Episode 76: Trying Out 8-Bit Games: Part 1


So I’ve been playing a lot of The Sims 4 recently and, while I do like the game, it certainly needs a lot of work to match up with what Maxis gave us with The Sims 3. In fact, because of all of the lack of features, it was more akin to a graphically updated version of the first Sims game! That got me thinking of trying out some retro games. I mean, my brother keeps telling me that the games during the 8-bit days were really good. Also, there was this video…

These teens seemed to enjoy playing the NES. But I wonder if I would like them myself? So I asked my brother if he could dust off his Family Computer that he keeps displayed in a glass cabinet, see if it actually works, break open his old box of games, blow into the cartridges and play some old school Nintendo!

I set a few ground rules regarding how I played. First, I would play the “classics” only. This would be the Super Mario Bros and the Castlevanias of the world. My brother has a very extensive collection of games so I told him to just let me play the best games only. Second, no matter how much I like or hate the game, I could only play it for 30 minutes (excluding pee breaks). Finally, I won’t be playing on emulators, just the cartridge only. That’s what the Family Computer is for!

Wonder how much a working Famicom is these days?

Wonder how much a working Famicom is these days?

Before I play any games, I gotta talk about the console itself and its aesthetics. It looks like… a toy. The Family Computer reminds me of piece of candy. Not that I dislike the look. I honestly think it’s pretty refreshing, especially if you compare it to modern consoles. Gaming consoles nowadays are so serious looking, as if they’re desperately trying to make them look like you don’t play video games on them. It’s also very small and cute! I’ve always admired the Family Computer’s design while it was sitting in my brother’s display case. I like it!

Anyway, on with the games!

Super Mario Bros.

You can’t start a review of 8-bit games without playing Nintendo’s classic Super Mario Bros. It’s weird but I’ve never actually played the original Super Mario Bros. Not on the actual console anyway! I’ve played it on the Gameboy Advance a long time ago so this isn’t really anything new… or old… to me. Still, playing it on a bigger screen with the Family Computer’s controller feels different so it’s a totally new experience as the same time.

I think ours was a bootleg version though.

I think ours was a bootleg version though.

In the 30 minutes I gave myself, I was able to get to the end of World 5-2. I have to say Super Mario Bros. is still a very fun game to play even today. The graphics sure don’t look as pretty as today but the bright cartoony graphics really work for me. It was actually more difficult than I remembered but I loved every minute of it!

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!

The next game the Teens React people played was Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out! I watched them play the game and… was it me or were they not playing it right? They said that the first guy, Glass Joe, was hard? I TKO’ed him in the first round on my first try!

Not to brag, but I pretty much annihilated everyone for the most part; Piston Honda did give me trouble. But I did beat him when I got my rematch! I got stuck with the fat guy, King Hippo. I couldn’t find his weakness! I kept on dodging his punches but I still was unable to get a clean hit on him! Unfair! I did try the code and face off against The Baddest Man on The Planet and… well, I lost in a record time of 28 seconds! I didn’t even see what he did before he threw his KO uppercuts!

Punch-Out! is incredibly fun! It may seem a little racist for today’s taste but I don’t think people who played it really minded all of the stereotypes because the gameplay is incredibly fun. Now, how do I beat King Hippo?


This is the only game I played with my brother since he said you just have to play Contra with two players. He also told be about the infamous Konami Code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, B, A) and had me enter it! I flubbed it a couple of times and we had to reset the console just so I could get the game in 30 lives!

Hey! Isn't that Arnold and Stallone?

Hey! Isn’t that Arnold and Stallone?

This is the only game I managed to finish within the 30 minute timeframe! This was a blast to play and I’m glad I played 2-players with my brother. i suspect it’s only because we were an army of two that we managed to fend off the alien invasion. I just wonder why anyone would want to use any other weapon besides the spread gun! Once we both got this gun, we were totally unbeatable!

Well, that’s it for this week! I’ll play some more retro games and write up my thoughts as well as my conclusion as to if 8-bit games are actually fun without the nostalgic feeling.


What’s your favorite Nintendo 8-bit game? Let me know what it is in the comments section below!


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