- Jul 31, 2021
So, this thread was inspired by the "Post 4 Games From When You Turned 14" thread. I thought it would be interesting to see what gaming was like when we were just little babies. I was born in 1993, so I will be posting my top 5 from that year. You may have noticed that I'm definitely a Nintendo guy, so my list will be biased towards them. Also, I haven't played every classic game from '93, or haven't played enough to fairly judge them. So if you're wondering why games like Secret Of Mana or Rondo Of Blood aren't on here, that's why. Finally, this list isn't in any particular order. But anyways, without further ado:
Super Mario All Stars (Publisher: Nintendo, Developer: Nintendo EAD, Console: SNES)
Okay, so this one might be cheating since it's a compilation, but fuck it. This is the definition of bang for your buck. You get updated versions of one of the greatest "trilogies" in gaming history, whether that's the pure and simple original Super Mario Bros., the weird veggie throwing with four distinct characters and verticality of Super Mario Bros. 2, or the massive worlds, large scope, and large variety of powerups of Super Mario Bros. 3. Oh, and western gamers finally got to experience the REAL Super Mario Bros. 2 with Lost Levels, absurd difficulty and all. Still one of the best compilations ever, even with just four games. You could argue that they're not quite as memorable as the NES versions, but when you have three of the greatest platformers ever made on one cartridge, with a save feature even, as well as a previously Japanese exclusive Mario title that had been kind of a fabled legend to western kids at that point, what's not to love?
Kirby's Adventure (Publisher: Nintendo, Developer: HAL Laboratory, Console: NES)
It's wild to think this was released in 1993! Not only had the 16 bit wars been raging for years at this point, but this was a time when 3D was on the rise thanks to titles like Myst and Virtua Fighter, when CD was slowly starting to replace cartridges and take over as the dominant media format, and when the 5th generation officially started with the release of the 3DO and Atari Jaguar. And yet, perhaps the greatest game for Nintendo's 8 bit wonder was also released this year. Not only was this a feast for the eyes with a clean, adorable artstyle, a vibrant explosion of color, and mindboggling graphical tricks and scaling capabilities that seemed like black magic on the even then ancient hardware, but with loads of level exploration, rankings based on completion percentage, various minigames, and even a 2nd quest and a boss rush, this really defined replay value on NES. And of course, the copy ability was a lot of fun. Kirby might suck, literally, but this game sure doesn't.
The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Publisher: Nintendo, Developer: Nintendo EAD, Console: Game Boy)
As you probably already know by now, this originally started as a GB port of A Link To The Past. But the developers kept adding their own little touches, and Nintendo higher-ups were impressed enough to allow the devs to turn this into its own thing. And despite being released on inferior hardware, make no mistake; this is every bit as involving and epic as ALTTP. It's also one of the quirkiest games in the series, with everything from an animal village to a vindictive shopkeeper, and even references to other Nintendo games like the pet Chain Chomp and the Yoshi Doll. A lot of people consider Ocarina Of Time a 3D update to A Link To The Past, and I've always considered Majora's Mask a sort of 3D spiritual successor to Link's Awakening. How so? Both take place in a parallel world outside of Hyrule. Both have a distinct lack of Zelda and Ganon. Both are direct sequels to the games preceding them. Both are known as some of the darker and more emotionally charged Zelda games. Both are given praise for some of the best character development in the franchise. Both have a reputation as the oddball Zelda games with a weird sense of humor. And both feature the Ballad Of The Windfish. Ok, so they're actually different songs, but it's still a neat callback.
Gunstar Heroes (Publisher: Sega, Developer: Treasure, Console: Genesis)
What a fantastic debut from arguably the greatest cult developer of all time! Formed by ex-Konami devs who were tired of making sequels, they gave us probably the best game for the Sega Genesis. The game is often given props for the insane graphical prowess and visual effects that can go toe to toe with anything the SNES has to offer, but it's much more than that. Simply put, the game is fucking crazy! It's nothing but high speed action, intense set pieces, and stuff flying everywhere. It's pure chaos, and basically, your eyes will go bloodshot and your brain will go numb by the end of it. The difficulty is brutal as well, so if you're a wimpy little baby, make sure to play with a friend if you can handle the slowdown. Oh, and it should be mentioned that the weapon combination system is brilliant! If you're a fan of balls to the wall hardcore run 'n guns, this game is like mana from heaven.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Publisher: Konami, Developer: LucasArts, Console: SNES, Genesis)
I'm just gonna say it, this is quite possibly the best Konami game ever made. Or at least tied with Cybernator, which is also freaking awesome. That's right, better than Contra, better than Gradius, better than Castlevania, and better than Metal Gear. I personally love bad movies, so this little gem is right up my alley. It's basically a love letter to every cheesy horror/sci-fi b movie ever made. Enemies range from chainsaw wielding maniacs who chase you through a maze, a giant baby, massive ants, and of course, the titular zombies. Weapons include a water gun with holy water, a weed whacker, a bazooka, and even friggin' tomatoes! It's proof that a game doesn't necessarily need to be story driven to have a great atmosphere. It's wacky, it's silly, it's tongue in cheek, it's over the top, and it doesn't take itself seriously at all. And by god, I love it for that!
So what say you, gaffers? What games do you love from your year of birth?