Lord Spencer's Profile - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android




click to hide banner header
About
Hello all, I am Lord Spencer, your friendly neighborhood royalty. Yes, the ancient bloodlines are letting absolutely anyone in these days.

Being the lurker that I am, I have been following Destructoid for more than four years. Well, its 3 AM where I live now, and I just plunged in getting HUGE in the way.

Here is hoping for a fun time.

Oh yes, here is a little more info about me that is probably not as interesting as I think it is:

-I am an Iraqi-Saudi living in Saudi Arabia.
-I owned and played about 1000+ games.
-I owned and read about 2000+ books (I counted comic books I read as a kid so this is not as impressive as it sounds).
-I absolutely love Legos.

Out of all the games I played, I only regret playing a few. I am a big fan of gaming, and thus I really like most of what I play.

Seeing as my top 10 games of all time would change depending on the day you ask me, I am just going to put in Random games I don't think are in anyone's top 10 list:

-Blood Will Tell
-Mega Man Legends 2
-Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon
-Donkey Kong Country 2
-Suikoden 2
-Some weird game in the PS1 that caused my grandfather to kick me out of the house because it had me giving a girl an orgasm by massaging her feet.

Six is as good a number as any, so here is that:

Badges
Following (4)  


The Advantages of Being an Arab Gamer:

Gamers are often ridiculed and shunned by a larger society much too concerned about their public image. As for Arabs, no one has been as a vilified by the US media as much as us in the past 15 years.

Thankfully, I don’t live in the US and hence have no reason to worry about being a gamer or an Arab. Unless I am the wrong kind of Arab, in which case we are probably at war.

Here are the advantages of being an Arab Gamer, in no particular order. Except the first one, which definitely deserves its first place.

1- Free Colonoscopies:

Instead of scheduling an appointment with a doctor, and staying for hours in a miserable waiting room until your doctor invades your anus. Just get one from the accommodating airport security while you travel in your merry way. It doesn’t matter whose disinterested hands inspect your colon, it just matters that someone does.

Additionally, you can always ramp up the discomfort factor for the poor security officers by pretending to really enjoy it (or better yet, actually do enjoy it).

If you are a frequent enough flier to the west, you might never have to check your colon ever again.

2- Widely Accepted Piracy:

With little interaction with the internet, we didn’t realize we were the immoral bane of the industry. For us, hundreds of games at cheap prices was the norm for PS1 and PS2 games. I would argue that the dominance of the PS brand in the Arab world is hugely due to such piracy, but that is a topic for another day.

For myself, this allowed me the opportunity to dip my balls.. urm, I mean my toes in every genre I could find. And while half of the games I played didn’t work properly, and the other half simply sucked, it allowed me to become the highly varied gamer I am today.

It didn’t hurt that I had a job at a videogame store were my salary was three pirated video games a week and a coke a day. (I was 12, so bugger off)

3- Amorphous Looks:

What does an Arab look like? You probably don’t know. The media showcases us as turban wearing, darks skinned, bearded people, with a tendency to explode. While we do have some of those traits, we are actually much more varied than you would believe. I have been mistaken for a Greece, Italian, Spanish, Mexican, Latin, Balkan, and of course the usual Jew, Turk, or Iranian.

In the US, the ethnicity for Arabs is white. A US born friend of mine can only be described as black, which turns into all kinds of hilarious situations at the passport checkpoints, especially if the passport officer is black.

4- Awesome Facial Hair:

If you have any interest in facial hair, you are probably jealous of Arabs. Adding to our amorphous quality, we can change the whole way we look by altering our facial hair. Except, anything we do is undone by midnight.

A friend of mine had a full beard by the 9th grade, and he was a year younger than the class. All the while people in the world struggle to grow a respectable moustache.

5- Just Blame the Sikhs:

After 9/11, Sikhs were probably the most harassed population in the US. Due to their beards and turbans, they looked like the stereotypical Arab Muslims. Yet, they are neither Arab nor Muslims. As such, Sikhs serve as a natural decoy to Arabs who aim to do some mischief.

Who else could say they have an entire race of people being blamed for their shit.

The only disadvantage here is that if there is a Sikh with you while you are traveling, you will not get those free colonoscopies.

6- Second Highest Representation in Videogames:

Just recently, we bypassed the Russians as the second most represented people in videogames after the US Americans. If you play videogames, you probably shot us in a number of games. In the past, we were often represented as merchants or simple desert people. Yet, recently, we are mostly bearded evil men with a tendency to explode.

Still, we have more representation than both women, blacks, and every other non-white demographic combined. Which means, we can always pretend to shoot our stupid neighbors while we play, even if they are sometimes Pakistani’s who should have no business speaking Arabic.

7- Having Great Online Makes you a Prince:

There is nothing worse than playing a multiplayer game through terrible lag. Streets in Saudi Arabia are more dangerous than Baghdad’s, so I know what I am talking about. With the internet in the Arab world being victim of despotic regimes, terrible infrastructure, and sharks, it means who ever has great internet is king.

In fact, having a somewhat great internet would be a lifesaver if you are in ISIS controlled territory. ISIS loves playing Call of Duty, and you would be favored by them if you have the internet to satisfy their needs. Provided you have a penis of course.

8- Being Far Removed from Gaming “Controversies”:

When you live in a region that might self-implode any day, where family members and friends in other countries live in constant danger, you get some perspective on life. Ridiculously tame gaming “controversies” only serve to annoy me. Anita whatshername may want to talk about gender equality; my mother and sister are actually fighting for it.

Some asshats in youtube think Nintendo is being too tough on their channels, I have to fight censorship everyday. In the Arab world, you are either the wrong kind of Arab, or the kind of Arab with the potential to be wrong. Great powers don’t give a fuck about us little guys.

In one way, the existence of gamin “controversies” is prime evidence of the US’s completely relaxed and secure state. While your media likes to frighten you about anything from Islamic terrorism to Ebola (which never became a credible threat to the US AT ALL), you are all actually blissfully safe yet constantly annoyed at stupid stuff.

So, dear US gamers, be grateful for your gamin “controversies”, they are proof that you can afford a little stupidity.

9- Cheap Non-Essentials:

With cheap food, cloths, shelter, and of course cheap oil, we have more money to spend on important essentials such as games. Now that games are no longer pirated, and because we have poor second hand market and no internet trade, we need more money to buy our games.

Which is why having such cheap non-essentials is key. Back when I studied in the US, I actually had to look for deals and even buy from Amazon. Now, I can buy every game new and only worry about the time I have to actually play those games.

If you are the wrong kind of Arab (those with no oil) this doesn’t apply to you.

10- Arranged Marriages:

The western media likes to spin this as a negative practice. Yet, if you think about it, it actually greatly improves your gamin life. Getting married is a pain. First, dates are complex and expensive, and I am not talking about the ones we grow in the desert. Second, all the emotional nonsense just takes away from your time. As a result, getting married is just going to encroach on your gaming.

With arranged marriages, all the work is being done by your team of negotiators. Both for males and females, you are free to relax until you’re a team finds a suitable spouse. Even then, you just say yes while the A team, does all the marriage arrangements.

Best of all, with arranged marriages, it doesn’t matter that you’re a neck bearded basement dweller. As long as you have some means of making income, you are probably going to get married.

11- Having a Riot Every Time we see Arabic Being Used:

I am not talking about the types of riots that overthrew the military in Egypt, nor the ones that reinstated the military in Egypt. I am talking about the jolly kind of riot, with laughter and all. Whenever we see Arabic being used in videogames, it is always fascinating how its being used.

From a writing that uses Arabic like an English Alphabet (Arabic letter connect to each other), to voice acting that ranges from terribly inauthentic, to hilariously trollish. For example, some war cries in Call of Duty say: “Let’s go kiss the enemy”, others say: “Lets throw the pomegranate” instead of: “let’s throw the grenades”.

Regardless, nothing videogames did with Arabic compares to the multitude of Hollywood actors who had to say lines of dialogue in Arabic in hilariously broken way.

12- Simply Better Mangoes:

Let’s get real here, the fruits in the US are over engineered abominations with no smell and little flavor. Your mangoes taste like cucumber, and your watermelons like moldy plastic. Somewhere along the way, you traded taste and texture for size and color. The result being the flavorless plastic you sell as fruits.

True, there are exceptions, mainly with apples (which have their variants of oversized garbage) and strawberries. Yet, even your specialty in Oranges is being heavily beaten by what we have here. The sole exception being grapefruits, which the rest of the world forsook as neither deserving of grapes nor fruit in the name. Yet, you stubbornly preserve with it and pretend it is more than a way to suck your own face.

For me, ISIS harvested grapes from Syria, Army ripened Oranges from Egypts, and whomever has control of the mango fields at the moment in Yemen. These fruits, grown with hard work and love, and probably some blood and bullets, these are great tasting fruit. Just beware of the pomegranates, apparently some use them as grenades.

Photo Photo Photo







Lord Spencer
12:56 PM on 03.28.2015

For those reading one of my SNES review blogs for the first time, here is the basic concept:

"While the SNES was a constant presence in my childhood, I never had a large collection of games for it. In fact, many of the games I played I still don't know the names of. It wasn't until I say the uproar over Breath of Fire 6 that I knew I played Breath of Fire 1 in the SNES.

After reading the excellent top 100 SNES games list by IGN:

http://www.ign.com/top/snes-games

I decided to go back and play those 100 games and review them. Well, as I looked closer at the list, I realized that there are many genres that did not age well from the SNES (racing, sports) and many other genres that I am simply not good at (shmups, arcade shooters) and others that I need other players to play against for an accurate representation (fighters). Also, I played many of the more well known games such as Final Fantasy and Super Metroid."

We finished with the legacy reviews, so we are beginning with the reviews after my hiatus. Please feel free to give me advise on my reviews, as I always look for improvement.


Also, here are a number of extra rules for Destructoid:
-If you have any suggestion of a game that is not in the IGN list that I should review, please suggest it.
-Make a bet on each game to check whether Chris Charter played it or not.

Without further ado, here is:

13- Earthbound:
Year: 1995.
Genre: RPG.
Publisher: Nintendo.
Developer: Ape Creatures/HAL Lab.
 

First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

For many, including myself, their first encounter with Earthbound or Mother 2 as it is known in Japan is through Ness in Super Smash Bros. It was only after seeing Ness in the famous Nintendo cross-over brawler that I began hearing about the game he featured in. The reputation of Earthbound becomes a part of gamer's lore. We have seen the petitions asking for Nintendo to release the game in the Wii's virtual console well before it finally released it on the Wii U.

Hence, it is difficult to play Earthbound without being influenced by the passion of its fans, and the unique statues it managed to cultivate with the passing years. At once, we are promised a unique experience and another SNES RPG classic.

It is difficult to analyze why Earthbound was a commercial failure in the US. It did well in Japan, and Nintnedo heavily advertised it overseas. Yet, those who bought the game are behind the massive push for it online.

For the reviewer, we need to discern the reality from the myth. Yet, it increasingly difficult to separate the two in case of Earthbound. And it is this power, and its unapologetic pursuit of novelty that pushes Eartbound well beyond its flaws to what I consider a true SNES classic.

"Giygas, the universal destroyer, sent all to the horrors of eternal darkness"

Taking the game at its two end points, Earthbound is little more than a chosen hero tale defeating an ancient undiscerning evil. Yet, when we unfold this story and play as Ness through the journey to the final end point, we see both the character of the world, and the novelty of its stories.

At once, we are greeted not with the typical fantasy realms of SNES role-playing games, but with modern world suburb. This setting lands the game its unique charm, and also highlights its parody qualities. But the game does not rely on parody and making fun of RPG tropes, it carries itself as a game first and foremost.

I will begin by saying there is little interesting in the core story outside of it setting of a reason for all the side stories to exist. Giygas's only reason to exist is for all the crazy plots to begin. He spreads evil through a crazy golden statue, and causes weird things to happen. It is not Giygas who players will remember after playing the game, but the crazy cults they fought, the corrupt business mafiosi they went against, and all crazy things that happens in the way.

Unlike other games, the world of Earthbound is its own character. Interacting with the NPCs flesh out the story, and little exposition dialogue is offered. This does make for a dull group of playable characters, who are only interesting in a gameplay perspective. Yet, it makes talking to the NPCs more than a way to gather what to do next.

To carry through with this living modern world, the game pays a lot of attention to small details that flesh the world out, and huge design choices that impact the whole game. Little details such as the main character Ness being homesick unless he calls his mom every now and then, and the main currency being funds from his dad that he withdraws from an ATM. There is no world map in Earthbound, locations are interconnected by land roads, bus routes, ferry travel, and even a lake monster ride.

Outside of his iconic appearance in Smash, Ness might not be otherwise remembered. Yet, the world of Earthbound is one that most players would find hard to forget. The stories it tells, and the journey you take. In a way, it is the player that travels through the game, the playable characters only forgettable companion to an unforgettable journey.

Unique Fleshed out World: +5
Interesting Side Stories: +5
Boring Main Characters: -1


"Pokey used Ness as a shield!!"

RPGs have a really hard time crafting a good combat system. Make it too complicated, and its too slow. Make it too easy, and it becomes repetitive. A balance between deep and engaging is hard to craft, and it requires both experience and design pedigree. For the people at Ape Creatures and HAL, who have little to no experience in the Genre, who are headed by a director who insists on upending the whole RPG scheme; the expectation is to fail.

Yet, by throwing around RPG tropes and simply relaying on crazy out of the box idea, the team managed to make a combat system that is surprisingly good. While not of the quality of Square titles, Earthbound's battles are as interesting as the text inside the battle.

Central to its combat system is the diversity of its cast. Ness is both your physical tank, and your main healer. In fact, Ness is simply overpowered compared to the rest of the team. Paula is your typical Mage, who is both your defense against magical attacks (called PSI attacks in the game) and your main user of them. The other two characters are weirder styles yet. You have Jeff, who you could invest on by buying missiles that he can only use (decisions time), but he could be the one healing with items while your team dishes it out with magical attacks that he does not have. Poo is the last member in the team, who acts as a healing support for Ness, but also a magical assault companion to Paula.

Balancing the strengths and weaknesses of your cast is central in most battles, which are challenging due to the fact that I was rarely over leveled. With boss battles being a highlight, simply attacking is not going to cut it, and making wrong attack decisions can bite you.

Fortunately, the game does include a built in trump card for the player. Since the health of each character is shown in a roulette looking screen, you can always heal your characters before they die as the rollers count down. Unfortunately, this scramble for a last minute save exposes one flaw in the battles. The text is simply too slow, and nothing is more infuriating than having Paula die on you because the enemy's text took to long to disappear.

Additionally, we notice a few difficulty spikes through the game, with some combination of enemies being tougher to handle than the bosses themselves. For instance, one enemy can completely obliterate your team with his attacks unless you put up an expensive magical shield before he makes it. This makes the first time you face him painfully hilarious, and you are well out of luck if Paula is not fast enough. Yet, the worst offender is undoubtedly the self-exploding enemies, who dish out huge damage as you kill them. In these cases, you furiously tap the B button as you scramble for the battle to end before your health rolls down too much.

A grind is always possible to alleviate the difficulty spikes, but it never feels forced, especially since you could see enemies in the map. Additionally, Earthbound implemented the pioneering feature of obliterating under-leveled enemies. This means that if an enemy is no match for you, they simple disintegrate and give you the experience you would usually get without having to fight them. Hence, you could always go for a fast grind.

Elsewhere the game doesn't waste your time with obtuse objectives, as the game give you enough clues to get you to the next objective. Surely to be handy to some is a hints system, which simply tells you where to go next if your are truly stumped.

Engaging Battle System: +3
Unique Map Feature: +3
Frustrating Difficulty Spikes: -1


"Get your butt home, pronto!"

In many ways, we respect Earthbound's dedication to both is style and to streamlining the RPG genre The enemy obliteration feature and the fact that you can play the entire game only using your left hand is great. Yet, in many ways, we see a clash between the two goals, and in other ways we simply see the inexperience of the team making this RPG.

One of the greatest time wasters in the game is its storage system. While having limited pocket space is nothing new in RPGs, and it is a balance decision. We are used to having a storage system for the items clogging our inventory. Earthbound wants to have a storage system that is thematically appropriate. Hence, it uses a storage service with a guy coming over to pick up or deliver things.

This system causes a number of problems. First, you can only store up to an amount. Second, you cannot get rid of key items even after using them for their purpose, hence they clog you storage space. Third, you can only store things or take things at a trip, hence you can't swap items. Fourth, you can only store or take 3 items at a time, unless you physically go to your sister back in your hometown (not your real hometown and sister). Fifth, navigating the menu is just too slow.

Trying to heal Poo, I need to go into the menu, hit down once, go to another menu, hit select to choose Ness, hit down once to go to recovery, hit right once to go the the second recovery spell, hit right three times to choose Poo. If I wanted to heal Paula after Poo, I am booted right to the start of this sequence.

Simply put, navigating the menus is a chore, and with healing being so damn important, it is going to add up time wasted as the game goes on. I can't help but think this issue would have ironed out if the game wasn't such a troubled development project (it took 5 years). Also, it is infuriating to know how much time was wasted on the storage service which hurts more than helps the game.

Storage Service Blues: -2
Slow Menu Navigation: -3


"We are Mr. Saturn. ZOOM BOING."

With all its dedication to a unique RPG experience, we of course expect an art direction aimed at establishing this unique world. Mostly, both the art and music of Earthbound lends greatly to its living world. Yet, the same dedication to a zany experience manages some poor decisions.

Off the bat, I am going to say the art style of the world is great. The chibi people style lends to a more modern looking RPG, with the little animations people do adding to their credibility. Each location is beautifully crafted and has its own character, with both towns and dungeons showing great variety in this interconnected world.

Going off this art direction, we see the enemy models with some as memorable as the locales. It is difficult to forget the angry hippies that attack you or the piece of contempreary art that insults you for failing to understand it. The game expertly pokes fun at both popular and high culture in the same breath.

Yet, the game goes too far in its pursuit with the battle background. Composed of surrealistic moving colors and lights, they can both be dizzying and bleh at the same time. With the exception of a few battles, more traditional backgrounds would have been much more appreciated.

Similar to its art direction, the musical selection adds a unique feeling to each place. With town tunes being a highlight, just walking around is fun. When you go to another town in a bus route, you not only see the scenes of the town passing by, but also listen to jazzy tune.

Yet, similiar to the art direction, the music takes a nosedive inside battles. Perhapes wanting to complement its LCD nature, the music wants to add to the theme by being mysterious and just plain weird. I don't think it works. It doesn't work as a tune, and doesn't work as a battle music. While some Battle songs are cool and memorable, the more common ones are a bore. Sometimes, even the better one feel misjudged. To clarify, one of the better battle music is a jazz inspired tune with some good bass. Yet, by the time the song really starts to hot it, most battles have already finished.

Earthbound's dedication to its style is both the cause of its better and worse decisions. But as a whole, it pulls through. Nothing reflects that more than when the music and art of the game complement each other in the cooler scenes, cut-scenes before the age of CGI. The highlight here being the Runaway five show, which showcases both the funny artstyle and unique music of the game.

Music: +5
Graphical Design: +5
Battle Music and Backgrounds: -6


In Conclusion:

As I see it, Earthbound earned its reputation through both being a solid game, and because of the story around it. Assuming it was commercially sucessful, with sequels improving on the formula and such, the game would be looked upon with respect as the game that stared the series but without the same reverence.

As it is, Earthbound is classic because it is both a unique and solid game. It did not ignite a series, but is its own game with the iconic image of Ness in Smash. Similarly, we see similiar reverence to its sequel Mother 3.

Does Earthbound deserve it?

I think it does.

Simply Unique: +5

Final: 43/50

*****************************************************************


"Tips"

1- Be very careful in the early game, it gets easier from there.
2- You can farm magic butterflies in some rooms for MP points.
3- Don't be afraid of using magic, but always leave some for Bosses.
4- Jeff needs higher IQ to fix some items.
5- Trash items that are not useful, no need to store useless buns that heal 8 points.
6- Trash periodically, you don't want to navigate the storage often.
7- Talk to the NPCs, sometimes they are really funny.

"Next Game"

Eearthbound is the perfect case in which a sequel would have become a true masterpiece. Yet gamers shunned it only to ask for it later. Perhaps Nintendo shot themselves in the foot with their stinky advertising.

After finishing a lengthy RPG, I am going to sink into another one by the masters of the genre. I am talking about Secret of Mana which sits at #11. I know its going to be good, but is it a classic?

Stay Tuned


For Previous SNES game Reviews:

The List

For More Screenshots:

http://www.mobygames.com/game/snes/earthbound/screenshots

Photo Photo Photo








For those reading one of my SNES review blogs for the first time, here is the basic concept:

"While the SNES was a constant presence in my childhood, I never had a large collection of games for it. In fact, many of the games I played I still don't know the names of. It wasn't until I say the uproar over Breath of Fire 6 that I knew I played Breath of Fire 1 in the SNES.

After reading the excellent top 100 SNES games list by IGN:

http://www.ign.com/top/snes-games

I decided to go back and play those 100 games and review them. Well, as I looked closer at the list, I realized that there are many genres that did not age well from the SNES (racing, sports) and many other genres that I am simply not good at (shmups, arcade shooters) and others that I need other players to play against for an accurate representation (fighters). Also, I played many of the more well known games such as Final Fantasy and Super Metroid."

We finished with the legacy reviews, so we are beginning with the reviews after my hiatus. Please feel free to give me advise on my reviews, as I always look for improvement.


Also, here are a number of extra rules for Destructoid:
-If you have any suggestion of a game that is not in the IGN list that I should review, please suggest it.
-Make a bet on each game to check whether Chris Charter played it or not.

Without further ado, here is:

17- Super Punch-Out!!:
Year: 1994.
Genre: Boxing Simulator.
Publisher: Nintendo.
Developer: Nintendo.
 

First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

The original Punch-Out had the novelty of having boxing's most famous ear-eater in its title cover, which contributed as both a selling point and excuse for making the game. If a sequel was never released, few would be surprised. The original game summed up the "noble" sport of boxing into a deceptively simple dual system, and did not have much in terms of either variety or action to back it up.

Yet, the game's limited mechanics proved to be amazingly deep, and the competition that fought your Little Mac besides Tyson himself were all colorful and unique. As such, Punch-Out developed a cult following and was loved by many who tried it. Little Mac fought the odd and became more than the tech demo he started out as.

Then, in the SNES comes the Super Punch-Out. It drops Mike Tyson from the title, but it brings everything back from the original and changes little from it. In that sense, Super Punch-Out is a game that you will either love or not care for at all. If the limited nature of the game bothers you, you won't be able to enjoy its deep combat system. However, for those among you who are thrilled by the idea of applying your wits in the mat, and fighting against all the odds. Then, this game is for you.

"Now let's get this show on the road"

The title follows little Mac's attempt at winning the world championship. At least, I think its little Mac. Both his face and coloring morphed into something very different, and Doc is nowhere to be seen. Despite these minor discontinuities, the rest of the cast features the trademark loonies impersonating as professional boxers.

When the first boxer you fight against looks like a senile old man who just escaped a nursing home, your should realize that you are not fighting your regular boxing game fare. Featuring such characters as a Mad Clown, a Bruce Lee impersonator, and two semi-clone brothers, Punch-Out does bring back its trademark ridiculousness.

These boxers have a tendency to break all rules. Expect a flying dragon kick from Bruce Lee, and being hit with a staff from Miyagi-san. Each character also comes with their unique special moves, which range from the aforementioned kicks to spits and bear hugs.

However, judging from the past, the characters in Super Punch-Out are less iconic than those of the Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. While most of the boxers you fight are fun, both their quotes and overall design feels less cutting than the first game.

Punch-Out Craziness: +4
Less Iconic than Predecessor: -2

"Do you have the rhythm?"

In boxing, and in fighting games in general, there is always a mindgame going on between the two. Every move invites a counter move, and it becomes a matter of both analyzing and guessing what your opponent does. Purely reacting is slow and disadvantageous, and stupidly lashing out will only invite a quicker defeat.

The gameplay in Punch-Out takes the mindgames in boxing and makes a whole game of it. You can guard high and low for face and body punches respectively. Also, you can dodge left and right as well as duck. Your opponents can also defend themselves in the same way.

As for offensive play, you can punch right or left, high or low. However, these punches won't do much damage to your enemies. Connecting with an attack fills up your super meter, which allows you to use various special attacks that do most of the work. With the important caveat that if you are hit, the super gauge depletes, adding insult to injury.

Thus, the match evolves into a chess match between you and your opponent. Not only do you need to hit him enough to cause some damage as well as fill up your super meter, but you also need to protect yourself from their assaults in order to be in any shape to fight.

Here is where the hidden brilliance of Super Pinch-Out shines through. Each animation is a tell for you. Your opponent shows you exactly what they are doing, whether its guarding high or low, or initiating an attack. Thus, you should study your opponent and see when and how to defend.

He is punching you in the right, punch first in the left. Or dodge and give him some quick jabs on the jaw. Or just go with a body face body face combo. There are many ways to victory, and the more you understand of the system the better your results would be. Bait your opponent to react, or simply defend long enough to get a power boost that will help you completely decimate them.

In addition to their regular montage of punches and uppercuts, your opponents also have their special abilities as well. Almost always triggered by a telling jig or through orders from their coach, these special abilities are usually devastating if not dodged.

This only combines to create a system that rewards tactics and strategy above simple button mashing, which won't even get you through the first circuit. Little Mac is a smaller opponent, and he needs smarts more than brawn to defeat the competition.

This competition is divided in four circuits featuring four boxers each. But these circuits are also accompanied by an excellent Time Attack mode that invites perfecting each fight. I have not reached this level yet, but almost all fights can end in less than 10 seconds, and some can be ended with a one hit KO.

Excellent Fighting System: +5
Deceptive Depth: +5
Time Attack Mode: +2

"I have lost so many times I forgot how winning feels"

We only talked about the combat system with the assumption that you managed to understand it. However, I couldn't unlock all its secrets even after putting 20 hours into it. Patience might not be inherent in your gameplay style, and if so, a sudden rash decision could leave you down for the count.

Even in the first circuit, these guys won't have any mercy. Any mistake is easily punished, and every punch is a commitment that can be a mistake.

For many players, it might be too difficult getting pummeled to get anything from the fight. Not even figuring out precious visual and style ques. This can be alleviated by approaching the game as if a spectator, and just try and get as much information of the fighter as you can get. Simply play defensively and only occasionally land a jab.

In Punch-Out, you need to carefully study your opponents to beat them, and once you master one boxer, fighting them is simply an exercise in shortening your time. You might finish the game the first time with epic stories of comebacks, or long fights, but by the end of your time with the game, you should find the fights becoming easier and easier.

Unforgiving if you don't know how to approach it: -2


"Had your goodnight kiss?"

By now, you should have realized that much of the game's charm, as well as its gameplay system, heavily depends on how the game looks. A tell is only a tell if it can be easily viewed and distinguished after all. And here is where Super-Punch Out delivers in spades.

Perhaps one of the most visually advanced sprites in the SNES, each of the game's 16 fighters convey both in animation and art style their entire technique and personality. When Bruce Lee's impersonator prepares for a dragon kick, he leaps from side to side and lungs at you with his feet. If you were hit by that, you simply were not paying attention. Less elaborate moves are just as simply telegraphed, with each arm exactly showing how the punch is going to be delivered, and each body movement showing where to best attack.

Besides its functional requirements, the graphics show us the personality and ridiculousness of the cast in ways not feasible otherwise. Though some characters are palette swaps of each other, each character showcases their personality through both their dress style and animation. From the eccentric movements of Heike Kagero to the chill moves of Bob Charlie.

Unfortunately, the music doesn't do as well as the graphics at all. With a limited selection of music, and no track standing out at all, this is terrible for Nintendo SNES standards. I even find the music of the original Punch-Out to be better overall.

If the audio ques weren't that important, this would be one of the few games I wouldn't mind listing to my iPod while playing. Listening to eye of the tiger while fighting Aran Ryan would have been a perfect fight.

Music: -4
Graphical Design: +4
Animation: +5


In Conclusion:

Super Punch-Out is a game you will either love, or one that you will simply not care off. With a simple premise, it shouldn't be easy to know how you feel about it. For those who do fall in love with the game, they might want to just finish it and move on, or sink countless hours perfecting their craft and reducing each opponent into a shell of their former selves.

With boundless depth, and the charm to stand out, Super Punch-Out is an SNES Classic. If only it had better music.

Final: 42/50

*****************************************************************


"Tips"

1- Know thyself and know thy enemy.
2- Don't button mash, and don't panic.
3- A missed opportunity is better than getting counter attacked.
4- Being in power mode is not an automatic invisibility period.
5- Left jabs are your fastest attack.
6- Super punches come in various forms.
7- Attempt higher level tactics in Time Attack Mode.
8- Also try to knock your opponent down with a special punch, it will give you more time to recover some stamina.

"Next Game"

Everyone reading this will either get why Super Punch-Out is #17 in the list, or be amazed that it is. With very different games, we often get such divided reception. For me, it deserves a top 20 spot but only marginally.

For the next game, I am jumping all the way to #13, where I am going to play the famous cult hit Earthbound. With such hype, I am both excited and guarded going in. Here is hoping it lives up to what I have been reading about it.

Stay Tuned


For Previous SNES game Reviews:

The List

For More Screenshots:

http://www.mobygames.com/game/super-punch-out/screenshots

Photo Photo Photo







Lord Spencer
12:49 PM on 02.18.2015

For those reading one of my SNES review blogs for the first time, here is the basic concept:

"While the SNES was a constant presence in my childhood, I never had a large collection of games for it. In fact, many of the games I played I still don't know the names of. It wasn't until I say the uproar over Breath of Fire 6 that I knew I played Breath of Fire 1 in the SNES.

After reading the excellent top 100 SNES games list by IGN:

http://www.ign.com/top/snes-games

I decided to go back and play those 100 games and review them. Well, as I looked closer at the list, I realized that there are many genres that did not age well from the SNES (racing, sports) and many other genres that I am simply not good at (shmups, arcade shooters) and others that I need other players to play against for an accurate representation (fighters). Also, I played many of the more well known games such as Final Fantasy and Super Metroid."

We finished with the legacy reviews, so we are beginning with the reviews after my hiatus. Please feel free to give me advise on my reviews, as I always look for improvement.


Also, here are a number of extra rules for Destructoid:
-If you have any suggestion of a game that is not in the IGN list that I should review, please suggest it.
-Make a bet on each game to check whether Chris Charter played it or not.

Without further ado, here is:

19- ActRaiser:
Year: 1991.
Genre: Action Platformer/ God Game.
Publisher: Enix.
Developer: Quintet
 

First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

ActRaiser is one of the more unique games in the SNES library. Half a traditional Action Platformer, and half a god genre simulator, its a game that surprised many in the early life of the console. Also, it acts as the spiritual inspiration to Enix and Quintet's creation trilogy which features the excellent Terranigma.

There is no doubt about ActRaise being an important game. However, outside its unique gameplay and influence, we find it a a difficult game to assess. Taken on its own merits, I understand player's love for the game, and yet I find many ways in which it is lacking.

By no means a bad game, and actually one I would recommend playing. Yet, ActRaiser does not reach enough to be one of the SNES's timeless classics. Instead, it reaches just enough for us to wish for a sequel that never truly was.

"Master, your people are waiting for your salvation"

Before succumbing to US censorship, The Master who is your playable character was more clearly referred to as God, or kamisama in Japanese. Other than that name change for your main character, and the head demon who is no longer Satan, it is obvious that you are a god in the game.

As god to the people of this land, you are required to defeat the monsters that plague them and help them develop their cities. This constitutes running around as a statue (possessed by you) defeating enemies and bosses, thus clearing the land for human habitation. Afterwards, you control your trusty angel and help this newly found human settlement to expand against all odds. Finally, their expansion will trigger some event which will demand you go in again as a statue and face the town's boss.

Every "level" in the game will follow this formula.

However, you are not locked into rails once you visit a city, and you can easily switch between cities and finish them in a somewhat non-linear order. I say somewhat because the advantages offered by one city might be pivotal to seriously advance in another. Also, as more people grow and the cities develop, you gain levels and also some magic points.

Other than the obvious novelty of playing as a god, the plot rarely delves deeper than the monsters you are killing over and over. Yet, we see glimpses of intelligent remarks about human nature and religion. While the story of most towns is an uninspired tale, one settlement actually stops worshiping you and start worshiping the demons. It wasn't required for me, and actually set me up quite a bit, but I launched and earthquake against them before I proceeded to cut the fool they bowed down to instead of me.

Unique Gameplay: +3
Unique Premise: +4


"Let us work towards peace"

With two modes of play, ActRaiser is a game that feels fresh by variation, not by the depth of its gameplay. Indeed, both the action and simulation segments lack a certain polish but are satisfactorily addictive. The process of preparing a settlement, helping it grow, then liberating it from a boss might be formulaic, but is oddly satisfying.

The action segments are straightforward Action Platforming, with solid jumps and the ability to duck. Neither the enemies or the levels themselves demand much attention from the player, and the ability to summon some magic spells should be saved for bosses. Nothing fancy, but nothing special either.

As for the unique attraction of the game, the god simulation aspect, it doesn't quite deliver a really unique experience. You control your angel sidekick, who shoots arrows at the monsters who are attacking the town. Also, you can direct the building direction of the town as well as help them around with miracles. In theory, it should be more interesting that it really is, but the game is somewhat limited with it. For instance, shooting the enemies with arrows is mostly busy work, and the miracles are rarely used. For instance, on city wants you to use rain to get rid of the desert around them, another asks you to melt the snow with the sun. Few cities ask for combinations of these miracles, and the whole process seems like an extended loading screen.

Both modes are fun, but neither are particularly well-made. In fact, it is the combination of the two modes that saves them from being too harshly judged on their own. Essentially, the game holds on for a first play-through but the lack of any complexity and the linear style of gameplay works against replayability.

Modes are Lacking: -3
Variety Helps: +2
Replayability: -2


"Create Order From Chaos"

In the last few games I played, I was treated to some really good boss battles, and the trend continues with ActRaiser. Even though the action part is not that deep or engaging, the bosses themselves demand your best use of it. Equally slug-fests and pattern based battles, each boss plays differently and is engaging. Their fantastic design only adding more to the battles. Unfortunately, the boss battles are only found in action segments, as the simulation game offers no big bad boys to take care off.

One thing I found weird however is how magic completely obliterates some bosses, to the level that using it feels somewhat cheap. Similar to the way a Robot Master's health plummet after being hit by a weakness in some Mega Man games, and Ice Dragon's cry of anguish as a third of his health bleeds out after a magic attack is not at all awe inspiring.

Unfortunately, this aspect probably balanced for the final stage only, where we get a disappointing boss-battle Marathon. Only in such a marathon would you need to conserve magic instead of blasting the boss with it from the onset. It is disappointing that the final level is only a boss marathon, and is only made worse by lackluster final stage design (consisting of only one cool background image).

Good Boss Battles: +4
Disappointing Final Level: -2


"In the haunted land of Dearth"

One thing I noticed in Quintet games is their clean graphics and simple yet effective animation, which is followed through in ActRaiser. Obviously, the game demands two graphical styles, and the larger sprite work of the action sequences is much better than the overhead look of the God simulation parts. Each level has its own unique look, as well as its set of enemies. And other than the disappointing final level, the graphical design of each stage is unique and personable.

One aspect that is never disappointing is the boss designs, which are varied and suitably menacing. Being a God game, I was delighted to see the design of bosses taking a lot from religious myths and superstitions.

Not taking any inspiration from the spectacular graphical design of the game, the soundtrack is one of very few tracks. Consequently, what tracks there is grow to be tiresome because they feel juxtaposed into unrelated scenes, and you see a huge lost opportunity in track variation.

For instance, all the simulation parts have the same theme, which might as well be non-existent. Having a different theme or just a basic remix for each city is another way to give those cities some personality. Music is a storyteller's tool, and its not used at all in ActRaiser.

Music: -3
Graphical Design: +5


In Conclusion:

There is a class of games that introduce characters, concepts, and all around provide a solid infrastructure for future great games without being great themselves. Take the first Crash Bandicoot game and compare it to the second one. ActRaise introduces us to this great concept, and it just can't pull it off. It does however show that a sequel that irons its creases can be truly wonderful.

Unfortunately, ActRaiser 2 went into an all together different direction, and as a result we are forced to deal with the first game as the single culmination of a great idea. We realize that this game is a unique gym that should be cherished, but we really wish they went to the same mine again.

Final: 38/50

*****************************************************************


"Tips"

1- Use the shooting star magic.
2- Earthquakes destroy the entire city, so use them before building anything.
3- Lives restart each stage.
4- Magic Points don't refill when you lose a life.
5- Search around the levels for health and more Magic Points.
6- For maximizing your level, keep a monster lair active in the city and farm the monsters as they spawn.

"Next Game"

As a game on its own merit, I wouldn't put ActRaiser in the top 20. However, as a game that is the inspiration of the really solid creation trilogy, I see the rational in doing so.

My next game is a story of underdog vs. the world, none other than Super Punch-Out!! which sits at number 17.

Stay Tuned


For Previous SNES game Reviews:

The List

For More Screenshots:

http://www.mobygames.com/game/snes/actraiser/screenshots

Photo Photo Photo








So, they say The Order (random numbers in the 18hundreds) is 5.5 hours long. Since that is nearly as much as a defective Viagra pill would cause your junk to stand up, I see how it brings forth bad memories from gamers.

The game is too short.

But its short of what exactly? Length. Chris Carter argued that there could be value in a short game, just as there could be vlaue in a longer game. Value however is a loaded word that means very little. Is value in a game 60 bucks worth? Hell, that is a movie and two lap dances, or it could be paying for your college degree that you are never going to use. For a bloody prince, value is in the time he could have spent playing another game (or more lickely getting some lap dances).

Taking one part of a game, its length, and not looking at its other merits is just ignoring the myriad of factors we know of game design.

Think of games like you are purchasing a didlo for your sex-starved mate (or yourself). It is not only about length (no one likes a long limp penis). Perhapes no dildo can have the three pillars of length, girth, and stamina. But you the consumer should realize what is your prefrence, and shop accordingly.

Here is a guide to how.

Length:

As somone who had been reviewing SNES games for a while now, this is one aspect where I found historical records to show great disparity. The ancient gamers of the 1990 were not familiar with how long a game can get. RPGs and Nintendo games probably the only games that repeatedly clocked over 12 hours.

Howver, most didn't know their games were so short. They had no skills unbottening bras, and zippers were mad of rusty iron. By the time they managed to get down to buisness, they already relaxed and couldn't judge how long their now flacid penis is.

The games got longer with age, but better zipper material and the invention of the clasp Bra gave us better impressions of length.

Here is where things get a little hairy (or actually less hairy). The rise of the Ubisoft school of derivative design makes game longer. Ass creed can be finished in less than 10 hours easily, but all the optional derivateve stuff that is crammed into it makes it longer. According to medicine, those penis extensions they try and sell you when you are at your other tabs do not make it more pleasurable.

Sorry for anyone who bought it.

Girth:

In my humble opinion, here is where a game makes it or breaks it. A good game simply demands its money. It can be the sweet release in a midsummer night, or the marathon orgies of Gommorah, you know you want it.

For some, they might feel a lengthier game better suited for their empty wallets, but a game with real girth demands replays. In the arguments in the Chris Carter piece, Metal Gera Revengance is often cited as a short game with a lot of replaybility. Bayonetta 2 and the Winderful 101 are shortish games with calls for mastery.

You see, these monsters want to be fondled, want to be mastered. It is not enough to have a qick stroke and finish, you need to explore its nether regions, even have a tickle here or there.

From what we know, the Order might still be such a game. So don't jump the ship just because of some sneak peak. As George Costanza would always say, you must account for shrinkage.

Know where your game was

Stamina:

Here is what the rowdy boys care about, all the orgying with friends, and that multiplayer bullshit. When you have a worthy dildo, its all about how long you can use it without getting bored. For me, I personally like to sleep around and rarely stay on one brothel long enough. But there are games that have the girth and the stamina to keep even me intrested (Super Smash Forever).

Stamina is more like a supporting trait, but is now slowely being introduced as the sole component (Titanfall, Destiny) in games. Not as important as girth IMO, but to each their fetishs.

Uhmmmmmm

Conclusion:

I clearly present the strngest argument for Girth, but then, I don't have problems paying retail for most of what I want. Which is why this trio is solely dependent on your own satchel. Which is why I reitiate Mr. Carter's argument for customer choice.

Knowing all you do about a game, you should be able to decide on your purchase. No one is jumping to your bedroom at knoght and shoving that London Wereworl 1886 model on you. Which is why feelings of outrage against what is basically a product is somewhat wierd.

I hope you enjoyed this out-of-character blog, and please share your favorite, uhm, toys with us.

Here is last year's games with greatest Girth:

-Bayonetta 2: The lady that can shove us all, this is on game that I see myself replaying agains and again.

-DKC Tropical Freeze: I am yet to get everything this game challanges me to, but I will keep on tying.

Photo Photo Photo








For those reading one of my SNES review blogs for the first time, here is the basic concept:

"While the SNES was a constant presence in my childhood, I never had a large collection of games for it. In fact, many of the games I played I still don't know the names of. It wasn't until I say the uproar over Breath of Fire 6 that I knew I played Breath of Fire 1 in the SNES.

After reading the excellent top 100 SNES games list by IGN:

http://www.ign.com/top/snes-games

I decided to go back and play those 100 games and review them. Well, as I looked closer at the list, I realized that there are many genres that did not age well from the SNES (racing, sports) and many other genres that I am simply not good at (shmups, arcade shooters) and others that I need other players to play against for an accurate representation (fighters). Also, I played many of the more well known games such as Final Fantasy and Super Metroid."

We finished with the legacy reviews, so we are beginning with the reviews after my hiatus. Please feel free to give me advise on my reviews, as I always look for improvement.


Also, here are a number of extra rules for Destructoid:
-If you have any suggestion of a game that is not in the IGN list that I should review, please suggest it.
-Make a bet on each game to check whether Chris Charter played it or not.

Without further ado, here is:

21- Super Castlevania IV:
Year: 1991.
Genre: Action Platformer.
Publisher: Konami.
Developer: Konami.
 

First things first, I am changing my rating system to better rate different genres according to their own rules. It will still be from 50 quality points, but every title will start from 25 and earn/lose points according to criteria important to the titles and genres themselves.

In 1997, the history of Castlevania changed drastically. The release of Symphony of the Night ushered in the age of the "Metroidvania". It had so much effect on the franchise that basically most games after it followed the same format. For many younger gamers, they had little knowledge of Castelvania's past as a straightforward Action Platformer.

The dual identity of the franchise can clearly be seen in the post and pre SotN games. While the "Metroidvania" focuses on exploration, and has some light RPG elements strewn in, the older games focused on providing solid Action and an atmospheric adventure.

Super Castlevania IV is the best of that bunch.

"On a dark and eerie night, Dracula rose from his grave..."

Starting the game, you get the feeling that the village sent its biggest dweeb as a sacrifice to Dracula. Simon Belmont seems very inadequate as a hero: he walks slowly, jumps with no conviction, gets bullied around easily, and you don't think a whip is going to cut it. Also, he wears what I think are pantaloons.

Facing this unfortunate hero, we get every manner of evil imaginable in the game. Skeleton soldiers throw bones at you, the stages are riddled with traps, bosses are not a joke, and those Medusa heads. Oh god, those damned Medusa heads. To top it off, you can't cancel your jumps, and any heat launches you backward. So, if you had one shot at that boss and you were at full health, kiss you chance goodbye if he hits you within a ledge.

Death after death, you slowly begin to doubt the success of your mission. Then, you get it. Simon no longer feels like a dweeb. You start to understand precession he needs to fight. Flailing your whip like an idiot will not do anything. Waiting, and striking at the optimal time is key. A Medusa head flies towards you in it oscillating fashion, looking at you with hat, snakes riling in its head. Wait for it just before it reaches your whip range, and then...STRIKE.

Armed with your trusty whip, along with an array of secondary weapons, each with their own use and trajectory. The game becomes about distance. The whip is versatile enough for most of the game; you can strike in eight directions and even flail it around to block projectiles (which is extremely useful in some bosses). Along with the whip, you can use a secondary weapon that consumes hearts (which are not health points like you would assume but rather "Magic points"). Each secondary weapon has its ow niche, and the player can experiment to see which ones they favor, but ultimately the Whip can be all you need.

You see, after the task seems initially daunting, and Simon's movement feel restrictive, you begin to understand the importance of distance. Each step takes you closer to your target, but they closer to you as well. Jumping is always a dependable arc, which you memorize with usage. Once you realize how to use distance to your advantage, your whip starts to decimate enemies, your jumps evade every obstacle, and the theme of Simon deservedly blow into your ear.

Dracula should have stayed in that grave.

Excellent Precession Based Gameplay: +4
Varied Strategies and Weapons: +2


"The Power of Dracula Starts to Revive Itself"

Now that you are finally looking like a Belmont, Dracula is your ultimate goal. His incessant revival once again throwing the world into darkness. Its unfortunate that Castlevania didn't do much with Dracula or its setting before Symphony of the Night. We all know how Dracula is one of the most interesting characters in literature, and yet he doesn't get a single line in the game. Neither does Simon.

In fact, the game gets on with all its narrative in the well-done opening sequence, and then the game begins. Dracula provides the justification of the setting, and Simon can be replaced by a slimmer and taller Mario (basically Luigi).

Such a game could have done well without any further effort into narration. However, Super Castelvania then proceeds to surprise us with its stage design, which tells us the story through atmosphere and style. Similiar to Metroid's Zebes, the stages of Super Castlevania tells us the story of Dracula perhaps better than those days stoke action narrative could.

When you proceed from the grounds to the Castle, you do so in an organic manner, traversing in the way caverns and such. When inside the castle, ghostly figures dance in the abandoned ballrooms. The treasure rooms shows signs of Dracula's greed. And as you finally go near the Lord of Darkness himself; you are reminded of his relation to death through non other than itself.

You could say that I am interpreting narrative where non exists, but my interpretation is aided by the game's direction. Through both music and visual design (which I will speak about later), the game highlights what is going on. When I am walking in the forest, and sneaking in the caverns, I don't see Dracula's eyes on me. However, when I enter his castle and hear the epic sound of "Bloody Tears" raining on me, I have no doubt that I am close to the end. Similarly, in the last stage, we cannot mistake the fact.

Mute Dracula: -2
The Game Does the Talking: +4


"Vampire Killer"

Since he is protecting himself with death traps and all sorts of ghouls and ghosts, we must assume that Dracula's choice of bosses must be up to standard. Unfortunately for Simon, our assumption is correct.

I am not going to say that Super Castelvania has absolutely great bosses, but I am going to say that they are mostly very good. Owing to the combat style of Castelvania, I feel it is more difficult to program boss battles that are as memorable as those in faster games like Mega Man for instance. In super Castelvania, the big bad guys are difficult, daunting, and mostly look and feel that way.

While each foe can easily end you, figuring out their patterns make the fight more manageable. Then, in a sudden twist, the boss changes their patterns and you find yourself in jeopardy. Without this change in patterns, most bosses would be just good, but they gain both personality and depth through that shift. Making boss battles the highlight of most stages.

Enforcing that idea is the end of the game, where you face many monsters as you climb up to Dracula. While I think this run has one extra boss that I didn't like (no one likes you blue Gargoyle), it showcases the game's affinity for storytelling through gameplay, as well as its solid combat. The final battle against Dracula is both a brawl and a spectacle, one that is worth the end.

Very Good Boss Battles: +4
That Final Boss Marathon: +1


"Bloody Tears"

I don't know how I would feel about Super Castlevania IV if I play it on mute, but I know that my impression of it would be less impressive. Through their music, Masanori Adachi and Taro Kudo elevated every aspect of the game.

From the start, you realize your in for an adventure, and the tracks never let on. With mysterious and atmospheric tracks like "Forest of Monsters" and "The Submerged City", moody tunes like "The Waterfalls", and epic fan favorites "Bloody Tears" and "Vampire Killer". And who could forget the ever present "Theme of Simon".

The game has a suitable track for every stage in the game, and it even changes tracks as the stage progresses from one phase to another. Without a single dud, and many great tunes, Super Castlevania surely has one of the best SNES soundtracks. If I would complain, only complain about the short loop time of "Bloody Tears" which is noticable, but its such a great song that who cares (I want to hear an updated version of it so much).

Moving on to the game's graphics, we see further evidence of design to fit the narrative. With obvious gothic influence, the game's stages and monster are all wonderfully made to feel like a suitable medieval stomping ground for Dracula. Not satisfied with only simple graphics, the small Konami team used their directing wizardry to great effect.

For instance, the dripping water in the caves is a direct reverence to the waterfalls above, and as we the see the mountains in the background, the foliage in the foreground reminds use where we are. Most impressively, this is a game that was released at the SNES's launch, and yet it sits heads and shoulders above latter releases. It even made use of the famous Mode 7 chip, but in my opinion, that stage was actually the least interesting stage in the game in all aspects.

With both music and graphics, the game immerses the player well in the game's world. Especially the music, which takes hold of the player and adds a much appreciated 3rd dimension to the game.

Music: +6
Graphical Design: +3


In Conclusion:

Super Castelvania IV is one of the best games in the SNES. It holds really well for its age, and through both gameplay and presentation, it delivers the old Castelvania experience in spades. Some might complain about its short length compared to today's standards, but with a game like this one, which is not that short in SNES standards, replaybility is key.

This is a game that takes hold of you, and you want to beat it again. In my mind, the best Simon Belmont is one who goes through the stages without missing a beat. Both the gameplay and music deserve the effort to excel like that, and through their hypnotic touch, many players would end up doing just that.

Final: 48/50

*****************************************************************


"Tips"

1- Spikes are one hit kills.
2- If it looks like a trap, it probably is.
3- After striking with whip, hold it limp and wiggle the it around with the D-Pad to guard against projectiles.
4- Do not flail the whip like an idiot (unless your are guarding against projectiles).
5- Stopwatch does not work on bosses.
6- Spend some time in learning the distance of your whip

"Next Game"

I can't believe such a great game missed the top 20. However, it gives us extra hope that all these games are gems. In fact, I know many of them are such gems. Which is why I am actually not going to review them since I already played them.

However, I can confirm that "Super Mario All-Stars","F-Zero", "DKC 2", "FFIV", "Mega Man X", "Super Mario Kart", "Super Mario World", "FFVI", "Super Metroid", and "Chrono Trigger" are all deserving of their top 20 spots. In fact, I played most of them several times which is why I am not going to play them again for review purposes.

The Next game I am going to review is the cult classic "ActRaiser" which sits @ #19 in IGN's list. We are in the top 20 now, so I expect this to be great.

Stay Tuned


For Previous SNES game Reviews:

The List

For More Screenshots:

http://www.mobygames.com/game/super-castlevania-iv/screenshots

Photo Photo Photo