Tag Archives: Nintendo

Pikmin, GameCube

Pikmin was released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2001 and was an instant hit with gamers.

Designed and produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, the first game in the Pikmin series introduces Captain Oilmar, an alien who crash lands on a mysterious planet and where he befriends small creatures called Pikmin who help him rebuild his ship.

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Mole Mania, Game Boy

This 1996 release on the Nintendo Game Boy is one of Shigeru Miyamoto‘s least known works, although it really is a hidden gem on the system and is well worth finding and playing now if you’ve never seen it.

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Mega Man 3, NES

There are over 130 Mega Man titles, and many are essentially the same formula. That is: choose a level based on one of a number of boss enemies (usually themed, with a unique name); run and jump your way through a tortuous series of platforms and ladders to reach said boss; then whup its ass in a boss fight.

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Sparkster, Super Nintendo

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

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Soul Blazer, Super Nintendo

Released in Japan as Soul Blader, Soul Blazer is a 1992 Super Nintendo release from Enix and it takes the form of an overhead, Zelda-style adventure.

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Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Nintendo 64

Conker’s Bad Fur Day was a surprising 2001 release – on the Nintendo 64 – for British developer Rare, in collaboration with Nintendo.

What is surprising about it is that it is an “adult” game – meaning: it contains cartoon characters behaving in ways that you don’t normally see in a Nintendo game, like vomiting on people’s shoes, making sexual innuendo, and using mild swear words.

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Mario Tennis: Power Tour, Game Boy Advance

This 2005 tennis game is one of my favourite sports games of all time.

Mario Tennis: Power Tour was developed by Camelot for Nintendo and is known as Mario Power Tennis in Europe and Australia, but I’m sticking to the original title.

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SimCity, Super Nintendo

The 1991 Super Nintendo version of Will Wright‘s classic SimCity was developed by Nintendo themselves, so is somewhat different to previous versions. It’s actually one of the best versions of SimCity around.

SimCity is about city-building, land/power/transportation management, taxation, and dealing with natural disasters. Basically: keeping your growing (or maybe even declining) population happy.

The viewpoint is overhead, and you build your city by clearing land and laying tiles on the scrolling landscape. You build roads, rail tracks, residential areas, industrial areas, and commercial areas – not to mention your own house – and must attract people to come live with you. When you reach a certain size you can then build more advanced structures, such as airports and sports stadia. Of course, you need power stations and police departments, and maybe even a port if you’ve got some coastline.

Nintendo‘s involvement added a lot of nice touches to SimCity on the SNES that aren’t in other versions, not least of which is a Bowser attack on Tokyo! Aping the Godzilla attack of the original game… Or the golden Mario statue awarded for reaching a half million population. Or the special buildings that are awarded for reaching certain milestones, such as casinos, amusement parks, and expo centres. Some of these ideas were incorporated into SimCity 2000 later, so it was prudent of Maxis to approve Nintendo‘s own development of their precious game, in exchange for new ideas.

A regular game of SimCity is an open-ended ‘sandbox’ affair, where you choose a random map and just build on it until you run out of steam. There are also six different disaster scenarios to “beat” – earthquake, pollution, crimewave, nuclear meltdown, coastal flooding, and the aforementioned monster attack.

Not as boring as it looks, SimCity is a classic SNES game and still a lot of fun to play.

More: SimCity on Wikipedia

Tales of Phantasia, Game Boy Advance

This 2003 remake of Namco‘s SNES classic Tales of Phantasia was the first time the game had been officially translated into English.

While much of the game remains the same, there are a few differences. Firstly, the screen ratio has been changed from the 4:3 of the SNES original to the ‘widescreen’ 240 x 160 of the GBA screen. Which makes it look more modern, even if the resolution is actually lower (the resolution of the SNES version is 256 x 224). The lower resolution of the GBA is not an issue though as many of the in-game characters have been re-drawn to make them look bigger in the play window. This becomes most apparent during combat, when all the figures appear significantly larger than in the SNES version. This is not a problem, though, because most combat is fought horizontally, and not vertically, so making the main characters larger has not had a detrimental effect on gameplay. Quite the opposite, in fact.

The only real criticisms I’ve read about this game are that the random battles are too frequent (didn’t seem too bad to me), and the combat system is “unrefined” compared to the ‘Tales‘ sequels. Well… No sh*t, Sherlock. That’s bleedin’ obvious. And a bit unfair.

Tales of Phantasia is a lovely game that still has a lot of appeal now and is worth a play if you can find a copy. With this GBA version being an official translation, and with its updated graphics, I’d give it a higher rating than any of the fan-translated versions of the SNES original.

More: Tales of Phantasia on the Game Boy Advance on Wikipedia

Final Fantasy IV, Super Nintendo

Looking a little primitive compared to the 2005 remake for the Game Boy Advance, this original, 1991 Super Nintendo adventure nevertheless is a pioneering game. It was the first Final Fantasy game released for the Super Nintendo (the previous three all being Famicom releases), and the first to use the “Active Time Battle” system.

You play a dark knight, called Cecil, who is on a mission to stop the evil sorcerer Golbez from destroying the world. During the game you control a variety of different characters, all of whom can be added to your party as the story dictates. You explore the world, completing quests, and fighting monsters at random intervals for what seems like forever… I’m laughing, although every good RPG fan knows that grinding is good…

Final Fantasy IV established a look and feel for the series that continued, really, until Final Fantasy VII came along. I suppose you could call this the “SNES period” of Final Fantasy history.

While I do like Final Fantasy IV on the SNES I have to confess that I prefer playing the enhanced GBA remake, given the choice. The remake looks and plays so much better.

Note: there is some confusion over the naming of Final Fantasy IV, because it was initially released in North America as Final Fantasy II. Lord knows why, and I think this has pretty much been forgotten about with subsequent re-releases reverting back to the original title.

More: Final Fantasy IV on Wikipedia