The Official SNES Gaming Thread

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Post by Lord Awesome on Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:12 am

Yeah, you could see why Mario > Kirby.

Kirby's no slouch though.

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Post by Lord Spencer on Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:44 am

Lord Hispano wrote:Yeah, you could see why Mario > Kirby.

Kirby's no slouch though.

Kirby is a lazy pink bum, he is always late to the party. Seriously, he is usually the last guy in a system's life.

This game was probably the last major game in the SNES.
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Post by Lord Spencer on Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:28 pm

It is always fun inhaling stuff with pink puff guy

Game: Kirby’s Dream Land 3.
Year: 1997.
Genre: Platformer.
Publisher: Nintendo.
Developer: Hal Laboratory.

The Official SNES Gaming Thread - Page 3 KDL3_Boxart

Yes, the year of release is not a mistake. Sure this game was released after the industry earthquakes FFVII and Mario 64. Sure this game was released after the SNES became obsolete. Sure Kirby looked like the guy who crashed the party 5 hours after it ended.

Does that mean the game is not worth dusting the old SNES for one last hoorah. Apparently it was, as this game sold badly. In fact, its sales made Nintendo apprehensive about the franchise and Kirby had to do all kinds of stuff to convince the Big-N of his marketable appeal.

I can say that those who decided not to dust off the old SNES probably made the wrong decision, as this is easily better than any 2-D platoformer on the PS1 and 64 at the time. Even though most were ogling in 3-D territory by now.

Anyway, here is the review:

The Fun Factor:

For those unfamiliar with the Kirby platformers, they are very different than your run of the mill platformer. They involve multi-layered levels with little “platforming” elements like death traps and precision jumps. You also have rather long healthbar, and an infinite jump. Its all about moving the little guy, inhaling stuff and blowing them at other stuff. Sometimes you swallow stuff and copy their powers, which is the gist of the gameplay.

It is a really fun gameplay mechanic, which makes playing the level each and every time a different experience depending on how you win it. There are 8 abilities that you can copy and use.

“Wait just a minute?” Kirby fans used to dozens of abilities will say, only 8. Well, in this installment you get a variety of different sidekicks that you can ride, and combining each ability with one of your six companions give a different result. to a total of 64 different abilities, 65 if you count your neutral state. The difference in style each companion gives is overwhelming. Some are more fun than others, but all of them are preference based, since each gives a different experience.

This makes the necessary repetition completing the game will demand an okay task. On that note, the game demands that you get a heart-star from each stage. But there is a catch, you don’t collect the heart-star by finishing the stage, but each stage offers a clue on something you should do to get the star. This will demand you play the level sometimes more than once, on average three times to figure out what you need to do and how to do it. It might feel cumbersome at times. especially in some long stages, but the variety in doing the task will make it less so.

Finally, to the final mechanic in the game. That of Gooey, a purple slime who you summon to help you. This slime thing is supposed to be used in CO-OP with a friend, and it is the only situation I imagine the thing to be of any use or fun at all. Because the computer just annoys you when it uses it, which is why I rarely summoned the gluttonous slime.

It is really difficult to give a score to the amount of fun a good Kirby game gives. Its a unique brand of surreal gameplay and specific fun. If you enjoy Kirby games, you will absolutely love this one. If you don’t enjoy Kirby games, then there is something wrong with you and you need to go see a psychiatrist. Kirby blows, spits, and sometimes even swallows, and he is going to kick your butt.

Score: 10

Challenge:

Kirby games are notoriously easy, they are like a playground where you can do lots of stuff and there is nothing menacing trying to stop you. You can make it hard for yourself by attempting self-challenges, but the game itself offers little difficulty.

However, the difficulty scales slightly as you progress and then it spikes considerably in the final world. But it never becomes outright difficult, and you will be mostly relaxed playing the game. Even the final boss is nothing to be afraid off, as two lives in you will most probably have figured him out.

Hal Lab knew this, so they opted with another type of challenge. Continuing the social gaming culture of Nintendo, Hal demanded from the player a star from each level, and the conditions for getting those stars are never explicitly said. They gave clues and asked the player to figure them out. Most are pretty easy, but there are a couple that will demand replay upon replay.

Its not unfair, but is slightly cheap from Hal. But, considering 1997, the social component with lack of internet was strong. Now you have the internet, so you will never play alone.

Score: 5

Style:

This is a Kirby game, and you will know it. In an era were technical graphics were the fad, Hal gave an absolutely charming look to Dream Land. It looked like a children’s book drawn and colored by crayons, as the environment melded into itself, and yet remained sharp.

The music in the game was simply epic, Kirby is a hero that takes himself seriously, and he demands he goes through his adventure to the epic tunes. Kirby will not be disappointed, because this game carried on the tradition of mixing the epic with the surreal, creating an absolute fun experience.

Not to mentione the boss battles, which are intense, fun, and Kirby-like to the extreme. Anyone familiar with Kirby will recognize the badd guys immediately, but even Kirby veterans will be surprised by the change in these boss battles, pleasantly so.

However, what truly makes this game a stylistic master piece is the animation, from the cut scenes to the little things. First, the cutscenes are hilarious. Second, Kirby’s movement and animation is superb.

Finally, the little things are amazing. From the enthusiastic animation of the friends as you approach them, to the shock when you ride on and not the other. They look either happy or disappointed. Kirby is then rolled into a ball, rides a bird, or is carried around by an owl. These little animations from the friends and foes make this whole adventure a charming and fun ride.

We all know who is Kirby’s favorite companion, since his face looks like he is having an orgasm while she is riding his head.

This is a game that has pink badass charm all over it, and if you are not into pink badass charm, then you need your head checked. Or better still, your balls.

Score: 9

Playability:

A pick up and play game. The controls are solid, and the gameplay is intuitive. Every level saves, and you can go back every now and then and sink right into it. Music is superb, and motion is pin-point. The game does not require much dedication, nor does it punish you for ignoring it for a long time.

However, if you are not into the formula then you won’t enjoy it.

Again, if you are not into the formula then there are a multitude of ways on which you can go f*ck your self, because Kirby rules.

Score: 9

Lord Spencer’s Score:

I obviously enjoyed this game. WIll I give it a high score in my criteria.

No. because of the obvious fact this game was released two years late. When you are busy playing Mario 64, you are not expected to dust off the SNES and play it, and for this lousy gesture from Hal to their fans, this game gets a low score from me.

Since it is a 1997 game, I will compare it to 1997 games, and by then we had Mario 64 and this game was only 10 dollars cheaper. Compared to that legendary game, this admittedly fun game takes a back seat. I usually inflate for time/era but my hands are tied when the game is released after Mario 64.


Score: 1


Overall: 10/5/9/9/2 35/50

Kirby always gets smack for being a late party crasher. And he will most probably get some in his latest return to dream land. You need to learn some punctuality bro, try swallowing a clock.

Tips on the game:

Spoiler:

Here is a list of the Companions and my view on them:
1- Kine: the fish
Obviously is going to be the best in water, and he is. Kine gets some really destructive combinations, and is a beast underwater. In fact, while Kirby is with kine, he can inhale underwater and swim against currents. Too bad he is mostly useless outside of the water and is a serious liability in dangerous platforming sequences.

Most of his abilities are good, but a couple are limiting.

Conclusion:
- Can swim against current.
- Spark ability uncovers hidden doors and marks in dark rooms.
Parasol ability makes him glide.

2- Nago: the cat thing
This guy is my favorite. He can triple jump, stomp on enemies, and he offers plenty of defensive cover. Not to mention that he roles you into a ball. All his abilities are useful or great. He is fun to use, and he packs a unique punch.

All of his abilities are good, and he has a couple Tier one moves.

Conclusion:
-Plenty of power.
-Triple Jump.
-His Needle animation is hilarious.

3- ChuChu: the pink blob thing.
Kirby’s favorite companion. She sticks up walls, and has an assortment of great combinations. Although some are not good, she can be inflated into a hot air ballon by Flame. Get her in a broom and you will fly all over the stage.

Three abilities stand out, two are limiting, and the rest are not bad.

Conclusion:
-Kirby enjoys having her on his head.
-She can fly with a broom or by using flame.
-She sticks to walls.

4-Coo: the owl.
Flying is fun, and Coo is all about flying. His abilities make use of that by either making him a sky fighter or a bomber. The only companion whose flying skills rival Kirby’s own, and the only on who can boast an equal ability of helping Kirby as cleaning the house.

His abilities are good when he is flying. None are really special though.

Conclusion:
-Fly against current.
-Fly.

5-Pitch: the green little bird
The grandfather of angry birds. You can toss him in a flaming ball, like a boomerang, control him and electrocute your enemies, strike him like a golf ball, throw him like a handegg, use him to throw stuff, or just poke holes into your enemies with his beak.

All of his abilities are good and fun to use.

Conclusion:
-Offers flight but not as good as coo.
-Remote controlled electric bird FTW.

6-Rick: the hamster
My least favorite companion. Rick does not get many good abilities, and his non sliding on ice ability sucks. The wall jump ability is limited. And he does not have a Tier 1 ability at all. His only saving grace is that he can turn into a border, and Kirby than move on top of him to roll the border; hence commencing a Rick Roll.

Abilities are meh, with only two being slightly useful.

Conclusion:
-Does not slide on ice.
-Can wall jump.
-Rick Roll into the abyss.


I don’t know about you, but I am super hyped to play Kirby’s newest adventure.

The next game in my countdown will be IGN’s #60 Aladdin, based on the Disney cartoon.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Lord Spencer on Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:49 pm

Game: Aladdin.
Year: 1993.
Genre: Platformer.
Publisher: Capcom.
Developer: Capcom.

The Official SNES Gaming Thread - Page 3 Aladdin_SNES_Box

Another game I never finished in my childhood. Playing this now brought back a lot of beautiful memories of bygone days. Nevertheless, I will not let emotions cloud my judgment on the game.

I think this game is in direct competition with another game I reviewed, the Lion King. Since both are Disney inspired, and both being platformers. There is a one year difference between the two, which accounts for somethings, but gameplay is ageless and it is where most of my review focuses on.

Here goes:

The Fun Factor:

With a level design that values pin point precession in landing, you would imagine a lot of trial and error needs to be invested. However, with the introduction of a slow landing mechanic and a level design that is made for speed gaming, the pin point jumps become intuitive.

There are enemies in the level, and the way to defeat them is uniformly jumping on them to trigger the hand spring mechanic. The game revolves around that innovative mechanic; when you jump on a pole or a bad guy, Aladdin lands with his hands and propels himself upwards. Which makes for a lot of neat moments.

Throughout the stage, there are gems you collect to increase your life bar. Some of those gems are red, and they require more skill to get than the regular green gems. Skills involving chain jumping and clever use of the slow landing mechanic. And it is in the clever use of these mechanics that the game becomes fun.

In fact, the gameplay does not shine unless you rush through the game. Slowly winning every level is repetitive and not satisfying, but rushing through the stages is adventurous and thrilling. You feel like Aladdin did during his first chase in the movie.

Score: 7

Challenge:

This not a challenging game. And while it is not easy, finishing the game should be a breeze for gaming people. Since the level design is intuitive and built for rush playing, and since life lamps re-spawn after you die, you will rarely find yourself short of lives.

This coupled with easy bosses, and the only challenge in regular gameplay is the rug escape level, which is a matter of memorizing the pattern. In fact, I defeated the final boss in my first attempt, and my health was not even full.

If you want to add some zest to your game, go for the red gems which require some creative thinking to get. Other than that the game is fairly simple and straightforward.

Score: 3

Style:

The sprite representing Aladdin is horribly rendered. Other than that, the other characters are well drawn and move in a funny an reasonable way. The background drawings are clear and representative.

I was a little disappointed with the soundtrack which is not as powerful as the one used in the Lion King. Which is understandable since the music in the movie was not as powerful as the Lion King. Regardless, Capcom did a good job with the boss music which is really good.

Where the game style shines is the level design, which was obviously designed with the intent of using all of Aladdin’s street rat skills to traverse the level. This allowes for really cool gaming moments where you effortlessly jump from pole to pole to enemy to pole to ledge. I spent half a level in the air due to the intelligent level design.

Score: 8

Playability:

The game can easily be picked up, and it supports a password system for the busy ants around. The graphics are solid, and the music is not annoying.

This a gamer friendly game that would not punish your keyboard controls. And the sentimental value is a plus

Score: 6

Lord Spencer’s Score:

Is this another money grabbing scheme from Disney. The answer is yes. Although to a lesser degree than the Lion King. However, since Capcom was responsible for the game, I expected a more solid experiance. This being #60 in IGN’s countdown is unfathomable for me. I regret giving the Lion King 7 in my criteria but I will correct the mistake with Aladdin.

Score: 5


Overall: 7/3/8/6/5 27/50

A game plummets to below the 30’s for the first time since 6 games ago. Which symbolizes that my reviews will get tougher, and that games need to rely in more than sentimental value. I am looking for a solid gaming experience, and would punish any game that does not give me one.

Tips on the game:

Spoiler:

Too easy.

The next game that interests me on the list is DKC3 which I already finished 3 times before. It is the third best in the DKC series, and would imagine a 35 score being what it gets.

So I would skip to the quirky mad game Earthworm Jim, which is #57 in IGN’s list. Hope I don’t regret going into the unknown madness of the worm

Should be crazy.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Lord Awesome on Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:14 am

Played this one recently.

The time when when Capcom was all over the Disney games. Damn, what an era.


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Post by Lord Spencer on Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:12 am

This game is insane.
Game: Earthworm Jim.
Year: 1994.
Genre: Platformer.
Publisher: Playmates.
Developer: Shiny Entertainment.

The Official SNES Gaming Thread - Page 3 Earthworm+Jim_snes

The most surreal and crazy experience you might get in any game, ever, and that is an extreme ever. Jim is a regular Earthworm who was being chased by a hungry crow, and then bam an alien space suit lands on top of him, and the suit being some special technology merged with Jim and created Earthworm Jim, the super bad-ass worm warrior. Actually, I am not sure about bad-ass, but Jim is sure super.

As you see from the setting, this will not be your normal platformer, nor your normal game. You will control Jim as he escapes from galaxy to galaxy from a number of baddies looking to get his suit. All the while racing the menacing mercenary psy-crow, and saving Earth.

It is one unforgettable experience, but does it offer more than the novelty; read on to find out:

The Fun Factor:

This game is odd, from the movement animation off Jim to that of the enemies. But that all oddness does not affect the gameplay. Basically, you need to make your way through each stage to the end. Where mostly a boss awaits. In between stages, there is a Sonic-like race sequence with Psy-Crow, which keeps things varied.

However, that is easier said than done. The stages are riveted with obstacles, from spikes, to crazy dogs and unbeatable opponents. And some enemies are literally a pain in the ass, quite literally so. Jim has the ability to shoot his plasma gun, or use his wormish body as a whip. With such awesome power you would think defeating your enemies is easy, but that is not so. Since the enemies that matter are unbeatable that way. Of course, enemies are not the only pain, as you traverse an alien planet after planet, the geography requires you to jump, scale walls, slide shafts, hang on wires, use your whip to grab ledges and pegs, and other crazy stuff.

The bosses are all very unique and personal, with each making fighting him an experience. Although non of them are specifically groundbreaking, all are tough and a challenge to go through.

On the stages themselves, they are all very different from each other in both design and gameplay. One stage requires you to use a water pod to traverse from one point to another, another is themed after Hell and is called Heck, with demons and lawyers being your enemies (you read that right, lawyers). Another stage gives you an alien puppy to control. It is a wacky adventure, and one that never gets boring.

Until, you get frustrated at the sheer clumsiness of the game. The fifth time a dog bites you on the ass because the command for evade is broken is going to let a scream out of you. The sixth time you fail the pod escape (and I am being generous here) you will consider canceling the whole thing. The game is really fun, and could have gotten a perfect 10, but the amount of moments that are not challenging or fun at all really drags this game dow. Chaos helped this game a lot, but it also dragged it down a bit.

Score: 6

Challenge:

Challenge only counts when its fair, and most of the game this title is fair. However, some really cheap moments in the game ruin the credibility of this game’s challenge.

First, lets start with the fair. The overall skill it takes to finish the stages is high, and the bosses are defeat-able after a struggle by still can be defeated. It takes great skill to aim the whip, and traveling in the hostile alien planets make for a lot of rapid movement and jumping.

Then we jump to the unfair. Clumsy sums up this part. The game design is downright stupid at times. After the hardest and clumsiest sequence in the game, you get greeted with hardest and cheapest boss in the game. Which make is very annoying when your lives disappear and you have to go through the difficult sequence again. And the movement, while stylish, is not practical in a platformer. Too many jumps fail because of Jim’s awkward movement. Not to mention using the whip to attach to hooks (to swing from) which is downright impossible to do without plenty of misses here and there.

All these are inherently design errors, and they require luck, not skill, to be overcome. Which makes this game harder than it should be, even by using the emulator’s save function.

Score: 4 (deducted 5 points for unfairness)

Style:

I can say one sentance and it would give a very good justification for me to give the game a 10 but I will ramble on. This game is odd, freaky, strange, crazy, insane, and downright mad. From the crazy graphics and oddball animation, to the weird music and crazy names. Let me dissect my claim:

First, every level has a unique graphical style that brings it to life. But every game worth its graphical salt has that. Where Earth worm Jim shines is in the sprite graphics, which were made to be in proportional, crazy, and to look like the figment of some pot head’s imagination. Jim is crazy worm with two eye colors, and his enemies look weirder. Yet, everything falls in place in some crazy random way. Which is really cool.

Second, the animation the main character and the enemies do is simply amazing. Jim walks like a boss, shoots his head like a boss, and play jump the rope with his head like , a boss. Yes, you read that right, jumps the rope with his head like a boss, and you know it. However, the leopard monster who also walks around like a boss doesn’t know it, and when he grabs you by tho throat, and then throws to the other end of the room, he does it like a boss. Oh well, you can always jump to the bubble above him and hold your but up like a boss. Or you can shoot him with power beam and watch him evaporate like a boss, yes that is more like it.

Third, the music is like nothing you heard before. It is crazy soundtrack that was probably written under the influence of......something. Crazy track will keep you listening to the same tune without realizing it.

Finally, it is names like Heck, Monkey-for-a-Head that makes the quirky sense of humor of this game shines. Seriously, the scientist who created Jim’s suit is name Monkey-for-a-head. But that is nothing compared to the level name Snot a problem, where you appropriately have a bungee jump contest to the bitter end with non other than the aptly named Major Mucus. I am not making this up, this is really in the game.

What is the sentence that could have justified my rating? Oh well, her it is: the name of the evil queen who serves as the main antagonist in the game is “Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-filled, Malformed, Slug-for-a-Butt” and she lives in Buttsville. Seriously, that is her name. Am I right, I sure am.

Score: 10

Playability:

This game’s clumsiness would make most people shun the game. But the game itself outside of poor design is playable.

Too bad that poor design will probably cut short most people’s experience with the game in level 4 due to the extreme difficulty of the pod race.

Score: 4

Lord Spencer’s Score:

This is a very unique and stylish game, a shame it had to suffer from basic errors. The designer should have realized when difficulty becomes unfair. As such this game did not get the recognition it deserved outside of cult followings.

I hope this review will encourage some of you to at least check it out, because playing as Jim even if for a short while is a fun and worthy experience. An experience only smudged by level 4.

Score: 8


Overall: 6/4/10/4/8 32/50

I certainly don’t regret playing this game, even if I wasted a lot of time in level 4. I only managed to finish it because I was lucky that the game timer froze. Too bad that such a gem is so very raw that its shine is so dim.

Tips on the game:

Spoiler:

The Lawyers in the game will sue me if I help you.

After a number of platformers, we again come to the land or RPGs. and the game I will be playing is the classic Capcom RPG Breath of Fire II which is #53 in the list. Hope it proves to be fun.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Lord Awesome on Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:16 am

Yes! Closer to Eartbou---I mean, Yay! It's Breath Of Fire.

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Post by Lord Spencer on Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:19 am

Lord Hispano wrote:Yes! Closer to Eartbou---I mean, Yay! It's Breath Of Fire.

Earth bound is in the top 10, so there is still a ways to go. You should play some of the games I reviewed, Kirby is fun and short. Earthworm Jim is cool if you have a long temper. Or else you will throw your laptop from the window the seventh time Major Mucus wins the race. The Official SNES Gaming Thread - Page 3 2222139670
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Post by Lord Awesome on Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:53 am

I'll play Breath Of Fire & Final Fantasy again.

I honestly don't like Kirby too much. Maybe I should give Earthworm Jim a shot. I actually have it for the GBA.

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Post by Lord Spencer on Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:01 pm

Lord Hispano wrote:I'll play Breath Of Fire & Final Fantasy again.

I honestly don't like Kirby too much. Maybe I should give Earthworm Jim a shot. I actually have it for the GBA.

affraid Blasphemy.

Anyway, I found out that Breath of Fire I is also on the list, and is at #43. So I am going to review that first in order for my reviews to be more accurate.
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Post by Lex on Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:50 pm

So i just won a fully functional SNES on eBay for 30 smackers which in itself is a miracle, but it also comes with a controller and Super Street Fighter II (and PGA Golf scratch)

Can anyone recommend some good SNES games? I already have TMNT: Turtles In Time and Mario Allstars in the mail, but i want moar

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Post by Lord Awesome on Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:11 am

Final Fantasy VI

(Realeased as Final Fantasy III on the Snes)

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Post by adnyana179 on Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:29 pm

The Donkey Kong Country triology is well worth your time. I also enjoyed Yoshi's Island a lot when I was younger.
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Post by McLewis on Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:58 pm

My entire existance on SNES consisted of Mortal Kombat II, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Mario World and All-Stars, NHL 94, and Indiana Jones.

I didn't really have much interest in any other games on that box, but I may give it another lookover if I can find a throwback shop willing to part with a unit.

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Post by Lord Spencer on Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:09 am

So I am going to revive this thread as I continue my SNES Odyssey. However, I am not going to review Breath of Fire 1 as I originally planned, but review Breath of Fire 2.

What happened is that my Laptop frizzled and all the work I have done for years on it just went on and disappeared, including my BoF1 save. It caused my first hiatus from Goal-Legacy and the internet.

Now that I am back, I cannot play a BoF1 without getting depressed over the loss of hundreds of text including the first draft of two bloody novels I have written.

I should kick myself in the back for not backing-up my work, but what can be done now. I will hopefully manage to salvage many of my files by paying big money for experts, but I doubt my BoF 1 save will be among them.

For those interested in BoF 1, I will mention it at the end of BoF 2 review.
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Post by Lord Spencer on Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:21 pm

#94

Here is for the Resurrection
Game: Breath of Fire 2.
Year: 1993 (released 1995).
Genre: RPG.
Publisher: Capcom.
Developer: Capcom.

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First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

TBreath of Fire recently came to my mind with the news of Breath of Fire 6. Which was released with much chagrin by fans of the series and gaming in general as Capcom went ahead to deface another beloved series into a husk of its former self. However, I realized that BoF was in fact never a strongly followed series. It was both critically and financially lukewarm. In Fact, most Final Fantasy titles sold more individually than the entire BoF series combined.

Hence, it is somewhat confusing to see many fans remember the game fondly. In reviewing BoF2, I understood both facts. I understood why the game is remembered fondly by those who played it, and also why it didn't receive much critical or commercial acclaim.

"Cooperation! I don't think you understand the current situation"

It is true that BoF2 story is about an ancient evil being fought by an ancient tribe, it is true that you (the hero) are a destined child that is going to defeat this evil. BoF main story arc breaks no new ground, and I immediately concluded I was going into a typical RPG tale.

Yet, the story refused to go with the safest path. While it had the subtlety of a jackhammer, and the language of a preschooler, it managed to be interesting, dramatic, and grand. There are no less sophisticated arguments against organized religion in any medium ever.

This story is only as well told as it is because of the unique characters telling it. While they are without a doubt a bunch of cardboard cutouts with laughable dialogue, they manage to be endearing by virtue of both their simplicity and design. From the villains, who are wonderfully evil without any cause, to the playable characters whose unique stories round up the game. Each of the playable characters has their own story, which are all satisfying and add a lot to the overall story. The RPG enthusiast will note many of what we consider cliche today, but this is from an age pre-categorization.

These characters ultimately remain memorable. Those who are weak, but try hard anyway. Those who are wrong, but are loyal to their faults. Those who afraid, but swallow their fear to protect their friends. We can be cynical about these tales, but we would lose a lot of its charms by being so. It is no surprise that many fond memories are of these moments in BoF2.


Characters: +4
Story: +4


"There is a bathroom in every house"

I tested the above fact myself, and found that every house designed to be lived in must at least have one room for its sprites to do their business in. This meticulous design aspect lends itself to a number of other areas in the game. Each town and village is unique, and most of the character sprites are well designed. I say most because of the bland design of the hero himself, who dons a boring white cut shirt.

However, all the evil bosses look deliciously evil, while all other sprites in the game convey their personality by their design. The star of the artistic department is surely the white dragon you see in the beginning of the game, whose white scaly skin is dotted with green moss underscoring his ancient stature.

In the other hand, the rest of the game is not as carefully done. With many of the background assets being reused, especially those of the bland dungeons. We can spot the difference between the carefully crafted sprites, and the wavy NES still-shot in the background.

Nonetheless, great care has been given to the area of the game where you spend most of your time; battles. The battle backgrounds are colorful and vibrant, even if they are not impressive. The enemy design and animations are also spot on, with the powerful bosses looking like the menace they are, and the EXP fodder looking as goofy and nonthreatening as they can be.

"There won't by any orchestration of this soundtrack anytime soon"

It can be said that RPGs strongest asset is in their ability to convey emotion, drama, excitement, and adventure with their music. It can also be said that BoF2 music conveys non of those. It is a completely bland and forgettable soundtrack. I can only say that 2 or 3 tracks are noteworthy, including and okay intro theme.

By the time I finished the game, I realized that them music was singularly uninspiring. From the basic town music, to the boring final battle theme. This is one game where the music was just written to check a box. It follows no style or genre, and it flows randomly with little direction.

Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy fame expanded SNES FFs into a third dimension with his music. BoF2 music only glory is that it didn't drag the rest of the game down with it.

Design: +4

"Grandma, can the both of us unite with him, he is so handsome"

With turn-based battles, the best innovations come in the form of preparing for those battle outside of combat. BoF answer to that challenge is the Shaman system, where player characters are fused with the female shamans (hence the joke) to get some enhancements. The most basic of those enhancements is rudimentary statues boost, but different Shaman-character combinations get different results. With more effective fusion, the character changes color, and with very effective fusions the character completely transforms into a much powerful version.

Taken by itself, this system could be the best customization system in SNES RPGs, with a caveat. Yes, it shall become apparent that many of BoFs systems are accompanied by caveats.

First, the last shaman who is responsible for the transformation of at least 3 characters is only introduced before the final dungeon.

Second, each character loses their fusion if they die or get to a low HP.

These are frustrating limitations to deal with. Having to go back all the way to your village to fuse again just because you got beat up a little screams of bad game design.

"There won't by any orchestration of this soundtrack anytime soon"

It can be said that RPGs strongest asset is in their ability to convey emotion, drama, excitement, and adventure with their music. It can also be said that BoF2 music conveys non of those. It is a completely bland and forgettable soundtrack. I can only say that 2 or 3 tracks are noteworthy, including and okay intro theme.

By the time I finished the game, I realized that them music was singularly uninspiring. From the basic town music, to the boring final battle theme. This is one game where the music was just written to check a box. It follows no style or genre, and it flows randomly with little direction.

Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy fame expanded SNES FFs into a third dimension with his music. BoF2 music only glory is that it didn't drag the rest of the game down with it.

Music: -5

Shaman System: +2.5

"Hey Ryu, I am looking for a home, can I live in your village?"

Speaking of "your village", BoF2 had a citizen recruitment system 3 years before the first Suikoden. At one point in the game, you get control over some village, and you can invite homeless NPCs to your village. These NPCs pay you back by performing a range of services, from the useless job of guarding your town (which is never needed), to selling you the best equipment in the game. Of course, the system comes with its frustrating limitations.

First, you can only recruit 6 out of 27 NPCs, and even then, each set of NPCs are randomly assigned to one of six houses which makes recruiting the best ones a pain.

Second, once you recruit one you can't kick them out of your damn house. You recruited the thieving bastard, well, tough luck.

Again, BoF2 frustrates us with another confounding limitation. What could have been a fun way to liven up your village by getting mostly useless features is now a village filled with the same useful people in most game saves. BoF2 could have started a village building tradition, but instead gave us a half-baked idea.

Your Village: +2.5

"101 in Caveman Design"

If the above two section did not convince you of the prevalence of Caveman design in the BoF2, then the lack of a dash button will. Everything in BoF2 takes more time to do than it should. From navigating the menus, to walking in the street. It takes forever to reach any place, as the encounter rate is through the roof. The game lacks polish in many of its areas. It lacks polish in its hinting and fishing minigames, the droprate of items from enemies is ridiculously low, and there is no monster book to keep track of them anyways.

The backwards design of BoF2 is nearly summed in my final moments of the game. I was with my full transformed party in the last levels of the final dungeon, just before the final boss. There, I encountered a story sequence, and when it finished I was surprised that my party lost their transformed form. It had nothing to do with the story sequence. I had to escape the final dungeon with an Exit spell, reassign the transformation, then slog back all the way down. There was a town in the middle of the dungeon, but I couldn't "wrap" to it because the Wrap spell wraps you just outside the towns, not the towns themselves.

I had to slog through the obnoxious final dungeon twice just to face the final boss with my preferred party. Elsewhere in the game are more evidence of bad design. Direction are misleading and rarely helpful, so you find your destinations with a guide or by trial and error. In one instance, the game flat out mistranslates your destination and you are left to luck and heaven. I counted 35 translation errors by myself.

Ultimately, this is a game plagued by the worst of SNES design. And if I actually played it in the SNES, I would be less favorable towards it. As it istands, playing it with an emulator (Wii U or otherwise) is the sanest thing to do.

Caveman Design: -5 if played in an emulator, -10 in the original version

In Conclusion:

First, let me get other things out of the way. The combat is regular tbb, but the varied characters with their unique skills and attributes make it fresh and unique, however those skills are never explained and you are left to your own devices with only a poor text explanation to aid you.

The many towns and villages are interesting and help underscore the story, it is even easier to go to those towns by their description than by their name, mostly because you don't get the name of anyplace you visit like a normal game should.

As you can see, BoF2 is clearly a flawed gem. It is a great game encased by a thick shell of backwards design. I now understand the fondness fans had for the game, for its characters and story. I also understand why it never had much success, as it must have tested the patience of many who played it. BoF2 could have been another pillar for Crapcom to then deface years after in its current form as Crapcom, but it never was a pillar. BoF6 might be another loss for gaming, but BoF2 not being as great as it could have been was a bigger loss in itself.

Final: 35/50

"BoF 1 vs. BoF 2"

It is very surprising how different BoF 1 is from 2. While 2 went in a much better storytelling direction, it took a nosedive mechanically for some reason. Bof 1 is the more accessible game, but it is a much weaker story.

"Next Game"

I realized that I would want a more comprehensive look at the top 100 games of IGN. Therefore, I decided to revisit the earlier numbers of the list and review titles I would not normally have reviewed. I will therefore start at #100 Fina Fight and see if it deserves opening the list.

Stay Tuned


Last edited by Lord Spencer on Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:20 pm

Spencer :bow:

I'm more of an N64 guy than a SNES guy tbh, but have played a lot of them and enjoy reading through your thoughts. Thumbs up
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Post by Guest on Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:46 pm

I need to :bow: the boss as well :bow: Spencer

Although my holy grail is NES - I grew up on Mario, although I did own a SNES with my brother.

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Post by Lord Spencer on Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:01 pm

@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:Spencer :bow:

I'm more of an N64 guy than a SNES guy tbh, but have played a lot of them and enjoy reading through your thoughts. Thumbs up

N64 or PS1 are going to be my next 100 list. Although I doubt the N64 can have a decent 100 list with its small library. I know the N64 has a solid top 30, and I am sure it goes up to a solid top 50, but anything beyond that must have aged terribly.

The SNES actually aged much better than the PS2 and N64 in hindsight.
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Post by Lord Spencer on Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:49 am

#100

Big Ol' Mustache
Game: Final Fight.
Year: 1993 (released in the U.S. in 1995).
Genre: Brawler.
Publisher: Capcom.
Developer: Capcom.

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First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

Final Fight has an old reputation in the brawler genre, it has been a constant presence in arcades and is even represented in Capcom Vs. Marvel by the Burly Mayor Hagger. I am yet to play any other Final Fight game, but from what I saw from this first one is that this lofty reputation is totally undeserved.

Starting from the limitations of the brawler genre, to the limitations of the actual game itself, Final Fight is proving to be one of the few SNES game I disliked in my current attempt to review the top 100.

"Your daughter for your cooperation"

Every brawler needs a reason for the hero(s) to go in a linear path of destruction. In FF, Mike Hagger is the burly mayor of New York, and he is clamping down on crime in the city. The local thugs don't take kindly to that, and they kidnap his daughter to show him their disapproval of his policies. Just like any half decent mayor, Ol' Mario in Steroids removes his shirt and goes brawling in the streets of NY. Also, there is Ken-wannabe Cody who loves Hagger's daughter.

Hagger's mustache proves to be the only noteworthy presence in the game. As the thugs being an assortment of generic types, and the bosses being only a light upgrade on their minions. The other playable character, Cody, is as boring as his name. Inexplicably, Cody is actually the better fighter, so whomever picks the superior character in Hagger needs to contend with being disadvantaged by the game.

Hagger's Mustache: +4
Cody and the Generic Thugs: -3


"Linear punch-a-face game"

This game in theory can be played in the NES with slightly downgraded animations. In the NES, it might be considered a classic, but in the more powerful SNES, its mechanical shortcoming are all too apparent. For instance, the game only uses two buttons, one for attacking and the other for jumping. This leaves no room for guarding, attack switching, or any truly complex move-set.

True, there are grab attacks, but they are initiated when the player's sprite contacts the enemy sprites in a haphazard rule. You can grab the enemy, or you might get punched in the face. Regardless, all tactics are then found to be inferior to spamming Drop Kicks most of the time.

Why do we need to spam Drop Kicks you say? Well, there are a bunch of reasons:

First, the enemies do more damage than you.
Second, the enemies take more damage than you.
Third, Drop Kicks is the only attack where you are sure that its range is more than the enemies.

What ensues is a constant barrage of Drop Kicks, these Kicks launch the thugs off-screen. Hence, you need to wait for them to reappear on-screen to Drop Kick them again. Rinse and repeat. In theory, you could finish the game without taking damage at all with consistently well placed Drop Kicks, and the occasional grab-a-boss technique. Of course, this proves to be a most boring practice.

In hindsight, perhaps the very short length of the game is a blessing. Yes, the more I think about it the more I am convinced that the short five stages the game consists off is a way for the developers to save us from its mundane gameplay.

Short Length: +2
Terrible Brawling: -7


"Andores, Andores everywhere"

Andore is one type of thug that takes 15-20 Drop Kicks before dying. They are present in every level of the game bar the first one. It is not an isolated incident, as the same thugs populate all five levels. The levels themselves are only told apart by well made, if boring, backgrounds.

Aside from those backgrounds, there is little to differentiate between levels in the game. Bloody Andore will show his ugly face every now and then, as similar sounding music blasts. Of course, Hagger himself or Cody won't ever change, they move with the same animation, the same pose, and attack with the same animations and poses again and again.

One thing brawlers have in advantage over other genres is their big sprite design, which leave a lot of room for expression in their characters. It is a shame FF doesn't use that large design for anything other than a smirk in one of the bosses face.

Mundane Design: -3

In Conclusion:

This turned out to be a shorter review than I though it would. It is short game, so there is that. However, here are a number of other sorry facts about the game. Item grabbing recognition is wonky at best, deadly at worst. The only way to escape combos from enemies is by executing a special move that also depletes your health. (-2).

I will stop there and go into some moral grounds. The last game I reviewed for the SNES is BoF2, which is another Capcom game. It had its share of problems, but it also had heart. The fact that FF sold more than both BoF1 and 2 is a testament that games don't sell on merit alone. That Capcom is failing hard now might be belated Karma fro all the Final Fight games it sold, as well as several shamefully designed games like it.

Outcome: 18/50

Tips:
1- Don't play the game.


2- Press R+L+Start at title screen to customize difficulty.
3- Use Special Move to break oncoming barrels.
4- Make sure to never lose a Katana if you have one.
5- Knifes are useless and could open you up for attack.
6- DROPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICKKKKKKK (Jump and press attack)

"Next Game"

Ok, so my first game in the retreat was a dud. After FF, there are a bunch of fighting and racing games until #94 The Adventures of Batman and Robin. I am going to play it next, and hope for the best.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:36 am

I am halfway through Batman, which means that the game is short.

However, this was a much needed cleansing to remove the terrible aftertaste of Final Fight.
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Post by Lord Awesome on Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:30 pm

Spencer still sticking to the old pastimes of our youth. :bow:

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Post by Lord Spencer on Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:57 pm

#94

Here is for the Resurrection
Game: The Adventures of Batman and Robin.
Year: 1994
Genre: Action-Platformer.
Publisher: Konami.
Developer: Konami.

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First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

This is going to be one of the more difficult reviews I had to make, because The Adventures of Batman and Robin is a game that is at once a brilliant in design, and terrible in value. It poses the now raging question of quality vs. length.

Ultimately, I think ABAR is one of the best Batman games despite its flaws. However, it fails to reach the levels of a classic SNES great.

"Right out of the 90's Batman cartoon"

This was a game based on the amazing Batman 1990's cartoon, and it looks like it. It takes both the style and animations of the cartoon and produces them as faithfully as it can given the SNES's limitations. What results is a game with a visual style unlike any other game in the series.

However, the style of the cartoon doesn't just stop with the animation, but also in the design of the regular goons and the many super villains of the show. In fact, each level takes a different villain and showcase him/her perfectly with their own level. Poison Ivy's forest stage looks suitably overgrown, while the Riddler's stage is an enigmatic labyrinth.

I don't usually start my reviews discussing the visuals, but in this game, they showcase the thought process Konami had making the game. It wasn't just a Batman game, but a Batman cartoon game. It needed not only look like the cartoon, but also have the variety of super-villains the cartoon had. It wouldn't do that each level is the same, when each of the villains would naturally set up their obstacles and plans differently.

Aside from one level, all other 7 levels were top notch design.

Visual Design: +3
Level Variety: +2


"Is is a plane, is it a bird, no its just a man in a bat suit"

Aside from a stealth system, Batman operates very closely to how he operates in general. By being an immovable obstacle to the lawless, and an eternal hand in the faces of criminals. Armed with an arsenal of gadgets and gear, Batman can alternate between punching villains and throwing hundreds of Batarangs at them.

The combat in ABAR is basic, but not boring. Punches can be accompanied with Batarang throws, and outside of the bosses, the goons are not difficult to dispatch. Since the regular goons are cannon fodder, the bosses are naturally bullet sponges, or in this case punch sponges. This means that most boss battles would be punch and run affairs with baterangs thrown in for measure. These boss battles can be an exciting battle of attrition, but by the third similar boss, you find it tiring and against the villain's style.

Thankfully, those boss battles are the only repetitive parts of the game, as each level is a study on variety of game design. By the final boss battle in the game, you would have fought the joker while in roller coaster ride, thwarted the Penguin's museum robbery, and even chased Two-Face in a brilliant top down GTA-like car chase that predates the first GTA by at least two years. Each level played differently, which diluted the repetitive combat in the game. Unfortunately, some levels required difficult platforming sections which were not helped by the imprecise platforming mechanics. However, it is rare to see a game try as many different mechanics as ABAR.

Variety: +5
Batman Gadgets and Gear: +2
Disappointing Boss Battles: -2
Imprecise Platforming: -2


"Riddle me this: what is the best way to end a game with?"

Regardless of the answer to Riddle's riddle, it surely was not how this game ends. To put it simply, the final level in the game despite being as different from the rest as other levels are, is a complete bore. In Batman lore, it wouldn't be a spoiler discussing the level as it is a simple Arkham Escape.

All the villains you put to jail in the game now convenient escaped, what ensues is a straightforward boss battle survival run. We fight most of the game's bosses with some few extra's, and then go on to fight the Joker in a final battle more disappointing than Arkham Asylum's final roid-Joker battle.

I can imagine the guys in Konami's decision making session as the following:
Project manager: So, we made a level for each villain, but we put the Joker first, what now?
Employee 1: Let us make an elaborate level where the Batman tries to protect Arkham from another breakout.
PE: Arkham now that's a good idea.
Employee 2: Hey boss, we already put in a lot of work on this already, and its a Batman game, it would sell regardless.
PE: E2 is right, let us just put in all the boring boss battles we already put in.

Disappointing Final Level: -2

"I am the night. I am vengeance. I am Rob..(get's bitch slapped by Batman) "

So far, ARAB doesn't look as good as it was in my review as it did while playing it. I think it is because the sheer variety at show is difficult to convey accurately. One way of looking at it, is that each level is made with a different Batman facet in mind.

Levels feature his ruthless attack on crime, as he singularly punches through minion after minion. Other feature his detective skills as he saves the museum from getting robbed. Also, each level emphasizes the specialty of the villain in charge. Naturally, the Penguin would have many minions as well as guns on his side. In contrast, the Riddler uses technology to trap the bat.

The contrast between each level and the rest keeps the game not only fresh, but also easily repayable. Getting to Poison Ivy without being able to harm the environmental fanatics she employs is always fun. True to form, Ivy doesn't fight you herself, but delegates that to a new Vagina Plant Monster she concocted from a Hentai's producer's wet dream.

Fresh Level Design: +5
Vagina Plant Monster: +1


"Batman cut short"

Finally we come to ABAR's most obvious flaw; it's length. With 8 levels including the majorly disappointing final, Batman can comfortably be beaten in 5 hours or less. The game at the end implores you to finish the game on harder difficulties, but that doesn't add anything extra to the game. Finishing it in hard is the same as finishing it in normal without the added comfort of being able to save the game via passwords.

If, for instance, another play-through introduce Robin as a playable character, or even at least changed the level layout slightly, it might be more inviting to play through it again. Of course, playing the game again would be a blast, and if I was back in the early 1990' playing in my grandfather's couch, I would try and beat it time and time again.

However, this was a 70$ game, and as such we are forced to consider the value of its hours vs. its price. It is a difficult question to answer, but we are left wanting more of the game. Perhaps that in itself is a actually a testament to a good game, that yet didn't manage to fulfill itself completely

Very Short: -5

In Conclusion:

First, let me get somethings out of the way. The goons we beat up are the same two guys for every villain that uses them. Apparently, the only sell two shirt colors in goon town (-1). True, you do not feel like the night as you do when in predator mode in the Arkham games (-2) but if anything, you feel more like Batman when moving around with main theme of, well, Batman booming in the background than by doing anything else (+3). I was half ready to go on and wear a scarf over my neck and pretend its a cape. The rest of the music isn't bad as well (+2).

Batman is one of the few comic book characters with a consistent track record in gaming. If weighing his successes against his failures he might be the only one with a scale leaning positively. It can be said that ABAR is one of the heaviest titles in the positive scale. Not to be missed by any fan of the bat in tights.


Final: 35/50

"Tips and Tricks"
1- Baterangs are your friends.
2- Take everything with you in every level, you never know what you might need.
3- Seriously, Baterangs are your friends.
4- Grappling can be a little wonky, practice it before Catwoman's stage.
5- The shoulder buttons drift in the car chase level.

"Next Game"

After Batman's cleansing effect, I am not as worried about the games I missed as I was at first. My next game would be one I never heard anything about, by a studio I am no sure it still exists. Its going to be #93 Super Turrican 2.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Rebaño Sagrado on Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:26 pm


too many feels..

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Post by Tomwin Lannister on Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:56 pm

SNES music was amazing ffs



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Post by Lord Spencer on Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:36 pm

@Tomwin Lannister wrote:SNES music was amazing ffs



I think that was because composers had very limited technology to work with, which forced them to come up with creative ways for composing music as well as focus on creating strong melodies.

Also, the soundtrack of many of those games was crucial to the immersion in them, while now music is thought to break it in modern games.
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