After giving our take on the top 5 Famicom games that should come to Switch, it seemed only fair to next look at Super Famicom games. The 16-bit generation has seen a great number of quality titles, but not all of them came to the States. In fact, there’s a stronger case to be made that SNES fans missed out on some amazing games.
The popularity of the Nintendo Switch and its growing number of retro releases begs us to wonder: which Super Famicom titles should finally make their way to American soil? Let’s take a look.
Wonder Project J
We’ll start off with what is undoubtedly the most unique title here. Wonder Project J is best described as a simulation game where you raise a robot boy named Pino. The goal is to have Pino complete various challenges to be integrated with human society.
The comparisons to Pinocchio are obvious enough, especially with the cursor being a fairy named Tinker. In fact, the entire game is quite visually appealing in a Japanese-influenced Disney sort of way. It’s no surprise that such a unique concept was developed by Almanic, the same studio that gave us E.V.O.: Search for Eden.
The benefit of having such a successful console like the Switch is that you can afford to take risks. We have already seen other simulation titles find a home with fans, most notably Stardew Valley. Those same people would surely appreciate taking care of this lovable automaton.
SNES fans didn’t get much in true horror games. The closest that come to mind are Super Castlevania IV with its monster cast and the lighthearted fare of Zombies Ate My Neighbors. If you’re looking for real spooks in a gorgeous 16-bit package, look no further than Clock Tower.
Western gamers may recall the Clock Tower series without even realizing the game that started it all. This was true survival horror before the likes of Resident Evil and Silent Hill popularized the term. In this Japan exclusive, you point-and-click to have the character Jessica investigate a mansion. But watch out for the deadly Scissorman! Coming across this terrorizing figure will send Jessica in a panic which can have you act clumsy depending on your health bar.
This Super Famicom classic feels like a 2D Resident Evil 3: Nemesis in a lot of ways, but with less action in favor of more tension. The point-and-click nature of Clock Tower would be a natural fit on the Switch, plus it would be a perfect release during the Halloween season. Perhaps next year we can see a return of Scissorman.
Firefighters? As video game characters? Surely that can’t be any good. Well, that’s where you’d be wrong! The Firemen is all about fighting fire but in a top-down shooter type of fashion. Think of Zombies Ate My Neighbors or those top-down sections in Contra III: The Alien Wars, except with sentient fire and people to rescue.
Developed by Human Entertainment (the same studio behind Clock Tower), The Firemen did get an English language release albeit only in Europe. The game is set during a Christmas party of all scenarios when a fire breaks out. Flames can be extinguished with a direct stream or proximity spray, and “boss fires” are faced at the end of each level with different strategies needed to not get burned.
The only real knock on The Firemen is that there is no co-op. The second firefighter merely follows your every move. A Switch release could potentially add in a two-player option that would fit this particular port quite nicely.
Seiken Densetsu 3
Any true old-school RPG fan will have seen this choice a mile away. If you loved Secret of Mana, then Seiken Densetsu 3 is right up your alley. Seiken Densetsu 2 was our Secret of Mana making this the direct sequel.
Along with a new story and more character classes to choose from, Seiken Densetsu 3 also boasts a day/night cycle and even day-to-day changes. Like Secret of Mana, there is a multiplayer option only this time limited to two players. Otherwise, gameplay will feel familiar here for 16-bit RPG fans.
This has long been considered the one great RPG SNES fans never got. The fact Seiken Densetsu 3 has only been on Super Famicom is truly a crying shame. We were even teased when Seiken Densetsu Collection was released for Switch, but only in Japan. Square Enix knows Western fans would eat this up, and there’s already a great fan translation available. All that’s left is giving this lost classic the official U.S. release it deserves.
Since we’re on such an RPG high, let’s close out with another great one. Terranigma stands out in an otherwise overcrowded genre on Super Famicom thanks to its memorable music and story. It is considered part of a trilogy after Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia. Playing the previous titles isn’t necessary, however, as they are tied by dark themes instead of the stories or characters.
If you played Illusion of Gaia, then you will be right at home here. Terranigma plays much like an advanced version of that. You have a variety of attacks and spells to dispatch different enemies. Typically there are certain moves which work best again certain enemies.
It truly is a shame American gamers didn’t get Terranigma, especially since an English version exists in PAL regions. The reason why seems to be that the US branch of Enix closed around that time. Since Square Enix owns the IP, it seems feasible that a U.S. port would require little effort. Having it on the go with the Switch would be a perfect fit as well. In fact, just release the whole trilogy as one package and call it a day. That would certainly make ours.
Which Super Famicom titles do you hope to see make their American debut on Switch? Holler at us below with your picks!
David has been involved in games media for over 6 years whether it was running his own blog, YouTube channel, being a founding member of RETRO Magazine, or now as host/producer of Another Retro Gaming Podcast. He also dabbles in voiceover and occasionally acts as Jude Law’s stunt double.