Super NES Abridged Reviews

All images on this portion of the site are courtesy of The Classic Review Archive.





While perusing numerous other "retro gaming" sites recently, I realized something. Though the majority of such pages deal primarily with the NES, many of them also detail games for its successor. I similarly couldn't help noticing that, in certain cases, my views differed from those already available. The articulation of my own claims quickly followed suit.

Moreover, while the NES was haven to the finest group of games ever made, the SNES teaches quite a lesson. Its games exude a certain psychology -- such that one can quite acutely examinee this critical period in videogaming history, uncovering both the ways in which it reached its heights and the many things that did it in (translation: "I want to razz Mortal Kombat, and I'm trying to justify it with psychobabble.")

However, this is still, at heart, an NES site. These abridged reviews are simply a chance for me to ponder the aforementioned "psychology," make my contribution to classic gaming's group of SNES reviewers, and otherwise get up on a soapbox. Because this is an NES site, there will never be full versions of these reviews -- hence the provided "Personal Scores." Moving on...



-Battle Grand Prix-

Maybe it's just the novelty of how eminently Japanese it is (we Yanks tend to get denied this sort of game -- no way we could understand big eyes, after all), but no auto racing game has ever captured my imagination as has this one. The pressure of keeping your car in top condition, along with the immense risks involved in pitting in, make the experience scores more exciting than any other game of this kind. Moreover, the races are set at a sane length -- preventing the boredom that so often results from stockcar racing, and letting the music spread its peppy wings without becoming repetitive.
Personal Score: 8

-Breath of Fire-

Proof that, if you're going to infuse an RPG with mythological elements, it's best to go whole hog (as opposed to inexplicably plopping a dragon into a technological setting -- ahem, BoF III.) The result of those effforts, in Breath of Fire, is a world in which birdmen, dragons, moles, and other diverse races all interact, each culture with its own ethos and function. There has never been a game so sold by its environment -- an environment that, one should note, wouldn't be quite so perfectly eclectic if the soundtrack didn't expose the regional diversity as triumphantly BoF's does. I just wish the names of so many of the items weren't abbreviated beyond recognition (still don't know what a "W. Ant" is.)
Personal Score: 9

-Breath of Fire II-

Once was about ideal with this sort of idea, but a second installment wouldn't have been pushing it had the setting been carried off as well as it was the first time. In this one, no effort is made to give the "animal" characters any abilities distinct to their kind, nor do any of them belong to a larger culture or species -- they just happen to exist. Plus, the game is so poorly translated that most of the enemies sound like lessons in phonics ("Biruburu", "Habaruku", etc.), and the NPCs all speak like children or people on acid trips; and who the hell came up with the bright idea of abbreviating the FINAL ENEMY'S NAME?
Personal Score: 5.5

-Chrono Trigger-

Let me put this as bluntly as I can: Crono, Marle, and Lucca are three of the dumbest fucking heroes I have ever encountered. Sure, that could be symbolic of the potential disorentation of humankind in the face of the vastness of time, but I'm still not inclined to root for characters I can't stand. Everything that makes this game enjoyable (with the exception of a few of the songs and scenes) is compressed into the Kingdom of Zeal; kind of makes it poetically just that said state gets blown to pieces not long after the player arrives there.
Personal Score: 6.5

-Drakkhen-

The dismal setting doesn't ruin Drakkhen for me, per s -- it just makes me very selective about the moods in which I'm willing to play it. All the music and artwork contributes to this often choking atmosphere of darkness (is it my imagination, or are the nights longer than the days?) Mind you, all of these elements are presented well and allow for a consistent tone; but having been weaned on console RPGs (I'm almost sure this one was translated from a PC version), I tend to prefer to games that are less caught up in their environments -- games with a little more of a sense of humor about themselves (this is also the reason the Quest for Glory series comprises the only PC RPGs I like) -- games in which the outcome of a given battle is determined more by my actions than my statistics.
Personal Score: 6.5

-E.V.O: Search for Eden-

So far as originality is concerned, EVO has everything going for it -- the evolutionary backdrop, the freedom to make your animal whatever you want it to be, and the damn cool talking jellyfish all reinforce this reality. The problem is that, around the fourth chapter, the game gets drunk on its own merits, and takes creative liberties it would have been better off not taking (the bird castle, the entire fifth chapter, and the utterly bizarre ending ensue.) The graphics and sountrack are appropriately comical, but all the low-level creatures are way too slow and, as I suggested, the overall enjoyability never truly recovers from the fact that only two-fifths of the game are worth playing.
Personal Score: 6

-Earthbound-

For sake of my already limited objectivity, I'll try to ignore the fact that this game is chiefly responsible for my creative renaissance of this past Summer, but my appreciation of the allegory for its own sake cannot be considered separate from the gaming experience. Sure, the visuals are less than the technology of the day allowed, but the music doesn't suffer for it; and in a genre dominated by alternating futurism and medievalism (not to mention some utterly messed-up hybrids of the two), this game's present-day setting is one of the most original things ever to come down the pike. Quite possibly the most inspired (to say nothing of the most whimsical) Role-Playing Game ever made.
Personal Score: 9

-Family Feud-

I should probably take a hint from my past disappointments and stop buying game show conversions. This is an accurate rendition of its real-life counterpart, but its pickiness about synonyms and unforgiving computer opponents sap all possible enjoyment. If you play it, be sure you have a human against whom to compete. The knowledge that the computer will respond with either a correct answer or "I don't know" keep one from getting at all wrapped up in things.
Personal Score: 5

-Final Fantasy II-

I'll admit it. I believe this is the best game in the series, and thinking so I can't help but feel obligated to defend it against all those, for lack of a better label, pricks at RPGamer who have reduced its merits and demerits to a single three-word invective (I'm talking, or course, about "You spoony bard!", which suited the dottering Tellah back in '91, still does, and always will.) Not only does FF2 mark the coming out of Uematsu as a composer and Sakaguchi as a producer, it does what so many of its successors refused to do -- lets the characters go off in pursuit of their own concerns, rather than having them cling to the player's immediate presence while their identities get sucked into a superimposed clich. To my mind, this is about as close as Square ever got to doing everything right. The only falter is that the plot and the sense of personal urgency obviously churning within each of the characters do not always manifest themselves well in the dialogue (and NO, "You spoony bard!" is NOT an example of this.)
Personal Score: 9.5

-Final Fantasy III-

(So, having defended the ugly stepsisters, I've got to justify my stance by pointing out Cinderella's flaws.) Even though the "World of Balance" is probably the best written, designed, and accompanied gaming environment ever, I cannot justify giving a near-perfect rating to a game whose entire latter half is comprised of aimless, undirected searching, prevailingly sappy interchanges, and may have begotten the current mindset that values inane, unnecessary secrets above the primary gaming experience (tell me, did you have a "resurrect General Leo" theory?) By the story's end, the initially diverse and autonomous characters all seem to have become the same person, even though the thematic direction of the game suggests that just the opposite was supposed to happen. Much as I love the early stages (which is, trust me, A LOT), I will seldom see a campaign as far as the Floating Continent.
Personal Score: 9

-Final Fantasy Mystic Quest-

I dont quite gather where Square was going with all the puzzles, and I admit that the game is a little on the babying, generic side, but I'm still not willing to give up on it. While the music doesn't create an atmosphere of its own, it perfectly supplements the one that's there. Plus, the overriding way in which FFMQ is presented gives it a sense of lightness -- as though, for a moment, the Role-Playing genre stepped back from its inexorable forward progress and just stared at itself in the mirror.
Personal Score: 8 (thats right, 8 -- you wanna make something of it?)

-Gradius III-

Ordinarily, I defend shooter slowdown as a sort of unheralded slow motion that quells the stress of what would otherwise be a nerve-rackingly frenetic experience. But when I cant possess the maximum number of Options (four, in this case), shoot, and have something to shoot at without the game reducing itself to snail pace, I suspect its been taken a little too far. Gradius III still upholds the audiovisual standard of its predecessors -- most notably the brilliant soundtrack -- and I rather enjoy being able to vary my power-up configuration. However, a few overhead stages in the spirit of Life Force would've made for pleasant variations, and Konami desperately needs to come up with some new enemies (ENOUGH WITH THE BOUNCING THINGS AND WALKING GUN TURRETS, ALREADY!)
Personal Score: 7

-Hals Hole-in-One Golf-

I almost never think about this game in my daily life, but whenever I survey my SNES games, it's among the first I consider playing. On the whole, the logistics are easy to pick up (and put down and pick up again), and the in-play song is as early-SNES as anything I can think to name. The only problem is that the slope of the course isn't handled sanely -- there are three types of surfaces: extreme uphill, extreme downhill, and flat. That polarity can make putting an ordeal, unless your ball is perpendicular to the slope of the green.
Personal Score: 6.5

-Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball-

Okay, now how many of you have ever heard Fear Factory during a seventh-inning stretch? That's what I thought. I'm not a psycho-traditionalist or anything -- in point of fact, I've only been to one baseball game in my life -- but still, between its obnoxious, ill-suited music, big-name label, and big-shouldered players with ridiculous names, this game opened the door for everything that is wrong with video gaming today. And it's not as though Junior didn't suggest enough attitude on his own -- did he have to endorse this game to ampplify it?
Personal Score: 2

-Lagoon-

If you can deal with the amount of time you'll spend unknowingly checking paths you've already checked and the fact that Nasir's sword is, for all practical purposes, a white inchworm, you might enjoy this game. After all, some of the songs can hold their own with the finest in all of gaming, and the visuals are detailed (albeit repetitive.) This should be an especial favorite of those who like old-school adventure gaming -- it's chock full of hobbits, dwarves, gnomes, elves, and jewelry with magical properties.
Personal Score: 6.5

-The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past-

After the mythical traditionalism of Lagoon, this game's Nintendoish oddities and brightly-hued world are refreshing. Plus, it is here that the character interaction previous games in the series failed to create is brought to its true -- and, by now, necessary -- potential. Link finally has a tangible motive to do what he does. The game can, however, be obnoxious with all of its cause-and-effect puzzles (knocking the book off the shelf, the door that closes every time you face it, etc.)
Personal Score: 7.5

-Lufia & the Fortress of Doom-

The older I get, the less my personal history with this game amends how inarticulate and otherwise like "socially active" teenagers the heroes are. They aren't as bad as those with whom you begin Chrono Trigger, but their constant bickering could have been more entertaining had their outlooks been a little less (my, this is cynical of me) vapid (one day I will play an RPG whose protagonists strike me as being able to tie their own shoes -- something, albeit, that I couldn't do till I was nine.) Where was I?... Anyway, the game itself isn't all that bad -- in the systematic sense, everything is done well, and you can sympathize with the characters if you try hard enough. The best facet of things, I'd say, is the degree to which each town is given its own identity. That's a trade-off, though, with the fact that most of the plot consists of chasing after things that aren't where they're supposed to be.
Personal Score: 7

-Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals-

Natsume can hide it behind however many random-sound town names and inane problems they like, but anyone who plays this game is going catch on to the fact that, even more than its predecessor, it consists of only one repeating task. Everything other than the audiovisuals has declined from the first, reducing the game's novelty to some "Capsule Monsters" that aren't worth rearing anyway (the ironic humor of feeding knives to Mr. Bubble notwithstanding.) A few brownie points for setting the sequel in a time before the original, but to this day I have no idea how Selan falls in love with Maxim.
Personal Score: 6

-Madden NFL 94-

Will someone please explain to me the logic behind anually releasing marginal updates of the same game? I don't care if rosters do change; none of the Madden games have any personality whatsoever. ... Well, at least here we have a glimpse of the series before it got wrapped up in cameras and motion capping and all that flapdoodle.
Personal Score: 4

-MechWarrior-

So far as Battletech (and, admittedly, everything else) is concerned, I consider myself a purist -- we're talking "Inception" and "Revenge" here, people. So of course my feelings about this game are as mixed as a three-egg omelette with little pieces of my brain sprinkled throughout to mimic ham -- more than anything, it seems like a bridge between the 16-color PC trendsetters and the much less original MechWarrior II. On one hand, the plot still has all the intrigue that made me love its harbingers, but the 'mechs all look top-heavy and the atmosphere is so overcast that it truly does seem like here that the series starts replacing desperation with darkness.
Personal Score: 6

-Mega Man Soccer-

Having edited my stance, I condemn this game less for its blatantly commercial pretext than for the fact that it is the foul ball of the series. With X and Zero reinventing Megaland as a weird-ass technocracy with smoky purple skies around the time "Soccer" hit the shelves, the gaming environment fails to be faithful to either established image of the Blue Bomber precisely because it tries to be faithful to both. The result is a game with a terminal identity crisis that saves itself only with some funky "Power Shots."
Personal Score: 4.5

-Monopoly-

I love Monopoly, but hate sorting the money -- which is why I view this game as a gift from the skies. From the authentic interface to the little cinema clips (which, it bears mentioning, may have laid the foundation for the CD-ROM version), this game takes the dusty corner of my imagination that's devoted to money and plays it so many hoppin' Rags that it gets up and dances with all my other mixed metaphors. I do not, however, see what is so unprogrammable about "No, I don't want to buy this property right now" -- nor do I feel inclined to give the computer as much time to make decisions as Jeeves and his pals are wont to take.
Personal Score: 6.5

The accelerant...
-Mortal Kombat-

I could point out that it was the success of Terminator II (which had at least a little something to it, unlike my current topic) that sowed the notion that the public would respond to this kinda stuff, but why do that when I can pin the whole malarial mess on Ed Boon and John Tobias? I've won about every match I've fought by using the spear over and over; the music is nothing more than foreboding sounds; and the tone is in all ways excessive. Non-thematic blood, breasts, and general artlessness all got the green light here -- I'm amazed I haven't yet turned into a pillar of salt for looking back.

(Author's Notes: A) This is the only game I have ever sold. B) Having never played it, I can't be sure of this; but I would hope that the "revelation" in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation is something to the tune of "those aren't real." That would be good game design -- and wouldn't it be nice if it came to light that this malaise has all been an elaborate joke at our expense?)

Personal Score: The number past negative infinity

-Mystical Ninja-

I've played this game all the way through, and it has led me to a revelation just short in depth of the one conveyed to me by EarthBound. (Shuffles some papers until he finds the one he wants.) My fellow Americans, our country sucks. Not only do we spit in the faces of all our great artists and eschew sailor shanties for fear of getting syphilis or something, WE HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOR ABOUT OUR CULTURE*. This game, folks, is not only a fun-house self-portrait of Japan, but a satire and microcosm of video gaming itself (never mind how I know that.) A cavalcade of immensely fun settings and mini-game hysteria, Mystical Ninja is arguably the coolest video game ever made. If we are to be as great as it is, we must begin to rebuild ourselves in its image -- I myself have started braiding my nose hair.

* 98% of surveyed sociologists attribute this to the fact that, on the national scale, we tend not to have any culture until its progenitors die.

Personal Score: 8

-NCAA Basketball-

I waited my entire early gaming existence for someone to wise up to the fact that people like college sports too, and this is what I got for it -- a lame excuse to cash in on the marketability of the Final Four and experiment with the mode-7 animation that would eventually eat gaming whole (or rather, share it with hemophilia and the infinite mystery of the nipple.) This game leaves out quite a few of the more recognized conferences, and, for chrissake, it doesn't even have sixty-four teams! Combine that with the pixelly graphics and the excessively long games (which look like they take place in some sort of void), and you'll end up with a... not particularly encouraging sign for the future of college athletics in gaming. The only part that really grips me is the short history of basketball at the end.
Personal Score: 3.5

-NCAA Football-

Forty teams chosen on the basis of reputation and where the dart hit the map, no conferences, no season option, (I just got the strangest sensation that this review was writing me -- not that it has anything to do with anything), no bowls, no goals, and no kaiser rolls. Sounds like college football to me. Sure, every technical aspect of the game is average and no better, and it plays like a clumsy Tecmo Super Bowl, but who among us has not laughed seeing Dick Van Dyke trip over the ottoman? That's the beauty of NCAA Football -- you can play a few placid exhibition games at low stakes, and watch with pinwheel delight as your linemen fall flat on their faces. Hee hee.
Personal Score: 6.5

-PilotWings-

Aside from the blow that will be dealt to your self-respect by actually having to learn something from a person named "Big Al", this game is an exercise in euphoria. Maybe it's just man's love of flight talking, or maybe it's all the subliminal messages in the situationally perfect music (Ed. Note: Must.. buy.. rocket.. belt..) Either way, this game will feed your adventurous spirit while you sit and wonder both why the pixels are so huge when your plane lands and why the U.S. Government believes hang gliding lessons are sufficient training for a search-and-rescue operation.
Personal Score: 7.5

-Robotrek-

Six words: Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap. It isn't, you see, just that this game is crap; it's that it is crap crap crap crap crap crap (and I've never come close to saying that about an RPG before.) The music is all hackneyed; the characters are totally flat; and the translation reduces what might otherwise have been a decent plot to such vignettes as "This is an Invention Machine. Inventors use it to invent things." The programmable attacks do a little to help this, but I deeply resent having, after every move, to sit and get whomped while I wait for my robot's energy to refill. I expected Short Circuit II; I got a blithering game with a clunky battle system, only reasonably cute robots (which, in fairness, scan be maintenaned), and an utter clich for a backdrop (not in the endearing way of Mystic Quest either.) So in closing, a kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but Robotrek is crap, crap, crap (not the original lyrics.)
Personal Score: 3

-Secret of Mana-

This game was the Froot Loop of my eye (being a child of the '80s, I've never seen any of those "apples") for about three months, and then I realized that I had spent about two of those months doubling back and summarily getting myself killed because the ghosts of my cohorts got stuck behind a tree (wokking throo iz harrd, aftur oll). As in Breath of Fire, Som's plot is held up less by what happens than by where the heroes go; but in this case the problem isn't as defensible (mainly because the music is nothing but calypso and orchestra hits, the composer's mastery of those concepts aside.) Don't get the idea that I hate this game; that's not it at all. I just don't have the patience necessary to enjoy the general idea (especially the distinctive, if inconsequential, decomposition of the Mana Beast) without being plucked by all the things that get in the way.
Personal Score: 6.5

-SimCity-

Tra la la to the branded Nintendo peace tunes. Buildings keep on appearing up from the dirt where I plant my radiant square seeds. Planes, trains, but no automobiles (build a square of road and my citizens bitch ass-first about traffic.) Disasters kept at bay by the push-button force field. A million dollars for a useless code. I AM THE DEMON KING OF FREDVILLE!
Personal Score: 8.5

-Space Megaforce-

Okay, maybe bigger is better one time in a thousand. The levels are all either innovative or so embellished that they pass for it and.......... (In sudden desperation he tears open a file drawer marked "intellectual bullshit", realizing that it's empty because he's turned over a new leaf and resolved to be completely and entirely truth-plotted. This revelation makes him either cry or destroy things -- he can't figure out which.) Oh the hell with it! I LIKE BLOWING THINGS UP (if it doesn't come at the expense of dignity itself), AND I LIKE THAT THE BOSSES WELCOME ME TO THE UNDERWORLD. This game is a masterpiece in the way only achievable by liars and other damned geniuses; and I have to go play it now.
Personal Score: 8.5

-StarFox-

More explosive psychedelia and experimental geometry -- and this time I get to be an animal. I'm the luckiest boy in the whole wide William walrus Washington world. This is the last true game Nintendo ever made; and though "truth" isn't a measurable value, it is the stuff that molds the measurable values or something very much like that I'm sure. Fox McCloud says I shouldn't say "truth" anymore because redundancy is bad because redundancy is bad because redundancy is bad because redundancy is bad. The military forces prudence on foxes, but a gallanter fellow never did I know and backwards talk to fun is it. Oh yeah, this game has music and graphics and a plot and some play control too.
Personal Score: 8

-Street Fighter II-

A lesson in multiculturalism, I think. I did not know that Indian Elephans stand completely still when burly Soviet warriors maul yogis (ELEPHANTS ARE COMMUNISTS!!!!!), nor did I realize that the US Army routinely issues miniskirts. That's not what the game is about, though. No, friends, this game is about karate and the quest for world peace -- all orchestrated through six well-converted buttons and a bunch of rather global tunes. So what if Bison always defeats me when I set the difficulty above three -- you think overthrowing a hostile dictator who can control fire is easy? If only George Bush had been a hidden character -- then I could have utilized his Ultra No-Broccoli Kyaku Punch-Kick-Whine Combo and guaranteed global harmony for the children the children we've gotta help the children.

I'm supposed to have an opinion or something, aren't I? Well then... SF2's animated sparring ages much faster than wine and Vitamin A is better for colds than Vitamin C. (Disclaimer: I stole the latter opinion from William S. Burroughs, being unable to grow a daisy in the Sahara.)

Personal Score: 5.5

-Super Baseball Simulator 1.000-

I'm marching, a dejected one-man band, outside Culture Brain's corporate headquarters, and I'm brandishing a sign that reads "BRING BACK THE BIG HEADS!" This confuses people, since the game I'm protesting -- Super Baseball Simulator 1.000 -- was made several years ago, but my message is still there. You see, gentle stranger, they took my cartoon and they made it real; they betrayed the trust I placed in them, and now I can't trust anyone. My marriage broke up because of this game; my life has been ruined and spat upon by all these fat cats and iguanas and other such indefensible creatures. When you take the dreamy quality out of entertainment, you take the dream with it. That live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas is gonna suck too.
Personal Score: 4.5

-Super Mario Kart-

Mario and cart racing -- dull. Mario, cart racing, and a bunch of glitzy "weapons" with eyes -- still commercial, but not dull. Imagery fails me at the moment, so I'll put it more succinctly. Graphics: Average. Music: Average. Control: Average: Challenge: Good. Plot: Present, ma'am. Cool-Stuff Factor: A bazillion big number thingies that mioahgoihifusagfoaghuiodag. Mario wear no shoe shine.
Personal Score: 7.5

-Super Mario RPG-

Do my eyes fail me, or is Nintendo capable of mocking itself? High-jumping, Bowzer's obstinacy, and all the ludicrous mushrooms add complement to therapy, but throwing them all into a (presumably) serious situation was a brilliant bit of spotlight operation (verily, Kevin Arnold couldn't have done it better.) As a result, we have the romance of Mario at its finest, and a lot of other such book-reviewer mish-mosh.
Personal Score: 8.5

-Super Mario World-

Hmmm... The first game to come out for the SNES, and it has Mario in it. Couldn't guess why this game was made, could we? You see, according to some poll taken by whoever, at some point in the last ten years more children recognized Mario than recognized Mickey Mouse; so of COURSE, it was necessary for Mario, as a popular-guy rite of passage, to become a complete sellout. Yoshi might have done a little more to distract me from this reality, but after the introduction of Rush, the "give him a pet" ideology got a little predictable -- much in the same way that this game's soundtrack consists of one melody presented in about four different ways.
Personal Score: 5

-Super Play Action Football-

I have a runner's build. I haven't run anywhere since I got my driver's license, but I have the look, and that's enough to qualify me as a critic of this game. See, if I were making a beeline for the endzone, and I suddenly found myself getting painfully tired, I would NOT slow down and hobble forward in a way that looks like I'm still running. I would run full-force until I died like all good athlete-knights in search of the Vince Lombardi Holy Grail. But I'm willing to pardon these Tuesday efforts, for lo and there were a great many come to see the gate drawn open; and when he threw back his hand and asked "Art thou my video game?" the doors fell aback and lo he saw that there were COLLEGE TEAMS IN THIS GAME. And lo some of them are renamed but lo that's okay because lo the play mechanics are spot on once you get used to them and lo this is a friggin' long sentence I write no other kind.
Personal Score: 7

-Super Punch-Out!!-

I left Culture Brain for a more lucrative bitching locale. Now I picket Nintendo's staff courtyard, where programmers fly kites and get so excited about Mario's divine winking face in the sky ("The Sun" to you laypeople) that they slam into the side of the building and need stitches that their health plans won't cover. I am here because injustice is here. Where Culture Brain took the cartoon away, Nintendo took the cartoon too far. What in the name of Mario (perhaps I should leave this place before I get further indoctrinated) do getting hit by someone's hair and having rubber balls thrown at me have to do with boxing? Common decency was so outraged that it tried to take its own life. I eventually managed to talk it down, but then I realized what an inadvertent dent I had made in the asshole's movement to which I am so devoted.
Personal Score: 4.5

-Super Soccer-

OH WOW, IT'S 3-D -- just like the popping corn in The Muppets Take Manhattan. Unlike the popping corn, however, this game is not fun -- not fun in a box or with a fox or eating lox or any of those -ox things. You see, this strain of 3-D is known as "Fixed 3-D" -- true 3-D's even uglier brother. What this means is that the camera holds one perspective -- that it follows the action, but never swirls around it. And what that means is that, for half of the game, you can't see your goalkeeper until the opposition gets close enough -- which is usually too late to stop anything. And what that means is that Mr. Goalie is a good peek-a-boo player half of the time. And what that means is want the yummy Spaghetti O's? Here comes the airplane -- vrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmm
Personal Score: 3.5

-Super Tennis-

I'm a tennis fan for two weeks out of every year, so I know I speak with some expertise when I say that THIS GAME IS A MUST HAVE. FOUR DIFFERENT SHOTS, SPOT-ON MECHANICS, AND REALISTIC SOUNDS, PEOPLE! Why are you still sitting here reading this? RUN OUT AND BUY SUPER TENNIS TODAY! THEN COME HOME AND JOIN THE NINTENDO FUN CLUB! THEN SHOVEL THE SNOW OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY!
Personal Score: 7.5

-Tecmo Super NBA Basketball-

Even though basketball on a court the size of a Triscuit box really did sound promising to me, I can't help but be a little disappointed by the fact that I get whistled for a foul every time my players sneeze. Remember all the great reinterpretations of the game that were employed in Tecmo Super Bowl? I do too, so I think I'll talk about them now: Football with an "arcade" twist and a pinch of lime to boot.
Personal Score: 5

-Vegas Stakes-

This game, in essence, combines all the fun of losing money with the nearly equal fun of not losing it -- and of losing and not losing it in THEME CASINOS. THEMES ARE GOOD!!!!!!!!! Food is good. Themes are food? VS also incorporates the joy of talking to people...... wait, I don't like talking to people. Uh......... See, this game is good in sort of a not good way that isn't as good as it would be if it were really good. Got it?
Personal Score: 7.5

-Waialae Country Club-

My man's legs are stuck together, but I guess that doesn't make much of a difference. Like Hawaii? This is your game. Like golf? This is your game. Like golf in Hawaii? This is your game. Like really slow golf in Hawaii? This is definitely the game for you. (Please note that "really slow" is not meant as a pejorative label, since it takes me about 45 minutes to read five pages.) Like gray, hard plastic boxes with pictures of men in sand traps on them? This is your game too.
Personal Score: 6

-Wanderers from Ys III-

I'm covinced this game has been cut from its original length, but shortness is not a bad thing because if I said it was I'd be a bigot and bigots are bad people who pollute the water and throw nuclear warheads at each other. Adol's short (damn, I slipped again), but he's a worthy hero who, unlike so many throughout gaming, has an actual presence and is more concerned with following his own individual path than with "knowing what love is." (Everyone knows love is vulcanized, inedible candy anyway.) Whether running through quarries flailing his sword around or freeing imprisoned people from dungeons, he is the living paradox of altruistic isolationism. His game's pretty good too.
Personal Score: 9

-Winter Olympic Games-

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Personal Score: 3





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