Nintendo Strikes Back

Here we are with the followup to the Genesis article. The Super Nintendo was released shortly after I got the Genesis. After a few months of owning the Genesis I noticed a lot of the games while fun were not quite as challenging as the old Nintendo games were. With the release of the Super Nintendo many of my old favorites were brought to the 16-bit format.

The system included a new Mario game which I knew was fun having played the Super Famicom (Japanese Super Nintendo) version at a local arcade. Also, there was Super Castlevania IV which was another favorite series of mine on the original Nintendo. Finally, there was mention of a new Zelda game coming out the next year. I couldn’t pass up all that so I sold my Genesis around October or November of ’91 and bought a Super Nintendo.

The system was amazing. Hardware wise it was superior over the Genesis. The Genesis could display 64 different colors on the screen at the same time while the Super Nintendo could do 256. This led to games that looked a lot more richer and complex. Also the Super Nintendo had a 16-bit audio processor on it’s own which led to amazing symphonic music in games that none of the previous systems could compare to. Because of these differences the games that were released on both consoles always looked better on the Super Nintendo.

Despite these differences Sega was able to have pretty close to half the market until the mid 90’s. The deal breaker though was with the release of Donkey Kong Country. This game had amazing graphics at the time with detailed pre rendered 3D characters. Also, with the release of Donkey Kong Country came the first ad where Nintendo actually fought back against Sega. Sega the whole time had been throwing commercials against Nintendo with slogans like “Genesis does what Nintendont” and saying the Genesis had Blast processing to make games faster and that the Super Nintendo was slow.  

The release of Donkey Kong Country is considered where the shift was made in Nintendo’s favor and Nintendo won the 16-bit console war.  I don’t know if we’ll ever see anything quite like that again. All the current consoles have their own niche market and they don’t have the constant mudslinging that went on back in those days.

Here is the list of games on the Super Nintendo that I remember completing followed by a pic of my boxed Super Nintendo, one of the first Super Nintendo commercials I remember, and the Donkey Kong Country commercial.

Contra 3
Donkey Kong Country
Final Fantasy 2
Final Fight
Killer Instinct
Legend of the Mystical Ninja
Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Mega Man X
Mortal Kombat
Star Fox
Street Fighter 2
Street Fighter II: Turbo
Super Castlevania IV
Super Empire Strikes Back
Super Ghouls & Ghosts
Super Mario World
Super Return of the Jedi
Super Star Wars
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time



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