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By Jonathan Balofsky On 3 Jan, 2018 At 09:29 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Old School Otaku, Opinion, ROG News, Television | With 1 Comment

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25 years ago, the world of science fiction changed forever. Star Trek was already an established franchise, with Star trek The Next Generation having become a juggernaut in its own right. But January 3 1993 saw the premiere of Star Trek Deep Space Nine, a series that truly helped move the franchise forward. I have so many fond memories of this series, and I do not hesitate at all to call it my favourite of the Trek franchise. I will do my best not to give spoilers so people can experience this for the first time themselves, but I will in some instances.

DS9 stands out above the other Star Trek series by doing something that had not been done before, and that is developing long running character and story arcs. This was possible thanks to the series being set on a space station instead of a ship travelling to different locations, and the recurring elements this enabled ended up creating some of the best storylines.  There is so many great storylines that can be mentioned such as the Dominion War and the rebuilding of Bajor, but for many the best storylines were the ones that delved into showing both character growth and the darker side of Star Trek.

Ferengi culture was explored far beyond what was done on TNG, and so were the Klingons and the Cardassians. This was done thanks to great characters who showed off the different parts of the cultures. The Ferengi gave us Quark, the traditionalist Ferengi, his “failure” brother Rom, who was actually a genius engineer, and Rom’s son Nog who joined Starfleet. The Klingons of course gave us Worf once again, but also Martok. Martok was a traditional Klingon, and one who showed off the best aspects of the culture in contrast to Gowron, who showed the negatives. And the Cardassians? We received two of the most iconic non main cast members in all of Star Trek: Gul Dukat and Elim Garak.

The main cast went through many changes in terms of personality and growth. They were not the same characters at the beginning that they became at the end and the best example was Captain Sisko himself. When he came to the station as Commander Sisko, he was a reluctant appointee and had a lot of hostility in him due to the death of his wife during the Battle of Wolf 359 with the Borg. However, he grew into his many roles and became perhaps the greatest of the captains. Sisko was willing to do things no one else would and realized that if it got the results he needed, then he could live with himself. The infamous episode “In the Pale Moonlight” is often considered either the best or the worst episode in all of Star Trek, due to this.

The aforementioned Dominion War story arc that took up the later seasons also proved to be a triumph of storytelling. There were episodes that truly showed war to be hellish and the consequences to be long lasting, and this mention of darker content wouldn’t do well without mentioning the fact that the series also took a darker look at the Federation. For the first time, we got to see that some consider the Federation to be just as bad as some of the people they fight, albeit these comments tended to come from those who had betrayed the federations.

Characters like Doctorm Bashir, Odo, Chief O’Brien, Major Kira and more showed that this was a series willing to tackle deeper subject matter. Odo faces discrimination t times due to his species and Kira is a former terrorist ( this definitely would have been different if made post 9/11). the infamous O’Brien must suffer episodes are some of the most well known, and Doctor Bashir was forced into situations he wouldn’t have anticipated.

The show was not without humor though and the lighter episodes were extremely welcome. These often involved the Ferengi and did a great job, as a I said before, of expanding them as a people. If I can sum up Deep Space Nine in one word, it would be “growth”. This was a series where the characters grew, but so did Star Trek as a franchise. So Happy 25th anniversary Deep Space Nine, you were amazing!

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Nintendo has always tried something new and innovative with their games, for better or worse. One major attempt at trying something new was the Satellaview add-on. Thus was a way to bring new games through satellite broadcasts, and brought new versions of several games like The Legend of Zelda and F- Zero. The intention was that these could only be played during the broadcast time , and afterwards they were gone for good. These were only available in Japan and not released anywhere else.

Now fast forward several years and fans outside Japan have learned of these games and developed an interest in them. The most well known Satellaview games are the Zelda games, which are remakes of the first game and A Link to the Past, complete with new content and stories. The latter, known as the Ancient Stone Tablets, has been restored and fan translated, allowing new players to try them.

Zelda wasn’t the only series to get this treatment however, as there was also a Satellaview version of Excitebike  which had a lot of new content. There was a major change to in this version where the racers were replaced by Mario characters, and also included a “SUPER” mode where the player has unlimited turbo, as well as the addition of coins. The coins are spread out on the courses and increase top speed, very similar to the Mario Kart series. Yes there was a Mario Kart-like Excitbike well before Mario Kart 8.

Other games for the Satellaview were F-zero sequels that had new tracks and vehicles. More importantly however, they included a track editor if you were bored of what was offered already. It was way ahead of its time and yet the game can only be found via rom dumps. Then there are the Mario Paint games, Super Mario Bros, Wario’s Woods, Wizardry, Super E.D.F., Kirby, Harvest Moon and Square Enix RPGs on the service. All of these games had something new to them and yet players outside Japan never got to experience them. These include games like Dragon Quest 1, which actually got a SNES remake this way in Japan. This disappointing that the were not ever brought to the west but this got me thinking, that ff the games’ source codes still exist, should Nintendo and the other publishers/developers bring them back now?

Obviously for some games this would require localization and may not be worth it, such as for the minor games. For a series like Zelda on the other hand, there would definitely be a market. The Chrono Trigger games brought to Satellaview would definitely be big sellers for Square Enix, along with the Dragon Quest remake. The games like the F-Zero sequels and Excitebike. have some great new content that players outside Japan would love to play. If these games could be brought over to the Nintendo Switch eShop when the online service for classic games launches, they would be some of the top selling games. VS Excitebike and The Mysterious Mursame Castle prove there is a market for the games by being big sellers when they were brought to the Wii U and 3DS eshops respectively,

I truly hope Nintendo does consider this, as not only would gamers in the west be thrilled to finally play these games, but it would also open up new fandoms and generate new sales. It might be labour intensive, but it is a risk worth taking.

 

Disclaimer: The above was the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

 

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The Legend of Zelda is one of the more iconic series in all of gaming and the first game in the series started it off right. This is not a review of the game but simply my thoughts on the game. I have a close connection with this game because this is one of the first games I ever played. In fact, I am not sure whether or not The Legend of Zelda or the original Super Mario Bros was the first game I ever played, that’s how early my memories of this game are.

When I was a little kid, the starting screen became such a familiar sight to me, that going back and playing the game again recently made me instantly flash back to my childhood and playing or watching my brothers play. This was not like any other game at the time it was released, and established so many traditions in gaming. All open world games take something from Legend of Zelda on NES, from The Witcher 3 and Elder Scrolls series, to games like Grand Theft Auto 5, and it clearly shows in the DNA of many others. This was a game that, while having an intended order, could be played in almost any order you wanted and that ended up inspiring many other such games.

The Legend of Zelda was able to tell its story so simply as well, with no towns and minimal NPCs. It was an isolated experience, but somehow that made it seem more grand. This was you setting off on an adventure in a mythical land, it was strange and unfamiliar but nonetheless yours to explore. And the more you explored, the more you learned and became fascinated and wanted even more. It was no surprise that sequels were made, but even today players find new ways to experience the original game. New challenges are established for ways to complete the game, either without getting the sword or only using a certain item. Speedruns are common as well, but the real joy is finding out just what you can do and how you can do it. In this way, Breath of the Wild succeeded in going back to the series roots with a game that allowed you to truly play in the way you wanted. It isn’t possible to recapture an exact experience, but studying the past allows one to learn from it, and thus the magic of the original game could be better understood.

I cannot go without mention of the save feature of course, as that was a game changer ( no pun intended) for the industry. Games had allowed you to save using passwords or were simply short experiences before this. The Legend of Zelda 1 showed that a game could be a truly epic experience to be played over the course of days and that games could simply record the progress. In that respect, all modern games except some arcade style indie games owe themselves to The Legend of Zelda 1 for paving the way for lengthy experiences. The game opened doors not only for Nintendo but for gaming as a whole and for that I tip my hat to The Legend of Zelda on NES.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 29 Nov, 2017 At 06:47 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Old School Otaku, Reviews, ROG News, ROG Retro | With 0 Comments

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I have already written about my love for Zelda II, a game I feel is criminally underrated, but now it is time to look at its sequel. The Legend of Zelda : A Link to the Past is regarded as a major turning point for the series, the moment Zelda took a massive leap forward in storytelling and presentation. My own experiences were not the same as most people when it came to ALttP, as I played this after Ocarina of Time, and not when it first came out. That being said, it was still an amazing experience for me.

Let me take you back several years, my brother’s friend David had just loaned him some SNES games and among them was The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. While my siblings enjoyed the fighting games and beat em ups, this one occupied my time the most. I was an awkward youth and this became an escape from bullying I was experiencing, a place I could step into and just have a great adventure. After David took the games back, my mother saw how much of an impact the game had on me, and found a copy of the game at a video game store we often visited ( similar to how she would later get me a copy of Zelda II one year later). Thus I now had a game to help me deal with problems I had at the time.

The Legend of Zelda : A Link to the Past is indeed a great experience and deserves all the praise it gets. It was here that the series formula would be established for years to come, as would be seen in later games such as Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker. Just like the original Legend of Zelda and Zelda II introduced epic adventures to a new video game audience, The Legend of Zelda : A Link to the Past was an introduction to epic fantasy for a new audience. The game was on a scale like little else before it, even previous games in the series. In this game, after recovering the pendants and getting the master sword at last, you would fight the evil wizard and think the game was nearly done. But no, that was just the beginning, and you had a much bigger experience waiting for you to explore.

The Legend of Zelda : A Link to the Past also was important for another reason. Not only did it add some amazing music such as Zelda’s Lullaby that would become iconic parts of the series, but it also greatly advanced the series in terms of narrative. This game introduced really characters with personalities to the Zelda series and was the first game to have a major storyline as part of the game. It is something that all later games built on.

While I still prefer Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, as my favourite game in The Legend of Zelda series, The Legend of Zelda : A Link to the Past is indeed an amazing game. It is one of my favourite games and will always hold a special place in my heart. This is a game that is not played, it is experienced, and this is an experience everyone should have. This really is something special indeed. I do not have the same problems today that I did back then, and I thank A Link to the Past for that. It helped change my life and no doubt that of many others as well.

 

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The above is the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of ROG or its staff.Feature

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Earlier this year, Double Dragon IV was released on PC and PS4 and then later Nintendo Switch ( the system the game was played on for this review). It was a deliberate throwback to the NES Double Dragon games, in contrast to Double Dragon Neon, and received some mixed reception. I wasn’t sure what to fully expect as I began playing, as I went in fearing the worst. What I found however, was a decent throwback that may have been treated a bit unfairly.

It has been argued that Double Dragon IV is too deliberate a throwback to the NES games, to the point of also including everything bad about them. I disagree however, as while Double Dragon IV does have some flaws due to its style, I feel the game is better than most are giving it credit for. I enjoyed playing this retro style beat em up and found myself liking some of the changes that were made. The controls, while still stiff and not perfectly responsive, have a lot more variety to them. It now feels like a more complete beat em up from the past that takes cues from gaming today, as the extra buttons allow new moves and new combo attacks. This really does help set this game aside from its predecessors.

There are a number of flaws of course. The stiffness of the controls can really throw off the jumps that are required to be done in the game, and the jumping mechanic in general is not suited to platforming. I would say this is one thing that was a mistake to retain. As well, the story, while nice at times, takes a turn at the end that made me just say “Really? This is what you are going with?”, it was just nostalgia not being used right. Not to mention that some of the attempts at variety just come off as lazy nostalgia, its not bad, but its not great.

That being said, I did have a lot of fun playing the game, far more than I ever thought I would. Despite the flaws, I feel Double Dragon IV is actually a really good game. It is far better than it was made out to be, and deserves an honest chance. I recommend it.

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There have been so many great fighting game series over the years, but many have fallen off the radar. One such game was the series known ass Bloody Roar.

Bloody Roar was a unique seriese that involved transforming your character into an anthropomorphic animal form. This could include a werewolf or elephant or more. Some of these forms were tied to references like Alice, who became a rabbit, which was a neat reference. In addition, the game used comic book style storytelling to advance its plot and show its action, which was unique at the time. While other games have experimented with it, none have managed to match what Bloody Roar did. In many ways, the series took inspiration from comics like the X-Men and made an original comic book fighting game, without a license to base it on.

Bloody Roar is similar to Killer Instinct, with fast paced, action cool characters, flashy moves and good use of combos, albeit in 3D instead of 2D. This series has so much potential and sadly has never been used to the full extent of what can be done with it. With the right backing, this could be revived and be a major series on the eSports tournament scene. The action was intense and yet the moves did take skill. This was not a button masher but a game that was easy to learn but difficult to master. The closest equivalent I can think of, is Sega’s Fighting Vipers series ( another series that should be revived).

I realize that Bloody Roar may be a bit obscure to many reading this, but you need to check out the series. It was just amazing and the GameCube entry was simply the best in the series. If you love amazing fighting games then you will understand why this needs to come back. There really was nothing else like it, and there really is not anything like it now. This series was a good one and deserves a second chance.

 

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 20 Nov, 2017 At 01:52 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Old School Otaku, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News, ROG Retro | With 0 Comments

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RPGs are a beloved genre, but when it comes to video games, most of the best RPGs trace their roots to one series and that is Ultima, the series from Lord British himself, Richard Garriot. There is so much that can be said about the Ultima series that I will need to do this in parts. Today we look at Ultima Underworld, the spinoff that inspired so many games.

In this game, you explored things from a first person perspective, but unlike dungeon crawlers at the time, this one not a single flash screen affair. Rather, the game scrolled in real time which allowed a deeper sense of immersion than anything else at the time. This was more than just a dungeon crawler though, as there was a massive world to explore with multiple sidequests. It eschewed typical expectations for RPGs and instead created a new format and style for itself. The best games are not those that try to be the best or try to be the most unique for the sake of being unique. Rather the best games are the ones that set out to do something different because they are doing what is best for the game.

Ultima Underworld was the first indoor, real-time, 3D first-person game to allow the player to look up and down, and to jump. This would influence not only later RPGs but also first person shooters as well. The games also told a real story rather than the generic plots of many other RPGs, by expanding on the worlds introduced in Ultima and giving us a new part of it to explore. The result was a fully realized world that even the main series borrowed from. Ultima has always been a series of firsts and the  Ultima Underworld games continued that. This is the point where games started relying less on imagination and moved from telling you the details, to showing them. Suddenly what was once the norm in gaming, became obsolete very quickly.

I do not hesitate when I say that Ultima Underworld 1 and 2 influenced the creation of almost all first person open world RPGs that came out after. This includes multiple styles of games such as The Elder Scrolls as well as Bioshock and Deus Ex. In fact, Warren Spector himself worked on this game. In addition, the music for Ultima Underworld: The Sygian Abyss was done by George Sanger, the fat man himself, and one of his frequent collaborators David Govett, and they brought their best to this work. The soundtrack was created as a powerful work with  great combat music and the best feeling of immersion, with moments of dread and excitement being conveyed beautifully.

Ultima Underworld 1 and 2 can still be appreciated today. Even with the older style of visuals and game design, the games hold up surprisingly well, which is a testament to how well they were made. I encourage you all to try these games, and see for yourself why they helped make gaming what it is today. If you do check these games out ( available on GOG.com right here), you might also be interested in knowing there is a third game coming. Underworld Ascendant will see Warren Spector return to the director’s role for the game and once more bring his insight. Now is the perfect time to see why these games matter so much.

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Last week, I wrote an editorial about 7 NES games that should get online play on Nintendo Switch via the Nintendo Switch’s online service. However,  in the last few days, I began thinking more about what Super NES games would benefit from getting online play as well. Because the SNES had so many great co-op games, I had to think carefully about which games deserve it the most, and once again I left out licensed games, and/or games that Nintendo will not be able to get the rights to. With that said, let’s begin.

 

 

Number 7

Contra III The Alien Wars

 

The Contra ( or Probotector if you live in Europe) series is a truly amazing run n gun series from Konami, and the third entry is arguably the best. In addition to better visuals, the action is more intense, the weapons are better and everything just has a bigger feel. The game was an excellent co-op experience on the SNES, and with online play it would be a major standout, and enable a new generation to enjoy it with the same wonder gamers did on the SNES. Both the frustration from difficulty and having 2 players and the euphoria of beating the game would be experienced very differently online and that alone makes it worthwhile.

Number 6

Super Bomberman II

I wasn’t sure which to put on this list. Super Bomberman or its immediate sequel. I ultimately picked the sequel after re-watching a video from TopHatGamingMan, in which he talked about the game. and I ended up agreeing with him. Super Bomberman II is an excellent game both in terms of single player and multiplayer, and this is where the series began to take the form we know and love today. Far superior to the original Bomberman games, Super Bomberman II’s multiplayer would truly benefit from online play similar to the later sequel Super Bomberman R. In fact, Konami could actually use this to further promote Super Bomberman R, by showing the roots of the series, since despite being a much earlier game, Super Bomberman II is an absolutely awesome game.

Number 5

Sunset Riders

Sunset Riders is a beloved arcade classic run n gun game that received an excellent port to the Super NES, with all the characters intact. The game had amazing visuals and fun gameplay that was unlike any other before or since. A Wild West shoot em up that incorporated the best of the arcade era, combined with small amounts of platforming and a lot of awesome music, Sunset Riders was in a league of its own. Giving the game online play via Switch can actually be done in two ways. It could allow two player co-op or could go for full 4 player co-op since all for characters were available on the SNES version. Regardless, this one deserves a new audience.

Number 4.

Mortal Kombat II

Surprise! I didn’t pick the obvious choice of Street Fighter II for this list. While Street Fighter is a great series, I feel it would be almost a cliché to pick. Mortal Kombat doesn’t really get acknowledged for its history with Nintendo except for the disastrous port of the first game. However, inlike the SNES port of the original game, which was a disaster, Mortal Kombat II on SNES was almost arcade perfect. Not only that, the fighting itself was far improved over the original Mortal Kombat, as something many forget about the original game was that the fighting was actually pretty bad aside from the fatalities. Mortal Kombat II though, improved on every last detail and was where the series truly got good. The fact that the SNES version was amazing would allow for some great online fights as well.

Number 3

Saturday Night Slam Masters

I did not leave Capcom off the list though. Saturday Night Slammasters was one of their most underrated titles, but a truly excellent fighting game. This was Capcom merging their fighting games like Street Fighter, with the wrestling world and it came out beautifully. This was also Mike Haggar’s debut in a fighting game long before the Marvel Vs Capcom series, as well as being home to several other colourful characters. This was so different from Capcom’s usual fare and deserves more spotlight. Giving this online play on the Switch would show just how amazing the game was, as well as make Capcom realize they have some great fighting games they haven’t used in years. Plus it had art from Tetsuo Hara, co-creator of Fist of the North Star, so it has that going for it also.

Number 2

Secret of Mana

An RPG with multiplayer was almost unheard of for the SNES but Secret of Mana showed it could be done. This game has had its praises sung already, so I will just mention that enabling online play for it on the Switch would allow a feature that was missing from later ports to finally be used again. Who wouldn’t want to play this gem with their friends? And to do so online would be an excellent addition!

Number 1

Super Mario Kart

It was always going to be  Super Mario Kart at Number 1. This was the game that kicked off the Mario Kart series, as well as kart racer games in general. Fans have made mods that enable online play in emulated versions, but an official Nintendo release that adds online to the original game would be nothing short of incredible. Add in support for 8 player online racing and this will become one of the most popular games Nintendo can bring to their service.

 

 

 

 

This is just a small list of what could be done. Let me know what you think of this list though and what suggestions you have.

 

Thanks again to TopHatGamingMan, check him out on twitter here

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 11 Nov, 2017 At 07:31 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Old School Otaku, PC Games, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Maniac Mansion, a name that adventure game fans know very well. This game was the first point and click adventure game from LucasArts ( then called LucasFilm Games), and was unlike any other adventure game at the time. It made full use of the mouse as a full point and click game, rather than make use of typing like other adventure games. The game, made by Ron Gilbert, used the SCUMM engine (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion), which became the engine for several LucasArts adventure games including Ron Gilbert’s masterpiece, The Secret of Monkey Island.

Taking the plot of having teens enter a mansion to rescue a cheerleader, the game was a hilarious sendup of clichés and became a sleeper hit the world over, and a pop culture phenomenon in Canada. In fact, the game was such a hit in Canada that a TV show was made by several alumni of SCTV and aired on YTV and the Family Channel in the US. It was ported to several systems including the NES, where despite heavy censorship, the game still retained much of its charm ( and managed to sneak a lot past the radar) and had an amazing soundtrack as well.

It is difficult to stress just how much of an impact Maniac Mansion had on gaming. From the iconic puzzles to the surreal humor, MM innovated on how stories were told in gaming. It was for this game that the term Cutscene was coined, and thus is a pioneer in storytelling. The different characters that were playable all had unique features to them and their own personality, which again was miles ahead of anything else at the time. It managed to mix some intentionally uncomfortable moments with later moments that just were hilarious and wore its surreal nature proudly.

As I stated earlier, Ron Gilbert later went on to create the Monkey Island series where he refined everything he did in Maniac Mansion and raised the bar higher. Maniac Mansion was THE turning point in adventure gaming and it changed things for the better. Everything we love about Telltale Games, for example, comes from the work done on Maniac Mansion. The game also spawned a direct sequel to the equally renowned, Day of the Tentacle, which was recently remade. I encourage any who have not played either game to check them out. These are adventure gaming done right, and you will be amazed how well the games play still!

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Something that often doesn’t get mentioned a lot when discussing Nintendo Switch’s online service is that some games will have online play. While we do not know how this will work just yet, we can make some guesses. If the games do allow online co-op or other such multiplayer, then here are seven NES games that truly need online play. (Note, there will be no RARE games or licensed games on this list)

 

Number 7: Bomberman

Okay, Let me just say that yes the NES Bomberman is very basic compared to later entries. It didn’t have many of the series staples that would come later, but it is still a very fun game. Bomberman has always been a great series for multiplayer and either of the NES Bomberman games would be very much worth having with online play. It is still fun and challenging and would make for a great time.

Number 6: Tecmo Bowl

An all time classic, Tecmo Bowl is a football game that is easy to learn and quick to get the hang of. That being said, it is still challenging and in 2 player mode, the game requires strategy as well as timing.  This was in spite of its seemingly simple inputs that quickly showed themselves to have a lot more to them. Obviously this would continue to lack the NFL license due to EA having that exclusively, but that doesn’t matter. This is a sports game that just works!

Number 5:Double Dragon II

Beat Em Ups are awesome, we all know that, and Double Dragon II was one of the best available for the NES. Improving on the original in every way, including finally bringing in co-op mode, Double Dragon II is an all time classic about getting revenge for a loved one, and kicking ass while doing so. The enemies are iconic, the sound effects are memorable, and the fact is that this is a game that is a must for 2 players.

Number 4: Ice Hockey

Nintendo’s Ice Hockey is a deceptively awesome game. It seems bland with its generic title, but then you get tot he gameplay and it is amazing. This is pure arcade style fun, and the game offers so many options for variety. You can speed things up to insane levels, or alter the character sizes, just for two examples. The game is a classic example of easy to learn but difficult to master, and it is one of Nintendo’s best NES games.

Number 3: Life Force

I had to include a space shooter on the list and Life Force was the best choice. This game offered unique gameplay, great power-ups and excellent co-op. It also was one of the first NES space shooters to switch perspective between horizontal and vertical during gameplay. The game holds up well all these years later, and I feel that a new generation will love it also, especially if they can play online with their friends!

Number 2:Contra/Super C

This one is a toss up as Konami seems to only re-release Super C instead of Contra 1, but that is besides the point. The Contra series is an absolutely legendary run n gun series, that only gets better with two players. Two players running through hordes of enemies while trying to not get hit. With online play, players from around the world can team up and take on the enemy together, which would only make a Contra game even better. The series is just better with two players and online would make it even more awesome.

Number one: Bubble Bobble

There was no other option. This is one of the best ( and arguable THE best) co-op games on the NES. Its gameplay is still as great today as it was back in the day, and multiplayer is a major part of the series. In fact multiplayer is needed if you really want to get the game beaten. This is the perfect example of a co-op game on NES that would benefit from having online multiplayer added in, and no one can deny that. It would make an all time great even better and show why this game gets the praise it does.

 

But this is just my list. What suggestions do you have?

 

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Disclaimer: The above is the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily that of ROG or its staff.