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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why Did I Restart NES Replay?

A few people may be wondering why exactly NES Replay got restarted. I originally started going alphabetically, then stopped and rejiggered everything to go chronologically instead. This is weird to some, since there are a lot of NES reviewers around, and all of them are going alphabetically. Why can't I do that?

At first, my intentions were to just review the games like normal. "Is this a good game? Is this a bad game? Why or why not?"

As I began reviewing, though, I found that I couldn't just review each game in a vacuum. Some games were reactions to other games. Some games were amazingly innovative yet flawed. Some were horrible, horrible dreck that deserved to get dumped on. Either way, there was a wide variety of reasons that each game turned out the way that it did.

I started writing my e-book, NES Replay Vol. 1. It was supposed to contain the first 50 reviews along with histories and company profiles. None of it seemed to mesh, though. I was hopping around in time: Explaining why the Crash of 1983 happened, why the NES was important, then leaping ahead 10 years to an unrelated game, then jumping back to 1988, then reviewing a launch game. It was too scattershot, but I had already started my Kickstarter and there was no going back.

The final straw was when I sent the book to a friend of mine for editing. He started looking at it, and then I didn't hear from him for a week. I finally cornered him and he told me that it didn't make sense, that it needed to be chronological in order to fit.

I had to agree, and I got really bummed out. I had already sunk a year into this project, and now I'd have to start over?


Finally, I got my act together and dove back in. I'm having much more fun than I ever did before, and it's much easier to write each entry because they actually make sense.

There's one major problem: The rating system doesn't make sense anymore. The games can't be cleanly divided into "Good," "Middling," and "Bad". Since these aren't reviews in the classic sense, having a classic review system doesn't fit.

I looked through my previous reviews and realized that most every game falls into these categories:


The best of the best. Reserved for games that deserve permanent preservation.


Fun games that will make you smile.


They tried something new but it didn't quite come together.


Uninspiring at every level.


The worst of the worst. These games need to be baled together and burned like firewood.

So, for example, Adventures of Lolo 3 is a Classic. Kung Fu is Good. Anticipation is a Noble Failure. Ice Climber is Poor. The Adventures of Gilligan's Island is Awful. I'm going to go back through previous reviews and fix the ratings for each game, so that'll take some time.

So I hope that you understand why these changes were made, and I hope you continue following me onwards as we examine the NES. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me at lee (at) downwardscompatible.com.

Thanks!