Hidden NES Gems

Hidden Gems

Released by Capcom in October 1992, Gargoyle’s Quest II is the second game in the series (part of the larger Ghosts ‘n Goblins franchise), and is actually the prequel to the first game. Similar to a role-playing game, you become more powerful as you progresses, from increased flight time and improved jumping ability to more health Critical reception has been generally positive. Honest Gamers staff reviewer Julian Titus spoke favorably of Gargoyle’s Quest II, calling the game “…a criminally overlooked second entry in a criminally overlooked trilogy”.

A scrolling shooter arcade game by Konami. Released in 1987 on the NES as a spin-off to Gradius, Life Force introduced a simplified power-up system, two-player cooperative gameplay and both horizontally and vertically scrolling stages. The first two levels of Life Force were profiled in the second issue of Nintendo Power, issued in 1988. Several issues later the entire game was re-profiled. The North America version was later re-released for the Wii’s Virtual Console on February 16, 2009 at a cost of 500 Wii Points.

Although the NES does’t support parallax scrolling, programmers continuously redrew the tiles making up the game’s backgrounds in order to animate them scrolling at a different rate than the foreground, giving an illusion of depth, notably in the game’s third and fifth stages where there’s a “second” background layer that appears to scroll behind the first.Despite generally being well received by critics and reviewers, Metal Storm has remained a somewhat obscure release, as it was published by a lesser-known 3rd party company.

A 1990 action RPG action-adventure game that never became a runaway hit, but is now considered a cult classic. The game’s initial success prompted a release for the Game Boy Color by Nintendo Software Technology in 2000, which is generally considered more of a remake than a simple port. The original NES version of Crystalis was praised for its advanced graphics and high quality soundtrack and also for its elaborate plot. In 2005, Nintendo Power ranked Crystalis at #115 in a list of the 200 best games ever to appear on a NES.

Released in 1987, Karnov, Data East’s mascot makes his platform debut. The game puts the bulging-muscled, fire-breathing, ex-circus strongman east-Russian hero on a quest through nine different levels to search for treasures. However, between him and the treasures were several horrendous monsters, including sword-wielding monks and dinosaurs. Although no direct sequel to Karnov was released, Data East has used the title character as an enemy in many other games, across a number of platforms.

A single-player game developed by Rare for the Nintendo Entertainment System following the success of their previous game, R.C. Pro-Am. Similar to R.C. Pro-Am, this game is an action racing game in the isometric perspective, though instead of cars the game features motorboats The overall objective of Cobra Triangle is to complete all the missions in a given amount of time while avoiding obstacles such as sharks, jumps, waterfalls, enemy land guns, and enemy boats. GamesRadar ranked it the 16th best NES game ever made.

A 1990 side-scrolling run and gun video game developed by Tokai Engineering and published by Sunsoft and Mattel for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was originally based on the 1984 film The Terminator, but the licensing rights to the film were lost during development. As a result, the graphics and storyline were altered to accommodate this change, but remnants of the earlier version still remain in the game. For example, the final boss has a striking resemblance to the titular terminator in the film.

A platforming game developed by Rare in 1990, the game player controls Kuros, as he sets out in the Kingdom of Elrond to defeat the evil wizard Malkil, who holds the princess captive in Castle IronSpire, located deep within Elrond’s forests. During the game, players make their way through forests, tunnels, and caves, battling hordes of enemies and collecting treasure, magical items, and additional weaponry to get past the obstacles and hazards that lie in their path. It was Rare’s second game released for the NES, after Slalom.

Retro Gaming junkie who grew up in the early 80's playing classic arcade, console and PC games. Lived through each generation of video gaming history, and I continue to play the classics today.
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