Capsule reviews of selected SNES games.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Nintendo EAD, 1991-1992)

My favorite Zelda game, i.e., the one I’ve most recently played.

Skyblazer (Ukiyotei, 1994)

Platform game; Mode 7 showcase; mythological rainbow. Worth playing for the fantastic bosses. If the rest of the game is uneven, well, here, have some extra lives.

Ardy Lightfoot (ASCII, 1993)

Platform game that plays like a silent film. I could talk about the controls (e.g., the increasingly necessary yet constantly awkward double jump) but I find it easier to like the game the more I treat it like a movie. (2 and a half stars.)

Super Smash T.V. (Beam, 1991)

Violence in games: brilliant commentary on, excuse for, egregious example of. But play the arcade version instead.

Vegas Stakes (HAL, 1993)

HAL, I love you — you know that — and had I known you were planning to release a casino crawl where shuffling and dealing a poker hand takes twenty seconds, I would have stopped you.

Arcana (HAL, 1992)

A few redeeming qualities — the inspired use of headgear in character portraits, the vintage SPC sounds — but possibly the worst RPG I’ve ever played. HAL, I think we should start seeing other people.

Redline F-1 Racer (G Amusements, 1992)

I’d love to work my way through the championship circuit — putting my winnings back into my vehicle, endlessly customizing in a soundscape of synthesized bass — I just wish there were some way to do it without actually racing. Because the moment you get into your car, the strategic pretension and smooth soundtrack fall away to reveal a version of Pole Position where the only sound is the noise of your ice-crushing gearbox.

Space Ace (Empire Software, 1994)

I’m so glad I don’t have fond memories of the original that would compel me to play through this wretched conversion.