No stats this time!
Total score 411
It’s time to look at an old SNES game. This is one of those titles that I definitely had not heard of before and is certainly underrated. The game has quality platforming mechanics that can hold their own with the other big side scrollers. It’s really surprising that the game didn’t hit it big.
The plot of the game is that someone has kidnapped the legendary crown from the village. In order to get to him we will need to defeat the 7 dragons and gather all the gems so that we can create Rainbow Road. This won’t be a cakewalk and the mastermind behind these attacks should not be messed with. That being said, our hero is ready and eager for the challenge.
The gameplay is pretty simple. Your goal is to make it to the end of each level where there is a boss waiting for you. You can swing your club to dispatch enemies and you can swing it forward or up. You can also pick up meet that the enemies drop which will replenish your health and also give you a special ability at times. One lets you shoot bullet seeds which is very handy thanks to the range. The best weapon in the game are the twin axes though. When you find these in a level you are basically invincible since you can shoot two energy blasts that cover a very long distance. You can also swallow water but that is only useful for one jump in the whole game where you have to put out a fire log. It’s pretty impressive that the game added a whole mechanic for one scene.
This is a difficult game though so you will really need those weapons. Touching anything will hurt you and you don’t have a whole lot of health. 5 hits and that’s it. The minions run and jump out of nowhere so it can be very difficult to react to them on time. Then the bosses have tough attack patterns that they mix up quite a bit in order to claim the edge. The toughest one is definitely the dinosaur that shoots out a bunch of rocks and energy blasts at the same time. I couldn’t figure out a way to dodge the rocks so you’ll be banking in RNG a bit here. Just rush in and hit the dinosaur as much as possible since a drawn out fight is the last thing you want.
You will want to take their fighting habits to heart since you will be fighting a boss rush of every dinosaur in the game in the final level. That would be absolutely brutal on the original console without the save states and rewind feature. Even with them you’ll have a bit of a tough time, but you will naturally learn the movements the more you battle them. By the end the final boss doesn’t even feel all that tough in comparison. His second form is easier than the first one and I’m guessing that’s because it would feel pretty impossible by the end if the second form was even stronger than the first one. This way you get to sort of wind down as you approach the ending.
The graphics definitely look pretty good and have aged really well. This is the kind of sidescroller that I could see doing really well nowadays if it ever got a sequel. There’s just a good world and setting that this game has made which will really serve it well. Naturally the story isn’t too deep at this point since this was such an older game but they could definitely flesh it out with a modern remake. There’s just a lot of possibilities here for sure.
In terms of replay value there naturally isn’t a whole lot. Once you’ve beaten the game that’s it. You don’t even get to go back to the main menu at that point because the game is 100% done. It’ll last you for about an hour or so and then you’ll be all done. Considering that the game is free if you already have the online service then that really isn’t half bad. If anything it’s a steal. The SNES Online really feels worlds apart from the NES titles as these are full fledged games in their own right. Joe & Mac 2 has definitely earned that respect.
Overall, This is a fun game. It’s really got all of the elements that you would expect in such a solid title. The gameplay is rock solid and the game actually has a structure. You’ve got an ongoing plot as you try to grab all of the gems and are rewarded with a nice payoff through the ending. The game is not all that linear so you can choose to get whichever gems you want in any order. It’s like a Mega Man game in that way. You can also spend your money at the local shops to fix up your home and buy meat. I don’t really get what half of the items over there do though. Some like the Melon just makes it feel like you’re wasting money for no real reason. I’m sure the items all have a purpose but the game can be rather vague on that front. Well, it’ll be tough for the next SNES game to pass this one but never count one out.
No stats this time!
The SNES Online continues to be a solid addition to the Switch console. There are just so many solid titles to play here and coming up there are titles that are basically full fledged games. Those are gonna take a little longer to complete but I’ll knock em all out eventually. This time we’re looking at F Zero and it definitely is a fun game while retaining the high difficulty level of GX.
There are 3-4 cups in this game and each one has 5 levels. My goal was naturally to beat each cup once to say that I’ve cleared the game. I believe there are other difficulty levels as well but it’s the same levels so clearing them wasn’t my highest priority. Each level is around 3 minutes so the game isn’t particularly long. You can likely beat all of the tournaments in the span of an hour. There is some replay value in beating your scores and beating all of the cups on all difficulties though. Do that and you really will be an F-Zero champ.
The gameplay is pretty smooth. This is a racing game do of course the goal is to drove your way past the finish line before any of the other racers. The levels have a lot of twists and turns so you will want to master the art of maneuvering to get through. The most difficult part of the game is actually keeping enough health to survive the levels. This is especially true in the later levels since bumping into anything will damage you and that includes other cars. An interesting part of the game here is that there are random cars crossing the track which will try to bump you and other racers do the same thing. The tracks aren’t very wide so it can be difficult to pass someone without hitting them.
There were quite a few times when my car blew up from the damage. I never had a problem passing the computers so this was a clever way to ramp up the damage. I can’t really say that it ever felt unfair so it was just right. The levels are also fast enough where retrying doesn’t seem all that bad. To an extent it is unavoidable to dislike retrying a cup in any racing game since that means replaying multiple levels but that is even more reason to keep them to 2-3 minutes instead of 4+ like in Need For Speed at times.
It’s definitely the kind of game where you can see the results of your practice right away. Learning when to turn and how to turn just right are crucial techniques here. There are two ways to turn as one is to just move the control stick while another is to use the L and R buttons. Both ways have their uses and if you master each then you will be prepared for anything the game throws at you. There is certainly the element of RNG here so it’s not like you will suddenly be perfect, but you can get quite close. At the very least by eliminating these areas for damage you will be in a better position to absorb the random hits.
The soundtrack here definitely holds up quite well. I feel like the SNES is really where Nintendo started to shine with their excellent soundtracks. Many of the tunes in this game would survive to Super Smash bros. The themes are nice and fast for the races. Then you’ve got the graphics which are admittedly less impressive. It’s pretty in line with Star Fox in that there isn’t enough detail to make it hold up with some of the others. Still, you can always keep track of what’s going on which is good.
Overall, F-Zero is a fun title. It’s short and so it won’t last you for very long but considering that it is free with the online that isn’t really a bad deal. I do miss this franchise so I’m hoping that Nintendo announces something for it soon. Just make it a proper sequel to GX with a good plot and I am confident that it will do well. If you haven’t played this one yet then you should change that.
Level 1 88%
Level 2 72%
Level 3 86%
Level 4 91%
Level 5 96%
Level 6 100%
Total Score 53300 88%
The SNES Online is finally active! There were many who doubted that it would happen so quickly and I was definitely one of them. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise when it was announced in the direct and of course I had to jump in. My first choice was Star Fox. I’d actually never played the original one before now so that was fun. It’s definitely a short game and one that doesn’t hold up nearly as well as most of Nintendo’s other classics. Still, it’s not bad for a quick run through.
The basic plot is that Andross is here and he wants to end the entire solar system using whatever means he can. Team Star Fox is put on the case to stop him so they follow his evil trail across the cosmos. They aim to stop him once and for all when they get to the final base but it may not be quite as easy as all that. He certainly isn’t going to be pulling any punches here.
The gameplay is pretty straight forward. You’re in a ship that is flying in a straight line although you are able to move left to right as well as up and down. You blast at obstacles in your way and at the end of the level there is a boss that you will have to blast out of the sky. The health bar from the boss is fairly large so it will take a lot of shots to put him down and you’ll likely need a lot of lives to really master his patterns.Fortunately the Switch has save states and rewinding so it wasn’t all that bad.
There are around 5-6 levels and you can beat the game in around 30-40 minutes. It’s not long by any means but there are alternate paths you can take as well. There are 3 in total so I guess the game would be about 2 hours which isn’t bad. Some of the enemy attacks will feel like they didn’t really hit you but I suppose the attacks may appear to be farther than they are like in a car. There’s no real replay value beyond that so just make sure that you enjoy the adventure along the way.
In terms of graphics the game is definitely not very impressive. It’s all very blocky and pixelated like a computer game. In someways it looks worse than most of the NES games, but maybe it’s just an artstyle that didn’t age particularly well. You never want to see a game not age well,but that’s the case with how this one looks. At least the soundtrack is quite good though. Most of the themes will sound familiar from the Super Smash games since a lot of these tunes were remixed.They’re always fun to hear.
I’m trying to wonder how people would have enjoyed this one back in the day. It has actual cutscenes and such so you’d be engaged but I wouldn’t like having to replay the levels so often because I definitely would have gotten a lot of game overs before the end of the game. It’s a sobering thought, but it does make me wonder how much of a big video game fan I would have really been back in the day. I think I would have had a very limited game collector because I’d focus on ones that had a save feature or ones that were just really addictive like Pac-Man. The rest would have simply not made the cut.
While the game may not be a global hit for me, I do think it had some good ideas with regard to the boss fights. The Andross battle is very creative and has multiple phases which is something that I feel was probably pretty unique for its time. The spinning disc battle also forces you to get really good at dodging and outmaneuvering the enemies. All of these fundamental skills are ones that will transfer well into other games so they’re worth knowing.
Overall, Star Fox is a decently fun game, but one that only really passes the bar with today’s modern features. The game as it is perfectly hits the middle since it’s a decent experience, but not one that I would ever find myself going back to. It’s just too short and feels more like a demo to the Star Fox series than an actual installment. If you haven’t played this one yet then you should still check it out since it’s free. You can’t go wrong with being free of course, but otherwise you’re really not missing anything if you end up skipping it.