There is one problem with the game industry that drives me completely bonkers, the sheer amount of repetition we see in games in the market. It can be argued that every game that we’ve played over the last twenty or so years is in fact a derivative of some other game that came before it. For example, the Mario that we know and love from Donkey Kong
was originally known as “Jumpman
“, which so happens to be the title of a Commodore 64 game starring a red-suited, object-collecting, platform-jumping hero. While I loved playing both games as a kid, sadly only one of the two characters has lasted to this point. Alas, poor Mr. Jumpman never quite made it past the early days of PC gaming.
Annoying as this trend is, it isn’t as horrible as I make it sound, and I think it as quite possibly the one habit that has kept our beloved industry alive for so long. Sequels are made for games that prove to be profitable (look at Bioshock
for example), while games that make obscene amounts of money are first given sequels of their sequels (Vice City Stories
), and then put aside to be remade a decade later (I’m looking at you Square Enix). With today’s Top 10 I hope to tackle this sticky subject and give you the game series that I never grow tired of playing, no matter how derivative the gameplay might be.
I really really really really really really really like giant robot games. I have been a fan of the Armored Core
series since the very first game that came out for the PlayStation and have been there for each subsequent game that has been released up until the newest one on the PS3 and 360 which I heard might not be that good of a game. Knowing me, I’ll still go out and pick it up when it hits the bargain bin.
The fact that you can micromanage every bit of assembling your mech in this game into millions of variants just blew my mind when I was going to high school. I would look forward to re-assembling my ACs all day and all night at work and would spend hours upon hours recreating the designs I came up with. If you take the fact that you could pretty much color your AC any way you wanted AND add logos to it, you have me in front of my small TV for countless hours mastering this series.
This was perhaps the first RPG that I played on my original PlayStation. I remember going out to buy it one night because Final Fantasy VII
was taking too damn long to come out. It seemed like your typical sprite based RPG mixed with a Western motif. Surprising thing is that the game was actually a mix of 2D and 3D graphics.
I was sad that the Wild ARMs
series never got quite the recognition that it deserved. Even sadder is that I picked up a few of the games a week ago for less than $10 each. To me, Wild ARMs
proved to me that you don’t have to have the name Square or Enix in the game’s introduction for it to be considered a great RPG. Oh and before I forget, the soundtrack for each game is superb, especially in the first game with its Anime/Western introductory piece that set the tone for the entire game.
There might be some of you out there that might argue this game’s position on my list considering that there were only 2 Strider
games ever made…Wrong! Don’t forget that the game that came out on the original NES had NOTHING to do with the arcade game and the other console games.
The arcade game came out in 1989 and to me is the epitome of how good arcade games were back in the day. The beautiful sprite graphics and sound were some of the best I have ever seen and heard in any arcade game. There’s something about Capcom games from the late 80s and early 90s that give me a woody thinking about them. The last version of Strider
I played was on the PlayStation back in 2000 when he was finally given a sequel to the original arcade game, if you were one of the luck ones to get this game, then you were also lucky enough to get the original Strider
packaged with it.
The Legend of Zelda
One of Nintendo’s most prolific game series ever created has been been celebrating its success over 10 games, all bearing the Legend of Zelda
moniker. The story goes as such, you’re a peasant boy named Link who is chosen to save the Princess Zelda and restore the balance to the Triforce…yeah I know thinking about it made me kinda sad. But the genius is in making the same game each time, you know what to expect. That gives the design staff freedom to take liberty with the story as much as they can.
I personally own 6 Legend of Zelda
titles and am not disappointed with a single one of them. There is a ton of fun to be had with each incarnation of the Zelda
story because the game developers take the formula and change it just enough that you can’t recognize it being the same game we’ve all been playing for the last 20 years…well at least I’ve been playing them that long.
The original Castlevania
scared me when I was a kid. We didn’t have the horror games that exist in 2008 like Silent Hill
, we had games that kinda scared you but ultimately were terribly tame. Castlevania
might possibly be the worst offender when it comes to repetition. The story for each Castlevania
involves one of 3 things. First, there has to be an appearance of Dracula’s castle. Second, there has to be a Belmont in the game somewhere. Finally, skeletons, zombies, medusa heads, and bats must be a few of the things you kill for it to be a true Castlevania
In my opinion, the game that best epitomizes the Castlevania
should be a no brainer, Symphony of the Night
. This game had it all, amazing depth, hidden treasures, secret bosses that are tougher than Dracula, and an unbelievable amount of exploration (especially when you find the reverse-upside-down castle). 2D gaming had seriously reached its zenith with this game, its too bad that the subsequent releases for the DS and GBA have been such blatant rip-offs.
Super Mario Bros.
You know what, Mario is one of those figures in video games that is instantly recognizable. There’s no looking at Mario Mario and confusing him with any other character in the library of gaming. Not only is he the Mickey Mouse of gaming, but his games are generally damn good.
It floors me to think that there will be a generation of gamers that are growing up without Super Mario Bros.
being THE game that all others are judged upon. If I have anything to say about it though I hope that I’ll raise my kids the right way with the NES and all three Super Mario
games as the primers for their later gaming experiences.
Jesus, what can I say about the “Blue Bomber” that hasn’t been said already. Who would have known that the gameplay element introduced in the original NES Mega Man
would have spawned five sequels on that system alone and the dozens and dozens of other games and their spin off series.
The game idea was simple but incredibly awesome, Mega Man 2
will go down in my personal history as one of the greatest games ever made. The music is impeccable, the sprite graphics are lush and detailed, and the gameplay is without a doubt the most fun and enthralling experience I could hope for as a young child with a NES. Sure, every game featured the same formula of some villain with a army of robots trying to take over the world, but it didn’t matter cause they are just fun to play.
I think about all of the money that I have spent collectively in the games that Street Fighter
has spawned and I weep just a bit. From the original Street Fighter
all the way to SVC: Chaos
and even Darkstalkers
and Puzzle Fighter
, Capcom’s fighting game universe started with me all the way back in the arcades with its insanely popular and successful Street Fighter II
From the moment that I played SFII
in the arcade and had no idea what was going on, I’ve been an addict to the Capcom brand of fighting games, forsaking all before them. Tekken…no thanks, [i]Virtua Fighter
…nah, Mortal Kombat
had my attention for a bit, but I always find myself coming back to the familiar Forward, Down, Down-Forward + Punch movements that let me proclaim to the world SHORYUKEN! God I love these games.
The Metal Gear
series is typically the same game wrapped up in a different looking skin each time a new one is produced. Sure, the story may be a little different from the original Metal Gear
and the game we played a few years ago on the PlayStation 2 with Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
, but the spirit of the game is always an infiltration, sneaking, boss fights against unbelievable characters, more sneaking and at the very end a fight against Metal Gear/Villain. Does this make for a bad game? In short, hell no!
The Metal Gear
series has always touted itself as one of the most cinematic games ever made and each release has seen a marked improvement in story and gameplay. Kojima is a man who definitely knows how to draw his audience in and entertain them, something that is sadly missing in most games these days.
The idea of Metroid
is basically the same for any iteration of the game you might have ever seen or played. The story is basically the same each time, Samus versus the Metroids and Space Pirates. Generally you start each game without any equipment at all (making the player wonder what happened between the last game and the one you’re currently playing to have her not come equipped with anything), and struggle your way through the game picking up equipment, power-ups, and health along the way.
The brilliant thing about Metroid
is the simulated free-roam mechanic that makes you think that you can go anywhere and do anything you want, but the game hampers you just enough that you don’t notice the brick wall you hit. Once suitably powered up though, Samus has free reign over the planet and all that live there. Generally most Metroid
games end the same each time, with the Metroids being vanquished and generally the whole planet blowing up.
My favorite of the whole series would have to be Super Metroid
. The game is just stunning and completely immersing in the way that it is put together. There are very few games that I put up on such a high pedestal and if you have any doubts on whether this series is one of the best ever made, go out and play Metroid Prime
or Super Metroid
one more time just to be sure.
Well, this concludes yet another Weird Kid’s Top 10 list. I hope you all enjoyed reading it. I know for certain that there are many of you out there that will disagree with some of my choices for this list, but keep in mind that this is in no way a definitive listing nor is it meant to be taken seriously. Its all for fun, just enjoy reading and take something away with you or leave a comment if you so wish.
As always, please let me know if you have a particular Top 10 that you’d like to see, and I’d be happy to oblige. For all of my faithful fans that do submit ideas, I promise I’ll eventually get around to yours. Thank you again for reading. See you next time.