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 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 Review: #43- Super Star Wars (1992)

Geeking Out

Everyone wants the same things: to use a lightsaber.

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Luke Skywalker with Bell’s Palsy. 

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #43/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

The bar is set very low for Star War games. All any fanboy wants is a chance to play out their galactic fantasies. Even the most fumbling games are greeted with praise and play due to it satisfying the deep-seated need of adventure and acting out heroics.

I remember these games being a big deal to my childhood-self as the idea of a multi-medial approach was something to get excited about. The thought that you could watch the Star Wars movies PASSIVELY and then play them out ACTIVELY so unique.

This game has a hard time making the same claim in 2018 — it’s grown quite rough around the edges. 

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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: #2 – Super Metroid (1994)

Enter The Flow

An immediately immersive game. 

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Sydlexia’s Ranking: #2/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

Gahh. I’ve been ill all week.

Since I was quarantined in my bedroom on the third floor, I decided that I needed to simulate some kind of social interaction. I ended up playing Super Metroid where you are a sole explorer on an isolated planet with no intelligent life forms. I did end up making friends with a larva, though.

While it might have been an overdosage of Dollar General Store Brand Effervescent Cold Relief, the draw into planet Zebes core was immediate — all I wanted to do was explore, be rewarded, and explore more. You could say that the gameplay was almost as contagious as my flu 😷.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #3 – Final Fantasy 3 (1994)

I’m Not Crying 😭

The characters in FF3 are superb — I feel like I’m saying goodbye to dear friends. 

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This mountain backdrop was very convincing in the early 90s y’all.  

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #3/100
My Rating:cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

Man, has this weekend been junk. I took a practice board exam to only be border line pass/fail again, had to create a research presentation on clinical education that I’ve put off for a month, and had to write a PICO (Patient Intervention Comparison Outcome) on the effects of cardio rehab on pulmonary function. At least I got to save the world while bawling my eyes to 16-bit characters; that really brought me back down to earth.

Something really has been lost in the sandbox era of RPGs — with open worlds and forge-your-own-path plots, no one needs to tell a good story anymore. The allure of Elder Scrolls and Fallout isn’t the characters, it’s that you can do whatever you want.

FF3/6’s back end is non-linear, but infuses each moment with meaning and significance through finding each of its 14 characters. The subtle discoveries and deeper understanding of the characters you play burgeon them from simple pixels into case studies of human nature.

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