Tagged "Star Fox 2"

Oct 04
By Matt Gander In Features, Retro No Comments

While far from being a failure of Amstrad GX4000 proportions, the NES wasn’t exactly a runaway success in Europe. The 8-bit cassette-based formats, with their inexpensive software, offered better value for money and a similar assortment of games. The SEGA Master System was performing well off the back of its arcade conversions, too, and this was even before a certain hedgehog showed up.

The Super Nintendo was a different story, however. When it arrived in the UK in 1992 the 8-bit formats were starting to look incredibly outdated. Moreover, Sonic the Hedgehog had sent sales of the Mega Drive skyrocketing, cementing the fact that Japanese systems – and their expensive £50+ cartridges – were the future of gaming.

After several months of pre-launch hype, which can be partly attributed to glowing reviews of the Japanese launch software in CVG and Mean Machines, the SNES made its European debut in April 1992 alongside a strong line-up of system showcases.

Super Mario World was the plumber’s biggest and best adventure yet, and the pseudo 3D (Mode 7) effects in F-Zero and Pilotwings looked amazing, far beyond what the Mega Drive was capable of. We dare say F-Zero even looked better than anything the Mega CD had to offer.

Once arcade juggernaut Street Fighter II arrived, all eyes were on the SNES. 1993’s Street Fighter II: Turbo bundle, released just in time for Christmas, was incredibly popular. The Super Mario All-Stars bundle – which saw the system drop to £99.99 – was another popular Christmas wish-list item, backed by TV adverts starring the late Rik Mayall.

The announcement of the SNES Mini was met with even more excitement than Nintendo’s reveal of the NES Mini. This appears to be down to one main reason – whereas the NES failed to capture the hearts and minds of gamers over here, most European gamers have very fond memories of the SNES.

This was the system that saw Nintendo at their most competitive, using such games as Street Fighter II, Super Mario Kart, Star Fox and Donkey Kong Country to demonstrate that the SNES was far superior to anything else out there. In fact, the advanced graphics of DKC, Killer Instinct and Super Mario RPG helped the system to even fight off the threat of the Jaguar, 3DO, and the SEGA 32X.

The SNES also introduced a whole generation to the wonderful world of JRPGs – Squaresoft released hit after hit, and Nintendo’s own RPGs are still held in high regard. The SNES Mini includes 1994’s EarthBound, a delightfully goofy role-player with an equally outlandish musical score. It was overlooked upon release and never made it to Europe until a Wii U VC appearance in 2013. Those who haven’t played it before are in for a treat.

The same can also be said for the Square-developed Super Mario RPG, which likewise managed to elude European shores (until a Wii VC release in 2008).

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Sep 06
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Last month Retro Gamer magazine teased the return of a classic ‘90s gaming mag. Making good on their word, the latest issue – #172 – comes packaged with a 52-page Super Play tribute magazine.

Super Play is regarded as one of the finest Nintendo magazines of its era, mostly due to its focus on import gaming and love of JRPGs. Indeed, it has been attributed to introducing a whole new audience to the genre, daring to put the likes of Final Fantasy III, Secret of Mana 2 and Chrono Trigger on its cover. This was during a time where most publications relied on over-hyped licensed games and movie tie-ins to fly off newsstands.

Retro Gamer’s one off special brings the original Super Play team back together, complete with a cover illustration from Wil Overton. The SNES Classic Mini is the focus, with Star Fox 2 being the cover game. The long-lost SFX shooter gets the preview treatment (no review, sadly – blame NDAs), along with a developer interview.

The remaining SNES Classic Mini games are all reviewed in full, with those only found on the Super Famicom Mini appearing in the Import Reviews section.

Even by simply flicking through the pages it’s easy to tell that an incredible amount of thought and effort has gone into this, with the colourful page layouts and jaunty ‘90s writing style mimicked to perfection. It even has a couple of pages dedicated to the anime scene – a former Super Play staple.

While we’d love to see more one offs from Retro Gamer (Future Publishing’s acquisition of Imagine has obviously opened new doors), it clearly takes an incredible amount of planning. All that hard work wasn’t for nothing – this mini mag is a delight to behold.

Retro Gamer #172 hits newsagent’s shelves tomorrow, priced £5.99.

Jun 26
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Nintendo has ended months of speculation by officially announcing the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Due out across Europe on 29th September, it includes a heady mixture of 21 Nintendo classics and third-party hits, including the never-before-released Star Fox 2.

SNESMini

Curiously, Eurogamer notes that the once scrubbed sequel won’t be playable out of the box – you’ll need to complete the first mission in the original Star Fox (née Starwing) to unlock it.

This could be Nintendo’s way of devaluing it to ‘unlockable extra’ status, compensating for the fact that it may not be a 100% finished version. We’re speculating, of course, but locking one of the system’s most prolific games does strike us as an odd move.

Due to the inclusion of an extra controller, the price is a tad higher than the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System. Currently, both GAME and Amazon has it listed for £79.99. An AC adaptor for the USB cable will be required, as this isn’t included.

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