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Retro Game SuperHyper

A new blog about old videogames

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Happy 30th, Super Famicom!

It’s a bit belated, but November 21, 2020 was the 30th birthday of one of the greatest video game consoles of all time, Nintendo’s Super Famicom!

The 16-bit follow-up to the monstrously popular Famicom/NES was highly anticipated in the months before its release, and with Sega’s Mega Drive and NEC’s PC Engine already leading the way into the 16-bit era, all eyes were on Nintendo to see what their machine would deliver.

The Super Famicom’s legacy has been so firmly cemented in the past 30 years that there’s not much more commentary I can offer that wouldn’t be a reiteration of anything that’s already been said. So instead, on this monumental three-decade anniversary, my mind drifts back to my memories of what the vibe was like leading up to the launch of the SFC, as those are some of my most nostalgic feelings of video game excitement.

Continue reading “Happy 30th, Super Famicom!”

Ys-y Like Sunday Mornin’

The cooler autumn weather brings a different mood to every aspect of life, and to counteract the oncoming gloom of winter’s shorter days and my disappointment about having to actually put on pants to go outside, there are some good things about it, too. I get to bust out my trusty old leather jacket, myriad delicious Oktoberfest beers appear on store shelves (especially here in Wisconsin), and my dogs love running through the leaves and, eventually, the snow.

Along with all the bundling-up and hunkering-down comes a change in my gaming mood, too. Yes, ’tis the season of RPGs, when a nice, long quest to save some crystals or prevent the destruction of the world or some such nonsense is just what the doctor ordered to get us through the months that end in “-ber” and “-uary.”

Lately, after doing some thinking about it and with no new games catching my interest, I’ve wandered back to the Ys series.

Continue reading “Ys-y Like Sunday Mornin’”

Super Metroid Re-Acquaintance (Updated 06.24.20)

(This post is being continually updated.)

It’s rare that there’s an immediate follow-up to a post here on the blog, but in my last post, I wrote about climbing back into the ol’ Chozo armor and trying to GIT GUD at Super Metroid again. While I’m in no way a speedrunner, I used to feel pretty proficient at Metroid 3; sadly, my skills had atrophied over the years, and I really wanted to polish them up again, and use what I’ve learned about the game in the many years since I last beat it to improve my own personal best in-game time of 1:28, which I had set wayyyyy back in the ’90s.

So how’d that go? Let’s find out… Continue reading “Super Metroid Re-Acquaintance (Updated 06.24.20)”

Wait…WHAT Are We Playing?? Super Metroid?!

Usually I post articles called “What Are We Playing?” when I start a game or two that I plan to write about when I’m done. They’re always games that are new to me — even if they’re old, I’m playing them for the first time. So why am I alerting you to the fact that I’ve been playing good ol’ Super Metroid?

True confession time: Even though I’ve plowed through Super Metroid dozens of times since it came out (I lost count somewhere around 38 back in the ’90s, so I’d estimate 60-80), it’s actually been YEARS since I’ve done it. And in the few times I’ve picked it up more recently, a terrifying truth revealed itself to me: I’ve actually forgotten how to do it. Continue reading “Wait…WHAT Are We Playing?? Super Metroid?!”

Happy 25th Anniversary, Super Metroid!!

Super Metroid was released on March 19, 1994 in Japan, making today its 25th anniversary.

Wow!

Quick reminder here that I founded the Metroid Database website back in 1996 — but only to preface my saying that I literally, probably, cannot write any more about Super Metroid than I have already. I’ve played it, researched it, reviewed it, examined it, praised it, torn it apart, and got an S-logo tattoo. And I’ve watched others do the same, for 25 years now. So really, at this point, all I can do is celebrate it! Continue reading “Happy 25th Anniversary, Super Metroid!!”

Raising Act

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Much in the way devoted theists worship their deity of choice, tonight I am writing a gospel in praise of The Master and his miracles in bringing peace and civilization to the world while slaying monsters and cranking some kickass tunes. Yes, I am testifying to the glory of Actraiser, a divine game in which you play God…a sword-weilding, demon-slaughtering, natural-disaster-causing God. And lo, it is good. Continue reading “Raising Act”

What are we playing? 02.28.18

True confession: I’ve never played through Super Mario RPG. Shock and horror, I know!

Continue reading “What are we playing? 02.28.18”

Super Wishlist

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Although I have love for all game systems (admittedly to varying degrees, but still, love), I of course have my favorites. The Super NES/Super Famicom is very high on my list, and I know I’m not alone in that sentiment. The 16-bit era overall was a magical time to be a gamer, and while I also have great affection for its contemporaries the Genesis, the TurboGrafx, and the Neo-Geo, the SNES was pretty much nirvana in that period of videogame history.

Still, as much joy as Nintendo’s fabled powerhouse brought me, there were some games that I would have loved to see on it that never were; some franchise titles and some “what ifs” that would have made amazing entries in the SNES library and catapulted the console from just “all-time great” status to “untouchably perfect.” So let’s fire up our imaginations and dream up a catalog of Super NES games that could have been…

Continue reading “Super Wishlist”

That time I almost won a Street Fighter II tournament

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The recent release of an officially-Capcom-licensed, limited-edition Street Fighter II Super NES cartridge from iam8bit got me thinking about when SF2 originally came out on the SNES in 1992, and how crazy the hype over it was. SF2 mania was in high gear, both in arcades and at home on 16-bit consoles, and I was fully immersed in it, at one point even taking part in a local tournament — that came down to me and another competitor.

Continue reading “That time I almost won a Street Fighter II tournament”

A tale of two Star Foxes

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Sometimes, things get confusing in this hobby. Especially with videogame titles! Occasionally a game’s name or even content has to be changed depending on the region in which it’s being sold. This can be due to copyright issues, cultural standards, or marketing-based decisions by the publisher. Other times, you run into a situation like what I’m talking about today: in which a kickass, revolutionary, and popular game has the unfortunate privilege of sharing its name with a rightfully-forgotten piece of crap that probably actually directly contributed to the infamous 1983 crash of the whole home videogame market.

I present to you: Star Fox and StarFox.

Continue reading “A tale of two Star Foxes”

Gamer’s Library: Console Wars

I’ve read lots of books on video game history. Some have been engrossing page-turners and some have been a bit amateurish and bland.

I’ve just finished Console Wars by Blake J. Harris, which I’d heard a lot about recently. The book is a somewhat dramatized account of the marketing battle between Sega and Nintendo in the 16-bit era.

If you were around in the early 1990s, you no doubt remember the Genesis vs SNES “war” that raged across the battlefields of magazines, TV, and school playgrounds. (“Genesis does what Nintendon’t” should definitely ring a very loud bell.) Continue reading “Gamer’s Library: Console Wars”

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