Well folks, it has been one crazy month. You have to know it was a real challenge for me to bring you such witty, well written diatribes on a daily basis for 31 consecutive days. I'm not smart like most bloggers who write the month's worth of articles in about 3 days and then just post one each day, my stupid ass wrote a new article every day. I want to thank anyone and everyone who followed along both here and on facebook. I hope this has been as much fun for you to read as it has been for me to bring to life. In closing, I thought I would put the entire list together in one spot to save you from having to look back through a month's worth of pages. I will also share some observations I have regarding the list. Finally, I would like to mention a couple of games I find to be particularly perplexing that did not make it into the project. So without further ado, because the above has been more ado than most of us can really stand...I present to you the Official Top 30 Hardest NES Games Ever.
1. Ikari Warriors (SNK)
2. Starship Hector (Hudson)
3. Q*Bert (Ultra)
4. Star Voyager (Akklaim)
5. Gauntlet (Tengen)
6. Battletoads (Tradewest/Nintendo)
7. Castlequest (Nexoft)
8. Solomon's Key (Tecmo)
9.Mutant Virus (ASC)
10. Overlord (Virgin)
11. Dragon's Lair (Imagesoft)
12. Magician (TAXAN)
13.Snake Rattle and Roll (Rare/Nintendo)
14.Adventures of Dino Riki (Hudson)
15.Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Tengen)
16. Ninja Gaiden III: Ghost Ship of Doom (Tecmo)
17. Gyruss (Ultra)
18. Adventure Island (Hudson)
19. Conan (Mindscape)
20. Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road (SNK)
21. Klax (Tengen)
22.Double Dragon III: the Sacred Stones (Akklaim)
23. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Ultra)
24. Ghosts n' Goblins (Capcom)
25. Silver Surfer (Arcadia)
26. Kid Kool (VIC TOKAI)
27. Adventures of Bayou Billy (Konami)
28. Abadox (Milton Bradley)
29. Defenders of Dynatron City (JVC)
Wow. Quite a list. Most of the major companies are there, Konami, Capcom, Tecmo, Tengen. Strong showings by Hudson and Ultra, but overall a very strong showing across the board. No single company dominates the list and no single company appears twice in the top ten. I think this list exemplifies just how strong and diverse the NES library is. To my mind, the NES has the strongest catalog of games of any classic system. Of the 341 NES games I own, I would wager than 85% of them are fun and playable. Some more than others of course, but I believe there are at least 85% that I could pop in and play and have a good time in the doing, even maybe Ikari Warriors....maybe.
The list is also a good sampling of the kinds of games that really shine on the NES. Scrolling shooters, action platformers, puzzle, and adventure games are all present . The NES was the first gaming console I played that really showed what home video games could be. Don't get me wrong, I am an Atari2600 kid, but the NES was from a whole other world. I think if you play all of the games in the list above, not only will you get one hell of a challenge, but you'll get to see the ol' NES really shine.
A few personal notes: This list held several surprises for me. Going into the project, I had probably only played 2/3 of the games on the list. I was pleasantly surprised by Conan and Mutant Virus, two games I had barely heard of and never played. Both turned out to be surprisingly good games with steep learning curves. I was also pleasantly surprised by the amount of depth in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Adventures of Bayou Billy, two games that are far more intense than their first few levels really indicate. The biggest disappointments on the list were Star Voyager and Overlord. Both games promise epic adventures and depth, but both fail to deliver.
There were two games I lobbied hard to get on the list for this project that were ultimately shot down by the panel. The first game is Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants. This game has plagued me since it was created. I think I have beaten level 2 all of three times in my life. For whatever reason, the jumps in the mall level are absolutely killer and I cannot get ol' Bart to land where I want him to. If I do get past those jumps I am so excited that I inevitably screw up somewhere immediately after and have to do it all over again. Trust me, I know level 1 by heart. I felt that S:BvSM was well deserving to be on this list and probably would have made my top 10 at the very least. I have logged far more than 5 hours on that game in my time and it still beats my ass.
The other game I wanted on this list was Gradius. The Konami killer, Gradius is much like Starship Hector or Ikari Warriors, and probably falls somewhere between those and Silver Surfer on my list. I don't know what it is about Gradius that is so very difficult for me, but I cannot clear that stupid volcano in the first level. I know I have done it a couple of times, but not consistently enough to remember much of level 2. I think there is probably a learning curve involved and given more hours I could probably make better progress, but I get very frustrated by that volcano and end up playing something else, quickly. I do not think I like Gradius very much.
Alright, I have taken enough of your time. I really appreciate everyone who stopped by, commented, or just enjoyed taking this trip with me. If you enjoyed this feature, please, I would love to hear from you! I have other ideas like this one in the works, but would love to hear what you people think about my efforts.
In closing I would also like to thank the remaining 25 signers of the Declaration of Independence who did not get face time in this feature, as well as the 31 who did . It wasn't always easy putting words into your mouths, and by about July 17th, I was running short of good material, but because I am dedicated to the bit, you moldy old historical figures stuck with me and I actually managed to learn a little something along the way. So thank you, Abraham Clark, Benjamin Harrison V, Edward Rutledge, Francis Lewis, George Taylor, George Walton, John Adams, John Hancock, John Hart, John Morton, John Penn, Lyman Hall, Matthew Thornton, Oliver Wolcott, Richard Henry Lee, Richard Stockton, Robert Treat Payne, Samuel Huntington, Thomas Lynch Jr., Thomas McKean, Thomas Nelson Jr., William Ellery, and William Hooper. You all signed the document that lead to the freedom of the great country that brought you this blog, for better or worse. I was going to include a photo collage of these remaining men, but I really want to go play some Tiger Woods on the Wii, so maybe some other time...
Thank you all.