Friday, August 17, 2007

RLLMUK's top 100: 60 - 51

60Wii Sports (Wii)
59Dungeon Master (Atari ST/Amiga)
58Resident Evil 2 (PlayStation/Dreamcast/GameCube/PC)
57Doom (PC/SNES/Jaguar/32X/etc ...)
56Outrun 2 (all variants including 2006) (Arcade/Xbox/PlayStation 2/PSP/PC)
55Wario Ware Inc. (Game Boy Advance)
54Super Monkey Ball (GameCube)
53Streets of Rage 2 (Mega Drive)
52Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PlayStation 2/Xbox/PC)
51Okami (PlayStation 2)

Comments on the games I've played:

Wii Sports (Wii)

Quite possibly the best, and the most important, launch title ever. Wii Sports still sees regular play in my house, both in single-player (with the fitness, training, and of course the main game modes in the quest for pro status) and in multiplayer whenever anyone - literally anyone - visits. Someone asked if we'll still see this as a classic in three years' time - I believe that unless Wii Sports 2 turns out to be an amazingly massive improvement, then yes, we will.

Some have criticised it for being shallow, for being simple, and so on. No, there aren't 20 courses on the golf game. You don't have a tournament structure on tennis. But none of that matters. The games all have huge amounts of depth, and it'll be a long time before anyone can master them – the backspin on tennis, the chip on golf. The whole package is a joy to play.

Doom (32X)

I first played Doom on the 32X, because my only exposure to PC gaming until that point was Lemmings on a desktop my dad had borrowed from work. The CPC fulfilled all of our other computing needs. But anyway. On the 32X it was lovely, smooth and bright and brown. But when the enemies got close, the panic was induced more by the ugly mess of squares appearing on the screen than anything else. Other games have improved on Doom's formula since, and I think I even prefer Doom RPG to the original.

Outrun 2 (Xbox)

If Daytona introduced the idea of powersliding to achieve great times, Outrun 2 perfected it. In no game before or since has it been so much fun to travel around five corners consecutively travelling sideways, weaving between cars and buses and your rivals, while talking rubbish to your friends over Xbox Live. In reality, it has very little in common with the original Outrun, of course, but that doesn't matter.

Wario Ware Inc. (Game Boy Advance)

None of the sequels have matched the brilliance of the first game, although Twisted comes close. Combining hundreds of not-very-good games into one big, fast, brilliant roller-coaster ride is a stroke of genius, and it's the very essence of high score gaming.

Super Monkey Ball (GameCube)

Probably my personal favourite launch game ever. The franchise has gone downhill since, maybe due to overfamiliarity, but mainly because the levels haven’t been as well designed as they were in the first game (although people who say that Launchers in SMB2 is purely down to luck are just wrong). The whole game package was excellent, with the superb Monkey Target and other party games just adding to the game's appeal.

Streets of Rage 2 (Mega Drive)

Was this the pinnacle of the scrolling fighter? Better than its sequel, certainly, and better than Final Fight and ... well, anything else. It was just an immense game, and the fact that it had a great two-player co-operative mode (with a nice twist at the end) meant it got a lot of play between my brother and I.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (Xbox)

Vice City was always my favourite locale in the original GTA, but I must admit that the city lost quite a bit of charm when it was redeveloped in 3D. It certainly wasn’t as interesting as Liberty City, with less terrain to mess around on. The missions didn’t help either, with most showing a lack of imagination compared to the first 3D game. But it’s still a great game, and the soundtrack and general 80s ambience rescues it.

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