My Top 10 Games

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  • September 12, 2007
I am working on some art stuff but none of it is really ready to post. So here’s something to tide you guys over. I like video games– that much is obvious. But what do I like the most about them and which ones are my favorites? Here’s the list!

10) X-Men
Developer: Konami, 1992
Genre: Side-Scrolling Beat-Em-Up
System: Arcade

If you’re a regular here on this blog, then you know I’m a big fan of the side-scrolling beat-em-up what with my posts about Streets of Rage and Final Fight. But, the game that really kicked that genre up a notch for me was Konami‘s gem featuring my favorite superheroes, the X-Men. This particular game is based on a pilot for a cartoon series that never got picked up. However, it holds a special place in the hearts of many arcade-goers. It was the only beat-em-up that featured a whopping 6 different playable characters, two of them being female, something that really broke a barrier at the time. It had huge, colorful sprites that could only be contained on 2 screens, mind-blowing animation, and awesome sound (how could anyone forget, “I am Magneto, master of magnet!?” haha.) And hey, its still the only game in history where you can play as Dazzler, everyone’s favorite mutant disco queen!

9) Mega Man 3
Developer: Capcom, 1990
Genre: Side-Scrolling Platformer
System: NES

There were quite a few side-scrolling platformers that could have easily filled this spot for me. Among them, any of the early Marios or Sonics. What makes a side-scroller for me are the power-ups and no one has more power-ups than that little blue bomber, Mega Man. He could do ANYTHING! Also, the graphics were just so cute! I remember thinking that this was as close to actual TV animation as you could get! LOL! Mega Man 3 is the best in the series because that’s when the story first began to thicken with the introduction of the mysterious ProtoMan. Also, this game had frikkin’ SCHWEET music!

8) Tiny Toon Adventures: Acme All-Stars
Developer: Konami, 1994
Genre: Sports
System: Genesis

Other than kinda liking the Knicks in the 90’s, I’m not a huge sports fan. So naturally, I’ve never really liked sports games. Tiny Toon Adventures: Acme All-Stars is the one exception. I was a huge Tiny Toons fan and had all the Tiny Toons games even though they were all pretty horrible. This one broke the mold with its awesome multiplayer function (up to 6, relatively unheard of at the time,) and playable character roster of 12 different toons. In basketball, Montana Max‘s method of stealing the ball was to walk up to you and just punch. You have not seen comedy until you’ve seen the Montana Max sprite walk up to Elmyra and punch her in the face.

7) MarioKart DS
Developer: Nintendo, 2005
Genre: Racing
System: DS

Nintendo has recently really upped the ante when it comes to innovation in console design. Yeah, I have the Wii, but I think their real marvel is the DS. It is by far the best handheld system EVER– and it’s best and most popular title? MarioKart, of course. It’s pretty much a given that MarioKart games are fun on ANY system. The DS version shines because of its ease of multiplayer: up to 8 players, totally wireless, ANYWHERE you want! It’s really caught on here in NYC, as I’ve had insane 8 player matches with complete strangers on more than one occasion. I do take it very personally, however, when some asshole picks Toad. Don’t people realize he is MINE?!

6) Columns III
Developer: Sega, 1994
Genre: Puzzle
System: Genesis

I know what you’re thinking. “You’ve seen one puzzle game, you’ve seen them all.” I wholeheartedly agree with that statement, but what set Columns III apart from all the rest for me was its 2-player head-to-head play. Talk about COMPETITIVE! Some of the things you could do to your opponent were downright EVIL! How ’bout turning your opponent’s side to GRAYSCALE for a while? Or see how they’ll do when you turn their side UPSIDE-DOWN! Man, me and my mom had some intense marathon Columns tournaments that would often last into the wee hours of the morning. “C’mon, JC, one more game and I’ll let you stay home from school tomorrow,” she’d say.

5) X-Men Legends
Developer: Raven Software / Activision, 2004
Genre: Action RPG
System: PS2, Xbox, GameCube

No one hates RPGs as vehemently as me. To quote Beavis and Butt-Head, “If I wanted to read, I’d go to school.” HAHA. I’m sorry, but I grew up with the notion that video games were supposed to action-packed and fast-paced… not PAGES and PAGES of heavy reading! Now, I know nowadays, RPG’s have much more hands-on action, with a lot more realtime gameplay. But my overall disdain for the genre almost made me not try X-Men Legends. In truth, the game is more of a hybrid adventure platformer with beat-em-up and RPG elements. Like most RPGs, the story is very “epic.” Unlike most RPGs, the story managed to hold my attention (again, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t care less about the triumphs and struggles of some whiney queer-ass little elves.) Any X-Men fan should own this title simply because of the huge playable character roster (15) and familiar story elements (which are pretty close to the comics.) Of course, there are areas where it could improve (sadly, issues that aren’t addressed in its sequels) but overall it’s a solid title and a must for any X-Fan.

4) Ms. Pac-Man
Developer: Midway /Namco, 1981
Genre: Puzzle / Maze
System: Arcade (and a lot of others)

This is an example of a game that is absolutely timeless. Whether you play it in the arcade (my preference) or on any of the consoles its been released on (pretty much all of them,) you can’t deny the overall replayability of Ms. Pac-Man. Infinitely superior to its predecessor AND its sequels, its simple yet subtly deep gameplay mechanics make it one of those few games that appeals to everyone– old, young, male, female. Its also the one arcade cabinet that I cannot resist no matter where it is… a bar, laundromat, gas station… I have to play it when I see it! Its probably the one arcade cabinet I would actually buy… if I had a house.

3) Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers
Developer: Capcom, 1990
Genre: Side-Scrolling Platformer
System: NES

Frequently, in the realm of classic video gaming, titles based on other media (cartoons, film) usually had little or nothing to do with the source material. Chip ‘n Dale is no exception. I mean, it’s a valiant effort, but none of the main gameplay elements are ever featured in the cartoon. However, that’s not to say these gameplay elements are bad– quite the contrary actually! Chip and Dale hurl tiny wooden boxes at foes and stack metal ones to get to otherwise unreachable areas. It might sound lame– but don’t knock it till you’ve played it! The biggest plus this game has going for it is its 2-player SIMULTANEOUS action! Do you know how RARE that is in a cutesy platformer? Think of how ridiculously fun any of the early Marios, Sonics, or MegaMans would be if they were 2-player simultaneous! Hopefully, the gaming companies will realize that multiplayer games are still viable and stop catering to the socially-awkward loser who sits at home playing video games by himself all day. (God, I’m a mean bastard, aren’t I? haha.)

2) Street Fighter 2
Developer: Capcom, 1991
Genre: Fighting
System: Um… all of them?

Yea, big surprise here, right? Haha. But I have to give credit where it’s due. Being the VERY FIRST real fighting game, Street Fighter 2 pretty much REVOLUTIONIZED the gaming industry. The huge sprites, the fluid animation, the fast-paced yet intricate gameplay, were all mind-blowing at the time. Who would have thought that such a simple idea (2 guys fighting each other) would evolve into such a deep, limitless genre?

1) X-Men vs. Street Fighter
Developer: Capcom, 1996
Genre: Fighting
System: Arcade, Saturn

I am pretty savvy when it comes to games. So when X-Men vs. Street Fighter came out without me knowing anything about it, I was literally floored. (Literally– I think I fainted in the arcade.) Please understand that X-Men and Street Fighter were my two great loves so finding out about a game like this was like… having a hard cock in your mouth and your ass at the same time! Truth be told, I was already pretty used to the mechanics of the game, having played Capcom‘s other fighting titles. Nothing was really new about the gameplay accept for the ability to switch between multiple characters mid-match. For me, what was so crazy about the game was the sheer… absurdity of it! No one expected the crossover. Now, its totally commonplace for fictional universes to crossover in games– but back then… UNPRECEDENTED!

So how do you guys like my list? Any games you love that you’d like to mention? Tell me! If they’re from the 90’s, I most likely know them and probably like them because that was before 3D and 1st Person Shooters which have ruined the industry as far as I’m concerned. haha.


  • White Wabbit says:

    Well I have to admit I’ve not heard of most of these games; maybe I’m too young, or just clueless – I was quite deprived as a child haha.

    I’m surprised not to see Battletoads up there, mind you, it was bleedin’ difficult!!! There’s one level me and my friend Amy have never passed on air-bikes or something. Bastards! But still, nothing like giving some fat pig a massive slo-mo boot in the rump into some lava haha. And Streets of Rage is ace too.

    And plus, I think Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine should’ve been on this list. It has the two-player mode like Columns, uses a simple concept but is SOOO addictive, me and my brother have come close to knockin’ each other out over it. Plus, on one-player you play against Robotnik’s minions and seeing their loser-face once you’ve whooped their ass is so satisfying; I once took a picture having beaten a particularly bastardy bacon-thing using my phone and had it as my background for ages. Priceless.

    Mario Kart is ace, I’ve not got a DS so I’m going by Double-Dash standards, and I love it, plus you and me would get along fine when it comes to character choices as mine are Toadette and/or Boo ^_^. And oh my god, on the subject of Mario games, Mario Party is a major part of my gaming life. I love it. LOVE IT. Anyone who’s never had a Mario Party has not lived, especially if you happen to be playing it pissed out of your face. Warioland (1 & 2) are also classic Gameboy successes in my eyes.

    By the way, I get the sense I’m nowhere near finished typing haha.

    I SO get what you say about co-operative multiplayer games, there are just not enough. Mind you, my friends and I skipped many a day of school to play Lord of the Rings: Return of the King which has 2-player co-op mode. And my brother and I also like playing the LEGO Star Wars games together. Its simple truth that playing games with friends is better than playing games by yourself, it allows you to feel like you’re not just, as you said, a ‘socially-awkward loser’.

    But having said that I am a fan of me RPGs πŸ˜› *feels the hot breath of hatred suddenly approaching* I cannot talk about games without talking about Final Fantasy. Now there’s a game that can make you into a socially-awkward loser if ever there was one. I think it’s because you connect with the characters on a real emotional level, (which you just don’t get when all you see of someone is their ability to pound others into a bloody unconsciousness) and they … *ahem* become your friends. FF8 will always be my favourite as I actually have fallen in love with all the characters, especially the blondies Zell and Seifer. *sigh*

    Oh and if we’re talking fighting games, it has to be Bloody Roar 2. Truly ace. BR1 had potential, BR2 realised it, then it went downhill. There aren’t many fighting games you can be a rabbit in a nurse outfit, somersaulting and bashing your way to perfect victories in a flurry of squeals and springs. Ahh. ^_^

    Well, I’m getting bored of myself now.

    Wabbit xx

  • JC says:

    Hey Wabbit. Maybe some of the games I’ve mentioned weren’t released in the UK?

    As for Battletoads, I remember renting it, having a really difficult time with it, and probably throwing the cartridge across the room. If it’s any consolation, my partner always thought the Toads were sexy. haha.

    Dr. Robotnik’s MBM was definetely a puzzler me and my mom got into. She also really liked Puzzle Fighter, Baku Baku Animal, and of course, Dr. Mario.

    *Agrees about Mario party games. Although I feel like they’ve gotten a little repetitive. But there’s a new one for the Wii, which I keep meaning to grab.

    Man, I’m so sorry I just can’t get into RPGs. Whats funny is, my family actually did not own any until I went away to college. Then when i would come home to visit, I discovered all my younger bros got into RPGs REALLY heavily. They totally monopolized the TV, man! I dunno– I just have many memories of falling asleep on the sofa to the battle tune of FF3, waiting for my bro to finally wrap it up. haha. But yeah, like I said, I know RPGs have come a long way since I 1st developed my aversion to them. I have just not yet found one whose story appeals to me.

    BLOODY ROAR!! That game had such a cool premise! I loved the drag queen fox.

  • White Wabbit says:

    Oh my god, this is FREAKY; after reminding myself of Bloody Roar I went looking at the official site, as you do, and was reading about the characters and it turns out Bakuryu the Mole’s real name is Kenji – and he looks remarkably like MY Kenji!! I swear I never knew that. Maybe it was a subconscious thing. I feel kinda cheated!! Oh well…

    Check it out here.
    I’m just totally annoyed, because now I feel like I’ve been drawing fan art without realising it. Mortified.

    The real reason I was looking was when you said Fox was a drag queen – I never knew Fox was a man!! I always thought he/she was a very creepy slutty flat-chested ‘she’… and apparently in some versions of the game he/she IS a ‘she’ haha. It’s odd how some of the characters in the first one weren’t continued into the second BR, Fox was one of them, and THAT I totally understand haha.


    P.s. I forgot to add PokΓ©mon to the list. Legendary πŸ˜€

    P.s.s. I think one RPG you might like would be Paper Mario – it’s brilliantly done, good humour, great gameplay, like a cross between classic Mario and Final Fantasy. ^-^ And actually, talking about crossovers, Kingdom Hearts kicks ass. God I play way too many games.

    Oh and Mario Party 8 is fab *ahem* and not AT ALL REPETITIVE, did you hear how it got recalled because it used the word ‘spastic’?? Classic!!

  • JC says:

    LOL– yeah, I was sure about Fox from the moment I saw him/her. Although I never beat the game with him, I was sure it was a man probably doing the whole “bishonen” thing. I don’t know for sure, but I’m imagining that it’s a man in Japanese versions and they changed it to a woman for other markets (much like Zoycite of Sailor Moon fame.)

    I have the new paper mario but havent played it in months. the action parts are fun but there is too much superflouous reading. The story writers I guess thought they were clever and there’s all these bad jokes that you have to read. To me, the game would have worked better as a straight action game.

  • Reikro says:

    Ahh yes the memories comes flooding back seeing some of these old games. I can probably go on and on and on about my gaming memories so i’ll try and stick to some of the games you mention.

    I was never a Mega Man fan, but I do remember playing Mega Man 7 which I got when I bought my SNES and I thoroughly enjoyed it though my SNES days were mostly dominated by Donkey Kong Country.

    I used to play Tiny Toon Adventures on my NES but I never got to finish it, I always got stuck on the pirate ship stage. Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers.

    I loved the TV series and a friend of myne had the game and we played it all the time, like you said, what made it extra fun was the 2-player mode, which was much better than the usual “take turns” 2-player mode, Monster In My Pocket was also such a game that we used to play all the time.

    Street Fighet. I’m absolutely terrible at fighting games, but I did play Street Figher 2 in the arcades or just liked to watch others play it. Ashamedly I always tried to catch a blimpse of Chun-Li’s underwear…

    Take Care

  • RDot says:

    Why do i remember ALL of these games..even the ones White Rabbit is talking about?? damn…those were great times….i remember my and my friend being dropped off at the arcade with about 15 bucks each…we were dead broke by the time it was time to come home. oh yeah jc…it was Street Smarts that I was thinking about…and dammit there is a clone of both ken and ryu in that game

  • Chubtoons says:

    One of my all-time faves was a pretty little side-scroller called Clockwork Knight. I don’t remember which system it was for. You played a wind-up toy knight that traversed the harsh terain of various rooms in a house to rescue the princess from the evil toys. One of the coolest bosses was an 80’s style transformer jet plane. Transformers are like my kryptonite.

  • Z-Maker says:

    *Gasps in Horror*
    How can you NOT like RPGs?!
    (just kidding.)
    Well, obviously I’m a BIG fan of the genre (which will become QUITE apparent by the end of the first chapter of MYTH…but I digress).
    I think like 80% of all my games are RPG-like in some form or another (I’m an old-school DnD Gamer/GM as well)…love most of the Newer Mario Games as well and let’s NOT forget GOD OF WAR (Sweet Christmas, I get all orgasmic, just writing the words…)


  • JC says:

    Hola reikro. Yeah, Mega Man 7 was a cute one. His sprite in that game was adorable. Did you ever play 8 though? That’s the one where everyone talks and some of the voice acting is priceless! Aquaman was all gay. “I’M AQUAMAN! BUT YOU CAN CALL ME HANDSOME GUY!” haaha

    15 bucks a piece, Rdot!!?? Man, you were lucky!! I usually got no more than like 3 bucks (but little did my folks know, I had saved money from lunches– and collected change from around the house. I always had at least 5 bucks to spend on my own! hahaha)

    Hey Chub– I DEFINETELY remember Clockwork Knight– as it was one of the few side-scrollers for the Saturn. I was the only kid I knew who had a Saturn, so I had a fuckload of games no one had ever heard of.

    I have a softspot for Transformers too (particualrly SoundWave– I thought he was sexy.) Too bad the golden age of adventure video games came AFTER the golden age of action cartoons. Think of how frikkin awesome a Transformers or Thundercats, or He-Man, or GI Joe video game would have been!!

    Hey Z. Yeah, I can’t get into a lotta RPGs- but that’s not to say I don’t get into stories and graphic novels that share themes with the RPG genre. See, that’s precisely what I don’t like about RPGs is that half the time, I think they’d work better as a comic or novel or cartoon series. I feel like you’re sittin’ there watching it or reading it for most of the time anyway.

    So yeah– I can’t wait to see how Myth will pan out!

  • RDot says:

    There was a GI Joe game…i believe it was for the Commodore 64…yah. i had one…and yes, i know…it puts a definitive on my age range….

  • Patrick says:

    Hey JC…

    This post was awesome! :oD I love a bunch of the games you mentioned, but I have a particular fondness for the classic X-Men Arcade Game, you #10.

    I used to work in an Youth Center office and they had the X-Men arcade game in the lounge. I dunno how many quarters I fed that thing, or how many times I wrapped it (’cause in retrospect, it was a rather short game) but I just never got tired of playing it. Of course I used Storm! I had so much fun swatting bad guys over the head with her staff. LOL! Not at all true to the comics, mind you, but a blast nevertheless.

    The cartoon it was based on was actually really good. It was such a shame that it never got picked up. The animation was pretty sweet for the time.

    X-Men VS Street Fighter remains one of my faves to this day as well. You’d have to be insane to attempt to defeat Storm with her PSYCHO typhoons! LOL! The fun I had kicking the crap out of mouthy Arcade players back in the 90s! AAAhhhh — Good Times! :oD

    Hugz + Kisses,
    Patrick XOXOX

  • JC says:

    Hey Rdot– yeah, I’ve come to find out there were GI Joe games even as late as NES. I’ve never played them though– and totally didnt knw about them when they were around. Oh and if it makes you feel any better– my family had ColecoVision AND Vectrex.

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