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Super Smash TV Review

Developer: Williams Entertainment Publisher: Acclaim
Release Date: 1991 Also On:
NES, Genesis, Sega Master System, and Xbox 360

Since I just recently tackled Smash TV for the NES, I thought I’d compare it with the system next in line, the Super Nintendo. Of course, along with lots of classic characters and titles they updated, Nintendo and other companies took a number of more modern arcade titles and ported them to the SNES. Smash TV was one of them, dubbed Super Smash TV when it was released for the system. You might already know that the NES version is one of my favorite games, so how does this one fare? How does a system with more power pull it off?

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First off, graphically, this is really, really close to the original arcade version of Smash TV. Super Smash TV is exactly what the arcade looks like, as far as I can tell by reminding myself through some online videos. Looks like the programmers were able to pull off nearly everything the original had to offer by way of visuals, aside from perhaps some minor details here and there, but then again I’m only assuming that because I’m not entirely certain. Regardless, the graphics are great, no problems.

As for the music, I personally never really enjoy the sound of the arcade version. Smash TV always seemed to cover over the tunes with the sound effects. The SNES version of Super Smash TV, however, manages to keep the sound effects and music at great levels so one doesn’t tend to overcast the other. However, the effects still can be somewhat overpowering at times, but the music is still driving right behind them so it wasn’t that big of an issue for me. All of the digitized voicing has been retained, as well as all the little effects that made the arcade version so much fun to play. Good job again, and even slightly better than the original in my opinion.

Super Smash TV is set up in the same way as the original arcade version. As such, you control one of two players in a game show where you blast away at everything, collect as many prizes as possible, and avoid getting killed. Pretty simple. This version, unlike the NES port, has retained all of the play and items from the arcade. Again, I can’t remember all the details, but as far as I can tell this is as close as it got at this time period. The controls worked very well too. Whereas on the NES they had to use some fancy new programmer with two controllers, on the SNES you move with the directional pad and use all four buttons to control your direction of fire. Couldn’t be simpler, and the SNES controller fits perfectly with Super Smash TV. Very solid and smooth. My only problem is that there is a difficulty setting, but I honestly didn’t notice any different between normal and hard, they both seemed the same to me. I expected things to get really intense on hard, but nothing seemed to happen. Anyway, check it out:

Super Smash TV is essentially a direct port. So, it’s hard to really call it creative. Sure, the game is creative in itself, but unlike the NES version where they had to cut corners carefully to make things work and utilize completely new controller programming code, Super Smash TV on the SNES seems like it was an easy game to put together. The controller was ready to go and the SNES has the capabilities to pull it off as close as possible. Considering this, and the fact that they didn’t add anything new to this one, I can’t score very high in the creativity category.

As for replay value, Super Smash TV is an excellent game to pull out with a friend. Alone, it can be pretty difficult without some practice, but still manageable. This is one of the most enjoyable two-player experiences on the SNES and a welcome addition to the shooting game library it has to offer. The game length is good too, it has the same amount of time as the original. Keep alive, and you’re looking at a good hour or two of straight play. Never stops moving either, which is good.

Super Smash TV is a great example of an 80s arcade masterpiece brought to life on a home console. At this point in video gaming history, things were looking up for ports, and the SNES version of Smash TV goes to prove how powerful things were becoming. This game features pretty much everything the original has to offer. In fact, that’s the only real fault you can find with it. It’s so similar you might be better off trying it out through an arcade emulator or on the XBox since that version is as direct as it gets. But, if you’re an SNES fan looking for an excellent two-player shooter with some cool features and originality, then check Super Smash TV out.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 6.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 8.1
Written by Stan Review Guide