Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Top 30 Hardest NES Games Ever. Day 6

Silver Surfer

What are you talking about? Silver Surfer?  Are you kidding me?  This game should be at least in the top 10, top 5 maybe!  I mean this game is hard, like stupid mean, evil hard.  You sir, have lost your mind.

I wanted to go ahead and get that out of the way, because any of you who are familiar with this game are probably going to have that reaction to Silver Surfer's lowly ranking down here in the bottom 20's.  Silver Surfer is held by many to be one of the toughest scrolling shooter games for the NES. (but oh boy it is not, wait until we get to that beast, it's # 2 on this list) And I will agree with you, it is a hard game to beat, but like most shooters the game has one ultimate truth: if you can obtain all of the power-ups, the game opens up and becomes much easier.  This is the case for games like Gradius (which I think belongs on this list far more than SS) and Abadox.
This is most definitely the case in Silver Surfer.  Sure, there is no denying that the level design and enemy placement is down right devious.  Some of the levels are crushing.  But with the right strategy, you can easily obtain all of the power-ups in the early parts of the game and never look back.

Let me break it down for you:  In Silver Surfer, the ceiling for powering-up is maximum fire power (collect 5 F's) and both orbs, plus a bucket full of bombs. Once you have all of those, you can shoot in any direction, and take out almost all enemies with one shot. If things get tough, you can lay down a bomb. With the exception of a few tricky areas, which you can learn and memorize with trial and error, you should be able to button mash your way to freedom.
Of course, getting there is half the battle.  Since you get to select the order you play the levels in, you can use that to your advantage.  Reptyl and Possessor are the two easiest levels.  I usually start with Reptyl since you can pick up all of the power-ups by the end of the second level, and the level design is forgiving enough that you can make a couple of mistakes and recover from it.  The hardest levels are Mephisto and Firelord, both have absolutely killer level design and will take a lot of dying to learn properly, so I save those for last.  And, of course, Magik's realm is the very last and the toughest, but you should be fully powered when you get there, so that takes some of the pressure off, you just need to take your time and not get cocky.

Seriously though, once you get all of the power-ups, apart from a few tricky spots that require a bit of maneuvering and knowledge of the level, the game really opens up and the difficulty is minimized.  The initial impression of this game is correct, it is brutally hard, but once you get over the learning curve and can obtain and keep power-ups consistently, the game's overall difficulty drops.  You have a limited number of continues, so you cannot just plug away, it will take some learning through playing the levels over and over, but once you get the hang of it, the game can be beaten within an hour.  I agree that Silver Surfer is one of the hardest games for the NES, but it belongs down here at 25, not up higher with the truly evil games that are coming...
What's with the blank label and varsity lettering?

1 comment:

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