As I promised, here is the follow up to my look back at the obscure gems of the NES library that deserve your attention.
Willow- Only Capcom could make a wonderful game based on a movie about a midget in tights traveling with a surly Val Kilmer (actually the movie is kinda cool too if you like fantasy flicks.) The game is a RPG in the vein of Zelda, but not quite as good. The soundtrack and graphics are very impressive for the NES era, and show what a movie to game transition should be...yes I am looking at you, Total Recall. The controls are a little odd in this one, but aside from that, it comes highly recommended. For more Willow and Capcom magic, check out the kickass arcade game on MAME.Shatterhand- Do you like bad box art? If you do, then this game is for you buddy! In all seriousness, this is one of those truly awesome games hidden behind a very shitty cover box. Shatterhand follows a cop in his efforts to destroy every robot and cyborg he comes across. The gameplay is a mix of Mega Man, Bionic Commando, and a little Ninja Gaiden. Each stage is selectable in whatever order you choose, and the difficulty is just enough to make the game fun but not overly painful. The graphics are descent and the music rocks. This one is also really cheap on eBay, go get it now!Summer Carnival '92 Recca - The title is a mouthful, but it is a true shmup classic. It was sadly only released for the Famicom in Japan. Recca was also only released in limited quantities as it was created for a gaming competition, so it is a very expensive and rare title to come across even overseas. It is beyond obscure, but everyone should know this game, because it is the best shooter on the NES. The game plays very fast and it is insanely hard. The frantic shooting frenzy is matched by an equally bumping techno soundtrack. Recca is hard as nails, but this shouldn't stop a shooting game fan from owning it. The developer went onto work for Cave, the company known today as the "bullet hell" masters. An original copy can be quite expensive, but sites like GameReproductions have very reasonably priced repro carts available.