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Cobra Kai

NES games that disappointed you

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Before the internet, blind-buying games was common. All we had was the packaging to look at, and if you were lucky maybe a preview in a gaming magazine, maybe even renting it from the video store. I took many chances on games, and had high hopes for many, usually based on licensing, or wanting an arcade port.

 

Rambo, one of the biggest disappointments for me. I so much wanted to like this game, but it was an indecipherable mess. Many of the ACCLAIM/LJN movie licensed games that would give the genre a terrible reputation, along with Platoon and Friday The 13th, just as a small example. 

 

Rygar is by most accounts a good game. The disappointment here is that it wasn't an arcade port, but turned into an adventure game of sorts. I wanted an arcade port, it made me very unhappy and I've still never given the game a proper play.

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For me was Total Recall game. In magazines this game was super coted. But, the game, my God.
I think the hype created by the magazines only got in the way when I got my hands on the game. It's good, but not amazing how it was treated in specialized magazines. Disappointing.

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Maybe Ikari Warriors. But I don't remember being too disappointed with any NES games back in the day. I expected NES ports to be different or quite scaled down from the arcade and they were usually fun in their own right.

 

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Being an ex-C64 fan, I was very dissapointed when I tried NES:

 

Cybernoid 

 

Conan (Myth on the C64) 

 

Platoon. 

 

 

Also, NES Alien 3 not a patch on the Sega Master System version. 

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Double Dragon was a pretty big disappointment for me, after loving the arcade version so much.  Single player, seems like they changed the name to the super cool (to kid me) Spike and Hammer to Billy and Jimmy.  You had to learn to fight as you go --- seems like they'd already know those kick ass moves before taking on a gang (like the arcade) since they were martial experts and all. 

 

And Narc -- can't remember specifics for why, but just remember being so disappointed after getting that game, likely because I was comparing it to the arcade version as well.

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One that immediately came to mind was Battle of Olympus.  Given the Zelda II-ish look of it, and the pedigree of the mythology I had high hopes.  The game sure is harder than some others, but it wasn't the problem for me, it's just utterly confusing.  There is like no real good indication where to go as frustration mounts.  Recently I watched a pros playthrough on a random youtube pop up to help new players U Can Play Video Games is the account, cleared it in like a little over an hour or so with some parts hyper sped up to get through some grinding parts for currency.  I could see it re-affirm my old belief it's a painful one to put up with to memorize where to go, but if you do, there is some reward there, but not really worth the cost I think to most.

 

I'd agree with the above post, Double Dragon...what a waste ruining most of the arcade games design and fun with that one.  Far better off with the Gameboy version by far.

 

Gauntlet on NES while a really good game, is superficially disappointing if you went into it seeing well... 'Gauntlet' art and the name.  It's now an adventure with stages, levelups, passwords and more, it's NOT the arcade game.  You have to get Gauntlet II for that, and it's very well executed down to the copies of all the talking even recorded.

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Although I may need to revisit it,  BITD I bought Legacy of the Wizard and was disappointed.  The box art looks cool.  The screenshots on the back of the box look cool.  And it was by Broderbund,  maker of Deadly Towers (which I loved).  Yet even after reading the instructions;  Well I probably just skimmed them at first and then kept looking again at pieces later on...I don't recall the game ever making an ounce of sense.  There's certainly a chance I gave up on it too early.

 

I remember once when I was at college,  I came home from an afternoon class and my roommate and his girlfriend were trying to play Legacy of the Wizard.   I came in the room and they go,  "How do you play this game?"

 

I said, "I have no idea!  It's just like that."  So they played something else.

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NINJA GAIDEN (at first)

 

Basically because I was a huge fan of the arcade game.. I remember pouring over the tiny maps in Nintendo Power's preview wondering how good the port would be. The initial stage map looked somewhat similar but the sprites looked really small so I didn't know what to expect.  I was definitely disappointed when I finally played it for the first time that it was nothing like the arcade game. But as the story goes I obviously came to really like it for the game it was, and eventually mastered it. :)

Edited by NE146
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10 minutes ago, ChildOfCv said:

Section Z.  Almost nothing like the arcade.

 

Joust.  Horrible adaptation.

Early 80s arcade games were seen as passe by the time a lot of those NES ports were made, so probably not much effort was put into them. Defender II could've been a lot better as well. Like why did they get rid of returning humanoids to the planet surface??

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11 hours ago, ChildOfCv said:

Section Z.  Almost nothing like the arcade.

 

Joust.  Horrible adaptation.

Definitely Joust is one that in my mind could have been near arcade perfect...Instead the bird just bounces around like a pinball you can't control. 

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15 hours ago, NE146 said:

NINJA GAIDEN (at first)

 

Basically because I was a huge fan of the arcade game.. I remember pouring over the tiny maps in Nintendo Power's preview wondering how good the port would be. The initial stage map looked somewhat similar but the sprites looked really small so I didn't know what to expect.  I was definitely disappointed when I finally played it for the first time that it was nothing like the arcade game. But as the story goes I obviously came to really like it for the game it was, and eventually mastered it. :)

It's not a port.  These games were simultaneously developed by two separate teams at Tecmo.

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4 hours ago, GoldLeader said:

Definitely Joust is one that in my mind could have been near arcade perfect...Instead the bird just bounces around like a pinball you can't control. 

Would you say all the Atari versions are better?

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6 hours ago, GoldLeader said:

Definitely Joust is one that in my mind could have been near arcade perfect...Instead the bird just bounces around like a pinball you can't control. 

For NES Joust don't hold in the directional button when on the ground. Tapping the direction button changes walking speed and then you'll keep walking at that speed until pressing the opposite direction to brake. The natural inclination is to just hold the direction which will cause you to pinball around.

 

EDIT: Also, hold B to flap continuously or tap A for individual flaps.

Edited by mbd39
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2 hours ago, Cobra Kai said:

Would you say all the Atari versions are better?

 

From what I remember,  yes.  But TBH,  I've barely played them, so maybe I shouldn't say...  I have them, but haven't played them much, (or lately) so I could be way off...I really liked the Pixelboy ColecoVision version (not necessarily like the arcade game, but stronger flaps made the game more enjoyable) and I played the hell out of the PS1 version which seemed arcade accurate, oh and I have it on MAME (a little bartop), which seems very close to the arcade.

 

I could be misremembering.  @Cobra Kai What are your thoughts on the Atari versions?

Edited by GoldLeader
I should probably have mentioned the ones I have are for the 2600 and 7800...I don't own the others...
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I'm partial to the Atari 2600 version of Joust but that's what I grew up with. It plays so well.

 

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15 minutes ago, GoldLeader said:

 

From what I remember,  yes.  But TBH,  I've barely played them, so maybe I shouldn't say...  I have them, but haven't played them much, (or lately) so I could be way off...I really liked the Pixelboy ColecoVision version (not necessarily like the arcade game, but stronger flaps made the game more enjoyable) and I played the hell out of the PS1 version which seemed arcade accurate, oh and I have it on MAME (a little bartop), which seems very close to the arcade.

 

I could be misremembering.  @Cobra Kai What are your thoughts on the Atari versions?

Of the 8-bits, the 7800 version is my favorite. It really nailed the appropriate physics to feel right IMHO.  The 5200 version is too floaty, but some people prefer the Moon Gravity physics of this version. The 2600 game is spectacular for what it has to work with, IIRC it even has a title screen.  The LYNX game is the best version.

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19 minutes ago, mbd39 said:

I'm partial to the Atari 2600 version of Joust but that's what I grew up with. It plays so well.

 

It really does. Atari was pumping out some fantastic arcade ports during the Silver Label era. Most of my favorite 2600 games are from that period. 

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5 hours ago, bubufubu said:

It's not a port.  These games were simultaneously developed by two separate teams at Tecmo.

Well sure, but were you fully aware of that in the year 1988? When I was looking at the magazine, I was hoping it was a port of the arcade game. :)  

 

Oh speaking of disappointing NES games I got another. Donkey Kong. It was pretty baffling at the time popping that in hoping for finally a 'good' version of Donkey Kong that you knew your NES could do, only to realize that as good as it looked, it was still half-baked with missing animations and no 2nd stage/conveyer belts.

 

Edited by NE146
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My best friend had NFL Football, which was the first NES football game to have the NFL license.  I remember being particularly disappointed with it.  If I recall the passing game was awful.  We got a lot more fun out of Tecmo Bowl, which came out at the same time.  While Tecmo Bowl didn't carry the NFL license, it did have the license for player names from the NFLPA (which NFL Football ironically did not), and the gameplay was just altogether superior.

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11 hours ago, Cobra Kai said:

Would you say all the Atari versions are better?

I've only compared it to the 7800 version, but yep, I'd say the 7800 version is much better.

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Strangely enough Tetris, I love the Gameboy one, it handles just a little different, and after acquiring in the mid90s Tengen Tetris (the first time) that solidified my dislike (music aside) of the NES game.  Not sure what it is about it, but it just isn't as fun for me, handling, something, not sure...it's just off compared to gameboy.

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TMNT was promoted a ton and it wasn't even really Nintendo or Konami's fault.  There was just so much "cowabunga" in the air at the time that the game was bound to NOT live up to the hype.

 

The best part of the game is the attract mode when you first pop in the cartridge.  After that you realize that it is just another below average side-scrolling platformer.

 

IMO it was to the NES what Pac-Man was to the 2600.  I never really cowabunga'd again after that.

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AND . . . I can't really allow this thread to exist without mentioning Zelda 2.  The game was such a disappointment to me that I returned it to the store.  I don't think it is a bad game, but on a system where so many of the most popular games were side-scrollers, did they really need another one?

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