10 SNES Games You Don't Need to Play

by Aaron Dennis 2 months ago in vintage

A retro review

10 SNES Games You Don't Need to Play

I love the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It might be my favorite console. It boasts many of the more entertaining games available.

Don’t get me wrong; I still pop in Skyrim and Fallout New Vegas from time-to-time. Nevertheless, insofar as mindless fun is concerned, I just really enjoy the simplicity and humbleness of the SNES. That said, here are ten shitty games that should have never been released.

'X-Kaliber 2097'

This ridiculous game starts with a post Alex Jones martial law explanation. As the text scrolls, you’re subjected to some terrible fart-like music reminiscent of every game on the Genesis.

You start, pick one player quest, and suddenly, some guy with a sword falls from the sky. So long as you run at the gun-toting enemies without attacking, they run away.

Naturally, you collect cokes and burgers to replenish health. What makes this game a hunk of horse shit is that you often have to jump to a higher platform or drop to a lower one, and when you do, you bump an enemy and take damage; that’s just poor game design.

In the second part of the first stage, you drop down a bunch of conveniently placed holes in the floors to reach the bottom level of what I guess is a lab. No stairs, huh? How do the employees get through?

Anyway, you eventually see this asshole, who takes five seconds to walk a few paces. Then, he drops dead.

Oh, wait, he’s not dead. He’s Zoidberg!

Thought I was joking, didn't you?!

He’s also a retard. If you stand still and press the attack button a few times, he falls backwards, spits up on himself, and the goo melts him and the floor beneath... It really was Zoidberg.

In a lot of ways, X-Kaliber is just an average side scrolling platformer like Ninja Gaiden. Like Ninja Gaiden, the enemies appear out from nowhere, the jumps are often too far to make, and the game is much harder than it needs to be for all the wrong reasons.

Eventually, you reach the first stage boss. He’s green and has a butthole tattooed on his belly. You can only hurt him when his back is turned. When he’s facing you, you can just hold block, and his attacks do no damage. Sounds easy, right?

You see that red timer at the top? Well, the butthole guy often stands there, facing you, swinging his blade at the air. He just won’t turn around. I’ve died from the timer running out numerous times.

There’s kind of a way to hit him with a jump attack while he faces you, but you have to jump at him at the precise time, and press the attack button immediately after jumping, or he’ll block your attack, which stuns you, and then he chops away all over again. The other problem is that half the time he just won’t stop swinging his sword; you can use your special attack to make him stop, but that leaves you standing there, caught in the animation, defenseless for three whole seconds; naturally, he swipes at you in an endless flurry.

To Hell with X-Kaliber 2097, and to Hell with Ninja Gaiden for that matter. I don’t know why people like Ninja Gaiden; the game sucks. It’s only fun for about 15 minutes, then a bird knocks you off a ledge, and you don’t feel like playing anymore—a bird; a bird knocks a ninja off a ledge.

If I’m gonna’ play a side scrolling platformer, I’m sticking to Mega Man X.

'World Heroes'

First, Dr. Zaius shows up.

He mumbles some nonsense at you, waving his finger, like you’re a petulant child. Then, you choose from the shortest list of stock characters I’ve ever seen.

It’s a very mediocre fighting game. In a way it’s like Samurai Showdown but much, much worse.

I really don’t know what the ending is, or if each character has a unique end, or if you get extra characters because the game is boring. It might not be terrible if two people are playing, but I guarantee that’s only gonna’ last about ten minutes.

It’s too bad, though; the graphics aren’t half bad.

My number one complaint? The game isn’t fun, and that’s a real problem. The creators must have known this couldn’t compete with Street Fighter. Why the Hell would they make this thing and release it? Did they really think they were going to make money? Has anyone played this thing?

Like Obitus, it's one of those games you take a chance on by renting it on a Friday night. Then, your whole weekend sucks.

'Wolfchild'

Wolfchild opens with this studly rendition of He-Man; it looks like something you’d see on the NES. Hit start and…

You’re at stage one on an airship, fighting storm trooper rejects. What’s odd is how hard it is to jump onto the platforms. I can’t really explain it except to say that sometimes you land on them and sometimes you don’t.

You collect power-ups to morph into a werewolf, which is kinda’ cool, like Altered Beast, another game that sucks. You also get projectile attacks.

The graphics and animation are great. The music is sweet, and at first, the game looks promising; it’s a lot of fun, until you reach the first boss. This pterodactyl, asshole guy is a huge pain in the tail.

With enough determination, I managed to reach this guy with full health and a wolf power up, and still I could not beat him. He has this three-pronged, green energy attack that spreads, making it virtually impossible to dodge. You can duck beneath him, and just a hair in front, in order to jump and punch, but if he bumps you, you take damage, and once you’re down to half life, you revert to man form, which means you’re toast.

I hate games that start off way too hard. I mean, imagine if you were playing Double Dragon, and the first boss was a right menace. These kinds of games should get harder as they progress, not start off balls to the walls.

For the sake of this review, I tried the first stage a half dozen times. I really wanted to see what was after the birdman. I couldn’t do it, but hey, you can lower the difficulty. I put it on easy, and… wait a minute…

Does that say SHART bomb? Shart? Like a shit and a fart? Like a wet fart?!?! Ugh…

Just to make things clear, I don’t mind challenging game play; Shatter Hand is hard as robot shit, and the first few times I tried it, I couldn’t kill the first boss, but I didn’t feel helpless fighting him. I feel helpless in Wolfchild, and that’s what makes this game a steaming heap of wolf scat.

Anyway, I beat the flocking birdman on easy mode, and next there's a rainy jungle. It reminds me of the jungle from Blackthorne… a good game. Wolfchild is not a good game; it doesn't even have the decency to restore my health on starting the new stage. Fortunately, turning into a wolf restores your health, but then I get to this point, where I’m just standing there like an asshole because there was a platform beneath me.

I dropped down to it, it moved downwards, and before I knew what to do—jump to a branch—the platform blew up, and I fell on some spikes.

How the Hell was I supposed to know what to do? Why the Hell isn’t the platform back? What the Hell am I supposed to do now? Kill myself? Forget it. Next game!

'Ballz 3D'

Worst game ever!

You know what? I might just go back to Wolfchild. I mean, this is the most childish thing I’ve ever seen, and you know what? I’ve played the Snow White game, and it was awesome, but this game? It’s crap.

No one put any time into this. Someone with the sense of humor of a seven-year-old thought this was the next big fighting game, and that makes me sad.

It looks awful. It controls awful. It sounds awful. It’s awful. It’s really just stupid, and there’s not much else to say.

Wait, does that stickman in the background have a dick? I don’t know. I just mash B over and over, and I usually win against the computer player.

'Warlock'

Warlock, now there’s a movie that deserves a reboot….

The game, however, is well….

That should be enough right there, but let’s dive in. You’re some guy, who, evidently, can cast magic, but I guess the warlock is a bad guy, who can cast magic, and even though the druids gather and pray to prevent the warlock from rebirth… they didn’t do that this time?

I don’t know; I think their runes were stolen, but I think the warlock scattered them through time, and I don’t know how he did that if he hadn’t been reborn yet. I digress mostly because I didn’t bother to pay attention to the long-winded intro.

What I do know is that the graphics and animation are pretty good, and you go around beating up dogs with magic blasts.

After running through some corn and dodging crows, the Tall Man from Phantasm shows up and breaks the bridge before vanishing.

Okay, so it’s supposed to be the warlock, and not the Tall Man, but why did he break the bridge? Why did he then vanish? Did he think I couldn’t just jump over the water? If he’s so powerful, why didn’t he just kill me?

I’ll tell you why, because when you die, you go back to the beginning. Oh yeah, it’s a shitty LJN game, which means one life, no continues, and when you die, the whole game resets all the way back to the LJN logo. What a bunch of snake shit.

Actually, the Tall Man didn’t just vanish, he teleported ahead in order to turn the dogs into werewolves. If you manage to survive the outdoors and reach the house, you’re really in for it.

The Tall man has turned the residents into Walter Donovan from The Last Crusade.

Since this is an LJN game, you gotta’ expect it’s gonna’ have a lot of flaws, and boy does it. Flaw, the first: bad guys and healing items are often hidden by the foreground. You have to actively “pick up” the items, and you can’t when you don’t see them. You can’t dodge the bad guys either if they’re hidden.

See that blue spark? It's a whole potion hidden by the post.

Naturally, flaw, the second, is stiff and unresponsive controls. Towards the top of the house, you fight the Tall Man, and while he was beating me up left and right, I kept trying to use my healing potion, but it just wouldn’t work, I guess because I was taking damage.

Flaw, the third: it takes an eternity to turn around and face the opposite direction. When fighting the normal enemies, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. There’s usually one or two on the screen at a time, and they’re pretty slow, but the Tall Man is fast as shit, and he teleports all over, fires blue magic, and teleports again.

After a few tries, and running around the house to collect healing items, I managed to zap the warlock a few times. He teleported out, and I picked up the first stone. Then, a portal opens up, and you go back in time.

All stool breaks loose in the past; roots come out of the ground, little green faeries attack, you run behind a waterfall where water drops from the ceiling, ghostly swamp men, and huge spiders rape you. Fortunately, if you really wanted to keep playing, you can enter the password you get from picking up the first stone.

I’d rather play Nosferatu on the Genesis. I wonder if Genesis has Warlock….

'Battle Blaze'

Oh, look Dr. Zaius is back, and now he’s got a sword.

He really does look like Dr. Zaius.

Ya’ hit start, and then you choose either “the hero,” or “the battle.” “The hero” is, well, you play as the hero only. In “the battle,” it’s just a tournament fighter, and you can pick any of the characters. Even two people can play.

Look at those names! Is it pronounced Ker-REL, or KER-rel, like a southern gentleman of leisure saying Carol? And the other guy, well, he's kind of like a dog, so let's call him Shnouzer. Blech....

Sadly, this is one of the worst fighting games I’ve ever seen on the SNES. It’s rivaled only by Ballz 3D. Unless you’re playing a versus game, you’re stuck using one guy, and so far as I can tell, there aren’t many special techniques; you just jump at your opponent and mash buttons. You can also walk in close and grab your opponent, supposing they haven’t smashed you over the brain first.

It’s no Street Fighter. It’s no Samurai Showdown. It’s not even World Heroes, and that’s saying something.

I’m really not sure what Sammy Studios was thinking making a game like this in 1992 on the SNES. This belongs on the NES back in like 1989. I mean, obviously the graphics are decent, but far less important than game play! The music is pretty drab, too.

Well…back to Street Fighter!

'Bebe’s Kids'

Man, do I really need to review this one?

Remember that racist cartoon from the 90s? Yeah, why not also make a game out of it?

The opening screen starts off with some cheesy, wanna-be hip-hop that sounds like a farting Genesis, and then you press start… or you just walk away.

Damn it! I pressed start. Guess I’ll choose one of the little brats and get going.

You start off in Funworld, and naturally, a bunch of jerk-offs try to molest you. You kick and punch for 75 minutes and finally fell these fools. Then, a few steps later, there’s more of ‘em.

What’s that guy in the red hat doing while these tools try to beat up a four-year-old girl? No one’s gonna’ call the fuzz? It’s because she’s black. I said it. What?

Sometimes, the agents from the M.I.B. pick you up, but they don’t actually do anything; you just hang there, losing health unless you mash all the buttons to fall out from their grasp. Then, you go right back to kicking and punching.

Look at that creepo smiling! He's so happy he's finally wrapped his fingers around a warm little girl. It's weird. The game is weird. I don't like it.

The controls are real stiff. The music is uninspired. The graphics are bland. Everything moves ultra slow and clunky, and for a beat-em-up, it’s just really poorly done.

The point of beat-em-ups is to mash buttons and beat the tar out of a bunch of thugs. You know, like in Final Fight or Maximum Carnage—they’re relatively fast paced games. You want to smack the snot out of as many smart mouths as possible, but Bebe’s Kids falls flat on it’s face.

My recommendation? DNP—Do Not Play.

'Clock Tower'

One of the strangest games I’ve ever played. Now, this was only released in Japan on the Super Famicom, but you can buy a Meephong Super Famicom Mini, or just a physical copy of Clock Tower, and then download the rom on an emulator in order to play legally. I’m not sure if the Super Famicom Mini works in the US, but it is available on Amazon.

Evidently, you control some little girl who was raised in an orphanage.

Some weirdo has decided to adopt all these little girls. Is anyone else thinking hentai? Anyway, for whatever reason, the head mistress brings all the girls to this weirdo’s house, which is not a clock tower. The clock tower is from Castlevnia, but I digress once more.

In the home, the game turns into a point and click mess. Sometimes, you try to talk to someone, and the little girl just wanders over to the side of the screen. If you do get her to talk to someone, you end up wishing she had walked right out the door to seek her freedom.

I’ve never been able to stomach more than 15 minutes of this piece of crap. I’m sure the story line is something to witness, but what makes for a good game? Well, the joy you get from playing it, and this game isn’t fun. If I wanted to read a spooky story about girls from an orphanage, I’d read a book not a game!

The real boner is that the graphics are nice, and the music, on the few occasions it plays, is super creepy, creating a grim atmosphere, but the whole game, so far as I know, is a bunch of text, and you know what really blows? You can’t speed the text up, and if you press buttons in an effort to do so, it delays the appearance of the new text block.

Clock Tower, pfft, talk about grinding my gears. It’s grinding my life to a halt.

'Obitus'

You start off in some tower, grab a key and a ring, open a door, and begin your journey. Soon as you step outside, some ass hole attacks—is it Dr. Zaius again—but if you run around you can find some arrows.

Damn you, dirty apes!

Then, this jerk tells you a little something about a castle, so you turn around, and try a different path. You might meet an old fart, who says you need to find some keys first, so you go back, running through this maze of trees.

Obitus is one of those games, which requires you eat food and sleep to restore stamina. What does stamina actually do? Do you die or lose life if you run out? No, you just deal less damage; it’s not enough that re-spawning enemies beat the snot out of you.

I’ve played other games, which require eating, like Dungeon Master and Dungeon Master 2—one of my favorite, old school, first person, dungeon crawlers—but the big difference between games I like and Obitus is that those other games are fun.

It’s hard to really pin down what it is about Obitus that sucks so much. It’s not the lack of music in the forest; Shadow Tower has no music throughout the whole game, and I love Shadow Tower.

What I can say is that this last time I played, for this review, I met Grumwold, met another knight, who said he’d watch over me while I slept—creep—met another knight who told me to kill Grumwold, and by then my stamina had drained. I wanted to sleep, but I couldn’t find the creep again.

Instead I found my “ally,” Maladia. She didn’t say or do anything of worth, so I turned away to return to her and see if she’d talk again, but I accidentally pressed the button for my weapon and killed her in one hit… I may have been drinking by this point in order to complete my quest to review awful games.

Obitus would definitely benefit from a map, so that I wouldn’t run in circles, but Shadow Tower didn’t have a map, and I made it all the way through that game, and Shadow Tower has secret doors you need to find.

Before someone mentions walkthroughs or that Shadow Tower had a physical map, which came with the game, I’d like to add that I did not use a walkthrough for my first play through of Shadow Tower; I reserve walkthroughs for replays in order to get all the secrets. Also, my copy of Shadow Tower is just a CD—no case, map, or nothing.

Obitus just sucks, which sucks even more because it looks pretty cool. It’s a real bummer. It's like meeting a gorgeous person who likes you, but they have no personality whatsoever...

I’ve been playing this game on and off for like 16 years, and I’ve never found my way through Falconwood. I could use a walkthrough, but a walkthrough to get past the first section of the game? I think that’s what sucks about it; any game I play during which I get stuck in the first five minutes is not worth my time.

Just for kicks, I found the old guy blocking the exit and killed him. Beyond him is the mines, and that’s even worse than the forest. It’s dark in there, so you have to light a torch, if you have any, and they burn out, but oddly, I couldn’t turn around in the mines, so when something began attacking me, I had to run straight until I hit a dead end, only then was I able to turn around. That just makes it even harder to navigate.

Don’t waste your time with Obitus. Play Dungeon Master instead; some coders even did a remake of the PC version, which looks amazing.

'Mohawk and Headphone Jack'

I’d rather play Clock Tower than this abortion. I saved it for last because I was genuinely considering reviewing a different game. That’s how bad this mess of the 90s is. It’s like taking everything awful from Saved by the Bell, any punk rock album, Surge Cola ads, and Reebok Pumps, tossing the shit in a blender, and hitting pulse.

In a way, this game is reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog. I’ll be the first to admit that I never liked Sonic. I didn’t get the appeal of just holding the right arrow button and occasionally pressing jump only to bump into something and loose all my rings, but I’d rather play hours and hours of Sonic than Mohawk and Headphone Jack. You collect CDs instead of rings. My, how radical!

The controls are so much worse than Sonic, and there’s no rhyme or reason to anything. Never mind the fact that you leap like a from on the moon only to bump into something you had no idea was going to appear, like spikes, or some worm, or something.

Mohawk and Headphone Jack? Are those supposed to be cool names for these radical dudes? I’d rather play a game of Poochie.

To quote Nerd: What were they thinking?!

It’s just a mess of colorful lights and disorienting stages, which often revolve as you dash around like a coked-up lunatic. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this murder-suicide of a game.

Stay away, dear God. Stay away!

These are only 10 of the worst SNES games I’ve played, but rest assured, there are more shitty games on this beast of a console! Some people might like these games. Some might say that they’re not that bad, that they don’t cause vomit inducing rage, and that’s true.

One game that induces stomach churning fury, I think, is Super Castlevania 4, but you know what? I love that game, so why’s it piss me off? I don’t know; the wavy medusa heads, the tiny, moving platforms, the axe wielding knights, all on the same screen! However, Super Castlevania 4 is fun, and that’s the big difference.

The 10 shitty games I just denigrated aren’t crappy because they make me mad; they’re crappy because they’re boring, uninspired, untested, and too hard for all the wrong reasons. I can’t wrap my brain how some games, like Ballz 3D and Mohawk and Headphone Jack were created, published, and distributed. I can’t imagine there was anybody who bought those games, took them home, popped ‘em into their SNES, played them for more than five minutes and actually enjoyed them.

I refuse to believe that some of these games were presented to living, breathing video game connoisseurs or people who actually worked for Nintendo. Someone somewhere must have known a guy who knew a guy and some money traded hands in order to get these games approved by Nintendo.

I’d rather watch paint dry than ever touch these games again. If you like any of these, you can go to Hell, but before you do, be sure to drop by my Video Game Reviews tab, and check out the rest of my reviews. Thanks for reading, and please donate, so I can buy some shitty Sega games to rip in to.

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Aaron Dennis

Creator of the Lokians SciFi series, The Adventures of Larson and Garrett, The Dragon of Time series, and more.

See all posts by Aaron Dennis