Retro gaming has never been hotter.  Prices for older games are through the roof.  Clone systems are all the rage.  Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition and it was suddenly THE holiday gift to get (with such short supply that scalpers sold it for 4x the price because they suck).  Retro-Bit launched the Retro-Bit Generations 100 games-in-one console to a lot less fanfare but, again, RETRO GAMES.  

Pat Contri published his book Ultimate Nintendo Guide to the NES Library (1985-1995) this year and it is just an amazing labor of love.  It covers every single release for the NES in America with box art, screenshots, information on the games, and personal feelings on the games from Pat, his CU Podcast co-host Ian Ferguson, and a few others.  It’s amazing to look back and read/learn about the games you loved as a kid.  The games you never knew about.  The rare games you’ll never own.

There’s a look at the system and all the peripherals.  It touches on games never released in America.  It talks about the bootleg games.  There’s also a great section in the back with some of Pat’s fellow retro gaming YouTubers writing about different facets of the Nintendo era including Norm Caruso “The Gaming Historian” and James Rolfe “The Angry Video Game Nerd”.  

I won’t get too in-depth as I’ve already written a rave review about the book at the old blog (I may port that review over here at some point).  In a time where nostalgia couldn’t be higher for retro games this book comes out.  The timing is timely and perfect.  It is a masterful achievement in size and scope and the large book (weighing in around 6 pounds!) is just beautiful to page through.

Just like the NES Mini this book is becoming harder to find.  It was funded through Kickstarter so all those backers got books first.  Pat seemed to print plenty more books but they’ve sold like wildfire.  Pat has mentioned a second printing of the book but until then you may need to find other means to get it.  You can try to snag it at Pat’s website if you are lucky.  If not there is always Amazon – though you may find yourself paying an arm and a leg from a reseller.

If you don’t care about actually owning this monster book there is also a digital version available – which could be great especially if there is an ability to revise content.  An app was also just released where you can view games, ratings, pick out games you want, games you have, et cetra.  I have yet to pick up the iOS app but I do hope it may be something I’ll pick up shortly.

If the book sounds even a tiny bit interesting then I suggest you seek it out.  The actual final product is mind-blowing – the content is perfect.  There is no doubt that once you own it you will find yourself going back to it again and again and probably still finding something new and interesting.  In short?  A masterpiece.