Famicom 30th Anniversary 30 Cent Games

FAMICOMThis year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Famicom, the Japanese equivalent of the NES in the US. To celebrate, Nintendo has offered one Virtual Console Wii U game each month for only 30 cents! They’ve done this for a few months now, and the last 30 cent game was just released. I’ve bought them all, as it was such a great deal. So in this blog, I thought I’d take a quick run through of the games in this promotion. Now, keep in mind that most of these games you can’t get for 30 cents anymore, as each game sale only lasts for a month. But I’m going to take a look at each one anyway!

Punch Out!

This is the NES Punch Out game, but not the one with Mike Tyson. Nintendo released a version of it later with a generic final boss. I think his name was Mr. Dream or something. At any rate, try as I might, I’ve never been able to get into the Punch Out games. Mainly because I really stink at them. Never could get the hang of those games. I didn’t play the arcade ones hardly at all because the bigger kids always crowded around them. I’ve tried the NES version on several occasions throughout my life, and I think I have gotten worse each time I play! I rented the SNES Super Punch Out game once, but never bothered playing the Wii version. But for 30 cents, I’ll certainly download the NES one anyway!


This racer was a launch title for the SNES, and by utilizing the Mode 7 scaling and rotating graphic effects, it gave a smooth sense of speed never before seen on a home console racer before. I never owned it back in the day, but I did rent it a few times. Playing it again, I have to say that I don’t think the original has aged quite as well. The content is rather limited compared to the sequels, which I like more. Especially F-Zero X on the N64 and F-Zero GX on the GameCube. I especially liked the random track generator in F-Zero X as it leveled the playing field for multiplayer. I wish they’d do that again. Only problem I have with F-Zero games is they are so darn hard! My favorite F-Zero characters are the fat Samurai guy in the pink car and Mrs. Arrow. Who are your favorites? Anyone remember the F-Zero cartoon or the AX arcade game? I kind of wish Pilotwings was a 30 cent game instead. I have better memories playing that. The Christmas that I got that game on the SNES, we visited relatives in Alabama and my dad and his brothers stayed up all night playing that game, several nights in a row!

Balloon Fight

I never really got into Balloon Fight as a kid. I always felt like it was a poor man’s Joust. It’s not a bad game, I just like Joust better. It must’ve been a memorable game for Nintendo, though, as they use it in several updates and cameos in other titles. Most recently, Game & Wario. The president of Nintendo even said in a Nintendo Direct video that this was one of the first games he worked on, so that was kind of interesting. Many years later, Nintendo made a version of Balloon Fight/Balloon Kid starring Tingle on the DS. I’d like to try that one!

Kirby’s Adventure

Yay, Kirby! I think Kirby’s first and only NES outing is the most re-released Kirby game there is! But it was a groundbreaking game as it first introduced Kirby’s all-important copy ability. Most of the regular Kirby 2-D platformers in the series now rarely deviate from the formula found in this one. It was also one of the last NES games ever made, so it looks really good for an 8-bit title, too! Unfortunately, because of that, I never played it much when it was first released, because by then I was already knee deep in Super Nintendo Land. But I wasn’t a Kirby fan instantly, either. In fact, it was Kirby’s Dream Course that first won me over. I wish that was a 30 cent deal instead!

Super Metroid

Out of all the 30 cent games in the sale, Super Metroid was probably the best deal. Heck, I had this game on my original Wii Virtual Console, but for 30 cents, I was willing to buy it again to have on the Wii U! Long time readers of my blog probably remember my story about how when I played Super Metroid on the SNES, brother Jeff watched me beat the game when he was really little. And he was almost in tears when the baby Metroid died (hey, don’t blame him, he was very young). Of course, he also was nearly in tears when Zero died in Mega Man X, too. Anyway, after that, when Jeff would play with his action figures, he usually had one of his plush dinosaurs be the bad monster. Batman could never defeat him, neither could the Power Rangers. Before the Metroid incident, the hero of the toys was a Mega Man action figure I got him. But after that, he had a jellyfish Beanie Baby that he said was the Baby Metroid, and he would always save the day from then on.


I didn’t play this NES puzzler at all back in the day, because like Kirby’s Adventure, I was already invested in my Super Nintendo. Back then, Tetris was still high on the hog, so EVERYONE had to come out with a ‘falling blocks down a well’ puzzler, too. Nintendo even had several. Unfortunately, Yoshi just isn’t very good. I would’ve rather them have Dr. Mario be the 30 cent puzzler, or better yet, Wario’s Woods or Yoshi’s Cookie.

Donkey Kong

And the last 30 cent game is the NES version of this arcade classic. In fact, as of this writing, it’s still probably 30 cents for the next few weeks, so nab it if you want it. Of course, the NES version is famous for missing the ‘pie factory’ level (it’s actually cement, not pies). The NES version of DK Jr. had all the levels, why not this one? Oh well, other than that, it’s still one of the closest arcade adaptations of its time.


And that’s all for now! Speaking of Virtual Console, a lot of people are excited that EarthBound is finally on Wii U Virtual Console. I’m probably the only one on the Internet who will say this, and I’m sure everyone will hate me, but I didn’t really like EarthBound that much. The battles felt antiquated, and the nonsensical story was so hard to follow that it was oftentimes tough to figure out where to go next. There’s a reason why Nintendo packed this game with a complete strategy guide! What I don’t understand is why more people aren’t excited about a new Virtual Console release on the 3DS: the original Shantae on GBA! That game’s probably just as rare as EarthBound, and way more fun! In the comments section, tell me your favorite 30 cent game and which ones would you have liked to have bought for 30 cents also. Later! –Cary

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