Top Ten Licensed Video Games

The ten best console games that feature licensed characters
March 16, 2009
10. T & C Surf Design (NES)

I realize that people have a lot of grievances with this game, but it really does have decent play control once you figure it out. It took me about ten years to figure out how to play the surfing portion of the game, but it can be done. This game is based on the mascots designed by Steve Nazar for a product line in the T & C Surf Design brand of clothing. That alone make it unique enough for me to want to include it on this list. It's just a really obscure license for a game to be based upon, but the style truly shines through in every pixel. I also love listening to the sound of the ocean on the title screen.

9. Goonies 2 (NES)

I don't really know what this game had to do with the film "Goonies". I actually don't remember much about this game at all, but I thought it was good at the time, especially the music. One thing I do remember is that you could use the second controller as well as the first to control the same player. I remember an old neighbor kid who owned this game and didn't know this fact, so one time I went over to his house and played a little trick on him. I would hold the second controller and every time he would try to jump across this certain chasm, I would press the opposite direction. He kept falling in and dying and freaking out and yelling. It was funny.

8. Moonwalker (GENESIS)

I like Michael Jackson, and I don't really care if a bunch of misinformed gossip junkies think that he is a pedophile. I like his music, I like his weird movies, and I like his contributions to the video game industry. Some of you may not know this, but Michael Jackson did most of the music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. His name was taken off of the credits at the last minute presumably out of Sega's fear of association with the scandal that was going on at the time. This was mid nineties I would say, but a few years earlier Sega and Michael had a much better relationship. They made both an arcade game and a genesis adaptation of his movie Moonwalker. The highlights of the genesis version of this game are the Graphics and excellent soundtrack, maybe not so much the gameplay. It is still fun to play. Thankfull Sega and Michael's relationship has been slowly rebuilding over the years evidenced by his appearance as "Space Michael" in Space Channel 5. Here's hoping Sega brings Space Michael with them over to the Wii.

7. Beavis and Butthead (GENESIS)

Now this was a good solid game. It wasn't groundbreaking, but it took some good game concepts and utilized them well. It had aspects of puzzle solving as well as standard beat em' up elements. You might not think that Beavis and Butthead would be the type to handle a situation using their intellect or physical prowess, but uhh... well that just shows what you know, bunghole.

6. Bart's Nightmare (SNES)

This is one of the only good Simpsons games that was ever made. The other of course being the Simpsons arcade game. This game is a collection of mini-games, and while that normally wouldn't necessarily appeal to me, in this game it works. It works for one thing because it fits the story. Bart is having a nightmare, and in a dream or a nightmare you would expect many different unrelated events to unfold. What I really like about this game is the atmosphere. It really does give the impression of a dreamlike state. Some of the levels just have ambient music while some levels have no music at all. The graphics are weird. The sounds are weird. I love it!

5. Turtles in Time (SNES)

After one decent, but not quite right turtles game, and a bunch of wannabe arcade turtle games on the NES they finally get a console turtles game right with Turtles in Time on the SNES. This is what a ninja turtles game is supposed to be. Standard go around town and beat people up fare, but this game does it to perfection.

4. Hercules the Legendary Journeys (N64)

Ok I'm sure this selection is going to raise a few eyebrows to say the least, but I think that's because most people probably didn't even know this game existed let alone ever played it. First let me get one thing out of the way. I do like the tv show "Hercules The Legendary Journeys". I realize it's cheesy. That doesn't bother me. In fact I think that it's an endearing quality, but I also think that even a person who has never seen or doesn't like the show would still like this game. This game runs on the same kind of engine that made "Ocarina of Time" famous. It has the same locking mechanism and everything, though you do have some totally different attacks like the ability to lift people over your head and throw them around which is cool in and of itself. Here's the thing though. This game takes the "Ocarina of Time" format and and makes a game that is at least as good as "Ocarina of Time" in my opinion. There are also some wonderful atmospheric moments in this game. The one that always comes to mind for me is when you are playing as Iolaus and you have to walk through this town that is bathed in twilight and filled with lightning bugs.

3. MC kids (NES)

One of the biggest complaints is that this game is somehow too much like Super Mario Brothers 3. I don't know why people are getting this idea in their head, but this complaint has no basis in reality whatsoever. This game is absolutely nothing like Super Mario Brothers 3. Now that we have that out of the way let's talk about how groundbreaking this game is. It may be the first platformer where the object is to collect a given number of items rather than just running straight through to the end of the level. In this case you collect Magic cards. Each card would form part of a picture of a Mcdonaldland character. This is also probably also the first platformer where you have to solve puzzles by reversing gravity and playing the same levels upside down. There were all sorts of bizarre and wonderful features and extras in this game. There was originally supposed to have been a happy meal promotion for this game, but apparently that idea was cut short by some shortsighted corporate parasite. Who knows how history would have played out differently had Mcdonalds actually supported this beautiful piece of art that so eloquently advertises their products. Talk about ungrateful...

2. WCW/NWO Revenge (N64)

The only good wrestling games that ever came out were the THQ wrestling games produced for the N64. I would say Revenge is the best out of the four because it was the most up to date version that still kept the WCW license. Wrestlemania 2000 and No Mercy improved on the gameplay and customization, but they both had the inferior WWF license.

1. World of Illusion (GENESIS)

This game is so good on so many levels. This is not only a good example of how a Mickey Mouse game should be done, this is not only a good example of how a licensed game should be done, this is a good example of how games should be done period. The graphics had amazing personality. The play control was flawless. It offered the best multiplayer experience in a game that I can think of. Not to mention there were multiple different paths depending on who you played the game as. Every single one was a psychedelic experience. To think that there's people out there who would refuse to play any game that features Mickey Mouse because of some misguided sense of rebellion really infuriates me. Honestly I could have filled this whole list up with Mickey Mouse games, but I figured I would just pick one, and this is definitely the one.
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