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Nintendo Power's Five Worst Reviewed Games of 1995
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on March 22, 2016   |   Episode 96 (Show Archive)  

The year is 1995. Waterworld was gasping for air at the box office, kids were collecting pogs and the entire world started doing the Macarena. But we're not here to talk about that time in Marbella when Macarena gave into guerilla excesses, because today we're counting down Nintendo Power's five worst reviewed games of 1995.

Samurai Shodown
Hot on the heels of Electronic Gaming Monthly calling it the Game of the Year, Samurai Shodown received low marks from the persistently baffling Nintendo Power. They liked that it was "a fighter with a difference," but balked at the low challenge and repetition. They also complained that this Super NES port didn't offer the close-up fights of the original. Nintendo Power gave the game a 2.7 out of 5, which is considerably lower than the competition. EGM gave the 16-bit version mostly 8s, praising the extra modes. Game Players agreed, giving it an 85% and concluding that "this is an excellent change of pace fighting game." The critic consensus was that Samurai Shodown wasn't as good as the arcade original, but certainly not as bad as this Nintendo Power score suggests.
Super RBI Baseball
While never as respected as Bases Loaded, RBI Baseball did manage to attract a large following in the 8-bit era. Unfortunately, Nintendo Power didn't feel this Super NES sequel was ready for the big leagues. The editors complained that Super RBI Baseball had "simple character graphics" and a "slow base running speed." They also had a difficult time with the hitting controls, which is half the fun of a baseball simulator. They recommended players stick with Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball or MLBPA Baseball. Oddly enough, GamePro strongly disagreed. Giving Super RBI Baseball a 4 out of 5, the magazine raved about the modes and features found in the cart. They liked the graphics and hoped a 32-bit version would be close behind. While that didn't happen, the series did make a comeback in 2014 when it hit Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
Street Fighter II
In a year when Killer Instinct was named one of the best games of 1995, it's certainly strange to see both Samurai Shodown and Street Fighter II end up on the opposite list. To Nintendo Power's credit, they mostly enjoyed Street Fighter on the Super NES. But after three 16-bit installments, Nintendo Power wasn't ready to follow Street Fighter to the Game Boy. The editors complained that it's too slow to play and has a limited selection of characters. They were also miffed at the gameplay, recommending gamers stick with the console releases. Electronic Gaming Monthly largely agreed, but did give the game higher marks. Most seemed to agree the portable version worked better than they imagined, but still wasn't that great. GamePro was less generous, giving Street Fighter II a 2.5 out of 5.
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie
Once a staple of the arcade scene, 2D beat-em-ups were looking a bit long in the tooth by 1995. Nowhere was this more evident than Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie, an unimaginative brawler hobbled together to coincide with the quintet's big screen debut. Beyond being wholly generic, Nintendo Power complained that you "can't always tell if enemies are on the foreground or background track." GamePro disagreed, noting that it has better graphics and gameplay when compared to last Mighty Morphin' attempts. They also appreciated the two-player mode, giving it high marks across the board.
Pinball Fantasies
When Pinball Dreams was released, critics weren't exactly blown away. They gave the cart middling scores and figured that would be the end of the franchise. But that did not end this GameTek series. One year later, the company unleashed Pinball Fantasies, an even worse sequel that received almost no support. Nintendo Power griped about the simple graphics, complaining that they aren't realistic. GamePro went even further, giving the game a 1 out of 5 and called the game "unimaginative." They hated the control and scrolling, concluding that "Pinball Fantasies is nobody's dream come true." Next Generation also had issues with the game, giving it 2 stars out of 5. They noted that "since a lot of the scoring devices are near the top of the table, it means that most of the time you're shooting blind." For what it's worth, Super Play gave the game an 81%. They were the lone defender of what was a pretty terrible pinball game.
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