Posted by: seanmalstrom | August 30, 2014

Email: NES Games tier list

I totally forgot about Flinstones! I remember playing it twice – once at a friends, then a rental because I had so much fun with it (rentals alone were difficult for me to get back then). That definitely would go into at least tier 2 for me… I also think GI Joe probably needs to go into tier 3…  too many “lost gems” keep surfacing!

What’s up with you and NES games? I still think 16-bit is where it’s at, but let’s see if I can make a list of 30 NES games I’ve actually played…

Tier I:
Kirby’s Adventure
Super Mario Bros. 3
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
Super Mario Bros. 2
Mega Man 6
DuckTales 2
Chip and Dale 2
Double Dragon II
Eliminator Boat Duel

Tier II:
Baseball Simulator 1000
River City Ransom
Darkwing Duck
Chip and Dale
Mega Man 2
Mega Man 3
Mega Man
Tiny Toon Adventures 2

Tier III:
Tiny Toon Adventures
Mega Man 4
Mega Man 5
Captain Skyhawk
Base Wars
Ninja Gaiden
Journey to Silas
The Legend of Zelda
Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Metal Gear
The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout

Wow actually the problem was figuring out which games to cut! I cheated a bit at the end and included a few more. In all honesty though I probably wouldn’t have too much interest in playing many of the games in tier 2 or below anymore… too many sequels on 16-bit platforms I’d rather play instead…

Tiny Toon Adventures? Hmm…

Yeah, I remember Bigfoot. I should try replaying it.



Posted by: seanmalstrom | August 30, 2014

Email: I was actually excited for a new 3DS model

I was hoping they’d put out one with better specs just to power a higher resolution screen because something like Smash Bros. needs characters not to turn into vague dots when the camera zooms out, they’ve been careful to hide how this affects the game but you can see a glimpse of it here

As you can see everything turns into a mess when the camera zooms back, a higher res screen would fix this, they had plenty of reason to do this seeing as how the new 3DS has exclusive games but in Nintendo’s current wisdom they’d rather push out more particle effects and Wii ports. Chances that they’ll continue to avoid having GBA and SNES for 3DS VC?

I wouldn’t be surprised if they eliminate the VC entirely. It’s like they are in a gradual process of removing it with Gen 8.

They’re just goofing off. I don’t remember the old NOA of decades past doing this stuff. They were too busy actually working (especially with all the court challenges).

Posted by: seanmalstrom | August 29, 2014

Email: NES List

Here you go.  By the way, I got my NES in 1988.

Tier 1:

Super Mario Bros. 3

Zelda II

The Legend of Zelda

Super Mario Bros. 2

Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!!

Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones

Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest

Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game

Super Mario Bros.

Tier 2:



Double Dragon


Yoshi’s Cookie

Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse


Super C

Ninja Turtles

Donkey Kong Classics

Tier 3:

RC Pro Am II

Super Off Road

Hogan’s Alley

Duck Hunt

Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II

Kung Fu


Dr. Mario

Marble Madness


Tier 1 is the absolute best of the best.  It’s what my young self would have voted back in the day, and that hasn’t changed really.  Some games like Metroid and Contra I didn’t really get into until later (like around the N64 era).

The first Ninja Turtles game is not really that great, but man did we keep playing it back in the day.  It didn’t matter that we couldn’t beat it.  Black box Tennis was a joy.  I loved doubles matches.

Yeah, yeah, I know RC Pro Am II is expensive, but I got it a few years ago and it’s better than the first one (it has an upgrade system like Super Off Road plus multiplayer).


Now THIS is a list. There are actually 30 games here! Amazing!

Interesting that you put up two light gun games.

Castlevania II is one of your Tier 1 games?

Is Double Dragon III that good? I remember many thinking it was a disappointment when it came out.






Posted by: seanmalstrom | August 29, 2014

Email: NES top list

Master Malstrom -

I’d probably have trouble naming my top 10 NES games, let alone 30. I was way, way more into the SNES. That said, here are a bunch of my favorites:

Contra – I’ve played this game so much that I could probably beat it with my eyes closed. I don’t even need the code to beat it, even today.
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! – if you want to see a grown man grin like an idiot for half an hour, then yell and curse when he hits Super Macho Man, put me in front of this game.
Zelda II – We’ve discussed this one at length.
Life Force – I’ve never owned this one, but I’ve borrowed it for months at a time, and it never gets old.
Blaster Master – Kickass music, kickass gameplay hook, never could beat it since you had to do it in one sitting and that stupid crab in World 5 always owned me, but love it to death anyway. It’s like a fusion of Metroid and Zelda.
Mega Man 2/3 – they’re both great, so I’m not picking a favorite.
Super Mario 2/USA – Lots of fun and great music.
Super Mario Bros. 3 – I have yet to completely play through this one (beaten it many times with warp whistles). I should fix that.
Metroid – When I was a kid, I could never get much further than getting the ice beam and first missile in Norfair. I was terrified of what lurked below. After I got Metroid Prime, I played through all of it, start to finish, with no help. I’m glad I did, because I’ve become very fond of it as a result. Some of the best music on the NES too, next to Mega Man 2.

Spy Hunter – that 8-bit Peter Gunn theme rocks. So does seeing how long you can make it driving at maximum speed, while running blue cars off the road and shooting down helicopters the whole time. Making it to the boats is an accomplishment, but the boat isn’t nearly as fun.
Balloon Fight – I know it’s just a Joust ripoff, but I played this game first, and I love it.
RC Pro-Am – I’m surprised no one mentioned this one. One of Rare’s early gems. It’s a lot of fun even if the yellow car is a cheating bastard.
TMNT 2: The Arcade Game – My brothers and I were in the throes of Turtlemania when this came out, and we loved being able to power through this without blowing 20 bucks at the arcade every time.
Battletoads – everyone bitching about the speeder bike level seriously needs to shut up. That was easy compared to later stuff in the game. Still have never beaten this one, but I like to pretend to try every once in a while.


Guys, don’t put two games for one. Out of thirty games, you can put them all out there. If you like both Mega Man 2 and 3, then place them as separate games.

If you can’t find 30 games, then you need to play the NES more. I own 27 NES games currently and want to buy 50 more. Finding 30 awesome NES games is very easy because I can easily think of 70.  NES was that big of a juggernaut. It had a monopoly on all console games for the Third Generation.

Unless there is 30, I’m not putting the list up.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | August 29, 2014

Email: New 3DS button colors and North America

One thing to note is that the button colors used match the Japanese and PAL SNES, but not the North American SNES.Now the thing is, save for the DreamCast, every console in North America that has used multi-colored face buttons has used blue (N64, PlayStation) or green (GameCube, Xbox) for their primary button.

Not only that, but red has at most been used for a secondary button (O on PlayStation, B on GameCube and Xbox, Start on N64), never as a primary button (except DreamCast).Even yellow hasn’t been used for primary or secondary buttons, only for third-tier buttons – even on DreamCast! (C on N64, X on DreamCast, Y on Xbox).

Interestingly enough though, in Japan, the red O button is used as the primary button on PlayStation while the blue X is used as the secondary button.  This matches the DreamCast perfectly and also matches the red A button on the PAL and Japanese SNES.


OK, that is more information I ever knew about button colors!



Posted by: seanmalstrom | August 29, 2014

email: Media Finally Turn on the Gamers

Master Malstrom,
I found this on the /v/ boards, which has been pushing the Zoe Quinn thing for the last week or so.  Personally I couldn’t care less about the woman or what she did, but I did find these articles intriguing:
>’Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over. Exclusive – Leigh Alexander
>We Might Be Witnessing The ‘Death of An Identity’ – Luke Plunkett
>The End of Gamers – Dan Golding
>A Guide to Ending “Gamers” – Devin Wilson
>The death of the “gamers” and the women who “killed” them – Casey Johnson
>It’s Dangerous to Go Alone: Why Are Gamers So Angry? – Arthur Chu
>Gaming Is Leaving “Gamers” Behind – Joseph Bernstein
>An awful week to care about video games – Chris Plante
It’s a list of articles decrying the gamer.  “Gamer” in this instance being whatever definition the author of the article thought up at the time of writing so as to make it something easy to target.  What is odd to me is this: if the games media is now attacking their most dedicated readers, just who are they supposed to be catering to?  They don’t cater to the expanded audience of the Wii era.  They hate those people.  Just what the hell is going on with games journalism now?
Is it not a coincidence that all these game journalists are saying the same thing at the same time?
To quote Garak from DS9: “I believe in coincidences. However, I do not trust coincidences.”
If there are no gamers, then what is consumed is not games. Books have their readers, TV has its viewers, and games has its gamers. It’s as simple as that.
Unless someone wants to redefine what a ‘game’ is. In order to do that, one has to annihilate the ‘gamer’.
Posted by: seanmalstrom | August 29, 2014

Email: Edge Quote

Dear Master Malstrom,

After seeing your post about the Edge magazine cover I wanted to see for it for myself.  After a quick search I found it and a small article discussing the content of the magazine.  In it I saw a quote from Miyamoto himself and it is just enraging.  It is one of those quotes that you can’t help but feel the disdain that he has for the “casual” consumer.


“[These are] the sort of people who, for example, might want to watch a movie. They might want to go to Disneyland
Their attitude is, ‘okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.’ It’s kind of a passive attitude they’re taking, and to me it’s kind of a pathetic thing. They do not know how interesting it is if you move one step further and try to challenge yourself [with more advanced games].”

How am I supposed to feel as a consumer toward this entertainment company?  Yes by god Nintendo you are supposed to entertain me.  If you want me to use my power as a consumer and spend my money on your products they damn well better be entertaining.
What one step further is he even talking about?  Nintendo fears games that are fun and rewarding/challenging for the player.  We have seen this over and over with the modern era of Nintendo.  I want games that are fun to play and keep me entertained.  I don’t want games that feel frustrating or feel like a chore.  I have enough work in my life and gaming shouldn’t be work.  So where is he trying to go with this?   Is he still frustrated that the “artistic” games or 3D worlds aren’t being picked up by consumers that they want to put out?
There are so many posts on your blog that come to mind, whether that the consumer of Nintendo of old is craving craftsmanship and content in modern Nintendo games, or the force feeding of 3D to us.
I know you are getting blown up by emails on this subject, but god can they alienate their customers any more?
They should just create a 3D platformer that is only available on the “New” 3DS starring the abomination Tingle making Japanese references in a cutesy anime eyed world, with every power up from Super Mario 3 and have a budget that is mind blowing calling it their magnum opus just to get this over with.  Just to piss off the world enough so maybe we can get someone in that company that can the job.
I wonder if the macro-economic situation is contributing to this. Instead of focusing on getting their money from many customers, Nintendo may be shifting to milk as much money as possible from a FEW passionate customers. However, this is not a sustainable model.
Posted by: seanmalstrom | August 29, 2014

Email: How the mighty have fallen…

Predictably, there has been lots of fallout among hardcore gamers about how New 3DS is “the first time Nintendo has fractured their user base within three years.” Of course, this is more of the usual hardcore historical revisionism. Look at when DS launched relative to GBA:

GBA JP release date: March 21, 2001
DS NA release date: November 21, 20043DS JP release date: February 26, 2011
New 3DS JP release date: October 10, 2014

That’s almost exactly the same gap.
The difference, of course, is that DS was aimed at being more inclusive to new players and developers, that DS was indeed positioned as a brand-new system, and that DS would have several years of software support.
Obviously none of that is going to be true for 3DS: it’s aimed at getting hardcore players and existing 3DS owners to buy into Nintendo’s GameCube-esque software, and it won’t have either the longevity or the library of a full-fledged system.
I predicted awhile back that Nintendo would launch new handheld hardware sometime this year or next, but I would have thought it would have been a DS-like correction, not a New 3DS. It’s like Nintendo has forgotten how to turn around its business, how to please the average gamer, and how to make attractive hardware, and is instead firmly committed to heading straight for the proverbial iceberg.
I guess it’s probably best that they wait until they can finalize their “unified platform” to go ahead with a true successor, but based on 2DS I would have thought they’d at least recognize that it’s time for their handhelds to head back down the path that Game Boy and DS treaded – affordable, comfortable, accessible hardware, not the Frankenstein monster the New 3DS seems to be.
(Note: I’m not even personally turned off by it. I hope Xenoblade is a good example of the kinds of games they’re envisioning for this thing. I just recognize it’s definitely not designed to do the jobs handheld hardware is supposed to do.)
I still think the NEW 3DS is just to reinvigorate the platform. The 3DS successor will likely be seen in 2016 or maybe 2017.

Hi Master Malstrom,

On the same magazine where miyamoto revealed his true face, Sakurai said:
Companies that release products that target a very vocal, visible group of gamers tend to receive good reactions and they may feel good about it, but I think that we have to pay special attention to the less vocal, not so visible group of players, or else games will just fade away.Read more at

At this point, Sakurai is the only real “known developer” left at Nintendo. The only hope we have left is if Miyamoto retires and Sakurai is left in charge of Nintendo development.
P.S. – I got Mario 3D Land for 3DS. I dont know if its because im latin, but at some point all i could see was red in my eyes, i could honestly morder the guy that decided that SM3DL couldnt be played with the D-Pad.
After beating the game, the B-Side levels are real difficult – and fun. I fraking break the circle pad because my thumb kept slipping. Nintendo and their sick sick obsession for 3D gaming is pathologic at this point. If they all had mental examination, they would all get institutionalized.
Less visible means ones they get to make up. Just like all those ‘less visible’ fans clamoring for Samus monologues in Other M.

Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 198 other followers