Top 100 SNES Games: #72 – NBA Jam (1993)

I Bet Kevin Durant Can’t Dunk From Half Court.

But I can! Where’s my $164 million over four years?
NBA Jam Title Screen
Sydlexia’s Ranking: #72/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

There must be some abstract equation that correlates creativity with limitation. One would think that boundless space would lead to unfeathered creativity, but I think that’s incorrect: only when we are restricted do we see our true imagination unfold.

You couldn’t actually simulate a basketball game in the 90s — the technology wasn’t powerful enough. So instead, they made a game that looked kind of like basketball by having a court, a ball, and rim. Then they layered on top impossible, acrobatic dunks that were as ridiculous as they were infectious. The end product is unlike the very thing it tries to imitate, but it is more fun and accessible than something realistic — and this game is anything but realistic.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #42- Kirby Super Star (1996)

I Hated It…UNTIL I LOVED IT!

Kirby almost pulled a fast one one me, trying to make me think this game sucked. 

Kirby Super Star Title Screen
Sydlexia’s Ranking: #42/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586

For my fellow friends who have a SNES Classic, none of them understand this game. When you first log in, you are greeted by an office bulletin board with various posters hanging up. Each poster represents one of the “eight” games advertised on the cover. Some of them are extremely short mini-games that are worth maybe 60 seconds of investigation while others are more traditional Kirby but still insanely brief.

Thus, it’s possible to pop into Kirby’s universe, bounce around for a little bit, and then exit unsatisfied having frittered away your Saturday afternoon. I was feeling the same way as all my buddies until everything changed: The Revenge of Meta Knight, a goofy, plot-centric mission to destroy an airship leads to good, wholesome fun. After that, I imbibed everything this game had to offer, just like Kirby → → → <(“<)

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Top 100 XBox 360 Review: #2 – Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)

Still Impressive…But.

Its impact was a bit blunted this time — the game relies on the intrigue of figuring out the mechanics of the world and not the world itself. 

56c03309642be6d3a455693251d3718f85706063.jpg
Game FAQs Ranking:  #3
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586

Video games rarely bleed over into a community event: they occur in palely lit rooms as a lone figure casts a backdrop from the saturated monitor light. Skyrim was a whole other story.

I never owned an Xbox360 or Playstation 3, but my new roommate did. I discovered Oblivion and devoured it quickly. He told me the next installment was just around the corner with the date being an easy to remember 11/11/11. When the day came, I woke up early (for my college days that is), and headed to my local Gamestop. Complete chaos. There was a line out the door, some in cosplay, as we all waited to get our hands on the next seminal event in video games.

Skyrim lived up to its expectations. I spent the next months/years exploring every nook and cranny. It has an amazing ability to get out of the way and let you do whatever ever you want. I cycled through all the possible combinations from Thief-Archer Kajhit to War Hammer-wielding Ogre. Betheseda has perfected the art of reward as you slowly nibble and navigate down an endless candy trail, always doing just “one more thing” for the next prize. Then you realize it is 2:00am. Yikes.

This time around, though, I learned something that lessened the game in my estimation, if even just by a little bit. The excitement and intrigue of this game did not come from the characters or story. The world is filled with thousands to meet, but they are mostly means to an end: to figure out how the man behind the curtain operates.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #53 – Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (1991)

This Game Did Me Dirty.

One play through was already enough of a wasted life, none the less two. 

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts Title ScreenSydlexia’s Ranking: #53/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586

The en vogue thing to say is that Ghouls n’ Ghosts was the original Dark Souls: both are bone crushingly hard and guides are almost worthless. Your only option is to Git Gud.

And get good I did. I overcame frustration and not once did I throw the controller in disgust. No matter how many times screwed and scorned, I stayed steady and plugged away. Reaching the final boss was going to be the height of my retro gaming achievement. Defeating the reincarnation of an earlier boss, I thought I had done it.

Then, the princess says you need a bracelet, a bracelet that she has hidden somewhere in the world. With this, you are thrown back to stage one to repeat all your trials and tribulations but on an even harder threshold.

I have been broken.

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Top 100 NES Review: #100 – Abadox: The Deadly Inner War (1989)

A Magic School Bus Tour of the Intestines.

This game made me ponder: what’s inside my bowels?
Abadox The Deadly Inner War Title ScreenSydlexia’s Ranking: #100/100
My Rating: smooth-starsmooth-starsmooth-star

You know if you stretched out your small intestines, they would be as long as 22 feet. While Abadox is only a measly six levels, it’s going to feel like it is much longer, just like your jejunum and ileum. That’s because during the space invasion through the gut of an alien, you will die many times by its angry inhabitants. I haven’t seen a GI system this upset since I ate a whole pizza and half a chicken in one sitting.

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Top 100 PS1 Review: #5 – Chrono Cross (2000)

Thankfully, I Played This First.

Thus, the roughshod treatment of the beloved Chrono Trigger was unknown to me. 

Chrono Cross Ps1 Title ScreenApe’s Ranking: #5/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586

This is my favorite video game of all-time. Just like its plot, I’m full of contradictions: it’s story is a mess, there are too many characters, non-boss fights are useless. While Chrono Trigger avoided pedantic discussions about time travel, Chrono Cross does the opposite by twisting so many convoluted plot devices in a knot that you could read gobs of timelines from fan historians and still not get it. I’ve never seen a sequel so irreverent of what came before it.

Thankfully during the Summer of 2000, I only vaguely knew about Chrono Trigger, so I was able to enjoy Chrono Cross in a vacuum. It’s a game of amazing atmosphere, music, and imagination. If you are able to float at a superficial level without trying to run everything to ground, you are treated to wonderful philosophical questions about free will, meaning, and fate.

Also, this is the best video game soundtrack of all time.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #41 – Sparkster (1994)

Oh No, Opossum!

It’s more fun pretending to be marsupial digging through a trashcan than this garbage heap of a side-scrolling game. 

Sparkster

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #41/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586

I don’t mean to come across as harsh, but I think this game really sucks. There is only one unique thing about Sparkster: a lighting-quick, rocket charge attack that propels you across stage at the speed of light to a quick death. The only reason to play is the very thing you shouldn’t do. Sparkster is really synonymous with Sisyphus, and you’ll feel like you’ve been rolling a rock uphill to only see it roll back with every level.

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