Top 100 SNES Review: #13 – ActRaiser (1991)

Creating Civilization In Less Than a Day.

Who needs the Holy Sabbath when you work part-time?

screen shot 2019-01-26 at 5.33.12 amSydlexia’s Ranking: #13/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Saturday is the day I take to recharge and do absolutely nothing related to my grad school program. I’m working at a clinical rotation that is demanding with plenty of homework to boot, so it is nice to just have a full 24-hour period where I can do whatever else I want.

ActRaiser lets you emulate a local deity, be a mighty warrior, and oversee nation-building. The best part: it takes less than an 8 hours! Who else gets to say they created civilization on their day off?

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Top 100 NES Review: #21 – Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988)

A False Sense of Choice.

You might think you are playing SMB2, but really it’s playing you. 

screen shot 2019-01-22 at 8.33.00 pmSydlexia’s Ranking: #21/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

As the odd ball, SMB2 does a lot of things never seen before: it prominently incorporates a transgendered bird, hides rocket ships in plain sight by masquerading them as root vegetables, and allows the consumption of a potion for us to see dark world reflections of reality.

During this adventure, we feel like we are the driver of our thoughts, allowed to make character selections and win extra lives in roulette. Little do we know that SMB2 is playing with house money, and we are just along for the ride.

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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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