Tag Archives: Super NES

Incantation: Having a Wizard Time

Nintendo’s widely beloved Super NES continued to get new games long after the Sony PlayStation and its rivals had brought in the “next generation” of gaming in 1994.

As you might expect, many of these titles from the latter days of the 16-bit era have very much flown under the radar over the years, and a lot of them have become expensive rarities that only those with deep pockets can hope to collect.

Incantation, a 1996 release by Titus, and a game that subsequently fell into the hands of the Interplay brand, is one such example, with carts commanding three-figure prices on the collectors’ market. As of the time of writing, you no longer need to pay through the nose for it, though, since you can find a modern rerelease of it on Interplay Collection 1 for the Evercade retro gaming handheld. Let’s take a look!

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Super Castlevania IV: The Quintessential SNES Game

One thing I feel like we’ve lost somewhat over the procession of console generations we’ve lived through is a feeling of “uniqueness” for each platform.

Sure, Nintendo still does its own thing and its games are immediately recognisable, but I’m talking more about a very clear look, sound and feel of games on a specific platform; partially a product of the hardware itself, and partially that of the companies specifically choosing to produce work for that platform in particular.

I hadn’t really spent a lot of time with Super Castlevania IV for Super NES until recently, but within about five minutes of delving into it in earnest thanks to the Castlevania Anniversary Collection for Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and PC, I’m absolutely convinced that it is the perfect example of what a SNES game really “is”.

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Star Fox: All Ships Check In!!

“You should see this. It’s just like having an arcade machine connected to your television.”

Those were the words my brother, ten years my senior, said to me one time he came home from his job on a ’90s gaming magazine, pulling a Super Famicom out of his bag.

While the system didn’t quite live up to those lofty expectations in some regards — particularly as it got a bit older — there were certain games that, once I had my own Super NES and some games for it, reminded a younger me very much of those words. And Star Fox was one of them.

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Super Mario Kart: Defining a Genre

“Which Mario Kart is best?” is one of those questions that can start bitter, terrible arguments. Or at the very least, send you into an endless cycle of analysis paralysis as you contemplate which one actually is the “best”.

Do you prefer Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s “best of everything” approach, blending brand new tracks with classics from yesteryear with a twist? How about Double Dash’s team-based mechanics? 64’s early attempts to move the series into true 3D?

For everyone, the answer is different, and I can’t even give you a definitive answer on my own preferences. But one thing we can hopefully all agree on is that even if Super Mario Kart for Super NES isn’t your favourite Mario Kart, it’s probably the most important.

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Stunt Race FX: A Last Hurrah

Stunt Race FX — or Wild Trax, as it was known in Japan — is not a game that gets talked about nearly as much as many of its contemporaries.

There are a number of reasons for this, chief among which was that it released in 1994, when excitement for Sony’s PlayStation — originally intended to be a CD-ROM-based add-on for the Super NES, lest we forget — was reaching a fever pitch; the 32-bit system would release later that very year, wowing everyone with its smooth, texture-mapped polygonal graphics, high-quality audio and impressive arcade ports.

As with many things that got overshadowed at their time of original release, however, Stunt Race FX remains a fascinating piece of Nintendo history that remains worth exploring.

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Delving Into Kirby’s Dream Course – #2

Minigolf is, to borrow a phrase from a completely different sport, a funny old game.

Typically implied to be a rather silly, chaotic affair rather than something to be taken seriously, your average minigolf course nonetheless tends to include a variety of fiendish obstacles to negotiate, many of which will tax even the most skilled putters among us.

Kirby’s Dream Course, being a minigolf game that takes place entirely in a digitally rendered dreamworld, is free to do even more ridiculous things with its course design than would be possible in reality. And herein lies its main appeal.

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Delving Into Kirby’s Dream Course – #1

During my exploration of Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush, I mentioned that I wasn’t sure what to expect from a Kirby game other than, well, the unexpected.

I was expecting at least some of the games in the series to be relatively conventional platform games — and I know they’re there somewhere! — but the next one I happened to alight upon, courtesy of the SNES Mini’s built-in lineup of games, was Kirby’s Dream Course.

I had no set expectations for what Kirby’s Dream Course was going to be before firing it up for the first time. But I can tell you I didn’t expect it to be a thoroughly charming minigolf game!

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Delving into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #5

I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to play Dragon Quest recently, but I took the time to play some at lunchtime today, and it reminded me of some things I’d like to talk about.

What I’m going to talk about today relates to the series as a whole, but with the release of newest installment Dragon Quest XI looming at the time of writing, it’s particularly pertinent to mention these things, given some of the issues that have been brought up by recent reviews.

So let us ponder a core aspect of not just Dragon Quest, but of the type of RPG that Dragon Quest went on to inspire. Let us contemplate grinding!

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SNES Essentials: Top Gear

It’s weird how some memories stick with you for the longest time, for seemingly no reason whatsoever.

Prior to picking up a copy again recently, I hadn’t played Top Gear on the Super NES since the early ’90s when it was first released. And yet upon firing it up I confirmed something I had suspected for a while: its music had indeed been stuck in my head for nearly thirty years.

I was also pleased to discover that Top Gear is indeed still a whole lot of fun — and a great example of a type of racing game that has been rendered largely obsolete by the advances in technology over the years.

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SNES Essentials: Yoshi’s Island

Super Mario World marked the point at which “Mario games” were no longer really one series, though this didn’t become obvious until much later in retrospect.

Still, the fact that its sequel was called Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island rather than Super Mario Bros. 5: Yoshi’s Island should have tipped you off a bit… and if that didn’t work, then the fact that you didn’t actually play Super Mario would definitely do the job.

The “rebranding” that Yoshi’s Island ultimately underwent was a good idea though, because although having elements in common with its predecessor, it’s a distinct type of experience in its own right. And one of the best platformers on the SNES.

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