SNES Encyclopedia
Image: Nintendo Life

As long-time readers of this very site will be aware, Chris Scullion really knows his stuff. That's why we get him to fill these hallowed pages with lovely words; he's something of a boffin when it comes to the world of Nintendo, having worked at Official Nintendo Magazine during its heyday.

Scullion has been putting his massive gaming-focused noggin to good use in other ways, too – he penned the utterly superb NES Encyclopedia a while back, and has returned in 2020 with a follow-up tome which performs the same trick, this time looking at every game released on the massively popular Super Nintendo (in the west, at least). Including all of the Japanese titles would have been nice – especially as there are a great many amazing titles which never made it to the west – but given that most people will have only played North American and European titles back in the day, it's not a deal-breaker.

Even without Japanese releases, the book covers a whopping 780 games, each one with its own description, screenshot and fun factoid. Some of the bigger releases have box art, too, and there's a bonus Virtual Boy section at the back which details the 22 games released for that ill-fated console.

Like the NES book, this proves to be an exhaustive reference when it comes to picking out the very best SNES titles, so if you're a newcomer to the format, then leafing through its 264 pages is going to be a revelatory experience – as well as highly entertaining, as Scullion's writing is infused with plenty of humour.

However, unlike a lot of gaming writers who trade laughs for knowledge, Scullion clearly knows his stuff and does an excellent job of summing up precisely why you should (or shouldn't) seek out a particular game. While we all have fond memories of titles such as Super Mario World, Zelda: Link to the Past and Secret of Mana, there are a shocking number of duds on Nintendo's 16-bit powerhouse, so Scullion's book should help you pick out the gems and avoid the duffers.

Just like its predecessor, the SNES Encyclopedia comes in hardback format and is printed on high-quality, glossy paper stock, making it the ideal coffee-table tome for anyone who is even remotely interested in video games or Nintendo consoles. Scullion's next project tackles the SNES' rival, the Mega Drive / Genesis, and we can't wait to get our hands on that.

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