|Reviewer: Andrew Washburn||Date: Jun 13, 2006|
|Here it is. This game pak was, for most of us, our first introduction to the world of the Nintendo Entertainment System. For myself, it came on my sunny and warm 6th birthday back in June of 1989. Even today in 2006, however, that childish gleam of delight never fails to set hold somewhere deep inside when I see Mario and that duck scroll across the screen and hear that high-pitched, crisp beep that indicates your selection of which of the two games you desire to play. Oh, the trials of making it through the fabled glitch "Minus World," of making it through all 8 worlds (or 3, if you go the 1-4-8 route) without being hit, of acquiring 99 lives in World 3-1, of trying for hours to jump the flagpole in World 3-3 (a feat which, with the liberal assistance of an emulator and the F7 Restore State button, I actually learned to accomplish)!
And Duck Hunt...let us not forget that oft overlooked but nonetheless valuable additive component of this package. Who hasn't played this game and attempted to shoot the damn dog? Who hasnt put the gun up against the screen and played to at least level 20 with no difficulty? Has anyone ever beaten the game? Can it even be done, or does it go on forever, like Tetris? Either way, you're sure to enjoy hours of hunting, clay shooting, and manipulating the ducks with the controller plugged in slot 1.
For its time, its graphical performance was simply superior. Not much else needs to be said. The bright, vibrant colors of the early levels, the flashiness of coins and stars, and the forbidding gray stone of the castles are true Nintendo classics. The animated dog in Duck Hunt is nothing to be ashamed of, either.
If the scale went higher than 10, I would give this category a 15. Super Mario blows the roof off with its music. I'll never forget jamming to the invincibility star music and cowering at the castle music. The coin jingle, fireball flicking sounds and flagpole sequence leave nothing to be desired, either.
With so many goals to strive for (eg, speed, flawlessness, style, flagpole jumping, how deep into Minus World one can get, discovering little quirky glitches that make the game more fun) plus the advanced difficulty level that becomes available subsequent to beating the game, it never gets old, really. And even if it does, just load up Duck Hunt for one or two ducks or disks and a laughing ectomorphic dog.
Surpassed only by its distant progeny, Super Mario Bros. 3, and rivaled by only a select few such as Mike Tyson, Zelda, and one's own personal favorites (everyone has his bias, loving some games other people find dull as much as they do this one), this is one of the best Nintendo games ever made. Don't pass this up. If you're at this website, you probably don't need my persuasion to agree that this is about as good as the NES gets.