Between how busy the weekend was (thanks to FedEx being incapable of even trying to deliver a package, i.e. doing the job they were paid to do) and just feeling under some rather blah weather, the 30th anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System managed to sneak right up on me, and I’ve got nothing to show for it.

But wait! Didn’t we just celebrate this? At least, that was my thought process, but I’m likely thinking of the Famicom’s release two years ago, or maybe even just the release of Super Mario Bros., which I celebrated in my own way just last month. That some people will practically bring up both dates every single year has probably clouded my perception of the whole thing as well.

Part of me says I should feel a little guilty for not having anything ready… but really, I don’t. Okay, maybe just a little, but I feel like I celebrate the NES enough as it is — just look at each of my last three features; each have touched upon the NES in one way or another, and that’s not even counting these semi-daily bits, which kicked off with an NES (well, Famicom) game. Plus, I’m sure there will be many more to come…

Still, I feel like I ought to say something… fortunately, some friends and favorite YouTube personalities online have done just that, making this a bit easier.

To start off, Pat the NES Punk talks about some of the commercials which ran on television back in the late 80’s and early 90’s for a variety of different NES games:

He’s a little harsh on some of them, but as I’ve discussed before, I have a real soft spot for Nintendo’s old commercial style. Personally, I still prefer the Super Mario Bros. 2 commercial (which I thought I’d talked about here, but I guess not?) to Super Mario Bros. 3 for the way it shifted from a realistic scenario to the game footage, and just made it seem so epic. On the other hand, Super Mario Bros. 3 didn’t really need that, did it?

Also, that Cheetahmen/Action 52 spot is something else; I thought it was a parody someone made at first. I’d also love to know how they and Wisdom Tree were able to produce games that overrode the NES lockout chip. Tengen had to illegally obtain the patent to do it — think they sold off their findings?

Next up, Cygnus Destroyer (in a rockin’ t-shirt) takes a look at the 17 games available at the launch of the NES:

I never played any of the Sports games except Golf, which I just enjoy in general. The Zapper series gets far more of my love, particularly in Duck Hunt and Hogan’s Alley, which sounds like it may be coming to the Virtual Console soon.

R.O.B… I love R.O.B., but I’ve admittedly not played either of his games. But I still love him as a character and an icon of sorts; I use him often enough in Super Smash Bros., and wish he’d return to Mario Kart after that one-off appearance in Mario Kart DS. Side-note: I’m trying to get my hands on a cheap (possibly non-working but intact) R.O.B. to be a part of a future cosplay.

Oh, and I do love Gyromite‘s music.

The entire Programmable Series is great; while I prefer the more recent Excitebike World Rally over the original, I do wish Mach Rider would see an update, and if nothing else, I’d like Nintendo to bring the Japanese-exclusive Super Famicom title Wrecking Crew ’98 to the Virtual Console. As for Education “Series,” Nintendo would probably get more out of Donkey Kong Jr. Math if they just gave it away for free.

Finally, the bread and butter of my youth: the Action Series! I enjoyed the arcade version of Pinball, and Ice Climber needs a remake like nobody’s business (I’m thinking something in the style of Donkey Kong ’94 for Game Boy might be good), or at least a tweaked version with better physics. I still wish Kung Fu was on Virtual Console, since I kind of missed out on that as a kid, and Clu Clu Land… needs some more time in the oven.

Oh, and while they weren’t launch titles, I think my affection for Urban Champion and Balloon Fight are like legend at this point. Hushed, rarely-spoken of legend.

Finally, Roger the Retrogaming Puppet is back with the next part of On The Stick’s ongoing NES anniversary celebration. Since the Nintendo Entertainment System was released so close to Halloween, it makes sense to look at five spooky titles for the console:

On that note, I’m going to be counting down to Halloween with my own 13 spooky video games (none of which are featured in the above video), with the first post coming later today. Please look forward to it!

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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