While we wanted to do a review of The Adventure of Link for the NES for our Zelda Month, time escaped us with the holidays and such. Despite that, we were able to play a bit of the game and… it wasn’t too bad, in all honesty, especially with the controls. We’ve heard that The Adventure of Link was a bit awkward compared to the other games in the Legend of Zelda franchise, and I can agree.
It wasn’t a bad game at all. It was awkward in the sense that we had no idea where to go on the map and Link himself looked a little odd. He looked like he had no pants. Still, I enjoyed the little bits we played… I say little bits because we’re terrible at the game.
Being an NES game, the only buttons are used for Link’s sword and jumping, which amused me because I forgot there was a game before Breath of the Wild where Link had the ability to jump. The graphics were definitely interesting but I’m not sure I could go back to a Legend of Zelda game that’s a 2D side-scroller. I missed the story and the maps.
Yeah, aside from the game play, there’s not much to the game at all. You’re thrown into this world where you wander around aimlessly until you find places to go and dungeons to beat. We didn’t get past the first dungeon though… I lost count of how many times we gamed over.
Hey, I was proud that we got to some of the more difficult enemies in the first dungeon! Practicing our sword swings and jumping around like frogs to move forward was pretty fun. I think my favorite part of playing, though, was when you were trying to see one of the healing ladies and she shut the door on your face, Rachel.
I know, right? That lady told me to follow her so she could heal me and then she shut the door before I made it into the house. Then she left and I had to talk to her again to get her to heal me. Overall, the game was fun. I do hope to get back to it eventually and actually beat it. Or, you know, get halfway through it or something. With the lesser of technology back then I assumed the older games would be “easier” than they are now… they’re not.
It’s funny what the scale of difficulty is between games back then and now, isn’t it? Now, most games are equipped with tutorials and a little bit of hand-holding to get through the story and game itself. Back then, games gave you a couple of action buttons and threw you into the pixelated world. But, yes, it was fun to actually try it out.
Overall, it was a fun game to try out. Like I said, I’d love to give it a try again sometime and see just how far we can really go.
Have you played The Adventure of Link? Let us know in the comments below!
Title: Dr. Mario Developer: Nintendo, Nintendo Research & Development 1 Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: July 27, 1990
How we got the game: We got it on the NES Classic
Dr. Mario is one of those games that I have missed over the years. We had never owned it and I wasn’t born when it first released, so naturally, I never got a chance to play it.
Dr. Mario is here to cure some viruses by throwing pills at them. Yep, that’s the gist of it. There’s no story explained really, but Dr. Mario is there to cure viruses and he somehow has an infinite supply of pills.
Before the game starts, you’re able to choose which level you want to start at. There are 20 levels and you can take it easy and start at level one, which is pretty easy. Or you can start right at level 20 if you want the challenge right off the bat.
There are different colored viruses for each level – red, blue, and yellow. Mario’s pills come in those colors and they’re capsules which are broken into two parts. Some pills are two colors while others are one. Still, you need to maneuver the pills and match three of the same color together to a virus of that color. So, if you’re up against a red virus, you need at least three blocks of red pills touching it. Four of the same color in a row – touching a virus or not – will make them disappear.
You can turn the pills left and right to make sure you can get the colors to where you want them to go. However, you can choose what speed you want the pills to fall and something – slow or fast – it’s quite easy to trap yourself. Then you have to dig yourself out of a hole. The good news is, the levels aren’t timed.
The graphics aren’t too bad. There’s not a whole lot of visual representation for the game. The majority of it are the three primary colors in pill form or small virus-like creatures. Dr. Mario stands on the sidelines throwing the pills for you to deal with. He seems awfully happy to do it, too.
The music is pretty good. There’s just a small bit of music you can choose from on the main menu before the game starts. Some of it is catchy but I was too busy yelling at Mario and the viruses to really listen to it.
This is a fun game and it reminds me of a mixture of Tetris and Bejeweled. There’s not much to it, but it’s a fun puzzle game and it’s semi-mindless enough to just pick up and play. I can see myself going back to it from time to time.
Dr. Mario gets… 4 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Title: The Legend of Zelda Developer: Nintendo Research & Development 4 Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Action, Adventure
Release Date: February 21, 1986
How we got the game: We have it on the NES Classic
The original Legend of Zelda video game came out a few years before I existed. Having a chance to play both the Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link were a couple of reasons why we were interested in getting the NES Classic.
This is a game we’ve heard a lot about and have seen others played, but we haven’t had the pleasure of playing it ourselves until now.
Being a game for the NES, there are only a few simple buttons for a player to keep track of when controlling Link. The A button swings your sword, the B button uses whichever special item you have equipped from the menu that’s brought up with the start button, and you can move in a whole four different directions with the D-pad.
The controls can be a little wonky at times, but it’s a NES game, so that was kind of expected. A lot of times Link would swing his sword with some delay after we pushed the button which put us in some trouble on many occasions throughout the gameplay. Most of the items you have to buy through random shops you find on the main map while others you get by going through and completing the dungeons.
Your adventure involves exploring the over world map, finding secret locations and dungeons that hold monsters and pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom. Instead of the game having a linear direction, Link is plopped down in the middle of the world and released to go forth wherever he pleases.
The over world map itself doesn’t show where Link is or where anything is, even if you’ve already been there. You just need to explore, find stuff on your own, and remember where it all is. You can do the dungeons somewhat out of order though you might get stuck needing certain items to get through. Plus, the enemies are tougher later in the game. The dungeons are made up of various rooms with a ton of enemies and puzzles to get through. While it’s pretty simple, the enemies are tough and they can be tricky to get through.
It was an interesting dynamic where the controls and environment are simple enough, but there were definitely times where we found ourselves dying over and over again to the same bosses or other enemies. While I love a good story-based game, I definitely enjoyed the openness of this Legend of Zelda. It reminds me a bit of how Breath of the Wild is an open world, allowing you go explore the story however you want.
It’s certainly a fun game and well done for its time. It seems like such a small, short game, but there’s a lot to do, collect, and explore.
The graphics are nothing to be blown away by these days, but it was definitely charming to see the first appearance of Link and the world of Hyrule as their original pixel-selves. The color palette was enough to be able to distinguish the characters from the environment and it was simple enough to tell what was going on, even if there were a couple of glitches here and there. Nothing to make the game break, of course.
Yes, we did have a couple of glitches throughout the game, but some of them were in our favor, which was kind of nice. The pixels are great and looking at some of the enemies are hilarious because they look nothing like what they would today. Also, watching Link shimmy on the raft is wonderful.
The music is fantastic, being the classic tunes that we know and love from all the other Legend of Zelda games we’ve enjoyed playing. It was a treat to hear where the tunes came from, especially the overworld music.
The music and the sound effects are satisfying. I have the soundtrack in my car so hearing the music and actually playing the game at the same time was great. It was a nice throwback to a game I’ve heard so much about but have never played.
There’s no true introduction to a story in this game. You take control of Link, you find an old man in a cave who tells you to take a sword because the world is dangerous, and off you go. Objectively, you are collecting pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom from the dungeons scattered about the world, presumably in order to rescue Princess Zelda.
Again, since it’s not really explained at all, Link is exploring the world, ultimately preparing himself to battle Ganondorf and save the world. The story is there it’s just not as flushed out as we know and love it today. Which, is kind of cool in a way. I wonder how we would have felt about it if we had no knowledge of the series when the game first came out?
The Legend of Zelda is an oldie but a goodie. While there’s only so many secrets to uncover, it’s a game with a simple enough premise that allows you to play through it many times without getting bored. It’s a classic.
I’m happy we finally got a chance to play this game. It wasn’t easy (even though it’s older and I was expecting it to be) but it’s one I’ll definitely play again.
The Legend of Zelda gets…
4 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Title: Punch-Out! Developer: Nintendo R&D3 Publisher: Nintendo
Category: Sports, Fighting
Release Date: February 1984
How we got the game: We got it on the NES Classic
This is one of those random games that we’ve heard about but were just a tad too young to actually get the chance to play on its original console. With Little Mac appearing in the Smash Bros. franchise, we reheard of Punch-Out and finally tried playing it ourselves on our NES Classic. And we didn’t find it too bad!
Punch-Out is a game that’s loved by all but Kris and I overlooked it even when we were older to actually play it. Since we have it on the NES Classic we finally gave it shot.
Punch-Out’s gameplay is fairly simple, using the A and B buttons to punch with the right and left arms respectively. Left and right on the D-pad allows Little Mac to dodge punches (supposedly — I personally wasn’t very good at that), and down on the D-pad lets your character duck. Holding up while punching let you do an uppercut on your opponent.
That’s basically it for the controls. Your opponent can sort of charge before they punch but I wasn’t sure if we were able to do that as well (if so, we never figured out how to do it) or if it was just a warning to give you time to dodge the oncoming attack. There are two white bars at the top which is your HP and your opponent’s HP respectively. Once you lose HP you can rapidly press the A button to get back up. If you get knocked out too many times though in three rounds, you lose.
It seems that you had to knock your opponent’s HP down four times for a total knock-out to win the fight and move on to the next opponent. If your opponent dodged or blocked your punches too many times, you could lose the stamina to move. It left you open to your opponent’s punches, but after dodging your opponent once or twice, you seemed to gain some of your stamina in return.
The stamina was definitely the hardest part. Once I lost it I got flustered and took a lot of hits. It kept a good balance though between the defense and the offense. There’s no tutorial at the beginning so the controls were a learning curve, but there’s not much to it so it worked.
Being a game from the mid 80s that was recreated for the NES Classic, the graphics are definitely faithful. It’s one reason why we enjoy having the NES Classic. Little Mac and his opponents were distinguishable from each other, and it was a treat having “Mario” be the referee of the boxing matches!
The graphics were certainly interesting to see. They were good, especially for their time, but if a game came out like that now I don’t know how I’d feel about it. I did think it was a nice touch that the opponents were much bigger than Little Mac. I found it to be symbolism despite Little Mac’s name.
The sound effects were fun to listen to, and the music helped ramp up the excitement of the fighting matches. Playing off the point of the opponents being bigger than Little Mac also gave the players a sense of suspense and a challenge. It worked well with the music.
The music was certainly fun, I agree. The sound effects were spot on – as spot on as you can be with punching. Still, it amped up the gameplay.
Punch-Out is a fun little game that’s easy to pick up, even if it takes a little practice to get used to the controls. Fights are quick enough for someone to play for just a few minutes and each opponent is a fun and unique challenge.
This is one I’ll probably go back to from time to time if I need to do a little button-mashing or want to see how far I can go in one sitting.
4 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Hello everyone! With the second release of the NES Classic at the end of June — along with the fact that it outsold the Playstation 4 and Xbox One with its resurgence — we decided that mini Nintendo consoles would be the topic of our latest round of “Would You Rather?” With us for this go-round is our good friend Jett from In Third Person.
Thanks for joining us, Jett! To welcome you, I’ll start off with asking if you would rather have a mini console, doesn’t matter which one, that has every game from its library on it or if you would rather be able to choose your top ten games from the library for a customizable mini console.
Thank you Kris & Rachel for having me! I’m an avid reader of your site and I also love this modern wave of mini consoles, so this is great all-around! Between those two choices, I would have to go with the mini console that has every game from its library. Yes, it would be full of crappy games that I would never play. Yes, it would be a pain to navigate from game-to-game if the console didn’t allow for segmenting the list by favorites. But it would also have all of the games I would want, plus a few rare titles that I would never have access to if I tried to track them down in the aftermarket. I would grin and bear the poor user experience for a mini console with my favourite games, all of the rarities, and filler that I might play for a laugh.
Question for you, Rachel. Would you rather have the existing SNES Classic that has 21 games, or a Sega Genesis equivalent with 30 of the best games in that library? If not, what number of Genesis games would tip the scale?
Ah, that’s an easy one. We’ve never had the Sega Genesis before so I don’t really know what I’m missing and have no attachment to those games. With that said, I’d rather just have the SNES Classic. It’s familiar and honestly, a lot of those games are pretty new to me since I wasn’t even born yet when the SNES was first released in 1991.
Kris, if Nintendo were allowed to make only one more mini console, would you rather have a Nintendo 64 Classic or Gamecube Classic?
That’s a tough one. Those two were great consoles with fantastic games. I think I would go with the Nintendo 64 Classic. While we do have all of our old consoles and games, it’s easier to set up and keep playing our GameCube rather than our older Nintendo 64. Best to keep a bit of history with the Nintendo 64 Classic.
Speaking of older games, Jett, would you prefer to have Nintendo’s Virtual Console back or a mini version of any — Nintendo or otherwise — console?
One of the biggest benefits to the current mini console formatting is that it’s a great value proposition. We get dozens of games for a fraction of the cost of buying them separately. Where they falter is in their game selection. None of these consoles at this point are built with expandability in mind, which ultimately limits their value. Even if it costs more in the end, I would prefer a Virtual Console style infrastructure that would allow players to expand and customize their game library well beyond what’s possible within the current mini console price range.
Rachel, let’s revisit the idea of the Nintendo 64 Classic. The N64 controller is often criticized for its unusual form factor, as well as its flimsy analog stick that quickly grinds into dust, making them less precise over time. If/when Nintendo releases the Nintendo 64 Classic, would you rather it come with the original controller with all of its faults? Or a modified one that addresses the issues relating to form factor and/or durability?
I think I’d want the classic N64 controller. That controller was always hard for me because I have small hands and, let’s be real, how do you hold it? But if they came out with a mini console, the controller would be mini. Plus, I believe it would be better made because there’s a lot more technology and knowledge now. I assume – I would hope – Nintendo would fix those issues with the mini controller.
Kris, if Nintendo had the ability to add updates to the NES and SNES classic consoles, would you rather have them update them with better experiences such as more games, customization for the home screen, and more always working to make them better (and never work on another mini console) – or would you rather leave them alone once they’re out and work on the next mini console?
I think I would want them to update the NES and SNES classics. Those games are the hardest to come by, unless you were able to completely preserve your original console and games, and I imagine that a Virtual Console-like aspect will come with the online subscription service. I’m hoping that more popular games from the N64 and GameCube era will be available with that.
Jett, would you rather enjoy the classic consoles as they are, in all their old-school glory, or be able to equip the classic consoles with online capabilities so you can play with Internet friends rather than just local co-op?
With the consoles already seeing adjustments for modern times, such as the units being mini, the controller ports not being the same, and with HDMI out instead of RF or AV, the mini consoles already stray from their original forms quite a bit. On top of that, we got NES controllers that were authentic in cable length, and those are awful to use in modern times. As such, I’m all for adding online play to those classic games if possible. It’ll greatly extend the lifespan of the console and its games to be able to play with friends at any time, even if the magic of playing together in the same room is lost. Even then, just invite them over!
Rachel, if Nintendo were to release a Game Boy Classic, would you want it to look and function like the original Game Boy in its iconic gray casing and green screen? Or would you want it to look and function like the newer Game Boy Color with its slimmer form-factor and colored screen?
I’d love to have the Game Boy. I only have the Game Boy Color and I do love it and still try to use it sometimes. However, I’d love to see what the Game Boy would have been like. Though maybe they could just keep it the same size rather than making a mini version… it’s kind of already on the small side.Kris, speaking of the handhelds, they’re already pretty small with Nintendo creating XL versions. Would you rather have Nintendo create classics of the handhelds such as the Gameboy Advance, SP, and DS, or have them keep coming out with new handhelds, despite the Switch?
I think I would rather Nintendo come out with new handhelds. I use the Switch docked most of the time, and I believe the games for the Advance, SP, and DS aged better than the older consoles. Most of them you can still use with backwards compatibility and many of the favorites are available on the eShop as well. This was a great round of “Would You Rather?” and it brought up some great ideas for the development of the mini consoles. Nintendo, take note! We’re going to wrap it up here, and we want to give another shout out and thank you to Jett for joining us on this post!
Thank you for having me! It’s been a pleasure chatting about mini consoles. Fingers crossed that the rumored Nintendo 64 Classic is true and coming soon!
It was a pleasure having you here, Jett. I hope to see a Nintendo 64 Classic in the future as well. Thanks for joining us!
What did you think of our answers for these questions? How would you answer? Don’t forget to give Jett’s blog come love!
Hey, we finally got an NES Classic! I’ll admit, it wasn’t really on my radar after there wasn’t enough stock to go around the first time they were released, mostly because they were games I didn’t remember too well. Yet, when we got the chance, we were lucky enough to get one during the second release this past June.
I’ll be honest – I pretty much wanted one because I want to collect all the consoles and it compliments our tiny SNES so well. I’m excited to get to play older games that I never played as a kid because… well, I wasn’t born when some of them came out.
It is a nice little console and my first reaction to seeing it was chuckling like an idiot because “it’s so tiny!” That turned to a perplexed, “Wait… There’s only one controller?” and “Why would it NOT include an AC adapter?” Thankfully, because we have the SNES Classic, we’re able to share that AC adapter with the NES Classic as well as the SNES controllers in case we want to play a two-player game. Were there other models of this system that include two controllers and/or an AC adapter? I’m not sure if we’re just dorks and didn’t notice the box excluding those when we ordered or if they’re all like that.
Well, I’m glad the SNES controllers work with it. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to play together. Again, maybe we were just clueless and not paying attention, but I just assumed there would be two controllers since there are two-player games. At least we had no trouble fitting the controllers in like we did with the SNES though!
That’s true… but we will have a little trouble with sitting back from the television with the NES controller. We heard the cords were short, but we weren’t quite prepared for them being half of the length of the SNES controllers. Maybe that’s part of the nostalgia. The short cords make it so we have to sit as close to the television as we did when we were kids so our parents will come in and tell us, “Don’t sit so close to the screen, you’ll ruin your eyes!”
We have a fairly big TV too so I don’t think we’ll be able to sit too close to it for very long. I enjoyed holding that controller in my hand though. Even though it’s an old one, I never really played with it when I was a kid. So it was like we just got a brand new console. Which, in a way, we did… but I guess I’m trying to say I don’t feel nostalgia over the console itself. So it was cool to use that controller.
It was fun to hold that controller again. Like Rachel, even I wasn’t around when the original NES came to town — I was only one when the original SNES came out — but I remember a few of the NES games from our older sister and our uncles. I’ve played some of the Mario games, usually on the SNES All-Stars cartridge, but that’s pretty much it for the NES Classic library. Despite the shortcomings of the NES Classic and its controller (pun intended), I am looking forward to trying out some of the games, especially the original Legend of Zelda titles.
It’s definitely a great little console and I’m looking forward to delving into some games from before my time. Plus, revisiting the old Mario games as well as playing the first two Zelda games for the first time.
Have you gotten the NES Classic? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!