The North American release of Super Mario Bros. 2 was controversial because it was not the same Super Mario Bros. 2 that was released in Japan – it was a re-skinned game; made into a Mario game, because the Nintendo bigwigs thought the original was too difficult for western gamers.
Although this second Zelda game sold well (more than 4 million copies worldwide at the time), it is not particularly well-liked.
It is a ‘proper’ sequel to the first game, as such – at least in terms of story (and most other Zelda games aren’t), but it is also quite different in terms of gameplay. There are 2D, side-scrolling, platforming dungeon sections; the use of Experience Points to designate power; a magic meter; and a ‘Dark’ Link character who would become common in later episodes.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was first released in 1987. In the years following its release the game drew quite a bit of criticism from fans of the original, all of whom disliked the new style of play. So much criticism, in fact, that from episode three onward (A Link To The Past on the SNES), the Zelda series reverted back to the original template.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link has been re-released a number of times over the decades, although it still remains the lowest-rated Zelda game on the two main metacritic sites. It is definitely worth playing if you love Zelda games. And you may find the shock of the unusual gameplay quite refreshing. Who’s to say?
The sequel to Nintendo‘s hit SNES game, and the first F-Zero game to use 3D graphics, F-Zero X was initially released in 1998 on the Nintendo 64.
It is a futuristic race game that runs at breakneck speed.
You can compete in a championship league, where the aim is to finish as high up the rankings as possible (preferably in first place), or you can fight it out in ‘Death Race’ mode where the aim to be the last car standing. I say “car”, but these vehicles are hardly what you would call cars… Unlike in the first F-Zero game you can now ‘attack’ other craft with a side or spin move, which is also useful in multiplayer (up to four players can compete simultaneously in split-screen).
Track-wise, F-Zero X‘s courses are varied and imaginative. Some are fairly straightforward, although others see you racing inside (and outside) tube-like tunnels, which are frighteningly tortuous. There are areas of the track where you can recharge your craft, which you do by simply driving over them. Come to the end of your charge (by hitting the side walls, or crashing in other ways) and your ship will explode. Not what you want to happen in the middle of a championship race, because you’ll get a DNF. And nobody wants a DNF…
F-Zero X is a tough game to master, although – like any decent Nintendo game – perseverance reaps its rewards.
I would argue that the original 1992 Super Mario Kart on the SNES is still the greatest Mario Kart game of all time.
Yes, Mario Kart 64 was fun, and yes: Mario Kart on the Gamecube is an incredible piece of game design and refinement, but… BUT… Super Mario Kart takes some beating in terms of sheer crying-with-laughter fun – especially playing in Battle Mode.
Ah, Mario Kart Battle Mode… A game where the aim is to burst the three balloons around your opponent’s kart, while at the same time trying to protect your own balloons… Sometimes those games just become the ultimate in player versus player video-gaming shenanigans. And Battle Mode isn’t even the main part of the game – it’s a side show…
Whether you’re racing for records, shooting your friend’s balloons, or simply enjoying Nintendo at their absolute best, Super Mario Kart on the SNES is well worth a play any day of the week.
It is debatable what the best Mario Kart game of all time is. Many people would choose the Super Nintendo original. I would probably choose this 2003 GameCube incarnation. Predominantly because it so wonderfully detailed and polished. And the graphics and sound are fantastic on the GameCube… Mario Kart has never felt so alive.
Full of joy and wonder – Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo showing the rest of the world how to make race games. And it’s still great fun to play now!