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Did you know this was released? Games that no one misses or remembers


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Don't really know where I'm going with this thread but as I was browsing through a big book of SNES games to just see if there were any interesting titles to try out, many games jumped out for me as being 1. very obscure, 2. never heard of, 3. why in the world did they release this and thought that it would sell. Games that probably no one has played and have been forgotten by time. Nowadays hundreds of games are released daily on multiple platforms and a huge percentage of them fall into obscurity from day one because there are just so many games. Back then the available platforms and overall number of games was far more fewer so you really had to really try for this to happen. If you have similar examples, please feel free to join in. I'll start with:

 

Hurricanes

Front Cover for Hurricanes (SNES)

 

This game is based on some cartoon that no one has heard of, about some football team it seems (yes, it's called football). It's your bog standard platformer, because of course it is, with a few seemingly distinct features. Firstly, the gameplay is ripped straight from Soccer Kid, where you dribble a football and use it as a weapon against enemies. It looks especially goofy that the ball is stuck to the character when jumping. Secondly, it's developed by Probe, which does have some impressive movie titles under it's belt, like Alien 3. Also the reason why the game looks quite nice. For reasons unknown, U.S. Gold decided this game was worth the effort to publish.

image.thumb.png.8c5f302696b17ea3189ee6a75d30ad57.png

 

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Posted (edited)

I just realized this topic is a bit counter-intuitive. How would one know about a game that no one knows about? And is there a point to highlight these games that are probably duds anyway? Oh well, I think this is an intriguing look on the fringes of the SNES library. Here's a another:

 

Super Conflict

conflict.thumb.png.f3a9b98b16b2f490f12ab4c875553f09.png

They tried their darndest to depict action and excitement to a ultra generic sounding affair. A little too much perhaps as that on soldier looks way too delighted for this war business. So what do we on offer here? Well despite all the blood-pumping mayhem the covers try to envision, this is a no frills, bone-dry, hex-based strategy game. I understand there is an audience for this but it's a very specific one and you would think the SNES is not the right platform of choice. A mouseless control scheme for a grid- and menu-heavy game sounds like torture to me. What kid would want this? The only interesting fact about this one is the developer's name: Manley and Associates Inc. Sounds about right when looking at that soldier on the front.

Super Conflict screenshots, images and pictures - Giant Bomb

 

Edit: Forgot to mention that I saw a review where the user tried to claim merit for this one as a precursor to Advance Wars and that it wouldn't have existed without this one. Yeah right, these kind of games have been around since the dawn of time, even before computers existed. A boardgame like Risk comes to mind for example, and all other bazillion war games that take 50 hours to play through.

Edited by Wayler
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Funnily enough, I found about Super Conflict in Nintendo Power magazine and thought that it didn't have any appeal. Skimping out on the Mouse support was a massive mistake on Manley & Associates' behalf. SNES Drunk stumbled on Frantic Flea, which was as obscure as you can get without going into '96-'99 Super Famicom titles:

This feels--and looks--like a shitty ripoff of Earthworm Jim.

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You know something that went well usually under the radar on SNES unlike the Genesis where Sega embraced it a lot more were anime games.  And I mean anime that wasn't neutered into some generic garbage if not just the box art but outright into the game.  A good example of being chopped was Ys3 box and game (cut scenes) entirely, but fire up the Genesis and it's on par, well done like the TG CD release in those artistic ways.

 

A couple solid examples of un-chopped work that flew under the radar specifically likely due to some pretty bad box art would be the likes of Kendo Rage and Ranma 1/2.

 

Ranma has a bonus because it had another game from its 1on1 fighting line of titles (3 on SFC) that did come here and was gutted so sooooo horribly as Street Combat that it's a well known panned abomination.  Here's the really neutered one to start, Kodachi (a girl) is turned into this ugly bony male clown (picture in link,)  https://ranma.fandom.com/wiki/Ranma_½:_Chōnai_Gekitōhen#Western_Release

WTF is this??  Yeah this somehow was ranma.

street_combat_us_box_art.jpg

 

 

Onto the better though, with Ranma 1/2 Hard Battle. https://ranma.fandom.com/wiki/Ranma_½:_Hard_Battle
Hard_Battle_game_cover.jpg

Yuck... but the game is intact within, translated and all and not sliced up.  If you're a fan, it's worth a play, just don't try using SF2 style moves/combos you'll get wrecked.  Here enjoy a clip of it all.

 

 

And then Kendo Rage, another doomed to a terrible box hiding something pretty nice under the covers, especially if you like anime, kendo, goofy humor, and a decently well done run and slash action game.

220px-Kendo_rage.jpg

This one is an episodic hack and slash with a really cute little fun story to keep things going, it's quite wacky and the level of detail, animation and color use is quite solid on this it's like being the driver of the anime itself not just being a passive viewer as is usually the case.  See for yourself.

 

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Posted (edited)

Great additions @Tanooki. Street Combat and Kendo Rage were on my shortlist for this topic. 

 

Street Combat because it was obviously released to cash in on the Street Fighter II -rage. I'm sure the marketing department counted on a few moms & dads making an accidental purchase just on the name alone. Didn't remember about the horrible mangled origins this one had. Just an atrocious release all around. Kendo Rage is another westernized bastardization but mainly by the cover alone. Odd that they left the graphics alone on this one. The title is funny for me because, roughly translated, Kendo Brads, is a slang term in our culture for hockey players (because they are supposedly dumb and just whack sticks).

 

Edit: oh and @SlidellMan, I actually remember Frantic Flea from the magazines back in the day. Mainly because it always scored the worst possible marks. Looks wonky and plays the same.

Edited by Wayler
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I own those carts (not street combat or the non-neutered title on SFC) and they're solid, better I think than they should be given the source.  The third Ranma fighter was supposed to come to the states but got canned given the year and competition at the time it had no chance despite the fact they redid the mechanics to handle like SF2/SSF2 style of play and it's a gem of a licensed fighter, as is oddly Sailor Moon S, a too good for its own good SF2 clone.

 

That said, though I did hold back another I do have, and it's intact too strangely enough.  Super Valis IV.

 

I'm not going to write really much here, I'll leave it on you all to enjoy digging it up, but it's a big franchise Nintendo was largely hosed out of until they all arrived in a couple cards on Switch only recently this decade, getting just this one and the original Valis on Famicom so the US at least was 1 out of 2.  Mostly Genesis/MD (3 releases) and NEC PCE/CD got a number as well.

 

Yet another terrible compared to in game content cover to another title because mmm anime bad and scary, which by the 90s thanks to dragonball was entering the main stream so ...no.

 

sddefault.jpg

 

Here's the gameplay again and with the anime cutscenes too.  Sega fanboys love to ding this game, but I think it's envy since they didn't get 4. :)  It's challenging and good.

 

 

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Super Valis IV is one of those games that I've known about but for one reason or another, never actually sat down and played. Seems like an enjoyable Castlevania-esque action romp.

 

******

 

Now for something different:

 

Cannondale Cup

Cannondale Cup Box Front

I'm sure some of you are familiar with the extremely rare and weird Exertainment interactive fitness system, an exercise bike for the SNES. Only two games were released for it: Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally and Speed Racer. I was surprised to find out this game is actually the "normal" home version for the mountain bike game, released a whole year earlier. They made some superficial changes to the game for the exertainment release (don't really know why they bothered) that are listed here: https://tcrf.net/Cannondale_Cup. I was drawn to this by the rather nice and scenic cover art and didn't know about the origins until I did some research. The cover is weirdly serene because the game is full of 90's edgy attitude. You'd think they would have spray-painted the title at least to give it more groovy energy.

Cannondale Cup Download - GameFabrique

The game itself is a rather ambitious effort at a mode 7 racing game, with terrain elevations to boot. Sadly the SNES clearly can't handle this much tubular awesomeness as the frame rate is pretty bad and the game looks and controls like mud. This probably would have worked better for the next generation of consoles. Though I remember there was a small BMX craze in the 90s. Maybe the developer couldn't wait and collect that sweet, sweet money before the fad ran out.

 

 

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So basically maybe a similar or same (licensed out?) engine that Super Offroad the Baja uses then?  Frame rate is acceptable at best, mode7 I guess, but quite definitely using all sorts of wannabe voxel looking like tricks to create terrain changes, drops and rises, deeper spaces with some pixely water splashes going on while also sustaining multiple cars and other scaled up (faux) sprites along the road as you get close with trees, bushes, obstacles, people, etc.

 

 

I own this one, it's a decent challenge oddly, and not just because of the speed it runs at but just ok design mechanics for it too.

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On 3/26/2024 at 2:03 PM, Tanooki said:

So basically maybe a similar or same (licensed out?) engine that Super Offroad the Baja uses then?  Frame rate is acceptable at best, mode7 I guess, but quite definitely using all sorts of wannabe voxel looking like tricks to create terrain changes, drops and rises, deeper spaces with some pixely water splashes going on while also sustaining multiple cars and other scaled up (faux) sprites along the road as you get close with trees, bushes, obstacles, people, etc.

 

 

I own this one, it's a decent challenge oddly, and not just because of the speed it runs at but just ok design mechanics for it too.

Such a shame that the Super Off Road: Baja sequel was a dud. The original arcade port on the SNES is (in my opinion) the definitive edition even though it only has a 2 player option instead of 3 like the cabinet.

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I'd agree on that about the original, such a stunningly spot on port other than the dopey one piece swimsuits on the ladies between the tracks.  It's such a solid version as I used around that era play that arcade game anytime I found it and it carried itself well.  Seemed like a common thing of early 90s and back stuff.  MK1 sweatiness aside and MK2 were on the money, Smash TV and Total Carnage were pretty solid.  The source port/conversion of Williams Arcade Classics was another.  A decent list of titles were in that 80-95%+ conversion level quality of workmanship.  For some years or at least original source material years the SNES was this odd valley that went kind of a little uncredited for being very arcade like with the ports, not like how say the NES and Genesis did an admirable job earlier on and then faltered more obviously so as the years ticked by.  I kind of amount it to the high level of color capabilities (translucencys too), along with the sampled audio so you could belt out some really solid approximiations of stuff.

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6 hours ago, Tanooki said:

high level of color capabilities

I'm fairly sure you meant color blasting, right? ;)

 

*********

 

Snow White: Happily Ever After

image.thumb.png.88b0855646b42f8f3521821b52c80784.png

What's this? A beloved Disney/Capcom collaboration that slipped under the radar? No actually. Made by Imagitec and released in '94 as a NA exclusive, this one is based on the 1989 Filmation movie, though it's clearly a sequel to the Disney film. I guess as the story is public domain, they were able to use it however they wanted. 

 

The game itself is a colorful collect-a-thon geared for the younger folk and of course a platformer. As per the target audience, the difficulty level is on the easier side. It seems to be a pretty decent one with two playable characters and warping points inside levels, so you can collect, collect and collect some more. 

image.png.2d634dd773df9c9c5e79c5440cb1ea3f.png

 

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Super Adventure Island II

Super Adventure Island II Box Front

 

Don't know about the rest of you but this one has been completely off the radar for me. Firstly, I don't understand the existence of this series at all. I remember playing the NES version on occasion through a random multicart and not liking it. It felt like a lesser, slidy, momentum based Mario ripoff right down to the pudgy middle-aged protagonist with a diaper, jumping in a world he clearly doesn't belong. And the character possessing just an utterly stupid name, Master Higgins. A master implies that one has expertise in some area or function but that totally is not the case here. Anyway, when SNES came, we rented out Super Adventure Island only to find out it was basically a copy of the original with it's only saving grace being the absolutely filthy funky soundtrack. So why would I ever have bothered with the sequel?

island01.thumb.jpg.7c7866c13fc065379331792f65018c48.jpgisland02.thumb.jpg.c9a9d9c195e3e0b6b3468dce8a9f37fa.jpg

 

Maybe I should have, because they made it into an actual adventure this time taking many cues from Zelda II. It's still a 2D platformer, but now there's a light RPG element with items, equipment and a world map with random battles. It's a shame that the soundtrack does not live up to the first SNES installment. I admire their effort to inject some life into the series but it's not a surprise this would basically be the end of our "Master's" journeys. I think they tried a resurrection on the Wii but that one looks horrendous.

 

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That was off my scope for all your same reasons.  I never liked the game.  I saw this pudgy weirdo in a strange wanna-be jungle lite version of some sorry Mario knockoff that just didn't control as well or tightly, worse, he seemed to have some weird picky as all get out timer I sometimes joke is his diabetes meter, and if it drops to zero, he seizes and dies so ...stuff your face, keep that blood sugar going. :P  I've had a number of them, tried them or got super super cheap.  I came across this one a few years back only and was shocked it see it was more like some SOTN-lite style game with an odd as you put it Zelda2 style map of sorts with the random fights.  It oddly plays far better, has more atmosphere and fun value, and the little wanker doesn't die from just standing around with that rapidly approaching death clock.  All bonuses in my book.  The only issue I had playing this one (and I do own it still) you kind of just are lost or need a guide to figure out where to go once you jump from island to the next as it's non-linear at a basic glance even if it likely largely may well be.  The amusing thing is, this one is much like the only other non-ticking death version of the game, the one the US got screwed out of... Adventure Island 4.  I guess they got fed up with the stupid stuff, because if you go by date AI4(FC) and SAI2(SNES) were the tail end of things.

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Shien's Revenge

Shien's Revenge Box Front

This one has a pretty original concept: First Person Rail Shooter but instead of guns, you are a time-traveling ninja using your small kunai knife, throwing stars and some ninja magic to defeat foes. Your disembodied hand slashes and dashes across the screen and both Mongolian horse riders and Nazis (?) alike fall before your awesome ninja powers. Boss battles are a frantic Mode 7 affair against inter-dimensional demon warriors. They have kidnapped your beloved by the way and this is your reason for all the violence across time. As the box suggests, there's also mouse support but the D-pad does a fairly good job at handling all the action. All in all, it feels like a game ahead of it's time (pun intended). Like a motion controlled Wii game before the Wii.

 

This was originally released in Japan as Shien: The Blade Chaser but we did not get this as a PAL version. I suspect it has everything to do with the Ninja theme, as for some reason, everything related to Ninjas was censored in Europe. I think it had something to do with UK and that is why we had to settle with Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, ugh. This one had way too much ninjatude for our innocent souls.

 

shien01.thumb.jpg.9193b4661601c2f678cbc0e847fbfa70.jpgshien02.thumb.jpg.6314d24fa6a96359015d6e2da0bd95af.jpg

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Wayler said:

I suspect it has everything to do with the Ninja theme, as for some reason, everything related to Ninjas was censored in Europe. I think it had something to do with UK and that is why we had to settle with Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, ugh. This one had way too much ninjatude for our innocent souls.

Ninjas are assassins! (which is true)

 

That being said, I always thought there had also been accidents with throwing stars or something that may have aggravated the situation.

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On 4/5/2024 at 1:03 PM, Tanooki said:

That was off my scope for all your same reasons.  I never liked the game.  I saw this pudgy weirdo in a strange wanna-be jungle lite version of some sorry Mario knockoff that just didn't control as well or tightly, worse, he seemed to have some weird picky as all get out timer I sometimes joke is his diabetes meter, and if it drops to zero, he seizes and dies so ...stuff your face, keep that blood sugar going. :P  I've had a number of them, tried them or got super super cheap.  I came across this one a few years back only and was shocked it see it was more like some SOTN-lite style game with an odd as you put it Zelda2 style map of sorts with the random fights.  It oddly plays far better, has more atmosphere and fun value, and the little wanker doesn't die from just standing around with that rapidly approaching death clock.  All bonuses in my book.  The only issue I had playing this one (and I do own it still) you kind of just are lost or need a guide to figure out where to go once you jump from island to the next as it's non-linear at a basic glance even if it likely largely may well be.  The amusing thing is, this one is much like the only other non-ticking death version of the game, the one the US got screwed out of... Adventure Island 4.  I guess they got fed up with the stupid stuff, because if you go by date AI4(FC) and SAI2(SNES) were the tail end of things.

I'll be that guy that likes the NES Adventure Island games (the first just a reskinned port of Wonder Boy), the first SNES game I am indifferent too, though it has great music, it lost the dinosaur pals, was a hell of a lot shorter than the NES games, and didn't have the insane amount of secrets that the first 3 NES games had in them. Hell I even like the ports of AI 2 and AI 3 to the Game Boy enough to get those as well within the last few years. I feel Hudson Soft platformers almost always had a little weirdness to them, not top notch stuff, but decent and quite playable (including stuff that is licensed, like Felix the Cat NES and GB, Inspector Gadget SNES and Fievel Goes West SNES).

 

I know they are more well known for Bomberman, but they did some pretty decent to quite good platformers, especially 2 Game Boy platformers that are weird as hell, and are normally board game genre types for this series, the 2 games known as Momotaro Dengeki 1 and 2 (or Momotaro Thunderbolt).

 

I had a shot of buying Super Adventure Island 2 locally for around $35 cart only a few years back, but I passed on it because I remembered while still a platformer, it wasn't like the games prior to it on NES, or the one on the PC Engine, or the GB ports of the final 2 US AI games. AI 4 on the FC sadly commands a high price, it also departed from the formula the first 3 games had, and I don't really care much for backtracking in games, so even if it was cheap, I still couldn't get myself to buy it as I don't enjoy it nearly as much.

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On 4/15/2024 at 4:59 AM, SlidellMan said:

The Brainies, one game from Titus that was originally going to be released in '92, but didn't until 1996.

Titus is an interesting developer. You could throw any of their games to this topic and it would be a valid choice. Especially towards the end of the system's lifespan they released a bunch of sidescrollers all with different mascots, games like Power Piggs, Oscar, Realm. Were they trying to catch a lightning in a bottle and get their Mario phenomenon?

 

This one's not a jumpy-jumper though but a very sub-par looking and sounding puzzler and the gameplay looks a bit messy. I also have a puzzle: What has the boob-lady in the intro have anything to do with in the game?

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17 minutes ago, Wayler said:

Titus is an interesting developer. You could throw any of their games to this topic and it would be a valid choice. Especially towards the end of the system's lifespan they released a bunch of sidescrollers all with different mascots, games like Power Piggs, Oscar, Realm. Were they trying to catch a lightning in a bottle and get their Mario phenomenon?

The Brainies was developed in France but Power Piggs, for instance, was published by Titus but wasn't developed in France.

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On 3/25/2024 at 1:20 PM, SlidellMan said:

Kendo Rage did get a sequel that was a Fighting Game. Just search for Makeruna Makendo 2 to get a good idea of what I'm talking about.

It's got loads of sampled speech and scratch sounds in the music too. 

I always thought that was pretty cool in the early 90s 👍 when I first played it on my Super Pro Fighter or did I have a Wild Card DX at that point? 

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On 4/7/2024 at 12:52 AM, Wayler said:

Shien's Revenge

Shien's Revenge Box Front

This one has a pretty original concept: First Person Rail Shooter but instead of guns, you are a time-traveling ninja using your small kunai knife, throwing stars and some ninja magic to defeat foes. Your disembodied hand slashes and dashes across the screen and both Mongolian horse riders and Nazis (?) alike fall before your awesome ninja powers. Boss battles are a frantic Mode 7 affair against inter-dimensional demon warriors. They have kidnapped your beloved by the way and this is your reason for all the violence across time. As the box suggests, there's also mouse support but the D-pad does a fairly good job at handling all the action. All in all, it feels like a game ahead of it's time (pun intended). Like a motion controlled Wii game before the Wii.

 

This was originally released in Japan as Shien: The Blade Chaser but we did not get this as a PAL version. I suspect it has everything to do with the Ninja theme, as for some reason, everything related to Ninjas was censored in Europe. I think it had something to do with UK and that is why we had to settle with Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, ugh. This one had way too much ninjatude for our innocent souls.

 

shien01.thumb.jpg.9193b4661601c2f678cbc0e847fbfa70.jpgshien02.thumb.jpg.6314d24fa6a96359015d6e2da0bd95af.jpg

 

 

 

Shien the Blade Chaser is a fantastic game and one I'm proud to own.  Even over here in Japan it's quite obscure. 

Graphically it's really nice but I also think the audio is above average as well.  Some great tunes in there. 

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