ABC Monday Night Football
Publisher: Data East (1993)
Publisher: Enix (1991)
Save mechanism: Battery
Publisher: Enix (1993)
Addams Family Values
Publisher: Ocean (1994)
Save mechanism: Password
Addams Family, The
Publisher: Ocean (1992)
This SNES edition of Addams Family feels like a second-rate Super Mario knockoff with Gomez substituted for Mario. You'll hop on moving platforms, pounce on enemies, hit switches, and avoid constant hazards. The cartoonish graphics are clean but minimal, and if not for the huge character portraits lining the walls you might forget you were even playing
an Addams Family game! The selectable stages are a series of rooms including a conservatory, kitchen, and trap-laden "game room." Would you believe they even managed to incorporate an obligatory ice stage?
Your adversaries are a weird hodgepodge of random creatures. The ghosts, bats, spiders, mummies, and skulls makes sense, but why are there jack-rabbits
hopping all over the place? Are those Jawas
in the graveyard? Did I just see a bird from Joust??
This game suffers from an identity crisis! Its gameplay mirrors Super Mario to an alarming degree. Power-ups let you fire bouncing balls or hover in the air. Others provide sparkly invincibility. The spiked balls on chains and oversized cannons look as if they were imported directly from Bowser's castle. The collision detection is forgiving, but sometimes it's hard to tell if you're dealing damage or taking it. You get plenty of lives but minimal health, so expect a lot of one-hit deaths. I do like the audio, especially the reverberation effects in the caves. Failing to capture the spirit of the movie, Addams Family feels like a shallow platformer with a movie license slapped on top. If you want something fun and inventive, stick with the Turbo Duo version. © Copyright 2013 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 13,630
Addams Family: Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt, The
Publisher: Ocean (1992)
Our high score: BP 14000
Adventures of Batman and Robin, The
Publisher: Konami (1994)
Our high score: 43,100
Save mechanism: password
Adventures of Yogi Bear
Publisher: Cybersoft (1994)
I acquired Adventures of Yogi Bear last summer but one glance at the first stage told me I had to save it for winter. The snow-covered hills, ice-encrusted trees, and moon-lit sky look so cheery this might as well be a Christmas game. Yogi scampers smoothly over the fluffy powder and I love those soft tones that play as he picks up floating pocket watches. There's only one button to worry about, and that's jump. Along the way you'll pounce on slow-moving creatures like skunks, bunnies, and snowmen. Like a Sonic title, there are two ways to approach the game. You can take your sweet time and hop on every floating basket to rack up your score multiplier. Hopping on baskets can lead you to some high elevations, but be careful because you never know what's below and you may find yourself jumping into an abyss. Taking the "speed run" approach would be fun if the collision detection wasn't so unforgiving. If a cute pink bunny comes within two feet
of you you're losing a big slice of your "life cake". And you don't get a few seconds of invincibility, making you susceptible to follow-up hits. The jazzy music is pretty good but the stages are cookie-cutter to the max
. Each set of four stages look exactly alike and there are no boss encounters to spice things up. There are a few bonus stages but the "mine cart ride" thing was too confusing and the "beaver surfing" wasn't all I was hoping for. Adventures of Yogi Bear is pretty average, but if you're in a wintery mood this game offers some of the best-looking snow stages around. © Copyright 2021 The Video Game Critic.
Al Unser Jr.'s Road to the Top
Publisher: Mindscape (1994)
Publisher: Capcom (1993)
Aladdin was a showcase title for the Genesis, but this SNES edition is even more
impressive - at least in the audio/video department. The characters are rich with detail, the layered stages are gorgeous, and the lush orchestrated music fills the room when you pipe it through a stereo. Following the storyline of the film, Aladdin's adventures take him through a market place, a desert, the Cave of Wonders, a pyramid, and Jafar's Palace for the big show-down. The genie bonus levels are particularly imaginative and colorful. One thing about this SNES version is that the gameplay is more strategic and deliberate than the Genesis game. Aladdin's primary move is a vault used to subdue enemies in addition to reaching high places. You can toss apples to daze enemies, but it's disappointing that you can't wield a sword. I mean, c'mon now, a little violence
never hurt anybody. The platform jumping is solid and I like how you perform nifty stunts to escape harm's way. If you barely miss a ledge, Aladdin will grab it and pull himself up. There were a bunch of times when I was sure I was dead but something saved me at the last moment. The animation isn't as fluid as the Genesis game, but there are still some awesome set pieces. The magic carpet ride over waves of lava is harrowing, and the final boss encounter where Jafar transforms into a huge cobra is astonishing. There's no score but a password feature is included. That will help you complete the game but there's little incentive to play through again. I prefer the Genesis game for the replay factor, but fans of the film will still want this beauty in their collection. © Copyright 2014 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Acclaim (1993)
I appreciate its sharp graphics and harrowing sound effects, but Alien 3's gameplay just didn't do it for me. Playing the role of a bald-headed Ripley, you are fully strapped with a pulse rifle, flamethrower, and grenade launcher. Each stage consists of a series of missions you can play in any order. Typically you must rescue prisoners, repair pipes, or destroy alien eggs. You'll explore large rooms of platforms connected by tunnels, and missions often require a lot of tedious backtracking. You actually need to consult a map to scout out the location of your next mission, which seems like a lot of unnecessary work if you ask me. Alien 3's graphics are dark and realistic. Ripley is fluidly animated, but the aliens can be difficult to discern. A superb audio track boasts creepy music and digitized sound effects. Much like the film, Alien 3 fails to build any suspense, partially because the aliens attack early and often. The controls are lousy. I like how you can shoot while hanging from a ceiling or ladder, but most areas are inundated with small creatures, requiring you to constantly squat and shoot low. Getting into that squat position is harder than it should be, as each hit knocks you back upright. Consequentially, those little face grabbers will torment you to no end. Other issues include really bad collision detection. Sometimes you'll miss an alien egg at point-blank range, yet somehow shoot the egg behind
it. Technical glitches and tedious missions really drag down this otherwise good-looking title. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Alien Vs. Predator
Publisher: Activision (1993)
Our high score: 122,700
Publisher: Nintendo (1997)
Arkanoid is Breakout for the 90's! It features classic "balls to the wall" action with just about every variation you've ever imagined. Each level has a different brick layout, and certain bricks have special properties, including some that dispense power-ups. These power-ups might change the size of your paddle, provide a temporary forcefield (to help keep the ball in play), or let you shoot the bricks directly with missiles! UFOs buzz around the screen and add even more unpredictability. A two-player simultaneous option is also included. With all these bells and whistles, you might expect this to be the best breakout game ever. Well, not quite. While many of the levels are well-designed, others are pretty dull. Yes there are tons of power-ups, but many are just distracting, and their ubiquitous nature make this game far less challenging than it should be. The digital joypad doesn't give you the best control, but the SNES mouse is also supported. Arkanoid is a decent effort, but it's not as madly addictive as I expected. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Konami (1992)
This vertical shooter was universally acclaimed upon its release, and it's still just as fun to play today. In fact, Axelay may be the definitive shooter for the SNES. Its five lengthy stages alternate between vertical shooting and side-scrolling action, and most are set over planet surfaces although a few take place in deep space. Axelay's high-resolution graphics are stunning, with so many types of enemies that you rarely see the same one twice. Several weapons are available at any given time, and each is uniquely suited for a particular situation. The centerpiece of this game however is its bosses, which are huge and imposing. The first boss is a gigantic spider, and the second boss is one of the coolest I've ever witnessed, making one heck of an entrance. Axelay is a must-have for any serious SNES collector. © Copyright 1999 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 60410
Publisher: Acclaim (1995)
Rating: Kids To Adults
Publisher: Konami (1992)
Our high score: EV 54000
Battletoads in Battlemaniacs
Publisher: Tradewest (1993)
Undeniably good-looking, Battletoads in Battlemaniacs features crisp, colorful graphics and absolutely huge
characters. This side-scrolling brawler pits one or two toad warriors against a bizarre assortment of enemies including pigs, wasps, snakes, rats and skeletons. Some of the animals are dressed in funny little outfits, and I love how the skeleton heads bounce in place when you punch them. The bosses can be towering in height, and the "dark queen" is a real eyeful (if you know what I mean, wink wink, nudge nudge). Sadly, good graphics do not necessarily make a good game. The main problem with this Battlemaniacs is its long, repetitive levels. There are five unimaginative stages, starting with an underground cave with pools of lava, followed by a floating disk that descends further into the earth. Hey, I think I've played this game before! You'll face the same enemies over and over, and they require an excessive number of hits to defeat. Worst of all, when you die you have to restart the whole level, which can be excruciating. © Copyright 2001 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Tradewest (1993)
This is an early game by Rare, the company who later produced quality Nintendo 64 titles like Donkey Kong 64 and Perfect Dark. At first glance, Battletoads/Double Dragon seems like another run-of-the-mill side-scroller, with only a few attack options and endless enemy clones. After all, only two buttons on the controller are used. But it didn't take me long to discover loads of fighting techniques that aren't obvious from the start. For example, in the first stage you fight on the surface of a moving spacecraft, and it's possible to hang off the side of the craft as well as knock off hanging enemies. In the second stage you can climb on ladders and wire mesh, and in the third stage you swing from ropes. There's even a speeder-bike level where you kick enemies off of their bikes while trying to avoid obstacles. Each stage feels fully interactive and full of surprises, preventing the action from feeling monotonous. Some of the attack animations are absolutely outrageous. When fighting the blonde women thugs, the toads will grab them by the hair and start kicking them in the butt! Hilarious! As the title indicates, you can select between three Battletoads or the two Double Dragon characters, and the two-player action is definitely where it's at! The graphics are outstanding, and the music is enough to get your adrenaline pumping. For side-scrolling beat-em-up fans, Battletoads/Double Dragon definitely proves to be a winning combination. © Copyright 2000 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: JDH 329050
1 or 2 players
Publisher: Bandai (1992)
Recommended variation: novice
Our high score: 168,200
1 to 4 players
Publisher: Activision (1993)
The first thing that caught my attention about Biometal was its music
. The title screen plays "Get Ready For This" by 2 Unlimited
, which was a popular dance hit in the clubs of the early to mid 90s. While it's a pretty good rendition, the bouncy, high-energy tune seems oddly out of place in a "serious" game like this. Biometal is an unspectacular 2D shooter where you battle legions of huge metallic flying monsters. You're equipped with a gun and missiles, both of which can be upgraded. Personally I prefer the vulcan/homing missile combination. Biometal certainly is challenging, with enemies that appear in hordes and spray missiles all over the screen. You'll die early and often until you learn to harness the power of your "GAM" weapon, which effectively decreases from difficulty from "insane" to just plain "hard as all hell". The "GAM" looks like a bunch of blue spheres circling your ship, and when it's activated, it destroys anything it touches. You can expand its radius or even "throw" it at an enemy, inflicting serious damage. The problem is, once your GAM energy runs out you're toast, so be sure to shut it off whenever you get a breather to let it recharge. Biometal's graphics did not impress me, but at least there's no noticeable slowdown. Your metallic foes all tend to look the same (including the bosses), and the backgrounds are equally boring. The first stage just features a few layers of storm clouds, and it's just plain ugly. Still, the high challenge of Biometal kept me playing for quite a while, so it's hard to complain too much. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 72200
Publisher: Atlus (1992)
Like many classic gamers, I cherish 2D shooters and the twitch gameplay and satisfying destruction they provide. Blazeon is an early SNES shooter with an exceptional soundtrack and exceptionally boring
gameplay! This shooter needs some caffeine!
Its plodding, side-scrolling stages take you through the obligatory space stations and caverns crawling with biological experiments gone wrong. There are a lot of generic pods and cannons, and certain enemies flicker in an annoying manner. Occasionally you'll encounter oversized humanoid robots which make things a bit more interesting. By deploying a special canister, you can freeze these guys and then touch them to assume their form - and firepower! The increase in shooting power is welcome, but you become a huge target for incoming missiles. I appreciate the fact that there's a rapid-fire button, but its constant choo-chooing gets on my nerves. But what ultimately brings down the game is its leisurely pace. The screen scrolls incredibly slowly, and there are extended lulls as you wait for something
- to appear on the screen. But Blazeon does have one thing going for it, and that's its eclectic musical score. The first stage features one of those upbeat electronic tunes you'd expect in a shooter, but the second stage is more downbeat and sounds like 80's synth pop. The music in the third stage is a rock track with an otherworldly undercurrent that's pretty amazing. It figures - the one time
I could use a "sound test" menu option, there is none! If only Blazeon's gameplay was as captivating as its soundtrack. This game sounds like Pink Floyd but plays like Michael Bolton. © Copyright 2009 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 102000
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Publisher: Sony (1993)
Our high score: 10,417
Publisher: Jaleco (1993)
Our high score: 55
1 or 2 players
Publisher: Capcom (1994)
Publisher: Capcom (1995)
Brett Hull Hockey 95
Publisher: Accolade (1995)
Brunswick World Tournament Champions
Publisher: THQ (1997)
There aren't many bowling games for the SNES, so it's kind of hard to judge this one. Brunswick World Tournament has options out the ying-yang to configure a bowler, tournament, or league. There's even background information about the professional bowlers you can challenge. But that all amounts to window dressing without solid gameplay, and Brunswick didn't exactly set my world on fire. The bland setup screen lets you view the action from up high and behind your bowler, offering a fair view of the lane. From here you can adjust your position and aim the ball. Once set, you hit a button to engage the power and spin meters. At this point everything goes to hell. The animation of the ball rolling down the lane is absolutely appalling, moving in a herky-jerky manner as if it had a schizophrenic mind of its own. The close-up screen showing the ball hitting the pins incorporates realistic physics, but the pins tend to have a flat, cardboard look to them. You can see your bowler's reaction to his roll, but there's little fanfare. Bruswick World Tournament really didn't do much for me, but if you're desperate for a bowling game, this may suffice. Then again, maybe not. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage
Publisher: Sunsoft (1994)