Monday, April 21, 2014

Top 13 SFC/SNES Games I'm Reluctant to Play

Written: April 19th-21st, 2014
 
DISCLAIMER: As of December 25th, 2014, this list has been rendered moot as I have gotten around to some of these games many months after this list was made.
I'm sorry, I don't have a review ready at this point.  I'm just not certain what to review next as there are so many games to cover (a part of me wants to cover Mega Man and its sequels but another part wants to do something else; why did my reviews need to be so ambitious?).  I still need to express my thoughts on the remaining Wander Over Yonder episodes I've seen, but I haven't gotten to that either (and I really should).  *sigh*  =(  In the meantime, I could get some things out of the way.
Every gamer has got their own personal selections of games that they are either cautious or uncertain about, whether it be due to their preconceived feelings on the original if its a sequel, due to not knowing what to expect from it, or because they don't feel confident about trying it at the moment (all the while they are curious about them).  I have my own personal pick of games that I'm curious about but am not going to try anytime soon because of any one of these reasons.  Now does that mean I'm never going to play any of these games that I'm about to highlight?  For the most part, no; as someone who has a passion for retro gaming and all things 16-bit, there will come a day that I'll snap out of my uncertainty and will one day experience them.  It just might not happen for awhile, certainly not in the following weeks to come.  Everyone has got their personal choices, to each their own; these are my Top 13 SFC/SNES Games I'm Reluctant to Play.  Why Top 13?  Because despite what people say I'm a proponent that 13 is a lucky number.  Let's get started!
 
#13
Image from MobyGames
Jikkyō Oshaberi Parodius [|O|]
Now I really enjoy the Parodius games, they are some of the most outrageous and insanely wacky games I've played in years (with a great cast of colorful Konami characters that intentionally spoof the Gradius games; and for some reason Sparkster isn't one of them), plus they are nonsenical and fun too.  Parodius Da! Shinwa kara Owarai e, which I played for the Game Boy, is very fun and its follow-up Gokujō Parodius - Kako no Eikō o Motomete (which I played for the Super Famicom) is its equal in every which way, even better I dare say.  But there is another Parodius that I want to try but at the same time I can't bring myself to because of one element: consistent chatting (the title literally translates to "Chatting Parodius").  I looked up that throughout the cute'em up there is an ongoing audio commentary on how you're doing and what is going on around you, and quite frankly I don't know if that's such a good idea.  For one, it can be very distracting, and this isn't the kind of genre where a commentary is a necessity (what's wrong with playing a cute'em up for fun and enjoyment, that didn't stop Konami before, why add something so seemingly offputting?).  I don't know, maybe if I overlook that aspect it'll still be fun and good like the previous games, but as I said before: I'm not sure I want to hear constant talking throughout a whole cute'em up.
#12
Image from the website Retro Game Guide
Bonkers
I've seen and grown up with a lot of animated shows since I was little, though I can't honestly say that Bonkers is one of them; I have seen the show eventually but only for less than a year, so it wouldn't really count anyway (and from what I remember it was inoffensive but forgettable, though I've seen a lot worse over the years.  *cough*Fish Hooks*cough*  Besides, DuckTales and Wander Over Yonder are much better Disney animated shows anyway, but I digress).  I hear that it's one of Disney's most disliked shows, and yet despite that being the case there were three video game adaptations of Bonkers, one of them being a sidescrolling platformer for the SNES by Capcom.  Of course when it comes to Disney video games developed by Capcom, you usually cannot go wrong.  From what I gather this is one of those Disney slumps and a disappointment for Capcom standards.  Of course, I wouldn't know, I haven't played it.  There is chance that it might be good, maybe it will be, but I'm not sure how I'd feel about it if I play it.  I suppose I'd have to go in with an open mind and lower my expectations.
#11
Image from Wikipedia
Uniracers (Unirally [|O|])
Many of you should know the history behind this game, but for those of you that don't I'll try to keep it short: in 1987 PIXAR created a 3D short called Red's Dream that revolved around a red unicycle in a bike shop dreaming about being famous and out there.  Seven years later DMA Design created a racing game for the SNES with speeding unicycles, and the unicycle in the cover was red and looked like Red from the short, which PIXAR took notice of.  There was a lawsuit as a result which sparked controversy; afterwards those that liked the short ended up hating the game, but those who did like the game hated the short (and to some extent PIXAR because of the controversial lawsuit).  I don't know how that works, but apparently these two made it possible, which is actually kind of sad.  I hear it's got a bit of a cult following and that it was made to showcase that the SNES could handle fast-paced sidescrollers despite its slow-processing capabilities; oh yeah, like Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind, Sparkster, and TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventure have not all proven that it possible.  Although to be fair, it doesn't sound like a bad idea and it's pretty cheap in (online) stores; I'm just not sure I'm in the mood to play this one just yet, plus I'm afraid of which camp I'll fall in if I do play it.
#10
Image from MobyGames
Dragon View (Super Drakkhen [|O|])
I'll be right upfront with you: I love Drakkhen on the SNES, I personally think it's a fun experience.  As a game it could benefit from some challenge and length (as much as depth), but as a tech demo it's really good (the 3D overworld and music especially), though I do understand why others would feel less than enthused.  I hear that the sequel Dragon View is superior in some regards (it also plays like Zelda II: The Adventure of Link it turns out), and I do want to play it but it always seems to sell for a bigger amount than its predecessor.  I also hear that there are some elements from the previous game that either turn up inferior here and/or don't turn up at all, and I'm not certain how I feel about that.  Despite its flaws Drakkhen had a lot of quirky and standout elements going for it (like the day/night feature and Space Harrier-inspired enemies for instance).  Maybe it'll be good, who knows?  I guess I'm afraid that there won't be as much magic to be found in Dragon View as there was in the quirkfest that was Drakkhen.
#09
Image from gaming.wikia.com
Addams Family Values
I haven't seen the movie this was based on in full (so it wouldn't be fair), though that would be far from the main reason I'm reluctant to play this.  Not since Fester's Quest by SunSoft has Uncle Fester been assigned to the role of main protagonist (which I find interesting), plus Ocean is one of my favorite obscure companies and regardless of how you feel about their games there's always this distinct feel and charm about them.  Unlike the first two SNES Addams Family games this one is a full-on adventure game (like the aforementioned Fester's Quest), and I'm all for a good adventure game, and from what I hear it's very interesting.  But I'm a little cautious because there is an element that is scaring me off.  It's not the fact that it's hard, because I can handle most challenges, and it's not the fact that it's got passwords (I can handle that too)... it's the fact that passwords are in a specific area and that they are few and far between which scares me off.  I hear it's good, but I hear that it's frustrating as well because of that and I'm not sure I'm in the mood for frustrating right now.
#08
Image from MobyGames
Jelly Boy [|O|]
Ever since I bought a Retro Duo I've been purchasing Super Famicom cartridges from Japan, but in the meantime I've heard that it doesn't work with all European SNES games.  So for awhile I only stuck with SFC carts (as it works for all SFC titles from what I've played), but recently I thought of biting the bullet and I imported Super Morph.  When it got here, I was glad to find that it worked (so far my only PAL SNES cart).  Now just because it worked once it doesn't mean I'm not still mindful of what PAL carts might or might not work.  Jelly Boy (not to be confused for the SFC version of Smart Ball, Jerry Boy) looks very interesting from what clips I've seen of it online.  But there is a fist protruding from the character's tummy!  A fist protruding... from his tummy!!  ...  It's very unusual!  Although, it looks very colorful, and I'm surprised at how many blob-related games there were back in the '90s.  I'd love to try it, but I'm not certain if it'll work on my Retro Duo, and if it does work, I don't really know what to expect.
#07
Image from tvandlust.net
Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel
One of my favorite platformers on the SNES for many reasons is Mr. Nutz, which often gets riddled with middling reception (I do understand, to each their own).  It may not be perfect, but in my opinion it packs a lot of cool challenge and fun gameplay.  Doesn't matter how you feel about that squirrel-driven platformer in the end, it's still got a cult following.  Now Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel, on the other hand, has fared a lot worse in terms of overall reaction (mostly unfavorable opinions).  I haven't played either Aero the Acro-Bat (to which this is spinning-off) yet, though I hear that they're both better games.  The fact that this squirrel character in particular has got ninja moves does have me intrigued, and from the screenshots I've seen it looks really good.  A part of me wants to try either the first or second Aero the Acro-Bat game first, though I guess I'm hesitant about this game because I'm afraid I'll be disappointed (it looks so cool and I don't want to get my hopes up).  'course, I won't know until I play it.
#06
Image from Wikipedia
Paladin's Quest (Lennus: Kodai Kikai no Kioku [|O|])
This is an RPG that I've been curious about for some time, but at the same time it's a game that I am very hesitant about for many reasons.  I often hear divisive opinions on this game, and the story and concept for it does have me a little intrigued.  The gameplay I hear is very unusual for turn-based RPG standards, for its possible to attack with different parts of the body, and apparently there is no MP (characters use their HP when casting magic instead), which is a little strange.  I don't mind different takes on a formula, but I guess the reason I'm hesitant about it is I wonder if it'll be fun to play.  Maybe there's a chance it'll be decent, and I hope it will be, but at present I'm a tad uncertain for it.
#o5
Image from Wikipedia
And no, I am not going to utter that tasteless name
Landstalker 2: Challenge from the Past [|O|]

Do I even need to explain why I don't want to play this one?  ...  No, the real reason I don't want to play this game is because I didn't like its predecessor Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole.  I thought it was a poorly crafted and highly obnoxious isometric adventure game (not because it's difficult, but because of its structure), and yet so many people out there clamor it to be one of the best (if not the best) adventure game you'll find on the MegaDrive/Genesis (which I'm still scratching my head about, as I personally fail to see what was so great about it).  If you're going to make an isometric viewed game that involves platforming, then it'd better have solid jumping controls (like Equinox on the SNES does, for instance) in order for it to work; it doesn't work in Landstalker due to its awkwardly loose feel.  Not only is the sequel's title a major turn-off for me, but I hear that it is reportedly worse, and I refuse to play an extension of an overhyped game that rarely worked in the first place.  If you liked Landstalker then that's great, more power for you; it just didn't work for me personally, and I'm not playing the sequel.  If I want to play a great isometric adventure game, I'll settle for Equinox or Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, thank you very much.

#04
Image from Wikipedia
Ganbare Goemon 2: Kiteretsu Shōgun Magginesu [|O|]
Like Landstalker 2's case, the predecessor to this entry falls under the category of games that people love but I myself find highly overrated.  Unlike said game where the sequel is reportedly inferior, Ganbare Goemon 2 is a sequel that I hear is even better than The Legend of the Mystical Ninja.  And that's great, it really is, because as good as the music, mini-games, and visuals were in the first game, there were so many problems that prevented me from fully enjoying it.  The password system was too complex and unless you have ten sets of sandals you'll go way too slow, and each hit takes away your power-up or equipment one at a time (that's only for the overworld though, and it really irks me that it affects your speed too; also it could be rather obnoxious at times).  I hear that Ganbare Goemon 2 is really good though, and as curious as I am about it, I don't want to experience the same problems as I've had with the first game (as I fear that they might resurface here).  I love Konami as much as the next guy, but unless I change my mind and feel confident about trying this sequel, I think I'll pass.  Besides, the Pocky & Rocky games are superior anyway.
#03
Image from arrakis1979jrpgworld.wordpress.com
Mystic Ark [|O|]
I should explain my thoughts on the turn-based RPG The 7th Saga first: I don't love that game, but I don't hate it either.  It's manageable up until you fight one of the apprentices, which gives it the reputation of it being a hard game (actually, the apprentices are the only thing that's frustratingly hard about the game, though the music's nice).  I'm not a fan of that game, I'm more of a Brain Lord guy (I'm one of the only people that has ever stuck out for that game despite its obvious generic qualities).  So to hear that The 7th Saga got a sequel (or spiritual follow-up, rather), let alone a Japan-exclusive one, is a bit mindboggling for me.  Not to say that Produce making another turn-based RPG isn't fascinating, it is, I'm just not certain what to expect from it.  And I don't know how challenging it'll be, if that, since I found nothing on Mystic Ark's difficulty.  I am curious, but I'm also uncertain about it at the moment.  If it's got unreasonably hard apprentice battles like its predecessor, then there will be a big problem.
#02
Image from the Vast Sea of Games website
Secret of the Stars (Aqutallion [|O|])
Again, I don't mind a fun turn-based RPG once in awhile, but from what I hear this one particular is anything but.  A part of me does want to play it to see what it's like, but I hear its more akin to a turn-based RPG you'd find in the NES console and that its pacing is slow even for those standards.  It doesn't sound exactly like good fun, more like overly tedious.  Tecmo has proven that they were capable of crafting fun action-platformers and sports titles, but an RPG?  Yeah, clearly this was new territory for them, and its turned a lot of people off apparently.  I would like to give it the benefit of the doubt one day and try it for what it is, but I'm not so confident about trying this game just this moment (if only for its apparent slow pace and the fact that it doesn't sound very fun).
And the #1 SFC/SNES game I'm reluctant to play is:
Image from MobyGames
SOS (Septentrion [|O|])
I'll be blunt: I am afraid to try this game.  I've seen gameplay videos, heard some things about it, and listened to some of its music; but even so I am frightened of it, as basically it's the video game equivalent of The Poseidon Adventure.  Yeah, it's that kind of game, where a ship gets turned over after a huge tidal wave crashes on it killing the huge majority of the passengers leaving only six or seven survivors (if not less) trying to escape the ship as it slowly sinks to the bottom of the sea as they overcome obstacles along the way.  That is the kind of game that makes me very nervous.  And what makes me more nervous is the amount of replay value it apparently has, where the endings vary depending on which character you choose, how many people you save, or if you try to survive alone sacrificing your conscience in the process.  It sounds heavy and incredibly overwhelming, and its done by the guys that crafted Super Soccer and Clock Tower no less!  I'm not sure I can play this game (no matter how curious I am about it), it sounds way too herculean even for me; Plok and ActRaiser 2 have got nothing on this.  I don't know, maybe it'll be good, but can I handle SOS if I do decide to overcome my fear and try it?  I wish I knew.
 
So this was my Top 13, thank you for reading it and let me know what you thought.  If there were some things I said that you disagreed with, to each their own.  If you've played some of these games that I've listed, then feel free to tell me whether I'm missing out on them or not.  As I said before just because I'm reluctant to play some games it doesn't mean that I'll never play them, it just means that it might not happen anytime soon.  I promise that the next time I'll make a Top 13 (my personal favorite SFC/SNES games from 1994) it'll sound more uplifting and a little more indepth than this one, but in the meantime... I have to consider what game to review next.  Take care.

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1 comment:

  1. I can't comment on all of these, but I must comment on Bonkers. I had never heard of this game or cartoon before I popped this game into my SNES last year on a whim. This game is actually quite fun! There is a boss or two, where you may not be exactly sure what you need to do to beat them, but the game is short enough that if you can't figure it out before you die, then you can still easily make it back there on your next playthrough. Anyway, please give this game a chance.

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