Tag Archives: snes

Late to the Party — Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

Yoshi's Island - Mario World 2 - Media

I thought I’d use Nintendo Online’s Super NES games to give Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island another shot. I didn’t like the game when I first tried it out around its 1995 release. Even if I haven’t completely come around on it now, I can at least start to understand some of the love it’s gotten over the last 25 years. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Breath of Fire II

breath_of_fire_2_snes_449878After finishing the first Breath of Fire for the first time I went right on into Breath of Fire II. Generally, I think Capcom’s Super NES RPG sequel handily upgrades every aspect of the first game, but still exemplifies all the flaws of that era of console role playing games.

My blog post on the original Breath of Fire was pretty much just my getting reacquainted with my preferences and pet peeves regarding Japanese RPGs. But that game in 1993 was so basic and boilerplate essentially because it was part of the “first wave” of 16-bit JRPGs. Breath of Fire II on the other hand, released in 1994 in Japan and in December of 1995 in North America, is contemporary with some of the titans of SNES JRPGs — games like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger, and I’ve seen people list it among their top RPGs of its era. I haven’t gotten to FFVI and Chrono Trigger yet to compare them, but in many ways BOFII does feel almost as polished as a SNES RPG could’ve been. Continue reading

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My Policy on Save Scumming and Why Rewinding Does More Good Than Harm

nintendo-switch-save-state-rewind

I’ve only recently been playing the NES and SNES games that come with Nintendo Online long enough to really use the rewind feature Nintendo introduced a while ago. On one hand I kinda do think it’s cheating when overused, but on the other hand the level of simple convenience it provides probably outweighs that.

Rewinding — wherein players can literally turn the game back to where they were from a few seconds to around a minute ago, is really just an extension of save states and the danger of save scumming that comes with it. It pretty much just builds a new save state every couple seconds. I’ve actually been playing quite a few ROMs on various emulators recently, and over that time I’ve come up with my own policy on save states that pretty much applies to rewinding too, but rewinding has a lot more uses that I wish were feasible in more modern games. Continue reading

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Late to the Party: Breath of Fire (1994)

breath-of-fire-snes-rpg Before my Nintendo Online subscription from that free Twitch Prime promotion a while back runs out (on the same day Doom Eternal comes out actually) I thought I’d try to get through some of the Super NES games included with the subscription, and I just wrapped up the first Breath of Fire game. I’d bought Breath of Fire IV on PlayStation Network for like a buck and wanted to check out its predecessors first. This is the first “traditional” Japanese RPG I’ve completed in several years (since people don’t like to count the Dark Souls games), so it’s let me take my first look back in a while at why my relationship with the genre is so complicated.

JRPGs can be some of my favorite games (my definition being “a role-playing game developed in Japan”). Building a good character or party with good tactics, exploring a vast world, and following a meaty story are the kinds of things I easily drop dozens of hours into. But the ones people include in the most traditional sense of the term — usually turn-based games where you travel from town to town across a world map until you beat the final boss (and even then I keep thinking of games JRPG fans include in the description that make exceptions to it) can be slow, bloated, and repetitive, and are so uncomfortably often. Continue reading

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Virtual Console, And The Two Ways Platform Holders Are Maintaining Classic Games

 

Wii-U-Virtual-Console

Virtual Console, one of my main hopes for the Nintendo Switch, isn’t coming to the system. Oh classic games are being and will continue to be released for the system, but that wasn’t the point. Virtual Cosnole represented the prospect of something Nintendo seems to have left behind today. Today there seem to be two main ways in which companies are bringing back classic games. Continue reading

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A Peek At The Retro FightStick Scene

$_3

I have an odd problem right now. A lot of people track down arcade sticks for today’s consoles for fighting games and sometimes other kinds of games too. I’m trying to find one for my Super NES, initially having no idea what the stick scene was like 20 years ago.

Today the arcade stick scene is a big enough deal to be featured at Killer Instinct’s E3 presentation and for every new fighting game, even a WWE game, to incorporate a stick into its marketing scheme. Publishers know there’s a dedicated audience for these things, but what was it like back in the early 90’s?

One thing I do remember from those days is that console manufacturers were actually keen on selling official arcade sticks. That made sense, seeing as a large chunk of console gaming back then was really just arcade gaming in your house — many of the biggest console games were really home versions of arcade games. This is actually what led me to track down an SNES stick today.

For starters I can’t even play Street Fighter with a normal controller anymore, and that includes my old SNES copy of Turbo. Then I realized at least half the games I have on NES and SNES are basically arcade games and would potentially play better with a stick — Darius Twin, NBA Jam, Mortal Kombat II, Turtles In Time, Super Double Dragon, etc. I was pretty easily able to find Nintendo’s official NES Advantage stick for $5 which I think works well, but SNES is a bit more complicated.

People say you should avoid Nintendo’s Super Advantage for the SNES, but most of the alternatives are, like many of today’s sticks, expensive. The clear winner from what I’ve seen is Hori’s HSJ-12, but it rarely pops up on the usual Amazon/eBay channels and it’s usually near $100 (including shipping) when it does. I think the common choice tends to be Capcom’s Power Fighter which I think they released specifically for the home version of Street Fighter II back in the day. It’s usually in the $40 range from what I can tell. To find the few other choices I had to ask around the Shoryuken forums which gave me some obscure options from people like MAS and Arcadia.

Lastly there’s the option of simply modding one of my existing sticks. A popular device called the Cthulhu board costs around $35 but seems to require soldering for legacy consoles. It’d be great to get more use out of my $130 PS3 stick though.

Part of the problem is that these sticks are too expensive for people to have to buy one for each individual platform. Hardcore fighter fans are still pretty mad they’re gonna have to buy new ones for the PS4 and Xbox One. And then there’s my problem with playing PC games with arcade sticks. I guess if I’d spent that $130 on an Xbox 360 stick (for PC compatibility) I wouldn’t be having this problem. Thank God the PC versions of Skullgirls and King of Fighters XIII accept DirectInput controllers (including my PS3 stick).

Maybe this is the price of how relatively niche the audience for arcade sticks is, but I still feel like something has to be done about their cost and lack of inter-compatibility.

BULLETS:

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