Panda Cookies is not a panda that likes cookies, but a panda that is a cookie. Panda Cookies has been playing video games for more than 20 years, and doesn't plan to stop. Since he's been gaming for so long, he feels that he is able to accurately comment on the gaming industry, communities, and general state of gaming. Panda Cookies has also dabbled into a bit of indie game design for fun. Please enjoy Panda Cookies' C-blog!
There are few games in this world that, when I make references, people donít know of! So here are five games that I commonly talk about, but people give me a look and go, ďHuh? Whatís that?Ē
5. Grim Fandango
Ok, this one needs a little history lesson, as I feel itís necessary. Grim Fandango was created by Lucas Arts in the time when Lucas Arts made AWESOME point and click games. The project was spearheaded by that lovely beefcake himself, Tim Schafer (who I of course have a huge fanboy crush on.) Tim Schafer would go on to create such games as Psychonauts, which I consider the holy grail of 3D platforming, and a reason to my mother why her grandsonís name will be Rasputin, and the newly released Brutal Legend. Assisted by Jack Blackís persona, and was decent. (but no Psychonauts.)
At the times of Psychonauts, and later Brutal Legend companies were doing games in a whole new style, but Tim Schafer goes for the gusto and tries something completely original and fun, which is why we love him.
So that brings us to Grim Fandango! At this time Lucas Arts was starting to move into the Star Wars games a lot more, and the point and click adventures a lot less. Taking full control, Schafer made a fun, creative, and original point and click where you play as Manny Calavera, a dead travel agent/detective trying to right wrongs in the Department of Death, to help people pass on, once he finds there is corruption among them. The whole game consisted of the film noir theme, accompanied with the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead style. It was an overall and rich experience.
Every time I bring this game up people generally say to me, ďIíve heard of this, but never played it.Ē WELL GO PLAY IT!
Ok, no real history lesson with this one. This game was created back in 1995 by Sierra Online. This game featured Full Motion Video (FMV) in which you got to move the actual person instead of watching a video and just choosing options. Due to this the game came on a whopping 7 CDS! The game follows a female protagonist, Adrienne Delaney, who is a writer who just recently bought a mansion which was owned previously by a famous magician. But, when they move in, creepy things start to happen, so they investigate! The overall game is just a really campy, hammy, horror game FMV. Itís awesome, and addictive if you can let yourself get into it!
A lot of people I talk to about this game really have never heard of it. Itís got a small cult following though, mostly people like me who played it back in the day. When I was young, I played this game on my Packard Bell, which had a NEW 16MB hard drive. This game was considered high end for me, I regard this game as something special and nostalgic. I played this game a long side Duke Nukem 3D, and loved every minute of it! Ahhh, memories!
3. Jazz Jackrabbit 2
Jazz Jackrabbit is a franchise which not a lot of people have heard about, amazingly! I know there is a big community of fans for this game, I know. But, Jazz Jackrabbit really was not well known by the general gamer. It was designed by Cliffy B. who would go on to make Gears of War, and do some development work with the Unreal franchise. Jazz Jackrabbit, specially JJ2, is one of my most favorite games, which is a fast, action packed platformer, brimming with pop culture references, very nice controls, and just an overall great design. Plus, it came with a level editor! A very user friendly level editor! So making new levels was a snap! Wow!
This was back when Cliff believed in color and originality. Which brings a tear to my eye. Even though heíd see this tear as a black and brown smudge behind a ripper. LOOK HOW CATTY I AM! Anyway, I recommend you check this out, although many versions you get on the net has a level which you canít get out of. Oh piracy!
2. Beyond Good and Evil
Ok, ok! I know this one is a bit of a stretch, but really not a lot of people that I talk to has actually played this game! Seriously! This is an amazing game which was released on Gamecube, PC, PS2, and Xbox. So the game is out there! Itís crazy fun. Great style, great controls and gameplay, and an amazing story. If you havenít played Beyond Good and Evil youíre really missing out! (Plus, Jade is f-ing hawt!)
In this game you play as Jade, a freelance photographer/investigator. You get contacted by this group of people who have figured out a huge government conspiracy, and enlist you as their help/reporter. You get lovable supporting characters, and lots of places to explore. 3D platforming, stealth, and hack Ďn slashing through enemies. Ah, so satisfying! (Plus, Jade is f-ing hawt!)
1. Cave Story
Lots of people have and havenít played this game. A strong internet community follows this game quite extensively, but anybody outside of the loop doesnít know about it. Ok, I would normally forgive because this game exists purely on the net, but itís been out for SIX YEARS. So itís no excuse. Since it was released free since day one, ITíS REALLY NO EXCUSE to not play this game. This is probably one of my most favorite games EVER. Itís so fun, cute, and original, and has many different endings. The music is AMAZING. Some of the best composed video game music ever to bless my ears. The controls are solid, too. Itís just an all around great game. Youíre a terrible person for not playing it! You can download it RIGHT THIS MINUTE and play it, too. So hop to it! I love this game so much I play it completely through about once every three months, maybe even more.
Itís even so great that the main theme song was mixed with the Japanese Ronald McDonald. Cave Story is on par with MCDONALDS, the worlds biggest fast food restaurant!
In this game you play a little amnesia victim robot, out to figure out who he is, and where he is. Among the Mimigas, rabbit-like monster creatures, youíre off the aid them in stopping an evil doctor who is has an evil scheme to take over the world! The gameplay is reminiscent of Metroid. It has many weapon upgrades, and many different areas to explore with lots of puzzles, as well. You canít see everything in one playthrough! SO PLAY IT.