Remember the reigning excellence of classic games such as A link to the Past, Super Mario 3, and Sonic The Hedgehog? How about Tecmo Super Bowl, Street Fighter 2, Double Dragon, Final Fantasy 7? The original Super Mario Bros?
All set the bar high for the gaming industry when they were released. But what about the games that didn’t draw much attention under certain circumstances?
People make these lists all the time, so I thought I’d finally produce my own. These are the games I grew up on, bringing me fond memories of my childhood (and teen years). Yeah, some of these do suck, however, they sure were a whole lot of fun back in the day.
Now before we dive right in, let me just begin by saying this is my opinion, and everyone has different tastes. Some may have sold well, others may have not. They could have been overlooked, or a complete fail.
Feel free to add any other games here on your comments. This is not in any particular order.
Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage (SNES, Genesis)
“Paint the town red.” Surely you can’t forget the advertisements from game magazines. Being the huge comic book fanatic, I went and bought this game when it first came out. Ironically, I collected the comic books as well. The coolest thing was to open up the box to find they made the actual cartridge red. Despite fighting lame-looking women and punks on the street, this was all so awesome beat’em up game. The scenes were made as of an actual book, and the graphics were damn fine in its day. You have the option to play as Venom and Spider-man as you progressed further. It was also tough as nails when battling the bosses. To aid you in battle, you can summon Black Cat, Cloak, and Deathlock (just to name a few).
Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures (SNES, Genesis)
OK, OK…this game blows. I enjoyed it when I was a young lion, alright? Back then, I felt the animations were cool. You had to help our little yellow friend navigate through towns, barns, across cliffs, etc. You actually played as a slingshot, hitting numerous things on the screen to get Pac-Man’s attention. It was at least humorous when you hit him in his face or a bee’s nest. And his voice grunts? Priceless.
Maui Mallard: Cold Shadow (SNES, Genesis)
Donald Duck turns kung-fu in this 2D platformer. The level designs and character models were gorgeous. Too bad not many played this one. Fighting a ninja duck, a giant spider, and a ridiculous-looking tribal man was where it’s at. I loved swinging to elevate higher into each stage with your mighty ninja stick. Think Earthworm Jim mixed with some Donkey Kong Country elements.
Prior to The Matrix film, this RPG actually contained a computer-system world, where you enter the “Matrix” (no pun intended) to progress further. I found it hard to understand, but I thrived on how great this game looked. I loved the over-head type view, even though the sprites were a tad choppy. The only real pain was getting shot from gunman that hid in dumpsters and building windows. Of course, the conversation talk was an annoyance; you had to ask certain people the correct topic to have them respond properly. This became a real thorn in the leg when your list of knowledge broadened to no end.
If you put the cons aside, hiring Shadowrunners to join your party and battle out Drake and even vampires convinced me to keep playing. That foxy girl was kick-ass, too.
World of Illusion: Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck (Genesis)
Good ‘ol Donald again? You’re damn right. I remember when my neighbor picked this up, since he had Sega Genesis and I had the Super Nintendo. Boy was I glad he did. This game offered great 2D side scrolling, and it also contained some amazing graphics. It was beautiful — illustrated just like a Disney cartoon. Sleepless nights invaded my time since you were able to play co-op with your friend. Earning new abilities like the magic carpet was a kid’s dream come true. A bit on the short side, but intriguing while it lasted.
Super Tennis (SNES)
“Let!” Before Mario Tennis and Wii Sports, this was the tennis king (in my eyes). This was one of my first games for my little grey 16-bit machine. If there’s one word to describe this titles gameplay, it’s ADDICTING. My brother and I would play hours and hours facing each other, either in the single or double modes. Forget about the corny and plain characters, the circuit mode was a definite challenge — you’re faced with three different court designs; grass, hard, and clay. Similar to the older Mega Man games, you were required to enter passwords to return to your saved status. Simplistic, yet fun.
Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link (NES)
By far the toughest Zelda game to date, it took me quite some time to beat. I can vaguely remember calling Nintendo Power’s hotline on how to beat the thunder bird boss in the last palace. Zelda 2 added RPG elements to the table by gaining experience when battling enemies. By doing so you can level up and increase your magic and life meters. Spells were also included in the game such as protected barrier and the ability to jump higher. Learning new moves like the downward/upward thrust was a nice touch. Simple enemies such as the bats were more than enough to handle — one hit could cause you to fall in the lava. The real strategic tactic one would need to learn was how to battle and defeat the Iron Knuckles. Man what a real bitch that was.
So underrated. If you were a fan of the Graduis series, then without a shadow of a doubt you would’ve played this game, right? Maybe. Konami develop grade-A games at the time (not saying they don’t now) and this was sure one of them. You had to have two controllers for this air shooter — it had a mirror challenge of Contra. Certain number of continues, lives, and two-player action is all here. What else you can find is the famous “Konami code” (up, up ,down, down, you know the rest). It takes some skill to beat this game, and many can’t say they have done so. What about that damn box art? It scared the living hell out of me.
Jade Cocoon (PS1)
Gotta catch’em…wait, huh? Jade Cocoon gave Sony fans a little taste of their some-what similar version of Pokemon. The “minions” were a tad boring, and though not as cute as Pikachu, these giant bugs still brought entertainment battling it out. It also gave you some great animation cut scenes, even though the main character Levant was a mute (cough, cough, Link, cough cough). Whether or not you think it was a rip off of Nintendo’s pocket monsters, it had a well-crafted breeding concept.
Super Metroid (SNES)
Tisk, tisk. The year was 1994. Yes, the SNES was alive and kicking. Yet this game didn’t go as well as planned over in Japan. Though an overall tremendous game and smash hit to fans in the States, new consoles were stealing the buzz (Saturn and PS1). That damn Donkey Kong surprised everyone with breath-taking visuals in Donkey Kong Country. This may be the most overlooked game in Nintendo history. Delivering superior graphics to its predecessor, new gadgets and old alike, this platformer is considered by many the best Metroid game. The bosses looked just as good as Contra 3’s; if not better. Kraid would later take a cameo appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee in a battle stage. Giant sprites were the shiz-niz in our time people!
And there you have it folks. I have so many more games circulating my mind, I’ll be sure to post some more in the near future. This is just a start! Give the Bitmob some feedback for more game ideas.
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase your ticket now to save $200!