Review by Sour

"Arguably one of the best console of all time!"

After the Nintendo Entertainment System single-handedly saved us all from the video game crash, it was time for Nintendo to step up and improve their technology, and continue to dominate the gaming market. Eventually they finally brought us the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, which was in 16 megabits. Double that of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The SNES was just as huge as the NES, if not bigger, and began to spark competition, noticeable Sega, who would release the Sega Genesis shortly after the SNES. This would become the first in a long series of console wars. While the Genesis was good, it wasn't as advanced as the SNES. The Super Nintendo boasted superior graphics, superior sound quality, and perhaps a better library of games, though some games on the Genesis were superior because of the lack of censorship (I'm looking at you, Mortal Kombat).

Game Library: 10/10: The Super Nintendo Entertainment System has quite a large amount of games, just like it's father, the NES did. It spawned great sequels to several popular franchises. It brought us Super Castlevania IV, which was a superior version of the original Castlevania, albeit slightly easier. It also brought the widely popular Super Mario World, arguably the greatest Mario game, though some will also say Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES was the best. The SNES also brought us Super Mario All-Stars, which contained the major NES titles as well as The Lost Levels, which is a better-looking version of the first game with some extra levels thrown in. The SNES also brought about the birth of the Mega Man X series, which lasted into the PS2 era of gaming. It also featured the first port of a Street Fighter game, making the series widely popular. They also bought us the beginning of the Mana series: Secret of Mana. Squaresoft brought us more Final Fantasies and the beloved Chrono Trigger. It also brought us the first in the long-running Mario Kart series, and the third installation in the Zelda series: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, as well as the third installment in the Metroid series, Super Metroid. It has a ton of good games, some of which were also ported to the Genesis, such as Mortal Kombat. Honorable mentions include Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Sunset Riders, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time, Aero the Acrobat, Soul Blazer, Breath of Fire, the Super Star Wars series, Cybernator, Donkey Kong Country, Lethal Enforcers, and a few collections of NES games, such as the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy.

Controls: 10/10: The controls are still really simple, but now with more options. The controller format for this consoles would end up being the norm for generations to come. You have the A and B button on the right side, much like the original, and above that you have Y and X. This allowed for the player to perform even more actions in the game that they were playing. It also featured the first shoulder buttons, L and R. In some games they were used along with the D-Pad (which has also returned) to move left and right and even to make sharp turns in some racing games. In Mega Man X, they were used to quickly switch between the special weapons. The Start and Select buttons also made a return. The start button could be used to start the game or be used to confirm an option, and even to pause the game. Like the regular Nintendo Entertainment System, you could pause a game and leave it on for hours with the TV turned off to keep your place while you had to go and do something. The select button was mostly used to do just that, though it's usefulness was toned down greatly from the NES. The controls, much like the NES, were easy to learn, yet difficult to master. This was especially true for fighter games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. As I said, the D-Pad also made it's return, which is in most cases better than a joystick, at the time anyway. The buttons were also pressure-sensitive, like the NES was. This means that pressing and holding the jump button for instance, would make the character you were playing as jump higher for longer amounts of time. The formation of the buttons on the right (A, B, Y, and X) is still used to this day, resembling a cross formation of sorts, though the panting on the controller makes it look like two parallel diagonal lines of buttons.

Game Difficulty: 8/10: The difficulty of games when compared to the library of the Nintendo Entertainment System has taken a noticeable but not too bad decline in this area. A lot of games were still made to be very difficult, such as Cybernator, and some argue that the Mega Man X series is harder than the original, as well as Super Metroid. The challenge is ever-present, but it felt like the games of this console focused mostly on skill rather than memorization and "cheap" deaths. The controls helped contribute to this, giving you better control of your character. The RPGs released for this console were fairly challenging, about as much as RPGs for the NES to be honest. The challenge level was met with some relief from people who had often got angry at some of the seemingly impossible NES games, such as Teenage Mutant Turtles, Battletoads, and Contra. The Disney games for the SNES were fairly challenging without being too hard, such as Aladdin and The Lion King. Overall, the challenge level is less than the NES library but that's not a bad thing in reality, because it balanced things out a lot.

Graphics: 10/10: It was the next generation of graphics, so Nintendo had to double it up. They went from eight megabits to sixteen megabits, which smoothed the games out quite a bit. It allowed for more sprite layers as well, which gave the backgrounds and environments a lot more detail. Mortal Kombat looked fantastic, as the digital insertions of the characters looked almost as good as the arcade version of the game. This also allowed for scrolling backgrounds in some games which looked great. It also allowed for a much wider variety of colors and palettes. There's not much else to say about the graphics, though it is worth noting that they are noticeably sharper than the Sega Genesis graphics. Other than that, they are just a major improvements over the Nintendo Entertainment System graphics.

Audio: 10/10: The sound quality from the NES to SNES also underwent a drastic improvement, with some pieces sounding near orchestrated in the console's later years. The sound quality is also better than the Genesis, and was able to make use of small voice clips a bit better. Once again I'll use Mortal Kombat as my example. The various announcements, battle cries, and screams sound clear, whereas on the Genesis they sound like they're coming from underwater or through a bad microphone. The sound effects also sound much better than they did on the NES. Like the graphics, there's not much else to say here other than that it's better than the Genesis and obviously better than the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Overall: 10/10: Yes, the difficulty got a score of 8, I know. That contributes to the perfect score though, since the difficulty is about perfect. It's all a major improvement over the Nintendo Entertainment System, with better graphics, better sound quality, and a grand selection of video games. Many of which became classics, such as Chrono Trigger. The SNES library is just as impressive as the NES library and is considered to be part of the "Golden Age" of gaming, and for good reason. This is arguably one of the best consoles in the history of gaming and had a huge impact on several series, bringing them to the next level. If you can find one at a used game store, it's highly recommended to pick up one of these, it shouldn't be too expensive at all, so buy one today and enjoy!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/06/10

Game Release: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (US, 08/13/91)


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