Thursday, January 29, 2015

INSERT COIN: The Top 6 Video Games I've Ever Played (Until Now)

As #fourcomics sweeps the net, revealing the four titles that fueled your addiction (yes, I've done it here), it won't be long until video games get in on the act. Trying to stay ahead of the curve, here are the top 6 computer crazes that stole years off my life (and would again if I ever plugged them in).

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: I can't not toast Golden Axe, the classic Dungeons and Dragons-ish title that seems to be the ancestor of title #1. Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego also gets a salute. The best educational 'game' of all, my 'computer buddy' and I were first in class to get a warrant to capture the feisty minx, making us instant celebrities.

6) MORTAL KOMBAT II: While most were trying to remember if Ken wore red or white, I'd started drooling over the savage sting of Mortal Kombat instead. While Kano was prisoner of the awesome new big nasty Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat II, everything else that was great about the first instalment moved into overdrive here. Lu Kang bicycle kicked, Jax and Kintaro debuted, and while Babalities and Friendships were obvious parent pleasing moves, nothing bet holding off a pit maneuver or spinal yank just as said caregiver was passing and listening to them scream.

5) MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE: The greatest comic game ever, (and one of Doom's best appearances anywhere) M.U.A. set itself apart by offering an unrivalled line-up of Marvel characters to manage and play with. Based on the gameplay of X-Men: Legends, you could repeatedly pick a team of four, upgrade their skills in any order, unlock variant costumes and pit them against the likes of Galactus in locations like Mephisto's realm. The Fantastic Four, War Machine, U.S. Agent, and Daredevil included within the games options are just a few reasons I still keep my PS2 close.

4) RESIDENT EVIL 3: NEMESIS Most games I play 'til midnight. Nemesis I played beyond, watching behind me, heart racing and yelling 'Come on!' at the cut scenes of doors squeaking open. A beast I didn't have the weapons to fight relentlessly chased me through a city of challenges and was gaining on me while we were paused. Sure it's now more a movie franchise, but it started as the scariest experience any fan of horror could sit through.

3) TETRIS Really? Do I need to say why? Like Mortal Kombat, Tetris appeals to my low attention span. Sit down play a few games and walk away is the theory, only you can't. Competitiveness takes hold and when you snap out of it, rent is overdue, your family's older and three comic publishers have debuted, soared and gone bust.

2) GOD OF WAR (Puts hands up) I'm a sucker for anything steeped in mythology, and Kratos cracked that weakness open with a mix of Mortal Kombat brutality, Tetris like logic puzzles and Gods of myth with powers and attitudes to rival any Marvel hero (or villain). I've bought four instalments of the hit series and each is as fresh as the last. The stunning artwork and perfectly cast voices show right from the start the developers were aiming for gold. They got it. Now if that gold only had appeared on an amazon's lasso of truth, we'd really have a #1.

 WHAT IS #1?  Click here to find out.


While the other games on this list were shuffled a bit before hitting post, there was never any doubt as to who was in the top spot. Final Fantasy VII gave birth to the greatest foe in video games, Sephiroth, killed off one of the main players in one of the mediums greatest shocks, and introduced the world to Chocobo's to name just three key points.

Games with in games, weapons you could power up, Gods you could summon and grow, twistful plots, logical challenges, threats to the environment, mythology, interwoven storylines between all the characters and a core bunch of misfit heroes more united by coincidence as much as by a common goal. It was East meets West, Manga meets fantasy and no other Final Fantasy instalment has ever packed so much wow, cool or awesome into it's discs. I literally spent whole weekends awake playing this game (with the odd dash - and I mean dash to the loo - or for another bag of Burger Rings). Diet be hanged, Final Fantasy VII was worth it, now if they'd only turn it into a comic.

Man Crates is a company that specialises in gifts for men that ship in crates that need a crowbar to open them! They have a retro gaming crate that helped inspire the idea for this post. Looking at the above, my dream gaming Man Crate would include a handheld tetris, a Marvel Mego toy (because all good gamers need an audience), a book on the promotional art for God of War, Burger Rings (the New Zealand kind only), a torch for those midnight missions and an imitation gun-sword from Final Fantasy to hack the hell out of thin air when I reach that impassable moment in whatever my next game will be. Check out their website here.

 What are your top 6 video games? 


  1. Nice choices Dan.
    I hear ya' about Carmen Sandiego man. That was THE game back in elementary school for me too. And while I never got as far as I'd have liked, or you for that matter, it definitely made an impact on me since it was the first true computer game I'd ever played.

    Scrambling off the top of my head for even just 6 picks, here are mine in no particular order:

    6). X-Men/TNMT Arcade Games(Tie):
    They may not have been the first arcade games I played(Space Invaders and Centipede got that honor) but they're still my all-time favorites. I loved the graphics of both, and the way you could just kick the shit out of anything that moved.
    I was big into TNMT at the time, so that game hit my sweet spot.
    And the X-Men game pretty much contained my favorite X-Team line up.

    5). N20-Nitrous Oxide:
    It was a game I tried out, not expecting to fall in love with like I did, but I did.
    The wild psychedelic colors, crazy levels, and awesome, kick-ass soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers just did it for me.

    4). Street Fighter 2:
    As cool as MK was, especially with the blood, guts, and fatalities(and those hilarious friendships) Street Fighter to me was the more exciting option. IDK why, but Ryu and friends just spoke to me more,

    3). Super Mario 3:
    The first Super Mario game will always hold a place in my heart, but SM3 for SNES was and still is my all-time favorite of the series.

    2). Marvel Alliance:
    Like Dan said, to me this is THE marvel game that captured my attention and interest. I've played Marvel Super-Heroes(Infinity Gem game) and all the others, and this one, even moreso than the sequel UA2 is my all-time fav.
    Plus how can you beat the story and those videos that progressed it? Damn they were fucking awesome. Plus the re-playablity factor for me, was in the different alternative endings. Especially when you failed. The worse you failed, the more fucked up the future outcome.

    1). Smackdown/Raw Vs Smackdown:
    Being a big pro-wrestling fan, this series of pro-wrestling games, more than any other game I've ever played, has captured my imagination(and time) like this series.
    Between hours upon hours being spent simply creating my own wrestler, to beating and unlocking the unlockable features and wrestlers, this is what's caprtured and kept my interest after all these years. Hell, being cheap, I still rock my faithful PS2, playing Raw Vs Smackdown 2011 to this very day.

  2. Those are great choices Dale! Glad you like MUA as much as I did. In fact I might play that again soon in the not too distant future.

    As for X-Men - that arcade game was my #7. I actually have it as an app on my smart phone and play it whenever I'm in a que, waiting for the bus etc. Colossus is just as awesome as he always was. I fact that Genesis X-Men game was great too - especially being able to summon Archangel... damn that was cool.

  3. Wow, do I love this post. And hoo boy did I lose a lot of study time to Carmen Sandiego. Marvel Ultimate Alliance is one of the few games I've ever played where I actually enjoyed co-op, something I usually run away from with the sound of beating coconuts in my ears. Elektra was my character of choice, and I loved unlocking her alternate outfit. That said, my list:
    10). Tomb Raider 3. I'd played the others, but never reached the level of obsessively lining up my jumps like I did with this one. And man, were they hard. Because we didn't have YouTube to tell us how to do it right. We had to figure that out ourselves. And it could take a while.
    9.). Super Mario Bros. The first and greatest, which I've never beaten to this day, because I can't get past that stupid last level. I think my grandma has beaten it. I love the third one, like Dale, but the first was my obsession. I think I still have thumb calluses.
    8.). Ducktales. I mean, come on, who didn't like pogoing around on that cane?
    7.). Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. Which I played on the Commodore 64. I have a new version on my computer, but it's not the same. My first foray into the realm of dungeon crawling, and boy, did it ever make me consider my choices, you couldn't even run away from a battle without it affecting everything going on.
    6.). Burger Time. On the Intellivision. Really old school platform. And I always came away hungry.
    5.). Tapper. Because it's never too early to train for that job in a really busy bar with angry customers.
    4.). Dragon Warrior, Nintendo. You have defeated Metal Slime! 'Nuff said.
    3.). Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic. My first Bioware game, and where I picked up gaming after motherhood. Also the first time I voluntarily stayed up all night long after my kids started sleeping all night long. If you don't think that's addiction, you've never been up at three AM consistently for four years running.
    2.). Dragon Age. I don't care which one. Pick. They're all awesome. I've played each at least twice, and they're long games. Sometimes I just turn them on to read the codex, which is better than some fantasy novels out there. Plus, I get to make my characters look pretty badass.
    1.). Mass Effect, all three. The absolute best Science Fiction role playing game series ever made, from story down to mechanics. The aliens are real characters, not just backdrop, with real cultures and history that actually affects the storyline, and the choices you make from one game to the next actually changes what happens in each successive game. So you can literally play a different game each time. Which, yeah, I've done more than a few times. I've bought a bigger hard drive for my Xbox just to fit more Mass Effect save files on it.

  4. Nice choices Random! It's great seeing everyone's video game history! Ducktales... boy that brings back memories. As shocking as it may be, I've never played Tomb Raider. Watched the movies, read the Top Cow comic, think she's awesome - just never hit 'start' on her games. So yes, I'm that one person on earth.

    1. If you have a current gaming system, you should check out her latest game. It's kind of a restart of the series. And it's amazing.

  5. I played the first Tomb Raider game on PS2. I got bored qucik because to me, the controls were too confusing to learn. Not to mention the graphics just weren't there for me,

    Very interesting list though Ging. Burger Time huh? I have a few old DC comics from that time period with the ad to that one. It basically looks like Mario when he also highlighted as cook or something. Guess his plumbing business didn't really kick off until the 2nd SMBros game;)

    1. We all have a dark fast food chapter in our lives.

  6. LOL. I'm sure people like Gordon Ramsey, Bobby Flay, or Guy Fuerrera can attest to that;)