The From A to Z series lets our editors go back and take a look at games from past generations that are classics, overlooked gems, or just titles they remember fondly. The idea behind this is to pick five games from each letter of the alphabet, once a week to showcase. This delivers 26 weeks and tons of games to talk about. Hopefully it sparks some conversation, and of course plenty of memories.
The system everyone has been waiting for, the Super Nintendo.
Let’s continue with the letter “F.”
Hey kids, do you like going fast? Think Mario Kart is for babies? Boy, do I have a game for you. As someone who didn’t like racing games(I still don’t), F-Zero felt like an exception with its ludiculous sense of speed, awesome soundtrack and intricate level designs that rewarded track knowledge and a high level of skill. Clearing multiple turns with a precisely timed jump was an absolute joy and even though I failed to do it constantly, just getting it once out of three to five tries felt worth it.
Fatal Fury Special
Fatal Fury was truly at home at the arcades and due to hardware limitations, the game didn’t make a faithful transition on the SNES but it was still better than nothing. The “Special” version was the best of the bunch and felt closest to the arcade version but it was still flawed in a lot of ways. I mean, sure if you could somehow afford the Neo Geo, you could have a arcade perfect experience but I certainly didn’t have $650 to throw around at 1990. Still, who can forget yelling, BURN KNUCKLE! CRACK SHOE!
Final Fantasy II
The first Final Fantasy game to be released on the SNES is claimed by many as the best in the series and in all honestly, it makes a very good argument for itself even though it’s not my personal favorite. I actually played this one after I had completed the next game on this list so my expectations were quited skewed but the adventures of Dark Knight Cecil was certainly a huge improvement from its predecessor on the NES in every way. It also laid the foundation for some big narrative techniques and permanent death for main playable characters which wasn’t really a thing until FF4 came around.
Final Fantasy III
FF6 is actually the very first JRPG I ever played and I remember starting to play this game during a sleepover at my cousin’s house and then begging my cousin to lend me his SNES and copy of the game for a week so that I could finish it. Suffice to say, it quite literally changed the way I viewed games as a whole from just a simple time waster to an art form that can tell a compelling story with memorable characters. Just like FF4, FF6 is often hailed as the best FF game in the series, a sentiment I happen to agree with and it’s actually kind of shocking that SquareEnix has never re-made this game to this date. But then again, perhaps that’s a good thing.
Final Fight was the Streets of Rage equivalent on the SNES in a lot of ways and while it wasn’t quite as good, it was still a damn good side scrolling brawler. Just like Fatal Fury, the arcade version was most certainly the definitive way to play it but for a port on a inferior hardware, this wasn’t all that bad. SNES certainly had a long list of great co-op games and Final Fight was one of them.
Final Fight 3
Unlike the original, this wasn’t a port of an arcade game but a new entry onto itself, made specifically for the SNES and the game benefitted because of it. The sound and music was crisper, there were more combat options and mechanics along with some new playable characters. It took everything that was good about the originally and made it better, making it the best Final Fight game on the SNES.
Tune in next week for the next collection of titles.
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