The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is one of those lap dogs every family was glad to have back in the 90’s. However, it did have it’s moments back then too. We talk today about all the glitchy, clunky, ridiculous video games today which I’m sure we’ve all wondered how they even made it to the shelf. Let’s take a trip back to the 90’s.
Super Nintendo was one of those machines which didn’t make a big splash when it first launched. Unlike today’s gaming, the Wii was launched with Mario Galaxy hand in hand. The 90’s is when we all got to learn if you have a product, you need a reason to buy it. To give you a heads up on this one, there were Mario games for the Super Nintendo. However, it was too little too late. The machine was working with video games like “Ken Griffy Jr. Winning Run.” Pixelated baseball games with no real reason to play. I’ll go on record I’m bias on this because maybe at the time I was playing a season of baseball in elementary school and I figured, “Why am I playing a video game about a sport I’m already doing!?”
Low and behold it was three years into the release of the Super Nintendo and the company still didn’t have shit of main staple to the console. Then, when all was lost. DONKEY KONG COUNTRY hit the markets creating a black hole in space which has drawn me back years and years later into playing. In fact, it’s this game alone which I fall into a quagmire of nostalgia of great gaming at the age of twenty seven years old.
Donkey Kong Country became the staple to Super Nintendo like Mario & Duck Hunt to Nintendo. The premises was very simple. Donkey Kong’s hoard of bananas were stolen by the evil alligator king. Thus, Donkey Kong and his friend Diddy travel through his island beating up bad guys and bosses to claim his bananas. The overall game play is a scroller just like Mario but in 3D. There are barrels to throw, balloons and bananas to collect, and tokens to claim for extra lives. The music is beautiful and ambient. About three levels in the player becomes engulfed into the simple levels and game play. This was just the basis for a string of sequels which allowed Donkey Kong to become the contender to Mario and his string of muddy sequels.
To simply put Donkey Kong Country 2 (Diddy’s Quest) is when we find out it’s not just about Donkey Kong. Diddy and his girl friend Dixie travel to the evil alligator’s floating island in hopes of saving the kidnapped Donkey Kong. This is when the game play, though still the same as the previous, jumps off the dive board and became one of the best sequel games in history (Note: Silent Hill 2 is also in this list of sequel games). Aside from going from the start to the finish, there’s bonus levels with coins to collect and cash in for hidden levels. Then there are hidden Level Coins to collect for your over all score in the game.
The last and final Donkey Kong Country game to hit the Super Nintendo before a vow of silence for three years. Provided the subsequent had been released within a year difference. However the shy to difference with Donkey Kong Country 3 (Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble) was the added mechanics of using boats to travel from place to place, talking to bears which had items you have to use, and collecting BANANA BIRDS. Because it’s all about the BANANAs if you haven’t noticed. Anyway, DK3 wasn’t the strongest game. The concepts become muddy with repetition. The levels are more intricate. However, not immersive and as explorative. You play as two characters which are far from removed from the original cast as possible. Mainly because the main plot is saving the two heroes we grew to love from the first video game. Which raised the notion, “I can understand if Donkey Kong got kidnapped. Maybe he was asleep one day and shit went down. But for both Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong to be kidnapped. Now you’re just getting crazy.”
Six paragraphs in, and I still haven’t gotten to the dark side of owning the Super Nintendo. So, lets get get into the Star Wars collection. Yes, Lucas Arts released the original Star Wars video games on the Super Nintendo. Well before games like “Star Wars Battlefront,” or “The Force Unleashed” became a thing. Anyway, these games…. I own “The Empire Strikes Back,” and “Return of the Jedi.” Needless to say, I get how the game play is. You have to play a little and figure it out to understand an appreciate the mechanic. Because the notion of “saving a game” goes out the window. It’s actually a set of fun games. However, it’s very password heavy. There’s no save mechanic. Thus, it doesn’t matter if you made it to the second level. You’re going to die five lives later and have to password yourself back to where you were. However, Star Wars did break boundaries such as flying around in the Millennium Flacon through astroid fields. As in in Jedi you fly along the Death Star killing tie fighters. In the original Super Star Wars, the scene with the tie fight was also a memorable game mechanic. Nearly, first of it’s kind. It all meshed well into this over all game where it wasn’t just a scrolling game with characters from the movies killing enemy’s from point A to point B. Nor was it just a game about flying around in space ships or space cars. The game was extraordinary for the most part.
Now to the shady side. Again, a lot of crap-tastic video games came out in the 90’s. Super Nintendo was not ashamed of it either. Recently I watched a documentary of how Atari lost all creditability when Steven Spielberg’s E.T. video game hit the shelves. Well, here comes a video game which wins the holly grail of terrible concept, and game play. Lets just start off with the fact the video game set up starts with giving me an option of which character to play as. Do I want Batman or Robin? Personally, I’m always the Robin in the group. Not quite the lead super hero. In real life I feel like Spiderman. Sure, I have my own comic stream. I have my own super powers. Then I hang out with the likes of X-men, Thor, Cpt. America and all of a sudden I’m the sidekick. Well, like normal, I’m playing as Robin. Which by the way, aside from having a stick to beat the stupid out of the bad guys. There’s no difference between the characters. However, the bat-gadgets are slightly different depending on character too.
Now for game play….. The amount of issues stagger within the first ten seconds of game play. First and foremost, the game starts in Arkham Asylum. After fighting your first few bad guys, you go through a door to the next level where there’s riddles left by the riddler. However, they don’t amount to anything but a lock you can kick open. The first one tells you to use your grapple to get to the next level. But hold up, there’s no way to know how to even use your grapple. Then after five minutes of button combinations and realizing the select button is the grapple. It only works from an angle. Why even give me the option if I need to go up!? Then I deduced I needed to press up while pressing select. This became a 1 in 10 chance I did the combination right. Finally, after some rooms later I ran into a situation where I was in a room with nothing going on! Literally two minutes later I realized I was on a top floor and needed to get down. Yet again, no directions, or idea other than sitting on the couch and thinking, “What the fuck does this game want me to go.” Later I finally made it to the second level. Then I ran into yet again another moment of trying to figure out where the fuck I was supposed to go. I already went to the second floor, killed all the bad guys and cleaned out all the health packs I could find. No riddles to be found and I found myself asking myself again, “What the fuck am I doing!?” Then it hit me, I’m an adult and I don’t need to take this abuse. So I turned off this God awful game.
It’s God awful game to a near to God awful movie. This game came out around the same time as the movie to video game thing was supposed to be cool. However, this is a game from Acclaim. Whom bought a Brit developer in the process of development. The out come if you’re verse in video games was like playing another game we’ve all come to know and love. …
Mortal Kombat is the one video game I swear in my childhood took all my allowance in quarters. Midway and Acclaim took this video game to the arcades. Which is why when looking back at Batman Forever…. You notice the moves are very similar to Mortal Kombat. The “kombat” controls on Batman are sticky. Batman and Robin move like bricks being pushed by thousands of ants. Then the video game, like mentioned before, thinks you should know before you even turned on the power how to do 75% of the moves required to even enjoy the game. Sorry Acclaim; sorry I didn’t get my degree in Assumption and Inaptitude. But that’s exactly how the game operates. When it comes right down to it. Mortal Kombat doesn’t care if you know or not know any special moves. It’s a button masher at heart. Batman Forever, is a brawler/railer mock up which pretends to be something you would enjoy. Then unknown to you, it pulls down its pants and slaps you in the face with its dick every time you don’t know what the fuck you’re supposed to do.
Well…. I hope you enjoyed the travel of reminiscing with me and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Ya’know, when Nintendo was an Entertainment System. Now, I’m off to draft an impossible review of the Silent Hill series. Brace for shock.