Saturday, February 20, 2016

Let the Good Names Roll: Great Credits Sequences in Gaming - Part Four

The staff roll, otherwise known as the credits of video games. This is where not only do we see all the names of the folks who worked on the game you just beat, but perhaps something special to go along with it, whether it's an overview of your adventure, the cast of enemies in the game, or something else. This article delves into some of the very best and most memorable staff rolls/credits sequences in video game history. From old school classics to modern marvels, part four of this expanding list continues to bring the excellent staff rolls. Click on the game title to see the credits sequence described, and to click these links to see part onepart two, and part three.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)

The first game on this edition of Let the Good Names Roll takes us to a video game franchise that celebrates its 30th anniversary this Sunday, The Legend of Zelda. Its most recent all-new home console entry, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword brought a whole new gravitas to the series with a glorious orchestral soundtrack. The incredibly moving staff roll theme sends shivers down the spine, as the credits show what Zelda and her protector Impa were doing during Link's adventure. Followed by gorgeous views of Skyview, Faron Woods, and more, this epic credits sequence is my favorite of any Legend of Zelda game for good reason.

Vanquish (PS3, 360)

Throughout Vanquish's fast-paced shooter, you're in a third-person perspective. Vanquish's credits sequence turns into a first-person perspective, tasking you with shooting down oncoming asteroids. The asteroids shot down reveal names and pictures of those who worked on the game. Sure, you can just let the asteroids fly by, but not only should the development team get their due time in the spotlight, but you also get points just like you would in-game for participating in this fun staff roll sequence. Each asteroid takes a hit to explode, save for director Shinji Mikami's who takes a handful of shots to bring down its much larger asteroid.

MadWorld (Wii)

"How can you tell which one's the lead programmer? He's the one not getting laid more than the other programmers!" And so John DiMaggio and Greg Proops continue to take on the roles of MadWorld's commentators, Kreese Kreeley and Howard Holmes respectively, dishing out insults like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog on open mic night. The jokes are as off-the-wall and foul as the game itself, but so lovable due to how self-aware they are. MadWorld may not be Platinum Games' best work, but it indeed knows how to make the player laugh, that is if they don't mind some in-the-gutter-style humor.

Viewtiful Joe (PS2, GCN)

Viewtiful Joe was made by many members of who are now part of Platinum Games. It's one of my favorite games of the PlayStation 2 generation, and its creativity and freshness surge through it, from its gameplay to its style, to its humor, and yes, to its credits sequence. The main credits part has Viewtiful Joe performing various punches and kicks in the background while on the side, mock movie posters based off real life films show the various levels. What follows is a cast roll. When the bosses show up, various statistics, often goofy, are shown, such as height, weight, likes, dislikes, and hobbies. What I particularly like about each boss being shown is that the credits theme plays a quick taste of that boss's fight theme when they are on screen.

Double Dragon Neon (PSN, XBLA)

After getting uppercut into the abyss by the game's heroes, antagonist Skullmaggedon breaks out into song as he falls into the abyss. It's a sing-a-long, complete with bouncy ball on the lyrics in this rock opera ending. The jewel on this credits sequence's crown is when Skullmaggedon (voiced by director Sean Velasco (now of Yacht Club Games)) sings the lyric, "here's a medal for your victory." As soon as those words are uttered, an achievement/trophy notification pops up for the player. A well earned credits sequence and a well done song are what you've earned through getting through the competent Double Dragon Neon.

Transformers: Devastation (PS4, PS3, XONE, 360)

If you want even more '80s cheese, then you can sink your teeth into some Transformers: Devastation. In particular, I'm talking about its credits sequence. Complete with pure electric guitar-driven, high octave vocals, and music that feels like it belongs in the old school Transformers cartoon, Transformers: Devastation's credits add to the awesome with some really cool camera angles showing off still shots of battle. While the second part of the credits is average, only showing names on top of footage from in-game cutscenes, the first part is so bodacious that it puts the credits on a whole different level of excellence.

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