Favorite Games, Part 2

#10-#1 of my favorite video games ever
August 04, 2010
Welcome back, retrofans. Picking up from my last article with numbers 20 through 11, I now present my ten favorite video games EVER. Let's continue...

10. SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 - As I mentioned in part 1, I consider the era of Sega Genesis to be my gaming life's glory days. Sonic 2 was included when I got the system, and ended up being the first Genesis game I beat.

But man alive, it took me a lot of tries. The graphics are sharp and fast, with awesome music for the zones, and was long enough to keep you anticipating what was next.

I really liked the Mystic Cave and Metropolis Zones, even though the latter gave me a headache with the spinning background graphics. The length of Sonic 2 is primarly why I like it over most other Sonic games. An example is Sonic 3, which I enjoyed, but found it very short with only 6 levels.

I was "Up 2 It" as the game's tagline said, and thus Sonic The Hedgehog 2 ranks at number ten.

9. SPIDER-MAN - America's favorite Web-slinger was another hero that got a bad rap in early video games. Not quite as horrible as the X-Men or Superman, but still pretty bad by most accounts.

Spidey had been on Atari, NES, Genesis and Super NES. A select few of them were enjoyable, but they always seemed to lack something.

I don't think I ever got past the second level on "Return of the Sinister Six". But I did beat the animated series-based game on Genesis, it was alright.
Finally in 2000, ActiVision caught our attention with their release of Spider-Man on PlayStation.

With amazing graphics, spectacular voice work and a web of classic villains, this game was a hit.

It was followed by a virtually identical sequel, "Enter Electro". As a Spider-Fan since childhood, seeing such a smooth, fun game based on the wall crawler was quite a joy.

8. MEGA MAN 3/4/5 - Say what? Three games in one spot? Well, yes. Since the original Mega Man franchise all had practically the same style, gameplay and plot, and these are the only ones I've beaten, I group 'em. Laugh if you want, but the first Mega Man was freakin' impossible. Mega Man 2 was good, but the "slide" move he has when walking was quite annoying.

Then came MM3, with a great boss line up (except Top Man), MM4 with a new villain in Dr. Cossack (sort of), and then MM5 had Proto Man leading the evil robots (sort of).

Yeah of course Wily was behind 'em all, but a dumb 12 year old like myself never figured that til the bad doctor himself was revealed. My favorite bosses were Gemini Man, Shadow Man, Dive Man, Pharaoh Man, and Napalm Man. I never bothered with Mega Man 6, because when I read the boss list, they looked so lame I never wanted to try.

Plant Man? Yeah. I know 4 had the lame Dust Man, but please..Plant Man??? Geesh.
Even though the games were all pretty much the same, I always enjoyed the classic adventures of the Blue Bomber. Particularly 3, 4 and 5.

7. CASTLEVANIA IV - The Castlevania legacy is one that began in the 80's on NES. Even though the original game was impossibly hard, I liked it for some reason. As the years passed, eventually I checked "Super" Castlevania VI on Super NES. Plug this evil thing into your SNES and the quest begins...

It seemed to me that the 16-bit graphics somehow added extra creepiness to the game, which was quite fun. I also liked how the games included not only numerous horror cliches, such as Mummies and Frankenstein's monster, but they also added Medusa to the boss pack. Enemies range from skeleton knights, bats, zombies, ghostly dancers and even Death itself.

An added bonus is that Simon can use his mystic whip in any direction. So if an enemy is above you, you can crack the whip UP! Same for those that were diagonal! What a concept.

Yeah, this happened quite a lot before I finally beat the Lord of Darkness, and dawn shown on Transylvania once again. Dang, I loved this game.

6. EARTHWORM JIM - EAT DIRT, evildoers who don't like this game! The first I knew of Earthworm Jim was a commercial featuring some granny, telling of the game and eating worms. Weird, yes? Anyhow, I checked it out of the video store on a Saturday. The best way to describe why I liked it, is because it was a wacky game, and by most accounts I am a wacky dude.

I suppose most games are goofy when you really think about it, but EWJ seems like it was specifically intended to be wacky. With boss villains such as PsyCrow, Professor Monkey-For-A-Head, Bob the Goldfish and Major Mucus, and stage foes like brains, eyeballs and rabid dogs...yeah, pretty wacky right? Even the hero is wacky, an earthworm in a powerful warsuit. When it comes down to good graphics, silliness and the downright funny, how could I not love this game? Even more funny came along in the decent sequel,

but then the TV show came along, which got me to replaying the game over and over....what can I say except.....GROOVY!

5. SUPER MARIO WORLD - Mario leaps into 16-bit action! Remember I mentioned that Donkey Kong Country was the second game I played on SNES? Well, this was the first.

Having been used to the original NES games for so long, I was quite blown away by Super Mario World. The dazzling colors, flying with the cape, level designs and secret areas were a great shock to my young system.

Although it would be a while before I would own the game myself and invest enough time to beat it, the early exposure and later in-depth playing time established Super Mario World as a true favorite.

4. VECTORMAN - Oh Vectorman...how short a life you lived. But what a glorious one it was. Most gamers I've spoken with seemed to have a universal appreciation for Vectorman.

Intrigued by the state-of-the-art graphics seen in the commercials, once again I paid a visit the trusty video store and rented it on the weekend. On man...I had never seen anything like it:

One lone Orbot battling others bent on ruling Earth and wiping out mankind, with numerous weapons, morphing abilities, with rocking level music all the way through and amazing graphics that looked way beyond anything else Genesis had to offer. Being the hit that it was, Vectorman was later followed by a sequel in Vectorman 2.

It was pretty well identical to the first, but this time he was equipped with all new weapons and morphs, and instead of battling other 'bots, he faced off against a race of mutant insects.

Vectorman was a character I hoped would have a good, long life in video game lore. But alas, he had come along too late to be widely recognized, as it wouldn't be too long before N64 and PlayStation would soon make themselves known. Later on there was talk, and even test graphics revealed on a new Vectorman game for PS2...

...but the game never saw the light of day. It was probably for the best, since I like many others, said our Orbot friend didn't even look like himself. As short as his life was, I feel that Vectorman remains one of the best games Genesis ever had.

3. SUPER MARIO BROS. 3 - I remember this as one of the most highly anticipated games of the NES era. Commercials, magazine articles and schoolyard conversations had hopes higher than heaven for Super Mario Brothers 3.

As best as I recall, the game was rented out for week after week at the store..fortunately, my old pal Tim came and hung out at my house one afternoon, and brought his own copy of the game with him. Awesome!

The anticipation I had for the game was rewarded with great colors, the return of Goombas and Koopa Troopas that were absent from Mario 2, the option of carrying extra items, Mario flying and wearing a Hammer Brother suit, and a new "pathway" style layout of the levels.

For a long time, I would always use a Warp Whistle to skip Pipe Land because I found it freakin hard! Not only because of the maze style of the levels, but because of the most difficult Doomship at the end. When I finally got to Dark Land, it took quite a while before I got Bowser's castle. But eventually beating him and a game as hotly anticipated as this, was a great triumph for my young self.
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