Sleepy Summer, Classic NES Gaming
It's been a hot and humid summer, so much so, that I've spent the majority of my time indoors to escape from the hundred degree weather. During that time, I rediscovered some of my personal favorite NES games on the Wii Virtual Console. There's something about seeing the little 8-bit Sprites traversing the simple, blocky 2-D environment that makes me squeal like a fan girl...
A TBS game based in feudal Japan, you can choose to play one of the many daimyo's that control different areas of Japan. Each plot of land has its tactical advantages and disadvantages. For example, choosing a location on the mountain makes it harder for invaders to attack, but once surrounded, leaves very little exit options. Besides fighting your neighbors, the game involves an intricate system of espionage, taxes, marriage, alliances and food production. Luck has a very important part in the game as well. The learning curve is quite high and the NPCs are fairly aggressive, occasionally giving you little time to build up enough men.
One of the first sports games I picked up, Tecmo bowl appealed to me due to its simplicity. Choose a play, execute said play. Catching the ball was easy enough so long as you were close to where the ball was landing. The plays were easy to understand with simplified diagrams of the different actions. Unfortunately with such a small playbook, the defense (especially if playing against a person) is bound to read some plays, even if by accident.
Super Mario Brothers
Maybe it's cliche to say that this is one of my all-time favorite games, but there's probably a reason it's become a video game icon. The variation in level design keeps the game play fresh (I mean, how boring is jumping around a screen?) and the locations of various hidden items like 1ups, shortcuts and secret levels gives this game great replay value. Besides, it shows us that even average guys, 2 Italian plumbers, can bag themselves a princess and go on crazy adventures. Deep down, don't we all kind of want that?