Many of us started playing video games from a young age, meaning the games we played had a heavy influence on our future tastes and opinions in regards to games. Nintendo had a huge influence on my tastes while I was growing up, and have provided me with some of my favorite gaming moments. I’d like to take a look back at some of my favorite games on some of Nintendo’s older consoles. While these are not necessarily my favorite games of the consoles, they are ones that I still look back fondly upon.
I have always had a love for the Super Nintendo, which has some of my favorite games including E.V.O: Search For Eden, A link to the Past, Super Mario World, MegaMan X series, Donkey Kong Country series, Earthbound and so much more! But above all of these games there is one that I would replay almost yearly: Super Mario RPG.
Super Mario RPG took Nintendo’s most popular mascot Mario and threw him into a completely different genre of games. The game was developed by Square, the geniuses behind the Final Fantasy series. Nintendo most likely wanted to capitalize off both the popularity of Mario and JRPGs, leading to one of my favorite JRPGs to date. Even though the game came out on March 9th,1996, 2 days before I was born, it never felt old or dated any of the times I’d play through it.
Super Mario RPG starts with the age of story of Mario trying to rescue Princess Peach (or as she was more commonly known back then: Princess Toadstool) from Bowser’s Castle. However their fight is cut short as giant demon sword named Exor slams through the castle, sending Bowser, Toadstool, and Mario flying away from the castle. Once Mario regains conscious (conveniently having landed back at his home!) he takes off to ensure Princess Toadstools safety and find out more about the demonic talking sword.
Throughout the game you meet some fantastic characters that offer interesting and humorous dialogue. Fan’s of the series still hope to see Geno, a higher power that was sent from above to assist Mario and ended up taking the form of a toy doll, as a playable character in every Super Smash Bros game that comes out.
The response given by Toad when asked why he let a bad guy run past him
As someone who has played and a fan of many JRPG’s including Squre’s Final Fantasy series; Super Mario RPG offered something very unique. Actual engaging combat. Rather than simply telling your character’s which moved to use and watching them do it you instead have to do some button inputs to make the specials or attack stronger.
This may be by repeatedly pressing a button as fast as you can, timing the inputs at the correct time, pressing buttons in a specific order, etc. Even regular attacks have special inputs that make your attack’s stronger, the timing that you press the button for changes depending on what weapon you are using. You can also press a button right as an enemy is attacking you to reduce the damage you take.
Super Mario RPG was an incredible start into the genre of turn based combats for Mario, and it led to two of my other favorite turn based combat games: Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. These games incorporated the same time sensitive attack and defending mechanisms that were present in Super Mario RPG that kept the combat fresh throughout the games.
Of course we cannot talk about Nintendo without taking a look at the Nintendo 64. The N64 was the console that ultimately lead to my love of platformers. Even though I loved the 2D platformers of the Super Nintendo era such as Super Mario World and Megaman X, exploring 3D world’s blew my mind. Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kajooie, Yoshi’s Story, Conker’s Bad Furday, and so many more.
One N64 platformer that I spent many hours playing is Donkey Kong 64. Looking back at the game it fell short in a lot of different categories, however I loved it. The story starts with the villainous King K. Rool capturing Donkey Kong’s friends and locking them up in different areas. It is up to Donkey Kong to free his friends and stop K. Rool from stealing DK and Diddys Banana stache (Okay I may be misremembering, but pretty sure that’s what he was after?)
The game allowed you to explore the fun and colourful world as you freed your friends, who would then join your team as playable characters. Each character had unique traits or specialities that made them fun and interesting. For example with Lanky Kong you could walk on your hands, allowing you access to different locations, Tiny Kong could use her hair to make further jumps then other Kongs, etc.
Of course what made the game extremely frustrating is the fact that each Kong had specific colour coordinated Bananas and collectibles. This means if you were Donkey Kong and spent 20 minutes getting somewheres just to find red bananas, you would have to travel to specific barrels (Hah barrel of monkeys, I’m just getting that…) and then use them to change characters.
Unfortunately, these were very limited in each world which meant a lot of back tracking. This was in my opinion, the game’s biggest flaw. If you were able to quickly open up your menu and change characters anywheres in the game, I think it would have made it much more accessible.
Of course the main reason this game is forever ingrained in my memory is the fact that is when the game launches up it plays “DK Rap”. How can you top that?
I remember waking up one Christmas morning and coming out to the living room only to be amazed that “Santa” had brought me and my two brothers a Nintendo Gamecube! They had even taken the time to hook it up to the living room TV so we could play it that morning. They had also bought us two games, Super Smash Bros Melee and Luigi’s Mansion, two games that I still love to this day!
Growing up I loved our Gamecube and to this day would rate it as one of my favorite consoles. With one of my favorite game rosters to date: Super Mario Sunshine, Pikmin 1 and 2, :Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, Animal Crossing, Mario Kart: Double Dash, Super Monkey Ball 1 and 2, and so many other amazing games!
One game that I spent many hours playing but rarely hear talked about now a days is Chibi Robo. Chibi-Robo is a platform-adventure video game created by Nintendo in 2005 for the Gamecube. It follows the story of a family consisting of a husband, wife, and child. The starting scene is the daughter Jenny Sanderson’s birthday party where she is given a specialized robot named “Chibi Robo”by her father.
Chibi comes with a small “Chibi-house” that the robot would live in and a small floating TV cleverly named “Telly Vision” that speaks to the family on behalf of Chibi Robo. He explains that Chibi is created to help the family and earn “Happy Points”. Later in the game these combined with money can be used to buy upgrades and new items.
The gameplay consists of you playing as Chibi Robo as you make your way around the house, interacting with the family and other toys. As you are only 10-centimeter-tall (give or take the height of a regular coffee mug) traversy the house is an enormous task. It also allows you to use regular household items as powerful tools. For example a toothbrush will allow you to clean up different stains and dirt around the house, earning you happiness points, which can be used to gain further upgrades and items.
While exploring the house you must take notice to keep an eye on how much battery life you have remaining. If you run out of charge you will pass out and wake up back in the Chibi house missing 50% of your money. To recharge you can simply find any outlet and grab the plugin behind you and plug it in. This will quickly recharge you and you can continue exploring. At night when the family is asleep other toys will come to life and interact with you.
This game lead to several other future games in the series, however none of them were able to capture the simplicity and fun this one was able to offer.