I was going to post this as a comment to the Well-Red Mage’s post on the rumors of a SNES Classic Edition out by Christmas time, but it’s not really a comment so much as a trip down memory lane for me.
I wasn’t able to get one of the mini NES classics, and personally I doubt I’ll buy a mini SNES classic, though the prospect thrills me. My first “real” job was at the Longs drug store near my home where my mother worked. It was through this job that I was able to purchase a brand new Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or, fondly, the SNES.
Now you can have your PS4’s and your Xbox One’s, and even your PS3’s, 2’s and 1’s. None of them – NONE OF THEM, hold a candle to the SNES. Sure, they are graphically leaps and bounds beyond the SNES, but it doesn’t matter. There comes a point and time in a game when you don’t care about graphics anymore. I mean, sure, you may see something and ‘ooo’ or ‘ahh’ for a moment, but it is soon forgotten as you concentrate more on GAME PLAY! Poor game play makes fancy graphics moot! The SNES had both excellent graphics (for it’s time and even by todays standards in a time of ‘throwback’ games that rely on 8 and 16 bit pixel sprites) AND excellent gameplay, in spades!
I won’t go into details about the hardware, which was sexy as hell with that sleek grey body and rich, purple, sliding power and reset buttons. Or the controller that was PERFECTLY fit to the hand and paved the way for multi-button controllers for the rest of human history. Or how there were ZERO LOAD TIMES ON GAME CARTS! That’s right, youngsters! Back in those days when you slid that power button forward (with a satisfying -snap!-) you were seeing intro screen within five seconds and, if you so desired, in the game within ten. No fifteen minute load screens or “here play this mini-game while waiting for the game you actually bought and paid for to load into memory”.
And now, to the Well-Red Mages list:
- Super Mario World: I got this with the system when I bought it and, like every kid in America, played it for hours on end in pure amazement. Parallax layer scrolling, millions of colors, HUGE levels, Yoshi, dynamic sprite scaling – holy crap, it was amazing!
- The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past: I don’t remember when I bought this game, but I may have purchased it from the local movie/game rental store. This will always be one of the most amazing games in gaming history. I played through it multiple times and enjoyed every one of them.
- Super Metroid: Dear god. I pre-ordered Super Metroid from the game store in the local mall and literally counted the days until it was available. Metroid has always been #2 on my top three games list and always will be. It’s one of the few games I ever purchased a play guide for (for the artwork) and the ONLY game I ever called the Nintendo Hint line over (Surprise! You actually CAN’T get Samus to super jump at a 45 degree angle, despite her doing it in the running game demo). At one time I had the game down to a science and could easily clear it under the three hour “best ending” limit. Everything about this game was, and is, perfect.
- Final Fantasy 3: I have recounted this tale before, but I pre-ordered this game from the back of a gaming magazine after falling in love with Final Fantasy 2 (didn’t found out until years later they were actually 4 and 6). I received it the same day my family headed out to see the new Disney movie, The Lion King. I took over our 200+ lb. TV (it was ginormous) and my life has never been the same. Easily the best game in the series, where FF2 got me hooked FF3 reeled me in. Final Fantasy is my obsession (in case you hadn’t already guessed). This is the first game I ever purchased the soundtrack for ($60.00 via mail order directly from Squaresoft) and I still have it today. BEST. GAME. I. EVER. PURCHASED.
- Chrono Trigger: I waited for ages and with bated breath for this game, consuming every article I could from gaming magazines until it’s arrival. Truly a ground-breaking game, even to this day it is unrivaled in even the feeling of playing it. I attempted to get all the endings, but eventually burned out before all thirteen (I think). Though the original didn’t have anime cut scenes and all that it instantly became a classic and is unrivaled to this day.
- Mega Man X: This is one of the games that my friend and I used to play for hours on end, even though we beat it many, many times. There was always a competition to see who could get through levels the fastest, and Mega Man was always a great hero!
- Earthworm Jim: Only played momentarily, but always heard it was a great game. Will need to look this one up.
- Zombies Ate my Neighbors: Same as above. Will need to “find a copy” somewhere.
- Super Mario World 2 – Yoshi’s Island: I remember playing this game, but not much. I wonder why? I recall it being spectacular graphically and the gameplay was fun. Maybe I didn’t own it.
- Street Figher 2 Turbo: My friend and I have a saying that has stuck with us through the ages, and it goes like this, “When you meet someone at the Street Fighter machine, he is the enemy. The enemy deserves NO MERCY!”. Countless hours, and I mean COUNTLESS HOURS were spent playing Street Fighter. We went and spent $120, each, on the original Capcom Fighter Stick – easily the greatest fighter stick ever made (I still have one, though the cable has been destroyed), and if a game could have been played into the ground, our copy of SF2 would have been dust.
- Donkey Kong Country: I had purchased this game and loved it! It was fun and the pre-rendered graphics, reminiscent of Rare’s Killer Instinct were great!
- Donkey Kong Country 2: I honestly don’t remember playing this game, though I remember seeing it.
- Super Mario Kart: THE ORIGINAL! THE ONE! THE GREAT! MARIO KART! Holy crap! When this game came out it set the world on fire! I had never even heard of a game COMPETITION outside of the arcade until Mario Kart came out! It is the only game I entered and “official” competition for and my friend spanked me and eliminated me in my first run! To. This. Day, it is a fun game!
- Super Mario RPG: This game totally blew my mind when it came out. It is almost the perfect game. Everything about it from the music, the game mechanics, the characters the story – is flawless! The marriage of Nintendo and Squaresoft is a sweet one and I promise if you play the game it will not only hit your funny bone, but touch your heart as well. I still tear up a little when I think back to Mario reading the dream stars. If it doesn’t at least make you misty-eyed YOU HAVE NO HEART!
- Secret of Mana: Oh man. So, originally I pre-ordered the fighting game Fatal Fury from the back of a gaming magazine, but when the release date came and passed and still no game, I called the company up to find out what was going on. “Release date has been pushed back”, they said. They gave me the option of waiting for it or picking another game from their library. I picked Secret of Mana. Excellent decision. A fantastic game all around, I went out and bought the SNES multi-tap so two of my friends could join in and play. The soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful, the gameplay is fun and can get a little hectic and the wide selection of weapons is great! I remember the manual had little puppets of the characters inside and I always wanted one.
- Earthbound: Never played, though my friend had a copy. He would never let me borrow it. Will need to “acquire”.
- TMNT Turtles in Time: Another game we spent countless hours on, as we were TMNT freaks back in the day! And yes, we did have pizza and Pepsi nearly every time we sat down to marathon play through this game.
- Super Ghouls and Ghosts: Holy crap this game was difficult, but well worth playing if you could keep from throwing or smashing your controller or your SNES.
- Kirby Superstar: Played here and there, but not much and not often.
- Harvest Moon: I keep hearing about how great this game is, but I don’t recall playing it.
- Final Fantasy 2: Ah yes. I rented this game from the local video rental store and played it like mad for three days straight, even taking time to show my uncle, who had participated in playing the original Final Fantasy with my on his NES. I returned it unfinished, but was able to find a guy who lived in my friends apartment complex who was selling it for 20$! I bought it right away and, wow, the stories I could tell. I have posted this before, but I remember sitting in the garage at my parents house late, late at night with my friend. I had my SNES and all its games and a TV on a rolling cart, and we had it in the garage because we would get too loud when we played to be inside. A certain character was revealed to be in relation to one of the main characters and our jaws hit the floor, while we stared at each other in disbelief. It was magickal and one of the best memories of my childhood. What a fantastic game! Great graphics, great story of redemption, betrayal and love, incredible, INCREDIBLE soundtrack!
- F-Zero: Another great, great racing game that I rented first and played for hours, even after I bought it. Samurai Goroh was my go-to for kickin’ butt and taking names.
- Castlevania IV: The Castlevania series has always been one of my favorites for a number of reasons. The gameplay is simple, straight-forward and tight. The music is haunting one moment and upbeat the next, but always fun. The story can be odd, but is pretty straight-forward as well – Kill Dracula! This game was in our arsenal and we spent a lot of time with it.
- Soul Blazer: I remember playing this game and loving it, but at the moment I cannot recall anything about it! I will have to look up some YouTube videos!
- Starfox: Awwwww, yeah. Super FX chip, baby! With the power of the chip the SNES hardware could render REALTIME 3D GRAPHICS! Not pseudo 3D or pre-rendered stuff, but REAL, ACTUAL POLYGONS! I played the snot out of this game and became a bit of an expert at it! I pre-ordered it as well and received a special Starfox logo pin for my efforts, which I still have to this day!
- The Lost Vikings: I want to say I played this game, but I don’t recall.
- Super Punch Out: Though I was a big fan of Mike Tyson’s Punch Out on the NES, I don’t recall playing the SNES version that much. Weird!
- Killer Instinct: I pre-ordered and bought this game (I got the soundtrack on CD with my pre-order, which I still have. It has Spinal on it), and we played it for many hours as well, though not as much as Street Fighter. I enjoyed it but was disappointed at the concessions they had to make in gameplay to get it from a high powered arcade machine to the SNES. Poor little old SNES couldn’t handle a lot of stuff and a lot was changed or removed. Still, I enjoyed it. Recently I have been wondering if I could find and purchase an old Killer Instinct 2 arcade machine.
- Breath of Fire 2: I remember playing this game, but I remember BoF 1 better. Fun RPG from Capcom, but my heart belonged to Squaresoft.
- Out of This World: A classic game that, I believe, originated on the Amiga PC. though the graphics are tame compared to most other SNES games they are beautiful in their simplicity. The game itself could be very difficult at times until you figured out what you were supposed to do, but it was a cool experience!
That’s my take on the suggested games. Games I would like to see include:
What a fun and weird game! You race riderless unicycles along a twisting, curvy track by jamming on a button. It’s not as easy as it sounds, you have to use the control pad as well to control your direction and, if you didn’t follow the flow of the track, you could easily come to a complete stop. This game was actually tons of fun and we really enjoyed it!