Here we go, what better way to kick off my new-born and utterly pointless (NOT!) blog that doing my own unnecessary list of my favourite Top 100 games. Yet, instead of trying to be fair, to the point, completist and neutral, I will just go down the moronic route and be subjective, partial and pretty much random. There are probably many games I have omitted from the list even though I did enjoy them a lot and like a true dandy, I am not so keen on keeping up with the times (I am actually keen, but cannot pull it off to be honest), so the game might miss many of your favourite games of today and instead constitutes a collection that would make a Dr. Frankenstein proud, lots of old stuff, obscure stuff, shitty games and old favourites of fine have joined the party. I hope you enjoy the read and try not to focus what is not there, but what is there, those are my wise words for you (works in life as well BTW). Here we go, games number 100-91 . . .
Way before young lads enjoyed running over and executing civilians on street in games like GTA (or Carmegeddon even), I tried my luck in maximising my kill ratio in Quarantine. As a foolish kid, I had no idea what the game was about, I am cab driver in some sort of whacko and bad-ass city that is locked up and I have to drive people around and make sure to kill everyone who tries to kill me first (why ? no idea). The game was great fun and the combination of high octane driving and shooting was great fun and I also fancied myself a bit of a cabbie too. The graphics were good and proper gory, I loved it as a kid, although I am not keen on games that make a bloody mess any more nowadays (maybe I grew old or maybe I am wise, who knows . . .). First time I ever encountered a Mini-Gun in-game and to this day, I am puzzled by who the fuck came up with such a cute name for a gun that pretty much annihilates everything in its wake.
Oh Boy, GTA mentions: Two out of two. It's almost like all games ever made inspired GTA to some extent. Put it down as a coincidence and move on, will ya ? This game was pretty much GTA (1&2 mind you) before there was GTA. Top down driving with insane speeds and thrilling car chases, cops and bad guys and cool cars . . . the works. I never really figured out how to win or progress in this game or maybe I just cannot remember. What I can remember is the awesome fun we had playing this mess of a mayhem on the Amiga. Old school and the game and way ahead of its time.
98.STUNT CAR RACER
I do have fond memories of Stunt Car Racer, most of them involve loud screaming, both for falling off the edges of the track and because the game had a fatal tendency to crash. As you might have noticed already, I do like games where you drive around in vehicles but it has to be about carnage, death or defying gravity and I am there. Stunt Car Racer was interesting because people could build their own racing courses, challenges each other to create the most insane and fucking annoying course in the history of fucking annoying courses. It was great fun to fall down the edge and slowly see the earth approaching, awaiting the lethal shattering of your precious skull in the silly buggy. The graphics were pretty rad for the time and I am glad to see that the basic idea is still popular in gaming (Trackmania!).
To me, a game's setting, music, atmosphere, costumes, level design (as in visuals) is just as important as the gameplay. I am a big fan of The Warriors film and style and always wanted to be in a gang but I am not popular enough and the gangs here in London are also a bit too hardcore and don't want a gaming princess in their midst. This game is great fun and like most other Rockstar games, all about causing havoc in the streets. The best thing about this game is the option to play through the campaign with a friend. No bloody skirmish or deathmatch modes but the proper, gritty, leather-waistcoat wearing and afro-tastic campaign ! The controls are neat and polished and there are lots of little things to do like break into cars, spray your tag onto walls etc. and it features the same characters (and voices) and OST as the original film. What a treat, come out an play Warriors !
Now that I think about it, I have no idea why this mentally ill Donkey Kong clone made my list but I sure enjoyed the game a lot. It is about a dude in an airplane trying to rescue all sorts of critters (bunnies etc.) from a crazy monkey-Yeti-Tony Soprano kind-of-guy. The game was pretty much all about making sure not to crash head-first into the walls like some drunken mole in a car without windows. Great fun and of my favourite Atari-Games !
It looks like I will have to rename this blog into 'The Dude who likes games about cars that do whatever cars never do in real life'. Spy Hunter is another prime example of great game design and I wonder why no one made a proper flash version of this game, which is pretty much an endless vertical scroller about a bloke in a fancy car who tries to protect civilians while getting rid of the evil people and their cars. Of course, the car has been stuffed with nasty toys for you to dispose of your enemies and if you fancy that you had enough of the tar, why not go for a boat ride and chase down the baddies on the water is well ? I will always remember this game to be the one that introduced me to the Peter Gunn theme and I still think of this game when I hear it playing somewhere. This game was very polished and better yet, very cool.
Shadow Dancer (the sequel to Shinobi) is at its core and very solid, yet pretty straight-forward beat-em up side scroller. The hero is wearing a blanket that pre-dates the Assassin's Creed outfit by about 30 years, rumbles around in a nondescript city and jumps, attacks and throws his way through endless hordes of enemies who have nothing else to do but to run from right to left (where are they going ?) and try to smack your dude around. However, this game came with a animal companion as well (you hear that Fallout and Skyrim ?), a white hound who could open a can of whoop-ass if you told him to and the dynamic of laying waste to piles of bodies while being followed and supported by your faithful furry friend made this game a great and thrilling experience for me and much more interesting than many of the similar games that flooded the Amiga and early PC market.
93.ROCK N ROLL
Most of you will probably not recognise many of the games included on this list (at least not the crazy mo'fo games that constitute the rear end of the list) for various reasons. Some of you might be too young and handsome and some of you might be lucky enough not to grow up in Germany ! Therefore, I did play many games designed by German developers who had quite a knack for game design back in the day, as well as video game music. Rock N Roll is such a game. The name does not make a lot of sense when you think of it at first but then you realize that you are actually controlling a rolling ball and are serenaded by a soundtrack inspired by many classic rock songs. The game is essentially a top-down platformer (does that make sense?) or a puzzle/racing-hybrid. The levels become increasingly more sophisticated and you need to find keys, avoid traps, make sure to collect the gems for points etc. The game could be hellishly frustrating but once you managed to beat it, it was a great experience! Rock on little ball !
The aptly name Berzerk has a premise that is a simple as it is awesome. A dude that looks like Luke Skywalker (on the cartridge, not in-game, the in-game figure looks like Ren from the Ren & Stimpy show) makes his way to a staggering 64,000 levels - so-called mazes - (which are pretty much rooms, let's face it) and has to get rid of a bunch of droids going Berzerk. The game was hard but the pacing and speed of the game was unmatched back in the day and you could hardly catch your breath and I almost freaked out every time when the robots started closing in on me, eeeeeeeeek. One of the funniest things of the game is a really bizarre smiling face that occasionally pops up and hunts you down, the so-called 'Evil Otto', which became somewhat of a Meme in my family whenever somebody took to long to do something we would always urge him or her to hurry up before Evil Otto shows up. A brilliant game, so simple, yet it works.
Kikstart 2 (NOT Kickstart mind you, that is very important ! Very Important!) was one of the best two-player games on the C64. Played on a good ole' split screen (whatever ever happen to that concept?), the game puts the players into the driving seat (saddle?) of a motocross cycle and sends them on their merry way to try and overcome all sorts of fiendish obstacles. What made this fun was the fact that, unlike traditional racing games, traversing an obstacle course can be both challenging and hilarious, you can get stuck, over- or underestimate distances and get into all sorts of kerfuffles on your way, all the while keeping an eye out for the fate of your opponent. Another great addition was the build-in level editor, pretty advanced for the time so if you fancied yourself a bit of a level designer or played the game to pieces, you could always come up with new tracks for you and your friends to play. Lovely game.
Well, here we are, quite the bunch of weird games there, don't worry, the higher we get, the newer and probably more recognisable the games become (most of them anyway). But I owe a lot to his masterpieces and gems so they have a firm place in my gamer heart . . . I will continue this list sometime next week . . . until then, game on !