Nintendo made some HUGE waves with the release of the NES Classic in 2016. In 2017, they are looking to make things SUPER (see what I did there?), by bringing us some amazing SNES titles later this year with the SNES Classic. Also, a never before released title, Starfox 2! However, in all of this sense of elation…where were these titles?
Developer: Square / 1995
Arguably the best RPG Square’s EVER released, Chrono Trigger, the action-packed story of a boy’s quest through history, stands the test of time. Most notably, Chrono Trigger features 13 endings, a stunning feat for a lengthy RPG. It seems only fitting that three of Japan’s most legendary creators — Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy), Yuji Hori (Dragon Quest), and Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball) — were part of the creative team responsible for Trigger‘s conception and development. Square’s epic saga deserves a spot on the SNES Classic.
SUPER CASTLEVANIA IV
Developer: Konami / 1991
Super Castlevania IV is possibly the best game in the series of Castlevania games. Perfected and greatly expanded on reimagining the first Castlevania for the NES, IV follows the trials of Simon Belmont as he and his legendary whip, The Vampire Killer, attempt to defeat Dracula and restore order to the world. Castlevania IV took the original premise and added five new levels (including ones that take place outside the castle), as well as tighter controls and a few additional gameplay mechanics (like enhanced whip functionality). SNES Classic worthy.
CONTRA III: THE ALIEN WARS
Developer: Konami / 1992
Konami used to be respected greatly back in the ’90s. Super Nintendo used every trick up their sleeve to make Contra III: The Alien Wars the ultimate SNES shooter. Giant bosses, synthesized hard rock sounds, a crazy, spinning Mode 7 top-down mode, and a boss fight where you hang from flying missiles were just some of the things that made Contra III the most “extreme” game available at the time.
TETRIS & DR. MARIO
Developer: Nintendo / 1994
Tetris & Dr. Mario at first appeared to be a simple 16-bit repackaging of Nintendo’s two most popular 8-bit puzzlers: the classic falling block puzzler from Russia, Tetris, and the color-matching capsule-dropper, Dr. Mario. But the most unique thing about this joint cartridge wasn’t that you could play those games separately – it was that you could play them together. Tetris & Dr. Mario included a unique multiplayer mode that challenged you to play both games at the same time. You clear some lines in Tetris, jump over to zap some viruses in Dr. Mario, then head back over to Tetris to wrap things up. It was a great idea and a great way for two puzzler lovers to square off in a head-to-head challenge, too.
Developer: Blizzard / 1992
I can’t say enough about this game. Erik the Swift, Baleog the Fierce, and Olaf the Stout are a trio of time-traveling Norsemen who’ve gotten themselves into some trouble. They’ve been kidnapped by an alien emperor who wants to put them on display as part of his intergalactic zoo, and they’ve got to escape and make their way back home to good old Norway. The puzzle dynamics Blizzard created for The Lost Vikings were nearly perfect, as each level was a head-scratching brainteaser that you could only solve by taking full advantage of each viking’s unique skills – Erik’s speed, Baleog’s bow and Olaf’s ability to stand there and get stepped on. This was an early masterpiece for Blizzard, and thankfully, we also got a sequel, The Lost Vikings 2, before the company moved on from Nintendo development.