NES/Famicom: a visual compendium

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204 reviews   |  

With its cutting-edge graphics and extensive catalogue of iconic games, the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES (known as the Famicom in its native Japan) played a huge part in the history of videogaming.

Nintendo’s console stormed onto the market and immediately raised the bar with classic titles such as Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., Mega Man, The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Fire Emblem and many more. Over the course of its 20-year lifespan the console sold in excess of 60 million units, made Nintendo a household name, and introduced youngsters everywhere to whole new worlds, characters and stories. For many, this would be a turning point in their lives, leading them to become artists, game designers and programmers. It helped to popularise manga and anime among Western gamers, and brought icons of Western culture into Japanese homes. Nintendo’s little 8-bit console changed the world of entertainment forever, and its influence cannot be overstated.

NES/Famicom: a visual compendium aims to showcase the very best pixel art, box art and product design, including Japanese Famicom artwork as well as that used for Western game editions. Spread over 512 pages, it features more than 170 classic games, with articles on the leading developers, interviews with key figures in the industry and mini-features on subjects such as packaging, fan art and unreleased games. Each book comes in a 3mm protective board slipcase with animated-effect lenticular images.

Book specifications
512 pages. 170mm × 230mm. 3mm protective board slipcase with “animated” lenticular fascia. Edge-to-edge high quality lithographic print. Hardback with free PDF. Sewn binding for enduring quality and the ability to lay flat for ideal double-page image viewing. Spot-varnished cover and dust jacket that highlight key elements against a matte background. Two coloured bookmark ribbons. Shrink-wrapped. Free PDF for viewing on the go.

Reprint updates
In this latest reprint of NES/Famicom: a visual compendium, we’ve updated the Nintendo feature to reflect the demise of the Wii U, as well as the introduction of the Switch and, of course, the NES Classic Edition. Contributor entries now include their role in the game or profession, in line with more recent visual compendiums. The first edition’s gatefold pages have been removed, but the content is, of course, retained.

Includes contributions from:
Kaz Aizawa, Martin Alessi, Mat Allen, Lance Barr,, Kevin Bayliss, Ian Bell, Colette Bennett, René Boutin, Gary Bracey, Frank Cirocco, Samuel Claiborn, Wes Copeland, David Crane, David Darling, Tom duBois, Andy Dyer, Marc Ericksen, Greg Ford, David Giltinan, Tim Girvin, Alberto J. González, Kouji Hiroshita, Machiguchi Hiroyasu, Keiji Inafune, Shigesato Itoi, Satoru Iwata, Yoshiaki Iwata, Steve Jarratt, Masashi Kageyama, Masato Kato, Sam Kennedy, Yoshio Kiya, Professor Yoshihiro Kishimoto, Koji Kondo, Scott Marshall, Damien McFerran, ‘Trickman’ Terry Minnich, Shigeru Miyamoto, Jerry Momoda, Robert Morgan, Mark Morris, Tokihiro Naito, Wes Nihei, Philip Oliver, Toru Osawa, Jared Petty, John Pickford, Ste Pickford, Julian Rignall, Andy Roberts, Perry Rodgers, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yoshio Sakamoto, Masahiro Sakurai, Bruce Schlickbernd, Kazuko Shibuya, David Siller (Sushi-X), Mat Sneap, Audun Sorlie, John Szczepaniak, Takashi Takebe, Gregg Tavares, Shinichiro Tomie, Michitaka Tsuruta, Masayuki Uemura, Masahiro Ueno, David Warhol, Michael Winterbauer, David Wise, Manabu Yamana, Kinuyo Yamashita and Hideo Yoshizawa.

Customer Reviews
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Chris P.
United Kingdom
I recommend this product

NES/Famicom Review

As always with Bitmap Books, superb production quality, enticing layout, visually sublime and written by aficionados passionate as to gaming history and culture. An absolute must for anyone interested in console gaming history. I now have most of their books and can hand on heart testify that the quality of these volumes is amongst the best of any collection out there.

Christopher T.
United States United States
I recommend this product

Playing With Power

Bitmap Books have a way with words, pictures, layouts, and narrative that belie a sense of being just another video game book publisher… their platform-based visual compendiums communicate not just the history of a given system and its software, but give a sense of what it was like to experience said system and software. Turning the pages of this volume was like being 9 again and playing a cart until I was ready for the next, popping that cart out of the console and popping the next adventure in with the imperceptible electric snap of the Power switch. It felt like an experience instead of a book. Beautiful work in every way.

Seán M.
Canada Canada
I recommend this product

Another Excellent Compendium

I have been thoroughly enjoying the SNES visual compendium, and while I've only skimmed the NES visual compendium so far, it appears to be just as high quality. A great deal of games are covered, typically with a full two-page spread of beautifully printed game pixel art, and paired with a few paragraphs about it from either a games journalist/enthusiast or a developer or publisher who worked on the game. It's a high quality product that's easy to recommend to anybody interested in the NES, its games, and its history.

Iain W.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product

Excellent quality

The whole quality of these "compendium" books are top notch, With the additional slipcase and gorgeous lenticular design art. Extremely great looking. Full for amazing retro gaming content.

Bitmap Books NES/Famicom: a visual compendium Review
Patrick O.
United States United States
I recommend this product

Absolutely needed if you own and love the NES

As with each of the Visual Compendiums, they are a treasure trove of every system they cover. The books themselves are of the highest quality and you will cherish each and every book you add to your library. I have almost all of them now and I absolutely love them. 15/10 With every order, you get the physical book, the digital download, and the best support you could ever imagine. Your money is well spent here

Bitmap Books NES/Famicom: a visual compendium Review