Mario vs. Sonic
Let's be fair and just talk the glory days of both mascot characters. It'd be too easy to count Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and Black Knight (the game, not the Martin Lawrence movie). Anyway, one was a portly plumber while other was super fast with the meaningless term "blast processing" thrown in for good measure (and marketing). Both games featured the characters leaping on the heads of characters to destroy them, and both had their own fair share of secrets-- warp pipes with Mario, chaos emeralds for Sonic. Both 2-D titles that are most popular are the third and fourth, so between the two series of four games apiece, which do I prefer. I'll always have a soft spot for taking out Goombas, finding secret exits, and trying on new suits Mario. Mario wins. Sorry, Sonic.
Mega Man vs. Mega Man X
One is pretty much bare bones compared to the other. That's not a bad thing, mind you. Later installments brought cool things like Rush upgrades, the charge shot, and the dash. Mega Man was the series that brought a rock, paper, scissors approach to bosses where a fire weapon usually would work on an ice boss and an electric weapon would work on a water boss. Mega Man X, meanwhile, simply has more to do and more to collect, going back to previously cleared levels to access new heart tanks, sub-tanks, and capsules. None of this was padding to the game either. In fact, if you wanted a real challenge you wouldn't collect any of these at all! Between the two, I prefer the game with the awesome wall-dash, mid-air dash, and the ability to power up Mega Man with new body modifications.
Winner: Mega Man X
Mario Kart 64 vs Diddy Kong Racing
Winner: Diddy Kong Racing
Goldeneye 007 vs Perfect Dark
The battle of the Bond-likes. One revolutionized the genre with its dual input controls, one analog was the stick while the other was the C-buttons. It had objective-based missions, something I've grown to prefer to the fight to fight gameplay of current FPS games. It brought it with a revolutionary four-player splitscreen multi-player deathmatch mode. Meanwhile, Perfect Dark simply did everything bigger and better. There were more missions in its story mode, more arenas including three from 007's collection, more hi-tech weaponry with secondary functions included this time around, bots in multi-player, stat-tracking, and so much more. There's no contest. Goldeneye 007 is fantastic all on its own with a better story and more interesting single-player levels, but in multi-player, Perfect Dark blows it away.
Winner: Perfect Dark
Ratchet & Clank vs Jak & Daxter
Two platforming titans on the Playstation 2, each with four games each to choose from, spin-offs included. One inexplicably turned grittier and darker in hopes of generating more interest while the other stayed true to its roots perhaps too much so. Both feature lovable smart aleck sidekicks and numerous platforming worlds to traverse. While Jak 2 and 3 focused more on a GTA style of level progression which is fine, I prefer the level after level with no filler in-between action of the Ratchet & Clank series. The upgradable weaponry is a smart touch, and the storylines don't take themselves overly seriously like Jak games. If we were just comparing the original games, then Jak & Daxter would win, but as a whole, the winner is Ratchet & Clank.
Winner: Ratchet & Clank
That completes our first array of SPC Showdowns. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a second installment!