Weekly Wringer #99: Gender roles in Games

Another jam-packed episode about the apparatus of videogames. This time the Commodore focuses on how we as gamers occupy gender (and sex) roles within the videogame space. Ever think about why you yell at your character when you die in a game? Been looking for a good excuse to pull out the word avatarial and use it in a sentence? Today is the day to ask these and all kinds of related questions. And in case you thought that wasn’t enough, the Commodore then asks THE question for the 100th Episode which will be coming along very soon, you’ll want to fire up your SNES and post early to get in on the fun of the Weekly Wringer!

MP3 Download: Weekly Wringer 99

52 Comments

  • Red Mage Red Mage
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    The best SNES game of all time for me probably is Super Mario World which is my absolute favorite Mario game. It also ranks as one of my favorite platformers on any system. Super Mario World was the perfect choice pack-in game. It served a great technical display of the SNES’ graphical and sound capabilities and the gameplay is just spot on.

    I liked Mario 3 greatly but there were too many goofy power-up like the Frog suit and the music box that had very limited use. Super Mario World cut the fat while the total power ups were reduced pretty much every one of them up is practical and well implemented.

    The one aspect I was probably most impressed with at the time was the numerous secrets in the game. There were so many secret exits in levels that opened additional secret levels. My first time through the game I probably missed out on half of the bonus stages. I was surprised enough about the existence of the Star Road secret world but then when I discovered the the Special World on top of it, I was amazed. A secret world that if beaten correct unlocks another secret world was in my opinion genius. The number of hidden stages available in Mario World was at least to my something special for its time.

    It’s ironic one of the first games available on the SNES is among the best but sometimes that happens. The game plays and looks great (for a 2D platformer) even after all these years. I’d love to nominate one of the great rpgs or Super Metroid but Super Mario World is my choice. It was a VERY tough fight with Zelda: A Link to the Past, but SMW won out with the deciding factor how many times I keep going back to SMW over the years and enjoy like its the first time playing the game every time.

    • Red Mage Red Mage
      Posted July 18, 2013 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

      Ugh… re-reading my post, I made some grammatical disasters. Please consider having Mr. Tjan add an edit function to the comment section.

      • Man with a harmonica Man with a harmonica
        Posted July 19, 2013 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

        I’d like one too, great idea! Only thing lacking on this otherwise beautiful design.

  • mrandycretin mrandycretin
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    first, i need to throw out that there’s a difference between “the best” and “your favorite”.
    the best = undisputed example of the pinnacle of quality
    your favorite = the one you like best

    so as far as which one is the best…what makes a game the best? is it the one the most people bought? that’s Super Mario World.. without question. Donkey Kong Country’s in 2nd with less than half the sales.

    if not best selling, then what? the game most people can pick up, play, and without doubt enjoy? i think that’s still Super Mario World. it’s so accessible…easy to understand… but still not incredibly easy or without variety. i think that’s why it’s the best selling.

    so i’m going to have to say it’s probably Super Mario World.. the only other game i think can be argued is Chrono Trigger. it’s just that above and beyond what you expect a game to be. but it’s not for everyone. i think you could throw Chrono Trigger at any number of people and it just wouldn’t be for them.

    so what’s my favorite super nintendo game of all time? probably Super Mario RPG. granted, i don’t think it’s as deep as Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy VI, but it’s the first RPG i’ve ever played. as a kid, it was the only one i had. probably because my parents got it what with it being a mario game. but i remember first playing it and being shocked. “what IS THIS??” it was a whole new experience for me. and i still love it. now is it better than, say, Fantasy VI or Chrono Trigger? no, probably not. but i like it better. it means more to me.

    • Red Mage Red Mage
      Posted July 18, 2013 at 9:02 PM | Permalink

      I think he meant ‘best’ as in personal favorite. Otherwise why ask the question for discussion? If he (Commodore) wanted to know the ‘best’ as in terms of sales or ratings, he could just ‘google it.’ The Weekly Wringer isn’t trivia question but rather an inquiry of our opinions.

      That said Super Mario RPG is an excellent choice, amazingly simple and accessible RPG. It’s the FFMQ of the late 90’s but done much, much better. I like that choice a lot.

  • Young-blood Young-blood
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

    It was always going to come down to this… There just isn’t any other way.

    On the 100th wringer, there was always going to be the scientific D6

    (Just for clarification, I’m assuming that this is a subjective thing, and so I’m going for my favourites out of the games I’ve played)

    Here we go:

    1) Chrono Trigger

    I may have only played it on DS, but the game is essentially the same in that version, and I love it. The festival closing scene, the grind, the multiple endings, the great gameplay. I can’t think of any reason to leave this out of the argument.

    2) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

    My all time favourite zelda game, and perhaps my most used SNES cartidge, it practically established the formula for the later games. With various items, plenty of heart pieces, there’s enough to keep you playing for quite a while

    3) Zombies (They don’t eat neighbours over here…)

    Probably my favourite shooter of all time, the vast array of weapons, B-movie references, and the sheer difficulty make this one of the best games on the system, even if you’re playing by yourself.

    4) Turtles in Time

    Probably the greatest beat ’em up I’ve ever played (The simpsons arcade game gives it a good run), it just plays so well, I couldn’t leave it off.

    5) Super Mario World

    Easy choice is easy. It’s not my favourite Mario game (Probably 64 for that, followed closely by SMB3), but it is a great game, and it brought in the transportable platfo… I mean Yoshi…

    6) Donkey Kong Country

    OK, another easy choice, but this game regularly makes my top ten games list whenever I update it, but I can’t really explain why, beyond saying that it’s the only platformer I’ve played that beat Mario. Isn’t that enough?

  • Garmonbozia
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Super Meteroid absolutely has to be considered!

  • I Feel Asleep I Feel Asleep
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 8:48 PM | Permalink

    First off congratulations on your 100th episode Commodore. Now on to the question.

    I think that the best game on the SNES is A Link to the Past. Its easy to pick up and play, the story has some twists and turns, plenty of hidden items, the light world/dark world dynamic, some fun characters, and even a pretty satisfying end credit sequence. It laid the groundwork for many of the Zelda games to follow if not action rpgs in general. The graphics and sound were top notch and hold up even today. All and all its just as fun now as it was back then. For me, the first time I saw the rain effect in the beginning I was blown away and it remains one of the moments I remember fondly from my past.

    • Red Mage Red Mage
      Posted July 18, 2013 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

      I’m going to ‘ditto’ the rain effects. I got ALTTP the same day as my system and recall my younger self just being floored by those graphical effects.

  • DTX180
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    I’m probably not the best person for this question, since I grew up on the last years of the NES (91 to 94), and almost went straight to the N64/PS1. When I was young in the early/mid 90s, my family was kinda poor for a while, and so my parents would only buy my brother, my sister, and me a new game on the system we already owned for Christmas or sometimes a birthday. They always said we needed to save up money to pool together if we wanted a new system, etc.

    But for a span of about 2 years, the SNES was the “main console” in the home. And while a handful of games stick out to me, I’d say the biggest one for me was Star Fox.

    I understand that Star Fox 64 improved upon Star Fox in a ton of ways, but there still remain a few things that I prefer in the original SNES classic.

    One thing that immediately comes to mind is how Star Fox came across as kinda…..mysterious for the first handful of times you played the game. Just watching the intro cut scene when you start the game comes across as kinda eerie, especially considering it was a brand new franchise at the time. You didn’t quite know what you were getting ready for. I thought it was really cool that the only words in the English version that were completely audible were a smug “good luck” (Star Fox 64 did this too, but was less noticeable due to the very prominent voice acting) at the start of levels, and “incoming enemy” from bosses. The last thing I have to mention about the “mysteriousness” of the game was how the graphics accented this. Due to the very basic designs of enemies and buildings, I frequently asked questions like “what the hell is attacking me?”. Bosses like a face shooting squares out of his mouth and a slot machine added to this too.

    I think another thing that makes me love the game is how there were multiple ways that difficulty were thrown at you. They designed the game around difficulty in the course you took to Venom (3 paths- one easy, one medium, one hard), and then in each individual level they rated your performance from 0 to 100%. I like how you could still advance in the game if you weren’t “godly” at it, but there remained reasons to try and get good at the game to beat it on harder paths and get higher scores.

    You can beat the game fairly quickly, but Star Fox has so much replay value. I almost always played through the game a second time when completing the first run.

    I don’t think I need to go into detail about the graphics, and all I will say about the soundtrack is that while its not the best soundtrack on the SNES, it still is fairly underrated and has plenty of catchy tracks.

    So ya, I’d have to go with Star Fox. I know most don’t quite put it on the same tier as Super Mario Worlds, Final Fantasy III/VI, DKC, Chrono Trigger, LttPs, etc. But it was a game that three completely different personalities in my family(older brother, twin sister, me) all enjoyed for hours on end.

    Huge honorable mentions from me for DKC2 and Street Fighter 2. Me and my sister spent hours getting all the krem coins, DK coins, etc. We thought DKC2 improved upon 1 almost every way. Street Fighter 2 was something my older brother and I burned a lot of Saturday afternoons on, and was the first game I could regularly beat him in.

    Thank you for 100 great weekly wringers, here’s to the next 100!

  • JackOfAllGames16
    Posted July 19, 2013 at 12:18 AM | Permalink

    Such a hard question, especially for someone like myself who has trouble making decisions like what to order at Mc Donalds haha. In my opinion the 16-bit era had some of the most tightly designed, close to perfect games of all time. I don’t know if it’s the best or not, but my opinion would have to go to A Link to the Past, just because it’s probably my most played SNES game of all time and a game I still try playing annually. Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 2/3 (4/6) Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country 1/2/3, Super Mario World, and Super Metroid are all close seconds though and I could understand why anyone would name them as the best.

  • Markies
    Posted July 19, 2013 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    The best Super Nintendo game of all time is Final Fantasy III(VI).

    That is my definitive statement and I know there was some debate over favorite versus best, but Final Fantasy III is put into both categories for me.

    The in depth story for so many characters has never been done before in such a short amount of time. The game includes 14 characters and some of their stories are better than most main stories for any RPG. And to have 14 fully fleshed out characters in 40 hours is absolutely amazing.

    Taking the characters stories away, the overarching story is so thought provoking and timeless. Throw in one of the meanest and best evil villains of all time who is just one evil guy, then you have probably the greatest story of all time.

    With 14 playable characters, each one of them are so very different with skills that only they can learn. You can also customize the characters into how you like with equipping them with all kinds of magic.

    There are so many side quests as well that add on extra hours. Each town and world is so unique that you feel like you are experiencing a whole new world each time. And some of the scenes are the best in video game history such as the Opera scene.

    When I think of the Super Nintendo, I mostly think about RPG’s. And the best game on the Super Nintendo is a RPG and that game is Final Fantasy VI.

  • Anatoray_Lizard Anatoray_Lizard
    Posted July 19, 2013 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    hmmmm….best SNES games of all time…
    Chrono Trigger? Naw, how can you have a time traveling Akira Toriyma game and not have town called Penguin Village.
    Super Mario World? Naw, plumber defeating a giant koopa…been done.
    Super Metroid, while a good game it pales to the utter greatness that is Bebe’s Kids. Honestly, what’s better then watching the Commondor play that during the marathon? I know, watching him have to play it twice.

  • Posted July 19, 2013 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    I think everyone’s going to get the “Best” in before me.

    I can safely say that Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, Super Mario World, Super Metroid and Legend of Zelda LTTP are unquestionably some of the best games not just of the SNES era but of all time. They are gold standards.

    But… there are games that never made it here to the US. So I am going to count one. I’m not doing this to buck trends even though we all know that can be fun to do. I’m doing it because it’s the only game other than Chrono Trigger which I felt like playing over again as soon as I had finished it. It too has multiple endings and scenarios, colorful characters and a multitude of ways to play. It’s also familial and fun and is a true gem on the system. It doesn’t have the auditory pedigree of Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda, Kenji Ito, or Koji Kondo… but it still has a catchy as hell soundtrack that you will be humming for weeks on end.

    I speak of Seiken Densetsu 3. (Say-ken den-set-sue)… or what would have been Secret of Mana 2. (Long story short: Final Fantasy Adventure on the GB is actually Seiken Densetsu 1 and SoM on the SNES is Seiken Densetsu 2)

    It is a gorgeous graphical upgrade to its predecessor and it brings with it all the lore of the Mana Tree. It brings forth 6 unique champions whom you can pair up as you choose when starting the game. There are class changes and new things to explore, familiar enemies to beat (Hello rabbites!), familiar themes… Each character has a personal story which can play out and off your sub characters differently. And since they are named characters with pasts and histories, none of them suffer from SHS.

    Flammie and mode 7 travel return!

    And if I haven’t sold you on it yet… who all was sick of holding the attack button to charge that dang sword? Charge attacks are now streamlined with a bar that fills during combat and lights up with each successful hit. There is still a timing element, but it’s far superior to Secret of Mana. It also features a day/night cycle. It really is a crying shame that it didn’t get ported over here back then but I do love it so.

    • Man with a harmonica Man with a harmonica
      Posted July 20, 2013 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

      Thanks for the tip, I’ll definitely look into it.

    • Red Mage Red Mage
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 6:25 PM | Permalink

      I never really got into SD3 like Secret of Mana. It’s a good game but I didn’t like it as much as either of its predecessors. Yes, I prefer “Final Fantasy Adventure” of Seiken Densetsu 3. I’m probably in the minority on that opinion.

      Maybe the party I chose wasn’t a fun combination? I picked Lise (Fenrir), Duran (Lord) and Kevin (Warrior Monk) on my playthrough. With 3 other available characters with 6 total playable characters an two class alignments to choose, I’m sure some characters are more fun to use and certain combinations work better than others.

  • myoky
    Posted July 20, 2013 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    My personal favorite game on the SNES is Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals, which I feel has the prefect blend of gameplay, story, and music on the SNES.

    Most people probably wouldn’t agree that it’s the best game though, and I am probably heavily biased towards it.

    If I were to try to judge the best game on the SNES without bias, I would probably say that Final Fantasy III (VI) and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island stand out as shining examples of just pure quality, it’s very hard to find any flaws with those games.

    • DTX180
      Posted July 20, 2013 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

      Yoshi’s Island was another stand out too. Ya we all complained about baby Mario’s crying, but that game has just about a perfect blend of platforming, action (egg throwing physics well done), and collecting. Some memorable boss fights too. I believe it also made use of the super fx chip with star fox.

      I have only played Lufia 1 oddly enough, and didn’t think it was that great. However most say Lufia 2 was a massive improvement.

  • patlefort
    Posted July 20, 2013 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    Without a doubt for me it is Zelda: A Link to the Past. I played over many times and I’m the kind who rarely finish my games. I just love this style of gameplay.

    I’m pretty sure Chrono Trigger is going to come on top. One of the last question was about that game being the best game ever made. Maybe it would have been for me too if I had played it sooner but alas I played only much later during a time I was starting to be fed up with console RPGs so I didn’t finished it.

  • Arkus
    Posted July 20, 2013 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    Wow, I remembered my Password.

    Super Metroid.
    At the time of it’s release, it was Nintendo’s most ambitious project for the console. It’s size reached the limits of the console. It set standards for exploration in 2d games that were built on from it’s original NES counter-part.

    At it’s core, Metroid is an action adventure platformer with elements of horror thrown in. The game is open ended and allows players to find sometimes multiple paths to find through parts of the game.

    The game even teaches how to play by adding a little game play at a time. You start navigating the space colony, then it thrusts you into combat to teach you how to jump, dodge and shoot all at once. Then the game gives you road blocks that can only be overcome when finding the right power-up. It even manages to teach you how to play without overly using dialog boxes to tell you how a new beam works. The few dialog boxes it does shove at you really only tell you how to activate that weapon, not how to use it or how it can be used most effectively.

    One of the things I loved about the original was how it showed you how different it was from other platformers and adventure games. In most games at the time you travel right on the screen until your goal. In Metroid you traveled right, then you hit a wall. which leaves you with the option to head left. This one thing screams at the player so many different things. Placing the first important power up left of the player was brilliant game design. This sets so much of the tone pf the game. Which path do I take next? Where is the next power-up? WHere is the next boss? How do I get to any of that stuff? Not only is all of this in Super Metroid, but it gives more power-ups and more exploration options, with the grappling beam, and speed boost.

    I’ve more of an emotional connection to Samus Aaron in Metroid without loads of text boxes or Voice acting than I have in multiple Final Fantasies. This all done through game play, the scene where the baby Metroid drains your life to nothing then rescues at the end. The final fight with Mother Brain is epic not just a boss battle, but also as a story telling experience where you feel so helpless.

    Super Metroid was a complete game changer. It offered the play style of the original game, and felt next-gen with the added features exploration options, weapons, and even story elements. I could go on, but I think Super Metroid could sing it’s prasies better than me.

    • Mr. K Mr. K
      Posted July 22, 2013 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

      I never could figure out the wall jump, no matter how many times I tried.

  • LudwigKoopa
    Posted July 21, 2013 at 1:15 AM | Permalink

    I believe in comes down to these, any one of them could be the best.
    Super Mario World (my personal favorite)
    Link to the Past
    Super Metroid
    Final Fantasy III
    Chrono Trigger
    Secret of Mana 1 and 2
    AND the spectacular Terranigma (personal 2nd favorite)

    I’m inclined to say Super Metroid. The game truly has everything, spot on controls, perfect setting/tone/music, tons of upgrades, cleverly hidden secrets, and more.
    It’s a nearly perfect game and I think it’s the best. Ditto to everything Arkus said

  • Man with a harmonica Man with a harmonica
    Posted July 21, 2013 at 6:09 AM | Permalink

    I’m afraid, courteous reader, that it is once again time for me to praise the unsung; and I hope the motivation is genuine appreciation, not insincere contrarianism. Certainly I have enjoyed no game on the SNES like it, so that perhaps it would be only a sign of cowardice *not* to mention it. In prefacing these remarks I find it important to mention that I remained as of yet unborn in 1991, for quite a few years to come in fact; my original experience with this game was, consequently, only initiated long after its release – playing all of its brothers and sisters on the SNES was similarly postponed. To arrive at the plain fact swiftly now, I choose Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together.

    It was released only in Japan for the Super Famicom, like Seiken Densetsu 3 that Sonicrose picked. Today it has been ported, and ported well, twice. Its lead developer and writer was the famed Yatsumi Matsuno, beginning development quickly after the release of Ogre Battle, to moderate acclaim. At the time he was still working at Quest, though he would later leave it to work at Square (developing first Final Fantasy Tactics, very much similar to Tactics Ogre, followed by the cult game Vagrant Story, and ultimately Final Fantasy XII, until he suffered a nervous breakdown and left the company mid-development). Ogre Battle, despite its depth, was too massive and intricate a concept to be adequately realized on the limited hardware of the SNES, and its story is disappointingly dismissable; Tactics Ogre seems to me to avoid that problem.

    It is surprisingly conservative nevertheless, being quite traditional in conception. In many ways it is similar to a few earlier games, such as the Fire Emblem and Front Mission series, but it has an unmistakable personal identity (not present, I think, in the sequel for GBA). Its gameplay perfects that of the by then well-explored turn-based strategy RPG, and its relation to the story is predictably dichotomous. Unlike games such as Fire Emblem however, it manages to reflect much of the story in the setting, and by playing out some of the dialogue during battles, it at least provided sufficient fusion of narrative and gameplay in order for them not to feel like wholly separate units. Furthermore, there are three narrative branches, all of which are quite long and entirely distinct, though leading up to similar conclusions; one chooses what to do himself, and there are other more minor instances of story featuring this mechanic. It is far removed from the freedom of modern, open-ended RPGs, but was handled intelligently and capably.

    It has a somewhat traditional fantasy setting, but again is greatly accentuated by a sense of individuality, presumably the touch of Mr. Matsuno. You can recruit nearly every standard unit, which include many beasts, dragons, lizards, winged men, and regular units used by the opponent. It is also filled with sidequests that allow many important story characters to be recruited, differing per path you choose. This, coupled with the enormous possibilities regarding character classes, skills and weaponry, results in massive customization options. Characters can die permanently, but for that to happen they have to be slain three times on the battlefield, avoiding the annoying Fire Emblem mechanic in which difficulty is created artificially because the players fears critical hits.

    The plot is evidently inspired by Matsuno’s studies in political science, and though to pretend it has enormous depth would be silly, it is nevertheless quite effective and even heartfelt. It is populous with somber imagery, and can be relentless in their presentation. There is throughout the whole thing a sense of gloomy grandeur; it is inevitably part tragedy, no matter how it plays out. The different story branches enhance the plot by showing it from different perspectives, only perpetuating its power and poignancy.

    I played this game when the video game industry appeared to be crumbling, and my interest fading. Someone recommended it to me, indirectly, and in a strangely decisive burst decided to trust his open and exuberant praise. It kindled in me that light which must have been present in all of you for so long; that light which illuminates not a general acknowledgement of the singular quality of select videogames, but the great value the medium can have in indefinite proportions. For long this game slept upon my taste and my mind, and with it I must admit that for a while I watched this show when I no longer played video games. That time, however, has long passed, and let this game be the eternal token commemorating my awakening.

    When I think of a tactical RPG, I think of this. It is what perfected it, and what consequently sealed it off for a long time. It is not rich in innovation, but poverty in that department only helped it. The game is filled with options without ever losing focus, and boosts difficulty without excessiveness. It has dignity and depth without pompousness or pretentiousness; sincerity and solemnity when required, joy and jokes when they do not feel intrusive. Variety seems endless, and often it even has a poignancy of expressions rarely found in video games. Chiefly, it is a ‘mere’ videogame, an unassuming and fun piece of software; and, as far as that goes, it is a really good one. It is traditional and sometimes slow, not even novel and fresh in its own days; but time ultimately equalizes and renders unimportant such trivialities, so that only the sincere voice, whether 5 or 20 years old, truly matters. I hope that, once adequate distance has been reached, it too will find its rightful place in the pantheon of RPGs.

  • Posted July 22, 2013 at 12:05 AM | Permalink

    Hooray, I provided insight for once! Thanks for the mentions.

    Before we get into things. I have seen comments on responses here and ones similar to this about subjectivity. Of course this is subjective, it is impossible to be objective about this. You say what you want, be proud of it, do not back down or let others try and differ from your opinion. This is a very personal type of question and you should treat it as such. Now onto the question.

    For me, the best game on the SNES, not my favourite remember, but the best SNES game has to be Actraiser (go see the 16 Bit Gems about this if you haven’t!). The reason I chose this game was for two reasons: first,the early release date, the second being, is it does a lot and it does those things well.

    Being pretty close to being a launch title, Actraiser was an extremely ambitious game that still stands out today and is quite unique in many respects. It really showed what a SNES was capable of without having the time and devotion to the console to say the great Chrono Trigger. Being basically SNES virgins, Enix released one heck of a title.

    An incredible soundtrack that even had a symphonic suite made to respect said incredible nature. The ability to balance intense action sequences with a god-mode simulation so effortlessly. A great amount of strategy in both modes to adapt and survive without a strenuous amount of difficulty whether it be pleasing people or planning your spells carefully before action sequences. The fluid controls that do what you want when you need them to. The sense of power that is instilled in the player through both sequences, creating a tremendous sense of immersion in spite of the extreme disconnect and relatability with reality.

    The ambitiousness, tremendous care and early release date make Actraiser such an outstanding title that still holds up today. The first time I played it through was a couple of years ago and I was completely blown away with the quality, no rose-coloured glasses to haze my response on this one.

    Remember, this is not my favourite game on the console, not by a long shot. But I think it was the first title to really show what was to come in terms of the diversity and the complexity of games on the console in the future. It is just brilliant.

  • Brakta B234
    Posted July 22, 2013 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    First time poster here.

    My answer is Super Metroid, and here’s why,

    The “of all time” part of this question leads me to believe that the answer must be a game that has aged well and has not needed to be improved upon in future sequels or spiritual successors. It must be a perfect, unique, timeless game.

    It can’t have digitized sprites(DKC, Super Mario RPG), clunky controls(Actraiser), or archaic battle systems that have since been greatly improved upon(Any of the great JRPGs)

    There are only two games that come to mind and they are Super Metroid and Zelda:LttP. I consider both of these games to be amazing action/adventure/exploration type games. I give Zelda the edge on music and Super Metroid the edge on Atmosphere.

    Most people agree that these two games were some of the best for the system in the mid 90s, but since this is “of all time” I have to speculate about how they will hold up 50 years from now.

    In 50 years, there are going to be so many new games and ways to play that only the best and (more importantly) most unique games will be remembered.

    Super Metroid is more unique in that it is a AAA high budget sidecroller title. I truly feel that this will never happen again in the industry and it makes the game stand out more.

    In my opinion, Super Metroid Wins.

  • Mr. K Mr. K
    Posted July 22, 2013 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    I can’t believe it took this long for me to weigh in on a topic. That’s what you get being super busy right at the beginning of your Master’s studies. I hope my absenteeism isn’t a preview for things to come for me.

    The question for this week took me a few days to mull over the reasons for. I knew the answer immediately, but I wanted to condense my feelings and compare the other title that I place in that parnassus of the best SNES games.

    With that, I came to the conclusion that the best game for the SNES is, without doubt:

    Chrono Trigger

    Now, that isn’t to say that Chrono Trigger is my favorite RPG, but what Chrono Trigger does, it does right and in the right ways. Overall, I feel Chrono Trigger is a better game in general, as compared to my favorite RPG, which is Final Fantasy 6.

    Let’s talk about what Chrono Trigger does right, because I don’t think it does any wrong. Let me explain that.

    Chrono Trigger, at its essence, is a beginner’s RPG. It doesn’t attempt to be anything other than what it is. The design isn’t overly complicated or excessively trivial. The story is fluid, straightforward and the characters are all clearly defined enough to have fantastic conflict resolution at not only the end of the game, but each of their corresponding side quests. Then there’s the replay value.

    Other than being busy, I really had to weigh this game against FF6. While I adore everything FF6 is, there really are places in the game where the story’s traction just slows down to a snail’s pace. I despise the interlude part of the game where the party splits into three because it derails the storytelling. Then, at the end of the game, only a handful of characters get any conflict resolution.

    Square admitted the game was rushed at the end. Now I’m not talking about how the game goes open-world for the second half. That was done by design. I’m talking about things like Shadow’s dreams. The goal was to reconcile his personality and have him become Clyde Arrowny again. This is supported by datamining the game. There are combat animations for him.

    Then, only Locke, Sabin+Edgar, Cyan, Strago, Setzer, Strago and Terra have any conflict resolution at all. Every other character simply exists without this rectification. Eight characters out of 14.

    Or I could talk about the Kaiser Dragon, who is also within the game’s code. He didn’t make his appearance in the game until the GBA version (which had its own host of problems unto itself) in the bonus dungeon that had been intended for the SNES release.

    That’s what makes Chrono Trigger a superior game. It wasn’t tied down by these things. The game, admittedly, can be beaten in 12 hours from beginning to final potentiality. It doesn’t need to be any longer because it tells the story it wants to and is presented in the way it’s supposed to be.

    The DS re-release of Chrono Trigger did absolutely nothing to correct story problems from the original release. The bonus content was simply a tack-on, and to be honest, did little to expand on the game. That’s not a criticism. It didn’t need this new content, necessarily, and absolutely did not confirm Magus as a character in Chrono Cross. If anything, it retconned Chrono Cross out of its canon.

    It was a game so complete it didn’t need a sequel. It had replay value until your head would spin. It defied all of the tropes an RPG had stood for until that point in the world of gaming. It was both linear and incredibly all at the same time.

    I also thought about The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and while it may be my favorite Zelda game out of the series, it can be beaten in an afternoon and offers little in the way of replay value. You can do a couple of the dark world dungeons out of order, but it’s essentially going to be the same experience every time you play.

    So, in summation, as an overall game (and not necessarily as an RPG), I have to say Chrono Trigger is the greatest game from the Super Nintendo generation of games.

    • Mr. K Mr. K
      Posted July 22, 2013 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

      I hate when you edit a sentence and its meaning goes away.

      “It was both linear and incredibly non-linear all at the same time.”

      Maybe Mark P will allow us to edit posts in the near future. And maybe speed up the load time of the front page.

    • DTX180
      Posted July 24, 2013 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

      I always thought an underrated debate was which late SNES era JRPG was a better “starting kit” for the genre: Chrono Trigger or Super Mario RPG? I can see legit arguments for both.

      • Mr. K Mr. K
        Posted July 24, 2013 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

        I can see an equality between those two titles in that regard, but in general, Chrono Trigger has a superior story.

        • Arrowni
          Posted August 12, 2013 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

          Chrono has a decent story.

          But the only time any videogame has achieved to make me cry manly tears is when we learned that Mallow was not a tadpole.

          • Arrowni
            Posted August 12, 2013 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

            Sh_t! Forgot to put spoiler tags 🙁

    • widdowson91 widdowson91
      Posted August 3, 2013 at 1:38 AM | Permalink

      I wouldn’t say Chrono Trigger could be beat in 15 hours, more like 25 (15 on New Game +). But I agree that it is the best game on SNES, and arguably my favourite game of all time. I ADORE Final Fantasy VI, but Chrono Trigger was the more complete game overall.

  • fluffykitties
    Posted July 22, 2013 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    I’m gonna go with the original Donkey Kong Country. It’s a game that pushed the limits of the system by having just fantastic graphics and a phenomenal soundtrack. It also helped reboot the fantastic franchise and made Donkey Kong what he is today. Without this game there would be no DK64 which is my favorite game of all time. Very nostalgic for me.

  • SmokePants
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    I was going to think long and hard about this. After all, the SNES is the most revered console in history because there were so many “acceptable answers” to this question. I get chills thinking about the first time I booted up Super Metroid. I remember wanting Turtles in Time so badly that it hurt — and finally getting to play and beat it, over and over, was almost as good as the anticipation. And I contend that A Link to the Past is the greatest Zelda game that ever will or could be made.

    ActRaiser, Mega Man X, Super Castlevania 4, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Street Fighter II, Super Mario World, Final Fantasy II and III, Super Mario Kart, Star Fox — all are worthy of this discussion. But when I relax my brain and let the answer come to me, one game always instantly leaps to the front.

    It’s Chrono Trigger.

    I don’t feel like I even need to support that with an argument. Given that it was the subject of a past WW, it would seem redundant. It’s just the best Super Nintendo game and that’s all there is to it. Don’t argue with me; I have a knife.

  • DJ_ConWren DJ_ConWren
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    What is the best SNES game of all time? naturally it’s “Best-of-the-Best: Championship Karate”
    J/k

    it’s E-A-R-T-H B-O-U-N-D!

    this game shook my soul. nuff said. BUT ALLOW ME TO ELABORATE!:

    the Modern setting puts it above Chrono-Trigger, above Zelda, Above Mario. The Attitude & jokes in this game make me laugh to this day. The story’s connection to music was executed phenominally.

    Are you trying to tell me “ASH” from
    Poke’mon wasn’t really “Ness” …this game laid the foundation for SO MUCH!

    If you replay “Earthbound” right from the start you notice the similarities to “Silent-Hill 2” exploring a strange town where nobody makes any sense, Fighting monsters & Eventually you end up following a strange old
    man down a ladder in a spooky rickety shack. He keeps dissapearing & you have to chase him. THEN your climbing buildings going from room to room, attacking monsters with normal everyday items.
    “Silent hill” deffenetly borrowed from “Earthbound”
    NO QUESTIION. but what truly makes Earthbound the best game on the SNES?

    The Character Names.. Poo! i mean do you really think Donkey-Kong can compete with that?

    “No it can’t DJ_ConWren & everything you speak is correct! i LOVE EARTHBOUND MORE THAN ALL OTHER VIDEO GAMES COMBINED!” -Commodore128

    are you really gonna argue with the commodore?

    Here is a fun-fact:

    Did you know ‘the Beatles’ wrote most of there songs by STEALING from the soundtrack to Earthbound?
    & that Earthbound has a larger following per-capita then Final-Fantasy. More like “Earth-AMAZING”

    HAPPY 100th EPISODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ; )

    P.s. I love Earthbound

  • Kain Highwind Kain Highwind
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    I know I submitted that question as the choice for the 100th episode of the Weekly Wringer but I may not have been the only one. Anyhoo…

    When it comes to best games, it is really a 3-way race for me. Final Fantasy 6, Super Metroid, Zelda:LTTP. I feel like the system really peaked with these three games. If I had to choose one, I think I would have to go with Super Metroid. That game just captures you right from the beginning and you are immersed in it until the end. The atmosphere is amazing, the music is stellar, the graphics, I could go on and on.

    Once before on this site when we were having the discussion about Castlevania: Symphony of the Night someone used the term perfection of form. I think that term really does apply to Super Metroid. It does just about everything right and I think had a major part in shaping me as a gamer.

  • widdowson91 widdowson91
    Posted August 3, 2013 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

    The SNES is, by far, the best console of all time as far as I’m concerned. The quality of good to bad games was ridiculously high, and when you look at the games for it, most of the biggest represented franchises had their best instalments on SNES, or at least second best instalments.Super Mario Kart is the best Mario Kart. Final Fantasy VI is the best Final Fantasy. Super Casltevania IV is the best Castlevania. Street Fighter II is the best Street Fighter. Star Fox is the best Star Fox game. Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid are all arguably the best games in their franchises. Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy IV are two of the best RPGs ever made – in fact the SNES is the holy grail for Japansese RPGs. And Chrono Trigger just speaks for itself. It’s just insane.

    My favourite SNES games are: Chrono Trigger, A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy VI, Super Metroid, Super Mario World, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy IV, Super Castlevania IV, Star Fox and Street Fighter II.

    • widdowson91 widdowson91
      Posted August 3, 2013 at 1:31 AM | Permalink

      Oh sorry, I forgot about EarthBound. That would be in my top 10 instead of Street Fighter II.

      • widdowson91 widdowson91
        Posted August 3, 2013 at 1:38 AM | Permalink

        Bloody hell, and I forgot about the DKC games. ARGH!!! TOO MANY GREAT GAMES!!!

  • jimmyangkim jimmyangkim
    Posted August 3, 2013 at 1:44 AM | Permalink

    This question reminded me of an interview I read with M. Night Shyamalan. He was asked what is the best movie. He answered in two ways. I will paraphrase here:

    If you ask me what is the best movie, I will say The Godfather. If you ask me what is my favorite movie, I will say Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    That being said, the best game on the SNES, I would say, is Super Mario World. My favorite game on the SNES, I would say, is Chrono Trigger.

    Commodore (and Roo if you are reading this), I’ve been a fan since pre-Wordpress. I love the content and the commentary you guys bring in the gaming world. I hope for longevity in the future. Thank you!

  • Arrowni
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 4:14 AM | Permalink

    In all honesty, Yoshi Island. You’d be hard-pressed to find a game that’s more emblematic on the kind of gameplay that the SNES provided, a formula that it’s harder to improve upon and graphics that make the kind of sprite-craft look better in any console from there and beyond. The only one I can see with similar considérations its Castelvania IV, as it is on and by itself the one game on the franchise that managed so succesfully to improve upon a classic formula without deviating the genre into some sort of RPG/Metroid hybrid.

    Now, is this going to make the game Yoshi Island come on top of the best game of the SNES for most people? Absolutely not. I think most “best of” list are bound to be limited by historical reasons, and YI didn’t build a huge legacy after its release. Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI built the fanbase that introduced JRPGs into the mainstream audience and made them into a huge cashcow for generations to come. You cannot really separate those games from their legacy, let alone nostalgia and personal bias.

    So I’m going to be abrupt and state that those games that stood the test of time without the advantage of an all-encompasing gaming thread built around them have more merit for standing on their own. Does this mean the other games wouldn’t have been done so were the circumstances different? Nope, but giving them that credit based on guess work seems simply unfair, they already get every other credit there is.

    The best game has to stand on its own legs without a huge franchise nor a key historical role to hold it on its place. From the top of my head, Yoshi Island fits that role perfectly, and it’s simply put an excellent game. But again, this is me suggesting a method that with clear most games from their social bundle, there are just so many methods to choose what the best game is, and none of them are flawless nor unbiased.

    So if we were to scratch that opinion, let’s say that the best game it’s the game that’s the most fun. In that case we’ll have to give the award to Bomberman 3 played in full multiplayer. Simply put, multiplayer games are always the most fun, arguably that makes coop games such as the classic Secret of Mana all that more enjoyable. Back in the day multiplayer was a commodity, and I think on and by itself, Mario Kart enters the fray because of this consideration.

    All things said, it is impossible for any best SNES game not to be Super Mario World. Chrono Trigger gets the state of art value, but SMW is a beautiful game and it’s simply put, more fun. Did I enjoy the character developpement in CT? did I care about Robo and Lucca? Sure, but I could sit down and watch someone else to play Mario World and still have a blast watching them. CT has memories that give it a great nostalgia factor, that’s in a conscious level, when playing MW the whole body remembers it and imprints a feeling of joy in the body. Gaming, like any work of art, it’s all about experience, and the game that more people get to enjoy can be the best game, and that game is always SMW.

    So… either there is just this universe and the best SNES game is always SMW, or there are alternate realities where more people get to experience the joy of Yoshi Island, and we can believe that a fine tuned and impressive AAA quality game it’s the best. One way or another, we always enjoy the guilty pleasures of Super Bomberman and Chrono Trigger.

  • CrashNTheBoyz
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 4:19 AM | Permalink

    The best game should have the most to offer. Gameplay, story, multiplayer, ect. While Chrono Trigger is awesome (the best) to many people it doesnt have nearly enough to be the best game ever. Its a single player RPG. Many people could argue FF3 has just as good gameplay and story but it also has multiplayer which would put it ahead of Chrono Trigger.

    Bomber Man could also be in this debate for being one of the few games to have 4 player multiplayer which was way ahead of its time.

    I personally was into beat em ups so I give FF3 and TMNT TiT my vote but again thats my personal preference.

    P.S. Chrono Trigger is overrated.

    • CrashNTheBoyz
      Posted August 7, 2013 at 4:27 AM | Permalink

      FF3 = Final Fight 3

      • Arrowni
        Posted August 8, 2013 at 4:22 AM | Permalink

        Beat them ups was the genre to be at the beginning of the SNES era, then Fighting games took over, but both explosions led to rather underwhelming games massively instead of high quality. I think we can also agree that the coop mode of Turtles in Times was great, and personally I spent lot of time playing Contra III with my brother. Multiplayer features were huge back then, remember the huge splash that Golden Eye and Smash Brothers would make just a few years after thanks to their multiplayer capabilities. So yeah… For whatever reason the top contenders seem to ignore this aspect of gaming a bit too much. Maybe we’re biased because most of our 16 bit expériences on that era were solitary expériences, and we go inmediately there when it comes to remember the quality games.

  • Maze Maze
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

    Best SNES game imo = Chrono Trigger. If any game can be said to make a good argument for games qualifying as legitimate art, it’s Chrono Trigger. Now excuse me while I go back to playing social networking games on my iphone and using my WiiU to look for recipes. MY WIIU TROLLS ME. IT LITERALLY TELLS ME TO GO MAKE IT A SAMMICH. WTF?

  • Mog Mog
    Posted August 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    FF6 (FF3 US). Chrono Trigger has more of a polish, but the characters and story of FF6 put it well above every other snes game. I can’t think of anything else from any form of media that has such a large cast of characters, has each and every character so fleshed out, and yet maintains such a great overarching narrative that works with each and every one. Even Tolkien. The undesputed master of fantasy. How many of the 13 dwarves do you remember as individuals? What character traits differentiate Merry from Pippin? Even minor characters like the Emperor, Cid, or General Leo have a staggering amount of life and definition. Even the random townspeople react in varied and interesting ways.

  • Red Mage Red Mage
    Posted September 2, 2013 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    Hey Commodore,

    You forgot to upload the 100th ep to the main site, I did find it up on the blip.tv playlist.

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