The SNES has a humungous library that’s for sure and often we can miss titles that we didn’t play, or didn’t get a chance to play. I wouldn’t say the five titles I picked are hidden gems or particularly on the rare side. However, I do think each one of these has its own merits to be welcomed into any retro games collections. Let’s take a look at five Super Nintendo Games you need to play.
In my opinion no other tennis game has come close to replicating the fun and simplicity of Super Tennis. It’s still the best tennis game out there. I LOVE the main theme tune for the game, and I often listen to it time to time just on YouTube. In fact I just LOVE everything about Super Tennis.
It’s easy to play, not complicated and provides a ton of fun in either single player, co-op doubles or battling a friend. The best thing about this now, is that we have access to it on the Switch online service. I recently completed the World Tour and was overjoyed with it. However if you are a collector and would like the physical version of it, it won’t hammer your wallet too much. Anywhere between £5-£12 depending on box and condition. Go and play it NOW!
We all love a game with the Caped Crusader, well I do anyway. If you haven’t checked out any of the Arkham games then you really should they are a treat. However back in the early 90’s our mates at Konami (remember them) made this fantastic side scrolling brawler. Imagine Batman bashing up baddies in Gotham in a similar vein to Final Fight.
I think it often gets overlooked as do most movie licensed games. They can’t all be tarred with the same brush. Its got good lovely graphics and that classic Konami music which adds to the experience. This one is more on the expensive side. I’ve seen prices for as low as £20 loose, going up to nearly three figures for a boxed copy. Keep your eyes peeled on the boot sales and see if you can get this on the cheap.
The SNES had a fantastic array of shmups. If you was asked to name some no doubt you’d get the usual answers (Gradius, RType, Axelay etc.) I remember picking this game up in a random market stall in Skelmersdale back in 1993 and I was just attracted to the box art. You didn’t see many SNES games with the yellow boxes back then.
Anyhow. Super Aleste or Space Megaforce as its known in the Far East is a vertically scrolling shooter. It was a critically acclaimed title, praised for its use of Mode 7 and I felt like the power ups in the game were like nothing I had ever seen before. As with most shooters it is quite difficult, but the gameplay is bang on and keeps you coming back for more. Price wise you’re looking at £20-30 loose and a boxed copy anywhere between £70-£120 depending on condition. Might be cheaper to get the Super Famicom version rather than the PAL game.
Super Smash TV
Smash TV was an arcade hit from Williams/Midway in April 1990, it is a dual stick shooter, before the times of analogue sticks. So the port was made to various home consoles and it came to the SNES in 1992. It’s plot and theme is similar I guess to something like the film The Running Man. It’s a gameshow where you make your way through various zones shooting enemies to finally get to the end boss and you pick your prizes like toasters and fridges along the way.
The shooting directions are controlled with the XYBA buttons whilst you can control with the D-Pad. The action is fast and furious. In my opinion it certainly paved the way for a lot of twin stick shooters today. I feel Super Smash TV is an ideal game for a quick fifteen minute burst of gaming. No complicated plot line, no real thought involved. Just blow your enemies to smithereens. Super Smash TV is not a bank balance breaker either, a boxed copy will probably set you back anywhere between £12-£20 again depending on the condition.
Rock and Roll Racing
This little gem published by Interplay features you racing around various planets across the universe. The tracks are really cool and they are in an isometric format so the camera follows you around. As the title of the game suggests, the soundtrack features classic rock tracks as you progress each stage. My personal favourites are Born to be Wild and Paranoid.
This is no normal racer, you get the chance to improve the attacking capabilities of the vehicle and purchase a load of weapons such as guns, rocket launchers and landmines just to name three. The SNES has so many quality titles, but for me this should be in your collection without a shadow of a doubt. £20-£25 for a boxed copy should see you on the right way to adding this to your collection.
So there you go. That’s five SuperNintendo titles that you should give a try. I had so many to choose from, but I felt that these were all easily accessible and easy to pick up and play without getting drawn into a long heavy story. What’s your five titles that need more appreciation? Hit us up in the comments below.
In the meantime you can reach me on the socials below and as always Keep Gaming!!
Guest Blog post by Adam Foster @AngelicWiganer / @snoopfozziefozz
Retro Games! What are they? What era is retro? Who cares right?! I love retro games just as much as anybody. Why? Retro Gaming allows me to be transported back in time to those Childhood bedroom moments when we were all crowded around a 16" CRT TV waiting for a go on Street Fighter 2. Or maybe I am back in my friends watching them setup the Amiga 500 and then waiting for Lotus Turbo Challenge 3 to load. Gaming is life and that's why I like to hear from my readers, about their favourite retro games and series'. A Big thank you is in order to Sean (skijumpnose) for sharing his love of his favourite Retro Games below.
Guest Blog by David Morley
My older brother grabs the good controller. It’s the enhanced one as it’s been used more and it’s not as rigid apparently. “Hold on, let me get comfortable.” EA Sports it’s in the game! The early nineties were hard, a lack of money for my parents being the main issue. So when my oldest of two older brothers bought me a Sega Mega Drive for my birthday and gave it to me early. It was a big moment.
It’s 1993 I’m about a week away from my fourteenth birthday and forever being lifted into 16bit gaming heaven. A back story for my gaming knowledge previous to this day would be the commodore 64, my friend Paul’s bedroom and a Peter Beardsley manager game called… wait for it: Peter Beardsley’s International Manager. I recall the day like it was yesterday; the brand new Sega Mega drive box with images of the games that you could buy like Hang On, Sonic the Hedgehog, Italia 90 and Columns, pictured on the back. My first ever game was, of course, Sonic the hedgehog. The little spiky- haired dude who would refuse to jump lava in the marble zone levels consistently for about a week. The SEGA start up title blasted out and I was addicted.
Even now, that little blue Sega intro is etched on my brain forever, instantly transporting me back to that moment in time. Out of the box, the Mega Drive was instant gaming. My older brother showing me how it’s done, his skills came from spending his time in the very place from where the Mega Drive evolved. Driven by the arcade generation before it, the games were in now in your home and on your television. There is a show on streaming platforms which charts the history of gaming. I urge you to check it out.
I recently completed Tomb Raider during a live stream. Fifteen brutal yet beautiful levels packed full of puzzles, wild animals, water, sand, oh and Pierre. Never before have I live streamed a game that stirred such strong feelings of nostalgia. This was something that I reflected on with my chat throughout every stream. What exactly was it that made the original Tomb Raider so special? Let’s take a Swan Dive in to the Core Design of Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider.
Solitary. That is how you / I start out on the very first level of Tomb Raider. After my Sherpa met an early death, I set out in the cold caves of somewhere in search of something. Even at this early stage of this beautiful work of art, Tomb Raider felt special. As I learnt the basic moves I felt confident in wanting to take my adventure further. The complex jumps across treacherous gaps still wreaked havoc with my vertigo but jump by jump I learnt to trust the process that Core Design had so perfectly built.
Tomb Raider introduced Lara Croft as their Ain protagonist. A female protagonist?! This was game changing back in the 90’s. More so, that Lara had a very pronounced triangle top half. Triangle tits became a slang phrase with my friends. Triangle tits? Did Core Design really do this? Was it on purpose? No matter what the intention, Lara’s breasts were a serious talking point that arguably helped to carry the Tomb Raider brand a long way.
Back in the 90’s we never left the UK. I did not travel abroad until I was an adult. Tomb Raider opened my mind up to the world, cultures and adventure. Jungles, tombs, sculptures, pyramids, waterfalls! Tomb Raider had it all. Some of my favourite memories are thinking back to playing Tomb Raider and feeling like I could escape and be in a foreign land.
I often hear a lot of Tomb Raider fans discuss how difficult the mechanics of swimming are. I found it to be a simple mechanic to pick up. I would go as far to say that Lara’s walking and jumping mechanics are much more difficult to master. I fell many times whilst trying to walk to the edge of a ledge (even whilst holding dow the walk button) and then there’s the moments when I jumped backwards and accidentally fell to my death. Swimming was the least of my problems. Back in 1996, we did not realise at just how blocky the controls were because there was nothing to compare it to. I am so tuned in to the fluidity of playing Shadow if the Tomb Raider that when I went back to Tomb Raider, I had to devolve my play style. Luckily, my muscle memory reverted back to my mid-90’s love affair with Tomb Raider. I was kicking ass!
Everybody has as least one memory from playing Tomb Raider on the PS1 or Sega Saturn. Or perhaps you played Tomb Raider on the PC? Back in the 90’s level five was my nemesis. I remembered the dreaded verticality and four doors. You had to unlock each of the four doors to progress to an area. At the end of the area you would obtain a key. During steam I was dreading this level but it turned out to be a breeze. I felt like I played through it seamlessly. My nightmare levels turned out to be, seven (Palace Midas), thirteen (Natla’s Mines), fourteen (Atlantis) and fifteen (The Great Pyramid). How did we manage to beat this game as kids? Natla’s mine had far too much fiery danger for my taste and an incredibly annoying mini boss that took me at least ten times to kill. Level fourteen felt like a level from Doom what with flying demons. I kept getting in to a new area and thinking “this has to be it. This has to be the end right?”. Nope. Level fourteen seemed to go on and on forever. Fortunately I had my live stream viewers to keep me company along the way.
Despite the difficult levels, there’s no denying the majestic nature of Tomb Raider and its long pasting legacy on my life. During my recent play through I could not help but think at how clever the level design was. Even more mind blowing was that Tomb Raider was created by six people from the original Core Design Team in Derby. Derby has a special place in my heart as it is my home city so I have often bragged that “me and Lara Croft were born in the same city”. As much as the game still resonates with gamers today, little can be said about the Core Design studios. Sadly is was closed and turned in to flats. Nothing is left of the original studio aesthetic.
The question is not about how much of an impact Tomb Raider had on me; it’s what would have been different if Tomb Raider had of never existed? Obviously I cannot give an exact answer. Perhaps Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series may never have existed? We certainly would not have had any Tomb Raider films. It was through the Tomb Raider films that I discovered Cambodia and the beautiful Temples of Angkor. Later in life I ventured to Cambodia to teach English. If the games had never been developed I wonder if I would have ever gone to Cambodia. Perhaps not. One thing can be said in all certainty, Tomb Raider is tremendous and I love it!
Blog post by: Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
Retro Gaming is a huge passion of mine. There's nothing better than going to a retro gaming market and seeing your favourite childhood games and consoles neatly lined up ready for you to browse through and buy. More intricately, over the last five years I've noticed some gorgeous custom Super Nintendo's, Game Boy's, Game Cube's and more. Adding a splash of colour to a SNES Shell certainly adds a level of personality and charm I would have never expected. So when Rob from R.A.W Talent Art approached me to collaborate I jumped at the chance. I got the chance to catch up with Rob to talk about some of his work in the console modding community and we find out just what is it that inspires him?
So Rob, tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm a 37 year old father of two. I live in Norwich, Norfolk but without the accent, luckily. I'm a creative sort that's a bit of a perfectionist who is currently learning the art of patience. I enjoy playing consoles with my kids and revel in showing them the Retro games I grew up with. Only when they get older will they realise that not every child has access to almost all consoles every released!
How would you describe Console Modding to someone who didn't know about it?
To me console customising and modding is a passion, an escape, therapy, hobby and a job I guess. Its most peoples wish to be paid for something they are passionate about and I've worked hard for almost 8 years to get to the level I'm at now.
What got you in to console modding?
Before I customised consoles I was an illustrator/artist. I was commissioned to make paintings of various things, namely Marvel characters, books covers, abstract work. I became disillusioned with the way I had to acquire work, bidding for jobs against other artists who could afford to do the work for less as they still lived at home with few commitments. I couldn't survive this way so buckled and became a driver for a big supermarket for a few years. This was OK but not my aim in life and soon felt like something was missing from my life. It dawned on me that that thing was creativity. With a full time job and two young children spare time was almost non existent. I started to think of a way to get back into being creative artistically with limited time. The paintings I made previously were VERY time consuming. I asked myself what my passions were, art was an obvious one and the other was gaming. So I came up with a way of combining my passions into a hobby.
Guest Blog Post by Jack @ThePnutbean
Remember the hype? The real genuine hype, not this meme hype of today. Hype like people buying Zone of the Enders mainly for the Metal Gear Solid 2 Demo? The hype around Tomb Raider and how channel 4 did a show during the release of ‘Last Revelation’ of Lara’s history? Remember that hype?
The cynicism behind todays marketing feels more like Stockholm syndrome than real, honest hype. As the hundreds of suites with a default face pound on my door, telling me “You like this game, buy this game, you like it”. Or maybe it is I, who is cynical, looking for something to connect me to my past, to simpler times, to fell once more.
One game always stood out during those times, a game every magazine publication could not stop talking about well after its release. That game was Resident Evil 2. A game today still loved by many.
Naturally, in today’s climate, such a classic cannot remain in its original form, and a remake was inevitable.
Most people will already know of the Capcom Resident Evil 2 Remake that garnered critical and commercial success.
But there was a second remake some gamers may not know about, more akin to the classic- SteamForge’s Resident Evil 2 The Board Game.
Upon opening the box, you are greeted with ‘This game contains scenes of explicit violence and gore’, the exact frame from the original Resident Evil 2; a fine detail any fan would admire.
Inside the box you will find over 20 tile pieces designed with Racoon city and Police Department. Over 30 pieces to create the terrain elements such as walls, stairwells, doors, corpses, typewriter and item box. 30 sustained effects and gameplay tokens such as item tokens and wound tokens. Then miscellaneous tokens such as the weapon dials to count your ammo, boss health dial, health/poison condition marker, ink ribbons, side pack, and your health tracker.
After the tiles, you will find various cards, 50 item cards (item deck A and item deck B) with explanation of items use- like handgun ammo giving you 8 bullets.
Weapon cards display more information- such as the weapons range, how many and/or what attack dice are needed.
Each character has a specific character card that indicate what weapons they can use along with a evade counter (number of evade dice the player uses), and how many items they can carry. The card also displays the characters special ability, a once a turn or round ability to aid the team’s survival. But mindful, enemies have their own reference card with special traits too.
Last set of cards is the tension deck, a card where after each player turn that alter the game world; some cards do nothing, others spawn enemies or other various effects that can foil your plan. Later scenarios will see you replenishing the cards with ink ribbons and typewriters, otherwise it’s game over.
Die Hard Trilogy is much more than a game. It is an experience that many of us gamers smile about even in to 2020. I’m making specific reference to the Nakatomi Plaza campaign or rather the Die Hard campaign which sees John McClain jostle upwards through nineteen levels of terrorist action. Die Hard 2: Die Harder and Die Hard with a Vengence both add some fun play time but nothing quite compares to the forty of Die Hard.
We start out in the basement of the Nakatomi Plaza. The goal is clear, kill the terrorists and reduce the hostages which sounds simple but it’s not. Using the mini map is crucial to survival as it reveals both hostages and terrorists. It is possible to complete a level without rescuing all of the hostages (as I accidentally killed many) but you must wipe out every terrorist At this point a thirty second timer ticks over the screen and we must quickly scramble to the designated lift exit. Some of the larger levels make for an adrenaline fuelled, intense scramble to the lift. The relief you feel when you jump in to the lift and make your way to the next floor is explosive.
There’s a decent array of weapons to find on every level ranging from a pistol to an Uzi to a hand grenade and more. Be careful though as letting go of a hand grenade in a tight space will cause you serious damage if not death! Sadly I did this too many times on my Die Hard live streams. When you can land some shots on the enemies they go down fairly easily.
Zombies or Zombies Ate My Neighbours as it is known in North America is available to play in a beautiful first person mode, well almost. A clever video game modder by the name of Dude 27th recreated the first three levels of the famed Super Nintendo / Sega Mega Drive title; Zombies. Inspired by the classic FPS; DOOM, Dude 27th serves up some phenomenal gameplay of his 16bit crossover. I learnt about this mod today but it's been around since the middle of 2019. As Dude 27th points out in his last YouTube update both Zeke and Julie are playable characters and eight of the familiar weapons have been recreated such as the water pistol, WeedWacker, soda cans and more. To add icing on the cake the original soundtrack and sound effects. Levels also match the exact original game layout. More details on the mod can be found here but also take a look at some of these official screenshots.
Guest blog post by Ben Rai @BenRai
Gamers let's dive head first in to the tale of the ReBirth trilogy, created by Konami for the now extinct Wiiware service on the Nintendo Wii's WiiShop channel. The series of games launched in 2008, starting with Gradius Rebirth, followed by Castlevania Rebirth and Contra Rebirth in 2009.
I downloaded all three of these titles, each averaging about £10. I was a big supporter of Wiiware and really encouraged the idea of developers contributing to the market with smaller ,shorter and relatively cheap games that were at least on par with the 16-bit Sega Megadrive or SNES era.
As consoles evolved, games had, and still continue, to become longer, much more complex, and time-consuming. Side-scrollers had basically become a thing of the past on mainstream consoles. This is changing somewhat now there are more indie game developers in the market, thankfully. However in the early 2000s, most of these smaller game developers were yet to exist.
I do believe that actually, despite some really enjoyable and well crafted Wiiware titles, that overall, the medium did not live up to its full potential. Far too many remote-waggling and silly party games existed in the library. I feel that Nintendo could have contributed to Wiiware a lot more too.
Why not produce a true Super Mario World sequel on the Wiiware shop to tide fans over until Super Mario Galaxy 2? It would have been simple to make, heck even fans make constant ROM hack versions online. Nintendo have said as much that they are afraid to produce a fully fledged F-Zero mainline game - so why did they not produce a Wiiware F-Zero game that basically looked like the popular SNES version, but with new tracks and cars? It would have been a very cheap endeavor and it would not only have given us a fresh take on a beloved SNES era game, but given Ninendo a gauge of interest in a potential bigger production. Nintendo dabbled in Wiiware with "NES Remix" 1 and 2, altering NES games - so why not do more with the SNES games?
That however is a whole other topic, but I am thankful that Konami made an effort in this case. While Contra as a series had been fairly quiet for a while, Castlevania had been mostly focused on its RPG style Metroidvania games. Konami also released Castlevania Lords of Shadow around this time period too. which personally, I am not a huge fan of. I like my Castlevania a bit more linear. I wanted to feel like I was playing a new version of Super Castlevania IV, or a new Contra 3. I got my wish with the ReBirth games. Now, let us take a look at the 3 Rebirth games.
First up, Gradius Rebirth. Now I will admit, I am not a huge Gradius fan. It is a series I have given very little attention to, and I am mostly aware of it due to the fact that you can play the first stage of one of the Gradius games as a mini game in "The Legend of the Mystical Ninja" for the SNES. However what I can say about Gradius Rebirth is that it is a solid and challenging game. By challenging I mean it is actually brutally hard in places.
Gradius Rebirth offers you a score mode on the main menu which hands you one life to get as far as you can. Highscores would go on to a leader board. Then you get the standard game mode with unlimited credits. You are able to select your ideal craft from a selection of 5 with their basic weaponry. Then you are launched into space to begin the adventure. Flying from left to right you will shoot enemies flying towards you while avoiding bullets and collecting power ups.
The first quarter of each stage begins with you flying through the vastness of space before smoothly transitioning into a new area, such as the insides of a spaceship or sand themed desert planet. The game consists of about 5 stages, with my favourite being the second, which is set in a classic shoot 'em up trope environment. The good old experiment ship full of pulsating pink brains, tubes with experiments floating inside them, barriers of flesh trying to trap you and floating alien bubbles. Topped off with a giant pinser clawed alien insect constructed of bones, pink slime and a big eye in the middle that is practically screaming "I am the weak spot!"
The game is constructed from varying remixed music and stages of past Gradius games, though it has some original bosses.Some stage salso have secret warp points that can allow you to skip an entire area and boss - but they are very difficult to locate. There is a very brief story, that is kind of placed into the game via text and images but it is nothing of real value, unless you are perhaps a hardcore Gradius fan who loves the series. And even then, I doubt you will care much, because this game and series is obviously about the fast paced, arcade shoot em up action - and the vibrant arcade styled music sure let's you know it.
Gradius Rebirth garnered mixed scores, averaging middle of the road to positive, due to a lack of multiplayer option, which would have been nice, and due to the issue of the game being very tough.
Retro Game Reviews. Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast and more
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