Alright. It was just a matter of time before I wrote an article like this, but my good buddy @Atsinganoi has given me the creative push necessary to finally type it up!
Over time, I have played my share of games that I have thoroughly enjoyed, but there is only a select few that have delved into the deepest reaches of my psyche and changed the very fabric that has molded me into the clown I am today!
Every passionate gamer out there would know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that some games simply change how you view the entire world around you!
Gun.Smoke is a vertically-scrolling shmup with a Western theme, from the good folks at Capcom! Who can say “no” to that?! The music and sounds are awesome, the action is intense, and upgrades are available to further decimate your enemies!
Granted, the control scheme does take some getting used to, but after some repetition, you won’t have much trouble pumping round after round of molten lead into your dust-covered detractors! Yee Haww!
This game needs no introduction! The first time I popped Batman in, I was absolutely blown away! The player gets to see the Batmobile race off into the night to thwart the evil plans of The Joker before the game EVEN STARTS!
Next, your eardrums are assaulted with a dark, yet heroic soundtrack that gets your heart racing! The visuals are reminiscent of games like Jackal, and the action and difficulty are intense! Strap up and get ready to kick some ass as Batman!
Blaster Master (NES)
Again, another game that needs little introduction. Completely overshadowing a paper-thin plot through sheer quality alone, Blaster Master assaulted both my thumbs and eardrums the first time I popped it in!
Plenty of exploration, lots of action, and the ability to leave your vehicle and traverse on foot make this game an instant legend! Sheer force alone will not win this fight, so pull up your big boy explorer jeans and kill some mutant scum!
Sword of Fargoal (Commodore 64)
Okay…imagine going 20 floors down into a dank, fog-covered dungeon, riddled with enemies and traps hell-bent on ripping you apart, in pursuit of a mythical sword, and if you happen to survive the descent and claim said mythical sword, you have to escape from the dungeon in 30 minutes before the walls collapse around you!
This is the claustrophobia-inducing title that absolutely shredded my soul and reduced me to tears as a young one! Sword of Fargoal features no in-game music, but plenty of scary sound effects that only added to the creepy ambience!
Get ready to get lost, then curb-stomped by a Red Dragon with this mind-bending and highly addictive title!
Wizard’s Crown (Commodore 64)
I have been asked many times over the years what my favorite RPG growing up is, and this is it!
This game might turn some folks off since there isn’t any cinematics or crazy music to rope them in. Rather, this game offers lots of customization for the player to craft their team, what they will equip and LOTS of exploration. Players also get the option of selecting either “quick combat” or “regular combat” during random encounters.
From thief-riddled towns to dark, murky swamps, Wizard’s Crown has everything you need to get your RPG on, and then some!
I defy you to find one game in any console’s library that would be comparable to SOS! This game is heavily inspired by the movie Poseidon Adventure and follows its basic premise.
The player has 4 characters to choose from, and they have one hour to escape from a capsizing ship before it completely submerges! To complicate matters, the best endings are achieved by rescuing other survivors and one “key” character from a watery grave.
Furthermore, the ship is sinking rapidly, and as such, it begins to lose electricity, fill up with water, and random debris begins to fall from all angles!
The music in this game is intense as is the action, so get ready for a gut-wrenching, heart-rending fight for survival!
Super Metroid (SNES)
This game was a revolving rental for both me and my brother over the course of a year before we could muster up enough funds to buy the damn thing!
This game has attained legendary status as one of the SNES’s best titles, and it has done so through an epic soundtrack, claustrophobia-inducing environs, lots of power-ups, expansive exploration opportunities and teeth-gritting boss battles! Save the world, and the animals, in Super Metroid!
Super Nova (SNES)
Known as Darius Force everywhere else but North America, Super Nova will take you through the bowels of space, battling multiple enemies and boss battleships to help save the galaxy from the menace of Belzer!
Not only did this game leave a lasting impression on me with its epic gameplay and music, but has also been unsurpassed by any other shmup that I have played since! Utter perfection in my honest opinion!
Clock Tower (PS1)
The first time I rented this game, I had no idea what I was in for! My brother and I were so freaked out after renting it, that we took it back the same day! The funny part is that Clock Tower is all that we talked about for the next two months afterwards!
I eventually bit the bullet and bought it for about $20 two years after release, and now it sits comfortably within my personal collection! A point-and-click survival horror replete with a relentlessly stalking scissor murderer who can literally pop out at any moment, can you imagine?!
Scary sound effects, fear-inducing music, and an overall sense of helplessness make Clock Tower one game that has certainly changed the way I view the world! The murderous Scissorman is out for blood, and he won’t stop until he gets it!
Breath of Fire III (PS1)
Another awesome game that needs little introduction! Many of my Twitter buddies will agree that Breath of Fire III is an absolutely beautiful and amazing JRPG complete with an in-depth story, loveable characters and the always dark and ominous plot of killing God!
The world in this game is huge, as is its bestiary and musical soundtrack, which all complement the environs perfectly! This one will definitely take you awhile, but is absolutely amazing from beginning to end!
Silent Hill (PS1)
The game that started it all! Silent Hill went a different direction than other survival horror games of the time by offering grotesque enemies, spooky sound effects, an epic soundtrack, and a hero that was simply a regular guy searching for his lost daughter.
The first time I played this game, I was absolutely knocked back by its scary atmosphere and Harry’s complete lack of survival skills! If you haven’t yet, give this one a go!
Resident Evil: Director’s Cut (PS1)
Before you start bagging on me for preferring Resident Evil: Director’s Cut over the original, I should mention that this is the first version that I’d ever played, and it absolutely rocked my world!
A cryptic mansion, full of earthly abominations hellbent on eating your flesh was enough to drive parents to write mountains and mountains of hate-mail to Capcom!
That didn’t stop us edgy kids from loving every minute of it, though! Oh, and this version has auto-aim for us slacker shooters!
And that’s more or less a complete list of all of the games that have shaped me as an individual, and how they did it all through the magic of pixels and polygons!
Sure, there are many other games that I have played that I have absolutely loved, but I had played all of the above titles during that “special” time of my life and thus, helped mold me into the clown that I am today!
Honorable mentions include: all Final Fantasies from I to IX, Super Mario World, Super Mario 3D World, Silent Hill Homecoming, Super Meat Boy, Guacamelee and StarTropics!
With so many more awesome titles coming out, I will keep on keeping on, hoping to reach that level of utter nirvana again and again and again!
Until then, Lumpz the Clown OUT!