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What's the Worst Console You Ever Played?

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USAers will always love the NES, as for being revolutionary, it was a step backwards. We had STs, Amigas, playing 16bit games. NES, an 8 bit console? You gotta be kidding.....

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I love Game Boy games but, having dug up an original GB a couple weeks ago for nostalgia's sake (I got one for Christmas when I was 6 or 7 but once I got a Game Boy Color I never really went back), I have to agree that it hasn't aged especially well. I can deal with the size and the batteries, but the screen blurred so badly in Super Mario Land and TMNT that I wondered how I ever put up with it back in the day.

 

Thank goodness for Super Game Boy and the like.

 

I recommend getting an AGS101 Model of the GameBoy Advance SP. That's the model with the brighter, nicer screen over the regular GameBoy Advance SP (AGS001). In my opinion, it's the ultimate way to play GameBoy and GameBoy Color games (and does great with GBA games as well, of course), especially for how attuned our eyes are today to high quality screens. I typically use it with a Krikzz flash cart (still waiting on him to release a GBA-specific one).

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USAers will always love the NES, as for being revolutionary, it was a step backwards. We had STs, Amigas, playing 16bit games. NES, an 8 bit console? You gotta be kidding.....

Except that the NES was slightly cheaper than an Atari ST, and twice cheaper than an Amiga. Plus.... Peak sales of the NES in Europe?

1992. By this year the ST was basically dead.

Computers, as I feel it, in the late 80's/ early 90, were aiming teenagers and young adults, that is, the generation that saw the Amstrad CPC and C64 coming on the market.

Kids on the other hand, were seen as too young to make use of a 1 month salary computer like the Amiga. So a cheap little console that plugged on the TV, and had easy to start carts, instead of fragile floppies? seems like a thing.

Edited by CatPix
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USAers will always love the NES, as for being revolutionary, it was a step backwards. We had STs, Amigas, playing 16bit games. NES, an 8 bit console? You gotta be kidding.....

 

The NES was hardly revolutionary, but it was extremely versatile. For a 1983 system to be able to last into the early 1990s with reasonably technologically competitive games thanks to in-cartridge enhancements is no small accomplishment. While I loved my Amiga 500 and had one at the time instead of an NES, they were hardly equivalent, one being an expensive multimedia computer released several years later and the other a relatively inexpensive console. What was sad is that, thanks to poor programming, some of the same games were actually worse on the Amiga. Being limited to one fire button (in most cases) kind of stunk too.

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USAers will always love the NES, as for being revolutionary, it was a step backwards. We had STs, Amigas, playing 16bit games. NES, an 8 bit console? You gotta be kidding.....

Home Computers in the US cost around the same as a used car. In fact, you could get a used car for cheaper. Plus, I would have balked at playing more 80's era retreads on an computer that utilized only one action button on a joystick.

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Home Computers in the US cost around the same as a used car. In fact, you could get a used car for cheaper. Plus, I would have balked at playing more 80's era retreads on an computer that utilized only one action button on a joystick.

Not only that, but the current games that came out on computer platforms were often worse than even the NES versions, due to some combination of poor programming, single-button joysticks (when even a keyboard option would have made sense), and technical limitations. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Commodore 64 immediately comes to mind (or DOS...or Amiga...or Atari ST).

Edited by BassGuitari
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Not only that, but the current games that came out on computer platforms were often worse than even the NES versions, due to some combination of poor programming, single-button joysticks (when even a keyboard option would have made sense), and technical limitations. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Commodore 64 immediately comes to mind (or DOS...or Amiga...or Atari ST).

Yeah. To be honest, PC gaming didn't really take off until Windows 95.

 

Edit: also the other thing is that neither Commodore nor Atari really advertised thier machines as "gaming machines" here in the US. In the US, the real advertising was aimed at trying to get Commodore's machines into schools and businesses in order to compete with the Apple's education monopoly, and IBM in the american workplace. The fact that you had to pay extra to make Commodore's stuff IBM or Apple II compatible never really helped matters.

Edited by empsolo

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I don't know how we got here, but this conversation actually interests me.

 

You guys are using a lot of anecdotes that are very specific to your experiences with computers in the 80's. I wasn't interested in earlier arcade games back then so that general impression of 80's computers doesn't fit at all for me. I found the C64 library to offer a much different gaming experience that definitely transcended "80's era retreads" (And 80's was current btw). At the time, I never even considered that having one button was a major limitation even though I easily recognized how it enabled different gameplay styles. Instead, I looked at the NES and enjoyed it for what it was, but recognized that it couldn't achieve the same versatility that the C64 did. Just being able to save your progress in a game was enough of a counter balance to the 2nd button in my 11 year old mind (and yes I've saved my progress in a NES game before). If you skip ahead to Amiga gaming in the 90's the comparison still fits.

 

These platforms were totally different and the appeal has been summarized well here

1) Different cost

2) Different target audience

3) Different complexity of usage and ownership

4) Different entrance date into the regional market

 

The demographics that emerge from those factors results in the user base essentially rewarding different development choices. The C64 library is enormous, but the games that are truly cross platform with the NES (TMNT, Castlevania) are more of an afterthought to most fans. Much like some of the computer conversions on NES are thought of by big N fans. The games that really can push the C64 and perhaps compete with the NES like Giana, Turrican, Creatures, and Mayhem in Monsterland were almost completely ignored in the USA (if they even got a release at all) compared to the support they received in Europe. An American gamer would simply never consider his C64 as an alternative to the type of games found on the NES.

 

Skip ahead to the Amiga and other 16bit computers and the development styles that settled in the 8-bit era continued. I wasn't discerning enough as a 14 or 16 year old to describe them. I simply recognized a game as something you'd see on Nintendo (a console) or something you'd see on a computer.

 

I guess one note about cost would be that even a kid like me could recognize that once you afforded the initial cost of the computer, acquiring games was much cheaper. It took a while for me to consider console games as anything more than a rip off. Actually, Windows had a lot to do with that because as you made the switch to gaming on DOS/Windows, things got more and more complicated and there was more value in a plug and play system.

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I bet the average European gamer in the 80's had a ZX Spectrum or something else similarly low end. And the 8-bit Sega Master System remained competitive against the 16-bit consoles in Europe because it was cheaper.

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I don't know how we got here, but this conversation actually interests me.

 

You guys are using a lot of anecdotes that are very specific to your experiences with computers in the 80's. I wasn't interested in earlier arcade games back then so that general impression of 80's computers doesn't fit at all for me. I found the C64 library to offer a much different gaming experience that definitely transcended "80's era retreads" (And 80's was current btw). At the time, I never even considered that having one button was a major limitation even though I easily recognized how it enabled different gameplay styles. Instead, I looked at the NES and enjoyed it for what it was, but recognized that it couldn't achieve the same versatility that the C64 did. Just being able to save your progress in a game was enough of a counter balance to the 2nd button in my 11 year old mind (and yes I've saved my progress in a NES game before). If you skip ahead to Amiga gaming in the 90's the comparison still fits.

 

These platforms were totally different and the appeal has been summarized well here

1) Different cost

2) Different target audience

3) Different complexity of usage and ownership

4) Different entrance date into the regional market

 

The demographics that emerge from those factors results in the user base essentially rewarding different development choices. The C64 library is enormous, but the games that are truly cross platform with the NES (TMNT, Castlevania) are more of an afterthought to most fans. Much like some of the computer conversions on NES are thought of by big N fans. The games that really can push the C64 and perhaps compete with the NES like Giana, Turrican, Creatures, and Mayhem in Monsterland were almost completely ignored in the USA (if they even got a release at all) compared to the support they received in Europe. An American gamer would simply never consider his C64 as an alternative to the type of games found on the NES.

 

Skip ahead to the Amiga and other 16bit computers and the development styles that settled in the 8-bit era continued. I wasn't discerning enough as a 14 or 16 year old to describe them. I simply recognized a game as something you'd see on Nintendo (a console) or something you'd see on a computer.

 

I guess one note about cost would be that even a kid like me could recognize that once you afforded the initial cost of the computer, acquiring games was much cheaper. It took a while for me to consider console games as anything more than a rip off. Actually, Windows had a lot to do with that because as you made the switch to gaming on DOS/Windows, things got more and more complicated and there was more value in a plug and play system.

Still the biggest hurdle is that the c64 was nearly $600 at retail. For that same money, I could go out and buy an NES, a TV, a couple of games that would give me the arcade experience at home. Not only that but the c64 really suffers as being a work at home or a school at home machine considering that one of the big hurdles Atari and Commodore faced was that thier machines were incompatible with IBM machines at the workplace and Apple II in schools. Meaning if you wanted an real home computer, you had to shell out extra money on top of the 600 dollars you already spent to make it IBM or Apple compatible.

 

Plus there is the fact that good portion of the early home computer library was of the shovel ware variety and issues surrounding single button joystick games. Something that would plague Commodore through the Amiga years.

Edited by empsolo

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Most of your comments are just about how you personally didn't think an 8 bit computer was a good value. I think you are drawing on observations from much later in the 80's or even the 90's and getting the prices wrong. IBM compatibility wasn't really that desirable until about 1986 or 87. By that time the C64 was around $150, and there was plenty of information worker type software available for it. That is also right around the time that the NES was becoming the amazing console that we all think about today. The C64 was a known entity for years by that time even though you can't seem to find viable advertising material for it. It was a complete computer platform and you'd have to fast forward to something like the iPad before you found any computer model in history that sold more individual units. After about 1985, people knew that they were getting a machine that played games and was also a computer (as opposed to the other way around).

 

Also, the single button thing was noticeable, but I'm going to draw on my own myopic experience and claim that it had absolutely nothing to do with consumers choosing to buy a game console or a home computer. The games evolved for the platforms to use the hardware and deal with limitations. Just look at the way Turrican uses the keyboard to almost simulate operating the power suit. The level design also lends itself nicely to using "up" for the jumping action. And if you go forward a few years, you used the mouse to operate many Amiga games which was not even an available control scheme on the NES (SNES/Genesis?). No one would consciously say that they were against buying an Amiga because they'd rather play a two button version of Cannon Fodder, Civilization, Lemmings, or Pool of Radiance.

 

And just to tie this back to the original question - As long as it is functioning properly, I don't think there is any way the NES could be the worst console. The only way would be if you'd only played like the top 3 consoles of all time and just happened to rank the NES last. However, I do recognize the relevance of WHEN you were introduced to it. If I saw the NES after 16 bit computers then it would have been hard to find a reason to want to dig into its games.

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Also, the single button thing was noticeable, but I'm going to draw on my own myopic experience and claim that it had absolutely nothing to do with consumers choosing to buy a game console or a home computer.

 

*raises hand* I was introduced to the NES and C64 at about the same time, and the C64's use of Atari-style, single-button joysticks was definitely a demerit in my eyes. It just wasn't enough inputs.

 

Of course if the C64 had been huge and the NES unknown in my circle of friends, I would've gotten over it. But together with the sexy NES presentation values, it felt to me at the time like the NES was forward-looking and the C64 outdated.

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However, I do recognize the relevance of WHEN you were introduced to it. If I saw the NES after 16 bit computers then it would have been hard to find a reason to want to dig into its games.

 

Yeah, but I don't think that should change whether you think its a bad console or not. Its like saying the PS3 is shit because the PS4 is out now. While I do think that graphics are tied very close to gameplay, specifically the framerate, I don't think saying that its tech is more outdated would make it the worst. Another analogy is like saying that the Wii is the worst because the PS3 has HD capabilities. When you're looking for the worst systems out of the entire history of gaming I think differences in power are a bit irrelevant. In order for me to call something the worst, there has to be something inherently wrong with its design or something that makes it unbearable to use, as in my Gameboy's criticisms, I can't see anything on the system.

 

Of course this is all subjective nonsense and what I consider problems with a system might not be an issue to others, like intellivision controllers or the N64's typical framerate. Also I'm a silly person who likes to go back to older systems even if they don't look as good.

 

All that good stuff.

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The NES vs. C=64 discussion is interesting. I was mostly outside of those realms at the time. At the time the NES was released in America, I'd been using an Apple //c for all my computing and gaming needs for a year or two. Apple ][ joysticks have two buttons (being actually two paddle inputs combined to make one joystick input), so the one-button thing wasn't an issue for me and hadn't been since I'd moved on from the 1200XL. On the //c, I was playing all kinds of great RPGs and simulation games that the NES couldn't touch, as well as a lot of other video games in every category imaginable.

 

I eventually picked up an NES Action Set in '87 or so, but I never owned very many games for it. Maybe 10-15 games. Nobunaga's Ambition and Romance of the Three Kingdoms were fun, as was Desert Commander and a few others. But mostly I didn't much care for the games I read about in magazine reviews. Most of my videogaming continued to be on the Apple until I replaced that with a 386 in the summer of 1990. (I got rid of the NES in 1989, when I bought myself a Genesis and a TG-16.)

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Still the biggest hurdle is that the c64 was nearly $600 at retail.

Maybe when it came out (was it even that much?); by the late '80s it was was pretty cheap.

 

I hope this doesn't turn into a "C64 vs. NES" thread because they're both amazing platforms in different ways.

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For me it is the X-Box 360. I feared I was never going to get a Wii because of the Wii shortage, so I got an X-Box 360. That was a mistake, as the console has absolutely no game I would be interested in.

Not to mention it's a piece of shit in terms of reliability.

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I hope this doesn't turn into a "C64 vs. NES" thread because they're both amazing platforms in different ways.

 

Yeah I agree. I wasn't alive when these things were popular and I don't think they're comparable really at all, besides they may have been in the same market for a bit. The games for them are very different.

 

I should really try more C64 stuff though

 

Not to mention it's a piece of shit in terms of reliability.

 

Depends on what model you're talking about.

Edited by Tr3vor

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Computers and consoles' market shares were very different back in the day from Europe to the USA. They were actually different from country to country in Europe.

 

The Commodore 64 was THE gaming machine of the 80ies around here. It was also very much defined by its gaming centric hardware, things like hardware scrolling, sprites and the fantastic SID music. In the UK, I believe the Spectrum was no.1, while the Amstrad CPC was popular in France.

 

The Apple II that was so important in the US was almost non-existent here. You'd almost only find them in schools. Afaik, the IBM PC became more and more important in the late 80ies in the US, but not really here, where it was overshadowed by Amiga and ST in private homes.

 

And the Nintendo craze did not happen here either; Nintendo had bad distribution here in the first years, while Sega did that part better with well-known partners handling it. In my eyes, Nintendo really became a thing only when the Game Boy came; the NES did become more popular following the GB hype. The Master System had done well, but it certainly was not the focus of gamers either, the C64 was the machine most had, the Amiga was the one most desired.

 

 

Just a very, very different situation here.

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I'd probably have to go with Game Boy. I played with it as a kid and thought it was fun, but I much preferred the Game Boy Color once that came out. Looking at the Game Boy now, it hasn't aged all that well.

Are you sure you would say a game you thought was fun as a kid is the worst game ever, just because better hadn't been introduced yet?

 

The Atari 2600 hasn't aged well, compared to an XBoxOne, but that doesn't make it the worst system of all time.

It's actually impressive for what it was at the time.

 

I think the Gameboy was impressive bring mainstream, smooth, LCD, NED-like gameplay to a mobile environment. I would say that's far from the worst of all time, just because its predecessor hadn't been released.

 

I would better understand the GBA micro (needlessly small, uncomfortable, and already existed in a usable size), but even then it was a version of a GREAT handlheld. That would disqualify it from "worst".

 

Just my two cents as food for thought. I think this is more about systems that were a real let down or useless. Sounds like you got some use and enjoyment out of the GB, even as green and white!

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Are you sure you would say a game you thought was fun as a kid is the worst game ever, just because better hadn't been introduced yet?

 

The Atari 2600 hasn't aged well, compared to an XBoxOne, but that doesn't make it the worst system of all time.

It's actually impressive for what it was at the time.

 

I think the Gameboy was impressive bring mainstream, smooth, LCD, NED-like gameplay to a mobile environment. I would say that's far from the worst of all time, just because its predecessor hadn't been released.

 

I would better understand the GBA micro (needlessly small, uncomfortable, and already existed in a usable size), but even then it was a version of a GREAT handlheld. That would disqualify it from "worst".

 

Just my two cents as food for thought. I think this is more about systems that were a real let down or useless. Sounds like you got some use and enjoyment out of the GB, even as green and white!

 

Oh no, the Game Boy is far from the worst console and I enjoyed it a lot, but in terms of all the ones I've played I'd say it's my least favorite. I grew up with the Game Boy Color and Advance, so I didn't have a chance to play all the older consoles. The Game Boy actually belonged to my dad: he taught me how to play games like Battleship and Paperboy, so it did lead to some nice bonding time with him.

 

I'd completely forgotton about the Micro - I might have to change my answer to that as my least favorite! My brother had one, but we both had SPs so we stopped using the Micro not long after we got it. It just seemed like a waste of a system when the SP had a bigger screen and was easier to hold.

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Oh no, the Game Boy is far from the worst console and I enjoyed it a lot, but in terms of all the ones I've played I'd say it's my least favorite. I grew up with the Game Boy Color and Advance, so I didn't have a chance to play all the older consoles. The Game Boy actually belonged to my dad: he taught me how to play games like Battleship and Paperboy, so it did lead to some nice bonding time with him.

 

I'd completely forgotton about the Micro - I might have to change my answer to that as my least favorite! My brother had one, but we both had SPs so we stopped using the Micro not long after we got it. It just seemed like a waste of a system when the SP had a bigger screen and was easier to hold.

Cool.

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NES. Hands down the most overhyped, disappointing system I ever played. Poor graphicson many ports, terrible flicker, systems died or stopped reading carts regularly, every game was kiddie looking, controllers were uncomfortable with pointed corners and too small.

 

I do love watching NES fanboys flip their lids when someone disagrees with them though. Just because it was popular doesn't mean it was good. Reality TV and Karaoke game shows are incredibly popular now, and that stuff is for morons.

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NES. Hands down the most overhyped, disappointing system I ever played. Poor graphicson many ports, terrible flicker, systems died or stopped reading carts regularly, every game was kiddie looking, controllers were uncomfortable with pointed corners and too small.

 

I do love watching NES fanboys flip their lids when someone disagrees with them though. Just because it was popular doesn't mean it was good. Reality TV and Karaoke game shows are incredibly popular now, and that stuff is for morons.

 

When you openly admit you're trolling, it ruins your trolling. You could have got so far without the last three sentences.

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