I've been playing Landstalker on Genesis. Really enjoying visiting the lesser known Genesis library - lot of good stuff, not a lot of people talking about it.
Oh man, that's a great game (although frustrating at times).
A lot of the more frustrating bits would have the edge taken off of them if the designers had placed shadows beneath the platforms. There are some areas where you just have to jump and hope it's in the right direction. I actually wonder if this was a design choice or a design limitation.
At any rate, I'm about three-fourths through the game and none of the harder parts have damaged my enjoyment.
On the Startropics thing, yeah, that was a pretty big design flaw. I don't think there are that many examples like that in the NES library, but IIRC there are quite a few computer games from the 80s-90s that required the player to look up certain phrases or whatever in the manuals in order to continue. This was an early form of DRM, though, rather than a true puzzle.
I just got an Everdrive-MD and I love it. My wife and I played through most of Punisher last night.