I started gaming in the arcades nearly 20 years ago. Since I was very young I played one of the first forms of what is today called "co-op": playing Space Invaders with my cousin, she moved the ship and I operated the weapons :) When I got my NES a love story was begun: being able to play right in front of my tv without having to shell out coin after coin was like a dream coming true to me at that time. And did I mention Super Mario Bros.? Man, that was incredible! And what's even more incredible is the joy I felt when I got the Super NES, which took this affair to the next level. Street Fighter II, Final Fantasy...all in your very house? F-YEAH! If you were gaming in those days, you know what I mean :) By the way, do you remember what was on PC at that time? Alone in the dark wasn't the half-assed attempt to a great game that it is today, Quake was rocking and Duke Nukem wasn't waiting "forever" to kick the next alien arse (man, he was't waiting at all, he was in the middle of the action!).
So now that Megaman 9 is taking the blue bomber back to his roots, here's a list of the three games I'd like to see revisited in their "classic" style in a whole new game.
Ready? Insert the Konami code for 30 lives and hit start!
Number 3: FAXANADU
Who said NES was colourful?This game is gothic and hardcore!
A sidescroller action-rpg released on the NES in 1990 in Europe (1989 in the US). You are a traveler with no name who comes back to Eolis, his hometown, just to find it in ruins and full of monsters. What do you do?
a) cry like a little baby and run (you whiny pussy)
b) enter abandoned houses, steal items and rape women (you sick bastard)
c) start kicking some monster ass
Way to go, my friend, you chose c! Well, at least I hope so. If you chose b, cops should be at your front and backdoor by now. ;-)
Anyway our traveler goes for option c, and that means going to the King who tells him what happened: Dwarves and Elves were living together peacefully until a meteorite fell from the sky. From it the Evil One reached the land and turned all Dwarves into monsters, making them start a war with Elves against their own will. So you're asked to go on another journey, this time not for pleasure but for getting rid of said monsters and restore peace again. The story, while pretty simple by today's standards, is full of references to legends, mythology and religion: the Wolrd Tree, Elves and Dwarves, Evil coming from outer space and the "mantra" codes given you by Gurus are just few examples. During your trip you will climb ladders, fight with your sword and magic spells, collect money to buy new items in shops, talk with NPCs populating towns, make your way through dungeons with creepy names (Town of Suffer...should I really add anything?), retrieve legendary items, fly through the sky with winged boots to find a lost city and make magical fountains spring again...this game has them all! It's a wonderful adventure full of those nice touches we all love...for example the various stages of the World Tree were built to reflect the part of the tree they represented: first the roots, with fungi-greenish platforms, then the interior of the trunk, where the air is poisoned by a deadly mist and finally the branches spreading through the cloudy sky.
The last fight with the Evil One in its dark glory. Pretty evil, isn't it?!
Why it's on the list:
the game was a wonderful mix of platforming, sidescroller fighting, rpg and exploring. The atmosphere was dark and moody, and the 8-bit graphics enhanced the sense of darkness and mistery of the fantasy World the game is played in, helped by the haunting background music. There were many interesting ideas but sometimes they weren't developed enough into gameplay elements, i.e. many dungeons are just too short and simplistic, as is the quest for retrieving the magical artifacts in the World Tree, and the "rank" system was a quite primitive form of levelling up. A new Faxanadu made with those flaws ironed out, with more depth and still retaining the awesome classic style would be a fantastic gaming experience, reaching what the original title wasn't able to achieve!