Note: These commercials are all from the States. Feel free to share commercials from outside the U.S.
Note 2: To save everyone from lots of loading, the actual videos are linked to as opposed to embedded on this site. Click the name of the ad to get to the video. I apologize ahead of time for YouTube comment sections.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
This commercial is absolutely out of this world. It shows human beings on a large planetoid, just like one found in the Super Mario Galaxy series, with their heads pointed upwards towards a fabulous-looking starry sky. In the meantime, Mario, riding Yoshi, soars among the stars. The mix of gameplay with the footage makes for an appealing advertisement that made the week wait for Super Mario Galaxy 2 all the harder. It turned out that Galaxy 2 would become one of my favorite games I have ever played, and that list of played games is exceptionally lengthy.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
A truly chilling commercial showing various people from various countries from various continents all watching an ominous moon in the sky. If you aren't familiar with The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask's story, the land of Termina is suffering from an apocalyptic problem. An evil moon is set to crash into the land within 72 hours, and only a boy named Link can save it with the help of four giants. Seeing the hopelessness that is on the faces of the people portrayed in the commercial displays one of Nintendo's darker commercials, but I can't help but enjoy it.
PlayStation 9 Advertisement
A positively sublime commercial delving into what the future of the PlayStation line could possibly be, putting the player into the game with full virtual reality and using retinal scanning, a mind control system, holographic technology, and more. Though perhaps future Nintendo thought of those ideas first as well and Sony is merely borrowing and improving upon them? Don't get your pants in a bunch; it's just a joke! Calm down! Step away from the keyboard and take deep breaths!
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3)
The only caveat I have towards this commercial is that it is completely computer-generated. There is no gameplay to speak of at all. I sometimes wish games would let their gameplay do the talking and not some fancy graphics. Despite this, this is a really humorous and cool commercial. There is a rocking cover of "What a Wonderful World" (originally recorded by Louis Armstrong, of course) as Ratchet runs through a bright and cheery metropolis planet (the first in Tools of Destruction) as he demolishes multiple robotic and mutant pursuers. I love the comedic nature of the commercial, and the catchy song just improves my opinion of it.
Kingdom Hearts II (PS2)
Now, this commercial is the antithesis of the last commercial. It is full stuff from the Kingdom Hearts II game. New characters, new worlds, new gameplay -- it's all here to ogle as the English version of Passion (Sanctuary) by Utada plays. If you can get beyond the dreaded lore and convoluted story Square Enix shoehorned into the series, you'll get nostalgic by the numerous Disney references and cast. I wouldn't mind if more commercials took the more gameplay and less filler approach.
Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)
"Prepare to meet the light!" Throwing in CG Pit battling Medusa and her pet Twinbellows, this commercial for Kid Icarus: Uprising (one hell of a 3DS game, might I add) excites and amazes. But all that is only half the equation. The second portion of the ad shows some fast and frenetic flying and ground action, a mere sampler until players get their hands on the game to enjoy it themselves. Some found the controls to be a little difficult to handle, but that didn't stop me from thinking the game deserved its 9.25 score.
Golden Sun (GBA)
What starts off as an innocent orchestral performance ends with the female conductor facing off against a dragon in the form of a chandelier. The music grows more and more dramatic as the action becomes just as ardent. Skeletons in the audience on the balcony, a cymbal being thrown like discus, and violin bows being used to shoot fire at enemies are just some of the intense-in-action imagery being shown.
Metroid: Other M (Wii)
This beautifully done live action Metroid: Other M ad shows a Zero Suit Samus walking through flashbacks of her past. Her encounters with Space Pirates, Metroids, and arch-nemesis Ridley are shown as she marches by them. The story of Other M might have been a mess, but the actual gameplay was fast, smooth, and relied heavily on reflexes. An easy target to hate on, especially if you take gaming stories too seriously, but I enjoyed Metroid: Other M just as I enjoy this commercial.
Jet Moto 2 (PS1)
From epic to humorous, this classic Jet Moto 2 ad has the beginning of a race not going well for one of its drivers. Idling before the starting line as the other drivers speed through the course, the driver of the still vehicle finally snaps and breaks the fourth wall, facing and yelling at the player. The player turns out to be an elderly woman without much gaming experience. And for goodness sake, turn off that blinker!
One of my biggest gaming regrets is that I never have owned a Sega Dreamcast. It's not so bad now that a good portion of Sega's classic Dreamcast games have been making the rounds on PSN and XBLA for a much lesser price. This commercial shows the cast of launch game characters for Sega's 9/9/99 release date standing around, ready for gamers to enjoy them. Sadly, bad business decisions led to Sega's unfortunate fate to go third-party, and the quality of their games has never been the same.
Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (PS2)
This commercial like Kingdom Hearts II before it is wonderful because it is all footage from the game Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. This was my favorite game in the trilogy because it didn't try to be cool or gritty like the sequels did in a pitiful fashion. Collecting precursor orbs, doing some serious platforming without the open world sandbox approach, and the bright and cheerful worlds made for a game that I enjoyed, and one that I am sad Naughty Dog never attempted to create again.
It's obvious that fun matters. You don't have to make a commercial about that. But what makes this LittleBigPlanet spot so enjoyable is that it shows exactly what kind of fun players can experience. Outside of the floaty platforming fun, there's the sensational ability to create your own levels or simply experiment with the toys given to you. It's your world, and it's your imagination. It's your LittleBigPlanet.
Kirby: Canvas Curse (DS)
This commercial is too cute and so sweet that it must give the watcher cavities. The ad follows the daily exploits of Kirby and his protector, a finger. From laying down over a manhole for Kirby to cross over him to pushing Kirby on a swing, the finger assists Kirby's day-to-day life. The final shot of the two walking towards the sunset puts a smile on my face, but who can resist the charm of Kirby? Not to mention that Canvas Curse is just a splendid game that showcased why the touch screen of the Nintendo DS was such a great idea in a non-tech demo form.
Viva Pinata (360)
What do you do for a pinata that longs to be free and promises you that he will fulfill your wishes if you free him? Why, of course you let him go. But then the bastard turns around and says he was just acting. Oh, Horstachio, you clever little minx. I will lure you to my garden, force you into a false sense of security, and then beat the chocolate and candy out of you. Viva Pinata and its sequel reminded me of the charm that the old Rare under Nintendo had. It was a nice change of pace and a lovely game.
Sonic Heroes (PS2, GCN, XBX)
You know what makes me feel old? When people say they were born in just before the new millennium and this was their first Sonic game. Then they wax nostalgic about how the PS2 generation was the best for reasons people my age think fondly of the SNES generation. Regardless, when the world is in trouble and there is no one to turn to, you can't have a bunch of old geezers out of their prime to help. No, you must have 12 Sonic all-stars who split up within four teams to save the day. The part of the commercial where the knight's helmet is too heavy for his head to hold up and he falls into the table is my favorite portion of this goofy spot.
Sonic Generations (PS3, 360)
What's cooler than one Sonic? How about two? That is exactly the point this TV spot for Sonic Generations hits home. While Classic Sonic focused on 2D gameplay, Modern Sonic focused on 3D and 2.5D gameplay. Along with Sonic Colors, Sonic Team has shown some proficiency with their once floundering character. After the disaster that was 2006's Sonic the Hedgehog, it's nice to see the Blue Blur get his groove back.
Pikmin 2 (GCN)
A flurry of little people dressed as multicolored Pikmin might not be politically correct or whatever claim people with sticks in their butts have to say, but this TV spot is golden. The posse of Pikmin have an order, and that is to get a hotdog. Accomplishing their goal (and weird-ing out the vendor in the process) the Pikmin return to their master. The only problem is that he wanted mustard. Thus, the Pikmin rush with a new goal in mind, mustard for their master's hotdog (and no, there is no euphemism intended, you sick goose).
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GCN)
We're at an airport terminal where a pristine ride with two carts turns nasty with the lead cart rider tossing whatever she can scrummage from her purse and suitcases. The driver and lady throwing the items switch places, properly showing what Mario Kart: Double Dash's primary new gameplay mechanic is all about. But you ever throw stuff back at me, lady, and I'll send a blue shell up your ass.
Animal Crossing (GCN)
Obviously spoofing The Real World, this series of Animal Crossing advertisements show the life of four roommates trying to make ends meet within their village. Using fully costumed characters, the commercials deal with all sorts of amusing situations. There were a handful of different TV spots, and the majority of them, especially looking back, portray the feel of the Animal Crossing series remarkably well. And no, I would never trade my UFO for some wallpaper either.
That concludes this second instance of showing off my favorite video game commercials from the U.S. Discuss which ones you found as your faves in the comment section.