Author Topic: Gather around for SNES chat  (Read 1912 times)

Gather around for SNES chat
« on: May 26, 2017, 03:16:11 PM »
Let's have a thread for the Super NES!  Topics are: games you've been playing, general discussion, and whatever else we want.



How about to seed some starter discussion we talk about our favorite SNES games?

Q: If you had to narrow it down to just *two* favorites on the system, which two would you pick?  You can mention additional favorites all you want, but being forced to pick those two headliners will reveal more about personal preferences.  Let's try to communicate to each other what makes them special to us, or whether you just think they are superlative in certain areas.



I'm going with: Final Fantasy 6 and Soul Blazer

Super Metroid and Link to the Past would be close behind, as would many of Squaresoft's RPGs.  But these two picks carry much more of a mark of distinction to me, while still being of nearly equal quality.

Final Fantasy 6 has always stuck with me for its characters.  Part of it is how it has a large cast, and part of it is how it draws you into their stories.  I think it is fair to say it tries to be more "adult" about its character stories than most RPGs, but it is also expressing that emotion through these chibi sprites and animations.  I dig that combination, it's incredibly endearing at times. 

The game itself is also real fun to play.  It's totally broken in both good and bad ways, but I've just gotten so used to it that the battle system is a net positive.

Soul Blazer has grown into an emphatically dear favorite over the years.  When I replay it I can't help but think about how there is this core mechanical fun to the game that overwhelms any lesser flaws it has.  It's got top down combat broadly reminiscent of Zelda, but what makes it neat is the strafing mechanic, the way your sword swipes have an asymmetric sweet spot, and the responsive magic (press a button and it fires in real time without pausing the action).  While I don't regard it with any kind of perfection, it is one of a handful of action RPGs that come to mind as a base reference when I try to visualize the "ideal form" of 2d action RPGs. 

The story/setting also has some special-ness to it worth mentioning.  I'd describe Soul Blazer's story as being unique for delivering small explorations of humanity through brief scenes and dialogues.  It's still a fast paced game that doesn't slow down to create an elaborate story, but these small asides add up to more than they should.  I also really like the concept of a video game where you get to play as a divine protector for the NPCs (a concept Quintet revisited often).
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 03:24:09 PM by dosboot »

Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2017, 08:31:07 PM »
Something else that feels appropriate to link here: the 'SNES drunk' youtube channel.  It's a nice laid back channel with short reviews on classic games, with maybe half or more videos being for the Super Nintendo.  (It's also more thoughtful/less rambling than the name of the channel sounds!)

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Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2017, 11:25:28 PM »
Choosing two is hard, but my answers most definitely go toward Earthbound and Chrono Trigger. Not many games have left as much of an impression on me as they have.
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Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2017, 09:36:57 PM »
I'll pick Chrono Trigger and Megaman X2.  Entirely different types of games, but they exemplify what made the SNES games fun.
CT was just a gem.  While there were some serious issues and dark themes, the overall styling and attitude of the game was still positive and heroic, as we romped through time in order to prevent the Apocalypse.  And while the concept of adding combo attacks to the FF ATB system is a simple one, they played it to its utmost here, making everyone worth using and keeping me wondering what crazy move I'd unlock next.  The one criticism that I can put on it is that it's possibly the easiest of Square's SNES offerings, and when this list includes FF6, that's really damn easy.  But in a game like this, that's much less of a problem when you're just having fun sucking dinosaurs into the void.
I didn't actually play X2 until a couple console generations later but it hit all the proper buttons for me.  An excellent mix of difficulty and responsiveness, and some really fun bosses.  It learned well from the games before it and innovated new twists and tricks as Megaman games not numbered 4 or above generally did.  And then you hit the Fortress.  The X2 Fortress is possibly the best time I have ever had in a Megaman game.  Spike and pit sections that would be nightmarish in other Megamen, but no less that 3 ways to clear them.  The X-hunters, including a good old fashioned Wily Machine.  And then the showdowns with Zero and Sigma.  I have a soft spot for this series in general but in a console gen that had some of Nintendo's defining work, this still sticks out as THE platformer.
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Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2017, 12:18:22 PM »
Phantom 2040 is an easy pick for me. On the other hand, picking between Romancing SaGa 2 and 3 makes it super hard. A part of me wants to say 2 but I think, ultimately I have to go with 3.

I love games with a sort of Metroidvania feel to them like Turrican 1 and 2 (Amiga) and Phantom 2040 fits that perfectly for me. The areas are very big and it's fun looking for items, power-ups, weapons and 1-ups by exploring the place and figuring out the secrets that allows you to reach them. The game is very fast-paced even though you find yourself swinging with your rope against the walls or the ceiling and the fact it's non-linear means it has a lot of replay value through different cutscenes, areas that unlocks specifically based on your choice in the story and different endings that includes bad ones and a golden ending. Some of the music is pretty catchy too and I'd say some of the visuals are pretty memorable especially when compared to the Genesis version that has a lot of black backgrounds instead (although the Genesis version has a few more cutscenes and a somewhat more unforgiving final boss). Still to this day I start up the game to make a quick run through it as it can be completed just as fast as Super Metroid, another amazing game.

Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger are games from my childhood I'll always like and they're still among my favorites to this day but as someone who played SaGa Frontier and loved it, Romancing SaGa 3 is right up my alley. The characters aren't as colorful as those in FFVI and Chrono Trigger but they still have a strange charm to them and that's despite the fact that some are extremely bland and say very little beyond a few lines before you recruit them. The game is non-linear and can be hard to progress through but I love games that allows you to blunder your way through all sorts of places. It can end up being lethal but you learn from your mistakes and eventually you find all sorts of interesting places, optional dungeons, characters and side-quests and finding new stuff becomes exciting each times. Some of the dungeons are extremely memorable because of the wonderful music and some simple but neat visuals. The game is also influenced by your actions at times which can change how you'll progress in the story. You have the choice to climb up the mountain and confront the boss right away in their lair or you can make your way to a dragon and fight the same boss but you instead have the help of the dragon and it happens in the sky. You lost to one of the bosses? Hey, that's fine, that character you recruited  will save you!... but they die permanently from their heroic sacrifice. It's all these little touches that makes the game really great and that's despite the fact that RS2 gives you way, way more options to affect the story through your decisions and actions. Some of the boss fights are very memorable too and the game has IMO one of the best soundtrack of all time for a RPG. The final boss theme is still to this day my favorite video game theme of all time.

« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 12:22:12 PM by Jeremie »
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Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2017, 03:31:50 PM »
I'm going to break from the RPG crowd here and say Mega Man X1 and Super Metroid. Both are very solid platformers with solid atmospheres, pretty memorable boss encounters, and lots of ways to experiment around with techniques to discover shortcuts and ways to improve a run.

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Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2017, 04:51:05 PM »
Super Metroid and Secret of Evermore.

Super Metroid is just all around great. Controls, level design and atmosphere is top notch. I really like how it can make encounters impressionable without resorting to the conventional cutscene (examples: Crocomire taking his final bath; Draygon being buried by her kids, the Baby defending you). Kind of unprecedented at its time. Despite it being my childhood favourite, I only recently finished it with the best ending. There was something I never liked about the idea of getting such a game done quick, but now I'm glad I did it and experienced how tough it can be when you have no time to grab all the items.
Secret of Evermore unjustly has the reputation of being "that western Secret of Mana rehash". It's one of the most mature looking titles on the system. I like the intended dirtiness of the environments and it also has great sound ambience. I didn't mind it having no multiplayer, it was difficult at the time to get the average buddy interested in a Squaresoft ARPG anyway.

The runner-up is Terranigma. I'm European, so I loved it long before the rest of the internet did :3.

Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2017, 09:21:29 PM »
Man, I keep hearing why I should play Phantom 2040, I really ought to finally do that!

(I also am pretty intrigued by Romancing Saga 3 now.  I've previously only received weak vibes when people described it.)

I really like how it can make encounters impressionable without resorting to the conventional cutscene (examples: Crocomire taking his final bath; Draygon being buried by her kids, the Baby defending you). Kind of unprecedented at its time.

You know, I never really noticed this technique of "in-game scenes" as a veritable through line for Super Metroid until now, even though I've remarked before how effective it works at the start and end (where Ridley appears on the space station, and then the two scenes with the Metroid in Tourain).

Secret of Evermore is well regarded by myself as well, it would probably make my short list of favorite SNES action RPGs.  At one point I was smitten by Secret of Mana, but Evermore's partner AI and magic system fix big sore spots so it's much more fun to replay.  I actually feel like Evermore fans have been muscling up on Secret of Mana's reputation over the years, even if hasn't quite escaped being the lesser cousin.

Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2017, 11:13:25 PM »
I've been playing B.O.B. lately.  Anyone familiar with this?  In my mind it's one of the ultimate rental SNES games that plenty of people seem to have played but few probably owned, although I don't know if that's really the case.  It's a level based sidescroller with a lot of shooting and platforming.  You play as a gold robot with cartoony animations, collecting lots of weapons and trying not to get hit while you search for the exit.  It's fairly fun, but sometimes it doesn't feel enough thought was put into the enemy placement so you get hit when you weren't expecting to.

I've been cheaty by using save states at the start of levels, but after making some progress I'm tempted to play more without it.  The main punishment for death is that you lose all your collected ammo when you die.  You have infinite continues, but running out of lives makes you continue from the last level that gave you a password (every 3 or so levels).  When you use save states to restart levels you end up with tons of surplus ammo, whereas playing normally gives a more seat-of-your-pants experience.

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Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2017, 12:33:16 AM »
Terranigma you uncultured heathens.  For all that it had an exceedingly awkward translation and never was released in NA, it is one of the most genuinely beautiful games I've played.  Some spectacular music and some great moments of character development and (literal) world building.  I would absolutely love a polished, updated reboot of Terranigma, I think it would be incredible.

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Ghaleon

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Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2017, 04:09:23 AM »
Back when SNES was the hottest thing since sliced bread, I would have said Secret of Mana and final Fantasy 4. But now...the game that never seems to get less fun after all this time is Ogre Battle. I don't know which of the first two I should demote... objectively, Secret of Mana's combat system is actually pretty weak despite appearing great. Most if not all enemy attacks are very easily dodgeable, and most of the damage you get are spells or homing projectiles that may as well be in any ATB 'turn based' rpg. I mean yeah enemies have 'normal' attacks you can avoid but you do that simply by not being standing right next to them while your attack is charging.

Speaking of B.O.B. though, I actually have that game on the Sega Genesis. I don't know if that's considered better or worse than the SNES version though (didn't even know it had one). I imagine the SNES version is better. I own both but I did favor the snes for nearly everything.

Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2017, 02:20:42 AM »
B.O.B. is the same on the Genesis as near as I can tell, although the SNES version uses the shoulder buttons to switch weapons and items, so I imagine that's much better than whatever the Genesis does.  Right now I've made "World 3" (then final dozen levels or so), first during a playthrough that used save states to restart after deaths and then again a second time playing it legitimately.  The game just keeps cranking the difficulty though, so I think I might be out of steam, even with save states.

Ogre Battle is an interesting favorite.  I've always found it fascinating (and have managed to finish it a couple times in the past), but I find as time passes the charm of the game is harder to grab a hold of when I replay it (sort of opposite of your experience).  I can still find that charm for the first few levels, but after Zenobia I'm feeling done with the game and all its micromanagement.  What really exasperates me is movement commands.  Like, the enemy AI is programmed to avoid fighting in so many circumstances and what they do instead is constantly maneuver out of your path towards a town.  It's a futile attempt on their part because you can pause/tweak your movement/repeat until you intercept but it slows everything down.  The game also just naturally gives you mountains of gold when you beat levels efficiently, so I don't see why I shouldn't just use an all-heal item after every battle.  But it again slows stuff down and makes it feel like less of a struggle.

I started playing True Lies for the first time in I don't know how many years.  It's a Schwarzenegger movie game, but it is definitely a hidden gem!  It plays like a top down shooter, and you hold Y to lock your aim in any of 8 directions (allowing you to strafe while firing).  Really fun, and mechanically the game is surprisingly balanced and strategic.  I remember the game just keeps getting harder and the levels keep getting bigger and labyrinthine though.

Edit: It's funny how every so often the game reminds me 007 games.  It's got the secret agent setup of course, and the arsenal of weapons is very FPS-like.  For a while after the SNES generation I was into the various 007 games, but this is probably the first time I've played True Lies since.  (oh man... why couldn't Perfect Dark on the GBC be as good as True Lies!?)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 03:39:26 AM by dosboot »

Ghaleon

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Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2017, 05:14:15 PM »
Whenever I boot up ogre battle or tacfics ogre (i didnt care for tactics much though) and it has that ogre battle main menu music... I get that magical feeling like the snes is still a brand new and wonderful system. I dunno. Its the only main menu bgm I really like. I mean some games have good music in the menu. But none of them in a main menu kinda way.

I just dont like how when you finish the game it says chapter 7 or something. Wdf is chapters 1-6. Damn japanese game devs and only releasing portions of some fiction they invented and rubbing it into your face

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Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2017, 07:04:45 PM »
Whenever I boot up ogre battle or tacfics ogre (i didnt care for tactics much though) and it has that ogre battle main menu music... I get that magical feeling like the snes is still a brand new and wonderful system.

Illusion of Gaia's map theme (Beautiful World) does that for me. Makes me get misty-eyed and shit.

Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2017, 03:05:47 PM »
I made an entertaining Actraiser thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NahFQQgd5xI

This is a video story about Actraiser using music and gameplay clips from two Let's Plays I did.  In it, the Master from the Japanese version (your player character) experiences endless vexation while the Master from the European version breezes through everything.  You can think of it as a slightly comedic mixture of a highlight video, a music video, and an LP trailer, edited so that it presents a short story of two dueling LPs.

As for the title, the video is loosely unified around the various apple items, which are far less generous in the Japanese version (to the Master's dismay).

This was a huge video project, I'm proud of how it turned out.  If you aren't familiar with Actraiser it's probably not terribly interesting, but if you are I hope you enjoy it.

Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2017, 07:37:31 PM »
I have recently played Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World (A very convenient cartridge if I do say so myself). I just bought Dr. Mario + Tetris and Pilotwings, so I can't wait to enjoy even more SNES goodness.

Re: Gather around for SNES chat
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2017, 07:09:25 PM »
An enhanced remake of Romancing Saga 2 is coming out very soon - December 15th - for PS4, Xbox One, Vita, Switch and PC.

trailer video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSVjkKXNW0U

This is based on a smartphone release from last year, but it looks quite good so don't take that as an indicator of anything.  The pleasing spritework and monster animations were not expected.