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Console Debate #24 NES/FAMICOM


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How do you rate NES/FamiCom?  

67 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you rate NES/FamiCom?

    • 10/10 GOAT. Greatest console of all time.
    • 9/10 Bad@$$. One of the best.
    • 8/10 Exceptional. Everyone should play it.
    • 7/10 Superior. More than a few games you like.
    • 6/10 Good. You might occasionally enjoy playing it.
    • 5/10 Average. Smack dab in the middle.
      0
    • 4/10 Mediocre. Not something you will go out of your way to play.
    • 3/10 Inferior. There are better alternatives to this.
      0
    • 2/10 Poor. Barely worth turning on.
      0
    • 1/10 Trash. No redeeming features.
      0
    • Haven’t played, but interested.
      0
    • No interest in it.
      0

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  • Poll closed on 04/30/2021 at 04:59 PM

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I prefer the nes carts, mainly because of the end labels and how they look nicer stacked on top of each other than the famicom carts. You gotta pull out a fuck ton of famicom carts to pick what you want and then put em all back since there's no end labels on a majority of them.

Edited by imabadguy1
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Member · Posted

I wrote an entire essay about this for a blog post once - but to summarize it, the exact span of the NES, ranging a surprisingly long time from 1983 through 1994 represents what to me, subjectively, is absolutely the most exciting and interesting development in the history of video games.

This is the timespan where video games started as a whole developing much more of a unique identity, as well as numerous different types of video games also becoming much more of their own thing, with so many of the conventions that we take for granted today still finding their footing!
Alongside the NES, some of the most exciting arcade games and even PC games of all time also co-existed, but especially the NES expertly showcases the development between simplistic, repetitive, linear, and often infinite arcade games, focused on scoring, into grander crafted experiences focused on what it is like playing a casual game in the comfort of your own home.

Both polarities are games that I love, and so is everything inbetween, with every weird step of experimentation included.
Although it's probably only a surprisingly small group of games in the very top of the NES library that are truly timeless masterpieces, I think expanding into the greater territory of the top 100 or, for nuts like me, top 300 of NES/Famicom games, there's a seemingly neverending supply of cool and interesting stuff among titles that might at the end of the day be otherwise borderline unplayable jank. When including FDS games, I have just nearly 400 NES titles, and I love almost every one of them! I've never bought games to complete any silly collector goals, I've purchased every one of them individually because it was a game that I wanted.

I'll allow myself to pick at least three favourite platforms worth a full 10/10 in my book, which would definitely fit the NES squarely into that.

Edited by Sumez
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In terms of stuff not directly related to the history of video games or the actual game library on the console (which is absolutely what matters to me, over anything else). The other aspects of the NES is a bit of a hit or miss.

The original western NES design isn't one I'm much fond of. I might have a bit of nostalgia for it, but objectively it's clumsy and bulky, being much larger than it needs to be, and just doesn't look that good. The frontloading spring mechanic is a fun gimmick, but also really stupid for a number of well documented reasons. It can take a beating though, and I love that in a console. They are toys, and tools, not exhibition objects.
On the other hand, I'm not fond of the original Famicom design either. It feels flimsy and cheap (a first and a last for Nintendo, fortunately). The decals get loose very easily, and it has a tendency to yellow. The hardwired controllers with ultra short cables is as dumb of an idea as the frontloading mechanics, if not even worse.

I do however, really adore both of the later toploader designs, both the flat-topped AV Famicom and the bustier western variations.
I also love the regular square NES controllers. The d-pad can be hard on a thumb, but it's really precise and responsive. It's not ergonomic, but it's a good no-nonsense product.

I don't like that out of at least five different design variations (can't remember if there are more, but those are the ones I have) across multiple regions, too, not one of them managed to have built-in RGB output, something that was no issue for the closest competitor, the Master System, but at least that can be easily fixed with a mod.

The hardware itself has a whole bunch of other issues, and as someone who has dabbled a lot in homebrew development, I've come across most of them. The games do a great job at masking them at best, or at least managing to work around them, but considering how long the NES would continue to go strong, it quickly seemed pretty dated compared to what a lot of the games wanted to do. This is both a strength and a weakness though, as there's some amount of simplicity in the game designs that helped enforce some of the things I liked in them. It's a little regrettable though, that the palette is as ugly and tough to utilize as well as it is, but at least it managed to create a pretty unique look that I think is what a lot of people think of whenever they think of nostalgic looking NES graphics.

At the end of the day, though, all of this is mostly besides the point, and the NES is still my 10/10 🙂 

Edited by Sumez
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While not the ultimate winner of my "Favorite Console of All-Time" and certainly not a "perfect" system by any means, it represents such a cornerstone of my life and passion for games that I can't (and don't want to) imagine a world without it.

The fact that I still regularly play the NES some 32 years after being first introduced to it really says something about what an amazing little entertainment machine it is.

10/10

Edited by Webhead123
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10/10

Easily my favorite console, with my favorite Mario, Kirby, Mega Man, Punch-Out!!, Battletoads, Adventure Island, and Arcade-style Hockey games. Heck, even Mickey Mousecapade, The Little Mermaid, and The Jungle Book are decent, That's right, in my opinion the NES is and always has been a better system than the SNES.

Also, it has some of the best imports like Pac-Land, Adventure Island IV, and Ufouria.

Edited by MegaMan52
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Obvious 10 I think. Maybe not the million percent best, more varied library of games, that's likely PS2, but it's the library I like most. It went from Popeye and SMB to Kirby's Adventure and Gimmick. What other console has genres that evolve as much as Popeye to Gimmick? Maybe Atari 2600 which went from <Platform genre doesn't exist> to Pitfall II? But that couldn't go as far for things like RPGs, shooters, and adventure games.

It brought the d-pad to consoles. Oh my god, forget the dumbass joystick controllers of the past. Can you imagine the NES controller, the perfect icon of a video game controller, gets released - then later you, Atari, release the Atari 7800 with a joystick like it's still 1977? Jesus.

Yo, where's the edge of a platform? Oh I'm playing NES, it's this pixel right here. And I have to keep my 4px wide leg from running off this? Wow, that's so precise! It's fucking perfect. This feels amazing to play!

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Yo, its 1994, where's the edge of a platform? I have NO FUCKIN' IDEA! Because we decided to make games look like Hannah Barbara cartoons with giant ass sprites, lumbering animation cycles, and natural landscapes rather than the blocky-ass pixel platforming perfection of the Mega Mans and Castlevanias of old. HOW DO MOST GAMES FEEL JUST A LITTLE WORSE NOW EVEN THOUGH WE'RE IN THE FUTURE?

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It's also a top tier console for modern games, with tons being released these days. The other consoles vying to the top spot (PS2 and SNES IMO) have little by comparison, because it's way harder for one guy or small hobbyist teams to make games befitting the hardware.

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I wouldn't be here now (meaning: here with you fine vg fans) if it weren't for the NES.  It changed everything we knew about video games.  The precise control of the D-pad in a game like SMB was something we just hadn't seen on a home console.  It's scary and humbling to imagine a world without the NES.  9/10

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Objectively this is a 10/10 console for sure and quite honestly it's THE console. It's the one that revolutionized gaming and made it into what it became. Without the NES we could still be banging sticks on rocks as an alternative. No but seriously, I can't even begin to imagine what life would be like without it. It had so many classics, many of the games were gems and still hold up well today. I've stated on many accounts that I can't play any game pre-dating the NES, anything prior is just too simplistic but the NES hits that sweet spot of having some deep games but many that are simple enough to just pick up and play but still manage to hold your attention for long periods of time. 

Subjectively I ended up giving it a 9/10 . It's absolutely nostalgic, maybe the most nostalgic console for me despite being a very little kid for most of its lifespan, and I've played hundreds of it's games, owned both American versions (toaster and top loader), zapper, both types of controllers (strongly prefer the dogbone) and over the course of 30-something years of owning/playing it, I've probably logged in 1000s of hours of enjoyment. Even when I'm playing a game that's too hard or that frustrates me I'm still somehow having fun.

So that all sounds perfect, why not give it a 10? Well many of the games in their original form are simply too hard. Either by design or because there's no save/password system or what, but many of those games are at least redeemed with the advent of save states. The actual hardware also had some major reliability issues. Its the only console I've had multiples of simply because I never knew when the one I was using would just stop working. I know they can be fixed nowadays but even replacing the pin reader it still gets worn out over time and will inevitably have to be replaced. I've never had an issue with the top loader version however which is why it's my primary go-to version. One last reason I took a point away is simply because of the games' limited scope. Now for it's time it was a massive leap in gaming. But of I'm going to play games today I want something a little more than most of what the NES can offer. I still love going back and playing it and discovering new gems all the time. But when I think of a 10/10 console for me personally I think whether or not I'd be happiest if it was my only console. And if the NES was all I had, I'd be content but I'd want more. The SNES took what the NES gave and just multiplied it and the N64 took the leap into 3D gaming so that's why those are my two favorites but don't get me wrong - the NES is right there behind them. And every time I play a Nintendo game on any console I thank the NES for making it happen.

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I'd give this a 10/10 if it wasn't for the SNES. It's the strongest 9 I could possibly dole out. Such a damn fine and important piece of hardware, with well over a 100 games that are timeless in their enjoyment.

Add to that the countless improvement hacks that smooth out some of the kinks in many games, it's hard to find a better way to pass one's time with a controller in hand. A controller, that in my view, has only ever been surpassed by the SNES controller.

Nowadays I've upgraded to the Nt mini Noir, but I do miss the aesthetic design of the gray VCR-inspired box! Near perfection in my book!

Now, let's do the SNES.

Edited by ifightdragons
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Member · Posted

If the GameCube is the Harry Truman of consoles (quite unpopular and overshadowed during its time by the PS2 and to a somewhat lesser extent Xbox but gradually after the GC's retirement gained more and more respect/popularity) then NES is most definitely the Lincoln of consoles as it saved the video game industry at its very darkest hour.  Though in both cases that required some decisions that were seen by some as too tyrannical and extreme, such as Nintendo's strict licensing/exclusivity clauses and Lincoln being the only President suspending habeus corpus and when SCOTUS tried to rule that and other things Lincoln was doing as unconstitutional, Abe just flat out ignored them.  There is no frickin' way anything close to that or FDR's court packing plan would even be suggested in today's modern world.

Edited by Estil
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10.  I’ve never not had an NES since 89.  My original has gone everywhere with me.  Lost a few games to trade-in to buy an SNES years ago that have since obviously been replaced.  Home to so many legendary games.  The only system that comes close for me is the P.  The P is the system of my teenage years  but the NES is my childhood.

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Editorials Team · Posted
44 minutes ago, Estil said:

If the GameCube is the Harry Truman of consoles (quite unpopular and overshadowed during its time by the PS2 and to a somewhat lesser extent Xbox but gradually after the GC's retirement gained more and more respect/popularity) then NES is most definitely the Lincoln of consoles as it saved the video game industry at its very darkest hour.  Though in both cases that required some decisions that were seen by some as too tyrannical and extreme, such as Nintendo's strict licensing/exclusivity clauses and Lincoln being the only President suspending habeus corpus and when SCOTUS tried to rule that and other things Lincoln was doing as unconstitutional, Abe just flat out ignored them.  There is no frickin' way anything close to that or FDR's court packing plan would even be suggested in today's modern world.

 

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1 hour ago, Estil said:

If the GameCube is the Harry Truman of consoles (quite unpopular and overshadowed during its time by the PS2 and to a somewhat lesser extent Xbox but gradually after the GC's retirement gained more and more respect/popularity) then NES is most definitely the Lincoln of consoles as it saved the video game industry at its very darkest hour.  Though in both cases that required some decisions that were seen by some as too tyrannical and extreme, such as Nintendo's strict licensing/exclusivity clauses and Lincoln being the only President suspending habeus corpus and when SCOTUS tried to rule that and other things Lincoln was doing as unconstitutional, Abe just flat out ignored them.  There is no frickin' way anything close to that or FDR's court packing plan would even be suggested in today's modern world.

It obviously didn't do as well as its competitors, but it wasn't super unpopular like the Wii U and Virtual Boy. I remember even PS2 fanboys wanted to play Melee, and that more than a few people were jealous that GameCube got the Sonic Adventure and Rogue Squadron games while PS2 and Xbox didn't prompting them to buy the console later on.

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Member · Posted
25 minutes ago, MegaMan52 said:

It obviously didn't do as well as its competitors, but it wasn't super unpopular like the Wii U and Virtual Boy. I remember even PS2 fanboys wanted to play Melee, and that more than a few people were jealous that GameCube got the Sonic Adventure and Rogue Squadron games while PS2 and Xbox didn't prompting them to buy the console later on.

I didn't really say super unpopular as such, I just mean that the GC ended up not even being able to beat the upstart Xbox in the US.

And yes, one of the most undeniable truths of video gaming life.  The success or failure of any console/handheld comes down not just to the games in general, but to the exclusive ones.

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