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Japanese parents pick the Famicom RPGs they'd most like their children to play

Best of the best

RPGs in general are quite big in Japan, and they have been for years. In an interesting new survey, parents who played countless Famicom RPGs back in the day were asked to name their top picks for Famicom classics they'd like their kids to play. The results of that survey can be found below.

1. Dragon Quest III (1988, Enix)—16.3%
2. Momotaro Densetsu (1987, Hudson)—10.3%
3. Mother (1989, Nintendo)—8.7%
4. Final Fantasy III (1990, Square)—7.3%
5. Dragon Quest IV (1988, Square)—7.0%
6. Final Fantasy II (1988, Square)—6.0%
7. Tenchi wo Kurau II (1991, Capcom)—5.0%
8. Metal Max (1991, Data East)—4.3%
8. Dragon Quest (1986, Enix)—4.3%
10. Dragon Quest II (1987, Enix)—3.7%
10. SD Gundam Gaiden: Knight Gundam Monogatari (1990, Bandai)—3.7%
10. Sweet Home (1989, Capcom)—3.7%

Want a little more insight into why some of these games made the list? You can read comments from some of the parents below.

#1 Dragon Quest III

“I’d like for them to play all Dragon Quest games, but I think III might be the easiest to start.” (Male, 38-years-old)

“The game is like the foundation of RPGs. It is the super masterpiece among masterpieces.” (Male, 44-years-old)

“It has a great system, great monster designs, and great music. Everything about it is perfect. I hope my children get to play it one day.” (Male, 40-years-old)

#2 Momotaro Densetsu

“My kids are really into Momotaro Dentetsu now, so I’d like to see them play Momotaro Densetsu.” (Male, 39-years-old)

“Now that Momotaro Dentetsu is a hit, I hope to see a remake of Momo Densetsu.” (Male, 42-years-old)

#3 Mother

“The quotes are great. It’s different from today’s RPGs, and it doesn’t take long to beat, so I’d like to have my kid sit right next to me and watch through it all.” (Male, 44-years-old)

“Mother 2 and Mother 3 were great, but Mother 1 was complete. Even the official guidebook was high-quality.” (Male, 41-years-old)

“It’s like watching a whole movie. It’s my favorite RPG. I would certainly love to play it together with the kids.” (Male, 40-years-old)

Digital Foundry: Retro NES/Famicom Tech Showcase Triple - Batman: Return of The Joker, Moon Crystal, Haradius ZERO

Games that pushed the NES to its limit

This one was put together back in the summer - where Audi Sorlie visited John Linneman and together they played their way through a bunch of great retro titles. In this one, It's the NES/Famicom that takes centre-stage. Moon Crystal, Batman: Return of The Joker (aka Dynamite Batman) and Haradius ZERO are three games that really put the veteran Nintendo hardware through its paces - so let's get to it!

Demo for NES/Famicom game "Blazing Rangers" now available

The NES isn't dead yet!

Looking for something new to play on your NES or Famicom? Why not check out Blazing Rangers? A new demo is now available, and you can get details on how to access it below.

First Press Games & Karu_gamo just released a demo version of their upcoming new NES & FC release Blazing Rangers, available for free through Itch.io.

The demo contains all game modes and a total of four playable levels, with a highscore given at the end. To celebrate the release of the demo, a highscore contest for it is being held.

The full game release for NES & FC will eventually be available on physical cartridges in three region variants and is scheduled to release in April/May of 2021. The publisher First Press Games currently offers preorders for the game.

About the Game

Blazing Rangers (Honō no Rangerman in Japan) is a newly-developed NES/FC game by Karu_gamo, who you might know from his previous works Protect Me Knight and Gotta Protectors, as well as the former NES/FC release Amazon's Running Diet.

Features of the full game:

exciting & unique fire-fighting gameplay for FC and compatible hardware
more than 32 challenging levels with many hidden secrets
a wide array of power-ups and enemies
two different game modes with strong changes to the game-play
2-player co-operative play, a partner can join the game at any time
randomly generated dangers, each play-through will challenge you in new ways
The game was developed with mapper0 restrictions, which were the earliest cartridges for NES & FC!

Switch Online Famicom/Super Famicom Collection update for Feb. 2021 (Psycho Dream, Shin Megami Tensei II, Mario's Super Picross, Solomon's Key 2)

Japan gets some exclusive titles

Just like in North America and Europe, the Switch Online Famicom/Super Famicom collections are getting more games as well. Due out later this month are Psycho Dream, Shin Megami Tensei II, Mario's Super Picross, and Solomon's Key 2. You can check out clips for each above.

First Press Games reveals Burning Rangers for the NES and Famicom

Looking for something new to play on the NES?

The NES and Famicom still see love decades after their releases, and today's an example of that. First Press Games have announced that they're releasing Blazing Rangers for the NES and Famicom, and there are multiple physical options up for grabs. See details on those packages and the game itself below.

The German publisher First Press Games and Japanese game developer Karu_gamo announced their collaboration on a brand-new action-game for classic NES & FC hardware.

Blazing Rangers (Honō no Rangerman in Japan) is a newly-developed NES/FC game by karu_gamo, who is known for his previous projects Protect Me Knight and Gotta Protectors, as well as the former NES/FC release Amazon's Running Diet.

The game was developed with mapper0 restrictions, which were the earliest cartridge types for NES & FC!

Game Features

exciting & unique fire-fighting gameplay for all NES/FC
more than 32 challenging levels with many hidden secrets
a wide array of power-ups and enemies
two different game modes with strong changes to the game-play
2-player co-operative play, a partner can join the game at any time
randomly generated dangers, each play-through will challenge you in new ways

About the Game

Blazing Rangers is an original one-screen action game for the FC hardware, realized in the style of '80s arcade games.

The setting and goal is easily explained: You are a firefighter with the task to rescue all kids from a dangerous fire site.

Equipped with a water hose, you can choose between two characters and will fight an ever-growing wall of fire and a plethora of dangerous enemies to open up the way and save the children. It's also important not to dawdle around - they might get burned if you don't take some risks and hurry to their rescue!

The two main characters Popo and Mimi both have their unique strengths and own play-styles, which you can choose from on your own preference.

What seems like a simple task on paper can actually get quite complex in further execution: Fire and enemies can cut down the access to your water hose and the environment may be affected and destroyed by their heat and attacks, which could lead not only to unexpected new dangers but also to some lucky shortcuts!

Just like on a real fire site, many unpredictable situations may occur and no play-through is quite the same, which really challenges the player's skill to adapt to sudden changes of the situations!

Especially in 1P mode the game will be a true challenge! Too hard? No problem, because the whole game can be enjoyed as an awesome co-op 2P title, which makes the game a bit easier. If the teamwork is well-executed, that is! For those that prefer an especially speedy play-style, a second mode with potent changes to the gameplay is also available!

The unique fire-fighting gameplay and tight controls will excite any fan of 8bit action games - and with 32 challenging levels and a ton of secrets, Blazing Rangers is boasting with content. You can look forward to one of the finest new 8bit games of recent years!

About the Physical Release

The physical edition of Blazing Rangers is realized in three different region variants: North American, European and Japanese versions. Their release is scheduled to ship in Early Summer of 2021.

Each region variant of the game will come with an own designs which pays homage to different classic NES/FC packagings from the '80s of the region. Each is available as different options, a Regular Edition, a limited Collector's Edition with additional extras, or a combined Super Bundle, which houses both Editions.

The Pre-Orders for these will open on Saturday, 30 January 2021 at 12:00 (noon) CET / 6:00 AM EST.

Closer details about all options can be viewed in First Press Games webstore.

An exclusive Pre-Order Bonus is available for early adopters. The physical release is exclusively available from the First Press Games, with world-wide shipping available.

Dragon Quest speedrunners are literally heating up their Famicoms to achieve new records

Now we're cooking!

Speedrunners are known for taking games to their limit by exploiting bugs and glitches to an insane level. They warp and twist the game into something nearly unrecognizable sometimes, all in the hopes of landing a world record. Over in the Dragon Quest speedrunning scene, players are now putting the game console itself through some extreme duress to achieve a good time.

A major breakthrough in Dragon Quest III speedrunning was discovered this Summer, and it's leading to some impressive times. Players have found that by saving the game and quickly toggling the Famicom’s power switch while holding the reset button, they can cause a glitch that maxes out party stats. Super helpful in blowing through the game even quicker than before.

The thing is, getting that glitch to trigger correctly can be quite tricky. Some models of the Famicom are more likely than others to result in the glitch, but there's even more to it than that. Speedrunners have discovered that literally heating up their Famicom can cause a better success rate for the glitch. This is supposedly due to the heating process making the Famicom's internal memory more volatile. This is why players are cooking their Famicoms anywhere from 122° to 176° Fahrenheit to pull off the trick. It's also worth noting that some players have found that cool temperatures can achieve a similar success rate.

Obviously not the safest thing to do with your Famicom, but when you're desperate to land a new world record, you're willing to put your console through some extreme measures!

Famicom/Super Famicom Switch Online update for Dec. 18th, 2020: Donkey Kong Country 3, Kunio-Kun no Dodgeball, and more

Japan's retro lineup

The Famicom/Super Famicom lineup for the Switch Online service in Japan is a bit different than what North America and Europe are getting. Those in Japan can look forward to Donkey Kong Country 3, The Ignition Factor, Kunio-kun no Dodgeball da yo Zen’in Shugo, Sugoi Hebereke, and Smash Ping Pong.

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light - more gameplay

Meet Marth and recruit some of the most beloved Fire Emblem characters in their 8-bit glory as you play through all 25 chapters of this classic Famicom tactical role-playing game, localized and released for the first time in North America—for a limited time.

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light arrives on Switch Dec. 4th, 2020

For the first time ever!

Well here's a lovely surprise for Fire Emblem fans! Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light is making the trip outside of Japan, and is coming to Switch on Dec. 4th, 2020! This is a limited-time release, so don't wait too long to pick it up. Check out full details below!

Every legend has a beginning. Every hero has a point of departure. For the past 30 years, the critically acclaimed Fire Emblem series has captured the attention of players with its strategic and tactical gameplay, intriguing stories and striking characters. Now, the original 8-bit game, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, which featured the heroic exploits of Prince Marth and launched a decades-spanning franchise, will be available in the U.S. for the first time. On Dec. 4, the Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light game launches for the Nintendo Switch family of systems, available to purchase for a limited time. You can watch a trailer for the game here.

While North American players were first introduced to Marth as a fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series, the story of this bold and courageous prince actually begins in Japan’s first entry in the Fire Emblem franchise, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light. The game’s new release for Nintendo Switch features its first English language localization, bringing to life the tactical RPG classic for a new generation of players. This release will also include features like rewind, fast-forward and save states, which allow burgeoning tacticians to approach the challenge at their own pace.

“The Fire Emblem series has grown into a saga enjoyed by fans for its strategic gameplay and memorable characters,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “With Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, Nintendo Switch owners can now experience the game that started it all with enhanced features that make this timeless adventure available to everyone.”

Throughout Marth’s perilous journey, players can shape their armies to execute a range of strategies by carefully selecting from dozens of characters with unique attributes that can turn the tide of every battlefield skirmish. Will Marth be able to acquire the sacred Falchion sword on his epic expedition to restore peace to the Kingdom of Archanea? Lead a band of loyal followers on a continent-spanning quest for glory and victory, and reclaim the throne from the Shadow Dragon Medeus!

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light launches in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch and on Nintendo.com on Dec. 4 at a price of $5.99 and will only be available to purchase until the end of the franchise’s 30th anniversary on March 31, 2021. For those who want to begin their adventure as soon as the game launches, pre-order is now available in Nintendo eShop.

In addition, Fire Emblem 30th Anniversary Edition will be available through select retailers at a suggested price of $49.99. This collector’s edition of the game will include a nostalgic, stylized physical NES box and a replica NES Game Pak art piece with a protective sleeve that transports owners to the era of the original game’s release. The collector’s edition also includes a colorful, 222-page Legacy of Archanea deluxe hardbound art book and a game download code. It will be accompanied by an NES instruction manual, newly localized from the original Famicom release, along with a fold-out world map and a Mini Nintendo Power retro collectible. With this rich package packed with exclusive items, fans can finally play the original Fire Emblem game as it was always intended: with power!

Super Mario Bros. officially turns 35 years old

In other news, I'm old!

Well, gang...today's the day. Technically tomorrow in North America, but over in Japan, it's time to celebrate. The original Super Mario Bros. is now 35 years old!

It's hard to believe that so much time has passed since the first true Mario adventure released. You have to wonder if Nintendo had any idea just how big Mario would be all these years later. You can bet Nintendo hoped that would be the case, but I'd imagine things have grown beyond even their wildest dreams.

Happy 35 years to Super Mario Bros.. Here's to another 35 years of fantastic games!

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