Nostalgic Video Game Favorites
In our latest podcast we were thrilled to go back in time and talk about some of the classic games we experienced growing up. From our first systems to titles that we couldn't get enough of at the time. Thinking back, these are the games that give us the most euphoric feeling of nostalgia and take us right back to the days of staying up late with friends or making a trip to the video store to rent the latest and greatest at the time.
I am a huge fan of RPG's. They definitely are my favorite types of games. I love making hard choices and growing relationships as much as combating enemies. I have a ton of games on my nostalgic list, but here are a few that shaped my gaming.
1. Conkers Bad Fur Day, N64: Always playing without our parents REALLY knowing too much about the game, my friends and I spent many hours with this highly inappropriate game.
2. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, N64: A precursor to my RPG addiction. This game was filled me with hours of enjoyment.
3. Star Wars: KOTOR, Xbox: My favorite game of my childhood. One of Bioware's first massive RPG's with companions and choices that shape the world. KoTOR and it's sequel had a huge impact on my gaming preferences.
4. Fable Xbox: Another huge RPG based in the choices you make. This game had two sequels but gave me hours of enjoyment and stress with a long detailed story. Making relationships and affecting the world around you was just as important as combat.
1. Zombies Ate My Neighbors, SNES: From the unforgettable soundtrack to the iconic art that burned into my brain ever since i saw it on the shelf at the First-Run Video store in my home. As I conic as the box art was, I wasn't super sure what to expect from it as a kid until I played it for the first time at a friends house and was instantly hooked. Shooting zombies and demon creatures with squirt guns was endless fun and attempting to save civilians from chainsaw wielding maniacs and axe-wielding babies were some of the most challenging game play experiences. I don't think I was only ever able to complete the game with the level codes you unlock after beating each one. My brother and I would play this one for hours.
2. Battletoads Doubledragon, SNES: Most of the SNES games I loved all had one thing in common, unforgettable soundtracks. This one was no exception. To this day I still find myself randomly humming cues from this game as well as numerous others. Similar to Zombies, this one proved to be a challenge as the bosses would take multiple lives just to beat and you could never get through a level without accidentally punching the buddy you were playing with. As difficult as it may haven been at times, smashing an enemy into the ground or wacking them with a stick across the screen during combat was so satisfying due largely to the juicy punching sounds from each landed hit. The toads were awesome even though I had no prior gaming experience with them and the fact that they were teamed up with the Double Dragon duo just made it that more JAWESOME!
3. Seaman, Dreamcast: Super weird choice but I feel like this game was kind of ahead of it's time. The Dreamcast was the only Sega system my brother and I ever owned and it felt like an incredible leap in gaming. The memory card VMU which was popped into the controller itself was basically a miniature Gameboy that featured 8-bit visuals, saved all your game data and even had featured mini games you could play separate from the system. The Seaman game came with a piece of hardware that was inserted into this same controller slot but was equipped with a microphone in which you could talk to your little pet fish who taut you the cycle of life in an on screen fish tank that started you off with eggs which hatched into tadpoles and grew into fish with human faces that eventually grew into frogs. These fish were quite snarky and were pretty much just a virtual pet/friend that you had to make sure to feed and care for. The game was in real time so even when you weren't playing the game would take into account any time that had passed ensuring that you check on your pet at least once a day or so. Yes, it sounds like a lot of work but the weirdness of the conversations and seeing the strange things these human faced creatures did was always a shocking surprise right up to the moment when it finally reaches the frog stage and leaves the tank into some unknown wilderness you had no idea was just above the surface of the tank the entire time. Did I mention Leonard Nemoy served as the introductory narrator and explained the games beginning tutorial?
4. Sword of the Berserk Guts' Rage, Dreamcast: I've saved my favorite for last and boy did I play the crap out of this game. This is what introduced me to the world of hack and slash games that were to come like God of War and Devil May Cry. It also got me obsessed with the lore of Berserk, prompting me to go out and find the short run 90's anime series on DVD and craving more when i found out there was an entire manga series it was based on by writer/artist Kentaro Miura. I have only just recently finished collecting all 38 books and hunger for the rest of the story that has been in publication since the late 80's. The game is a standalone arc that takes place somewhere in the middle of the story presented in the mangas but isn't actually in any printed medium. Playing this game gave me a thirst for battle much like the titular character Guts as you slash waves of enemies with a humongous sword sometimes cutting creatures completely in half. On top of this you had his trusty arm canon that obliterated all in it's path, getting you out of any sticky situations. Sadly, as with most games from this time, the graphics are quite dated and incredibly boxy looking now but it's honestly still a ton of fun to play. I get goosebumps every time i hear Susumu Hirasawa's epic opening track - Forces II.
1. Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Ocarina of Time was one of the first games I had for my 64. It was also my introduction into the world of Hyrule and all its amazing characters. From the moment I popped that golden cartridge into my console, to the first time I defeated Ganon, I was hooked. I can pretty much thank Ocarina for my love of open world games, RPG's and rolling (instead of walking) to my destinations. I still have my golden cartridge too!
2. Super Smash Brothers, N64:
This was probably the first multiplayer/brawl type game I ever owned. It was a staple at every party and sleep over my friends and I had. Of course I was always Kirby and I always got the green controller. Countless hours were spent on punching and kicking and hitting friends with baseball bats so I could be the best. This was the game that never left my backpack, just in case a new challenger stepped up.
4. Pokemon, Gameboy:
The Game Boy itself was life changing but it wouldn't have been the same without these three games. I set out to be the very best, like no one ever was. To catch them all was my real test, and you bet your ass I did just that. I played every one of these games to 100% completion and got all my main teams up to level 99. Did I use MissingNo? Maybe, maybe not... I'll never tell!!! This game was also a blast with friends because you could link game boys together to battle. Eventually we got Pokémon Stadium for N64 and we could battle our Game Boy lineup in full color! That was a really big deal back then.
5. Guitar Hero
As the 2007 champion of Colfax Highschool, I am honored to add this game to my list. While most of my friends were busy playing Halo, Clayton his brother and I sacrificed our bodies, minds, and romantic relationships to become the ultimate guitar heroes. This game was the main event at many of our gatherings for years and was also the reason Clayton got to go to Greece for free! That story is too long to tell here so we'll save that for. Podcast episode.
My dad is what most people would consider a man's man. He loves cars, fishing, hunting and being awesome in general. I never really got into hunting or cars but the two of us always found common ground here. I don't know it it's because it was James Bond or if he was just being nice, but the two of us played this game all the time. The Game Shark also added some amazing modes to the game which made for some very memorable multiplayer moments. Paintball Mode, Big Head mode and slaps only were just a few favorites in my circle.
7. God of War
od of War was an epic, Hack n Slash party that never got old. It was one of the first Games that Clayton and I dedicated whole days to. We would each take turns wielding the chained blades of chaos as we butchered our way through hoards of beasts and monsters through the slightly altered pages of Greek Mythology. It still sits on my shelf with my PS2 even though I eventually got the remastered trilogy. It was one of those games that had it all (including boobs... you guys know what I'm talking about!)