Top 100 NES/Famicom Games List: #10
Arguably the most beloved console of all time, the Nintendo Entertainment System, commonly abbreviated as NES, is now well over 25 years old. With over two thousand games produced worldwide for the legendary hardware, the NES, despite it’s age, has an eternal staying power. As retro gaming continues to grow in popularity, more and more gamers flock to Nintendo’s first home console to get their gaming fix.
Welcome to the final top 10 countdown for my personal picks of the greatest games to grace the NES and Famicom. For roughly the next ten days, I will be posting one update per day on my march towards the number one position. This has been a long time coming, and I want to thank you, my readers, for all of your support.
No then, as before, I am ranking every game on its overall difficulty using a simple scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is brain dead easy and 10 is….well, Battletoads. A 5 on this scale means it’s average difficulty with perhaps some challenging elements, but nothing the average gamer should get stuck on for too long.
I’m also including many links to videos and other online information sources. Links are indicated by orange words. Please open these links in a new tab/window so you don’t have to navigate away from this article.
So without further ado, here is entry #10!
After waking from a nap without dreams, Kirby goes to the Fountain of Dreams to investigate. Kirby learns King Dedede has stolen the Star Rod, broken it into seven pieces, then scattered the pieces across Dreamland. Without the Star Rod, nobody will be able to dream, and Dreamland will soon fall into chaos. Kirby decides to track down the fragments of the Star Rod and save Dreamland from disaster.
Born on a system already saturated with hundreds of platformer action games, Kirby’s Adventure may have been late to the party, but it stands out as one of the best, most innovative and most unique videogames not only on the NES, but on any system you can think of. Although it is a short, downright easy game, Kirby’s Adventure is honestly best played as slowly as possible. The game lacks any sort of timer, conveniently employs a battery to record the player’s progress, and has an unusually lethargic pacing that rewards careful, slow, and methodical players. The entire game is built to be savored as if it were an elegant dessert served at a five star restaurant after a filling meal. An apt metaphor, as Kirby’s Adventure was among the final few noteworthy releases on either the Famicom or NES.
To begin to understand what makes the game so unusually good, you need to examine it’s elements closely. At the core of the game, introduced for the first time, is Kirby’s copy ability. When Kirby inhales an enemy, he can eat it to copy its power, allowing Kirby to do basically anything – wield a sword, shoot lasers, turn to stone, become a fireball, or even pilot a UFO. In all, there are twenty six unique abilities to acquire throughout the game. Kirby can also dash, slide kick and freely float/fly.
The freedom of mobility Kirby has, added to his extremely large arsenal of potential abilities, makes revisiting each of the dozens of stages in Kirby’s Adventure a blast. There are even some stages with hidden exits that open hidden stages just like in Super Mario World. Each of these exits unlocks new, hidden areas, such as bonus mini games and warps.
Having the advantage of being released at the end of the NES’s life when developers had fully tapped into the system’s potential, Kirby’s Adventure is without a doubt one of the best looking games on the NES, using more colors onscreen at once than most NES players would think possible on the hardware. Every stage in the game pops with vibrant, living colors that extenuate the cartoon concept the game invokes. Even when there are relatively few colors onscreen, the pallets are always wisely chosen to convey the vividly animated, cartoonish sprites.
Kirby’s Adventure is a complete package NES title that you can’t go wrong with. Kirby appeals to boys, girls, men, women, young and old. If you don’t already own this gem, you’re missing out on without a doubt, one of the best Nintendo games ever produced. Check out my full written review for more information.
One of the final stages in Kirby’s Adventure is a throwback to the original GameBoy Kirby’s Dreamland game. In this stage, the level designs and enemy placements are lifted directly from the GameBoy, and the stage is even presented completely in black and white, save for the ever pink Kirby sprite. This might not seem like much, but I feel this tip of the hat legitimizes the often overlooked first Kirby game and also hinted at the future success the series would see, with the eventual release of Kirby’s Dreamland 2, which ranked among the top 25 GameBoy/GameBoy Color games list.
In 2002, HAL Lab revisited Kirby’s Adventure by completely remaking it for the Gameboy Advance. The game was released in North America titled Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland and was a big success for Nintendo and HAL once again. There are minor changes and the game is still incredibly fun in the sequel, but for whatever reason, the remake isn’t nearly as colorful and lush with detail that the NES Kirby’s Adventure was, despite being on vastly superior hardware.
In November 2011, a forced perspective 3-D port of Kirby’s Adventure became available on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. This port is exceptional, and even cleans up some of the original game’s slowdown. Even so, it is my opinion the NES version still surpasses this digital release. Adding 3D to Kirby is ultimately just a gimmick and isn’t worth the extra asking price over the Wii VC release.
I own a boxed copy of Kirby no Hoshi for the Famicom. The box and the game are in excellent shape. If you are interested in purchasing it, shoot me an offer. satoshimatrix at hotmail dot com.
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