I liked World of Illusion. It wasn’t the best game, but it was the best 2 player platformer I’ve played. It encouraged real teamwork and I think that was splendid. Shame it’s so rare in games.
30. Power Stone System: Dreamcast
Although fighting games aren’t really my thing, this is actually my favourite two-player game. The solo rounds are okay, but played with a friend (or nemesis) it’s incredibly fun with beautiful graphics and a good lump of silliness thrown in.
29. Space Invaders System: BBC Micro
It’s Space Invaders. ‘Nuff said.
28. Let’s Compute! Game System: BBC Micro
When I was about five or six, there was a rather splendid magazine called Let’s Compute for owners of BBC Micros. In the first four issues, they presented a massive code that would create a rather splendid game. I spent absolutely ages typing this in. After spending a lot of time not getting very far, my mum kindly stepped in and used her developed typing skills to plumb the rest in. Just like freshly baked bread beats out shop bread, so freshly made games beat out shop games. This wasn’t complicated. It was a bit like Repton, but simpler in look and more interesting in gameplay. You ran around a grid collecting (or dodging) items and monsters. And it was really good fun. It contained a level designer and creating and playing your own levels was a tremendous blast. But even the normal levels were gripping, with all sorts of monsters and traps. Very simple, but a true delight, and another reason why I wish I had my BBC Micro now. I don’t suppose anyone else here had the same game?
27. Dynamite Headdy System: Megadrive
Poor Dynamite. In some ways, it’s the best 2D platformer ever created for the Megadrive. Sega Pro slandered it with some dreadful score, although Sega Magazine deservedly gave it their highest score yet at 96%. The fact is, this suffered from being released very close to a slew of high-profile and very good platform games such as Mickey Mania, Earthworm Jim and most obviously Sonic and Knuckles. It’s a pity because for sheer variety, adrenalised action and insane fun, Dynamite is dynamite (you knew I had to say it!)! It is rather difficult, and the game is so frenetic that it’s actually quite exhausting to play repeatedly, but still deserves to be remembered.
26. Metropolis Street Racer System: Dreamcast
Although I’m not a big fan of racing games, the detail, responsiveness and the great music all help make this a really delightful title. For anyone who is into all the options and features, I’m sure it’s a joy, but even just for a ride around a virtual town, it’s a cracking little title.
Okay, next time we’re into the top 25 and also in fact a rather large gap between “very good” and “utterly splendiferous”. Be there or be... somewhere else!
Power Stone is brilliant. Never played the second one, though.
Sega Pro slandered it with some dreadful score,
They did?! *shakes fist in direction of long-defunct magazine* Mind you, I remember Sega Power giving it a rubbish score...then looking at the screenshots and seeing they never bothered to play past the Guest Puppet (i.e. the game's worst three levels, Down Under, Backstage Battle and The Green Room). That was when I realised they were in fact as rubbish as Mean Machines always made them out to be.
Now we’re in the thick of it. The top 25 is where we’re out of the soft fuzz of nostalgia or the ephemeral joys of adrenaline rush titles. These are the big beasts: games nobody should admit to not having played. It’s also interesting that the breakdown of games in #1-25 is much different from #26-50.
The games I’ve rated so far come from an astonishing twelve different systems, and seem to be spread out pretty evenly. The most games for a single system is seven Megadrive games, but since I have the most MD games and have spent the most time playing them, this is hardly surprising. The real surprise is that the next best represented group of games is the Dreamcast games, although these are generally games that I rate because they are extremely fun in short bursts rather than because they are ones that have had a great impact on me. There are also three titles from the various Game Boy systems, although not quite as many as I thought. There were a few games that I might have included such as Mario’s Picross, though I could never escape the suspicion that it would be much cheaper to just buy a book of puzzles to play that game.
I’m a little surprised to see that seven games are from computer systems. I don’t generally play games on computer, so most of these are from days gone by. The BBC Micro is the clear winner here with three games, and two of them on clear merit and not just bleary nostalgia (as with Repton). I really miss my Micro. Even I could build programs for that, and it was so much fun. Although I don’t really understand why so much time was spent in our technology classes in the late 90s programming for a system that was so evidently obsolete. The Game Gear, not a system I would ever associate with gaming excellence, has two nods, while the Saturn a poor one. The Gamecube also has one but that isn’t too surprising since I’ve only had eight months to play it, and I’ve been away for five of them.
The top 25 are actually head and shoulders above the rest of the games on this list. These are the no-second-thought superb games, and it’s interesting to see that the breakdown of systems is quite different. Let’s press on...
25. Guardian Heroes System: Saturn
Treasure’s other treasure in my collection, besides Dynamite Heady, is the excellent Guardian Heroes. Although you can choose lots of different paths through the game so that it’s possible to complete it again and again and not play through all the levels and scenarios, the fact is that most of them are very similar. There are so many enemies on the screen that you quickly have to turn to button mashing to survive. I’m told that there’s great strategy and art to playing brilliant fighting games: mastering characters, choosing your timing, performing combos and so on. But basically, I’m rubbish at them and end up resorting to randomly pressing the buttons. Dhalsim on Street Fighter had a fireball attack that I once mastered, but wiggling my fingers through the diagonal buttons on the Megadrive did my thumb in pretty quickly. The difference with Guardian Heroes is that it’s incredibly therapeutic. When the screen is choc-a-block with undead throngs that you’re beating back in a manic fit it’s wonderful. The story is pretty good, and the different characters are entertaining. I’m sure there was the makings of a great STC strip in there. But really, this was insane fighting fun, and the fact that anyone had the guts to make something so utterly insane is testament to genius.
24. Shining Wisdom System: Saturn
It’s not so much a Shining game, as a Zelda game with celebrity Shining Force guest stars. Still, it’s a cracking good game in its own right. It’s a shame that Shining the Holy Ark followed it. I couldn’t stand the gameplay on Holy Ark but it had a great little plot that fed Shining Force III. Wisdom’s plot was okay but it was traditional fairy tale meets RPG fare. Still, oodles of secrets, fantastic bosses, and some great dungeons that were seldom too frustrating all made this a real gem.
23. Monkey Island 3: The Curse of Monkey Island System: PC
Guybrush Threepwood. What a name. This game was delightful and hilarious. The only reason I haven’t completed it is (1) it’s very hard, and (2) I’ve completely lost where I was. I try it again now and then but it’s difficult to keep up. Shame really, because it’s a hilarious and compelling, and perhaps the only PC game I’ve really taken to. The kid running the lemonade stand particularly cracks me up. Unlike Myst the puzzles weren’t irritating, possibly because while Myst was intriguing and delightful, it was also very dry. Monkey Island is a hoot. Add in tremendous graphics (making the fourth one 3D seemed a big mistake to me) and a charming plot, and you can’t really go wrong. One of these days, I’m going to get some free time and play this from scratch – and I can’t wait for this day.
22. Sonic R System: Saturn
Fair cop: it’s a poor man’s Mario Kart. But it give a clear message to all the darlings and New Labour style cosmopolitan fashion gamers who just couldn’t understand how people could bear to play the Saturn over the Playstation – I mean, it didn’t even do transparencies! Apparently, Travellers’ Tales were able to prove it did. Sonic R isn’t the best game ever. It’s short, it’s got too few characters and its secrets are quickly exhausted. But it is astonishingly good fun and is worth playing over and over again. I also love the music tracks and secret characters. One of the last decent Sonic games and another excellent game for the Saturn, still the best home console I’ve had the pleasure to own.
21. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening System: Game Boy
So I’d blown most of my savings at that time on a Game Boy with Tetris and Super Mario Land. The Megadrive was something my brother was obsessed with, but I had always wanted a Game Boy. There was something about Nintendo’s ‘little’ grey brick that seemed to promise true joy. I wasn’t disappointed.
Pleased as punch with my purchase, I now was looking for that difficult third game. I knew Zelda by reputation, but I wasn’t quite sure what this RPG business was all about. In some ways, Link’s Awakening is a frustrating game, not least because I’m a bit rubbish at it and have never finished it. But it’s given me scores of hours of pleasure over the years, picking it up every couple of years for another go at it. The music is beautiful, the plot is intriguing, the puzzles are fun and nothing is too frustrating.
Post by Mambo's Here! Look Busy! on Aug 14, 2004 23:57:24 GMT
What can I say? I LOVE GUYBRUSH THREEPWOOD!! Someone at the Ashton court fest in Bristol sent a msg to the Orange screen (sponsors, put up a big screen where you can txt a msg for all to see) "I am Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate and Rovers fan!!" lol!
Anyways, amusing OT aside there, I thought the 3Dness of the PS2 Escape from Monkey Island instalment may ruin its originality, but no it was superb! It took me a long time to figure out exactly what a duck could be used for, tho!! hee hee, some of the characters are unforgettable!! Such as the skull-guy outside Planet Threepwood!! (did you know you can unlock skull Pong?!) and the "sexy" voice he does is just hilarious! W00T!
Nearing the end of my top fifty rundown, here’s 20 through to 16...
20. Wario Blast System: Game Boy
Wario Blast was my first Bomberman experience, so although the GBA Bomberman is the one I play nowadays, and is more fun, it’s Wario I remember. Still, when all the frills, thrills and RPG extras of GBA Bomberman are done away with, the core of the game – a simple level and blowing stuff up – is the same in both games. Wario had great bosses too though,.
19. Sonic Adventure System: Dreamcast
With the 2D Sonic scene stitched up with the Megadrive games, Sega’s blue hedgehog needed to conquer 3D realms. Unfortunately, just about every Sonic game since 1995 has been somewhere between run of the mill and downright dreadful. Sonic Adventure is the exception to prove the rule. Yes, Big’s levels sucked, and Knuckles’s levels were a bit dull (though only a taster of the tedium of SA2). But E 102’s shooting levels were entertaining (much better, again, than the SA2 ones), Amy’s platform antics were entertaining, and the Sonic and Tails levels were a joy. The plot was pretty good and the characters were all pretty good. At this point, it looked like the Sonic franchise might really fight back. As it turned out, it was just the corpse twitching before the execrable Sonic Adventure 2...
But more than just a classic game, Sonic Adventure also redesigned the characters and genuinely updated the idea for the twenty-first century. The spark that made the games special had gone out by that stage, but the first time I saw a green-eyed, long-legged insane-looking Sonic grinning on the front of Sega Saturn Magazine I knew that things were really changing.
18. Pokemon Red System: Game Boy
I have a confession: I quite liked the Pokemon cartoon. Well, until it became silly. But I liked the songs and found the ongoing plot entertaining. I’m not saying it was appointment television or anything, but it’s one of the few modern animations I have any patience for (though not too much in fairness). I got quite into the Pokemon hype, and while I spent my youth hooked on the Turtles, I must admit, this was a much better obsession in many ways. The Pokemon were more diverse, and the principles of sporting engagement much better for kids. In terms of plot, it’s pretty weak, but the Turtles cartoon wasn’t all that either. At its core, though, this was a good, solid game. I got Blue and my brother got Red. But Red is actually better, I now realise, because you get Pikachu early on and he is, it emerges, a good character in his own right. Having said that, I haven’t really played Red very much so I concede that giving that a listing instead of Blue is a bit disingenuous. I also recall that this was a big conversation piece amongst my friends at school during the Fifth Year when we really ought to have been thinking about our GCSEs. There are more recent versions of the Pokemon games, but I don’t have much interest in those.
17. Shining Force System: Megadrive
Recently reinvented for the Game Boy Advance in the slick but if truth be told slightly disappointing Resurrection of the Dark Dragon, this is the epic that really kicked the wonderful Shining Force saga into high-gear. It’s not tremendously difficult compared to its successors and the controls are a bit more rough and ready. If you play the GBA version, it’s also a good bit easier and filled with numerous extras that don’t quite seem organic to the game. But it’s still a classic. Solid music, great characters and a classic plot. This was a no-brainer for the list.
16. NiGHTS Into Dreams System: Saturn
The music is so enchanting, the world so immersive, the fluidity of the gameplay so dreamy and the characters so delightful that I nearly conquered the nagging feeling that NiGHTS wasn’t quite as exceptional and it thought it was. It feels like a perfect game, but something about it isn’t quite right. Perhaps it’s the bosses, where the serenity of the dreamworld is broken by a frantic boss showdown; or maybe it’s the fact that you always had such a short time limit and you could never stick around to really appreciate the beauty of the levels. Of course, this isn’t a discussion of whether the game is good or bad, but rather whether it’s sensational or superlative. NiGHTS deserves its status as a cult legend. It’s ridiculously playable, but also truly beautiful. But just as Sonic 1 was destined to be surpassed by its sequels, you can’t help but feeling that this isn’t the last word Sonic Team ought to have for NiGHTS. I sympathise with the people who say that the original can never be topped, but they’re wrong. There’s a greater game still to be found there. Sadly, I doubt Sonic Team is up to making it these days.
I've always considered the bosses in NiGHTS to be dreams turning into nightmares I do wish the time limit was a bit longer though like you say, so you can admire the surroundings and what not a little more.
Alot of choices I'd be inclined to agree with you on, I can't wait to see the top 15
One thing you have to hand to NiGHTS is that it managed to make a big floating clock in an eggshell scary. You know when your Elliot or Claris running around on the ground trying to get all your thingies back and then THE CLOCK appears. Used to send a shiver down my spine.
www.gamercrossfire.net Previously Hyrule The Land Of Zelda. Come here to talk Zelda and gaming with the umm...pro's.
15. Super Mario Land 3: Super Wario Land System: Game Boy
On a roll with my Game Boy purchases Tetris, Super Mario Land and Zelda, my fourth game was Wario. I’d played Super Mario Land 1 but it was just too small and irritating and I didn’t really get it. Wario (properly Super Mario Land 3) was different. Big characters, oodles of secret passageways, lots of moves and silly hats and rides and tricks: as much as I enjoyed the Sonic games, this was platforming excellence of a quite distinct type, a focus less on flair and thrills but more on substance and entertainment value. It also benefits from not only being a smashing little outing but being superbly memorable for me for much the same reasons Land of Illusion was. I suppose there are now better Mario games, but Wario is still a classy piece of kit. Strangely, none of the Wario sequels did anything for me at all. This game, luckily, was all I needed. Did you buy the moon for Wario?
14. Sim City 2000 System: Saturn
I remember the first Sim City on the BBC Micro. 2000 was much more advanced, of course, though I didn’t have a PC to run it until after I’d bought the Saturn version. In any event, there’s something strangely unnatural about playing games on the PC. Even FF7 and Sonic CD just didn’t work for me on the PC screen. Games for me are about consoles; computers are for something different. So while the loading times were phenomenal and the save slots were massive, the Saturn Sim City worked for me. As for the game itself, it’s a classic. Few games have so many factors to consider, so many different potential outcomes, and so many things to try. A true delight.
13. Soleil System: Megadrive
If Castle of Illusion was an example of a classic understated platformer, Soleil was a classic RPG. Basically a rip-off of Zelda, it had a troubled birth, not least since most magazines reviewed it as Ragnacenty and the makers apparently felt the need to give an arbitrary Sonic cameo in the game so that they could show Sonic’s image on the back cover to boost sales. I doubt it worked. Soleil was a lovely little game, and my favourite aerial view action RPG to date, even though it wasn’t particularly original. As you learnt to communicate with animals, and even travel through time, the already large world you travelled through became huge and the plots surprisingly involved. Dozens of things that seemed strange before suddenly all make sense, especially as you start travelling through time. Various animals along the way gave you various powers. It was a sprawling and wonderful RPG that was, inexplicably, ignored – probably because there was nothing superficially to distinguish it from the games it was so obviously imitating. But Soleil is one of the few games that is huge, entertaining, challenging and yet not generally frustrating. It’s not tremendously flashy or innovative, but I had many, many months of real quality entertainment out of it. It was just the perfect example of a good, solid title. The best game nobody knew about.
12. Theme Park System: Megadrive
There was a Saturn version but I never saw it. I once got a PC version but it wouldn’t work. To this date, my sole exposure to Theme Park is the cut down Megadrive version. I know it isn’t the game at its best – but it’s still astonishingly good. Working out where to put the chips, how big to make the rollercoaster and how to balance toilet facilities and the need to get a good rating for beauty proved endless fun. I must admit, I was never very interested in progressing to other countries and beating the game or anything like that. The joy was just creating your own Theme Park. Although I seldom get the chance to sit down and play it, in many an idle moment I’m thinking about how much salt to put in the chips and where to put that exciting but unreliable plane ride. Brilliant.
11. Zelda: Wind Waker System: Game Cube
Mike doesn’t like the look of this game: scrag ‘im! Another game I’ve lost track of and now may not finish. I love it, and I’ll probably start it again at some point, but the odds of finishing it in a month’s break are remote (at my pace anyway) and the game needs to be savoured really. I don’t usually rate graphics and sound over gameplay, but if ever a game deserved to be bought for aesthetics alone, this is it. The animation-style visuals are beautiful. Luckily, the game is delightful too. I sometimes find Zelda games a little frustrating, a direct consequence of me being rubbish at them. But I seldom found this with Wind Waker, though the long journeys grew thin and the subplot quests and dungeons seem oddly balanced so that you have a disproportionate amount of subplot adventures later. It’s probably not a perfect game, but it’s a soothing and wonderful experience that is just spectacularly fun. I’ll pick this up to play just for the sake of entering the world. The fact that it’s also a splendid game is icing. One of these days I’ll get into Ocarina too…
I actually liked the fishing in SA, it's just a shame the rest sucked.
Theme Park - a true classic. Did anyone else enjoy playing it on the hardest mode, having to order new stock shipments every five minutes and doing loads of union negotiations (with the little plate of biscuits going down)?
I'm genuinely interested in what your top ten is gonna be.
Windy Valley was my favourite, as was the first one, Emerald Beach (although not perfect). The fishing levels broke up the action quite nicely, I thought. IMO, the whole rest of the game was shoddy, poorly made, and dull.
I DID think the final battle against Perfect Chaos was very well done, though. ;D
I can't understand how people can diss the sublime Sonic Heroes, yet shower the SA games with hero worship. Just my opinion, though.