Great Game Moments: Honorable Mention.

My first list was about 10 great moments in my video game experience. This list, in no particular order, enumerates noteworthy moments that aren't monumental but good enough nonetheless.

I'll surely add more later.

List items

  • Seldom is Samus' visage clearly seen. A purple-haired, bikini-clad huntress at the end of Metroid offered a good look, but unfortunately, her face consisted of little else than a few 8-bit pixels; nothing really to gawk at. A bit of her face can be glimpsed through her visor at the start of Super Metroid, but Samus's unveiled face had remained been somewhat of a mystery. Later, in Metroid Prime, while destroying enemies with your trusty arm cannon, a close-up flash reveals an appealing reflection in Samus' visor i.e. the screen: a momentary flicker of the protagonist's lineaments. Such a brief and unexpected feature was quite potent and of course, if the criteria are met, an hemlet-free (and now blond) Samus rewards the player in the end credits. The visor face reflect is the kind of little touch taken by the game developers that go a long way, and I appreciate it.

  • 1.) Establishing a pattern and then breaking it is a simple yet effective way to engage an audience. In all previous Resident Evil games, dying consisted of sustaining progressive damage the character's health-meter drains resulting in death. Sure, there were one-hit-kills, but these were dispensed by the player. So I was indeed surprised when, playing RE4, I was warding off an angry mob of Ganados and one of them threw a scythe that I failed to shoot out of the air. I though I would take damage from the hit, but my head came off instead and I died instantly. This was one of the many moments that made RE4 the best game of 2006 and that year offered some pretty stiff competition. The same thing happened when dealing with the first Burlap Sack Chainsaw Man (before I figured out that I could just run past him...): I thought I would take damage from his assault but still be able to dodge away and counter-attack. Nope... My head came off again; it was SO cool! Undoubtedly, I was more careful dealing with the infected thereafter.

    2.) Leon takes a rest: Late in the game, as you're fighting your way through the cult's laboratory, you come across a chair surrounded by evil looking equipment. Now according to the law of foreshadowing, this spells trouble. As I wonder what gruesome, tortuous calamity will befall me if I sit in that chair or what ungodly parasite I will be infected with, I adhere to my knowledge of video game logic and suppose that if I can sit in it then I am suppose to. So I do... What happens...? Well, Leon strikes a pensive pose that would inspire Rodin as an innocuous caption appears and reads nonchalantly: "No time for a rest, you have a mission to complete" Or something to the effect of saving the damsel-in-distress. I have to admit it gave me a good laugh. This parallels Hitchcock's ethos that one must let the audience fill in the blanks for the greatest impact. I love it when game makers take the time to add frivolous things such as this, just because they can.

  • "The moon will kill us all!" The ever approaching satellite which threatens the existence of Termina is without exception the most sinister and enraged looking celestial body I have encountered in gaming. You are constantly reminded of your impending destruction as there is no where to hide from the doom in the sky. So it was particularly ethereal to finally travel to this lunar menace. The first thing that caught my attention was: NO CLOCK! The only place in the whole game (other than the room in Clock Town where with the Mask Salesman) where our green hero is freed form the innovative game mechanic. Next, I couldn't help noticing how different the moon looked form Termina i.e. you find yourself in a small field who's center is marked by a lonely tree... 何? Around this tree masked children are playing. Now if there's one thing I learnt from movies it's never trust weird creepy kids: it never turns out well. There is also a fuzzy image filtering going on, highlighting the other-worldliness of the area. The kid sitting up against the tree definitely looked troubled and no coincidence he was wearing Majora's Mask. From there the games' final boss fight ensues and Link saves the day yet again. I was impressed by the choice the developers made in creating the moon stage.

  • 1.) I wasn't sure if this entry belonged in my first list as it is PRETTY DAMN AWESOME! But in any case, the boss fight against The End is a superb way to spend some spare time. I've never engaged in a boss fight that encompasses three maps(the game has to load when you cross from one to the other!) and yet face off against only one foe. I can't even begin to describe how cool everything you can do in this fight is, man! you can even avoid the battle by simply not playing for a while which will cause your centenarian opponent to expire form old age... There are so many moments to savor during this one encounters that I'm still impress by this boss fight.

    2.) Innovative game mechanics. MGS3 was a breath of fresh air for a franchise in which the action takes place in large military installations (From Outer Heaven to the Big Shell). The game takes place almost entirely outside and the gameplay was spruced up by introducing fun new aspects of survival like catching and eating one's food, healing oneself and camouflage. The eating and healing sequences come with their own videos of Snake doing what he does best and a menu screen in which x-ray vision facilitates the finding of wounds (you can even spin Snake around in this screen to induce vomiting in order to expel poison). The new gameplay additions result is many memorable moments which could easily make a list of all the reasons why this game triumphs. 小島さん鬼才です!

  • There is only one reason why a grade school friend and I would rent this game: not for the race driving... rather, for the race crashing. We played this pre-Super FX chip polygonal racing game on the SNES and it held no other appeal than for us than purposefully crashing the car and giddily enjoying the slow-motion instant replay to the perfect sound of that replay music (this is what i mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbgwCQTLSNQ) We would crash into everything: that red barn, Sam's, walls etc. Diving off of ramps and loops kept us busy by attempting newer and harder ways to crash and earn that car explosion animation, all 3 frames a second of it! Is that what they mean by meta game?

  • While we're on the subject of SNES racing games, we also would rent The Duel: Test Drive II. This game by Ballistic was pretty good for an early SNES game (I know, it came out in 1989 but I only played it on Nintendo's 16-bit console.) We discovered that both controllers could be used in single player mode. If the accelerator on the second control were pressed it would send the car jumping through the air to the high-pitched screeching of the overloaded engine. We would use it to hop over other cars and especially to careen over thos big lumber trucks. But it had to be well timed (wait... now!), I guess you could call that... Ballistic! Sorry... couldn't help it... It was a neat trick because it wasn't supposed to happen.

  • One could compile a list dedicated solely to all the great features and moments of this masterpiece. But for this entry I'll focus on two:

    1.) The Gerudo valley music. Koji Kondo is outstanding and so is this composition. The first time I rode into Hyrule's parched West as this track began playing, I was breathless; such melancholic Andalusian music (I'm a big fan of cord changes.) Riding your horse on the harsh barren ground under a fierce sun in enemy territory as this track's bitter-sweet mellifluence completes the scene... Absolutely perfect! The orchestrated version on the Hyrule Symphony album is utterly sublime.

    2.) The opening. The opening title in Ocarina impressed me: it was so serene and calm: Link on his horse, riding through Hyrule Field at night with Kondo's relaxing piano and ocarina duet; just fantastic. It shows that the makers of this game were confidant in their product as they didn't need to try and hook the audience right away with a flashy montage or hard hitting title screen. This game is awesome.

  • An underrated and overlooked game. The final boss fight is noteworthy because to win, you must grab abstract concepts as they float upwards before they have a chance to condense into hate-lasers that kill you. As with everything else in this game, the key it to "shake, shake" them. This action causes the negative ideas to switch polarity and become a positive e.g. "Hate" transforms to "Love", "Sadness" turns to "Happiness" etc. Then you must shoot them back at the ornate stone slab of an Emperor. After defeating this villain, the Emperor is revealed to be Marina's creator's brother... I'll let you read the synopsis when like. It was a nice optimistic touch that I found encouraging.

  • 1.) I don't play turned based RPG's; I'm not good at them. But the way the fights are designed in this quaint yet robust adventure made it easy even for someone like me to pick it up. I never thought I would see the day when I played a game like this (leveling up...?)The battles are fun and funny; these moments keep a gamer coming back for more.

    2.) Super Bowser Brother. After certain plot points, you get to play as Bowser crashing through SMB stages. This lead to many an utterance of "WTF!, WTF!" and I don't mean Work Time Fun.

  • I love the PD combat simulator and the Quicklook of it does the game no justice. Of all the things I like about this game, one particular combat simulator set-up I enjoyed was lacing the G5 building's glass ceiling with as many remote mines as possible (I freakin' LOVE remote mines) and waiting safely (and not so safely) perched on the ledge above the elevator for as many enemies to congregate below and... BOOM! Quad kill. Of course, the chain reaction begun by such a detonation had unpredictable consequences and of course, that was the fun part. I don't know why GB under-appreciates PD, I guess it's the whole hating on the N64 deal... (Also, blowing a remote on the elevator as opponents are riding down... PRICELESS!)