Nintendo Launch Titles

So , I’ve already covered Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt- now I want to cover the rest of the 17 launch titles that were the first NES games to hit American store shelves:

10-Yard Fight

First, I love the name of this game; when you think of a down and dirty close scrap on the gridiron, players caked in mud, sweat and blood, this name captures that.  Gameplay is simple but fun and engaging because the majority of plays are tight passes and bulldogging runs.  I didn’t care for the pass accuracy so I stayed away.  Other than that, the game doesn’t have anything to stimulate the other senses (sight, sound and especially taste).  But, overall it’s been one of the better football games I’ve come across as far as getting the basics right.

Scores:

Playability/ Controls- 8     Graphics- 4     Music/Sound- 3    Replay Value- 8     Originality- 5     Final: 56%

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Baseball

I couldn’t get a piece of a single ball in 3 games i played; pitching was fine, not much change up allowed but damn near every time I’m facing off against a hitter, they’re eating me for breakfast.  Graphics were pretty spirte-ly for Nintendo’s launch.  But, no crowd noise or any hoopla except for after a home run made a silent baseball game a boring one.

Scores:

Playability/ Controls- 2.5     Graphics- 5.5     Music/Sound- 1     replay Value- 6    Originality- 6    Final: 42%

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Clu Clu Land

Is twirling around strange lines inside a bizarre maze being chased by 2 blue blobs you’re idea of a good time?  if so, take your next vacation to Clu Clu Land!  I still don’t know what I was supposed to be doing, but I still kind of had fun doing it.  It had a very upbeat tone to it; even though you can be killed off, it was more fun to run around the posts in the game.  I will say this may be the best looking game of the bunch of launch titles though and the strangest to be sure.

Scores:

Playability/ Controls- 3        Graphics- 7.5       Music- 6      Replay Value- 2      Originality- 7.5     Final: 52%

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Excitebike

I freakin’ Love Excitebike!   When I first got my Wii, this was one of 2 games I downloaded immediately.  Its hours of playable fun, either racing on the courses or building your own and either trying to screw your friends or test yourself on how far you can get on the ridiculous course you made.  That’s innovation!  The controls are maybe the most perfect for any racing type game and everything else lends itself to the basic engine of the game.  This is a must play for any old school video game fan.

Playability/ Controls- 9      Graphics- 6     Music/ Sound- 8      Replay Value- 10     originality 8.5      Final: 83%

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Golf

Is it me or is your knowledge of what clubs do what when you strike a golf ball with them sort of hinge on how well you do at this game?  I sort of got that they gave me the strongest club for drives starting out but I couldn’t get much a swing on it no matter what club I used.  I do love the layout of the game; believe even much later and successful golf games played very similarly later on.  But, zero sound effects and unfamiliar golf mechanics left my feelings on this one in a sandtrap.

Scores:

Playability/ Control- 3      Graphics- 4     Music/Sound- .5      Replay Value- 4     Originality- 7      Final: 37%

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Gyromite

Here’s R.O.B. the Robot’s chance to shine!  I do not have Rob though so I’m just winging it; at first, I had no clue what I was doing.  And from what I’ve heard, having the robot does not improve your chances of doing much better.

Scores:

Playability Controls- 2      Graphics- 5      Music- 4      Replay Value- 1    Originality- 6     Final: 36%

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Hogan’s Alley

This was always a fun game; my cousins had this and we played until the Light Gun could shoot no more.  In some ways, more satisfying than Duck Hunt and with comparable graphics and sound effects, this was a fun one to relive.

Scores:

Playability/ Controls- 7.5      Graphics- 3    Music/Sound- 2    REplay Value- 7    Originality- 3    Final: 45

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Ice Climber

Confession time:  I had never played this before.  In fact, I’ve played with these characters probably 10x more on Super Smash Bros. than on this game.  But it’s a weird one too; has the look of Kid Icarus to me; and with some of the jumping problems as you climb up the levels, the similarities kept on keeping on.  I enjoyed this and got into it ‘s simple method while being really unique at the time.  That has to be why it’s ever even been talked about so long after the fact.

Scores:

Playability/ Controls- 7      Graphics- 5.5      Music/Sound- 5    Replay Value- 7.5    Originality- 9    Final: 68%

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Kung Fu

Yes!   Had no idea this was a launch title.  This was one of those frustrating games you loved to play.  Reminded me of a storyline old school Kung Fu movie where the martial arts master battles his way up through a high rise building full of ninjas, creatures and things trying to subdue him before getting to the master at the top.   The sound effects are legendary (Kiyaaaah!) and once you master the moves, there’s no stopping you!  (just kidding, there’s like a million enemies in this game)

Scores:

Playability- 7     Graphics- 5      Music/Sound- 3.5     Replay Value- 8   Originality- 6.5    Final: 60%

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Pinball

Is it just me or is playing Pinball just not that fun?   There’s only so much you can do with a pinball machine converted to a video game.   This game pushes the boundaries for sure and is fun while playing but doesn’t hold my interest for that long.

Scores:

Playability/ Controls- 6       Graphics- 4      Music/Sound- 2      Replay Value- 5     Originality 1    Final: 36%

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Soccer

Pretty uninspired gameplay here.  Probably one of the worst Soccer titles I’ve come across.

Scores:

Playability- 1.5      Graphics- 4       Music/Sound- 5     Replay Value- 3     Originality- 1    Final: 29%

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Stack-Up (unplayable)

Tennis

Tennis is a sport my dad is really into and while I’ve never actually played a true game myself, I have found myself drawn to it at times.  Wii Sports Tennis is crazy addicting; this game isn’t near on that level but still manages a modicum of fun within itself.  The thing I love about all these old sports games is you are playing the full game; not like today when you can switch the time limits to quick games; you’re playing 3 full sets and it’s tiresome.

Scores:

Playability/ Controls- 5       Graphics- 4.5       Music/Sound- 1     Replay Value- 5.5    Originality- 3     Final: 38%

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Wild Gunman (also couldn’t play)

Wrecking Crew

Mario is back!   At least, I think it’s him; or a strange facsimile.  Another game that utilizes Rob where I’m not sure what the hell i’m supposed to be doing.  It was zany enough though to keep my attention for a few moments.

Scores:

Playability- 2      Graphics- 2      Music/Sound- 4      Replay Value- 1    Originality- 4      Final: 26%

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