Monday, December 20, 2010

System Stasis #1 - Super Nintendo

November 21, 1990. The Super Famicom is released in Japan. Less than one year prior, I was born.

I was three months from turning two when it got released in America as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System on August 23, 1991.

I would not receive a SNES until 1993, but up until that point I was anticipating it. When I was three I started playing my old Game Boy and my older sister Heathers NES. But when I did get the system, I knew I wanted to be a gamer from that point on.

Its hard to talk about one of your favorite systems and NOT gush over every single thing about it. From the fantastic library of games, to the easy-to-use controller, even down to the mentality of just having the thing. If you had a friend who didn't own one, that's what you would do that day, play some SNES.

Lets start with what I remember, what I liked, loved, and hated, and also what I think of the system now, in greater depth. This console, born into the fourth-generation of game systems, kindling to the 16-bit era Console Wars, is here to stay.

The Super Nintendo launched in North America with one game included, Super Mario World, and what a game. I can attest to many sleepless nights, just staying up playing this amazing platformer. Not only did it have an amazing soundtrack and awesome level design (one of the best over-worlds ever), but it was Mario, and at this point in gaming, Mario was king.

From that point on, it was an endless blur of either one of two things:

1. Amazing, top-notch original titles.
2. Crappy, crappy games.

I'll give you just a small teaser of some of the worst I've owned. Ever hear of the game 'Mario is Missing'? It was a game that starred Luigi, trying to save Mario. I was excited at first, I though "A game where you play as Luigi? Cool!' But I soon found out the horrible truth. It was an educational game. Ugh. Another shit-stain in the pants of my childhood would have to be Wayne's World. I don't wanna talk about that one...

Well, No more, I can't think about those shitty shitty games anymore, even though there were a few more (Bebe's Kids, Shaq Fu) NO, NONONO DARRIS. No more!

Well, lets talk about amazing Snes games. Its not, in any way, a hard list to come up with. Super Mario All-Stars, Super Mario RPG, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Gradius III, F-Zero, Mega Man 7, Mega Man X, Super Castlevania IV, Super Star Wars, Street Fighter 2: Turbo, Pilotwings, Super Mario Kart, Killer Instinct, Super Metroid, Super Punch-Out, Donkey Kong Country 1, 2, & 3, Final Fantasy III (aka VI), Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound and The Legend of Zelda: Link to the past, just to name a few.

Any one of these titles were a sure-fire hit, and would assure you months and months of gaming glory.

This console was not only a revolution in what video gaming was, but what it could be. It turned video gaming into a proper business, and gave tons of developers a start in the industry. It was not only one of the greatest gaming consoles of all time, but it made so many people today into gamers, and gave them that gaming mentality. I'm slightly worried about today's 'gamers'. I wanna say to them, "just because you got an Xbox and a copy of Halo, that doesn't make you a gamer", but that's the wrong thing to think.

We all start somewhere. When a kid sees the Star Wars movies as their coming out, 70's, 80's, learning that Darth Vader was Luke's father was an amazing an unbelievable twist, but a child watching the movies today for the first time might not have the same experience. Would you let them watch the prequel trilogy before the older ones, or make them watch the originals first? If we, as gaming adults, want our kids to be exposed to video gaming, what should we do? Let them play with their friends on Xbox Live, or hand them a SNES controller? It's very hard to say, as part of being a gamer is playing with friends, and sharing those experiences.

As some of you in our group know, I've moved closer into my local town, now being just a short walk to get on High-Street. Located there is a vintage video game store, filled with games and game systems of all kinds.

I can assure each and every one of you that as soon as money allows, I shall rebuild my glorious gaming collection, and own this fantastic system once again.


  1. Hey hey hey! What are you trying to say there? Shaq-Fu is an endangered species! Just look at this!

    Yeah, didn't think about it that way now did you? It is an important part of our history! What would life be like without it? There wouldn't be life without it! The only reason there was life before it was because that life was anticipating Shaq-Fu!

    On a side note, the original 3 star wars' first, then the prequels. Or better yet, don't watch the prequels. Just show pictures of Qui-gon Jin, Darth Maul, Jango Fett, and Mace Windu, seeing as though they were the only good characters. And then play a sound clip of Jar-Jar. That will give the full experience I think.


    Now THATS a site. It's dedicated to finding and destroying every copy ever created.