Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gaming Hall of Fame Nominees

"Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character."

Horace Greeley

                Gamespot recently put up a new article about the favorite games that they would like inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame (you can vote for your game of choice here,).  Since I have over 22 years experience gaming I thought I would give you gamers a little bit of my own opinion on what I thought were their best choices and a couple games I feel they forgot.

                                                          SUPER MARIO 64
              Super Mario 64 for a lot of people, myself included was the game that defined the new move from 2D to 3D gaming.  I remember being little in Russia and watching it on TV, thinking about how advanced it was.  With wonderful controls, a free camera and so many different ways to excel and have fun it really brought gaming to a new level when it came out.  With newer Mario games like Super Mario Galaxy still pushing the envelope and a DS version , Mario is here to stay (over 110 Mario games have been made)

                                                          GOLDEN EYE 007 
GoldenEye 007 was THE game that helped bring first person shooters to consoles, and pretty much inventing spit-screen multiplayer, something that is sorely lacking in todays games, even AAA titles like Killzone: Shadow Fall .  And as also one of the few movie to game adaptations that are not terrible, similar to the The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay .
Journey is the number one game that everyone quotes when discussing whether games should be considered art.  With more emphasis on the "journey" than the end goal Journey isolates the player, with only one other player randomly joining your game when you don't expect it.   The limited communication forges a strong bond that lasts past the end of the game.
Also known as the second FPS ever made, Doom put the genre to the front of the entire world and jump started the deathmatch and multiplayer craze, now popularized by call of duty and battlefield.  I still remember playing LAN parties in my basement and it was also one of the few games to penetrate the iron curtain and make it into Russia.  With mods like BRUTAL DOOM (click here for some gameplay) and a reboot in the works Doom changed the industry with its graphics, action and violence and it's looking like it might do it again.
                                     THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME
Similar to Super Mario 64 , The Legend of Zelda pushed Link into the next 3d generation.  With beautiful graphics, and gigantic open world and terrific narrative coupled with a beautiful soundtrack it one of the best video games ever made.  One of the reasons I bough myself an N64 was just to play this game.  It had such and effect on me I will admit I cried at the end... not because of the sad ending but because there was no more left to play.
                                                         SPACE INVADERS
Famous for starting the Japanese arcade craze before doing the same in the US, and another game that got past the iron curtain Space Invaders (also a great reboots that is a must play) it was the first game I ever played.  It had such an impact I still dream about my high score every once in a while.  Without Space Invaders expanding the industry we might not have had a lot of our favorite video game companies.
Starting out in Russia and taking the world by storm, selling over 125 million copies, Tetris helped put the original gameboy on the map.  With a million different versions, it is now a permanent addition in NYC Museum of Modern Art.  With various apprearances in pop culture cementing it in our brains, Tetris appeals to everyone, gamer or not.  I remember every kid in school playing it during recess and getting it for New Years.  Tetris is without a doubt one of the best game ever.
                                                 HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED
Revolutionizing the console shooter, like Golden Eye before it, Halo helped cement the xbox as the console of choice for shooters and lan parties.  With terrific controls making it easy to dominate the battlefield, and a cover shield mechanic that is now in every shooter made since then.  With a great sci fi plot and open environment that allowed you to approach each situation differently it defined and changed the way we played first person shooters.
Once again changing he FPS landscape, Half-life was one of the most immersive shooters ever made.  Finally letting you interact, instead of being a passive watcher during a cut-scene it let you craft your own story as you saw fit.  With tense shoot-out and AI that knew what they were doing it also started the modding community and gave us the juggernaut that is Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2 .  It also showed that expansion packs that could be terrific with Opposing Force .  I still tear up when someone plays the ending credits theme.

Defining and pushing another franchise into the 3d era, Metal Gear Solid showed the world what a 3D stealth espionage action is all about.  As well as making our obsession with cardboard boxes border on almost a cat-like level Metal Gear Solid showed that great voice acting and a terrific plot can push even the greatest of games beyond.  With game-breaking bosses (damn you psycho mantis) that could tell what you were doing unless you switched controller ports or would tell me what games you have already played Metal Gear Solid pushed the envelope of gaming.
                                                              MAX PAYNE
Redefining video-game narrative with its use of noir style comic book cutscenes, Max Payne burst on the scene with a hail of lead and explosions following not far behind.  One of the best 3rd person shooters that I've ever played it defined bullet-time the same way the matrix did for movies.  A critical and financial success it still lives on in this generation.
                                                 CONKERS BAD FUR DAY
A last hurrah for the last games of the Nintendo 64, Conkers Bad Fur Day was the funniest game I've ever played.  parodying every movie and game that came before it, nothing was safe from this dastardly squirrel.  One of the only games I can proudly say has a giant singing turd as a boss, and that is only one part of this gem.  Featuring more pissing than a drunked frat house Conkers Bad Fur Day is simply amazing.
                                                 RED DEAD REDEMPTION
One of the defining games of the last generation, it brought westerns back from the dead (sorry for that pun).  With a beautiful world to explore and even more to do online,   It  has one of the most responsive physics engines I've ever seen.  In no other game since Red Dead Redemption (other than other rockstar games) have I seen someone get shot more realistically.  With an ending that shocks and tears your heart up Red Dead Redemption is one of the few games that made me tear up and cemented its place in my heart.

Let me know what games you  think should be added to the Video Game Hall of Fame in the comments below.

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