Editorial: Gaming in 1991

In just one week Lusipurr.com has advanced one full year into 1991 to learn more about the treasures known as video games. Did 1991 have historic highs? Historic lows? There is only one way to find out: Googling it. Scratch that, two ways to find out: Googling it OR reading this amazing editorial!

Please...please let Sonic Mania be a good game.
How many times has Green Hill Zone been remade?

Time to delve straight into the games of the year the first of which being Street Fighter II, one of the most updated fighting games that has ever existed including the upcoming release of Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers for the Nintendo Switch which in itself is an updated version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Ultimately it is all a mess that no one actually understands, but a much easier franchise to follow lies with “Sonic the Hedgehog,” whose first game titled, Sonic the Hedgehog which released for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. This game launched SEGA’s mascot into one of the most entertaining series of peaks and valleys that gamers have ever witnessed as for every Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, there is a Sonic Adventure. Speaking of peaks and valleys, Final Fantasy IV also released for the Super Famicom in 1991, a series peak that will continue to be loved by “Final Fantasy” fans. Another loved game that released in 1991 was also The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past often heralded as one of if not the best game in “The Legend of Zelda” franchise. While games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time age every second, the former stands tall.

The point is that the SNES is really cool, OK?
A king among men, a parfait among normal yogurts.

Now to get into the hardware from 1991 including one of the greatest video game consoles to ever bless the planet known as Earth. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System launched in North America on August 23rd, and ever since the world has never been the same. Harder, better, faster, stronger, these are all words included in a song by the dubstep duo known as Daft Punk, but they also describe the SNES when compared to the original NES. Especially the harder part, if someone was to drop a SNES off of the Empire State Building it would assuredly kill whoever was unlucky enough to be under it. Not to be outdone by the SNES though, SEGA decided to release the Mega-CD in December in Japan which was add-on to the Sega Mega Drive. This accessory had a slow start given its relatively mediocre launch with Heavy Nova, and Sol-Feace but eventually the add-on picked up steam (literally…but not that steam) in North America, more on that next week.

Dogs are much more friendly and entertaining than the 3DO, a sad but true fact of life.
In the arms of an angel…

To close things off this editorial will now touch upon some new companies that popped up around 1991 and whether or not they are still will us (or should be). The first being Blizzard (originally known as Silicon & Synapse) whose first game was RPM Racing (Radical Psycho Machine Racing) for the SNES and the latest game being a small-scope indie game known as Overwatch with Starcraft Remastered just around the corner. Afterwards came Bungie in May of 1991, starting off with just one man releasing Operation: Desert Storm for the Macintosh, and now Bungie is a company with over 700 employees raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from Destiny. Last, and in a way least, the 3DO Company also started up in 1991 and quickly went under in 2003 after releasing over 20 games in the “Army Men” franchise alone. Not to forget that they also released their own console called the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer which did not do well given its lack of hit titles and $700 asking price.

So there it is for this week’s blast from the past, tune in next week to learn about 1992! Did you learn something new after reading this editorial? Did you think that these were all basic facts that should come standard in an elementary school curriculum? Whatever the case may be, make sure to leave a comment below and let us know what you think!


  1. Another loved game that released in 1991 was also The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past often heralded as one of if not the best game in “The Legend of Zelda” franchise. While games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time age every second, the former stands tall.

    The best Zelda game, and indeed adventure game, bar none, full stop, no contest. In five hundred years, people will be playing Link to the Past in school in their Classic Gaming class, the way we* read Shakespeare’s Hamlet today.

    *literate people

  2. @Lusipurr I am not sure I could go that far… but to support that claim they DID remix the game in the form of Link Between Worlds- so good they made the game twice.

  3. And LBW was actually O-K, too, despite being remixed. But not a touch on LTTP, which is perfect.

  4. Well it was too far removed no? It was a good return to form and shows that Nintendo still makes good games but they didn’t quite hit Classic until Breath of the Wild. It’ll take time to sink in but they really did a number with that game. As good as LTTP – too soon to say. DLC could ruin it all or push it over the edge. Depends on what it does. Then again can you really compare them and call them the same game anymore? They are so vastly different that remove all the iconography and how would you know BOTW was even a Zelda game.

  5. @Korusi: With Breath of the Wild Nintendo did something it hasn’t done in a long time: it has made the genre-defining title.

    They did this with Mario Kart (the definitive comic kart racer), and they did it Super Metroid (the definitive adventure platformer), and they did it with Mario of course (the definitive stage-based platformer). But those are all old titles. Meanwhile, other companies have grasped the nettle, as it were, with emerging genres. Nintendo’s relegation as a ‘specialist’ console with only a handful of exclusive titles, largely all first-party, has meant that other companies have set the tone with genres: companies like Blizzard, Bioware, Bethesda, and other corporate entitites beginning with B.

    Then came Breath of the Wild in a month that also saw the release of the excellent Horizon: Zero Dawn. But it is Breath of the Wild about which we are still talking–about which we will still be talking in five and even ten years. It is the definitive open-world adventure game. Is it the best Zelda game ever made? Probably not. But is it the best open-world adventure experience? In my estimation, absolutely yes. Other developers will have to catch up to this, if they can. Nintendo has set the bar for that genre going forward.

  6. @Korusi: In the words of Justin Bieber’s 2011 documentary, “Never Say Never.”

  7. So I do remember a couple specific years being supremely excellent for video games, and 1991 was one of the best. It seemed that every genre of game had a high-profile, quality release that year. It was also the year I first started playing video games, the original Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega Genesis being the very first. My next door neighbor had a Super Nintendo, and I was able to spend a lot of time playing some of the 16-bit era’s best games for both machines. While I was (and always will be at heart) a Sega kid, it was nice being able to play games on the SNES in its heyday, back when consoles had their own distinctive style. Some other notable titles from 1991 that stood out to me back then:

    -Streets of Rage: A very excellent beat-em-up on the Genesis, with an outstanding soundtrack. People that say the Genesis couldn’t have fantastic sound should definitely try this series of games out. Easily crushed the SNES’ port of Final Fight in every way.
    -ToeJam and Earl: A really cool adventure game in which you find parts to an alien spaceship starring two very funky aliens. This game is ridiculously ’90s in every way, and is a lot of fun playing multiplayer.
    -Gain Ground: An action game originally made for the Arcade and released on the Genesis in ’91. There was a fairly strategic element to the game’s later levels as well.
    -Sim City: This was one of the SNES games (along with Super Mario World) that I played a lot of back when my neighbor originally got his Super Nintendo. Bit difficult going back to now, especially after another particular title in this series “soured the orchard” so to speak…
    -ActRaiser: I didn’t find out about this game until ’94, but since it was released for the SNES in 1991, I thought I’d bring it up here. Fantastic mix of action in the separate platforming stages, while spicing up the formula with the extra town-creation segments.

    It’s funny hearing other people about their big Nintendo vs. Sega (Mario vs Sonic) arguments on playgrounds across the world back then, because I didn’t hear any of it frankly. I had a lot of fun with the SNES as well as my Genesis.

    Great article, can’t wait for 1992, where I can talk about 2 of my favorite games…

  8. @Adeki: Apparently the launch of the Mega-CD in Japan also included a very weird RPG known as Wakusei Woodstock: Funky Horror Band, in which you play as an alien rock band that crash lands on Earth. It’s quite odd to say the least.

  9. 1991 in shitty licensed NES games – AD&D: Heroes Of The Lance, American Gladiators, Barbie, Beetlejuice, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Video Game [sic], Captain America, Captain Planet, Conan, Darkman, Family Feud, The Flintstones, Frankenstein, Fun House, G.I. Joe, Harlem Globetrotters, Home Alone, The Hunt For Red October, Indiana Jones, The Little Mermaid, The Lone Ranger, Peter Pan, RoboCop 2, The Rocketeer, The Simpsons, Star Wars, TaleSpin, Tiny Toon Adventures, Tom & Jerry, The Untouchables, Where’s Waldo, Wolverine.

  10. Random aside has anyone played the BS-Zelda-3 Ancient Stone Tablets?

    Where you play The Hero of Light?

    Incidentally I think this was yet another time Princess Zelda had a voice in the form of a Audio Drama Style voice acting.

  11. @S.T.: I can’t believe I forgot about Toejam and Earl! As for Wakusei Woodstock, all I can say is that I am 100% willing to play any game that starts with that as a premise.

    @Dancing Matt: You look me in the eyes and tell me that the Family Feud NES game is not one of the GREATEST titles on that system.

    @Korusi: Can’t say I have but I will totally look into it!

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