Snes Game Reviews Starting With The Letter (A)


gaterooze

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A couple of years ago in a few spare days between projects, I started writing reviews of every SNES game ever made, just for fun. I didn't get very far.

Today, I stumbled onto the file I started and thought I'd post it here in case anyone finds it useful. There are brief reviews of about 20 games -- no, I never even finished 'A'!

Be warned: these are unedited and probably full of typos.


100% Cotton

Fun horizontal shooter with cutie-witch graphics. Slightly Parodius-like, but not quite as zany (it does try though). Downfalls are a lack of variety of enemies between levels, a weak weapons power-up system, and your sprite (an anime witch-girlie on a broomstick) is a little too big (tall) for this sort of thing. Overal: enjoyable, but limited. Oh, and at the end of each level you get an announcement that it's "Tea Time!" and enter a bonus-game where you collect the tea packets... [62%]


3 Ninjas Kick Back

Back from what? Pre-school? The 3 young characters you get to choose from are named Colt, Rocky, and Tum-Tum. That says it all, really. This looks and *feels* like an Amiga game... which isn't neccesarily a bad thing. In fact, this is nowhere near as terrible as I expected from the name and intro screen. It has a nice sun-effect on the stage-number page, but then they ruin it by having some old, smug Mr. Miyagi clone ranting between the usually-short levels (most of which just seem to 'end' suddenly). A couple of neat ideas, but the controls lack any sort of inertia or precision. I'd say it's a mixture between First Samurai and Mickey's Magical Quest, though not quite up to the former's standards, and nowhere near as fun to play as the latter. [37%]


7th Saga

This Enix RPG has some nice touches (like being able to choose an Alien or Demon as your character), but is essentially a very simple, lacklustre example of the genre. I remember trying to get into it years ago, and being utterly annoyed by the relentless, unavoidable battles every two steps you take. The combat system is extremely basic and the whole thing becomes an exercise in tolerance of repetition. It's a good thing they designed the controls specifically to be able to be played one-handed, because you most definitely will want to be doing something more interesting with that hand (just what that is, I won't hazard a guess). If I had never seen console RPGS like the Final Fantasy series, et al, I would probably lap this up... but after playing the best, it's just not worth putting up with this. [18%]


Actraiser

Ingenius game design which pairs Rastan-style platform chop 'em up action with a simplified 'God sim' (think Populous meets Sim City, Nintendo-style) and works amazingly well. The action scenes may seem a touch dated in light of recent technology, but they still play well (better than Rastan itself, and more complex). The 'mildly strategic' overhead sections are highly enjoyable, and mostly task-based so you won't get lost trying to build a better world. The music is absolutely incredible, and adds to a complete package which draws you into a cohesive game-world like so few manage to do. [93%]


Actraiser 2

Lush graphics and sound in this second outing, but far simpler gameplay, with the God-sim bits removed. This time it's straight-ahead hack 'n slash, but *incredibly* difficult! Damn frustrating game. Your winged chappie is fairly maneouverable, if a mite slow, but the enemies are tough as love and fatal hazards are constant. Worth persevering with if you enjoy a challenge. I've always loved this type of game, and while this isn't the best example of it, at least it's a polished presentation. [72%]


The Addams Family

When first released on the Amiga, this was a pretty stunning game -- a very playable console-style platformer on a Commodore machine! Of course, in a SNES environment populated by the greatest platform games ever made (Mario's brood), this is a rather less impressive feat. But judged on its own merits, it holds up as a very good platform game -- tricky as heck, but fun, with plenty to see and a novel open-ended exploration approach to levels. Gomez is a lovable little sprite too, just see how cute he looks when he ducks behind his knees and his eyes dart about, the scaredy cat. Surpassed by its sequel (Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt), but the original still has charm. [81%]


Addams Family Values

Nice try at a non-obvious approach to a film license, this time as an overhead-view Action/adventure (I won't use the term RPG to describe this game, but it LOOKS similar to Zelda) starring the most unlikely of heroes -- Uncle Fester. And therein lies the biggest problem... Fester's a big, fat, unwieldly feller and the shoddy controls make it difficult to control him in combat situations. Apart from that and the mindless, SLOW wandering back & forth completing 'quests' (which usually boil down to 'go to this dungeon/swamp/maze, get something and bring it back to me), the game is pretty well done. Nice atmosphere (including lightning and rain in sections), though it's monotonously gloomy and 'muddy green,' and a fairly novel approach... just not a lot of fun. [54%]


Aero Fighters

Also known as Sonic Wings. A wonderfully playable, fast shooter. Simple, no-nonsense... if you liked Twin Cobra, Raiden etc, this is one of the better examples of the vertical shoot-em-up on the SNES. Once you get the hang of it, it's quite easy, but I always kept coming back even after beating it (it's a very short game). Of course, it's completely overshadowed by more recent arcade shooters (and it's own sequels) but still a great shot of 16-bit adrenaline. [81%]


Aero The Acrobat

Decent platformer featuring a high-wire circus bat. Yes, bat. AcroBAT, geddit? So if you like circuses and flying rodents, you'll love it. If not, well, it's one of Sunsoft's best platform games but that isn't saying a lot. The levels are of the 'large but empty' variety, and each has a slightly different goal (usually collecting things). It tries to make use of circus imagery and gadgetry, but it's a little too slow to generate much excitement, and the 'attack method' of spiral-divebombing is a touch unwieldly. Just different enough to be worth playing. [63%]


Aladdin

Smooth as you can get on the SNES, both in terms of animation and gameplay. Stunning graphics carry the flavor of the film perfectly, and the action's plain fun. Simple platform-game stuff with some special moments to break the monotony (like a ride on a magic carpet), but the presentation escalates the game to another level. If I bought the game I'd feel a little cheated considering the ease of completion. Great while it lasts though, so it's good for short bursts. [82%]


Alcahest

However Square/Halken try to pass it off, this is NOT an RPG. It's on overhead-view arcade adventure. But that doesn't mean it's bad, just don't go in expecting another Final Fantasy gem or even Soul Blazer. It's closer to Arcus Odyssey or Magic Sword in effect. Having said all that -- Alcahest is quite a good game! Basically, just run around slashing the fantasy bad guys. Upgrade your sword, find varied companions, take potions, all that good stuff. More than competently done. *NOTE* I originally played & completed this game in Japanese many years ago as it never received a US/English release. You don't need to understand the language at all to get through it, but the game has now been translated into English via the emulation scene, so you can find a patch somewhere on the net. [77%]


Alfred Chicken

Appears simple and derivative, but this platform game rivals the best from Britain (alas, not up to the standards of Japan's masterpieces). Clever and tricky, with a charming main character (a chicken named Alfred, surprisingly) who pecks his way through sharp backgrounds and imaginative enemies. Not a lot more to say about ol' Alfie, really. [73%]


Alice in Wonderland

Looks nice, but I can't understand a thing. It's a point-and-click adventure all in Japanese. Seems to tell a story rather than play a game as such. [?%]


Alien 3

Captures the atmosphere of the film extremely well. Bald Ripley's a wonderful sprite, smoothly animated and versatile. She swings along rungs, climbs ladders, shoots in all directions, jumps around, and fires her big gun, flamethrower and grenade tubes. The platform-shooting action's mission-based (think of a cross between Desert Strike and Contra), and you log into terminals to access blueprints and find your way around. Really not as complex as that sounds. Luckily, the action is good enough so it doesn't matter, though it doesn't have a lot of variety. [78%]


Animaniacs

Looks great, very much like the cartoon, and attempts to recreate the humor... but fails. Mainly because the game is so incredibly frustrating that you end up HATING the damn thing. The controls are innacurate, it's difficult to tell what plane your sprite is on, or what background sprites will do you harm. A lot of it is based on memory and not very intuitive at all. The saving grace is the ability to choose which level you want to attempt (they're split up into studios with different movie genre themes), so perseverance may well pay off. I never bothered. [12%]


Archer Maclean's Super Dropzone

Super-fast Defender clone where you control a little jetman with inertia, blasting waves of little aliens and saving drones which roll along the planet surface. Programmed by the great Archer Maclean, this was one of the best games on the ol' Commodore 64. Frenetic action and perfectly weighted playability. What this new version adds is end-of-wave bosses, some extra weapons, and a level structure featuring different planets. Most of these additions actually hurt the game -- the original's elegant simplicity was one of its strengths. A top-notch shooter nonetheless. [80%]


Ardy Lightfoot

Wow. Now this is a surprise... back in the day, I had only played a beta release of this game, but never saw the final version -- and somehow it slipped by the SNES world almost completely unnoticed. Now, having played the full game, I can safely say this undiscovered platformer is quite the gem. From the get-go, the crisp, perfectly-defined visuals will provide a pleasant experience. It's one sweet looking 2D game. And the game structure is incredibly inviting -- you start with a "prologue" training level, then are given a bit of story by the sprite characters, and a neat isometric map to show the game-world. Each level starts with a bit of the story (e.g. monsters ransacking a town and villagers running away, or a surprising sepia-tone flashback of a fox robber assaulting your parents) to draw you in. Presentation is top-notch. To the game itself, and you control an agile critter, some kind of anthropromorphic fox or such. He can run & jump, including using his tail as a spring to leap higher. His main method of attack is very innovative -- you have a little blue feller floating around you, which you fling at enemies with its mouth open, swallowing them whole! Control is a touch on the floaty side, but that's a small gripe in the scheme of things. It looks like it's for kids, but it can get darned tricky & puzzly in parts. Great "Continue" screen too. It's those little touches that really bring it home -- Ardy Lightfoot is brimming with new ideas and really caters to delivering the player a new experience in a tired genre. Brilliant. [90%]


Area 88 (aka UN Squadron)

Anime-based vertical shooter. Damn this was original in its day; way ahead of its time. There isn't a set group of levels as such, enemies assault your home base on a strategy grid, and you choose which section to attack. The levels depend on whether the enemy is air, ground, or sea based, and you fly different (mostly short) missions accordingly. You could be dive-bombing an enemy camp (back and forth with a strict time limit until it is destroyed), or assaulting a battleship. If you lose, the enemy forces get closer to your base on the grid, so you have to choose carefully which you will attack first. And in between missions you can buy a new plane, or equip new weapons, depending on how much cash you earn in the field. I remember loving this when I first played it, but then as time went on I started to feel it was vastly overrated (not sure why, to be honest), but playing it again now I realize I had in fact UNDERrated it from the very beginning. It rocks. Note: the US version, UN Squadron, has a slightly different mission structure and levels. [91%]


Arkanoid Returns - Doh It Again

I'm an ol' Arknaoid nut. Always loved it, always will. Breakout with a sci-fi setting, power-ups and (erk) bosses. What more could you want? This is a good version, though not as fast & frenetic as the original. The space-ships in the background fire their guns, though. [82%]


Assault Suits Valken (aka Cybernator)

This is what the SNES is all about. Perfect 2D action. You control an enormous mecha in a blast-fest through space, in the hull of a ship, and so on -- the atmosphere of the game is spot-on, and everything drips quality. Your mecha has a kaboodle of moves available, from dashing, jumping, hovering on jet-flames, punching, shooting a variety of weapons. Some levels are forced-scrolling shmups, while most are ground-based platform stomping. There's a neat story running through (be warned, the English version is slightly censored near the end), and levels are strung together in a logical fashion. It's great fun to mow down the little soldiers rushing around your feet, and blow up bits of scenery around you. You can fire in most directions and the shots are slightly scattered for maximum range. I could rave for hours, so just pretend I have. [94%]
 

b._.o._.b

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Maybe this is a good start to have more people reviewing emulated games, but I always like to see how the games play on the gp2x. They could all be playing crap on the gp2x, a review is sorta misleading than.

For the GP32X there is a review section that's very good http://www.gp32x.de/board/index.php?showforum=23 , too bad reviews like there aren't created for the gp2x section.
 
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gaterooze

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Good point, b.o.b. If I get some spare time (working non-stop currently), I'll try out each of those games on the GP2X. IIRC I have tried in the past on SquidgeSNES:

100% Cotton -- works great, although the trained copy I had automatically starts on the final level no matter what.
Actraiser -- works perfectly. Played for quite a while until I deleted my save file in a version upgrade - d'oh!
Addams Family -- perfect
Alien 3 -- runs fine
Area 88/UN Squadron -- great in-game, but the mission screens have a transparency issue where you have to turn off background layers
Assault Suits Valken/Cybernator -- perfect
 

trooper

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@GunPei2X

I`ve edited the topic title as i thought it was a bit misleading in its description.
I can change it back if you are not happy.

Trooper
 

b._.o._.b

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Good point, b.o.b. If I get some spare time (working non-stop currently), I'll try out each of those games on the GP2X. IIRC I have tried in the past on SquidgeSNES:

100% Cotton -- works great, although the trained copy I had automatically starts on the final level no matter what.
Actraiser -- works perfectly. Played for quite a while until I deleted my save file in a version upgrade - d'oh!
Addams Family -- perfect
Alien 3 -- runs fine
Area 88/UN Squadron -- great in-game, but the mission screens have a transparency issue where you have to turn off background layers
Assault Suits Valken/Cybernator -- perfect

Thanks! I think I will try Actraiser, looks like a great game.
 
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rokdcasbah

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b._.o._.b said:
Thanks! I think I will try Actraiser, looks like a great game.
[/quote]i loved actraiser and i doubt you'll be disappointed. really unique mix of rts and platformer. i just wish the rts stuff was a little less simplistic. the whole thing could have been longer, actually.
 
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mushaden

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I've been playing Actraiser on Squidgesnes (I can confirm it is very fun) and I was really dissapointed when I got to Marahna (at least I think that name is right, it's the furthest south place with the islands) and couldn't see a thing (but one layer of background) on the first side-scrolling level. I guess I'll have to fiddle with the background layers or something, but I just wanted to let everyone to know that this one doesn't work perfectly :( .

Still, thanks for the info in this thread and I hope that more reviews and especially notes about specific performance on gp2x (What's on the wiki is really outdated it seems) are coming.
 

gaterooze

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I've been playing Actraiser on Squidgesnes (I can confirm it is very fun) and I was really dissapointed when I got to Marahna (at least I think that name is right, it's the furthest south place with the islands) and couldn't see a thing (but one layer of background) on the first side-scrolling level. I guess I'll have to fiddle with the background layers or something, but I just wanted to let everyone to know that this one doesn't work perfectly :( .

I guess one of the layers is clouds or such. Just hold both volume buttons and press A/B/X/Y to turn each layer off until you find the interfering one... (or use NKSNES)
 
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