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Category Archives: NES

Mega Man

Mega Man Is My Biggest Retro Gaming Regret

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a gamer. Some of my earliest memories are of playing Mega Man on a 20” television in my parents’ basement. There is even video documentation of me gawking over my brother’s shoulder one Christmas morning as he played his new Game Boy. From a very young age, I was drawn to video games. In the years since, I’ve played a wide variety of games across multiple genres and platforms — from FPSes to RPGs, from the NES to the PS4. I owe no allegiance to one system over another, to one company over another. I just love video games. It shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that I haven’t finished every game I’ve come in contact with.…
DuckTales Remastered Money Bin

DuckTales Remastered Fulfills My Childhood Dream of Swimming in Scrooge’s Money Bin

As a kid, I watched absurd amounts of DuckTales. In fact, I can’t think of a single cartoon I’ve  spent more time with. Obviously, a huge part of the magic of DuckTales is seeing Scrooge McDuck swim through the piles of gold coins in his money bin. As impossible as that would be in actuality, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Capcom’s DuckTales Remastered finally makes that dream come true, at least in some small way. See, the game gives you the (completely optional) ability to step into the spats of Scrooge McDuck and take a swim in all that shiny money. It’s handled quite well, too. The controls feel perfect, and that’s a phrase I never expected to type in relation to what’s essentially nothing more than a money-swimming minigame.…
Bionic Commando

Bionic Commando Was the First Game That Ever Swore at Me

I have found memories of playing Bionic Commando with my older brother. We would invent our own dialogue and storylines to accompany the gameplay — something we did while playing most games back then. When looked at without the glare of nostalgia, the game is nothing special, but back then it was totally rad. Simply swinging around with that bionic arm, shooting dudes, and avoiding being shot was more action than my youthful brain could ask for. And those funny messages you received after hacking computer modules, or getting stuck behind that steel barrier at the beginning of one of the levels if you hadn’t acquired the bazooka… Ah, the memories. But none of that stands out more to me now than the simple fact that this was the first video game that I had played that had a swear word in it.…

Scrooge McDuck’s Cane Is One of the Best Weapons in Gaming History

Bless me bagpipes, do I ever love DuckTales. I grew up watching the cartoon and reading the comic books, and I have an incredible fondness for both the original NES DuckTales game and the recent HD remake. So maybe I’m a bit biased. Still, Scrooge McDuck’s cane is an undeniably awesome weapon. When you think of a dude with a cane, you imagine some old wheezer who would call you “sonny boy” and take long naps in the middle of the day. You don’t imagine a dude who could completely kick your ass with a piece of varnished wood. And that’s part of why canes in general are appealing as weapons; they’re a symbol of physical weakness. On the other hand, the more traditional guns or swords are both power symbols.…
Super Mario Bros

Remembering Super Mario Bros.

I don’t remember how or when I got the NES, but when I did, everything changed. All of a sudden there were newfound worlds that existed inside plastic cartridges, and, to my young eyes, even the 8-bit graphics were incredible. Back then, venturing into the Mushroom Kingdom to save Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. was an astounding experience. Stomping on Goombas and sending Koopaa Troopas to their doom was the stuff childhood memories are made of, and defeating Bowser at the end of each world truly felt like an accomplishment. Of course, it was always a little bit disappointing to find out the princess was in another castle, but I was relieved as well for it meant there was more to play and discover. In many ways, Super Mario Bros. …
bowser manchu

NES Cartridge Prices Are on the Rise, But That’s Not a Bad Thing

Retro gaming enthusiast site posted an article claiming we’re in a retro games bubble. The article showed some evidence (supplied by the Price Charting site) that NES cartridge prices are on the rise. The author’s perspective is that of a collector, lamenting these rising prices as a potential barrier for growing that ever-expanding retro game collection. However, these rising prices, when viewed through the lens of simple economics, seem to be evidence of a growing demand for this old stuff. And that’s a good thing. Gaming, which used to be a niche hobby enjoyed by kids and mega-nerds, has burst into the mainstream. Collecting NES cartridges is cool now. There are people who enjoy and respect the history of gaming as a medium, and seek to preserve it by amassing large collections of old school games.…
Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight Is Mega Man Meets DuckTales

Shovel Knight was basically pitched to me this way: “It’s like 8-bit Mega Man meets the first NES DuckTales game.” That’s probably the most spectacular description of a video game I’ve ever heard, and it’s actually fairly accurate. Shovel Knight features the pogo-jumping mechanic from DuckTales, only with a shovel instead of Scrooge McDuck’s cane. Even if you can’t use your shovel to pogo across spikes the way Scrooge can with his cane, you can use that shovel to dig up gemstones, which is a pretty Scrooge McDuck-y thing to do. And Mega Man. The level design brings to mind some of the the Blue Bomber’s 8-bit adventures. As does the music, though that’s largely the fault of Manami Matsumae, who wrote music for Mega Man and Mega Man 10.…
DuckTales Moon

The DuckTales Moon Theme Is the Best Piece of 8-Bit Music Ever Written

It’s no secret that I have an extraordinary passion for DuckTales. It’s also no secret that I have a fondness for 8-bit music. So I think it’s safe to say that the following statement comes with a heaping side of bias: The “Moon Theme” from Capcom’s DuckTales NES game is the most perfect piece of 8-bit music ever written. Let’s be honest here: Anyone who enjoys 8-bit music simply must find this fantastic: And if that doesn’t do it for you, here’s an electric guitar version that will put a smile on your face (unless you have absolutely no soul): And because I just can’t stop now, here’s a (fake) women’s choir doing an incredible arrangement: No matter how you slice it, this is one brilliant piece of music.…
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! – A Bruised Trip Down Memory Lane

This past week has been one of awful tragedy, which led to massive amounts of weeping, drinking, and personal reflection. Despite its terrible nature, it somehow culminated in a cathartic get-together that ended with a bunch of old friends watching one of our own strive to defeat Mike Tyson in the NES classic Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! Sadly, his ultimate destruction was not met at the hands of my old chum Keith, eluding the conclusion of a childhood arc of utter satisfaction and elation. That said, sitting around the television huddled together on the edge of our collectives seats, hungry for such a triumph, brought me back to the good old days of my starry-eyed youth. I felt like a kid again, a feeling I haven’t really experienced lately while playing the current batch of games, even ones I love so dearly.…
Mega Man

Former Mega Man, Dead Rising Producer Keiji Inafune Talks About Killer Bees

Keiji Inafune is known by many as “The Father of Mega Man,” though this is a title he denies himself. While he brought the Blue Bomber to life in one sense of the term, he doesn’t take credit for the initial creation. Still, the man’s been connected with Mega Man since the 1980s, so we here at Retrovolve have nothing but the utmost respect for him. So when I sat down in a small conference room with him the very same day Mega Man was announced as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. game for Wii U and 3DS (June 11, 2013), the obvious question was how he felt about that. But I didn’t ask the obvious question. (If you’re curious about that, Inafune told…
NES guitar

The Best Guitar Is an NES Guitar

As I was casually procrastinating at work today, I came across a picture on Facebook of an electric guitar made out of an NES, reposted by my friend Tyler. Now, the photo comes courtesy of (check out their Facebook page), but it made me curious as to whether this was an actual real thing or just some clever Photoshop magic. Well, after a bit of research (thanks, Google!) I found the source of the image, Apparently, these guys had created an entire series of these NES guitars and were selling them at very reasonable prices. You could choose between a maple or rosewood neck, and between humbuckers or single-coil pickups. (Necks were all refurbished, and I’m guessing it’s safe to assume the consoles were too.)…
Battletoads 5,000

I Never Thought the Hoverbike Sequence in Battletoads Was All That Hard

There was this part in the third stage of Battletoads where you had to pilot a hoverbike through a series of jumps and obstacles, and your speed would continue to increase as the level progressed. This hoverbike challenge has gone down in history as one of the most frustratingly difficult video game segments ever made. The thing is, I never really found it that difficult. Now, it probably sounds like I’m just bragging here (and that’s probably valid), but I say it to make a point about the 8-bit and 16-bit game era: The games weren’t necessarily difficult, per se, they just rewarded repetition and memorization. Take the aforementioned hoverbikes in Battletoads. Sure, you were going to die a billion times before you got through that sequence, but once you memorized where all the obstacles were, it really wasn’t that bad.…
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