Retro Game Night + Nintendo Love

Micro Genius with Super Mario 3

I bought Tetris DS last night, for my Nintendo DS. So far it has been superb entertainment, and I’ve had my ass whooped online and dealt some whoop-ass myself with kids (and many adults, I’m sure) from all over since. It’s a great game and I think I’ll be playing it every morning on the bus to work.

I actually stood in the store awhile, trying to choose between that and Metroid Prime: Hunters, a game with the exact same score on Metacritic (86%). I decided that I would eventually buy them both, but it was Tetris’ pick-up-and-play gaming that I had the most time for these days. Metroid has simple online deathmatches, but the single-player component sounds like it could consume weeks that I don’t have right now (until July). That’s really a key thing about the DS. It straddles both casual and hardcore gamer dichotomies. Outside the store I heard a little girl say to her mother that she wanted to buy a DS game before they left. The DS, and Nintendo as a whole, has the kind of wide appeal Sony and Microsoft would kill for. This recent story linked on digg shows the DS Lite outselling both the PSP and PS2 in Japan last month!

Kim and I got home from dinner and decided to drag my old NES FamiClone out of the closet. It’s called a Micro Genius, model IQ-701, and still worked perfectly! We took some photos. We played Tetris, Super Mario Bros. 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, Batman, Duck Hunt, Wild Gunman, Hogan’s Alley, Street Fighter 2 (a clone by “Yoko Soft”), Yie-Ar Kungfu, and some others. While they could never live up to the memories I have of them, the whole experience was a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t say no to sitting down for a couple of hours again.

An understanding of what makes classic gameplay still viable today is the reason why Nintendo still makes the best games in the world today. It’s the reason they’ve made so much money from their back-catalog, the GBA (70 million sold), and the DS, and will likely make with the upcoming Revolution. As you may have heard, the Revolution will connect to an internet service not unlike the iTunes Music Store, and you will be able to buy/download hundreds of classic games from Nintendo and Sega, and play them on the machine.

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