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Bullet - For SNES
Spike McFang
Act-Adventue | 8 MB
Release: June 1994
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Undoubtedly the highlight of this month's reviews, The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang is a must buy for all Super Nintendo owners. McFang is an action role-playing/adventure title developed by Bullet-Proof Software. It presents an engaging vampiric story, awesome-looking pixel graphics, and an amusing collection of animations to boot. Throw your hat like a deadly boomerang or toss out cards to tackle foes throughout the mysterious island of Vladamasco. Along the lines of Soul Blazer, McFang has a ton to offer and is sure to take a long time to complete. Thank goodness for those battery saves!


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Data East - For SNES
Fighter's History
Fighter | 20 MB
Release: June 1994
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Data East wants in on that fighting game action! Fighter's History is indeed their shot at stardom and, yes, an attempt to capitalize on the SF2 craze. Before diving into this one, an entertaining tidbit to note is how similar Capcom found FH as well. This title was a target of a copyright lawsuit by the big C, who alleged theft and demanded FH be stopped at all costs! Well, Capcom lost that battle, but they will likely win the war. In sales, that is. Data East delivered a generic and derivative fighter than has little to offer on its own. Our recommendation is to hold onto your funds until SSF2 is released next month.


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Jaleco - For SNES
Peace Keepers
Brawler | 16 MB
Release: April 1994
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Lennon asked us to give peace a chance, so here we are! The Peace Keepers is a brawler/beat-em-up for SNES by Jaleco and a threequel to the lesser-known titles Rival Turf! and Brawl Brothers. One look at this cart and memories of Final Fight may flood your brain, but unoriginal though it may be, we deem TPK an above-average outing complete with sharp graphics and multiple, branching storylines for added replayability. Four players can brawl cooperatively with the Super Multitap, or you could journey out as a lone ranger if you so desire. With lots to love in TPK, I suppose the third time truly is the charm.


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Capcom - For SNES
Mega Man Soccer
Sports | 12 MB
Release: Apr 1994
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Capcom has delivered a second Mega Man title exclusively for SNES systems, and this time it's war on the soccer pitch! Mega Man Soccer is a fun sports simulator with an arcade-like feel. It brings the Mega personality and colorful graphics of the titular series and loads it all up within this lighthearted soccer arena. Play control is not the greatest - a bit sluggish and cumbersome for a younger audience to enjoy. This cart does exhibit a wonderful four-player mode for party play as well as a password feature. A fine rental with some charm, but nowhere close to X.


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Nintendo - For SNES
Super Metroid
Act-Adventure | 24 MB
Release: Apr 1994
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After a long wait, Samus is here in all of her 16-Bit glory. Nintendo's first smash hit of 1994 has arrived, and boy does it deliver on all fronts. Super Metroid is an action-adventure title, chock full of labyrinthian exploration complete with nasty bosses and secret rooms. Fans of the NES original will find tons to love in this Super cart: Beautiful graphics, stellar music, an array of weapon types, and pinpoint control accuracy. Once you get sucked in, you may find yourself playing Super Metroid for hours and hours on end. Leave it to the Big N to remind us to cherish our SNES.


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Capcom - For SNES
Knights of the Round
Brawler | 12 MB
Release: Apr 1994
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Knights of the Round is the latest in a string of arcade rips for SNES. Looking past Capcom's bizarre choice to release the markedly similar King of Dragons right alongside this cart, it cannot be said that the developers did a poor job at translating this for home systems. Choose from three characters; Lancelot, Arthur, and Percibal, and bash your way through the shockingly unsafe Kingdom of Camelot. Albeit no Final Fight, Knights controls splendidly and has a great deal of replay value thanks to its cooperative mode. An excellent beginner brawler for all ages to enjoy.


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Activision - For SNES
X-Kaliber 2097
Brawler | 16 MB
Release: Mar 1994
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In a surreal world fraught with killer aliens, mutants, and robots, it's up to you to save the world. Grab X-Kaliber, a sword of mystical powers, and take down the notorious Raptor and his evil henchmen. This science fiction title created by Activision has all the marks of a competent scrolling-brawler. Programmers on this cart skillfully brought to life this idea of a tarnished future with foreground and background graphics stylistically akin to those of Strider. Pull your buddy into the fray with X-Kaliber's cooperative mode for double trouble! A sharp title with an edge that's worth an honest look.


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Capcom - For SNES
King of Dragons
Brawler | 16 MB
Release: Apr 1994
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Capcom's The King of Dragons, one of our favorites at the neighborhood arcade, has made its way to Super NES consoles starting in April. Explore sixteen challenging levels and conquer a large array of baddies on your way to bring down the mighty red dragon: Gildiss. Players will choose from five toughened warriors, each with their own sizes, speeds, and attach ranges. Gain levels as your game progresses to grow more powerful! The inclusion of a two-player mode doubles the fun (and the chaos!). This is a faithful translation, but if brawlers aren't your thing, do yourself a favor and skip it.


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Data East - For SNES
Joe & Mac 2
Action-Adventure | 8 MB
Release: Mar 1994
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Those crazy cavemen are back and sillier than ever in Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics. Talk about an upgrade! Joe & Mac was a fairly decent SNES title from awhile back in the system's life, but it suffered from a lack of features and more-than-occasional slowdown. J&M2 expands the world of the original from its addition of villages, new attack combinations, vehicle gameplay, and, thankfully, a save feature. In confining itself to 8 MEGS, Data East under-delivered on its graphically-creative capabilities. Still, we've concluded J&M2 is a grand ol' time for everybody from Old Ugg to Baby Pebbles.


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Mindscape - For SNES
Alfred Chicken
Action-Platformer | 8 MB
Release: Feb 1994
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An Amiga game, huh? Alfred Chicken, a "Hero of Another Feather" according to Minescape's adverts, is the newest in a long, long line of mascot platformers on the SNES. This cart is targeted primarily at the younger gaming demographic (or, at least, we hope so), and is overall the textbook definition of a tedious platforming game: Avoid obstacles, collect gems, find the exit, rinse and repeat. The titular chicken controls poorly despite its cute appearance, and the ultra-bright Amiga palette in this game can grow tiring to look at. Players searching for a slowly paced, simplistic SNES cart should start right here. Total snooze-a-rama!


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Imagineer - For SNES
Wolfenstein 3D
First-Person Shooter | 8 MB
Release: Mar 1994
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Tom Hall and John Romero's surprise 1992 DOS hit, Wolfenstein 3D finally found its way to the Super Nintendo. This translation was brought to you by a small Japanese game company named Imagineer. Have they "imagined" a proper port? Mostly so. Albeit limited by crushed 16-Bit graphics and a shrunken framerate, the first-person gameplay is well enough. Exploring maze-like levels in a 3-D environment never brings about a dull moment as evil henchmen try relentlessly to blast apart our protagonist, BJ Blazkowitcz. All Nazi references and blood splatters may be gone, but this one screams violence! For shame, Nintendo!


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Sony - For SNES
Equinox
Puzzle-Adventure | 12 MB
Release: Mar 1994
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Equinox is the long-awaited localization of Solstice II, an isometric action-adventure title developed by Sony Imagesoft. Apart from the striking graphics and forced perspective trickery, the first facet of Equinox which may pop-out at you is Mr. Tim Follin's wonderful soundtrack (of Castlevania IV fame). Crank up that volume dial and take on these labyrinthian worlds and mysterious dungeons. Build up your magic power and raw strength by accumulating special items and collecting 12 special tokens kingdom-by-kingdom. This cart's mix of RPG storytelling and perilous platforming is an absolute treat.


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Neverland - For SNES
Lufia
Role-Playing Game | 12 MB
Release: Dec 1993
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One hundred years ago, the destructive Sinistrals were defeated by the forces of light. Now, the monsters have returned! Gather up the fiercest warriors and restore peace to the land! Lufia is an exceedingly well-done RPG by the folks at Taito, presenting crisp graphics, an enjoyable soundtrack, and an easy-to-use interface. Your off-beat characters explore the world from an overhead perspective and battle foes in Phantasy Star-like fighting sequences. Lufia hardly presents a revolutionary vision for RPGs, but this entry-level title should satisfy all players.


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Sony - For SNES
Skyblazer
Action-Platformer | 8 MB
Release: Jan 1994
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From Sony Imagesoft comes their greatest action cart yet revealed to starving gamers everywhere. Skyblazer is a side-scrolling action-adventure which puts you in the role of Sky: A hero tasked with a rescue mission versus one horrendous baddie named Ashura. Take down demons, locate magic points, and fight off huge, morphing bosses to save the day. Skyblazer is a blast, and gorgeous to look at too with vibrant graphics and Mode-7 aplenty. Your joy from these imaginative levels based in mythology may be fleeting as this is a short game, but a fun journey nonetheless.


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Sunsoft - For SNES
Rabbit Rampage
Action-Platformer | 12 MB
Release: Feb 1994
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Ehh, what's up Doc? Sunsoft is partnering with Warner Bros has developed an animated platformer named Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage. This right here is a quality license, and fortunately Sunsoft did it (mostly) right. Toon fans will love the endless references to the classics and fawn over the sprite art and attention to detail. All, of course, accompanied by lovely, nostalgic music. As Bugs, knock out baddies with clever Acme trinkets - Anvils ahoy! Play control isn't a highlight here thanks in part to poor hit detection, yet nevertheless this oughta be an enjoyable weekend rental anyway.


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Konami - For SNES
TMNT Fighters
1vs1 Fighting | 16 MB
Release: Dec 1993
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Your very own heroes in a half shell give their own spin on the tried-and-true fighting game formula in Tournament Fighters available on both SNES and Genesis. The player may choose from any of the four turtles or six additional characters and engage in thrilling matches 'til the sun comes up. Every fighter has its own flare and fun combos to pull off, which in our view makes this title every bit as good as a Street Fighter game-alike can hope to be. Graphics are brilliant on both systems, but the Genesis cart is plagued by poor sound and controls so do avoid that version if you can.


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Capcom - For SNES
Mega Man X
Action-Platformer | 12 MB
Release: Jan 1994
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Mega Man is at last upgraded to 16-bit! With better graphics, superb gameplay, extra-refined controls, hidden surprises, and a greater range of platforming techniques than ever before, it's safe to say we've reached pinnacle MM. Capcom's base formula remains intact, giving players a complex run-and-gun action game capped off with an intriguing robot master (and a reward power-up). Seeing as this title takes place a century after the now-bygone 8-bit iterations, Mega Man has evolved past the need for disappearing platforms! The difficulty varies, so don't get too comfortable.


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SoftCreations - For SNES
Empire Strikes Back
Action-Platformer | 16 MB
Release: Nov 1993
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Star Wars returns to the Super NES with a second movie adaptation: Super Empire Strikes Back. Once again, we have here an engaging platformer based on George Lucas' famous space opera franchise. Empire, like the film, drastically improves upon its predecessor. Combat is tight, music is incredible, and Luke's newfound force powers bring a new element to the gameplay. Vader is here too, intimidating as ever! Players may find themselves flustered by precarious platforming segments, notably right off the bat on the Hoth level, but overcoming the difficulty is part of the fun - right?


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Square - For SNES
Secret of Mana
Game Type | Game Size | Release
RPG | 16 MB | Oct 1993
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The hard-hitting, RPG-maker Square Soft once more emerges from its laboratories with an exquisite role-player on SNES with Secret of Mana. This 16-meg cart presents a Final Fantasy-like exterior, with action gameplay not unlike that seen on Zelda III. The story revolves around the restoration of a mysterious energy powersource called "mana," although the showstopper in this RPG is more on the gameplay front. Smart AI, real-time combat, extensive weapon variety, and an optional cooperative, two-player mode may make Mana more palatable to American audiences than the traditional, turn-based affair. Or at least Square thinks so.


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VisConcepts - For SNES
ClayFighter
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Fighting | 16 MB | Nov 1993
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Tired of the realistic blood and gore of fighting games nowadays? If so, you may be inclined to pick up the unique brawler ClayFighter, a monster smash at Chicago CES this year. VisualConcepts and Interplay have put together a humorous spin on the fighting genre, pitting angry snowmen and grumpy, green blobs against one another in what sometimes feels like a parody of Mortal Kombat. You still have your usual combo attacks and health bars, but now with impressive, claymation-like graphics and lovably silly sound fx. Under the surface, the core gameplay is rather simplistic without much replay value.


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SoftCreations - For SNES
Plok
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Platformer | 8 MB | Sept 1993
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Plok, a character described in the game manual as the manifestation of "pure energy," is an, erm, unique protagonist in one of the most brightly lit and psychedelic platformers to date. In this hair-raising adventure through jigsaw puzzles and lush meadows, the player will guide Plok as he collects shells, bashes baddies, and rescues his coveted flags. Software Creations did very well with this title, programming quality play control as well as catchy-as-heck music. No passwords, saves, or easy continues, so keep your limbs close (even as Plok tosses them around!) and remember to look before you leap!


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Konami - For SNES
Zombies
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action-Shooter | 8 MB | Aug 1993
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Konami delivers a love-letter to the B-Movie Horrors of yore with Zombies Ate My Neighbors, an arcade-style action title available now on Super NES (and soon on Genesis!). Fight off dripping, green zombies, howling werewolves, chainsaw-wielding maniacs, and a wide array of other baddies on your way to rescue the ignorant neighbors from an oh-so-certain doom. Konami has done it again, folks, presenting us an unforgettable, endlessly-replayable cart that's bound to captivate players of all ages. You gotta try the two-player mode for the full experience. Sound and music are fantastic, controls are snappy, and the game's a challenge! A solid winner.


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Nintendo - For SNES
Mario All Stars
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Platformer | 16 MB | Aug 1993
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In celebration of the 100 millionth Mario cart sale, Nintendo has elected to release a compilation of all four 8-bit Super Mario games. You read that right! All four of them, squished into a single worthwhile cart. This Mario collection includes redone versions of Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, 3, and the Japan-only Super Mario game also named Super Mario Bros. 2: A real toughie deemed too tough for American audiences. Whether or not you've played these classics, this variety-pack is sure to blow you away with fun platforming, vibrant colors, and unforgettable, remixed music. Relive the glory days of the NES with this stellar enhancement for SNES owners!


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Capcom - For SNES
SF II Turbo
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Fighting | 20 MB | Aug 1993
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The Street Fighter craze lives on with Capcom's latest offering for the SNES: The brand-new Turbo edition. It seems the visionaries behind the revolutionary fighting-game phenomenon smacking arcades and consoles alike have decided to go all-out. Turbo follows the same plot and general gameplay stylings of its predecessor, only with mounds of extras thrown in. Now you can use new moves, play as previously un-playable boss characters, and, as its namesake implies, play in the super speedy Turbo mode. Genesis owners may have been excited for their upcoming Champion Edition, but we'd be hard pressed to find a worthy challenger.


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Capcom - For SNES
Goof Troop
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action-Puzzle | 4 MB | Sept 1993
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The Disney Afternoon is back on SNES with Capcom's Goof Troop, a cooperative, top-down action title in the mold of Zelda. Its theme song gives helpful advice: "We'll always stick together!" We strongly recommend playing this adventure with a buddy in its simultaneous two-player mode. Goofy and Max have their own strengths and weaknesses, like Goofy's strength and Max's speed, so having both on-screen at once can save you from a barrel to the face! Much of the game is geared toward a younger audience, but we found some puzzles a bit of a head-scratcher anyway. Gorgeous graphics and great sound design too!


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Hudson - For SNES
Super Bomberman
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Puzzle | 4 MB | Sept 1993
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Straight from the Turbo Duo to the Super NES comes Bomberman, the antenna-wearing bomb-thrower from outer space. Taking shape in an overhead view, the player bombs their way through over 45 stages, exploding unruly foes and finding hidden power-ups. Returning from older titles comes the Bomb Kicker bonus which allows Bomberman the ability to kick bombs down an alleyway, but several new power-ups join it like invisibility skulls and timed detonators. Best of all, with the purchase of the Bomberman Party Pak (ESRP $69.96) you'll also get a Super Multi-Tap for 4 Players! Loads of fun to be had, here.


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Natsume - For SNES
Pocky & Rocky
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Shooter | 8 MB | June 1993
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Up for a real challenge? Don't be deceived by the bright colors and cutesy characters, under the hood lies a unique run-and-gun/platformer synthesis unlike anything we've seen here in the USA. Natsume presents Pocky and Rocky, starring a fierce heroine and her trusty raccoon sidekick. Voyage through four exceptionally difficult levels to save the land from a horde of mind-controlling goblins. This one is special, boys and girls. Whilst void of any Mode-7 scaling effects or FX-chip sparkle, beautifully detailed backgrounds, fascinating enemy designs, and memorable music makes Pocky the freshest SNES cart in ages.


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Atlus - For SNES
Run Saber
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | June 1993
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Run Saber appears to be Horisoft and Atlus' answer to Strider and Contra. Available exclusively on the Super NES, this cart takes inspiration from an assortment of beloved games to craft a respectable side-scrolling fighter. Wacky stages? Check. Creative yet unsettling boss designs? Check-aroony! High difficulty to make up for short levels? Yup, check that box too. We certainly had a grand ol' time playing Run Saber in an afternoon (We did so with the awesome 2-player mode!) but it is indeed painfully short and left us hankering for a Contra 4. Definitely worth renting, however, to see for yourself!


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Seika - For SNES
Super Turrican
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Shooter | 8 MB | June 1993
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The advertisement for the game says it all: "Freakin' Awesome!" Featuring over a dozen unique and colorful levels, a multitude of power-ups, bombs, and lasers, and over 1,000 screens, Super Turrican is among best action-shooters thus released for the Super NES. The graphics are commendable for a cart, matching some of the better Turbo Duo offsprings, and yet everything is crammed into just 8 Megs of power. As a plus, Seika also adds support for Dolby Surround Sound! It's tough as nails, as the greatest run-and-gun shooters are nowadays, but you're missing out if you skip this one, players. Turrican is back!


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Nintendo - For SNES
Star Fox
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Shooter | 8 MB | Mar 1993
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Soar through the skies as Fox McCloud in Star Fox, an ultra-realistic space shooter made from polygonal graphics. Aside from the outstanding graphics, the play control in this title is just as primo as we've come to expect from the Big N. With branching paths and a notable learning curve, not to mention some catchy tunes, you'll be playing this one more than once.


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Data East - For SNES
Shadowrun
Game Type | Game Size | Release
RPG | 8 MB | May 1993
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Burned out on swordplay and dragons in high fantasy role-playing games? Shadowrun is a horse of a different color. Taking place in a futuristic, mega-corporate cityscape, this punky explorer throws you directly into the dark action. Search for information, talk to rival gangs, and build your own adventure. This mature title one is a lovely change of pace for the Super NES.


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Accolade - For SNES
Bubsy
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 16 MB | May 1993
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This bobcat has kept us waiting! Was it worth holding your breath over? Well, not exactly. The four colorful worlds of Bubsy are your standard platforming fare, and the animations are plentiful and do merit the occasional chuckle, but the wacky and cartoonish journey is nothing that veteran games players haven't seen before. Worth a rental to see and judge for yourself.


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Konami - For SNES
Tiny Toon Adv.
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB| Feb 1993
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Buster Bunny "busts loose" in the newest game based on the tiny and toony (and a little loony) Warner Bros. critters. The graphics are totally stunning, and the sounds feel straight out of the cartoon show. Some portions feel a bit inspired by Sonic on Genesis, but speed is all the rage right now. Give it a shot, and good luck on the train level!


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Interplay - For SNES
The Lost Vikings
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | Apr 1993
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The Lost Vikings is an oddity. A fun oddity, though! This game mixes elements of both action and puzzle genres to concoct an amusing, brain-teasing adventure. Helping out these bearded chaps is no easy feat, and you'll be swapping between them to solve the trials, but do yourself a favor and see it in action for yourself.


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THQ - For SNES
Wayne's World
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | Mar 1993
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Party on, Wayne! THQ's movie tie-in may look and feel a lot like other 16-bit movie tie-ins, and that is for good reason. Their interpretation of the classic Saturday Night Live duo is fun for what it is, including commendable music and digitized scenes, but it leaves much to be desired as far as the gameplay goes. "Not worthy!"


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Konami - For SNES
Cybernator
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB| Feb 1993
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Suit up in a futuristic mech suit and fire on all the baddies in the new action-filled Cybernator. Your very own Assault Suit comes equipped with powerful punching abilities and shotgun blasters to help eliminate hoards of alien attackers. It's a very well done cart, complete with an excellent score and Mode 7 explosions! Worth a try!


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Capcom - For SNES
Magical Quest
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB | Dec 1992
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Capcom does it again! Mickey Mouse takes center stage in this new platformer adventure games on the Super NES. Six action-packed levels have you traversing all sorts of obstacles on the way to take down Emperor Pete. The gameplay is spectacular, and the action is quite good, not to mention the stellar graphics. Definitely worth a play.


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MicroProse - For SNES
Super Strike Eagle
Game Type | Game Size | Release
FlightSim | 8 MB | Feb 1993
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Soar through the skies in this super-realistic jet flying game from MicroProse. The graphics are dizzying, the action is heart-pounding, and the sounds are totally supersonic. This title lets you fire your rockets at enemy jets as you look to keep the world safe for freedom. It even has two-player mode! If that sounds fun, strap-in!


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Lucasfilm - For SNES
Super Star Wars
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Action | 8 MB| Nov 1992
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Based on the beloved 1977 hit film, Star Wars puts you in control of Jedi Luke Skywalker as you fight your way through rip-roaring levels to take down the dreaded Empire. This title has packed a surefire punch, putting those 8 Megabits to work! With spectacular music straight out of the picture and excellent, varied gameplay, it's safe to say you won't want to miss this one. May the force be with you!


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Nintendo - For SNES
Mario Paint
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Education | 8 MB | Oct 1992
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This "game" is actually more of an art studio simulator than a earnest gaming experience. From the tech wizards at Nintendo comes this Mario-based toolbelt for your Super NES. It allows the player to create lifelike masterpieces, compose symphonies, and more! It comes packaged with a computer mouse accessory that will allow for better control. It's worth a rental to try something a bit eccentric.


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Nintendo - For SNES
Super Mario Kart
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Racer | 8 MB | Oct 1992
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Play as your favorite Super Mario character as you race through colorful, new worlds in this competitive fun-fest! Do not be fooled, this game is more than your average clone of F-Zero in a Mario skin. Super Mario Kart is a heck of a time. Item power-ups like bananas and mushrooms keep you on your toes, and the music keeps the adrenaline pumpin'! A ton of fun all around, and a Super Buy no doubt.


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Atlus - For SNES
BlaZeon
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Shooter | 8 MB | Nov 1992
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This port of the arcade hit, developed by Atlus, grants you the power to freeze and control various robots on your way to the oppressive Bio-Cyborg home world! The power-up technique is certainly a unique one, putting it ahead of your average shooter in some regard, but otherwise it does not go above and beyond. It's satisfactory enough, and fans of the genre will have enjoy the ride.


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NTVIC - For SNES
Strike Gunner
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Shooter | 8 MB| Sept 1992
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This port of the vertical arcade shooter allows for two-player simultaneous gameplay as you fight to stop an alien invasion. The weapon selection in Strike Gunner is equal with the arcade counterpart, but do not expect the same amazing scrolling effects or graphics. STG is an undisputably fun ride, but a lackluster difficulty and poor style make it unmemorable.


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Toho - For SNES
Space Megaforce
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Shooter | 8 MB | Oct 1992
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In Space Megaforce, you operate a small vessel in a mission to stop a mysterious, spherical object from destroying the planet. This game is fast - incredibly fast. The opening levels are a touch too easy, but it ramps up with a slew of crazy power-up devices and weapons. It's hard not to be won over by the mind-boggling Mode 7 scaling effects as well.


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Konami - For SNES
Axelay
Game Type | Game Size | Release
Shooter | 8 MB | Sept 1992
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An advancement of their prior shooters like Life Force, the new Axelay title from Konami grants you control over the D117B space fighter ship in a fight to save the galaxy from an alien empire. You have three weapon styles to begin with, but as you proceed through the levels, your arsenal expands. It's excellent, visually, and a great shooter as a whole.


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