So the just-announced SNES Classic has a plethora of games on it, and unlike the NES Classic I can’t really argue against any of their inclusions. I mean, I could do without a few of these because I have them in other formats, but in terms of the strength and importance of these picks, they are all deserving. But if the fates had gone in a more quantitative way, I would have thrown these nine titles onto the mini console as well:
The most glaring omission from the catalog of titles is easily Chrono Trigger. It’s such an iconic staple and while I can understand Square-Enix choosing Final Fantasy III (VI) and Secret of Mana (which may indicate the low likelihood of us getting the Mana Collection in the US now that I think about it), it kinda stings that this wasn’t along for the ride, too. More thoughts on CT can be read here if you’d like.
Firebrand’s final solo adventure is arguably his best, and the gothic action/platforming is just the sort of uniqueness the SNES Classic could have used even more of. Mechanically there’s nothing really quite like it currently on the system, and even though one might argue that Super Ghouls N’ Ghouls is enough of this franchise, I say no! No I say!
Quintet’s earliest SNES title is a solid blend of the action and simulation genres, each helping the other not overstay its welcome. Add in one of Yuzo Koshiro’s masterworks of a soundtrack, good visuals for so early on in the SNES lifeline, and decent enough controls and you’ve got an overlooked cult classic deserving of more recognition.
Quest’s first major release in the cult classic Ogre series may not be as renowned as Tactics Ogre or as polished as Ogre Battle 64, but it’s still a solid strategy RPG that would fill a nice void of the genre on the SNES Classic. Its intense gameplay and tactical considerations would definitely be a nice change of pace in contrast to Super Mario World or F-Zero.
Nintendo’s quirky take on the Maxis classic would require a bit of licensing shenanigans to actually take place (which is likely the main reason it was absent from the actual lineup), but in my opinion the game is one of the more interesting variants of the city-building formula, and it is loaded down with plenty of that magical “Ninty” charm.
U.N. Squadron (Capcom)
One genre that is sorely lacking on the SNES Classic is any horizontal or vertical shooters, and I feel that U.N. Squadron stands pretty tall on the platform for a well-executed, relatively unconpromised port of the arcade original. Unfortunately it too is likely stuck in licensing limbo thanks to its Japanese origins as an Area 88 game, but hey, this is a dream scenario and I can do what I want. :p
Now we’re into stuff I actually haven’t played (sorry Wild Guns). But my reasoning is that these would be games I would actually be beyond tickled to be able to play, and would be pretty tough to find secondhand. Super Bomberman 2 is first on this tally, and while the lack of an included multitap hurts its full potential (although it’s conceivable someone may release a third party one to juryrig Secret of Mana), it’s a party classic that has rarely been overcome on Nintendo’s own systems.
Since Capcom gave Sega the rights to produce Strider for the Genesis, this is the closest I believe any SNES game got to that fabled experience. And while Run Saber may not be as stunning as Capcom’s legend, it does have some intriguing bosses and a two-player option, and it certainly looks like it’s a lot of fun to play. It’s been on my wish list for quite a while, so I would have been quite tickled to see it pop up here.
Another big omission in terms of genres is the beat-em-up, and instead of just tossing the compromised Final Fight or some rando Jaleco title on there, why not include one of the more underrated titles on the system, Taito’s The Ninja Warriors (Again)? I’ve heard mostly positive buzz surrounding the game, and it would fill both a crucial hole in terms of breadth and give a hidden gem some needed exposure.
Last but not least is Quintet’s Soul Blazer, arguably the best of their themed trilogy of overhead action RPGs (which also included Illusion of Gaia and Terranigma) and the one I’ve coveted the most out of all of the these games. It’s supposedly excellent, and is the exact type of game the SNES Classic could resurrect in the public consciousness.