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BaD - 16-bit Epics

On 02/22/2021 at 03:51 PM by Matt Snee

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I never had a SNES, something I explain a lot on this site, even though you all already know it. It's just that when discussing video games, the SNES comes up a lot. It was a very important system, especially for JRPG's, which really came into their own in the 16-bit generation. While 8-bit RPG's have their charm, the genre's storytelling didn't really develop until the SNES and Genesis, and by then developers had also worked out some of the kinks in the games' mechanics. 

These were the years of Final Fantasy IV and VI, Chronotrigger, Mana games, and many other JRPG's (and a lot that were only released in Japan that the West is only beginning to enjoy.)

Whether it was the anime cut scenes (rudimentary by today's standards) of the Phantasy Star games, or the combination of dialogue and brilliant music by Nobuo Uematsu, storytelling definitely took a leap forward in the 16-bit era. And while personal computer RPG's went in a different direction, a lot of the storytelling tropes we still see today in JRPGs originated in these golden years. 




02/22/2021 at 04:23 PM

I did have a SNES, so I did get to reap some of the bounty of 16 bit RPGs, at least in the later years of the SNES lifespan, which included FF6, Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, and Harvest Moon. I'd hoped the N64 would continue thaf legacy, but it was pretty much a bust when it came to RPGs. Pity they couldn't finish Earthbound 64. The Gamecube made up for it somewhat. 

Enix published a lot of SNES RPGs, including the well-regarded Ogre Battle, but unfortunately Dragon Quest 5 and 6  weren't among them. That's too bad, because Dragon Quest 5 in particular is as good as the Square RPGs. It would have also been nice if Nintendo had brought over the SNES Fire Emblem games.

That said, the Genesis did provide two enduring RPG classics: Lunar: The Silver Star and Lunar: Eternal Blue, which were both Sega CD games.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

02/23/2021 at 10:23 PM

I started playing DQ4 on my phone. But I'm still deep in DQ11 so it's gonna take a while. 

I'm gonna blog about the Sega CD and Saturn next. 


02/22/2021 at 08:42 PM

I always wanted to play Chrono Trigger. I think I had the DS port a while ago. I wonder if I still have it?

Matt Snee Staff Writer

02/23/2021 at 10:23 PM

Yeah, that DS port is great, but I didn't finish it. Definitely a great way to play it. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

02/22/2021 at 09:47 PM

Yeah, the SNES seems to be like the king of classic JRPGs. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

02/23/2021 at 10:23 PM

I personally prefer the PSONE era, but the SNES era definitely had some landmark games. 

Cary Woodham

02/23/2021 at 07:49 AM

Yeah the SNES is when I really got into RPGs.  FF4, FF6, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Lufia 2, and many more.  It's weird that I'm not into RPGs hardly at all now.  My younger self wouldn't have believed it!

Matt Snee Staff Writer

02/23/2021 at 10:24 PM

well, they can be very time consuming. Maybe when you retire, you can catch up. Laughing

Cary Woodham

02/24/2021 at 07:36 AM

The way things are going, I don't think any of us will be able to retire.

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