I feel a sorrow for kids that are just now getting into the video game craze. While they are all playing their Dreamcast and Playstation, they will never get to experience the great joy of the Nintendo Entertainment System. I can still remember the Christmas that I received my NES; for it was this day that I became ecstatic! Surely kids don’t feel the same joy when getting a Playstation or Dreamcast. Kids now days expect to have a video game system. Games are all over the place in magazines, the web, and T.V. I remember when I had to drive to the local arcade, well get mom to drive, just so you could play a game.

Kids have come to expect the power of the new systems in games and many young kids I know won’t even attempt to play my old NES when I set it up for them. They simply reply,” Why would you play that when you have a Dreamcast?” Now granted, I like my Dreamcast, but when I beat games on the next-gen systems I do not get the same feel of joy I did from the old NES. Why is that? I believe that it is because games today don’t have the same focus on fun that the NES had. Face it, graphics draw new people to games. If I sat here and told you Final Fantasy 7 was a great game, but the graphics were horrible, many people would be turned away from it. Action games today consist of the same button pressing action that they did when on the NES, but with more on the screen. So why is it that I would still rather pop in Contra then hook up the Dreamcast? When I first got Dreamcast opening night, my dorm room was packed. However after the first 2 weeks everyone left even though I continued buying new games. I brought up my NES a month ago however, and there is ALWAYS someone playing it, why is this? The NES just has a great appeal to all of gamers who were around for its launch. Everybody has seen or played Mario 64, but have they played the original Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Surprisingly many haven’t.

So I challenge all of you gamers out there, dig you NES out of the basement or attic and hook it up. Some of the best games of the century were on that system that you forgot. And remember all the game you wanted when you were younger but couldn’t afford? Now you can! There are plenty of games under a dollar that you can find online or at neighborhood game stores. Once you start playing, I hope that the NES brings as much fun back to you, as it has to me.

By Jonathan Hull – 01/09/02

Screenshots for The Late, Great NES