Nintendo’s Most Successful Game System Of The 90’s?

When retro gamers think about some of the top game consoles of the 90’s systems such as Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, PS1 and Nintendo 64 are all big names that instantly come to mind. Nintendo’s Super NES console had so many high profile gamers which sold millions and became cult classics such as Super Mario World, The Legend Of Zelda: Link To The Past, Super Mario Kart, Star Fox, Super Metroid and others. As far as sales are concerned the SNES console released in 1990 was more successful than the N64 which came out in ’96. While the Super NES managed to reach over 49 million in sales the Nintendo 64 sold close to 33 million. While both the Super NES along with the N64 were both successful in their own right the handheld Game Boy line which started back in ’89 had bigger numbers than both in terms of sales. Since its inception the Game Boy line along with Game Boy Color from ’98 had reached over 118 million units in worldwide sales before it was ultimately discontinued in March 2003. To be fair the Game Boy line did have a longer time span in retail than both the Super NES and the Nintendo 64.

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released in ’90 and was not discontinued in countries such as America and Europe until ’98-’99. The Nintendo 64 had a shorter lifespan in retail as the console was ultimately discontinued in Spring 2002 since its release in ’96. The Game Boy line had only grew in popularity as the 90’s progressed into the early 00’s especially with the Pokemon series being one of the main attractions for Nintendo’s handheld game systems. Pokemon Red & Blue from ’96 managed to reach over 31 million in sales while Gold & Silver from late ’99 had reached somewhere along the lines of 23 million right before the end of the 00’s decade. There were also classics such as Super Mario Land 2, Zelda: Link’s Awakening along with Metroid II which were all critically acclaimed classics that appeared exclusively on Game Boy between ’91-’93 as well. Back the 90’s Nintendo’s handheld Game Boy system was revolutionary and while rival companies such as Sega and Neo Geo tried to compete they eventually fell short in process. Nintendo’s Game Boy system felt like a handheld version of the NES which heavily contributed to its appeal along with having its share memorable games which were best sellers in retail within countries like America, Japan and Europe. While its debatable which Nintendo based game system was the most popular back in the 90’s there is no denying that Game Boy was the most successful overall from a sales standpoint.

Retro Gaming 10’s- King Of Fighters XIII: (2010)

SNK’s King Of Fighters XIII was one of the few high profile fighting games to have been released back in 2013. As good as KOF XIII May have been overshadowed by various other fighting games that were also released 2013; that year we saw the release of titles such as: Killer Instinct, Injustice: God’s Among Us, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 and Jo Jo’s Bizzare Adventures: All-Star Battle. KOF: XIII was the direct sequel to its predecessor King Of Fighters VII which was released in ’09 and received an arcade release exclusively in Japan back July 2010. King Of Fighters XIII did not appear on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 until the fourth quarter of 2011 in countries like Japan, Europe and America. As far as visuals were concerned King Of Fighters XIII saw a unique improvement as the game presented players with sharper character sprites in comparison to its prequel. King Of Fighters XIII was also the game that concluded the Ash Crimson arc which began following the release of KOF ’03. Ash Crimson was a very unique character mainly because of his anti-hero persona stemming from his villainous antics. Ash had managed to steal power from descendants of clan members who sealed the notorious Orochi way almost two millenniums prior to the setting of game.

Along with having a very intriguing plot KOF: XIII saw the return of many popular characters within the set including Ryo Sakazaki, Robert Garcia, Mai Shiranui, Lori Yagami, Yuri Sakazaki and others. KOF: XIII consisted of ten different teams including Art Of Fighting, Women’s, Psycho Soldier, Fatal Fury, Japan and Ikari Warriors while giving players the option to download EX characters such as Mr. Karate who a boss character in older games from the Neo Geo era in the early 90’s. The gameplay seen in KOF: XIII was unique considering the fact that SNK decided to bring back features such as the multi-bar power gauge popular from KOF ’97. Also, the inclusion of EX Mode in KOF XIII that allowed players to perform EX Super Specials along with EX Special Moves depending on how many bars they had; served as a suitable replacement for the absence of gameplay features included in KOF: XII. The features that were emphasized in KOF XII included fighting mechanics such as Guard Attack, Critical Counter along with a Clash System which were not present in KOF: XIII. Instead, we got to see the addition of other fighting mechanics including Hyper Drive mode along which allowed players to perform endless Drive Cancels until their gauge runs out. The improved gameplay included in KOF: XIII was refreshing to see especially since SNK managed to make essential improvements that have players a slightly different experience than what they got in KOF: XIII. Since its release KOF: XIII has been seen as one of the best 2D fighting games that SNK has produced within the 10’s decade alongside the critically acclaimed KOF XIV from 2016.

Could Mother 3 have been more successful on the SNES?

Mother 3 was an underrated JRPG from the mid 00’s that may have been released a lot sooner than it should of been. As many people know the legendary Earthbound series began in the late 80’s on the NES with the most high profile entry being released for the SNES back in 1994. Although, Earthbound/Mother 2 failed to be a huge success in terms of sales the game is still considered to be a cult classic while being recognized as one of the greatest RPG’s from the 16-bit era. While the world never got to see an N64 sequel to Mother 2 years following its release Mother 3 eventually appeared on Game Boy Advance exclusively in Japan back in 2006. While Mother 3 is also considered to be a critically acclaimed JRPG its often overlooked especially since it came out during a time period where people were turning away from the Game Boy Advance and began sinking their teeth into the Nintendo DS which came out in 2004. Some wonder whether or not Mother 3 could have been a bigger attraction during the 90’s for the SNES considering the fact that the game looked like it belonged in the 16-bit era of gaming.

However, Mother 2 was not much of an attraction as other RPG’s that appeared on the SNES during the 90’s and its highly unlikely that Mother 3 would have been any different. If Mother 3 was released for the SNES back in the 90’s it would of been too late since ’94 was the same year that more superior consoles such as PS1 and Sega Saturn were released. During the mid to late 90’s the Super NES was no longer the main attraction within the gaming world and 16-bit RPG’s were beginning to decline in popularity by that time. While there is no question that Mother 3 could have definitely worked on SNES during the 90’s its unlikely that it would have been more successful than Mother 2 from ’94. Earthbound 64 was the game that the gaming world was waiting to see following Mother 2 and the world never got to see it since development had ended abruptly around 1999. If anything Mother 3 could have been a slightly bigger attraction on Game Boy Advance anytime between ’02-’04 outside of Japan despite how popular the PokeMon series was within that country and places like America during that time period.

Should Star Ocean have been released in America during 1996?

One of the few JRPG’s for the Super NES that may have her overlooked back in the mid ’90s was Star Ocean from ’96. For those who do not know Star Ocean was developed by video game company tri-Ace and published by Square Enix and was released exclusively in Japan during the summer of 1996. Unlike, some of the previous JRPG’s that Square Enix has published between the early to mid 90’s Star Ocean had features that made it stand out more on the SNES. Unlike games such as Secret Of Mana & Chrono Trigger it should be noted that Star Ocean was one of the few JRPG’s in the SNES that included voice samples. By the mid 90’s video games were able to push the limits of the 16-bit SNES and being able to do things that was previously thought to be impossible when the console was first released in 1990. The visual aspect of Star Ocean was also very impressive along with the plot which emphasized time travel. Star Ocean was a game that could have been very successful in the early 90’s especially since 2D JRPG’s were more popular during that time period.

In fact, some people might of have been surprised that Star Ocean was released exclusively in Japan for the SNES especially considering the fact that the 16-bit console was starting to decline in popularity by the mid 90’s. Many have probably questioned why Star Ocean was not ported for the PS1 during the mid 90’s seeing popular Sony’s 32-bit console was during the time. Either way, despite how adventurous the plot for Star Ocean along with how polished it looked on the SNES it still may not have been a huge attraction in America back in 1996. American gamers were more fixated on 3D gaming along with titles such as Mortal Kombat & Killer Instinct that emphasized blood, gore and violence. While it made sense to keep Star Ocean as a Japanese exclusive during the mid 90’s the game still should have been released in America much sooner than it was. Star Ocean was not officially released in America until October 2008 before it appeared worldwide on PlayStation 4 & Nintendo in December 2019. If the original Star Ocean game appeared on the Game Boy Advance back in the early 00’s it could have been somewhat of an attraction on the 32-but handheld console seeing how successful it ended up becoming during that decade.

Could Alundra have worked on the SNES during the early 90’s?

Alundra was arguably one of the most underrated JRPG’s of the 90’s. For those who do not know Alundra was developed by Matrix Software and was released as a PS1 exclusive back in 1997. Since ’97 Alundra has looked back on favorably by many critics as one of the best RPG’s to have never appear on the SNES. The cool thing about Alundra is the fact that it was a game that looked like it belonged on a 16-bit console such as the Super NES; some speculate that Alundra could have been a bigger attraction than it was during the early 90’s since 2D JRPG’s were very popular during that time period. One of the most surprising things about Alundra was the fact that it was a high quality critically acclaimed 2D JRPG that was created by a video game developer other than Square Enix. It should also be noted that Alundra was released the same year as Square Enix’s legendary Final Fantasy VII game came out. Its quite possible that FFVII overshadowed Alundra on the PS1 especially considering the fact that it was the second best selling game for 32-bit console behind Gran Turismo.

Even though, the PS1 was very popular by the mid 90’s some would agree that Alundra was a game released a few years too late; to be honest Alundra was better suited for the Super NES or Sega Genesis back in the early 90’s. The art design, storyline and puzzles games included in Alundra were very impressive to a point where it surpassed the quality of 2D RPG games such as LandStalkers & Secret Of Evermore. There is no doubt that Alundra could have been a best seller on the Sega Genesis since the 16-bit console was lacking in high profile JRPG’s outside of the Shinning and Phantasy Star series. However, a Genesis version of Alundra would not have been on par with the PS1 release that we got in ’97 since the 32-bit console was far more superior. If anything Alundra could have been a bigger attraction than it was on the PS1 during ’95-’96 since FFVII had yet to appear on the 32-bit console. Its kinda strange that Alundra was never ported or remastered for any other game system outside of the PS1 since its release over 20 years ago. Either way, Alundra is still a legendary JRPG nonetheless that deserved more credit than it got since it had the potential to be more popular than it actually was.

Could Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo have worked on the SNES in 1996?

One of the most popular 2D tile-matching puzzle games to come from the 90’s was Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo which appeared on the PS1 back in 1996. The Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo was an interesting tile-matching game that included a few characters from both the Street Fighter and the DarkStalker series. As cool as Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo was it did not become very popular on a mainstream level due to the fact that 3D video games such as Tekken 2, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil were huge attractions during the mid 90’s. It was around the mid 90’s when people began to lose interest in non-arcade 2D video games which may have affected the amount of success that Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo could of had during that time period. While 2D video games were still being made for the SNES in ’96 some wonder whether or not Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo could have stood out more on the 16-bit console back then. After all, we did get to see games such as Street Fighter Alpha 2 ported for the SNES in ’96 despite the obvious limitations the 16-bit port had in comparison to the PS1 & arcade versions of the game.

However, Street Fighter Alpha 2 was a smash hit in arcade centers unlike Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo which is probably why it was ported for the SNES. Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo would not have been any more popular on the SNES than Kirby’s Avalanche was in ’95. By the mid 90’s the 2D tile-matching puzzle genre of gaming was starting to decline for being too basic and repetitive in terms of gameplay. Also, despite SNES having some pretty cool games in ’96 such as: Super Mario RPG, Mega Man X3 and Donkey Kong Country 3 Nintendo had eventually released N64 that same year; it would have been pointless to have Super Puzzle Fighter II: Turbo on the SNES in ’96 since it began to decline in popularity around the mid 90’s.

Should MegaMan 7 have been ported for the PS1 during the mid 90’s?

As many people know MegaMan 7 was a solid yet bland entry within the game’s series that appeared on the Super NES back in ’95; during this time period the MegaMan X series was becoming more popular since its inception back in ’93 on the SNES. MegaMan 7 was a game that had great visuals, good storytelling and definitely an improvement over MegaMan 6 from which came out in ’93. The only problem was the SNES was starting to get old by the mid 90’s and more gamers around the world were turning their attention to the PS1. While 3D gaming was mainly popular on the PS1 there were still people who loved the fact the 32 bit console could also run 2D games much better than the SNES. The 32-bit PS1 did not have the limitations the 16-bit SNES console had and was far superior in 2D animation overall. MegaMan 7 could have possibly have shined more on the PS1 between ’95-’96 especially since there were not too many high profile 2D run and gun games on the 32-bit console during that period. Also, Capcom did not release MegaMan X4 for the PS1 until ’97 so having MM7 on Sony’s console would been better since MMX I-III were SNES exclusives before then.

MegaMan 7 has been received some criticism for over the past twenty years for not being on par with some of Capcom’s more popular installments within the series. However, the 2D run and gun genre of gaming was starting to decline in popularity around the mid 90’s. Also, the storyline within MegaMan X series that saw the debut of characters such as Zero along with Sigma as the main villain was far more intriguing than constantly having Dr. Wily as the main antagonist in the main series. Even if MegaMan 7 appeared on the PS1 between ’95-’96 it still would not have been more popular than the Mega Man X trilogy that we got to see on the SNES between ’93-’95. But its likely that MegaMan 7 would have stood out more as a PS1 exclusive than it did on the SNES since MMX3 was also released exclusively for the 16-bit console in ’95.

Could Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow have been more popular on the SNES?

When we think about some of the most popular Castlevania games that came following the 90’s decade titles such as: Aria Of Sorrow, Circle Of The Moon and Dawn Of Sorrow are all installments that instantly come to mind for many people. Each Castlevania game that appeared on either the Game Boy Advance or Nintendo DS during the 00’s were considered to be successful for the most part while also being praised by critics for their respective gameplay. Despite, not being quite as popular as Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night or some of the older installments within in series from the mid 80’s-early 90’s Aria Of Sorrow was a game that many people were get impressed by. Speaking of which Aria Of Sorrow not only included some same gameplay features introduced in Symphony Of The Night it was the first game within the series to include the Tactical Soul system which was quite effective in helping players complete the game. One of the many things about Aria Of Sorrow that was pretty interesting was the futuristic setting of the plot in 2035. The futuristic setting in Aria Of Sorrow was appealing mainly because long time fans of the Castlevania series are generally used to the plot taking place in medieval settings which added to the mythical aura of some of the older games.

Even though, Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow was one of the most popular installments within the series as it relates to the 00’s the sales for the game were relatively poor on the Game Boy Advance. There are some people who question whether or not Aria Of Sorrow could have been a much bigger attraction for the SNES during the early 90’s. As far as gameplay is concerned Aria Of Sorrow was exciting mainly because of its high replay value. There were game modes included in Aria Of Sorrow such as Boss Rush and New Game+ which was a feature that allowed players to go through a completed game with all the weapons they have gained during their first run. While some people might not put Aria Of Sorrow on the same level as Super Castlevania IV or Dracula X from the early 90’s it still could have sold more on the SNES; the 16-bit console was arguably the most popular game system from the 90’s before the PS1 cane along during late ’94.

Retro Gaming 90’s- GunStar Heroes: (1993)

When we think about popular games from the 16-bit era that appeared on the Sega Genesis outside of the Sonic the Hedgehog series GunStar Heroes is one of the few titles that many people think about. GunStar Heroes was a 2D run and gun game that was popular during a time period where the genre itself was pretty along with the likes of Mega Man X and Contra III: Alien Wars which also came out during the early 90’s for the SNES console. GunStar Heroes was a game developed by a company known as Treasure and published by Sega that was critically acclaimed by many people worldwide following its ’93 release. The GunStar Heroes game looked like something that could have worked in arcade centers because of its co-op multiplayer gameplay something you did not see in games such as MegaMan X. However, the concept of having multiple levels within the game along with the freedom to complete them in whatever order you like was something that similar to Mega Man which was one of the few things that added to its overall excitement. Also, the amount of variety In GunStar Heroes as it pertained to gameplay made the game itself more interesting than your average 2D run and gun game.

In GunStar Heroes levels where they were required to travel back and fourth along with battling enemies in high places such as helicopters to going underground and battling foes in mine carts. Players had the option of utilizing different weapons which all had their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. Some of the weapons players were able to utilize in GunStar Heroes included flamethrowers, machine guns, lighting blasters along with a homing shot; players had the option to choose between a fixed or free fighting stance towards the beginning of GunStar Heroes as they attempt complete the entire game. While the plot was basic and focused on using either GunStar Red or Blue to thwart the plans of an evil empire that seeks world domination through a collection of special gems; the gameplay for GunStar Heroes would make players forget about the lack of depth the storyline had and emphasize the adventurous and unpredictable elements of the game itself. Despite not being a best seller for the 16-bit Genesis console from ’93 onwards GunStar Heroes is still considered to be one of the greatest run and gun games from its era.

Should Mother 1 have been remastered for the SNES between ‘91-‘93?

When we think about popular NES titles from the 80’s that eventually evolved into video game series going into the 90’s names such as Super Mario Bros, Metroid, The Legend Of Zelda, Donkey Kong and many others all come to mind. But one few video games that came out for the NES during the 80’s that evolved into a set that does not get talked about too much was Mother 1 which came out in July 1989. For those who do not know Mother 1 was also known as Earthbound Beginnings and was the prequel to the famous Mother 2/Earthbound game from 1994. While Mother 2 from ’94 is considered to be legendary and is critically acclaimed as one of the best 16-bit RPG’s of the 90’s the game did very poorly in sales within the United States. Despite, having a bizarre yet expensive marketing campaign for Mother 2 the game really did not become as popular as Nintendo wanted it to be in America during the mid 90’s. Some would argue that Earthbound for the SNES was not successful in America due to the popularity of emerging game systems within the mid 90’s such as the PS1 and Sega Saturn during that time period.

But at the same time its possible that Earthbound was not as popular in as it should of been because its prequel was a Japanese exclusive for the NES. Ever since ’89 Mother 1 has appeared on the NES and Game Boy Advance exclusively in Japan until ’15 when the game was finally released for the Wii-U worldwide. Some believe that having Mother 1 digitally remastered for the 16-bit SNES between ’91-’93 could have been more effective in making Mother 2 a huge success on the SNES. In fact, the plot for Earthbound took place a decade following the events from Mother 1 which was never officially released outside of Japan during the 90’s. Similar to how Nintendo re-released the first three Mario games for the NES on the Super NES as Super Mario All-Stars in ’93 the company could have done the same thing with the very first mother game at some point. While the plot for Mother 2 was very intriguing one of the biggest issues following its initial release was that the American audience was in the dark regarding the events that took place in the ’89 prequel for the NES. If Nintendo had released a SNES version of the first Mother game during the early 90’s its possible Mother 2 could have been more popular than it ended becoming shortly after its initial release in America.