You read right! I once covered the obscure gems and duds of the Saturn (not once but twice and also had my own little spot on the web) and my latest (and greatest) project is to share with you my impressions on obscure Super Famicom-only games.
I have a TON to present. Some entries will focus on one game (if it deserves it) others as many as 3 to 5. I'll post a new one each day if possible. 2-3 day intervals at the most. Expect this to roll into Halloween time. Feel free to reply with thoughts or questions on any games I review in this topic. For tidy reasons, please only discuss games that have been highlighted so far. It's highly likely I will get to Game X eventually, so please save the discussion for then.
The obscurity in this topic will range from "that's not so obscure" to "what?" Regardless, I will do my best to present them and have videos and pictures.
So with all that said... the first game comes your way.... now
Edit: 10 years later I am bumping this topic to share my top 50 SFC favorites
I still remember that bright sunny day in May '94 when the latest EGM issue arrived in the mail # 60 June 1994. You know, back when EGM was in its prime there was nothing compared to finding that brand new EGM issue sitting in your mailbox. It was like Christmas morning to me, it was THAT good.
Mortal Kombat II coming out on the home systems was the big thing at the time, and summer was mere weeks away. It was a hell of a time to be a ten year old kid
January 2006. It was the Winter Break before my final college semester as an undergrad. I suddenly longed to get back into the Super Nintendo scene. Had a lot of fun collecting old favorites and gems I missed out back in the day and all that. Then, at some point I remembered that one day in May of 1994...
And I recall that May day like it was only last week....
Flipping excitedly through the magazine, there it was on page 76.
The game that would laugh at me for a dozen years...
I loved Godzilla, I loved fighting games. It was a match made in Heaven.
Only one problem. Of course.
I was raking in a grand total of 2 dollars a week, and the game, being an enchanted import, seemed simply unattainable. Nowadays "import" is just another version of a game, but back then it held a certain mystique. You drooled at the cool ads and previews and knew if anyone owned those games, in those times, that they were truly, unequivocably HARDCORE.
So how does GODZILLA: KAIJUU DAI KESSEN stack up?
The answer: pretty damn good, indeed.
You're not going to find many combos or a whole lot of finesse, but considering the material it's fitting since these are giant monsters, not life-long train-around-the-clock karate masters. The game relies on special moves a lot.
X=Weak Attack Y=Strong Attack B=Hold (grapple then press varying D-Pad combinations i.e. D, F to toss or bite) A=Dash
There are two bars to keep your eyes on. The Stun Meter and the WRATH SPIRIT. When hit, your stun meter below your energy bar increases. When full, you will be out cold on the ground temporarily. At the bottom of the screen is an icon of your chosen monster. Anytime you get hit, it fills up. When full your monster will flash red and remain so until:
1. You get stun
2. You execute your WRATH move
WRATH is basically "Desperation Move," which became very common place in fighting games post-1993. Like many other fighting games, WRATH moves can inflict INCREDIBLY wicked damage, and instantly change the tide of a match.
Also, when your monster is flashing red, attack damage (whether regular or special moves) nearly double. So there is some basic strategy of whether you want to go for your WRATH move right away or take some time to use the extra power to your advantage. Nothing is worse than going for your WRATH move at an ill-advised time only to have the enemy cancel it causing you to lose your WRATH and extra power. That there may well decide the outcome of a match: who is able to handle their WRATH status properly.
There are 8 fighters selectable in the 1P mode. 9 in VS with two unlockable characters. Without further ado let's meet the monsters
GODZILLA Like Ryu (except without a Hurricane Kick or Dragon Punch) Godzilla is the main character of the cast and a solid all-around choice. He is ideal for beginners or experts. WRATH: Hyper Atomic Ray Damage: 46% (55% if up close, this also will stun the opponent) Godzilla's body surges orange hues as he unleashes his devastating death blow. You'd have bad breath too if you slept for years!
KING GHIDORAH This huge 3-headed menace is an absolutely overpowering brute and a strong choice for beginning players. He has some really neat stuff he can dish out, for example, his laser beam can go LOW (right head), MIDDLE (middle head) OR HIGH (left head). D, DF, F, attack... as he revs up, hold down for low, nothing for middle, and up for high. Tap attack rapidly and Ghidorah's 3 heads will pound the opponent silly. WRATH: Gravity Storm Damage: 60% (68% if full-on) One of the game's most damaging WRATH attacks, Ghidorah unleashes Death From Above. Get caught in this and kiss it good-bye.
ANGUIRUS Staying true to source material, the spiked-wonder has no projectiles and is the only monster in the game with none. Known for his fighting spirit and catapulting his spiked shell at monsters, it will take an experienced player to use him effectively. WRATH: Rolling Thunder Damage: 45% Not the strongest WRATH move and quite easy to see coming... poor guy.
BIOLLANTE What a hulking mass... a very impressive sprite. Bio holds the unique quality in that it cannot jump, just like in the 1989 movie. I found it difficult to control a bit; definitely for experts like Anguirus. WRATH: Acidic Shower Damage: 55% Very cool looking, does considerable damage and the two vines go out around 3/4 the screen.
GIGAN His laser eye beam exists! (G-Fans will get that). The most combo-friendly monster of them all, and the only one with a Dragon Punch (it's actually more of a Flash Kick). A fun easy fighter with many multiple attacks. WRATH: Buzzsaw Blitz Damage: 53% Gigan charges up to 1/2 the screen and unloads a blitzkrieg. Unblockable.
MEGALON Like Gigan and Godzilla, an all-around easy-to-control monster. Has a torpedo-like attack that can also be done in the air. When you hold on Strong Attack, Megalon's driller-like hands will spin and can score you about 4 solid hits. WRATH: Armageddon Damage: 64% (88% recorded on Biollante!!!) Perhaps the strongest move in the game, it's a blessing it's also real easy to avoid! I was stunned that on Biollante it caused 88% damage! Holy smokes (no pun intended). In the link there Bio goes for his WRATH move as well, but check out how Megalon's bombs will RIP Bio's vines to shreds... beautiful. Armageddon best saved for when you have your opponent down and stunned!
MOTHRA I never liked Mothra back in the day, or today. Just never got into her. But she's fun to use here. The only monster to constantly fly, she is also unique because she can't defend herself. She is also the other character (other than the 2nd-to-last boss) to have two WRATH moves. Mothra has a unique magic powder dust special move that prevents projectiles and if you're next to the cloud and throw a projectile -- you'll be damaged by your own projectile! Check out the Dark Echo WRATH move to see an old friend..... WRATH: Cosmic Seal Damage: 44% Weak but really easy to implement. Trade-off. WRATH: Dark Echo Damage: 69% Very powerful and very satisfying if you can connect when they have low health, as the "aftershock effect" is just so sweet. Check out the cameo here... good stuff.
MECHAGODZILLA Force field, missiles, laser eye beams, chest beam, flight -- all the powers you saw in the 1974 and 1975 movies are here. Many G-Fans to this day prefer this pot belly version over its 1993 contemporary. Myself included. WRATH: Violence Party Damage: 55% + stuns opponent (that is, if everything hits) Poor Anguirus. MechaGodzilla unloads his arsenal. Check out the missiles hitting Angy on the way down. That's gotta suck.
There are three bosses, the last two you can only fight in EXPERT mode. The 1st boss is immediately selectable in 2P. The other 2 are unlockable with codes.
MECHAGODZILLA II The 1993 contemporary, a machine built by humans to counteract Godzilla's ever present threat to Japan. This sleeker model has an impressive array of techni-color moves and fireworks. WRATH: Blitzkrieg Damage: 40% The weakest WRATH in the game. Like Gigan, charges about 1/2 the screen and is unblockable. MG II shows off his agile attacks in this 12-hit non-projectile barrage.
SUPER MECHAGODZILLA Essentially MG II but equipped with the Garuda ship for added extra firepower (as if he needed any help to begin with!) He's the other fighter to have two WRATH moves but one is the same ole Blitzkrieg. The other is done when he has the Garuda on his shoulder, and is sheer hell in a handbasket. WRATH: Godzilla Crusher Damage: 70% Unblockable, rushes you. Pray he doesn't catch you. Super MechaGodzilla lights up the night sky with some impressive fireworks.
GUOTEN The final boss. Disappointing choice for me, personally. The Guoten originally appeared in Toho's Atragon. In 2005 it was renamed the Atragon and appeared in the final Godzilla movie.... Godzilla: Final Wars. Can King Ghidorah overcome the pesky Guoten?
misc notes ----- This fighter, hands down, has the bloody best looking "projectile nullifying" of them all
he's "red with envy" he doesn't have one... har har
That settles the controversy
That just ain't right
Look ma! No strings! Megalon quickly evades a dangerous WRATH attack
too bad for Godzilla he can't say the same
Love the lightning. When these two hook up with no slowdown, it's mighty impressive.
-Speaking of which, no slowdown in this game whatsoever
-1P mode has 3 difficulty levels: practice, hard or expert. No real endings. On Expert you battle Super Mech instead of Mech II, then you battle Guoten. Even on practice, the challenge is pretty decent. You might get slaughtered for a bit though, til you get the hang of it.
-2P mode has options of 1-5 handicap, time limit on/off and stage select.
-JP language required? None. Game menu's all in English, no victory quotes because, er, well, these monsters can't talk (forget about that Godzilla vs. Gigan dub for a second...) Only JP really is the characters' short bio and stage select
-In 1P mode, you face the 7 other monsters and have the choice of selecting who where. This is a pretty cool feature most fighters do not have
-However, once you pick a monster in 1P mode, no matter what you're stuck with that monster until you Game Over (continues are infinite)
-All the monsters (sans Biollante/Mothra) when jumping give you the option of holding down + attack to aim downward. (i.e. Megalon jumps and drills the air, or with down+attack Megalon will attack with his feet)
-This is like the sequel to the Duo version, which suffered from having only two buttons -- one of which was used to jump. Thankfully jumping is simply pressing up here. This game doesn't have a huge moveset, but it's far more than the limited Duo version
-Only Dragon Punch command in the game belongs to Gigan's Flash Kick
-Godzilla, Megalon, Mech, King Ghidorah and Gigan can all perform their projectiles in mid-air
-The longer you hold down attack, the longer the projectile will be, but also the longer it will take for it to come out
-The moves are straight out of the movie, with some re-imagined (i.e. Gigan's Flash Kick). I'm glad Toho did not give Godzilla an uppercut just because of fighting game main character status quo-disease. They look great, animate well and it's like they jumped straight out of their movies -- this easily could have been a half-assed game so I give the guys major props for doing the name justice
-Holds are a bit tough to get down, but worth the effort
-Some stages have destroyable buildings and such (that magically repair for round 2 as well)
-MechaGodzilla II's Plasma Cannon in the '93 movie, is in the game, and again, a great nod from Toho to G-Fans... this game is as authentic as can be! Check the vid at the bottom to see MG II's Plasma Cannon in action
If you're a G-Fan you will love this game. If you only like fighters but don't particularly care for the Big Guy and his cast and crew, then I can't recommend this to you. On its own it's a decent if somewhat unimpressive fighting engine. With the characters, their trademark moves and roars suddenly it all comes into place. Great graphics and awesome sound. I only wish there were more monsters to use and a speed setting.
I actually been meaning to do it for some time now, like 2 months? I did it with Saturn back in 03, 04, so when I came on SNES board in 06 it was nice to find someone else who appreciated obscure games.
Ganbare Daiku no Gensan is the sequel to the Hammerin' Harry games found in the Arcade and NES. While scouring the net for information on this SFC title it shocked me there wasn't much to be found -- all things considered. Maybe part of it is because it's called Ganbare Daiku no Gensan instead of Hammerin' Harry? I don't know, but while it's no Super Mario World, it definitely deserves a moment in the spotlight.
As far as I can tell the story goes something like this...
One day the evil corporation blows up this lovely house here. Well, they picked the wrong house. Harry's out to put an end to this evil empire, and along the way, they snatch his sweetheart just because, well... they're evil.
The story unfolds in a storybook-like fashion.
You go through 4 stages, each with 2 zones. After all this you face the final boss. Harry will transverse towns, woods and even a booby trap-infested factory zone. The game has a nice urban Japanese feel to it, and probably one reason why it never saw a Western release.
Harry attacks with his trusty hammer. The standard-issue hammer you start with is serviceable but you definitely want to find an upgrade ASAP. You can swing hammers left, right, down and up. Harry can also chuck his hammer across the screen, a move that is a MUST if you want to beat the later stages and bosses. (U, UF, F + attack... why couldn't they have just made it D, DF, F?) If you didn't have the manual you'd be screwed later on not to know this key command which is so obscure.
There are two hammer upgrades, unfortunately, they all have short attack range so you will take some cheap hits more likely than not throughout the game. Thankfully Ganbare Daiku no Gensan is not a 1-hit-wonder. You have an energy bar at the bottom of the screen.
Swinger- As it suggests, this hammer swings 360 degrees and can be quite useful Mr. Big- A huge black-ish hammer that when pounded on the ground releases shockwaves going left and right.
Harry also has two powerups he can use. Throughout the stages are muscle icons hidden inside crates and barrels which you can break open. When you have 1 or more muscle icons you can press X to unleash two special moves that should be reserved for the bosses.
1. Harry releases the hammer in the air causing a wave of stars to cascade downward 2. (jump and then hit X) Harry pounds the ground going down causing an unavoidable sphere of destruction
Special move #2 is much more effective and useful. And since they both use up only one icon, there's no reason ever to use special move #1.
note: boss names are strictly made up by me, not the official names. Alliteration freaks will appreciate it...
1-1 Your journey begins in this easy stage that allows you to get the feel of the game. Smash the SD Zangief-wanna-be clones and watch out for cranky female street sweepers and stray cats. You can jump on roofs and on shingles Harry will gradually slide down. Good stuff there.
BOSS 1: CAT-MAN A man in a giant cat suit. Something is wrong with that picture. At any rate, a SUPER easy boss with a pattern that's laugh-out-loud simple. BTW, all bosses have twice your health. When you get him down to about 25%, he sheds his cat mask...
1-2 This stage opens as a "racing section;" enemies on bikes riding by trying to pelt him with rocks. Either close in and hammer them, or ricochet their rocks back at 'em. There are two racing sections in the game, helping to add some variety to the proceedings. After this section you go into regular platforming business.
BOSS 2: CHUCK THE CHUCKER The boss cakewalks might be over here, but he's not really hard. True to his name (that I've given him, mind you) he chucks bottles and other debris at our hero.
2-1 Here we begin the foray into the forest. Mad red-faced chimps run wildly around as the crazy cranks sweep the forest floor. (why? Those crazy Japanese) Harry can climb on tree trunks to make his way to the top of their limbs to break open crates. Beware of the poison powerdown that does damage to our SD hero.
BOSS 3: BOOMERANG BILLY This wild mad-cap Tarzan wannabe swings on vines and when he's on solid ground will toss boomerangs your way. Simple pattern. Show him who's King of the Jungle.
2-2 Some nice little features in this stage. Wooden sticks pop out of the ground and you have to figure out which ones to hit to cause the other sticks to come out on higher ground, so that you can jump on those and make your way out of the pit. Midway through this stage you will come across a cool little construction zone. They're trying to destroy everything these mad men! You can't take my woods YA HEAR ME?! *shakes fist* [cue Groundskeeper Willie] YA CAN'T HAVE MAH WOOOOODS! *ahem*
BOSS 4: CHARLENE THE CHAINSAW CRUSHER Ah those crazy Japanese. She has a simple but fun pattern. When she chases you on the ground sparks fly like wild from her chainsaw. Leatherface she is not but I don't care: anyone chasing you with a chainsaw is no fun. Watch out for those falling rocks and remember to jump quickly!
3-1 The 2nd and final racing section. After this you go through platforming business per usual. Very short until you run into a crazy scruffy ole bloke.
BOSS 5: SCOTT "THE SCRUFFY SUICIDAL" SKATEBOARDIN' SAVAGE (oh you like that huh) I love how this game is so Japanese-y and along comes this bloke, heh. Easy pattern you just have to time it well. Send Scruffy packin'!
3-2 My favorite stage. You make your way across a nice little waterfall, with falling blocks after you touch 'em. Standard classic platforming from the beginning of civilization (or the 80's..) The coolest part of this stage though is when late afternoon suddenly rolls into beautiful and peaceful evening, with the stars out in full force... it's really a nice little atmospheric change.
BOSS 6: DYNAMITE DAN This guy can be a true pain in the neck. Not only does he bounce from wall to wall like freaking Spider-Man but he throws sticks of dynamite at you as well as other means of destruction. At the same time the ground will heat up so there are many ways for you to lose energy. Having 4, 5 muscle icons really help here. And a God who loves you. Just kidding. But you knew that. OK. Yeah. *pause* This is awkward. Moving on.
4-1 Almost there! 2 more stages to go after this! Harry's travels take him to the factory zone where booby traps and foot soldiers litter the place. There are old scientists in tiny cramped up corners madly controlling crushing machinery -- the only way to get through these parts is, as mentioned earlier in the review, to employ the highly obscure U, UF, F + attack command. This sees Harry tossing his hammer across the screen and back like a boomerang. 4 hits will kill the old scientists and the crushing machinery will stop. Just hit them with your hammer to destroy them then.
BOSS 7: DOCTOR DEATH What an intimidating sight for sore eyes. Ole crazy Doc here mans this heap of machinery in hopes to thwart Harry's efforts. What can I say but... look for the certain shots that are richochet-able... and have many muscle icons on ya....
After you beat Doctor Death he escapes and kidnaps your girlfriend in the process. Well, I won't spoil the rest. You have 4-2 and 5-1 to figure out on your own. I will say this: 4-2 boss is very annoying but it's all a matter of figuring out their patterns and weaknesses. Ah the beauty of video games. Final boss is easy. This battle stretches 3 screens wide!
Misc. Notes ----- -It's not a hard game at all. 1st time I played it I beat it. Took me 105 minutes, but I lost to some bosses quite a bit. It's funny, I seriously killed like 6 of the 9 bosses with 10% health left. Nothing is better than beating a boss by the skin of your teeth
-The game is short. No passwords b/c not needed. 9 stages total, if you were to play it after beating it once, I'd say maybe 60-75 minutes?
-If you like this game, check out ROCKY RODENT on SNES. It's also by Irem and has much of a Hammerin' Harry feel to it. Rocky Rodent is definitely underrated. Much harder too
-No options, which kind of suck. Wish I could raise the difficulty level
-The storybook sequences and ending is obviously in Japanese, so you're just missing out on the story. Other than that, it's extremely import-friendly
-No slowdown whatsoever
Graphically I think the game has a cute, nice look to it. Things are "alive" and the SD characters definitely add charm. My brother walked by as I was playing and he laughed at the big heads. Sound-wise I didn't like it too much. Some of the music gets annoying after a while, and a big no-no was that each character's "death cry" was the same! From the burly axe-weilding Zangief lookalikes to the female sweepers! Even the monkeys! Lazy bastards. Gameplay wise it does nothing extraordinary but is a competent addition to the genre. You climb, jump, smash, little racer sections, etc. Note however, the game only goes right. When you advance a little bit, the screen scrolls right and you can't go back left. That kind of sucks because it ruins the chance to explore backwards if you wish. Thankfully though, you advance on your own instead of the screen automatically scrolling forward. So it becomes a matter of taking your time and knowing the level layouts. And replay value... I see myself coming back to this once in an odd moon since it's a simple arcadey little platformer that won't overly frustrate or eat up a ton of time. You can pick it up, beat it in an hour and be on your way.
Worth hunting down? If you can find it, and at a decent price, yeah. It's not a serious platformer by any means. Just look at the screenshots and you can tell it's erring on the goofy side. It doesn't take itself seriously and doesn't do anything bad. Not a stand-out title, but nonetheless a nice game to have in the ole library.
Be back Tuesday with my 3rd write-up. 9/11 I'm off...
In the early-mid 90's few games matched the fun that Bomberman and Mario Kart provided.
Ever wonder if you could take them both and kinda... smush 'em together?
Imagineer of Japan did.
BATTLE CROSS is a 6-player fixed screen racer and does a good job of cramming bits of Bomberman and Mario Kart in a blender. The airbike is easy to control and once you get in the zone, you'll be screaming past tight corners, taking out racers left and right and scorching toward the finish line.
Like Mario Kart, there are weapons and powerups. They're randomly strewn across the course at any given time. There's nothing better than dropping a land mine under a hidden overpass... *evil grin*
Here are the weapons and powerup's
1. Laser (press R to shoot) Unlimited usage. You could be on one side of the track and hit someone on the other. It's weak though; only stuns the opponent for a split second (but enough to piss the tar outta 'em)
2. Speed Up (automatic) Increases your speed for that entire race. Collect a couple of these and you'll leave the competition in the dust.
3. Matchless (automatic, like the Star from SMK) You zip around the track flashing at break-neck speed, and anyone you touch will flip out. Very cheap, but all's fair in love and Battle Cross.
4. Land Mine (Y) My favorite. The more land mine icons you collect the more you can lay at one time. If you can collect 3 or 4 as I once did, you will OWN that race.
5. Missile ® A 1-shot deal, when released, flies around the track until it finds someone or burns out.
6. Nitro (X) Speed burst. If you're on one of the stages with steep hills, activate it at the bottom of one and watch your guy FLY!
7. Weight ® Like the missile, a 1-shot deal that when released sends a blue skeleton disc zipping around the track til it finds someone or passes out. This will slow down the infected driver.
8. Turn Over ® Evil in its purest form. Sends a yellow skeleton disc zipping around the track. Will reverse their controls for a while. On basic stages the transition is A-OK. On the stages with lots of turns, it's a TRUE BITCH. Luckily, when infected, a fairy (!!) will appear randomly carrying a first-aid kit, touch her and be cured.
The reason for different buttons is because the game allows you to drop a land mine WHILE shooting your lasers. As NBA Hall-of-Famer turned commentator BILL WALTON would say... "Now HOW cool is THAT?"
There are 3 game modes. Battle, Grand Prix and Practice.
In Battle you pick from 1-30 races to win a course. 15 is the default; I like playing on 10 laps just to keep things fresh and moving. 1-5 match wins to win it all. The great thing is, you can pick a new stage after a course is over. In Bomberman you are restricted to the SAME field until one player can win the designated amount. Battle Cross doesn't do that. It made me wish the BM games operated the same way.
Up to 5 human players can play, with a total of 6 maximum racers. You can pick a 1-on-1 race, or have 4 instead of 6. You can race 7 laps or 27. You can change the AI from 1 to 5. It's very customable.
The Grand Prix follows a storyline, but like Bomberman the meat of Battle Cross is playing the Battle mode.
There are 9 initial courses available, with 1 unlockable. (to see the courses in action, just click on the course links for footage)
Just your basic 1st stage that helps you ease into things. The course itself has no special features. A volcano rests peacefully in the middle and a friendly chap in the ocean enjoys fishing while observing the race. Oh and UM... a Godzilla-like creature plays in the sand pit there... wacky Japanese at it again...
A couple puddles atop and a grumpy pirate who doesn't like you trespassing fires cannonballs across the screen every 15 or so. If you find yourself in the line of fire like I did (red racer), JUMP! (press L)
The orange arrows give you a quick speed burst. Also the first stage to use high and low drops. I really like the curve there before the finish line -- it allows you to smoothly turn the corner and accelerate through. Lovely grass too, just lovely
This course rocks. Leap over the wooden spikes there and watch out for the rocket that comes screaming out of the hole. A little gate next to the totem pole will open periodically to allow for a sweet advantageous short cut. But if you go for it and the gate closes, you can do nothing but watch in grief as the competition zooms far ahead. The bottom left hand corner shrubbery obstructs the playing view. Watch out for racers who will lay mines there. Overall this stage has a good deal of strategy which is why it's one of my faves
Check out the wolf peering over the cliff. That is ACE! It's the little things that makes video games so awesome I've always said, and that's definitely a good example. Here the slopes get very steep and if you got Nitro use it at that bottom hill there -- you will rocket on past the finish line with your momentum!
Twice the hidden overpasses, twice the destruction of land mines. This course isn't one of my faves but I do love that corner there where my red racing guy is at -- making that smooth turn and having that long raceway to steam forward
Love this devious little stage. It's wide open... til you get to the two red pillars that move randomly. It's a short stage but very fun because of the chaos the red pillars cause. Blue and yellow there did OK -- green and purple is a different story, haha. As for me, red, oh you know.. you know... uh... overlapping them. *cough* Nothing is better than screaming straight pass those red pillars! Not only will you probably be in the lead but you'll look real cool too oh yeah
Pinball-mania. Madness I tells ya. The 3 yellow things move and are hard to avoid. Hit the bumpers as I did here, and you'll be bouncing back and forth for a few. He here who minimizes mistakes, will win
misc. notes ---- -I have an extra loose copy that I will be eBaying at 99 cents this Saturday or Sunday
-Graphics are nothing to write home about but as you can see are quite serviceable and for this type of game works
-Sound is OK, but I love the catchy course tunes
-Like Bomberman, it's still fun to play alone, but the real treat is getting 4 other people to play... one of those games that's perfect to play after a night out drinking. Come home a bit buzzed and turn the game on for kicks
-Even your little brother or sister can play -- there's an option in BATTLE mode for "human-CPU" mode. Think of it like.... auto-defense in baseball video games
-You won't need to understand JP to enjoy this game, though the storyline in Grand Prix will fly over your head... but no biggie
-Never a hint of slowdown
-The back cover of the manual has the best Engrish I've seen in some time:
Battle Cross is a fun party racer that I'd recommend to gamers who are fans of multi-player games. The game possesses a unique charm. As mentioned, little things like the wolf and the open-and-close gate make the game even cooler. The more I played the more I liked it. Give it a shot, especially if you have like-minded gaming friends. (I bet if my old gaming group knew about this back in '94... it would have been right up there with NBA Jam/Bomberman)
Super Bomberman 3, 4 and 5 enjoyed releases in Japan where the series continued to prosper long after part 2 was released in America. Starting with number 3, the player limit jumped from 4 to 5. They also added dinosaurs and the infamous "mad bomber" option. I don't remember those features being in either 1 or 2
I would rank the SFC-only SBM games in this order:
1. 4 2. 5 3. 3
Here are six of my favorite stages from 3-5... last shot is from 5, clearly the version with the sweetest graphics
These games have new characters (say bye bye to multi-color samey Bombermen) and on the whole 3-5 has a tremendous Japanese feel to them. I guess that was one reason why these manic sequels never touched American soil. It certainly wasn't due to a lack of carrying the high Bomberman tradition that's for sure. Bottom line, Bomberman with 4 friends is like pizza -- there's no such thing as a bad slice or game.
Based off the anime, Hyper Iria is a stylish action scroller that will tax the best of gamers. Free to select from any one of four initial stages, you run and gun various locales like alien-infested ghost towns to maze-like chambers and death factories.
The enemies are the highlight of the game. They stir the imagination. Some of them can be cheap though, hence the difficulty. It's not the greatest game but it has a certain "cool" aura about it, with pretty graphics and bizarre enemies at every turn. You run, double jump, slide, shoot, kick, punch, etc. You also have bombs and an assortment of other subweapons you can collect (a la Castlevania).
A pretty solid game... if you can look past the cheap difficulty. Anyone ever come close to beating it? Let me know! Never saw the anime myself, but after playing the game I'm curious...
Ever see a picture of a game and INSTANTLY knew you had to play it?
DO RE MI FANTASY: MILON NO DOKIDOKI *breathes* DAIBOUKEN (Hudson, '96) was the one for me. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to get it. I was buying SNES games left and right, but this title looked SO good it single-handedly inspired me to shift the focus from SNES to SFC. It stars Milon the little fella from Milon's Secret Castle.
Do Re Mi Fantasy is a side-scrolling platformer, and a very well polished one I might add. There are 7 worlds each with their own theme (the classics, you know, woods, ice, fire, etc.). In each world there are at least 6 levels and then you face a boss. An overhead map allows you to backtrack. The levels aren't particularly long, but they possess plenty of detail, quirky enemies, excellent backdrops and set pieces and satisfying gameplay moments that make you say "This game freakin' rules" every 5 minutes.
Milon is a great character, full of charm and animated brilliantly. The graphics are OUTSTANDING. The game has a real sense of LIFE to it... you really have to see it in motion to fully appreciate it. Milon can take 3 hits (green suit then blue, red, dead). The little fella can jump on baddies but this will only stun them. To kill enemies, blow a bubble which will encase them, allowing you a few seconds to approach and pop 'em.
(DRMF reminded me of Mizubaku Adventure AKA Liquid Kids, 1990 Taito)
From world 2 on -- each level has a Musical Star you must find and grab (usually not that hard, but later on can become tricky) Therefore you're forced to explore the beautiful layouts (if you finish a stage w/o getting the star, you will not be able to fight the boss)
Here are the 7 worlds:
1. WOODS Basic world to get you acquainted to the game. You may feel a bit uninspired here, but it gets much better later. Highlights include a log ride, falling leaves over a pit which you must time and leap from one to the next, and a SWEET haunted log cabin that is home to some gret set pieces (i.e. the Pinocchio-like dolls with their noses extending out acting as platforms -- ace!)
there's even a mini-game you can play that is Dunk Hunt-esque!
Boss: A Tree-Man that climbs the trunks in the foreground. Very easy.
2. FOOD Yes, food. The night levels with the ASTONISHING constellation in the background are flat out amazing. Hudson worked it! A great set-piece is the large pyramid composed by empty wine glasses. Slowly, they fill up... and Milon even reacts to the flowing wine if you leave him standing there. This world also introduces the "forced scroller" level, where the screen scrolls forward and you have to jump from platform to platform.
Remember kids, Milons says... protection is mandatory
Boss: Iron Chef... presents an actual challenge unlike boss 1 but he's still as easy to crack as a day-old fortune cookie.
3. CHURCH Some creepy odd music in this world. Highlights include a fun bell-hopping stage and a unique level where on/off switches litter the floors (touch any off switch and darkness devours the scene except for the color of the switches and Milon's white pupils)
ay sure bar-hopping's fun... but 'cha really gotta try bell-hopping some day, and I don't mean going from Taco Bell to Taco Bell to death....
Boss: Magician-like creature who floats across the screen above ground... here the boss difficulty starts to really pile on. Battle takes place in front of a theatre stage.
4. WATER Much of it is on land though, but there are plenty of underwater sequences. When underwater you'll come to quickly hate the spear-throwing frogmen.
Catch some waves dude
Boss: A giant princess whose weak spot is her face -- as you hit the face it slowly degrades to that of a nasty ole frog.
5. ICE Ah, I love this world. It has some of the game's best graphics and stages and is incredibly fun to play through. 5-3 is a sled stage that absolutely kicks ass. And the sight alone of THE NORTHERN LIGHTS is super ace. oooooh, ahhhhhhhh.
Those Northern Lights man... are a sight to behold...
Boss: Gi-normous snowman.... really the first boss to give me big time fits.
6. FIRE Oh c'mon you knew this was coming. Another fun world to go through. Two separate force-scrolling stages here.
the force-scrollers can be be double tough...
Boss: A sun that transforms into a moon and vice versa. When fighting the sun it will be daytime. Moon night time. Nice touch. Sun is easy and your meal ticket. Moon is the one you gotta watch out for.
7A. TOYLAND 7B. HAUNTED HOUSE 7A. The toy stages are absolutely stunning in the richness of color they use. The boss of Toy Land is a giant Christmas present, with an ugly head popping out. He fires a barrage of orange fireballs that are very tough to dodge... took me many tries to beat him. 7B. The Haunted House can be tricky indeed, with traps and spirits lurking about... not to mention a strange Yoda-like leaping nuisance. I guarantee you will be the victim of Sir Bouncy more than once.
Boss: It's back to back fights. First it's a giant green farting (I kid you not) creature. Luckily, he's super easy and perfectable 100% of the time once you learn his simple pattern. Thank God, because you'll need all 3 hits to come close to beating the final boss. If you can beat her, you get much props. I tried for 90 minutes, and finally gave up.
misc notes ---- -Slowdown does occur but it's not often nor does it affect gameplay really
-When you lose to a boss or level, you start with 1 hit (red suit). So you will find yourself backtracking often to restore your health to 3 hits (green suit) before re-facing the boss. Hey it's hard love...
-Password system (too bad it wasn't battery-backed). It will start you on the 1st stage of that world, so you have to do all the work again if you quit, say, after losing to a boss and turning the system off. Thankfully the passwords are 4 characters and all numbers, none of this "20 characters, er is that a S or 5" crap
-Hold attack until Milon flashes to unleash an "ultimate attack"
-Different powerups are available and hidden inside breakable items. Powerups include floating shoes, double bubble, bubble gum (if you fall to a bottomless pit Milon automatically blows the gum to lift him to solid ground), etc.
-There is a storyline that unfolds in pictures and text, but thankfully the pictures are self-explanatory when it comes to the game introducing new gameplay elements in each world
-Milon is selectable as a bomber in Saturn Bomberman (Hudson, '97)
Do Re Mi Fantasy is an excellent platformer that every serious SNES owner should own. Forget playing it on a keyboard; the game is to be enjoyed on the SNES control pad trust me. It's too bad it didn't receive a domestic release. EGM and GameFan would have whored the game to no ends, I'm sure. And really, Do Re Mi Fantasy doesn't have a tremendous "Japanese" feel, so it's a double shame it was never released here in the States.
Oh well, thanks to a pair of pliers though, any of us can get in on the act. That is... if you can find a copy (I believe they are quite rare) and at a decent price. (I believe they're quite expensive, too)