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SNES games you never played

Holy Dreamcast! Games are being released! We got: Dark Souls II, Titanfall, Infamous: Second Son, Thief and more! Which should I buy first I wonder, well let’s check the old bank account and….that was depressing.

So then, I can’t afford to buy new games. Don’t cry for me though, because as the old adage goes: If I haven’t played it, it’s new to me! So I look back to the past, back to my old Super Nintendo for entertainment. But I’ve played through Final Fantasy 3(6), I’ve trounced Bowser in Super Mario World, There’s no secrets left in Super Metroid and my annual play through of Link to the Past isn’t scheduled for another month. Well what about all those games no one played? The SNES was a hotbed of weird titles that didn’t get any publication and have been forgotten about over the years. Let’s brush the dust of a couple of unknowns and see if we can’t find any gems.

Cybernator

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Mechs are great aren’t they? I love mechs. My favourite film last year was Pacific Rim and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t adore Gundam. Titanfall has mechs! Oh wait sorry, no they don’t. I guess that means if I want to satisfy that itch I better look elsewhere, like say Cybernator! What a striking name that is, Cybernator, it really grabs your attention. That’s why I picked it up.

The game is a platformer/run and gun affair and is tough as nails! But let’s be fair, a lot of games from the era were, so expect to see that statement crop up again in this article. But it’s a lot of fun; it has the perfect challenge and catharsis ratio that the genre did so well. I was particularly impressed with how weighty the controls felt. There was a satisfying amount of slide and lag to your movements that genuinely made you feel like you were piloting a robot. Or at least as well as that feeling could be emulated on the SNES.

This game is actually part of a larger series known as the Assault Series and was a prequel to the Genesis game Target Earth. The game even got a remake on the PS1 but, was very poorly received. Seek out the cartridge if you want some 16-bit robotic fun.

Super Earth Defence Force

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This is completely unrelated to the Earth Defence Force series published by D3. I found this out after the upsetting lack of giant bugs.

It’s a Shmup… There you go, all you need to know.

I just annoyed every Shoot em up fan ever, but honestly, it’s not my preferred genre. I like them enough, and I liked this game too, but my lack of genre knowledge cripples me somewhat here. This was definitely the toughest title I played in this list. The levels are more endurance test than skill challenge. You get 3 hits at the start and then power through these extremely long stages until the boss is beaten. It takes some serious doing, even just getting past level 1.

The sound effects lacked some punch, especially after all the heavy tracks presented in Cybernator.  That said, if you like Shmups, you might find something to love here.

 Majuu Ou: King of Demons

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This one is not really available outside of Japan, so you might have to put some work in finding it. There is another way of getting the game, with translation and all, right on your home computer, but the logistics of that are ah…. loosely legal.

After acquisition and starting the game up you discover this game is, for all intents and purposes, Castlevania with a gun. The player character (looking very similar to John Rambo) storms a horror themed castle in the quest to save his daughter from… the King of demons I guess. While the Halloween castle is clearly a similarity between this and Castlevania, Majuu Ou’s castle is decidedly more Kronenburg that Dracula’s home. Entrails and blood are plentiful here; it’s really surprisingly brutal for the era.

The Castlevania comparison runs deeper than just the aesthetics though. The controls are very methodical, forcing the player to really consider their actions. It’s not as strict as Simon Belmont’s jumping arc, but the feeling is definitely there.  The game isn’t as tough as its spiritual cousin either and it’s beatable in a day if you’re good enough, but other than that it’s pretty damn solid.

Mighty Morphing Power Rangers: Fighting Edition

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I lost my mind when I saw this one. I love the Power Rangers (Super Sentai as it is known in Japan). I had no idea what to expect when picking it up, but the moment I laid eyes on it, I knew I had to have it. I get home, pop the disc in and to my surprise I start playing Street Fighter. That’s unfair, but all the combos from SFII are in place here and because of that, this is a solid fighter with Power Ranger trappings. It even has a secret unlockable boss character, akin to Akuma, the legend himself.

It’s tough to find things to say about this game. I had a lot of fun with it. The roster is a bit small, but pretty tight and some of the specials (specifically from Lord Zed) can be a bit fiddly to use. Other than that though, this game is worth any fighting game/Power ranger fan’s time.

The Firemen

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Out of all the games I played here, this is the one that ended up grabbing my interest the most. You play as veteran fire fighter, Pete, as he fights the fire of his life! The story goes deeper than you might expect, accompanied by these Metal Gear-esque phone calls. As you might expect from the title, you spend the majority of your time here fighting fire, and it turns out fire makes for a much more compelling narrative that one might think. They stretch the reality of what flame is capable of, but seeing the encroaching blaze heading your way as you desperately douse it with your hose, is genuinely heart pumping stuff. I liked the bits where the game gets weird most, such as the robot maids that have caught ablaze and are now rampaging through the halls, or the times when a giant flame literally becomes a boss fight.

I really liked this one, and I am certainly sad it didn’t see much success. The game did receive a sequel on the PlayStation apparently, so I will have to hunt it down when I can. If you check out any of these games, this one is the most unique and my personal favourite on the list.

 

Games don’t tend to fly under the radar as much anymore. The odd obscure release does happen, but seeing as the internet has shrunk the world down it’s hard not to stumble across new releases. Game budgets are a lot bigger now too, companies have the ability to trumpet their games across the globe. There’s only one modern day console that saw a slew of weird, offbeat, barely advertised games and that was the Nintendo Wii… maybe someone should cover all of those titles one day… maybe.

 

Hold the phone! This isn’t over just yet. The ever benevolent Nintendo Team is offering you, yes you slovenly pig that you are a chance to win a free game! Start thinking about your favourite game story ever and keep checking back with us for details coming soon.



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