SFC Wrap-up

7 years ago I decided to play all the RPGs for the Super Famicom that had not been released in English. I now have completed this, more or less. There are some games I skipped that perhaps I shouldn’t have, some games I didn’t finish, and a few that I “finished” on a technicality. But I feel like I fulfilled what I set out to do.

If you’ve read many of my posts this may not be a big surprise, but the games on the whole were much worse than I thought they would be. I wasn’t expecting to find a ton of games that could match up to the stuff Square was releasing, but I thought more companies would at least copy them. It’s amazing that Final Fantasy VI, if I had played it, would have been game 48 out of 129. And yet FF6 is miles ahead of almost every game that was released after it.

It was surprising to find companies releasing games well into 1995 that were offering almost no innovation over the system that Dragon Quest II had in 1987. Even when they do add a bit of stuff, it’s often poorly implemented. The interfaces are also not great.

So it’s unfortunate that overall I enjoyed the games less than I thought I would. The saving grace was that for a lot of them I could listen to podcasts or watch some football game (in the fall and winter) while I played them. There was a point at which I was wondering whether I just didn’t like retro games at all, but when I did the SRPG games I enjoyed those much more than the SFC RPGs, even the ones that weren’t so great.

Here are my top 13 favorite games I played on the blog (not counting the SRPGs):

And the 10 worst games

In closing, thank you to everyone who read my posts over the years, and especially to those who commented. Also thanks to my Acer Spin 3 for running all the games, and the DS4 wireless controller for handling most of the input. In the 7 years since I started the blog I moved three times and worked at 4 different places, but this was sort of a standard thing that I kept up…hopefully I can continue going forward for at least another few years.

14 thoughts on “SFC Wrap-up

  1. Fafnir

    Congratulations! It has been a fascinating ride, thank you. Would you say arpg quality increased more than turn based, but still underwhelmed?

  2. Atantuo

    Thanks for doing and documenting this project, and congratulations for actually completing it! Too bad the overall quality of the games was ultimately quite disappointing, but at least now we know. 🙂

  3. David

    Congratulations! I’ve enjoyed your posts a lot. It’s too bad that overall the project wasn’t as much fun as you were hoping and that there weren’t really any hidden gems in the library.

  4. Shrunken Shrine

    Huge congratulations for completing your journey! I’ve been reading it in chunks for years and found them fascinating insights into games that weren’t likely to get translated, officially or otherwise – although in many cases I can now see why many of them haven’t been. Now that the SFC is done with, do your have your sights set on another project to replace it with? Thanks for the very enjoyable posts, they’ve been an inspiration to persevere with my own chronological project.

  5. Debian Astrem

    What I often realized when I try to play any games on each console by years is… the bests games are often released on the first years of the console.
    Oh, and each years, some gems are released.

    Strangely I think the real king of RPG console could be the NES, so many action platformer RPG are on this console, same with RPG, I have difficulty to believe only DQ and FF are the best game on this console…
    My theory is the SNES RPG are just the leaking of the NES RPG, it’s why so many games are so basics actually.

  6. cccmar

    Congrats! Too bad the games were mostly average, but I guess that’s not surprising in hindsight. Very few companies had Square’s budget/team to actually get this done right. When you think about it, FF 6 (and later FF 7) were triple AAA games of the time; I doubt we’ll ever get turn-based JRPGs as big as DQ 3 or FF 7. Interesting to note that pretty much all the absolute worst games are JP-exclusive as well. I kinda see now why people tend to prefer action RPGs (and they sell much better nowadays, usually). Well, the era is completely different now and the vast majority of those kinds of games get localized, regardless of the game’s popularity/quality. I’d argue the only major genre where games don’t get localized as much still are VNs. It’s a shame we missed out on some good stuff, but it is what it is.

  7. João Guilherme

    A lot of people say the SNES was the Golden era of JRPGs , but this blogs shows that stament couldn’t be further from the truth, out of the almost 130 games here only 20 of them would be worth playing today, a lot of them might be decent if they had balance changes to eliminate grinding and reduce encounter rate.

    I didn’t play many SNES RPG but for me Romancing SaGa and Fire emblem are the best ones, DQ and FF are always good in my opinion sadly Square , Enix and Nintendo were the only ones doing quality RPG in the early 90’s.

  8. RedLurker

    Thank you for doing this despite it often not being as fun as you hoped it to be. There were so many games you played that I never even heard of and it was so interesting to read your impressions and look at the screenshots.

    This is a great blog and I’m sure that I’ll be rereading it.

  9. Sorion

    In recent years I’ve realized that the new translation projects for the super famicom are starting to decrease in numbers, many romhackers began to focus their efforts in the playstation and sega saturn games while the sfc took the backseat, looking at the aftermath of this project I’m starting to see why, the super famicom is running out of good untranslated games, most good games for the super famicom have already been translated and the remaining ones are either decent or just downright bad.

    1. cccmar

      Yeah, that’s probably it. PS1 or Saturn have ‘loads’ of exclusives too – though not quite as many RPGs, as far as I’m aware. That’s the era where more obscure VNs started to appear on consoles too, but I doubt most translators will touch those. Also, it seems like there are more and more people in the fan-translation community who grew up in the PS1/PS2 era and don’t know the previous platforms that well. The more recent platforms (like PS5, Switch or Wii/U) don’t have nearly as many Japanese exclusives worth translating it would seem. Unlike in the 80s/90s, all big console games are released worldwide. Probably the only genre where that isn’t the case are VNs or some sugoroku games. So, I’m not surprised they’re doing PS1 stuff and such (they ‘just’ translated Linda Cube Again on PS1). This trend will probably continue for a while.

  10. MC50

    Amazing work. I’ve been following your stuff a little since the old SRW Genesis days (It’s how I found this blog!) So seeing you complete everything is cool.


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