Howdy, retro gamers and welcome back to The Last Official Release. In this series of words, punctuation and (usually) low-resolution imagery, I take a look at the last official games to grace discontinued consoles. Gone, but not forgotten. A full list of what I’ve already covered can be found below.
Following on from last weeks article about the Sega Genesis (or Mega Drive, if you live in PAL-land) I thought it would be prudent to cover its arch nemeses, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – or SNES, for shorts. Much like the Genesis, I don’t feel it’s that necessary to write a blurb about one of the most famous gaming consoles ever – but I will add that it was launched as the Super Famicom in Japan (as it’s known there) on the 21st of November, 1990, in the US during the August of 1991 and everywhere else in 1992 (just like myself).
While discontinued most places in 1999, it wasn’t canned in Japan until September 25th, 2003. That is almost unbelievable since by then we were already in the midst of the sixth generation of console, but it is what it is.
If we’re looking at this by region, the first of the lasts was in Europe. Timon & Pumbaa’s Jungle Games hit shelves on the 26th of March, 1998 (although Americans had been playing it since the previous November) and consisted of four mini-games loosely based around The Lion King. These are all accessible from the get-go and have no real end-goal except to beat your siblings and friends high-scores. There is a slingshot game, pinball, a pleasant shooter called Burper and finally, a Frogger type game called Hippo Hop. That is a nice coincidence since the final game in the US was indeed, Frogger, in the October of 1998.
Refer to my previous article about the Genesis if you’d like to know more since they were the exact same game – but while Frogger was the final game worldwide for the Genesis, the Super Nintendo had the Super Famicom, and the Super Famicom had a dedicated Japanese fanbase to keep it in motion for several more years.
While it was admittedly nowhere near 2003 (I’m still in disbelief about that) Metal Slader Glory: Director’s Cut saw release as the final game for the Super Famicom on the 29th of November, 2000. As you’ve probably figured from the sub-heading, it was a reissue. Originally released on the Famicom in 1991, Metal Slader Glory is a sci-fi adventure game that featured gameplay comprising of menu-commands – kind of like a text adventure. It was developed by HAL Laboratory who are now known for a bunch of great Nintendo titles over the years, but MSG was developed while they were still an independent developer.
In fact, it ended up being their last as this game appeared to be quite the undertaking. For one, it took four years to develop and ended up using a costly 8-megabit cartridge with a dedicated graphics chip. Suffice to say, it didn’t recoup enough costs in sales which resulted in Nintendo buying the company – but let’s get back on track. Metal Slader Glory: Director’s Cut was a port of the game years later, but since it was on the more modern hardware included better graphics, sound and as a bonus, new “scenes”. Expect to pay hundreds of dollars if you want a Super Famicom version, but it’s also available on the Wii U’s Japanese Virtual Console. It should be noted that you’ll need to be competent in reading Japanese, however.
Previously, on The Last Official Release:
Sega Genesis – Frogger (1998)
Sega Master System – Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge
Game & Watch – Mario the Juggler
PS1 – Schnappi: 3 Fun-Games
N64 – Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3
Game Gear – The Lost World: Jurassic Park
NES – The Lion King
Atari 2600 – Klax
Game Boy – Shikakei Atama o Kore Kusuru: Kanji/Keisan no Tatsujin
Dreamcast – Karous