A couple days ago I recorded a bit for The Retro League podcast about the "Top 3 Overrated NES Games". I think it will appear in episode #3. If you listened to the show you'll find these comments remarkably similar to what I said on there. That's because this was an idea I had in outline form that I was going to post here anyway. I planned to make this a top 5 list but couldn't come up with that many.
See, when I say "overrated" I don't mean "bad". Any moron can make a list of 5 bad NES games. What I'm talking about are games that all, or at least some very loud, NES fans consider great that I think get way more credit than they deserve. They're held up as a standard of excellence for the system, but I find them to be average at best.
Castlevania is often listed as one of the 10-20 best games for the NES. I'll admit, it's not a bad game but it's really not that great either. All my memories of the game involve falling to a watery death after being hit by a bat. OK, sometimes it was falling down a flight of stairs after being hit by a bat... or even getting knocked back into another bat after being hit by a bat.
A better title for this game would have been "Getting knocked the &%$# around by bats".
I bought this for the Virtual Console because I didn't own the cartridge and recall it getting great reviews back in the day. Even now it still goes for $5-$15 on ebay which is usually the sign of a good game.
What a major letdown. Right away I noticed that some of the graphics appeared to be directly ripped from Legend of Zelda. If only they ripped the controls from Legend of Zelda instead. The whole control scheme is frustrating, there are certain floor tiles that you can't cross without jumping. Even if they're connected you have to jump from one to the other. Most of my experience involved holding the d-pad expecting to go somewhere while snakes and whatnot killed me. I quit playing after getting stuck at the 3rd or 4th boss.
Oh, and a yo-yo is your primary weapon.
1) Super Mario Bros. 2 - Japanese Version
There's a small contingent of blowhards who claim this is better than the American Super Mario Bros. 2 because it's the "real" Super Mario Bros. 2. True, this is the official sequel. The point they're missing is that the American Super Mario Bros. 2 is actually fun to play. Who cares if it's really Doki Doki Panic, it's a good game.
This version is basically a bad ROM hack of the original game. It has some novelty value that wears off after a couple stages of pure frustration (much like the average Super Mario Bros. ROM hack). If you took Mario out and placed a Code Masters sticker over the Nintendo logo no one would be singing its praises.
Does it still look like a great game now?