Shadowrun (SNES) Is The Greatest Console-Exclusive Game Ever Made, Period

Posted by on June 24, 2011 at 12:08 am

This week, the FleshEatingZipper Staff is writing about their favorite console-exclusive games, ever! Agree or disagree in the comments below!

I reached deep in to the way-back machine to rescue this one from the jaws of obscurity. Shadowrun for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), released in 1993, was a work of art. For its time it was on the front edge of the technology curve and featured incredible gameplay.

In Shadowrun, you play the role of Jake Armitage. Yes, I said “play the role of”…it’s a role-playing game. And it’s an AWESOME role playing game. So, you play the role of Jake Armitage and, right in the beginning of the game, you get killed by a hit squad.

Just after that, you’re mystically revived, of course, or it would be the shortest game in history (Closely followed by Halo 3) and you spend the rest of the game trying to sort out who you are, who had you killed and what you’re supposed to be accomplishing.

The graphics are dated, by today’s standards, but still passable.

The gameplay was, for its day, amazing. The game was absolutely FULL of content and the writing was top notch. More than once during the game I got chills from the way things unfolded and the things NPC’s said to me. Of course, I was much younger and easier to impress back then but it was still awesome.

The game was centered around Seattle, Washington, in the cyber-punk stylized future created by William Gibson in the Sprawl trilogy. The name of the main character, in fact, is a nod to Gibson – the name Armitage being the name of one of the characters in his award winning “Neuromancer”. During the course of the game, you travel between Seattle and Bremerton, encountering futuristic orcs, vampires, talking wolf-totems and even a dragon.

I don’t know why she popped up on an image search for Shadowrun but…OK!

You get involved in gun fights, magic, hacking, bargaining your way out of bad situations and general ass-kickery while solving riddles, completing puzzles and working toward the final goal of finding out what happened to you and why you were unceremoniously gunned down in the middle of the street during the opening 30 seconds of the game.

I was so impressed with this game that I played it from beginning to end at least 5 or 6 times through and, every time, enjoyed it as much as the time before. I remember playing for at least 40 hours average per play-through and never wanting the game to end because I was having so much fun. The only other game that has captivated me to that extreme was Mass Effect and it’s not a console exclusive so I can’t make it count here.

Bustin caps on a Troll

I will recommend, though, that if you have an old SNES sitting around you get your hands on a copy of Shadowrun and play it. Yeah, the graphics and technology are dated but the game itself is still great (I played it again a couple weeks ago) and heaps of fun. 18 years after it released, it still managed to grip me through an entire play-through and that, my friends, is why it’s the greatest console-exclusive game ever made.

Don’t try to deny it.

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