charm that made you want to give all their (often glaring) imperfections a pass. I’m going with the original Legend of Zelda. I played for so many hours as a kid, and I loved how you weren’t really told anything, you just had to explore. Much different from today where you get a checkpoint every five feet. Also the soundtrack was one of the most on-point game soundtracks of the entire NES library.
–Dan Gargiulo, Revocation
I had many favorites. Zelda, Excitebike, Super Mario, Mike Tyson Punch Out, just to list a few. Why? Because I was a kid and kids love video games.
– Dryden Mitchell, Alien Ant Farm
Favorite NES game would have been Metroid. Loved the music, the need to map on your own, and the ability to power up your weapons and skills. Spin attack was awesome I wish I could do it in real life.
– Ari Mihalopoulos, Otep
I would have to say that my favorite game for the NES has to be Mario bros 3. That in my opinion is one of the better Mario games Nintendo put out, and also pretty advanced for the early days of the NES. I spent many days and nights trying to beat the game and to this day I have still not completed it. You can actually bypass most of the different worlds in the game if you know where the magic flutes are located and just go to the last world and try and beat it from there. I still have my original NES and I actually just found my copy of Mario 3 so I can get back down on a game that really started it all for me in the gaming world.
– Robert Garza, Shattered Sun
Mega Man 2 – Capcom’s little blue, pellet shooting hero has his most challenging and fun battles in this amazing sequel.”
– Mac Sabbath
Legend of Zelda will always hold a place in heart. I have a longer story about it but I’ll spare you. My favorite of all time was Crystalis. It was like a cross between Legend of Zelda & Willow. Willow was great too. Karnov, Kid Nikki, Bionic Commando, Contra, A boy & his blob, mega man 3, blaster master, dragon warrior are all other ones that come to mind as filling me with joy.
I could go all day about this as the NES still is my favorite system of all time.
– Valiant Himself, Valiant Thorr
My personal favorite NES game has to be The Legend of Zelda. It is one of the first games that I played where the player actually has to think in order to progress through puzzles and dungeons to complete the game. For those who have not played this game, the game itself does not give the player any real objective or destination to progress and has you wandering through different areas finding hints as to how to get different gear or how to find certain locations that may be difficult for the player to access. Most games like this now have tutorials and other hints as to how to progress through the game or online walkthroughs to help players that may be stuck in certain areas. However back then with the lack of internet and online forums, players really had to think or ask around for advice from friends hoping they knew someone who may just have that one piece of information you need.”
–Ethan Kennedy, The Blessing of This Curse
Mike Tyson’s Punchout, for sure . That game was so simple, but well developed enough at the same time,that kept me on it for hours at a time . It just never gets old and always keeps me on the edge of my seat. I remember being a kid and struggling to learn how to beat everyone but still persistent enough to keep at It. Especially King Hippo. Even now till this day, I still can’t beat Mike Tyson
– Josh Gomez, The Machinist
That’s cool, I remember all that shit/ Tecmo Bowl, Blades of Steel, etc. But with built-in games, you can’t rub beer on the cartridges when they don’t work. I guess you’ll just have to pour beer directly into the unit somehow. My guess is that it’d be fun for about 2 days. Besides, the console is still too big. Theses days, they could have added EVERY game ever made for it and could literally make this the size of a Zippo.
– Human Furnace, Ringworm
Oh, hands down it would have to be Legend of Zelda. My father bought that game when I was 8, I watched him play day in and day out for 18 days until he beat it. The original game came with a map that was halfway filled out. My dad hand drew in all of the rest of it. I still have this map!!!!!
I began my gaming career playing this game, cut my teeth. My artist photo for Vic firth (on their website) I’m clearly wearing a LOZ shirt 🙂
My son loves the game too! He has my 6 ft by 2 ft silk poster of the overworld hanging in his bedroom (see photo)!!!
– Jeramie Kling, Necromancing the Stone
Double Dribble! It was the stop motion up close dunk screen that made it untouchable!!! 360 3 pointers and the voice that yelled “DOUBLE DRIBBLE” but sounded like “BUBBLE BIBBLE”!
Friday the 13th by LJN. It made no sense yet managed to captivate me. I’m not sure you could ever kill Jason with rocks but I tried. My end of game always read: “you and your friends are dead – game over!”
– Jamie Madrox, Twiztid
Mike Tysons Punchout!! It didn’t require a lot of skill, just a whole bunch of button mashin, dodges and timing… It had Super punches to lay your competition on the mat, And they had cheat codes so you could jump str8 to the man himself, and most of the time get pummeled… Still remember the code like a phone number 007 373 5963”
–Blaze Ya Dead Homie
Without a doubt, Skate or Die. I was never big on video games, skating was where all of my free time was spent. But, I did own an NES and when they released Skate or Die, I played the hell out of it. My favorite events were Ramp Freestyle and Joust. Joust was dope to me because you could recreate (in 8-Bit) one of my favorite scenes from the movie Thrashin’. Really now that I think about it, most of the events on Skate or Die paralleled Thrasin’. I’d also like to give an honorable mention to the game T&C Surf Designs. Spent almost as much time playing that.”