Handsome Phantom Remembers the Super Nintendo
It’s not everyday that you can take credit for predicting the future, but that’s exactly what we did at Handsome Phantom. 2 months ago our boy Duddy made a video predicting that the SNES Classic would see light of day for Holiday 2017. A bold prediction after the catastrophic events surrounding the launch and “life cycle” of the NES classic to be sure, but he nailed it.
With the imminent release of the SNES classic, we decided to share our fondest memories of the system with you. Memories that can now live on, Providing Nintendo doesn’t Nintendo the launch and we can actually get our hands on one.
My lifelong passion for video games began with the Super Nintendo. The SNES was the very first console I owned as a child and to me will
Always be my favorite. The SNES was first shown to me by my cousins who lived out of state. They would bring it home during the holidays and we would play it for days at a time. The first time they booted up that system and the title screen for Super Mario World loaded I was hooked. Every holiday from that point on was spent in my grandparents basement playing 2 games – Super Mario World and Mario Kart.
Could it get any better than that?
The answer was yes. A Christmas or two after I was first introduced to the SNES all my dreams came true. I felt like the Nintendo 64 kid. I finally had my own system and I could not have been happier.
In those days there were no sites like Handsome Phantom or Podcasts like Adventure Mode to steer me in the right direction. So needless to say, I played my fair share of terrible games and I loved every minute of it. Games like Bubsy, Top Gear 3000 and the plethora of Disney games the system would have readily available. The Lion King, Aladdin, The Jungle Book and Toy Story just to name a few. Though they were tough, these games led the way to better ones which would start to define who I was as gamer and as a person.
Super Mario World was my favorite game at the time and it still is to this day. So when I saw a new Mario game released, Mario RPG, I had to play it. I had no idea what an RPG was at the time, but I couldn’t get enough. The genre is still one of my favorites.
Though the games I played are great memories by themselves it was the events surrounding the system I love the most. The time spent playing with my siblings and my dad and the trips to Toys R Us where the only way to chose a game was by looking at photo copied picture of the box art. I found some gems this way, most notably Mega Man X. These are the memories I cherish the most. The system will always be near and dear to me and I’m excited that with the release of the SNES Classic new and old generations of gamers can come together and play these classic games that mean so much to me.
Where I grew up I was the youngest of four boys. When you have three older brothers, every day is a Darwinian experiment in survival. We argued, we fought, we extorted, we prank’d. It was honestly hellish at times, a sort of testosterone fueled, child’s version of Game of Thrones where you’d come out on top one day just to be violently murdered the next.
But in front of that little gray and purple hunk of plastic, there was peace – can you imagine? You’d think it’d be worse in the competitive atmosphere gaming brings on, but it wasn’t. We came together to figure out how to beat bosses, to get better against each other in healthy competition. We blew on cartridges when they weren’t working and there was never a dispute over passing the controller. I think that’s why I’ve stayed a dedicated gamer into adulthood, it’s always been a place to let go and play.
So, when I think of the SNES, it’s not about games, although it had an impressive roster. It’s remembering sitting next to my oldest brother on the floor, learning that Link is the little dude in the green hat, and that Zelda is the princess.
From the time I can remember we had an NES in my house. My dad had purchased it sometime around the time of my birth and I played the heck out of it as long as I could. Eventually it broke, and we didn’t quite have the means to replace it or upgrade. Years later, I remember seeing the SNES and thought it was amazing. Again, it wasn’t quite in the cards to get one.
Flash forward to about 1997. My family and I were in Target and they were running an unadvertised sale on the SNES for $25. No, that wasn’t a typo – it was $25. It came with one controller, no games, and it was probably a re-release, but it was the real, certified by Nintendo deal. This was the first system I ever purchased on my own and certainly one of the larger purchases I made (after buying a game or two as well) during my 9 years as a human.
Super Mario All-Stars was one of the first games I purchased and I don’t know how that cartridge still plays quite frankly. I played it until the controller buttons wore down. My sister was constantly upset that I was hogging it BUT IT WAS MINE!
My SNES provided hundreds of hours of entertainment through late nights, days off of school, birthday parties, and plenty more. Many of my fondest memories revolve around that system and I often think about dusting it off to play.
I like to think I know a lot about video games. I’ve played and owned (in one form or another) every major console at various points in my life. Surprisingly, the SNES is potentially the one I have the least amount of experience with. Growing up, my immediate and extended family all had Sega Genesis. I think at one point there was a Genesis at my house and at both of my Grandma’s houses. The only experience I had with SNES was at the local grocery store child care, and even then I usually was eyeing something else to play like Mario 64. A few years later I would play Yoshi’s Island on a SNES emulator, and that was super rad.
In hindsight, the SNES is clearly the superior console by it’s game library alone. Sure, Sega had a few hits, but in contrast, none of them have aged well compared to the SNES titles. I’ve always felt somewhat ashamed for the games I’ve missed on the SNES, and have tried to atone for my sins across the years. Earthbound (though I still haven’t finished it) is stylistically one of my favorite games, and I hadn’t played it until it hit the WiiU e-shop. It was in the same case for Super Metroid, and loved what I played, but never finished (mostly due to the fact I hated played anything on the WiiU hardware).
I am so enthusiastic about the SNES Classic. I know there are a few games that fans feel are glaring omissions, but the console isn’t short of meaty tiles to get lost in. Some standouts for me are Final Fantasy 3, Super Mario RPG and Secret of Mana (all games I’ve never played in any form). Finally, I can atone for my many sins of missing the SNES, and once and for all, play Zelda: A Link to the Past.
The Super Nintendo is a system that we all hold near and dear to our hearts, or in Dustin’s case, hope to get to know in ways we were not able to in the past. One thing we can all say for sure is how important of a role the SNES plays in video game culture and history. Nintendo is sure to have a hit on their hands when they release the SNES classic on September 29, let’s just hope that they worked out the kinks and have enough in production to meet demands. Only time will tell.
Author: Phil Neyman
Philip is better at buying video games than he is at playing them. He was once told “it must suck to love something so much and be so terrible at it.” As a boy he would write terrible poems about himself and Ross Perot. He enjoys the best and worst of all forms of media, but nothing in the middle. Puyo Puyo Tetris has almost caused unreconcilable differences between him and his wife. He’s never had a hangover, but not from lack of trying.