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Ranked

Tony's Top 5 Mega Mans photo
Tony's Top 5 Mega Mans

Ranked: The five best Mega Man games (Tony's picks)


The REAL list of the Blue Bomber's greatest
Jun 25
// Tony Ponce
I don't know if you are aware, but I'm something of a Mega Man nut. The bulk of the Mega Man articles that appear on Destructoid are penned by none other than yours truly, and I sometimes wonder if I'm going overboard. Should...
Chris' Top 5 Mega Mans photo
Chris' Top 5 Mega Mans

Ranked: The five best Mega Man games (Carter's picks)


The Blue Bomber's best, ranked
Jun 25
// Chris Carter
It's no secret that fellow Destructoid author Tony Ponce and I enjoy a hearty serving of Mega Man on a daily basis. While I'll let Tony speak for himself in his own "Ranked" article, the reasons why I love the Mega Man series...

Ranked: The Gears of War trailers

Mar 18 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]248958:47621:0[/embed] 6. Gears of War: Judgment Despite its impending release, the Gears of War: Judgment trailer has to be the worst of the bunch. It completely ignores the formula that was expertly refined in the previous trailers. Featuring the song "Shooting the Moon" by Mona, the Gears of War: Judgment video takes an entirely different approach than all of its predecessors. Focusing on action, combat, and testosterone, it feels less like a Gears of War trailer, and more like the run-of-the-mill trailer released for almost any other videogame. It's tough not to view this one as the black sheep of the Gears of War trailers. [embed]248958:47622:0[/embed] 5. Gears of War 2 - I Have A Rendezvous With Death This is the most unique of the Gears of War trailers, in the sense that it's the only one to feature a poem instead of a song. Borrowing choice lines from Alan Seeger's writing, this video seems to move step-in-step with the poem. Despite being only the second Gears of War trailer, it didn't take long for Epic to find their groove. This video is highlighted by several defining characteristics that tend to find their way into the series' other trailers. [embed]248958:47623:0[/embed] 4. Gears of War 3 - Ashes to Ashes When Cliff Bleszinski appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to announce Gears of War 3, they showed this reveal trailer. The video unveiled some interesting tidbits about the game such as the inclusion of a female COG, and the introduction of the Lambent as enemies. Aside from these revelations, the video was quite phenomenal. It's probably the trailer that best depicts the hopelessness of war. The look of utter defeat on Dom's face as he gives in to the realization of death is nothing short of incredible. As the camera fades out to show all sects fighting one another with the COGs caught squarely in the middle, you couldn't help but feel as if Gears of War 3 couldn't release fast enough. [embed]248958:47626:0[/embed] 3. Gears of War 2 - Last Day The "Last Day" trailer may be the most emotionally effective one of all because it shows purely the human side of war. There's no combat or action, just soldiers reflecting on the weight of war. As Dom looks at a creased picture of him and Maria, and Marcus stares into the ominously overcast sky, their lives seem semi-normal. That is, until the camera follows Marcus to show him walking from a golden field into a Locust camp -- expressing the permanent blurring of lines between what can even be considered normal anymore. As their elevator plummets into the ground in perfect synchronization with the music, you know that normal's out the window. [embed]248958:47627:0[/embed] 2. Gears of War 3 - Dust to Dust "Dust to Dust" is the trailer that was made for the game that was set to close out the original trilogy. It's unusually action-packed, as it was made to correlate nicely with the apex of the series. What made this trailer really special was the style in which they went about packing in all that action. The entire video is one continuous camera shot, and it's in slow-motion. This, coupled with Mazzy Star's "Into Dust", made for one of the most memorable trailers of all time. [embed]248958:47628:0[/embed] 1. Gears of War - Mad World Here it is. The "Mad World" spot is hands-down the best Gears of War trailer. This probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. In fact, there's a solid chance that you clicked this article solely to watch it again. When this trailer began to air in 2006, not only did it turn a lot of people on to Gears of War, but it's the reason that a lot of people even bought an Xbox 360 in the first place. There was never any question that "Mad World" would be at the top of this list. In fact, if this were a list of best videogame trailers of all time, this one would probably be in the exact same spot.
Gears of War trailers photo
The emotional side to these tough guys
The Gears of War franchise has a history across its four titles of releasing some of the best cinematic trailers in gaming. Despite the series' reputation of being all about impossibly muscle-bound space marines murderin...


City builders ranked photo
City builders ranked

Ranked: The five best city builders


While we wait for SimCity to connect ...
Mar 07
// Fraser Brown
I'm a bit of a mess, to be honest. A disheveled, disorganized, forgetful mess. Yet somehow, this all evaporates when I fire up a city builder. Obsessive? Definitely. Compulsive? Without a doubt. Everything needs to ...

Ranked: The top five Contra games

Feb 23 // Allistair Pinsof
5. Contra: Hard Corps - 1994 - Genesis At long last, Sega fans had awesome Konami games to dangle over their Nintendo friends' heads with Castlevania: Bloodlines and then Hard Corps; a game that many series fans still hold as the plateau of dual-gun-totting, manly, hyperactive shooters. Playing Hard Corps between other series entries this week made me notice just how amazingly fast this game runs. Music cues up and grand entrances are made in The Alien Wars, but in Hard Corps robots just burst through walls and then it's on. Even the hilarious intro displays this attitude, with your chosen hero nonchalantly driving through enemies and a mini-boss before jumping out of his vehicle, beginning the game. Hard Corps is a practice in excess and it's what makes it a polarizing entry; not as in, "is it good or not," but "is it the best or not?" The multiple paths, characters, weapon sets, and endings makes Hard Corps the most replayable Contra, but it also makes it a bit unfocused and uneven. It also takes the series to a level of difficulty outdone only by Super Contra (arcade). 4. Neo Contra - 2004 - PlayStation 2 (also available on PSN) After Nobuya Nakazato (mastermind of Hard Corps, The Alien Wars, and BEST GAME SEGA GAME EVER Rocket Knight Adventures) got the series back on track with Shattered Soldier, he threw it back into rough waters with Neo Contra: The sequel that no one asked for and that few gave a chance -- but DO give it a chance! Neo Contra takes the half-assed top-down missions of Super C and makes a great shooter out of them. The speed, controls, and manic pace of action makes Neo Contra a Smash TV for the PS2 generation. It's kinetic techno soundtrack, ridiculous cutscenes, and unpredictable bosses make for one of the series oddest but best entries. It would be higher on this list if it were longer and more cohesive (two complaints shared with Shattered Soldier). 3. Hard Corps: Uprising - 2011 - PS3/Xbox 360 With no Contra name attached and a fighting game studio developing, expectations were low for Uprising and it was quickly forgotten after release. While I understand the reasoning for the former, I don't get why Uprising isn't hailed as one of the greatest digital releases of its time. Yes, it really is that good. Uprising does away with the grim, '80s sci-fi film aesthetic of the Contra series in favor for a brighter, Anime look that recalls Dreamcast titles. No more dark blue backdrops of cities in decay and giant, creepy robots. Despite this change in art direction, Uprising is a natural evolution for the series that combines all the control improvements introduced in The Alien War and Shattered Soldier. The levels are much longer than any Contra before it, but now the player can quickly dash through them and zip through the air like a ninja -- in fact, there is even a ninja player that makes the game play like Strider. Shattered Soldier missed the platforming elements that defined the series' best entries, but Uprising cranks them out along with crazy level design and boss fights that require tricky jumps and wall climbing. Uprising doesn't quite capture the spirit of the series, but it definitely plays like a Contra -- and a very good one, at that. 2. Contra - 1988 - Nintendo Completing Contra on one life is a right of passage for all gamers. It's the quest to videogame Mecca that all should make. Through this spiritual quest, you will learn just how tightly designed Contra is, how what you thought was cheap design was really dumb player mistakes, and that good, minimal design is timeless. It's true that Alien Wars and Hard Corps ramped up the action and visuals, but there is an elegance to the simplicity of the original. This isn't nostalgia talking, as Contra was never a favorite of mine growing up. There is a reason why the alien wall, waterfall, 3D stages, and opening jungle come to mind when thinking of Contra. Playing Super C and Contra back-to-back really highlights the subtle details in design that makes Contra a timeless, thrilling adventure. And, yes, I agree that it's too bad Super C didn't make this list. 1. Contra III: The Alien Wars - 1992 - Super Nintendo (also available on Virtual Console) This is when shit got real. Giant penis turtles, flying on a rocket, evil robot heads shooting friggin' lazers, creepy alien bosses ... this is when shit got too real. Like the original, Alien Wars remains a timeless action game due to the simplicity and restraint in its design. Every gun is perfect, every stage is different, and every encounter presents its own lessons to be learned. Sure, the Mode 7 levels aren't the best parts but they add some nice variety to the traditional stages. Sure, it's short but the campaign holds its own to recent Call of Duty's in offering a series of intense set pieces -- and, unlike Call of Duty, these set pieces are fully interactive and change the way the game is played. The Alien Wars brought about many clones on competing systems, but none were as bombastic, over-the-top, and sublime as Contra's magnum opus. [Image by Maher Al-Samkari]
Top 5 Contra games photo
When heroes, not douchebags, wore bandanas
While other kids were chasing mushrooms, leveling up mages, and debating boss orders, real tough guys were playing Contra. Though the series saw a dip in quality in the PlayStation generation, it still stands as one of the mo...

Five Best Fire Emblems photo
Five Best Fire Emblems

Ranked: The five best Fire Emblem games


Take a look at the franchise's history
Feb 05
// Chris Carter
Fire Emblem is a pretty mysterious series to many gamers out there. Firstly, it's a strategy RPG (SRPG), which already places it in an established niche. Then you have to consider the fact that Nintendo didn't release the ser...

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