Monday, August 27, 2012

Five favorites: Super Famicom games I'd play with my husband (if he actually played games)

Why'd I decide to limit the contents of this post to Super Famicom games? Actually, my first thought was to focus on Famicom games. Shortly after, I changed my mind, broadened the scope and altered the headline to "games I'd play with my husband (if he actually played games)."

The first three games that came to mind, however, were released for the Super Famicom (or SNES, if that's your thing), so I altered the header for a second time to the one you see above.

Don't worry, I plan on writing up a "Famicom games I'd play with my husband (if he actually played games)" post soon enough, and I'll probably devote another to "PC Engine games I'd play with my husband (if he actually played games)," too.

This time around, though, I'm going to focus on the following five titles, all of which appeared on Nintendo's super second console.


1. Pocky & Rocky--Although I'm listing this Natsume release first (simply because I'm an alpha-order kind of guy), I have a pretty good feeling that it wouldn't go over all that well with the hubs if I introduced him to it early on. That's because, like most overhead run-and-guns, Pocky & Rocky can be both difficult and frustrating. Still, I think he might like the adorable protagonists and the colorfully wacky setting--you know, if he had any interest in gaming at all.


2. Sanrio World Smash Ball--Now here's a game that I think anyone would like--yes, even anti-gaming crumudeons like my husband. It's barely more than good ol' Pong turned on its side, but for various reasons--such as its selection of cute-as-buttons characters and its wonderfully cheerful soundtrack--this Tomcat System-developed, Character Soft-published title a lot more enjoyable than that ancient classic.


3. Secret of Mana--Can you believe I've only ever played this game solo? That surprises me, as my older brother and I used to play games together all the time, and I'm pretty sure he was still living at home (as opposed to in a college dorm) when I first acquired this one. Anyway, as a result, I've always wanted to see what it's like to play through this epic, Final Fantasy-meets-The Legend of Zelda ARPG with another human being. In all honesty, I think my husband would find it boring, but you never know--the pastel graphics and soothing music may just win him over.


4. Super Mario Kart--I'd like to say that this is another Super Famicom title that anyone can enjoy, but I'm not so sure that's really the case. The Mode 7 visuals are sure to drive some folks batty, for instance, as is the overall difficulty. Still, I'd give it the old college try if the hubs were similarly game, as they say, since I consider this game's multiplayer mode to be, without a smidge of a doubt, one of the best ever.


5. Super Tennis--Of all the games I've included in this post, this is the one my husband is most likely to want to play with me, to tell you truth. Of course, that's mainly due to the fact that he has fallen in love with the sport over the last two or so years. Regardless, it's doubtful that I could start him off with a more accessible--or more enjoyable--tennis video game than this one, which was developed by Tokyo Shoseki but published by Nintendo in 1991. You don't have to like fuzzy yellow balls to get a kick out of Super Tennis, by the way, so give it a try soon if you've yet to do so.

See also: Previous 'five favorites' posts

30 comments:

Adam said...

I played so many matches in Super Mario Kart. I still think the battle mode has never been better since the original. The new ones is too far spaced out with too many levels of height.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

My friend Rich and I played through Secret of Mana together. It has its ups and downs. Having direct control to all three characters (I always played as the sprite) is nice in a pinch so you can heal or whatever. But nothing beats standing outside a boss's door hashing out a strategy based on the last 8 times you tried and died. It's certainly a fun time.

I bought a multitap adapter for that, but I think we only ever got 3 people to play it once or twice. That was chaos.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Adam: I agree, I think. The battle mode courses in the first SMK were tightly constructed, and it was much harder to hide from your opponents. Such an awesome game :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Justin: I'm jealous! I can imagine getting three people to play the game at once is a bit chaotic, of course. Still, I'd like to experience it at least once. Of course, I haven't played the game in years, so I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to make that happen...

coolpowers said...

It's safe to assume one of the other write-ups will feature Bubble Bobble, right? RIGHT?

Bryan Ochalla said...

Well, answering your question would spoil the surprise, wouldn't it, Simon? :P

Bryan Ochalla said...

BTW, your comment made me think of Puzzle Bobble, which I've had on the brain lately. Is there a two-player mode in Puzzle Bobble? If so, I really should have added that to this post...

coolpowers said...

Oh, hmm. I.. think so? Bob is always there winding the thingy isn't he?

Tangent, but related - have you ever played Puzzle Uo Poko? It's an action puzzler (by Cave, oddly enough) that AFAIK only ever got an arcade release, but it's actually novel and has a brilliant two player mode.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello again, Simon! I just did some research RE: Puzzle Bobble and it does have a two-player mode. Yay!

As for Puzzle Uo Poko: Nope, never heard of it until now. I just looked up a YouTube video of it, and it looks kind of like a reverse Puzzle Bobble, doesn't it? Regardless, it's cute and seems fun. I'll have to give it a go via MAME sometime soon. Thanks for making me aware of it!

Drew Mackie said...

Even thought my boyfriend doesn't play video games regularly and would never identify himself as a gamer, I've had some luck with him and Mario Kart... which is funny, really, because Mario Kart is typically better known for destroying relationships rather than building then.

I think Pocky & Rocky would be the true bonding experience, though -- nothing brings people together like a shared hardship.

Bryan Ochalla said...

I think he could get into something like Mario Kart Wii, Drew, but for some reason I've yet to bring it up with him. That may be a good thing, though, as I can get a bit ... energetic when I play MK Wii. Of course, as long as we played offline, things should be OK.

As for your assessment of Pocky & Rocky: I think you hit the nail on the head here. Who knows, maybe he'll get so pissed off that he'll Rambo out and together we'll finally beat that @&%$#-ing game :)

Anonymous said...

Super Mario Kart was released in Japan precisely 20 years ago. :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, what timing then, eh? Such a great game. I can't believe I was just 15 when it was released!

apricotsushi said...

Bryan – I know this post is about games you'd play with your husband, but I couldn't help but think how awesome it would be to chill with you and play old Super Famicom games together :D

I've never heard of Pocky & Rocky, but it's definitely something I want to check out! Okay, in the interest of full disclosure... I'll admit that I've never played ANY of these games. That's what you get for never owning a Super Famicom, I guess.

Sanrio World Smash Ball looks right up my alley, too! I love the random non-Sanrio human character in the screenshot. Does this one have nice box art, too? I've been keeping my eye on recent Sanrio/Hello Kitty games and it's a shame they don't have cuter covers. They manage to make them pretty blah these days, in my opinion.

Oh, and my favorite line from this post? "You don't have to like fuzzy yellow balls to get a kick out of Super Tennis"!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Anne!

I'll tell you what: If you ever manage to find yourself in Seattle, come on over to our house and we'll play some Super Famicom (and other) games together! I'm going to have to up my SF game before then, though, as I don't have many SF games at the moment. (I used to have a ton, but of course I stupidly sold them.)

As for Pocky & Rocky: It's one of the best-looking games released for the SF/SNES in my humble opinion. It's also tough enough to make you want to pull out your hair, but maybe we'd be able to overcome that together :)

Sanrio Smash Ball's box art isn't amazing, IMO, but it is nice enough. Here's a link to it -- http://gamegame.konstochvanligasaker.se/game/38404/

I'm glad you liked my line about Super Tennis, by the way. I've loved the term 'fuzzy yellow balls' ever since I was in high school, when the tennis team I was on wanted to include that phrase on our team t-shirt. Needless to say, our coach wasn't a fan :P

The Girl Gamer said...

I would play a lot of Super Mario Kart when I was a kid. One of my favorite SNES games. Now I feel like plugging in my SNES and play some Super Mario Kart lol.

- The Girl Gamer

Bryan Ochalla said...

Do it, Girl Gamer! The original's still a blast, IMO. Plus, you can't go wrong with those tunes, can you? Gah, now I need to play this again. Thankfully I bought it via the Wii Virtual Console, so I can play it there :)

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Bryan, can you imagine having a Gay Gamer game night? All your regular readers flying in to hang out and play games together? My God. That would totally be worth it.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Actually, I can, Justin! Although I'd need to buy more TVs before that could happen. Also, I think it would cause David to have a heart attack. Still, it would be a blast! :)

warp said...

Funny you mention Puzzle Bobble, but I got my man playing that with me over the weekend. First time in many years. He hates games! BTW, you know Toupsi and Jeremiah are gonna be there for PAX, this weekend right? Maybe you can get them to play with you. They've been over to my place for gaming a few times.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, that's great to hear, warp! I have no idea if David would be interested in Bubble Bobble or Puzzle Bobble or not, but I guess it can't hurt to try, eh?

As for Jeremiah and Toupsi being here this weekend: I kind of guessed so, but unfortunately I won't be able to see them or anyone else who is visiting for PAX (such as shidoshi!).

That's because we actually have two different groups of friends visiting us starting early on Friday and lasting through Wednesday and they are going to take all of our time and energy (as they should!).

Thankfully, three of them enjoy playing games, so it's likely we'll play a few while they're here. Really, it's too bad the Wii U isn't out yet, as I think we'd have a blast with Nintendo Land and the like. Oh, well, maybe next year :)

Reggie White Jr. said...

Wow, Pock & Rocky! I loved that game even though it was so difficult.

A buddy and I used to play through Secret of Mana more than a few times. Such an incredible action RPG.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Reggie! Yeah, Pocky & Rocky rocks, doesn't it? The sequel is pretty nice, too. Only versions of this series I've ever liked, though (not a big fan of the Famicom and PC Engine versions).

As for playing Secret of Mana with a friend: I'm jealous! Oh, well, it was still pretty darn fun to play solo.

Bryan Ochalla said...

BTW, Anne, if you're still paying attention to this thread: I can't believe you've never played Secret of Mana! You really should try it at some point. It's like Final Fantasy mixed with The Legend of Zelda. One of my favorite games of this era, and possible of all time.

apricotsushi said...

Hi again Bryan! Yes I'm still following this thread (I try to remember to subscribe whenever I comment), but sometimes I get ditzy and forget to reply to things, so thanks for calling me up again ;)

So I have to say, I'm rather disappointed by that Sanrio World Smash Ball cover! It's not very cute, is it?

I love that your high school tennis team wanted to write "fuzzy yellow balls" on your t-shirt. Sounds way cooler than my tennis team was! Too bad that was never made into a reality.

As for Secret of Mana, yeah, it's pretty shameful, I know! I've never played any of the Mana games. Gosh, if it's one of your favorite games, I definitely have to get on it! Have you played Sword of Mana? I only ask because I'm on a serious GBA kick right now (as you know), and I'm sure I'd love an excuse to import a Japanese copy (did you know Brownie Brown worked on it? I didn't!)


apricotsushi said...

Oh, I forgot to mention – looks like I'm going to have to make a trip to Seattle! All my favorite people live there (well, you and Brad Gallaway, that is!)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hello again, Anne!

Ah, I always forget to subscribe when I comment on other blogs (including yours, of course!), too, so no worries there.

Anyway, yeah, Sanrio Smash Ball's is a bit uninspired, if you ask me. Too bad, really.

As for Secret of Mana: Oh, yes, I love this game. Of course, it came out during a time when the FF series was very, very rigid, and this game seemed like a breath of fresh air to me (even though I loved the FF series). It isn't without it's faults (or glitches), though, so just be aware of that before you play it.

This game's Japan-only sequel is great, too, BTW. Sadly, I've yet to spend much time with Legend of Mana, the PS1-based sequel despite the fact that I've owned a copy for ages.

Oh, and as for Sword of Mana: I've never played it! I know it's basically a remake of the first Mana game, originally released for the GameBoy, though. That game I played back in the day and quite enjoyed, although it's not as deep as Secret of Mana.

Anyway, despite the fact that I've never played it, I'd say that if you can find a cheap copy of Sword of Mana you should go for it! At the very least, you'll get yourself another great-looking GBA game :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey, I'd love to meet up with you someday, Anne! What would bring you out to Seattle, I wonder? A trip to Nintendo headquarters? PAX?

Anyway, should you ever get out here, yes, you and Brad and I will have to get together. Can you believe Brad and I have yet to meet? I think he lives in my neighborhood, too :| I'm a bad, bad Seattlite!

Melody (Lizzi) said...

Oh, Secret of Mana on the SNES...
sweet memories.

Bryan Ochalla said...

You have sweet memories of this one, too? That's great! I'm amazed at how many modern gamers have never heard of this one. It blew my mind when it was first announced!