My housemate has recently acquired an Xbox 360 and this has resulted in numerous FIFA and Madden battles (with an occassional NBA game tossed in). Naturally, me being the competitive person I am, I have certainly gone over the line in gloating after victories, but hey, videogames are perfect for fun and meaningless banter! Using my recent videogame resurgence, this week’s top 5 features games I remember playing in the “good ol’ days”.
Honourable Mention: NFL 2k5 (Xbox) – I’ve included this as an honourable mention since I was at the University of Arizona when it was being played and that’s recent enough to not count as the “good ol’ days”. Highlight: “Skillz” (Harry) getting overly frustrated at my strategy of using a three running back formation to slowly and surely drive down the field at 4 yards a play, every play. Hey, if you don’t like it, STOP IT!
5) Super Bomberman (SNES) – This was a great game to play either competitively or as a team against the computer. Highlight: When you were able to punch a bomb over the wall and trap a friend and watch them curse at you violently.
4) Blades of Steel (NES) – Childhood misbehaviour at its finest. My poor grandfather, who could barely understand how to play the game, had to deal with me comprehensively beating him while my sister would cover him in blankets, beat him with random objects, and cover his eyes. What a tolerant man. Highlight: No game or moment jumps out specifically, but the fighting aspect of the game was great.
3) Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) – Probably the one game I was closest to unbeatable in. I had a vicious pass rush (though googling now has told me I was “lurching” and it is considered an unsportsmanlike technique; but c’mon, I was a kid!). This was the game where the QB could launch 109 yard bombs with little effort; the most effective way to run to the endzone was by weaving your way across the field; and there were only 8 plays in each team’s playbook. Highlight: While I don’t remember the specific circumstance (it may be because I might have lost), at one point “The Dean” turned to me while we were playing and yelled “Where’s your precious Bo now?” in reference to the force that was Bo Jackson. “Where’s your precious Bo now” still lives in our vernacular now and is used as an effective taunt.
2) NHL 99 (N64) – Countless games of NHL99 were played between me and the other members of my teenage crew. The teams were always the same, it was Donald and Blake against Mike and I. However, our objectives were different, Donald and Blake were focused on winning the game. Mike and I were focused on accumulating as many body checks as possible with our custom made behemoth defencemen, while still winning, of course Highlight: The simple skate down the right wing, cut across in front of the goalie and shoot for the top corner. Guaranteed goal every time. Featured in many classic comebacks.
1) Goldeneye (N64) – Compared to Goldeneye, Facebook looks like an amazing productivity tool. The amount of my life I have contributed to this game is scary and disturbing. One of the few games I played in copious amounts on both single and multiplayer modes. The controls were simple enough that anyone could play and understand what to do but advanced enough that it wasn’t blind luck and there was skill involved. My favourite multiplayer game mode was License to Kill in the Complex with Pistols and I still reckon I’ve got a chance against anyone. Highlight: When, somehow, one of us would sneak through Mike’s machine gun fire and he would get lived yelling, “You can’t run through bullets!!!”
Sometimes, video games are exactly what’s needed. Game on people. Game on.