Tag: Nintendo

150 SNES games reviewed #10: Super Metroid

So many games had the word super stuck on the front, I suppose it is only natural, part of it was a marketing gimmick obviously a way to let people know that this machine was so far beyond the last one that it required that label.

Unfortunately a lot of games didn’t live up to their super title. Largely I feel it was because some companies felt they could give you the same experience as they had on the NES with just upgraded graphics thrown on top.

Super Metroid has the added super and the added super graphics but it is so much more than that. Every facet of the game, graphics, sound presentation and gameplay have been worked on and polished to a gleam. I think the game stands as a prime example of what needs to be done to take a successful game from one generation to the next without it becoming a lazy effort to ride on the shoulders of past glory.

The beauty of the game is that you start of with very little power. Sure you can shoot and move around but there is always something getting in your way an area you can’t reach, a door you can’t open, a puzzle you don’t quite have the pieces to solve yet. So you carry on, you do what you can do and you wait until you have something you didn’t have before, till you can do things you couldn’t do before.

There are also so many secrets, so many little extra missile tanks you can get if you just look hard enough. Picking this game up again to have a go to write this was a pure pleasure – the most pleasure I have had so far in this exercise. I resisted doing a big game like this though because a lot of you will have played it, and even those of you who have not played it will have watched some video or read some article about the greatness of this game. Many other people have said it before probably most of them have done a better job than me. This game to me is a 10 out of 10. I could talk all day but by the end that would still be the point I would end up making.

The price of this game even for cartridge only gets so ridiculously expensive, I only own it because I brought a PAL UK cart from a market back when the GameCube was first coming out, before the price of second hand SNES games went through the roof. I actually only spent like £2 on it if memory serves. For once I am not even going to focus on how much this will cost you to track down instead I am just going to say think long and hard about if you need the original cartridge, you can download this game on the Wii U for example for under £7.

Imagine this, people are paying £40 for a cartridge of it. Yes, I think the game is worth £40 but still. If you don’t already own a SNES you’re paying we will say £40 again so this game is costing some people £80 to play.

The game is available on the Virtual Consoles of both the Wii and Wii U but for this example I will show you how far £40 can go on the Wii U. I can’t remember exact prices and I am not going to look them up I am just going to wing it. Super Metroid is about £7, you can download that. Next I would download Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition. This will cost you £12, it is a brilliant game that owes a lot to Super Metroid. It is a Mexican wrestler paranormal-themed Metroid with a brilliant sense of humour. Trust me when you have finished Super Metroid you are going to want more of the same and this game delivers it with a smile. Then hit the virtual store again for Fire Emblem as it is another brilliant game which if you try to track down real will cost you an arm and a leg. Here it will just cost you £4.40 at the moment. Also grab Kirby’s Dream Land 3 (another SNES game) from the virtual console its like £4 at the moment. Take the £10 you have left and look online. Look for sales and pick a random game which looks like a bizarre cult classic in the making, order it and put it away in a draw without ever taking of the shrink wrap because you can bet your butt one day you’ll see it on eBay and go oh my gosh this game is going for crazy money.

Retro Monday – Demon’s Crest

Demon’s Crest is a spin-off from Ghost ‘n Goblins and is the third game in the Gargoyle’s Quest series. It came out in Japan and the US in 1994, but again Europe had to wait longer and we got it in 1995. The game was developed by Capcom.

The game is a platformer with a few RPG elements thrown in. Unlike Ghosts ‘n Goblins, where you play a brave knight trying to save a princess, Firebrand –the player’s character – is on a quest to become ruler of the demon kingdom and get back special crests that were stolen from him. When combined the crests give him infinite power. Firebrand has the ability to shoot fireballs, and kinda fly, he stays in place and can move left or right, but he cannot ascend. After collecting more of the crests he gains abilities to change into different forms, I only got one crest and was able to turn into G. Gargoyle which allowed me to break statues. It also gave me a different fire attack that was needed to fight a boss as Firebrand’s attack didn’t work.

You get more forms and magic as you progress through the game too. There is a form that does allow you to fly properly. The gameplay is great, it’s fun fireballing various demons and trying to make progress in a world that is quite open as to where you go via the map where you can fly to different locations. It’s not an easy game mind – bosses are tough and you have to be careful and think about the boss patterns to get anywhere. It isn’t unfair though, and when you die you realise what you’re doing wrong, even if only a little at a time.

Visually the game is great, the detail on the sprites is great and stand out as some of the best on the SNES. The backgrounds are detailed, the levels’ foregrounds are dark and grim, it’s lovely to look at. The music is also great for the game, with its gothic sound and eerie vibe. It really adds to the atmosphere and accompanies the demon world so well.

Verdict: Highly recommended

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Retro Monday – Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit!

Home Improvement was a sitcom in the 90s and was rather popular. Of course with its popularity came a game. Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit! was released in 1994 and was made by Imagineering and was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

I haven’t played this game, and to be honest I’ve barely heard anything about it. Let’s start with a brief description. HI:PTP is an action-platformer, where you have to collect the tools that had been taken on Tim’s show Home Improvement.

When I put it on I knew it was meant to be bad, but I honestly didn’t think it was that bad – at least for a very short period of time. Tim, the player’s character, controls are very off – like he’s really light and floaty, for want of better words. There’s also the level design, it’s not great and the fact that you have to go around levels looking for power tools that disappeared is just awful. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was fun to play and the level design didn’t suck, but that’s what it does – it sucks.

I will admit that visually it isn’t horrible, it’s pretty decent for a TV show tie-in. Musically, I think it’s pretty bad, it has a remix of the TV show theme, and then it seems to just be that, varying remixes of the show’s theme. All the music I heard has a similar sound and for me, there isn’t much variety.

Verdict: Avoid

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