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Thinking about buying an SNES

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those who know me know that i've played very few pre-N64 games, and mainly focus on modern gaming on my 360, PS3, and PC. after thinking about it extensively and seeing stuff at magfest, i'm interested in investing in a cart-based system - probably the SNES.

i generally prefer RPGs, action games, and some puzzlers and racing titles. i DON'T play fighting games. i would prefer to not pay a huge amount for these games, either. i never got into castlevania or megaman, either, so i'm not that interested in them.

i'm thinking about the following titles.

super mario world - got it

super mario kart

yoshi's island

mario paint


chrono trigger

final fantasy II US (?)

final fantasy III US

kirby super star

beyond these, however, i have NO clue what's out there. really.

suggest something! also, what accessories would i need? i'm thinking i only need one controller, but anything else i should be aware of?

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Kirby Motherfucking Super Star.

Terranigma and Earthbound are supposed to be good, but I've never really had the chance to get into them. Same with Secret of Mana.

Contra III. Super Punch-Out. Link to the Past. Not going to recommend Super Metroid because I actually didn't like it much, but I'm sure someone will.

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No Super Mario RPG though maybe it would be nearly impossible, if not expensive by now to get it.

The Adventures of Batman and Robin Scrolling beatem-up

Contra III

Kirby's Dreamland 3

Super Metroid is a given :razz:

Brain Lord is a rather challenging RPG

Breath of Fire I & II (if you can find them cheap)

Demon's Crest

Earthworm Jim

Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures

Pocky & Rocky

Pocky & Rocky 2

Lost Vikings

Lufia & The Fortress of Doom

Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals

Pitfall - The Mayan Adventure (was actually not bad)

Secret of Mana

Secret of Evermore


Super Ghouls n' Ghosts

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This game was never released in the US. If you want to play it on an actual SNES, you need a PAL machine.

Oh. OH. And I suppose we'll just assume that everyone on the forum is American, shall we?

...and I suppose we'll just assume that Mephisto isn't lying about his location SHUT UP DARKESWORD GOD WHY MUST YOU RUIN EVERYTHING.

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Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

Stunt Race FX


Gradius III

Super Castlevania IV (I don't care if you're not into Castlevania, this is required playing)

Mega Man X1-X3 (Same as above)

Mega Man 7

Darius Twin

Donkey Kong Country 1-3


Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (don't shun it because it's not like the rest: It's still a good game)

Super Offroad


Rock n' Roll Racing

Super Turrican 1-2

Tetris & Dr. Mario

U.N. Squadron (you need this, if only for the soundtrack. It's amazing)

Zombies Ate My Neighbors

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Soul Blazer

Illusion of Gaia

Tetris Attack

TMNT4: Turtles in Time

Super Smash TV

The latter three are hella fun if you can find a partner to play with.

Also, if you pick up an emulator to play Terranigma, check out Bahamut Lagoon and Seiken Densetsu 3 (Secret of Mana 2.) Bahamut Lagoon is like Shining Force with dragons.

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7th Saga (RPG)

ActRaiser (Action Platformer/God Game)

Actraiser II (Action Platformer)

Axelay (Shmup)

Biometal (Shmup)

Castlevania IV (Action Platformer)

Castlevania: Dracula X (Action Platformer)

Contra III: The Alien Wars (Run N' Gun)

Cybernator (Action Platformer)

Demon's Crest (Action Platformer/RPG)

Firepower 2000 (Shmup)

Gradius III (Shmup)

Hagane (Action Platformer)

The King of Dragons (Hack 'N Slash)

MegaMan X (Action Platformer)

MegaMan X2 (Action Platformer)

MegaMan X3 (Action Platformer)

Metal Warriors (Action Platformer)

Ninja Warriors (Action Platformer)

Nosferatu (Action/Puzzle)

Phalanx (Shmup)

R-Type III: The Third Lightning (Shmup)

Sky Blazer (Action Platformer)

Space Megaforce (Shmup)

Sparkster (Action Platformer)

Star Fox (3D Shmup)

Sunset Riders (Action)

Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts (Action Platformer)

Super Mario All-Stars (Platformer Compilation)

Super Mario World (Platformer)

Super R-Type (Shmup)

Super Metroid (Action Platformer)

Super Turrican (Action Platformer/Run N' Gun)

Super Turrican II (Action Platformer/Run N' Gun)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtle in Time (Hack 'N Slash)

UN Squadron (Shmup)

Yoshi's Island (Platformer)

Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Action)

I removed the fighting games, but if you avoid the two Castlevanias, you're doing yourself a big disservice.

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Well I just typed up a HUGE post and it took about 45 minutes (EDIT: Judging by timestamps it took over an hour) but the forum monster ate it, so here's a short version:

You'll need the SNES mouse add on IIRC if you want to play Mario Paint. That should be it for peripherals.

I highly recommend that you reconsider on both Castlevania (CV4) and Megaman (Megaman X).

Chrono Trigger will probably cost more than what you will want to pay. You should pay it anyway, or play the DS version.

Earthbound is impossible to find but it's very good.

Super Mario All Stars is a good choice for someone with no SNES.

No one had mentioned Tetris Attack or Donkey Kong Country when I had started typing my post. I chastised them and demanded that you buy it. It's a little redundant now but you get the idea.

If you're okay with beat em ups, Maximum Carnage is good but it is in no way required playing.

Since you like racing games, look at F Zero. I played it way late and found it frustrating but your mileage may vary.

Super Metroid is the best Metroid, Kirby Super Star is the best Kirby, Super Mario World is the best Mario, Link to the Past is the best Zelda. You might disagree on the last one but regardless it's very good.

I would start with these games, in order (since getting everything seems ridiculous):

Super Mario World

Link to the Past


FF3 (might wait since it's around $30 on Half for just the cart)

Super Metroid


EDIT: Every SNES game Square made is absolutely brilliant. I believe I had something to that effect in my original post.

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Demon's Crest is the hidden gem of the SNES, make sure to pick it up if you can find it.

Similarly underrated, Uniracers is a really unique racer that continues to be a blast to play.

Earthbound plays very much like an older Dragon Quest game -- the entire game is basically making fun of how serious fantasy RPGs take themselves.

Avoid Final Fantasy 4 (II) on the SNES -- the American version has damn near all of the cool abilities stripped away and is vastly inferior to the other available releases (PSX, GBA, NDS).

Final Fantasy 6 (III) is the best of the entire series, and the US release was extremely good -- Ted Woolsey's best translation.

Chrono Trigger is really, really good but also really, really expensive. Buy it on DS instead (which comes with the PSX anime cutscenes as a bonus).

Super Mario RPG is extremely fun, and despite Ninteno's best efforts to drop Mario into an RPG setting, they've never been able get it done as well as Square did.

Robotrek is a fine RPG that doesn't get enough attention. Get it if you can find it.

Lost Vikings is fun as hell if you like puzzle games with a touch of action. Highly recommended, as is the sequel.

Donkey Kong Country 2 is the best of the trilogy, though all of them are excellent and worth getting.

IMO unless you are a purist, skip Final Fight (the whole series) and make the only brawler you buy Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage. It's the best on the system, hands down.

Finally, _don't_ buy Super Bomberman 2. While it's the best of the series, 90% of the features have crawled into the Xbox Live version, which you should get instead (so you can play with all of us! :P)

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Tales of Phantasia is hands-down the best game on the SNES. Unfortunately, it's Japanese-only. The only official English translation is for the GBA, so if you'd need that then you may as well get the GBA version instead.

Otherwise, well, everything else I'd have in mind has already been mentioned. But given your preferences, the SNES is the perfect system to get. (And I say this despite being a Sega fan back in the day.) KF

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If your emphasis is on games you can get cheap, well... Good luck. Earthbound is gonna cost you ~$100, as might Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG (although the last one is more like $60). Of course, you can always find deals and people who don't know how much their stuff is worth, so again (and I mean this with no sarcasm): good luck.

There is very little that I would add to the lists that have already come up. I don't recall seeing them, so I'll throw in Aero the Acrobat and Earthworm Jim 1 + 2. Really fun action games.

Now I wish I was back home with all of my lovely games... I want to play them all over again, all at the same time...

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thanks for all the suggestions, people. i'd like it better if people did what ryan did, where they broke it down. like i said, i'm not much of a retro gamer, so i'm not looking for a list fifty games long

Afraid to do some research on what people wrote on your own? Wanna be bottle fed like a widdle itty bitty baby? Come on, take my hand...

7th Saga- One of Enix's RPGs. A common issue some folks had was how hard it could be when you got sent to the past, but if you don't have a problem with level grinding, that can be over come, allowing you to enjoy the rest of the game. Nice graphics, good music, and a decent story as well.

ActRaiser- Another Enix title, this one mixes a bit of Populous-like God playing in with the side-scrolling action sections. The graphics are quite nice for an early SNES title, and the music is very good. Offers up a nice challenge, without being cheap.

ActRaiser II- Want a game that'll make you cry? Here you go. Great graphics and some very nice music wrap themselves around the insane difficulty. The God sections are gone, making it pure side-scrolling, but being different from the first doesn't mean worse. Just be ready to swear at your TV screen a lot.

Axelay- A Konami shmup that uses extensive Mode 7 effects for half the stages, and regular side-scrolling stages for the other half. I find the 3D stages to be a bit dull in comparison, but the game still comes of well. Nice graphics, great tunes, and a solid challenge.

Biometal- A side-scrolling shmup from Athena, which Activision brought over to The States, and threw 2 Unlimited music into. The graphics are quite good, the music isn't bad, and this game will offer up a good challenge with an interesting sub-weapon.

Castlevania IV- Very easy, but quality entry in the franchise. Very nice music, great early SNES graphics, and a lot of stages to play through.

Castlevania: Dracula X- A pseudo-sequel to Akumajo Dracula X Chi no Rondo (Dracula X: Rondo of Blood), this game gets a lot of shit that it doesn't deserve. It has the same soundtrack as the CD-based "Rondo" (which the SNES does a great job reproducing), and uses a similar gameplay mechanic (rescue chicks), but it has so many different stages and such, that calling it a port doesn't really describe it. The graphics are great, the stages are good, and the only complaint that I feel can be leveled against it, are the "bounce me back and forth until I die" deaths that come from the painfully short invincibility time when you get hit.

Contra III: The Alien Wars- It's Contra. You know what to expect. Good early SNES graphics, some cool effects, and good music. Not as tough as other entries in the franchise, and the top view stages aren't as much fun as the side-scrolling ones, but it's still good stuff.

Cybernator + Metal Warriors- Part of the "Assult Suit" games (Target Earth on the Genesis was another), you hop into your Mech suit, and blast bad guys using various weapons. They look great, sound good, and the 2 player mode in MW is a blast. I love them, but they are a bit slower paced, and don't appeal to everyone. Try emulating them first to see if you're into it.

Demon's Crest- A part of the "Ghosts" and Gargoyle Quest games, it's a fine game that got overlooked by some. Fantastic graphics, very good music, and a solid challenge to get the best ending. Great atmosphere too, with some tough levels.

Firepower 2000- Top view shmup where you can play as either a jeep or a helicopter. Good graphics, good music, and a good challenge. Doesn't do anything revolutionary, but it offers up a fun "kill anything that moves" gaming session.

Gradius III- Yes, it has a lot of slowdown. And yes, it's missing the 3D stages from the arcade game. But those things aside, this is a good port of Konami's classic. There's not much else to say beyond... it's Gradius. Just get it.

Hagane- A Shinobi-esque platformer with some very good graphics, music, and a tough challenge. It didn't get a lot of attention, but if you enjoyed games like Revenge of Shinobi or Shinobi III, you'll feel right at home with this.

The King of Dragons- A straight-forward hack 'n slasher, where you choose from several character types, and slice your way through hordes of enemy creatures. Akin to Golden Axe and its ilk, it's simple, but fun. A solid port of the arcade game, with nice graphics, some good music, and a tough challenge.

MegaMan X- Do these need to be described?

MegaMan X2- I didn't think so.

MegaMan X3- Just get them. They're good.

Ninja Warriors- A sequel to Taito's Ninja Warriors (three screened arcade game), it's a good Final Fight-esque beat'em up with very nice graphics, good tunes, and a solid challenge. Choose from three different fighters, and go to town.

Nosferatu- What do you get if you mix Prince of Persia (DOS) with Dracula? Here you go. Very nice graphics, smooth animation, and some enjoyable music as you make your way through the castle and its ground to rescue your girl. It's a tough game, but it's fun.

Phalanx- Nothing ground breaking about this side-scrolling shmup, but it does it's job well by giving you plenty of stages, a good challenge, and so forth. It's just a solid shmup.

R-Type III: The Third Lightning- The SNES's best shmup in my opinion. Great graphics, great music, one hell of challenge, and a nice advancement in the classic R-Type gameplay by offering up three different force balls to choose from. If you like shmups, and you don't like this one, there's something very wrong with you.

Skyblazer- A forgotten gem on the SNES. Very nice graphics, good music, and a quality action title that's not too taxing on the reflexes. Plays a little bit like a mix of Actraiser with touches of Mario, with some flying stages to break up the regular platforming ones.

Space Megaforce- Top view shmup by the famous Compile group. It uses some cool Mode 7 effects in spots, but it's still basically a straight-forward blast-a-thon. Good early SNES graphics, some good music, and weapons that can be powered way the hell up. Lots of stages as well, and it offers different modes to play the game in.

Sparkster- Remember Rocket Knight Adventures? Here's the sequel. Plays much the same, looks much the same, but it's a whole knew group of baddies to get rid of. Great graphics, great music, fun gameplay, and a healthy challenge. It's different from the Genesis game of the same name, so even if you have that one, this one's a must get.

Star Fox- C'mon. It's Star Fox. Who doesn't know about this game? The FX chip does a nice job making the 3D world, the music is quite good, and having three different courses to play through (plus hidden stages) gives this game a healthy dose of replayability.

Sunset Riders- Straight up brawler in fine Konami fashion. Choose one of four characters, and go after the bad guy in Old West style. Good graphics, very good music, and it's a tough little game too.

Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts- Just get it. Hard as a fucking rock, but awesome in every way.

Super Mario All-Stars- Remakes of the three NES Mario games, plus the original second game that only came out in Japan. The graphics and music are redone to look like Super Mario World.

Super Mario World- Duh.

Super R-Type- This is, for all intents and purposes, R-Type II for the SNES with a few differences. It's riddled with slowdown, but the gameplay of the series still shines through. Very nice graphics, good tunes, and a solid challenge.

Super Metroid- If you don't get this, you should be banned. Arguably the best entry in the franchise. Great graphics, music, challenge, and a hidden ending if you can beat it fast enough.

Super Turrican + Super Turrican II- Like the orignal games on the Amiga, it's basically a run 'n gun with some platforming thrown in at times. Lots of action, a tough challenge, some fantastic music, and great graphics. The second game adds in CGI rendered graphics and some Mode 7 3D stages which can be pretty tough, but these games are quality action titles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtle in Time- It's not arcade perfect, but it's a fine game. Pick a turtle and beat the shit out of the Foot Clan. Very nice graphics, good tunes (though I prefer the Genesis version of those tunes), and while it is pretty easy, it's a fun game to sit down with for an hour and pummel away with.

UN Squadron- A shmup based off of the Anime, it's a pretty standard shmup by Capcom, but it's good. It doesn't break new ground, but it hits all its marks pretty well.

Yoshi's Island- Just get it. Don't ask why, just get it.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors- A top view action game that pays some heavy homages to horror flicks, it's just fun. Tough as nails, but fun. Great graphics, good music, lots of stages, and some good humor scattered about. You fight masked murderers and giant babies. What more do you want?

There. More info. And yes, I was just being a smart ass up top. Don't take it (too) seriously ;-)

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