Silver Surfer

Read the review here.

“This game was difficult. And by “difficult,” here we mean “among the hardest video games ever created,” or perhaps “so overwhelmingly irritating to play that it is nearly unplayable.” ”
– from the full review, which you can read here.

Ah, Silver Surfer, a legendary NES video game by sole virtue of its insane difficulty level. Even the Angry Video Game Nerd, in his spot-on review of the title, could not beat a single level of this auto-scrolling shooter, despite the fact that you are even offered which level to play, ala Mega Man style. My first memory of this game was when I was browsing my code book that came with my Game Genie, and whenever I would be looking up something like the moon-jump codes for Super Mario Bros., I would sometimes notice the listing for a “Silver Surfer” game. I was not yet into comics, and had no idea who the character was, so I always thought “what the heck is a Silver Surfer?” Then, once I got into Marvel mythology a bit, and realized what that “Silver Surfer” NES video game was all along, I had to go out and get a copy – only, then, to become monumentally frustrated and disappointed at how utterly broken this game is. Silver Surfer, that dreaded NES video game is more difficult than trying to shave a mother grizzly bear after beating her cubs to death in front of her, is harder than selling a home in a post-2008 economy, and is more challenging than trying to duct-tape two pumpkins together underwater blindfolded using your feet.

4 Responses to “ Silver Surfer ”

  1. “The music is passable [ . . . ]” Uh . . . ‘scuse me. Do you not know who the fuck Tim Follin is?

    To say the least, he’s probably one of the best composers of chip music on the face of Earth.

    The fact that you, who, quite plainly, assumes unwarranted authority over reviewing NES games–namely, ALL OF THEM–and yet know nothing about the true complexity in instrumentation and channel blending that was required to produce NES-based music of this caliber, only to brush it off completely in half of a sentence not only reflects your unfamiliarity with the 2A03 (and thus the NES itself), but your inexperience with its library of games, and thus your insufficient ability to review any of them.

    And do not be fooled. There are a number of other people who give a damn about even the smallest of technicalities–specific people or subdivisions who produced a game, obscure aspects of its development, its technical usage of the NES hardware–more than they do about your personal rehash of the same general things that a very large number of different reviewers and players alike have to say about a game.

    If you truly expect to take up the mantle you’ve eagerly jumped for, and if you truly care about your status as a reviewer–more importantly, a reviewer who says anything that people give a damn about–then I suggest you change your approach, and fast.

    Because that list of games you have ambitiously published on your page? I assure you that a great number of them are titles that are endlessly obscure, yet very great in quality, and you will not be doing them any justice by slandering their names with your technical ignorance of them and the console.

  2. Best comment ever! Very well-put. While I definitely agree with some of your implications, I think you may misunderstand my own. Some thoughts:

    1 ) You are correct: I am certainly no expert on 8-bit hardware, yet by taking on the challenge of reviewing every NES game, obviously set myself up for some sort of prestigious expectation. You should note, though, that my reviews are by no means authoritative. In fact, one of my greatest joys in running this site is the passionate discussions with other NES fans, many of those conversations rising over disagreements. Why do I need some sort of formal qualification to review these games? Anyone on the planet has plenty of choices when it comes to reading game reviews, and they should take them – not only should you never rely on one reviewer’s take on a game, but frankly, if someone does not like my reviews, they can go to plenty of other sources. Heck, I don’t even do video reviews. While I am flattered that you hold me to such a high standard, I have never claimed to be anyone beyond a guy who grew up playing NES, loved it, and never really stopped. Feel free to rake me over the coals of expert credentials, but this is a mere hobbyist site. If you so lament the fact that a mere hobby-gamer has taken on the “mantle” of Nintendo Legend, and reviewing every game, then I am not sure how to console you; it is a shame, perhaps, that none of the “experts” took this task before I did. Sorry. 😀

    2 ) Ohhh, I am not fooled, do not worry – Geeks get real passionate about details that most human beings can never hope to comprehend, much less understand the devotion behind. I am well aware that many gamers are much more technically proficient than I. Again, though: I am just playing the games and reviewing them, I give no indication otherwise. If someone else would like to do a more technical take on all the games, I would be happy to support them.

    3 ) My approach will not be altered. You forget: My aim is not to be given a damn about. My aim is not to be considered an expert. My aim is not to be respected, adored, or otherwise revered. My aim is to play the games and review them.

    4 ) Another important point: The difficulty of something does not necessarily have any correlation to its quality. One of my favorite articles I have read since starting was an interview with the female graphic artist who worked on some of the Wisdom Tree titles. In the piece, she related how difficult it was to form the visuals for these games with their resources and the technical limitations of the time, and both her and the interviewer shared a laugh at the somewhat disappointing result. To assert that because something was difficult to do it must be great is foolish. Squeezing a dog turd through a sock is probably difficult, but its difficulty does not necessarily make it admirable. Now, am I saying that Silver Surfer’s music is as bad as a dog turd? No, of course not. It is not bad.

    5 ) To be 100% honest: I’m not a big auditory guy (obviously, right? :p). I am probably going to fail to appreciate the music of many NES games as much as you and many other gamers do. For some games I love the music, some I like, some I hardly notice, some I find annoying. Audio is not my forte.

    6 ) I certainly agree that a number of the obscure NES titles are solid games. But if I do not enjoy them, they will get a negative review – regardless of the technical specifications of the cartridge. This is the nature of reviews, throughout any form of media: It is, at its basis, an opinion. My reviews are opinion, and little more.

    7 ) I find it awesome that you love a particular game’s music so much that you would take me to task for not doing it justice in my review. That is fantastic.

    8 ) I just really wanted a point number eight.

    You bring up some of the great facets of review theory/philosophy, and I would love to discuss the issue with you further if you would be up for it. Email me at or even hit me up as a facebook friend at if you are so inclined.

    In summary: *shrug* We’ll see. 🙂 Thank you.

  3. You assert that something difficult to produce is not great in itself, which is true; however, that is not my point. My point is not to assert that NES-based music is always just as good as music in general. That’s an argument which will, quite frankly, go nowhere.

    However, as far as NES music goes? This music is really, really good. Really, really good as in most people who write NES music today (through emulated program or artificial samples, what have you) find it very difficult if not nearly impossible to reproduce the same piece or anything else that uses similarly programmed instruments.

    And although I am not by any means well-learned in the fields of chip music in general, I do have plenty of experience with the sound capabilities of the NES, if that means anything to establish the validity of that argument.

    I can pretty much respect everything else you said, though.

    As for your offer. You may want to check your PMs.

  4. […] To Be Anywhere Near As Fun As A Game That Is Actually Great” file, alongside stuff like Silver Surfer. But at least in this one, you can get hit twice before you […]

Leave a Reply

Nintendo logo, other properties all rights reserved Nintendo of America, Inc.