Games Meet Metal: Review of 3 SNES oldies

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Review of 3 SNES oldies

Super Mario All Stars- Released in 1993, SMAS is a collection featuring all of the NES Mario games in a new colorful, 16 bit coat of paint. Also included is the Japanese version Super Mario Bros 2, which up until that point had never been released in America. For those not in the know, Nintendo of America originally declined to release the Japanese SMB 2 in the States because of its jaw-dropping difficulty and nearly identical gameplay, levels, and story to the previous Super Mario Bros. Instead they took the unrelated Doki Doki Panic, a platformer that played nothing like the Mario Bros series, and injected it into a familiar Super Mario backdrop.

In any case, the games play out exactly the same as they did on NES, which means its pretty fucking good. The jumping controls in the original SMB and Japan-only SMB2 are slightly frustrating, but by the time SMB 3 (often considered the zenith of the Super Mario series) came out, the controls were PERFECT. A great buy for Mario fans and platforming nuts alike, especially considering it no longer costs $50/60.

TMNT: Tournament Fighters- Also released in 1993, Tournament Fighters is an obvious cash-in on both the Ninja Turtles craze and the enormously popular Street Fighter 2. And that is exactly why I don't personally care for this game; it is little more than a pale imitation of Capcom's influential fighter from two years ago. The only factors that set it apart are the Story mode and the brand attached to it. In addition, you need to play the game on the default difficulty setting in order to fight the final boss (Karai) and see the real ending. Beating either mode on less than a 3 will net you a cutscene in which Splinter tells you that you "need more training". Obviously, this means you need to crank up the difficulty in order to beat the game for real. But that's not such a big deal, right? Well, it wouldn't be if the AI on the normal setting wasn't as frustrating and cheap as it is. Game design deficiencies aside, the graphics and sound quality are on about the same level as the very best of that era. The controls are responsive, and cast of characters is well-rounded including original fighters as well as more recognizable faces from the TMNT pantheon. The story is adequate for a licensed fighting game. The story goes that Shredder is defeated and subsequently chased out of NY, but this doesn't sit well with Karai who kidnaps both Splinter and the amniotephile (is that a word?) April O'Neill. And predictably, the gang set out to defeat this new foe and rescue their friends. Good for diehard Turtles fans, but everyone else should stick with Street Fighter.

Aladdin- If you were to put old school Prince of Persia, Sands of Time, and Disney in a blender, you would get Aladdin for SNES. It's an anomaly in the fact that it's a licensed video game that actually amounts to more than a $60 (back in the 90's at least) mountain of suck, but is also a really fucking good game in itself. It combines traditional 2D sidescrolling gameplay with some of the acrobatic platforming mechanics found in Sands of Time, and could almost be seen as a precursor to Ubisoft's 3D masterpiece. It also features a simple password system and a collection of colorful, charming Arabian environments ripped straight from the Disney movie.

Here's the grades...

SMAS- Slaytanic!

TMNT: TF- Ozzfest 2003!

Alladin- Rippin'!

Also, this will be a necessary procedure until we're at the point that all of our readers know our grading system. Here's the key...

A-, A, A+ = Slaytanic
B-, B, B+ = Rippin'
C-, C, C+ = Meh-core
D-, D, D+ = Ozzfest 2003
E-, E, E+ = Limp Bizkit (also known as our own personal psychological torture/laughing stock)

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