150 SNES games at the speed I can handle

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kerr9000
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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:47 pm

Snes game review 91:Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball

If I was to say Sports based Video game to you what would you think about? Maybe Football/Soccer or Tennis would be the first to come to mind, or if your American maybe it would be what us Brits like to refer to as American Football. Lots of sports games have a long history in video gaming after all one of the first popular video games was basically a bat and ball simulation.

Today I am going to be talking about baseball. Baseball has had a long virtual history but it was around 1978, when people got there first real baseball video games. Atari came out with Home Run for the Atari 2600 and then on the Philips Videopac G7000 (AKA the Magnavox Odyssey 2) there was the game titled Baseball! Every console going would have some form of primitive baseball game with them slowly evolving title after title until more was included in them and they better represented the actual sport.

I would argue the 16bit era was where things got really good. There was somewhere around the region of twenty different baseball games released in the USA with even more being released in Japan, we might have only got some of these but considering it was a sport not really played here we didn’t do too bad. A lot of people probably don’t realise how deeply connected Nintendo and the world of Baseball is, a little interesting piece of trivia here but when he died the former president of Nintendo Hiroshi Yamauchi left behind a 55 percent stake in the Seattle Mariners a stake which Nintendo still fully own to this day as far as I know.

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The game I am going to be reviewing today is Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball. It was both programed and published by Mindscape and released in 1982. For those unfamiliar with Mindscape they were a studio which got running in 1983 but died in 2011, originally they started out making a lot of educational software but branched out in to more entertainment based products as well. For me the real highlight of the company was creating Moonstone: A Hard Day’s Knight an action role-playing video game for the Amiga featuring lots of lovely blood and guts but I am not here to talk about that I am here to say ‘’Lets play Ball’’.

The game features two modes of play. First you have the exhibition mode which is basically where you just play one match for the fun of it either against the computer or against a human player, then there is the main bread and butter of the game the season mode, where you pick a team and then play twenty games against the computer. You are given a password after each game so that you don’t have to do the whole thing in one sitting. There are three different stadiums but they don’t really effect gameplay

Each team has different players with different stats but in all honesty it doesn’t seem like the stats make that much difference to me, everyone seems to be pretty equal with no visual clues showing me some one is faster or a better catch, they all seem as good as you control them to be. Each player looks exactly the same except the uniform they wear for their team, I guess this is not that surprising given the age of the game and the technology available, after all a few generations or so back and everybody would have been represented by a few squares, or at best a stickman. Cal Ripken Jr. is the only character with the proper name of a real player. All of the characters have names with some of them being either an altered version of a real players name or somebody’s attempt at turning a pun in to a name. This doesn’t tend to bother me as I am a very casual fan of baseball, I will watch some if it comes on but I don’t know players names or really care if the names are real or fake in a video game but it is something to keep in mind if fake names are likely to put you off.

The Controls are simple. When batting, the B button swings the bat, the A button bunts, and the Y button is used to control runners on base and when pitching the B button throws a pitch, the Y button is used to pick off runners, and the select button can change the position of the infielders and outfielders. The B button plus a direction throws the ball to the corresponding base so right for first base up for second base and so on.

The game's graphics are a bit simplistic but can’t really be faulted I would say they are on par with what I would expect for the time of its release. Let’s face it there were two ways you could try and make the graphics on a sports game back then one was as realistic as you could manage and the other was to go for the cartoon fun style, this game picked the more realistic style and did the best it could with it, I am not sure at that time I would have gone down that route but they made it work the best they could. The sound is Ok, the sound effects themselves are all pretty good and there is even some nice speech thrown in at times but there is this sort of annoying repetitive tune playing but they must have known it wasn’t up to much as it is kept very low and in the background with all the other noises being much louder.

The computer plays very well and there are no difficult settings so if you’re not very good at the game you will find yourself getting hammered, In my first game for example the computer hit three home runs in the first inning and then went on to catch my best attempt at a home run with an ease, in fact more or less every time I would get excited thinking I had made a great hit the computer would manage to catch me out with ease which almost made me weep. I would think that you would need to throw some serious hours into this game in order to be able to beat the machine on a regular basis, even then I don’t see it being any walk in the park.

Where I really enjoyed this game was in multiplayer. I and my daughter had a bash at it playing each other and it was really fun, which does make me think that if you could turn down the computers difficulty a bit so that it was a little less super human there would be a lot more fun here.

Ok so I can give Cal Ripkin Jr Baseball as semi recommendation. When played with a friend this game can be a great little blast of fun with each game lasting around the 30 minutes mark it makes it a nice slice of fun for a quick go here and there I am going to give this game a 6 out of 10 Mostly for its multiplayer but I do feel like I might need to return and reassess this score when I have played a few of the other Baseball games I own.

Ok so if you’re desperate to own this game how much are you looking at paying for it? Well I kept my eyes open and trawled through various sites and managed to get a Pal cart for around £3 with postage from the looks of things if you were desperate and wanted a cart now then you'd end up paying about £10, I would strongly advise you skulk and wait it out, and who knows I might review a better baseball game soon.

Last edited by kerr9000 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:48 pm

SNES GAME review 92 Nolan Ryan's Baseball aka Super Stadium

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Well I know that the last game I reviewed for the SNES was a baseball game and that hitting one again so quickly might seem a little stale but if you just play along here I have my reasons.

The game I am looking at now is Nolan Ryan's Baseball known in Japan as Super Stadium. Now this game only came out for the American/Canadian market and Japan. The American version is obviously endorsed by the baseball player Nolan Ryan, who I know absolutely nothing about and who I have to add has no real bearing on this game at all. It has no licensing from any Major League Baseball team or Association which means that Nolan Ryan is the only real name you see here. The thing is though once you actually start the game the players can best be described as sort of little cutesy anime type characters so it really doesn’t matter in the slightest, this is something I will come back to though.

The game was made by a company called Affect which you most likely won’t have heard about before largely because they tended to primarily make games for the Japanese market which were released through various different publishers. This was one of their first games apparently with them producing games from 1990 to 2008 at which point they transitioned in to producing web based applications. Romstar Inc. published the game in America they were a video game distribution company based in Torrance, California that started operating in 1984. Interestingly they were the original American distributors for SNK games (before SNK of America was founded in 1987). They bit the dust in 1992 though with various key members of staff going on to form mobile phone based games companies.

So what brought me to this game now, well the first thing is that it came out the same year as Cal Ripken Jr Baseball so it’s not like one was later in the systems lifespan and had the advantage of improved techniques, both of these games came out at relatively the same time and yet they tackle things in a slightly different way with Cal Ripken trying its best to look as realistic as it can and this game going for a more cartoon based feeling.

Nolan Ryan's Baseball is fairly straightforward to play. When you are the pitcher, you press a button to pitch the ball, the direction you press will affect the type of throw push down to make it go faster, up to make it go slower, and left or right to make it veer to either side. Bating is very simple in that you press a button to swing but its timing that is the key. It is still not easy to hit the ball but it is a heck of a lot better than in the last title I played. The game also seems to run a lot faster with the average game taking half the time, not only does this make it faster to get through games but it makes it more exciting making it more likely that you will play for longer. Unless you’re a baseball game pro you are still likely to lose the majority of the time but they will be much narrower more realistic loses and as such it won’t feel like getting better is an imposable journey. I also found fielding much easier, in this case I even caught the odd batter out which made me feel a lot better.

One almost off topic question that runs through my mind is how much did Nolan Ryan get paid for this, I know a lot of sports games will have the name of some player or manager stapled on to them in the hopes that it is a road to profit but beyond his face on the cart box and start up screen he simply has sod all to do with it at all, making me prefer the Japanese title super stadium. The teams make me laugh as they simply have letter names the first team I picked was called T team and had players such as CHAD, HERB, RON and OLAF set to play but I could swap them for benched players with names like CHUK,KIRK and DOC.

I really like the cutesy graphical style the game has,the more I play it the more it grows on me and added to it is some music which although not amazing is cheery and whimsical, I think it puts you in the right mood especially when you have the nice digital speech that comes with it starting by announcing ‘’lets play ball’’ and then going on to tell you when there had been a strike or when someone is safe.

Ok so I can gave Cal Ripkin Jr Baseball as semi recommendation. Saying that when it was played with a friend it could be good and giving it a 6 out of 10, now I don’t feel like this game is the best thing ever but I have to admit I found it just that bit more fun, it was quicker and I liked its style, it was equally as fun to play in multi-player but was a fair bit better as a one player game. Still I feel like there must be better out there, so all of this considered I give Nolan Ryans Baseball a 7 out of 10 and at the moment I would call it the one to get.

Ok so if you’re desperate to own this game how much are you looking at paying for it? Well first things first it didn’t get an English release so you need to be looking at well either an American or Japanese import, meaning you will either need a foreign machine , a modified SNES or an adaptor. Bearing that in mind how much should an NTSC cart cost you? Well I couldn’t find any copies for sale over here as far as American carts went but you could buy a loose cart and pay for it to be posted here for about £10, I however did find a Japanese copy online for about £4 selling in this country and being a sports game I don’t think the language barrier would be too much of an issue. Ok for now that’s it with the baseball titles, but I will come back to them as I am sure I own at least another two.

Last edited by kerr9000 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:48 pm

SNES Game Review 93:Kid Klown in Crazy Chase

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The game I am going to be looking at today is Kid Klown in Crazy Chase,it is the second title in the Kid Klown series, the first being Kid Klown in Night Major World which was on the NES and I can not really comment on itf its a good or bad game and wether this is a worthy successor or not as I have never played it. The truth is when In 1994, Kemco released this SNES game in 1994 I had no idea that it was a sequel all I knew was that it was a bright sort of childish looking game which seemed to have a very animated style to it.

The original NES game does have an interesting story to it though which is worth sharing. The game that would come to be known as Kid Klown in Night Mayor world actually started life as a Mickey Mouse game in Japan, it was called Mickey Mouse III: Dream Balloon and came out in Japan in September of 1992 for the Famicom. Due to copyright issues this game apparently couldn't be released in other parts of the world so rather than just shrug and accept a loss in profits it was re-skinned and turned into the tile known as Kid Clown in Night Mayor World and released to the American regions for the NES in 1993. It never got an official release in Europe. This explains why I didn't realise Kid Klown on the SNES was a sequel.

OK so now the partly relevant trivia is out of the way on to the game. The game opens with a slideshow letting you know the story, here it is in brief, Blackjack, the evil space pirate, has kidnapped Princess Honey of Klown Planet. He has decided that he will hold her hostage and that if anyone wants to see her again then they better give the throne over to him. Now for some reason the King determines that Kid Klown is the man to rescue his daughter. Kid Klown sets about doing this by accidentally in slapstick fashion crash landing his ship.

Despite how it might look on the box or when glancing at screenshots Crazy Chase is not your typical 2D platformer it is instead an isometric running game. The levels have you running diagonally from the top-left to the bottom-right of the games screen. Blackjack the main villain has placed a bomb at the end of each stage and it’s your objective to reach the end before the burning fuse runs down. Ok so this sounds easy in theory but in practice not so much. There are all manner of things that have been placed to stop you ranging from spikes on the ground, rocks that drop from the air, axes that appear to be tossed at you from off-screen and all kinds of other environmental hazards that alter from stage to stage.

I very very much wanted to love this game, I found myself instantly falling for its visuals, the bright and colourful cartoon style the awesome sprites, the choice of isometric viewpoint which gives it a 3D appearance that really helps to make it visually a one of a kind game on the system, yet the fact that the characters themselves remained beautiful 2D sprites free from the latter 3D polygon horrors we would bear witness to in true early 3D games. You cant help but feel the level of care and attention that so obviously went into the animations and expressions of Kid Klown, they make you want to like the character and liking him makes you want to like his game.

Certain elements of this game began to remind me more and more of an other game I reviewed what seems like almost a life time ago and that is Bubsy the bobcat in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind. This is mostly because of the animatons that happen when you come in to contact with different hazards For example if you get Kid to run over a bunch of spikes then he will hop around on one foot in pain, At first these animated reactions come across as refreshing and you could argue that they add more character to the game and are better than simply having your sprite flash but just like bubsy and his death animations they soon start to outstay there welcome as they do as much for breaking down the pace of the game as they do for making you like the characters

The bit that grinds my gears the most when it comes to this game is not only do you have to make it to the end of the level with some health bar intact and ahead of the fuse wire but you also have to collect four playing-card suit icons (A. Heart, Diamond, Club and Spade), these are found inside balloons, balloons I was originally avoiding as sometimes when you pull them you get some of your life bar refilled and sometimes you get coins or a suit icon but you also get hurt as a balloon turns into a bowling ball and lands on you or lifts you in to the air only to drop you on your ass taking vital life away from you.

While the controls are as simple in principal with the D-pad controlling where you go and how quickly you do it and pretty much every other button making you jump, does make the game easy just to pick up and have a bash at the isometric 3D appearance makes judging depth and distance a huge pain in the rear end at times, so not only does this lead to frustration as you hit bushes your certain you should have been able to jump it can also make grabbing the balloons which might contain suit icons at times very annoying leading to you having to play the same level again and again in a loop just to grab what you need to finish it. They should have dropped this card collecting idea you might be thinking but the truth is that they only made 5 stages for this game, so if you could blow through them merely by surviving then everyone would have finished this game in there youth long before there fish fingers and chips were on the dinner table.

In conclusion, I really really wanted to like this game not only are the graphics and sound very pleasing it also tries something which at the time was very new and different. Many games then or now fall in to the habit of simply copying what is currently popular so it is always refreshing to see something a little different, to know that there are more than just two or three templates being used to make cookie cutter game after cookie cutter game but unfortunately for all its strengths and difference this is just a mediocre game. I find myself having to award it the middle of the road score of 5. If you really want to play it then you can generally find a UK cartridge for around the £6 to £8 region which is fair but there are better things you could spend your cash on.

Last edited by kerr9000 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:48 pm

SNES Game Review 94: Fatal Fury

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Fatal Fury: King of Fighters otherwise known as Garō Densetsu Shukumei no Tatakai which translates to Legend of the Hungry Wolf: The Battle of Destiny is a head-to-head fighting game released by SNK for the Neo Geo arcade and home platforms in 1991. As a youngster I played this in the arcades on one of the red Neo Geo multi slot cabinets and loved it, I brought its megadrive port upon its release in 1993 and eventually for a while a few years later I actually owned a Neo Geo AES home system and this game (along with other 4 games). The important thing to realise is that the Neo Geo AES cart was exactly the same as the arcade machine (Neo Geo Arcade machine carts are referred to as MVS carts but there is no real difference between playing an MVS or AES cart they hold the exact same game one is just made to plug into an arcade system and the other a home system). I didn’t play the SNES version till much latter.

Over the years some people have looked at this game and kind of dismissed it while saying something on the lines of oh sheesh another street fighter 2 wannabe, yet others have loved it, an important thing to remember is that the game was designed by Takashi Nishiyama who was the creator of the original Street Fighter game. Fatal Fury was never a copy of street fighter 2 Nishiyama envisioned it as being a spiritual successor to the original Street Fighter it wasn’t pieced together by copying street fighter 2 as it was in fact being developed at the same point in time as Street Fighter II. So the obvious question everyone will have at this point is, well is it as good as street fighter 2 or what?

Well the gameplay follows the usual formula of one on one fighting games from this time period, basically you play against the computer in a best two-out-of-three contest. You move with your dpad/stick but unlike street fighter 2 and its 6 attack buttons covering 3 different strength versions of punch and kick here you only basically have 3 three attack buttons one punch button, one kick button and a button for throws. Each of the characters in the game has their own special attacks that are performed by inputting specific commands and combinations many of them being the same sort of motions you would find in street fighter 2 however here they are much harder to pull of demanding exact procession.

The main problem with this version lays with the conversion. When you look at street fighter 2 people have called the SNES version a perfect conversion which while it is not true you could see how people would think that it is. Unless you have a SNES and an Arcade machine running side by side it wouldn't be easy to point out any major differences, yet while the home Neo Geo AES version is an exact replica of its arcade counterparts the other ports were no way near so lucky.

If your used to being able to play the arcade/story mode as pretty much anyone in the line up of characters featured in a game then your in for a surprise here as in this mode you only get to pick from one of three fighters Terry Bogard a cocky baseball hat wearing american street fighter out to revenge his fathers death, Andy Bogard his younger brother who has a far more graceful Japanese fighting style and Joe Higashi A Japanese Muay Thai fighter and friend to the Bogard brothers. This in and of itself is not a huge problem although it does cut down on 1 player replay value, it is also true for both the original and this port. The story is also not going to win any awards you are either one of the Bogard brothers or there friend and your entering the martial arts tournament to beat everyone else so that you can face off against the man who killed your father/friends father and that's as complex as it gets. Makes sense for the two brothers after all if someone killed your dad you'd probably want to at least kick there ass and murdering him probably wouldn't be that far from your mind, you can imagine the whole you killed my dad now die speeches that would be made yet Joe's reason feels a little lacking ''erm you yeah I was told you killed my friends dad I am going to kill you'' doesn't sound quiet as epic or likely don't get me wrong I have liked some of my friends dads over the years but id be more likely to buy them a beer and comfort them or phone the police for them than go try to win a whole martial arts tournament and kill a man in cold blood for them maybe I am not as loyal as some or maybe I just don't like the idea of serious prison time and being grabbed in the night during my sleep for a surprise type of naked cuddle by a fellow inmate. Still the point is less playable characters doesn't just mean less playable characters it means less stories, less endings, less variation.

On the Neo Geo this game had an interesting mechanic where there was two lanes of play an upper and a lower, you could switch between them to avoid projectiles and such and this gave the game a unique flavour this however is missing from both the SNES and Megadrive ports which really does the game a disservice. The game looks fine with nice sprites and a wide variety of opponents and decent sounds and music but it is all very forgettable when put by the side of street fighter 2 which is a darn shame. You can find some enjoyment here but it will be limited you'll most likely struggle with the specials, and when you get to the last boss the broken mechanics will have you pulling your hair out as he cheap shots you again and again, still those used to SNK fighters will be a little more used to bosses who seem to have near god like status so will be used to repeatedly having to retry at that point. I feel really bad that I have kept brining up street fighter 2 while discussing this game because I feel the Neo Geo version at least offers something that is very much its own game, however with this SNES version and how things have been cut down it feels a lot worse and it doesn't surprise me that a lot of people would have played it and gone ''ahh its another street fighter 2 knock off''

I do think this game is much better in multiplayer with friends, when both of you have the same handicap of hard to perform specials it just feels a lot more competitive than you struggling to pull of some form of fireball and the computer repeatedly doing them with ease.

I am a big fan of SNK fighters but this is not the place to start a love affair with them, at least not on this console. I find myself having to give this game a 6 out of 10 on the SNES and would only recommend it if you really want a new fighter and have lots of the better ones already. I would also say that if you have more modern systems and just want the game as opposed to a SNES cart for your collection that you look at ways to instead play the Neo version (which I would score as around 7.5). I am sure it has been released on various online stores for more modern machines (PS3 and Wii certainly) and can also be found on the SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 compilation which was released for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii. If you need a SNES cart for some reason then the cheapest Pal ones I have seen were around £15 and its also worth noting that Fatal Fury 2 and Fatal Fury special also hit the SNES which I wont be reviewing as I don't own them but I tend to remember them as being much improved.

Last edited by kerr9000 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:49 pm

SNES game review 95: Tiny Toons Adventures Buster Busts Loose

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For anyone who has lived under a rock for years and doesn’t know what it is Tiny Toon Adventures was an American animated comedy TV show that was broadcasting from September 14, 1990 through October 31, 1994 it was a collaborative effort between Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Basically it’s about a newer younger generation of Looney Tunes characters who are being taught at a place called Acme Looniversity by the classic Looney Tunes characters of old, Buggs Bunny, Daffy Duck etcetera. I thought it was a great show but that’s not what I am here to talk about I am here to talk about its Video Game adaption Tiny Toons buster busts loose, now buster is a blue rabbit who can basically be thought of a sort of Buggs Bunny Junior type character. Now more than likely some people will have already groaned putting two and two together and having followed the process of thinking oh it’s a licensed game therefore it must be cack, well let me add a few more numbers to this sum which might change your mind the game was both developed and published by Konami.

Ah Konami, forgive me for getting side tracked here but back in those days Konami was a company name and box symbol which brought joy in to the hearts of games, you would see there logo and be pretty darn sure that if you picked that game up you were in for a jolly good time. This is a reputation they had earned by being responsible for a great list of games originally on the NES such as the first three Castlevania games, Contra, and then Turtles Tournament Fighters, Turtles in Time, Lethal Enforcers, Sunset Riders, Zombies Ate My Neighbours, and Legend of the Mystical Ninja. You may or may not be aware but there have been conflicting rumours and articles stating that Konami have possibly cancelled all triple A game development very recently apart from Pro Evolution soccer with indications that there future may lay with Japanese gambling machines and the mobile phone market. I think this makes there past titles even more important because it may well be that looking to the past will be the only way you will be able to sample there best, so is this some of their best?

The whole game basically takes place in a Hollywood studio. Each stage is in its own different movie setting, I actually love this idea because it gives a great sort of plausible idea for the variety of stages a game like this needs to be fun. Fun is something this game certainly tries for at every turn its graphics are not only very good for the time but they are also very true to the cartoon. Every sprite is colourful and brilliantly animated. The game has a humorous charm to it which is infectious especially when you have been playing a lot of modern games and got so used to all of the dull greys you see in a lot of now day’s big money franchises.

In addition to the graphics, the sound and music are also great and help make this game fun. The sound effects such as the running and jumping of Buster Bunny, the noises when you get hurt or fall or die they all feel like cartoon noises they are all the sorts of things you’d expect to hear in a LoonyToons cartoon and this actually helps it to feel like a valid extension to the show as opposed to the cheap cash in some shows and films get. The fact is you can guess that you are in for a real aural treat the second you hear the super title screen rendition of the show’s theme tune full credit here to both Nintendo for the quality of their machines abilities and to Konami for making the most of them. This them sets the mood perfectly and it’s not all the game has going for it, the sound in general is super clear and unlike in a lot of games of this type it doesn’t become overly annoying or repetitive there are no horribly digitised bits of dialogue spouted again and again.

If you grew up with the show you should recognize some of the music that is in the game but even if you didn’t you will be able to easily recognise that the theme tune from the start is reworked and made to fit other themes latter in the game, for example in a wild west stage the theme has been given a western feel and then latter there is more wild west inspired music which just fits the level so well you can’t help but smile. In fact every time a tune even gets close to running the risk of getting overly repetitive the game changes up and give you a different one to listen to. This game actually feels like a labour of love, like the people who made it wanted to make something which could stand proudly alongside the show.

I absolutely love this game, I like the sound the graphics, the stages, the bonus stages the atmosphere but it has one big issue I can’t help but mention and that is that as awesome as this title may be, it is very short. There are only Six stages which once you have finished there isn’t much reason to come back t, yes there are multiple difficulties to try but you don’t gain anything for finishing it on any of them. This does affect my final score which is an 8, it’s a brilliant game I highly recommend but you need to know it is not going to last you as long as you might have hoped, if this game was longer I would score it higher, to my knowledge it is definitely the best Loony Toons related game on the system it kicks the stuffing out of Tazmania and Road Runner's Death Valley Rally, at this point I can’t help but think if only the Loony Toons had made some kind of Konami SNES based contract/agreement with Konami making them responsible for all of their games ala the Capcom/Diseny NES situation things might have been a bit better for the toon ones.

Ok so if you want to add the cart to your collection how much is it going to cost you? Well not much at all, there are loads of cart only pal copies of it out there selling for around £6 to £8, I would highly recommend you give it a bash.

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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:49 pm

SNES GAME review 96: Cool Spot

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So if I was to say 7UP to you then I imagine most people would quickly think of the soft drink, it might not be as famous as Coca Cola but it did manage to have not one but two mascots. In Europe we got a little guy called Fido Dido while America got Cool Spot. Cool Spot was essentially just a little red dot with arms, legs, a mouth, and sunglasses. British video games developer Virgin Interactive's American studio produced a platform game starring the mascot known as Cool Spot in 1993 for the Super NES and Mega Drive/Genesis (it was also ported by other teams to the Sega Master System, the Sega Game Gear, the Game Boy, the Amiga and DOS in 1994). This was the same studio who would go on to do Disney’s The Lion king and the Earth worm Jim games and some of their DNA can clearly be seen in this game.

If the idea of a Soft drink mascot fronting his own game sounds weird to you then you only need to remember that during this sort of time frame it wasn't all that unusual to have a products mascot appear in a game Colin Quaver, Ronald MacDonald, Chester Cheetah all of them managed to have a game, some of them had multiple games in fact. The funny thing really though was that we still got Cool Spots game despite him not being our mascot over here and with not many European’s having a clue who he was, in fact the European version of the game had most of the references to 7UP removed so we ended up with a game fronted by a Mascot we didn’t know, not really trying to sell a product to us which is sort of weird.

Cool Spot is a single-player platformer where you control Cool Spot, he can jump, and he can attack by throwing soda bubbles, he can also cling to and climb various things. So what is the plot, what is his mission? Well you have to rescue the other spots who happen to look just like you, they have been caught and trapped in cages, cages you will find at the end of every level, in order to free them though you have to collect a certain amount of spot icons which are littered through the levels. You only have so long to do this and of course you have enemies trying to stop you, but there are also plenty of things to help you, for one you can take several hits, your health is
monitored by an onscreen image of Cool Spots face that gradually bends forward and eventually falls from its position indicating how close to death you are. The game has check points which are flags which will save your progress through a level if you happen to die but in the old fashioned style of a lot of games there is no save function so you need to set aside some time to do this bad boy in one go. If you collect enough spots though you will enter bonus stages in which you can collect letters to give you continues.

As far as the games graphics go well you’d think that spot wouldn’t be much cop in some ways what with him just being a dot an all, but they must have worried that this would be the case as they have really gone the extra mile trying to put personality in to the little fella. He moves smoothly, he has waiting animations, pain animations, he is quite literally never completely still at least part of him is always in motion, this might just be him snapping his fingers or puling a face but it works wonders. If you like 16 bit games then you will most likely like this. There are lots of varied levels and enemies they clearly put a lot of thought and care in to this far more than you would have maybe originally thought with it being a game based on a soft drink icon.

The sound is also an area this game excels in with a sort of jazzy score, yes it can be a little repetitive if you happen to pause the game but if you’re playing and into the action then it fits the game well
The game isent massive but it is enjoyable, Spot controls quite well. He is responsive,and can be guided to where he has to go with relative ease most of the time. His ability to shoot bubbles is awesome as its not just a fire left or right thing, you can infact fire in absolutely every direction you can push on the pad. The controls aren't totally perfect however though. Instead of being allocated a button to run spot just starts running after a few steps if you keep holding the direction down. Now this is no sonic the hedgehog, you can’t just run through everything, if you try that you’re going to die and you’re going to die fast. So you have to keep being mindful to stop and slow yourself down so that you can use the awesome multidirectional shooting mechanic to take out the enemies before they get you. The jumping can also be a little bit painful at times, it’s just well for example it wants you to jump from balloon string to balloon string but if you’re not lined up pixel perfect then spots not grabbing it for you. This is not that big of an issue it just makes a few jumping sections feel a little more painful than they need to.

Overall I would give Spot a big 7 out of 10, fitting really with him being the mascot of 7up. If you really want to try this game then you’re looking at around £6 to £8 for a cartridge which is more than fair for what it is. There was also a sequel on the megadrive but it never came to the SNES. I could have spent more time comparing this and the megadrive version but they are both very similar games if I was to weigh them both up and recommend one version to you over another then I would say get the Megadrive version in a rare case it has slightly better music and it also plays a little better (I’d give it an 8) but if you don’t have a Megadrive the SNES one is still a good game.

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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:49 pm

SNES Game Review 97: WWF Royal Rumble

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Well this is going to be my second WWF based SNES review (WWF the former name of what is now known as the WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment). So WWF Royal Rumble was a multiplatform wrestling video game based on the World Wrestling Federation it was the sequel to Super Wrestlemania which I have already reviewed. It was once again made by Sculptured Software Inc and released by the infamous LJN who other than mentioning just now I won’t really be talking about as it is ground I have touched before, but basically this game is made and developed by the same people who did the last entry in the series.

It was released for both the Super NES and Sega Megadrive. Like its predecessor but in this case the Megadrive version hit about 3 months later, once again despite being pretty much the same game it was decided that they would give the games different roster’s, I am not sure if this was maybe because they thought it might inspire some people to buy both or because of changes in the WWF and in who was important at the time, after all 3 months could be a long time back then with wrestlers moving to WCW or mid-carders moving up in to more main event status. Either way the two versions share seven wrestlers: Bret Hart, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Randy Savage, Crush, and Lex Luger. Then each version has 5 exclusive wrestlers. On the SNES people got to play with Ric Flair, Mr. Perfect, Ted DiBiase, Yokozuna and Tatanka. Whereas on the Megadrive/Genesis there was Hulk Hogan, IRS, Jim Duggan, The Model and Papa Shango. Who got the better deal kind of depends upon how much you value the individuals involved. I like the fact that the SNES version got Ric Flair, Mr. Perfect, Ted DiBiase as they were all excellent heel characters but I have to admit if they were removed I wouldn’t really miss either Yokozuna or Tatanka. As for the megadrive version well it’s kind of cool to see Hulk Hogan and Jim Duggan as strong hero types from that period, and I also have a lot of respect for The Model so it’s nice to see him in a game. The strange thing is that IRS and Million Dollar man found themselves on oppersit sides of the format.

Yes once again I am here pointing out that old wrestling games didn’t have the large amount of wrestlers we are used to receiving in a modern game so again the same question I asked before about Super Wrestlemania can be asked. If they were going to do the work on all those characters why split them between platforms but this could be due to all sorts of things such as the size of cartridge they were trying to fit it on or again offering unique reasons for people to buy it on more than one format.

So with this only coming out a year later than Super Wrestlemania lets stop worrying about format differences and look at what was done to improve the game over its previous entry, was anything changed or was it just a quick cash grab? Well while WWF Royal Rumble still has the old bang/tap the buttons on your pad like crazy with the faster person winning grappling style this time they added an on screen meter to show how it was going. As small as this sounds I think this was a great little addition, you could now see if you were going to win or lose a grapple and it would make you try that bit harder. Steel chairs could now be found outside the ring and used which as small as it might sound at the time was a cool addition. Also after knocking the referee unconscious, the player can now use illegal tactics such as choking to get the advantage. In the last entry in the series wrestlers could only enter the ring from the left or right side but now you can roll into the from the bottom part of the screen, meaning far less bouts being ended by count out. More moves were added to the basic move makes the game feel a bit less repetitive. It’s not a bad little list of additions even if some of them are quiet subtle.

For me the main draw of this game is in the title, basically it is the fact that there's a Royal Rumble mode. I always loved watching the royal rumble every year when I was young, thirty men enter only one man leaves the winner usually with the promise of a shot at the title at the next Wrestlemania. It wasn’t always the winner who was the coolest though, it was great watching who would eliminate the most people who would last the longest, who would be the quickest person eliminated. I could talk for hours about my favourite moments from Royal Rumbles over the years including the moment when one of the bushwhackers marched to the ring jumped in got immediately knocked out and then marched back to the dressing room without missing a beat. There are of course some amazing things about the rumble this game cannot hope to emulate. You never really knew who would run to the ring next in a royal rumble, sometimes it would even be someone you hadn’t seen wrestle in a long time, or a surprise guest but in this game it is obviously one of the 12 playable characters, and that’s the other thing it’s only a 12 person rumble not a 30. Also there is only ever a maximum of 6 people in the ring at a time. Once you hit that magic number no one else will enter until someone has been eliminated to free up a space. I can see why this happens and to some degree wrestling games still do it now. There are of course a limited number of characters the console can handle at one time without it either causing slow down or just making things far too chaotic to play. For those less versed in the way of the Royal rumble it’s basically a multi competitor event where instead of pinning opponents you eliminate them by throwing them out over the top ropes, the winner being the last man left in the ring. Personally I think this mode alone actually adds buckets more to this game than the past entry in the series. I remember as a kid playing this game again and again with my brother and I honestly think for the time it wasn’t too bad. Sure it has been surpassed now, there was the excellent Royal Rumble game on Sega’s Dreamcast and then of course pretty much every modern wrestling game has a rumble/battle royal mode now but at the time this was a really neat little addition.

The graphics are pretty decent for the time, and the wrestlers although some of them don’t look quite right, Yokozuna for example does not look anywhere near big enough in comparison to other wrestlers. The important thing though is that you can tell people apart and you never get confused about who is who so the graphics are at the least highly functional. The Sound is average, all of the expected wrestler grunting is here with probably the best audio being the wrestler’s theme tunes which are all here in accurate midi style.

Would I recommend this game? Well I certainly think that there are better efforts on the machine and I would probably try to push you to something like Saturday Night Slam Masters first, but I also recognise this as a big step up from its prequel, I recognise the strength of its royal rumble mode for short bursts of fun, and I recognise the effort they went to in order to improve it. I would give this game a 6 out of 10. Should you actually go out and buy it though? Well with all of the carts of it I can find hugging the £10 to £15 price range and how much this type of game has advanced I would find it hard to recommend a purchase unless you’re dying for a new SNES game. As I said before with Super Wrestlemania you would be much better served going in to a shop and looking for a modern wrestling game with at least 3 times the characters, additions we now have like create a wrestler, and online play. In fact you can walk in to somewhere like CEX and find a copy of something like Smackdown Here comes the pain, Or one of the other early PS2 WWE Wrestlers for under £3 and you would probably get a great deal more fun from them. So really that would be my recommendation in this case, although it’s certainly fun to see how much WWE/WWF games have changed and developed over the many years they have been released.

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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:49 pm

SNES Game Review 98: Asterix

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Astérix is a 1993 platform game for the SNES it was both made and published by Infogrames, there was also NES and Game Boy versions of the game but as far as I know these were made by a Spanish company called Bit Managers (they were still published by Infogrames though). The games are based on the comic book series Asterix. An interesting little fact about This game is that it was only made available in Europe so it’s one of the few SNES games to be a European exclusive, basically because most of the other regions would have sat there going ‘’who the heck is Asterix?’’

Having grown up watching Asterix animated films I have a lot of love for the world that’s contained within them, I have always been a big fan of the characters contained within it especially Asterix’s best friend the big chubby but mighty Obelix. This is where the game gives me my first mighty kick to the testicles as the story for the game is basically that Obelix, has been kidnapped by the Romans, and it is up to you as Asterix to save him and bring him home to your village. This game came out in 1993 one year after Konami brought out an Asterix arcade game and arcade game that I was very fond of for many reasons. It was based on the same French comic series but you got to play as either Asterix or Obelix, in a final fight style 2d walk along beat em up filled with awesome graphics full of charm. Now it might seem harsh to judge a SNES game against an arcade machine but remember in 1992 we had seen an almost arcade perfect port of Street Fighter 2 the world warriors so we had seen what the SNES was capable of given the right people for the job.

So stick with me here, I turn on the game and find I have to be Asterix, it’s not so bad, then I learn it’s a 2D platformer fair enough there have been some darn good ones especially on the SNES but then I see the graphics and I am not exaggerating here this game could essentially be recreated on the master system graphics wise, the sprites are small and rather basic, the backgrounds are also pretty darn basic just enough colours and shapes to make out some sky with white clouds and grass and a bit of water, the foreground is better but once you’ve noticed how basic the background is you can’t really unsee it. Having played the Master System Asterix game from two years before this I actually think it has a better Asterix sprite.
To be fair to the games graphics there are a fair amount of different enviroments including the Gaul forests, the Swiss Alps, Egypt and of beign an Asterix game Rome.

The real problem with this game is that Infogrames did not bring a single new idea to the gaming table. So what you have here is a basic 2d platformer with basic graphics. There are cool little visits from characters like Dogmatix or Cacofonix, who will do something to help you against the Romans for example Dogmatix will bite the nearest solider on the bum taking him out of the action, its animated well and raises a smile
Asterix starts off easy as anything but as it goes on it can get quiet challenging in places, sometimes it is in fact a little frustrating, this can be due to the placement of enemies and the unsureness of how it wants you to proceed. Add on to this that unfortunately there are some occasions of flawed collision detection and you have a bit of a flawed game here. The music is pleasant enough but some of the sound effects are very basic. Overall this game feels kind of well like a budget title.

If you really like Asterix or Platformers then feel free to give this game a bash but there are a lot better games out there. I would give this game a 6 out of 10, it’s functional, enjoyable but was never going to set the world on fire. If you want to try this game a loose cart goes for around the £10 to £13 price range. I would add though that if you’re a multi format collector you could probably get a copy of the Master System Asterix boxed for this price and I feel it is in fact a much better more enjoyable game (Never thought I would be recommending a Master System title over a Super Nintendo game) I would happily give that game a 8 out of 10 and a heavy recommendation, actually talking about it is making me wish I still had it.

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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:50 pm

SNES Game Review 99: Family Fortunes

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So the game I have been playing is Family Feud, it’s based on a well-known American Quiz show, in fact you will have most likely have been watching the British version of it Family Fortunes on and off for years. The basic premise of the show for those who don’t know and therefore for this game is that two families compete to try to name the most popular responses given to survey questions in order to win. Now I have to admit that this is a bit of a weird one to review for a whole host of reasons. One being that it is an American game, asking you questions which might at times throw you culture wise for example ‘’Name a dish which you are sure to find at every PotLuck dinner’’ now I have heard the term before it’s basically a dinner where everyone brings something they have prepared to the hosts house but this just illustrates the fact that the questions are aimed at the market it was released for.

Ok so you are probably wondering at this point how you answer do you select from options or…? Well you answer by using your control pad to navigate a virtual keyboard and type the answer you want to give out, basically making the possibilities endless, add on to this that you need to spell the word or term correctly and that’s spell it correctly according to the Americanised spelling of the word. Now maybe I suck but I got my first five or six questions wrong even thinking and spelling American style for example I had to name something that someone would like as a present if they were an outdoors kind of man and I said Rifle as well we know Americans love their guns. Rifle wasn’t actually a valid answer knife however was.

So one of the important questions to raise about this type of game is how many questions is there, as with this kind of thing if the question count is low and starts to quickly repeat then the game is of very little worth well surprisingly this game has around 4,000 which is actually a lot especially when you consider the fact the latter Playstation one version only apparently has 1500. I guess they lowered the number to add in digitised speech and such. You won’t find anything like that here, sound wise you have some twee midi music in the background with a buzz noise for when things are wrong and a clap noise. The graphics well its largely static screens with your cartoon family just standing there, my personal favourite sprite is the Asian old man Harry Hill look alike, although I am also partial to the guy on one family who looks kind of like Chuck Norris. There is this clapping animation that I actually find really funny. Basically your sprites stay perfectly still there faces don’t change and they don’t move apart from their arms and hands which move backwards and forwards clapping erratically for some reason it makes me think they are all dead and being operated puppet style like the film weekend at Bernie’s.

Playing this on your own is as dull as dishwater, it is a little bit better with a friend but to be fair you’d probably have more fun just watching Family Fortunes and guessing along and seeing if your guesses are right or wrong. I basically knew going in to this that I wasn’t going to be blown away, I was just curious to see how they handled things, do I think it could be better? Well I guess I would have gone for offering a screen full of answers people could choose from instead of typing the answers out but maybe that would make it a little too easy and remove some of the pressure. This is one of those things where it’s hard to rate as we now have games like this which work better on modern smart phones. I have sat and watched my fiancée play all kinds of mobile scrabble and quiz show games which are free or cost literally pence which knock this out of the park.

This is most definitely a case where it’s only worth it if you just want to see what it is like or you are trying to collect any and every SNES cart you can get your hands on. I wouldn’t have bothered buying this myself if not for the fact that it was £3 including postage costs so I wouldn’t really recommend it as a purchase to anyone. I feel a bit mean giving it a score as it really is a product of its time but as it stands playing it now I would give it a 2 out of 10. If you desperately need this game I have seen a few copies on ebay selling from America where they want about £3.50 for the game and then £3.50 postage to the UK but remember you need either an American system, a convertor or a modified console.

Last edited by kerr9000 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:50 pm

Snes Game Review 100 Rainbow Bell Adventure

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Ok so for my one hundredth SNES review what have I picked? Well I have picked Pop'n TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventures, or as it is known in Japan TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventure. I had all kinds of ideas for what I should do for my one hundredth review if it should be specially or normal and in the end I think I just decided I should pick a game and get down to it or it would never happen. One of the interesting bits of trivia about this game is that it wasn't released in the USA at all, it was strictly speaking a Japanese and European exclusive, something which didn't really happen that often in terms of the SNES. Usually it seemed like a game would get a Japanese release which might then see it get an American release which would only then filter down to us if it had done OK in both of these previous markets. Why this game skipped the US I have no idea at all.

So other than obviously the Japanese version being in Japanese is there any differences between it and the version Europe got? Well actually there are more than you would expect. The level order in the Japanese version is a little bit more open allowing you to choose at poits what stage to do next, some stages have alternate exits, similar to Super Mario World allowing paths to be drawn that otherwise wouldn't open up. In the European version, though the order is laid out for you in a strictly linear fashion, you simply finish a level and then move on to the next one.There is dialogue between Dr. Cinnamon and the main characters Light, Pastel and Mint (the Pilots of Twinbee, Winbee and Gwinbee) at the level select screen in the Japanese version but this was cut from the European version for some reason. The European version uses passwords to save your progress where the Japanese one offers a battery back-up as well as the choice of using passwords. And last but not least the Japanese version has multiple endings depending on the player's performance (which the game rates) the European version just has one set ending. Now I might be wrong but to me I feel that a lot of this has to do with the way a bright colourful game like this was perceived in Europe, if its bright and silly looking here then its seen to be kids’ stuff, the Japanese are different though they tend to see a bright cartoony style as just one of several legitimate choices for how a game or animated film can be, I think they thought we would see the game as childish so they stripped out some of the more adult challenge and story based aspects and maybe they had a point in doing it. I got this game on release as a present I actually asked my parents for. A lot of my friends didn’t even give this game a second thought, they saw the graphics in magazine previews and pretty much straight labelled it babies stuff. I on the other hand have always been in to things like Anime and know that even with the brightest of colours and the cutest of looks sometimes there can be a lot more than just that held within.

Now there are probably three types of people reading this, the first will be those who already know about the game and want to find out my opinion, the next will be those who have never heard of the title or the characters leaving the last group those who will know that the characters belong to Konami, who will know who Twinbee is but will be going wasn't he that ship from those vertically scrolling shooter games. Well the quick answer is that yes Twinbee was from a series of shooting games in fact one of these games was on the Super Nes one year before Rainbow Bell adventures.

Pop'n Twinbee the snes game was in fact the sixth game in the TwinBee series and a direct follow-up to an arcade game The European version of this snes game was the first TwinBee related game to be localized for the European market. You might ask why I am not reviewing that game first, well there is a simple answer to that question and its the fact that I don't own it. Not to get too sidetracked but alongside sega's Fantasy Zone game Twinbee is pretty much the game responsible for the creation of the "cute 'em up" sub-genre of shoots. Its a shoot em up space ship shooting game with beautiful cute colours, upbeat cartoon style music and, snippets of voice acting I wont review it do to my rule of not reviewing things I don't own on the SNES but I will say its a delightful breath of fresh air that brings a smile to your face as you play it. I only mention it because this is one of the things that really made Rainbow Bell Adventures a surprise, you see with there being a whole series of shoot em up games featuring these characters it was a real shot from left field to see them suddenly release a platform game instead of doing what everyone expected and quickly rehashing a quick SNES sequel to the title from the previous year, you know minimum effort maximum cash style. So old Konami definitely get a bonus point from me here for doing something different.

Ok so let me play story teller here and give you a brief idea of the story (in game this is told to you via the intro sequence). So there are these ''Rainbow Bells'' right and somehow these bells keep the peace throughout the whole galaxy, they seem to do this by keeping a green haired princess alive. So all is good right? No as an evil scientist and his troopers steal the Rainbow Bells and take over the world. You play as the previously mentioned Twinbee, Winbee and Gwinbee and you have to stop him. Yeah its not about to win any book of the year awards here for story telling but its good enough to give you a reason for what your doing.

So you get to choose between the three character Twinbee the blue one, the pink Winbee the pink one, or the green Gwinbee the green one. They are all pretty much the same in how they move and how they control but there are some small differences. First and most importantly there is a charge punch move you can do and there is also the ability to charge your ship so you can shoot off at whatever angle your pressing at the time you release your jets, well the charge-up times are different Winbee charges her flying ability quickly but is slow to charge her punch, Gwinbee charges his punches quickly but takes a long time to charge up his jets, and Twinbee is the middle ground character his punch and flying ability have a medium charge making him the most rounded character. There is another minor difference between them but I will get to that in a little.

The game is absolutely chock a block full of different power-ups, something it takes from its shoot em up heritage. Your basic moves include both a punching attack and jumping, the jumping itself can be used as an attack as you will harm enemies by landing on top of them. Power-ups though come in the form of various coloured bells which appear after you have defeated an enemy. Obviously different colours give you different things. One coloured bell will give you a laser gun power-up another will give you a character dependant physical weapon with Twinbee getting a hammer, Winbee getting a whip, and Gwinbee getting projectile baby rattles. Then there is a bell which will give you a shield, a belle which gives you a mini ship which will follow behind you and a belle which will give you time limited invincibility.

OK so the basic idea in most levels is to find and enter the exit gate. This is no simple keep going right and you'll find it thing like in some games though or at least not all of the time, sure In a few levels, finding the exit is rather straightforward, but in others it can involve a whole lot of exploration. Then every so many levels you are met with a boss. There are the above mentioned bells to pick up for power ups but there are also score related bells which you can sort of consider the equivalent of Mario's coins. You will need to use your charge moves to either blow through a wall or to fly up in to the air. Something in this game I love but is actually pointless is the fact that if you charge up and rocket in to the air again and again eventually you can reach all the way in to space, there is nothing to do up there other than let go and see yourself plummeting downwards but the very fact they allow you to do this without putting some invisible ceiling in place or making you die if you go to high feels very liberating, its like they knew people would want to try it.

The graphics in Rainbow Bell Adventure are so darn cute but its more than that they are so full of colour that there a visual treat especially if you have played a lot of Xbox 360 grey chest high wall shooters recently, if you go from something like that back to Rainbow Bell it will just lay you on your ass and make you think back fondly to the good old 16bit era. The playable characters have lots of animation to them, they feel like they positively pop to life on the screen this coupled with the music just brings everything to life. The music is light and bubbly while also being fun and upbeat, I cant say that you will leave the game humming it but it certainly does put you in the right mood to enjoy this kind of game.

I think the game controls like a dream, its quiet simply awesome, it doesn't just control well its also so much fun to rocket around and bounce off walls and see what tricks you can do. The game is very fun but I also feel it works best in small bite sized chunks, I would advise you to play four or five levels jot down the password and then come back to it rather than trying to do all 33 in one sitting. I know that compared to the likes of super Mario World 33 doesn't sound like a very high number and well its not. If you were to attack this game with a I must complete it attitude you would knock it out of the way very quickly but that would ignore how fun this game is.

So what would I score this game? Well I think I would give it a nice solid 8. Its a nice fun game, its a bit different but I do think that it could do with being a little longer, I do think that some of the things that were removed from the Japanese version were removed to the games detriment and I do think that there are better games out there even if this is a darn fine game. How much are you going to spend if your considering this game though? Well the cheapest I could find at the moment was an English cart only copy for £20 with people asking up to £40 for a loose cart in some instances, a Japanese loose cartridge is closer to £10 but of course you'll need a modified system or a converter, its not like the in game text or anything is really needed so you could easily play and finish a Japanese copy. It might be worth looking at wrongly labelled auctions as I actually got my copy cheaper due to someone listing it as the previous Pop'n Twinbee game (they gave the name of that game but a picture of this cartridge).

Last edited by kerr9000 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:50 pm

SNES REVIEW 101 Tiny Toon Adventures: Wild & Wacky Sports AKA Tiny Toon Adventures: Wacky Sports Challenge AKA Tiny Toon Adventures: Dotabata Daiundoukai

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It’s not so long ago that I reviewed the SNES platformer Buster Busts loose a platformer based on the cartoon Tiny Toon Adventures made by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. So I will try not to spend to long going on about this being a licensed game and where the license came from as I am reviewing another Tiny Toons related game. Over here (and in the rest of Europe) the game I am reviewing was called Tiny Toon Adventures: Wild & Wacky Sports in the American markets it was called Tiny Toon Adventures: Wacky Sports Challenge and in Japan it was known as Tiny Toon Adventures: Dotabata Daiundoukai. It was released in 1994 for the Super NES and was once again both developed and published by Konami.

So this is a license but once again it’s a license being made by Konami who we must remember back in the SNES days could more or less do no wrong they were one of the prize producers for the machine making hit after hit. Also in case you haven’t guessed by the Wacky sports name this game is basically a quirky game featuring lots of little sort of ‘’sports’’ based events and as most people will know Konami were responsible for one of the most well-known multi sports games of all time Track & Field( or Hyper Olympics as it was known in Japan).

For those not familiar with Track and field it had very simple gameplay, based on quick repeating button presses, but what it really managed to do was to open the flood gates and set the basics down in stone for a whole bunch of games that would follow it, it was essentially the start of the multi sports button bashing sub-genre. It laid down all of the basic ideas that would go on to be seen in this type of game. The NES version of Track and Field was very well-received, and also sold well. Surprisingly Konami did not make a proper direct SNES follow up instead they would wait until the N64 which would get International Track & Field 2000 (as well as a winter Olympics based game which worked in much the same way).

Now personally I see this as a kind of crazy off shot of the Track and Field series, yes it can be a bit silly and a bit kiddy but it is a very fun party type game that is great fun when played with a second player but it’s also worth noting that it's one of the few SNES games to support the SNES Multitap , and if you have one of these and enough pads then four of you can play against each other at the same time.

So to start with if you’re playing on your own you choose a Tiny Toon from Buster, Babs, Plucky, or Dizzy and then you go through a bunch of wacky events and compete for the gold. It's kind of like Track and Field but with Tiny Toon characters and less obvious sporting events. There is a big variety in the events and there all wacky. There are around twelve events, I won’t list all of them for you, but here is a quick sample to show you the kind of things you will be doing, there is weightlifting, the chicken dash, bungee jumping and ice cream throwing.

The way to win is basically to score the most points, if you’re playing on your own then the computer will take control of the other tiny toons. Hampton the pig will tell you the rules of each event before they start. After the event the points gets calculated and you find out who has won that event and who has come second and so on. Once you have completed all of the events for your current game the overall winners are announced and you will get to see who has won the Bronze, Silver and Gold medal.

The main drawback with this game is that once you get the hang of most events well it really is not too hard to beat the computer, the game soon becomes boring as a one player game however grab a friend or hopefully three and this just see’s the fun ramp up.

Unusually for a game of this type there is actually a story. Montana Max who if you haven’t seen the show can basically be described as a super-rich brat, think richy rich but a wanker, well for some reason probably the fact he is bored has decided to hold a sports contest with weird events. As a prize Max has offered a Million to the winner and each of the 4 competitors has their eyes on the money because they each have an individual dream that they need it for, if you want to find out if there dream comes true or not then you will need to pick that person and finish the game.

Both the sound effects and music fit the game well, there are cartoon boing noises when someone messes up for example. The music is nothing you are really going to listen to outside of the game but it does fit its purpose well, for example the music during the races has the right kind of beat to it to get you in the mood to work like mad to try to win. The sounds are clear and feel like they were taken directly from the cartoon, the theme tune is also used even though it is without lyrics obviously. The graphics in this game are nice and bright, they are pretty good for the SNES and look and feel a lot like those seen in Buster Busts Loose, these two games certainly can sit side by side as good companion pieces when you think about the fact there made by the same company, for the same machine and feature the same cast. The graphics and sounds together certainly help set the mood for this game and make it feel a lot like the show it is based on.
So I have gone through almost everything, what kind of a game this is, its story, the sound and graphics so that leaves the one most important thing and that’s how the game plays. In my opinion the controls are nice and easy, they are all explained to you prior to the events. The characters all play exactly the same which is no bad thing as it means no one is in any way at a disadvantage well not unless they have ended up with the last pad you have left in four player mode and it happens to be a awful 3rd party piece of tat (Let’s face it back in the SNES days this was a situation you would often find yourself in, popping round someone’s house for a game, being the last one there and having to nurse your way through a game or two with a crappy pad, and even if you did get one of the good pads you’d have to put up with the moans of the poor soul who didn’t)

The controls are good and responsive but like a lot of games of this type you better darn well have strong thumbs because during some of the events you will find yourself having to batter two buttons as fast as you possibly can in order to win, there is also the argument that if you get in to this with some real gusto then your probably not doing your pads buttons any big favours. That's if you want to win and get a very high score.

This is one of those games which I think it is a little hard to rate, after all you have to look at the game in two ways, you have to look at it as a single player game and a multiplayer. As a single player game it’s a fun little distraction but you will soon tire of it, and to this degree it is a little hard to seriously recommend it. If however you own a multi-tap and enough decent pads and regularly have friends around who enjoy playing 16bit games with you then this is an ace title to slap on in the middle of a gaming night, few rounds of bomberman, some Mario kart, followed by winner stays on street fighter and then chuck this on for a while before moving on to something like NBA Jam and it will be fun all round. I think I would give this game a 7 out of 10 but I only recommend it for purchase as a multiplayer title. So if you want this game how much are you looking at paying? Well the average price for a loose cart version of it tends to go for between £15 to £20 and there is very little saving to be made in going for an import copy, it’s not cheap and if you’re going to be playing it on your own its simply not worth it, but as a multiplayer game I think it’s worth it. What did I pay? Well I got it me along with Cool Spot, Asterix and ClayMates for the awesome price of £23.

Last edited by kerr9000 on Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:51 pm

SNES game review 102:The Lawnmower Man

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So it has been a fairly long time since my last SNES review. Some of it is the fact that I got a new job and found myself with less free time than I had before but I guess a big part of it was also because I had review more than 100 games and felt like I had hit some kind of mile stone, it seemed like after reviewing a nice interesting title for review number 100 anything after would be a bit of a step down. I did consider just letting this whole thing die, after all 100 reviews is a lot of reviews and there are other things I want to talk about, modern games, the megadrive, politics, philosophy and economics but at the end of the day I said I would review 150 SNES games so I want to review 150 SNES games even if it takes me till this time next year or longer. So here is review 102 and apologies for the long wait.

Now it might have turned up in some of my conversations or in previous blog posts but I am a very big fan of the 1950's Horror comics and beyond that horror in general. This all started with my exposure to several films when young, soon films turned to comics, and comics turned to books and this is how I came to find my self reading the work of several authors including the likes of Richard Matheson and Stephen King. Now days it wouldn't be that huge an issue to find a game being made with the involvement of some kind of horror director or writer but back when I heard that a SNES game was being made based on a film which was apparently based on a sort of horror short which I had read it was actually kind of exciting, sure the very fact it was based on a film should have started my spidey sense tingling but I was less jaded and cynical back then.

The original ''The Lawnmower Man" is a short story which was written by Stephen King and originally published in the May 1975 issue of a US magazine called Cavalier, later it was included in King's 1978 short story collection Night Shift, which is where I found it a good ten years latter. I dont want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it but I will simply say this it is a little tale with connections to sort of mythical beings and has no futuristic science to it. Beyond some kind of weird ZX Spectrum game with an RRP of £3.99 or less I dont really see how back then the idea of this story could make a game, at least not a proper game on a 16bit system.

My excitement died pretty much when I saw The Lawnmower Man the film. Sure the film is named after the Stephen King short story of the same name, but it basically has pretty much sod all to do with it. Again I dont want to spoil something you have yet to experience but I will give a brief idea of what the film is about. The film is about a simple minded gardener and a scientist who decides to experiment on him, using a combination of drugs and Virtual Reality exercises/games. The film had some interesting CGI in it and some decent ideas but overall was a very run of the mill average movie. It was no wonder that it was originally titled Stephen King's The Lawnmower Man, but this ended when King managed to successfully sue the producers and have his name removed on the basis that his story and this film basically had sod all in common.

So on the outside of it a man being trained with VR games doesn't sound like a bad set up for a game does it? Well the reviews for it back in the day were kind of all over the place with some claiming it to be absolutely crap while the odd one praised it like it was some kind of proto Mario 64 but I think the general consensus was that it was an incredibly average game.
The game is basically composed of different parts, there is a platformer, then there is a 3-D first-person flying game with a lot of mode 7 thrown into the mix, but there are also some levels where your flying in a sort of ship or driving along on a futuristic bike where it is basically a horizontal or vertical shooter. The main issue is that the platformer is OK if incredibly pedestrian and average where as the 3D mode 7 heavy stuff rather than being the icing on the cake or the jam to separate the layers and mix things up a little is more like the brussel sprouts you were made to eat as a child if you wanted your Christmas pudding, that is if your Christmas pudding was a only just edible none exciting Christmas pudding. The shooter bits are not to bad but nor are they too good, everything is kind of average but you still feel basically grateful that they tried to break things up and mix genres and elements together to keep you entertained.

If you want to know what the platforming bit is like well imagine a sort of amateur run and gun Contra/Turrican kind of thing, you shoot stuff, you jump around, you pick up bigger and better weapons to shoot even more things with

When you first see the mode seven bits you will be a little impressed and be like ''oh wow something different, this doesn't look bad'' but soon this will turn into ''oh great one of these bloody bits again''. These bits basically involve shooting at wire frame enemies avoiding there shots and trying not to crash into stuff, it could potentially be exciting but you realize all to soon that none of the enemies could hit an elephant with a Rocket launcher, there AI is simply more brain dead than almost any you will have faced before, and lets remember in 1977 the Atari 2600 a machine with only a 1.19mhz processor managed to show competitive functional AI in its tanks in the video game cart known as Combat (one of the first 9 games released for that particular system). . Not much of a gameplay rating here, that's for sure. And also, the enemies, even in the last few levels, have the worst AI ever. If anything will get you in these sort of bits its more walls than enemies. I would have scrapped these bits as novel looking as they are and concentrated on doing my best to ensure the other bits were more enjoyable, but I guess they figured this stuff was what would stand out the best when printed in magazines and is what would sell the game.

The sound is pretty basic even if I find the music strangely funky and appealing in a way I cant quiet understand, the controls are decent, there are no real major major bug bears with this game beyond what I have mentioned but the way it feels when you play it you cant find yourself saying anything kinder than either the generic ''yeah its average'' or ''at least they tried something'' So I think it is pretty clear that I would give this game 5 out of 10. Would I recommend a purchase? Only if you can get it for around £5 and really fancy something you don't already own. I have had this knocking around in my collection so long I have no idea when or where I got it but looking online, looking about you can get a cart for around £5 on Amazon and if you like trying new things then give it a shot you might like it more than I do.

Last edited by kerr9000 on Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:51 pm

Snes Review 103 Uniracers AKA Unirally

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Well I was going to review a Disney based game but then decided to pick the title I have ended up reviewing instead, there is a trivia based connection and I will get to it. So the game I am going to talk about is Uniracers perhaps better known to some of you under the title it was released in Pal regions under the name Unirally.

It was created by DMA Design and Nintendo of America for the SNES and was released in North America in December 1994 and in England on April 27, 1995. For those not in the know DMA was a british video game developer which I suppose first really stepped in to the limelight with the game Lemmings, After developing Unirally for Nintendo, DMA Design was set to most likely become one of their main second-party developers, but this didnt happen largly it is said because of Nintendo's disapproval of Body Harvest. So what did DMA go on to do instead? Well in 1997, DMA released Grand Theft Auto (They are now known as Rockstar North) and I think we all know how that went. So what we have here is a Unicycle racing game made by the future makers of grand theft auto now if that doesn't sound weirdly interesting to you then nothing will.

OK another important little bit of trivia here which is relvent to this review Unirally was actually made to test out the ACM (Advanced Computer Modelling) which would be later used in Donkey Kong country which proberbly explains some of this games graphics, it kind of has what I would now consider the looks of a Xbox 360 Xbox live indie title. what do I mean by this? Well, the unicycles all have a great physical 3Dness about them, as do the actual twisting pipes which serve as your racing courses and it all travels at a wonderful smooth and fast rate, in fact it could be argued it is one of the best games on the SNES for giving a real sense of speed to its gameplay. However it needs to be pointed out that a lot of the backgrounds and menus are very bland and don't seem to have had a lot of time or effort pushed into them. I firmly believe that if this son of a bitch wasn't so damn playable then it would have just been left as a interesting little tech demo and thank god it wasn't as I played the living crap out of this as a youngster.

Again I have to both note and congratulate those involved in the speed of this title and in the fact that there is no slowdown. The race tracks have various colorful patterns on them throughout each course, highlighting the fact that a piece of track is covered in oil, is a run-up to a loop-the-loop, or is the final stretch of the race, this means that you are given a visual indication of how to handle your unicyle. This works really well despite the games very rapid pace most likely because there is very little else to distract you. This is not to say that the game is devoid of character though , yes the level might lack it but the Uniracers themselves don't know there are no riders these are strangely sentient cycles that actually have personalities, as you play you will notice that they use there seats as if they were there heads, they throw looks behind them if an opponent is drawing close, the victor does a sort of happy dance after winning and losers either seem to be crying or simply seem to topple over and toss themselves to the ground. This actually kind of led to some issues of its own. Shortly after the game's release, DMA Design was sued by Pixar . Basically Pixar felt that the unicycle design and the characterization of the was copied from their1987 short film Red's Dream. DMA seemed to see it very differently with one of there developers Mike Dailly, stating that "The problem with Pixar was that they seemed to think that any computer generated unicycle was owned by them." . DMA Design actually lost the lawsuit, and as a result, Nintendo had to terminate production of further Unirally cartridges. How do I feel about this? I think well I think its bullshit really, I don't think Pixar should have won the lawsuit because well the idea of humanized vehicles has existed for year and been used by loads of people and I don't think it is enough to warrant a victory in a court of law but oh well it happened.

This game is one of those games were it is a complete victory of gameplay over everything else, the sound is decent but not outstanding, the graphics are in some ways good but in other ways basic but the gameplay is for me at least a solid 10 out of 10, the controls are so simple that anyone can play it and yet there is a real sense of being able to always get a little better a little faster in your times, if you play it with a friend then its a great heated competition. The game simply excels at controlling well, doing everything you tell it to when you tell it to and letting you know that any cock up is completely down to you. I cant help but score this game 10 out of 10 no matter what. I think it is some of the best fun you can have on the snes and there is nothing else quiet like it. A loose cart of it should cost you around the £10 mark and I would recommend you buy this as soon as possible because there is nothing else quiet like it on the system and reviewing this has been one of the highlights of this whole series of reviews.

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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:52 pm

SNES Game Reivew 104: Super Pinball: Behind the Mask

Well I haven't touched a Pinball game for the SNES since I reviewed Pinball Fantasies (which as I mentioned in my review was a port of an Amiga game)also ported to the Super Nintendo). At the time while listing a few other pinball games on the system (not the one I will be talking about today) I basically said that for your pin-balling needs you'd be better of looking at the megadrive well will this game change my opinion at all? I guess you will have to read on to find out.

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Well the game I have been playing is Super Pinball: Behind the Mask a pinball simulator for the SNES that was released in 1994 in North America and Japan (I cant find any details on a European release, yet there seem to be pal copies being sold from various European countries so maybe it was just never brought out in the UK). It was made by a company called KAZe a video game developer whose headquarters were/are in Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan. Founded in 1987, KAZe is mostly known for developing various pachinko and pinball video games. In fact the last game they were involved with to my knowledge was a pinball game Shin Megami Tensei Pinball: Judgement which was released in 2006, published by Atlus. As far as I know they still exist they have just diversified into areas such as the development of Web sites, IT consultation and the cell phone industry. My favourite game they are responsible for would be a Japanese PS1 exclusive Power Rangers Zeo: Full Tilt Battle Pinball, a game I actually menttioned in my Pinball Fantasies review, when I wrote that review I had no idea Super Pinball Behind the Mask even existed but learning it did and who had made it I was obviously excited especially as it only cost me £2 for a loose cartridge of it including postage.
OK so to get in to the game a little bit Super Pinball: Behind the Mask features three different tables, a clown based one called "Jolly Joker", a pirate one called "Blackbeard and Ironmen", and a fantasy one called "Wizard.". All of the tables are shown in a way where you can see the whole table on the screen without the need for any scrolling. The issue however is that all of the tables are basically very straightforward and there design while very functional doesn't really show any real imagination. The ball physics are good, the controls are pretty much perfect but Its just not that interesting in the long run I am afraid. The graphics are functional but not exactly amazing, and the sound is well its a mixed bag they effects are good but the music gets very annoying very quickly. There is very little to the game other than trying to get the best high scores you can get but then there is no battery backup so unless you want to go old school and grab a pen and paper there is no real way to know if you have managed to improve in the long run. I guess I have ended up at the same point I did when I reviewed my last SNES pinball game, I cant call it a bad game, I can recognize that it does some things well but ultimately in this particular genre of games your just much better of looking at what the Megadrive has to offer.

Having rated Pinball Fantasies as a 6 out of 10 and feeling that while decent this game is not as good, I feel I have to give it the very average 5 out of 10. No its not a bad game, but there are a lot better games out there. I have seen a fair few copies of this on ebay and in other places but they are seldom being sold from inside the UK, if you want a pal copy they seem to be going for about £8 after postage with Japanese copies being closer to around £6, but then as these are coming from outside the UK there is the extra waiting and such and I just don't think this title is worth it. If you see one for as cheap as I did then jump on it, it is after all a perfectly playable game just not something to get excited about or go running to try and find. If you get a chance to try Power Rangers Zeo: Full Tilt Battle Pinball then I would strongly recommend that you do.

Last edited by kerr9000 on Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:52 pm

SNES review 105: Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits

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OK so this is a bit different to reviewing a regular SNES title as its a compilation of older arcade games, basically there was no real alterations to them they are just copies of the old arcade machines no new graphics or functions added. I kind of need to throw a sort of disclaimer in here, what a person will make of this particular game/cart will largely depend on what they expect when they pop it into the Super Nintendo, if you have been playing a whole bunch of Donkey Kong Country and other high end advanced (for the system) games and haven't ever sampled the games on this compilation in there original state in arcade machines or even ports of them on an older machine (For example there I a port of Defender 2 a game present on this compilation on the Atari 2600) and don't have a particularly high tolerance for games from before the SNES era then you might find yourself very underwhelmed.

An important part of making a good compilation is deciding which games to put on it so what is on this one well you have Joust, Sinstar, Robotron, Defender and Defender 2. Now while the games go together well it needs to be noted that 3 of them are spaceship based shooters so its not exactly big on variety. I have quiet a big history with 3 of these games Robotron, Defender and Defender 2.. Robotron I had played a lot in the arcades at the coast so playing this was quiet refreshing to jump in to it again, not only is it one of those games which reminds me of a happy time (past family holidays) you can also tell that it is one of those games which has fed into so many other games since its release including games like Smash TV and Geometry Wars (a personal favourite of mine). As for Defender and Defender 2 well I had owned them on my Atari 2600 and while I have to admit that the 2600 versions are cut down versions they were good enough for there time and I was always very fond of them. Joust I never really appreciated not in the way a lot of people seemed to, it just didn't do anything much for me, Sinstar I never really knew but I have to admit it is a pretty good slice of space shooter action. I do think that having Defender and Defender 2 is a little redundant they are both so similar that its more like just having 2 slight variants of the same game, I would have much rather seen a different Williams classic take one of there places such as MoonPatrol.

The games although kind of shallow have a great pick up and play just one more go, I can do better than this kind of vibe which well they should with there origins being in the arcade and it is good to see them on the SNES but and it needs to be said is it really worth using a SNES to play them? Copies of this Cartridge tend to go for around £20 and that's just the cart, sure if you look around and play your cards right you might be able to get it cheaper I paid £7 for mine recently (from an indie games store) if you have an original Xbox or PS2 though then I have seen the Midway Arcade Treasures collection go for as little as £2 or £3, sure it might not be considered quiet as collectable or give you an excuse to use your super Nintendo but that's £2 or £3 for 24 Midway arcade games including all of the ones on this SNES cart, plus a lot of other stuff like Smash TV, Paper Boy, Rampage add on top of this the fact that these disc based compilations have a few interviews and such on them well they just provide a lot more bang for your buck, your getting more for less.

If I had to give Williams Arcade's greatest hits a score well I would have to kind of give it 2 scores, one for those into classic games and that would be a 7, its a good collection of a handful of arcade classics but with the selection not being the best it could be, and one for those who only want to see the best a machine can do and that score would be a 3 as well compared to most of the SNES library what is on offer here is basic in every sense of the word.

Last edited by kerr9000 on Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:52 pm

SNES Game review 106: Primal Rage

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As a kid I absolutely loved Dinosaurs, I liked everything about them, there size there power the fact that there were so many different types it just blew my mind, you can imagine when I discovered transformers and met the dinobots I thought life could not get any better than getting to see big dumb robotic Dinosaurs pulling Decepticon planes out of the sky, breathing fire and generally wrecking things.

Life as a youngster was very much a sequence of finding one thing after another that would grab your attention and make the days seem better and better another of these things when I was slightly older was Street Fighter 2 and the other various one on one fighting games which followed in its wake. A lot of the games of this type for awhile seemed to fall in to one of two camps either those that tried to keep looking sort of anime inspired (Street fighter, Art of Fighting, etc) and those that attempted to look as real as possible the most famous and the one that started that kind of trend being Mortal Kombat. So you can imagine how excited my tiny little mind was when there began to be news that a game called Primal Rage was being developed for the Arcade by Atari and that it would be a versus fighting game featuring Dinosaurs... and what is more not cartoon Dinosaurs but ones done in a very MK looking style so that they would look as real as possible, it was going to be Mortal Kombat but with Dinosaurs instead of Ninja's this was just mind blowing to all of us back then, it was like one of those kind of dream video game ideas you would come up with when talking to your friends the sort of thing you'd spend a whole day chatting about but then sigh knowing it would never be made yet here we were all met with the announcement of what we saw as pretty much MK Dino Wars (yeah there made by different companies and not related but look at it through a sugar high prepubescent pre-internet filter and it makes sense).

So Primal Rage has a bit of a story and it goes like this You are on a post-apocalyptic version of Earth called "Urth". On Urth Dinosaurs (and a giant monkey) are battling each other to determine the fate of the planet..... This plot made the game appeal to me even more because lets face it plot wise it is basically a B-movie, on Paper this sounds like a recipe for gold a Dinosaur featuring, B-Movie plot owning one on one realistic looking beat em up what could go wrong?

Players control one of seven large beasts that battle each other to determine the fate of the planet. Matches feature many of the conventions of fighting games from the era, including special moves and gory finishing manoeuvrers. Various ports were released for home consoles and personal computers but I am obviously talking about the SNES version, as far as I remember they wernt really that different but I haven't looked at any of them before writing this to verify that, I just seem to remember them all being pretty much the same. Sure this wasn't the first time a game was on everything of course but it did seem to be everywhere and get a big push.

Now I have to start with the games graphics because these were pushed as being a big selling part of the game and in total honesty they were pretty darn cool for the time and in all fairness I still think they don't look bad, they certainly could have aged a lot worse. The backgrounds are good, and so are the sprites, they are close enough to the arcade that if you go from the arcade version to the home yes there might be some differences but not enough that the average person will really care. The game has a real sense of depth yes its a 2D game but somehow it feels like a real world with depth. Unfortunately, there is one real issue here and that is the fact that a lot of the dinosaurs/combatants kind of resemble each other, I think that there could be a lot more favourite and its a shame I have to say that when there is only 7 of them, if there were more fighters and some of them were just sort of pallet swaps it would be a lot less of an issue for me.

Oh I have to stop and mention one of the little things I really love, there are human worshippers who run around in the background, you see them at times get thrown around and even eaten it is kind of awesome. On the other side though the game tends to have a sort of sluggish feel which I think is down at least in part to its frame rate.

I will just quickly touch upon the games sound to say that it is OK, there are a few decent beats and the odd roar you would expect but it could be so much better its just all so average.

It is really the gameplay where Primal Rage falls down, its not that its a bad game, its more that it is an average game which just needed more polish, it feels kind of hollow and unbalanced and I am afraid that on machine with games such as Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat it just feels poor in comparison. Certain characters seem to have moves which have a much better reach than others and its quiet easy to win by being cheap, the combo system seems pretty poor if you want to see a combo you kind of feel like you need to bang the buttons so fast that you cant really learn what you are doing .

I would give this game a 5 out of 10 and just say that it is very very average, sure you could do worse but you could also do a lot better. I got my copy from a market for £3 and that felt like a pretty reasonable price for it.. having looked online if your after it you can typically look at spending about £5 for a loose cart if you should spend that or not probably depends how you feel about average games.

Last edited by kerr9000 on Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:52 pm

SNES Review 107: Out To Lunch

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So did any of you visit the fast food restaurant chain Wimpy's here in the UK as a kid? Actually there are still a few of them dotted around here and there so maybe you went last week, I wouldn't be surprised though if there are people that have never even heard of it, after all they are not that common now days and everyone seems to have almost forgotten that there are alternatives to McDonalds when it comes to a burger fix. As many of you will know McDonalds had plenty over the years but the first fast food game I ever remember playing was Mr Wimpy a platformer released on the good old 48k Spectrum back as a kid, why am I mentioning this in a SNES review? Don't worry It will make sense in the long run. Now the bulk of Mr Wimpy was effectively a clone of an arcade game created by Data East called Burger Time in which you ply as a chef called Peter Pepper who walks over burger ingredients to knock them down until they create a burger while being chased by various killer foods like a walking hot dog and a walking egg, I can link this back to Nintendo by telling you that Burger Time got a Gameboy version called Burger Time Deluxe in 1991.

Now you kind of expect weird games on the old spectrum specially seeing as you could buy budget titles for as little as £1.99 so there was room for some stranger ideas to have a chance, but it might surprise some to learn there was a cart based game for a major system about a Chef, how about I tell you it wasn't the only game staring a Chef on the Gameboy, there was another one, and importantly this other one had a SNES release as well or I wouldn't be talking about it (and its name wouldnt be in the title and a picture of its cover wouldnt be above either). So the game I am reviewing right now is a game called Out to Lunch or to give it its full long title Pierre le Chef is... Out to Lunch. Out to Lunch was released for the SNES in 1993 it was both published and developed by Mindscape a company who published a few very good games my personal favourite being the blood filled fantasy game called Moonstone: A Hard Days Knight which I highly recommend everyone to look up, Out to Lunch couldn't be further from that though don't expect Pierre to be slicing anyone's head off here his weapon of choice tends to be a net.

OK so to explain it as simply as possible Out to Lunch is a side-scrolling platform game in which you play Pierre a French chef who has to try to collect the ingredients he needs for his culinary delights by travelling around the world to collect sentient escapee foods.

One thing I need to say is that when you start the game up you will be met with a choice of playing either a single-player or two-player mode/game but it is one of those kind of bollox alternating turn taking two player modes, which I can hardly see the point of. Yeah I am not going to call the game a failure over this but I do think its something that needs pointing out to anyone considering purchasing it.

OK so the objective of each level is to capture a set number of ingredients before a timer runs out. To catch the ingredients you use Pierre's net, you don't just have to catch them and then they disappear and that's it like you might expect though, there is actually a cage in the level you empty them into which is a nice touch. I personally find this game to be absolutely full of neat little touches though, you get these cool little animated skits now and then that are bursting with character, you really start to feel for Pierre as his vegetables run off and leave the poor little fella dazed and confused.

The game is quiet simplistic but its not really a bad thing you can pick it up and have fun playing it straight away. It goes like this at the start of every level, you have to find your net before you can catch the run away food, then you catch the food and place it in the cage and then the door to the next level will appear somewhere in the stage and you go through it, rinse and repeat. Yes it sounds simplistic and it is, but its simplistic in much the same way something like Pacman is, its also a very very charming game.

So far it all sounds very walk in the park but there are of course enemies, there is bacteria and insects trying to get in your way. Its not just you and your net against the world though, no you can also jump on enemies heads to stun them and pick up weapons like hot sauce and bags of flour. You travel the world visiting different countries 8 in total which all have there own set of levels, there own music and feel, it is done very well and helps to keep this basic game fresh and fun. The graphics are simple but charming as is the soundtrack, its just generally a very nice pleasant game. The game handles well, its nice and quick and you never feel like its anyone's fault but your own when you fail and to me that is the hall mark of a darn good game.

So how would I rate Out To Lunch well I give it a very hearty 8 out of 10 and would strongly recommend it, its a fun little game that probably passed most people by, sure its not a Mario beater but its a nice cute fun game which really deserves more attention than it gets. So how much are you looking at if you want this game, well online loose carts tend to go for £15 to £20 usually with boxed copies starting from around the £28 sort of mark. I was lucky enough to get mine from a local indy shop for £15 complete. I think this game is totally worth it.

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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:53 pm

SNES review 108: Super Empire Strikes back

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I have tried as much as possible to review games in order when it comes to parts of a franchise/sequels for example I made sure I didn't review Donkey Kong Country 3 until I had reviewed the first and then the second entries in the series but I also said that I would not review a game I did not own. So when it came to the Super Star Wars games I reviewed Super Star Wars and then jumped to Super Return of The Jedi for a simple reason I didn't own Super Empire Strikes back. The truth is I had never owned Super Empire Strikes back not even as a kid, sure a friend had owned it and I had played it before but I had never owned and had a chance to really give it a proper go. I reviewed Return of the Jedi because I simply didn't think I would ever get Super Empire Strikes back, every time I saw it which wasn't often it was a lot of money, and to be honest it was more than I wanted to pay, to cut a long story short a few months ago I finally managed to get an American Cartridge only copy for what I considered to be a good price, I have sat on it since then knowing that at some stage I would play it and review it, so when did I play it? I started playing it after I heard the sad news that Carrie Fisher had passed away I guess this piece of sad news served as a reminder that I had this game waiting for me, and I have decided that I have finally played enough of it to give a fair opinion on it.

So why didn't I get it as a kid? Well I guess in part because unlike a lot of other people of the original Star Wars films Empire was my least favorite, sure I like the snow speeder parts at the beginning a lot and its still a great film but I was always a Return of the Jedi fan the other reason was that I constantly heard about how much harder than StarWars it was and in truth as a child I had found StarWars hard, hard enough to be frustrating but still fun and overall just about manageable, I kind of thought that if it was tougher than this then it would simply be so hard that I wouldn't enjoy it. Plus lets remember as a kid you are very limited in how many games you can manage to get and if you spend all of your money on a game you then quickly get stuck on you might be stuck without a new game your actually managing to progress through for quiet a long time.

Well as you will probably know either from reading my review or another review or even from playing it Super Star Wars game was primarily a run and gun platformer with some Mode 7 levels thrown in to keep things fresh, well if you liked that then your in for more of the same here. The graphics are more or less the same there is not a massive jump in quality but they do feel slightly more polished especially when it comes to the Mode 7 focused ones. To the untrained eye you might look and go well its basically the same but with sand swapped out for snow, but its when you take a look at the enemy vehicles they are a lot clearer in Empire. The best new thing about Empire is that there is a password system. The length of Super Empire Strikes Back is roughly the same as that of Super Star Wars. However, with the added password system this not only means that you don't have to try to do the whole game in one it also means that if you keep a record of your passwords you can play the bits you like again and again without having to keep playing through the game until you get to them. This is great as there's a part later on in the game where you get to fly the Millennium Falcon and fight Tie Fighters in space. This looks and feels rather like a SNES version of the X-Wing and Tie Fighter games that were big on PC at the time of this games release. I can not tell you how many times I have returned to this part via password to play it again and again, there are entire flight based games on the SNES which are not as good as this little part of this game yes The Rocketeer I am looking right at you (as well as another title I have yet to review so wont name).

The difficulty is defiantly turned up from the first game which yes might be an issue if this is the first of these games that you grab but to be honest its not as hard as some people have made out if you have already played and finished the first game Super StarWars then most of the skills you learned will see you through the start of this game. This is where I will make a strange suggestion, nearly everyone knows the StarWars story, you will have seen the films probably countless times, if your my age then Christmas and New Years always seemed to be StarWars time with all of the films being shown during your Christmas holiday therefore I would say if you are going to grab one of these don't worry about the story order worry about the difficulty order. If you want to play them easiest first and work up to the hardest then in my opinion you should play Super Return of the Jedi, followed by Super StarWars and finally end with this game Super Empire Strikes back.

I have to say I really liked this game if you have played and liked any of the Super StarWars games then you will like this, it has the same high level of presentation with both graphics and sound effects that just scream StarWars. So if I was to give this game a score then what would I personally give it? Well I need to give it 7 out of 10, I really like it but I did enjoy both Super StarWars and Super Return of the Jedi just that little bit more. I spent around £15 on my American loose cart of Super Empire Strikes back but looking online at the moment your looking at something closer to £30 with boxed versions being more in the £60 to £70 price range. So is it worth it? Well that comes down to the individuals desire to own and play this game, I would certainly start with Super Star Wars or Super Return of the Jedi first, It might interest some people to know that Super StarWars can be got on the Playstation 4's download service for around £7 Yes this is the SNES version).

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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:53 pm

SNES review 109: Sky Mission AKA Blazing Skies AKA Wings 2: Aces High

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So the title I am going to talk about today is actually a game I accidentally purchased twice, how do you accidentally buy a game twice well in this case it has something to do with the fact that it has a different title in each of the 3 regions 1 of which essentially makes it a sequel to an Amiga game. In Japan the game is called Sky Mission, in Europe it is called Blazing Skies and it is in America where it has sequel status and is called Wings 2: Aces High. For the purpose of this review I have been playing the two versions I own the European and the American.

Now the first thing that attracted me to this game was the fact it involved planes, there have been some flying games I have absolutly adored but in both cases when I decided to buy it there was really 2 main factors one was the low price and the other was that it had the Namco brand on it.I have said before that you just have to see certain video game companies logos and you automatically feel safe in buying one of there products and I find that this is usually true with Namco, there is a big issue here though Namco didn't make the game they simply published it, it was made by a Studio called Malibu Interactive who have a far worse pedigree than Namco, in fact I can only think of about 2 of there titles that I actually enjoy one of them being Ex-Mutants on the MegaDrive. I guess this is an example of how having the right publisher can help a title because if I had realised this game was by them I would have been far slower in reaching for my wallet. I am not even sure of how this became a sequel to Wings as that was both made and published by Cinemaware although I believe by the time Wings 2 was released they had gone bankrupt so maybe the rights were brought up or something, either way its not really anything to do with it and is pretty much just a game about the same sort of thing which is a sequel in name alone.

So as far as the story goes all you need to know is that its set during World War I and basically your overall mission is to destroy Kaiser Wilhelm II's factories, out fly his best pilots and generally do your best to put a significant dent in his war efforts. As the game is set during World War I, you'll be using biplanes from that era and there limitations are pretty much stuck to, there are no lock on missiles or fling like a nut with no fear of stalling here and there is no radar system, sure this makes it close to the truth of what it would have been like but in some cases it doesn't make for the best of games.

This game has three different kinds of missions. There are the dogfighting ones basically plane against plane in the sky try to knock as many of them out while trying to survive yourself. These missions become harder and harder as the enemy AI/Pilots improve as the game progresses. You will really have a tough time on your hands moving all over the place trying to outmaneuver the enemy Since your flying a WW1 era biplane you can only shoot at enemies that are directly in front of you and some of them can be pretty darn tricky when it comes to getting them to stay still long enough for you to get enough shots of to down them.

Then there are bombing missions, in these you fly far overhead an area and you drop bombs on strategic military sites while watching out for anti-aircraft attacks coming from soldiers on the ground. You get shown a photograph of the target before the mission so you know what and where you are bombing but there is one important thing to remember and that is that you can not physically turn your plane around during these missions so if you miss something then you've missed it.

There are also what the game refers to as "strafing runs". In these you fly your plane at a low altitude and you have to wipe out targets that are described during the mission briefing. This doesn't sound so tough but you seem to fly like a bat out of hell so its very easy to miss lots of things and fail the mission.

Now I guess it sounds all nice and varied but in truth it just doesn't feel right, it feels boring, the graphics do the job but don't really do anything to excite you and there is no effort through the music or sound effects to really grab a hold of you, the controls work but also it all just feels kind of clinical and laboured, the dog fighting seems to play out kind of slowly, even the worst of enemies seem to be to good at avoiding you and it takes an age to just shoot down what you need to finish the stages even near the beginning of the game, this game commits the cardinal sin of gaming in that it simply is not fun. I found myself wanting to put this game down almost straight away, in fact I wanted to go back to one of the flying stages from Empire Strikes back and just play that a few times instead as that seemed to capture the thrill of dog fighting in a way this game didn't even come close to. You might think that I am just being a bit of a dick and simply prefer Sci Fi, well I am a huge fan of a lot of science fiction things but I have enjoyed other games involving old fashioned planes, heck Pilot wings was one of my favourite SNES games, I adored the plane flying in that.

I cant remember what I paid for my English copy of this game but I know I got the American one for £5 or less and in all fairness I think that's the kind of price it needs to be, its simply not fun or particularly interesting past the oh look there is a game I haven't played before buzz you will initially get when you see/try it. If you want it then remember I would only give it about 3 out of 10 and think your cash would be much better spent on well most other things... Online you can find pal cartridge only copies of this for about £7 but frankly I think that's to expensive for this game.

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PostRe: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:53 pm

SNES review 110: Mortal Kombat 3

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Now lets be honest Mortal Kombat had been a very popular game and all of the fuss its blood and gore caused basically just made it be seen as even cooler and more desirable. So it wasn't surprising that there was a Mortal Kombat II or that a third one was announced. I can remember when I first heard there would be a third Mortal Kombat and boy was I excited, Mortal Kombat 2 felt like a giant leap from the first game and all I couldnt help but get excited at the prospect of a third game I just thought what if the third entry is as big a leap from the second as the second was from the first.

Well Mortal Kombat 3 came to the arcades in 1995 both developed and published by Midway Games it was converted to the snes by Sculptured software (who would be latter renamed Iguana West and then Acclaim Studios Salt Lake City before finally closing in December 2002). I will say before continuing that Sculptured Software did a great conversion much like with Mortal Kombat 2 the blood from the arcade version and all of the gory finishers made it across fully intact and any faults with this game are pretty much faults with the game itself and not this conversion.

So the first thing most people ask about sequels and this is especially true of fighting games is so what new things does this one bring to the table? Well with Mortal Kombat 3 the first thing I noticed was that there was a "Run" button, which comes with a"Run" meter. You can only run forwards but it allows you to close the distance between you and your opponent quickly and I find that it helps when you have a character who is better at close combat. Apparently this was introduced to the game due to fans who had felt that the Mortal Kombat games always seemed to favour those who played more defensively. Mortal Kombat had never really seemed to pay much attention to the idea of combo's sure you could string a few small pieces together or juggle a little bit but now there were what were called "Chain combos",sequences of moves that cannot be interrupted once one hit connects; some of which end with an uppercut or other move that knocks the opponent into the air, so you can add your own juggle on to the end of this. This feels to me like it was an effort to move beyond the initial Mortal Kombat shock and awe sell it with the blood and an attempt to try to give the series a bit more depth, to try and help it compete with the Street Fighter games on a technical level.

There were a lot of other things added. There was the idea of the fight being able to break out of its initial arena. In certain levels if you uppercut your enemy or he uppercuts you through the ceiling then you are both taken to a new area where the fight will continue, its a nice touch.
Lots more ways of finishing matches were added not only were there new Fatalities,new Friendship moves and the return of babealities but there was also the introduction of Animalities, where the character transforms into an animal in order to kill their opponent, as well as some new Stage based Fatalities. Some of these things are gruesome, some are just plain funny but they all feel like they belong in the game (I am not one of those people who wants Mortal Kombat to be a purely serious blood bath, I think you need humour in it to balance it out).

I know that in general one-on-one beat-em'up's dont really need the best stories, after all your just looking for a reason for people to be punching other people in the face, thats why so many of them are based upon fighting tournaments, now the original mortal kombat was based on this with a little more added basically the idea that the fate of the world was dependent upon who won this tournament. Mortal Kombat 3 decides to overly complicate this though, the plot goes a little something like this Shao Kahn frustrated at the continuing failure of his minions to win dominion over Earthrealm either through the tournament or otherwise decides that he needs a new plan, Shao Kahn decides to send Shang Tsung and his Shadow Priests to Earthrealm to resurrect Sindel his wife who died thousands of years ago, because he will then be able to stroll into the Earthrealm and reclaim his bride as his own, somehow doing this will cause Earthrealm and Outworld to begin to merge, this merger will cause billions of humans to drop dead and loose there souls and will allow Kahn to pretty much do whatever the hell he wants including sending his soldiers to kill any remaining humans and well just generally taking over the earth. Clearly he never cared about his wife and was quite happy to be rid of her, maybe she was always nagging at him and asking him to take out the trash or take his shoes off when he came home, or take his helmet off indoors as its only now he has realised her rebirth will create this situation that he seems to remember he once had a wife. It all sounds like a convoluted B movie plot and is kind of to much as far as reasons go for one character to punch person after person.

Graphics wise I cant really complain about the game its pretty good overall sure the sprites have been shrunk a bit in the port and lost a little bit of clarity but considering the power difference between the arcade hardware and the SNES this is very understandable and at the time of its release the graphics here were very impressive in my opinion, I still think Mortal Kombat II looked a little better though, but still nothing here gets in the way of the playability. The sound is also nice and solid the music is good and the sound effects such as the punch and kick sounds have a nice solid quality to them. The game handles very well and its just as fun to play with a Super NES controller as it was in the arcade.

My main issues with this game are sort of a mix of the tangible and intangible. On the one hand I find the character selection to be kind of questionable. There are a number of brand new warriors that have been brought into the game, and I personally like the cyborgs Cyrax, and Sektor they are definitely a welcome addition, but I have to admit that I miss some of the fighters who have not been brought back this time the prime example being Scorpion, there are after all some rather bland new fighters who take up space I would have rather seen being filled by a classic. The other issue is that this game just doesn't feel as good as Mortal Kombat 2 and as this is a feeling there is no real way I can explain it, maybe its just don't to the fact I feel a lot more nostalgia when it comes to number 2, it was at a point when the series felt like it was at its prime and it felt a lot better than much of what was out at the time, by the time the third game came out lots of other fighting game series had either got a good start or kicked it up a gear, after all the PlayStation was out at this time so we had been introduced to the likes of Tekken and Battle Arena Toshinda etcetera.

I ended my review of Mortal Kombat 2 by concluding that I would give it 8 out of 10 an that if you caught me in the right mood then I might go as high as a 9, unfortunately I wont be going that high this time in fact I feel that despite this game technically having more it kind of feels like a step backwards like a worse offering and so I would have to give this game a 7. No its not a bad game I would recommend trying to get a hold of the second one instead myself and to be fair when I reviewed the second one I did recommend that if you had a Xbox 360, a PS3 or a Decent PC that you looked at downloading the Mortal Kombat arcade collection as it has the first 3 games on it, and not ports actual arcade perfect versions and this is still true. I also went on to mention that there was a modern Mortal Kombat game, will since that review there has been a sequel game and then it has had a special edition with lots of extras, this special Edition is called Mortal Kombat XL and I would strongly recommend it. It has a lot of characters, a whole heap of finishing moves and some very interesting special guest characters, there is Leather Face from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the Xenomorph from Alien, the Predator from Predator and its just a darn good game that you can now get for under £20 new if you look around. It is hard to recommend an old loose cart of MK3 when you could use your money for this instead. If however you simply need a cart of MK3 for your snes how much are you looking at? Well for a loose cart your looking around the £15 to £20 mark, its worth noting that when you look up MK3 you will see a regular and Ultimate Version, it is the regular I have reviewed as that is what I own, the ultimate version was a latter release with more characters and often goes for more money it has added characters and such, this is not something I will ever actively be searching for so it is highly unlikely I will ever provide a review of it. (If I ever saw one for a few pounds id grab it but its not something I am looking for cheap or that I am willing to pay the going rate for).

Last edited by kerr9000 on Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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