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Unlicensed NES Games


Jaden
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I didn't see a thread for this subject yet. So, hopefully I'm good.

We all know that Tengen was famous for making some of the best NES games not approved by Nintendo. But what about some other unlicensed gems? Personally, I really love Bee 52. It's a really cleverly designed shooter with a ton of personality to it. So, what are your unlicensed favorites? Or guilty pleasures, if you wanna go that route. Feel free to talk about any unlicensed games you want. It's just that Tengen gets most of the love and I was interested in seeing what non-Tengen games people liked.

Edited by Jaden
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The way you worded that seems you don't want Tengen releases on the list which is a shame.

I didn't ever have much fun with any others from the unlicensed group aside from Micro Machines, though I think I found one Dizzy that wasn't some overkill collect-a-thon backtrack mess (forget the name) that was fairly amusing unless I'm not remembering it right.

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11 hours ago, Tanooki said:

The way you worded that seems you don't want Tengen releases on the list which is a shame.

I didn't say that Tengen games weren't allowed. I just wanted to see more varied responses, that's all. For the record, Rolling Thunder is one of my favorite NES games ever. So, I'm definitely cool with Tengen.

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2 hours ago, Tulpa said:

I'm actually kind of ambivalent on Tengen. They made some great games, and some not so great games. The Sega ports range from meh (Shinobi) to godawful (After Burner.) They definitely weren't infallible.

I'm probably one of the few people in the world who actually enjoys After Burner on NES. Does it compare to the arcade version? Absolutely not. But I still think it's quite playable and I can have some fun with it. The only Tengen games I remember not really caring for were Temple of Doom and Skull & Crossbones. The rest of their games were consistently good IMO. As for the Sega ports, Fantasy Zone is probably the best of the lot.

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6 hours ago, Jaden said:

I'm probably one of the few people in the world who actually enjoys After Burner on NES. 

It's too choppy for me, like it's just a little too much game for NES hardware to pull off. I do like the music.

The big issue with the Sega ports is they're done better on other consoles, specifically the Master System. Heck, Fantasy Zone was done better on the same hardware, the Sunsoft Famicom port. Back in the day, when options were limited, I guess they were fine, but their shortcomings are pretty glaring today.

I do like other Tengen games, Ms. Pac-Man, Toobin', Rolling Thunder. Come to think about it, Namco definitely got better ports than Sega.

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13 hours ago, Jaden said:

I didn't say that Tengen games weren't allowed. I just wanted to see more varied responses, that's all. For the record, Rolling Thunder is one of my favorite NES games ever. So, I'm definitely cool with Tengen.

Ahh ok well in that case I get the need for variety but most of the non-Tengen unlicensed stuff was pretty mediocre to terrible other than a few isolated cases like some Camerica stuff.  Currently I've still retained Ms PacMan, Tetris, Road Runner from them.  I kind of wish I hadn't let it go though I had the mindscape release of Indiana Jones.  Rolling Thunder as well too as that game is fantastic.  It was more of a choice as I was/am still always thinning things out.  If I hadn't been I'd have all those plus Afterburner, Klax, Shinobi, Fantasy Zone still too, and the licensed version of Pac-Man.  So no I really loved Afterburner on the NES too along with the other Sega titles, shame we never got a few of the others that stayed in Japan like Altered Beast and Space Harrier.

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Do games that were previously released as licensed titles (Pac-Man, Rolling Thunder, Shinobi, Fantasy Zone, Gauntlet, etc.) still count? Something about that feels like "cheating" to me. 😛

Krazy Kreatures is definitely up there for me, and honestly I had fun with the bible games too. If nothing else they are good for drunk get-togethers.

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