If someone started talking about big video game releases, you’d assume they were talking about PC games. Big box PC games were a common term during the height of the 80s and 90s and usually meant that these releases were loaded with extra goodies for gamers, from stickers to maps to guides. They weren’t special editions like the console games you see today; they were just boxes containing cool items for those who bought them.
It was something console gamers could be jealous of. However, many may not be aware that in other territories, such as Europe, the Super Nintendo also received this super-sized treatment. Some of the most famous SNES video game series are Zelda, Metroid, Mario, EarthBound, Donkey Kong and many more.
ten The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
This big box SNES version of The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past comes with everything from standard boxes like the game and Hyrule map. The biggest addition to this Europe-exclusive PAL version was the strategy guide. This series has always been one where strategy guides were a must to find everything. The Europeans then had it easy with this bundle.
9 Super Metroid
This big box version of Super Metroid also comes with a guide. What was most useful was not the advice, but the layout of the cards. It’s very easy to get lost in this game and any Metroidvania for that matter.
So again, this PAL version is better than any other version. As an added trivia, Europe also sold a double pack with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in an even bigger box. This version did not come with the Zelda strategy guide.
8 The secret of mana
This was another European SNES exclusive that came with a guide. Secret of Mana itself is fairly straightforward with few off-the-beaten-path side quests. Still, any guide is better than none to understand at least our boss’ weaknesses. While it’s not exactly related to the Mana franchise, it’s worth noting that Secret of Evermore was also released in a big box with a strategy guide.
EarthBound was actually a big North American release. It was one of the few compared to Europe. It came with a guide which is infamous for also including scratch and sniff stickers. EarthBound is not a difficult game to understand and in terms of RPG, the combat difficulty is not too difficult. A guide could help level the playing field for younger audiences, which is always appreciated.
6 Super Bomberman Party Pack
It was another North American big box release, but it wasn’t the typical strategy guide bonus type. Instead, it came with a four-player multitap accessory for the SNES. Indeed, Super Bomberman was designed to be played with several people and the console had only two plug-ins. This prop received acclaim upon release and helped make this entry into the franchise one of its most memorable.
5 Deadly Enforcers
It was a Konami light gun game about becoming a cop in the crosshairs. It was released in North America in a large-box SNES bundle with a gun accessory. This blue revolver was called the Konami Justifier. Players could mail for a second pink-colored gun. Most versions of this game came with the accessory, including the Sega Genesis.
4 Mario and Wario
Japan has a few big box versions for the SNES and both were for the same accessory. Mario & Wario came with a mouse for the SNES with a pad. The mouse was required to play this Japanese exclusive as players had to steer an angel around a puzzle map to prevent Mario from getting hurt. The other game that came with a mouse in Japan was Mario Paint, which also got a big release in North America.
3 Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Going back to the PAL region, this version of Yoshi’s Island comes with a guide. It’s easy to master now what with FAQs and video tutorials on YouTube, but it was harder to find everything in this game without a guide. Some of the bonus materials were hidden so well it could be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. This is yet another example of how Europe has been spoiled with a guide.
Not only did Europe get a big box version of this game with a strategy guide, but they got the game in general. It was released in 1995 in Japan and a year later in Europe.
Luckily, fans translated it into English via patches, although the PAL version would have been pretty good. It was a game developed by Quintet who worked with Enix on other SNES RPGs before Enix merged and became Square Enix.
1 Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest
This latest version of the big SNES box was another European exclusive. The included guide might help find secrets like in Yoshi’s Island, but a game guide can’t do much with a game like this. That means these Donkey Kong Country games are infamously difficult. Knowing where a secret is doesn’t make it easy to get to if the area in question is brutal but again, getting a guide is at least something.
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