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Blue Jay
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18 Feb 2015, 7:25 am

I don't have the 'most famous' SNES game collection. I mean, sure, I have Link to the Past, Street Fighter 2, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, and Secret of Mana, no SNES collection should be without them. But this post isn't to rave about them, everyone knows how great they are.

No, this post is to rave about the lesser-known titles that I played. Whether I got ahold of them through garage sales, hand-me-downs, or even 'been there so long no one knows where it came from', this is to see if anyone knows the wonders of some of my other favorite SNES games.

1. Lost Vikings - Before Blizzard was, well, Blizzard, they were Silicon & Synapse, and one of their first games was a puzzle-platformer about these 3 Vikings that get kidnapped by aliens and end up warping through time and space trying to get home. There is Eric the Swift, the leader, who can run, jump, and bash walls with his helmet; Baleog the Fierce, who has a sword and a bow with a 'lifetime supply of arrows'; and Olaf the Stout, who has a shield. They are all sarcastic, play well off of each other, and its full of humor.

2. Lost Vikings II: Norse by Norsewest - Newly-formed Blizzard made the sequel to their already great game, and it's a sequel like all sequels should be. Darker, funnier, more characters, more puzzles... The Vikings get kidnapped again by an alien, but this time they pick up new gear when they escape through time. Eric gets a double-jump and a new helmet that lets him breathe underwater. Baleog gets a lightsaber and an extendible cyborg arm. And Olaf gets a cool glowing shield, the ability to shrink, and explosive gas. They are also joined by Fang the Werewolf, who can wall-jump and claw enemies (all the while constantly mistaken for a ferret), and Scorch the Magic Dragon, who can fly and breathe fire. Sounds epic, right? My favorite platformer ever, if that tells you anything.

3. Secret of Evermore - A vastly under-appreciated game in my opinion, this is a cool RPG about an average boy who chases his dog into a ruined museum and stumbles upon a machine that teleports him to another world. This world is called Evermore, and 50 years ago it was created when an inventor created the machine. It sucked him, his niece, and his two best friends into it, and created the world based on their individual interests. Prehistoria, ruled by his niece, Fire Eyes, who loved dinosaurs and thus created a land covered in lush vegetation and filled with dangerous raptors, man-eating plants, and volcano-beasts. Antiqua, created by a museum director, a world of sand and pyramids; populated by thugs, pirates, cultists, and mummies. Gothica, governed by the plump librarian, a place of medieval chivalry and castles, but also besieged by rats and dragons. And Omnitopia, a moon base, and home of the professor. It has the same style of combat as Secret of Mana, but better graphics, and your dog changes shape depending on which land you are in: a husky sabertooth-wolf in Prehistoria, a greyhound in Antiqua, a French poodle in Gothica, and Goddard from Jimmy Neutron in Omnitopia :D

4: Donkey Kong Country - A side-scrolling 3D platformer with graphics that look great even today, you play as the titular Donkey Kong, an ape with a tie, as you and your sidekick Diddy Kong (a monkey with a baseball cap) set out to find and defeat the evil King K. Ruel, leader of the Crocodile Pirates, who stole your hoard of bananas. What better reason to have an adventure? And since it spawned 2 sequels, I don't even have to tell you how amazing this game is.

I have quite a few more SNES games, but these are the ones I think deserve a little more praise. Anyone got anything to add?



Misery
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18 Feb 2015, 9:48 am

DKC is the one I'd say wasnt actually obscure; that game was very well-known from what I remember, and is what catapulted Rare forward quite a bit, as they were sort of "on top of the world" for awhile after that, making a series of very fantastic games until bloody Microsoft ate them (at which point all of their quality vanished almost instantly). The Lost Vikings games though sure were obscure. Which was too bad, despite their quality. And nobody really remembers them nowadays. The 3 characters from those games are actually being added to Blizzard's upcoming moba, Heroes of the Storm, but I'm betting that the vast majority of players wont have the foggiest dang clue who they are.

Now let's see... obscure games....



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Uniracers is... hard to explain. Sort of a side-scrolling 2D racing/platforming/something game, with unmanned unicycles instead of cars or whatever. You zoomed around, racing against AI opponents, and could do a variety of tricks in the air and other stuff. The game controlled very well, had great level/track/something design, the gameplay overall was great, and it's one of the more unique games on the console. The unicycles were also rendered in 3D and then shifted to sprite form in the same way that everything in Donkey Kong Country was. Reading up on it, one of the reasons why it wasnt more well-known is.... and this is quite possibly one of the single stupidest things Ive ever heard relating to a game... the reason is: Pixar, a certain company you may have heard of that makes certain movies you may have seen, actually sued Nintendo (and won) because of the usage of 3D-rendered unicycles in the game. No, seriously. They had to curtail production of the cartridges, making it much more rare (mostly in the UK I think?) and causing it to make less money because PRE-RENDERED UNICYCLES ANGERED PIXAR. Just.... what.


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Next up is HyperZone. I freaking LOVE this one. One thing about some of these older game consoles is that they can sometimes have a certain "feel" to them that is unique to that specific console. Alot of retro fans probably know what I mean by this, it's very hard though to explain to anyone that doesnt already understand it. The ancient Atari 2600 pulled this one off the most frequently, the NES was pretty good at it too with some games. With the SNES, one of the games that did this the most for me was HyperZone. It's a type of shmup that would later be known as a Horizon-type, where instead of scrolling vertically or horizontally, you move forward into a 3D space. Like other shmups though, your forward motion is constant; you cannot stop moving entirely or turn around or anything like that. There was a "track" you followed, which looked a little bit like the tracks in F-Zero, except that it always moved forward, it never curved to the right or spun around, and there was a track seen on the top of the screen too, not just on the bottom, since you floated between them. If you left the track, you would take damage until you got back on it. There were lots of things to shoot at and large bosses and all sorts of stuff. The things about this game that gave it that unique SNES "feel" were the very heavy use of the infamous mode 7, as well as the nature of the sounds and music in the game, and the way they were used. The graphics overall did this too. F-Zero had pulled off this effect in pretty much the very same way. I always really liked this game, but it's one of those where nobody knows it exists.




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Third is Super Conflict. This one was another one that sorta gave the effect listed above, but moreso than that, this was a turn-based strategy war game. The typical sort, with hex-based maps and a variety of units moving around, which were either land, air, or sea types. One thing that made this game unique at the time was how the combat worked. If you've ever seen Advance Wars, it was kinda similar to that, in that when two opposing units entered combat the game shifted to a seperate screen, where you would see each unit roll into view, and the battle would start. It typically went on for multiple rounds, and there were a couple of different options you had available to pick from that affected how each round of combat played out. It had quite an interesting effect overall on the gameplay, and made the game more unique among strategy games as a whole (as alot of strategy games at the time were already using the hex-based format, and it was hard to be unique among them). Very good game with alot of content in it.



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Fourth is Pushover. It's a puzzle game, not the "falling block" type, but the sort with individual puzzles that you have to solve. This one involved dominoes; you needed to get all of these dominoes to fall over in a chain reaction, as every domino except the red unmovable ones needed to be knocked over to beat the level, and you only got one "push" to do so with. It had a 2D side-view style... not quite side-scrolling because they were single-screen levels... with platforms and ladders and all of that. You ran around, and could lift individual dominoes and run and drop them where they were needed, not just before you gave one of them a shove, but during the toppling as well (though you couldnt pick up any that had already fallen over). It made for alot of interesting puzzle gameplay, and stands out to me as one of the more unique ones.



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21 Feb 2015, 6:54 am

I doubt it was ever truly popular but my brother and I still 20 years later play an old puzzle game for the SNES in kirby's avalanche..

It's relatively short and simple, it's just a puzzle game, but it's stupid addicting.


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newageretrohippie
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21 Feb 2015, 10:41 am

Nice to see I'm not the only one who remembers Uniracers :) I loved that game back in the day, and still wish I could find a copy....

Stunt Race FX- an interesting racing game that utilized the Super FX chip more commonly remembered for it's use in STar Fox. The vehicles all had eyes and it had 3 or 4 different modes.

Robotrek- a JRPG where you build robots that serve as your battle party. another obscure gem I wish I could find a copy of, I rented it all the time back in the day. It was an Enix game, and the only other thing I really remember ( without looking through my Nintendo Power magazines ) was that in order to make better robots you had to find special books hidden all over. For once, checking the bookshelves obsessively in every room was integral to progressing in a game lol

They were Japan only, but I have to mention Mario & Wario, Marvelous: Another Treasure Island and Bahamut Lagoon. Obscure largely due to their lack of localizations, but great games. Mario & Wario is a puzzle game that tasks you with guiding Mario, Luigi and Peach through crazy levels via the SNES Mouse controlling a fairy named Wanda; Marvelous is an adventure game created by Eiji Aounuma, the man running the Zelda franchise ( into th ground some would say...not a fan of the lame gimmicks and padding myself ) where you play as 3 boys at a camp who solve puzzles and battle pirates in search of a legendary treasure. Bahamut Lagoon is a JRPG from Square....if you know anything abot Square RPGs from the SNES era, I need not say any more.


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