Monday, May 9, 2011

Charlie's Top 10 VC Games

I think everyone has their own list of the games from those eras. The NES, the SNES, the Genesis, and the N64 is included in the VC lineup, which is an impressive array of titles to say the least. If you've read any other sections of this blog, then you know this list is going to be Zelda heavy. It is not my fault that Zelda is the greatest experience mankind has ever devised. That's just life. :P

10: Axelay – My likes are heavily influenced by the quality of a given game's music. Axelay has a powerful array of action-geared trance style music. Like Zelda's music, it brings a certain importance to the gameplay. If the ships are being shot down right, you can get 'in character' like it's an rpg. Speaking of which, this shooter has an rpg-style weapon selection system. You pick your guns based on whatever vulnerabilties you think the enemies might have. Axelay is a brief game, but it is a hard game (especially to those of us who aren't really enormous fans of the genre). I've beaten this game twice and I've tried a couple of hundred times.

9: Zelda II: The Adventure of Link – If you like Faxanadu, you'll like this game. It's pretty much the same, except Zelda II has an overworld. Some of the best enemies in the Zelda canon are introduced (Dark Link, Thunderbird, Volvagia, Gooma). Like LoZ, AoL has a brief, but very impressive, soundtrack. The dungeon theme, the battle theme, and of course the fantastic Great Palace theme are melodies you need in your head. The only flaw with Zelda II is that it lacks the customizable gameplay of its predecessor, so the replay value is sort of dampened. But on the bright side, it's an rpg, so you can level Link up with new strategies each time if you choose.

8: Super Mario Brothers: The Lost Levels(import) – I played the SNES version of this game back in the day on SMB All-Stars. I was sort of pissed off to find out that Nintendo had released SMB All-Stars game as a store title. Since I couldn't download that, I ended up getting this one. It looks just like the original NES classic, but good sir: It is not the original NES classic. It is a thousand times more difficult. It really brings something to the table for those of who played SMB1 a million times. I like it. (If you're wondering: It took me about a week to beat it all the way through. Considering how much Mario I've played, that's quite a bit of time. :D)

7: Punch-Out – This game takes a hit for not having Mike Tyson as the final boss. But it's easy, and you have to use unique strategies for each opponent. It's classic fun.

6: Super Mario World – Not everyone is into Zelda, but almost everyone has played Mario at one point in their lives. SMBW is one for the ages. The only downside to SMBW is that the controls are so amazing, which makes the game too easy. Most gamers of average ability can beat this game with seventy or eighty lives. But even so, there are numerous secrets, namely Star World and the Special Zone. And who could forget the top secret area? This is the sort of game that's so enjoyable that you might go as far to look for additional nonexistent secrets. Get it for your kids; get it for yourself.

5: Diddy Kong Racing – I never liked Banjo-Kazooie, but Banjo's first game is somewhere in the area of amazing. Sure, it's a kiddy game, but it is the greatest kiddy game you'll ever experience. The story mode is fun and has a diverse track selection. The weapon controls are sound and usable (not as good as the original n64 version, but that's an issue for most vc games). Then there's a four player versus mode. Make no mistake: This game is better than all incarnations of Super Mario Kart.

4: The Legend of Zelda – Quest 1 is hard. Quest 2 is harder. People say that LoZ is easy once you know what you're doing. Rest assured they're all talking out their asses. It is the hardest game I've mentioned yet, and with Punch-Out on the list it's in good difficult company. If you like A Link to the Past, you'll like this game. It doesn't have the same calibur of story as some of the later Zelda titles, but it does have a lot of customization options. You don't have to play level 1 first. You don't even have to get the sword. There are a million ways to play this game. This is why I think it's better than some of the amazing titles that I put it above.

3: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – It's basically an A Link to the Past remake, but it's pretty cool to see those Alttp levels imagined in three dimensions. It doesn't have the same kind of relative freedom LoZ does, but it does have an in-game storyline. Plus: The music in this game is fantastic. Everything about this game is fantastic.

2: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask – It's one of the most impressive titles in the Zelda canon. The sidequests add depth to the game that is reminiscent of LoZ's semi-free roaming gameplay. There's so much to experience in MM. Oh and we haven't even gotten to the fact that it's about Link traveling back and forth through time to prevent the moon from crashing into the earth. If you like Zelda, you need to play this game.

1: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – It's just like OoT except harder and faster. You can beat A Link to the Past in a couple of hours if you're good enough. Now, the VC version loses points to its SNES counterpart for not having the instruction manual. The manual had an in-depth storyline and backstory for the gameplay. However, you don't really need to know about the Imprisoning War to see that Alttp is a gem. The way the text is worded adds such a mysticism to the story. The dungeons are gruelingly hard, and they will drive you batshit crazy the first time you play it. There is consensus among the SNES generation gamers: This is the greatest game ever made. Thank the Golden Goddesses you were born into a universe in which this game exists.

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