What it is, & How to Find the Elusive NES Famicom Adapter

Scour the furthest reaches of cyberspace, and you’ll find blog posts covering just about every video game accessory and piece of hardware there ever was. But one piece of console lore that remains woefully underreported is the Famicom to NES cartridge converter. Sure, there are certain posts out there on the subject, but few of them offer a comprehensive analysis of what it actually is. So in the interests of remedying the issue, here are answers to five questions that cover everything the habitual gamer needs to know about this throwback bit of tech. What is a Famicom to NES Adapter? By the time the Nintendo Entertainment System hit American shores in October 1985, gamers in Japan were already familiar with the first version of the system: the Famicom (Family Computer). Released in 1983, it was the precursor to the American NES, and its wild success signalled a rebound from the...

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How to Replace a Nintendo NES Pin Connector

Tools Needed: Philips Screw Driver | Standard Pencil Eraser | New 72 Pin Connector | A Cordless Drill with Philip Bits (Optional) Here is a video we did on How to Replace a Nintendo NES Pin Connector Step One: Remove the Six Screws from the bottom of the consoleOpen up consoleSet aside the six screws you just removed Step Two: Remove the seven screws from around the metal lidSet aside the seven screws you just removed Step Three: Remove the six screws from around the black cartridge slotTwo of the six screws are silver and longer than the others. Take note of their location for re-assemblyRemove the black cartridge slot holder Step Four: Remove the old pin connectorSlid the pin connector off the board with your thumbsRub your eraser back and...

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Nintendo NES Review Super C - The Old School Game Vault

Super C is a throwback to the glory days – when men were men, and video games were punishingly, brutally difficult. Super C, the North American NES version of Super Contra, was released in 1990. It features the same muscle-toting, cigar smoking badass heroes that everyone loves. Your mission? To fight through incalculable numbers of alien hordes to save Earth. Just like Contra, Super C has you fighting through 8 levels of mayhem with all the weapons that you’ve grown used to. Featuring single-player and co-op action, this isn’t just another Contra game. Well, let’s just say the story isn’t going to win any writing awards. Honestly, it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things because when an incredibly ugly alien monster is staring you in the face, it doesn’t matter how this situation came to be. What matters is that you have a gun in your hand, and you must...

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3 Classic Video Games That Need to be Replayed

You’ve heard of the classic video games on this list. You’ve probably played at least a couple of them. But have you played them recently? In this millennium?  If not, you should! The three classic video games profiled below deserve a replay, so dust off your cartridges, Blow into your NES, and let’s talk about some great classic video games. 1. Street Fighter II I should preface this entry by noting that I’m not a big fan of fighting games. I’m not arguing that it’s a bad genre; it’s just not one I often choose to play. THIS game, on the other hand, was responsible for a marathon New Year’s Eve/Day session at a friend’s house that had me returning home so addled from non-stop gaming and lack of sleep that the next morning. I wandered around the house half-dreaming that I was in the game and mumbling incoherent to the point...

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Best 4-Player NES Games for the Nintendo NES Four Score

When most people think back on the Nintendo Entertainment System, they think of hit games like Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda. Ironically, these popular titles barely scratch the surface of the system’s potential. The hardworking folks at Nintendo wanted their first home console to offer an advanced, immersive, varied gameplay experience. So they strove constantly to create exciting new accessories that would break through the console’s initial limitations. One of their most successful accessories is the NES Four Score Which is a multitap that allows 4-player, simultaneous multiplayer gameplay. In this article, we review the 6 best 4-player NES games that are compatible with the Four Score. Read on to learn more. 1. Bomberman II Today, every Nintendo console library includes an excellent Bomberman game for at least 4  players. This grand tradition started with Bomberman II for the NES. This was the first Bomberman to allow multiple...

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Metroid and The Last of Us - Has a strong Bond!

Spoiler warning: This post contains spoilers for The Last of Us (little ones), the Left Behind DLC for The Last of Us (big ones), and, well, 1987’s Metroid. If you’ve read any of my other posts on The Last of Us, you know I’m a huge fan of the game. But after playing the Left Behind DLC a few years back, Naughty Dog gave me a whole new reason to love the game. To explain why, though, I need to go back over a quarter of a century…to Metroid. Metroid is an awesome game & So is the Last of us It was in August of ’87, and it is now. The fighting is fun, the level design is good, it offers open exploration and multiple endings (which apparently helped spur the advent of speed running as a thing, since players wanted to see the different endings, which depended not on in-game actions but on completion time)…and all of...

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Super Mario Bros 3 Nintendo NES Review

In the pantheon of game franchises, there are very few single entries that can lay claim to bringing sweeping, long-lasting changes to the franchise. In a storied franchise such as Mario, this feat is even more impressive. Which is why Super Mario Bros 3 is a classic retro game that has stood the test of time and brought to the series mechanics and changes that we are still feeling the echoes of over two decades later. Super Mario Bros 3 on the Nintendo NES, truly changed the complete formula for the Mario series, and influenced every 2D platform entry in the series after it. Released in 1990 for the NES, Super Mario Bros 3 was an absolute smash-hit. Gamers loved the new overworld map, the wide variety of suits Mario could now use, item storage and even the Koopa Kids first made their appearance in this game. With more than 18...

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The Complete Original Nintendo NES Label / Seal Guide

The late 1970s saw the release of the Atari 2600 and the rise of the home gaming console. But by the early 1980s, it crashed and burned. This was due mostly to gamers’ frustration at sub-par games (“E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” anyone?). The sentiment effectively killed the home-console market. This fact wasn’t lost on Nintendo of America in the lead-up to the 1985 release of their NES home console. They knew that to win over the public, they would have to ensure that the games they released for it were of a certain high quality. Therefore, Nintendo added a “Seal of Quality” sticker to each game’s packaging. These stickers changed over the years, as did cartridge case designs for certain games. For example, the initial release of the classic NES title, “Metroid,” had a silver label. However, a 1992 re-release of the game had a yellow one. The difference may seem...

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What Are The Expansion Ports Under A NES And N64 Used For?

These days, game systems come with all kinds of auxiliary ports—USB, HDMI, Ethernet, Optical Audio, and more. These ports are used for logging in online, connecting digital cameras, and everything in between. But back in console gaming’s retro heyday of the ‘80s and ‘90s, you’d be lucky to get one port on your console—the stock “expansion port.” Typically, these were used to connect special hardware and expand gameplay. Or were they? Interestingly, not all these ports were that functional. Case in point: look under your old Nintendo NES and Nintendo 64 systems. There, you’ll find the 48-pin expansion ports, each hidden behind a snap-in case. Kids who discovered these in the ‘80s were understandably mind-blown. What could they possibly be for? Maybe they’re for some cool peripheral, like a new light gun or a different controller. But no one we knew during childhood ever found out. So, let’s put the rumors...

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The 10 Best Retro Castlevania Games You Need to Play Today

Any time a series inspires an entire genre of games, you know they’re doing something right. One half of the inspiration behind the ever-popular Metroidvania genre of games, Castlevania does a lot of things well and arguably includes the most battles against Count Dracula featured in any gaming series. Any game that makes you beat Dracula that many times deserves a place in history, wouldn’t you agree? Castlevania’s gaming catalog includes a few misses, but there are plenty of all-time classics to make up for them. Today, let us take a look back at the best vampire-hunting, ghoul-slaying, whip-brandishing series in gaming history. Castlevania – NES, 1986 Castlevania would mature as a franchise over the years and add a lot of technological wizardry to its arsenal, but the heart and soul of the game has always been horror.  The original Castlevania is a classic side-scrolling beat-em-up platformer that has you adventuring...

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Castlevania NES Review, The Original Retro Nintendo Game

There are portions of Castlevania that will defeat you. Portions that will make you look back mournfully over your life and the decisions that led you up to this point – your 17th straight death courtesy the Medusa heads. The Intro: You will curse at the heavens, at this wretched castle and all the gothic horror it contains within. But then, just as a true hero tasked with vanquishing the foes of the netherworld would, you will look at the whip in your hand, take a deep breath, and begin again. Castlevania first came out for the NES in 1987. The Famicom version of the game came out a year earlier. Yes, this is a game that is over 3 decades old. Let that sink in for a minute. The GamePlay: You are Simon Belmont, an upstart member of the Belmont clan that has found his way into a quest that will...

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Here's Why Retro Gaming is Harder, Than playing Modern Games

I remember a time in about 1991 playing one of my favorite childhood video game, Super Mario Bros 3. That I borrowed from a friend for a weekend. I wanted to beat it before I gave it back, but this being the relatively early days of console gaming. Super Mario Bros 3 had no save feature of any kind So in order to reach the end, I just left my Nintendo on overnight a couple nights in a row to maintain my progress until I could come back to the game. When I finally beat it on day three or so, there was an added sense of triumph – not only had I beaten the game, I had beaten the system by managing to finish it before I had to turn off my system and lose all my progress. As far as ten-year-old me was concerned, Raccoon Mario and I had...

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Best Horror Video Games - Retro Titles from the 80s and 90s

Most retro gaming fans have a closet full of widely-known platformers, RPGs, and party games. And why wouldn’t they? The most popular games are the all-ages are the all-ages, general-audience titles that everyone can enjoy. These are also the games that get the most press coverage and prestige. As such, there’s one genre that retro gamers always seem to overlook: old-school horror games. And that’s a real shame. Like all retro games, horror games had their golden age in the 80s and 90s, too. So today, we’re dragging the best horror video games back into the limelight. These are the scariest games that sent shivers up our spine and made us afraid to walk into a dark room. They also gave us some of the scariest moments in gaming history. Now, read on, if you dare. Splatterhouse on the TurboGrafx-16 - Released 1990 What do you get when you (unofficially) turn...

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The 10 Best NES Shmups - Great Nintendo Shoot Em Up Games

Do you remember any of your favorite childhood dreams? We do. At least, if you’re anything like us, you dreamed about being a badass fighter pilot. How cool would it be to rocket past enemy lines, blasting baddies left and right with machine turrets to liberate entire planets? Well, the NES gave this experience to a whole generation of gamers through some of the most nostalgic shmups ever made. Today, we’re going to look at 10 NES shoot em up games that every retro gamer needs to try. Some of these are fantastic arcade ports, like Xevious, but many of them are NES originals. Now, load up, take aim, and reminisce about theses excellent NES shooters. 1. Gun Nac Gun Nac is one of the wackiest and most over-the-top shooters you will ever play. The enemies in this game are, to say the least, unusual. You’ll battle killer rabbits, trees, sentient...

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Why Retro Video Gaming is so Popular & What makes it fun?

Why is retro gaming so popular? Most retro gamers will give you the short answer—that retro games are just plain better than modern games. However, you’re probably looking for a more legitimate, less biased answer. Lucky for you, we have several such answers listed below. For example, Retro games don’t need realistic graphics, complex controls, and downloadable bonuses in order to be fun. The simplest games, like Dig Dug and Bubble Bobble, are often the most enjoyable. That’s why Candy Crush Saga has remained popular for an entire decade, earning over 2.7 billion downloads.  It's not like the old games were not hard, many older games are probably hard than today's games.  My son can't even make half the jumps in the original Super Mario Bros.  Here's a cool article I wrote about why retro games are harder, than the games today. On the other hand, mobile games like that are...

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The Variations & Reasoning of Nintendo NES Cartridge Screws

In 1986, Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America, changing the entertainment industry forever. It was immediately so popular that people trampled strangers in department stores just to get one before it sold out. This trend continued as Nintendo and third-party programmers released one hit NES game after another. Given all this hoopla, would anyone notice or care that the number of NES cartridge screws changed from 5 to 3? Nintendo didn’t think so. They just stopped producing 5-screw NES games and adopted the new 3-screw format without any explanation. Obviously, they forgot that 100% of their core demographic are obsessive geeks (like us). And geeks notice details, especially when the items in question become rare, retro collectibles. So, why the big (or rather, hardly noticeable) change? And why all the secrecy? Furthermore, does it even matter? Actually, it matters more than you’d think. Read on to learn why.  ...

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Three Retro Nintendo NES Games to revisit Today!

In a previous post, I discuss some classic games that you know and probably played, but that you should give a second look in the 2020s. Here I’ll discuss a trio of all-but-forgotten retro video games.  You may well have missed these games the first time around, but fear not! They’re all worth a play even today – read on to find out why. 3. Ikari Warriors Have you seen a Rambo movie? Okay, then you get the idea. Like the probably more famous NES game Commando, Ikari Warriors is a top-down, vertically scrolling shoot-em-up about foot soldiers. Unlike that game, your character in Ikari Warriors has a bandana and a friend. Co-op! On the NES! Co-op games were a rarity, and that makes Ikari Warriors a lot of fun if you’re looking for an 8-bit shmup fix. Ammo was limited, which is an interesting twist for the genre, plus you can...

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The Best NES Games for your kids to Experience & Play

Long before Will Smith was slapping grown men on live television, he and Jazzy Jeff taught us that “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” And it’s true. There's always an unavoidable gap between one generation and the next. Those who grew up in the 80s played Nintendo and wondered why their dads were so fascinated by baseball. Kids today watch TikTok videos and wonder why parents do anything that requires more than 34 seconds of their attention. But, once in a while, we find those rare activities that both generations can enjoy together. Case in point, the following guide lists the best NES games to share with your kids. These games nourish your child’s mental development (seriously) while bridging the generation gap. Plus, they’re addictively fun for all ages. Enjoy these games together for some glorious, 8-bit family bonding. 1. Super Mario Bros 1-3 You can’t go wrong with a classic. And few...

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Explore the History of the Legend of Zelda NES Video Games

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link The Legend of Zelda games are seriously one of the best video series ever made. Still, the larger this series gets, the more questions it raises. Are the Zelda games connected and if so, how? And why does Link always start the game empty-handed? Where are the items he won in the previous games? Perhaps the most common question is, “What’s the correct order in which to play the Zelda games?” That’s easy: play them oldest to newest. Honestly, we may never understand the overly complex in-game chronology. But we’ll gladly give you a guided tour through the History of the Zelda Games.  Besides, it’s more fun to see the series progress as you play through in the originally-intended order. Together, let’s explore how it all started with the first 2 classic games in the series. 1. The Legend of Zelda - Nintendo NES The Legend of Zelda original game release...

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Do it! Why you need to Buy an Original Nintendo NES Console

Yes, we know that there are plug-and-play retro NES consoles that are very cheap to buy. We also know that these systems are pre-loaded with hundreds of games and that they include two controllers. So, why would anyone buy an original NES console for over $100, no games included? Two words: Duck Hunt. Can you play the beloved classic Duck Hunt on a plug-and-play system? No, you can’t. These systems don’t include or even support the Zapper light gun accessory that’s required to play this title. Along those lines, can’t you just play Duck Hunt on the Wii U Virtual Console, you ask? Yes and no. Yes, there is a playable version on the Wii U Virtual Console. But no, this port does not provide the same experience. Namely, it displays crosshairs where you are aiming, making it impossible to miss. This dumbed-down perversion of the original game is so dull...

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