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.

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

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. 

Screen Shot 2018-12-20 at 1.58.54 PM

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.

Continue reading “Top 100 SNES Review: #22 – Illusion of Gaia (1994)”

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

Nope.

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 5.42.09 PM
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.

Continue reading “Top 100 SNES Review: #39 – Shadowrun (1993)”

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

Mini-Game > Actual Game

The Ancient Cave commandeered by Thanksgiving holiday.

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 5.12.35 PM
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”

Top 100 SNES Review: #2 – Super Metroid (1994)

Enter The Flow

An immediately immersive game. 

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 8.04.38 PM

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 😷.

Continue reading “Top 100 SNES Review: #2 – Super Metroid (1994)”

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. 

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 8.17.36 PM
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.

Continue reading “Top 100 SNES Review: #3 – Final Fantasy 3 (1994)”

Top 100 SNES Review: #40 – Lufia and the Fortress of Doom

Sunk Cost Fallacy.

As the hour count continued to rise, I continued to play to not lose out on time already invested.

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 5.46.41 PM

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #40/100
Developer: Taito
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star

“Individuals commit the sunk cost fallacy when they continue a behavior or endeavor as a result of previously invested resources (time, money or effort)” (Arkes & Blumer, 1985).

You know, I like to think of myself as rational. Who doesn’t like to imagine themselves as an autonomous agent living out their free will initiatives? Unfortunately, Lufia and the Fortress of Doom dissolved any notion of me being in control of my faculties. This game is a hot piece of garbage, a big to-do list from hell, and it could only be my irrational, emotional processes that made me continue.

Continue reading “Top 100 SNES Review: #40 – Lufia and the Fortress of Doom”