Then again, we got Joe & Mac 2. The sky’s the limit.
As detailed yesterday, SNES has come to Nintendo Switch Online. It’s launched with many stalwart classics, but the inclusion of oddities like Joe & Mac 2 and Brawl Brothers immediately turned my poisoned little mind to which lesser-known 16-bit classics certainly wouldn’t be seeing release on the service.
Of course, knowing my luck, all four of these games will be announced and released within ten minutes of this being published. Enjoy!
The Addams Family
Loosely based on the Raul Julia-starring movie, The Addams Family is Ocean’s best game and a shining example of what to do with a licensed property. It takes a quasi-Metroidvania approach to its design, though there’s no map and it’s very difficult to get lost. Your aim – as Gomez – is to rescue your family who have been abducted and imprisoned by various boss monsters. Journeying through the expansive, diverse Addams estate, you won’t gain any new permanent skills (though a fencing sword and golf ball can be acquired and used temporarily as weapons) but you can fight a handful of optional bosses to gain extra health. It’s a difficult game, rich with things to discovery and cleverly-hidden secret areas to find. Multiple playthroughs and speedruns seem like a must, given the relative shortness of the game and the sheer quality of the level design. Tricky, rewarding stuff.
Go Go Ackman
Based on the short Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball Z) manga of the same name, Go Go Ackman sees a demon child going on a Japanese adventure to beat up angels and STEAL THEIR SOULS. This amounts to a journey through a rather well-made and decently challenging world, bopping to an awesome and memorable soundtrack while enjoying the surprisingly plentiful mechanics. You can jump on angel enemies then kick them across the floor like Koopa shells, slash them with a sword, shoot them, punch them, sweep the leg… it’s enjoyably versatile. At six stages Go Go Ackman doesn’t outstay its welcome and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a Super Famicom platformer. There’s some problematic content, most notably a Crying Game-esque joke that would never fly today, but taken as a trashy gag manga tie-in it’s a lot of fun to play.
As with The Addams Family, Blue Turtle’s Magic Boy originated on the Amiga in 1993 but was ported to Super Nintendo in 1996, late in the system’s life. It’s a vertically-scrolling platformer similar to Rainbow Islands, but with more intricate level design as lead character Hewlett attempts to blast various monsters in order to clear out the stages and ascend. Being an Amiga platformer, there’s plenty of fruit to collect and breakable blocks that allow access to better weapons. There’s a pleasing uniformity to it, where you’re very clear exactly what everything does. Some might call this “dull”, but I find it downright cosy. There’s plenty to do with 64 levels and you can incrementally choose the order they’re played in ala Mega Man. It’s a lovely little game to dip into here and there, play a few levels then knock it off for something more intense, like Aero the Acro-Bat.
Sanrio World Smash Ball
Oh, this game is so good. It’s the best multiplayer game on the SNES and that’s it. You see, every console has a Secret Best multiplayer game. The Mega Drive has Dashin’ Desperadoes and the SNES has Sanrio World Smash Ball. Ostensibly it’s like Breakout but you and the opposing player are breaking bricks by smacking a puck around, trying to get it into your opponent’s goal. All you can do is move, smack and gradually charge a vastly more powerful mega-smack. It’s a little bit like Windjammers but the benign pre-school Sanrio visuals make it even funnier when you and your friend start turning the air blue after Keroppi whiffs an important manoeuvre and lets one in. Seriously, this game has been sworn at more than a judge. In fact I’d say it’s the game that warrants the number three (3) spot for “most cussing elicited from players”. Numbers one and two are, obviously, Mario Strikers Charged and NES Open Tournament Golf, respectively. Sanrio World Smash Ball is not so much Hello Kitty as WHAT THE HELL.