Ten NES Games You Don't Need to Play

A Retro Review

Welcome back to my retro reviews. I have always loved playing Nintendo, and from its vast library of great games, there come a few crappy games. These are not games that necessarily evoke feelings of wrath or revulsion, but nonetheless, they are games you can avoid.

Bionic Commando

This was originally released as Hitler’s Resurrection: Top Secret. Boy, what a name, but you play as a guy with some kind of grappling hook as an arm, so Bionic Commando it is….

Surprisingly, this game was released by Capcom, so you might assume it’s worth playing… it isn’t, at least not the home console version.

First, you get your orders.

You start off by basically picking a stage, but you can only pick the one stage anyway, and bang, you’re on the ground for some classic side-scrolling and platform jumping action.

Far as I can tell, you’re just trying to reach some communications rooms. To get to them, you explore the area, shoot the bad guys, and use your bionic arm to maneuver around the platforms.

Unfortunately, despite good graphics and decent music, the game is just shit.

A gamer’s natural impulse is to press A to jump, or maybe up or B, depending on the game, but no; there is no jump. You use your grapple arm, and that’s the nightmare.

You just swing all over the place, or you end up just hanging there, and you get shot, or you grab the wrong platform, and get shot. You hop up when you want to remain dangling, and you dangle when you want to swing, and, oh yeah, you get shot!

It isn’t the worst game I’ve ever played, but it sucks!

Castelian

Also known as Nebulus, and released to numerous platforms, this game sucks balls. It’s a Hewson Consultants game. Ever heard of them? Neither have I.

I honestly don’t even know what to say, nor do I understand why this game has a rating of 5/5 on Emuparadise, unless 5 out of 5 people fucking hate it.

You’re a green hippo. You try to climb this rotating tower. Everything knocks you down. You touch the ground, you die.

There’s no music either. The graphics are tolerable, but the mere fact that this game was released to the NES in 1991 just makes it so much worse. The system was capable of much better than this sack of shit.

Dash Galaxy in the Alien Asylum

Urgh….

Dash Galaxy was published by Data East in 1990 exclusively in the West. Japan wouldn’t touch this hunk of crap and for good reason. It’s supposed to be an action game; I’ve seen more action on a hamster wheel.

Enter the world’s, no, the galaxy’s, greatest superhero: Dash Galaxy!

So, this dude gets caught by some aliens and is held within the walls of the dreaded asylum. Is it a mental institute? A safe haven? I don’t know, but Dash must escape!!!

Yeah, escape from this shitty game.

Plagued by terrible, stiff controls, and a debilitating lack of speed, you try to solve some puzzles—yeah, puzzles—in order to enter the actual “action” stages; it’s a hybrid overhead/side-scroller/platformer.

The stages, oh, the stages; where, like, mini-pterodactyls are gunning for you, and you collect some stars and… just skip it.

Castle of Deceit

More appropriately, this should have been called Castle of De-Shit. It was released in 1990 by Bunch Games, and it looks like something the college kids that programmed Action 52 created.

You play as some pathetic wizard that tosses trash at floaty-hats and butterfly-lizards. You can survive a million hits, but don’t step in the water!

The controls; it’s the awful controls and terrible, terrible music that’ll make you wanna’ rip your hair out.

Hatris

Yeah, you don’t need to play Hatris.

Zen, Intergalactic Ninja

I guess it’s based on a comic book or something by Steve Zern. It was released on the NES in 1993, yeah, ’93, and honestly, it looks pretty good; it’s sort of an overhead, isometric platforming game, but all you do is run from the beginning of the stage towards the end of the stage, and on the way, you kill some robots and try to jump over holes.

Sounds fine, right?

You start off by watching Zen set some demolition charges then you have about 100 years to escape the death trap. You run north while everything tries to kill you, and you fight back with a shitty stick.

The enemies don’t even do much damage, and you can really just run without ever fighting, and then bang; you make it to the lift, and ride up to the next part of the stage, and here’s where the crap rolls downhill.

Claws, jumps, conveyors, enemies; it’s like if Ninja Gaiden sprung you with birds, wind, and platforms all on stage one! It goes from simplicity to too damn hard in the course of about 15 seconds!

Ninja JaJaMaru

This is not to be confused with Ninja JaJaMaru-kun, which I think is somehow related. I’ll be honest, I did some research on this one because I wanted some information on the game for this review, but I can only find intel on Ninja JaJaMaru-kun, which might have the same characters, but it’s a totally different game.

Ninja JaJaMaru is really just a Super Mario 3 rip off; at least, I think that’s the case. This piece of trash appears to have been released a year after Super Mario 3. It doesn’t really matter; just play Super Mario 3 that way you can jump on goombas and koopa-troopas instead of... glazed doughnuts….

Cosmic Epsilon

This was released to the Famicom, Japan’s version of the NES, and is a 3-D shooter. Sounds cool, right? Well, maybe it is if you’re playing it on an old T.V. and have the 3-D goggles to really see the game’s beauty, but whether or not you have access to the 3-D element, the game sucks!

First of all, up is up, and down is down, which doesn’t work for me. Controllers are like flight-sim sticks, so up has to be down for me in this environment. Beyond that, there are also some incomprehensible things that kill you. Maybe they’re more apparent in 3-D…3-Dick!

Either the enemies have invisible bullets, or somehow, if they get too close, but without making contact, maybe they’re too close to the screen? I don’t even know; you just die at random!

What’s worse is that you can fly beyond an enemy, so that’s it no longer visible on the screen, but the enemy still exists, and it can shoot you from behind, and there’s no possibility of dodging. It sucks. Play Life Force, or Gradius, or even Gun-Nac.

Defender of the Crown

This may well be the worst game I’ve ever played.

It was originally an Amiga game released in 1986, and maybe it’s better on that system, but for NES, it truly sucks butt hole.

You pick a knight then you choose a place to raid, ‘cause, you know, you wanna’ play a game where you violently assault other knights and their fiefdoms, right?

Now, I get it, War Craft does the same thing to an extent; you can choose to play as Orcs and attack Humans, cool, but this is not the same.

As soon as you raid someone, you’re then playing a fighting game with the lamest attacks I’ve ever seen. Two dudes just poke each other with swords… yeah… two dudes are pokin’ each other….

The graphics suck. The controls suck. The game sucks. Stay away.

James Bond Jr.

Now, I have some great memories of watching James Bond Jr. the cartoon when I was a kid. This was back when I was also playing Nintendo as a kid, so the two go hand in hand for me. Naturally, like all kids, when I saw a game of one of my favorite cartoons, like TMNT or X-MEN, I thought, “Hell yeah, I wanna get that game!”

Blech….

This crappy game came out in 1991, so it made use of the NES’s capabilities…sort of.

It starts off by teasing you with you some amazing cut scenes.

Then, you land on the island. No sooner do you start walking that you step on a land mine. It’s practically invisible, but when you notice them, you try to jump over the rest, and naturally, you jump like you’re Michael fucking Jordan on the moon, and land on another mine….

A little ways farther, you find some actual enemies, like this asshole!

Oddly, there’s some really good music playing, but it doesn’t match the mission. It’s the kind of theme you expect to hear on the over world map of an RPG, but you’re tying to avoid getting killed, bouncing off springy platforms, and dodging lasers.

It’s just an incredibly frustrating game that’s made awful by stiff controls, too many jumps/bounces, and all manner of shit trying to kill you, and all right at the beginning of the game.

It’s by no means as bad as Hatris, Castelian, or Defender of the Crown, but there is no fun in James Bond Jr. Just watch the cartoon, and then play Batman or some kind of game that’s actually fun.

I mentioned at the beginning of this review that these games are not the most frustrating games from the NES, they’re simply bad games. They are not fun. They will not make you want to play them, but it’s funny how static things can be. Here we are, almost 30 years later, and gaming companies still release shitty games.

This is why I’m such an advocate of indie stuff like music, books, movies, and video games. Most indie companies are producing content because they are passionate about the content, and they want to provide the audience something entertaining, but the mainstream companies today are just as bad as they were 30 years ago, releasing dreck just for the sake of bilking the public.

It’s cool, though; today, the indies are really fighting back against the mainstream B.S., and every day, these little companies get better and better, and I love it.

Thanks for reading, and if you like any of the games on this list, you’re an asshole. No, I’m kidding….

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Ten NES Games You Don't Need to Play