Sunday, July 24, 2011

Disgruntled Monkey's Top 10 Video Games

Well it’s come time to do another Top 10 list I think. This time I’m going to look into a topic that I don’t talk about much; video games. I can remember getting into games when the Commodore 64 came along. It was great. There I was as a little kid able to wage massive galactic wars, become a Ghostbuster and even try to help Batman solve crimes. I was never any good with the Batman game.

Eventually along came NES, then SNES and I became heavily indoctrinated into Mario’s World. Then I suddenly missed an entire generation. Just stopped playing. I mean I still played video games but I just didn’t have this burning urge to get anything. Eventually though being free of the parental units, and having cash to call my own, I splurged and got myself an Xbox. Since then I’ve never gone back to never having a machine.

So with my history out of the way let’s get down to the games. Now as always these are my top 10 and should be looked on as favourites rather the best of the best. Also I will start with an honourable mention then work my way to 10 to 1. With out further ado let’s kick this machine into gear. Hooha.

Honourable Mention: Blood (PC)

This was going to be at number 10 but I miscounted so it had to be pushed out, yet I couldn’t just let be excluded without giving a few words. Basically Blood was the FPS that I always wanted. I liked Doom, Wolfenstein and Hexen but it was Bloods humour that grabbed me. The main hero (Caleb) is actually not really much of a hero, but any demonic cowboy that spurts out lines referencing Army of Darkness is a character I can get behind. I was pretty much sold on the game as soon as Caleb started singing Strangers in the Night. This was a game that I did obsess over, and still quote to this day. It’s also one of the few games that I’ve replayed from start to finish a few times. It didn’t hold up as strongly the last time I played it (last year), but I was still charmed by the humour.
Dynamite was always a good idea in Blood.
10: Burnout 3: Takedown (XBox)

One day I went over to a friend’s house for a big Xbox night. As I wondered in people were already playing this game. Now before the party I had a bad day, so I was sat down, given the controller and told to play Road Rage mode. I did as I was told and I utterly decimated my computer opponents and eclipsed my friend’s takedown tally. Everyone agreed that I channelled my anger about the day very well. Needless to say I was hooked and I went out to purchase this game for my Xbox pretty quickly. The Burnout series is the only racing game series that I can really stand with Takedown being the most played out of all of the titles. Basically what you are dealing with is a racing game with some other events that really stood out. Road Rage was a race to takedown as many computer cars as possible, with Crash Junction being a game where the idea was to cause as much damage as possible. By the time my Xbox decided to crap out on me, I had a gold medal in all bar one event. Burnout 3 took a lot of time out of my life but I regret none of it.
Drifting is fun and all, but drifting into your opponent and sending them
slamming into a pillar is better.
09: Double Dragon 2: The Revenge (NES)

I’m not exactly the most skilled gamer in the world. I’ll play a game on easy so I can enjoy the story; mastery of a game isn’t something I’ll strive for. Honestly when it comes to gaming I just want to enjoy my time, and don’t care about the cred I’ll lose from being a wimp. But every now and then a game will come along that I will up that difficulty, that I will try and master it. For me Double Dragon 2 was that game. Now a days I’ll probably get my ass handed to me, but when I was just a young child I would try and go through all the difficulty settings before it was dinner time. Honestly looking back on this game, I’m not sure why it dragged me into its world. The plot is ridiculous, and the Billy and Jimmy Lee aren’t exactly characters that would grab me. Still dang nab it I had to get the way to the end and beat my evil shadow self and bring my dead girlfriend back to life. Sorry spoilers there but then again this game was released back in 1988 so I think I can give spoilers without too much hassle.
While i'm confident in my martial arts i'm not sure I can stand against the
power of a hand stand.
08: Super Mario Bros 3 (NES)

Probably saying how I was indoctrinated into Mario’s World, might have been the tip off that this was coming. I have found memories of playing the first one with my mum; in fact I have a few precious memories that involve the NES and my mum. We went to see The Wizard starring televisions own Fred Savage and future Uwe Boll player Christian Slater, and low and behold but the game the kids played in the final was Super Mario Bros 3 and I knew I needed to have that game. My mum agreed. Thus began an insanity that held no bounds. Like I’ve stated I’m not that good at games, but there is a switch where if a game grabs me I can become pretty obsessive about it. I needed to find all the warp zones, I needed to do speed runs, and I needed to get through the game by going through every level. Exploring every nook and cranny this game had to offer was the true name of the game. If ever there was an old school platformer that I had skillz to pay said billz, it was this game.
Whenever I played this game I would ask myself, "What would Lucas
do?"
07: Pokemon (Gameboy, DS)

This may seem like cheating but to me all the Pokemon games come from a glorious colour rainbow. So instead of breaking down the colours I’ll just say in general. This year I made sure to get me Pokemon Black. In the beginning however it was Blue. I’ve played greens, yellows, silver, diamond, black and yellow polka dots (The Dusty Edition). What I’m getting at is that I’ve spent so much time in the Pokemon world that it had to be on my list. The funny thing is these games don’t really innovate. Pokemon Black other than some tweaks, better graphics and sound etc is the same as Blue. But there is just something about collecting monsters to do battle with others. I would probably be a bad guy in the Pokemon world as I really would like to have my own monster army. I think Pokemon proves that sometimes the experience doesn’t need to be changed that drastically, as a lot of people will pay good money to just extend the journey. Before you ask, no, I’m not that crazed about Pokemon that I’ve gone into tournaments. Trust me; there is not a bone in my body that wants to put me in the position of having my ass handed to me by a 7 year old.
Some action shots of the, um, action.
06: Fallout 3 (PC)

Barring one game, the remaining are all about me being immersed in their respective digital worlds. Unlike the Mario Brothers or the Burnouts, there isn’t a huge need for me to replay the games over and over. Just once every now and then. These are the games that I just enjoyed the journey thanks to the atmosphere, story, world and characters. Fallout 3 may seem a little recent to be on my list, but it like the other recent games I’ve got on the list, just impressed me so much. Time would fly when I was playing Fallout 3, so much so that I had a few days at work where I was only running at 50% energy levels thanks to this game. This is a game where you can just pack provisions, head into the wastes and have a ton of fun. Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the first two games and how they were awesome in their own right. However this game just hit the spot with me. I began making my own character story. A lone ranger, travelling from town to town, Lincoln Repeater in hand, his good deeds spread across the land. It got so bad I wanted to write some fan fiction (eegads I know), thankfully it never eventuated but still that was the power this game had one me.
Now it may look like i'm screwed, but this guy is just part of Avon.
05: Bioshock (PC)

The under water world of Rapture is just one of those well though out fictional worlds that grabs you and never lets you go. In the opening minutes of this game I was hooked. Everything just seemed to fit into place. The characters were interesting, the setting was unique, I was intrigued by story and I kind of invested in the morality system. I didn’t even mind the plumbing mini game to hack various things. To this day I still have this soundtrack on my computer and listen to it often; to try and invoke the same feelings I had while playing the game. Also it’s an FPS that has the standard mute hero, and yet is able to inject character through other methods. Way back I played System Shock 2 and really did enjoy it; this is pretty much that game but with a steam punk taste. In my mind this is not a bad thing. If you haven’t played this game yet, all I ask is would you kindly go out there and play it.
Come now Doctor, no need to lose your head.
04: Arkham Asylum (PS3)

A rather new game but there is no doubt that this will be a favourite to come, as there was a moment that pretty much cemented this in my all time favourite club. As I yelled out “I’m Batman,” at my TV screen as I glided out of the shadows to pummel five thugs into submission, I realised that I was completely immersed in this game. At the same time I was Daniel, yet at the same time I was Batman. It was a perfect union and showed the true strength of this game. Add to this that you’ve got a solid Batman story, and the joker being voiced to Cockknocker himself Mark Hamil, and you have a game that captures everything fan’s have loved about the comics and the animated show (I mean Batman the Animated Series, you know the one that introduced Harley Quin). Also there is something cool about all the gadgets that you could use. I’m hoping they can catch lightning in a bottle a second time with Arkham City which might have to share this position with its older brother.
I'M THE GOD DAMN BATMAN!
03: The Suffering (Xbox)

There is a game that captured me with its dark creations, a game that was a survival game that hooked me with its story, a game whose location lent itself something unique and creepy. The Suffering was a survival horror that took place on an island that now operated as a jail. Even before the jail however the island sported a spooky history that ranged from a mental asylum, to a World War 2 bunker. The thing that just made my day was that a lot of the creature designs were based on ways people died on the island. For example the first creature you run into was based on inmates who where stabbed to death with a shiv. Also in my opinion there was a strong story running in the background and sometimes was just really sad, made all the better to a decent morality system. Like most morality systems there are the extremes, but there were also some grey choices in my mind, ones. Going down the good morality story (as I’m want to do) I felt sorry for Torque (okay slightly stupid name). One thing I would like to stress is play this game, and then walk away from the mess that is the sequel (well maybe not a mess but it loses a lot in trying to become a bigger story).
I don't give a shiv. (Booya bad pun)
02: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (SNES)

I’ve said before that I’m not that great a gamer, but sometimes there is a game that just clicks with me, and I’ll take it into my cave under the bridge and won’t emerge into the sunlight until I’ve managed to devour all its goodness. I love Super Mario World, I managed to get to Star Road and into the special Zone, but there came a point where I was just finished with the game and couldn’t be bothered with trying to get 100%. Not Super Mario World 2, which I managed to get 100% on everything. I still feel proud I managed to get it down. Of course now being an old man at the age of 29, the skillz I acquired for the game have faded away. But still at one point I managed to completely destroy a game until it tapped out like any wrestler would if he faced CM Punk. I played and loved this game so much that sometimes I get flashbacks to Baby Mario crying his ass off as I tried to get Yoshi to make a leap of faith to reclaim the brat.
That baby on your back is Mario. You will come to hate that brat. More
evidence that Luigi is the superior brother.
01: Silent Hill 2 (PS2)

Truth time now. I’ve always wanted to be writer and on top of that I’ve always wanted to be a horror writer. So that hasn’t happened so far, but I’ve developed a strong outlook on the type of horror I want to create. There are a few movies and books I could point to what I want to create, but Silent Hill 2 is just a pitch perfect example of what scares me. Many people praise the atmosphere this game creates, it’s amazing the depths this game goes to create such a depressing mental nightmare. I wouldn’t call this game fun to play, but there is just something engrossing in the plight of James Sunderland. This is the perfect example of survival horror. This isn’t about action; this is about the dread of being in an alien environment that actively hates the character, and trying to survive mentally and physically. Running away is always an option, and heroes will tend to die pretty quickly. Silent Hill 2 is a journey into the darkest parts of the human soul, and everything has a deeper meaning in relation to James Sunderland. Every time I think about what I want to achieve in my horror writing, Silent Hill 2 isn’t far away influencing me with dark whispers. One of the best bits of gaming news I’ve heard recently is that Silent Hill 2 will be getting a release on the PS3 with updated graphics. I can’t wait.
Always a good sign when holes are fixed with newspapers. I mean nothing
can get through this barrier.

2 comments:

  1. I think growing up with the very first systems when I was a wee infant, I've lived through the best time to be a child and through the best gaming has to offer. When games were made purely for teleplay because the graphics weren't there and now I'm old enough to appreciate the new focus on art, sophistication, and storyline that are showing up in games along with some amazing technology.

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  2. Silent Hill and Fallout were awesome!

    ReplyDelete