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Gaimng revolution in a third world country: NES

Updated on January 15, 2013

During the ‘80s and early ‘90s, when PC gaming was not so popular as it is today and owning a personal computer was a privilege for many, console gaming was at its peak. Some of the consoles that the present generation of gamers grew upon include well known Sega Genesis, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), its successor Super NES (SNES) and Sony Playstation.

And while Sega Genesis was very popular during the ‘90s throughout the developed world, it was very expensive for residents of third world countries (like mine) to afford those gaming consoles. I have witnessed the gaming revolution myself as a resident of a third world country, and remember walking through street markets and searching for the desired game cartridges. NES had taken its place and was the most popular console owned by many households, thus contributing to video gaming frenzy even in poorer countries, where purchasing Sega Genesis was very expensive at the time and playing Sega games was strictly reserved for gaming clubs, there known as “Sega clubs”.

Nintendo’s NES had all features of a classic gaming console: one power supplying port, one antenna exit, the console itself with power and reset buttons and cartridge slot, and two game controllers (then referred to as “joysticks” – people had less knowledge about gaming gear, and did not know that a joystick really is a stick with control buttons) with a joypad, two action buttons and two option/start buttons. It was simple, not at all complicated, but it was everything a careless gamer needed.

The most popular games were those of Super Mario franchise, so the most famous one was Super Mario Bros. It was so popular that later it came along with a console, was inbuilt in it and no cartridge was needed to play it. Games that also came along with the console were Battle City, Duck Hunt (a portable gun was optionally used to play it), and some more. Cartridges were often crafted in China, to keep the price down, and some games were even programmed there, resulting in many in-game bugs and errors. Cartridges could often be found on the black market, were even purchased directly on the market (next to cabbages, carrots, flowers, unchecked pig meat, cigarettes and foreign money) and better and more wanted games were often much more expensive. But it kept the gaming machine move on for third world country infants.

Some Genesis games that were popular at the time were poorly converted for NES, ant those included The Jungle Book, Aladdin, The Lion King, Mortal Kombat, many Ninja Turtles franchise games and so on. But, there were even NES games that had better gameplay then many Sega games: for example Super Mario Bros had a great gameplay, one of the best, that even later remakes for SNES could not match. Super Mario 2 and 3 had the potential to be addictive, and then there is Ninja Gaiden, Robo Cop, Godzilla, Double Dragon, Metroid, Mega Man…

Those are the names best known among vintage gamers, as representatives of the golden age of console gaming. Although they had poor 8-buit graphics, we all like to play them sometimes to get reminded, so there are a lot of emulation programs for that purpose, popularly known as emulators (they make your processor emulate the processor of the particular console), and the best ones for NES are Nestopia and iNES, and there also are a lot of roms (game files) that can be found on the Internet.


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