Q. What is
"Awesome NES," anyway?
A. Awesome NES is the
title of a book I began writing in late 2004. Awesome NES was
designed to catalog every game released for the Nintendo
Entertainment System in America and Europe, along with the lion's
share of unofficial releases, key titles for the Japanese
Famicom, and some of the more recent homebrew and Hong Kong
releases. In addition to brief reviews of these games, Awesome
NES was going to feature editorials and nostalgic retrospectives
from fans of the system.
Q. Why wasn't Awesome NES
A. Boy is that ever a
loaded question! Well, there are several answers to that
THE EDITOR. Yeah, I'll be the
first to take responsibility for the death of Awesome NES. As
hard as I worked on the book, I felt like I wasn't dedicated enough
to the project to complete it. The book was also much too
ambitious, with planned features that would have added greatly to
its appeal but I just didn't have the motivation to write.
That leads me to the next reason the book was shelved...
A LACK OF INTEREST. Not
everyone thought that Awesome NES was a good idea. One person
even made it clear to me that if I published the book, it wouldn't
sell very many copies due to its high price and limited
audience. This was confirmed when the book was rejected by
Rolenta Press, which didn't have the resources to print hundreds of
copies of a book with three hundred full-color pages. People
were also hesitant to get involved with the production of Awesome
NES... Nintendo of America refused to offer resources like
box artwork that were necessary to finish the book as it was
originally envisioned, and although several Nintendo Entertainment
System fans pledged their support for Awesome NES, only one
actually supplied me with content.
OPENOFFICE. I made the mistake
of laying out the pages in an open source word processor called
OpenOffice Write, which suited my needs until I needed to
make revisions to the content. Then it became an arduous task
of shifting panels, text, and screen shots to accommodate any games
I had missed. I couldn't export the review text to other
applications either, due to the design of the layout. It
was probably for the best, as any text I would have exported
surely would have been lost by OpenOffice's extremely unstable
database program. I tried porting over a few entries to
Base by hand, only to lose them all to constant
Q. So why publish
Awesome NES on the Internet?
A. Two words...
flexibility and versatility. Publishing on the Internet lowers
costs to the floor and grants me total autonomy. There
are no book publishers to answer to and I can publish sections of
the book at my own pace. Furthermore, if I need to edit pages
or include new entries (and I almost surely will), I won 't
have to publish a new edition of the book or shuffle around
dozens of page elements to do it.
Q. Where's the rest of the
A. Barring unforeseen
circumstances, a new section of the book will be published every
Thursday and Sunday. Each section will include up
to eight game reviews.
Q. Could you describe how the
review capsules work?
A. I'm glad you asked! Let's
take a look at the legend...
The review capsules are pretty
self-explanatory, but I'll explain the list of elements so nobody's
left in the dark.
A. Game's Title. The
title of the game appears at the top of the capsule, inside a
tab. Every game will be given the title that appears on the
title screen, rather than the box.
B. Publisher and Developer. The
official publisher of the game will appear in this box, along with
the design team that created it (if applicable).
C. Date of Publication. The
date of the game's publication will appear in this box. This
box will be left empty in the instance that the game's publication
date is unknown.
D. Genre. This is the category
that best describes the gameplay of the reviewed game. Some
games fit neatly into one category (Tetris), while others are a bit
harder to classify (Solomon's Key), so don't be surprised if a game
fits into multiple genres. Some common genres of NES games
include Shooter, RPG, Action, Action-Adventure, and
E. Number of Players. The
number of players who can enjoy the game is listed in this
box. Some games are designed exclusively for one player,
particularly RPGs, while others let two or more players in on the
action. Others still pass play to a second player when the
first loses a life. These games are marked with the
abbreviation "Alt," to indicate that play alternates from one player
to the next.
F. Review Text. A brief review
of the game in question is contained within the white text
box. The review describes the game and offers a subjective
review of its quality.
G. Fast Fact and Other Data.
Interesting facts and trivia about the reviewed game will
appear here, if this information is available.
H. Title Screen. This is
the game's title screen, which generally appears when the game is
first turned on. Each screen is presented in full 256x224
resolution, without resizing or resampling. It's the next best
thing to playing the game on your television!
I. Gameplay Screen. This
box displays a picture of the game in action. Again, the image
is left intact, with no resizing or resampling to reduce its
J. Quality Rating. Each game is
given a rating from zero to ten (shown as a series of colored
blocks) to indicate the quality of its design. Zero is the
absolute worst a game can be on the NES, while ten is the absolute
best; a masterpiece that will be enjoyed by generations to
K. Rarity Rating. Where value
is concerned, not all NES games are created equal. Some
titles, like Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt, are ridiculously common,
popping up at practically every pawn shop, thrift store, and garage
sale. Others, like Little Samson, are not so easy to find due
to limited print runs. A game's rarity is rated from zero to
ten, with zero being nearly worthless and ten being a holy grail
among NES collectors.
M. Peripherals Required. Some
NES games require additional peripherals. Duck Hunt is the
most obvious example, as it was designed especially for the Nintendo
Zapper. Any required or suggested peripherals will be
displayed in this window. Some peripherals, like Taito's Vaus
controller, are not strictly required but will greatly enhance the
Q. Can I make a
A. Well, it depends on what you're
suggesting. If you'd like to offer helpful advice that could
improve this guide, by all means send it to me! If you'd like
to request changes to the rarity ratings, you may do so, but please
be aware that rarity is extremely subjective and may vary depending
on your location. If you want to contest a review
rating, do so politely. Any angry venting will
quickly find its way into my circular file. If you're a
troll from Something Awful or any individual with malicious intent,
your comments will be immediately discarded and your E-mail address
dropped into my Spam list, along with the ads for penny stocks and
herbal Viagra. I haven't got time for you being a pain, no no
Q. Who helped you compile
A. I've got to give a shout out to
Ross Woodard, who was a big help to me when I was working on the
book. He even took on the thankless task of reviewing all the
unofficial (read: crappy) games for the Nintendo Entertainment
System. When I've made some progress on this list, I'll start
publishing his reviews along with my own. Awesome NES was
also made possible with some assistance from Ayce and
Sen's list of NES releases, as well as a grant from the Chubb
Q. One last thing. How
is Awesome NES pronounced?
A. I generally pronounce "NES" as
three letters, rather than one word. However, the book was
always meant to be pronounced as such: "Aw-sum-nehss." Yeah,
it's an 80's pun. It seemed fitting for a system that defined
gaming in the mid to late