NES Games That Didn’t Make the Cut

It doesn’t sound like anyone was particularly agonizing over any games in particular not making the cut.  Or if they did, they didn’t say anything.  That said, some visitors may be wondering why the games below didn’t make it on the list.  Take a gander and if you have a favorite never mentioned in the countdown, go ahead and mention it in the comments.

Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest:  Great idea, poor execution.  Incredibly slow game, with annoying pop-ups and not-clued-at-all puzzles.  Terrible translation really did this game in.  Game play itself is pretty good, and graphics and sound were great as usual, but the game is impossible without outside hints.

Ghosts ‘N Goblins: This game isn’t quite as hard as I remember as a child.  I just remember being insanely frustrated that you get hit twice and you die, especially with enemies that just appear on the screen with no way to dodge them.  I didn’t even realize you had to go through the game twice to reach the real final boss.  If it weren’t for the awful sound and repetitive graphics, I may have enjoyed it more.

Maniac Mansion: Funny adventure, but agonizingly slow with too many ways to put yourself in an unwinnable situation.  Besides, if you’re going to play this, the NES is probably the slowest platform to play it on.

Metal Gear: Fantastic idea.  Few games on the NES rewarded stealth over blitzkrieg.  But Metal Gear struggled mightily with awful hit detection, confusing directions, and terrible translation.  I’ve tried playing this several times and wonder why it was consistently a favorite of Nintendo Power.

Rush’N’Attack:  Just missed the top 100.  Kind of a poor man’s Contra.

TMNT 2: The Arcade Game:  I love this in the arcade.  I don’t care for this port.  There’s just something about playing this four-player with strangers that gives it an extra thrill.  Plus, the arcade version had better music and graphics.  On its own, this is just a medicore beat ’em up.

TMNT 3: Turtles Take Manhattan: This is a much better beat ’em up, and on a different day, this may have squeezed into my top 100.  But I just don’t think beat ’em ups got that good until the 16 bit era so few made my list.


14 thoughts on “NES Games That Didn’t Make the Cut

  1. Did you know that someone made a translation patch for Castlevania II called Simon’s Redaction? It has been completely re-translated and the day-to-night transition has been sped up! Whoever made it must be some sort of god among men!

  2. Ahh, TMNT 2. I was curious where it would be ranked. I never played the arcade version, so the NES port is my only way of grading the game. I think this game was second for number of hours played on NES. Could not beat it without using a Game Genie. Tried numerous times, but just couldn’t do it. Then, in college, played it once again. He taught me, ten years too late, that you could press A and B at the same time for a jump attack that was twice as powerful. Oh. We promptly beat it. It was very satisfying.

  3. Nowhere to be found on your list and an obvious whiff, is Dig Dug 2. I think that sucked up the majority of my time on the NES. It was also probably the first game I beat. At least I considered it to be beating the game, since the levels looped after the last one.

    • Not sure I’ve played this much. One review on-line says the game is maddening because when you drill, it’s not always obvious which part of the island will break off, making for cheap deaths.

      • Huh, I’ve never had that problem except when the two island parts are close in size. When that happens; uncommon, but it’s easy to trigger on certain levels with symmetry; the sinking part doesn’t actually sink for a few seconds, giving you time to move to the right side.

  4. Dude, Trojan! Section Z! Kid Niki! The Karate Kid! Gyromite! You clearly ignored the all-important criteria of “Games Kelly played a lot because he bought them based on their titles or box art and, well, they were around.”

    • Trojan is probably top 150. Section Z is just cruel on top of cruel. I loved The Karate Kid as a kid, but man is that play control just hideous.

      you played Gyromite? With or without R.O.B.?

      • I have no doubt The Karate Kid is awful.

        Yeah, I owned Gyromite and R.O.B. It was fun, but ass-meltingly difficult.

        It’s annoying how close Section Z is to being awesome. It needs one thing: a flow chart that fills out as you play. That’s it. That’s IT!!!

        I suppose it could use saves, too, but so could a shitload of NES games.

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