I forget exactly when Nintendo announced that they were coming out with the NES Classic, but I knew the second I saw it that I wanted it. I planned to go to the store the day it was released and buy it.
Well, as it turns out, I should have pre-ordered it or stood in line before the stores opened. It was sold out in the blink of an eye and it has been extremely hard to find.
Since the day of its release I have been looking for one in stores. I refuse to pay more than retail value for one because I know that once the holiday season is past the shelves will be stocked full of them. That’s the way these companies work.
So every time I pass a Wal-Mart or Target or GameStop or Best Buy or any store that might possibly have an NES Classic I stop in and see if they have any available. Of course the answer has always been NO.
This morning I had to make a trip to pick something up for my wife. Down the street was a GameStop so I stopped in and asked. Of course the answer was no, but the lady said she might be getting a couple in when UPS arrives and that the store in the mall got a few.
It just so happened that I would pass the mall on my way home.
I got to the GameStop in the mall and there was one customer in the store and two employees. I went to the guy that was not helping the customer and asked if they had NES Classic in stock.
He said, “Umm, let me check.” and then looked at the lady that was helping the customer. He repeated my question to her and she did not answer. He turned back to me and said, “I just got in so I’m not sure.”
It was at that point I was pretty sure they had at least one.
The lady finished with her customer and waited until he left the store. She then came over to us and quietly said, “yeah we have a few in stock.” She was telling that there was some available. She did not have to tell the guy I asked, because he clearly knew. She said to me, “I can sell you one.”
“I’ll take it.”
She went to the stock room and came out with one in her hand, holding it by her side as inconspicuously as possible. She put it in a bag that was too big for it and then put that bag in another bag. Only then did she bring it to the counter and scan it at the cash register. Then she rolled up the bag.
I said it was like doing a drug deal. They both laughed and agreed. They said they get about 20 calls per day looking for them and they can’t hold them for anyone. It is first come first serve.
So I finally got an NES Classic.
The “console” is tiny. It fits in the palm of my hand. Which is a far cry from the size of the original NES and the game cartridges it used. The controller is the same size as the original controller and feels good. Just like old times.
The games play just as I remember they did. And every game has 4 save slots that you can use anytime during the game. So if you want to beat Super Mario Brothers you don’t have to do it all in one sitting.
It is a little disappointing that there is not an option to expand the game library in the future. It comes pre-loaded with 30 games including a lot of my favorites, but I can make a big list of other games that I would like to be able to play. And there are no expansion slots or wifi options to upload more games.
Despite that this thing is near perfect. It hits the nostalgia trigger all the way and I get to play the games that I love playing.
I am not big on video games anymore, and every time I see my kids playing their XBox I always think about how much I miss the simple side scrolling games with just a couple buttons to worry about. I know it makes me sound old, but games used to be good because of the gameplay. We didn’t need fancy graphics and 42 different first person shooters.
Now I can play with power. Nintendo Power!