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The Unofficial NES/Famicom: A Visual Compendium Review

I was a SEGA guy growing up. I had the Master System and Genesis when I was a young gamer. I never really played an NES until my older brother gave me his 20 plus years ago. Over the years I have appreciated more of what the NES had going for it and what it did to pretty much save video games as we know it. Now that I am older, I find myself playing more of my classic consoles on a PVM rather than playing my PS4 or Xbox One. To me, the games more enjoyable, relaxing and fun. With the boom of retro game collecting there have been many books chronicling the visual history of different consoles. I have reviewed ones for the Genesis, N64 and even the Arcade. Now Bitmap Books has released the 4th in their visual compendium series, The Unofficial NES/Famicom. Let’s take a look.

First off when you get the book you will notice the form factor of the book is smaller than say, the N64 Anthology. But don’t let the size fool you, this book has some heft to it.  It comes in at 536 pages and features more than 170 games.  From Mario to Journey to Silius, it covers the hits and even unreleased games you may have never heard of. It includes articles on the leading developers and interviews with key figures in the industry. The book has over 80 contributors sharing their thoughts on the games, the art and more.  So much was put into this book and with the turn of each page, this shows.

The book comes in 2 formats, hard and soft cover. Both versions include a 3mm protective board slipcase which has a lenticular fascia with many of the NES iconic game characters on it. Both versions have a spot varnish dust cover. The hardback has sewn binding with a double book mark ribbon. The pages are lithographic print and some have metallic inks. There are several gatefold pages from games like Super Mario and Contra showing the layout of entire levels. The quality of the book is fantastic. At £29.99 ($36 US) for the hardcover and £24.99 ($30 US) for the softcover, it seems like a steal. I can't overstate how great the quality of this book is. Everything seems to pop off the page. 

I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you are a NES/Famicon fan or just a fan of retro game art, you will love to have this book in your collection. The book will be available March 13th and you can order your copy from Bitmap Books here.

Thanks to Bitmap for providing a copy for review. 

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