Tuesday, March 9, 2010

8-Bits and Pieces (Classic Video Game Reviews)

So you're sitting there late at night, bored out of your head and thinking, 'I know, I'll go buy an old video game system and some games!' But the question is, what games do you get? Other sites review games that are 'new' and 'trendy' but not me. Here you'll get reviews of the games from yesteryear.

This week's review:

Dragon Warrior (Nintendo NES)
Dragon Warrior (1989) NES


HISTORY: The Dragon Warrior series was the first real major RPG for a console. Anyone who's ever enjoyed a Final Fantasy game, owes a debt of gratitude to Dragon Warrior. While yes, other RPGs existed at the time, this was truly the breakout game. It set the standard for the way the game play is designed. Interestingly enough it was released in the US as the first in the series but it's actually the third. The game was remade for Gameboy Advance awhile back under a different title and with different character names.

STORY: You're the decedent of Erdrick, who must battle his way through castles and swamps to save the Princess and the Ball of Light from the evil Dragonlord. Oh yeah, it's that good. 

GRAPHICS: Pretty killer for the time. Similar to Zelda, but with a standard RPG battle interface.

MUSIC: When it comes to NES, the music is important, and this had one of the best scores ever. 

GAMEPLAY: Fairly excellent. The controls are beyond easy. If you want a game that you can play with one hand while you're sick in bed, this be that game. 

REPLAY VALUE: I've played it through a dozen times or so. It's one of those games that are fun to see how quickly and with how low a level of experience you beat it with the next time. It's also fun to see how well you can get around the caves without a torch. And let's not overlook the fact that you name your character, so it can be new and perverse every time.

FLAWS: For a solid while you have to walk around fighting little monsters before you can get enough experience points to really do anything.  Once you've talked to all the people, the jokes are worn.

OVERALL: It's always been one of my favorite NES games. I'm not much for RPGs in general, though I've played a few. Something about this game though... the music, the magic, the story; it all combines to make a near perfect game. 

Flaws and all 5 out of 5.


  1. My biggest problem with RPG games is that I'd get to the end guys and I wouldn't have enough experience to beat the bad guys....

    Are you planning any reviews of A Boy and His Blob or Marble Madness?

  2. Geof, I think it was kind of a requirement that you had to be as perverse or sarcastic as possible.

    Asblack, I loved Marble Madness. Actually I'm thinking of requesting guest reviews for this column because there are thousands of old cool games that should be remembered. I mean I've never even heard of A Boy and his Blob.

  3. Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-What? Never heard of A Boy And His Blob? You'd feed your blob jellybeans to make him transform into different objects.... If you ran off the screen and the blob couldn't catch up, you'd throw a ketchup flavored jelly bean and the blob would catch up....

  4. See that's why I loved the games back then. Nice, rich detailed backstories.

  5. Did you play Earthbound for the SNES? THAT was an awesome rpg.

    Once every few years I download the emulator for it on my computer ... but then I get distracted by something even more random.

  6. Dragon Warrior friggin RULEZ


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