The Good Ole Video Game Days!

Happy day, folks!
Since Christmas 2011, my broski and I have been religiously playing this new video game we received for the 360: Skyrim! The sequel, or what have you, of Oblivion. For those of you who have no friggin’ clue, I’ll give you my version of the synopsis.
Skyrim is set in a mythical, medieval type of world. I say medieval because you are an adventurer who can choose to fight with swords, or axes, or bow n arrow, or – most importantly – magic! You can cast fireballs, hurl ice pellets, summon monsters to fight for you, heal yourself, unlock chests, etc. The possibilities are endless!
My favourite features in Skyrim that Oblivion lacked are the dragons and the abundant amount of followers you can have. Now, the dragons aren’t something you can make a pet; they are just there to make your day a nightmare and for you to slay. As for the followers, they are people around the country that decide they like you, so they offer to fight alongside you. Currently, I have Lydia by my side. She’s useful because I can send her off into battle to distract all the monsters away from me, and then afterwards, have her carry all the heavy loot I steal from their dead bodies. Essentially, she’s my betch. And she likes it. Muahahah!

Since I have been consumed by Skyrim as of late, I thought it would be a cool idea to review some of the video games that used to be popular on older console systems, like the good ole PlayStation, N64, GameCube, and a couple of PC games – before games required a crazy high-end video card.
I hope some of you had the pleasure of experiencing some of these games I’m about to delve into; if you didn’t, it’s a shame, because they were highly epic and, for some of them, they never made sequels of them on the newer consoles (like 360 or PS3).

So, to make things interesting, let’s make a Top 10 list of some of the bestest games… That I ever played.

Numéro 10: Roller Coaster Tycoon (PC)
Ahh, I remember spending hours on this game, making the coolest theme parks around! I’m pretty sure I beat every challenge they offered. For some reason, I found it very cool to make the walkway paths go underground, or through hillsides, and then watch as the little people would venture into the tunnels and come out on the other side. I even liked to make the walkways climb high into the sky and make different levels, like storeys of a building or a spiral staircase, for tourists to walk along and buy things at the shops or food stalls.
I used to enjoy making my own custom roller coasters, too. However, I tended to make them “too extreme” and there was too much G-force or something silly, and then the tourists would be “too scared” to ride it, and I’d have to demolish it anyway because it was wasting precious space. Stupid little people, just ride the damn thing! You won’t die! Oh wait… I didn’t do a proper test run… Is that coaster going backwards now because it didn’t have enough momentum to make it over the hill? Uh-oh… *cue explosion*
Seriously, you could make your rides explode. Another one was the Drop Zone-like ride. If you gave it too much power, it would launch the platform too high that it would fly off the pole. And when it came back down, it would hit the top of the pole and BAM, explode… killing your tourists. Bad for ratings!

Número 9: The Sims (PC)
The Sims was another good time waster. I hated waiting for my family to make a good living so they could move into a bigger house. So I cheated, a little. I used the money cheat so I could have enough money to build a GIANT house, complete with an indoor pool, robot maids, pool tables, and dance floor.
I’m not sure about you, but I had my special Sim I liked to control, and then I had the ‘other’ Sims, whom I used for a particular purpose. One Sim would be responsible for having a full-time job with a decent income to keep the money rolling in. Another Sim would be trained in the cooking and mechanic arts, so they could make me fabulous meals and fix things when they broke. My Sim was responsible for being social and throwing epic parties.
When I got bored, and would then invent ways to kill my Sims off… There was always the classic: make them go into the pool and then remove the ladder. They’d swim for days, but sadly, eventually drown. Or there were the fires. If your Sim was stupid enough to dance around the fire, screaming and not run away, then they rightly deserved to catch fire and burn. Another way was to lock them in a room, in isolation. Eventually, they’d starve.
I know, it’s cruel. But they’re also not real. Aanndd, it adds for interesting ghosts and hauntings for when the next family moves in!

Nummer 8: Soul Blade (PSX aka PlayStation 1)
Soul Blade was the first of the Soulcalibur series. It is a 3D fighting game that’s weapon based. Who doesn’t love a good fighting game?! Not only did I enjoy the basic fighting, I enjoyed following each character’s storyline and pressing the right buttons in the final cut scenes. Failure or success would give you a different ending sequence. I also enjoyed the “Edge Master Mode” where you would venture into battles via a map, and essentially tell a story with your chosen character. Every time you completed a “Chapter”, a new weapon would be unlocked. And who doesn’t like chosing their character’s costumes and weapons?!
My favourite character back then was Seong Mi-na; she fought with a spear-ended staff. My dad thoroughly enjoyed Taki, the ninja-like girl with a dagger. I swear it was mainly because her boobs bounced around. Another interesting character was Voldo; he fought with claw-like weapons and rolled around the stage like a human snake.
I really enjoy this entire series, and I like when they come up with new characters with unique weapons, like cute Talim and her tonfa, scantily clad Ivy and her whip-like sword, and Tira with her split personality and her ring blade weapon.
Let’s not forget the awesome character customization in Soulcalibur 3; eppiiicccc!

Namba 7: SSX Tricky (PS2)
SSX Tricky is an amazing snowboarding game. A great game both for one player or two. The race courses were varied, ranging from mountain sides to parks to city cores and even to a pinball-esque field. The characters (once you unlocked things) had various costumes and boards to choose from, and each were voiced by famous people.
I thoroughly enjoyed being able to push your opponents into the snow if they were boarding too close to you, resulting in making enemies or friends with fellow boarders (you made friends by NOT pushing them around and protecting them). My favourite character had to be Kaori, with her cute appearance and love for pandas and other cuddly animals. Zoe was a hardcore chick and Psymon was just down right crazy.
Once you got the hang of it, doing tricks and flips was a breeze. And the Uber Tricks were pretty awesome, since each character had their own special flare.
I know it’s not a “car” racing game, but this is definitely a great “racing” type game to play with a friend. Great soundtrack, too!

6-Ban: Destrega (PSX)
Destrega is probably one of those games most didn’t play. If you did, I hope you found it as awesome as I did!!!
It was a fighting game, but completely different from the usual close quarters, on-a-stage type of fighting. Due to the aerial view, every player could freely roam the playing field, running up hills, climbing buildings, hiding behind walls. Sure, you could fight up close, but when you were at a distance, each character had their own magic ability, casting various spells at the opponent. Cool, or what?!
Some had fire, some lightning, some wind (ie. they could make a tornado chase their enemy), some ice, etc.
On top of this different fighting style, the story mode was fun to follow as well, since you learned more about each character. AND, during some fights, you could be pitted against three other opponents AT THE SAME TIME! Now that was fun!
This is definitely one of those games that they should have made sequels to for the newer consoles. Sadly, they didn’t. Maybe one day I’ll petition for a new one!

Numerus 5: Deception III: Dark Delusion (PSX)
This was an awesome game! A different genre altogether. You were this girl who had been kidnapped and sold into slavery, and in order to escape the bad guys and various murderers, you had to set traps throughout the field. Once you had a trap set, and it was fully charged and ready to be activated, you would let the killer chase you, leading them into these traps. The traps could range anywhere from spiky walls pushing bandits off ledges, swinging pendulums, bear traps, giant boulders rolling down stairs, arrow slits, electrocuting waterways, spring traps that flung people in a certain direction, explosions, pots falling from the ceiling, etc. AND once you got enough equipment or magic points or whatever it was called, you could create new or customize your traps to make them even deadlier.
The storyline was also different every time you played, based on the choices you made. This is a game they need to make more of!! Very fun, strategic, and conniving. The best was when you pushed the victim into other traps, creating a chain reaction! Ammmaazzzinnnnnggg!!

Numurs 4: Dark Cloud (PS2)
Dark Cloud was great. It was a single player game, and most of the game play took place in “dungeons”. Your starting character had a sword and you would fight monsters and such, collecting orbs that contained pieces of your town that had been destroyed. One of the best parts I liked was being able to re-create your town however you wanted it to look. That means arranging the placement of houses, rivers, windmills, shops, roads, etc.
Once you finished your town, you’d get a new sidekick, and move onto the next town. Some of the sidekicks included a genie, a hammer-weilding warrior, a catgirl, and a space thing who was literally from the moon.
I enjoyed being able to recreate the forest village, the stone city, and the desert town. The storyline was pretty basic, and some of the dungeons could get challenging, but overall, I spent a lot of time playing this game and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Nommer 3: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (N64)
Okay, I’ll admit, I never played any of the other Zelda games completely. Majora’s Mask is the only one I played, and I really liked it!
The concept was to stop the mischievous Skull Kid from causing the moon to crash into the world in three day’s time. Using the ocarina of time, you could travel back in time to Day 1. This meant that whatever missions you were doing or temples you were trying to beat, you had to do so before the end of Day 3, travel back to Day 1, and work on a new mission or temple.
The point was to collect 24 masks altogether, each of them transforming Link or granting him different abilities required to progress to different areas of the game. Due to the time constraint, it could make things a little tight, which made it that more challenging (which I liked).
I remember having to call my mom at work and get her to search and find what part of the game I was at, if I was stuck, and get her to print me the walk-through. I didn’t have a computer at home in those days, so I had to describe what I was doing and where I was at, and she had to find the corresponding location online. She’d read me snip its of information and I’d confirm if that was right or not. Then she’d print it, bring it home, and I’d be able to figure out what I had to do next in order to beat a particular side quest. THANKS MOM! 😀

Numri 2: Ogre Battle 64 (N64)
Oh. My. Gosh.
This game was epic, by far! And apparently rare to find. I had to get my dad to buy it off of Ebay for me. But it was worth it!
This type of game play was awesome. Let me try to explain. First, you have an aerial view of this map, with multiple strongholds (cities) on it. You can control up to eight people who walk around this map. The goal is to take over all of the strongholds from the bad guys. The bad guys are also walking around this map, trying to steal your strongholds from you.
Once one of your walking people touches a walking bad guy, the screen jumps to a mini battlefield. There is where the battling happens. Your walking person is actually a leader of a battalion, which can be customized to have archers, knights, dragons, two-headed dogs, witches, sorcerers, wizards, hawkmen, vampires, beast tamers, angels, ogres, ghosts, zombies, golems, fairies, gremlins, griffins, cockatrices, sphinxes, goblins, pumpkinheads, berserkers, fencers, ninjas, puppeteers, priests, and gorgons, just to name a few. Nah, that’s the majority of them, although almost each one has an upgraded version you level up to, and there are at least six different types of dragons. As you can imagine, there is a lot of possible different battalions you can make and fight with. This in itself makes this an awesome game, seeing as this was just the N64!
The missions are endless and the game allows you to make choices that causes different outcomes with each play.
Ogre Battle 64 is without a doubt a top-notch game. They need to make more games like this!

Number 1: Final Fantasy X (PS2)
Another confession; this was the first Final Fantasy I ever played from the series. And I was hooked. I don’t care what you say, or which one you thought was better, this game was awesome!
I loved everything from the characters, the costume design, the storyline, the plot twists, the aeons you could summon, the side quests, the turn-based battle sequence, the characters’ abilities, Blitzball, the quality graphics of its time, the cut scenes, and the soundtrack. The soundtrack was highly pleasing to me; so much so, I even went to download some of the tunes (I’m that lame!).
My favourite characters by far were Yuna and Lulu. I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction of them all, and the story behind them all, but enjoyed battling with Yuna and Lulu most; mainly because Yuna did the summonings and all the healing, and Lulu delivered the bad-ass black magic!
To me, it was like I was watching a movie that I could interact with and strategize with. I loved it! I easily clocked in over 100 hours on this game.
Yes, I also played the sequel, FFX-2. It was good, but they approached the battling method differently, with your three gals transforming into different classes. I enjoyed it, but the storyline was not as powerful as FFX was.

And there’s my Top 10 games from the older consoles 😀
I had a healthy list of video games, and it was hard to choose just ten of them, and harder still to try to categorize them into rankings. Since I played so many different games as a kid, I wanted to give some of the runner-ups an honorable mention.

Honorable Mentions:

Monster Rancher for the PlayStation 1 – this game allowed you to pick your own monster. You could go to the shrine and it would ask you eject the Monster Rancher CD, insert another CD of your choice, scan the CD, ask you to reinsert the Monster Rancher CD once the scan was complete. Based on the CD you picked, it would create a monster for you. We spent HOURS trying to find the best CDs that created the coolest monsters! These CDs could be other games or music CDs. We ransacked my dad’s old collection of music albums, searching for the best monsters.

Twisted Metal for the PSX and PS2 – This series was pretty cool. You controlled cars, but not for racing. But for a twisted, fatal version of smash-up derby. You could plant bombs on the streets, throw ricochets, use fire, shoot guns, etc. to beat the other players. The best part was trying to find secret hideouts in the current level or race around trying to not get blown up.

Time Splitters 2 for the PS2 – This was a great one player or multiplayer game. It’s a first person shooter, with many customizable features. You can follow the fun story mode, or you could spend endless hours in multiplayer playing Team Battle, Capture the Bag, Army Tag, etc. The best part is you could create up to 10 computer bots that would run around the field competing with you! That beats the usual four or six opponents.

Super Smash Bros. for the GameCube – A great, 2D-ish fighting game that allows four players to fight on a fun stage, with your favourite Nintendo branded characters: Mario, Peach, Link, Fox, Samus, Donkey Kong, etc. as well as some Pokémon 😀

Mario Kart for the N64 – I picked the N64 version over the GameCube Double Dash because I liked the simplicity of it better. Although, both versions are great classics, no doubt. Who doesn’t like some good ole Mario Kart racing?

Pokémon for the Gameboy – Any version; Blue, Yellow, Red, Gold, Silver, Diamond, Fuchsia, whatever. I loved collecting and training my Pokémon and beating up gym leaders, as well as cycling through the wilderness on my bicycle! Some of the dungeons were extremely frustrating though.

Grand Theft Auto III for the PS2 – Morally, a very bad game. But then, that’s what made it fun! Sure, you could follow the plot line and do missions, but I much more enjoyed stealing vehicles, running people over, beating people up in the streets, and outrunning the police. I’m pretty sure I successfully stole a fire truck, an ambulance, and a cop cruiser, outran the police, and hid the vehicles in my garage. Once they were repaired, you could answer dispatch calls and do your own little rescue missions. Another fun part was the cheat codes, creating Panzers and blowing up the city streets.

Gran Turismo 4 for the PS2 – This is the only real-life racing game I would ever touch. While my dad aimed to collect every car in the game, I prided myself on owning a select few cars, and trying to beat all the world cups with my carefully picked and painted cars. My Elite Fleet.

Banjo Tooie for the N64 – I loved the stupid sounds the characters made while they were speaking… Ee un nee ee un kee urg. The multiplayer Shootouts were the best; running around a map, shooting eggs at each other, setting mines, and running for your life.

Tekken series for PS2 – Any Tekken game is great. This one is hand to hand fighting, no weapons unless you’re Yoshimitsu. This is a good, solid fighting game.

Dead or Alive series for PS2 – Another excellent hand to hand fighting game. The cast is a little smaller, but the girls are bustier. I also find the combos flow a little better, the counter attacks useful, and the stages more interactive. You can knock your opponent down a flight of stairs, or knock them off a bridge or down a cliff. Other fighting games don’t.

Halo for Xbox – For a first person shooter, I found this to be very enjoyable, especially the co-op story mode. I enjoyed running around shooting aliens, knowing if I died my cousin could resurrect me. The online multiplay feature was also awesome, playing Capture the Flag.

Civilization III for PC – This turn-based game was very strategic. You picked a nation, and you tried to take over the world, by befriending other nations and declaring wars on others. Not only did firearms conquer nations, but if your culture was better and more advanced than others, they would gladly join your nation and overthrow their previous governor. Lots of time spent on this.

Bloody Roar series for PSX and PS2 – This is another fighting game that needs to be taken to newer consoles. This fighting game was hand to hand, HOWEVER the key difference is that your character could transform into an animal and continue fighting. In animal form, you would have a different set of fighting moves and cooler grab moves. Some memorable characters were the Bat-girl and the Bunny-girl. Yes, you could be a rabbit fighting a tiger. Epic.

Ape Escape for the PSX – Who doesn’t enjoy running around the world, catching rogue monkeys with a net? This was super fun, required skill, and solving puzzles. Some quick reaction time would be highly helpful as well. I loved catching those darn monkeys and putting them in their place after taunting you for hours.

And that completes the Honorable Mentions. Oh, how I loved these video games. I hope others enjoyed some of these as much as I did 😀
That’s a wrap! Until next week, Sayonara Chicos!


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