150 SNES games reviewed

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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:38 pm

I had to go to the inlaws for about a week and then when I got home the fiancée had a big uni deadline and I was trying to do my best to help, looking for the correct references for her appendix, printing stuff out, proof reading etc. Tommorow is the first day I will really have had to myself in a while and I have a game in mind to play, just need to check I haven't done it already its getting confusing now im in higher numbers  lol
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:10 pm

Game 65 





Bomberman can best be described as a strategic, maze-based battle game. I will mostly be talking about the first SNES version but it’s important to realise how long running the franchise is. The first Bomberman game was originally developed by Hudson Soft and was released in 1983 for the MSX, NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-6001, Sharp MZ-700 and FM-7 in Japan, and for the MSX and ZX Spectrum in Europe. Believe it or not we were not introduced to the game as bomberman though, it was sold in the UK under the title ‘’Eric and the Floaters’’, and in Spain as Don Pepe Y Los Globos (which translates to something on the lines of Don Pepe and the Globe). 

Bomberman has featured in over 70 different games on numerous systems he has also been the star of several anime and manga series. The series is still doing well it had an impressive xbox live online game and has even more recently there has been a new iOS game released. His franchise is one of the most commercially successful of all time. It didn’t really enter my life until a Japanese copy of the original game graced the shelf’s of my local video game store. Now the cover was inviting but then very few games have bad Japanese cover art so I wasn’t going to let that sway me in to a purchase. I picked up the box and looked at the graphics on the back and liked what I saw but I did wonder if there would be any language barrier, sounds silly mentioning that now but at the time I didn’t know how simple a game it would be. I had also spent 5pounds on some Japanese Megadrive game a week or two before to learn that it was completely in Japanese and so text heavy that I couldn’t do anything on it. Bomberman was also a lot more, it was about 20pounds.

Now days I would go home and jump on the internet and been able to find out a whole pile of information on the game but back then this wasn’t an option. So I did what you used to do back then and that was looked hard at the box until I gathered my thoughts and feelings together and took the plunge.

The basic gameplay of Super Bomberman is pretty darn simple, I think this is one of the cases where you really can use the old chestnut ‘’easy to pick up difficult to master’’. The gameplay in this title takes place on a single non-scrolling screen. The gameplay happens in an arena and you can basically see the whole arena in a top down viewpoint, you can move horizontally or vertically around this arena but you won’t get far before finding your way blocked by a wall. Pressing the 'A' button will make your character drop a bomb at his feet. There will be a period of time in which the bomb will get ready to explode, you will get used to watching its animations and knowing how long you have left, so you drop it next to a piece of wall or an enemy and make sure your well out of the way before it goes off. The basic idea is to kill everything else whether this is other players in multiplayer or creatures in single player before you get killed. It is not quite this simple though, not only are there various icons to pick up which will either allow you to drop extra bombs or alter the radius of the bombs blast as well as differ your abilities in other ways but If a bomb explodes and the flame hits another bomb it will cause this second bomb to detonate early. This is where the game starts to be far from simple as with multiple bombs and power ups you can either intentionally or accidentally cause large chain reactions in an attempts to get your opponents. 

The story mode in bomberman is playable and can be ok but really it’s not the kind of thing most people are going to invest a lot of time in. The story is a bunch of poor kiddy TV trash really, but I would tell most people to play a little bit of it, just enough to get used to how your character moves, get used to dropping bombs and seeing what there blast radius is, how to avoid the explosions basically just as a bit of practice to take you into the multiplayer with a decent foundation on how the gameplay works. The multiplayer of this game is the real game, this is what you want to buy the title for. You could either buy it with a multi tap or buy one separately either way it was possible to play this game with 3 of your friends and when you had all gotten a hang of the controls it could turn in to a wonderful game. It was a real edge of the seat competitive sofa based game. I can remember being in parties where there would be about 7 of us sat there 4 playing, the others waiting for their turn in winner stays on home tournaments. When people got good at it then it could become a real tense battle, person against person mind against mind reflex against reflex. This is where I have to mention the music, it was brilliant little tunes full of excitement which really went well with the on screen action.

So should you buy Super Bomberman for your SNES? Well it is a great game at least for multiplayer if you have friends willing to play with you I could happily give this game a 9 maybe even a 10 (it would score nowhere near as high as this as a single player game). Well its price changes wildly I have seen copies of the cart on its own go for about 10quid but then I have seen carts go for as high as 30. Then factor in the fact that if you want to play it with friends then you’re going to need a multitap, the cheapest available for sale I have seen is around the 15quid mark and then of course you need enough pads to fill the taps ports. Bomberman has had a lot of sequels and they are all very similar, and they are pretty much all brilliant Bomberman Live can be got on the Xbox 360 Live service for 6.75 and you will not need a multitap and your much more likely to have friends who can bring their pads around. So In this case unless you’re a die hard collector then I would go for a more modern version of this game.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:29 pm




It seems to have been awhile but here I am back to talking about a Super Nintendo game which started its life as an Amiga game. The original Putty was a game developed by a company called System 3 and released on the Commodore Amiga in 1992. It was then ported to the SNES in 1993, with the word Super thrown in front of it in that good old standard Super Nintendo way, at least that was the case for Europe and North America. In Japan its super famicom name was Putty Moon (that name makes me think of button moon).After this it was released on the ill-fated Commodore Amiga CD32 ( A CD based Amiga basically) in 1994 keeping the revised name Super Putty.

In Super Putty, you control a small round blue ball of well putty I guess that can punch, jump, and morph in to other things. Most games of this type would have you working from left to right but the end of the levels in this game are always at the top, so you spend your time working upwards. 

Why are you working upwards? Whats the story? Well ok it’s a little bit weird but I will try to give the jist of it without sounding like I have escaped from a secure facility. Dazzledaze, the wizard has decided that if he captures these little blue Putty creatures who come from a place called Putty Moon well then he can put wrappers on them and sell them as screaming bubble-gum. You are one of the last little puttys left so it’s your job to try and save the others and stop him. See that story is not strange or weird at all.

The graphics are not too bad, they are bright, colourful, and kind of cute even if they are not exactly earth shattering. The music is also good if not perfect, the best thing I can say about it is that it doesn’t grate and every piece of it seems to fit the theme of the level that it is used in. The sound effects are suitably cartoony Putty makes little pain noises when he gets hurt, as well as burping when he has been made to absorbing something. The only problem I have with the sound in this game is that certain noises can grate on you (the machine guns, race cars and a few other bits and pieces) but it only really becomes an issue when the screen is filled with either one or a mix of these things. 

I don’t mean to really harp on and on about games that started off on the Amiga, I owned an Amiga 500 myself and spent a long time on it, the problem is that games which were made for the Super Nintendo by companies that were focused purely on console games play more to the machines strengths. The area where I start to have issues with putty is with the way it plays. The controls aren't awful but they do feel clumsy in places when it comes to trying to make Putty do certain things for example when you try to make him stretch. This is an issue I never had with for example Super Mario World. This led to me feeling that on occasions I had died because of the controls not because of my lack of skill.

There are quite a few ways to die in this game, not only are there the normal enemies but there are also some instant-death traps such as safes which will drop on you and spikes you can fall on. You will also die if you run out of time. Sure there are pitfalls and time limits like this in other games such as the Mario titles but there less of an issue when you have tight controls. In latter levels this game does tend to feel a little cheap, it pushes a lot of enemies at you, a lot of which don’t die very easily. There are a lot of levels in this game, and they are pretty large but most people will probably rage quit long before they see the end of the game or will simply grow tired of what the game offers. 

This game is basically a nice bog standard 6 out of 10 platformer. If you want to try this game then one advantage is that it’s not exactly expensive, you should be able to get a loose cart for around 7quid, I have even seen boxed copies go for as little as 12quid.(prices 15/01/2015 dated added due to constant flux of game prices) There was also a sequel on the SNES called Putty Squad, this has been ported to various Sony platforms including the PS4 but has been universally battered by critics, I haven’t played it but it would appear that it’s had very little done to it, it’s been on sale for around 6quid several times.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by sorenlorensen on Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:55 am

kerr9000 wrote:Game 65 





. It was a real edge of the seat competitive sofa based game. I can remember being in parties where there would be about 7 of us sat there 4 playing, the others waiting for their turn in winner stays on home tournaments. When people got good at it then it could become a real tense battle, person against person mind against mind reflex against reflex. This is where I have to mention the music, it was brilliant little tunes full of excitement which really went well with the on screen action.

I loved SNES Bomberman. We had a SNES and a multitap in my student house and we would play it, Mario Kart and International Superstar Soccer (and latterly Deluxe) on repeat. Incredibly competitive fun. The single player game sucked balls though

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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:00 am

I never did a lot of studenty things at uni, travelled home every day to go to work or such, I honestly cant tell you the name of a single person I had a single class with, man thats a bit depressing ... my memories are from little parties at peoples houses back when I was in school and college. We would all gather in one house and play, bomberman, mario kart, nba jam, street fighter 2 and the odd bit of other stuff. Its kind of the phase of my life I miss the most lol
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:29 pm

Game 67  Mortal Kombat 2

Mortal Kombat II was originally released as an arcade machine in 1993. It was later ported to pretty much all the major home systems, including the PC, Amiga, Game Boy, Game Gear, Megadrive/ Genesis, Saturn, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and PlayStation. It is still selling nowadays on the download systems of more modern machines (usually in a pack with its prequel and direct sequel). I don’t think the game needs to big an Introduction seeing as I have already talked about the original.

Now we all know the SNES and Nintendo themselves had the reputation of being kind of kiddy, in fact Sega tried its hardest to remind us of this fact in order to promote itself and its own machines. So when Mortal Kombat 2 was released full of gore and finishing moves it was a huge shock at the time.  After all the SNES version of the original had been a nuterd version largely over shadowed by the Megadrive one due to its lack of blood. However this time SNES owners got the blood, so it was now an even fight hardware against hardware without any ‘’unfair advantage’’

Mortal Kombat II introduced more varied Fatality finishing moves and new characters such as Kitana, Kung Lao, Mileena, baracka and it introduced the series' recurring villain Shao Kahn as well as giving his minion Shang Tsung a major revamp (making him younger and playable)  The Story continues from the first game.

 It is all about the next Mortal Kombat tournament which is set another realm called Outworld (The home of Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung etcetera)This game really helped turn Mortal Kombat from a successful game into a legacy, sure you could argue that it was just more, more and better but when you look at how small the updates are for some fighting games, such as 4 new characters on the exact same engine justifying a whole new full retail game MK2 really made sure it gave you some bang for your bucks.


It gave you 5 new playable characters, 2 new bosses and 3 hidden opponents, all new backdrops. The possibilities when it came to finishing your opponent were greatly increased, In the original each character had 1 finisher, here all the characters had 2 violent finishing moves and then they had a friendship move each and then there was babeality (you turn your opponent in to a baby) this allowed you to either end your fight in a gruesome or amusing way.

Street Fighter 2 may have been the more serious, skilled fighting game but with Mortal Kombat you felt the series was moving forward in a much better way, they were listening to the fans, they were teasing the fans, allowing rumours to spread and then integrating a few of them in to designs for new characters as a gamer back then this made me feel connected to them, in a small way it made you feel like your feedback and opinion mattered.

This game was and is very satisfying to play, the punches look and sound real even though the resulting blood flow is over the top. The games graphics are brilliant for the time and the soundtrack fits it amazingly. The music really does its job of getting you pumped up ready to fight and then it helps keep the tempo of the game going. The game just reeks of atmosphere but never takes itself too seriously. The balance between gore and humour is always just right and I think this is something many of its imitators missed the mark with. This game made you feel that Mortal Kombat had a real chance at continuing for a long time, sure the first had made a decent impression but there was that lingering doubt that maybe it was just a one of lucky trick shot, this is the game that really let you know it was here to stay.
 

I would give this game an 8 out of 10 without a shadow of a doubt, catch me in a good mood full of the joys of spring and it might even manage a 9. Do I recommend buying this for your SNES? Well if you have a SNES and a bunch of pads and really want a new game then yes give it a bash if you’re lucky you can probably get a cart for around the 10quid price point. If however you have a lot of consoles particularly current ones or a PC with a good gaming pad you might be better off looking at downloading the Mortal Kombat arcade collection which has the first 3 games on it, and not ports actual arcade perfect versions. If you have an Xbox 360 or PS3 I also highly recommend the last Mortal Kombat game released especially if you can find its ultimate edition with extra characters (including Freddy Kruger) which most likely wouldn't cost you much more.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:06 pm

Game 68




Anyone who has tried to collect or even purchase SNES games to play in the last 10 years has probably been met with the sight of certain carts again and again. It can be annoying as you see a box full of carts on some dealers market stall and you flick through them to go oh yeah that again. It is not an issue unique to SNES collecting, at times I have seen enough loose sonic 2 carts in one place that you could build a small pyramid with them.
One game like this on the Super Nes though is Super Tennis, now I am not going to pretend to know how many cartridges of this were manufactured nor am I going to rush and look it up so I can dazzle you with numbers but if I was to Hazard a guess I would say a lot. Just about every friend I had who had a SNES growing up had this game. It probably helped that it was the first of its kind on the system.

Tennis as a sport is one of those things I don’t think I have ever completely understood sure I went through that stage of buying a nice proper metal racket and entering a tournament but I was knocked out in round one by a local lad who was a Tennis genius. I didn’t score a single point, he batted me so bad I never picked up a racket again unless it was at school and I was being made to and then I would do it with a heavy sigh and treat the whole exercise like I was being led to the electric chair. I can sometimes manage to watch a bit of it on the Telly but the whole dressed in white pims and sandwiches thing just kind of does my head in. However, it has to be said that in the sports meet video games world Tennis was the one sport which really got the ball rolling if you’ll forgive the pun. I mean in all honesty Pong is basically a computerised version of Tennis (lets face it and I will get hate from some quarters for this ping pong is close quarters mini tennis).
So any of us truly old school gamers will have sat through a lot of different electronic bat and ball games, starting from tiny dots being hit by rectangle bats, then from there to very crude cartoon men till we got where we are now with the likes of both super realistic tennis simulations with every blade of grass lovingly animated and fun quirky highly developed cartoon games such as Wii Sports Tennis, Sega Superstar Tennis etc. 

Super Tennis sticks in my mind as one of the best examples of the genre from its time. As a single player game it soon becomes boring so I will glide over that however in two-player mode this game really shines. It is a tense competitive multiplayer game. The range of buttons on the Super Nintendo pad are used to enable the player to make a large range of different shots, all of which lead to multiple possibilities. This was the first time I remember playing a Tennis game which really got me thinking, got me trying to quickly plan the trajectory of the ball, to plan the best way to return it to try and score a point. Sometimes I would even think several moves ahead trying to lure my opponent to one side of the screen or the other hoping to quickly return the ball to the other side so quickly he couldn’t hope to get it. With a computer this is only fun for a short length of time as you will work out what it can and can’t deal with but with real life opponents this is where the game really comes in to its own. With two skilled players competing it can become as beautiful as any game of street fighter 2. If you have a group of friends who gather and play games together drop this into your Super NES and play winner stays on, you’ll be almost guaranteed to hear your friends make all kinds of noises in the background as balls are skilfully returned or when they are just missed.

Super Tennis is a simple game to look at. A lot of the graphics are function, the players are drawn well for the time and there is enough variation between them so it feels like you’re playing with a different person and you never get confused in doubles games; and the courts are all different colours you can easily differentiate between playing on different court types.

The spectators while not being important to the actual game play are super basic it looks like they’ve just used player sprites and pasted them into place without enough variety to pull it off. Weighed against this though there are some brilliant effects such as when Mode 7 is used to scale the camera in and out of the court during an introduction or when the players switch sides. Overall it is kind of a mixed bag but it does everything needed of it and doesn’t get in the way of some pretty darn good gameplay

The sound effects are beautiful the sound of the ball hitting the racket, and the court are basic but they are spot on and really add to the atmosphere. Different types of strokes sound different if the ball is slashed it sounds one way if it’s smashed it sounds another. The music is light and bubbly but well used, its only really there when it feels it needs to be and doesn’t drown out the game itself.

With a little effort you can get a cart of this online for around 5quid which is a fair price, however I have seen it sell for closer to the 2quid mark in real life. If you ever flick past it in a box of retro stuff at some car boot or convention and its cheap I recommend you don’t just go urgh a Tennis game and ignore it, it’s not a bad game at all I’d give it a 7 out of 10 and that’s from someone who is not a fan of the sport (I do find it dull on your own though)
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by sorenlorensen on Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:13 pm

Super Tennis is great  - I played it a lot back in the day, one of the best tennis games ever (still one of the best cartoon-y style ones).

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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:20 pm

I think it took a long time for it to be beat, there is only one SNES Tennis game I would argue can go toe to toe with it, the rest being at best pale imitators.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by dste01 on Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:04 pm

Mortal Kombat II and Super Tennis, fantastic games.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:23 pm

Yeah I stacked the odds a little with these two, I just couldn't face something rubbish at the moment  lol  

I have ordered Super Battle tank from somewhere for 2quid to see what that's like, its the first game I spent 5quid on Power Rangers NEO racing and cant get it to work (not sure if its a broken cart or just has more import protection on it than anything I have ever dealt with before).
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:13 pm

Game 69 Super Double Dragon 



Double Dragon had been one of the first side-scrolling beat-‘em-ups which really found its place in the word of games. Originally an arcade game, home versions were released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Game Boy, Genesis/Mega Drive and Atari Lynx, among other platforms. It was a much loved game and it spawned two sequels in the arcades both of which went on to make their way to a wide series of platforms. When it came time for a 4th entry in the series however this one was produced purely for the SNES, making it the first Double Dragon game not to originate in the arcades and also the first Double Dragon game to not be released across multiple platforms.

The forth Double Dragon was called Super Double Dragon in both the North American and Pal region while in Japan it was known as Return of Double Dragon , of course as a continuation to the series it is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up. It was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992. It was published by Technōs Japan in Japan and by Tradewest in North America and the PAL region.  Now the SNES was quiet well known for its walk along beat em ups including the final fight series, Rival Turf, Turtles in Time, and of course there were others some of which although less famous you will have heard of if you have read all of my reviews such as Sonic Blast Man and The Combatribes.

As per usually in this series, you take control of either Billy or Jimmy Lee or both if you’re playing with a friend. The objective is to proceed through each stage and defeat all of the enemies, including the levels boss. The game consists of seven stages, including a casino, an airport, a gym, a city slum, a forest, and others. The games variation in stages is pretty good even though I think the variation in enemies is a little lacking. What I do like though is that there seems to be quite a few options open to you when it comes to attacking.  You have a button to punch, one to kick, one to jump but you also have a guard button for blocking attacks. This guard buttons is one of my favourite bits of the game because if you time your press of the guard button just right then rather than just blocking a blow you can also grab certain enemies in an arm grab, leaving the enemy vulnerable to your retaliation. 

The game play moves noticeably slower than previous games in the series, and if you have played games like Final Fight then it almost seems like everything is happening in slow motion. At first this took some getting used to but in the end I think I actually enjoyed this speed because it gives the game a different flavour to all of those other beat em ups out there, it becomes less of a game of instinct and more of a slow strategy based affair.
So far I have been largely positive but I can’t stay that way forever, some of the animations in the game are good, but the actual graphics themselves are kind of weedy especially when you take in to account that this game was built for the SNES, we aren’t dealing with some multi-platform game here which needed to hedge its bets, it was a SNES game through and through and I feel far better advantage could have been made of the SNES’s graphical capabilities. This is a problem I also have with the sound/music, the SNES was during its peak the best sounding machine on the market, easily able to produce tunes that you would hum all day, now the soundtrack here is not awful but I feel it is really lacking. 

It feels a little rushed and under developed this opinion is supported by the fact that Muneki Ebinuma the games lead designer published a commentary about his involvement in the development of the game in 2004 in which he stated original plans for the game which he says he was unable to follow due to time constraints. The game was supposed to feature cut scenes introducing the bosses, adding to their impact. There was also supposed to be cut scenes between stages and a proper full ending sequence.  The actual game lacks any real plot beside these guys are bad punch them in the mouth, if the above had been included the plot was supposed to involve Billy and Jimmy Lee investigating a criminal organization known as the Shadow Warriors. They would be investigating them because of their possible connection to the disappearances of several local martial artists. Eventually they would come face to face with the gang’s leader Duke, who would've been revealed to have been a childhood friend of the Lee brothers adding an element of drama to the games climax. 

Now unfortunately I can only review this game based on what is there and not what could have been. As it stands I think the game is a real 6 out of 10 kind of game it’s on that fine line between average and good. I certainly wouldn’t spend a tonne on it and there are plenty of other games I would try and get before it. The only times I have seen this game online it’s been like 40pounds for a European or American cart with a Japanese one being closer to 20. If you have the ability to play foreign games and need this game I’d go for the Japanese version but in all honesty I would probably leave it
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:51 am

Game 70 Super Battle tank



As I have pointed out most of the time for the sake of these reviews I am playing games from my very own collection but sometimes if I see something cheap enough I will pick up a game with the sole purpose of reviewing it. The game I am going to talk about today cost me 2pounds which is a price you really can’t argue with when it comes to getting something to play on your Super Nintendo. The game I got was Super Battle tank.

When I first put the cartridge in and started playing the game another game instantly came to mind and this was the old arcade machine Battlezone which was a wire framed vector graphics tank game from the early 80’s. This was a feeling that never really left me no matter how long I spent with the game, sure there was a big step up in graphics after all Battlezone’s simple wire frames had been updated Absolute had created an engine which used the same king of blending of 2-D and 3-D graphics that Midway used to animate the characters in the first few Mortal Kombat games which had led to something that back in 1992 we all would have been more than happy to term realistic. In this case though these new found graphics didn’t fill the whole screen in fact they only filled about a third of it with the remaining room dedicated to one flat graphic used to represent the inside of the tank showing your gauges and such. This kind of works in the way that if you were operating a tank this is what you would see but you can’t help but wonder how much of this is done as a way to save on memory/resources… Was the game like this purely due to a cosmetic choice made by someone? Could this engine have showed the action on a full sized screen without slowing down or spluttering?  These are questions I simply don’t have enough information to answer.
Ok as for how this plays well the X button is used to accelerate and Y decelerates, L and R are used for turning, select cycles through your four weapons, A fires the chosen weapon, and B brings up the map, and the D-Pad is used to aim your Tank's turret. I think the controls are spot on, given the buttons you have on a SNES pad and the way you would expect a tank to work they couldn’t really have done any better, these are simply the perfect controls for this type of game on this system at the time it came out. Sure I have played other tank games in the arcade or on other systems where you’ve had more control or the controls have felt more realistic but for a game at this time which was adapted to a SNES pad instead of having custom arcade controls well they did a damn fine job.

So interesting pretty darn realistic graphics for the time, good controls you’d think that this game had it all but this is where things fall apart a little, the gameplay just well for want of a better description feels kind of bland and repetitive.  The way in which you take out every enemy is the same, this is because all of the Tank and helicopter A.I. in this game basically uses the exact same tactics making it very predictable. The game basically goes like this blow up as many enemies as you can before you get in trouble then repair your damage at your base rinse lather repeat. The game really needed to take some notes from something else around this kind of time period for example Project Desert Strike. Yes you could argue in Desert strike your just flying your helicopter doing the same sort of thing but then again they throw far more story at you and a lot more variation in goals and missions. (I use this as an example as they both came out during the same year). The graphics may have moved on since the likes of battlezone but the actual gameplay itself really hasn’t moved on from the arcade tank games of the 80’s leaving what was something new and fresh back then feeling kind of dated and rehashed.

The audio in the game is pretty average the tank makes satisfying sounds both for its guns and its engine which helps create the right kind of atmosphere but beyond that there is one ok music track which is simply used in between mission briefings. I guess my main issues with this game are lack of variety and lack of polish. What could have been a great game instead ends up a rather simple tank blaster which once you get past the graphics feels like even in 1992 it was old before it was even released.

I would give this game 5 out of 10, it’s an average mixed bad kind of game, you could spend your money on much worse but then you could also buy something a heck of a lot better. If you really want to try it you can tend to find it on ebay or Amazon for around 6quid for just the cart which is not too bad if you’re dying to get yourself a new SNES game, unless you’re really in to tank games though I would give it a miss.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:28 pm

Game 71




The game I am going to talk about now is Cybernator or as it was known in Japan Assault Suits Valken. It was a sort of robot mecha run and gun game which was released for the Super Nintendo in 1992.
In its day it was a popular game which lots of people knew about but not so many realised that it was a part of a series of games and that it was the indirect prequel to a game called Target Earth in America and Assault Suit Leynos in Japan which had appeared on the Megadrive/Genesis in those territories but not in Europe. So Cybernator would be our first look at what you would call the Assault Suits series

Cybernator was localized and published overseas by Konami. So it is often just referred to by us British gamers as a hit Konami game from the SNES days. It was actually created by Masaya the software division of a company called NCS which stands for Nippon Computer Systems. They have made and published quite a few games but not many which have been big over here, so in this case the Konami name was probably a huge boost to Cybernators sales.
Now robots and mecha suits were supper popular when this game came out, a whole generation of kids had grown up on transformers and go bots and had started moving in to the more anime related shows involving robots and battle armour. So I remember this game being treated as if it was a dream come true by most of the people I knew.
Ok so I will give a brief version of the plot. The game takes place in the future, a future where Earth's fossil fuels have begun to run out. A large scale war has begun for control of the remaining resources, and for territory including ownership of the moon. The two warring governments, the Axis and Federation are both very advanced, advanced to the point where they have the technology at their disposal not only to go into space but also to create giant space stations and orbital weapons platforms. You play a soldier who pilots a Federation Assault Suit (The Cybernator of the title). The Assault Suit has a bulky humanoid shape and is equipped with a variety of weapons. Your main mission is to destroy the most power mech in the Axis army’s forced it is called Bildvorg.

I can’t be certain but I don’t think the story changed that much between the original Japanese version and our version Cybernator but I do know that there was some degree of censorship, for one a suicide scene was removed.
My first impression of the game was that it had pretty good graphics a well-fitting soundtrack but that it was a darn difficult game. I know that this put a few friends off of the game but I don’t think it is ridiculously hard, it’s one of those games that feels tough but rewarding. Every time you have another go you seem to get a better feel for it and more of an idea of how best to face its challenges. The more you look at the game though the deeper you realise the graphical touches run, there is a lot of destroyable scenery and it just has such good atmosphere it really pulls you in to the sci fi world it supplies. The controls do take some getting used to I will admit, but once they click with you they click. The mech, movement might surprise some who come here expecting Conta, these mechs are powerful, but heavy.  So it’s a slightly slower game which is more likely to be won through tactical shooting as opposed to blipping all over the screen gunstar heroes style. Can’t see anyone going as far as having the music from the game on their MP3 player or anything but it does fit the game really well.

You have to remember that with some of these old games you don’t have passwords or save states so this adds to the challenge it means you need to devote the time to one sitting this bad boy, either that or you’re going to have to keep your SNES plugged in and keep coming back to it praying no one has banged the console

Part of the reason I have chosen to review Cybernator now is because it is being released on the Wii u’s virtual console and for the price they are asking I think the game is a good buy. So what would I rate it well I guess I’d give it a 7.5 out of 10. If you wanted to play this on the Snes though what would it cost you? Well I have had my copy so long I can’t remember what I paid for it or where I got it from but having a look online you’re doing well if you can get a cart for about 10 quid and if you look around sometimes you can get a boxed copy for about 20. Personally I’d go for a cart but it depends on how much you have and how you want to play it/keep it.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by dste01 on Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:06 pm

Cybernator, the bane of my childhood.

Really must sit down and finally complete it one day.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:01 pm

Game 72



I had been meaning to play this game for quite a while but it was one game I could not play on my usual modified Snes, the reason for this is that running the Pal cart I own at 60hz causes issues. Most Pal carts played on a 60 hz machine will just play as if they are the 60hz version but there are a few exceptions (some Pal versions had things done to reduce the drop in speed and if you play them on a NTSC machine will be even faster than the American/Japanese counterparts for example) In the case of StarWing though the issues are not good for anything other than a quick laugh…for some reason if you play the pal Starwing cart on a 60hz machines your wings are independent from your space craft and there are various other glitches. Sometimes this makes me wish I had an American version of this game but in all honesty I grew up with it playing the way it does at the speed it does so If I fancy a go I simply pop out a standard unaltered 50hz machine.

The way around this is to add a switch to your modified console allowing it to go between 50 and 60hz at the flick of a button, Like I have with my Master system 2… but I have always preferred just swapping base units with the SNES.

So I set my SNES up and thought back to the first time I tried Starwing, and then I thought even further back to the first trickle of information we got on it, screen shots and bits of blurb. I remember lots of people being very excited for it, it’s also one of the games I can remember the system being sold with. Love it or loathe it the game is a big deal historically speaking because it is the very first SNES game to feature the Super Fx chip. The Super FX chip wasn’t the only special chip that made its way into Super Nintendo cartridges but it does have the distinction of being the most well known chip.

Ok so first things first the graphics really haven’t aged that well, what was once revolutionary is now kind of cumbersome and this might in fact put those who haven’t played it before off but I would advice that people stick with it as I find the overall effect of the game somewhat charming. The music is brilliant in my opinion but I also enjoy all of the other sound effects, the laser noises the sound of your wings bashing against things but most of all the cartoon language everyone speaks… Whenever anything is said the words will come up on the screen and let you know what is being said but you will hear it said in this kind of computer nonsense language  so it will go ‘’Bluuurbaaa blurrrrrb blurb’’ and then on the screen it will say ‘’go get em fox’’ or something to that effect and I think this actually helps more than proper digitised voices would, it just seems to fit the game and give it the feeling that your looking into a different world a world where walking talking fox, frog and bunny people are the norm. The presentation on the game is brilliant the game is set up wonderfully with the way your ship is launched at the start of the game being one of my favourite starts to any Super Nintendo game. 

StarWing in my opinion boasts a variety of excellent stages. Not only that there is some replayability there because you get to pick your route to the end of the game. One of my highlights is when you find yourself in an asteroid field littered with drifting asteroids and enemies suddenly appearing, it gives you that starwars feel as you slip between the floating rocks and try to hold your own. The game also features some really cool bosses, rock crushing robots, giant spiders and all of them are introduced by the soundtrack fading away, an alarm sounding and then a perfectly crystal clear digital voice informing you of the “Incoming Enemy.”  The bosses have weak points that you will need to work out but some of them also have multiple forms. Even when you have worked out how to beat them you will always tend to feel that you could do it quicker next time, that maybe you could do it without taking as much damage. You never feel like you have been cheated you always feel like every hit you have taken is your fault, like you could do better , that you should be able to fly a perfect mission if you just practice enough.

I have to admit I love StarWing I always have, yes the graphics have aged badly but I don’t believe that the heart and soul of the game have aged at all, I believe they are priceless. The game seems to go for between 6 to 10pounds for a cart and I think it is more than worth this, but there are a lot of copies out there and with some time and effort you may even be able to get a copy for around 5pounds.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Sat May 02, 2015 6:19 pm



I try to keep a certain random nature to my selection of games I review, mostly as I don’t want it to be platformer after platformer after platformer but I do have a sort of master plan when it comes to certain titles. I don’t plan exactly when I will look at them but I know I want to lay a certain amount of ground work, this might be to make sure I have already brought up the company or to make sure that I have talked about the genera in general. In this case I made sure that before covering this game I had looked at a variety of scrolling shooters as I thought this would help to illustrate just how much I like this game. So I looked at Super Strike Gunner / Strike Gunner S.T.G, U.N. Squadron and Acrobat mission just to give an brief example of the kinds of scrolling shooters that were on the system (I am aware there was a lot more).

The game I am going to talk about today is Axelay (known as Akusurei in japan). It’s a highly regarded side scrolling shooter published by Konami for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was released on September 11, 1992 in Japan, later in that month it came out in North America, and then made its way to Europe the following year. Now the SNES’s main rival the MegaDrive Genesis always had a good reputation for scrolling shooters with titles such as Thunder Force 3 and 4, Aero Busters, Darius 2. Axelay was really considered as the Super Nintendo’s chance to prove that they could go toe to toe with the megadrive in one of its strongest areas. 
So as I have already made apparent Axelay is a sci-fi scrolling-shooter but it’s so much more than that the game features both top-down and side-scrolling shooting stages but it does even more than that the developers really went to town trying to find ways to use the console's Mode 7 techniques to dazzle people with rolling backgrounds which make the game seem far quicker than it actually is. The game seems to drip with effort though so much thought seems to have gone in to everything from the backgrounds and standard enemies to the amazing bosses this game, nothing seems to have been wasted and every idea feels like it was pushed as far as they could push it at the time.

Unlike Acrobat mission which can be fun but feels a little bit repetitive Axelay never seems to fall back on rehashing enemies and encounter again and again to stretch itself out. You always feel like you’re being met with novel threats, dealing with new foes, facing unexpected environmental hazards. Yes the game might not be massively long but every second of it is enjoyable and it is extremely replayable, the controls are tight and responsive, your ship does just exactly what you tell it to and when you die you always feel like it is your own fault which is exactly how a game should feel.

While I wouldn't go putting the games soundtrack on my phone and listening to it on the bus in the context of the game it is awesome and really sets the tone for the gameplay. I think the game was overlooked. If you complete the game twice in a row you will receive a message informing you of a sequel but to this day there has been no follow up to this game and this is a crying shame. If so much was gotten right with this game first time around to the point that it appears in some top twenty SNES games lists just imagine what we would have seen in a sequel that built from the foundation of this one.

I would give this game a very Solid 8 and this is coming from someone who has a bit of a hit and miss relationship with scrolling shooters. If you want to try it well it is on virtual console and is easily worth the price but for those of you who prefer the physical you will find yourself paying somewhere between 18 and 25pounds for just a cart. Maybe this is because of its positive reputation or because it didn’t sell as well back in the day as it probably deserved to but I do think it is worth the price. If I didn’t own it though I think I would go down the virtual console route myself. If you want to drop cash on a Super Nintendo scrolling shooter though this is the one I would do it for.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by dste01 on Sun May 03, 2015 8:25 pm

Axelay is one of those games that I've been meaning to pick up for years but never get round to it.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Tue May 12, 2015 6:07 pm

Game 74

A lot of people tend to pick sides when it comes to consoles, rather than weighing up the strengths and weaknesses of all sides they will merely decide which they want to support and use certain easy learned arguments to justify their choice. When Sega coined the term blast processing they were actually referring to was the fact that despite a lot of its other flaws and issues the megadrive had a much faster processor than the Super Nintendo.  The Nintendo had a Ricoh 5A22 processor running at a max of 3.58 MHz in comparison to this the main Processor in the megadrive/genesis was a Motorola 68000 running at 7.6 MHz.

This was one of the reasons for the invention of the Super FX chips. The first version of the Super FX chip, is clocked with a 21.4 MHz signal, but an internal clock speed divider halves it to 10.7 MHz. Now the main reason that the Super Nintendo often seemed to produce more graphically impressive games had nothing to do with its processor it was due to its superior memory. So with an FX chip in place the Super Nintendo has the upper hand in all areas.
Star Fox/Wing uses the chip for polygon rendering but this wasn’t all it was capable of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island uses the chip for advanced graphics effects, sprite scaling, stretching, and for multiple foreground and background parallax layers to give a greater illusion of depth.

Now as you have probably guessed I have gone in to this kind of detail because the game I have chosen to talk about is a game with a Super FX chip in it.



The game I am going to talk about today is Dirt Trax FX it is a racing video game developed by Sculptured Software and released by Acclaim Entertainment for the Super Nintendo in 1995. Usually I would try and hold my opinion back and build a case for if the game is good or bad but right out of the bat I have to admit that I find the game terrible.

There is no story but then it is a racing game so you don’t really need one all you need to know is that you are racing on motor bikes on dirt race tracks against other racers. So on the face of it a motor bike racing game with a super FX chip in there to handle the graphics sounds like a decent idea. After all if a megadrive can handle a bike game as great as road rash with both lower memory and processing power then the sky should be the limit for a super fx game on the SNES shouldn’t it?

There seems to be a fair selection of tracks but they are all unmemorable, the game chugs along at about 15 frames per second. The game just seems to have no real sense of feeling to me, yes they have aged badly and I never played this around release so maybe that effects my oppinion but its just got no charm at all. The music doesn’t sound very good at all, it's incredibly repetitive. The only positive thing I can really say about it is that it is neat how the music changes depending on if you are in the lead or if someone is ahead of you. The sound effects are nothing to shout about at all, just the kind of throw away thud noises you would expect.


Honestly, I hate to say this, but in my opinion this game is a complete waste of space, the graphics and sound are just not impressive in any sense of the word but worse than this it’s just not playable or fun. I have however seen some fan reviews claiming this is a good game, heck even Nintendo power apparently score it as a 3.58 out of 5. Personally for me I would generously give it a 2 out 0f 10. I got this game from a market stall for what I thought was a very impressive 3quid. 

Now I always try to tell you how much a game is regardless of if I would recommend it or not and at this moment in time the cheapest cart only copy I could find online was 15quid and I also saw copies of the game cart only up for as high as 55quid. I heartily recommend you forget this game even exists, that you never try to play it and that you never try to track it down unless you’re simply trying to collect every retro game ever. I just can’t believe that this thing had a Super FX chip in it, what a waste of silicon.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Thu May 14, 2015 9:09 pm

Game 75

So I have said a few times that I am following a rough plan with my reviews and this is the point where the plan has fell down a little. When I reviewed Flashback I made sure that I had already played prince of Persia but said I couldn’t play Another world as I didn’t own it and I would only be reviewing games I owned so that I could test them on my actual hardware. To my embarrassment today I opened a cupboard and there right in front of my face there were two super Nintendo copies of Another World, one complete and one which was just a cartridge, so here I am reviewing Another world. (This shouldn’t happen again as I have now took a full inventory of all the Super Nintendo Titles I own).







Another World, actually had a different name in every main region. Another world was its European name where as in America it was known as Out of This World and in Japan its name when translated would be Outer World. So why did the name change? Well basically in America there is a very popular soap opera called Another World, so it would have been the equivalent of a game being called EastEnders and being launched here in the UK with its name unchanged.
Another World is a cinematic style sort of platformer action-adventure game which was designed by a man called Éric Chahi in 1991 for Delphine Software. It was originally developed for the Amiga and Atari ST but following all the praise and success it found the game was quickly ported to pretty much everything under the sun that could run it. The game is so popular that it had a 15th Anniversary version made for the PC and then went on to have a 20th Anniversary addition released on many modern consoles, so in this case some of you might already be aware of this game.

Chahi apparently was impressed by the flat-colour animations that the Amiga version of Dragon's Lair and decided that he could use vector outlines to create a similar sort of  effect which would require much less disc space. He started trying to do this using a polygon routine he wrote for the Atari st, he then decided to move development over to the Amiga and took advantage of its capabilities to create rotoscoped animations with the polygons.  He used video recordings of himself performing various actions to help produce the main characters animation in the game. There was a lot of work put into this game and you can really tell.

The graphics although looking dated now still look very impressive when you think about the time period they came from, what is even more impressive is that the SNES version to my eyes looks no worse at all despite what sounds like a lot of penny pinching  The Super NES version was programmed by a lady called Rebecca Heineman and the following quote shows the effort she had to go to in order to work around Interplays tight budgeting "Since Interplay wouldn't pay for a Super FX chip, I found a way to do it with static RAM on the cart. Interplay wouldn't pay for the static RAM either, so I ended up using Fast ROM instruction. Interplay wouldn't pay for a 3.6 MHz ROM either. So, frustrated, I shoved my block move code into the DMA registers and use it as RAM running at 3.6 MHz. It worked. I got fast block moves on slow cartridges."  I first played this game on the Amiga and upon booting up the Snes cart for the first time I didn’t notice any real difference. Even now they still impress me.

The game plays very much like prince of Persia at first you’re running and jumping but soon you gain a laser gun. You would think that from this moment on it is going to be all blasting and killing but actually it is not. There are a lot of puzzles in this game, even when you’re fighting it’s more a case of brains and reactions being tested hand in hand, it makes for a unique but frustrating at times game. Frustrating because 3 enemies might attack you and they all die with even 1 hit but then so do you. A miss timed jump you die, a bad deicison you die, shot in the back you die. You are going to watch yourself die again and again but slowly you will work out what you did wrong and what you will do differently next time. That’s my only real complaint about this game the fact that the majority of your progress is based on a system of trial and error, in some ways it feels like it has a connection to the old point and click style of game, which at one point it nearly ended up being (While searching for a publisher for the original version at one point a company agreed under the proviso that Chahi altered Another World so that it was a point and click based game).


If you want an all-out blasting action game then I don’t recommend Another World in the slightest, if however you want a game that will make you think, a game that will test your reflexes and tell you a story then I highly recommend it. In fact I would go so far as to give this game a nice solid 8 out of 10. Should you buy the Super Nintendo version though? Now that is a hard question. Looking online you can expect to pay around the 10 to 15pound mark for a Snes cart or around 20 to 25 for a boxed version and yet. In comparison the Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition as a digital download is around 6 to 8pounds on all modern consoles and in fact if you’re a PS+ owner you can download the game and play it on your PS3, PS4 and PS Vita at this moment in time for the low low price of 1.95. I recommend trying it in this way.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Tue May 26, 2015 8:13 pm

Game 76



If I was to say Blizzard Entertainment to you as part of a phrase association exercise then I expect most people would turn around and say WarCraft or maybe Diablo. The company is older than that though, they originally concentrated primarily on the creation of ports on the behalf of other studios before beginning development of their own software in 1993 with the development of games like Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings. These are both games I would love to review and discuss but unfortunately I do not own them (I have the mega drive version of Rock and Roll racing but not the SNES). I do however own Blackthorne. Blackthorne or Blackhawk as it was known as in some European countries is a cinematic platformer video game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. It is often compared to titles such as Prince of Persia, Another World and Flashback which I have already discussed.
Blackthorne was released for the SNES and MS-DOS in 1994, with a version with enhanced graphics and a higher colour palette hitting the Sega 32X in 1995.

I will obviously be talking about the SNES version but the differences from version to version are pretty much not worth talking about, if you enjoy it on one platform you would enjoy it on all. As a side note I have often used blackthrone in discussions as an argument for why the Sega 32X simply was not worth its price tag. A 32X would cost you £169.99 in England on release and as far as blackthrone goes all this would get you over the SNES versions was pretty much a few extra on screen colours leading to a picture which although slightly better no one would realistically see any difference in unless you happened to place a SNES and a Megadrive complete with 32X both running the game side by side.

Ok so now I am done with a bit of company history and cross platform trivia let’s get on to the game itself. Where Blackthorne steps away from similar games, such as Prince of Persia, Another World and Flashback, is that in Blackthorne the main character is always armed, straight away from the start you are armed and ready to kick ass. Pressing the B button will cause your character to draw his shotgun, from here you have two options, one is to simply Press A, if you do this you will just shoot your straight forward however if you tap the R button you can aim backwards over your shoulder and blow away anything behind you. It is very rare that a move looks and feels as simply stylish in a video game as this does, every time you use this move you will feel like you are a bad son of a gun, in fact you will find you. This isn’t the only interesting little bit of innovation, if a bullet is heading your way or you just want to hide you can press up on the dpad and you sort of step back in to the shadows to hide or avoid things. The enemies will hide as well though, this helps as it feels more like a real firefight as opposed to just a regular old game, and they are also armed to the teeth with machine guns and robotic spider mines. So you need to get the timing right so you can duck into the shadows avoid there bullets and then pop out and fire before they manage to hide themselves. The game is not all combat based though, there is a fair share of simple puzzles, key collecting and platforming. You have to make some Prince of Persia style chasm leaps.

As for the graphics well they are very atmospheric, the game starts off with you in a mine and the place looks pretty depressing it looks dark it looks damp and uninviting. There are slaves who are wearing ragged clothing it really sets the atmosphere well the game has the feel of a sort dark comic book. I don’t think it is visually as impressive as some of the other games of its type, for example I like the style of Another world/ Out of this world much more but what we have here fits the game. The sound is somewhat disappointing the music is acceptable but some of the sound effects really will get on your nerves after a while.

In conclusion I like this game but I don’t think its flawless or anything, in fact I think some of the similar games I have already reviewed are better but I would still give it a good 7 out of 10. Now should you buy it for your SNES? Well to start with I would tell you that in 2013 the game was added to Battle.net as free download which can be played on your PC emulated through DOSBox, practically any pc you’re going to have will be able to run this without using even an ounce of its power. You could either use this to play the game or failing that at least demo it to see if it’s the kind of thing you’d enjoy getting hold of for your Super Nintendo. If you feel the need to own the game well the cheapest pal cart I could find for it was 27quid, even looking at imports only seemed to shave a few pounds off it. Considering some of the things you could get for your SNES for less I think your money would be better spent elsewhere.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Sun May 31, 2015 12:45 pm

Game 77

Almost everyone knows that there were some amazing Disney games back in the old days. During the 8bit days almost everything Disney related came from one study and that was Capcom. They gave us the excellent platforming master piece Duck Tales, the fun megaman style DarkWing duck game, chip and dale rescue rangers and then moving on to the SNES they gave us the Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse, the Snes version of Aladdin, Goof Troop. Eventually though when Capcom’s exclusivity contract for Disney games on Nintendo systems came to an end Disney games began to come out which were developed and published by different studios so today we will be looking at one of those to see how it holds up.





The game I am going to be talking about today is beauty and the beast. Now it’s important for me to say that this film is kind of important to me for many reasons. Before I even knew her my fiancé had gained the nickname Belle, maybe from her love of books but however she gained it what is important is that it had gotten to the point where people used it more than her actual birth name. So when I met her I met her as Belle, add in to it the fact that I am a large hairy guy and you can imagine the name I soon gained around some of her friends. This has kind of led to it becoming our film, it’s a film we both enjoy despite having wildly differing taste in films, I usually want to watch something involving zombies or werewolves ripping in to flesh and she enjoys something a little bit more light and frothy so when we just want to put something on neither of us will hate this is the film. So to this end I know the music and the lines far more than any adult male should. So with that said I am either going to be biased because of my love for the film or as sometimes happens I am going to be one hell of a picky git and expect miracles from this game because of the name and license attached to it.

The game was programmed by Probe Software who started out producing games in the days of the spectrum and the commodore 64. They no longer exist today, they were brought up by Acclaim and became Acclaim Cheltenham (they were a British video game studio located in Croydon) but they died when Acclaim declared bankruptcy in 2004. Probe was responsible for developing Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II for the Sega Mega Drive and then Extreme-G and Extreme-G 2 for Nintendo 64. They were also well known for successful licensed games such as Die Hard Trilogy and Alien Trilogy all of these are games I have played and more importantly enjoyed so going in to this I was hoping beauty and the beast would be yet another example of them doing the almost impossible and producing a good licensed game.

Starting with the intro to the game although the story is told mostly in static images they are very fitting and combined with the excellent 16bit rendition of a piece of the films music it really sets things off well.  The music is actually this games biggest strong point, pretty much all of it is based on songs from the film. It’s like the lyrics have been stripped away, the then the raw melodies have been recreated in a midi format and then remixed slightly to fit the needs of the game, sometimes this is a case of making them a little bit more repetitive so that they can be easily looped without it being too obvious. The games soundtrack is easily up there with anything that Capcom did musically unfortunately I don’t think anything else here lives up to the music.

The graphics are decent, the main character sprite and the sprites for the important characters are all well done, the backgrounds seem to have a fair amount of layers however they have a very cut and paste feel about them, if the gameplay was amazing this wouldn’t be an issue. In fact nothing presentation wise is an issue with this game, it has the music you want, it has graphics that would be more than satisfactory, where this game really falls flat on its behind is in the gameplay department.

Story wise Beauty and The Beast has you playing as the Beast. The intro tells the story well but at the beginning you see Belle run off in to the depths of your dangerous castle which seems to be filled with bats, rats, evil candles, and other things that clearly want to kill you, so yeah it has changed things a bit from the film as beasts castle was never filled with generic video game lower caste baddies but you can see why it is here. The problem is that despite how powerful and impressive the beast is supposed to be he can so easily be killed by one or two bats. The main villain here though is beast’s bad controls. For a start there's some pretty serious lag between when you press the buttons on your controller and when Beast actually does what you have told him to do. You can run you can jump you can slash, and you can roar which doesn’t actually seem like a bad move set for a game of this type. The issue here though is that you need to sort of decide to do something 2 seconds before it needs doing in order to hit your enemies or to make the right jump, sure you adjust to this but with the enemies being faster than you basically you end up having to work out where things are and then think about it far more than you should need to. When your hit or you fail to do what you were trying to do you always want to blame the game and its awful lag and over powered minions. In short this game just is not very fun.

I looked at a few review scores for this game from back in the day around its release and couldn’t believe how wildly different some of the scores happened to be. One German magazine gave it an amazingly bad 35% yet there was an American magazine which scored this game at 90%, it’s hard to believe that they were both playing the same game, in fact it is hard to imagine anyone giving this game anything approaching 90%. I would score this game 4 out of 10 and it only gets that score because of its soundtrack. I recommend that unless you’re a massive fan of this film and feel the need to try this game that you just leave it be. If you feel that you need to get your hands on a cart though well an English cart only version seems to go for between 14 to 18quid, the cheapest import cart I could see was a Japanese one going for around 7quid. This is definitely a case of just watch the film.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:14 pm

Game 78

One of my favourite sayings of all time is ‘’you can’t polish a turd’’ Yes it might be immature, but there is a plain straight message there and it clearly states that if something is bad it is bad no matter how much you try to clean it up and persuade people otherwise. I have used this phrase in the past when talking about a countless number of games, I have basically claimed that the engine sucks or that it is too broken and that it is basically beyond help. Well I was reading about the game I am going to review today and I found out a few interesting bits of information and one of them really surprised me.

The game I am reviewing right now used the same game engine as the Wayne's World video game. That should be enough to make me run in fear, to make me refuse to even try the game, after all I did try Wayne’s world when I was a kid and it was one of the most awful things I had ever played, a real turd that I felt was without any real merit at all. Then again though I also played this game as a kid and really enjoyed it, without even realising its connection to the evil one. I won’t be reviewing Wayne’s world basically because I am fortunate enough not to own it, however I will give a very brief summing up of its major issues as they will help me in explaining what has been fixed in the game I am reviewing. Wayne’s world had annoyingly long levels with no real direction, you wander aimlessly hearing the same music repeat and repeat with annoying sound effects and enemies which seemed to hit you before you had realised exactly what they were, the controls also seemed a fair bit off, all in all it was a terrible move license with no redeeming qualities at all. In fact it is one of the games you often hear being referred to as the worst on the system (If it is not the worst well you’d certainly be hard pressed to argue it wasn't in the top 10% of worst games for the system).


 
The game I am reviewing is B.O.B or as it is known in Japan Space Funky B.O.B. The game was developed by Gray Matter Inc. (the creators of Wayne's World) and Foley Hi-Tech Systems. It was published by Electronic Arts and released on the Sega Mega drive/Genesis and the Super Nintendo, obviously it’s the SNES version I am talking about but they are actually of about equal quality. To be honest I had never heard of Foley Hi-Tech Systems but reading up on them it’s not surprising, they were only ever involved in 10 games only 3 of which actually managed to make it to market. So a game by the makers of Wayne’s world and a studio who started far more than they finished doesn’t sound like the best start really does it?

Playing it now I can see the connections to Wayne’s world in the basics of the game but they got so much right this time. First the levels are much much smaller which would sound bad on one level because you’d think it would cut down play time but nope this is countered by the fact that there are a lot more of them. So we have swapped long boring levels you get lost in for lots of small short faster levels which gives the game a totally different pace and feel.
The story is as simple as can be B.O.B. who can best be described as a sort of robotic antman, ruins his dad’s car and crash lands on a planet covered in domes. He enters a dome and there are enemies in it, so he has to battle his way through them to try and find a new means of transport so he can get home on time.

The graphics in this game might not be the best you’ll see on the system but they are full of detail. B.O.B. himself is full of character, one of the best examples is when he moves along an overhead pole, literally as he moves you can see every one of his fingers move along the pole, you’ll see him blink and swing, it gives it a nice cartoon feel. In fact the entire game seems to do its best to try and feel like a cartoon with the graphics and the sound effects. The music is unfortunately repetitive, it pretty much just consists of about three tracks. This is something it unfortunately shares with Wayne’s world but at least the sound effects are far less wretched.

Another interesting bit of trivia about this game is that in 2008 the source code of the SNES version became available as it was found on a hard drive that someone purchased via ebay.  


So do I like B.O.B.? Well I think you can tell from the review I do rather enjoy the game, it is no masterpiece but considering the game it shares its engine with it is a surprisingly decent game. I would give this game something around 6.5 out of 10. Its fun in short bursts but it’s not the sort of thing that sets the world alight. If you really want to try it then I have seen copies of the cart go for around the 8pound point, with box copies not being that much higher. For anyone that owns a PSP it is also worth noting that it is on the EA Replay disc alongside the SNES version of Syndicate, Ultima VII, wing Commander and a bunch of megadrive games so this might be a good way to sample a whole host of 16bit games for a very reasonable price (I find it important to note though that some people complain about a few of the games soundtracks having been altered due to copyright issues.)
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by dste01 on Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:30 pm

I like B.O.B, just something about it.
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Re: 150 SNES games reviewed

Post by kerr9000 on Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:54 pm

Game 79

Sometimes when you look back on certain video games they remind you of more than the game sometimes they will remind you of a time, a place or a person. A lot of the games I have reviewed and talked about have connections like this. Combatribes for example reminds me of a local Pizza parlour in my home town. The main reason for this is because they had it in there for a long time, it was pushed in the corner and you’d stick a few twenty pence pieces in it and see how far you could get while you were waiting for your pizza to be made, most of the time this would be after having seen something in the local cinema. The cinema is gone now as is the arcade machine but the pizza parlour is still going strong but every time I pass it I look in that lonely corner and sigh wishing there was still an arcade machine there. 

The game I am going to talk about today though doesn’t remind me of a time or a place it reminds me of a person, a friend.  This particular friend had a love of RPG style games that seemed to have no limit, he was the first one to get and play all of the final fantasy games, secret of mana, etcetera. Most people would quickly see what he had gotten and after listening to him excitedly go on and on about it or after him turning up at their house with it singing its praises well let’s just say they would be buying it as soon as possible. One game though he just couldn’t seem to get anyone interested in, I have to admit on first glance even I couldn’t see what it was that attracted him to it. After sitting and watching him restart the game in front of me though it wasn’t long before I was asking for a go. The game was ShadowRun.



I had heard a little bit about the original Shadowrun the pen and paper role playing game but when it came to that kind of thing the people I knew where generally into citadel miniatures Warhammer 4000. I still have never played the original roleplaying game of Shadow run so I won’t be comparing this game to it nor have I ever done but knowing this at the time did give me a rough idea of what to expect.

Ok so the story goes a little like this it is 2050 you play a guy called Jake Armitage, an information courier who is shot supposedly dead and taken to the morgue. You wake up on the slab with a sore head and no idea of who you are. Your basic mission throughout the game is to try and work out who you are and what happened to you. You’re in a world with guns which are basically based on sort of current technology, but there are orcs and trolls, not the dumb kind who walk around naked holding spears and axes, no these guys wear leather jackets have shotguns, pistols, uzi’s, hacking computers and hire themselves out as thugs, protectors, hackers, killers etcetera.  I won’t spoil any more of it than this but this gives you a basic idea of the world this game is set in and your place within it.
Ok so to get a few things out of the way this is not a graphically impressive game for a start the sprites are small, sometimes rather lacking in detail but there is often quite a lot of enemies moving around on screen shooting all over the place so you can kind of see why. 

The levels of animation on the sprites are also at times rather limited and there are issues of repetition with sprites and the portraits used for faces when you are speaking with people being reused again and again. I can see why some people would be put off by this but it would be a shame if people were to judge it based on appearances and not try and get in to it.

The music is decent and easy enough to listen to, but it’s not impressive not when compared to some of the beautiful RPG soundtracks that found their way on to the SNES but it fits and it doesn’t annoy so it works.

The game almost feels like you should be playing it with a mouse, its part RPG but then there is also at times a sort of point and click element to it. You highlight doors or cupboards and select options like ‘’look’’ ‘’open’’ etcetera. You also do the same sort of thing when interacting with individuals picking what you want to say. The talking with people part is handled quiet interestingly there are various topics of conversation that you can use these form a database which  can be made larger through picking up new terms from the people you talk to. So, to explain this, imagine that you talking with a person and they mention a club ‘’the purple banana’’ then the name of this club if it is highlighted will go into your topics database, and you will able to ask anybody that you meet about the club by selecting ‘’the purple banana’’ from your list of topics (this club is not really in the game but it helps me make my point without spoiling anything). This actually makes you feel you have a lot more freedom than in some games when it comes to talking to other characters, there is a lot of un-needed answers added in just to make the world feel real and I appreciate the effort that’s gone in to this.

The graphics are not amazing nor is the sound, the story is interesting if clichéd at points but the world they have built up around the game feels big and real, if you can get past how basic it looks on the surface and get your head in the game, get your heart in to the story then you have an incredible game here. I feel very comfortable giving this game a very hearty recommendation and scoring it 9 out of 10. It only loses out on perfection due to its lack of graphical and audio polish and a bit of repetition but none of its issues can hold it back once you have found yourself deep in its clutches. It is also quite a long game so provides a good ratio of bang for your buck. An English cart typically seems to end up going for around the £35 to £40 price point which is a lot, I haven’t even seen a boxed one in I don’t know how long, but if you can play American games you can with some searching cut that price down to around £25 and this is a rare case when I would say its worth it (Also to my knowledge there has never been a digital virtual console version of this on any system). As a side note if you don’t want to invest so highly in this game either because it’s a fair bit of cash or your worried that it won’t be your thing there are some new PC shadowrun games available on steam which are very much in the style of this game. Shadowrun Returns and Shadowrun Dragonfall are both about £11 each but I have seen them go down to as low as about £4 during steam or humble bundle store sales so if it sounds interesting keep your eyes open.

So what happened to my friend who introduced Shadowrun on the SNES to me? He has moved to America now and no longer plays Video games.  I don’t get to talk to him that often as he is busy with his work and family but I will always think back and remember him as that excited guy who couldn’t wait for RPG’s to come out, who would buy some of them in Japanese and just plough his way through them the best he could and I will never be able to play a shadowrun related game without thinking of him and smiling.
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