The Official SNES Gaming Thread

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

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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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Tomwin Lannister on Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:45 pm

Yeah most of the SNES games soundtracks had a really great, addictive sound to them. Mario tunes for example Proud

Btw, there was this game I used to play on the SNES and I was wondering if anybody could figure out what it was called. My description probably sucks because it's been well over 10 years since I played it


You were in control of a spaceship, and you'd fly from the left of the screen to the right firing at enemy spaceships as you done it. You had 'powerup' type items which you would fly into and they'd attatch to the back of your ship I think. And typically each level ended in a boss fight.

I can't remember the name for the life of me, was one of my favourite games too.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:27 am

@Tomwin Lannister wrote:Yeah most of the SNES games soundtracks had a really great, addictive sound to them. Mario tunes for example Proud

Btw, there was this game I used to play on the SNES and I was wondering if anybody could figure out what it was called. My description probably sucks because it's been well over 10 years since I played it


You were in control of a spaceship, and you'd fly from the left of the screen to the right firing at enemy spaceships as you done it. You had 'powerup' type items which you would fly into and they'd attatch to the back of your ship I think. And typically each level ended in a boss fight.

I can't remember the name for the life of me, was one of my favourite games too.

That is the description for most shmups out there.

But if the powerups attached to the back of your ship, I think I played it in one of the IGN 100 list. However, I am bad at those games so I didn't review it.

I will try and find it for you.
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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:46 pm

#93

Game: Super Turrican 2.
Year: 1995.
Genre: Side-Scrolling Shooter.
Publisher: Ocean.
Developer: Factor 5.



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.

Side-scrolling shooters are perhaps one of the easiest genres to measure. In theory, all its games are similar enough that there is no need to bother with the bottom sitters for a different experience, since there wouldn't be anything majorly different to begin with.

What that leaves games that are not Contra or Metal Slug (by far the genre's A list), is attempting unique twists on the formula and semi-innovations. In it's day, Super Turrican 2 gained a reputation for their revolutionary 3D cut-scenes and sharp graphics. Both didn't age as well as the more graceful works of the SNES. What is left is a game that you wish was something else by the time you finish its first half.

"In a small planet in a star system floating in the arms of a black hole"

This small planet is the setting at the start of ST2, with you, the Turrican suit (hence the name) clad hero going into a mission to rid someone somewhere from the evil "Machine". Story is never important in side-scrolling shooters, and besides, star system's "floating" in the edge of a black hole would get sucked in.

For these types of games, the setting is much more important than the story. You could tell us we are in an alien planet, but you must show us that as well. In the beginning, we find this dessert planet in total war with the evil machine, and proceed forward to shoot aliens and stuff. I would suggest relocation for the people living in this planet, but perhaps they enjoy their view off the abyss.

Regardless of its initial promise, the game then devolves into regular locations with little to no imagination, and we are left singularly unimpressed with the game's setting. The enemies are boring and without a personality, and all the bosses except one are devoid of any unique characteristic. Even the final boss acts like a rip-off of Cutman from the first Megaman game.

Of course, it doesn't help that your main hero doesn't have any defining trait, and looks more like a low-res Fischer-Price Master Chief than the hero he is supposed to be.

Boring Setting: -2

"Inside the mouth of despair"

ST2 does not manage to be more than a passable side-scrolling shooter, but that is not because of a lack of trying in its side. There are many sound concepts in the game, but many are either woefully underused, woefully overused, or simply terribly executed.

An example of the first category would be one of your regular abilities, which allows you to roll into a ball ala Samus and charge ahead. Yet, it is not used in a useful matter in a single instance in the game, and is consequently relegated to the part of a glorified dodge button. In the other hand, the grapple arm mechanic you have access to is used in nearly every level, and it is simply a not well done platforming mechanic.

Finally, the game sometimes have brilliant ideas, or generally good one, yet it blows them apart with terrible execution. For example, the labyrinthine stages are a first time where you can lose your place in what should be a massive world. However, with a timer in your back; you are of course forced to abandon exploration in order to finish in time. Why build these labyrinths without giving us the time to explore them adequately?

The most obvious of the great ideas gone bad is in the first major boss of the game, where what should have been an awesome fight inside the mouth of the beast, becomes a vertigo inducing battle of attrition.

Some Terrible Idea Execution: -3

"Truly trying to innovate"

Admittedly, not all of ST2' attempts at innovation falls flat. Take for instance the CGI scenes, which were among the first of their kind. It is true that they are not as impressive now as they looked 18 years ago. But that is the case with most early CGI tech.

Other areas where ST2 excelled in is the introduction of vehicle sequences. I am not talking about riding some vehicle in the 2D stages, but a complete bike level that resembles Sonic ring stages. Those stages where fun and tight when played, and were a neat distraction from the regular gamplay.

Also, the game didn't feel comfortable giving us the same stages again and again, and instead peppered a number of smaller "concept" stages to keep things fresh. Ultimately, it is these innovations that stand out most after playing ST2.

Innovative Choices: +3

"It drags on"

For a game that is essentially a high-score run game, it is a capital flaw for it to drag on as much. Whether it felt as long as it was due to its length, or its boring gameplay I am not sure. By the end of the second chapter, I was ready for it to end, and apparently the developers thought so as well as the game just seemed to throw random stuff at you in hopes of exhausting itself.

From the onset of the game, the game did not grab me much. The weapons felt generic and weak, and the enemies took more time than necessary to kill. By the end, I was thoroughly bored with the game and had no intention whatsoever of getting a better score.

If it happened that I died enough for a gameover, I would have been surprised to see I had to start at the beginning. Also, without playing in an emulator, you wouldn't be able to save the game, and hence will need to beat it in one setting. The thought of having to repeat the game from the beginning just to finish it sends shivers down my spine.

Unmercifully Boring: -5

"The music is mostly great"

Well, this is one part of the game that consistently holds to scrutiny. Aside from a few mundane tracks, the game's soundtrack is both intense and unique. The opening track and the ending credits song are both in my opinion off the best pieces of music in the SNES.

The prospect of listening to new music kept me going at the game. Even though, like the rest of the game the music started getting samey and boring by the end.

Music: +1
Two Great Tracks: +2


In Conclusion:

Super Turrican 2 may have been at some point in history a highly innovative title. Now, it is more a novelty than a serious game to play for enjoyment. It is however a statement that above all else, it is gamedesign that ages best.

Final: 21/50

"Next Game"

The game I am going to play next was one that I skipped before because it was too tough playing it in the keyboard. Now, that I have synced a PS3 controller to my lap top, I am going to try it again. It is #88 Sunset Riders.

Stay Tuned
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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by M99 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:17 pm

LS do you have a blog? If not then you should. These are some excellent write ups.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:17 am

@M99 wrote:LS do you have a blog? If not then you should. These are some excellent write ups.

I am currently using the Destructoid C-Blogs if you are interested in reading them there.
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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:03 pm

#88

Game: Sunset Riders.
Year: 1993.
Genre: Side-Scrolling Shooter.
Publisher: Konami.
Developer: Konami.



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.

There are few things the side-scrolling shooter can do to stand out, and yet games in this genre need standing out the most. We do not play these games for the story, and the combat in many of them including weapons and such is very similar. These games competed in the arcade floor trying to attract players from the genre's leaders.

Sunset Riders is not different from other competitors. The gameplay is similar to other games in the genre, but it wants to attract players by its wild west style, and its personality. For the most part, SR succeeds in being a fun shooter with tons of personality, and it is that personality that differentiate it from the crowd.

"Get ready to pow-wow"

From the first stage, to the final battle, SR is a consistently good shooter. It is not the shooting however that is best about this game, but the setting itself. Set in the wild west, the game takes spaghetti western themes with looney over the top characters worthy of Punch Out fame.

The stages themselves are regular frontier villages with far too many saloons, or more exhilarating fast paced horseback shootouts. These stages end being just a regular vehicle for delivering a number of iconic and weirdly quotable boss fights.

Like contra, one hit equals a loss of life. Anywhere outside the bosses, getting hit is an annoying and mostly avoidable mistake. Against those bosses however, you do not want to get hit, not because it would be annoying to die, but because you want to beat these bosses with as much skill and finesse you could.

Story-wise, all of those bosses are bounties for you to collect. They are classical miscreants from the wild-west. Including a Mexican bandito, an Indian warrior, and of course the English cowboy. Try not to crack up when the fat banker's death quote is: "Bury me with my money".

Personality: +5

"Bury me with my money"

So, let us remove the bosses from the equation. Does the personality of the game holds without them. Well, the answer is mostly yes.

The stages themselves fit with tone of the game, especially when riding a horse and dodging logs all the while shooting bad guys. However, the bad guys themselves come in only four interchangeable kinds with no personality whatsoever. In effect, you are mowing down scores of faceless clowns in order to get to the real treat in the bosses.

Luckily, this is accompanied by some decent, even if not spectacular music. However, coinciding with the drabness of your enemies, the stage's regular music pales in comparison with that of the bosses.

All in all, we find that while the personality so obvious and overwhelming in the bosses, is not present as much in the rest of the game. It is not represented in three of the heroes, who are boring blonde rangers, and it is not represented by the regular goons you dispatch. Also, it is somewhat confusing that the bullets you shoot look like green laser pellets, or pink if powered up.

At least one of the players you could choose is the very cool Mexican ranger, Carmino, who wears a pink poncho and sombrero.

Mexican Swagg: +2.5
Decent Music: +2.5


"Draw Pilgrim"

Now, take out the bosses and the wild west design. What you are left with is the bare mechanics of the game. Essentially, these mechanics are similar in most games of the genre. The objective is going forward without dying, and shooting those who wish you dead.

SR does not deviate from this basic formula at all. You have the choice between protagonists, but that means simply choosing between two who have pistols, or two who have shotguns. Yet, is there really any difference between the two? In full power up mode, (which means picking up two common items). both are similarly potent.

That is all you have in your arsenal. No other guns, no bombs, and only the ability to duck and jump. Basically, this serves you throughout the game with the exception of the bosses. Who will require a more nuanced approach from the players.

With no variety in gameplay, their is little beyond the personality of the game to old your interest. Sure, the game will hold your interest for a second and third play-through. However, you are likely to have mastered the game by the second time, with the final battle being the only challenge you face.

No Variety: -2

In Conclusion:

Perhaps the greatest achievement of Sunset Riders is in being able to be expressed so thoroughly in a short review. It is a by-the-book side-scrolling shooter with no wish to stand out. Yet, it stands out by virtue of its unique and playful personality.

I cannot say that Sunset Riders is a great game, not even a very good one. Yet, it is a game I am happier having played it, and a game I would recommend anyone buys in any emulator.

Final: 33/50.

"Tips"

1- Learn the pattern of the bosses thoroughly.
2- Shotgun are better than pistols in my opinion.
3- Tap the fire button rapidly for faster firing.
4- Do not lose any lives going to the bosses.

"Next Game"

Continuing my second climb down IGN's top 100, I am going to play another Konami game. This one is Konami's answer to Sega's sonic, starring an opossum instead of a hedgehog. This is going to be #87 Sparkster, who looks to be a 90's animal icon wannabe through and through.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:34 pm

#87

Game:Sparkster.
Year: 1995.
Genre: Action Platformer.
Publisher: Konami.
Developer: Konami.



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.

One of the genre's almost perfected in the SNES-Genesis wars is the platformer genre. From the spectacular Super Mario Land, to the speedy Sonic games. Sparkster, is apparently Konami's input into the platformer genre, but with an action twist strapped on in the shape of a rocket.

"The baddest opossum ever to strap on a rocket pack. "

The above quote is from the game's box. Despite this game's opossum probably being the only on of its species to wear a rocket launcher, I am not sure the adjective used to describe him is apt in this case. This game is an obvious answer to Sonic from Konami. Evidenced by its start in the Genesis, Sparkster follows the 90's craze of animals with attitude.

That specific phase have been done to death in the 90's, and it was an uninspiring and lazy one to be honest. As such, Sparkster feels devoid of any personality in its world. Indeed, while the Sonic world were vibrant, and his speed was fresh, Sparkster's worlds are mostly boring bar two levels.

Lacking Personality: -2

"ROCKET LAUNCHER"


Of course, any game worth its salt must strive to either excel very much at what it does, or else differentiate itself from other games. In this game, the rocket launcher strapped to your back serves as a chargeable boost, and it allows for both enormous speed boost and offensive tackles.

It sounds good in theory, but Sparkster's speed based gameplay falters in three ways:

First, the level scroll, which is how the "movement" is obtained in 2D games is unreliable, and the zoomed in perspective makes it difficult to judge boosts.

Second, the charge move can just as easily kill an enemy as end just before touching him to get some unavoidable damage.

While this doesn't nullify the use of the rocket pack, it makes using it and powerful but clumsy tool. You can spam boost to oblivion and lose a couple of hearts, but a healing item would most likely be available. Most levels are a boost and heal affair, where boosting through is the best way of getting over the tedium of the level, while healing is used to offset the damage caused by the boosting.

Prime Mechanic Weakness: -3

"Boosting through time and space"

While Sparkster's world is mostly boring, it does not lack in variety, both in design and gameplay. For instance, a dessert temple level employs a number of light puzzles into the game, and feels aptly labyrinth-like. However, the star of level design in the game is what perhaps is the single inspiring element of the game. Games like Rayman and Donkey Kong Country Returns both employ stages where musical instruments act as platforms and sound off on contact. I believe that such a level was first introduced by this game here, and it is no surprise that is the best level in the game.

In the gameplay front, Sparkster is not afraid of shaking things up. Along with the puzzles of the sand temple, and the percussion jumps of the music stage, Sparkster also includes a shooter inspired level and a robot ostrich stampede.What this game lacks in concepts and mechanics, it somehow compensates with some serious variety.

Music Stage: +3
Variety in G&D: +2


"Mechanical Music"

Not ever bothering to be amazing, the music of Sparkster is content with being adequate. It is similar sounding in most stages as the sand temple and music stage stand out yet again. Additionally, the boss themes are catchy and exciting.

Music: +1

"Rocket boost to the face"

It is admirable that the smae tactics you use in your regular gameplay can be used for the bosses. Many games give the player a powerful tool to use in the stages, yet they remove them against the bosses. Boosting to full speed to both dodge and attack the bosses is oddly satisfying, and most battles are close yet fair.

Several battles skip to mind, with the bosses carrying the same variety of the stages themselves. Again, it comes as no surprise that my favorite boss was the music stage villain. In the best cases, you need both skill and strategy to beat the boss.

Yet, there is one instance nearing the end of the game where a boss is simply unfair. Playing him everytime might give a different scenario. At one time, he might just look at you and allow you to pummel him until he goes berserk and leaves you no room to do anything. Some other time, he would just go berserk from the beginning. Looking at commentaries on this boss, I found that the general experience around him is that luck would be needed more than skill.

Good Bosses +3
Unfair Close to Final Boss: -2


In Conclusion:

Sparkester might not be in the same league as Sonic and Mario, and comparing them might not be exactly fair. Yet, I cannot but help that given some tweaks, and an actual spirit of competition from the game, Konami might have had a mascot to begin with.

However, given that Sparkster was obviously not made to join the battle with Nintendo and Sega, we should be thankful for a decent if for our age an underwhelming game.

Final: 27/50

"Tips"
1- Collect gems for lives.
2- Use shoulder buttons to move left or right after a vertical boost.
3- Search the levels for more gems, health items, and 1ups.
4- Use turbo function against unfair boss.

"Next Game"

I am going to confess that I skipped a game that I shouldn't have. However, I decided that the brawler (beat-em-up) genre is very poor one that offers no entertainment value to myself. However, game #85 Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage allows for the mindless genre to evolve with superpower strategy. Also, I was a big fan of Venom as a kid.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:43 pm

#85

Game:Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage.
Year: 1994.
Genre: Brawler.
Publisher: LJN.
Developer: Software Creations.



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.

Most of the superhero licensed games in the SNES era were brawlers. In part, because it allowed the titular super heroes to unabashedly punch their way through scores of enemies. In another because brawlers are ridiculously easy to make. Most brawler use the same format, the same moves, and the same tropes.

For such a stagnate genre, it is no surprise that the eccentricities and special powers of the comic book heroes would shake things up positively. We see that in Batman and Superman games, and we see it in this Spiderman and Venom game (S&V).

"You should never trust a raving lunatic"

Based on the famous Maximum Carnage spiderman comic, this game benefits from a fan favorite story. Not content with just sharing the name, S&V actually goes the extra mile in giving a story to this brawler. True, the still comic-book screens that tell the story are not revolutionary in anyway. However, it does offer us a glimpse of the amazing comic, with many quotable lines and some hilarious quips by Carnage.

In fact, the game not only lifts the main characters of the comic, but every supporting member which fans of Marvel would surely appreciate. In one side, you have Carnage and his "family, including Doppelganger and Shriek. In the other you have the uneasy alliance between Spidey and Venom along with some other heroes and anti-heroes of the marvel universe.

Taking inspiration from the comics, the game uses facets of its art including punch and pow words for punches. Even though these visual word effects repeat themselves, they give a unique flavor to this brawler. It is unfortunate that the bland backgrounds contrast with the brisk animation of the main characters.

MC Storyline and Characters: +3
Comic Book Art Style: +2


"I sincerely hope I can return the courtesy by slaughtering you quickly with minimal agony"

With the superpowers of Spidey and Venom, you would expect the familiar brawler formula to change. Well, it doesn't change much, but suddenly, the usually super repetitive brawler combat becomes peppered with web slinging tactics.

Both heroes can shoot web to trap an enemy for 4 seconds, or use the web to pull an enemy nearer for a grab. Suddenly, the tactics of brawlers goes upside down. Now instead of jumping around like a fool trying to isolate a strong enemy, you could just pull them towards you and beat them to a pulp.

While Spiderman and Venom both have the same web slinging move, both fight differently. While Peter Parker's better persona fights faster, Eddie Brock of course hits harder. Unlike other games with two characters, you can choose either at some points in the game. Depending on the character, the story and locations change a little bit, which make different play-through a little bit different.

Besides regular combat, the duo can use their webs to sling around for some light platforming, and uncover some obtusely hidden secret rooms.

Above Brawler Combat: +2

"Tandyyy"

With many superheroes in the game, it would be a waste for S&V not to use them outside of story screens. Sure enough, they function as a summons to use when the going gets tough. Each hero has his/her own summon move, which get filled by grabbing icons for each character.

Each move can be used in different ways, and knowing when to use each hero is pivotal for success. It is surprising the level of care that went into these summons, and I found them to be necessary to use in the later stages.More than their use however, is the fact their presence further grounds the game into the Marvel lore, with Maximum Carnage storyline specifically.

Summons: +3

"Every enemy I defeat seems to return"

It is a running joke how every superhero faces the same villains hundreds of times. We can imagine it to be a terrible feeling for Spiderman facing Doppelganger again and again and again. In S&V, we don't need to imagine, because we do face the villains again and again and again.

While the core combat and levels don't reach the level of boring repetition, the unimaginative repeat of the same gang of bosses do get in your nerve. You would imagine fights with these super-villains to be more exciting, but after maybe five fights with the same villain duo it get boring.

Yet, the final fight with Carnage was in some ways brilliant. With an access for a tag-team of the titular heroes for the first time, it was a different fight that should have been an influence for other boss fights in the game.

Repetition and Bad Bosses: -5
Great Final Battle: +2

"Green Jelly"

Green Jelly is the pseudo-rock band that wrote the music for the game. Surprisingly, they did a great job.

Starting from opening theme chords, you realize that you are into some seriously good game. The music both fits the title, and accentuates it. While it is rare for the game's tunes to reach the heights of its opening theme, they are constantly very good.

Unfortunately, they are not very many tracks, and do repeat themselves after a while. However, there is nothing to complain about besides the cut in the music whenever a summon happens which is annoying but not experience wrecking.

Great Music: +3

In Conclusion:

I am not a fan of brawlers in general, as I find them devoid of personality and dependent on repetitive mundane mechanics. However, S&V proves that when the genre is mashed with the personality of comic book heroes it produces some good game.

This one game puts all the "best" brawlers such as Final Fight and Double Dragon to shame, and is only ignored because of the license stigma to its name. Still, the brawler genre is not a high standard in and on of itself.

Final: 35/50

"Tips"
1- Search for secret rooms.
2- Save the summons for bosses and such.
3- Search the levels for 1ups.
4- When tagging in the final boss you gain some invincibility frames.

"Next Game"

After actually enjoying a brawler, I find myself about to play another one. After Batman (DC), Spiderman (Marvel), it is only right to go back to DC comics. It is no other than the man in blue himself in #81 The Death and Return of Superman.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:17 pm

Sparkster seems interesting despite its low score, some of the mechanics seem interesting and i love platformers so much.

I think that's the main reason i keep coming to Nintendo games, the other systems are so bereft of platformers sadly.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:54 pm

#81

Game:The Death and Return of Superman.
Year: 1994.
Genre: Brawler.
Publisher: Sunsoft.
Developer: Sunsoft and Blizzard.



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.

It is ironic how Superman is always portrayed much weaker than he supposedly is by most works of fiction portraying him. Whether they are games or movies, Superman cannot just conveniently rotate three times around the earth and punch the bad guys into space.

For games, it is obvious that the developers want us to play as Superman in the confines of what they made possible. If its a brawler game, expect Superman to go much below his level and fight each and every scrub as if they were Kryptonian's like him. Where would the fun be if we could just zoom through the The Death and Return of Superman (DRS) at light speed?

Unfortunately, I would imagine zooming through this game at Mach9 would be too slow of a zoom.

"Only Superman can Save Us Now"

Based on the game's title, you would probably guess that Superman dies at some point, and eventually makes a triumphant return. It is no spoiler than to say that Superman kills and gets killed by Doomsday in the beginning levels of the game.

The story is then handled by "cut scenes" between levels. Seeing how other comic-based brawlers handled their cut scenes, it is abhorrent seeing DRS's scenes consisting of badly written exposition imposed besides badly drawn still images.

Of course, we shouldn't expect a stellar story or storytelling from a brawler. However, some semblance of style in the game should be expected, especially using the rich sources of Superman's comics. We saw an amazing stylistic achievement in a Batman and some good one in Spiderman. However, DRS unfortunately is bland, and gives the source material no justice whatsoever. Level backgrounds are uninspiring and recycled too often. The enemies are a range of unspectacular game rejects. And finally Superman is so uninspiring in his combat style that you could imagine Bruce Lee having a stronger presence in the game.

The only animation worthy of note is Superman's cape as he flies and drops from distances.

Bland Style: -5
Bad Story Telling: -2


"Let this kid handle this"

With Superman out of the action, four wannabe supers try on his shoes one at time. Initially, I was excited at the prospect of controlling four other characters besides the Man of Steel. However, I soon realized all characters play exactly the same, with only difference in the animation of attacks.

It wouldn't be a major problem if the game mechanics were not such a let down. With only one attack button, a projectile attack, grabs, and a special move, the combat does have its strategic elements. Yet, we soon find that grabs don't do much damage, and that the projectile is useless in all circumstances bar one.

Anything DRS does, other brawlers do better, even Final Fight which I detest. In fact, the only original mechanic about DRS is the hover mechanic, which is a state of perpetual flight activated by double jumping. The catch, it is only useful for one type of enemy and is more of a showpiece than an actual mechanic.

Finally, carrying on a classic problem of brawler games, we manage to carry most fights into the edge of the screen and beyond. Except, you can't leave the screen so you either wait for the fools you threw out to return to you (assuming they don't sit back and launch rockets), or "edge guard" the screen with dive kicks which is the most reliable tactic later in the game.

Terrible Combat: -3
Characters are not Different:-3
Flight: +2


"I should feel tired"

After returning from the death, and beating the final boss, Superman thinks he should be tired, and wonders why he is not. Besides being THE Superman, a tangible reason would be that the players themselves took the enormous fatigue the game inflicts instead of him.

Indeed, I am tired from the uninspired soundtrack. A soundtrack that consists of 10 tracks at most, none of which are memorable. Seriously, this game has the worst SNES soundtrack of all the games I reviewd. Not only is it completely unoriginal and mundane, but it repeats itself to criminal degree. For instance, ALL the bosses including the final boss all share the same terrible music.

In a twisted malicious way, it makes sense that the final boss would recycle the same track as other bosses. Because, wait for it, the final boss is the exact same boss you fought TWO times before with no extra bells or whistles. Not even in the finale does this game deliver a memorable experience.

Bad Soundtrack: -3
Recycled Bosses:-3


In Conclusion:

I thought reviewers have fun when slamming terrible game. Based on this review, which was more difficult to write than a positive review despite being shorter, I think I was wrong.

First, I want to be fair to hard-work put into the game.
Second, I don't want to over-exaggerate my complaints.
Third, playing the game was not a pleasant experience to remember.

From this review, I can only say that DRS might be the worst game Blizzard ever made. It might be the worst SNES game I played and am yet to play. Keep out and go play Batman or Spiderman brawlers if you want your comic book brawler fix.

Final: 8/50

This game does not deserve a list in any SNES top 100, not when being thoroughly outclassed by games off the same genre. I think this game will end up being the one with lowest score in all of my reviews.

"Tips"
1- Don't play the game.

"Next Game"

Apparently, I am done with brawlers for the rest of the list. The next game I will be playing in #73 Pocky and Rocky 2. The name tells you very little about the game, and any description won't give it justice. From what I have seen, it can be likened to Geomon Mysticle Ninja. Also, it is made by Natsume of Harvest Moon fame.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:03 pm

#73

Game:Pocky and Rocky 2.
Year: 1994.
Genre: Top-Down Adventure.
Publisher: Natsume.
Developer: Natsume.



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.

Pocky and Rocky 2 is a decidedly against the mold game. In era where box art and character design alike wanted to convey a violent "adult" world, P&R2 embraces its cartoony visuals and cute aesthetic. It is however a mistake to think of this as a kid's only game; the difficulty while manageable still offers a fair challenge.

Similar in some ways to the Legends of the Mystical Ninja, P&R2 offers the players an adventure through traditional Japanese locals, while at the same time showcasing some offbeat humor. It is for such a reason that I struggle to describe the game as a top-down shooter, and instead call it a top-down adventure.

"By the order of our master we are kidnapping you princess"

Luna, the princess of the moon (which makes her the moon in itself) is kidnapped from the onset, giving the heroine Pocky and her friends the excuse to go romping through Japan looking for her. Not a terribly original story, but we are not expecting Tolstoy level story telling in the first place.

However, the secondary story of Pocky's adventure through Japan in pursuit of the princess is well told through the game. Every locale is distinct in style, and enemies and bosses are full off character. In the beginning of the game, you are assigned this important task by the seven sages (who revives you whenever you lose a life. Why this colorful cast of obviously powerful sages didn't go themselves and save the princess is of course answered by video game logic; so that we can play the game.

In contrast to the personality of game we play, the game we read (as in conversations and cut scenes) is unfortunately devoid of the game's whimsical style. The scene's between level's are shown in Asian style scrolls, but the translated dialogue is terribly dry, and for some reason the only bad track in the game plays in those scenes. It feels mostly a lost opportunity of offering some more humorous insight into the game's world.

Game's Style: +3
Story and Dialogue:: -2


"I am Pocky"

While I don not like to call P&R2 a top-down shooter, it can most certainly be qualified as one. For the most part, Pocky throws around magical cards (as bullets) to attack her enemies while dodging their assaults. Not being a forced scroller, the game allows you to take the levels at your own pace, and also shoot cards in the principle eight directions.

Of course, when swamped with enemies, and given the zoomed in perspective of the game, it is difficult to dodge all their attacks and projectiles. Thankfully, Pocky can destroy projectiles with a handy swipe move, and is also aided by a partner that can absorb some damage as well.

The partners are a unique part of the game that I am going to talk about a bit later. They can basically act as bullet sponges, while offering the chance of launching them at your enemies for a devastating "bomb" attack.

With most levels having multiple pathways, and each level offering some unique gameplay opportunities, P&R2 is a game I would like to play more than once. Its always fun, mostly challenging, and most importantly fair. You are having trouble in one part, grind for coins to buy some equipment and lives. Also, you always get a password to go back to each level if you just want to stroll around.

Gameplay: +5
Variety: +2


"I am also handsome and you won't regret bringing me along"

A big part of P&R2's gameplay hinges on your partners. Surprisingly, you can find a variety of allies to aid you each with their own skills and uses. One of the most important skills in the game is throwing your partners at an enemy as if they were a rocket to inflict major damage. It is invaluable against bosses, and a must to win the game.

With about eight partners, you would think the game changes if even a little depending on the partner you use. Unfortunately, outside of one partner that breaks boulders, another that picks locks, and a third who mostly serves as an endgame cheat code, they are nearly identical.

One ability Pocky has is to merge with her partner and play as them for a while. It promises the use of that partner's skills and special projectiles but weirdly miscarries. In fact, merging for anything other than opening a chest or smashing a boulder is hugely disadvantageous, begging to question why the ability is there in the first place.

An answer can be in the fact partners are mostly meant to be played by player number 2. Indeed, when another player takes control of our partners, they are transformed from rotating bullet sponges and a glorified projectile into a great addition to the game. The 2nd player actually gets to use the partner's abilities and can still be thrown at bosses for intensely useful "rocket attack".

While playing the game in co-op is optimal, the game still manages to be great given its solid mechanics for single players even with the unfortunately undercooked singe player partner mechanic.

Partners: -2
(Co-op: +3)


"The ingredients of this stew would be you, hahahahaha"

Boss fights are the culmination of all your work throughout a level, and they can elevate a game into lofty heights, or let it fall into a flat note. A corridor shooter could suddenly be great when faced with compelling bosses, and the best imaginative adventure could feel forgettable for the lack of interesting foes.

Carrying its impressive gameplay and aesthetic, P&R2's bosses are top notch evil foes. From the first boss that threatens to turn you into stew, to the final foe who kidnaps the princess, you are treated to quality fights against quality opposition.

While each boss fight does tend to drag on, the battles remain tense and entertaining due to a combination of solid attack and avoid patterns, and the ever changing style of the bosses themselves. At one moment they are attacking you with a prayer beads chain, at another they are launching these beads like bombs at you.

The highlight of the boss fights is a rival match against an enemy your own size. With great music to complement the fight, and a tense attack pattern from your rival, this battle is one to remember. It is unfortunate that your rival's lines are as dry as the rest of the script.

It must be said however, that late in the game a cheaper boss rears his head and provides some stiff challenge. This particular boss irked me not only because he was cheap, but also because he was recycled as well. Thankfully, discovering his pattern nullifies him in a way that it does not to any other boss.

Brilliant Bosses: +4
Rival Fight: +2
Cheap Boss:-1

"A beautiful moon in the sky"

It can be easily said that the in-game graphics of Pocky's titular adventure to be one of the best in the SNES. Wisely using a style that is at once expressive and lovable, the artists create a wonderful and varied set of stages. With some outstanding stills in the game, I am still disappointed at the terrible between stages cut-scenes.

The best of the game's art is however is not in its backgrounds, but in its sprite design. The robotic toddler army (I think they are toddlers) look suitably out of place in a fighting zone, while the sudden Ninja ambushes are made much more surprising by the Ninja's animations. With Pocky effortlessly throwing dozens of cars in screen while avoiding barrages of enemy attacks, the game still retains its colorful and signature look.

In contrast, is the menacing design of the bosses, which conveys their threat convincingly. Of course, having the boss music being suitably tense, the player never ignores these fearsome foes. Taking place in Japan, the music naturally aims to sound like traditional Japanese songs.

While the soundtrack succeeds in giving a third dimension to the game, with a good soundtrack that complements the setting of the game. It does not however manage to reach a level of consistent greatness. It soon becomes a forgettable but solid effort.

Graphical Design: +4
Music:+2


In Conclusion:

I only knew Natsume through their Harvest Moon series, and we can see the influence of that series's art style on P&R2. From playing this game, I am happy to have experienced the gem that was considered Natsume's second arm.

While the franchise is dead now. This is a game that is worth playing for anyone looking for a solid SNES game to play, fans of Geomon being the first invited.

Final: 42/50 (+3 for Co-op)

"Tips"
1- Buy lots of keys.
2- Little Ninja opens chest w/o keys.
3- Bomber guy breaks boulders.
4- Study the bosses patterns.

"Next Game"

After this, I am actually going to play what is probably the only EA game in the IGN list. It is going to #71 Jungle Strike, the predecessor to all the modern bro shooters of this day. Actually, it is a helicopter shoot em up with strategy elements.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:48 pm

#71

Game: Jungle Strike.
Year: 1993.
Genre: Helicopter Tactical Shooter.
Publisher: EA.
Developer: Gremlin Interactive.



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.

The Helicopter tactical shooters can be viewed as the adoptive parents of the military shooters of today. With the technical capabilities of the early generations being unable to imitate the tactical nuances of war in any degree of realism, there were several games that put you in modern warfare in the role of a vehicle commander.

It is then fitting that one of the front names of the military shooter today was also the publisher of this game. EA is responsible for the publication of the "Strike" franchise, starting from Desert Strike to its sequel Jungle Strike and beyond.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the White House is under attack"

Not hiding behind any subtle intrigue or shadowy conspiracies, the game's villain attack the White House from the beginning of the game with the subtlety and good grace of a jack hammer. Of course, there needs to be no explanation of how these terrorists managed to transport such a huge army into the U.S capital. Indeed, the game's narrative requires a suspension of belief akin to that of watching B movies.

I would say that the "B movie" tag is what the writers of the game were aiming for. From the hilarious name of your enemy, Ibn Kilbaba, to the even more hilarious cameo of Bill Clinton apologizing for cutting the defense budget (I guess that explains the enemy's presence in DC). Of course, you are the captain of the the helicopter that would save America and the world from certain doom.

With only little help from others, the player commanding a single helicopter armed with various weapons will save America from an enemy equipped with more nuclear weapons than Soviet Union. This fact is hilariously mirrored by the dialogue between Ibn Kilbaba and his minions, utter disbelief that a single helicopter can cause them so much damage. While not a focus in the game itself, the writing and the story behind the game is funny and well written.


Story and Dialogue: +3


"Three, two, one,......fire"

Commanding a helicopter, you would naturally expect different moving patterns than what you are used to in other games. Indeed, the helicopter moves with momentum, making turns more elaborate and targeting less precise. Also, you have the ability to strife, giving extra accuracy to your movements while limiting your line of fire.

Once you get the hang of controlling your chopper, you will find it natural and rewarding. Being able to master more complex tricks in the air such as 360 turns to avoid missiles, and strife duals against other helicopter is very rewarding.

Armed with three weapons (guns, missiles, and rockets) you have several avenues of attack provided for. You can either go with a combination or opt to conserve one ammunition at the expense of others. The limitation of ammunition and gas as well adds another layer of strategy to the gameplay and movments. While ammo and fuel is abundant in the levels (you can pick them up by a winch), they are still waiting to be found.

Hence the tactical element in the game. With ammunition, health, and fuel to worry about, you are forced to conserve your moves and look for optimal results. Some levels have more supplies, and other levels require more conservation. Regardless, this constant need for supplies adds a different level of challenge to the game, one that does make it more fun.

Movement: +4
Gameplay: +4


"Level 7"

With such a solid base for the experience, you would rarely feel the game to be cheap or insurmountable, even in the difficult yet fair final stage. However, in the 7th level, the game fro some reason abandons all of its solid base to offer what perhaps might be the worst gaming experience I have ever encountered.

While the helicopter is your main vehicle in Jungle Strike, the game offers you three other vehicles to ride in the course of the game. Two of those control similarly to the chopper and offer some variety. However, the third one which you use in level 7 is an abomination.

You would be forgiven to think that piloting a stealth bomber would be a fun ride. However, Jungle Strike's interpretation of the act is an inaccurate hunk of metal that cannot but move forward with constant speed. It would not be a problem if the objectives in the level did not resolve around shooting such small targets that you would need to attempt it several hundred times.

In the game itself, your co-pilot locks on enemy targets, such as tanks and enemy towers. However, objects such as ammo crates and buildings cannot be locked on. This issue is of little importance when commanding the helicopter because it allows to hover while shooting in the objects immediate area hoping of contact. Yet, in the stealth bomber, which cannot hover, it is inexcusable that many of the level's objectives ask you to shoot at small targets you cannot lock-on to. Perfectly inexcusable.

Level 7: -5

"I want the jungle vermin to feed on his charred remains"

True to the game's name, most of the levels are in jungle terrain, and hence most opportunities for your enemy to kill you would be in the jungles of South America. It is the appropriate that the titular jungles are the best rendered of all levels in the game. Well, that is actually not true, the jungle levels are not the "best" rendered levels of the game, they are the only levels with decent rendering at all.

While each level has varied objectives, they each blend together boringly in terms of design with the mentioned exception of the Jungle levels. However, all of them sound the same. The sound of a complete lack of music.

I cannot fathom a game that only has about 3-4 soundtracks. All of your playtime would be in complete silence as the there is no music in the game. It cannot be said that the omission is entirely bad, because a terrible soundtrack would have been worse that the silence, and judging from the 3 tracks in the game, any soundtrack would have been terrible.

While the lack of music is excusable, and the mundane graphics are tolerable, the lack of tactical feedback in the game is downright annoying. With no way to track your position in the map or even your ammo/fuel/health count without pressing select, you are forced to pause the game constantly to look at the map. Hence, a slow paced game is made even slower by a constant need to reaffirm your location in a mundane looking stage.

Design: -6

"The Intangibles"

With the many flaws of the game so apparent, and the abominable level 7 nearly causing me to leave the game, I was surprised by how much fun I was having playing the game. Many games somehow different than the sum of their parts, and Jungle Strike is one that is greater than the sum of its parts.

There is a certain joy in the ability to completely obliterate your enemies efficiently and with optimal results. With enough skill, there is a feeling of invulnerability in your movements as you are able to complete objective after objective with maximum health.

I should be upset at the things the game does wrong, but I find myself too happy about the things it does right to care. Simply put, the game is worth it only for those who fall in love with its gameplay, but those who fall in love with its gameplay will appreciate it a lot.

Intangible Game Design: +5

In Conclusion:

Jungle Strike is game difficult to recommend. And I find that a suitable conclusion is in the previous section.

Final: 30/50

"Tips"
1- Look at the map a lot.
2- Use rockets with conservation.
3- Just skip Level 7, here is the password for level 8: CRW1FF23C0S#

"Next Game"

The game I will be reviewing next is the Flinstone's inspired Joe & Mac 2 at #61. We already reviewed another similarly named game in Pocky & Rocky 2. Also, I did not know cavemen had such boring regular names as Joe and Mac.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by VendettaRed07 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:02 pm

This thread is GOAT spencer. Not nearly enough retro love in the gaming world today. If there is it's only the obvious big titles.

I'm really tempted to make a counter Genesis gaming thread Razz

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:50 pm

@VendettaRed07 wrote:This thread is GOAT spencer. Not nearly enough retro love in the gaming world today. If there is it's only the obvious big titles.

I'm really tempted to make a counter Genesis gaming thread Razz

Actually, I was going to make a Genesis thread after finishing this one. You are welcome to help or start it if you want.

I am also publishing my reviews in a blog in Destructoid, and hope they actually get recognized by the site.
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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:04 pm

#71

Game: Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics.
Year: 1994.
Genre: Action-Platformer.
Publisher: Data East.
Developer: Data East.



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.

Of all genres on the SNES, RPGs and platformers (in all their sub types) are abundant in quality titles. With that taken into consideration, any game in the genre requires something special to stand out among the crowd.

From the first look, Joe & Mac 2 (J&M) appears to stand out. It has some of the best animation of its time, and the beautiful backgrounds and suitable Stone Age music are a considerable plus. However, the first look proves to be deceiving as the game shows its several shortcomings.

"Caveman steel crown, other caveman smashes skull"

The king of Evil cavemen, who all look suitably evil with their unkempt facial hair, steal some powerful crown from Joe and Mac's home village. Naturally, the two (one if your playing alone) goes to a journey in order to retrieve the crown.

Being set in the Stone Age, everyone's favorite over-sized reptiles make an appearance as both enemies and allies. Also, the two titular cavemen wield the classic caveman club as they traverse the suitably Jurassic levels in the game.

Immediately, it is obvious the design and animation guys did well in the game. The sprite design, while nothing special, is splendidly animated. For instance, your character yawns while idle when in a jungle stage, but shivers with cold in the ice stage. As for the levels themselves, they are varied in design from the already mentioned jungle level to swamps and the compulsory volcanic stage. In fact, the level backgrounds are some of the most detailed and best backgrounds I have seen in the SNES.

Visual Design: +5

"Pre-Historic Gameplay"

With both the action and the platforming being sub-par, J&M exposes itself its loose ends quickly by the time you reach the third stage. After repeatedly mashing the attack button to dispatch nonthreatening foes, and jumping over obstacles that are equivalent to mere puddles in the road, you realize that the game is not measuring up to its design.

True, the game tries to introduce some elements unique to the levels such as Ice and perma-death lava. However, these elements hardly change anything as neither would require much thinking from the player. Indeed, all of the game besides the final level (which is a completely different problem) can be completed on auto-pilot.

A perfect illustration of the fact is the dinosaurs you can ride in some levels. They are as if an afterthought of development. Unlike the animal companions in a game like Donkey Kong or Kirby 3, they disappear after the first hit. However, their most terrible offense is being ultimately terrible to play, as they offer nothing more than a free hit and a poor projectile attack which is both unneeded and less reliable than the upgraded club you find in some levels. In fact, the whole game seems to resent these moments as the worst (and only bad) music of the game plays when you ride one of those dinosaurs.

Sub-par Gameplay: -5
Terrible Dino Companions:-2

"Yaba daba done!!"

While some games can stake the claim of being done before the player gets bored from the game, J&M2 finishes before the player even realizes he is bored. So short is the game that it seems ridiculous not to find some secret after-world.

In a previous review, I said that the short length of terrible games is a blessing in disguise, but J&M2 is not such a terrible game, and its length is not at all forgivable. While some other games might have a challenging aspect to them that encourages experimentation and the search fro perfection, there is no such thrill to be found here.

Since the game offers mediocre gameplay, the best reason to play the game is seeing what outlandish Jurassic levels the design teams are going to do next. That it all boils down to 8 levels is fit for an Arcade coin sink, and not an SNES title at all.

What adds insult to injury is the final level in the game, which takes the Mega Man final level trope and butchers it. Despite starting with a brilliantly designed stage in the midst of a thunderstorm, the developers apparently run out of time and just threw all the bosses at you. Not only do you fight those uninteresting gigantic lizards again, but you do so without regaining health between fights. It is a complete contrast of the easygoing game, and actually forces you to readjust your whole gameplan to finish the game. Alas, when you think you are done with all the bosses, it turns out there is a final boss you need to fight as well. Guess what? You don't get any health before that as well.

Short: -5
Schizophrenic Final Level:-3

"Primeval beats extravaganza"

Taking a page from the design team, the game's composer goes to great length to give us a soundtrack that is at once fun and pre-historic. The synthesizer does a great job in producing several songs each exciting and fitting the stage.

In the ice level, the music contains hints of jingle sounds amidst primeval drums and horns, while the volcano level has more fast paced beats with a focus on the horns. One thing that is common between all the tracks is the energy they inspire, which is a direct contrast to the lethargic mechanics of the game itself.

A high note is the boss music, which makes the somewhat timid affairs the climax they are supposed to be. Yet, should be said that there are not many tracks in the game owing to its short length, which is a shame judging from what we hear in the game.

Music: +5

In Conclusion:

With the platformer genre and sub-genres being as strong as they are in the SNES, there is little reason to play games like J&M2. Which is a shame given the stellar design of the game. Yet, even its colorful well crafted facade cannot disguise the lackluster core of the game.

True, J&M2 is not an awful game, but when there are much better games and very little time, we realize that "not awful" is not a good indicator of what we choose to spend out time on.

Final: 20/50

"Tips"
1- Don't bother with the dino companions.
2- Look for the club upgrades, which are difficult to miss.
3- Don't get hit at all in the final level, not once, save it for the last fight.
4- Buying flowers at the shop lets you marry a girl if she likes the flowers.
5- Whether she does is completely random.

"Next Game"

Back in the SNES era, there were games that were brutallu difficult even in those standards. Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts at #51 is the game I am reviewing next, and it is supposed to be one of those games.

As such, my next review might never come, at which case know that Ghouls 'n Ghosts is still torturing me as I shall try to finish it, comes what may come.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:07 am

#51

Game: Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts.
Year: 1991.
Genre: Action Platformer.
Publisher: Capcom.
Developer: Capcom.



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.

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts (SGG) currently sits as the most difficult game in the SNES in Gamefaq's. It has a similar reputation around the internet, being well known as a difficult game. When looking back at games of the past known for their difficulty, an important aspect to consider is whether that difficulty was entirely due to dated checkpoint and saving system.

I pleasantly found SGG to offer plenty of lives and credits, while happily taking them away with a brutal but fair gameplay. While it is difficult to positively claim that SGG is the most difficult SNES game, it can easily be said that it is leading in the conversation. Equally, it can also be said that it is leading as one of the best Action-Platformers as well.

"Ready to go"

With a princess to save, demons to kill, ghouls to go over, and ghosts to avoid, SGG is a straightforward point A to point B game. With 7 levels to traverse and a final boss to kill, you only need to worry about is getting Arthur there.

Easier said than done.

SGG prides itself in being difficult, but it also prides itself in being fair. With simple two button mechanics to the game, everything you need to learn can easily be figured out in the first level. Most unique to SGG is the jump mechanic. In many games, changing the trajectory of the jump and its direction is commonplace. In SGG, like Castlevania, each jump is a commitment. The only alteration to the jump is the double jump which in itself is another commitment.

The trajectories are easy to read, and simple to figure out. It is then the player's fault entirely when they misjudge a leap and go out for a double jump when a long single one would have been better. Equally so, jumping into enemy projectiles without the reflexes to double jump away is another common mistake.

The first action many would do in the first level is double jump over a rock. This highlights how with minimum instructions, retro games managed to teach the players how to play. From the first level, the entire style of the game is obvious. Enemies will swarm you unintelligent. The level itself would try and kill you. After all, it would only take two hits to die, and your only solace is the hidden chests you may find.

Tight Mechanics: +5

"Underwear Knights of the Round Table Unite"

Arthur wears a particularly shoddy medieval armor, as it breaks from a single hit, resulting on the brave knight prancing around in his underwear. While the hilarity of killing demons and ghosts in your underwear is appreciated, a search for armor is a must.

Here is where the game's chest system comes into play. With these red chests hidden around the stages, only revealed by jumps or climbing ladders (sometimes something else) comes a lifeline. These chests offer weapons (more in that later), armor which upgrades each time you find one (still only gets one hit), and traps.

While the chests are absolutely vital for survival, I found their placement and the need to unearth them cumbersome and unnecessary. Beyond that minor complaint, they ultimately upgrade Arthur for further carnage in the battlefield.

Your regular silver armor first upgrades to green, which upgrades your weapon, and finally to Gold which gives you the ability to use useful magic. Still, getting hit would break the armor, further underlining the game's foremost objective, not getting hit.

While wearing your underwear, you are using the weakest version of your weapons while simultaneously being vulnerable to one hit kills and the lottery of the chest system. Therein lies the catch, in SGG not getting hit is the best way to ensure rapid success.

In order not to get hit, both careful study of the game and steady and smart reflexes are suggested. Here is where a number of pros would relish the challenge, as you see underwear runs, speed runs, and damage-less runs all around. Giving the game a longer life that it has.

Chest System: -2
Challenge: +5

"Lances for Love, Maces for Marriage"

With as many as 8 weapons to play with, there naturally would be tops and bottoms. You can use only one weapon at a time, and it changes by picking up other weapons from chest and/or enemy drops. Each weapon gets an upgraded form with the green armor, and a specific magic with the gold armor.

Surprisingly, I had fun playing with all of the weapons and found each useful in its own right, even the much maligned torch weapon. However, the upgraded form clearly shake things up, with the bow having the best upgraded form, and the axe being near useless. The gold armor introduces the ability to summon unlimited magic attack by charging up the attack button.

While most of the magic attacks are useful, the magic of the Axe does not excuse its terrible form, and the magic of the scythe is heads and shoulders above everything else. Also, summoning the magic gains Arthur a couple of invisibility frames which doubles up as a dodge mechanic.

Ultimately, what these weapons provide is variety in gameplay as well as the potential for specific weapon runs. However, due to an end game mechanic, you are stuck fighting the final boss with one of the more mundane weapons.

Weapon Variety: +4

"Take a key for coming in"

Each level ends with a boss fight who gives you a key the next level. A key suggests close proximity between the levels in terms of distance and hence in design. However, each level is pleasantly unique and fantastic.

From the first level onwards, the game's music and level design manages to cultivate a unique style for the game. And while the music is rarely top notch, the game's visual are among the best in the SNES. Despite the almost permanent black backdrop, the game manages to give each level not only its unique style but also a varying style within the level itself.

Take the second level for instance, where a quick romp through a haunted ship graveyard crescendos into a raging raft ride in the stormy sea. In this level, the waves first start in the background eventually reaching the foreground as the level ebbs and flows with the waves.

With a varying selection of stages, each unique and great in its own, the fifth level stand as one of the technical marvels of the SNES. Snow stages are almost a cliche in platformers, but it is a welcome cliche if the result is a level like the one in SGG where beautiful is as apt a description as any.

Visual Design: +5
Level 5: +2
Music: +3

"Not even you can defeat the fiend without the magic bracelet"

In what was by then a tradition of the series, the game does not end the first time around. Arthur reaches the fiend's HQ only to get a telepathic SMS from the princess stating that he could not hope to defeat the final boss without the special weapon she hid in the beginning.

Ergo, another trek across the game's 7 levels is necessary to beat the game. This is not bad in itself because SGG deserves to be played several times over. However, the lack of change in the game's second run through is disappointing. True, the difficulty is raised a little, however a simple change of enemy placement and/or mirroring the levels would have been much better.

Also, the game now forces you to beat the 7th level boss with the not so good bracelet weapon, which proves to be a pain in the neck. Finally, when faced with the final boss, he proves to be a formidable but ultimately boring boss with a disappointing theme.

At least the credits were hilarious and completely worth it. You even get the princess measurements in the credit (Arthur does not have an excuse when shopping for her now).

Second time same as the first: -3
Boring Final Boss: -2
Funny Credits:+1

In Conclusion:

If you can learn to master the game, and hence be able to mange its difficulty, SGG can be one of the most rewarding experiences for any gamer. It is a game with a unique style, that introduces the princess with her measurement sizes in the credits screen. That flaunts Arthur's underwear like a champ, and that unabashedly asks you to end the game twice in order to get the credits.

While the original SNES version asked you to do so in one go, any emulator can be used as a save function and allows players to beat the game at their leisure. Now, there is no excuse not to try this game out, as it is a must play title for any gaming fan.

Final: 43/50

"Tips"
1- Learn how to use the double jump extensively.
2- Using magic gives you a couple of invincibility frames.
3- Try out the weapons to see which you like most.
4- Jump a lot to look for chests.
5- Second time over, don't forget you need to beat the level 7 boss with the bracelet.

"Next Game"

With Zombies being a constant presence in both popular culture and videogames, it is surprising to find them relegated to RPG exp fodder in the SNES generation. However, one game was a pioneer of its time and a precursor to the current fascination for zombies. In #48, the hilariously named Zombies Ate My Neighbor is a father to the current trend.

Stay Tuned
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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by VendettaRed07 on Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:17 am

Nice review. Loved loved loved super ghouls and ghosts. First in the series that was hard as hell but wouldn't consider cheap. Perfect difficulty curve.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:55 pm

@VendettaRed07 wrote:Nice review. Loved loved loved super ghouls and ghosts. First in the series that was hard as hell but wouldn't consider cheap. Perfect difficulty curve.

I agree with that.

SGG manages to be difficult without resorting to cheap tactics. In fact, the only "cheap" enemy in the game is the bloody red ACE which can be killed using magic or upgraded bows quite easily.
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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Awesome on Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:48 am

Hell yeah this game was awesome. Loved the theme for the first level even more.

First Level Theme: Haunted Graveyard:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDRUhhBVrng

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:33 pm

#48

Game: Zombies Ate My Neighbors.
Year: 1993.
Genre: Run and Gun.
Publisher: Konami.
Developer: Lucas Arts.



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.

It is no wonder that with such a box art, this game did not sell well. Not many game box arts represented the games themselves. That this terrible art actually manages to express the game thoroughly well is perhaps the secret behind both its commercial failure and its enduring cult statues.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors (ZAMN) manages to be a representative of all the experimental and downright weird games of the SNES era, and era where major powerhouses like Konami were OK taking risks. In some sense, ZAMN is a hilarious reflection of Horror B-Movie culture. In another, it is a prophetic satire of the current fixation of popular culture with zombies.

Unfortunately, while the game is revolutionary in its concept, it is not revolutionary in its execution.

"Save the Neighbors"

In each and every level in the game, the objective is to simply run around saving (collecting) the neighbors from the nightmarish creatures prancing around. Of course, these B-Mobie rejects will try hard to foil your well meaning effort. However, few if any of the game's normal enemies are threatening enough, not until middle of the game that the game becomes any challenge. From the top down preview ala Zelda, it becomes easy to navigate and look around for your objective, especially with a handy radar you could switch on.

Since every-level has the same basic objective, each of the supposed 55 levels are completed the same way. With the last neighbor you save, a handy exit pops up. Unfortunately, with the same basic objective in every level, and with little variety in the levels themselves, I found the game to get boring midway.

While each level is a different labyrinth, both the level design and neighbor placements (which are always the same) are quite underwhelming. Some levels inspired by ancient temples are examples of solid level design, but most other levels feel like a random take on a previous level put in to inflate the game's length.

It would of course be forgivable to repeat similar looking levels if there were gameplay nuances to each one. Yet, here is another area where ZAMN fall flat. Despite having a large number of items and weapons, as well as a decent variety of enemies, the gameplay in ZAMN basically asks you to run around and look for your neighbors as fast as you can.

Some challenge can be found in trying to win the game using the first 3 lives in what is basically a survival run. It asks the player to manage their resources well in order to conserve them for the harder stages. However, it is boredom that is most likely to be survived than the game itself.

Repetitive Levels: -4
Underwhelming Gameplay: -4
Potential for Survival Runs: +2

"Nightmare in Terror Street"

Puns like the latter on popular horror B-Movies is just a semblance of ZAMN's style. On closer analysis, it is one reason why the game gained such a cult following. Playing against enemies resembling Jason and Freddie all the while saving Cheerleaders and Toddlers have its own psychedelic charm.

Speaking of toddlers, one of the "boss" enemies in the game is a gigantic baby that squirts milk at you from his baby bottle. I cannot say I have had such conflicting feelings while playing against a boss as I did against big diaper boy here.

The graphical style of the game, which looks to be inspired by early 90's cartoons, homes in the satirical style of the game. With well detailed sprites and inspired design of American suburbia, the game does feel like a B-Movie parody. Yet, knowing how bad B-Movies are, it might be a straight adaptation of one as well.

B-Movie Homage Style:+3
Giant Baby Boss: +2

"Forty Feet of Terror In"

Assisting you with you thankless job against the B-Movie rejects is the multitude of supplies you could use against them. These are divided into weapons and items. While most Items are the usual fair of health items and decoy bombs usually found in Horde games, some items are unique and sometimes surprising. For instance, a rare potion transforms you into a Hulk-like beast for some time, however another potion (with a ? sign) might do anything from transforming you to said monster, to leaving you with one health bar. These items are scattered around in decent amounts, but a survival run would require care in their use.

Weapons are even more numerous than items. Ranging from your water machine gun, to Bazookas and Soda grenades. While the number of different weapons might suggest variety, the fact is that only four of them are of any use.

First, a large number of weapons actually behave similarly, and their damage output is pathetic considering the lag they induce when used. For instance, I could not find any difference between the Snow Cone, Football, and Cherry Bomb weapons. I rarely ever used them though, since they were outclassed by the simple Water Gun.

Second, the blast radius of the Soda Grenade makes it useless. Coupled with the difficulty in landing diagonal attacks, using it is more a hindrance than a help.

Third, since the game uses a scrolling inventory system, the useless weapons clog your selcetion making it difficult for you to quickly pick out your desired weapon.

In fact, I suggest anyone playing should only pick up Fire Hydrant, Bazookas, Lawn Blades, and the ever useful water gun.

Item Variety: +2
Weapon Variety is a Sham: -2

"Zombie Homecoming Dance in the Graveyard"

One area where the game consistently delivers is in its soundtrack. With tones inspired by shows such as the Adams Family and Scooby Doo, ZAMN manages to be aurally pleasant and atmospheric. Of course, the atmosphere is one of cartoonish horror and mysterious undertones.

While the soundtrack is not as large as it could have been, it manages to have no weak tracks, even if it doesn't have outstanding ones as well. Better still, the sound effects complement the music. Hearing the creepy moans of the Zombie hoard adds another layer to the creepy music of the neighborhood stages. The start up of Chainsaws add a frantic element to a calmer tune. All together, both sound departments did their job thoroughly well.

Music and Sound Design: +5

In Conclusion:

There are hardly more unique games than ZAMN, which explains its statues as a cult classic. However, most of this reputation is based on the special aesthetics of the game rather than its gameplay. While not mechanically deficient or broken, it does not inspire more than mild amusement. A fact that I wanted the game to end by the 25th level.

If the player is looking for a unique SNES experience, then it will be found here. However, it is not going to be a deep one except if Survival Runs, and I would hazard to guess that it won't be a fulfilling one for most. Even though, the prospect of facing off against a giant baby might be too tempting for some to pass by.

Final: 29/50

"Tips"
1- Use only the Weapons I suggested.
2- Conserve your Health packs till you get one hit left.
3- Conserve your keys.
4- Sometimes, you need to defeat "boss" enemies to get special keys.
5- Bazookas can be used to shred hedges and break some walls.
6- Lawn Blades are the only weapons capable of killing ground fungus.

"Next Game"

Many players who braved the famed Ghosts 'n Ghouls (Goblins) series probably recognize the Red Gargoyle enemy as the most obnoxious of them all. Apparently Capcom thought he was too obnoxious not to have a series of his own. The Red Ace manages to best his enemy in IGN's list by placing #44 in his game "Demon Crest".

Here is hoping it holds up to its parent series.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Thu May 08, 2014 4:54 pm

#44

Game: Demon's Crest.
Year: 1994.
Genre: Action Platformer.
Publisher: Capcom.
Developer: Capcom.



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.

Off all the critical successes of Capcom in the SNES era, Demon's Crest (DC) earns the solitary dishonor of being the biggest financial flop. In fact, the game registered negative sales at one point, with more people returning the game than those buying it.

Born from the single most annoying enemy in the Ghouls and Ghosts series, DC nonetheless was a huge departure from its parent series. Perhaps that departure alienated series fans, and perhaps having a demon as protagonist hurt sales (as research would suggest it would). Regardless of the reasons for its poor sales, I struggle to find a legitimate one, because DC is one very good game. Even if it falls short from greatness.

"What are you!!"

You are Fireband, the powerful demon just fresh from gaining all the Demon crests. However, the traitorous Phalanx managed to back-stab you and take the crests for himself. With some ambition, DCs story could have been a great one. It has all the elements in place, as well as a good sense of presentation to boot. However, it does not go the extra length needed to flesh out what could have been a great story.

For instance, Fireband is not your regular hero. In fact, Phalanx arguably helps demonkind by stunting his tyrannical ambitions. Playing as an Evil character has its charms, but when little of those are explored you might as well be an angel as well as a demon.

Which is a shame, because the story sets up nicely, with Fireband waking up to be executed by the Zombie of the Dragon he killed in the last game to get the crests. It was not a tough opening , but it provided a glimpse of the stylish boss fights the game provides throughout, as well as a sense of style that is unfortunately not complemented by the story.

Also, the game feels like a legitimate quest for vengeance, with Phalanx's castle open to assault at any time (causing a different ending if you kill him without getting the crests first). You travel around the realm trying to get your strength back together (by finding health expansions and crests) in order to beat Phalanx in his castle. It is a non-linear quest, with most of the levels including the final castle being open from the start.

Style: +3
Non-Linear quest: +3

"Bring me a velum for a spell"

If you played Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, you would know that the red gargoyle has wings. These wings come into place greatly in DC. While Fireband can only jump once, he can hover in the air at a set height indefinitely. This hovering mechanic works great in order stay airborne to hit enemies while also dodging their attack. Better still, you can change your hover height by rapid disengagement of your wings and re-engagement.

However, this is only the original form of Fireband. As each crest gives you a different transformation, each useful in one part of the game. With the appropriate crests, Fireband can swim, fly (instead of hover), and more.

Attack-wise, all the red gargoyle does is shoot fireballs. However, these fireballs are altered by the form he wears, and the items he uses. These items are found by exploring the game-world, while the froms are gained by progressing the story and gaining crests. While these fireballs are his only mode of attack, they are actually not rapid enough or travel enough to feel as a shooting mechanic, and with the consistent need to fly closer to the enemy, they feel more like long ranged melee attacks.

Along with his crests and firebreathing abilities, Fireband carries around talismans that increase his power, and potion bottles to recover. Also, while he should be also supported with a number of cool-sounding spells, those were entirely useless.

Also, don't forget to look around for health-expansions. With as many items as Fireband boosts, and with a the non-linear quest. DC feels like an Action Platformer Zelda game. Not quite the metroidvania, but close enough.

Different Forms: +4
Many Items: +3
Useless Spells:-2

"You shall go no further"

While the game feels really open due to its non-linear structure. You soon realize that it basically consists of stages within stages, with a boss in the end of each sub-stage. This not necessarily a bad thing, because the game maintains the illusion of freedom well throughout.

More importantly, because the formula also works. While the stages are mostly run-of-the-mill action platfomer fare, the bosses are not. It is slightly unfortunate that the stages do no extensively use the cool flight mechanics unique to the game, and instead manage to be weaker than the brilliant stages of its parent series. However, the bosses redeem those stages greatly with intense fights all over the game.

In fact, the early bosses in the game would keep the more hard-core gamers on their toes. Better yet, those boss fights are never cheap, with DC being ahead of its time by giving infinite retries and generous checkpoints. These does not cheapen the bosses, who are still intense as ever, but levels the playing field between the players and the bosses allowing for skill to evolve with practice without unnecessary frustration.

Also, perfection is not DCs goal as a game, in contrast to its parent series.

However, it must be said that due to the abundance of items in the final stages of the games, the bosses at the end feel really weak. Especially the final boss, who is underwhelming in all regards. Even though, before that point, the proto-man like fights with your rival Arma would be the highlight of the game.

Savor them well.

Great Boss Fights: +5
Arma Boss Foghts: +3
Lack of Balancing in Late Boss Fights: -3

"Dance the dance of the dead"

With Capcom on the wheels, you should always expect a great soundtrack. Unfortunately, DC only half delivers. While the soundtrack is suitable to the game, and it does have its highs, it nevertheless fails to excite.

Decent is not a good enough adjective. Perhaps, I wouldn't feel such about the soundtrack if it delivered a good final boss theme. However, as I stated, the final battle fell flat in many ways, one of which is the pedestrian theme.

With the sound department not giving much of an atmosphere to the game, it was up to the art department to do so. Continuing with the game's excellence with the bosses, the game's prime artistic achievements are in the boss design, as well as the designs for Fireband and his different forms.

The stages and the environment in the other hand are well done, if not spectacular. Obviously getting inspiration from gothic motifs, the game's cemeteries and castles look decent enough, with good backgrounds throughout. However, we do not get any of the visual flair Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts was famous for.

Decent Music: -1
Boss Design: +2

"Now feel the Wrath of Heaven"

Having excellent action gameplay mechanics, a non-linear quest, varied forms and collectibles, as well as a unique premise and cool bosses. You would imagine DC would be a critical success cited among the greatest games of all time.

However, this is not the case, because as in many other games, DC manages to have all the pieces in the board but it doesn't go far enough with them. Perhaps, DC2 would have fulfilled the promise if DC did not flop so badly.

As it is now, the game would have really needed another stage. Perhaps better music and a better final fight. However, the most it needs is actually just a tightening of the game's core mechanics and objectives. For example, pressing the shoulder buttons to change forms would have been much better than having to enter the menu every time. Also, as I stated before, the game becomes ridiculously easy at the end. Yet, getting the best ending and the real final fight is nigh impossible.

To explain, you need to find all items before facing the final boss. Which is mostly easy by exploring the game-world. However, one health expansion can only be earned by completing an obtusely hard mini-game. In my opinion, mastering that game enough to get the health expansion would be more difficult than finishing the entire game without getting hit once. Worse still, its not a bloody fun game.

Bloody Stupid Mini-Game: -10000 (-2 if you don't care about getting the "best ending")

In Conclusion:

If there is one game I would like to see a sequel for, not just because I liked it but also because I want to see it fulfill its promise, that game would be DC. While I will never reach the game's true ending, I was pleasantly surprised by how good the game is.

With very few games having flying protagonists, it was cool reigning terror on my enemies as Fireband. Too bad not many people experienced that feeling in the game's initial run.

Final: 40/50

"Tips"
1- First time fighting a boss, don't use potions.
2- Press start in the World Map to know where the levels are.
3- Don't bother with any potions other than Ginsing.
4- Don't waste money on spells..
5- If you must use spells, the only one that does anything is Death.
6- Don't try to beat that stupid mini-game, your time is worth much more.

"Next Game"

If you ever felt like you wanted to be part of the great evolutionary chain of some animal, then this game is for you. At #42, EVO: Search for Eden, is game that gives you the freedom of evolving a fish into something other than a fish, sparking hundreds of combinations that you can try.

Hopefully the game is as fun as the concept.

Stay Tuned
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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Wed May 21, 2014 1:21 pm

#42

Game: E.V.O. Search for Eden.
Year: 1993.
Genre: Action Platforming.
Publisher: Enix.
Developer: Almanic.



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.

Search for Eden at once promised a different gaming experience to all of its contemporary games. You take control of a single life-form as it evolves through time, all the while taking control of its own evolution.

While this promises widely different changes to your character, it does not manage to fulfill that promise. Even-though, it still manages to be a decent start for the Evolution genre.

"The Survival of the Fittest"

While it is weird that a game about Evolution starts with a creationist theme, you nonetheless start as an agent of Gaia trying to prove you deserve entering Eden through your subsequent evolution. Surprising no one, the overall plot of a game that simply wants you to evolve your character and play around with it is a thin one. It serves the purpose of giving you a reason to evolve and play through five different eras utill you reach Eden.

However, it was surprising seeing the story of the world told, even if very simply, as you evolve in each Era. In fact, some instances even managed to be melancholy and a perfect testament to the underlying cruelty of the Darwinian principle.

Better still, through exploration and perhaps random luck, you might catch glimpse of a different narrative arc. One that perhaps undermines the entire plot of the game. This narrative is smartly not being showcased in the core game, but is mysteriously in the background, available to those who seek it.

Going back to the original narrative arc, your journey to Eden is not as smooth as you would hope it to be. Some events throw the balance of nature, and you are tasked with correcting it again. Perhaps the insect kingdom is growing too large threatening the plants necessary for survival. Maybe the ocean is being dominated by one species that plan to kill all others.

Regardless of the objective, you are expected to beat the offending party to a pulp. Yet, you might opt to join them for a number of different endings. Some of which are a little funny. When all is beaten, and your path to Eden is cleared, you might at last appreciate the heart of the tale. While not at all a specially engrossing story, it still manages to give adequate reason for the player to care about the world beyond deciding which horn suits his beast best.

Surprisingly Good Story +3
Mysterious Alternative Story: +2

"Only the strong would survive"

According to actual Darwinian theory, survival depends more on adaptability and fertility than actual physical strength. In EVO, it is really all about that physical strength. With the game basically being an action platformer, you walk, swim, fly in a 2D plane while fighting whatever is in your path. You only need attack power, some mobility, and strong defense to survive.

Basically, the hundreds of different evolutionary combinations simply converge to the strongest in each category. There is no reason to mix and match when simply "buying" the more expensive evolutions gets you the best stats. With the exception of the similarly priced evolutions (where you get a different bonus for each), the more evo points (currency) you spend the stronger you get.

Hence, the actual evolution in the game takes the appearance of an RPG shop, where the different body parts you evolve are armor, and those similar priced parts are accessories. For the greatest success, mot players would end the game looking exactly the same, while evolving in exactly the same paths.

Whereas I imagined the evolution to take place organically and intuitively, it ended up being a glorified RPG armor shop. Yet, it is not a bad armor-shop by any stretch of the imagination. Only lacking in the concept of the game. However, the game does deliver in its evolutionary premise in a non-player driven way.

With each era demanding different traits, you evolve through the game from a fish to a humanoid as you go past the eras. Even more, you get the chance to become a bird in one era (which is necessary to uncover the mystery) granting you the ability to fly. While each of these evolutionary "paths" can only be upgraded within with stats only, they play different to each other.

Regular Evolution is Like an Equipment Shop: -2
Evolution Paths Differentiate Gameplay +5

"Lead into the new world"

Each era's objective is going through to the next era. Predictably, you start in the ocean, and go through Earth's slow transformation  through Jurassic and the Ice Age into early-man time. The game plays like the most regular 2D Action platformers, with the added twists of swimming and flight depending on the evolution in hand.

Obstacles to your search for Eden are the many enemies of the game, who are little more than fodder for your evolution needs. Yet, there are those beings who are ruining the balance of nature, and are such more ferocious and deadly. The game's bosses are miscalculations of Evolution, mostly bent up on destroying the world via their own refusal to coexist with it.

While your only fighting tools is a bite or a jump, they are adequate when facing regular enemies. However, bosses require more strategy and more mobility. One basic strategy most EVO players would use over and over again is evolutionary healing. Since you can evolve by simply entering a menu and clicking the required evolution, you can do so at any time. Against bosses, it is optimal to heal yourself and evolve stronger at the same time.

Yet, even with that health tricks, some bosses prove to be more than a match. Unfortunately, it is mostly to due with the excessive stun-locking in the game. At one point, a pink Yeti monster held me for 20 minutes in one stun-lock chain. I tried escaping while chugging away at unwanted evolutions to heal up  with no avail.

Aside from these tense and interesting boss battles, the rest of the game grows repetitive after a while. With little challenge and increasingly boring landscape, EVO becomes a chore, especially because of the grinding required to get the best gear (I mean body parts). However, the anticipation of beginning a new evolutionary path in a new era always brought me back eager and ready.

Boring Regular Play: -3
Interesting Boss Battles: +2
Infinite Stun-Locks: -2

"Protect Earth's beauty"

With such a noble goal in mind, it is a shame EVO does not enforce the sentiment by actually providing a beautiful world to protect. Instead, it offers barren and mostly repetitive levels with the laziest of SNES backgrounds I ever encountered. In fact, the entire background visual design is one of the worst I seen.

It is a testament to the sprite-work then that the game's graphics does not end as a complete disaster. With imaginative sprite design, and different personalities conveyed through the sprites animation and visual ticks. Each of the creatures you encounter, and those you evolve into yourself have a unique visual flair. Through their menacing predatory grins, or through their lazy eating animation, you know exactly what you are dealing with.

In the game's best graphical set-pieces, the game's sprites manages to cover up the sloppy background through intelligent artistic vision. With meteor dropping by signalling the extension of the mighty dinosaurs, the enter-wining necks of two of those long necked dinosaurs somehow hides the appalling boredom of the background in the scene.

However, the music department gets no such saving grace. Carrying the obvious distinction of being a low-budget title, the music of the game manages to grate instead of entertain, and is at once alien from the atmosphere of the game. Worse still, it repeats the terrible tunes infinitely while keeping the half decent ones exclusive.

My view of game music is that it adds another dimension to the game. With 2D games the most needing of that extra dimension, we find the tunes with best melodies in the SNES era. Yet, EVO manages to use its musical score not to add to the game, but to actually subtract from it.

Visual Design: +2
Terrible Music: -5

"A different world"

In many ways, EVO is undercooked and perhaps owing to its low budget, underdeveloped. From its very basic backgrounds, to the very rigid menu, the game has many faults. However, its also the first of its type, and it was bold enough to break through new ground.

In equally many ways, EVO is adventurous and unique. Despite the volutinary mechanic not being what it could have been, EVO manages to let you play in land, air, and sea. And if anything, the illusion of controlling your own evolution is enough to sustain the premise of the game.

Interesting Premise +3

In Conclusion:

The SNES was home to many interesting ideas. Many games matured as series's, while others introduced new mechanics and genres. Not all of those game succeeded however, and for many of them, it robbed us of a more polished take on a great idea.

Perhaps a sequel for EVO would have fixed its problems while expanding on its theme. At it is, search for Eden have yet to reach its own Eden. However, it is still a worthwhile search to make.

Final: 32/50

"Tips"
1- Save for the most expensive evolutions.
2- Heal evolve against bosses.
3- Save evo points to heal-evolve.
4- Be wary of stun-locking.
5- Register a flying evolution to explore vertical levels through green crystals.
6- Horns break, and therefore are useless as an attack.

"Next Game"

Talking about games introducing new ideas and genres, the next game in the list introduced a well-respected unique series. Numbering 41, Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen is a unique tactical strategy game that I am looking forward to try.

Stay Tuned
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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:31 pm

#41

Game: Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen.
Year: 1995.
Genre: Strategy.
Publisher: Enix.
Developer: Quest.



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.

Now, Ogre Battle might be the most complex game in the SNES, or at least in the top five. With a cover that claims the game to be "the ultimate fantasy simulation RPG" you would guess a little at its complexity. Ironically, that claim does not mention the fact that Ogre Battle is a strategy RPG, and even then that wouldn't be accurate.

Ogre Battle is a real time strategy tactical RPG hybrid. With units moving in a vast map in real time, while a war economy is being used to support these units, of which each consists of several types of soldiers, etc. By now, you should have figured out that this game is not easy to summarize, and a good portion of any review would be an attempt at explaining the scale of the game.

"This is not child's play!!"

Your army consists of a maximum of 10 units. Each unit takes a certain number of soldiers to fill, with normal soldier taking one space, and creatures taking two for a maximum of five spaces (3 soldier and 1 creature for example. There are different classes for soldiers and creatures, with different abilities and such. Now that your units are in place, you can equip your soldiers with items (1 per solider) and send them to battle.

Here is where this game deviates from other tactical RPGs. First, deploying your units cost money according to their power, and maintaining them in the field cost money as well. With a day-night cycle, you are being charged every day. Now the second point comes into play; the game runs in real time. As your units move and you make your decisions, the in-game clock ticks on, and the enemy moves. As such, movement is shown with units moving in a map, and not in grids.

In order for the player to earn money, they either win the stage, or liberate towns to get taxes. Of course, you can always sell your hard-found treasures and equipment. To stop you, the enemy forces would close down on you in sometimes unpredictable manners. When two units clash, you are transported like if in an RPG into the battle screen and you see the fight is between your soldiers and theirs.

These battles are not at all what you would expect. Indeed, the player is merely a spectator with supervisory powers as the two units duke it out. No, not till one of them is wiped out, but for until each soldier exhausts their turns. In these battles, the player continues their role as a general, and not as an active participant; as they issue tactical commands instead of direct orders. For example, you set a unit's tactics to attacking the weakest members of the enemy units, or the strongest.

However, there is one power the player can use during these battles, Tarot Cards. With these mysterious fortune telling device being a theme of the game, the player collects these cards and can use them in battle. For instance, one card heals your units while another damages the enemy. Some cards have more unique properties, such as flipping the front and back line of the enemy forces (thus exposing their mages).

This is only just the basics of the gameplay, as there are still many underlying mechanics I have yet to explain. However, I would first like to glance over the story of the game.

Unique Gameplay:+5
Tarot Cards: +3

"The destiny in your cards"

From the start, the Tarot card theme is apparent in the personality questions the game asks you. The answers to these questions and the Tarot Cards you draw decides your main character's traits. You are the leader of the rebellion, which is fighting against a conquering empire that might have more sinister motives besides conquest.

Obviously, we have been in countless rebellions against encroaching empires, and Ogre Battle is no different in that regard. Even less, your army has no personality whatsoever and named characters are confined to the few sentences they word in their first appearance.

However, Ogre Battle surprisingly ups the ante with its inner-level narrative. Not every stage has a compelling story, but each stage has its own tale within the grand narrative. These stories are sometimes surprisingly complex. For instance, on one level many towns you liberate say that the famous knight X (that's not his name) betrayed his lord and killed him and his family. However, when you meet the knight himself, he denies the truth of those claims and insists he stayed loyal to the end, and he wishes to the join the fight against the empire. Do we take him at his own word and risk recruiting a disloyal scumbag, or ignore him and believe the rumors.

The narrative is best in these small stories inside the levels, adding up to several good stories that add depth to an otherwise unremarkable tale. However, even by the end, we discover that not everything is what it seems.

Generic Story: -2
Interesting Side Stories +5
Grey Morality:+2

"Ours is a forbidden love, tee hee"

I would actually say that love is a difficult, not forbidden. Love for the game that is. Not because of any fault in the game itself as much as difficulty in understanding it. Besides the already complex gameplay in Ogre Battle, there are many underlining systems that are simply too complex to handle well.

Starting with the class upgrade system, which is for some reason convoluted and confusing. In the simple front, there are classes which directly upgrade to a better version, but then starts the web-work. For the main classes, there are two lines, female and male. Upgrading into any other class requires a certain number of ALI points. These points supposedly monitor the morality of the individual soldier, but are ridiculously hard to control. Therefore you might end up with a Ninja (low ALI) instead of the Samurai (high ALI) you want because this soldier is stealing all the kills (thus reducing his ALI). Stupidly, the only way to raise your ALI is killing higher level soldiers, which is both stupid and difficult; without control in the battle itself how can you make sure the unit you want to get the kill does it?

Other "special" units also have their own roundabout ways of getting upgraded. Some require items, while other require getting bitten by an infected unit. Finally, you either spend more time than is healthy to get the units you want, or simply succumb to whatever your regular playing leaves you with.

This half-baked morality system is not exclusive to class upgrades. Showing a modernity beyond its time Ogre Battle offer different endings depending on your morality scale and performance. Only problem, this morality system is unwieldy and confusing. Even after finishing the game, I am not sure how this system is supposed to work. Should I liberate cities, or shouldn't I? Ridiculously, this mysterious scale eventually controls how the story goes. Important characters don't join me because of my Evil way (and I really don't want to be Evil), and other events refuse to happen because I am not in the right part of the scale.

What I find particularity daunting is the complete lack of any in-game instructions to the use of these confusing systems. Neither the ALI upgrade paths, nor the morality system is ever explained by the game, forcing me to rely on FAQs for the simplest of information. While I am not a big fan of lengthy tutorials and the like, the addition of a simple help menu or something similar would have been much appreciated.

Needless Complexity:-4
Lack of Clarity:-3

"History is shaped with blood and death"

From the grinding and inner workings of such a complex machine, we get these 10 units to attack the enemy with. Even without fully understanding the upgrade system, and not understanding what all classes offer to the table, we get a lot of variety to choose from.

With many viable units to choose from, there is a basic inclination towards the mobility flying units offer, and the coverage mages do. However, there are still several options, and experimenting early on is fun and exciting. The early game in general is both more challenging and interesting due to the early experimentation going on. Epic battles with each stage's boss are common, and sometimes the game forces you to make surprising tactical adjustments.

However, once your units are set, and you gain levels and upgrade your units, the game suddenly becomes easier. Late game units can simply steamroll through anything that is not a boss, and your star units simply outclass all your other units. My only incentive to use Samurai Anderson in late game battles was for participation purposes.

Class Variety:+4
Great Early Game:+5
Formulaic Late Game:-2

"The Zenobian Empire"

Besides complexity in game design, we unfortunately don't find complexity in artistic design. While the character designs are well made and somewhat varied, and the maps are distinctive in shape from one another; everything has a washed out look to it. Graphically, the game lacks the charm to make for its graphical shortcomings, and as a result suffers aesthetically for it.

On the sound front, what music there is is good, but there is very little variety. With what feels like only 10 tracks, maps are separated by their shape more than anything else. For a strategy heavy game, the graphics might not have been top priority, but the limited musical selection is serious problem.

Compared to such comprehensive gameplay elements, the artistic design of the game is obviously barren. For instance, the master Samurai class is differentiated from the regular Samurai class with a simple different color scheme. A more serious effort would have added a sword to one, or removed a helmet form the other.

Some Good Music and Art:+2
Limited Artistic Design:-5

In Conclusion:

As I said before, Ogre Battle might be the most complex game in the SNES, and as a game that someone will exclusively play for a long time, it might have enough depth to hold for a long time. However, that complexity works against it when someone is not dedicating all his existence to figure it out.

In the other hand, even without figuring everything out, the game still manages to be fun. Equally important, there are simply no other games similar to it in any way as far as I know. Even though it took ages for me to finish the game, I am still glad I invested the time to do so, even if I got the worst ending possible and my character died after a year of ruling.

Final: 40/50

"Tips"
1- At Least have 7 flying units.
2- Don't hoard Tarot Cards.
3- Don't kill units with Tarot cards so that you don't lose experience points.
4- Make sure to protect your base, losing because of one rouge enemy unit is rage-inducing.
5- Most beasts are useless imo, however gryphons rock.
6- Do consult online guides.

"Next Game"

I already went through the insanity of Earthworm Jim's world in my review of his first game, which I felt was marred by unnecessary difficulty despite the charm. His second game, which sits at a higher #40 in the IGN list is considered by many to be the better of the two.

This time I know what to expect, so the surreal style of the game won't catch me off-guard. As such, the game will actually be even more carefully reviews than the first. Let's see what I unEARTH,

Stay Tuned
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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:10 pm

#40

Game: Earthworm Jim 2.
Year: 1995.
Genre: Action Platformer.
Publisher: Playmates.
Developer: Shiny Entertainment.



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.

The first Earthworm Jim surprised the world with its surreal humor, crazy protagonist, and original style. Its originality was its strongest claim to fame, as it did have its share of shortcomings that were glossed over through its unique charm.

It follows then that a sequel would not have the same surprising impact. We expect the unexpected from Earthworm Jim 2 (EJ2), and thus will not forgive its shortcomings as easily as the first game. Luckily, we wouldn't have to overly extend our mercy, because EJ2 is clearly a better game than its predecessor.

"Groovy!!"

I guess Jim, as a game protagonist, must have felt his CV lacking with its lack of princess rescue missions. Fortunately, his arch-enemy Psy-Crow is giving him the chance to rectify that mistake by kidnapping princess What's-her-name.

In an adventure worthy of the name (even if not as crazy as the first), Jim goes through several levels following Psy-Crows trail in order to save What's-her-name. While still a crazy adventure, with its fair share of humor, EJ2 feels lacking compared to the first one, most probably because it lacks the element of surprise.

Aside from its abundance of Cow Jokes, and a seriously hilarious ending, the game lacks some bite and feels more grounded than the first game. For instance, the enemies you fight are simply not as memorable as those in the first game. No Lawyer from Hell is going to attack you with law suits, and sentient filing cabinets are not an equal substitute.

Less Bite than the Original:-2
Still Crazier than Everything Else: +2

"Udderly Abducted"

Other than its humor, EJ2 is better than the first game in everything else, starting with gameplay. While the first stage might suggest a similarity between the two game, the subsequent carnival of game ideas completely changes the game.

While the game is supposedly an action platformer, the game changes tracks rapidly. One level is played vertically, with your head acting as a hot air balloon. Another charges you with rescuing Cows in a little labyrinth stage. One stage even puts you in the control of a freakish creature that floats, and end in a ridiculous game show. Not all ideas are winners, with the shooter-inspired stage being a huge bore, but the variety keeps each idea from getting stagnant.

More important than the ideas themselves is their execution, which is not nearly flawless. Carrying the problem from the first game, EJ2s mechanics are still suspect, with hit boxes the worst offender. For example, a stage charging you with protecting falling puppies asks you to catch them with a jumping cushion. Imagine the frustration a puppy's death would cause when it clearly touches the cushion but does not register it.

Fortunately, the game elevates some of the issues by being understanding and welcoming instead of unfair and obtuse. Lives are easy to get by, and you would never die due to imprecise platforming. Thus, the shortcomings of the gameplay being elevated by a forgiving game.

Huge Variety: +5
Imprecise Mechanics: -3
Forgiving Game: +2

"See Jim Run, Run Jim Run"

One mysterious change in Jim's animation from the first game is his run. Now, its always activated, and he even runs in place. It still is cute and full with personality, which it inherits from the personality found in the first game. Still, idle animations show much care, and the characters in the world move and act in hilarious manners.

Besides the animation and sprites, the graphics are crisp and clean, but show little imagination and are mostly boring rendition of alien atmosphere. See the backgrounds for example, which are good looking, but lack the imagination and movement found in some other games. Which is disappointing when compared to the personality found in the game's sprites and animation.

Both of the above issues are direct inheritance from the first game, which had lively sprites besides boring background. Yest, the sound division apparently did not get the inheritance memo.

Simply put, the soundtrack of EJ2 is divine, and aside from one soundtrack (which ironically accompanies the worst stage), is truly great. Both alien and traditional, crazy and classic, the musics evokes a sense of contradiction. Explain the moonlight sonata's 3rd movement complementing the final race between Jim and his rival. Beethoven's classic sonata offers a direct contradiction to the crazy world of Jim, and yet it works so well within the game.

This great music acts as a buffer against the rougher parts of the game, alleviating some of its frustrations. For example, I was at the end of my tether in ISE 9000, which I felt had too many mechanical problems. However, the soundtrack, which was a Pink Floyd inspired piece, was just too good for me to ever thinking about quitting the game in rage.

Great Music: +5
Moonlight Sonata: +3
Personality: +3
Boring Graphics: -2

"Puppy Love?"

After dealing with all its shortcomings, and enjoying all its advantages, you suddenly find that the game ends. Just 10 levels or so, and with little reason to replay the game, the game ends. It took me two short session to finish the game, and while other people might do so in more (or even less), it still is a short game.

When compared with other games in the SNES, even platformers, we find EJ2 to be more similar to licensed platformers like The Lion King in length, rather than original platformer like Donkey Kong. Which is disappointing, because EJ2 is an original IP that showed more imagination than can be constrained in 10 levels or so. Perhaps opting to be short and sweet game instead of a long tedious one. Nonetheless, it just ends up as a overly short, so much that if this was back in 1995, I would not recommend that anyone buys the game at full price.

Short: -4

In Conclusion:

If you think that this game wears anything on its sleeve, you would be wrong. With everyone expecting the crazy humor of the first game, EJ2 could not surprise us with that. However, it managed to surprise us with its great soundtrack, and varied gampeplay.

Even though it still has its share of problems, length and mechanical shortcomings being at the forefront. The forgiving challenge, and its other charms do make for a good game. Just not for the full price of 1995.

Final: 34/50

"Tips"
1- Press Down to Carry things.
2- ISO 9000 Boss requires you to use the wardrobe in the left.
3- The triple gun is probably the best one.

"Next Game"

While I said I will not review sport games, a gold game where Kirby is the ball is a must play. Surprisingly, at #38 Kirby's Dream Course is the highest rated Kirby game in the list. Here is hoping its not below Par.

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Re: The Official SNES Gaming Thread

Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:53 pm

#S

Game: Lufia and the Fortress of Doom.
Year: 1993.
Genre: RPG.
Publisher: Taito.
Developer: Neverland.



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.

Lufia is perhaps the least well known JRPG of the SNES era, probably due to being published by small publisher Taito. Nevertheless, it is fondly remembered by those who played it, and the second game was critically acclaimed as well.

In order to better review the second game, I decided to play the first. Expecting a basic RPG with probably archaic mechanics, I was caught off-guard by what is actually a pretty decent game, even though it is ancient in some ways.

"And so the final battle begins"

You start the game in control of the world's strongest fighters, a group of four warriors heading for their final battle with the evil Sinisterals. From the start, we learn that the Sinisterals are akin to a natural disaster that reign death and destruction over the world.

By starting with the strongest fighters, you are hugely over-level, and you can take your time learning the game's battle mechanics. If anything, the intro provides some depth to the narration, as well as a window to the future for the player.

With the Sinisterals defeated, a century of peace begins, and at its end is your main character. The end of peace part is where you come in, as a descendent of Maxim, the leader of that aforementioned group, you must take on the resurrected Sinisterals and save the world.

While this is basic RPG storytelling, the game does offer some surprising depth. Especially when it comes to the relationship of the MC with the mysterious Lufia. Which culminates in a truly great ending, despite the childish translation.

Very Good Start:+3
Surprising Story Depth: +3

"Let's see what's up ahead"

After you are introduced to the MC and Lufia, you begins your quest to save the world from the impeding threat of the Sinisterals. Unfortunately, most of the time, you will be questing in order to get through your quest to save the world. You need to go to City A, well, you must first go to cities B and C and do something in order to be able to go into A.

What the game basically boils down to is a huge series of fetch quests. Some of which offer an appreciated glimpse into the game world, most which are basically padding. Highlighting the nature of these fetch quests is the snaky design of the game world, which is linear and seems to offer a singular path towards your goal.

In order to fulfill these quests, you would basically need to go into dangerous caves and dungeons, fight off some monsters, get some item, and repeat. Sometimes, you will have to fight a boss, which actually manages to test you combat ability.

Speaking of combat, its basic turn-based battle, with each round consisting of characters acting in order of their speed. Thankfully, battles don't take a lot of time, with the occasional boss battle that challenges your strategy.

A Series of Fetch Quests: -3
Mostly Boring Side Stories -2
Decent and Fast Battle System:+3

"This country will survive"

Probably due to the abundance of fetch quests, the game needed to provide resting points (towns) at the path of each one. Resulting in one of the most populated RPG worlds in the SNES. With nearly 30 towns, the game boasts a respectable amount of NPCs. While most of them are your run-off-the-mill info dumps, some do sport their amusing eccentricities.

Despite the visual limitations, and the fact that most towns use the same architecture, the personality of the game manages to shine through. Cities are populated with both adults and children, and some cities manage to feel unique due to the complexion of the populace. For example, seeing a cleric man the item shop because "he found faith" is bound to register a smile.

This is actually an extension of the game's own personality, which manages to convey humor, romance, bravery, and other emotions in what is a very limited translation. Despite the limitations, the game manages to have some good dialogue, and more importantly, a consistent charm.

Personality:+4
Some Humor: +2

"Puny knight! I AM EVIL ITSELF"

The Sinisterals might be super evil beings, but besides a very nasty sleeper trap they laid, we are never familiar with their evilness beyond some quotes such as the above. Its just another byproduct of the eternal fetch quests format. What evil we are familiar with is however related to the game itself. Starting with an over zealous random encounter rate, and finishing with an obnoxious final dungeon.

Lufia is a very basic game, and hence lacks the improvements games such as Final Fantasy 6 and Chrono Trigger did to advance the genre. Take the lack of a dash button for example coupled with the high encounter rate, both working against the player's time. Perhaps the final dungeon wouldn't be as obnoxious if the aforementioned problems didn't exist, nah, probably would still be.

Admittedly, the game's default walking speed and the battles themselves keep the problems from being as pronounced as Breath of Fire 2 for example. However, the game's other limitations are more serious.

First, items don't specify what they do, which coupled with a shoddy translation forces the player to try the items to discern their use, or simply ignore them. Second, the lack of character portraits is a minus for the art, but the lack of the name of the character who is talking causes some confusion about the direction of the dialogue. Last, the lack of a world map would mean looking for end game targets is a pain.

Not one single issue is a game breaker, but when they combine together, they make the experience more difficult.

Caveman Design: -3
Background Antagonists: -2

"Will this dress make me pretty?"

If we want to make a visual comparison between Lufia, and any other RPG, it would be called Final Fantasy light. Employing the same style, but without as much detail, the game is colorful but is visually repetitive. For instance, most towns use the same architecture, and the game world consist of less than a doze textures. While not ugly, or even bland, the visuals are just very basic.

In contrast to the the world visuals are the battles, which employ a first person view similar to Dragon Quest. Which is both disappointing because we cannot see our characters in action, and great because the monsters are shown in much more detail. In fact, the monster designs are really good, especially the bosses.

Unfortunately, the monsters are only still image and do not animate at all beyond shaking when getting hit. In the other hand, spell animations are well done, even if not spectacular. Overall, the Lufia is visually unimpressive, however it is not ugly.

Aurally, the game includes several great tunes, such as the overworld and fortress of doom songs. Aside from those two, which are the best in my opinion, the other tunes serve their function well and are great to listen to. Unfortunately, the game's soundtrack is in the short side, with little more than 30 tracks at the max.

However, the main problem with the sound in Lufia is that it is not continuous. Meaning that you will rarely hear the cool overworld theme to its completion because every time you finish a battle, the music restarts. Luckily, the music continues to play while you are in the menu, so you can customize at your leisure while listening to the best tracks.

Basic Graphics: -1
Some Great Music: +4

In Conclusion:

While it is true that Lufia is more like an early SNES RPG than a middle SNES one, it still manages to be a really good game regardless. With faults that, while noticeable, do little to ruin the experience; they are not an excuse enough not to play the game.

For RPG fans, and for those curious about a game with many ardent admirers, the first Lufia is a welcoming game. In my opinion, any SNES top 100 list would be lacking if it did not include this game, but at such a list, it would be among the highest numbers, not the lowest.

Final: 33/50

"Tips"
1- Use Drain on bosses regularly.
2- Save your Miracles for the last Bosses.
3- Take care of which rings to use.
4- Heal on anticipation, not need.
5- Use the emulator save feature for the final dungeon.

"Next Game"

I think IGN messed up by not including the first Lufia in their list, especially since this a list that includes such a bad Superman game. Regardless, playing Lufia and the Fortress of Doom better positions me to review Lufia 2, which sits at #34.

From what I know, Lufia 2 is a prequel to the first game, and it follows the quest of Maxim, whom I play as in the intro to this game. I guess I will not be starting from level 70 this time though.

Stay Tuned
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