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Mini AwesomeNESs! | Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition

Alexis Ibarra-Ibarra

My thumb is seriously injured. After playing with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Classic Edition, I started realizing how marvelous controller sticks are. Just five minutes of playtime, and my thumb was already hurting. Still, regardless of the pain caused by the controller, the mini NES is extremely addictive and full of awesomeNESs!

I remember playing NES games like Mendel Palace, Mutant Ninja Turtles, Roger Rabbit, Duck Hunt, and, of course, Mario with my siblings. However, those are vague memories since I was just a toddler. As I have already mentioned in previous articles, I grew up with Nintendo 64 (N64), so, the only reason why I remember the NES is because my siblings played on it from time to time, even if we already had the N64.  

Then, it is not a surprise that I did not remember the pain you get in your left thumb because of using the control pad. Just picture this: the edges of the pad get all dirty with dead skin cells that are ripped from my thumb while playing, so I need to clean it constantly and thoroughly [OCD mode ON].

Friggin’ Control Pad!

I am grateful for the new improvements in controller design, even if I still sometimes get hurt because of playing too much. My hands are too damn small, so that could also be part of the problem… Now that I think about it, maybe I should start wearing something on my thumb. I know! What an epiphany!

Anyhow, the NES can be frustrating. A lot of NES games have what today would be considered rookie design mistakes, terrible navigation and saving systems, and sometimes they can be really confusing. Only a few of those videogames tell stories, and the narrative is not very well-developed. I am not complaining; I am just pointing out some shortages from a contemporary perspective. The technology was quite limited back then, and the medium was just taking shape.

If you think about it, it is incredible how many things they could do with only a couple of bits. Moreover, having a story, even if simple, was already tremendously revolutionary. I need to point that out, as the mini NES is entirely truthful to the original NES, so there are no changes or upgrades, which is the main reason for its existence. Therefore, do not buy it expecting it to be a remake, buy it expecting a replica with classic games.

The games from NES that I can remember from my childhood are not preinstalled, but The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II, Donkey Kong, Mega man 2 , Super Mario Bros. 1-3, Castlevania 1 & 2, Final Fantasy, Kirby’s Adventure and many other classic are. ❤

I had played some of those games on my PC before, but, while the keyboard is way more comfortable than the NES controller, there is something about the physical device that makes them way more fun and addictive. Let’s be honest, some of the NES games are boring and frustrating when played on other platforms, but the way the analogue and the digital mix in the Nintendo Entertainment System is magical.

Maybe it is that the tangible device gives a subconscious socio-cultural and historical context. Or, perhaps, it is just because the design was thought considering this very particular hardware. In any case, this serves as proof of the importance of the analogue materiality while playing [and analyzing] a videogame. That translates into the following statements: it is wonderful to play the Classic Edition to experience some NES games! It is even better if you are playing them for the first time!

Also, the mini NES is so cute because of its tiny size, and… wait for it… it has internet! I have not used it, and most probably never will, but the retro icon looks really cool. It is also great for playing with your family. My parents feel less intimidated by this type of games, so we have already played together, and we had tons of fun! ❤

Anyway, Nintendo has been criticized because it loves launching remastered versions of popular games. A lot of fans like that because of the superior graphics, the extra content, and deep nostalgia. Still, many others hate it since they want new games and are not interested in spending money and time playing the games they have already played despite the improvements.

Whatever your position in that debate, the mini NES, as a device truthful to the original, cannot and should not be overlooked, particularly if you do not have the original console at home. The analogue materiality adds powerful and invaluable attributes to the NES software, so I strongly recommend playing the NES videogames on a NES console. Besides, it is a collectable that can become an excellent long-term investment; this classic version might reach a very high price in the future.

To sum up, the mini NES is superb for playing and replaying the classics, so if you have some extra cash to spare, you should buy it!

It is totally worth it!

IMPORTANT NOTE: I need to brag about this: when I went to Japan for research purposes, I had the opportunity to meet Masayuki Uemura, the creator of the NES and SNES! He even gave me a handshake! He is a genius and still has this peaceful, kind, and humble aura! I guess that is why he could bring so much joy to the world! ❤

Do you have the NES or the mini NES? Please share with us a slice of your opinion in the comment section below! The Cake is always thrilled to read about your thoughts!

If you liked this piece of cake, share it with your friends!

Featured image taken from Amazon.

NES Controller “Notebook” image taken from Amazon.

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