Tag: 150 SNES Games Review

SNES Game Review 49: Super Ghouls N Ghosts

Sometimes there is a game series that just seems to pop up in your life again and again. I did a lot of my gaming on the spectrum to start with and I played a heck of a lot on a certain 9 or 10 games, one of these games was ghouls and goblins. Now the game worked on the spectrum it was perfectly playable but like a lot of spectrum games the game was playable but the graphics and the colours used were a mess. At the time we dealt with them because well hey that’s all we had. Compare this to now days when if a game on the current generation of Xbox one’s and PS4 doesn’t hit 1080p at a constant of at least 30 frames per second then it is considered to some degree to be a failure. I could go on to a whole rant about how gamers now days can be so judgemental or how kids have grown up as graphical whores who seem to deny a game any merit unless it meets a certain set of numerical standards, or how we could use our imagination back then but I wont. Instead I will simply say that when there was a jump in quality from one machine to the next it amazed us and we appreciated it.

Next Ghosts and Goblins game into my life, my brother’s friend was the first to have it on his megadrive which he would bring round to our house. One day he turned up with that and Rambo 3 and we all pretty much spent the better part of about 6 hours trying to get as far as we could in the two of them. I got the megadrive version myself some years latter. When I first saw the SNES game Super Ghouls and Ghosts my reaction was oh they ported it to the Snes and felt they needed to add a Super in to the name big deal been there done that. I was wrong though. I don’t know if you could fully describe it as a sequel as there seems to be a lot taken from both Ghosts and Goblins and Ghouls and ghosts in this game so it’s either just a sequel sticking very close to the original format or it’s a sort of Ghosts 2.5 semi sequel of sorts. What I do know though is that it is more than worth owning both the Megadrive and Snes games if you can pick them up, and if you like a challenge.

If you don’t like games that will repeatedly hammer you into the ground, that will repeatedly see you die and have to try again and again then do not go near this game. If you enjoy a challenge though and you get a great sense of pride from doing what moments before seemed almost impossible then this game is going to be digital crack to you. A friend of mine well his parents used to have a sort of agreement with him, he didn’t get much pocket money because they thought he would spend it all on sugared sweets and run around fruit loops so they used to give him a small amount but then they’d buy him games every now and then throughout the year. One of the rules though was that his Dad picked the games so he didn’t get rubbish ones (he got a say in his Christmas and birthday presents but not these random games) and that he had to be completing games in order to get new ones…. and yep you’ve guessed it the poor git got brought Super Ghosts and Goblins. I had gotten it myself so we used to compare how far we had got at least until the day he begged his folks for permission to trade it in for something that didn’t make him scream.

The graphics were kind of basic but had a lot of color in them and fitted the theme well. The music though man I loved the music from the very first time I heard it. One funny thing to note is that there used to be a sofa place not sure if it still exists if it does it certainly isn’t on TV anymore but it used to be called ‘’The Leather Warehouse’’ and for some reason I couldn’t Listen to the song in the first stage without singing  ‘’The leather Warehouse at a moment where it seemed to fit in’’  (the song goes kind of  Daaaa dadd daaaaa daa daaaa daaaa daaaa   followed with a silent pause and in the silent pause id always shout it) I was at a gaming convention in there retro room one year (Game City) which is held in Nottingham and I was playing this on the big TV and even did it, have to admit lots of people looked at me very strangely especially the younger ones who probably didn’t know what I was on about or thought it was some kind of bondage club… Still I digress the music gets in to your head so deep.

I love the game but it’s a hard one to rate as it all depends on if you like a challenge if you do then its an 8 out of 10, if you don’t then well its more a 5 or a 6 as your not going to be saying its bad but you will soon be referring to it with swear words and feeling like you wasted your money. Plenty of copies of this game cart only sell for around the 15 quid mark or more even imports. I would suggest it might be wise to look at investing in one of Capcoms classic collections as you wont pay much more and you will get a bunch of other games with it.. there have been classics like this for the ps1, ps2, psp etc. Capcom its stuff like this that makes me remember my love for you.

SNES game review 44 Mortal Kombat

SNES Game review 44 Mortal Kombat
My game today is Mortal Kombat the arcade fighting game developed and published by Midway (in 1992) It was subsequently released by Acclaim Entertainment for just about every home video game system that existed back then. It was a massive seller and was one of the few competitors for street fighter 2’s crown in a market which was usually filled with awful semi functioning clones. It started a whole series of games but more than that it actually spawned a successful film adaptation in 1995. It sparked a great deal of controversy though for its depiction of extreme violence and bloodshed by using realistic (for the time) digitized graphics. This game was involved in several hearings on video game violence the results of which resulted in the introduction of age-specific content description ratings for video games. This game certainly changed the world of video games.

When mortal kombat came it came riding a huge train load of hype, at the time nearly all games were released on a friday but mortal kombat just had to break the trend it was released on a monday which was dubbed Mortal Monday… No matter how long ago that was I still remember it for one reason and that’s the fact that the man who owned the local games shop agreed to give a select number of his loyal customers the game on the friday before that. My brother was one of them, he brought the megadrive version and we spent the entire weekend before its release playing it.. Its not uncommon now to get the odd game a day or maybe two before release because it has been posted out and arrived early but back then this was more or less unheard of.
Eventually I decided to get the snes version when I saw it at a greatly reduced price. Now a lot of people would expect the snes version to be an improvement and maybe the graphics were a touch clearer but if anything the gritty quality of the megadrive version actually helped to give it a certain grind house feel and if anything covered some of the blur present in the sprites a little and that’s before you even got to the infamous blood code. On both the snes and megadrive versions of mortal kombat when you put them in the machine they would load up and one of the first things you would notice was the absence of blood. For the mega drive there was a simple code you could input which would switch on the gore, unfortunately the snes version simply did not feature this and no button combinations or joypad caresses would get claret flowing.
A snes magazine in the uk actually ran an april fools which tried to make its readers believe that the blood was in there as well as an option to play as the boss characters but that the cart needed extra weight adding to it to make all of this obtainable. What they told you to do was glue a one pence piece on to the top of your cartridge before going through a combination of button presses which would open some kind of debug menu. I remember that even after they had admitted it was all a giant wind up I would come across seconds hand copies of the game in various stores and markets which still had a penny firmly glued to the top of them. The funny thing is there were kids at school who swore on there life that they had gotten into this debug menu and then promptly denied ever having said it latter. Now the game mortal kombat often gets compared to is street fighter 2 and yes I admit street fighter 2 is better for combos and has several other advantages but I think MK has enough of its own qualities to warrant its place in the fighting fans collection. Personally I love the characters and there back stories sure people will argue that sub zero and scorpion are essentially palate swaps but there portrayal as mortal enemies from warring clans and just how cool they both were in general was more than enough to make me not care. In some ways it can be said the graphics haven’t aged as well as more basic sprites but I don’t know something about them appeals to me and kind of reminds me of old kung fu films I guess its down to your personal preferences. One thing I loved with Mk was the music and sound effects the beat in the various songs just got you in the mood to rip somebodies head off and the sounds being cried out such as scorpion shouting ”get over here” just had an epic quality to them. I find the game greatly playable but not without its limits, the way I see it is as an excellent starting block for a franchise and I can’t help but give it a 7 out of 10. (I give the mega drive a 8 out of 10 though it just feels more tailored to the system and I guess I am just ”loyal to the gore” (bonus points for anyone who knows where this quote comes from)
If you want to play the game on your SNES it is going to cost you around £10 for a pal cart or about £20 for a boxed copy, if you own a megadrive you might want to consider getting a copy on that instead. I also dont want to give anything away but you might want to look at the prices of other games in the series as well.

SNES Game Review 42: Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind

Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, or just Bubsy for short  (Yamaneko Bubsy no Daibōken to our Japanese friends)  is a platform video game released by Accolade in the early 1990s.
The designer Michael Berlyn apparently came upon Sonic the Hedgehog and loved it so much that he began to play it for 14 hours a day in order to find out what made it a good game in the hopes that he could leach the best bits of it out and regurgitate them into his own game, apparently he did this for a week, now that might sound like a lot of hedgehog loving, its a wonder no one called the RSPCA.

The game was developed and released for the Super Nintendo and the Megadrive, with each version basically the same  (The musics a little nicer on the SNES and that’s all really) Just like Battletoads Bubsy actually managed to gain enough attention to get a cartoon pilot made that didnt go on to a series.
 So even with a quick look at the game you can see the sonic Connection so why the long name Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind? Basically to spoof the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, You see the plot of the game is that Bubsy the bobcat must defend the wool of planet earth against alien invaders. I feel stupid writing this in a review I cant believe someone actually wrote it as a plot to a game and then had it released with this plot and name like they were happy with there work.
A lot of complaints have been brought up about Bubsy over the years the fact that its to fast and things literally jump right in front of you causing the game tom be slowed down a lot by death after death. Then there is the fact that Bubsy’s powers were kind of supposed to be based on a cats and yet he seems to be able to fly, well fly is maybe a strong word to paraphrase buzz light year he ”falls with style”.
What is often forgotten is that Pre-release anticipation for busby was very high, the game received incredibly aggressive marketing, Bubsy was pushed as being the next big thing it was said that it would rival the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario. Bubsy won Electronic Gaming Monthly’s Most Hype for a Character award in 1993. The hype didn’t disappear instantly with its release either it even managed to achieve some decent reviews Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it an 8 out of 10. Sure it did get some lower scores but the real backlash against the game seemed to happen much latter, it was like the polar opposite of a film like for example the rocky horror picture show which had reasonable success but over the years has become more and more loved growing to an absolute cult classic. Bubsy seems to have become more and more hated.
So I suppose the obvious question is do I hate Bubsy and do I hate his game?  The game has a sence of humour each level is introduced by some sort of play-on-words spoken by Bubsy in a typical cartoon voice: “what could possibly go wrong?”, or “did I mention I don’t like heights?” yes some of it comes of as a little bit cheesy but its a good chucklesome kind of cheesy.
My main complaint with Bubsy’s main complaint is one I have already touch on he far too easy to kill. You can be killed by the slightest touch of a n enemy  or you’ll run straight into an obstacle before you even really get chance to see it, yes this is  frustrating but I dont believe that this small thing is a complete game breaker. You get a lot of lives and bubsys gliding ability can keep him up above a lot of trouble. I have to admit though that the speed in this game does not work as well as sonic, bubsy needed a move like sonic’s spin so that he could just roll into a ball or something and batter anything that ran in to him. If you only had to worry about the pitfalls and not the enemies while running/ rolling like this then it would help a lot.
Visually, I really like the game its bright, I find its sprites to be pleasant and detailed. Bubsy’s animation is great but its like to much attention was paid to him, the enemies and some of the other visual elements dont seem to quiet live up to his quality.
In answer to the question, I kind of like Bubsy but I do see his game as being just above average, its a 6 out of 10, it was over hyped back in the day and some people fell for this hype but then it seems to be part of an almost never ending back lash that paints it as far worse than it is. I think the truth lies in the middle
The game is not brilliant but it is not awful either, its one to go for if you have exhausted all of the more popular platformers on the Snes and you still haven’t had enough. I would however first advice that you consider getting a megadrive and sampling some of the better platformers it has to offer first.
If you want Bubsy for the Snes with a bit of effort you should be able to find a Pal cart for around £7, but if you own both a SNES and a megadrive I would tell you to actually go for the Megadrive version you can get the cart for as little as £3.50 including postage.