Top 100 SNES Review: #16 – Donkey Kong Country (1994)

Symbiotic Relationships.

An Animal Kingdom Lesson in Teamwork within Opposing Forces.

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Surf and Turf.

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #16/100
Developer: Rare
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

This is the traditional way we view our animal counter parts: a hierarchy of classification, labeled and lined for our own purpose. What Aristotle started, we finished. But, what if there is more to our DNA resembling brothers and sisters?

Donkey Kong teaches us that there is an endowed balance within the universe, and the tension between these opposites can produce profound effects.

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Top 100 NES Review: #25 – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (1988)

No Safe Spaces Allowed.

This game should be renamed to Zelda II: The Adventure of Microaggressions.

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Sydlexia’s Ranking: #25/100
My Rating:smooth-starsmooth-starsmooth-star

I just listened to a podcast with Joe Rogan and Jonathan Haidt. The topic was the culture of college campuses and the creation safe zones — places where you are free from discomfort. Haidt, a psychologist, thinks this is creating fragile personalities, ones that can not withstand the stresses of living in a functioning society when these students enter post-college life.

When looking at other reviews for this game, I saw people saying Zelda II is too hard, unfair, confusing, petty, cruel, and cheap. Was it this same sanctuary attitude churning out gamers unwilling to be challenged? I decided to play this game guide free* to see if the standards were truly unreasonable.**

* It didn’t happen.
**They were. 

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Top 100 SNES Review: #1 – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991)

The Experience of a Game.

This game is one of the best, but it had me thinking — how different it was to play games back then. 

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 3.05.41 PMSydlexia’s Ranking: #1/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

This is the Iliad for the SNES; there is much wisdom to be learned from one of the best video games of all time that it has been rightfully picked apart from any angle. Want to learn about its map design? Someone’s done it here.  Or their systematic approach to making enemies? Here’s an in-depth analysis.

It has been over ten years since I marched through these Hyrule fields. It was remarkable how much I maintained in some hidden consciousness. I knew intuitively how to solve many of the problems that gave me fits long ago. This made me wonder: there are immense differences in expectations and experiences for video games that are never coming back.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #22 – Illusion of Gaia (1994)

Are You Awake?

This game’s puzzles are so easy you can use them for consciousness screening. 

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Sydlexia’s Ranking: #22/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star

Playing Illusion of Gaia is like having an intense dream. The game is easy to play subconsciously, and the story doesn’t have any concrete sense of cause and effect; you will be whisked away randomly from desert to sea to land simply because a NPC says “off to ‘so and so’ next!” Anyone who is more sentient than a ham sandwich will be able to thrive.

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Top 100 SNES Games: #32 – Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994)

Hurts The Mind and Fingers.

A unique use of repetitive challenges that tests the human spirit.

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A city perilous with fraughts: an umbrella wielding citizen.

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #32/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

A superhero beat-em-up game shouldn’t be hard to pull off: make the rewards equal the challenges, give some nice tight control over the superhero, and provide a nice array of combos. Simple.

I guess if you were to make it insanely difficult, have poor control over the character, and make combat moves suicidal and random, it could affect the quality of experience. Oops.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #39 – Shadowrun (1993)

Nope.

Games that require guides to complete them in a fun manner aren’t games. 

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Jake’s future dystopia which quickly becomes your present one.

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #39/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star

Shadowrun was doing everything so right.

When a puzzle arose, different hypotheses could be formed and tested with the appropriate interplay of challenge, confusion, and reward. You never were at a complete loss (having no clue where to start) using the last resort plug-and-chug method (recounting every step, taking to every NPC, trying every command). The story pointed you in the right direction — it was then up to you to piece it together.

You had to do some repetitive grinding for levels and endure moments of uncertainty, but a framework held it together.

Until this wacka-doodle of a game spirals out of control.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #50 – Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals

Mini-Game > Actual Game

The Ancient Cave commandeered by Thanksgiving holiday.

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A Bob Ross inspired landscape with Phthalo Blue and Titanium White mountains.

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #50/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

The original Lufia was a garbage heap, and Lufia II doesn’t try to fix the original problems, particularly the conglomeration of fetch quests masquerading as a main storyline. It is better though!

Each dungeon now has a puzzle element, very reminiscent of a Legend of Zelda, where you have to push, pull, and place things in the environment to open up passages to bosses. So while you might not have much emotional drive to slug your way through fetch quest #71 due to lack of character development, you will get the personal satisfaction of solving some very neat puzzles.

Then of course, the ANCIENT CAVE.

Continue reading “Top 100 SNES Review: #50 – Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals”