Thursday, July 30, 2009
Top 30 Video Games of the 1980's: Part 2
And now...Part 2:
20. Kid Icarus - I am still in shock that Nintendo hasn't released a sequel to this game. It was a ridiculously fun adventure game that had you alternating between climbing vertical levels and more common side scrolling adventures, along with some fun dungeons to crawl as well. It has some great looking enemies, you collected hearts which were used as money, and let us never forget one of my favorite video game characters of all time...The Eggplant Wizards. I still love this game.
19. Mario Bros (Arcade) - Before Super Mario Bros transformed the video game world forever, the plumbers Mario and Luigi had a pretty fun little game come out which wasn't quite as revolutionary, but which has shown remarkable staying power. This game was somewhat simplistic, you bumped various bad guys from underneath the platform they were standing on, and then had to kick them into oblivion before they stood up. The difficult ramps up, and the challenge is a ton of fun for experts and beginners alike. Plus, this can be one of the most fun games of all time to play with two players.
18. Mega Man 2 - Mega Man 2 had it all...Interesting bad guys with personalities, tons of customizable weapons, and the ability to play whichever level you wanted to play whenever you wanted to play it made this game unique. The graphics were otherworldly when it was released, I remember marveling at a photo of this robotic dragon in my Nintendo Power magazine for days. This game was also a ton of fun.
17. Ice Hockey (NES) - Brilliant in it's simplicity. Awesome because you could choose your lineup from a selection of regular sized, skinny, and fat guys. Uber-Awesome because there were codes which could turn the friction off and a fat guy could send the puck ricocheting all over the place with a well placed slap shot. This was a good two player game which actually required some video game skills to master, but which anyone could easily pick up and play.
16. Frogger (Arcade) - A true classic which inspired one of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld of all time. Dodging through traffic was usually pretty easy, but getting your frog home through the water portion of the course could be much more difficult. To this day I still hate those lousy diving turtles.
15. Mr. Do (Arcade) - I actually got really (otherworldly) good at this game on the Apple IIC computer, but the arcade game was much more difficult. In this game, you are a clown running around trying to either eat up all the cherries on the stage or kill all the monsters with either falling apples or your magical ball in order to advance to the next level. Yeah, I know that's not much of a story, but story lines were not a major concern for video games in the 80's. What mattered is whether or not the game was fun, and this game had fun in spades. The game Dig Dug garnered more attention than Mr. Do, but Mr. Do was the superior game.
14. Q*bert (Arcade) - Q*bert is one of my favorite video game characters of all time. You gotta like an orange ball with a cylinder for a nose who curses in gibberish when he gets hit by a ball. Not only is the character Q*bert cool, but the game play is rather simple and yet can be remarkably difficult and varied. This game had a ton going for it from the spring loaded snakes, the bad guys wearing shades, the weird pig characters, the psychedelic hovering platforms that floated you to safety. Q*bert rocks.
13. Contra - Another game that depended upon a classic code. In this case, the most classic of classic codes...the Konami code! Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Select, Start. That series of buttons led to unlimited lives, and you and a buddy were off to plow through the hoards of bad guys to save the world. There are few feelings so satisfying as the first time you complete Contra. What a great game!
12. Double Dribble - I got really good at this game. To the point that I was demolishing my brother by crazy scores like 58-4. This game was one of the first that led to severe bruising, as my brother would get so frustrated by my superior Double Dribble skills, that he would start blasting punches on me after awhile in a strategy I would dub, "If you can't beat em, beat em." I didn't care, I just kept launching 3's from the corner and stealing the ball immediately after his inbounds passes. This was a glorious game of basketball, and I wore my bruises proudly.
11. Tecmo Bowl - Bo Jackson lives on in this game. Despite the fact that his career was cut short due to the hip injury he suffered against the Bengals, Video Bo was a force of video game nature never seen before or since in Tecmo Bowl. This football game took football video games to the next level, and it was one of the most fun multi-player games I've ever had the privilege to play. If you liked football and you liked video games, but you didn't like Tecmo Bowl, there was obviously something wrong with you.