Street Fighter II Turbo
Despite being a die hard SEGA fan and the Mega Drive (Genesis) being my unanimous 16 bit machine of choice, my very first foray into video games ever was through the Super Nintendo. The first video game I ever played was Star Fox (known in PAL territories as Star Wing). Star Fox didn’t necessarily cement my love for video games (the would be Sonic the Hedgehog) but it was still a hell of a way to get introduced to video games.
I may love the Mega Drive more but I couldn’t overlook the amazing library of the SNES. There’s just too many quality games on the system, games that are still as relevant and playable today. Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, Earthbound, F-Zero, Mario Kart… the list just goes on.
What do I consider as my FAVOURITE of them all? Well that answer changes every time I’m asked this question. For now, I’m going to mention the one game that made the SNES VERY desirable at the time, and that was none other than Street Fighter II, and more specifically Street Fighter II Turbo. Why? Because back in the day Street Fighter II was the hottest gaming commodity around, it was to the early 90s what Pac-Man was to the 80s. Everyone was lining up at arcades to get five minutes of Street Fighter II. Of course, that meant people were practically frothing at the mouth to have the game in their living room.
Which is why the Super Nintendo version of Street Fighter II Turbo is special, because it was the definitive way to enjoy Street Fighter at home and far superior than the Mega Drive conversion (the music and sprite density just felt really off and SEGA’s controller was just too clunky). Whether it was the original, Turbo, or the much hyped Super Street Fighter II and its new cast, the Super Nintendo and its comfortable controller were simply made for Street Fighter. It was the biggest release at the time, I have memories of my mom bringing the game home as a surprise and I played the the hell out of it with my sisters and neighbours.
As it turns out, the only things you need to save the Earth is an askew cap, a baseball bat, and a butt-load of courage. Shigesato Itoi’s cult-classic Role-Playing Game Earthbound taught us that, but moreso it taught the video game universe that dedication and heart can go a long way. Often described as my personal favorite game, I was unlucky in that I never got to experience Earthbound when it was original released, only a handful of years ago playing it by what I’ll call “less-than-legal” means. Since then, though, I’ve purchased it twice (once on the Nintendo Wii U, and the other on the New Nintendo 3DS), making the latest attempt my fourth time tackling this charming RPG. Sure, every man and his dog will tell you that Earthbound is a groundbreaking RPG that pushed the capabilities of the Super Nintendo to its limits and, because of this, was able to amaze and influence countless gamers around the world, over the span of about twenty-two years. I may not have a dog, but I am a man, and so my repetition of this fact will not go against the norm. Earthbound is simply a fantastic game, it’s mechanics are well-oiled, especially for the time, and its visuals have managed to remain wonderful even in our modern time, proving that pixel art truly ages well.
Alongside Earthbound‘s technical elements, it is a game that features a story unlike any other…not taking into account, of course, Mother. The original. Full of heart, emotion, charisma, and all around beauty, it is a game that has influenced much of the industry’s modern culture. Sure, my word doesn’t mean too much, but I’m not the type to replay video games. I’m a one and done kind of gamer, and it takes one hell of an eccentric and likable game to capture my attention multiple times. The World Ends With You, No More Heroes, and Earthbound. They all have this in common, and that’s why they’re my most cherished video games. Earthbound is unlike it’s name; it’s brilliance reaches above the clouds, the sky, and the moon, and continues ever into infinity. The very best of the Super Nintendo, huh? I challenge you to beat this.
Donkey Kong Country (Land?)
Okay, so I kinda sorta missed this one. Like, I know the SNES existed, and continues to exist, I just never had one…or used one. So I’m ultimately not of much use here and won’t waste too much of your time. The closest I can remember getting to any SNES game is the spin-off/port of Donkey Kong Country, named Donkey Kong Land…because land is smaller than a country? And also Donkey Kong? Though in most ways a sequel, Land was also an adjusted port of Country. Taking a majority of the elements and mechanics from its older brother, the experience was pretty similar to that of the original. Side-scroll, jump in barrels, beat up baddies and collect enough letters to spell KONG. Wash, rinse, repeat and enjoy the experience. Except for when you totally made that jump but the game made you fall in a hole. It wasn’t my fault, the game’s broken…in that one area specifically. Not even sure if I’m being sarcastic with that comment, it may very well have been broken…though probably not. I wasn’t the greatest gamer…I didn’t even have a SNES, remember?
Kirby Super Star Ultra
With these Nintendo Memories one thing is abundantly clear. Most of us here at SnapThirty are tiny little man-babies that were born well after these glorious consoles were released (Ed: except for The Eternal Khan Est 1988). Yet our rambunctious tenacity is once again put on display as (much like its predecessor) despite missing the launch date of the SNES, it was a fundamental in my childhood. And leading the pack on fundamental games for me was a game made by Hal Laboratories, a game known for its catchy tunes and exciting gameplay, a game which is a sequel to a much loved NES classic, a game starring a tiny pink ball of something as its main character. That’s right, I am of course talking about the 1993 hit Vegas Stakes! Look it up.
Pseudo joking jabs aside, the real super star of my childhood was 1995’s Kirby Super Star Ultra. I had already played through Kirby’s dreamlands up until this point so when Super Star came about I was already well versed in the little pink hero. The game managed to scratch every Kirby itch I had, mainly allowing me to be Yo-Yo Kirby as much as physically possible (it’s the best power up and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise). Reminiscing on the game, I believe it was the first game to allow me to play using 2-player Co-op which came in the form of player 2 taking the role of ‘helper’ through Kirby creating life from a power up he no longer wished to use. My childhood best friend and I would play through the game every day after school which was great because we had a real “You be Tails and I’ll be Sonic” thing going on. Thankfully, he always wanted to be the helper so I was always the main character.
Using our teamwork we were busy returning food to the denizens of dreamland, blowing up the Halberd, getting a bunch of treasure, returning a mother birds chicks to her, and fighting the embodiment of chaos and death with the cosmos to our back in a bid to rid all existence of its evil and save the universe from plunging into eternal darkness due to the Sun and Moon being destroyed in a cosmic Civil War. So to answer the question, the thing I love most about Kirby is its light hearted nature.
Ah the Super Nintendo, my very first console that I ever had the joy of playing. So many fond memories that I don’t really know where to begin actually! Could it be Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past? The first game I ever played? No, because as much as I love and cherish that game, for me the most memorable experience came in the form of the RPG classic Chrono Trigger. It was a game that changed everything for me and helped define my gaming life ever since.
For many years I’ve went online by the name Future Frog, a homage to my favourite character from Chrono Trigger, Glenn the frog from the past. The game almost felt as though it was made especially for me, it had designs from Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama which caught my eye as a kid straight away. It featured a time travel story and mechanic which took me to incredible places on a journey I’d never forget. Let’s not forget the incredible soundtrack which I can still hear playing in my head to this very day. It was this legendary RPG that really made me a fan of Japanese games in general and what they had to offer.
Likely had I never played Chrono Trigger I may have been sent on a different path and never have wound up writing on a website like SnapThirty. I still look back fondly on that game and feel that it is truly timeless, the stories still evoke emotions just as powerful as they did all those years ago and the game is still as addictive and fun as it always was. It is hard for me to think of a game I love as much as Chrono Trigger, there are few that I would ever mention in the same breath and I am thankful for the Super Nintendo because it brought to life the epic journey across time of Crono and his time traveling companions which I hold so dear to my heart.