Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Classics I Can Return To - Part One

We all have them-- games we just keep coming back to. Perhaps it's to unwind, to relieve stress, or to plow through a game in a single gaming session. I thought I would take this opportunity to share some of the games I always seem to be returning to, no matter my mood.

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition (Wii)

Resident Evil 4 is my favorite game of the last generation of consoles. It is the game that Capcom keeps milking for all its worth, for better or worse. Well, if it wasn't for this business philosophy we wouldn't have the definitive version of the game with Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition. Don't like the pointer controls? First, what is your malfunction? Then use the Gamecube or Classic Controller. Running through the game is something I do every other season, and there's just so many ways to tackle each battle scenario. Each experience with RE4 plays out much differently than the last, and it is always a titillating ride.

Super Mario World (SNES)

There is no better Mario game to me than Super Mario World. I always loved the multiple routes I could take to get to Bowser's castle. The sizable amount of secret exits added to the replay value, and the level design is unmatched by any Mario to this day. That may be nostalgia taking over, but that's okay. It's not a review after all. Utilizing the cape power-up to soar into the skies, skipping over whole sections of levels was always a fun thing to do, and riding Yoshi continues to be a joy. Sometimes it's fun to complete every level while other times it's great to find the shortest path to Bowser and kick his primordial butt. Whatever my inclination, Super Mario World is a game I turn to.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

Zelda is a fabled franchise and my favorite. A Link to the Past is the ultimate in 2D Zelda action with the largest amount of dungeons, a huge assortment of weapons and items like the hookshot, magic cape, and pegasus boots, and two worlds to explore. The transition between the light and dark worlds offer unique puzzle elements. Can't reach an area of the map in the light world? Try transporting to it via the dark world! It's this ingenious design that makes A Link to the Past one of the best Zelda games the series has to offer. I generally play through this game every year at least once. It is infinitely replay-able as I tend to forget puzzle solutions easily. The world is brimming with unique characters, and the ambiance (music, environments, etc.) is awesome.

Mega Man X (SNES)

Setting aside an afternoon to play through Mega Man X is always a treat. Taking down Mavericks, grabbing their weapons, using them on other Mavericks, nabbing heart tanks and sub-tanks, and dooming Sigma's plans are all the appeal of this action-packed adventure. The levels are a blast to experience with excellent design, the futuristic world is super cool, and the controls are pitch perfect. Additionally and to spice things up, I sometimes play through the PSP remake of Mega Man X, Maverick Hunter. Either way I always have a grand old time replaying one of Capcom's best games. Too bad they are turning their collective back on the character.

Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 (Wii)

Explore an entire universe full of platforming delight with Super Mario Galaxy. That's what I do whether if it's just to collect one star or grab a whole galaxy's worth. Though usually I have a "just one more" reaction to gathering stars. Each mission is superbly designed with planets and planetoids alike just begging to be traversed. At first, Super Mario Galaxy ranked in my top ten games of all time, but swiftly like a shooting star the game was bumped off the list by its superior sequel. It had more things to do, more challenge, and more ingeniously crafted levels. No matter your pick of the litter, there's bound to many hours slipping away as you play one of Mario's greatest escapades.

Mario Kart DS (DS)

Sure, online is ruined thanks to snakers, but that doesn't stop local play from being exquisite. The thirty-two tracks (16 new, 16 old) are wonderfully designed with hairpin turns, hills, and hazards all over the place, the twelve characters (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Toad, Wario, Donkey Kong, Bowser, Waluigi, Daisy, Dry Bones, and R.O.B.) are flashy, the different karts available offer different attributes, and the item balance isn't too off kilter. Whether taking part in a cup, challenging a boss in mission mode, or going for broke and competing in all thirty-two tracks, Mario Kart DS is the ultimate Mario Kart experience.

Star Fox 64 (N64)

It doesn't matter if it's the Nintendo 64 original or the Nintendo 3DS remake, there is always entertainment to be found in Star Fox 64. Piloting an Arwing, Landmaster, or Blue-marine as Fox McCloud is a true treat. Participating in epic battles across the Lylat System makes you feel like you're in the middle of an intense dogfight. Few games capture that feeling as well as Star Fox 64. The game can be completed in an hour, but there's numerous paths players can take to spice things up. In essence, one playthrough can be different from the next. Though my favorite path would have to be Corneria -> Sector Y -> Katina -> Sector X -> Macbeth -> Area 6 -> Venom 2. What's yours, Star Fox 64 fans?


That does it for part one of some of the classic games that I just can't quit. Do I have an addiction? Do I need to go cold turkey (no pun intended for Thanksgiving)? Regardless, what are some games you find yourself coming back to? Inject your opinion to the SPC populace today!


Robert said...

Some pretty sweet games in there with Super Mario World and LTTP being atop my various lists. Only thing better would be 3DS ports / VC.

I've also considered getting Mario Kart DS, but will wait until the price drops more. MK7 is much higher on the list at this point.

Too bad to hear about snaking with the DS. I hadn't heard of it before, but certainly seems to take the fun out of it for real online competitions.

Unknown said...

Snaking isn't that hard to do, but I would rather race how the game was intended. What's worse is people who snake against people who don't.