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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Favorite Tunes #185: Space Mode

For this week's Favorite Tunes, we've got music from Phoenix Wright, Final Fantasy Legend II, Castlevania III, and a bumping beat from one very unexpected title.

Introduction - Phalanx (SNES)

By no means a remarkable shooter, and the North American box art is nothing short of atrocious, you could do a lot worse than Phalanx on the SNES. The soundtrack is a real gem. The twang in this intro track really makes it pop.

Age, Regret, Reward - Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (DS)

In court one must present evidence to support one's claims so obviously so detective work is involved and if there was any one theme in the game that made me feel like I was super sleuth, it was this one.

Save the World - Final Fantasy Legend II (GB)

The Final Fantasy Legend trilogy are actually SaGa games. More than likely they were rebranded as Final Fantasy titles to give them more exposure. The SaGa games are something of an aquired taste, but pretty much everyone would agree that the music is the bee's knee. This is one outstanding final battle theme.

Aquarius (JP Version)  - Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES)

The third and final NES Castlevania title is far more of a ball buster than the original. You can play as multiple characters including Alucard but your might go insane before you can even get that far. Castlevania III has two different soundtracks with the Japanese version using some more enhanced audio. I tend to go against the majority and favor the non enhanced audio more but I can still enjoy the Japanese version.

Cameron Crest - Fast RMX (NS)

At the rate Nintendo Switches are selling, it is pretty much a safe bet that the console/handheld hybrid is going to outsell the Wii U. If you're one of the many that passed on Nintendo's first HD console but bought a Switch, you probably missed out on Fast Racing NEO, a super sweet futuristic racer with a pumping soundtrack. Fast RMX for the Switch has all of the race tracks from NEO along with some old tunes from that game and some killer new ones like this little number.

Space Mode - Teen Titans GO!: Stellar Showdown (PC)

I'm not gonna mince words here. Teen Titans GO! is one of, if not the biggest plague on Cartoon Network. It gets far more air time than it deserves and the bulk of the show is very unfunny. So imagine my surprise when I'm watching the latest in Lytherio's Mario Kart 8 Katastrophe series and I hear this sick 1980s Genesis style beat playing in the background for the game Stellar Showdown. I never thought I'd put music from a TTG game in Favorite Tunes, but here we are. This jam is sooooo good!

Favorite Tunes Database

Friday, May 19, 2017

Sill Exploring the Wild

A few weeks ago, I finished the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. When I say "finished" I mean I finally completed my main quest objective, Destroy Ganon. I initially didn't plan on  beating the game when I was exploring Hyrule Castle. There were still places within the castle walls I hadn't explored and I wanted to cover more ground. As I made my way top side, I peeked into what I knew was the room that contained Ganon. After thinking it over for a bit, I decided I would fight him. I had so many weapons, armor and food for healing that I was never in trouble. Usually after I beat a final boss, I call it quits on the game and move on. Not so with BOTW.

It amazes me that after all the hours I've sunk into this game (well over 120), I still want to keep playing. The first pack of DLC, which I am very excited about hasn't even dropped yet I am still eager to play this game on a daily basis. I want to complete all 120 shrines. I want to max out my weapon, shield and bow slots. I just may go for every single Korok seed even though the reward for doing so is a steaming pile of gold crap (I must admit, that heavily amuses me). BOTW is a game that drips with so much content that even after beating the final boss, there is still much to see and do.

What's really surprising me is that as I keep playing this game, I'm still finding things that I missed in areas I've already explored as well as fining new areas I've never been to. I know BOTW's map is massive but this just reinforces how large it truly is. I may not complete the game 100%, but I do want to get as much as I can out of it. (I finally tamed a bear instead of killing it.)

Cooking has always been one of my favorite aspects of BOTW. Seeing all the different meals you can come up with, finding the right ingredients to get a high defense or attack boost. But there's also a lot of fun with discovering rare dishes. One of the side quests of Rito Village has you gathering ingridents to cook a meal so one of the children goes off to sing. Said dish is Hearty Salmon Meuniere (made from Tabantha Wheat, Goat Butter and Hearty Salmon if you were wondering) and it recovers full health and four bonus hearts. I've long since discovered meals that recovery full health and 20 plus hearts, but again, this was new to me. Besides, I don't always want to have a ton of extra hearts so it'll be a good dish for basic full recovery.

Even after the countless battles I've had in this game, I still get a big kick out of fighting enemies either with weapons or unconventional means. Freezing a horse-riding Bokoblin with Stasis +, watching the horse run off and seeing the Bokoblin fall on his bum when the effects wear off never gets old. I also have a lot of fun fighting Lynels, enemies that once use to heavily intimidate me. Now, I seek them out for their sweet bows and killer swords. It is especially nice to able to reflect Guardian lasers back at them, but even when I'm struggling with the timing, I shoot 'em in the eye and then cut off all their legs. Payback for all the crap they put me through earlier in the game. Thunder storms are now a weapon to me now that I've got the Rubber armor. Anytime the weather gets nasty, I just throw it on, get near an enemy when lightning is about to strike and let the weather do some of the damage for me.

Exploring has undoubted been my favorite part about BOTW, but even when I'm going through familiar areas, I'm having the time of my life with this game. While there are still things to see and do and that is part of the reason I'm still playing, the other reason is BOTW is just so much fun. This is the kind of game someone could just screw around in, not even finish the main quest and still have a blast.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Remix of the Week: Vampire Killer (Castlevania)

The iconic Castlevania theme. You've heard a dozen remixes of it I'm sure but how about a banjo take on the familiar tune? This is the first I've heard of Banjo Guy Ollie's covers and I gotta say, I'm pretty impressed. This is actually a revamped version of a cover he did years ago.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Game Over Part 6

Two words that signify that you're a failure at video games and should pick up a hobby where you won't suck so much. Welcome to Game Over, an on-going feature where we take a look at the numerous screens that show you've reached the end of the line. You might find some of these to be humorous while others can be quite unsettling.

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (ARC)

Nothing motivates a player to drop more quarters in the arcade machine then presenting them the very imminent death of their character. Capcom lived and breathed off of it with the games in the '90s as you'll see with the next game on this list. If you don't cough up some dough before the countdown reaches zero, you get a POV of the protagonists getting straight up murdered in cold blood, complete with blood splattered across the screen. Dang!

The Punisher (ARC)

Another Capcom beat 'em up from the 1990s, which means another traumatizing game over screen! When the Punisher goes down, Microchip gives him CPR, desperately trying to get his partner back in action. OK, so it isn't the proper way to do CPR, but regardless, the scene is still pretty tense. When the countdown reaches zero, you get to see and hear Frank's heart flat line. Microchip failed him! No wait, you did because you couldn't cough up more quarters, you cheap git.

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie' s Double Trouble (SNES)

Being tossed in a crib seems like more of an annoyance to Dixie Kong than anything else, at least that's what her facial express tells us. Kiddy Kong, on the other hand has a look that sells despair. The fact that the two kongs are in a crib might not seem bad, but then you hear a door slam and the screen goes black, which suggest that the Kremlings put the heroes in a much bigger prison that cannot easily be crawled out of.

Daytona USA (ARC)

Alright, we've had enough gloom for this feature. Time to end on a high note. The developers were not only so jazzed about your failure that the sing about it, they do you the curtousey of spelling the words out for you, you know, just in case you forgot how to spell "Game over."

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Favorite Tunes #184: Rave Your Racers

Don't let the title fool you. This is not a racer based Favorite Tunes. Only one racing game is featured here. The rest is from ninjas, platformers, rage inducing party games and a sweet remake.

Pangu Lagoon - Freedom Planet (Multi)

A game inspired by the Sonic the Hedgehog games, specifically the 2D titles, Freedom Planet was first released on PC but later made its way to consoles. The game plays great and has some outstanding visuals and music to match.

Ancient Zone - Street Fighter EX 3 (PS2)

The final game of the EX series, EX3 went out as it came: an oddball child that was underappreciated with a fantastic soundtrack. The likelyhood of the EX games getting some kind of re-release is low since Akira owns the original characters made for those games like Skullomania and D. Dark. As much as I love high energy music in fighting games, a calm theme doesn't hurt. Ancient Zone has a sweet guitar solo and that violin is out of this world.

Jungle Adventure - Mario Party (N64)

If you weren't ruining your friendships  in Mario Kart 64, GoldenEye 007 or Perfect Dark, you were doing it in Mario Party. It baffles me that Nintendo has yet to re-release the original Mario Party when Mario Party 2 has seen two re-releases now. Might have something to do with all the wild analog stick spinning mini games that wrecked a lot of people's hands.

Area 1 - Blaster Master Zero (NS, 3DS)

The year isn't even halfway done and we've already gotten some pretty stellar games. I know I've talked a lot about Breath of the Wild on this blog, but one of my favorite titles of 2017 is the remake of the original Blaster Master, Blaster Master Zero. Any game that lets you melt ice and give the middle finger to ice physics is good in my book. Plus the soundtrack is all kinds of killer.

Act 1 - Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom (NES)

For some strange reason, Ninja Gaiden III was made harder when it was released for American audiences. Even with the new features like hanging on ceilings and being able to buff up your sword this game is too cruel and is widely regarded as the weakest of the NES trilogy. Thankfully, Ninja Gaiden III's music did not suffer a decline in quality.

Euphoria - Rave Racer (ARC)

Unlike Ridge Racer and Ridge Racer Revolution, Rave Racer never received a home release. The original race tracks for Rave Racer did make it into the PSP Ridge Racers titles as well as some remxies of said game's music. It was actually a bit difficult to pick a music track to use from this game because Rave Racer's music is incredibly lively and jazzy. In the end, I settled on Euphoria. It has shades of audio from the first two Ridge Racer titles as well as sounding a bit like something you'd heard from the last few Ridge Racer titles to come out.

Favorite Tunes Database

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is Making Me Love Bowser Jr.

Since his introduction in Super Mario Sunshine, Bowser Jr., Bowser's one and only child, has been a character I have very much loathed. I found his voice annoying in that game and while Sunshine may not have had the best voice acting, his appearances in future Mario titles did nothing to make me like his as a character. He always came across as Bowser's bratty kid that took the place of the Koopalings as Bowser's child. Of all the new characters coming to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Bowser Jr. was the least one that I was looking forward to. I wasn't even going to play as him at all. And then I saw him in action.

Bowser Jr. has some of the best animations out of any of the drivers in Mario Kart 8. When doing tricks, he turns around and smacks his butt playfully, turns back and makes goofy faces to those behind him. Yes, this is childish behavior and it works since he's a kid, but I have to say that what makes Bowser Jr.'s antics so great is that of his character. I guess his brat-like persona really lends itself to Mario Kart racing where screwing over everyone around you is how you secure a winning position. Even his voice doesn't bother me in this game. Its as if I'm seeing the character for the first time and I'm really liking what I'm seeing. I could see myself maining Bowser Jr. in this game for the pure joy of using his animations as taunts to other players.

Maybe I had Bowser Jr. read wrong all these years. I guess first impressions aren't everything. Who knows, I could end up wanting to strangle the little runt again when Super Mario Odyssey comes out for now, the little punk has worked his magic on me and he's cool in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Favorite Tunes #183: Wonder Wild Tetris

This is what we get for a subtitle when I'm really friggin' sleepy and I can't think of much. No doubt you've deduced that Tetris is a part of this week's Favorite Tunes but if you can guess the other two without going further, give yourself a cookie.

Dragon's Castle - Wonder Boy in Monster Land (ARC)

No doubt this theme will sound very familiar to Wonder Boy fans or new players that have played the recently released Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, which is a remake of Wonder Boy III. The arcade version of this theme sounds very NES-like, which certainly isn't a bad thing. Even the chiptune version of this song is tops.

Play throughly the Puyopuyo - Puyo Puyo Tetris (Multi)

What has been available in Japan for a few years now has finally been given an American release. Puyo Puyo Tetris is a wonderful fusion of the two games, containing loads of characters, combos and chains and super catchy music.

Lunar Colony - Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (NS)

I have no idea what Nintendo was thinking with that weak sauce Battle mode in the original Mario Kart 8. Thankfully, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe includes a not only a battle mode with new, arena style courses, but even more ways to do battle outside of popping balloons like Shine Thief and Coin Runners. We even got some new beats to go with the new battle modes.

Hidden by Night (Lich Yard) - Shovel Knight Specter of Torment (Multi)

If there's one game that is reason enough not to give up on crowd funded titles, it is Shovel Knight. Released in 2014, the game continues to get new content and was even given a physical release in 2015. The latest of the new goods is Specter of Torment, a mode that lets us step into the soul of Specter Knight. You can download Specter of Torment seperately or grab the whole Shovel Knight package in Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, which also includes the Plague of Shadows DLC.

Shrine Battle - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U, NS)

Compared to the ones roaming the sprawling overworld, the miniature Guardians aren't all that intimidating. Then come the Major Test of Strength shrines and the little guys get on a level close to that of the stalker variety. The really great thing about shrine fights? This sick theme!

Lab 1 (Double Dragon 2 - Mission 1) Double Dragon Neon (PS3, 360)

Double Dragon was a product of the 1980s so it made perfect since for Double Dragon Neon to reflect the era it was born out of. The music, especially was a major throwback, with a serious 1980s vibe, And I thought Mission 1 from Double Dragon 2 couldn't get any better.

Favorite Tunes Database

Friday, April 28, 2017

Game Over Part 5

Two words that signify that you're a failure at video games and should pick up a hobby where you won't suck so much. Welcome to Game Over, an on-going feature where we take a look at the numerous screens that show you've reached the end of the line. You might find some of these to be humorous while others can be quite unsettling.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U, NS)

Your first few hours/days of playing Breath of the Wild will have this screen staring back at you quite frequently. Being an open world game that does not hold your hand, it is quite easy to wander into an area with enemies far out of the range of your current abilities and get curb stomped. Even early enemies in the game are packing weapons strong enough to one-shot you. When you die in Breath of the Wild, you get some obligatory sad game over jingle, but depending on how you died, the game over screen will differ. If you freeze to death or drown, the words "Game Over" are blue. Death via a lightning strike? Those two famous words will be yellow. These changes might be few but they do add some spice to your death.

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap (NS, PS4, XBO, PC)

A remake of the Sega Master System's Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, outside of the spruced up hand drawn HD visuals, this game over screen is more or less just like the 8-bit version. Being an a remake of a very old, difficult game, it was nice of the developers to throw you a bone. Every time you die you have a chance to win a blue potion at the game over screen. If it lands on a red heart, the potion is your. What is a blue potion? Think of it as a fairy from the Legend of Zelda games: auto resurrect when you kick the bucket.

The Adventures of Bayou Bill (NES)

I actually used to own this game. It was freaking brutal. When Billy inevitably gets the crap beaten out of him and you don't continue, you get a pretty powerful image of the titular hero reaching out in desperation. Sorry, Billy but your game is just too much butt cheeks for me to keep pressing on. But I gotta admit, that game over jingle is pretty sick. Also, Billy's death cry amuses me. Hear it for yourself.

Sega Rally 2 Championship (ARC)

I would love to be a fly on the wall at the SEGA offices to see how they came up with this one. I mean, "GAME OVER, YEAAAAAHHHH!!!" It is impossible to put into words just how amazingly awesome that is! It was first used in the original Sega Rally but the one from Sega Rally 2 sounds better.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Remake, Please! Vol. 2

Welcome to Remake, Please! where I go on about remakes I'd love to see happen and how they could be an improvement over the original title.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)

Would you believe there was a Zelda title that made some big changes long before Breath of the Wild? Zelda II: The Adventure of Link did away with a lot of stuff from the original game. The overhead gameplay perspective was tossed out the window in favor of side scrolling action. This along with Zelda II's high difficulty is the reason most fans dislike Zelda II. Yes, Zelda II is tough (the original Legend of Zelda can be quite the ball buster but fans still love to praise that game and overlook it's numerous flaws) but I definitely don't think it is a bad game, though you wouldn't catch me complaining if a remake made the game far less punishing.

Whenever you lose all of your lives in Zelda II, you get sent all the way back to the palace that Zelda rests in. In a game as tough as this one, that is extremely cruel. Restarting in the level your perished in after a game over would alleviate a great deal of frustration for a lot of players. What would also help are more extra lives to uncover, more health and magic recovery drops

I do enjoy Zelda II's 8-bit sprites and I'd love to see them updated along with the game's soundtrack, which has some of my favorite themes in the entire series history. It was nice to have Super Smash Bros. arrange two themes from this game, but the battle themes, town music and overworld theme are in desperate need of remix love.

Super Mario 64 (N64)

While a big aged, I still come back to Super Mario 64 every few years and have a blast every time I run through it. Yes, yes, it got an enhanced port on the DS but Super Mario 64 was designed to be played with an analog stick.

Nintendo has been more than happy to give two of Link's most memorable console adventures the HD treatment while Mario, the company mascot, has been left out in the cold. With everything Nintendo has learned making 3D Mario titles since Super Mario 64, just imagine how improved the plumber's first 3D platformer could be in HD. Tighter, less wonky feeling controls for swimming and flying with the Wing Cap, which even I have to admit after all these years could be done a lot better. One of Super Mario 64's biggest problems was the dang camera angels, but to be fair, every 3D platformer from that era suffered from this, Camera angles today aren't perfect but much better than they were back then so I'd love to play this game with much more desirable camera views.

An HD remake of Super Mario 64 could take elements from the DS version with Luigi, Wario and Yoshi being unlockable, playable characters. I adore the game's soundtrack but I'd love to see it get the orchestra deal that both Super Mario Galaxy games got. Heck, we've already heard a few of Super Mario 64's themes redone in those games. Can you imagine what Super Mario 64's Water music would sound like with a full orchestra? I'm getting chills just thinking about it. Come on, Nintendo, lay off of Link in HD for a while and give your boy Mario his time to shine.

Remix of the Week: Last Dungeon (Wonder Boy III)

Last Dungeon immediately become one of my favorite themes from Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, a remake of Wonder Boy III. This theme was actually used in the first Wonder Boy game, Wonder Boy in Monster Land, an arcade title. Regardless of what game you may know it from, it's an amazing theme and DeadPixels came up with the sick metal version you can hear below.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Understanding the Nintendo Switch's Fast Success

The Nintendo Switch had a worldwide release date of March 3, 2017. In just a little over a month, Nintendo's console/handheld hybrid has already sold more than 2 million units world wide. Needless to say, that is no small feat.

The Switch making such big sales numbers in a very short amount of time is impressive for a number of reasons. Nintendo released the console during a time when it wasn't the holiday season, you know, the time that a lot of consoles launch. The GCN, the Wii, the Wii U, Nintendo's past previous three home consoles all released during the holiday season. I've seen numerous people say that the Switch launch was rushed and there is evidence to support this with some of the consoles features not up and running on day one, but rushed launch or not, the Switch is selling like hot cakes and has become Nintendo's fastest selling home console.

One of the main reasons I think the Switch has done so well right out of the gate is because it is different from what Sony and Microsoft are offering. The Switch doubles as a home console and portable game device. Any game you get on the Switch can be played anywhere. You can sit on the beach and play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Oh, sure you can take your laptop with you and play games on that, but let's be real here: a laptop, no matter how compact it is nowhere near as practical. The Switch was built as a game device thus it is far more suited for gaming on the go. With our Andoids, iPhones, Tablets and iPads, we've fully embraced the convenience of portable technology. Now there is a console that delivers a home gaming experience that we can take wherever we go. You'd better believe the appeal of that is freaking huge.

The other reason the Switch has sold so fast? The almighty power of advertising. It has been said time and time again but Nintendo did an absolutely poor job of advertising the Wii U. I originally thought the Wii U would be a resounding success because it had the Wii name in it, but because Nintendo's ads for it were so abysmal, the majority populace had no idea what the Wii U was, often mistaking it for some kind of Wii add on. However, with the Switch? Everyone on the planet knows what that thing is. Maybe Nintendo had to take that hard L with Wii U to learn, but it is so nice to see so many ads for the Switch. The extended Super Bowl 51 ad is one of my favorite ads from the Big N.

While the Switch may not be as powerful as the PS4 or the XBO, it seems plenty of gamers, be they casual or hardcore, aren't really all that concerned that it doesn't pack the specs under the screen that the aforementioned consoles do. Access to home console gaming at any time is just too good to pass up and I think most are willing to deal with a system that isn't quite as powerful if it can deliver that, which is exactly what the Switch does.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Favorite Tunes #182: It's a Trap!

In this week's Favorite Tunes I actually managed to feature music that is not from a single Zelda or Gradius game! Go me! Instead, there is music from Ridge Racer, Saga Frontier 2, the NES era and stuff from today. Variety is the name of the game here.

Explorers - Ridge Racer 6 (360)

Riiiiiiidge Raceeeeeeeer! You may not be able to tell because this is the internet but I'm saying it like the announcer from the earlier Ridge Racer games and not like Kaz Harai during that E3 20006 debacle. I have always loved Ridge Racer's music, be it the rock, techno or electronica or a fusion of the genres. Ridge Racer is usually brought out to help show off new hardware as Ridge Racer 6 was a launch title for the 360.

The Last Dungeon - Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap (PS4, XBO, NS, PC)

The Dragon's Trap is a remake of the 1989 Sega Master System game featuring gorgeous hand drawn artwork.. But if long for the game's older sprite look you can easily switch between the graphical and audio styles with the push of a button. I like the music used in both the modern and SMS version of the game but this arrangement of this opening level them really blew me away. Despite the track's title, this is actually one of the first pieces of music in the game that you hear.

Rex Fury's Secret Base - LEGO City Undercover (Multi)

Originally a Wii U exclusive, LEGO City Undercover is now available on a myriad of platforms including the PS4 and the Switch. If you don't feel like shelling out $60 for the game, the Wii U version is available for a cool $20. You gotta love the groovy spy vibe of this theme.

Overworld 2 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)

The first TMNT game on the NES is unquestionably brutal but I don't think the game is awful. Yes, some turtles are better than others and getting no invincibility period when you get hit sucks but this is far and away from being one of the worst games on the NES. The music is super lit and I've always enjoyed the slower more downbeat nature of the second overworld music, which serves as a great contrast from the first overworld theme.

Todesengel - SaGa Frontier 2 (PS)

If you adore Final Fantasy XIII's three soundtracks, you should give the score from SaGa Frontier 2 a listen. It was written by Masashi Hamauzu, who played a huge role in FFXIII's music. All of SaGa Frontier II's tracks have German names. Todesengel means "Angel of Death."

Title Theme - Chip 'N Dale Rescue rangers (NES)

Due to licensing issues, I never thought this game would see a re-release but lo and behold you can now play Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers along with five other Capcom made NES titles on The Disney Afternoon Collection on PS4, XBO and PC. If you know the words to this song, sing along!

Favorite Tunes Database

Friday, April 21, 2017

Remix of the Week: Battle 1 (SaGa Frontier)

The games certainly aren't for everyone, but the music most certainly is. The first PS SaGa title has numerous battle themes but I'm still a huge fan of Battle 1. It was quite a surprise to stumble across this rad rock cover by Jonny Atma.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

If SNES Mini Becomes a Thing, Here are the Games I'd Like to See

Even though Nintendo has done an absolutely horrendous job of supplying retailers with enough units, that doesn't make the NES Classic Edition any less of a great little machine. The last shipments go out to US retailers this month and the system is being discontinued. Rumors are going around that Nintendo has its sights set on releasing a minature version of the SNES so if it does become a thing, here are some games, I'd love to see in the little box.

Super Mario World

Come now, you just know this game would have to be included. It would be criminal to omit it. For a lot of fans, Super Mario World is the pinnacle of 2D Super Mario games and arguably, Super Mario games in general and it isn't hard to see why. Super Mario World has some of the best controls of any platformer, which it implements greatly with the use of the Cape Feather power up and dino buddy, Yoshi. The level design is super polished and there are often times where there is more than one stage exit and finding the hidden route unlocks more courses. With seven worlds and a total of 96 level exits, Super Mario World is no small game, but if you want to cut corners, the game can be finished quite quickly. It rewards both the speedy and the player that like to see everything the game has to offer.

Mega Man X

The first Mega Man game on the SNES may not have been the Mega Man fans were expecting but dang, if he wasn't the Mega Man we never knew we wanted. Mega Man X has the same formula as the Classic series but spices things up by having you make X become stronger through the use of finding hidden armor parts that give him new abilities like the dash, an X-Buster enahcnement that lets him charge his special weapons, Heart Tanks for increasing health because trying to get through this game with that tiny life bar is an major uphill battle and reusable Sub-Tanks. Mega Man X also sports some really cool stage designs and a few of them change depending on where or not you've beaten some of the bosses. With a killer soundtrack, memorable bosses and one of the coolest side characters ever, Mega Man X is a SNES masterpiece.

Super Metroid

If Metroid Prime is the best of what 3D Metroid has to offer, then Super Metroid is Metroid in it's finest 2D hour. Even though the game can be completed in under three hours, planet Zebes is still a massive world to explore even if you aren't trying to fill out the game map entirely. No matter how many times I slay Ridley (dude is the cockroach that refuses to stay dead in the Metroid series), or get the Screw Attack, Super Metroid is always an incredible adventure for me. Which reminds me, I need to pick this game up off the Wii U eShop.


If you want a good example of why sprites have aged better than polygons, look no further than Axelay. This is an early SNES title and it still looks mighty impressive and I don't just mean those mode 7 effects, although they are stunning. Axelay side scrolling levels are just as much as a marvel as the mode 7 scrolling stages thanks to excellent attention to detail Konami packed into the background visuals. Yes, I'm gushing all over the graphics, but the parts of the game where you fly around, shooting stuff is pretty awesome, too. You get to switch between a set of three different weapons, and your fire power can be powered up on all of them, but when you take damage, your weapons will be weakened. This also functions as a life meter of sorts, so you don't die in one hit. Throw in some impressive bosses and a very memorable soundtrack and you've got one of the SNES's best shooters.

Final Fantasy IV & VI

Two of the greatest RPGs of the 16-bit era, these games were originally released as Final Fantasy II and III respectively. While you could argue that better JRPGs and games in the Final Fantasy series have been released since Final Fantasy IV, the game still did a lot for the series like introducing the active time battle system and a lot more drama. Sure, the story could get cliche and hammy at times, but that stuff is also part of the reason Final Fantasy IV is so adored. Final Fantasy VI is considered by many to be the best game in the entire franchise. The game has one of the biggest, most developed cast of characters but they kinda get overshadowed by the Kefka, the psycho clown who slowly rises to power to become the game's big bad, bringing ruin to the world. Oh, sorry, spoilers. I'd include V, but Square Enix has yet to release a translation of the SNES version.

Donkey Kong Country 1-3

Yes, yes, we all know Donkey Kong Country 2 is the best of the SNES trilogy and Donkey Kong Country 3 is often seen as the tag along kid, but the first DKC game is still good and I'd argue that DKC2 wouldn't be as great as it is if not for what Rare learned when making the first game. And DKC3 is still a solid platformer. The DKC trilogy helped keep the SNES relevant at a time where CD based systems and 3D graphics were becoming the next big thing in gaming. Not only did these games look great (for the time), they played great and they still hold up.

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts

The NES Classic Edition had Ghosts 'n Goblins, a sadistically cruel  port of the arcade version, which was already hard enough as it was. Giving the SNES Mini Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, another game in the Ghosts 'n Goblins franchise that's really freaking hard seems only natural. But as tough as Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts it, it has some things going for it that make it more tolerable than the first game. Arthur can double jump, collect gold armor to give himself an extra hit before he's reduced to running around in his underwear, and all of his weapons can be upgrade to give the knight some major fire power. It still has that BS that makes you go through the game twice to get the true ending, but Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts is less likely to make you punch holes in your walls.

Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting

Street Fighter II has seen a number of upgrades but Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting is widely considered to be one of, if not the most balanced fighting games ever made. If you missed out on Champion Edition back in the day, the big draw of Hyper Fighting was being to play as the four bosses, Balrog, Vega, Sagat and Bison. Oh and that subtitle ain't blown smoke. The speed of Turbo is fast and if that isn't enough for you, Capcom included a code to make the fighting speed even aster. Hyper Fighting indeed. The SNES version of of Turbo is a fantastic port.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

What many fans hail the best Zelda game, A Link to the Past has you exploring two worlds of Light and Dark, often switching between the two. Not at all unlike, 2013's A Link Between Worlds, which can be seen as a sequel or sorts to this very game. Besides giving Link pink hair and the much needed and appreciated ability to move in eight directions, A Link to the Past, introduced some key items like the ultra cool Hook Shot, which has gone on to be used in pretty much every Zeld title since. Sure, A Link to the Past has that one annoying boss in the form of Moldorm and the Ice Temple can go screw itself, but this game really does deserve all the accolades it has received.


Running a city is no easy task. Believe me, I know. It is the only job I've been fired from. SimCity is available on other platforms, but the SNES version is unlike any other. You've got some soothing, catchy music composed by Soyo Oka that changes to suit the current state of your city. Instead of Godzilla appearing to wreak havoc on your city, Bowser comes in to demolish your hard work. I get the feeling Pac-Man, Galaga and Donkey Kong were included for the impact they had on gaming so SimCity could also be included for the same reason. That and SNES SimCity is really freakin' fun.

Super Bomberman 1-2

For good old SNES multiplayer mayhem, you cannot beat the first two Super Bomberman entries. Nothing quite like trapping your friends in a corner with a bomb and watching the squirm as the seconds count down before their inevitable doom. Super Bomberman R brought Bomberman back into the spotlight and his older titles have been getting digital re-releases so bringing some of his SNES adventures back would be a pretty safe bet.

Contra III: The Alien Wars

For a lot of fans, Contra III is the pinnacle of the series. While the alien forces have always been a threat in previous entries, they really showed that they meant business in this SNES title with them nuking a city in the intro and throwing dozens of mini bosses in the side scrolling levels. What other game lets you ride on missiles while taking down a boss? If there is another one that let's you do it, I doubt it is anywhere near as freaking cool as Contra III.

Final Fight 1-3

Sometimes you just gotta walk right and punch the crap out of everyone that gets in your way. Anyone stupid enough to abduct Mike Haggar's daughter, former pro wrestler and the greatest politician ever, pretty much deserves every last ounce of pain dealt to them. True, the first Final Fight is a watered down port of the arcade version and Final Fight 2 and 3 were made exclusively for the SNES. They may not bring anything new to the beat 'em up genre but there is some fun to be had with Haggar and company.

Chrono Trigger

An RPG that features time travel that's easy to follow, no random battles, a really cool battle system and one of the greatest video game soundtracks of all time make Chrono Trigger a SNES classic. If you're new to RPGs and don't feel like investing 60 hours into a game, you're in luck. Chrono Trigger can be completed in about 25 hours or less without taking on the game's numerous side quests. Although this game has been released on numerous platforms including the PS and DS, for a lot of fans, the SNES version is still the preferred one.

Panel de Pon

When this game originally arrived on American shores in 1996, it was titled Tetris Attack, which was strange since it bore no similarity to Tetris whatsoever. The name change was an attempt to get people to give the game a look. To this end, Lip and all her friends were kicked out like a tenant late on the rent and Yoshi, Poochy and the gang moved in. Regardless of the name, this is one highly intense, addictive puzzle game and it would be nice to have the unaltered version get an American release. Nintendo could just leave the game in Japanese and release it here. It wouldn't be the first time they've re-released a game with Japanese text in the west.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

If you haven't guessed by now, the SNES was an RPG machine. Before Square parted ways with Nintendo, they teamed with them to help make Super Mario RPG, the plumber's first foray into the genre. While boasting numerous RPG elements such as turn based battles and leveling up, there were plenty of Super Mario staples such as platforming, hitting ? Blocks (even some hidden ones) and Warp Pipes a-plenty. All enemies on the field could be seen so you could avoid battles if you wanted but the combat system was pretty fun, using timed attacks to increase or damage dealt or decrease income damage. The writing for Super Mario RPG is also pretty hilarious and to this day, fans desperately want to see Mallow and Geno return.

Super Castlevania IV

Long before the series went all Metroidy, Castlevania was a more traditional action platformer with lots of whip action. It was also really dang hard and while Super Castlevania IV is viewed a one of the easier non Metrovania games, it can still heat up in plenty of places. It helps that Simon Belmont now sports eight way whipping and can slightly influence the direction of his jumps and the overall experinces is far more fun than frustrating. Whoever decided to use the whip to help with platforming deserves a medal.

Goof Troop

Capcom was able to re-release six of the Disney Afternoon shows on the PS4, XBO and PC so Goof Troop being brought back out is certainly a possibility. Working with very limited inventory space and an overhead view, Goof Troop let's you take cotnrol of Goof or Max as they go off to rescue Pete and PJ who were taken by pirates. This 16-bit gem is filled with lots of puzzles to solve and even more pirates to bash. Goof has the strength while Max has the speed and you'd be wise to make good use of both character's attributes in co-op play. Or just bash each other over the head with pots. 'Cuz you can totally do that.


"Genesis does what Nintendon't," SEGA proclaimed with their memorable and aggressive ads. The Genesis might have had a faster processor but the SNES was hardly a snail and F-ZERO is proof of this. F-ZERO showed off some the SNES highly impressive mode-7 technology, creating an incredible sense of speed and pseudo 3D movement. This game introduced many to Captain Falcon and locals like Mute City, Port Town and Sand Ocean. Originally a launch title for the system, F-ZERO still holds up remarkably well.