Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
33 Consoles of Christmas
Nintendo Entertainment System (1985)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 23, 2006   |   Episode 1 (Show Archive)  

It's time once again for Defunct Games' 33 Consoles of Christmas, your 33 part guide to the best and worst system designs of all time. Join Cyril Lachel and Chad Reinhardt as they judge 33 different game consoles based on what they think of the look. Forget about actual hardware and software, the only thing these guys care about is talking about their exterior design. Join us every day between November 23 and December 25 for a new console review!

Synopsis: The Nintendo Entertainment System is credited with saving the video game industry after the great game crash of the early 1980s. With an amazing collection of games, the NES was embraced by millions of gamers at a time when many wondered if games were just a passing fad. Many of today's most popular franchises got their start on the 8-Bit Nintendo Entertainment System, including The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden and Final Fantasy.

Best Games: Super Mario Bros. 3, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, Contra, Castlevania 3, Mega Man 3, Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda and hundreds more!

We start off these 33 days with what has to be the biggest success story of all time in the video game industry, the Nintendo Entertainment System. This little 8-bitter changed everything, despite the fact that it looks ancient by today's standards, the NES managed to first house some of the greatest games ever made. But I'm not here to feel all warm and fuzzy about my memories of the NES ... I'm here to tell you whether or not I think it's a good looking system.

I would not say that the NES is an especially good looking piece of plastic. It's a large two-color box with a black stripe running down its front. It has an enormous cartridge slot that may or may not work properly. It has a grate at the top that does nothing more than collect dust and debris. Yet there's something about it that I like. There's something reassuring about that "click" sound you hear when you push the cartridge down and you're ready to push the power button. I love that the NES looks like a VCR of that era. And for all the people who complain about the sizes of Microsoft's consoles, I love that this 8-bitter is almost the same size as the Xbox 360. This isn't a perfect design, but I'll take it over the NES revisions they came out with later.

While not the most "fetching" system aesthetically, the NES does comport itself as the rightful successor to the throne once dominated by the house of Atari. The grey color scheme is a bit drab, but it's the system's other talents that allow it to shine. You can strike matches on the ridges that line its side, and a grilled sandwich fits nicely inside the cartridge slot. Add a toothpick port and you've got a Swiss Army system!

The red light on the front of the system will forever be the symbol of a working/non-working video game. When that light shines steady you know you're "Playing with Power", but when it's flashing you have the option of either hitting the machine or blowing in the cartridge. That was the first and only time I felt that I knew what to do when my system wasn't working.


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