Thanks to Emulators I’ve been able to play a lot of games.
I watch a lot of YouTube these days.
In particular I follow a number of gaming channels such as GameSack, SomeCallMeJohnny, and of course Cinnemassacre.
Sometimes on these channels they will mention a super rare or old school game and because of Emulators I see these as opportunities.
Instead of worrying if I’ll be able to ever find it on ebay or hoping the orginal arcade version will be released to virtual consoles, I just smile knowing if I REALLY wanted to I could find it on the internet.
So I just wanted to share 5 games I would have never got to play otherwise.
Game 1 – Streets Of Rage Remake (SorR Project)
Yep, I bet the title alone got some of you hyped, for years Sega fans have been waiting patiently to get a new damn Streets Of Rage game. Well a few years ago I found out from a friend that some fans got together and made just that.
what’s even better is I think they may have done a better job than Sega themselves.
So… where to even begin with this game, well firstly the game is basically the Sonic Mania of SOR (Streets of Rage). The game has been built from the ground up and is a complete HD remake of the original. It has all three Sega titles combined into one game, meaning all your favourite levels and so much more.
We have… (takes a deep breath):
- Remixed music
- New playable characters
- Character remodels (Adam)
- Save feature
- Tonnes of unlockable’s
- Level Select
- Game cutscenes
- Alternate endings
- SOR level creator
You can do cool stuff like take the Axel character model from SOR2 and play through SOR1 levels!
As you can probably tell I freakin can’t get enough of this game and it has a crap load of replay value for me, I don’t think I’ll ever play the original SOR again even if Sega decided to finally make their own.
I think the developers are done with updates and released the final version of the game a few years ago but check their site for more information.
It’s really a great game that I don’t ever see anyone talk about on the internet which is sad as it deserves more love.
Game 2 – Hong Kong 97 or HONGKONG1997
This game is one of those things that you got to see to believe, this is “The Room” of the Super Nintendo. I haven’t really heard anyone else mention this game until it got onto people’s radar because of YouTube videos like The Angry Video Game Nerd.
From what I have been able to find out the game is an unlicensed, top down shooter game for the Super Famicom (Japanese SNES) that was made in 1995 by a “Japanese Journalist” named Kowloon Kurosawa who is stated to have said the game was made in about a week.
Sounds like a disaster from the get go, doesn’t it?
The game quickly became notorious in japan and rated “Kusoge” which hilariously translates to “Shitty Game”. Game quality by the mid 90’s had come along way with Crash Bandicoot and Super Mario 64 setting the standard so people had much to compare it to at the time.
This bizarre game opens with advertisements! From the company HappySoft, pretty much begging retailers to take their games, like really!
The game has this crazy story about some dude named Chin who is apparently Bruce Lee’s cousin and has come to take on… excuse my french “some fuckin ugly reds” (yes, the game actually says that). So, Chin has been tasked with killing them all by himself.
Chin is also Jackie Chan by the way and his picture is from the movie Meals on Wheels. I’m sure he has no idea or that HappySoft were even allowed to use the picture.
If you can then imagine Space Invaders but with tiny men instead of spaceships and instead of a black space background it’s a Coca Cola wallpaper (because why not). Chin shoots fireballs at the tiny men who explode like nuclear bombs, you also die with just one hit and you get presented with the most disturbing game over screen probably ever which seems to be a screen shot of a REAL dead body from a CCTV camera with the date 8/6/1992.
Oh, and the boss is a floating head of a now dead Japanese politician.
So why in the world would you want to play this game, well… to be able to say that you have!
This is one of those games that’s so messed up why would you not try it out and see it with your own eyes. It’s such an interesting piece of history that time would have been forgotten had it not been for the internet. There is also no physical copy of this game or even a picture of the thing so you cannot experience it any other way. Like AVGN said the only way to play the game is like the rest of the internet.
Game 3 – Starfox 2
With this game, I want to start by being honest at the time of writing this post Nintendo have FINALLY announced that this game will be available within their new Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System. So as of right now the internet will no longer be the only way to experience this game.
But from 1995 – 2017 there was no official release of this title by Nintendo. There are a few prototype cartridges that are rare and even this was a just a ripped version of the game so not exactly emulation but a sort of cartridge-piracy.
The reason for this was because following the success of Starfox on the SNES, Nintendo had announced and created the sequel but just before launch it was scrapped to make way for the N64 and Starfox64.
So, all those little kids who were hyped for this game back in 1995 ultimately had their dreams dashed but thankfully around the early 2000s it was possible to play this game via a SNES Emulator.
I think the game is great with upgraded graphics, new characters and a decent story. It’s truly a great piece of Nintendo history and I believe that the reason they have included it in the line-up is because they noticed it had fans due to the many playthrough videos on YouTube.
Game 4 – MUGEN / M.U.G.E.N
Ok so try to imagine Marvel vs Capcom, or Xmen vs Streetfighter or Super Smash Bros.
Got that image in your mind? Ok now double, triple and quadruple the amount of playable characters… you get MUGEN.
You could have Goku from Dragonball Z vs Homer Simpson or Tom Hanks vs Mecha Sagat, anything is possible with this game.
I first heard about it in like 2003 when I was still in school. One of my friends came running up to me short of breath asking if I’d heard of MUGEN, he was over taken with excitement and was desperate for all of us to play it. But I didn’t see it in any game magazines, no television adverts and it did not have a physical release on consoles it was like some secret fighting game revolution.
The game began life back in 1999 by a group called Elecbyte and the game was originally created for MS-DOS or Linux machines. It is a freeware 2D-fighting game with a similar style of Street fighter 3 or Marvel vs Capcom, it has since exploded into a massive open source project spanning multiple different versions and has been developed on by thousands of people over the years with characters still being added to this day.
It even has its own Wikia page and gameplay being streamed on Twitch. It’s been around so long that Elecbyte can’t even remember what the acronym MUGEN was supposed to be.
The game is not played within any particular emulator, it is just stand-alone software that you download install and play. You can also download other people’s created characters and add them to your game as a sort of fan-made DLC.
Mugen is a beast of a game, every single character is well thought out with their own special moves, combos and even intro cutscenes before the battle. There are hundreds of awesome backgrounds to fight at some taken from the other games mentioned above. You have countless modes such as Survival, Arcade, Training, and Watch where you pit two CPU fighters against each other, some people actually bet money through this mode in live streamed events online.
What more can I say other than you have to try this game.
Here is a short video of MUGEN version Golden-A in action on Mac OS courtesy of The Grabisoft:
Game 5 – Sonic Rom Hacks
This one is a bit of a cheat as its not one game but many, it is hundreds of versions of one game.
And that game is Sonic the Hedgehog.
A Sonic Rom Hack is a sonic game usually one of the classics between 1990-95 that has been altered to have new levels, new characters or in some cases completely remodelled to make something else. So basically a fan-made Super Mario Maker for Sonic.
This simple act has had such a massive impact on the game industry, games like Freedom Planet which is a massively popular 2D platformer on steam originally started its life as a Sonic rom hack. Youtubers like SomeCallMeJohnny hosts sonic hack events where he plays these various game creations.
There was also one Sonic Rom maker named Christian Whitehead who built a big name for himself because of the quality of his rom hacks he was then scouted by Sega themselves, he has gone on to make Sonic HD remastered for Android/IOS and eventually Sonic Mania.
That’s right Sonic freakin Mania, and we have Sonic Rom Hacking to thank for it.
Obviously, all these other games do not have official Sega licensed physical releases for their consoles so they are played within emulators such as Gens. This enables you to play these hacks on a PC, Laptop, Table, iPad, MacBook, Smartphone, and I’ve even seen these games work on a PlayStation Portable more on that one day.
There is one other way, (You can thank me for this in the comments later)
There is a little website called SSega.com that is basically an online emulator that lets you play any 16-bit Sega Megadrive / Genesis games both released and hacked games. I do plan to do a full review of this website at some point but you will find a lot of Sonic Rom Hacks in here to play right now.
There so many out there, a few good ones to shout out are as follows:
- Sonia & Silver the S-factor
- Sonic Raijin
- Pepsi in Sonic 1 (yes you read that right)
- Knuckles Knuckles & Knuckles
So, give them a try and share your thoughts on them. 😉
So that concludes this list of top 5 games you should play before you kick the bucket.
Let me know what you think in the comments below and please share this with your friends or subscribe to our email list for more.