Why Square And Nintendo Should Have Never Split – Super Mario RPG Review

SUPER MARIO RPG: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN STARS (1996) – SQUARE

Mario, Peach and Bowser as allies? That will never catch on....

A while back, I published a Top Ten List featuring the best Mario games that aren’t platformers, and I ended up placing Super Mario RPG at the top of the list. I reckon there are two types of people when it comes to this game; those who aren’t even aware of its existence, and those who think that its one of the best RPG’s available on the SNES, by itself a very impressive feat. The premise really shouldn’t work, but this game demonstrates for me just what Nintendo and Squaresoft could do when they worked together, and arguably what Nintendo lost out on when Squaresoft pledged its allegiances to Sony in the fifth generation console battle. Continue reading

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The Game That Sold The SNES – Super Mario World Review

SUPER MARIO WORLD (1990) – NINTENDO

To infinity...and beyond!!!

Super Mario World is a timeless classic. I thought I’d just throw that out there right now. Bundled in with the SNES, it represented everything that was good about the new 16-bit era of console gaming, and continued the trend of Shigeru Miyamoto for designing gems of gaming (having of course already given the world Super Mario Bros and Super Mario Bros 3). It also helped Nintendo strike a vital first blow in the 16 bit war with Sega (although Sonic The Hedgehog’s release in 1991 was a considerable counter-punch), and so it certainly warrants our attention even today. Continue reading

Let’s Do The Time Warp – Chrono Trigger Review

(First published on Gamepad Magazine, December 22nd 2010)

CHRONO TRIGGER (1995) – SQUARESOFT

Crono, Frog and Marle do battle - courtesy of Akira Toriyama

Crono, Frog and Marle do battle – courtesy of Akira Toriyama

Every now and again, a game will appear in the industry that can turn a genre on its head. In 1995, the RPG genre was stunned by the arrival of Chrono Trigger, a game born from a Squaresoft ‘super team’, including the creators of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, Hironobu Sakaguchi and Yuji Horii, the creator of DragonBall, Akira Toriyama, and the man behind the music of Final Fantasy, Nobuo Uematsu. Put simply, the results were spectacular. Continue reading

Have You Ever Seen A Man Suplex A Train? – Final Fantasy 6 Review

(First published on Gamepad Magazine, 13th December 2010)

FINAL FANTASY 6 (1994) – SQUARESOFT

Behind the striking artwork lies a masterpiece

Behind the striking artwork lies a masterpiece

One of my greatest regrets as a gamer is that I did not start gaming early enough to experience the delights of the SNES/Mega Drive era. As a result, I’ve been forced ever since to listen to debates about Mario vs. Sonic and the like without ever having any input. Luckily, one of my friends has a SNES still working perfectly, and as a result I have managed to get some gametime on this classic console. It just so happens that Final Fantasy 6 was one of the games I have managed to play.

If you read my review on Final Fantasy 7, then you will know that I am a massive fan of the series. Final Fantasy 6 (or 3 as it was known in America) was the last 16-bit entry into the series, and I think Squaresoft wanted to produce a game that pushed the system to its limits. In doing so, they created a masterpiece. Continue reading