To the disbelief of many younger gamers, there was a time when licensed games were not synonymous with crappy cash grabs. This is due to the fact that these games were developed by 3rd party powerhouses like Capcom and Konami, and were made with quality gameplay in mind.
A shining example of a stellar licensed game from the 16-bit era was SNES’ Goof Troop, a game based off of the Disney cartoon series of the same name. Growing up, I was not a huge fan of Disney’s television-based animated series, but Goof Troop was one of the major exceptions. I watched the show religiously, which is likely what lead to my parents purchasing the video game adaptation for me. Little did they know, they had purchased one of the greatest multiplayer experiences on the SNES, and a game I still play more than 20 years later.
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I will never forget the day I unlocked Roy and Marth in Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo Gamecube. My initial reaction was “who the hell are these dudes,” but this sentiment was quickly replaced by exaltation when I realized how much I enjoyed playing as these characters. Unlocking their trophies revealed tales of medieval battles and saving kingdoms. I had no idea which genre these game’s fell into, I imagined it was some sort of action or role playing game. As I grew more fond of the characters I became increasingly perturbed, knowing I may never get the chance to play their original games. Then came the day Fire Emblem was announced for the Gameboy Advance. To my pleasant surprise it was a turn-based strategy game, similar to the previously released Advance Wars. Being a huge fan of the latter, I pre-ordered Fire Emblem immediately and was treated to one of my favorite games of all time. After playing through eight times and completing all possible routes, I ventured forth to the internet to search for new route of Fire Emblem delivery to satisfy my new addiction. This was when I was introduced to emulation in all its early, somewhat inaccurate glory. The first game I obtained, or “ripped from my personal copy of a Japanese Super Famicom cartridge” was Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu (translation: Genealogy of the Holy War) along with an early version of its translation patch. I was absolutely blown away by the game, its multi-generational plot, large scale battles, and series staple perma-death mechanics resulted in it being instantly classified in my top 5 favorite games of all time. I yearned for more, and luckily my needs were satisfied by Seisen no Keifu’s epic “mid-quel” entitled Fire Emblem: Thracia 776.
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