I Love You NES

But I think it is time we see other people. Also, I have been seeing other people. Also also, I think our relationship was falling apart a long time ago but I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. Perhaps we might see each other again one day.

A Quick Look Back

The Nintendo Entertainment System. I remember asking and asking for one for probably over a year. I was so excited when it finally happened. This was possibly the biggest present I received as a kid and a ton of fond memories soon followed.

Dark Thought! Warning! – Now that I actually think about it as an adult, looking back on my timeline, getting this system may have been an attempt to smooth over my parents divorce… hmm… now I have questions… did the room just get darker?… sorry, this never crossed my mind before… where was I… oh yeah… FOND MEMORIES SOON FOLLOWED! I SWEAR!

It is not my first video gaming experience, that was on my dad’s Atari 2600, but it was the first system that was considered mine. I remember being at Pizza Hut staring at a half unwrapped gift almost vibrating with excitement. It was the Action Set that came with the orange Zapper. (Which kind of surprised me, everyone that I knew who had a Zapper, had a gray one. Turns out that same year is when toy companies were starting to comply with the new rule that toy guns had to be visually distinct from real guns, including color.)

The Nintendo Entertainment System Action Set
Here is an image I grabbed off of someones Ebay post.

I know it was my 8th birthday because I had also gotten Excitebike and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game with it. TMNT would have been new on the market by only a few months.

I got the system later than most of my friends. Luckily for me it was common for everyone to bounce between houses and most of my friends were happy to show off their new games. I played quite a few games before I had my own system. The biggest down side to not having my own system was that each friend was always better at games. In turn, I spent a lot of time watching them play. In some way, I think this helped me become who I am today, I used to sit and just admire the games and wonder about the people that make them and how fun it must be.

There are only a few games I ever got really good at. And I was not very good at the Mario games. But I loved them. The one I enjoyed watching the most was Super Mario Brothers 3. My best friend had a copy when it came out and he could play all the way through. I remember just staring at the sprite animations and wondering who decided on what went where and why was my friend so much better at getting past everything.

After getting my NES, somewhere in 1990 my dad got me a subscription to Nintendo Power (Which had a greater impact on me than I think he realized. That is a thought for another day.) and a free promotional copy of Dragon Warrior. Truth be told, he was as into the new Nintendo as much as I was. He would check out the Nintendo Powers for tips and tricks on games we had or rented. I am sure he played more Dragon Warrior than I did. He was also a Master of Master Blaster and could exceed my score in Tetris. We used to go to the video store on the weekends to rent games, it was our thing and as my sisters grew up it was the family thing to do. (This continued all the way up until the middle N64 time period.)

Battletoads for the NES

One other memory sticks out too. Battletoads. We rented this like 6 times and it was one of the first games my friends remember coming over to play specifically. Anyway, my 10th birthday party, we were at a local pizza place, I remember holding a wrapped present that was in the shape of a Nintendo game box. I opened it revealing Battletoads and my friends cheered and started doing the pause music. (seriously, if you don’t know, go look it up… then imagine a group of ten-year-olds dancing around the table doing that.)

Now

So….. Let’s take a jarring step all the way to today. I’ve recently started collecting old games and systems. I have no idea where my old NES went. Last time I think I saw it was somewhere near the 2003. It is possible my dad still has it somewhere packed away. But long story short i don’t have one in my personal collection.

My current drive and interest to collect was due to a gaming shop closing a location and liquidating its stock. I picked up an N64, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis and a GameCube, plus games, at well under market value. I could have gotten an NES too if i had skipped getting some games. I had to draw the budget line somewhere, I had already crossed it once or twice. The NES, well…

The more i stared at the few discolored units they had and the more i looked at the available games… Many i knew well… The more i realized that the newer game systems had more appealing games. In fact, the longer i stared at the NES library, the more I realized there are a lot of not-good NES games or games that really haven’t aged well.

Sure there are a few shining gems, but over all I felt underwhelmed. It made me feel like I turned my back on the NES. The 8 year old me feels kind of betrayed. There are a lot of good memories. But video games improve greatly as time moved forward.

I am sorry NES.

I will eventually get a Nintendo Entertainment System again. If I am going to have a video game collection, it has to be there. But i will wait until i can get a nice well maintained console. For now it can wait. Right now i want to focus on getting fun multiplayer games for the N64 and GameCube.

Thanks for reading through my thoughts, Love and Happy Gaming everyone!
-Zeven