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Review Jarkko's Retro Nintendo Reviews!
On the old boards I did a review thread where you could ask me to review games from any Nintendo system other than Virtual Boy from the website Since I've got some time on my hands, I thought I'd do a limited-time revival of this thread, and then maybe after my stint in France I can pick it back up again to a limited degree.

Anyway. I have the following grade-scale for games:

-------------------------------------------------------- "Great Games" --------------------------------------------------------------
A+ = 95-100/100
A = 90-94/100
A- = 85-89/100
------------------------------------------------------- "Good Games" ----------------------------------------------------------------
B+ = 80-84/100
B = 75-79/100
B- = 70-74/100
------------------------------------------------------ "Passable Games" -------------------------------------------------------------
C+ = 65-69/100
C = 60-64/100
C- = 59-55/100
------------------------------------ Fail Games ---------------------------------------------
D+ = 54-50/100
D = 45-49/100
D- = 40-44/100
------------------------------------- Epic Fail Games ---------------------------------------
E+ = 35-39/100
E = 30-34/100
E- = 25-29/100
------------------------------------ Abominations --------------------------------------
F = anything below 25.

This is compiled from marks in up to eight different categories (my original thread only had seven). There are five categories that are fixed in value, for a total of 70 points:
  • Play Control - /20
  • Graphics - /15
  • Music - /15
  • Sound Effects - /10
  • Level Design - /10 (new to this board)
The remaining thirty points are split between two to four categories depending on the game.
  • Balance of Challenge and Fun Factor are always included. But by how much depends on the game. For example, some super-early NES platformers and all straight puzzle games will not have a Story rating, so BoC and FF would be out of 15. In the case of an edutainment game, Fun Factor is reduced to /5
  • Story is reduced to /5 for many NES platformers, and also for edutainment games, otherwise, /10. For sports games it is changed to "Immersion."
  • Education value, always /10, is only for strict edutainment games, which are few and far between. It will reduce Story and Fun Factor to /5. Simulations, even historically-based ones, are not counted.
Just a note in closing - games are graded relative to their hardware and when they came out. Example: Super Mario Bros. would get a much lower mark if it had come out as an SNES game!

  1. I will place a spoiler in this post with all the games I have reviewed up to this point; PLEASE remember to check the spoiler before making a request!
  2. The game needs to have an English translation. I don't read or speak Japanese.
  3. No hacks or homebrews, please. If you aren't sure, ask.
  4. No EC-rated games like Mario's Fun With Numbers. Those are geared towards such a young audience that to judge them on gaming merit would be unfair.
  5. These are MY opinions. If you don't like them, don't flip on me. :P
Games I've Reviewed

What I'll also do is pick a random game from one of these systems just to show you how my reviews go.

Battletoads (NES, Rare/Tradewest, 1991)

One of the most notoriously difficult games to ever be made, Battletoads puts you in the control of Rash or Zitz, two toads with 'tudes, as you beat back hords of swine, vermin, and other creatures and machines, to rescue Princess Angelica, and the third Battletoad, Pimple, as you fight across Ragnarok's World to meet the Dark Queen. The graphics are some of the best for the NES during the entire run of the system, especially the background graphics. The music is thematically suitable for the most part, if at times a little on the laid-back side (the first stage is an example of this). Granted, there is one specific stage where laid-back does kinda suit the atmosphere (level 5, called "Surf City." The pause music, made up of nothing more than defeat sound effects, can get annoying after a while. The sound effects themselves, though, are quite good.

Play control varies. On foot or swimming, it's fine. In the vehicle sections... that's debatable. The third-to-last level of the game has a unicycle-like... thing... that you have to pilot around this gravity-defying maze with an evil whirly thing pursuing you, and if it hits you before you get to the end, you're toast. Controlling that thing, especially on an emulator, is hair-pulling at the best of times. The bikes in the third level and the plane in the seventh level aren't nearly as bad for play control - the problem there is one that is probably the game's biggest drawback - level design. With the exception of the first two and a half levels of the game and maybe the fifth and second-to-last level, this game's levels must have been designed by a sadist. Some levels look like the extreme challenge hacks that people do of Super Mario World - they are designed to punish you. Perhaps the most notorious levels for this are the third level, in which you have to pilot hoverbikes at breakneck speeds and make practically pixel-perfect jumps near the end lest you end up in the bubbling soup below, and the third-to-last level, which I've already mentioned. The 6th level, a snake pit full of insta-kill spikes, is pretty bad as well. I've heard it said that it's nearly impossible to make it past the latter without cheats. So of course, the balance of challenge is skewed. Some of this is assuaged by warps, but you can't warp past that third-to-last level. But here's the thing... the game's levels are all over the board with their difficulty, relatively speaking. The first two levels are fairly easy, the third level is super-hard, the fourth level is kinda hard, the fifth level is relatively straightforward, the sixth level is hard, the seventh level is hella hard, the eighth level is pretty easy, the ninth level is the easiest level since the first if you know what you're doing, the tenth-level is a hair-puller, the eleventh level is the hardest level in the game, the twelfth level is relatively straightforward, and all you have to do for the thirteenth and last level is beat Queenie! :lol: Go home, Rare, you're drunk!

It may be frustrating, but it is still quite a fun game. And as is the case with later NES non-RPGs (with the exception of strict puzzle games), story integration is good, if not quite as deep as an RPG would be... and friggin' hilarious! The banter from the Dark Queen and from the Professor is top-class. And some people think the Dark Queen is hot. ^o)  Sure, she shows a bit of cleav, but whatever floats your boat I s'pose. :P

Final scores:

Play control: 16/20
Graphics: 15/15
Music: 14/15
Sound effects: 10/10
Level design: 4/10 (it's not bad per se, just... unfair :P And the ordering by difficulty was completely skewed.)
Balance of challenge: 1/10
Story: 8/10
Fun factor: 7/10
Final score: 75/100 (B)
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Apparently CJ thinks my linguistics reading collection is massive enough to be one of the 25 most massive objects in the Solar System :lol:
(07-30-2018, 07:07 PM)Kyng Wrote: Come to think of it, I'm surprised Jarkko's collection of linguistics reading material wasn't there :thinking: .
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Chrono Trigger (SNES, Square, 1995)

Easily among the best games in the entire repertoire of the Super Nintendo. It at least rivals the very best in every category. 

Play control is good for the most part. It is technically a turn-based RPG, but if you play the game in "Active Mode" when you pick between that and "Wait" at the beginning, enemies are allowed to attack whenever. If you do choose "Wait," it is more like a traditional turn-based RPG in the mould of Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest (or the vast majority of SNES RPGs that actually did see a North American release). I think the only beef I have with the play control in this game is that running is a bit on the slow side.

As far as the other "mechanical" aspects of the game, they are absolutely amazing. The graphics were done by Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball and Dragon Quest fame, and the expertise shows. Seriously, the only game that got released in NA with background graphics to rival are Super MetroidFinal Fantasy VI, and ActRaiser 2. The No-NA list would be even longer with the likes of TerranigmaTales of PhantasiaStar Ocean, and Bahamut Lagoon.

All but one of the OST tracks was composed by one of two game-music greats, Yasunori Mitsuda and Nobuo Uematsu. And again, it rivals the very best on the system, including the games aforementioned. It's harder for me to list though, there are a great many games with similar calibre of thematically-suitable music, although for grandiosity, it is perhaps only rivalled by FF6, Star Ocean, and Actraiser 2. Sound effects are only annoying when they're meant to be, and are otherwise quite good. Maybe not quite on par with the very best sound effects (see the Front Mission games, the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, or Super Metroid for that) but still super-good.

Level design is balanced and practically flawless. Obviously, the later levels are intended to be hard, but it doesn't hamper accessibility in the way some games' level design does. You don't have anything absurd like Battletoads or certain other beat-'em-ups do. And the balance of challenge is good. In terms of storyline areas, it is very well thought-out, although the side quests give you a little more freedom and sometimes the challenge takes a nosedive when you realise you forgot something you should have done half the game ago. :P

One area that Chrono Trigger definitely takes top dog in as SNES games go is its story. At and after a certain critical point in the game, your actions determine the ending, and there are a whole host of different endings to be found! If you play the "New Game Plus," there are even more. So of course this adds to fun factor as well as making it the best game for story of any game on the SNES.

Fun factor. Let's see... sidequests a-plenty, racing, combo attacks (which very few turn-based RPGs have!), and several rather hilarious bits of dialogue combine with all that I've already mentioned to make an almost perfect game!

So the scores?

Play control: 19/20
Graphics: 15/15
Music: 15/15
Sound effects: 10/10
Level design: 10/10
Balance of challenge: 10/10 
Story: 10/10
Fun factor: 10/10
Final score: 99/100 (A+) Absolutely legendary game.

So I finished the Chrono Trigger review, now I'm gonna play the game some more... but I'm still open to further requests!
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Apparently CJ thinks my linguistics reading collection is massive enough to be one of the 25 most massive objects in the Solar System :lol:
(07-30-2018, 07:07 PM)Kyng Wrote: Come to think of it, I'm surprised Jarkko's collection of linguistics reading material wasn't there :thinking: .
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  • Megan
Yay! Just look how awesome my favorite game of them. XD

How about Secret of Evermore?
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