The 16-Bit Gems we've taken the time to play

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Jax Mandrake 4 years, 12 months ago.

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    The Onion Knight

    After creating 16-Bit Gems, I’m sure Roo has inspired a lot of us to seek out the games from his reviews. Well, I’ve seeked out two games he has reviewed thus far, and I must say I have not been let down. Roo’s reviews have been spot on.

    The games I’ve checked so far are Dragon Quest VIII, which I got back in April, and I just got Mystical Ninja for the SNES. Dragon Quest VIII is easily one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played and Roo was right: it is easily the most perfected RPG ever conceived. Mystical Ninja is a purely fun and entertaining side-scroller, and I seriously can’t remember the last time I played a side-scroller that satisfied me so much. It even has 2-player! I’ll have to play that with some friends later, and I’m excited to show the game to them.

    So anyone else here that has played a game after watching Roo’s reviews? I’d like to hear people’s thoughts.


    Deus Malsith

    While I haven’t started on it yet 16-bit gems has really made me want to play Earthbound. I tried playing it years ago because I heard it was a good game but I never really gave it the proper amount of time and attention for me to see why it was so good.

    I’ve played all of the RPG’s he’s listed except for Lufia so that’s one I’ll have to check out. Clock Tower really perked my interest because I only ever knew of the PS1 games (and never played those either) so seeing an older version with so much flexibility in how the game is played and how it reacts to you is very interesting.


    I’ve played several of the games Roo has reviewed before,(Toejam and Earl, Act Raiser, Earthbound, Rondo of Blood,) and I’ve been inspired by the reviews to check out and buy several of games. Mainly, Secret of Evermore, Act Raiser, Pulseman, Dragons Quest VIII. There are a few more I want to try, and are officially on my “When I have more money I wanna buy __ List”

    Vulcan Assassin
    Vulcan Assassin

    This is a great idea for a Topic. Here is my “Gems adventure” so far. I feel it necessary to include the fact that I consider many games mentioned in the gems episode to be full-fledged gems as well.

    I am working on my back log, and I admit 16-bit gems put quite a few games on that list. There are a few on the Gems list that i had already played through, one of which being Dragon Quest VIII. Yep, Roo is right – and has good reason to put a PS2 game in 16 bit gems. It’s the pinnacle of Single Player RPGs (to me anyway). It has it all. A nice story, gorgeous graphic and art, a score that is nothing short of a masterpiece, and so much more. I had also played North and South a lot years ago. As well as a few I started but never finished (yet) – Aladdin (Genesis), Pac Man 2, And Castlevania Rondo of Blood (the English versions on PSN and PSP).

    I recently finished Earthbound Zero and Earthbound. Right now I am playing Soul Blazer & Starfleet Academy, and deciding on my next gem RPG – I’m having a hard time choosing which one to do next. I’ve played the first hour of each one I had in mind: Mother 3 or Final Fantasy VI (I know he hasn’t done an official FF6 or Mother episode but I consider them to be on the “Gems” list). Think I’m gonna go with Final Fantasy VI though. I tried it yesterday and fell in love right at it’s epic opening….

    Games I’d recommend to anyone wanting to dig into after watching the Gems episodes:

    • Earthbound Zero (NES)
    • Earthbound (SNES)
    • Mother 3 (GBA
    • Dragon Quest VIII (PS2)
    • Aladdin (Genesis/Mega Drive)
    • Any of the Quintet Games on SNES (Soul Blazer/ActRaiser/Illusion of Gaia/Terranigma)
    • Dark Could 1 & Dark Cloud 2

    A few brief thoughts on the Ones I have Finished so far:

    • – Earthbound Zero (Mother): Great (but hard) RPG, very amusing game.
    • – Earthbound (Mother 2) – One of the best games I have ever played. PLAY IT. Enough said.
    • – Dragon Quest VIII: I put 70 hours into that game, I would gladly do it all over again.
    Vulcan Assassin
    Vulcan Assassin

    @ Deus Malsith

    Clock Tower interests me too. Especially after watching Arino the Kacho play it on GameCenter CX (check it out you will see). I’ll be playing the english patched version when I get around to that one.


    Deus Malsith

    Is Earthbound Zero and Earthbound the same game or is Earthbound an actual sequal?


    The Onion Knight

    Just for clarification:

    Earthbound Zero = Mother 1

    Earthbound = Mother 2

    Mother 3 is just called Mother 3. Earthbound Zero is the first in the series, while Earthbound is the sequel. Hope that clears it up!



    Why, Roo mentions that in his Earthbound videos, too! ;3 Yes, basically, the original Mother on the NES was going to be released in North America, under the name ‘Earth Bound‘ (yeah, a….space between the words, even though ‘earthbound’ is one word. I…don’t know), and was fully translated and localized, complete with some censorship (direct references to Dragon Quest by name, removing crosses and blood, etc.) by Nintendo of America, but was scrapped at the last minute.

    The second game, Mother 2 on the Super Famicom, was released here though, as Earthbound on the SNES. Some time after this, a prototype copy of NOA’s NES game was acquired, and a hacker team dumped the ROM online, using the name Earthbound 0 (or Earthbound Zero), since well, NOA already released a game using ‘Earthbound,’ and I suppose to also let folks know who didn’t know that this is the first in the series.

    And yeah, Mother 3 is not known by any other name, like Onion Knight said, because….it was sadly not released anywhere outside Japan. :< You know, if NOA did release it here, the matter of naming the game would be something to really consider. Calling it ‘Earthbound 2‘ sounds weird to me…But a random game called ‘Mother 3‘ might also confused people right away who never heard of the series. Yeah, I know people can just look this stuff up online, but not everyone bothers. But well, I guess it’s a non-issue, as NOA is likely, especially at this point, to never release the game.

    What’s funny and, to me, weird is that in 2003, Japan got Mother 1 +2 on the GBA, which as you’d expect, is both games. But for whatever reason, NOA’s version of Mother was used instead of the original Japanese version. I’m not sure if NOA’s localized script (but in Japanese, of course) was used, but all of NOA’s censorship changes were left in, as well as other alterations, such as some map changes, and a different ending. Huh.

    Vulcan Assassin
    Vulcan Assassin

    Just to update, I just completed another Gem. Finished Starfleet Academy for Super Nintendo. It was a good game, I enjoyed it. The battle with the cloaked ship (the Phoenix, I think)in one of the missions was pretty tough, I failed that one at least ten times, but just kept trying and eventually got a lucky torpedo strike. I graduated from Starfleet Academy with a 100% GPA at the end.

    I have to say I enjoyed the game thoroughly. Simple but fun. It could have been better (music was kind of repetitive after a while) but that doesn’t take away from it’s charm.


    Pac-Man 2 was a load of fun. It and North&South were the only games on the list I hadn’t played and I found that the overall gameplay of Pac-Man 2 was what really tickled my fancy.

    It’s sort of like a more linear and easier Wonder Project J, which you should all play!


    I started watching 16 bit gems because it was the first time I ever heard anyone ever mention one of my favorite SNES games of all time: Lufia 2. Same goes for Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia except Soul Blazer might be a little better known than the others.

    I’ve played some Clock Tower, but it was a sequel on PlayStation I think. Still was pretty fun.

    Dragon Quest VIII had some really great aspects to it, and I DID enjoy it. But it was waaaay too short imo. =(


    Terranigma I hadn’t known about (loved Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia back in the day) and the review got me really hyped.  My obsessive need to find every item drove me a little nuts, but definately worth playing.

    The first Actraiser I played because of Roo’s review.  I’d played the second one and not liked much so not tried the first before.  So glad to have given it a chance.  Hella fun game.

    Roo’s worship of Earthbound did make me give it a second chance, but couldn’t get into it.



    I picked up and played Mystical Ninja for the SNES after the reviews and it’s crazy fun. Illusion of Gaia, Earthbound, and Dragonquest VIII are on my list to play as well. Since I’m close to finishing a playthrough of Secret of Mana, Evermore looks interesting. Dragon Quest I/II for the Super Famicom is my next “project”. 16-bit gems is just another way to add games to my never-ending list.



    I already owned Dragon Quest VIII, Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures (SNES), and Aladdin (SNES). I recently picked up Secret of Evermore, Illusion of Gaia, Castlevania Rondo of Blood (Wii Virtual Console), and Zombies Ate my Neigbors (Wii Virtual Console). And I am actively searching for Lufia 2, and Soul Blazer (used to have that game but it went missing :()


    Jax Mandrake

    I’ll just go through the list by episode:

    Illusion of Gaia – I bought it when it was new.  I’m surprised that Roo didn’t mention that in its first run, it came with its own strategy guide – rather like EarthBound did, but disguised as the instruction manual.

    E.V.O. – I rented this from a local video store quite a few times.  I never finished it (without a Game Genie) and I wish I could find a copy for my archive.

    Star Trek Starfleet Academy – Haven’t played it, not a Trekker, likely to pass it by.

    Friggin Aliens With Music & Sh*t – I have to agree that I find it much more enjoyable than the original ToeJam & Earl.

    Secret of Evermore – Not at all bad and maybe I’ll talk myself into playing through one of these days, but Secret of Mana is my preference.

    Zombies Ate My Neighbors – Maybe it’s more fun with a second player, but on its own it still isn’t bad – though it is hard as hell.

    Mega Man: The Wily Wars – Oh if only Capcom would bring this out on a compilation, I would die a happy Mandrake.

    ActRaiser – Again, I’d bought it when it was brand new, and I also got it on Virtual Console.  I believe the only adequate phrase is “HELL YEAH!!” 2 wasn’t nearly as good.

    Aladdin – Played through and enjoyed the SNES one, haven’t played the Genesis.

    EarthBound – I was lucky to find it discounted at a Best Buy back in the day, big huge box and guide and all, and thought I don’t play it as often as Roo says he does, I do still love it.

    Ninja Spirit – I never had a TurboGrafX-16 but I did get Ninja Spirit on VC, and I find it a bit too difficult to really enjoy.

    Star Trek The Next Generation – See above concerning Starfleet Academy.

    Legend of the Mystical Ninja – Another of those I really enjoy but toward the end it gets to be too much challenge for me to handle.

    Terranigma – Yes, I’ve dabbled in the Big “E” (dramatic chords!!!) and I tried this… got as far as the third or fourth part (not sure, been too long) before I gave up.

    Alien Soldier – Haven’t played it and from Roo’s overview, I gather it’s far too difficult for me to even attempt.

    Castlevania: Rondo of Blood – I’ve unlocked the original in the PSP version so I think it counts… and yes, very hard but fun.  (Also, the PSP version has an unlockable update of Symphony of the Night.)

    Liberty Or Death – I can’t handle strategy games.

    Lost Vikings – I almost finished the first game but got to a stage I couldn’t figure out.  Still fun.  I did finish the second game (aka Norse By Norsewest) which is just as good.

    BS Zelda – Same as with Terranigma but it’s so much fun that I had to finish them.  Admittedly, I played the versions of 3rd and 4th quests without timers.

    North & South – Again, not big on strategy, though I might one day try it.

    Lufia II – Among my favourite 16-bit RPGs ever, and again one day I might try to finish it, Egg Dragon excluded.

    seaQuest DSV – Similar to Star Trek.

    Pulseman – Haven’t played.

    Soul Blazer – After a certain point, the only way I can get through some bosses is with a Game Genie (yes I suck).  Doesn’t stop me from enjoying it.  One problem with my copy: the music on the title screen slows to a crawl until the Mode 7 effects are done.

    Super Adventure Island II – My favourite Adventure Island because it is so different from the others.  BTW, I also think Zelda II is among the best Zelda games.

    Sunset Riders – Haven’t played, bullet hell isn’t for me.

    Clock Tower – Not a survival horror fan at all.

    Pac-Man 2 – Japanese name was better, but the game isn’t bad.

    Dragon Quest VIII – Strangely, once I finished it, I had a hard time starting a new game and getting anywhere.  Just as strangely, I have all of the DS DQs aside from VI and haven’t played more than a few minutes of IV.

    Dragon Quest I & II – Never put any time into 2, but I’ve played through a couple versions of the first (NES and GBC).

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