Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Press Start

I mentioned in my first post that the system that got me into video games is the Family Computer ("Famicom" for short) or the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), as it is known in the U.S. I was born and grew up in the Philippines, and the Famicom was what we had there. It is the Japanese version of the NES and is what was available around Asia. The Famicom was originally released in Japan in 1983 while the NES was released in the U.S. in 1985.

I don't remember the exact year I got my Famicom, but it was around the late 80's. It was a gift from my parents and it came with a game called Super Mario Bros. (SMB). Not only is SMB the first video game I ever had, it's also one of the best games for the NES/Famicom, as well as one of my favorite games for it. I'll talk more about SMB in another post, but do I really have to? Every gamer should know about it one way or another.
The Family Computer - the system that started it all for me

The Famicom and the NES are basically the same machine as far as hardware is concerned. The most significant difference is in their appearance and design. The NES has a boxy, gray and black design while the Famicom has a smaller, red and white design. The NES also has a front loading cartridge slot for its games, while the Famicom has a top-loading slot.

It's big, it's gray, it's the NES

The game cartridges themselves look quite different from each other. NES cartridges are colored gray (much like the system). Famicom cartridges come in different colors and are about half the size of a NES cartridge.

A NES cartridge- Nintendo of America seemed to have a thing for the color gray

The Famicom has colorful cartridges

Another difference is that the controllers for the NES are detachable from the system while the Famicom's controllers are hard-wired into the system, and I think has shorter cords too. It never bothered me much though, now that I think of it. I just wanted to play.

In 1993, Nintendo released a redesigned version of the NES called the NES-101. It is also known as the "Top Loader" due to its top-loading cartridge slot similar to the Famicom. The controllers were also redesigned, making it similar in shape to the Super NES controllers.  

The redesigned NES- a.k.a. the Top Loader

The NES/Famicom is probably one of the most important video game systems ever released. It made gaming more popular than ever with its wide variety of games and products. It introduced gamers to the now standard D-pad (directional pad) on controllers. It is also where major franchises such as Super Mario and Final Fantasy started- both of which are still around to this day. With the advent of Virtual Console, the NES/Famicom lives on.

The cross-shaped D-pad on controllers was originally introduced by Nintendo 

That's all for now, and always remember- the game is never over.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Old-school Gaming

I'm starting this blog simply because of my love for video games. I consider myself an old-school gamer. The term "old-school" in gaming refers to the hobby of collecting and/or playing of older video games. I especially like games from the NES era (1985-early 90's) up through the PS1 era (1995-early 2000's).

Mario- Nintendo's mascot

Crash Bandicoot- Sony's "unofficial" mascot for the PS1

What started it all for me was the Family Computer, more commonly known in the U.S. as the NES or Nintendo Entertainment System. It was called the Family Computer ("Famicom" for short) in Japan and in most of Asia. For those who don't know me personally- I was born and grew up in the Philippines, and what we had there was the Famicom. Anyway, I'll talk more about the NES/Famicom and my favorite games for it in a future post.

The NES...

and it's Japanese counterpart- the Family Computer

Other systems and games I'd like to talk about in the future are the Sega Genesis, Super NES, and Sony Playstation (PS1). I may look into some PS2, Arcade, and PC games as well. The PS1 in particular is probably my favorite video game system, so I'll be sure to talk about that soon.

Sony Playstation

 That's all for now, and always remember- the game is never over.