Last time we caught up with the SNES Classic Mini, I’d managed to beat the first three dungeons of Link to the Past, got about four worlds in on Super Mario World, and come to a bit of a stall at the end of Super Punch-Out‘s major circuit. So how am I getting along?
Well, I’ve made no progress whatsoever here. I am now pretty consistently capable of starting a new game and going through the minor and major circuits up to Mr Sandman without taking a loss, but Sandman just keeps laying me out. I could use the SNES Classic’s save state function to effectively save and reload each time I landed some hits without taking damage, which might allow me to slowly get through him, but I don’t really want to do that. I wanna get past this guy with ease! It really is just a matter of making dumb mistakes, though; I just keep moving in slightly the wrong way or with the wrong timing, and then I get all thrown off. Eventually I’ll have his patterns down same way as I do the earlier fighters, and then he’ll go down. And then it’ll be on to whoever’s after him. And I’ll probably get beaten with ease. Oh well.
Super Mario World
We finished it! I’ve got to admit there was a fair bit of save-state-scumming here, just because it would have taken so much longer if we’d been getting full-on game overs and having to go through full stages again. Yeah, it’s kind of cheating, but it made it more fun for us so I consider that acceptable. Besides, it’s a built-in function of the console!
Anyway, as far as I can tell we didn’t find any secret exits, get anywhere on the Star Road or complete any sort of objectives at all other than simply getting to the final level and beating it, but beat it we did. It was a lot of fun; probably the oldest Mario game we’ve played (most of the ones we’ve done have been on the Wii or later), but very, very good.
A Link to the Past
Haven’t played it for a while, and now I’m putting off going back to it because I won’t be able to remember where I’m supposed to be going.
Now this is something new to me. I’ve only ever played… I think one Metroid game, and that was one of the 3D Metroid Prime games on the Wii, IIRC. I’m aware of the whole concept of a ‘Metroidvania’ game, which is to say a usually 2D game where you move through a large area collecting new items and abilities that allow you to access new parts of the map, but I think this is my first proper one.
I don’t know where Super Metroid sits in terms of the timescale of the franchise; there’s a bit of exposition at the start about Samus having fought something called Mother Brain and some sort of space pirate dragon, as well as the eponymous alien species of Metroids, then finding a Metroid hatchling which imprints on her as its mother. Then Space Pirate Dragon steals the hatchling, so Samus has to get it before SPD uses its powers for evil, or something like that. This definitely isn’t the first Metroid game, because Samus is noticeably female from the get-go (in her opening narration, her eye behind her visor looks distinctly female, and if you get killed her Power Suit explodes to reveal that she’s definitely, er, womanly), but I don’t feel like not fully understanding any prior plot is missing out all that much. In fact, besides that initial infodump, there’s been no real plot whatsoever. You just take Samus through the areas, fight the aliens, pick up new weapons and abilities, use them to open doors, rinse and repeat. I’m actually having a lot of fun with it; the platforming-combat is often tricky, but never unfair, and every time I find a new weapon I feel rewarded by the fact that I now get to go and find out what new areas I can reach.
I don’t think I’m that far in; I’ve got missiles, a charge beam, I can roll and drop bombs, and I’ve been through some caves on a single planet.
Well, since Hannah and I finished Super Mario World, we decided we may as well tackle something else together. Yoshi’s Island is technically single-player, but we just swap the controller each time we die or complete a level, which is basically what SMW‘s two-player mode does anyway. It’s a very fun game, and very well-designed – the visuals are lovely and colourful, which we always appreciate, but the level design is also really, really smart. You can pretty much take whatever path you want and end up at the goal one way or another; there might be a harder path which will give you more points, but just reaching the end is a matter of getting there however you like, so it’s a more relaxed feel than most platformers.
Currently at the start of World 3, and it’s just starting to get to the stage that levels are actually difficult to complete; until now we’ve pretty much been able to float through, eating enemies to make eggs, and occasionally taking a hit but rarely actually dying. From now, I think we’re going to need to get a bit smarter about controlling Yoshi, who can be a little bit floaty and doesn’t always move in quite the way you’d expect. I can imagine loving this as a kid, though; it just makes me feel happy.
So what next?
Well, we’ll keep on with Yoshi’s Island and I’ll keep playing Super Metroid, and hopefully at some point I’ll also git gud at Super Punch-Out and find the time to return to A Link to the Past. After that, I think I want to tackle some of the RPGs; I’ve deliberately put them off because they’re lengthy and I know I like RPGs, and I wanted to experience some of the more arcade-y SNES games, the kind that don’t get made so much nowadays.
That said, I still do want to give every game on there a go. Star Fox is staring at me, as is Street Fighter II Turbo (at which I fully expect to be absolutely useless), but I’m thinking that my next single-player experience after Metroid will probably be Final Fantasy VI (or III, as it’s labelled on the console), EarthBound, or Secret of Mana.
Let me know if you think there’s a particular game I seriously need to play, or any that just aren’t worth my time!