Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Golden Age of Video Games

There was a thread in one of the dumber corners of the internet last week full of sad sacks who can't talk to girls lamenting the current state of their toys. Turns out video games are too girly these days or whatever, though the long lost belle epoque of video gaming was, according to these professional victims, about a decade or so ago. Now I ain't no fancy-pants mathemetician, but wouldn't that make 2005 the year they're pining away for? How can they miss God of War and Guitar Hero when there's a new version pumped out every year with monotonous regularity?

So today, rather than a real post, we're gonna take a look at the actual Golden Age of Video Games:

Chrono Trigger
The JRPG everyone forgets. Rather than split the world into an isometric map and a battle screen, it integrated both into a single view so you could actually side step the damn random encounters if you wanted. Throw in an endearingly ludicrous plot full of time travel and frog knights, and you'll forget that you renamed one of the characters Nypps.

"Your turn, Anuss!"

Like Chrono Trigger, after one too many magic mushrooms. One of the few JRPGs to do things differently, weaving the typical "children destroy God with the power of love" plot into a surreal suburbia worthy of David Lynch. And the final boss battle is technically an abortion.

Jason Vorhees runs a meth lab while you talk Carlos Santana down from the roof.

Earthworm Jim
Before Commander Shepherd, before Master Chief, the fate of the universe rested in the robot hands of a sour-faced worm. Jim took on slimy aliens, cybernetic crows, and cows in his quest to make the universe safe for annelids. And he never needed no dang quick time events or crafting - he just blasted the crap out of everything! Or wip it with his own head!

Wip it good!

Another game to get the modern remake treatment, though with much more going on. Conrad must piece together his shattered memory while exposing a vast conspiracy of slimy reptoids who seek to conquer humanity. It's Total Recall meets David Icke!

Bonus Pitfall nostalgia.

Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Technically Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts because everything was just so goddamn super back then. Double-jump your way to victory against the undead hordes and save the Princess... then do it all again if you even want to face the proper Final Boss. And kids these days think Dark Souls is rough...

In my day, we took on The Catacombs in our underpants!

Out of this World (Another World)
A gorgeous and nuanced platform adventure that punishes any misstep with instant death. Not because it's going for realism - your physicist Lester drives a Ferrari into the opening cutscene fer Chrissakes - but simply because they want you to fully appreciate how it would feel if you were suddenly whisked from your humdrum life off to Another World. It would feel terrifying.

It took most kids about a year to figure out this part.

Super Mario World
The apex of the Mario franchise. It's all been downhill since. Ditching the raccoon tail for a proper cape and stacking that with a sidekick much more endearing than that tagalong Luigi. Also marks the last good time you're trying to rescue Princess Toadstool instead of that blonde pretender to the throne.

And who could forget these huge honkin' assholes?

Zombies Ate My Neighbors
The most fun zombie game ever made and still the only good one. The bizarre monsters and equally bizarre means of blowing them up almost take a backseat to the gleeful mocking of American suburbia, from the shopping mall to the beach to the spaceship where your hayseed uncle got probed.

...This seems a little unfair.

Remember, these are all the Best Games Evar by strictly objective analysis. If you disagree, you are wrong and a bad person.

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