Monday, March 17, 2008

Tom's High School Favourites

I'm aware that the majority of my blogs are negative and anger-driven, which in it's own light is entertaining to my readers, but I'm not an angryman all the time, I have likes and loves, and adorations.

One being the wholesome activity of video gaming, once a salvation for the sweaty recluse, video games have been brought into the mainstream, now that gaming is accepted in the bottom rungs of society, where the crack addict and the frat boy do battle in Halo and are considered equals, intelligent games rich in story and character are paved over to make way for the next big gorefest of violence. Like everything in life, the bar is lowered.

Now I don't hate every violent no brainer game, in fact I enjoy a large amount of them, but the ratio of RPG's and RTS's to FPS's and Car Crash Simulators is starting to become skewed. It won't be long until the pinnacle of Role Playing gold consists of killing 5 boars for the farmers wife to strip and dance in front of you, with two options:

- F*** Wife
- Kill Wife

But let's move away from the decline of gaming and the angryrants it generates within my gut, and focus on something good, as every blogger and his dog loves to make lists, I'll follow suit as I present to you my top 5 video games from a period of time that is cherished to me, high school weekends.



(because spelling with Z's and pluralising when not needed is rad!)

5: Dave Mirra 2 (GameCube, although clearly the image says PS2)

Back when Gamecube was new and everyone else had an Xbox in my town, the new Nintendo console was berated and hated by once loyal fanboys, it had become too "kiddy" and the game library was laughable. There was no proper Mario game and Zelda was now a cartoon (however, I must say when I played Wind Waker I was blown away by it's awesomeness). My companion and hetero life partner Gendo brought Dave Mirra, a bicycle version of the Tony Hawk giant which I dismissed as bogus.

Upon playing the game however, I was proved the fool indeed.

The game's mechanics took a while to get the hang of, thinking I was playing Tony Hawk I crashed constantly and managed to jump a measly foot off the ground at my best, but I got past that and found the greatest function in any game involving a vehicle ever.

In midair, the game had a "bail" function, where the rider would let go of the handlebars and the rag doll physics will kick in, this made for some excellent rider abuse. Creative crash competitions between myself and Gendo made for some great weekends. My most memorable crash would be grinding face first down a rail, then bailing into a light pole, shoulder separation never looked so fun!

4: Sam and Max Hit the Road (PC)

First played this game in Primary school at a friend's birthday party, along with Commander Keen, which also has a place in my heart. But this game was hilarious, challenging, and all round entertaining.

Lucasarts actually made good games before churning out 2nd rate Star Wars crapfests.

3: Fallout (PC)

What can I say about this game? This is my inspiration source for all things sci-fi and post-apocalyptic, hell there are even zombies in this game... (well.. mutated humans anyway). Unlimited replayability, I still borrow this game from my friends on a yearly basis.. I should really just buy it.

Set in the far future after a nuclear war, fallout puts you in the shoes of an relative nobody, a member of a giant vault of people who have survived the war but are running out of water. It is up to you and you alone to face the dangers that lurk outside and save your people.

Dark humour, pop culture references and violence a-plenty, Fallout was a very approachable game, but the moral neutrality of it all and the story made me stay, you had pretty much free rule over everything you did, you could slaughter an entire village or help them out, save a captured woman or join the people who captured her. A Karma meter within the game kept track of every action you did, you could be praised as a hero in one town and then shot on sight at the next. This game didn't penalise for evil behavior, you could kill wandering travellers and nobody would know. And the same could happen to you.

2: Secret of Mana (SNES)

This game sold the RPG genre to me, back in the SNES days when I started to realise that my brothers enjoyed football whilst I'd rather lead my Orks up against some Ultramarines and engage them in melee combat because I had the +1 attack bonus.

I needed an outlet for my newfound geekdom, it would be 7 years since I owned a computer and nobody wanted to play Magic the Gathering with me, so I rented this gem out.

I was blown over by awesomeness, the depth of this game, the multiple character switching and use of magic... the 2D sprites!!!! This game was, and still is, god.

1: WWF Warzone / WCW NWO Revenge (N64)

Now, this is a no brainer wrestling game where you wail on each other, right?


WCW NWO Revenge involved strategy, timing, and determination. The amount of fun Gendo and I had with this game was insane, and I still look forward to playing it every time I go to visit him, only to wipe the floor with his arse using Kim Chee. I destroy at this game, and I challenge anyone to take me on.

Our wrestling game weekend multiplayer fun started with WWF Warzone, back when Stone Cold was a relative newcomer and The Rock was pretty much a nobody in the Nation of Domination. Warzone was everything you'd expect from a wrestling game; slaps kicks grapples and running into ropes. The game used a health bar and any moron who knew how to tap "A" constantly could win a match, but we played it till it broke the cartridge.

Around that time I discovered the THQ wrestling game, WCW NWO World Tour, it was very very no frills but had an excellent engine to it, and then the sequel came out and just improved everything ten fold. Gendo was sold instantly because it had the entire WCW and NWO roster, with the greats like Hulkster and Sting.

I'd say the best part about this game is that you couldn't win with button mashing, in fact, the game was designed to be against those types of sweaty pimply boys who lose patience and resort to constant kicking. A simple well timed tap of "block" would send the attacker reeling away with a counter. This game is probably the most fun I've had with a video game in all my life and I doubt it'll change any time soon.

So there we have it, my top 5 games from my heady days of free wheeling access.


Anonymous said...

The last time I tried to load Warzone up it took about 5 tries to get to the menu before it'd just cut out again. I'll never throw the cart away, its testament to the hours we put into it, I can't even remember the characters we made. But I do remember Brett Hart's 'heart attack' running move being virtually unblockable....Overall best character went to Owen Hart

Wrestlemania 2000 and WWF No Mercy where also solid games, using the exact same everything as revenge but Revenge was just untoppable and still I recall the most enjoyable weekends. When you busted someone open and it made that horrible BLURP! noise....and someone I mean Kim Chee, what was the record, 27 top rope splashes onto his prone corpse?


Tom said...

I loved using the hamfist to break their noses

and they look at the blood and just topple..

I'm sure we did way more than 27 top ropes

in fact.. we did with Brisco and the other guy to rub salt into the wounds

Anonymous said...

Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco off a ladder and top rope respectively in....No Mercy it would have to to have been.

Thats right they'd topple over like in anime, stiff legged looking at their hand.