Tuesday, August 23, 2011

an anniversary!

Normally I only talk baseball and cards on this blog. Every now and again, something happens and I feel the need to write about it. Today is one of those such days.

Today, 20 years ago to the day, Nintendo released this:

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Quite possibly the best system ever released. The expansive library, awesome graphics (for their time), faster processor, better sound chip and many more colors, gave this system the definitive edge over Sega's Genesis. Everything I just mentioned, the SNES did better. By this day in n 1991, the Genesis was already two years old, having been released on August 14th, 1989. Obviously this gave Nintendo some time to really wow consumers with their incredible hardware. A huge leap over the NES and a big step over Sega, the SNES was really a power to be contended with. The system ceased production in 1999 to make way for the newer hardware, that being the Nintendo 64 (released in 1996). The final game was a port of Frogger, put out in 1998. A good 7 year run produced a vast and excellent library with many, many classic titles of new and old franchises. Lets look at my top five favorties:

1) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. My favorite Super NES game is also my favorite game of all time. The world is huge, gameplay perfect and a timeless story of a plucky young hero off to adventure and save the princess. I actually play this game pretty much annually and I still always cherish every moment.

2) Super Mario World. Building on what was the best Mario game for the NES, Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario World took that idea to a whole new level. MArio could fly with his new cape, ride Yoshi and explore 96 very different levels, full of platforming perfection.

3) Super Mario Kart. This game seemed kind of a sleeper until people played it. Sure the premise is a little weird but it started a whole new genre of games (the cute mascot kart racer genre) that would last until today. This game set the bar and few have matched it since. I may enjoy Mario Kart 64 a little more but this one will always have a special spot on the shelf.

4) Super Mario All-Stars. Containing Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, 3 and Lost Levels (Mario 2 in Japan). Sure its a compilation but its a compilation of four of the best games ever released on the NES. Personally I like 1 and 3 the best but you can't lose with any of these classics.

5) Super Metroid. This game took the Metroid idea and blew it away. Not only was the game bigger, better and more story oriented than the first but it also brought the franchise to new lofty heights that no other Metroid game has ever perched. The depth and exploration alone makes this a must play. Add in perfect controls, a good story and so much more and it all adds up to instant classic. Truly, a must play.

So there you have it. My top five Super Nintendo games. I got my system for Christmas in 1993 along with Mario World in the box and a copy of Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose! There was a coupon in the box for a free copy of Mario All-Stars that we promptly sent in. Waiting that 6 or so weeks to get it was seemingly forever but I had plenty to keep me occupied until then. Anyone else have a SNES? Or remember playing some classics way back?


  1. 1. I agree with almost your entire list--I never got into Metroid (which is still a classic, of course) and would replace that with Mario RPG

    2. I totally agree that LTTP is the best Zelda ever because I never enjoyed the 3D ones as much as the 2D ones, and LTTP was the best of the latter

    Thank God for the free nostalgia emulators provide!

  2. I never had an SNES. I had a friend with a Nintendo and I'd play at his house, but I wasn't any good. I had a Sega Genesis, though, and played Sonic to the end, and pitched a perfect game on one of the baseball games. I remember playing Aladdin and not being able to get past a certain point. And Echo the Dolphin? Ugh - was there a point to that game?

    I was too busy with baseball cards to play a lot of games, really. But Sonic was the bomb.

  3. I practically wore out my Sega playing NHL '95 and Bill Walsh College Football '95 which, to this day, is still hands down the best college football game I ever played. My brother and I could take Michigan and on a good day put up 300 points on OSU.

  4. Nice list! My favorite games were NBA Jam and Donkey Kong Country.

  5. I much preferred the regular NES, although I did have an SNES. I liked the Madden games, but my favorite game for it was a little known title called EVO. It was an evolution-based game in which you started out as a fish and worked your way up to a human being through a Mario type adventure. In the last couple of years I was trolling eBay looking for that game and it turns out it was one of the rarest ever for SNES and was very expensive (for an older game).

  6. I agree with all of your points. SNES was/is the best console ever in terms of classic games.
    I agree on your top 5 games too! All were great. I really enjoyed all three of the Donkey Kong Country games too! I wish I still had my SNES but luckily there is the Virtual Console on the Wii

  7. SNES was almost definitely a top 5 game system (Genesis, Atari 2600, Dreamcast and maybe TurboGrafx 16 come to mind as the other 4, off the top of my head) in terms of sheer quality of games. Really, that whole generation and change of gaming with the SNES/Genesis/Turbo was the best, and I say this even as an Atari guy.

    (Can you tell that I was a video game collector in a past life? I still am, but I rarely find old games I'm still looking for at a price I'm willing to pay. I'm looking at you, Earthbound and Dragon Warrior IV!)

  8. I think the question now is: did anybody have a Game Genie?

  9. I had a Game Genie for the NES but not the SNES. I have seen them before though.

    Donkey Kong Country is a good series too, though I really only played the first one for a time.

    Dennis- Mario RPG is a great game that I really need to actually play and finish. I am also a big fan of every Zelda but this one is my favorite.

    Ryan G- Ecco was and still is, kind of dumb. I never liked it, even when I played the demo unit at Kaybee Toys. Sonic is still good though.

    Hiflew- EVO is avery difficult game to find now. A lot of the RPG games are, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy 2 and 3, etc.

    Ryan H- The Virtual Console is a wonderful thing. Its the main thing I use my Wii for. Well, that and Netflix.

    Scott- Glad to see another Dreamcast fan. It ranks very high on my list of favorites. So many great shooters and fighting games. I even went as far to import a Japanese system and a bunch of games to play all the great stuff they didn't release over here. Earthbound and DW4 are still tough to come by.

    I used to be a huge game collector about ten years ago. Had pretty much every Sega and Nintendo system released. Playstation also. Plus an Xbox. I did work at GameStop, so I was exposed to it daily.

  10. I'm late to the conversation but I'll throw in.....

    I agree - the SNES was the perfect combination of both worlds ( one being the 'older' school NES, Atari 2600, and the like with the N64, PlayStation 2 an beyond). Great game library, graphics were incredible at the time and the darn thing was just cool.

    I would add StarFox and F-Zero to my favorite list!

  11. I never had a SNES growing up. When my dad bought me an Atari 7800 he said that was it...and he wasn't lying. The next console I bought was the N64.

    I love the SNES though. Super Castlevania IV and Super Metroid were my early favs. Someone mentioned Super Mario RPG which is pure gold. I have the resigned SNES now and yes, I even have a Game Genie!

    I bought the redesigned SNES because it was easier to snap off the pegs on each side of the pin connector in the cartridge slot to allow the Japanese Super Famicom games to fit. Now I can play just about any game...Game Genie or not!

  12. I remember saving my allowance for what seemed like forever to buy the SNES. I didn't even buy cards while saving, which means I was more focused at 11 then I am now.

    A Link To The Past is also my favorite game of all time. I remember being home sick from school and beating the entire game without dying.

    Star Fox would be #2 on my list, that game was awesome.

  13. Great post! Makes me miss the good old days...