Welcome back to that immensely popular and even more enjoyable article on the ‘Cola that all that cool kids call SUPER THUMBS! Since this is another one of those ever fabulous action packed JANISH editions of GameCola, Captain Eric has something special lined up. This month I will be listing, in order of my favorites, 10 games. These are just not any 10 games! No, not just any 10 games at all. They are in fact the top five favorite games of GameCola’s own Matt Gardner and Paul Franzen. So relax and get ready for some reading enjoyment.
#1 Mario Kart 64 (N64)
Why bother saving the best for last! Mario Kart 64 is one of the most enjoyable games for gamers of all types! It is easy to learn, and sooner or later ANYONE has a chance to win! OK, well, maybe not everybody. But it never leaves you with the sense that all is hopeless or makes you want to throw down the controller in disgust. Well it might, but you will be sure to pick that controller right back up and start plugging away!
There are many installments of this series, most of which are very good. I for one enjoy them all, so that should be good enough for everyone else. Adding to the greatness that is Mario Kart 64 is the amount of other good games that N64 offers, which is NONE. Mario Kart had to satisfy our gaming needs for more hours, more days, more months, more years than any game to date! Times were ROUGH back then but thankfully all we needed was a kart and our pal Mario.
#2 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (MXB)
Knights of the Old Republic isn’t just another Star Wars game. In fact, it’s the BEST Star Wars game. Ever. It doesn’t even need to use ANY character you have EVER heard of before its release to reach that lofty goal, either! Sure a couple of cameos are thrown in there but this is pretty much its own unique storyline with its own unique characters with some very familiar sights added in. It doesn’t use its brand name to get by, and it delivers in some big ways.
The gameplay is what you’d expect from the folks at Bioware. Good stuff with lots of customization, but nothing so complicated you spend more time contemplating if you should put that stat point in dexterity over strength. The story offers plenty of twists and suspense. It really is one of those games that is hard to put down and may or may not consume your thoughts. Weak willed… BEWARE!
#3 Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga (PS2)
In a time where turn-based RPGs are becoming more bland and more obsolete, Digital Devil Saga delivers one for the ages. With a darker storyline that is common of this series but definitely not common for any other RPG series around, the game already has a good starting point. Usually nowadays the decision to go turn-based kills any sort of fun you might have in a game. Even the Final Fantasies of the world are shying away from that time tested method. So when you find out this game is turn-based you might initially be disappointed. But the way the system is implemented shouldn’t be disappointing to anyone.
First off, as you grow in levels the game actually gets easier after you unlock and learn certain skills, which is a nice change of pace from running into the walls of insane hardness and then needing to go grind for hours upon hours of other games of its kind. The other major difference in the DDS battle system is that is actually requires some thought and strategy, and in your battles you will actually do something other than clicking attack attack spell attack over and over. A novel concept indeed! DDS may very well shatter your sense of how a RPG plays.
#4 Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals (SNES)
Now Lufia is from an older time, a time when the turn-based systems were fresh and exciting. The problem with Lufia was that it mastered the system so much better than anything that had come before it that it set the bar too high. Games after Lufia just didn’t have the same feel or the same fun. Lufia is probably the epitome of what you think of when you think of a GOOD, CLASSIC, RPG. Well the epitome of what you think of that isn’t Final Fantasy, at least. But, yeah, this was a really fun good game. The storyline probably seems a bit overdone and generic now, but it was one of the pioneers of its genre. It’s not really fair to blame it for being so good that every other game in its genre had to copy it. In fact, you know a game is at the top of its class when every other game in its genre does just that!
#5 Radiata Stories (PS2)
A RPG for the post-turn-based era! Not only is the battle system fun, it also includes things like moving your character around the screen IN BATTLE! And blocking and attacking all in the same five second period! Yes, very novel concepts indeed. But the gameplay isn’t what makes this game so great, because there are other games out there with some similar gameplay and you don’t see them on this list!
Radiata Stories has two other things going for it. First it has an insane amount of playable characters who can join you on your adventure. Sure, most of them suck and you may think they are useless, but in reality this game isn’t all that hard and it is fun to experiment with some wacky combinations of wannabe heroes! The other major factor going for this game is the humor. While the storyline itself is the same old saving the world business you have come to expect, it delivers it in a manner that is fun and refreshing.
#6 Secret of Mana (SNES)
#7 Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Tag Force (PSP)
Oooh yeah! Everybody loves some good Yu-Gi-Oh action!!! OK, well this may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But it is something that I rather enjoy. It is basically the Yu-Gi-Oh card game jammed into some electric packaging, which is good because I never really had any desire to buy packs of Yu-Gi-Oh cards. If you enjoy card games, you will pick up the rules and strategies really quick and start winning matches like gangbusters! Whatever that means. It has plenty of opponents as well. Although some of them may or may not have full control of their digital brains.
If you’re not careful and really enjoy your card games, this game is another one that can really consume some hours of your free time. Of COURSE all of that isn’t enough; they had to give us MORE, which is where the TAG force comes into play. See, they added these wacky crazy tag matches where you team up with another character and play. They are even more fun than the normal game! On top of that you can link up and play against your friends and the number of characters to choose from will give you a near endless supply of different matches! HUZZAH.
#8 Guitar Hero 2 (PS2)
With this game, you know what you are getting yourself into, you guitary-goodness-loving freak, you. Play alone or play with friends, preferably with friends! Guitar Hero 2 surpasses its forefather with even more songs and an enhanced multiplayer that includes some co-op funness! Everyone dreams of being a rockstar. Yes EVERYONE, even if you think you don’t, you DO! DONT FIGHT IT! Just give in and enjoy.
#9 WWF No Mercy (N64)
Control wise, No Mercy is the greatest wrestling game of its and any generation! However, I for one have never been a fan of its graphics. I really only played this game after its reign as the mega super cool wrestling game, so I may not be as nostalgic about the graphics as some other people are.
However this game also offered the best Create a Wrestler to date. Everyone knows that the Create a Wrestler game makes or breaks a wrestling game! Now-a-days they all end up looking too generic. Back in the days of No Mercy you could do all sorts of fun things when creating your wrestler. The graphics weren’t the best, and let’s face it, N64 games were never know for their graphics. However, the rest of the game was far ahead of its time and still has not been surpassed by any game out there today. Here’s hoping that last statement becomes false quite soonish!
#10 ToeJam and Earl (SG)
This is another game that I played much too late to look upon it as fondly as someone who played it in its heyday. One thing it has going for it is its originality. I don’t think I have played any game quite like it. And it is a wacky and fun game in that regard. It blows away any other game you might think about comparing it to by far. It just keeps hitting you with the humorous, wacky and straight out zany stage after stage as you put together your rocket ship or whatever. It doesn’t hold up today as
Well! Those are how I ranked the TEN games! YES! And to be clear they would have all been given a THUMBS UP!, had this been a normal edition of the thumbs! SO. Remember to come back next and EVERY month for a taste of the THUMBS!! OOOOOOH YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.
Haaaaaaaaaa!!! Do you really think I would leave you hanging like that, without knowing which of your gaming HEROES loved which game? OK, OK, you could probably guess if you actually cared enough, but I will supply you with the knowledge anyway, just because I am a terrific person like that.
Matt: Radiata Stories, Guitar Hero 2, Yu-Gi-Oh Tag Force, Lufia 2 and Digital Devil Saga
Paul: ToeJam and Earl, Mario Kart 64, Secret of Mana, KOTOR and WWF No Mercy
Well, that is all I wrote for this month—you know you enjoyed every little second of it!