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Steve's Obscure Super Famicom Games Thread

Discussion in 'Rare and Obscure Gaming' started by Steve, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

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    My apologies for the delay in continuing this countdown. Life's gotten busier than normal and so I will just post these entries whenever I can. Was aiming for an entry a day but that's just not feasible with work picking up.

    In the meantime, here's an awesome Super Famicom game that probably not many have played. Or at least, it's certainly had less exposure than the mainstream usual suspects, and I believe it's just as damn good as some of those classics. It's not on my top 50 countdown because it has a lot of Japanese text and I do consider it an action RPG (I purposely excluded Japanese RPGs and action RPGs off this list). But if I were to include this game it would easily be in my top 10. I like it THAT much. What game am I talking about?

    GUNMAN'S PROOF

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    Released late in the SNES lifespan (1997), Gunman's Proof can best be summarized as a mix of EarthBound, Link to the Past and the wild, wild west. Sounds like an enticing combination? It sure is, and thankfully, the game plays extremely well. Unlike other action RPGs where you strike with a short ranged weapon, here you get to fire off a variety of guns. It gives it a slight Zombies Ate My Neighbors feel as well. Good stuff, indeed. In addition, you can punch enemies even pull off Dragon Punches. The graphics have a pleasant cheery look to them, and you gotta love the game's setting and overall aesthetics. Go around the island and talk to some interesting NPCs.

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    Interestingly enough, the relationship between the father and son is unlike any other on the SNES. Rather than being loving and supportive, the dad is downright abusive and vicious. It gives the game a different feel. But it's all handled in a very amusing manner. All that's to say... the game's dialogue is a real treat. You'll want to talk to every NPC. Its sense of humor reminds me a lot of EarthBound.

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    The battle sections are a blast. It's refreshing to shoot at enemies from far away. With 8 directions to aim, and a strafe/lock option, it's handled beautifully (did you hear that, Zombies Ate My Neighbors?). The puzzles are much lighter than Link to the Past, but it's still a ton of fun. The main character can also duck and crawl to avoid bullets. The dungeons are not as complex as Link to the Past and they never get (too) overwhelming. It's definitely an easy game, but I say better "easy and fun" than "impossible and cheap" any day of the week.

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    All in all, you can't go far wrong with Gunman's Proof. Its main negative is that it's way too damn short. The game can be beaten in about 4 measly hours, but what fun those 4 short hours will be. Thankfully, it's been fan translated, and I can't recommend this game enough. If you love Link to the Past or action RPGs in general, Gunman's Proof is a must-play.

    Full review here.
     
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  2. karsten

    karsten Member of The Cult Of Kefka Staff Member

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    That is another list i would love to see ;)
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

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    Heh, thanks Karsten. Actually, I'm working on a list that encompasses American and Japanese SNES games with no limits... including fan translations including all the great Japanese (action) RPGs. I've been working on this list since 2006, lol, and JUST MIGHT be able to release it one year from now (October 2017 if all goes well). We'll see though. But it's definitely something coming down the road because I've always wanted to make such a list. In the meantime, think of this top 50 Super Famicom "obscure" games list as an appetizer ;)

    Speaking of which, the countdown resumes!

    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan

    #36: POWER SOUKOBAN

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    Published by NINTENDO on New Year's Day 1999 (yes, you read that correct, 19-freaking-99), Power Soukoban add an action-oriented "modern" twist to the old classic Soukoban puzzle action format. This time the puzzles aren't as crazy because the emphasis is moreso on the action end. Here you'll have to fend off enemies. Open pits will spawn evil creatures. Only by closing off the pits do you eradicate the little demons. The enemies don't really pose much of a threat, but it's fun nonetheless to shoot them down. Speaking of which, your little demon protagonist doesn't just push stones -- he can also fire projectiles. These long ranged shots can take out enemies as well as move stones. It's pretty cool and definitely not your brother's Soukoban.

    There are even bosses to contend with, such as Frankenstein and Medusa to name but a few. There aren't traditional stages per se; the whole thing has inter-connected screens similar to Super Metroid. I also like that this game features multi-tier puzzles. For example, entering a room from a certain entrance may yield zero results. However, enter that same room later on from a different entrance reveals the path to clearing that particular puzzle for that particular room. There's even a cast of NPCs you can interact with, and the game even features a very light RPG-esque element to it. Too bad the dialogue is in Japanese, but it's not anything that would impede your progress if you don't read the language. Power Soukoban can get a tad repetitive and the puzzles aren't very complex at all, but it's a fun action puzzle game and an oddly fascinating footnote in SNES history. Seeing as how it was released in 1999, it really just might be the last great game to ever grace Nintendo's 16-bit wonder.

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  4. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

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    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan
    36: Power Soukoban

    #35: THE FIREMEN

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    The Firemen is one of those Super Famicom titles I remember long being curious about ever since I saw it featured in the pages of EGM back in good ole 1994. Developed by HUMAN, best known for their Fire Pro Wrestling franchise, The Firemen is like DieHard if the terrorists were replaced with fire and the firearms replaced with a water hose. Heck, even the intro is oddly in English, and more than vaguely reminds one of the plot from DieHard! However, the in-game text is all in Japanese. It's not necessary to understand if you don't read Japanese, but you're given tips to help you out. Still, no biggie as the game is completely playable without this knowledge. I was very impressed when I played this game initially in 2006, and although my feelings for it have "cooled down" (har har) since then, it's still a quality game worthy of this list.

    Shoot in any one of 8 directions, and you can strafe and lock yourself into any one of these 8 positions. I like the little details such as the glass shattering when you fire at them. Part of me almost expects Stone Cold Steve Austin to come running in outta nowhere to open a can of whup ass. There are two spray attacks. One straight ahead and one that sprays downward. You also get bombs and a computer-controlled ally that helps you out on occasion. It's a shame there isn't a two-player option, though. The graphics are sharp and clean with a nice depth backing them. There are also innocent people to save throughout the levels. Doing so will restore your health by roughly 60%. The bosses fights are simple and satisfying. The Firemen is solid fun and it's a shame it never saw the light of day in America (although it did receive a European PAL release). If you haven't played The Firemen yet, you really should. It's a better example of the fire fighting sub-genre than Jaleco's The Ignition Factor.

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    ---

    Announcement time. I hope this is OK, but given my years of service contributing to the gaming community, I hope that it is. So, as some of you know, for the past decade-plus I've been waving the SNES banner. In that time I've been beating SNES games and keeping detailed notes. Seeing as how today marks the first day of October, I figure now is a fitting time to make this announcement. Coming in one year's time will be my very own SNES book. It will be released privately via PDF. There will be a very small fee for my effort (I'm thinking around $3 is more than fair). The PDF will include:

    -My top 200 favorite SNES games*
    -Various SNES stories of mine from 1991-current day
    -Exclusive interviews that I've conducted with various SNES programmers over the years

    *The top 200 list will be done in a very similar fashion as this Top 50 Super Famicom list. So if you're enjoying this countdown, you'll definitely enjoy my Top 200 countdown as well. This list will feature US and Japanese games (including Japanese RPGs such as Seiken Densetsu 3 AKA Secret of Mana 2, Dragon Quest V, Final Fantasy V, and so forth). Keep in mind this is a list I've been working on and tweaking ever since 2006. So it's not something I'm piecing together hastily overnight or a few weeks or even a few months. This has been a decade-plus project of mine that I can't wait to finally share!

    I hope my work over the past decade has entertained you to some degree, and I hope you'll support this project come this time next year. It will be roughly 300 pages long, with up to 1,000 full color pictures. And for the record, there will be no Kickstarter. No delays. No stretch goals. No BS. More details to follow as we get closer to the date. It comes online October 2017.

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  5. karsten

    karsten Member of The Cult Of Kefka Staff Member

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    That is lovely, i'm pretty tied to paper to be honest but i'll consider it for the sake of the work you placed in it.

    BTW the fireman was really released in PAL countries? I never ever saw a copy!
     
  6. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

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    I appreciate it, Karsten. Actually for years I dreamed of doing a physical book, but in the end I realized it just isn't feasible considering I would like to feature close to 1,000 full color screenshots. In the end a PDF is a happy medium between a physical book and a really damn long blog post, lol.

    As for The Firemen, yes, it was released in Europe. Not sure how rare it is these days, but you can certainly check eBay to get some sort of idea.

    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan
    36: Power Soukoban
    35: The Firemen

    #34: SUPER GENJIN 2

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    Growing up in the early '90s, I was lucky enough to own the NES, Genesis and Super Nintendo. That meant Saturday afternoons perusing any of those 3 libraries at the local rental store. I had my choice of the litter, and life was good. However, there was at least one franchise that eluded me that I had always been madly curious about. That, of course, was BONK on the Turbo Grafx 16. Back in those olden days, the Turbo Grafx 16 was sort of a "Neo Geo Junior" in the sense that very few stores carried it and you hardly knew anyone who owned it. It was something of a semi-mythical "beast" that you really only saw in the pages of EGM, GamePro and GameFan Magazine. I was instantly captivated the first time I saw screenshots of the Bonk games. I've always had a thing for caveman platformers. Then in 1994, GameFan ran a preview for Super Bonk for the Super Nintendo. It blew my young mind. It was like seeing Ronald McDonald featured in a Burger King commercial, or seeing "The Bad Guy" Razor Ramon in a WCW ring (er wait, that one really did happen, sorta anyhow). It was a WTF moment for its time. Unfortunately, the SNES effort in my opinion was only decent at best. And at worst, it was borderline disappointing. Enter its Super Famicom-exclusive sequel, Super Genjin 2.

    Super Genjin 2 is everything Super Bonk should have been. The sprites are smaller, which works in its favor as the gameplay is less clunky and easier to maneuver Bonk around the playing field. He's got new tricks up his sleeve, such as a sliding ability and some transformations that were not seen in Super Bonk but seen in the TG-16 series, such as the thief (who can throw the smiley faces as projectiles). The worlds are colorful and the visuals are rather striking -- both a major improvement over Super Bonk. The power ups are what makes the game fun but it's also simply experiencing the various quirky levels. In one level you're struck by lightning in the beginning and you're forced to spend the entire level trying to refill your health in order to regain consciousness by level's end. Another level sees Bonk spinning himself around on a rotor as he navigates the not-so-friendly spike-filled skies. It's not a long game, but there's even a password code given after each world is beaten (another thing that Super Bonk lacked). There is a small bit of Japanese text but it's nothing major. For those who wish to experience it in full, however, there is an English translation available. All in all, Super Genjin 2 isn't perfect but it's a fine example of the genre, does the Bonk name proud and is certainly one of the better Super Famicom-exclusive platformers out there.

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  7. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

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    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan
    36: Power Soukoban
    35: The Firemen
    34: Super Genjin 2

    #33: SUPER BOMBERMAN PANIC BOMBER WORLD

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    More than just a cheap cash-in or a lame gimmick in order to milk the good name of a proven franchise, Super Bomberman Panic Bomber World is an admirable foray into the puzzle genre for those good Bombermen. The goal is to connect 3 or more like-color pieces. You can connect them horizontally, vertically or even diagonally. I like the inclusion of the diagonal factor as it leads to more combo possibilities and adds to the strategy. In addition, you get unlit and lit bombs because Bomberman. Once you fill up your power bar, you get a mega bomb that will cause all kinds of havoc. It's pretty simple and straightforward. It's also a whole lot of fun. The chains and combos you can pull off are pretty insane. Instead of 2 pieces falling at a time as in most puzzle games, it's 3 pieces here. That just gives you more pieces to play with as you work to craft crushing combos. Speaking of noteworthy, the game cartridge actually uses a special chip believe it or not.

    And of course, being a Bomberman title, there's even a 4 player mode for you and 3 friends (or 3 computer opponents) to do battle in. The classic Bomberman battle tune is even replicated nicely here, and fits the urgency of the falling piece action to a tee. While Panic Bomber may never replace your Super Bomberman or Saturn Bomberman game nights, it does make for a damn fine entertaining diversion. There really isn't much else to say here except it's a shame not more people are aware of this game. It's more than worthy of a spot in anyone's Super Nintendo collection.

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  8. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

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    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan
    36: Power Soukoban
    35: The Firemen
    34: Super Genjin 2
    33: Super Bomberman Panic Bomber World

    #32: BS SHOCKMAN

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    BS Shockman, or technically BS Kaizou Choujin Shubibinman Zero, is a unique title in this top 50 countdown. Why? Unlike the other games on this list so far, this one was never officially released on cartridge. It was slated for a Super Famicom release back in 1994, but was instead relegated to the Satellaview device (a downloading service in Japan in the '90s). But of course, you can find a way to play it today and you probably should. While nothing earth shattering, it's simply a fun little 2-player action romp. Of course, the Shockman franchise began on the PC-Engine, so similar to Bonk, it was shocking (har har) to see it being associated with the SNES back in 1994. It blends aspects from Mega Man, Mario, Street Fighter and there's even a small hint of Castlevania thrown in for good measure. Its 2 player mode is the best thing about it, as players can combine to unleash super special tag team attacks they could not otherwise do on their own. Each of the characters, Raita and Azuki, also have special moves they can execute on their own. This includes a Dragon Punch and Hadoken-like blast.

    Featuring only 8 stages, the game is rather short (45 minutes or so) and is unfortunately a cake walk. That's pretty much its most glaring flaw. Other than that, what you have here is a very fun game that feels like something of a mix between a traditional platformer and a beat 'em up. Nail enemies with the Hadoken blast and watch them fly backwards in slow motion (done on purpose for dramatic effect). The whole thing never takes itself seriously but yet it also doesn't feel like a parody or a spoof, which I very much appreciate. It somehow manages to ride that fine line between semi-serious and silly. All in all, if you ever wanted to experience a game that spliced Mario with Mega Man, you could do far worse than BS Shockman. Er, BS Kaizou Choujin Shubibinman Zero. Call it whatever you want -- I call it a quality 2-player action game more than deserving of its place on this list.

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  9. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

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    Earlier tonight (technically last night by the time I post this), I caught the opening night showing of SHIN GODZILLA here in the US. It's a limited showing from October 11-18 only. I grew up a huge Godzilla fan. In fact, when I started this topic back in September 2006, I opened by reviewing Godzilla: Kaijuu Daikessen. If you told me then that TEN years and a month later there would be a Japanese Godzilla film showing in an American theatre, I would never believe it. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and recommend catching it in theatres while you still can. There is a ton of dialogue and political commentary, moreso than any other Godzilla film. But I found it refreshing -- Shin Godzilla felt like an 'adult' take on Godzilla. It takes you on a wild ride that depicts what it might feel like if you're a high ranking governmental official trying to navigate a Godzilla crisis. It won't resonate with everyone, but I enjoyed this reboot of Godzilla. I liked it more than the 2014 American version.

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    Welcome back the king of monsters

    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan
    36: Power Soukoban
    35: The Firemen
    34: Super Genjin 2
    33: Super Bomberman Panic Bomber World
    32: BS Shockman

    #31: MAJYUUOU

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    It's October, which means a month full of horror movies and horror-themed video games for us Halloween geeks. I recently tried to watch Rob Zombie's 31, but couldn't get through it even halfway. Speaking of 31, it's appropriate for this next game to be #31. The SNES isn't known for having very many dark and mature titles in its library. However, Majyuuou definitely qualifies as such and is perfect to pick up and play during this month of October. AKA King of Demons, at first glance it appears to be something of a cross between Castlevania and Resident Evil. While it never quite lives up to such an enticing combination, it is a rather fun and sordid romp through hell. The imagery is unlike anything else you'll find on the SNES. You start out in human form armed with a gun and a giant Hadoken-like blast. The interesting part comes at the end of each level where an orb allows you to transform into a savage beast. In all, there are four forms (coincidentally enough there are four forms of Godzilla in the new Shin Godzilla film). To get the good ending, you must use all 3 forms at some point before the final level. At which point you will then unlock the fourth and final, ultimate transformation. Each form, naturally, has its own strengths and weaknesses.

    Your main character's sprite is a little too small for my liking, which is a little disappointing, but the game does feature a good amount of details to make up for this. It does an excellent job of sucking you into its decaying, macabre and decrepit underbelly of a seedy universe. The control could have been a little bit smoother, admittedly, but it still plays relatively well enough (don't expect anything near Super Mario World brilliance). Like I said, don't expect this to be an epic gem and you'll probably enjoy it, especially during this time of the year. While it never quite lives up to the hype I created for it in my own imagination, I'm happy we even got this game to begin with. There simply aren't enough games like this on the Super Nintendo so when one comes along this bizarre, hellish and competently developed, you gladly take it with no questions asked.

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  10. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

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    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan
    36: Power Soukoban
    35: The Firemen
    34: Super Genjin 2
    33: Super Bomberman Panic Bomber World
    32: BS Shockman
    31: Majyuuou

    #30: MICKEY & DONALD: MAGICAL ADVENTURE 3

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    The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse brings back a lot of fond memories for many of us. One of the earlier "classics" on the Super Nintendo, Capcom continued to flex its 16-bit muscles with a game that played as well as it looked. I, for one, have warm memories of Magical Quest that winter of 1992. Remember that extra thick Nintendo Power holiday issue featuring Magical Quest on its cover? And who could forget those classic Nintendo Power square tile layouts? Ah, the memories. It's too bad kids today will never experience the feeling of picking up a gaming magazine from their local store (or from their mailbox). Nothing rivals the excitement of seeing a brand new issue, filled with the latest and greatest video games, and reading that sucker from cover to cover for hours on end. Those were certainly some, pardon the pun, MAGICAL times.

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    A few years later Capcom released the sequel The Great Circus Mystery. While it was viewed by many as solid and competent, many also felt the original was superior (despite the sequel offering a 2-player co-op mode). The Great Circus Mystery was just missing the magic of the original. In December 1995, 3 years following the release of The Magical Quest, Capcom released the final game in the trilogy. It never made its way to American shores as the SNES was dying a quick and quiet death by late '95/early '96. It was Minnie Mouse out and Donald Duck in. The classic costume system returns but this time the suit powers differ for Mickey and Donald, making it worthwhile to sample both characters. Of course, that classic refined Mickey gameplay you've come to love returns (including the lovely snatch-a-block-out-of-the-air-and-heave-it-at-the-bad-guys format), but now it also features the best visuals of the series. It's gorgeous; some of the animations (particularly from Donald) are simply priceless. Mickey and Donald: Magical Adventure 3 is easily one of the better Super Famicom-exclusive platformers ever released. And a perfect companion piece to The Magical Quest. Capcom could do almost no wrong back in the mid '90s, and this is simply another shining example of such.

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  11. Baseley09

    Baseley09 Resolute Member

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    I really want to get Psycho Dream being a big fan of Valis & Telenet....£40 loose tho Fek that.
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

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    Haha, yeah, a lot of this stuff is priced pretty stiff. You pick and choose your battles, for sure.

    And speaking of stiff prices...

    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan
    36: Power Soukoban
    35: The Firemen
    34: Super Genjin 2
    33: Super Bomberman Panic Bomber World
    32: BS Shockman
    31: Majyuuou
    30: Mickey and Donald: Magical Adventure 3

    #29: GHOST CHASER DENSEI

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    The best Super Famicom beat 'em up to never leave Japan? Not Iron Commando. Sorry, Undercover Cops. From where I sit, hands down it's Ghost Chaser Densei. Sure it's got many of the beat 'em up tropes. Three characters to pick from. One is well-balanced, one is strong and one is the token weak but quick female. Charging fat bad guys. You name it, you'll probably find it here. But what makes this games stand out from the crowd? A couple things. 1. You can block. 2. You kip-up whenever you get back up from being knocked down. This actually damages bad guys within reach. Sick. 3. In 2-player co-op mode you can pull off special tag team moves (similar to BS Shockman which was featured earlier on this list). 4. Know how most beat 'em ups allow you to use special moves at the cost of a little health? Not the case here! Instead, there is a separate meter specifically for your special moves. And yes, that's plural. Rather than having one special move, each of the 3 protagonists have a couple. Best yet, the power bar regenerates slowly, meaning you can pull off special moves intermittently without compromising your health meter. Brilliant.

    While it's no Turtles in Time, hell, what on Super Nintendo is? Ghost Chaser Densei is a top-notch beat 'em up that takes one back the halcyon days when side-scrolling beat 'em ups ruled the arcade scene. That's because it originated as an arcade game only in Japan. Released in 1994, Denjin Makai was later ported to the Super Famicom in 1995. The arcade game had 6 characters to choose from but the SFC port cut out 3, turning them into boss characters. It's also missing a level. Despite these cuts, Ghost Chaser Densei still shines. Hey, at least it kept its excellent 2-player co-op mode (I'm looking at you, Undercover Cops). I just looked on eBay and am "shocked not shocked" that a cartridge only copy commands over $125. Whew. It's tough to recommend it at THAT price, but sadly that's just the nature of the beast these days. BTW, there was a Japan only arcade sequel, Denjin Makai II AKA Guardians. Check it out on YouTube. Makes you kind of miss the good old days when side-scrolling beat 'em ups were king. Hell, they're still kings to me, damnit.

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  13. Borman

    Borman Xbox Archivist Staff Member

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    I said I would, so I picked up Battle Cross when I was at the convention today. Looking forward to trying it.
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

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    Cool, post back here whenever you get a chance to play it. Interested in hearing your impressions of it.

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    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan
    36: Power Soukoban
    35: The Firemen
    34: Super Genjin 2
    33: Super Bomberman Panic Bomber World
    32: BS Shockman
    31: Majyuuou
    30: Mickey and Donald: Magical Adventure 3
    29: Ghost Chaser Densei

    #28: MAGICAL POP'N

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    One of the more well known "obscure" Super Famicom-exclusive games, Magical Pop'n is an action platformer that conjures memories of more than one classic gaming franchise. If Zelda were ever made into a platformer, I imagine it would look something like Magical Pop'n. You attack enemies with a short-ranged sword, but can gain powers as you go along. The first power-up to acquire is a projectile, but it comes at the cost of 2 stars. Stars are scattered throughout the game's six stages. Collect as many as you can to increase your sub weapon ammunition. It's similar to Castlevania with its sub weapons and heart system. These sub weapons expand the game and allow you to perform some fancy tricks. For example, there is a grappler that turns the game into a slight Bionic Commando affair. The grappler can be employed an unlimited amount of times as it costs zero stars to use, but is strictly for swinging purposes only. As you can imagine, the more potent the sub weapon, the more hearts it will cost to use.

    The game presents a fairly decent challenge. Unfortunately there is no password or save system. But thankfully, there is a handy cheat code that opens up a debug menu. Pause the game and press Up, Down, X, Y, Left, Right, A, B, Up, Up. This allows you to tweak with things such as lives, hearts, a God mode and even a super useful level select cheat. That way you don't need to beat the game in one sitting. It also allows you to revisit any favorite level on a whim. To me these codes are simply the best kind because they go a long way to enhance my enjoyment of a game as well as increase longevity. Magical Pop'n isn't as epic as I was hoping -- I'm not crazy about the protagonist's speech samples and the platforming isn't super SUPER crisp -- but it's still a damn fine game, really. There are way more positives than negatives, for sure. It does command an arm and leg today which makes recommend buying a copy hard-pressed to do, but you should certainly find a way to experience it somehow. Not bad at all for obscure little developer Polestar who has only four titles to its name. This was their very first game and while it isn't perfect, Magical Pop'n certainly makes a splash in the vast ocean of Super Famicom goodness.

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  15. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

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    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan
    36: Power Soukoban
    35: The Firemen
    34: Super Genjin 2
    33: Super Bomberman Panic Bomber World
    32: BS Shockman
    31: Majyuuou
    30: Mickey and Donald: Magical Adventure 3
    29: Ghost Chaser Densei
    28: Magical Pop'n

    #27: POP'N TWINBEE RAINBOW BELL ADVENTURES

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    For something zany and slightly different (not to mention insanely colorful), try this next entry. Pop'n Twinbee Rainbow Bell Adventures (I dare you to say that fast 5 times) is an action platformer with a twist. Its main strength is its versatility. Pick from 3 varied characters. There's a punch meter where when charged allows you to unleash a mega shot capable of destroying barriers, revealing new sections of the level. The jump meter when charged allows you to fly around like a maniac. It's very Rocket Knight/Sparkster-esque. TwinBee is the well-balanced one. WinBee: shorter jump meter, longer punch meter. GwinBee: shorter punch meter, longer jump meter. There's a character for everyone's preferred playing style. Each of the "Bees" has their own special weapon (mallet, lasso, rattle). Slain enemies will drop a bell. These bells come in varied colors and as you might guess, each color serves a purpose. A blue bell grants you a gun. Another color grants you temporary invincibility. One color gives you your special weapon. You lose all power-ups if you're damaged, but you can kill more enemies to recollect your said power-ups. Speaking of killing the bad guys, check out how versatile this game is. Eliminate baddies by: 1. hop and bop 2. flying fist (during flight) 3. special weapon 4. mega shot 5. gun 6. punch (your default attack before acquiring your special weapon) 7. making contact while invincible. This versatility goes a long way to making the game feel different from the crowd, as well as minimizing repetitiveness while playing it.

    In addition, there are two 2-player modes. The first is a 2-player co-op mode, although admittedly this isn't the best 2-player game around. Simply because when one player decides to take flight it leaves the other player off screen and causes for some awkward moments. It kind of takes away the joy of flying which arguably makes up a good chunk of the game's appeal in the first place. Still, it's nice Konami gave us the option of playing co-op with a friend. The second 2-player mode is a battle mode. You and your friend are dumped into a split screen war zone where you have 3 minutes to defeat your rival. It's interesting to say the least, and off the top of my head I can't think of another SNES 2-player game that offers a split screen versus mode. If you know of one, sound off! To top things off, there's a password system for the six worlds so that you don't have to beat the whole thing in one sitting. Rainbow Bell Adventures is definitely one of Konami's most underrated gems from the 16-bit era.

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  16. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

    Joined:
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    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan
    36: Power Soukoban
    35: The Firemen
    34: Super Genjin 2
    33: Super Bomberman Panic Bomber World
    32: BS Shockman
    31: Majyuuou
    30: Mickey and Donald: Magical Adventure 3
    29: Ghost Chaser Densei
    28: Magical Pop'n
    27: Pop'n Twinbee Rainbow Bell Adventures

    #26: POP'N SMASH

    (Yes, that's three straight POP'N titles. The Japanese must love that word...)

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    One thing about the SNES that never ceases to amaze me is how deep and diverse its library is. There are so many beloved classics, but what I really enjoy are the lesser known games that are just plain fun to play. Obscure gems that rarely get the spotlight they so richly deserve. Pop'n Smash is one such example. Heisei Inu Monogatari Bow: Pop’n Smash, to give it its full proper name, is a game you rarely ever hear about or see on SNES recommendation lists. And that's a shame. Imagine a mix between Pong and Breakout, then add in typical Japanese wackiness and shenanigans... and you get Pop'n Smash. If that isn't enough to sell you on this title, then I don't know what will. Pop'n Smash is centered around canine Bow, a dog character from a famous Japanese manga and anime back in the '90s. "Bow Wow" was a Japanese manga created by Terry Yamamoto. It enjoyed a lengthy run from 1992 to 1999. There was also a 40 episode anime series (1993-1994). Bow has more than a passing resemblance to Spuds MacKenzie, the star of a Super Bowl commercial that aired way back in 1987.

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    The objective is to bat the ball into your opponent's goal zone. Along the way there are obstacles such as breakable blocks, pots and even bombs to add a little extra spice to it all. Choose from several different characters and stages. Players can make dramatic diving saves as well as cross over into the opponent's playing area. I enjoy the freedom this game affords. It's also got a great little sense of humor. You can select different tools to bat the ball. This ranges from a tennis racket to a mallet to even a twig. Yes, a freaking twig. It's completely silly and tons of fun. It's one of those games that anyone can pick up and play, and enjoy. Even non-gamers. Pop'n Smash is a smashing good time (sorry). And easily one of the many unsung obscure gems of the Super Famicom library.

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  17. MoockyLoock

    MoockyLoock Robust Member

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    I'm so late in trying all those jewels. I hope i'll be able to set up my console for this WE !
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

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    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan
    36: Power Soukoban
    35: The Firemen
    34: Super Genjin 2
    33: Super Bomberman Panic Bomber World
    32: BS Shockman
    31: Majyuuou
    30: Mickey and Donald: Magical Adventure 3
    29: Ghost Chaser Densei
    28: Magical Pop'n
    27: Pop'n Twinbee Rainbow Bell Adventures
    26: Pop'n Smash

    #25: SANRIO WORLD SMASH BALL!

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    Licensed video games back in the mid '90s were hit and miss. Probably more miss than hit. But this next game, not surprisingly (as it is #25), is thankfully a hit. Remember those Sanrio "Hello Kitty" stores? There was actually a Super Famicom game based around Sanrio released in the summer of 1993. At first glance one is inclined to think it's a clone of Windjammers, but Windjammers actually came out 7 months later (February 1994). Instead, think of Sanrio Smash as a fun little mix of Pong and Breakout. It's very similar to the previous game, Pop'n Smash, but it plays *slightly* better. It's a little more smooth and polished. Choose from 4 Sanrio character and 20 different level layouts. There is a 1-player mode complete with passwords, but it's the 2-player game where Sanrio Smash shines. It's cutthroat, competitive and awesome fun. Similar to Pop'n Smash, it's got that pick up and play charm to it. It's also got a high level of replayability. Hell, I've owned it 10+ years now, and still find myself firing it up on occasion. It just sort of hits a sweet spot for me. And it's a game I can pop in and enjoy for 15 minutes.

    There are power-ups to sway the tide of battle one way or the other. For example, one power-up causes all the blocks protecting your rival's goal line to disappear. There is also a super shot that players can unleash once they've charged up their meter. This is done by standing still and holding the proper button. The super shot causes your little guy to smack the ball 250 miles per hour. The animation is such that it can get up to 2 hits depending on circumstances (i.e. the disc bouncing off a block right back to you). So some strategy is involved as you dance through the level, picking your spots to power up your special meter. The worst thing is getting caught snoozing and letting the ball past your line of defense as you try to fill up your power bar. On an interesting side note, there is no music whatsoever during play. It's just the sound of the disc bouncing around. Also, weighing in at a HEFTY two megs (yes, TWO), it's the smallest SNES game along with Mr. Do! and Space Invaders. Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean, the Super Nintendo's biggest games at 48 megs each, are a whopping 24 times bigger than Sanrio Smash. But as we all know, never judge a 16-bit game by its meg count. Sanrio World Smash Ball! is a smash. Sorry. I mean, a ball. Damnit. Look, it's pretty damn good, OK? So get it if you can, or something.

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    Super Play Magazine speaking its mind back in the day...
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Robust Member

    Joined:
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    50: Battle Cross
    49: Mickey Tokyo Disneyland
    48: Little Magic
    47: Rendering Ranger: R2
    46: Violinist of Hamelin
    45: Super Back to the Future II
    44: Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun
    43: Keeper
    42: Ghost Sweeper Mikami
    41: Go Go Ackman
    40: Poko Nyan!
    39: Araiguma Rascal
    38: Super Tekkyu Fight!
    37: Ganbare Daiku no Gensan
    36: Power Soukoban
    35: The Firemen
    34: Super Genjin 2
    33: Super Bomberman Panic Bomber World
    32: BS Shockman
    31: Majyuuou
    30: Mickey and Donald: Magical Adventure 3
    29: Ghost Chaser Densei
    28: Magical Pop'n
    27: Pop'n Twinbee Rainbow Bell Adventures
    26: Pop'n Smash
    25: Sanrio World Smash Ball!

    #24: SPARK WORLD

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    We go from Sanrio World to Spark World. This game is, as you can clearly see, a most blatant Super Bomberman clone. There is a 1-2 player mode where you must go through several different themes (i.e. city, desert, jungle, etc.) There are 9 themes in all, with each theme having 3 stages and the 4th one being that theme's boss. But of course, the meat and potatoes is the 4-player battle mode. Similar to Bomberman the options are extremely adjustable, right down to the ability to select varying difficulty levels for EACH computer controlled opponent (if you're playing by yourself). Each player is able to sustain two hits, which makes for nice, lengthy battles and a chance at redemption if you accidentally mess up say in the first half minute of a match. There are some slight twists though that go a long way to making the game more fun. The boxing glove power-up icon allows you to punch your OPPONENT(S) rather than the fuel barrel (bomb). Now that's sick. There are also "?" icons that can grant you amazing offensive capabilities, or the complete opposite. One such example is a 30 second countdown may appear over your head. You can transfer this curse to anyone else and whoever has it when it reaches 0 dies. As you can imagine, this leads to some frenetic and chaotic moments as you either race desperately around the field trying to pass it on (in "It Follows" fashion) or you're madly running away trying to avoid it at all costs.

    I also like how the color of the sparks match your car's color. But perhaps best of all, there is a "rival" screen that shows you who killed you and who your "rival" should be for the following round. When one car kills the other 3, it leads to some good laughs as the 3 killed may very well decide to team up on the rival for the next round. There is a very subtle sense of black humor with this screen. I mean, you usually know who kills you, but just seeing it visually spelled out for you does go a long way in drawing the battle lines in the sand rather emphatically. If you enjoy Bomberman in the least and like having a slew of 4-player party games on hand just because you never know when your pals might drop by, then I strongly recommend adding Spark World to your party mix. It's definitely not as great as the Super Bomberman titles, but as far as alternatives go, it gets the job done. And it deserves some rightful recognition. So here it is, 24th on the list. Well done, Bombercar, er, I mean, Spark World. Well freakin' done.

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  20. Borman

    Borman Xbox Archivist Staff Member

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    Thats another one to add to my list.
     

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