Even with such a large influx of new games and systems out there, it is hard for me not to think of all my most favorite games from time to time. This will make me sound like an old fuddyduddy, but they just don’t make ’em like they used to. Here is a list, in no particular order, of golden games I wish I could play through again.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem: This game for Nintendo Game Cube had a crazy, over-the-top occult story line. Quite frankly, it never failed to scare the poop out of me. It also featured a very unique mechanic: the protagonists were driven slowly insane by the horrors they saw. This caused effects to happen in-game, such as the camera angle to become skewed (which was accompanied by footsteps and sounds of babies screaming), walls in areas bled, and sometimes you would be walking on the ceiling when entering a new area. One effect I remember in particular: the screen went abruptly black, and then the Game Cube bios screen displayed which made you think the game had abruptly reset. I panicked and got up to bash the Game Cube to pieces, but by the time I was up and at ’em, the game play had resumed its normal course.
Mario Paint: Okay, so for the most part this wasn’t really a game (there was the fly swatting game!): more of a utility. I had endless hours of fun from Mario Paint however. My cousin and I hooked up the SNES through the VCR and used to record our animation, still art, and music “masterpieces” on VHS tape.
Samba de Amigo: You are correct in thinking this game has been re-released for Wii, and I do own it. There are still a couple of reasons I wish I owned the original Dreamcast version with the maracas controller. The first reason is probably obvious, and that is for the sake of nostalgia. I played this game for many hours as a youngin’ at an arcade in Indianapolis. The second reason is because in the DC version, the controller actually worked. The Wii version’s utilization of the motion sensors leaves something to be desired…like accuracy.
Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past: It is easy for me to make the statement that this could be my favorite game of all time. The story was immersive, the game play was fun, and the game set graphical standards for the SNES. A Link to the Past also created staples in the Zelda universe, such as the hookshot and the idea of two parallel universes. Something about this game kept bringing me back for more, and I returned to Hyrule at least five or six times to crush Gannon into submission.
Super Mario Land: Upon reflection, what I liked about this game was its deviation from the Super Mario formula. There was a different princess (this game was our fist introduction to Princess Daisy), no Luigi or Bowser, and fire balls had become “super balls” which bounced at 45 degree angles to vanquish enemies and grab coins. There were also stages that involved flying machines and submarines, which was a welcome and exciting change.
Battle Chess: I used to go to my uncle’s house and play this on his Commodore Amiga. The game was in 3D, and when you captured an opponent’s square, the pieces came to life and fought! For example, the rook turned into a rock monster and smashed the other piece, or the queen would zap her opponent with magic to disintegrate them. Not only was this my first (and only) love affair with the game of chess, but it was also one of the first times I really got to use a computer.
Luigi’s Mansion: This game was awfully short, but it sure was a blast while it lasted. In this game you are trying to save Mario from the clutches of King Boo, who has him holed up inside of a haunted mansion. You must use a ghost vacuum (Poltergust) to suck up ghosts and advance your way through the mansion. This is one of the few games to use Luigi as the main protagonist, much like he was in Mario is Missing. Unlike Luigi’s Mansion, you really, really, really shouldn’t play Mario is Missing. Really.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: The storyline was engrossing, and even though the combat was turn-based it managed to seem action-packed. It was based on the d20 style of tabletop gaming, with behind-the-scenes dice rolls determining the outcome of each round. BioWare used a mechanic similar to the one in Fable to determine your character’s alignment. Generous and kind actions or words would lead you to the Light Side of the Force, while selfish or cruel actions and speech pushed you toward he Dark Side. The Dark Side had the best Force powers, like lightening and strangling people from afar, so that was the natural choice for me to make!