I have asked, and you made your choice (via Facebook): The first Reader Poll is about video games. My favourite ones. The ones I still talk about, even if I haven’t played them in ages. The ones I found so beautiful/difficult/fun I still have them in my heart (and in a box at my parents ‘place). Don’t expect any “recent” game : While Bioschock is still the most beautiful thing ever, I didn’t play it a lot. Blame the economy.
This is a top 10: retro-gaming is alive, with the glory of love.
10 – Mario Bros, Nintendo
Yeah, yeah, how surprising. My best memory related to this game is how a friend and I somehow turned the gameplay into a thesis about drugs apology and the house culture (I mean, mushrooms that give you power? Rainbow stars to be invincible? CARNIVOROUS PLANTS? Come on.) Okay, it was at 3am and we were really drunk, but hey, it makes sense, right? Also, I just love the soundscape.
9 – Dick Tracy, Sega Mega-Drive
My Sega Mega-Drive was my first ever console. I think I was 6 or something. God bless the 90s. Of course, my father used to play a lot, and bought a shitload of games stating “it’s for Vanessa, she’s going to love it”. Most of these games involved motorcycles and wrestling games, but sometimes it was some really cool ones. Like Dick Tracy. For those who are too young/ aren’t familiar with the detective, it was a comics, then a movie made in the 80s with Madonna and Warren Beatty, proper polar/pulp. Check it out. So, what makes Dick Tracy so special when you’re 6? The game looked like a comic book, and I found it pretty. And it was quite easy to play. But, to be honest, watching my father killing the bad guys was enough.
8- Revenge of Shinobi, Sega Mega Drive
Another “I swear it’s for Vanessa” kind of game. I actually loved playing this, even if it was HARD. I don’t think I ever went through stage 2, but it was so fun. 22 years or so later, Shinobi remains one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played. The design isn’t *too* outdated, in my opinion.
7 – Tekken 3, Playstation
Now we’re talking.The Playstation was my 1996 Christmas present I think. I don’t remember when I bought Tekken 3, but I remember the excitement while playing it for the first time: The design was great, I could do the combos quite easily, and it was so fun to play a powerful Chinese schoolgirl. No, really, I was in my teens, and so up for female empowerment. Xiaoyu, you’re still my favourite character.
6- Tomb Raider II, Playstation
Of course. OF COURSE. Seriously, who hasn’t played Lara at least once in his/her life? Who hasn’t locked her butler in the fridge? Who hasn’t lost patience during the infamous/annoying/batshitcrazy Venice stage? F*cking boat. I found peace in the monthly magazines that gave the solutions (like, turn on yourself, go inside the wall, hello new level!). Expensive ones, but they were my saviours. Also, Lara was a good excuse to invite boys at mine on Wednesday afternoons. Tomb Raider = social confidence tool?
5 – Fantasia, Sega Mega Drive
I love this game purely because I was the only one in the house who could finish it. I was 7.
(Don’t ask how, I really don’t know. I never really understood the movie, either)
4 – Silent Hill, Playstation
If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for survival horror. (And zombies, too. You’ll see). Not only Silent Hill was one of the most difficult games I ever played (I’m a bad gamer, in case you haven’t noticed), but it’s also one of the most terrifying ones. THE RADIO SOUND, people. Oh my God. THE FOG. I can’t even. Silent Hill, to me, is a masterpiece of storytelling. I felt so sorry for Harry Mason, too.
3 – The Lion King, Sega Mega Drive
I loved the movie so much that I asked for the game. The joy of being 9. What can I say? Great game. The stage where Simba escapes the buffaloes is amazing (even if a bit hard), the Cemetary is such a good level. The music is beautiful, just like in the movie. Great design. Hakuna Matata! (Yes, my father played this one too).
2- Sonic The Hedgedog, Sega Mega Drive
Oh, blue Sonic, my one and only gamer love. I was quite good with picking rings, but my favourite moment was the Diamond bonus one. And I loved the speed, the colours, the fact that you could destroy walls (yes), the big bad Dr Robotnik. Some levels were quite ridiculous (Lava? Why?) and I wasn’t really impressed with the cute animals I saved, but, SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS. I’ve spent so many afternoons waiting for my parents to come home playing this. (I don’t care about the sequels and the fox and all, this one is the true one for me). The reason this isn’t my number one is because there isn’t any zombie in it, btw.
1 – House of The Dead III, Sega Arcade/Wiii
ZOMBIE FEST! Scenario, brought to you by Wkipedia “in the post-apocalyptic year of 2019, civilization has long since collapsed. Ex-AMS and Ex-captain agent Thomas Rogan and his team of highly trained commandos (including his assistant young captain Dan Taylor) investigate the EFI Research Facility, which may be linked to the world collapse. Thomas’ 19-year-old daughter, Lisa, and Rogan’s former partner, G, travel there two weeks later with shotguns in hand after contact with him is mysteriously lost.”
Long story short : zombies, mad scientists, end of the world. Guns. I used to play this one on arcade only (we have this great place in Paris were I would spend my money on this, and air-hockey) and the FPS thing is so awesome. Of course, don’t ask for precision, but who needs precision when you can shoot a zombie with UNLIMITED BULLETS. Right. Design is pretty cool, lots of banters, Z-Horror style…I love this game so much that my friend Julien offered the Wiii version for my last birthday. With the gun. I’m a spoiled zombie killer.
What are your favourite games, people? I’d love to hear from you! x