SorB's top 50 computer games

Discussion in 'Gaming & Tech' started by straightorbroken, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. straightorbroken

    straightorbroken reflected onto the wet pavement

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    25. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    [​IMG]
    Developers: Sonic Team, Sega Technical Institute
    Platform: Sega Mega Drive
    Release: November 1992

    This game is a serious treat to play, choosing between either Sonic, Tails or both (with a second player being able to control the orange side-kick, who will otherwise follow Sonic is the 2nd controller goes unused). As before, each level has three acts, with evil boss Robotnik at hand to hover about at the end of act 3 for his regular bashing. The iconic 'spin dash' is introduced and makes killing enemies unable to be jumped on a lots less fidgety to execute. This duck-dash move is also a great way to initiate the frantic pin-ball and roller-coaster esque speed roll that is arguably the games signature sequence. There are many 1990s-defining moments to this game: the mechanical city level was almost controversial with its emphasis on speed, inventing a new craze called epilepsy that had previously been known as attention-seeking, and the '3D' half-pipe runway, whereby 2 player competitiveness reaches its every man for himself peak as both Sonic and Tails can compete to collect the most rings, and each can jump ahead in front to steal the golden tokens depending on their timing. Compare this to the far trickier grid-line globe bonus levels on Sonic 3 and this is a walk in the park, and all the better for it. Increasing the cast of characters felt like a revelation at the time (who didn't draw and render-shade pictures of both Sonic and Tails in pencil over and over again?), and this was arguably realized with even greater success on the next Sonic entry, but here is where the surprise, novelty and nostalgia is contained meaning it never loses any of its considerable charm. For me, this is the most iconic Mega Drive title, and it also represents Sega finally going neck and neck with Nintendo, gaining 50% of the gaming market within 6 months of 2's release. The speed of the game was considerably increased from its predecessor, making the Pinball spin-off not surprising in the slightest, and sometimes leaves you with nothing else to do but sit back and marvel. And as manic as it gets, it never spirals out of control. Much like the first game, sitting back during these moments is crucial as you need to see what you can spot in terms of coins, TV-boxed power ups, etc, which just shows you how expansive a lot the levels really were. The split-screen 2-player mode has retrospectively been criticized, but baft at those noting a slower speed, as if you'd expect it to stay seamless, this was new ground for platformers. We're seeing a glimpse of the future, this was the horizon point before the big reveal (ie, the next generation consoles). To this day, there is still a solid market for Sonic. Indeed, there are just as many unnecessary titles in the series as there was back in the 90s. What is perhaps now lacking is a definitive line to focus on, but with Sonic being straightforward was never the appeal anyway. As impressive as Sonic 2 clearly is, there are 2 better ones in the series still to feature.
     
  2. Peekaboo

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    I (respectfully) DISAGREE. Sonic 3 is flashier but it is a shorter game, the levels are not as well crafted and features Knuckles which is where everything started to go a bit wrong for me. Sonic 2 is perfect (except for having no passwords). But 25th best game is still about right for a Sonic game too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  3. Slave

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    Two acts, actually. Except Metropolis, which had the three. One of which only exists because there was an unfinished zone, so they merged the concepts into one zone with three acts, rather than two with two each. The "lost level" was released earlier this year on the iOS version.

    I would disagree massively with this. The globe special stages were MUCH easier and in most cases, you could have the complete set of emeralds by the end of the third zone. Sonic 2's stages were quite tricky, and I would say that if you were playing single player with Sonic and Tails, they were nigh on IMPOSSIBLE because Tails lagged a second behind Sonic during movement and jumps, therefore Tails would often run into the bombs, which needed precision perfect timing to clear.
     
  4. Slave

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    Also agree with Peekaboo - Sonic 2 was the PINNACLE of the series for me. Sonic 3/Sonic & Knuckles was more adventurous and clearly a bit more storyline driven, and the range of shields, etc. was a nice addition to the series. But already you could see SEGA trying to convolute a winning formula and there were times when there was too much happening onscreen for the system to run smoothly (brief moments, but they were there nonetheless). Sonic 2 is much simpler, but it runs smoother and the animations are much more crisp than the more animated models they used for the sequels. Plus the ending theme to Sonic 2 is the greatest piece of video game music, ever.
     
  5. PercyPig

    PercyPig The Last of Us

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    All the Sonic games are crap. Go fast. Hit enemy. Repeat.

    And a video on YouTube about Katamari Damacay made a good point that Somic was about speed but later levels suddenly introduced pixel perfect jumps and boring ass slow moving platforms.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  6. Diddy

    Diddy Rice Queen

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    That's outrageously reductive. You could say the same for any platformer. I think the points in the Sonic saga when the game has been just about going fast have been the weaker ones.

    Is Mario any less superficial? In fact some of his levels are about going fast, even if he's not able to.

    Sonic has done a lot wrong since the 16-bit days but for me, the original trilogy are the pinnacle of platforming.
     
  7. Slave

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    I think it IS easy to dismiss Sonic now (and lord knows SEGA have made it EASY ENOUGH) - but the speed of Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 in particular was really groundbreaking at the time. Platformers were, generally, games of careful consideration due to the constraints of the speed of the systems they ran on. The speed and level design of the original games was something really quite different and despite the wild claims in the marketing ("SEGA do what Nintendon't", etc.), I do think those games changed people's vision of what home consoles were capable of.

    In a way, it's rather frustrating that Nintendo have reaped the rewards for playing it safe with Mario for almost 30 years. Despite the graphical enhancements, the Mario games are generally still based around the same formula with minimal voice acting - indeed the only character they've really developed into an actual personality is Luigi and it's hard to imagine much is going to change.
     
  8. monsta

    monsta CAUGHT YOUR FEVER

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    I disagree completely. Mario 64 changed everything and Mario Galaxy literally perfected platforming.

    And it's best that the voice acting is kept to a minimum (as with Zelda). All that wisecracking from Clunge the Rabbit in the Sonic series is utterly toecurling.
     
  9. Slave

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    I'm not downplaying what Nintendo have achieved in terms of gameplay - and even now, a bad Nintendo first-party game is better than your average game from any other company.

    I guess I just find the Mario franchise a bit STALE these days. It's hard to get excited about it because it's the same "plot" over and over again. And since they have pretty much perfected the art of 3D platforming, even that now is just more of the same. I found Super Mario 3D World bit of a SLOG in all honesty, because, save for the odd little moment of genius, I knew exactly what to expect.
     
  10. straightorbroken

    straightorbroken reflected onto the wet pavement

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    24. Banjo-Tooie
    [​IMG]
    Developers: Rare
    Platform: Nintendo 64 (later XBOX with HD graphics)
    Release: November 2000 (JP, NA), April 2001 (PAL)

    Mario 64 meets Wicked. Well, not quite (if only). Ahead of the curve as always, by 2000 the Nintendo 64 was excelling in 3D platformers, and leaps ahead of its rivals in all but hardware sales. It may have only had a handful of these A-grade platform titles, but both Banjo and Mario alone were critical and commercial hits easily considered classics among fans. Banjo-Kazooie may not quite have achieved the same cultural landmark status as the portly Italian, but instead belongs to Rare's outstanding 90s-and-early-2000s trail of Nintendo classics. As to be expected, and if the pun of the title wasn't a big enough give away, the game is riddled with Rare's distinct low-hitting humour. Control pad buttons can speed through most 'dialogue' exchanges (always slightly jarring mumbles and grumbles, almost as if acknowledging the irritation these can sometimes cause, or perhaps just getting around the cartridge limitations), but they seldom feel like interruptions and only scratch the surface or what is an incredibly dense gameplay challenge. If Rare didn't thrive on constraints to pump out impressive solutions you're none the wiser of, they certainly knew how to use their platform's technology to maximum potential each time. Indeed, if some of the cuteness of the first game has now became a (stretched-texture) smudge darker, it has definitely became more grandiose. Visually, there is certainly the feeling that Rare were continuing to get more and more out of the system (note the lighting, shadows, etc), but even if the graphics are more detailed I actually prefer the overall look of the first game. However, aspects such as marble floors and pissed off trains impress even today (the sense of wonder on the marble for instance is matched by the music, giving the impression its creators were equally as engaged with what they were creating, knowing it was something special). The entire landscape is huge. Sometimes this can be overwhelming, but often enough clues are laid out so that certain areas will become available in due course as you progress (and once you get there, the frustration will probably be replaced by a fondness for the rescue mission you had to complete to be rewarded). However, it can be off-putting knowing that you will need to familiarize yourself if you leave long gaps between playing. As grandiose as its immense size is, it is ludicrously filled with many engaging quirks to make all the item-collecting wandering worth it (you get to play as a T-Rex, washing machine, van and submarine, making the expanded repertoire of moves incredibly rich and exciting). You also get to eventually play as Banjo or Kazooie separately (and this is no bad break up), which is a requirement for certain challenges (such as a very frustrating balloon bursting operation). Most fun of all is the sudden morph into a Goldeneye style first-person beaker. What could be dumb fun is actually exhilarating and a real showcase for all involved. You can of course fart out fire eggs (whatever could they be getting at?), but when shooting out different kinds (including grenade ones) is what is required to break through varying materials or stun enemies by freezing them (yes ice eggs can survive at bird-body temperature), this soon becomes yet another immersing aspect that's no longer a gimmick, such as when the fire-eggs are required to light up the dark to avoid falling off high zig-zag pathways - what is crude humour now becomes atmospheric and integral. As well as the playable morph-enabler Mumbo-Jumbo to transform these two into crevice-entering creatures, a Lara Croft meets Pochahontas figure is also at hand to shrink you down to size (sadly you cannot play her and execute a side-ways run shoot maneuver). The major things to squawk about are the repetitious sense of being lost in a lost world/Aztec setting (think Pipo's back garden), noticeably lowered frame-rates when you either play as larger magically-conjured characters such as the T-Rex, seeing the vastness of the different areas depending on your whereabouts, and perhaps even the grumble-mumble language, all of which you need to persevere with to experience everything this game has to offer. Banjo-Tooie is demanding mischief - fans of the original will have expected nothing less, and others will soon learn to bask in how well-rounded this 3D experience truly is. These noticeable niggles drop Banjo-Tooie down a bit on the countdown, but this is only because the first game in the series simply took my breath away from start to finish.
     
  11. Peekaboo

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    This game is a HOT MESS. It's not unplayable and it's littered with great ideas but it's just too big for its own good. Banjo-Kazooie had the perfect balance of exploration, collection and platforming. Tooie tips it over the edge of boring collectathon for me.
     
  12. Slave

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    I don't think I ever had Banjo-Tooie. I rescued a few N64 games from home last year and I was fairly sure Banjo Kazooie was amongst them.

    Alas not *plays Pokémon Snap endlessly*
     
  13. PercyPig

    PercyPig The Last of Us

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    Are there any videos of this marble floor?
     
  14. straightorbroken

    straightorbroken reflected onto the wet pavement

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    There must be walk-throughs on youtube I'm sure, but basically it's in a temple you have to go to a fair bit. I probably won't think it's anything special next time I see it I'll bet.
     
  15. straightorbroken

    straightorbroken reflected onto the wet pavement

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    23. Mario Kart 64
    [​IMG]
    Developer: Nintendo
    Platform: Nintendo 64
    Release: December 1996 (JP), February 1997 (NA), June 1997 (PAL)

    Whether Mario Kart 64 is fondly remembered as an exciting introduction to the contemporary Kart entries or seen as a slightly frustrating one-player experience, it's surely undeniable that this was something of a wet dream for fans of the original based on the 3D graphics alone. Like the original, it's another 'first' in so far as the visual distinction gave it more grand and altogether more realistic experience, and arguably it's this game, not the original, that outlined the template for what was to come. You could jump from playing the original to the N64 version, knowing exactly what buttons to press to get the same steering almost exactly as before (although that can be said for pretty much all racers), with minor changes you would pick up on straight away. The standard hop-skid has now been enhanced to allow for a mini-boost at the point of release, meaning turns can not only be made with very little reduction to speed, but with an added acceleration triggered as you come out of the turn to further shrink your best times (so yes, miss that power-boost start, press start and start again, miss that third turn speed-boost, start again, and so on). But in 1 player grand prix mode these small boosts may keep you in front, but in no way are you likely to continually create a bigger lead between yourself and 2nd place. So whilst there is an unquestionable development of the gameplay (at the same time deviating very little from the original), in grand prix mode (the bulk of the game) the computer's Artificial Intelligence racers are never far off your back wheels, almost constantly throwing bananas and just waiting to speed right past you should you make an error of any kind. This makes a huge change from the SNES game where you could quite comfortably overlap an 8th placed racer in 50cc mode if you could skid-turn sharp and avoid any collisions, because here core racing skills almost take a back seat, with en emphasis on weapons being both a blessing and a curse. Drawback because very quickly you can drastically lose your place from 1st, even at the finishing straight, and advantage because by the same token if you have at least about half a lap usually you can employ the same tactics to regain pole position (if you can avoid yet more pelting). However, that is not to say that the power-ups are not fun. You can now have items hover behind or around you and pick up even more as back-up. Leaving a tail of 3 bananas being useful when players creep up behind you, and bam! they're gone. Green and red shells circling you can act as protection: red magnetically going to the nearest vehicle depending if you shoot it forwards or behind you; likewise, green can fire forwards or backwards, but require 'aiming' depending on the position of your vehicle in line with others. All these new features, and there are plenty more, come into their own during the battle zones and 4-player modes for obvious reasons. But onto the tracks themselves.

    Luigi Raceway: great game opener, simple lay out with a colorful and bold stadium design, the brick tunnel for me was really special at the time (I still think it looks awesome), and several features make their debut of course such as the secondary footage broadcasted within the game itself (not quite something you actually use though), a balloon holding a power-up box, and racers can literally get to grips with the new controls quicker than you can fall off Banshee Boardwalk.

    Moo Moo Farm: spacious course, which makes it great for weapons, there's a familiarity with the cute but vicious jumping moles (making it almost a pleasure to get molested by them as you re-call the original), with an uneven surface to factor into your control (given the AI racers, this is secondary to power-ups, and more useful for racing against friends or time trial). It was eye-grabbing at the time, but not what I'd call a classic level in the franchise, but far from a sub-standard one.

    Koopa Troopa Beach: Without the same shiny sparkle as the SNES equivalent, the music is at least very tropical, it's use of ramps works well (avoiding them is quicker, but avoids power-ups in the process), as do other obstacles such as palm trees, which merely demands improving your accuracy of controls rather than being a nuisance (again, the timing and necessity of power-ups becomes integral to using the landscape to your advantage). You get a lot of mushrooms here, but after the speed-boost finishes you're almost guaranteed to immediately have an AI kart back on screen coming up behind you (which is where it will become frustrating if you don't come to terms with this). There are different routes, which calls for timing, mushrooms and practice. Driving with the rhythm of the tide and avoiding crabs (something I have a 100% success rate with, just not in the game) adds more depth to a pretty bog standard layout.

    Kalimari Desert: what may look rather simplistic now was actually quite an elegantly executed idea, and this is one of the stand outs. Much of the enjoyment is based around the interception with a moving train on a separate course, ensuring you learn to take advantage of the breaks, slowing down, or planning ahead with storing a nice nasty weapon to cause further delays (sadly no ghost or star in this level to my knowledge), and perhaps there might even be a short-cut in there too. It's true that apart from a great colour scheme, it's a bit empty, and the music is nothing to comment on here, this does remain an iconic setting and one that proudly showcased the game as a key event of the year.

    Toad's Turnpike: the most impressive of the Flower Cup maps, it was probably the most exciting one to imagine playing before it was released, looking at screen grabs in magazines. Later used in Double Dash!!, driving in between slower-moving traffic made for great multi-player, and perhaps in future outings the level could make use of beeping more if such a thing could affect the vehicle in front, or perhaps just show the driver 'doing a Luigi' or whatever. It seemed like a major achievement at the time, and it still plays well now.

    Frappe Snowland: an improvement over the SNES ice level in that it's not a nightmare to control and you're not simply hoping for a bit of luck with it all. The snowmen blast you up in the air for no apparent reason other than look here what our new console can do, but simple moments like the snow-wall corridors are just nice to look at, with the colour scheme being very pretty and Christmas-like.

    Choco Mountain: thankfully the fog here actually is used stylistically rather than passing it off that way. The textures on the mountains themselves look great, the layout allows for some chaotic outcomes at times, the skidding is fun whether utilizing the r button or not, falling boarders look and feel great to drive through, and it was one of the tracks I was very much looking forward to playing before it came out.

    Mario Raceway: there are basically three similar tracks like this, that offer some core Mario iconography, with this one being the most fun for time trials (ie, lots of turns and little in the way of damning obstacles).

    Royal Raceway: A bit more than just another Luigi course, which it is very similar to it must be said, I just love looking at the greenery and there's a great power-ramp (complete with motion-sickness inducing camera play and a massive thud upon landing), an impressive feature that would become a much more elaborate aspect in subsequent games to create an array of jaw-dropping moments.

    Wario Stadium: It's like the race-track equivalent to one of those elaborate pastry layers in the Great British Bake Off, it's all crammed together and ridiculously long. At the time I liked this, especially when you go up in the air and get a better view, and it has since been far surpassed, but it's still fun seeing how the course made its debut. Just not much fun for time trial. At all. You do a lap to remember it and basically you can tick it off. It would also be nice if the player Wario himself (and likewise other players in their named courses) had special capabilities in his own level, or when in Grand Prix these characters could almost operate as villains, or be granted unique access to short-cuts, but I digress. It's a pity you can't use all these bumps to jump over walls to cut some of the time off to (or maybe you can?).

    Sherbet Land: not nearly as daunting as it may first look (although it can quickly turn to shit quicker than you can say 'Kerry Katona, is that your boyfriend punching moving cars?'), drifting comes in handy, as does hopping over the cracks to do so, with that cute little penguin you saved in Mario 64 now repaying you by being a little shit in your way. All in all, a bit of a favourite.

    Bowser's Castle: As on the SNES, there is lots of skidding and bumping about, with the music really adding to the fairly tense climactic grind of it all (and in all levels the music speeds up on the final lap). I think what made the original so amazing is fairly well translated here, with the music being probably my favourite of all the tracks along with D.K's Jingle.

    D.K's Jungle Parkway: What an amazing level. Skidding and mushrooms are your friend, this probably more than any of the others here is a joy to play as you actually feel locked into actual racing rather than a confetti of power-ups. An essential course in all of the Mario Karts I've played (yes that's right, all 3 of them).

    Yoshi Valley: A hoot in multi-player for obvious reasons, it's not unrelated to Choco Mountain, and for that reason I'm not that thrilled by it, but do enjoy the steep climb of it all (which would be exploited to great effect on Double-D). I'd like to have fallen down only to have stumbled onto a hidden tunnel short cut (that perhaps falls behind you if you stop to figure out what that noise is).

    Banshee Boardwalk: An improvement in sofar as, like the snow tracks, I no longer dread this one coming up. Visually it really does capture the eerie spiriti of the old Mario platforming levels, with the only thing missing really being that you no longer knock the barriers off, which made it crucial to remember to attack a corner sooner next time.

    Rainbow Road: Sure it's dazzling with excellently cheesy music, but it's also ridiculously over-long (it's double the length of the second biggest track). On one controller handle this means that you now have time to just take it all in whilst being quite pleased with yourself that you're on course to win (it really is a marvelous curtain-call moment), on the other handle it allows for ample opportunity to catch back up and secure a victory, and an the last (probably unused) handle, you can take delight in overlapping hopeless opponents no longer wanting to play. The only thing to really watch out for is the ever rattled Chain Chomps, and with barriers at all times, you're let off quite easy I'd say.

    In the Mario Kart league table, 64 may not be 1st, but remains special for being the debut 3D entry and for utilizing the console's capabilities so well that no other racer on the same system matches its visual flair, but has since been overtaken by what other platforms had to offer, and there are indeed two more to feature (as should be obvious, I am lagging behind generation-wise, but am catching up thankfully). In all the Mario Kart games I have played, I think the common criticism that they offer no variety is is massively discrediting their achievements. Although part of the learning curve is now how to get the best out of your power-ups when and where you get each one, and you have no choice but to get used to the fact that very rarely will you have any substantial gaps from AIs when you are in front, the sensibilities that are constantly retained, expanded upon and refined here in this first 3D foray are catapulted so far from where the game began that this one in particular makes it yet another landmark memory for Nintendo's incredible track record, running or racing rings around the competition (whilst simultaneously lagging behind trends and falling off the sales map to inevitable be picked back up again). Group fun for all the family.
     
  16. Peekaboo

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    Oh wow, interesting choice. I played this so much my cartridge actually stopped working, which has never happened to me with any other cartridge game in my life. I know in hindsight people have criticised MK64 for 'dumbing down' the Super Mario Kart gameplay and it is true that the game is kinda glitchy and sometimes massively unfair, but the tracks are ICONIC and the 4-player races was something completely unseen back then. Compared to Super Mario Kart, the game feels more fun and less unforgiving, which in my mind is always a plus.

    Favourite tracks: Koopa Troopa Beach and its infamous shortcuts, Wario Stadium (you CAN actually jump off the bumps into the other side of the track, right at the beginning of the course :D), DK Jungle Parkway and I have to say Rainbow Road just because it is an ENDURANCE test and has fantastic music.
     
  17. Slave

    Slave User

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    One of the most difficult things about MK64 was grappling with the fact that the vehicles were now moving across the courses as opposed to the courses moving underneath the vehicles - I remember it causing a fair few headaches at how the handling was now COMPLETELY different. But I think it was a solid entry in the series - personally I prefer Double Dash though.
     
  18. straightorbroken

    straightorbroken reflected onto the wet pavement

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    22. Super Street Fighter II
    [​IMG]
    Develper: Capcom
    Platform: Sega Mega Drive, Super Nintendo Entertainment System
    Release: June 1994

    Most people will have some sort of connection to the should-have-released-more Street Fighter II games, and would probably name it as the first fighter that both they could think of or were introduced to. It paved the way for many other long-standing arcade-born franchises in same genre, which is now a ferocious market to occupy a presence within. Although there have been a fair few Street Fighter Vs so-and-so games, it doesn't really feel as if it truly competes against them, instead now offering a unique legacy that Capcom honor (what with hiatuses to protect the brand, maintain its impact and save expenses, the current estimation for the next as yet not in development installment is quotes as "before 2019"). It's a treat to play this on a 42 inch flat-screen, probably beating how it might have felt at the arcades. I don't think I can quite review this accurately as I no longer have the Megadrive II console (I do have the game cartridge and its instructions frustratingly), instead own it as included within Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Addition, bought on a mini splurge for the PS2 when I discovered I still had 6 PS1 games with no console to play them on, which would have caused sleepless nights had I left it at that. What a terrific way to counter attack and block out Christmas gift disappointments than a bout of retro binge buying. Basically this release combines a bunch of the SFII versions, and each character is selectable under the editions they were included in (following?), so you can choose Chun Li first, then confirm which of the editions you want to play her as (each one comprises slightly different moves, which is actually a cool touch), and in 2-player this Street Fighter II jukebox option is most fun, otherwise you're simply choosing what game to progress through in regular arcade mode. Chun Li is the first lady of fighters, dismally portrayed in the classic film sadly, and it's all there as before: the gymnastic-propelled air-assault, the helicopter kick spin, the run of the mill lightning limb moves, the effective lunge grab-throw that also helps to break the immense speed, and the stereotype-shattering celebration giggle, all the while with thighs that would give most lesbians a heart attack. Bison is large, powerful and swift in the air. Ken is a complete bitch. Cammy's horizontal body-drill and seedy Bison-bait back-story propelled her as an instant cult icon. Blanka and Dhalsim are unnerving and with their electric stretch of unique moves too intriguing not to play as (I like to think that their type represent something of an early incarnation of the 'otherworldly' fighters in future blockbuster fighters such as Soulcalibur II). Whilst Sagat and Zangief represent 90s homosexual fist fun (I've always thought they'd make a lovely couple anyway). I could go through them all (actually not an innuendo), but basically this is the most impressive and memorable line-up of fighters of all the biggest hitting beat 'em ups I'm familiar with - I do have other favourite characters, but there might be other Street Fighter games left in the countdown so will leave it there. Contemporary reviews for both 16 bit Super Street Fighter IIs appear to have been mixed, most likely due to the volume of subsequent sub-sequels for the second game that were by then doing the rounds, with seemingly only minor additions and refinements being made. For me, this entry is all about the introduction of Cammy as an alternate go-to character alongside the practically mythical Chun Li. I certainly played II Turbo, and arguably its the more ubiquitous image of the series with a bitch-slapping E. Honda cruising inside a Japanese toilet on the box cover, but this is the first one I owned (the cover art alone made it must-have), therefore it being a mere 'limited turbo special re-boot hyper deluxe excel alpha edition' means I probably benefit from all the enhancements the most as I never had to buy the same game 3 times over.
     
  19. Slave

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    The next Street Fighter is due this year as a PS4 exclusive.

    Though there are SO many editions of the last entry (I think there have been four special editions) that I find it hard to get excited.
     
  20. Phoenix

    Phoenix The Nest

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    I find the Capcom fighting games hard to enjoy, they all involve very complicated sequences that for me suck all the fun out. I prefer the more simplistic and gory Mortal Kombat and other Neather Realm game.

    I remember when my friend got Super Street Fighter II and how exciting it was that there were four new characters. I sucked at it (naturally) but made him play all the stories while I watched.
     
  21. Peekaboo

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    I'm a Street Fighter II Championship edition baby, I just couldn't get into Cammy and the rest. Also the Mega Drive pad was terrible for playing this, SNES suited the 6 button control much better.
     
  22. Pipo

    Pipo extra large & extra hard

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    I always bought Arcade adaptions for the Sega system because I always thought the SNES versions sucked a bit when it came to graphics and gameplay (See also Mortal Kombat and Final Fight).
     
  23. Doodvid

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    I totally fancied Zangief, although at times my head was turned by Balrog. and would happily have been 360-spin piledrivered by him any day of the week. (Street Fighter 2 Turbo SNES kid here).
     
  24. Peekaboo

    Peekaboo User

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    I fancied Vega (Balrog) - he was Spanish, camp, muscly and really hard to beat :disco:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  25. Doodvid

    Doodvid User

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    Nah - too femme. (Vega, not you Peeka)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  26. straightorbroken

    straightorbroken reflected onto the wet pavement

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    21. Sonic 3 & Knuckles
    [​IMG]
    Developer: Sega
    Platform: Sega Mega Drive
    Release: February 1994 (Sonic the Hedgehog 3), October 1994 (Sonic & Knuckles)

    As Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were originally intended to be the one game, but later split into separate releases when it got too big, and yet also able to be joined together, I'm just identifying it as one complete package just as it was designed to be. As a game on its own S&K is visually a real feast, maintaining the impressive detailing of S3, but unsurprisingly it lacks the feel of being a truly separate game (which wasn't the intention anyway). Thankfully, and rather wonderfully, It also acted as an insert into the three existing installments of Sonic, meaning that with slight adjustments made, you could now play these three games as Knuckles. In this sense, Sega laid out a brochure-like option, almost like an equivalent to Mario All Stars, but much better in regards to extending the re-play value of each title. Sega's determination to compete on all levels (no punt intended) is really evident and part of what makes this 2-part 16-bit extravaganza so adventurous in more ways than one. Personally, I just love playing as Knuckles. In Sonic 3 it's my feelings that these levels are huge and some routes require careful planning to avoid simply whizzing through them with voltage speed. And so, having basically 3 characters to choose from with differing abilities made the game feel more explorable than ever. To combine the games, the Sonic & Knuckles cartridge can be flipped open for the compatible Sonic 1, 2 and 3 to be fitted on top. Literally getting the best of both worlds, in 'Sonic 3 and Knuckles' not only can you play as those two top billed characters, but Tails can get a spin too. Not leaving it there, it's only through the cartridge lock that you can fully complete both 'separate' games, and best of all perhaps, play as Hyper Sonic, Hyper Knuckles and Hyper Tails. Graphically this is a bold outing, looking as if it stretched Sega's system to the limit (and it probably did going on the common glitch bitching it seems to get). 6 worlds, each with two acts would you believe, a mini boss and a full-blown boss just waiting to be fully blown up with the usual dodge and attack set-up. The arrival of Robotik is usually pretty spectacular as far as 16 bit consoles were concerned, really elevating the experience. The shields, much like the Spice Girls' Let Love Lead The Way video, take their cue from different elements in order to offer distinct benefits, meaning that all are enjoyable items you'll want to pick up with the TV monitors, but also essential to conquer the landscape. However, unlike Sonic 2, I find the main bonus level a major pain. A 3D sphere where you are moving forward and required to change direction to go left, right, or else jump, whilst aiming yourself to collect blue balloons, avoiding the red ones and mostly avoiding pinging off the metal ones (that usually bounce you off into the red), it's just not a very relaxing experience. Sega was on a roll with the Sonic franchise, momentarily leveling their market share with Nintendo, so that a third installment ultimately became too ambitious for its own good doesn't seem so surprising. Rather than over-egg it, their solution to break it in two I think made the experience unique. Allowing the cartridge backwards compatibility with the existing Sonics 1 and 2 was unheard of. I would argue that the limitations they faced actually turned into something even better than what would have been the original plan. In many ways, Sega were way ahead of the time, the idea of 'unlocking' content much like new features are gradually made available over time for games of today, gave the whole series an extra layer of depth and sense of completion without being tedious. Officially, these are separate games, but being able to interlock them was the ultimate goal Sega had in mind, and their solution simultaneously injected extra life into the existing installments.
     
  27. straightorbroken

    straightorbroken reflected onto the wet pavement

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    "No femmes plz - but do send me any unreleased Solid HarmoniE and Gina G tracks, thanks in advance girls!"
     
  28. Doodvid

    Doodvid User

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    Solid HarmoniE.Honda?

    *tumbleweed*
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  29. straightorbroken

    straightorbroken reflected onto the wet pavement

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    20. Waverace 64
    [​IMG]
    Developer: Nintendo EAD
    Platform: Nintendo 64
    Release: September 1996 (JAP), November 1996 (NA), April 1997 (PAL)

    Whilst the N64 may not have blew its competition out the water with cold hard sales, even during its initial games drought it had releases that made a huge splash with graphics and its unique controller in equal measure, ensuring it was never in the shallow end for an often unparalleled multi-sensory experience. When the N64 finally washed shore to the UK, Mario 64, Pilotwings 64 and, arriving a little later, Wave Race 64 all showcased the console in these ways perfectly. I have no idea if this game is considered much of a classic (although it did get a Gamecube sequel), but it surely must be a cult favourite at the very least. Playing it still feels like a dream, and although its graphics will have been surpassed, the overall feel of it remains even better than its next generation sequel (again, more on that in a bit). Offering classic 1 player championship, 2 player scenarios, and time trial, Nintendo weren't about to coast on conventions and added another game option, that combined a time trial challenge with points scoring, called Stunt Mode. When racing normally, you have to steer your jet-ski through red and yellow markers, which is elaborated upon here with hoops to drive through and the opportunity to perform various stunts either when going over ramps or just in between rings. So whilst there is the actual course layout and impressive landscape and water level factors all to consider, there is a further dimension of staying within the rules of these buoy-like markers (complying builds your speed up if your power start wasn't enough to do so, and missing them deflates your speed-power back to its lowest level), all the while knowing how to adapt your controls to conquer the waves as well (be it a simple leaning forward to not waste too much time in the air, or using them to cushion your change of direction), it's really something exhilarating and incredibly slick that never gets old. Although the game is stunning, the emphasis is truly on the controls, and there's literally not a drop wasted. During the scenic practice area, you can be left to your own devices or be given a tutorial from a woman who sounds quite happy, like an American version of the girl who takes the calls on The Wright Stuff. It's not essential to languish here for long in order to get to grips with the controls, but you can practice different kinds of rolls and tricks in the air, hand stands, spins, etc, and even "follow that dolphin!" (and yes, eventually you can ride it Geru fans). It's a simple lay-out, like a Sunset Beach dream sequence, and yet as you'll soon find out, goes on to showcase everything this game has to offer (everything except changes to the weather and a changing tide, which are subtle but profound touches to be had on actual tracks, which will affect your lap times if you don't think of something). Although there are only 4 initial courses to race on, the levels of difficulty open out different routes or involve different weather conditions that all require an improved experience level over the last. A 5th and final course (which is a brilliant one I might add) is unlocked permanently (for time trial and stunt modes) after you have won the hardest difficulty level championship. The music doesn't just float along by either. Although it is mostly subtle with an emphasis on effects, non-invasive commentary, there is a pervasive theme of very American-styled, cheesey guitar riffs that really embellishes the colouring and beach locations. Aspen lake is my absolute favourite, the stiller waters looking crisp and reflective, and a fog that clears up just after you've thought not that old trick; set at night is a city-seeping course that, once you know how to get the best from your controls, is awesome frankly; and the tango water course (that actually did feature Tango billboards in America, that were taken out of the virtual console release after the sponsorship had ran dry) also doesn't fall flat. If 4 characters to choose from doesn't seem enough, this is an advantage for having a screen that really does not need to be cluttered and any scrapping can be left to Mario Kart frankly. I may only just be testing the waters with its next generation follow-up Wave Race: Blue Storm, but despite the obvious leap in graphics and similarities between them, it's just not as good. The controls are very sensitive, and combined with a high speed, this can put you completely out of the race very quickly. So until I master these changes, I'm still prepared to go back to the more cartoonish flair of the original. When I went back to it, I had obviously changed the names at the time and among them were S. Graff and J. Jackson. You can't do this on the follow up, which seems to have a far steeper learning curve, so enough said. It might not be noticeable given most TVs are larger than the ones we were happy with 18 years ago, but the PAL version features black borders almost making it resemble the initial PAL box art covers. Washing away all its water sports alternatives, Wave Race 64 is a high level experience that never runs dry, and is a fast-flowing forgotten masterpiece.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  30. Peekaboo

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    Wave Race 64 was made by EAD Tokyo, the Nintendo studio who turn everything they touch into gold. Wave Race: Blue Storm on the Gamecube was made by their American studio, says it all really.

    I have to confess I haven't played Wave Race 64 in many, many years but when I had it I really truly loved it. It's a fantastic arcade in the vein of Sega's best classics and the water effect was mindblowing at the time. Personally I'm a fan of the overexcited commentator: "NICE", "MAXIMUM POWER!", etc.
     
  31. PercyPig

    PercyPig The Last of Us

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    I much preferred the Gamecube version but I think that's because I'm so shallow - I mean it looked amazing when you put the storms on. Me and my brother would just watch the replays over and over thrashing through the waves and a serene Aspen Lake was also gorgeous :disco:
     
  32. COB

    COB Skullomania nude on spacehopper

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    I always loved the cheat that replaced your jetski with a dolphin :disco:
     
  33. Slave

    Slave User

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    I think I own Wave Race 64 but I've just ordered another copy. I don't think I ever actually played it, but people consistently rave about it.

    As for Sonic 3 & Knuckles, I agree that in a way, it was SEGA's own equivalent of Super Mario All-Stars. If you play Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles through, you have a game that is a "complete" story and far exceeds any sense of storytelling that Nintendo attempted with the Mario series, where each one was more or less a reset and exists in isolation to the rest.

    However, where I rank Sonic 2 ahead of Sonic 3 & Knuckles is that the former just feels a little more considered. Each and every path through Sonic 2 is slick, well constructed and feels deliberate. Arguably Sonic 3 is much the same, but Sonic & Knuckles for me has levels that almost feel a bit filler-esque. Levels where Sonic is blasted around by warp beams and essentially leave you just sitting and watching the screen for 15-20 seconds (which is one of the things that went horribly wrong with subsequent entries in the 3D Sonic universe).

    I also find some of the levels in Sonic & Knuckles absolutely infuriating - Sandopolis Zone is probably the NADIR of the Mega Drive series for me (ignoring Sonic 3D) with the light switches and the first level boss, which requires you to sit for about a MINUTE whilst the temple emerges and then stay at the side of the screen and jump repeatedly until the boss follows you into the quicksand. I appreciate the scope of what SEGA attempted with the two games locked together, but I really feel like it becomes evident that they don't have enough ideas to fill the whole thing.
     
  34. straightorbroken

    straightorbroken reflected onto the wet pavement

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    19. Soul Blade
    [​IMG]
    Developer: Project Soul
    Publisher: Namco
    Platform: Playstation
    Release: December 1996 (JP), January 1997 (NA), May 1997 (PAL)

    First installment in Namco's legendary Soul series, melding weapons with their by-then near perfect 3D fighter formula, showing quite clearly the company were a clear if not clean cut above almost all of their competitors. The 'object' of Soul Blade is pretty obvious. 10 15th century fighters are in gut-slashing pursuit for the ultimate sword called the Soul Edge, which has been captured by someone or other you'll get the chance to defeat if you can skillfully slaughter everyone else. The fighting system works fairly well on a button-bashing level, but this will only get you so far. You'll need to get good at getting the first hit in, knowing when to defend yourself (your weapon has its own energy bar, in the shape of a sword of course, that is reduced every time you block an attack), the usual long-linking combination sequences, getting the best out of some wonderfully high jumping, and executing your unblockable special moves (of which will reduce your weapon's power bar in the progress, meaning these elaborate features are not too heavily relied upon). Visually, I do prefer the two final Playstation Tekken games (guess the cat's out the bag about those appearing), but the post-medieval splendour achieved here is undeniable. Particularly impressive is the water-raft stage, which tilts to the left and right, and vividly-coloured shifts from baking daylight heat to an atmospheric night-time setting in between rounds 2 and 3 cleverly adding to the suspense. Players can be knocked out of the ring, of which can be customized in terms of size, resulting in the ousted fighter losing the round. The movement is incredibly swift, slashing through the pace of the slightly more tactical Tekken 2 for instance, and yes this gives it a real edge. The thrust and momentum of using weapons gives it a fairly unique feel, with the array of metallic combat accessories often dictating player choice rather than the usual characteristics such as agility, strength and sex appeal. You'll know how special this games is when you watch the CGI opening film, for which the game is worth a bash alone.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  35. Doodvid

    Doodvid User

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    Sorb, I stumbled across several videos along this theme which reminded me of your thread. The humour's a bit too American for my liking but I love the animation and they bring back a helluva lot of memories.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/o5fKiEz30r4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  36. straightorbroken

    straightorbroken reflected onto the wet pavement

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    Ah the old "I've dislocated my spine, can you check to see if my penis is still working?" line. I fall for it every time.
     
  37. straightorbroken

    straightorbroken reflected onto the wet pavement

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    18. Virtua Fighter 2
    [​IMG]
    Developer: Sega AM2
    Platform: Sega Saturn
    Release: January 1996

    Stunning sequel that visually left its chunky but funky predecessor for dead. As an arcade portal to the Saturn, such games were of immense importance to Sega who had split its Saturn developers into three sub-groups in order to bring its arcade hits home: the Virtua Fighter series, Virtua Cop (this did look fun, but I never gave it a shot) and Daytona USA (never one that appealed); all with as little compromise as possible. Their intense in-house work paid off in replicating the coin-cabinet fighter, compensating for a lack of polygons with texture mapping in order to make any differences seemingly negligible, all the while at an impressive (and now standard-expected) 60 frames per second. Whilst the original looked like a 3D equivalent to the Master System, V2 really slugged it out to showcase the Saturn for all it was worth seemingly, with only minor differences I'll leave it for others to point out. Eccentric rock music long associated with the franchise is here, giving some balance to the concentration often required. As with most fighters I have, my own abilities or knowledge probably only scratches the surface, but this is one that really does reward commitment, and yet doesn't demand you dive straight into the deep end. The characters show complex variations, usually stemming from their physicality and specific back stories, but also from existing fighting styles rather than those purely imagined for more gore. Be warned, this game is not hit and run affair. If you're willing to devote time to perfecting your execution of a wide array of attacks, counter attacks, and all the duking and ducking in between, then in this sense it can eclipse the competition. As a fluid fighter with gorgeous graphics, Sega at this point were at the top of the pack. It is my opinion that this is the third best Saturn game, and definitely one of its most important if not most console-defining. On pre-orders alone in Japan (1.5 million), it almost had a 1:1 ratio with the amount of consoles bought there, illustrating its immense popularity there. Indeed, perhaps it could be said Sega were the victims of their own success - it was the original VF that inspired Sony to make their station a 3D focus rather than pixel-based. Now *that's* got to hurt.
     
  38. COB

    COB Skullomania nude on spacehopper

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    I loved all of Sega's 3D fighters at the time, and not just because I'd begged my parents to get me a Saturn and had to justify it to myself somehow. My initial VF2 favourite was Sarah Bryant with her iconic cry of "better run home to momma now!", but as time went on I realised Pai was far better, mainly because if you learned to time her counterattack move properly you could reverse every single punch thrown in your direction (much to my brother's frustration usually :angel:)

    I also had a big soft spot for Fighting Vipers - which I actually got for free by participating in a Sega focus group (along with a Sonic Team record bag that certainly didn't get me abuse every day at school) - and Fighters Megamix, which contained fighters from both series (along with oddities like glamorously-named lady policeman "Janet" from Virtua Cop and the car from Daytona USA).
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  39. straightorbroken

    straightorbroken reflected onto the wet pavement

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    Okay, Sega focus group participation getting freebies is actually amazing.
     
  40. COB

    COB Skullomania nude on spacehopper

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    No wonder they went bust :(
     

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