Snow Bros. – [Extra levels edition]

snow bros

Initially, I was planning for this to be “All the Snow Bros.” special event for the holiday season. Sadly, the idea was dropped off around few days before Christmas. There are various reasons behind that, one of them being that I could not run properly two of the games on my PC machine – Those were the Amiga version of “Snow Bros.” and that one awful- looking, fan- made, arcade sequel under the name of “Snow Brothers 3 – Magical Adventure”. I would not say that it was impossible for me to make them work, rather, I felt quite lazy towards the end of the project. I did play through the rest of the games. However, with the arcade games, I felt like I needed to explore them additionally, mainly regarding regional differences and difficulty settings. I did 1CC the original Arcade game and the sequel, which I really, really enjoyed for its variety, what with the new characters and a new takes to some of the level design. I also played that one Spectrum homebrew, which I liked as an idea a lot, but the execution was just… well… The game wasn’t all that fun for me, honestly…

So I decided to write about the Genesis and Game Boy versions for a time being. Also, a bit about the NES one, which I completed around the time I made this site. At some point in the future, I’ll probably get back to the other titles and try to finish and post about them as well.

There are enough unfinished volumes in the vault anyways…

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Snow Bros. is your typical floors- type of game. Similar to the “Bubble Bobble”, “Don Doko Don” and “Rod Land” games, along with many others that wanted to bathe in the glory of the hyped genre of the late 80s/early 90s. By “floors”, I refer to games, where your objective is to clear various one- screen rooms full of enemies, one after another, up until a potential boss battle, which usually marks the end of the game. Also, collecting letters and spelling out words for extra lives! Some of those games have boss battles on every tenth floor or so. “Snow Bros.” is one of those games. The bosses in it are quite easy compared to the bosses of other games from the genre. The “Snow Bros.” games as a whole are quite easy to get into. You control a dude made out of snow, who shoots , believe it or not, SNOW, that can turn enemies into snowballs. Then you push them and magic happens! Power- ups are in the form of differently- colored potions that improve your movement speed/shot range/shot power.There are also FOOD pick ups that just give you points. Usually, the plot revolves around saving a princess or two from the clutches of a demon or something. As a snow person, the main character has an affinity for SUSHI! Now you know how good the “Snow Bros.” games are! If you kill all enemies in one go with a snowball, cash rains upon the land. Sumo men might try to harm you, but if you get them, they will try to bribe you for the sake of their own safety. Bunch of cowards!!! No wonder the occupy the highest, hard to reach [?] platforms!

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I had Snow Bros. for my Famiclone when I was a kid. Me and my brother loved the game for its fun, innovative idea of turning baddies into snowballs and pushing them around for laughs. Maybe we laughed, I don’t remember. We never knew why sometimes we would get one of the two different endings. Punishment for using continues was a factor we would have never guessed. We weren’t really trying to, in first place. Another thing that I remember was that the game would unlock automatically “time trail” mode after we beat the game. You cannot select which difficulty level you want to play though. Rather, it would randomly choose from one, each time you start a new game. How weird… The Famiclone was a freak of gaming nature indeed! Famiclone controllers were pretty bad and would break constantly. That’s why we didn’t play all that much “Snow Bros.” together with my brother. Same goes for other games as well. At some point, when I was visiting one of my billion cousins in another town, she showed me her Famiclone, which had a “Snow Bros.” cartridge as well. Heh, she thought I was new to video games… WHAT A SILLY GIRL SHE WAS! Her second controller was also damaged, but I beat the game for her solo, regardless. GOOD TIMES!

The NES version of “Snow Bros.” is one of the easiest in the series! The long invulnerability time at the start of each stage lets you position pretty much wherever you want. This lets you clear floors pretty quickly and set up some good combos. The NES version does not provide you with extra lives for scoring high amount of points. Instead, you get to gamble on a slot machine, after each boss, for them or for letters to spell that 1- life awarding “SNOW” word. The pick- up that spawns the dudes that give you letters is also as rare as chicken tooth. Additionally, there are various spots on some floors, where if you shoot constantly, a thing might appear in the form of a food item that gives you a lot of points or a money bag that sends you to the slot machines again. However, those slot machines are different! They award you with skipping floors, instead of lives  and letters.

Bosses are pretty weak! They don’t spawn enemies as much as in the other versions of “Snow Bros.” Apart from that, they also have fewer hit points, which makes them easier to bring down. The devil duo boss battle has only one of the guys and you use the flames which he spawn to turn into snowballs and push at him.

Enemies as a whole are not all that vicious in the NES version, like they are in the others. This version lets you easily pick up a momentum and the learning curve is really generous. As a first “Snow Bros.” game, it’s a pretty solid choice! I didn’t had a choice though, but I like how things turned out for me!

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Snow Bros Jr. DONE!

The Game Boy version is titled “Snow Bros. Jr.”! It’s a bit of a downgrade in terms of gameplay, what with worse momentum, controls and the lower number of enemies on some floors. Bosses that you fight in pairs are following a solo career in this version, making things significantly easier. This is the only game where the plot is not about rescuing princesses, but fighting and restoring the sun which was corrupted by forces unknown. [?] That’s right! There is a special, extra boss fight in this version, along with the addition of a whole new and unique world- set of 10 levels! New enemies too! This version lacks a 2- player mode, but it has its own unique mini- game after each boss fight, which is similar to the one in “Super Mario Land”.

It’s not the best version ever, but it’s not something completely awful either. It’s a good pick for that one afternoon, where your boyfriend or girlfriend choose to go to a book club, instead of asking you out for some sweet “Atlantis no Nazo” , BDSM- gaming session with nachos.

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Snow Bros. Genesis DONE!

Here we are with the Sega Genesis version of “Snow Bros.”, which I honestly think is the best one in the series. First of all, it has a sweet anime opening sequence, which might not seem all that great, but that’s just you being picky, really! I love that intro! It’s silly and I love it!

In all honesty, this version is like the original Arcade one, BUT polished in many, many aspects. There is the difficulty level select option, along with one being able to adjust the setting of a certain number of starting initial lives to their preferences. The gap in the difficulty between NORMAL and HARD mode is not all that big, but it’s certainly noticeable. Bosses have more hits on HARD and some enemies have a longer range on their projectiles, along with the tendency of spamming them to a potentially annoying level on certain floors.

The last boss from the original Arcade game has been adjusted a bit, wherein the rate of spawned bubbles has been reduced. I really like this change! That boss was such a hate in the arcade version, it was truly my one and only complain about the game – The billion spawned bubbles were really not- fun to deal with, I’m glad that the Genesis version was not ruined by this factor!

Another cool thing about the Genesis version is the fact that they made snowball looping easier to achieve! In the Arcade games and in the Genesis version, [Also in that awful homebrew [?] ] when you push a snowball towards the bottom of the level and there is no flooring, just like with the main characters and the enemies, it will loop from the top to the bottom again, potentially annihilating everything in it’s path, like all enemies on the floor for example! Not only does that makes some level more easier to be dealt with, it also makes cash rain more often, which helps with obtaining additional lives and overall, it’s fun to do and watch! The NES lacks this feature. I can’t remember about the Game Boy version though, I think it lacks that as well!

That’s not all though! The Genesis version also contains two additional set of worlds, that’s 20 more levels, with two unique boss battles! The story continues! Once you rescue the princesses, the snow bros. get kidnapped instead! NOW YOU ARE THE PRINCESS/ES and you are ’bout to whoop some ass! These additional levels do not feel all that tough, they are actually fairly balanced in terms of difficulty. If anything, getting points on them is pretty easy, given that some are designed to be cleared with a single snowball loop right from the start! The levels are fun! The additional boss battles are pretty challenging, especially the final one, where you have to pull off your best princess moves ever! Best of all, the game rewards you with more silly and sweet animated cutscenes! How can you not love this version???

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But Flare, what about the music?

Well, maybe I’m deaf! I don’t tend to talk to music in video games, unless it’s a complete turtle poop. I liked the music in each of these three versions. “Snow Bros.” series have some good tracks that play well on each system, really!

I had fun!

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