Twenty five years ago, there were lines forming up around Akihabara and bit all over Japan. The 16-bit upgrade for Nintendo’s Famicom was here.
You may be surprised to know that the unit came with no pack-in game unlike the west. Plus there were only tow games available on that day: Super Mario World and F-Zero who also turn twenty five today. I have a feeling both Sega and NEC were slightly worried when they saw both titles in action...
Super Mario World remains as a very high point in the series. Everything had been upgraded from the NEs 8-bit titles. There were more colours, more levels, more power ups, a green dinosaur you could ride and the music was simply out of this world. Who knew we would be making them all new Super Mario World Level nowadays on the Wii U?
F-Zero was in itself a whole new playing field. The futuristic original Nintendo IP brought home arcade quality racing at lightning fast speeds over racing courses that defied belief, suspended high in the air and powered by the Super Famicom’s Mode 7 graphic trickery while delivering the perfect excuse to use those new L and R shoulder buttons. It would go on to evolve into Super Mario Kart eventually, with Miyamoto’s later explaining that at the time it was simply impossible for Nintendo to make F-Zero a two player game due to technical limitations. Round things up with an impressive and memorable soundtrack and you have a classic that people still remember quite fondly. It’s presence is still felt as eager Wii U owners are keeping their heads up for the release date of Fast Racing Neo.
The Super Famicom legacy is a well documented fact, it conquered everything and everyone except in Europe where Sega’s Megadrive managed to stay ahead of the pack.. Ask anyone who had one or it’s western counterparts which are their all time favourite games and I will bet you they will name more than one of the usual suspects. You know, one of those killer exclusives like Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Axelay, Cybernator, Contra III, TMNT IV, ActRaiser, Pilotwings, Zelda: Link to the Past, Donkey Kong Country, Super Ghouls’n Ghosts, Super Metroid... I will stop now, else I could be here all weekend naming games.
Put the comments section on fire below with your favourite Super Nintendo memories. Did you have the original Japanese edition? Do you still have yours? Favourite games? If you will excuse me, I’ve gotta go check it the battery backup is still working on my F-Zero cartridge.