Top 13 Most Memorable Games of My Childhood

abe-s-oddysee

This a list about my personal most memorable games. These games aren’t necessarily good, but had some profound landmark in my first decade of life.

13. Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Genesis)

What would the Nickelodeon version of I Am Legend, 28 Days Later and Omega Man be? Well obviously the last person alive would be a kid, so the target audience could connect. And the dog would have to be replaced by a girl to show diversity. And there’d need to be trampolines, lots and lots of trampolines. That’s what Zombies Ate My Neighbors (LucasArts, 1993) essentially was, a ridiculously hard top-view co-op game where you’d have to run from a growing fleet of various zombies with limited bullets. Pre-Resident Evil. It was extremely fun, regardless of its difficulty, and I spent many frustrated hours grueling my way through the shopping centres and hedge mazes.

This is the only 1 of 2 games in the list that I have never finished, and 1 of 2 games on the list that features Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorheesto. I guess he was big into games.

JASON!!

 

12. X-Men 2: Clone Wars (Genesis)

So this was the other game that I never finished. It was so motherflippin’ hard. But saying that, it’s probably one of the best games on the list too (for its time). The level’s were well designed, and I played it with my cousin Bryan almost every time he came over for a certain time bracket of my childhood. It was one of those games that always got incredibly hard at this one point, and we always started it back from the beginning. So much so that I have the image of the first stage forever stuck in my brain.

One of, if not the coolest thing about the game, and maybe why it made the list, was Nightcrawler. Although probably the weakest character in the game, HE COULD TELEPORT SHORT DISTANCES! And in a 1995 Genesis game, that could exploit a myriad of glitches. Hmm, how are we supposed to get past this area? The lever is on the other side! I mean we could go this way but we’d have to fight a bunch of dudes. Oh don’t worry I can- *KABLAM!*

Beastin'

11. PaRappa the Rapper (Playstation)

Rhythm games? Oh let’s go play guitar hero. Nah I don’t really feel like it, what about rock band? Dude that’s the same game. Oh…well…what about this game where you’re a rapping dog and your rap teacher is actually a Karate sensei who is a giant onion? Hmm, still don’t buy it? His motto is ‘You Gotta Believe!’. SOLD! PaRappa the Rapper (NanaOn-Sha, 1996) was basically SIMON in a video game, but it wasn’t necessarily the gameplay that lead it’s way to #11, it was its absurdity. I remember playing this game for days and days on end just to figure out what the hell was happening, and when I finished, I still didn’t know, so I played it again.

You gotta believe!

10. Kid Chameleon (Genesis)

A kid who can become anything (Including Jason Voorheesto) to the rhythm of an AWESOME soundtrack killing things that make no sense and scores that mean nothing? What could be better? Surely not the storyline… HOLD THE PHONE! So there’s this new amazing virtual reality console that all the kids are playing, but then kids start disappearing. COINCIDENCE!? Negative: the boss of this game, wittingly titled ‘Heady Metal’, has escaped the bounds of his scripted AI (I guess it was scripted…) and is kidnapping any kid who can’t beat the game, which is apparently all of them. But wait, were any of these kids…chameleons? You’ve met your match now Heady, not only is he part chameleon, and part kid, but he’s also named Casey. The game never makes clear whether you’re playing as Casey inside the game, or you’re playing the actual game, or you’re playing as Casey, who is playing the game, while at the same time being in the game. All I know is this side-scrolling, mask wearing, Heady Metal-ing game was the balls, and I played it a lot.

JASON!

JASON'S BACK!


9. Army men (Playstation)
This wasn’t a fantastic game. I’m going to start off with that. It’s just the fact that I had great times playing it. I find that a lot of these games that I get most nostalgic about are not necessarily landmark’s in gaming, but they are games that remind me of significant moments in my childhood, and I think that is why a lot of co-op games feature, as I always had the most fun playing with my cousins, my sister or my friends.

I never liked those Tans.

Anyway, now that you know that, I used to play Army Men (3DO, 1998) without my cousins, my sister, OR my friends. I played this with a guy I didn’t even like, my neighbor. We played army men religiously, all of them from the first, to Land Sea and Air. Like Micro Machines, Army Men’s gimmick was that you were the size. Of. An. Army. Man. Apart from that, it was actually a fun and highly addictive 3rd person shooter that I remember was the catalyst for me and him even seeing each other. Any other time, if I’d see him in his front yard and needed to get out, I’d sneak through the back door. See how games bring people together?

8. Command and Conquer: Red Alert (PC)
The game that got me into RTS games. And this wasn’t with aliens, monsters or elves, this was a real war simulation. This isn’t the only reason it’s so high up, it’s because of something else. Something….Russian. KANE! Kane was such a great antagonist, and it was so great that Command & Conquer (Westwood Studios, 1996) have always used real actors for their cut scenes, brings an air of comedy that the RTS world really doesn’t see. I could go on and on about the campaign and the storyline, but above all Kane is the most memorable thing in this game. Well, and Tanya, the special agent, who apparently could be re-bought just like any other marine or building.

Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane

7. Pokemon Red Version (GameBoy)
There’s not much more to say about this game that you won’t already know. I mean, EVERYBODY had this game. I’m surprised productivity in the world didn’t come to a halt when this game was released. And I’m sure we all had a similar experience, so I’m not going to bore you with how I connected with it and why it meant a lot to me. But I did buy it at a thrift store, one WEEK after it was released, so either the fool that bought it was this guy: 

…or it was a sign from the Pokegods (Zapdos, Articuno and Moltres).

6. Abe’s Oddysee (Playstation)
What a beautiful game. I played this again just the other day and even then the art direction is just perfect. From the moment the first cut scene started I already connected with Abe, the lovable Mudokon slave who’s trying to escape Rupture Farms and free as many of his kind as he can along the way. Abe’s Oddysee (Oddworld Inhabitants, 1997) was so far ahead of its time, no other platformer, had such a complex level of gameplay. I remember just making Abe run around and fart to see how different slave’s reacted. I was 8, farting was hilarious. “THEY PUT THIS IN A FUCKING GAME!? CAN THEY DO THAT!?” I thought, grinning to myself.

Abe
It wasn’t me! It was Shaggy!

This game had everything, you could talk via various voice commands which allowed you to communicate with NPCs, you could change and take control over the evil guards with guns (something I’ve always loved in games), and it had one of my favourite protagonists of all time (that might just be my next list). Maybe most of all, and the reason why it’s #6, was the visuals. The look of this game was so unique, I still have visuals of certain areas of Rupture Farms burned into my memory, some eerie, some funny, but all are beautiful.

5. Twisted Metal 2 (Playstation)
I never actually owned any of the Twisted Metal (Sony Interactive, 1997) games apart from Twisted Metal: Black, which is why it might be strange that it’s in this list at all. But, I played this a LOT. My cousins owned it, and every time I’d come over (which was often) I’d ask for it. All I wanted to do was play it. It got to the stage where they’d hide it from me and my day would be ruined. I came over for nothing!? Twisted metal was basically just vehicles that went around collecting heavy weaponry, as well as their special ‘trademark’ attack, and wreaking havoc on each other. And no, not like Diddy Kong Racing. There was a tank, a dude with giant wheels, an ice-cream truck clown pedophile who shot rockets. It was Destruction Derby designed by mental people. The reason I chose the sequel, is because the level designs were just SO much better. It was also known as Twisted Metal: World Tour because each level was based on a different landmark area of the world. A lot of games have tried (Cel Damage, TM: Black) to improve on this game, but none have come close.

 

Axel
They see me rollin’, they hatein’

4. Sonic III (SEGA Genesis)
Easily my favorite Sonic, I thought this one was brought the best of the previous two, and built on them immensely. The level designs were incredible and enormous, with multiple routes (some that only sonic or tails could get through). The speed was increased, the levels were more than just static and there were many more things to interact with, and no frame-rate issues. The game also introduced elemental attributes like fire, water and lightning, and Tails’ AI wasn’t as retarded (still retarded), This was a sequel where the Sonic Team genuinely thought hard about what was wrong, and what people wanted, giving the game plenty more depth. As much depth as a game whose protagonist is a hedgehog, whose best friend is a fox, who is kind of an idiot. Oh and they’re fighting a mad scientist who turns friendly critters into robots filled with rings. Now ask me why it’s #6.

 

Tails

Useless. Why can't you be 'fantastic' like your fox brethren.

3. Heroes of Might and Magic II (PC)

Cuthbert

Cuthbert's specialty was actually 'Weakness'.

This is probably epitome of my geekdom. BUT THIS FUCKING GAME! It brought out the geek in both me and Bryan. This was the Dungeons & Dragons type of RPG, not one of the cool Japanese ones with girls who wear leafs for clothes and guys who had swords that doubled as revolvers. This was the type of RPG with ‘heroes’ named Cuthbert who looked about 240 years old. And it, to this day, is one of my favourite games. In fact just a couple months ago we were playing it again. We almost never finish a skirmish because we usually choose large maps, and one game of Heroes of Might and Magic (New World Computing, 1996) takes about as long as 5 games of Monopoly. It’s grueling, the soundtrack is MIDI and occasionally plays the wrong notes for reasons unknown, and you can’t help but think the computer AI knows exactly what you’re doing, even when you should be covered in shroud, but it’s perfect. The feeling you get when you finish a game, even if you lose, is a feeling of relief. You think to yourself ‘Why did we just spend the last 3 days switching seats, collecting treasure chests and building up an army ?” and then immediately start a new game.

 

HOMM2
Just look at that fucking glorious map. I want to conquer it.

2. Final Fantasy IX (Playstation)

I know, I know, this game was released in 2000, close enough. This was a game that actually blew me away, it’s a game that I could just do the same thing over and over and not get sick of. It’s a game that I (accumulatively) missed weeks of school over. FFIX (Squaresoft, 2000) is often forgotten about in the FF universe, but it holds a place in my childhood like none of the others did. And I can’t explain why. Every character, even the more comical ones, were so well developed, I had a connection to each and every one of them, particularly Vivi. There is a stage in that game (from memory) where Vivi’s village is destroyed, and it may be the one time in a game where I’ve shed a tear (okay, maybe when I first played Leisure Suit Larry). That summation of why this game meant so much to me, and why it’s at #2.

Vivi
My black magic bromance

1. Todd’s Adventures in Slime World (SEGA Genesis)

This game was everything to me. At one stage it was all I ever played as all my other SEGA games gathered dust. Slime World (Epyx, 1990) was a side-scrolling game where you (Todd) and your teammate (Loser) landed on this alien planet, inhabited (and there were many types of inhabitants) by creatures whom dwell underground in a sort of ant-farm maze, apparently just waiting to make you explode in a cluster-cuss of slime.

BAIL!
BAIL!

Your goal? To collect crystals and escape out another hole in the surface. How did you kill them? With water pistols. How did they kill you? Oh various ways; some leached onto your brain, slowly sucking the life out of you. Some shot slime at you until you were a hue of pleasant vomit-green. One type just (AND THERE WAS NO WAY TO PREDICT) lived within the slime, and if walked on, ate you, triggering an extremely loud sound-BITE (watch out Dane Cook).

Crocodile

That's the crocodile.

Bryan and I called them the crocodiles, and, speaking of which, that is part of the reason it takes #1. This was hands down the best co-op game of my childhood; we played this hours and hours a day for months. Never mind that there weren’t that many maps; it was fun every time. The maps were enormous and filled with secret areas, leaving more to be explored than Super Metroid through each play through. The deaths were always hilarious, and it was always glorious when you picked up the ‘slime’ gun and killed your partner while he’s still struggling to get that leach-octopus bitch off his head. Just talking about it now makes me wish there was a sequel, or a HD makeover. Now, go and get a Genesis emulator and find a friend; I know they’re hard to find, but I’m sure if you ask nicely they’ll play with you.


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Author: Schism View all posts by

7 Comments on "Top 13 Most Memorable Games of My Childhood"

  1. Urkin April 29, 2010 at 2:53 am -

    Nice list! Surprising to see so many games i used to play.. Thought i was the only one who played slime world!

  2. Schism April 29, 2010 at 9:32 pm -

    Haha yeah, I forget whether these games were big or not, you don’t really worry about those things when you’re a kid. I just remember having them and playing them a LOT.

  3. John May 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm -

    I’m surprised to see that Age of Empires isn’t there.

  4. Chris May 4, 2010 at 10:00 pm -

    PaRapper The Rapper is easily the best game in this list. It was epic.

  5. Cheap Car Hire Alicante November 5, 2010 at 3:04 am -

    Very enlightening and beneficial to someone whose been out of the circuit for a long time.

    - Lora

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