These Are The Voyages... V
by Irish

1995
To the Victor... and all that jazz.


Well, It's 1995. The Genesis has little to nothing left to offer. The SNES has won the 16-bit wars and continues to beat the crap out of Sega. The Game Gear is Redundant, Sega CD couldn't help the Genny, the Saturn is a piece of shit. Really, it's no wonder Nintendo took their time with the N64, they honestly thought nothing could stop them by this point.

So yah. Year five, the SNES rules the fricken planet. I've always believed that the true reason 2D went and died at this point was not because the masses wanted the new tech, but because everyone knew there was just no way anybody could top the legacy of the SNES's tenure.

Part of me would like to continue the essay format that the past few entries have taken, but I really can't think of a way to do that and make it interesting. Years 2-4 are remarkable because every game was a strike in the 16-bit wars. It's something that left a mark on those present and accounted for and thus is worth discussing in huge paragraphs. But by this point each game sort of stands alone as a great title. There is no competition to mark the further games against, and most of the titles that have survived in some form today really need no introduction or elaboration. So I'm going to be as brief, but amusing, as possible.


Super Mario World II: Yoshi's Island

Well loved follow up to Super Mario World. No need for introduction, no need for elaboration, nothing more to say here. I'm Moving on and taking this cartridge with me.













Breath of Fire II

More slightly above average role playing goodness from Capcom. The game itself was pretty much unheralded when it hit, but is still worth playing if old school RPG gaming gets you goin. Even better, there's an improved GBA remake out there to hunt down.











Donkey Kong Country II: Diddy's Kong Quest

More decent hop and bop gameplay with a higher challenge and with the same cgi rendered graphics and gameplay that made the the original so novel. I never played this one myself, but people say it's the best of the three.












Earthworm Jim 2

They really don't make em like this anymore. EJ2 was weirder, wackier, bigger, and more varied. I think the sequel really stuck with me since at the time I had just learned to play Moonlight Sonata on piano to impress a girl in my music class, and this game has an entire level set to that piece.











Kirby's Avelanche/Kirbys Dream Course

A duo of games that all my friends tell me I've got to play someday. Someday, when I have time, I'll heed their wise words. And so should you if the scuttlebutt has merit to it.













Mega Man X2

Personally, I think X2 is my favorite X title. The SNES trilogy is all quality, but X2 just has a more seamless mix of quality boss battles, secrets, cool levels and awesome presentation.













Mortal Kombat III

Another year, another Mortal Kombat. Much like Donkey Kong Country, I think by this point the whole novelty of MK's selling point began to wear off and people began to see how shallow the gameplay truly was. It was around here that people just started to go from "OMFG it's MORTAAAAL KOOOOOMBAAAAT" to "meh, it's the newest Mortal Kombat."










Ninja Gaiden Trilogy

I know Polly hates this cart with a passion, and I support all her complaints. But still three Ninja Gaiden games, one cart. Thats a hard deal to say no too. A original 16-bit NG title would have been better, but hey... I guess you can't have everything.











Ogre Battle

To my ever lasting shame, I must confess I never, ever played this on the SNES. I played the PS1 version when I was working at a video store after high school, and rented it. loved it off, and fully recognize it is of the creme de'la creme of lost rare classics on the SNES. It's just one of those games that came and went, and trusted the secret of it's awesomeness to a select and eminently gifted few.









Secret of Evermore

You know, I've never really known what to think of this game. Graphically it's a step over Secret of Mana, an ode to cheesy 60's films and I've even spotted a Dr Who reference in there (me and my late father used to watch that show when I was a youngling). It uses the gameplay of SOM and makes a few refinements to it, and the magic system is either the work of a total genius or certifiable madman. The alchemy part is great, spending hours just hunting down that one missing ingredient to make that much needed spell work is not so great. The story is in itself, forgettable and barely there and Final Fantasy fanboys probably had epileptic fits being sold a bazooka by a retired Cecil. But at the end of the day, it's just good enough to be considered a hit, and notorious enough to be worth mentioning.


Chrono Trigger

This was just unnecessary. Really, it was. Nintendo had already won. The Genesis is a fading memory. There was no real need for a game of this caliber to come out at this point. Doing so was just announcing to all of creation, past, present, and future that you are the best. That no one will ever match your legacy. It is a defiance of the passage of time immemorial and an etching on the hearts and souls of all gamerkind the reality of your greatness. This is the sort of title you release when the competition is taking a chunk of your market, and you need to beat them back down and into the dirt. It was releasing the all mighty Chrono Trigger at this point in history that ended up making both the game and the SNES into the nigh invulnerable legends that they are. Instead of being a successful console, releasing a game this perfect when there is no competition at all ended up transfigurating the SNES into the pseudo-Greek God it became. At the time, we all bowed, gave our tithe for the gift of the Chrono Trigger and wallowed in our blessings praising creation for the gift of the Square-Enix alliance and the SNES that united and gave us this game. 16-bit would always be remembered as a golden age, and I'm done writing lengthy paragraphs. You get the point, we all do. Nintendo won. The SNES is probably the most well loved system of all time and second best only to the handheld wonder that was the Game Boy (yo Polly, wheres the fuckin gameboy/handheld week huh?).


Bonus Round

I know, I said I'm done. I was, I really was. But the SNES wasn't. Can you believe this thing lasted another two years? It even managed to compete and be successful in the face of the Saturn, the Playstation, and it's own successor, the N64. So yah, we got a few more games to talk about and look at.

DKC III

One more trip to the cash cow. By this point the game was little more than an expansion, but consumers didn't care basically because they are sheep. Baaaaa raam yle mutha fooka.












Kirby Super Star

It's Kirby, One of the most least appreciated and most excellent platforming icons out there in video gaming. Personally, I think ever since Mario 64, the mario games stopped being as fun as they once were, fuck that, platformers were no longer as much fun as they once were. Sonic, Kirby, Bonk, We all love yah and miss the good ol days.









Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals

Unheralded and awesome prequel to the first game. If you never played it, you just don't know how good the 16-bit times were.













Mega Man X3

It's 16-bit Mega Man X. still awesome, still cool, Zero is playable and... isn't thats all we really cared about at the time?













Prince of Persia II

More puzzling platform action with the prince being desposed by an evil twin and having to get his kingdom and girl back. I always liked this one better than the first, something about having an evil me that took my girl that made me want to make it back and fuck this chick stealing doppleganger up. That said, it has a more unique and interesting quest, but I still hated the timer









Street Fighter Alpha II

Hey, it's Akuma. Fucking Akuma! How awesome are you when you can make a standout game in a franchise that hasn't had a numeric sequel in four damn years? Akuma style awesome.












Super Mario RPG

Call me finicky, but I never really liked this game all that much. Sure, the graphics were awesome, but the game was just too easy and repetitive. The high point was fighting the power rangers, other than that... overrated.












Tetris Attack

Some love this puzzler to death, personally I never found it as addicting as most claimed, not even the two player matches. But it was still fun and the coolest rethinking of the tetris concept ever.












Ultimate MK III

By this point the euphemism; "Finish him" refers to the franchise rather than your opponent. Still an overall decent game before the franchise went to crapsville, but you could see the fin of the shark this franchise was getting set to jump.












1997

Fuck, they were STILL making SNES games in 1997, I'm reminded of the PS2 and how it stayed profitable for years in the face of the next generation. But the SNES was the first console to perform such a feat. 1997 gave us the awesome Harvest Moon. A game that launched the farming sub-genre of video gaming. Blizzard took a time out on designing the most spectacular RTS ever in Starcraft to give us Lost Vikings IId Kirby finally got a numeric sequel in by's Dream Land IIIammit, there are entire systems (yeah 32-X, i'm talkin bout you) that don't have that many must-play games in their entire catalogue. The SNES managed to inspire developers to make this many exclusive and awesome titles while other, more powerful systems are on the market making with the slobberknocking. I think anything else I could possibly say about how incredible the SNES was would be ineffective compared to that stat. So I'm gonna fire up some Great Big Sea, prepare for my vacation, and declare my contributions to SNES week done and completed. Thanks for reading, hope you had as much reading this as I did writing it.









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