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Ziggy587
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Re: Console of the Month (September 2022) - Super Nintendo

by Ziggy587 Sat Sep 17, 2022 10:14 am

I just played through Hook this morning. It's not a long playthrough, if you know the game already.

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With games like this, I always wonder if it really is a good game or if it's just my nostalgia for it. It's probably been a few years since I've last played through it, and I was trying to think in terms of "if I never played this before" during this playthrough. I have to say, I think this really IS a great game. The only bad thing that I'd have to say about it is that there's no password or save feature. However, it's not a very long game. Other than that one nitpick (which you may not care about) it's a solid SNES platformer.

Graphics: The graphics in the game are fantastic. It's everything I want to see in a 16-bit platformer. Most of the game has very bright and vivid colors. Although there are a few levels such as caves that are darker, but they look great too. A lot of the backgrounds are great to look at, and there's a ton of small details to notice. In fact, I just noticed something new today and I've been playing this game for like 25 years lol. The sprites are all fantastic, and beautifully represent the characters from the movie.

Sound: There's a lot of music ripped straight from the movie score, and it sounds fantastic on the SNES. There's also quite a few original tunes in this game, and they're actually really well composed. You will find them stuck in your head after you shut the game off. The sound effects are nothing amazing, but that's not to say they're bad.

Control: Compared to a Mario or Sonic game, Peter moves a bit slow. You can run, but there's a certain momentum to build up to a run. You don't end up running a lot, mostly just to make a longer jump. The slower walk speed might seem jarring at first if you're use to Mario and Sonic, but you'll get use to it soon enough. And once you do, you'll realize that the control is spot on. Jumps and landings aren't at all frustrating. We've all played bad platformers that control like shit, but this isn't one of them. It's different than you typical hop and bop, but it controls great.

The game follows the movie pretty well. Of course, there's extra areas in the game that are not present in the movie. But hey, you know they have to do that. There's cut-scenes now and then. Such as in the beginning of the game, and in between a few levels. They follow the story of the movie perfectly, however condensed for a video game.

After the first level, you acquire that gold sword from Rufio, just like in the movie. It has a kind of unique gameplay gimmick. The gold sword has a longer reach and shoots a projectile (think Zelda). But you loose it after taking 1 hit, which can be frustrating. When you loose the gold sword, you revert back to your standard short sword which has a slightly shorter reach and does not shoot a projectile. If you loose your gold sword, you can find it hidden in a few levels. I never end up having it for very long before taking a hit LOL.

I would call this a hidden in plain site gem. It's not exactly hidden, but I feel like a lot of people have passed over this game because they assume it's bad. There was a game titled Hook on the NES and Gameboy, both of which were pretty bad. And with the general assumption that "movie games suck," why would you think this one would be any better? A lot of movie games ended up being pretty lame, but there's a few example of ones that really shine. And this is one of them.

Speaking of Hook for other consoles... This version of Hook received ports to the Genesis and Sega CD. The Genesis version took a hit in the graphics and sound department, just like most games that were made for the SNES than ported to the Genesis. The SNES version has really nice bright and vivid colors, but the Genesis version looks really bland by comparison. And the music sounds flat compared to the SNES. The Genesis version sounds really like typical boops and beeps from a sound chip compared to the sampled SNES tunes. The Sega CD version is typical, they took a Genesis game and added some CD type stuff to it. It received voice overs for the cut scneses and some FMV straight from the movie. This sounds awesome on paper, but in execution it's pretty lame. The voice overs are HORRIBLE, and the cutscenes are only a few seconds long and look like garbage. Otherwise, it's the same game. If you didn't own a SNES, I would still say it's a fun game on the Genesis. Despite the graphics and sound not being as nice, it still plays just as well.

This game has remained cheap for years, but it seems like it's finally going up in price. But all retro games have been, so I'm not surprised. Still, it's relatively cheap compared to other SNES games. And for the price, I still think it's worth adding to your collection. Or if you're an emulator or flash cart kind of guy, don't think twice and give this game a try!
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Re: Console of the Month (September 2022) - Super Nintendo

by Blu Sat Sep 17, 2022 4:02 pm

I have to echo similar sentiments from others. This has been a fun thread to read through!

I'm like Nick in many regards. I never had a SNES growing up. I grew up with a NES, but I remember the day my parents brought home our Sega Genesis from the Base Exchange at Quantico. That was my first foray into the 16-bit generation. It wasn't until we moved to Indiana while my dad was on recruiting duty, that I really had some tastes of the SNES.

A neighbor down the street exposed me to Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, and NBA Jam. One of my mom's colleagues at work had an older son, and hanging out at his house, we played Street Fighter 2. I thought it was ridiculous and awesome you destroyed a car in a bonus stage. We also played a bit of Ken Griffey Jr (I think mainly the home run derby mode).

I think on a few vacations, we'd go and visit old friends in Columbus, Ohio. My friend Jon had both a Genesis and SNES, and so we'd play a bit of each console over the years. One time it was playing the Sega Channel pretty extensively, but one trip in particular we were playing through Earthbound. That was wild to me. I hadn't ever seen a game tell a story that way.

When we lived in North Carolina, I played through A Link to the Past at a friends house over a weekend. I was hooked on Zelda from then on. I played the NES version retrospectively after beating the SNES version, and it was right around Christmastime that year Ocarina of Time came out. I was surprised with a N64 and my interest in the SNES started to wane as my friends starting dabbling in PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and occasionally Dreamcast.

It wasn't until High School that a friend of mine talked about Chrono Trigger, how awesome it was, and how it was one of the harder to find games. Funny that this was 2000, and it being considered a rarity then. Still, I was naïve about the many amazing Squaresoft games on the SNES.

I actually didn't own a SNES until we lived in Ann Arbor in 2012, and a good friend of mine found me one at a Yard Sale. With it came two controllers and A Link to the Past and Gradius III. I felt they were the perfect games to get started with, and I've been adding to my collection slowly ever since. I've still got a backlog of games, namely the Final Fantasies, Super Mario RPG, and Secret of Mana. The rest of my collection is modest, around 20 games. Having read this thread, I look forward to acquiring and playing through many more, considering the fond memories that have been shared. :lol:
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Re: Console of the Month (September 2022) - Super Nintendo

by Ziggy587 Sun Sep 18, 2022 9:29 am

Castlevania Dracula X

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I've had very mixed feelings about this game for a long time. But recently, I've been coming around on it. I was playing it yesterday, and I had an interesting thought. For years, I didn't like this game for what it ISN'T. But it occurred to me that I should like it for what it IS. By that I mean, don't compare it to Rondo. Or any other Castlevania for that matter. Just judge this game by itself. And when I examine it that way, it's a really fun game!

I posted about this in another thread a few years ago, but there was always something that bugged me about the graphics. It was always so easy for me to compare it to Castlevania IV. In CV4, a lot of the backgrounds were made to pop in a 3D sort of way. But in Dracula X, a lot of the backgrounds look very flat by comparison. I posted snap shots of both games' title screen, comparing how they look. For reference, here they are:

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But like I said, don't judge this game against another Castlevania. It occurred to me that maybe they were going for a different graphical style in Dracula X. I think they were going for a more hand drawn comic book or anime look. And after realizing that, the graphics make a lot more sense now. Don't get me wrong, the backgrounds in a few spots are just really boring. Artistic style? Or lack of polish? Who knows, but boring is boring. Which is a shame because the first level starts off REALLY strong. That fire effect is absolutely amazing, and I love how the flames die down by the time you get to the boss.

The music in this game is absolutely amazing. The composition of the songs as well as the instrument samples. Everything sounds fantastic! As this game is always compared to Rondo, some people like to point out that it's just not as good as the CD audio soundtrack that Rondo has. But not judging this game against Rondo, it's a fantastic SNES soundtrack.

It should also be pointed out that every Castlevania game has differences, minor or major. The developers were clearly trying new things with each entry. That's why I don't think it's fair for me to have previously compared Dracula X against Castlevania IV. Much like how I never compared Bloodlines to Castlevania IV, they were clearly going for different things.

There are, however, some things about this game that just have to be pointed out as bad. I've already mentioned that a few backgrounds in the game are really boring. There's also a few screens in the game that are just really boring to play. And unfortunately, there's also a few screens in the game that are frustratingly hard. Now, I'm a long time Castlevania player. When I say frustratingly hard, I don't mean how Castlevania can be tough at times. I mean there's a few areas that are just very poorly designed, and are hard for the wrong reasons (see: Speargaurds). And the pillars for the Dracula fight... Sheesh!

Overall, I think this is a great game. Not the best, but certainly above just good. It'll never be very high in my own personal Castlevania ranking, but that doesn't mean it's a bad game. There's things that will always annoy me about this game, and I wish the developers would have spent just a little more time with it. I feel like it could have been truly amazing with a little more polish. But as it is, I think it's acceptable. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts.
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Re: Console of the Month (September 2022) - Super Nintendo

by Ack Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:15 pm

I've been meaning to post in this thread all month, but unfortunately I have had a busy September. The SNES is what got me into collecting, was my gateway into enjoying multiple genres of games, and gave me some of my favorite memories of childhood. Admittedly it also has some nasty ones associated with it too, as my brothers and I used to fight a lot over who got to play, and some of those stick in the mind too, but I suppose boys will be boys.

I'm fact, of all my game consoles, the relationship with the SNES is probably the most complex because of when I had it. It's the console that introduced me to RPGs, as friends showed my the likes of Final Fantasy VI, Lufia 2, Secret of Evermore, and more. I'd spend hours playing over at friends' houses before owning one of my own. Those same friends have led difficult lives, so reminiscing about happier times has its sweetness.

The SNES was also the console that I was first given as a form of apology over my parents' divorce, with Street Fighter Alpha 2 as the pack-in. I remember a variety of little apartments I sat in, playing through round after round of combat as my father moved from place to place before his second (and later third) marriage.

I unfortunately won't be posting any pictures at this time. My collecting has pretty much become non-existent due to limited space and high prices, but if you are curious about the size of my collection, I'd estimate it to be "half". I packed it away when I was supposed to move to LA right as the pandemic kicked in, and considering its size, I just never unpacked. My wife and I are looking into buying a house though, so perhaps someday soon, I'll have them displayed in their full glory.

It's tough to really recommend anything on the console these days; that library has been gone over again and again, so much that there just isn't much left which we aren't aware of. Prices are also exorbitant compared to a decade ago, and with emulation easier (and in some cases officially sanctioned), it's tough to come up with something new to say or to point out. So go play Weaponlord.

And yes, I own Hagane.
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Re: Console of the Month (September 2022) - Super Nintendo

by RobertAugustdeMeijer Mon Sep 19, 2022 5:53 am

I'm plodding through Super Empire Strikes Back.
It was GamePro's winner for SNES game of 1993, and according to Nintendo Power that year's fourth best game.

Back then I couldn't care for it though, because Super Star Wars was so slippery and chaotic. It looked and sounded great, but played horribly.
SESB is even worse.
Like in Dagobah you just fall through platforms. In the Hoth base, falling platforms hurt you when you stand on them (!). Why do thermal detonators have to be used within seconds? Gotta love that Millennium Falcon level with the barrage of asteroids and where the Tie fighters hit you off screen. And the respawning, my gosh!
Worst of all is the placement of hazards: it is relentless! It doesn't help that your jump has a startup time and that your slide almost guarantees you sliding into a hazard. Oh and your lightsaber isn't strong enough to keep enemies at bay. If you can hit them, because often enough they're put at angles where they're just out of reach, lol!

Sorry for rambling, but back then, games the press loved and I didn't were few and far between. I'm trying to make peace with this one, but can't : P
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Re: Console of the Month (September 2022) - Super Nintendo

by Limewater Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:03 am

I am surprised at the criticism of Super Mario Kart. I never played it much when it was current, but played at least a few rounds of the battle mode with my cousins, and maybe a couple of times with my brothers.

Later, I spent an afternoon playing it with friends in about 2010. When we first loaded it up and started playing, I remember being a little surprised at how slow it was and how basic it seemed. After a race or two I had forgotten all about that, though, and had a great time playing though a full two-player cup run. The later games in the series are much more fluid, and compared to F-Zero it does seem slow, but I really thought the fun factor was there.

If I can take a moment to air one of my SNES grievances, I have always had too much trouble with StarFox. I have only ever beaten it on the easiest path. My biggest problem is gauging depth on space-based levels. Without the ground as a point of reference, I could never figure out the timing to use my speed boost properly to dodge the large floating objects.
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Re: Console of the Month (September 2022) - Super Nintendo

by Ziggy587 Mon Sep 19, 2022 5:45 pm

Ack wrote:It's tough to really recommend anything on the console these days; that library has been gone over again and again, so much that there just isn't much left which we aren't aware of. Prices are also exorbitant compared to a decade ago, and with emulation easier (and in some cases officially sanctioned), it's tough to come up with something new to say or to point out. So go play Weaponlord.


For me recently, it's not that I'm finding new hidden gems, but I'm rediscovering games that I previously had no interest in. So it's not games that I've never heard of before. Rather, of heard of these games, and I knew they were considered good, I just never gave them the time of day. As the years go on though, I find myself appreciating genres that I haven't in the past. For example, shmups. I never really liked them before, but in the last few years they've really grown on me. So that right there gives me a great list of new SNES games to try.

RobertAugustdeMeijer wrote:I'm plodding through Super Empire Strikes Back.
It was GamePro's winner for SNES game of 1993, and according to Nintendo Power that year's fourth best game.

Back then I couldn't care for it though, because Super Star Wars was so slippery and chaotic. It looked and sounded great, but played horribly.
SESB is even worse.
Like in Dagobah you just fall through platforms. In the Hoth base, falling platforms hurt you when you stand on them (!). Why do thermal detonators have to be used within seconds? Gotta love that Millennium Falcon level with the barrage of asteroids and where the Tie fighters hit you off screen. And the respawning, my gosh!
Worst of all is the placement of hazards: it is relentless! It doesn't help that your jump has a startup time and that your slide almost guarantees you sliding into a hazard. Oh and your lightsaber isn't strong enough to keep enemies at bay. If you can hit them, because often enough they're put at angles where they're just out of reach, lol!

Sorry for rambling, but back then, games the press loved and I didn't were few and far between. I'm trying to make peace with this one, but can't : P


I always wished those games were just a little tighter in the platforming and difficulty, because they're otherwise pretty awesome.

Return of the Jedi was always my favorite movie of the original trilogy, and so I gravitated toward that game over the other two. And toward the end of the SNES life, there were a lot of games that got reprints and sold for low prices. So one year for my birthday, my brother was able to afford to buy me (because usually back then a minor could not afford video games) Super Return of the Jedi, knowing that I liked that game a lot. So I spent a lot of time with that one, and actually beat it. It's pretty rough, but I loved the movie enough to give me motivation to play the game. Seeing areas in the game that match up to the movie counterparts was just awesome. Nowadays I feel like that's taken for granted, but back then it was sort of a marvel. I can remember specifically the levels where you're flying through the Death Star. They look like crap today, but back then I remember them looking awesome, and they were so much fun to play.

I had played Super Star Wars and Empire on rentals, but never owned the back in the day. I remember renting Super Star Wars once and leaving my console on for a very long time in an attempt to beat the game (this one has no passwords, unlike the other two). I definitely left it on over night, possible multiple nights. I can't remember if I actually beat it or not LOL. Empire, I remember being much harder. And to be honest, I never really gave it the time of day. I own them both now, but I haven't played them in ages. I just wish they weren't so frustratingly hard!

Limewater wrote:I am surprised at the criticism of Super Mario Kart. I never played it much when it was current, but played at least a few rounds of the battle mode with my cousins, and maybe a couple of times with my brothers.


Well to be fair, I just don't know how it holds up because I don't know how much of my nostalgia is at play. If I put it on, I can actually get sucked into it. But is that because it's actually fun on its own? Or is it simply because I have fond memories of it, and playing it makes me smile even if it's a bit dated?

Limewater wrote:If I can take a moment to air one of my SNES grievances, I have always had too much trouble with StarFox. I have only ever beaten it on the easiest path. My biggest problem is gauging depth on space-based levels. Without the ground as a point of reference, I could never figure out the timing to use my speed boost properly to dodge the large floating objects.


Same here, I've only beaten it on the easy route. My hang up is that if you die and lose your powered up blasters, the game becomes much more difficult and it's harder to get powered back up in later levels. I guess this is true for most traditional shmups though.

Have you ever accessed the Black Hole? It's basically a warp zone, you can use it to jump to Sector Y or Macbeth, or even straight to Venom. It's an easy way to play some of the later levels on the harder paths.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCGWGwVTftU

There's also out of this dimension, which is fun to access once.

For the space levels, which view do you use? Normally it puts you into the cockpit view, but you can press select to change your view back to the 3rd person ship. I use to always change my view back to third person when I was young, I found it MUCH easier to play that way. These days, I keep it on the cockpit view because the game has better performance that way.
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Re: Console of the Month (September 2022) - Super Nintendo

by Note Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:06 pm

I've finally got around to reading everyone's experiences with the SNES and it's been great to read this thread. The SNES is a pretty special console for me, as it was the first home console I had as a kid. I received it the Christmas of 1992, and my parents got me a great line up of games to start with: Super Mario World, Street Fighter II, The Legend of the Mystical Ninja, and Turtles in Time. Doesn't get much better than that! I went berserk, screaming all over the place that Christmas. My dad never stopped talking about how I excited I was that year. Lol.

However, the Christmas of '92 was not my first experience with the system. I was fortunate enough to grow up with three cousins around my age, one lived in my same apartment building downstairs, and the others lived down the street. They all had a SNES a year before I received mine. During the summer of 1992, my cousins brought the SNES to our home with Street Fighter II and it blew my mind. That was the first time I remember seeing the console in action.

At my cousin's place down the street, I have specific memories of playing ActRaiser, Super Smash TV, Final Fight, Contra III (which scared the crap out of me when I was a kid), Fatal Fury, WWF Super Wrestlemania, and Alien vs. Predator. They also accidentally left Final Fantasy II at my house one day, and that was my first experience trying to play a RPG, but I was really young at the time and had no idea what I was doing. Back then, they were really on it with gaming, and would manage to get their hands on with whatever the hottest releases were.

My other cousin that lived downstairs had a few different games too and I remember playing Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge, Out of This World, Mario Paint, and Super Mario Kart at his place. I remember being blown away by the graphic style and cut scenes in Out of this World. It was great to all grow up together and be into gaming, because looking back on it, we were all able to hang out together, check out each other's games, and my older cousins could tell me what good titles to look out for and what to avoid.

In regards to rentals, my family was a bit late to renting movies and games, as there were no rental store locations close to where we lived, until we moved in the mid 90s. But two rental games I have fond memories of are Maximum Carnage and Saturday Night Slam Masters. The latter is a game I rented multiple times and eventually I bought a copy from a bargain bin at a Hollywood Video much later, around 1999.

The SNES really exposed me to a lot of different genres of games, and also hooked me into JPRGs at an early age. For me, it's really neck and neck with the Genesis as the top console, as the 16-bit era is my favorite era of gaming, and I really enjoy both systems for different reasons. I really wasn't aware that people had taken the console war so seriously until I was a bit older, as myself and my cousins were also lucky enough to both have Genesis consoles, and we really enjoyed both the SNES and the Genesis. However, I got a Model 2 with the Sonic 2 pack in the following year, which is a story for another time.

I never traded in my original SNES system or games. I always really cherished the system and my childhood games, and I still have my original carts from back then, along with some titles I collected as an adult. As for this month, I'm currently playing Final Fantasy II and I'm about halfway through the game. I'm hoping to finish it in the next week or two, as I actually had never beat it before. I used to watch my relatives play it, but I never sat down to finish it myself, so I'm really enjoying it!
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Re: Console of the Month (September 2022) - Super Nintendo

by o.pwuaioc Tue Sep 20, 2022 6:54 pm

Ack wrote:And yes, I own Hagane.

I luckily grabbed the JP version, along with Sonic Wings, before those prices spiked.

I love the Super Nintendo and genuinely don't get the hate for it. While I may have been more into Genesis in the early 90s, by the mid 90s, I was solidly into the Super Nintendo and all its games. It also grew up with me. In the early days, I was exclusively an action kid. Super Mario World was the first game I really aced back and front. But I also loved Super Castlevania IV, Link to the Past, Mega Man X (shout-out to Nintendo Power with that silver cover), Contra III, and I'm sure a bunch of mid-tier games that I don't always remember.

And the games never stopped coming. Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country, Demon's Crest, Star Fox, and Super Mario Kart all kept the system well alive for me, even after the PS1 came out.

When the fighting games came out, I jumped straight into those as well, though sadly they were always at friends' houses. Sometimes we would play on the Genesis and sometimes on the SNES. I don't remember anyone ever making a fuss about which console we would play, so long as it was SFII or MK.

But then I discovered RPGs. I went from Link to the Past to Secret of Mana to Final Fantasy II (I know, moving backwards a bit) and loved every minute of that progression. Probably didn't hurt that I really got big into Tolkien around that time, and the monsters, magic, and weaponry of FFII really sparked my interest.

It wasn't a perfect experience. I remember coming across Final Fantasy Mystic Quest at a garage sale for $5. I really thought I had lucked out. Picked up Kirby's Dream Course along with it, thankfully, because I had never hated a game as much as as I did FFMQ. Beat it and probably threw it away. Maybe younger siblings played it, I don't remember. Don't care. But Kirby's Dream Course was a fun little golf game.

I continued to play Super Nintendo, and to a lesser extent Genesis, games throughout the rest of the 90s and early 2000s. I did eventually get newer consoles, but I often went back to the classics. As late as 2006, my friend and I were dreaming up ways to play LttP fresh without any memories, just to experience it all over again. Little did we know that LttP Master Quest would come out a year later. A bit of digging in 2007 and a few years later I discover all the retro gaming forums, including Racketboy. The rest is history.

I would take a picture, but I just moved and so it's not convenient for me to do so. Besides, they're all just in a box, and how sexy is that?
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Re: Console of the Month (September 2022) - Super Nintendo

by Ziggy587 Wed Sep 21, 2022 12:08 pm

Great posts, guys!

I think I've said this already, but just to reiterate, I've been reading and enjoying everyone's posts in this thread even if I haven't specifically replied to them.

Here's a few thoughts that may spark conversations... Does anyone have any guilty pleasures? Or games that they don't like that everyone else seems to love? Or any guilty admissions of "must play" games that you haven't played yet?

Even though the SNES is my favorite retro console, there's still a few "must play" games that I haven't gotten around to yet. Sometimes I feel almost embarassed to admit it, but I also kind of like that there's essential games that I haven't played yet. I mentioned earlier, and I think someone else did, it would be amazing to experience Link to the Past again for the first time. So I'm not too upset that I haven't yet played Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy 3 (AKA 6) yet, despite having owned both carts for a long time now. It's just that with RPGs, I wont start one up unless I'm in the mood for one AND I know I'll be able to dedicate the time to roll the credits. There's nothing worse than stopping in an RPG midway through, I find it very hard to pick it up again unless I start over.

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Back when the price of SNES games were sane, I picked up a copy of Secret of Mana that included a slightly crushed box. I've read countless times that it was a must-play for the SNES. I tried to play it a few times, but I just didn't click at all with the gameplay. I guess I might have been confused, since people would refer to it as an RPG. I guess I was expecting Final Fantasy, so I wasn't understanding the gameplay. I made a few attempts here and there over the years to play it, but never really spent any time with it. I would turn it on for a few minutes and get annoyed at the gameplay then shut it off LOL. I guess not understanding how the gameplay actually works, I didn't know if I was in the mood for that type of game since I didn't know what type of game it really was. If that makes sense.

Anyway, I fired up Secret of Mana the other day, and I'm actually a few hours into it now. I might have read a few things about it that helped the gameplay click with me more this time around. So it's sort of like a Zelda, but more RPG-like. I'm liking the artwork so far, and I'm liking the music even more. The music is constantly getting stuck in my head when I shut the game off.

There's a few things that are annoying me. Like a few times, I had enemies absolutely stun lock me to death. And it's also one of those RPGs that doesn't show you stats when purchasing gear. I always hate that! Luckily you can look up the specs of gear real fast in the manual. I don't have the actual manual, but Nintendo made the manual freely available online as part of the SNES mini games.
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