Well, well, well. Here we are again.
Why am I continuing this crazy series? I don't know, to tell you the truth. I guess I just like writing and publishing weird blog posts.
Anyway, as you hopefully can tell by reading the header above, this particular "five favorites" post is going to focus on five of my favorite non-Enix, non-Nintendo, non-Squaresoft Super Famicom games.
I know I could have (and maybe even should have) kept myself from including Super Famicom games made by Capcom, Konami and even Taito, but the fact is that I'm less of a fan of their 16-bit releases than I am of their 8-bit ones. So, I decided to allow them here.
Anyway, enough of my yammering. Here are five non-Enix, non-Nintendo, non-Squaresoft Super Famicom games that are among my favorites for Nintendo's second console:
1. Ace wo Nerae!--I'm guessing a good number of you will skip right past this selection because it's a tennis game. I understand that, but I have to say it's a shame. This is a top-tier tennis game, in my humble opinion, and well worth trying if you're at all into the sport. The main reason? Makers Telenet Japan make good use of the Super Famicom's famed "Mode 7" capabilities (as well as a special DSP chip, I believe) to produce a surprisingly successful three-dimensional tennis title. Sure, it's a bit awkward at first, but give it a few minutes and it feels great.
2. Kiki Kaikai: Nazo no Kuro Manto--Although it was renamed Pocky & Rocky when it was readied for North American release, this top-down, forced-scrolling shmup would be a favorite of mine no matter what developers (and publishers) Natsume decided to call it. Admittedly, that's partially due to the fact that this is one gorgeous game (one of the prettiest to grace the Super Famicom/SNES, if you ask me), but it's also due to the fact that it controls like a dream.
3. Sanrio World Smash Ball--I know I've written about this syrupy sweet game, cobbled together by the folks at Tomcat System, at least once before, but I'm mentioning it again because it is, simply put, one of the best pick-up-and-play carts available for this particular system. Gamers who have hearts of stone are sure to point out that this Character Soft-published title is little more than a pixelated take on air hockey that's been gussied up with the Sanrio crew, but what's wrong with that? All that matters in the end is whether or not the final product is a joy to play, and this one is (in spades).
4. Torneko no Daibōken: Fushigi no Dungeon--What do you get when you mix Chunsoft's Mystery Dungeon series with characters from the world of Enix's Dragon Quest? You get one hell of a 16-bit dungeon-crawler. Granted, I regularly swoon for both slimes and roguelikes, so maybe you should take my opinion with at least a medium-sized grain of salt. Unless, of course, you suffer from a similar malady--in which case you should check out Torneko no Daibōken: Fushigi no Dungeon at your earliest convenience.
5. Umihara Kawase--True story: if I were to buy a Super Famicom system, this would be one of the first games I'd pick up for it. That's how much I love this quirky platformer that is like no other. How so, you ask? Why, it's all about helping a little girl work her way through a bunch of vertically scrolling stages using little more than a fishing rod (which can be used both to latch onto platforms, a la Bionic Commando, and stun aquatic-themed foes). Which is to say it's brilliant and precious and mesmerizing and everything in between.
By the way, if any of you'd like to give Umihara Kawase a try and you don't own any retro systems (or you're not a fan of emulation), you might want to pick up a copy of the DS version of the game, which includes both the Super Famicom and PlayStation iterations. Just be aware that copies of Umihara Kawase Shun Second Edition Complete, as the DS release is known, can be pretty pricey.
See also: 'Five favorites: non-Capcom, non-Enix, non-Konami, non-Namcot, non-Nintendo, non-Square Famicom games' and 'Five favorites: non-Hudson, non-Konami, non-Namco, non-Taito PC Engine HuCards'