We all have games that are very special to us. Most of the time, the love for these games is universal and shared by many a fellow gamer. However, sometimes the games we love just don't seem to be as appreciated by others as we feel they should be. I will now list three games that I absolutely adore...and you could probably care less about.
Crash Team Racing:
First, I just want to say that when it comes to "cart" racing games, my undeniable favorite method of enjoying this wonderful genre is to play Block Fort on Mario Kart 64. However, when it comes to my favorite overall cart racer, Crash Team Racing is undisputed.
Yes, Crash Team Racing is a knock-off of Mario Kart. Yes, it is better than Mario Kart. The game was met with critical acclaim way back in 1999. Unfortunately, its brilliance has been somewhat tarnished by lackluster follow-ups by the evildoers at Universal.
Crash Team Racing provided a much more robust package than Mario Kart 64 by providing a lengthy adventure mode consisting of races, boss fights, token collecting, and time trials. While an adventure mode could be found in the other competing cart racer, Diddy Kong Racing, the one found in CTR doesn't suffer from being painfully tedious.
CTR also sports excellent track design and an extremely good battle mode. Not only is there a very diverse weapon-set, but you also have the ability to choose exactly which weapons you wish to include. In addition, each weapon can be powered up by collecting 10 fruit, making them each much more potent. Defensive weapons are also provided, such as an invisibility powerup that protects you from oncoming heat seeking rockets. My favorite weapon would have to be the bomb which can be rolled toward the enemy and remote detonated to take out the target with the blast radius should your aim have not been perfect.
My friends and I played this game more than I can remember, and that is the main reason I remember it so fondly. However, the game itself does have a lot to offer.
Favorite CTR Moment:
On his first time playing, I told my friend that the potions were health.
There I was in the spring of 2001, nursing my months-old copies of SSX, Onimusha, and Zone of the Enders like the precious children they were. It was a slow time for game releases and I had placed all my faith in one title to turn the tide. That game was Red Faction. The game promised much and didn't quite deliver on everything I expected, but it still ranks highly in my collection.
Geometric Modification, or Geo-Mod as the developers called it, provided gameplay that had been unseen in videogames prior to May 2001. Red Faction allowed players to manipulate their environment with explosives in real-time. Are you having a difficult time taking out that tank? Shoot out the bridge on which it rests. Are you unable to make your way through a door? Dig a tunnel through the wall to the other side. Admittedly, the game didn't offer nearly as much freedom as had been expected with regard to the manipulation of the game world, but it did provide a lot of crazy explosive fun.
The game did borrow rather liberally from Half Life with regard to its story-telling, but it was a godsend on the drought-ridden PS2. It provided a lengthy single-player game as well as a very impressive two-player multiplayer mode.
Again, most of my fond memories of this game come as a result of playing it with friends. There is nothing more satisfying than digging a tunnel in the wall to hide and whipping out the rail driver to shoot through walls at an unsuspecting friend (or CPU controlled bot). Who could forget shooting out the wall only to find a hidden Fusion Rocket Launcher with which to explode the entire world? What could be more fun than shooting rockets back and forth with a friend on Warlords to see who could time their blast just right to anticipate the others next move?
Unfortunately, Red Faction will go down in videogame history as yet another run-of-the-mill first person shooter. It doesn't help that the sequel sucked balls, either.
Favorite Red Faction moment:
Using a rocket launcher to dig a stairway to the roof of The Lobby in multiplayer.
War of the Monsters
I've never liked fighting games. Everytime I play one it just feels like hitting random buttons is just as effective as making a concerted attempt to time my moves. I was hesitant when I was given the opportunity to play War of the Monsters (via a demo disk). Thankfully I gave the game a try based solely on the fact that it was made by the people who brought me the wonderful Twisted Metal Black.
War of the Monsters is a no-holds-barred brawler. You are given the choice between a variety of different B-movie monsters to choose from to take into a variety of locales to cause as much damage to the environment and your opponent(s) as possible. You have Congar (a King Kong rip off), Ultra V (an awesome Japanese robot), Preytor (a giant preying mantis), and many other creatures to choose from. The environments are fully destructible and yield a variety of items to use as weapons making the game much more strategic than your average fighting game.
You can pick up an oil tanker and throw it at an enemy with explosive results, you can throw a radio tower at an enemy to impale them (an momentarily stun them), and you can beat your opponent senseless with just about anything you can find. In addition your character has a short range and a long range special attack that can be used to inflict large amounts of damage on your enemy.
The game is very easy to pick up and is a beautiful thing to behold when played by two people who know what they are doing.
Favorite War of the Monsters moment:
Standing on a special move spawn point with Ultra V and using the long range special attack (a Scorpion "get over here!" move) to bring an opponent close only to be followed up on with the close range sword-frenzy special attack. read