Posted by: seanmalstrom | August 20, 2014

Email: NES Cartridge Storage, Some Game Suggestions

Master Malstrom,
 
Regarding NES cartridge storage, it’s really up to your habits and preferences. Some guys out there would suggest getting those branded cart storage boxes like this rolling TV cabinet, but that’s not necessary. A simple plastic drawer cart like this one will suffice to store a lot of games, and if you need something that wouldn’t take up so much space then you can use one of those flat underbed boxes like the ones Sterilite makes (in fact, maybe you could check out their other stuff, particularly their air-sealed containers), or something similar to them.
 
Some guys prefer to go the extra mile and put their games in sandwich bags to keep dust out, but it’s your call. The important thing is to keep them nice and dry. If you want to go all out for when friends and the ladies drop by, you could try a Billy bookcase from IKEA and display your collection for everyone to choose from.
 
As for some recommended games, where I live we were still largely NES gamers when the SNES and Mega Drive came out, so I was able to catch a few late-era games you might want to look at.
 
The first is Shatterhand:
 

 
It’s a late 90’s Natsume action platformer. Lots of nice action to be had punching robots in the face, and the combat is relentless. You can also summon 8 different kinds of robotic gunpods by collecting powerups, and you could even use them to float upwards or activate a temporary super mode. Not to mention the music is very awesome and the stages are quite well designed, except for that @#$% burning city. I swear that ninja endboss is so cheap. Didn’t stop me from giving him a homage in my own video game though, he’s that memorable.
 
Next up is Adventure Island II:
It’s no Mario, but it’ll do. The first game was mostly an annoying race for the finish line, but this game amps up the combat and platforming elements more. You can find weapons like tomahawks and boomerangs, and you can ride dinosaurs who can fly, swim fast or shoot projectiles.
Finally, there’s Power Blade:
Another Natsume platformer, this one was made shortly before the demise of their American offices. The game plays like a Mega Man title, with multiple areas and lots of enemies, and your weapon is a precision-guided boomerang that can power up to launch further and shoot multiple blades. But there’s also something else you should know about this game.
 
Interestingly enough, Power Blade was only a hair’s breadth away from becoming just another generic Japanese anime ninja platformer called “Power Blazer” if it weren’t for the intervention of one of their American staffers (who is, incidentally, the very same guy who was the first acting editor of the Nintendo Power magazine and the creator of Captain N before sour experiences from Nintendo led him to quit and join Natsume), who redesigned the game from the ground up to be more like a futuristic summer action flick. One of the Japanese staffers responded in kind by making the American version’s hero look like Schwarzenegger. I am not kidding you.
 
Sadly, Natsume’s Japanese offices nixed any mention of the American staff in the game’s credits, and the American office was shut down despite having successfully sold 35 NES, Game Boy, Amiga and other console titles in the span of slightly over a year. “Captain”, the guy who (re)designed Power Blade, ultimately left for greener pastures as a technical writer for a software company. By the way, he also lives in Texas and corresponds with the owner of the Nintendo Player website to this day.

 

I’m very familiar with Power Blade, Shatterhand, Adventure Island series, etc. Remember, I rented every game on that system. Even most of the kiddie and girlie ones! My appetite for more NES was never-ending. There are still many games I need to get. However, I think I might pass on the Adventure Island series. It’s just not that fun to me as it used to be. Or maybe I’m old and dislike Island 2’s difficulty. There are other games I need to get first such as Little Nemo or Ducktales or Ninja Gaiden… I have two lists of NES games. One is a list of NES games I really, really want and the other list are ones that I simply want. The first list is about 10 games. The second list is about 50 games. I’m going to end my NES collecting there. I’m just interested in playing the best games on the system, not in collecting rare carts (though a few of them may be very good games).

Haha at that rolling bookcase at my age.


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