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Nostalgia alert: Nintendo is resurrecting its Power Line for a limited time

By Shawn Knight
Nov 6, 2016
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  1. Graphically speaking, hardware from the 8-bit era of gaming can’t hold a candle to what modern silicon is capable of but that doesn’t necessarily mean decades-old games were easier to beat. Indeed, one could argue that games of yesteryear presented even greater challenges due to the simple fact that tips, tricks and cheat codes weren’t nearly as accessible as they are today.

    In those days, you had to turn to friends or family members, gaming magazines or dedicated cheating hardware like the Game Genie or Pro Action Replay for help. Nintendo gamers, however, had an additional option that was just a phone call away.

    A quick call to the Nintendo Power Line would put gamers in touch with a Game Play Counselor that would help them get through tricky stages, locate hidden items or defeat tough enemies (for a substantial fee, of course).

    In lieu of computers, counselors had on hand actual binders full of screenshots, tips and codes as well as a vast collection of hardware and games allowing them to jump into the action and experience what the caller was going through on their end.

    The Power Line was eventually shuttered as the Internet rendered it useless but for millions of gamers of a certain age, it’ll forever hold a place in their hearts. Soon (and for a limited time), you’ll get to experience it all over again (or perhaps for the first time).

    In celebration of the upcoming launch of its NES Classic Edition system, Nintendo is bringing back the Power Line for three days only (November 11-13).

    Announced in July, the NES Classic Edition is a miniature replica of the company’s beloved mid-80s Nintendo Entertainment System. Rather than accepting original game cartridges, it’ll come pre-loaded with 30 of the all-time greatest NES games including Castlevania, Double Dragon II, Excitebike, Metroid, Punch-Out!!, Super Mario Bros. 1-3 and The Legend of Zelda, just to name a few.

    During launch weekend, anyone that finds themselves puzzled by one of the Classic Edition’s 30 games is invited to call the Power Line between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Pacific at (425) 885-7529 (that’s even the same phone number as the original Power Line save for the area code).

    Unfortunately, the revived Power Line won’t be manned by actual counselors. Callers will have to make do with recorded tips although Nintendo says there will be behind-the-scenes stories from original Nintendo Game Play Counselors (that alone may be worth a call for some). Nintendo didn’t mention whether or not it’ll charge for the temporary service.

    The NES Classic Edition arrives on November 11 priced at $59.99 and includes a replica NES controller as well as an HDMI cable and power cable.

    Binder image courtesy portnoyd, Imgur

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2016
  2. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Maniac Posts: 424   +221

    30 games huh?

    You should be able to fit virtually every single Nintendo game that ever existed on that system.

    What kills me is when I look at Wii's virtual library and see games I grew up with missing from the NES catalog. Super C is there, Contra isn't. Where's Seicross? Section Z, Burai Fighter?. Hudsonsoft offered plenty of gems as did LJN. Shadow of the Ninja? Metal Storm?

    I was similarly disappointed by the last Sega Genesis portable that lacked Revenge of Shinobi.

    Then, the real shock comes when you try to play one of those games and get NINTENDITUS (carpal tunnel syndrome) almost immediately from those non ergonomic controllers. Super NES' controller helped relieve that, but Playstation and Xbox's controllers perfected ergonomics.

    And then you realize that games from the 80's punished failure with immediate death.

    None of that "push X to respawn" nonsense (done to keep those with ADHD from crying)

    None of that "keep playing to you finish".

    Games of my youth punished you for anything less than absolutely flawless performance. You ended up having to memorize timing in ways that modern games in no way simulate.

    Konami was especially notorious for that.

    I still have my NES. I still have cartridges for it. Still have my Power Glove, Power Pad, Duck Hunt gun and Robot. I tried playing TMNT and was immediately disappointed that a game I used to be able top play through in one sitting was kicking my butt.
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,684   +791

    Meaningless or not, I still remember when I scored 1,000,000 points on TRON .... such power, so nimble, so amazing my memory is still intact!
     
  4. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Guru Posts: 382   +342

    Blame licensing. Konami is not interested in video games anymore, and they bought hudson when they went defunct.

    LJN games are often considered sub par games by many, which combined with the fact they went defunct in 95, may be why their games are not on the system, ece.
     
    ikesmasher likes this.
  5. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,954   +162

    Lol no one thinks the old games are easier....

    30 games is weak, ill stick to my emulator
     

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