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Video Game Uber Fun Fun List: Nintendo SNES

Author: Philippe
Posted: 06 Mar 2005

OK guys, we have a lot to get into today so I'm skipping any references to music and news and getting straight into the heavy shit. Well, not really heavy so much as something...that takes...it was 1991.

The NES was untouchable. Nothing could be better than the NES. The system was the best video game system in the world and there was absolutely no need to make a better one. That was the basic feeling over at Nintendo. Very unfortunately for them, game developers hated Nintendo with a passion. They stayed on for the millions of dollars that they inevitably made working with Nintendo, but they still hated them.

Sega also hated Nintendo. They weren't even getting millions of dollars, so in 1987 released the Sega Genesis (the TurboGrafx-16 also came out that year). Suddenly, some third-party developers were fed up enough with Nintendo that they started making games with Sega, breaking their contracts. Suddenly, Sega started turning into quite a threat. And the scary thing was that the games were actually quite good. They didn't have their killer app just yet, but how long would that take?

http://www.marketvisions.com/photo/studio/images/SNES.jpgNintendo didn't have the monopoly that they really liked. The Genesis had a huge ad campaign behind it which told all of us that Sega was the new hip thing and Nintendo was for kids. It was working.

Nintendo went into panic mode and decided they'd better move forward extremely fast on the new console. Hiroshi Yamauchi put all his star employees on the job, in fact, and the majority of work was done incredibly quickly. This brings us to 1991. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) is released. The CPU wasn't as good as the Genesis. However, the graphics processor was just insanely better. The SNES could produce over thirty thousand colors, 256 of which could be on-screen at the same time.

SNES had also developed a software they dubbed Mode 7, which allowed for all that scaling object stuff (zooming in and out) and scrolling around and twisting that made the games so cool (Pilot Wings was made primarily just to show off Mode 7 software).

Nintendo was also hard at work developing new chips for the game paks themselves. Not wanting to be left in the dust again when the next generation of systems came out, they designed the SNES to work with game paks in a whole new way. You could put whatever memory you wanted in the game paks and the SNES would draw from that. The Super FX chip, for example, allowed 3D rendering and essentially upped the SNES speed to 10.5 MHz. Later, the FX2 chip was released and brought the processing to a shocking 21 MHz. This allowed the SNES to be competitive with a lot of the 32-bit consoles that eventually started coming out.

While the SNES sold incredibly well, there were a few problems. Gone were the days of no-compete contracts with third-party developers. Nintendo knew they couldn't afford to lose them this time. The iron grip was weakening; more and more games started being released on multiple systems. While Nintendo still held the lion's share of the market, it would be the last time they would do so (mainly due to them screwing Sony out of a few million bucks, but more on that in the Playstation article).

It was a great system, in fact. The amount of good games that came out for this bad boy has no rivals, in my opinion. In fact, I had huge amounts of trouble making the top nine list, so I employed the help of a whole bunch of people and compiled everyone's lists. There was a point system and everything! So, for the first time in the Uber Fun Fun List, it's not all of my choices. So, without further ado, I present the top nine games for my favorite gaming system of all time. Enjoy.

http://emuarcade.espaciolatino.com/scast4.gif 9. Normally I'd say something like "the bottom of the barrel of the best" here. Truthfully, however, this time all the games are just fantastic. The scores for all these games were remarkably close and really I feel this order could be completely backwards and nobody would complain. That being
said, we start off with Castlevania 4 (1991, Konami). It's your basic side-scrolling adventure game. This game made the cut due to the fantastic use of the Mode 7 graphics. A great game; very reminiscent of the original, which is fantastic. Time to kick some vampire ass...Belmont-style, mofo.
http://squakenet.supereva.it/screen/bomb/megaman_x-1.jpg 8. Next up on the list we have Mega Man X (Capcom, 1993). This'll be the first appearance of the blue robot on the Uber Fun Fun List, and with good reason. This game was just fantastic. It kept solidly to the original format but added tons of stuff and revamped everything that was good about all the other games. The order of killing bosses wasn't just important for the weapon, either. Killing one boss meant that an entire level might be different somewhere else. By far the best Mega Man game that had been released to that date, IMHO, which is saying something. I'm a man who enjoys some Mega Man. Wait...that didn't sound right.
http://www.starfox-online.com/starfox/images/screens/06.jpg 7. Starfox (Nintendo, 1993). Ahh the Super FX chip. Starfox was one of the few really succesful games to use the Super FX chip. I mean, everyone was using Mode 7, understandably because that was just a program, but no one really grasped the FX stuff in the first chip. The game was beautiful. 3D-rendered graphics which took you on a fast-paced flight through the solar system. It was Fox's first appearance in the Nintendo universe and, by far, his greatest. I played this game for hours and hours and days and months for a while. Addictive and stunning.
http://www.flatbatteries.dsl.pipex.com/games/images/chrono.gif 6. Chrono Trigger (Square Enix, 1995). So it seems as if someone had an idea. "How about if we take some programmers from the Dragon Warrior franchise and then grab some of the Final Fantasy game and make a whole new game?" That was a fantastic idea, and Chrono Trigger was the result. Great story, well-thought-out characters, and a brilliant battle system. Heck, the side quests even made sense. I really miss the days when RPGs of this caliber were commonplace.
http://www.nintendogamezone.com/images/f-zero_3.jpg 5. F-Zero (Nintendo, 1991). Like Pilot Wings, this game was made primarily to show off and push Mode 7 graphics to the limits of what they were capable of. Also, like the aformentioned flight sim, the game itself was crazy-fun. Extremely crazy, in fact, with crazy hovercraft racing at hundreds of miles per hour! Lots of tracks and really intuitive handling of the cars put this bad boy into the warm and squishy parts of my memory. Crazy.
http://www.nintendogamezone.com/images/metroid_5.jpg 4. Super Metroid (Nintendo, 1994). Wow. I think Samus Aran has managed to make every single one of the Nintendo top 9 lists. With good reason, in my opinion. Super Metroid marks the last time we would see Samus running around for 8 years. It picked up where Metroid 2 left off, bringing us back to Zebes and battling Space Pirates who were intent on using the little parasites for galactic conquest. The game, I felt, was a bit too easy for my tastes. However, it was beautiful to look at and a lot of fun to play.
http://www.consoleclassix.com/info_img/Final_Fantasy_3_SNES_ScreenShot2.jpg 3. OK guys, we're getting near the end of the list. What's the first game of the final 3? Well, after much debate amongst friends and acquaintances it ended up being Final Fantasy 3 (Square, 1994). The US had missed out on a few of the Final Fantasy games and that's a damn shame. This was actually the 6th game in the series. Because we missed out on the fifth game, it was a long wait between Final Fantasy 2 (the 4th in the series) and this. Square didn't disappoint at all, though, and gave fans a game and a story that felt more real than anything I'd played to that point. Magic and monsters aside, it brought RPGs to a new level and set a new gold standard.
http://www.emulatronia.com/maquinadeltiempo/fotosdejuegos/snes/mariokart.jpg 2. Super Mario Kart (Nintendo, 1992). Most-played, most-replayed, and biggest sleeper hit Nintendo released for the SNES. I really don't think they were expecting anything from this game, really. The game was huge with my group of friends, though. It was huge with everyone's group of friends. It even started a franchise of amazing games -- a franchise based on a go-kart race. I have no idea how it worked. I'm really glad that it did, though, because this game rocks the house.
http://hexagon.romhack.net/detalhes/zelda3/screenshot-0.jpg 1. Another Nintendo system and another number 1 slot for the Zelda franchise. This time, you can't even call me a Nintendo fanboy or Zelda fanboy. Zelda 3: A Link to the Past (Nintendo, 1991) was at the top or near the top of everyone's list. It was more like the Gameboy game in style. The graphics and the storyline were more cutesy than adult. For Zelda fans, though, the graphics didn't matter. Nintendo took the original legend and went crazy with it. All of a sudden there were 3 Triforces out in the world. Rupees galore. Magic that was more than just a flick of a wand. Tons of characters, towns, interdimensional travel. Much bigger dungeons. Everything in this game was perfect if you were a Zelda fan and if you weren't, you became one. SNES number one. Deservedly so.

Well, those be them. Hope you enjoyed the list. If you didn't enjoy the list because I left out your favorite game you probably have no one to blame but yourself, you non-voting jerk. Now stop complaining, get out there, and play!

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