games / Columns

The Games 8 Ball: Top 8 Games Missing from the SNES Classic

July 4, 2017 | Posted by Marc Morrison

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! With the announcement of the SNES Classic about a week ago, the full games list has been released and there are some big and small omissions. OK, the biggest omissions is Chrono Trigger, that is completely obvious, and not worth really mentioning in this column. For anyone who goes “Durr, what about Chrono Trigger?!” in the comments, know that it’s too easy to put in this list and the most obvious thing in the world. With that said, I tried to pick either more unknown, or just odd exclusions. Let’s begin:

#8: Uniracers

Uniracers was a badass racing/stunt game on the SNES that not a ton of people know about. The sense of speed was great and was fairly comparable to Sonic the Hedgehog in terms of momentum, but you could also do tricks and loops to gain points. You would raise either against the clock or other unicycles to gain more points and have a fast lap time. The reason not a ton of people know about it is because Pixar sued DMA Design (Rockstar North now) over a perceived theft from an earlier Pixar movie, and won. So while Uniracers did come out, the first shipment was the only shipment, so that’s a bummer. That’s likely the big reason why it would never appear on a collection of classic games.

#7: Tetris Battle Gaiden

Now, this is a partial cheat since the game never came out in America. But since Starfox 2 never came out at all, what difference does it make? Tetris Battle Gaiden is a fairly standard version of Tetris, however every character has different special moves you can utilize. Each character has 4 different moves, and you gain power by clearing out special glowing blocks which fills up one part of the special bar. The powers can be either offensive or defensive, capable of clearing away your entire board, or really ruining the other player’s field. Really, I just love Tetris, and this is the best version you’re going to find on the SNES, so why not pack it in?

#6: X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse

This X-Men game is actually one of the best ones, which is kind of depressing whe you think about it. Developed by Capcom, it’s a brawler but you have to input SF2-esque commands in order to do special moves. So to do Cyclops Optic Blast, you need to press down, forward and Y. Or to do Wolverine’s dash attack, you need to press, forward, forward and Y. You can’t just mash a button to do special attacks, but conversely, there’s no stupid power meter governing how many times you can throw out Gambit’s cards, for example. Really, it’s just a decent brawling game, but I’d also take the Power Rangers game as an alternative.

#5: Harvest Moon

Given the immense popularity that Stardew Valley attracted over the past year, it would be a no-brainer for Nintendo to include the game that inspired it. So…of course it’s not in there. Harvest Moon is essentially Stardew Valley, only without some of the time constraints and the mining/battling aspect. What is there though is farming, dealing with animals, fishing, upgrading tools, and relationship building with the various town residents. But, it’s also just a relaxing game, just like Stardew, that can be played by almost anyone. Later versions added more stuff to do, but the original Harvest Moon has a charm that the later games couldn’t match.

#4: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

Remember the old arcade TMNT game? What if you just amped it up and added in some time travel elements? Yeah, that’s what Turtles in Time is. I actually prefer the original arcade game more, because I could never reliably pull off the “throw an enemy into the screen” maneuver. Still, Turtles in Time is a fantastic beat’em up, especially with a friend, with it adding more stats for the turtles and special moves you can do in a pinch. Considering that the SNES Classic has two controllers, Nintendo should try to pack in as many co-op games as possible.

#3: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

There is one fighting game on the SNES Classic, Street Fighter 2 Turbo, which is a fine enough game. But in America (and likely Europe), it was always Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat, from the arcades to the home consoles. So why not throw on the best version of MK3 there is? Honestly, there’s not much to say about UMK3, it has 23 characters (just missing Sheeva), introduced brutalities, and is overall a solid fighting game. It’s not a pixel-perfect rendering of the arcade machine, but it is close enough. The only alternative would be Mortal Kombat 2, which people still have endless debates over which is better, MK2 or UMK3.

#2: Mega Man X2/X3

My secret, depressing, theory about why only Mega Man X1 is because Capcom is going to release some “Mega Man X Legacy Collection” eventually, because, let’s face it, they’re greedy and have no shame. Another theory is that Mega Man X2, and particularly X3 have some extremely weird chips, specifically the Cx4 chip which helped with wireframe effects. But X2 and X3 are fantastic games, incorporating more of Zero in the lore and just having more of the tried and true platforming action that the series is known for. Plus, X3 goes *SUPER* nuts with the enhancement chips, and different ride armors and whatnot.

#1: Super Mario All Stars

In an ideal world, I’d include the Super Mario All Stars + Super Mario World game on the SNES so you have both games in one package. I can see the theoretical reason that it’s not included, because it can eat into the value of the original NES, having three of those games in the SNES Classic, but who cares? The original versions of SMB 1, 2 and 3 are still very much their own thing and more important than the All Stars versions. However, the All Stars versions are fun as well and offer a unique spin on the classic games. Plus, it includes the Lost Levels, which still offer a very good challenge for most people. This is one of the strangest omissions of the system, by far, aside from the big one in my intro.

For comments, list which additional games you want in the SNES Classic.

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