Gamers in Europe really got the short end of the stick in the 80’s and early 90’s. Fewer releases, sometimes more than a year after games were released in the US.
As a PAL NES owner and a cart collector the PAL vs. NTSC issue still plaques me.
European PAL games run in 50hz but US games run in 60hz. What this means is that the refresh rates on TV’s in their respective areas effect game speed on the consoles. PAL games run about 17% slower than the NTSC games and they have those ugly black boarders to fit the screen. This bugs the hell out of me but luckily they started fixing some games and “optimized” them for PAL play. What they did is they patched the games so they run faster and at a higher pitch, these games would play great on a PAL console but played on a NTSC console the game would be way too fast and glitch out.
As a NES collector in the PAL region I just wanted to make a list of all optimized PAL games released in Europe for the world to see, the list is not complete yet but I am still adding games to the list as I test more games.
This video will show you what i mean, playing Castlevania like this is just torture…
PAL optimized (Play on a PAL system):
(Many of these may have slower game speed but most of them are well optimized and should be played on a PAL console)
Felix the Cat
Legend of Zelda
Legend of Zelda II: Adventure Of Link
Mega Man 3
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3
Street Gangs (River City Ransom)
Partly Optimized and other exceptions (In most cases sound speed up but not game speed – Play on a PAL system)
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
Chip & Dale
Double Dragon II
Double Dragon III
Ghosts ‘N Goblins
Little Nemo: The Dream Master
Mega Man 4
Mega Man 5
Mega Man 6
Probotector 2 (Super C)
Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles II: The Arcade game
Mega Man 3
Metroid (PAL version seems a bit off compared to the US one)
Not PAL Optimized(Play on an NTSC system):
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
Mega Man 2
Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles
Of course if you are a PAL NES owner and are used to the slowed down gameplay then that is fine of course. For me i have listened to the Castlevania and Mega Man 2 OSTs so many times online that i cannot stand listening to the PAL versions. As for Mega Man 1 and TMNT1, I played them so much as a child that i still prefer the slow PAL versions of the games even though they were not meant to be played that way.
Just whatever floats your boat! I hope that this list has proved helpful to you 😀
I also want to recommend NES clones like the Retron HD and The Retro AVS. Both these consoles have a 50hz/60hz switch so you can just change the frequency depending on what game you are playing on the fly. Essential for a guy with a mixed collection like me.
Comment down below if you can add some games on the list! Thank you!