5 Super Bomberman
I played this game A LOT growing up. But here’s something strange: I’ve never played single player. This game is MADE for multiplayer. Of course, you need a multiplayer adapter but still….very few things are as satisfying in video games as blowing someone up.
It’s kind of odd to me that this franchise isn’t still going strong. It’s almost tailor-made for online play. Plus the level designs are simple so could also involve custom levels etc. It is being made like that but for some reason hasn’t caught on, possibly due to lack of marketing, possibly due to a realistic depiction of the character for a 360 game.
4. Donkey Kong Country
A late bloomer, and a game that seemed to launch an entire company. This game put Rare on the map. They had developed games before which were well received, but not like this. This revived a flagging franchise and turned Donkey Kong into a bonafide videogame legend. It came late in the life of the console but seemed to define it. The levels are well defined, the sound is majestic, and the visuals. Oh my god the visuals! This still stands as one of the few games I remember watching almost wide-eyed in amazement at how it looked.
3. Super Mario Kart.
There’s not much I can say about this game that hasn’t already been said. The multiplayer is superb, the Mode-7 graphics technique revolutionised 16bit racing games, and meant that kids discovered a new range of swear words when they hit their older brother with a red shell. And if he hadn’t turned the console off because dinner was ready I maintain I would have ensured my brother was no longer undefeated on the first Bowser’s Castle.
2. Zombies Ate My Neighbours
This is the odd one out in this list. Even in the last blog the most obscure game was probably Earthworm Jim. This game is a true cult classic. Which I guess makes sense as it pays homage to classic cult horror films and characters like werewolves, zombies, and giant weeds. The gameplay is relatively simple, you walk around and save neighbours by touching them (which set me up for a lifetime of disappointment and sexual harassment cases) before they’re attacked by the enemies. The enemies range from zombies,
toy dolls (which turn into little fireballs of fuckitude if you attack them)
Giant ants (which I only just discovered aren’t spiders)
And what weapons are you tasked with saving the world with? Water pistols, soda cans, tomatoes, popsicles and bazookas. One of those things is not like the others. Side note: take a quick look at the victims you can save:
Now, ignore the cheerleader, the guy who still insists on BBQ’ing, and the guy lounging in his pool (damn this guy was odd), and pay attention to the guy on the bottom left. Yup, that’s a soldier, who you, a teenager, has to save. Two complaints against this game: no save system, and the graphics could be improved. Both of which would be solved in a HD rerelease on xbox live or PSNetwork (hint hint).
1. Super Mario World
Well, they can’t all be obscure cult classics. Yes, sometimes it’s cool to be all hipster and like “oh, actually this game you don’t know about is the best game and was only available for a week in Japan”, sometimes the most well known games are the best. And that’s definitely the case for this. This game is still spoken about today, and for good reason. It’s soooooo damn good. The looks, the level design is one of the best in 2d platform history. You know how when playing Tony Hawk’s games and it’s laid out to perform perfect lines, that’s what this game is like. Everything’s laid out so you can get through it with the right rhythm etc. There’s also the sense of adventure. You can just go through the game as it looks and complete it. But you can also explore the levels, take different routes, and you’re rewarded for that with other levels, items and game-changing mechanics.
When playing games there are few things that stick in the mind more than an “Oh My God” moment. Those moments where you’re playing a game and something happens which just sticks with you, not in a “i’m horrified” way, but in a “oh this is amazing”. This game has many of them. From the first time you have a Yoshi, to the first time you find a cape, to the first time you find a secret level, through to finding the blue Yoshi (that guy was awesome).
The brilliance of this game is when you beat it you don’t want to move through to another game, you want to play it again. It really kicked off the “100% completist” attitude to console gaming (for better or worse). I have to stop here now, for many reasons. Because I’ve ran out of things to say, because I’ve reached the end of the list, and because I really want to play video games now.