GSQ5: Dressed in black, no turning back

Nintendo’s Black Box Games
A brief tribute (er, a large tribute made of brief pieces?) to the games that define the early NES days, or at least for those us of who were aware of the console at the start. For everyone else, I suppose these distinctive boxes represent a sort of prehistoric relic. Perspective: it’s crazy! Big thanks to Chris Kohler for letting me pile his collection on the floor to photograph for the header.

11 thoughts on “GSQ5: Dressed in black, no turning back

  1. I can’t believe it… It really exists… All these years, I recalled playing as Mario in an obscure puzzle/platformer in which I could make enemies go through doors into the background, in what seemed to be an allusion to Mario 2. All these years, I thought this was some sort of bizarre fantasy my brain had contorted from something else, crafting an illusion. But here it is, under the unassuming name, “Wrecking Crew.” A memory I had long ago decided was but a dream, is now cast before me…. Well, I remembered it being for the Turbografx, which added to the surrealism, but still! I definitely need to play this thing!

  2. I remember volleyball had a lot of pixelated rump-shaking. And that it was one of my favorite NES games, along with Ice Hockey and Baseball.

    Also, Rush reference.

  3. Spraying an overgrown gorilla in the ass with pesticide is everything I love about Donkey Kong 3. And while I can’t help but like Donkey Kong Jr., its last two levels really suck compared to the first two…..and when there’s only four levels, that’s an issue.

    I’m still hoping Nintendo will stick arcade Donkey Kong on there sometime. I know from arcade* experience that it handles its level progression differently (1-4, 1-3-4, 1-2-3-4, repeat the last from there on), but constantly rehashing the gimped NES port isn’t doing it any favors, either. In an ideal world, we’d have a DSiWare remake of Donkey Kong ’94 with an arcade mode and that level creator mechanic from the cancelled GBA/GC Donkey Kong as bonus content. We can dream, though.

    As for other games, I adore Balloon Fight way more than Joust. Ripoff, sure, but having a round nosed guy pop the balloons of ‘lil Tengumen (or whatever they’re called) is adorable. Also, Balloon Trip mode’s one of the earliest examples I can think of an endless survival-type mode in a game that’s not just repeating the same stages over and over. I like seeing how long I can last before getting shocked or eaten.

    *Dunno about California, but many of the Disney lodge arcades here in Florida have a Donkey Kong/Donkey Kong Jr./Mario Bros. three-in-one machine.

  4. Nerdy comment – it wasn’t Fred Astaire but Gene Kelly who swung around the light posts in “Singin’ in the Rain.”

  5. PSA: Singin’ in the Rain holds up better through the years than any of these games. Yes, some of these games are still great.

  6. I liked it when game boxes had a nice order to them. I shunned any Sega Master System or Genesis game that eschewed the black or white grid look. Until they all did, and started showing up in ugly red paper boxes.

    I think the only reason I was disappointed about my brothers getting a Sega Master System versus a Nintendo was that the black Nintendo boxes were cooler.

  7. Two things:

    1. The Famicom version of 10-Yard Fight was even further removed from the sport of football than what we got; instead of playing the game out normally, you only played offense, and your goal in each “level” was to score a touchdown within the time limit, for which you received 5000 points. That probably explains in part why the game was so pitifully easy when they switched the rules in the US release…

    2. Funny the Wild Gunman snippet should reference Back to the Future Part II – I was just watching that earlier this evening.

Comments are closed.