Game Reviews

A Great Old School System

  • Aug 28, 2009
  • by
There's something about old school gaming that has always immersed me.  I play a lot of video games.  Sean Rhodes is a huge gamer.  I have a number of systems under my belt.  The original Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Gamecube, The Sega Master System, The Sega Genesis, A Game Gear, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, the Playstation, Playstation 2, XBOX, even had a Sega CD and 32X... Currently I've got a Wii, 360 and PS3.  I've also got a DS and a PSP.  Gaming isn't just a hobby.  For some it's a second life.  I don't play all these systems nearly as much as I used to.  The older you get the less time it appears you've got for gaming.  

Of all the systems I own, however, there's one that I'm constantly coming back.  My old Super Nintendo.  As a child, I recall arguing with my brother over which system we wanted for Christmas.  I wanted a Super Nintendo and he wanted a Sega Genesis.  In the end I won out because at the time my parents still enjoyed playing video games and they loved that Nintendo.  It was kind of cheating to get an SNES, but who cares? (we got the Genesis later on anyway and my brother, I'm sorry to say... never played it).  The Super Nintendo actually had a pretty lucrative life.  Come this Christmas, I will have had my Super Nintendo for seventeen years (we got ours in 1992).  Mine is still hooked up to our TV and I still play it quite regularly.  In fact, the system has been turned on and off so much over the years it has basically become the system in my house that I like to describe to my friends as the system that: "Works whenever it wants to."  And it does, with that special touch.  When it boots up, however, it works great.  

When it comes to gaming, I'm mostly an old school gamer.  My Super Nintendo still gets more play time than my 360 or PS3.  There are a ton of games the Super Nintendo had that are worth remembering.  It was probably one of the most influential eras in gaming.  Within the Super Nintendo era, gaming still felt fairly new.  A lot of gaming series that most of us know and love were either established in the SNES era or were continued within this era.  Some of the best games of some of our classic franchises can be found on the Super Nintendo.  

Graphically, the SNES looks ancient compared to what you see in games today.  This is because gaming grows fast.  But for the years that the Super Nintendo stood tall, it had some of the best graphics and sound you could find at the time.  The Genesis was a powerhouse in and of itself, but when stacking both consoles side by side it appeared as though the Super Nintendo was capable of more colors than the Genesis was, and for the most part it had fantastic audio.  It does seem ancient, but consider that in 1991-1996 when the system was the state of the art, it was better than most of us could've hoped for. 

The controller is also one of the hallmarks of the Super Nintendo.  Nearly every controller for any major console since, has used the Super Nintendo as inspiration.  The original Playstation controller is almost an exact duplicate.  With shapes instead of letters for its buttons and giving us an L2 and R2 button.  The XBOX and the 360?  Same deal.  Who can deny that the Super Nintendo inspired these controllers?  The controllers are also quite durable.  I still have my original SNES controller and it still works fairly well to this very day, though you can definitely tell it's been used... a lot.  

There was a time when we all thought the Super Nintendo just might not last well against the Sega Genesis.  Ever since the Sega Genesis came out Nintendo has been slapped with this reputation as being for kids.  I've often pointed out that there's nothing wrong with an adult playing a sort of "kiddie" game, and that adults who refuse to play a game because it's "for kids" shows the adult is insecure about being an adult... as if he has to prove he's an adult.  To those people, don't worry, I have a button for you that says, "I'm all grown up!" if you want it.  As an adult, you should be able to play anything you want regardless of who the target audience is.  To this day you can still find adults who will play games like Mario or Lego Star Wars etc.  Yet it was Sega that sort of gave Nintendo this reputation.  In fact, in one of its ad Campaigns Sega went so far as to say, "Big kids play the Genesis."  It's pretty much stuck ever since.  I've never cared about such things.  You wouldn't avoid a Disney movie for the same reason, now would you?  Of course not.  There's nothing wrong with avoiding a kiddie game if it just isn't what you want (as in, how many people actually want to play through a story where you have to rescue the princess... again?), but just because a game is for younger audiences wouldn't make it a bad game.  This was also where Sega screwed up a little in their marketing (telling consumers they're dumb for flocking to a "kids game" isn't going to help your sales).  If you do happen to be the, "I don't want the kiddie games," type, though, you can find plenty of adventurous titles on the SNES that aren't necessarily "childish". 

Yet the danger for the Super Nintendo came with a little game called Mortal Kombat.  Everyone remembers the controversy, but few remember that this game gave the Genesis a huge boost in sales because on the Genesis they kept the blood and on the SNES they took it out.  People wanted the blood, and believe it or not, people bought a Genesis just so they could have their blood in Mortal Kombat.  Yet while the Genesis had that to its name, The Super Nintendo did have an unusual array of video games that appealed to a broad audience.  RPGers loved it for the sake of having a wide breath of RPGs such as Final Fantasy IV and VI, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, Super Mario RPG, Secret of Mana, Breath of Fire etc. etc.  It had a lot of action games on it.  The games have always made a system and no era shows that better than the Super Nintendo era.  Not only was Nintendo putting a lot of games on their system, but several third party developers were doing the same.  While most of them hopped off to support the Playstation later, they stuck around to support the Super Nintendo. 

And true enough, the Super Nintendo did have a ton of games out there.  Many of which are still strong to this day.  Games like Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the Mega Man X series, Super Mario World, Mario Kart, Final Fantasy IV and VI, Contra III: The Alien Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time... these are all games that became classics on the Super Nintendo.  And we haven't even scratched the surface of what the Super Nintendo gave people yet.  It has a large legacy.  Not of innovation... but of fun.  This is part of the reason we play games.  To have fun.  And the Super Nintendo... along with the Sega Genesis really proved that.  Because both systems were incredibly fun to play.  The Playstation took things to great new heights, I admit, but the Super Nintendo is where a lot of gamers can trace their memories back to.  If you're a Final Fantasy fan, you owe it to yourself to go back to the SNES days and play through Final Fantasy IV and VI.  If you love Chrono Cross you owe it to yourself to play Chrono Trigger.  Nowadays a lot of these games get a ton of reissues on other systems... and this keeps them alive.

The Super Nintendo is far from being the greatest system of all time (that's a little hard to decide) but it is one of the leading gaming systems out there.  It doesn't have a lot of flashy graphics, but most gamers are quick to point out (nearly all of them, as a matter of fact) that graphics aren't everything.  In fact, you'd be surprised how many people really love these older games and how many more are willing to pick up the reissues of them (I've picked up Final Fantasy IV a grand total of four times).  But the reason the Super Nintendo has been able to last is because of fond memories and good games. 

Normally in a review like this I'd probably list the ten best Super Nintendo games out there, but I think I'll just create an actual list for that.  So keep that in mind because it's coming soon.

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August 31, 2009
Pffft, SNES>Sega Genesis always.  So glad that you reviewed my favorite gaming system ever (got mine in 1992, too)!  Glad to hear that your SNES is still connecting and functioning correctly.  Mine has trouble connecting with games and the power source once in a while.  A few of my friends who love SNES have switched over to that adaptor that allows you to play SNES and the original Nintendo on the same machine, but I'm not going to do that unless my SNES totally poops out on me.

Have you seen @jamesliu's list of Favorite Consoles?  I can totally see you creating one what with all your game consoles and all!
September 01, 2009
I've considered making a list inspired by Jamesliu's list.  And I've also been thinking of making a list of my favorite Super Nintendo games, but first I have to wade through what I want to put on that list.  It'll be a big list... and I'm not even sure I can put it in any kind of specific order.
September 01, 2009
Ooooh, I'd love to see a list of SNES games! I'd love to make one, too, as well as a game console one, but I haven't played enough different games and on different consoles to do so (I just keep playing Mario-related games on SNES!), I'll just have to live vicariously through yours :P
More Super Nintendo Entertainment S... reviews
Quick Tip by . September 26, 2010
My baby, and how I miss thee. The old NES pumped up with a better soundcard and huge graphics palette compared to the off the shelf Genesis consoles. Lots of titles and many of them classics.
Quick Tip by . June 01, 2010
By far my favorite gaming console. My very first, actually. Love the simplicity of the 2D games & relatively simple game play.
Quick Tip by . August 21, 2009
SNES is favorite game console ever! I've still got dozens of games and can probably kick your tuchus at Mario Kart! :D
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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80s kids were sure that video games couldnt get better than the NES. Then the 90s happened and the Super Nintendo hit the scene. With 8 more bits, 4 more buttons and no more cartridges blowing, the Super Nintendo set the standard for 16-bit gaming. For 10 years, the SNES was king. Even as 32-bit systems tried to steal the show, the Super Nintendo proved that gaming genius was about more than technology: it's just about fun. Remind yourself how much fun the SNES is. This refurbished SNES console is guaranteed to work upon arrival or weâ?TMll send you another one. It comes bundled with 1 controller and hookups. .
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Brand: Nintendo
Category: Video Game Consoles
Developer: Nintendo
Console Type: Console

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