Tag Archives: 1994

Mega Man X2, Super Nintendo

Mega Man X2 was released for the Super Nintendo in December 1994, before Mega Man 7, which came in March the following year, and was proving to be the new standard-bearer for the series.

Continue reading Mega Man X2, Super Nintendo

Mega Man V, Game Boy

The final Mega Man game on the Nintendo Game Boy was Capcom‘s 1994 release Mega Man V, and it is arguably the best in the series.

Continue reading Mega Man V, Game Boy

Sparkster, Super Nintendo

Konami‘s Sparkster is a side-scrolling platform action game released for the Super Nintendo in 1994.

Continue reading Sparkster, Super Nintendo

Menzoberranzan, PC

An RPG with a funny name, based on the AD&D Forgotten Realms campaign setting, Menzoberranzan is a 1994, first-person, party-based adventure game developed by DreamForge Intertainment for Strategic Simulations Inc.

Continue reading Menzoberranzan, PC

Ravenloft: Strahd’s Possession, PC

Released in 1994, Ravenloft: Strahd’s Possession was developed by DreamForge Intertainment for Strategic Simulations Inc. and was distributed by US Gold in the UK.

I remember it well because I reviewed it for PC Player magazine back in the day.

Continue reading Ravenloft: Strahd’s Possession, PC

Magic Carpet, PC

Magic Carpet from Bullfrog was first released in 1994 through Electronic Arts. It is a DOS-based, first-person action game with you – the player character – flying a ‘magic carpet’ around a series of islands, fighting evil wizards and monsters and collecting ‘mana’ to increase your magical powers.

Continue reading Magic Carpet, PC

Final Fantasy VI, Super Nintendo

Final Fantasy VI (six) is where the series started to move away from its ‘cute’ roots and into darker story-telling territory, foreshadowing the distant Final Fantasy VII. It was initially released on the Super Nintendo in 1994.

In part six there are fourteen playable characters, and you begin the game as a woman –  a half-human girl called Terra Branford. Terra is on a mission to chew bubblegum and to kick ass, and… to cause the ruling Empire as much trouble as possible by being a bit of a rebel. It’s epic storytelling, as you can imagine… But seriously: Final Fantasy VI goes for a character-driven, Steampunk-influenced storyline, and is much more emotional and ‘deep’ as a result. The party customisation features alone make this sixth instalment worth playing, and that’s without even touching upon the game’s many other qualities.

Graphically, Square went for a more detailed, realistic looking this time around. Whether you prefer it to the rather bright (some would say “lurid”) look of previous games or not is a matter of taste. At the time it was good to see the series go in a new direction.

Gameplay-wise, there’s little to fault in Final Fantasy VI – it is the culmination everything the developers had learnt from making the previous five games, and it of course has Chocobos in it (and Moogles!), which are worth the admission alone.

Final Fantasy VI was the first Final Fantasy game not to be directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, who had directed all the previous Final Fantasy games, instead the role of ‘Director’ on Final Fantasy VI was shared by Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Ito, who it has to be said did a sterling job.

A number of remakes of Final Fantasy VI have appeared over the years since its initial release. Of particular note is the Game Boy Advance version which I think is even better than the original. It’s also been ported to the PlayStation, to iOS, Android, and Windows.

More: Final Fantasy VI on Wikipedia

Stunt Race FX, Super Nintendo

Released for the Super Nintendo in 1994, this cheerful racing game is another SNES title that employs use of the Super FX Chip – an extra co-processor inside the cartridge which enhances the console’s 3D graphics capabilities (the same chip, as used in Star Fox).

Stunt Race FX was developed by Nintendo EAD, with assistance from Argonaut Software – the creators of the Super FX Chip – and is a bit of a departure from the likes of Super Mario Kart (which was released two whole years before this game).

For starters: as you would expect – Stunt Race FX is presented mostly in 3D. The cars are [kinda] 3D; the tracks are 3D; the surrounds and menus are 2D.

There are five different modes of play in Stunt Race FX: Speed Trax, Stunt Trax, Battle Trax, Test Run, and Free Trax. Speed Trax is single-player only and requires progression up a series of three different classes, each containing four courses and bonus game (making twelve courses and three bonus games in total). Stunt Trax involves driving around four courses exclusive to this mode, collecting every star possible to achieve a perfect score. Again: single-player only. Battle Trax is for head-to-head racing, and splits the screen horizontally to accommodate two players. This mode can be played single-player, but the second joypad must be plugged-in (and left alone), for the computer-controlled car to activate (which is weird). Test Run is designed for beginners to practise, and Free Trax – which only unlocks after completing one of the three available modes in Speed Trax – is both for time-attacking, and also for practise on courses already completed.

The biggest criticism of Stunt Race FX is that the movement of the vehicles (and the screen for that matter) is relatively slow, compared to most other racing games. Obviously Nintendo had a limited frame rate they could squeeze out of the Super FX Chip, and it could be argued that they were trying to do too much too soon with this game. But I feel that the overall high quality of Stunt Race FX supersedes any perceived slowness. When you calibrate your brain to the controls and the frame rate, Stunt Race FX is a lot of fun. You know – it’s a bit like forgiving the slowdown in Knight Lore, because the game’s so good. And Stunt Race FX is a very good game.

Note: Stunt Race FX is known as Wild Trax in Japan.

More: Stunt Race FX on Wikipedia

Wario Blast, Game Boy

What do you get when you cross Hudson Soft‘s classic Bomberman with Nintendo‘s cheeky Wario? Answer: you get Wario Blast on the Game Boy. A super fun handheld action game with puzzle overtones that was first released in 1994.

Wario Blast doesn’t deviate too far from standard Bomberman gameplay, except you can play as either Wario, or Bomberman, and each has different characteristics.

Trapped inside a big maze the aim is to drop bombs and blow away rocks that block the way (sometimes revealing bonus items to pick up), and eventually to blow up your opponent, who is trying to do the same to you. In a “Normal” game the opponent is controlled by AI, and in a “Battle” game up to four human players can link their Game Boys together and play against each other.

One cool thing is that Wario Blast was enhanced to provide special features when played through the Super Game Boy peripheral on the Super Nintendo. Playing it on a SNES unlocks a special border, colour graphics, customised explosions, and a multiplayer mode with simultaneous gameplay against opponents.

The grabs here show three versions of Wario Blast: the original black and white Game Boy version first, then the colour-enhanced Game Boy Color version (simply a Game Boy cartridge plugged into a Game Boy Color), then the Super Game Boy version last.

More: Wario Blast on Wikipedia

Beyond Oasis, Megadrive/Genesis

Also known in some territories as The Story of Thor: A Successor of The Light, Beyond Oasis is an action adventure game that was developed by Ancient and published by Sega in 1994.

You could describe Beyond Oasis as a Zelda-style adventure – the world is viewed from above and you control a sword-wielding adventurer who engages in a real-time combat – but in reality this game is not a patch on Zelda; it really doesn’t have the detail and finesse of a Zelda game.

Graphically, Beyond Oasis is nice. The graphics are beautifully-drawn and evoke a suitably Arabian fantasy style atmosphere. Unfortunately the overly-simplistic gameplay results in a kind of detachment from any kind of real engagement. What I mean by that is that it’s a bit boring to play but looks nice. Which is a pity. A bit more character and depth could’ve resulted in something special. As it is, we got something merely okay.

An official sequel/prequel to this, called The Legend of Oasis, was released for the Sega Saturn in 1996.

More: Beyond Oasis on Wikipedia