When the SNES Online added a firefighter game I figured that it had some potential but unfortunately this game’s not very good. I will applaud the fact that it has a lot of different gameplay mechanics going on at once and tried a bunch of things. It’s definitely not your average classic game. There’s a ton of different items to worry about as well and so it ends up being a complex game but one that forgot the fun factor.
The general premise is that you’re a firefighter getting ready to go into burning buildings to save a bunch of people. In order to do this you are going to need to check each floor. In each level there are around 5-6 people to save and you have to decide at the beginning of the level which items to bring with you. You can bring all of them but then you’ll be super heavy and barely able to move at all so that can be a bit of a trade off. Typically I would choose to just bring the axe and the main fire spray. If during a level you find that you cannot progress without more items you need to locate another firefighter and ask him for the extra gear. With that then you’ll be able to go forward.
Of course this will take some time so you’ll need to keep that in mind as well. If you don’t get out of the burning building in time then you lose. Of course, if you escape with less than the required amount of people then you also lose. It’s worth noting that there are extra people in the building as well so you can also save more than the minimum amount of people for extra points. You can also grab objects that are important to the people you save for extra money but break or lose them and the points are deducted from your score. Once you’ve cleared the level then you get to do it all over again.
The levels do seem to have different layouts though so at least you won’t be replaying the same one each time. There’s also a bit of a basic plot going on as at the end of one level we recruited a new firefighter who’s known as more of a hot head. I’m sure he’ll definitely cause some drama depending on how many cutscenes we get. I don’t expect there would be a whole lot of them but you never know I suppose. So why wasn’t this game a lot of fun? Well, constantly having to switch out gear felt more tedious than interesting. Finding the fireman could also take some time.
You want to be able to just go in and save people but with the system set up this way it isn’t possible. Seeing some green fire or a window around just meant that your game would be delayed as opposed to it being a lot of fun. Extra gameplay mechanics can be good when utilized correctly but when they’re more of a burden like this then you know that something went wrong. The game has a lot of depth to it but in the end I guess I’d say that it had too much depth. More of a simple arcade firefighter game where you put out fires would have worked out better.
The graphics are pretty solid though. The level designs all appear to be on point and the character models are solid. I would say that the mannequins look too much like people but based on the hints provided in the level that was actually intentional so that’s a pretty neat diversion. I’d like to see what the in universe reason for this would be but maybe we’re actually in the future where the mannequins are all super realistic. The soundtrack is also decent even if a little forgettable. I don’t expect you will remember it at all by the time you complete the game.
There isn’t a whole lot of replay value but with the different stage variations I suppose you can keep playing through those. I expect there has to be an ending of some kind by the end unless it’s an infinite loop like Pac-Man. For now I would assume that is not the case so playing until you get there makes sense. That should buy you some time especially since the game is actually rather difficult. The people you are trying to save always end up running around the place and if you don’t move fast enough than they burn up so you really can’t afford to take your time.
Overall, The Ignition Factor is a pretty unique game. You don’t get a lot of firefighter type games around after all and for being back on the SNES it was actually rather sophisticated. I just think it’s an example of a game that was overdeveloped and it’s really any fun. For that reason alone I would not recommend this game. You can find tons of better SNES games to play on the Online service so I would recommend checking those out instead. This one is best left forgotten to history. Now I’ll be eager to see if the HELP Wanted game for the Wii does a better job with the firefighting gear. It could be a while before I get that one though.
It’s time to look at a very retro beat em up. The Peace Keepers is pretty interesting and I feel like it was ahead of its time in a lot of ways. The combat is very smooth and holds up really well today. While 2D beat em ups tend to have a little less variety than the 3D counterparts (Although this is heavily debatable of course) this one has quite a few moved up your arsenal. It’s old school and yet you feel like you can do a whole lot here which is impressive. It’s a game that will hold you over rather well for an hour as you play through it.
The plot is a little vague from the cutscenes although I’m sure a booklet will have more. That’s not to say there aren’t cutscenes because there are a lot but the story beats happen very quickly. So there’s one villain who’s been going around and making a mess of things. He kidnaps one guy’s brother so that the guy has to work for him. The villain turns the brother into a zombie and then turns a girl into a monster that we are forced to fight. He can’t fight very well on his own but he’s hurting a lot of innocents along the way so the main character needs to put a stop to this.
There are some twists here and it is implied that the main character is actually an android. It would explain why he has the ability to transform and massively upgrade his fighting potential. His Super Saiyan form looks pretty awesome and you actually get to play as it for a full level which was really cool. In that form you don’t take damage and you can fly which is unheard of in this genre. I had a blast and then you’ve got the villain’s son who is also an android with this ability. Now that was a tough boss and it took me about 5 lives. You’re given around 10 lives in the game which is a good amount.
As for the gameplay, you can go for quick hits, jump moves, kicks, or power shots. The power shots are easily the best moves to use of course, but they come with a huge drawback. Every time you use the attack you actually lose some health. It’s something to take note of because if you start to spam them then you could find yourself with low health despite not getting hit once. That’s not a spot you want to put yourself in even if the attacks are good. At the same time, if you go with normal blows but the enemy hits you a lot, then maybe you would have been better off using the power move. At the end of the day the ball is in your court here. After you land the first combo you’re good to go for grabs. You need to position yourself right above the opponent while they get up and then you’ll be able to slam them back down. If you ask me that’s definitely the best way to go about things here.
The graphics are definitely pretty solid as well. The character models are good and there’s a solid amount of detail here as well. The stages all look different and the attack animations are on point. The Super Saiyan mode looks good and so does your final smash. There’s a way to activate it but I couldn’t figure that out. I was able to do it by just button mashing though so do that and you should be good. It’s probably one of those Street Fighter type inputs so I know how to mash in a way that it tends to activate those most of the time.
Overall, The Peace Keepers is just a really fun game. It’s short so you’ll beat it in about an hour but that’s not unheard of for games back in this era. The fact that it’s free with the Switch Online service doesn’t hurt matters either. I’m definitely all here for it. There isn’t really any replay value although there are multiple characters so maybe they all have variations of the story. If that’s the case then I’d say that adds a bit of replay value since I’m sure they’ll all handle things differently. I wonder if they all get Super Saiyan modes or if that’s a main character advantage. Either way I highly recommend checking this game out, it’s one of the more enjoyable games we’ve gotten in the updates.
Now it’s time to look at the final SNES title currently available in the Switch Online outside of the RPGs. Demon’s Crest is a really fun game and I was surprised at how good it was. Not to say that I expected the game to be bad or anything like that but it’s way ahead of its time. The gameplay is extremely smooth and it has a real plot with solid cutscenes. The main character is pretty strong which makes for a pretty unique style of combat. The levels are straight forward and you always know where to go. There’s even a bit of a hub world as you fly around a planet that looks like Final Fantasy. This game was way ahead of its time to be honest and so it’s great to be able to play it.
The game starts with Firebrand being chased by a Dinosaur/Dragon hybrid. We take him out and then decide to take out the King. In order to get to him we’ll have to go across the opening 3 worlds and take down the various bosses. After that we’re ready for the final battle, but will taking this guy down actually help the world or will it doom us all? Firebrand isn’t exactly here as a hero after all. You’re effectively playing as a demon and just hoping that he is the lesser of two evils. It makes for a very interesting dynamic. The ending also feels a bit like a cliffhanger so either there is a sequel out there/will be a sequel or there’s some kind of true ending you can get.
This is a sidescrolling game first and foremost. The goal is to make it to the end of the level and get past all of the enemies and obstacles. You can run and jump as normal or you can fly. Yes, you can fly permanently in the game. The one catch is that you can’t go higher once you start flying but you can go lower. A lot of times I would use the Kirby tactic where I would stick to the top of the stage and it would really work out quite nicely for me. It’s just hard to beat that. You can also shoot fireballs which I highly recommend doing because they deal a lot of damage. The enemies don’t have a whole lot of answers for that.
The game still isn’t easy by any means although it’s not nearly as difficult as Ghosts n Goblins. You feel like your character is a lot stronger from the jump which is very helpful. In the boss battles the main thing to watch out for is how quick they are. The enemies can be startlingly fast to the point where you see them coming but are still unable to dodge. I would usually recommend pre-emptively dodging but that will possibly end up cornering you. You also have to be ready to run under one of the bosses who will try jumping at you and so if you move too quickly it will be impossible to do this. It’s all about strategy and reaction times so just stay on guard and you’ll be fine.
Unsurprisingly the graphics are quite amazing here. The character models really stick out and a whole lot of work was done on the backgrounds and enemy designs. This would not be out of place on the N64 or even as a modern indie game. Demon’s Crest is very polished and definitely deserves its respect. The soundtrack is decently good as well. The real power is definitely in its cutscenes which are quite impressive. The game’s length isn’t anything special as it’s around 30-40 minutes but it manages to capture a good story in there which is the important part.
Overall, I highly recommend Demon’s Crest. It’s easily one of the best games available on the SNES Online which is pretty impressive considering the competition there. One thing that works in its favor is I imagine a lot of people never got to play Demon’s Crest back in the day. Well, now’s your chance to do it. It’s never too late to go in and try out a new game. Now I just need to wait for another update so we can add more SNES games to try out. I know there are definitely a ton left to go.