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Before 1993’s Star Fox amazed us with its true 3D rendering wizardry thanks to its Super FX chip, there were a few other games that equally impressed gamers with more pseudo-3D effects. Mode 7 was a central part of several SNES titles, most notably F-Zero, Pilotwings and this one, which is the one I’ve played the most and have the strongest personal relationship with. That’s until the folks at Argonaut came up with a brilliant idea.

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The idea was to instead of relying on the SNES’ CPU to do the 3D, they would create a specialized co-processor that would do the actual 3D graphics, essentially making the Super FX chip the first industry standard GPU. It allowed the creation of what initially started as a tech demo for this new chip, Star Fox.

The game doesn’t really follow any specific Disney IP but it feels very inspired by the short films with Mickey and Pete, and feels more like its own original story, which I like since it puts it on its own compared to tie-in games. I definitely recommend giving it a try if you’re a Disney fan like me and need something to play that’s a bit different than Aladdin or The Lion King. The game features a lot of different gameplay elements that keeps it constantly fresh and challenging.

It was all done in 2D with the SNES’ best strengths in mind. It shows off what was really possible on the system, and for that, I consider it the best. I had probably never felt so deeply engrossed in a 16 bit game before. I mean, sure, I had played the crap out of other SNES games before this, but Metroid was something else.

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It’s not a massive game and can be completed in one sitting, but it has some of the best music, graphics and level design of its era and all with the distinct Capcom style that their games had during this era. There are a ton of great Disney games on the SNES, with movie tie-ins such as Aladdin and The Lion King being particularly memorable.

A lot of my love for this game is tied to my own nostalgia and memories of playing the absolute crap out of this game back in the day. The story is told extremely well through its dialogue and grabbed me unlike most games of this era ever has. The game has some of the best music and visuals of its era, using sometimes digitized real photographs for its artwork. Sadly the game was never released in the US, only Japan and Europe, so finding a copy might be a bit difficult if you live in the US, but no matter how you choose to play it, it’s worth playing for sure.

The only enduring image I had of Super Metroid was from an ad poster that came with one of our games growing up, and it was the image above, the statue of the four bosses. This image evoked a lot in me when I looked at it, most of all it envoked a deep curiousity.

  • Although only available in Japanese form — sales of the Western version of Goemon 1, Legend of the Mystical Ninja, proved too low to warrant the ‘trouble’ of translating the sequel — if you only buy one import cart, make it this one.
  • When SFII arrived in arcades in 1991, many gamers took one look at its six-button controls and wrote it off as something of a novelty — this was, after all, a time when three fire buttons were just about the limit in coin-ops.
  • The inability to ‘be’ the bosses removes some of the magic, though.

What type of game was this, who were these creatures, what was it about? All of these questions became answered much later when I finally sat down to play Super Metroid after a decade of waiting. Before the days of the internet and access to pretty much every game ever made for a system, you were often stuck with what you had, and you’d get good at what you had because it was all you had. It was included with the system my mother bought and of course, having already played Duke Nukem on my dad’s DOS PC, I really fell for its sci-fi aesthetic and run’n’gun gameplay. I will admit, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a top 10 list with this game and probably for a good reason.

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