It seems only appropriate, in keeping with our 1994-inspired issue of GameCola (see: NHL Hockey ’94) that we write a little about this less-than-stellar year in gaming. In a year which saw not only the infamous attack on Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, a strike within the National Baseball League, and the release of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s “How the West Was Fun”, it seems rather shocking that the headlines of the gaming industry read little else than “Sega 32x Released!”. A year had passed since the release of genre-creating Super Mario Kart, and the video game world was waiting to see what the next big thing would be. (Granted, Super Mario Kart was not considered at the time to be a “big thing”, but in retrospect, it has had quite an impact on our industry.) Regardless, 1994 was not a terribly important year for video games, as you shall soon see, as we take a look back at the…
TOP 5 GAMES OF 1994~!
5. NBA Jam – Super Nintendo: Uhm…yeah, I mentioned that 1994 wasn’t that great of a year, right? This game spawned a few sequels, one for Super Nintendo, and one for N64. It is a basketball game which features amusing dunks. All I know about it is that my nephew-in-law (I think? I dunno, he’s related to me somehow) kicked my ass at it, and I vowed to never play it again. It wasn’t too shabby when I was winning, though.
4. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 – Sega Genesis: Many would argue that this is the best game in the Sonic franchise. Then again, many would argue that computer-generated beats played together with the word “fuck” is entertaining music, so you can’t judge based on many’s opinions. This game saw the introduction of Knuckles, a feisty Echinda from Emerald Island. Knuckles takes the Chaos Emeralds from Sonic and makes haste. Sonic’s main task in this end-of-a-trilogy Genesis game is to reclaim the Chaos Emeralds, but at some point he has to make sure he defeats Dr. Robotnik for no good reason at all, too.
3. Clayfighter: Tournament Edition – Super Nintendo: Despite being nothing more than the original Clay Fighter with spiffier graphics and smoother gameplay, it has earned its spot as the number three video game of 1994. It’s still Clay Fighter. It’s still a parody of the fighter genre. It’s still amusing. It may not be very original, in that it’s practically the same game that was released a few years ago, but dammit, Clay Fighter is still a fun game! It is!
2. Earthworm Jim – Super Nintendo: Did you know that this video game spawned a cartoon series? Not many people seem to, which is surprising, because this is one of the few game-to-cartoon translations that hasn’t completely sucked donkey lips (see: Dragon, Double and Hedgehog, Sonic the). I currently own several action figures from this cartoon, and sometimes, when no one else is watching, I like to stage my own Earthworm Jim adventures involving whatever else is lying around, such as macaroni and cheese, and a kazoo. Therefore, Earthworm Jim is the second best video game of 1994.
1. Animaniacs – Super Nintendo: Now we have the reversal: a video game based on a cartoon. Like before, games of this genre typically blow chunks, but also like before, this game is different. Your mission is to search the various movie lots of Warner Bros. Studios in search of missing script fragments. Throughout the course of this, you ride around in a mine cart (something that seems quite omnipresent in games for the Super Nintendo), engage in battle with the fat cop guy, swing from vines, gawk at 16-bit nurses, and many other things you would expect from those wacky Warner kids. I never quite made it to the end of Animaniacs, because, as with many, many other games, I died and gave up, but the part up until to my death was entertaining. In the year 1994, there was no video game released that was greater than Animaniacs for the Super Nintendo.