Hello fellow gamers!! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and today’s the day! Like my previous posts in this series, we’re going to be talking about five of my favourite video games or game series of all time. Today we are going to be going all over the map with some great games from the last two decades, including the best X-Men game ever made, arguably the greatest wrestling game in history, an underrated cart racer from my childhood, one of RTS strategy’s best series, and one of my favourite games from Bioware that everyone else seemed to hate for some reason (I don’t know). So, LET’S GET TO THE GAMES PEOPLE!!
My Favourite Games EVER Part 4
Back again taking a look at five more of my personal favourites!
WWF No Mercy
The Pinnacle of Sports Game Entertainment
There have been a LOT of wrestling games out there over the years. From the horrible Wrestlemania 21, to the classic WWE series, wrestling fans have spent countless hours playing as their favourite wrestlers, fantasy booking all along the way. But there is one game the gamers and wrestling fans alike will always look back at fondly and think, “Now THAT, THAT was wrestling game!”
WWF No Mercy was released way back in 2000 and garnered immediate critical acclaim. Featuring the best creation suite in wrestling games at the time, a MASSIVE roster, multiple mach types and a RIDICULOUSLY huge story mode, it was everything that wrestling fans could have asked for. The amount of time and money I spent on this game truly defies logic, playing for YEARS after it had become a relic. Many games have tried to match it since, but few have ever come close. The current WWE series by 2k (formerly THQ) has done a great job over the years, WWE 12 being the first of the series to really step up the level No Mercy achieved. But, for many gamers No Mercy was the pinnacle, and the game that all other wrestling games past, present and future are judged by.
Diddy Kong Racing
Kart, Hovercraft, or Plane?
Everyone remembers Mario Kart 64 right? Of course we do! Any 90s kid worth their light up shoes remembers the classic game (see Part III of this series for my thoughts on it). However, did you know that Rare made a spiritual sequel in 1997 featuring the loveable Diddy Kong? No? Well, you missed out on one of the best kart racers of all time.
Diddy Kong Racing took what Mario had done, and took it to the next level. Featuring a semi-open world environment, this allowed us to enter a story mode, making the races and challenges mean more than just wining trophies and beating your friends. The story, a first for a kart racer, featured Diddy and a group of friends battling against the evil Wizpig, working together to free the island from his grasp by freeing the various race zones. This formula combined with some of the best gameplay ever seen in kart racers, created a ridiculously fun racing game, filled with wicked vehicles and easy to love characters. This game was plain and simple, pure fun, and should be a welcome addition to anyone's library.
Dragon Age 2
Yeah, I said 2. What?
Bioware has put out some great games over the years. Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect are two of my favourite franchises ever (still waiting for that third KOTOR game guys), so when Bioware announced a new fantasy game in 2009, I became more than a little excited. The game, Dragon Age: Origins, was a great game, and a massive success for Bioware, spawning several DLC packs as well as an expansion game, Awakening. Bioware quickly followed up on their success by releasing Dragon Age 2 early in 2011, which has since become one of my favourite RPGs ever.
I will say this point blank: I loved this game. The first game was a lot of fun, there is no denying that, but I feel that the second game was a MAJOR improvement. The story was more personal, the combat system vastly improved, and the town Kirkwall a wonderful place to explore. Yeah, it was a little strange to be playing in the same environments the whole time, but hell, I grew up on Diablo, so that was nothing new to me. And plus, the game was so good that it didn’t matter.
Playing as Hawke was a welcome change from the norm with RPGs. It had the same kind of dialogue wheel that Mass Effect had, but instead of just a “good” choice and a “bad choice”, there was also a “comedic” choice, which made Hawke way more loveable than any RPG character I’ve played as. In addition to our main hero, the party members and side characters were good fun as well. The way they would interact with each other, good or bad, was a master stroke, creating one of the best character driven stories in gaming history. The DLC was great as well, Felicia Day playing the elf Tallis a HILARIOUS addition to the game, so much so that I really wish that she had been allowed to join the party on a more permanent basis (felt the same with Nyreen from ME3 by the way).
Bottom line, Dragon Age 2 is one of the best RPGs I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing, and would HAPPILY recommend EVERYONE check out the links below on the whole series. You won’t be disappointed.
TO ME MY X-MEN!
This is a game that is near and dear to my heart for a few reasons. Number one, I am a lifelong X-Men fan. I watched the original show growing up, immediately becoming obsessed with the mutant heroes. The various TV shows, movies, and comic books have been entertaining me for many, many years. Sadly, the X-Men have very rarely gotten a quality video game outing since their creation. Sure, there are a few classics from the early 90s that we can still think of fondly, but in modern gaming, things have been mostly mediocre for the muties.
On the Xbox and PS2 however, there was a FANTASTIC little game called X-Men: Legends. Pulling from elements from all across X-Men history, the game brings in some of the teams greatest and most notorious members for an epic adventure across the world of Marvel. This game was a blast from start to finish, playing as my favourite mutant characters more fun than I ever could have dreamed of. I cannot tell you how much fun I had with this game, and how horribly upset I am that it wasn’t backwards compatible with my XBOX 360 (MICROSOFT!!!!!). It’s sequel, X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, was good fun as well, but was a very different game, changing far too much in my opinion. There are times when publishers try to take a game to the next level, and take out the things that made the first one great, and such was the case of Legends. Let’s hope the next X-Game takes a page from Legends playbook, and creates another awesome game for our favourite mutants.
No Matter the Cost
Real time strategy games had exploded into popularity back in the 90s. Amidst all those games was a small developer named Blizzard that was making some waves with games like Warcraft and Diablo. Building on that success, they released possibly their most popular title, Starcraft.
When my brother first brought Starcraft home, I was mesmerized. Whether playing as the human Terrans, the bug like Zerg, or the powerful Protoss, Starcraft was an incredible experience from start to finish, having never experienced something like it before. Such was the popularity of the game that Blizzard developed and released an expansion pack (the original DLC) named Brood War, which took the game’s story and gameplay even further, making it an instant classic. I must have played that campaign so manner times as a kid I’m surprised my computer didn’t blow up.
However, Brood War ending how it did, fans clamoured for more. As the years marched on, many of us thought that maybe there wasn’t going to be anymore, that Brood War was the last we’d see of that universe. Finally, in 2007, it was announced that Starcraft II was in development. Not only that, Blizzard stated that the game would be split into three separate releases, each one focusing on a specific faction like the original game’s campaign. Needless to say, I got pretty excited.
The first, Wings of Liberty, focused on Jim Raynor and the Terrans. I fell in love the moment I first booted it up, the opening music bringing back so many wonderful memories. It felt just like old times, with a lot of new toys and characters play with, having more fun with a PC game than I had had in years. Wings was followed up by Heart of the Swarm, this time focusing on Sarah Kerrigan and the Zerg. I’ve only played a little bit, but it felt every bit as awesome as Wings
did, though I do get the feeling that Kerrigan is going to some dark places...
The third and final installment, Legacy of the Void, this time focusing on the Protoss, will be the climax of the trilogy. I don’t know about any of you, but I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!
Farewell, and into the Void
Well, that’s it for me for another session. Stay tuned for Part V, coming soon. Until then my friends, HAPPY GAMING!