They may not be the best of their breed, they may not be remembered with praise, they even may not be any good at all, but I believe all gamers have a shortlist of titles which they just inexcusably love no matter what their critical reception. They can't really explain why, they just do. Something clicks in the players mind, all perception of what makes a good game is forgone and they find themselves hopelessly drawn back to titles which are either poor, frustrating, linear, obscure or forgotten. Here is my humble list of those games, the ones that dig out that sense of sentiment and make me load them back up time and time again.
|Tanya... Mmmm. The general seems to agree as Di Canio looks on.|
#9 Spindizzy Worlds - An isometric puzzler-come-platformer, the CPC version was fiddly but challenging. The Super Nintendo didn't change things to radically but added a layer of gloss to really place it into my heart. Basic visuals, tricky to control and madly frustrating at times, it's still the only spinning top you'll see me playing with now.
#8 League Challenge - Take the cream of the football crop from the mid eighties, and bang them into the most basic of football management games, and weirdly, makes something I return to often. This is a far cry from the likes of Championship Manager; it's mostly all down to luck, with little to actually do as such, but so satisfying when you formulate that elusive win. Well, you think you have anyway.
#7 California Games - Undoubtedly the most played game off the SEGA Master System for me, becoming hopelessly addicted to the footbag and surfing sections. The music was tinny, the responses were sluggish, and some of the events were tiresome. This was one of the titles I searched out for the CPC to my utter dismay. It was so poor in all departments it lost all it's redeeming qualities instantly. So, I reverted back to the SMS version and still do today.
#6 Arkanoid - Developed from the DNA of Breakout, I took the reigns of it's alternative C64 clone mutation Authur Noid and found it to be stupidly additive. I accidentally discovered the real game, and was catatonic with glee with both the CPC and later the Snes ports. A silly and hilariously tacked on plot for a game whereas you are basically destroying a wall with a ball. Yep, it's that simple and still lives on today in the XBLA.
#5 Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 - This got panned by many critics for being to easy, too linear and with far too many big-words chattering going on in it's lengthy cut-scenes; especially compared to it's forebear. However, the key aspect of shifting between the physical and spectral plains I found brilliant and looked tip top. Also, the dude you controlled was the most intellectual and complex vampire/zombie ever but still managed to be totally naive. Sod Twilight, this is a proper vampire story!
|Bored of humans, the Alien chose to impregnate itself|
#3 Ninja Scooter Simulator - Hmmm, ok. A few of you are now thinking 'WTF?', but some may be saying with a cheeky grin, 'Ahh, haha!' An 8-bit budget title, you are, quite obviously a Ninja Scooter person of some sort. However, there are no shurikens, no kantanas or stealthiness. Ride your scooter along a straight assault course and... well, that's it. Very empty of any actual challenge, gameplay or last-ability, It struck a chord with me with it's terrific music and that feeling has stayed with me since.
#2 Vib Ribbon - I rue the day I ever sold this game, I must have been really drunk or really broke or both. Thankfully, I now have a copy again. Now regarded as a cult classic and extremely rare, this is one of the most zany and most heartening games for the Playstation. With the plainest of plain graphics and straightforward concept, it's the music and gameplay that makes it such an endearing title. If you get a chance to play it, do so. You will be pleasantly surprised. Vibri rocks!
|Pacman had successfully sued the Processing Plant|
On that note of blatant innuendo, that wraps up my list of endearing video games, the ones which I just like a lot, no reason, I just do. You must have some games which hit the same soft spot, with no rhyme or reason, even if you know that they are pretty average or just plain tosh. Tell me your titles, would be interesting to know and discuss. Tomorrow, we visit the flicks. F - Films of video games, and to shake things up it's a 5 up and 5 down list. I guarantee you will cringe at the thought of the latter...