What Video Games Have Taught Me Growing Up.
(First note that this is not a complete list... depending on feedback I may continue this in the future... I listed the first 40, in order, that came to my mind.)
I once had a career as a game developer. I've also delved into the world of cinematic and explainitory types of animation. But all through my life, I've been inspired by every type of artform I'd come into contact with. From music, to classical paintings and sculpture, all the way through to architecture and video games, all of it has been inspiring in one form or another to me.
But the only thing you could truly interact with in the '80s was video games. I remember blowing a roll of quarters on Pac-Man and Yai Ar Kung Fu in an afternoon at the local bowling alley. Heck, I'll still go into a movie theater or a bowling alley to blow a few dollars in an arcade machine or two just to see what is going on these days... but to me, the games that stick out in my mind the most are the ones I played in my carefree days as a child. Don't get me wrong, when Unreal Tournament came out, it completely blew me away... and Thief was one of the coolest things to come out, as it was the first true generation of stealth games that utilized OpenGL (as far as I recall, I could be wrong).
I'm 36 years old, and this is personal preference, and the following is a list of the games that stayed with me in one way or another, and learned lessons from. Not only did they really drive me toward my quest to get into game development, but the title's below directly and indirectly taught me lessons about life.
1) TAPPER (Also known as Recovery Room on the C-64)
For a game that promotes alcoholism, it wasn't half bad. The idea of this game was, as a bartender, to serve drinks by sliding them down a long row of bars, pushing your customers out the door, collecting empties before they fall to the floor, and picking up your tips. If a patron reached the end of the bar, or if you broke a glass either by letting it hit the floor, or mistakenly serving down a bar where no one was there to catch it, you lost a life. I never was able to get past the alien round... still can't... but its still fun, and yes, I still play it, but nowadays I play it on the Emulator for my PC.
This game taught me that the more a level frustrates you, the more likely you are to try to beat it.
2) Rambo (C-64)
I still have no idea what I'm supposed to do once i get into the
helicopter, but I used to play this for hours... primarily because the load screens took a long time to load, and the game took a long time to load, even with the Epyx Fast Load Cartridge.
But, in all fairness, for an action game in the early 80's, it rocked. You had a few different ranged weapons to use, (the throwing knife and the machine gun are the only 2 things that come to mind at the moment for weapons), and the pace was fast for a top down 8 direction game.
This game taught me that you don't always have to know what you are doing to enjoy playing a game.
3) Spike (Vectrex)
This was the first time I ever played the role of a character in the shape of a Satanic star with a face and stick feet. It was also the first time I ever played a game that featured Digitized Speech. It may have been only 7 words (EEK, HELP, SPIKE, MOLLY, OH, NO, DARNIT), but it rocked because it talked. Who cares if you got stuck in the floor if you jumped while climbing the ladder? I once got a score so high that it was displayed as FFAC00 (If I remember right), because the game was simple and predictable... but it TALKED, Dude!
This game taught me that talking games rocked.
4) The Kennedy Approach (C-64)
Another talking game! But you played the role of an Air Traffic Controller on some of the busiest airports in the world. And you had to deal with things like crappy weather, mountains, conflicting airspace, landings, takeoffs... and it TALKED. Really the game was boring, but it was so cool to hear your character say things like, "American Flight 247, turn right to zero-niner-zero, climb to four thousand feet." And that's why I played it. To hear the voice. And who said gimmics don't work, especially with 10-14 year old kids?
This game taught me that games that talked more rocked even harder.
5) Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (ColecoVision and Arcade)
Hooray for Vector Graphics! No, it was never meant to be better than raster graphics, but, at the time, the movement was smoother, you could get better simulated 3D effects out of them at the time, because the objects could be scaled much more smoothly... and the animation to make these objects "turn" was done almost entirely by scaling and rotating along axis... granted, this was all done with heavy and unorthodox brands of code and mathematics, but the more effort you put into anything, the better things normally turn out.
Anyway, I'm a SciFi nut, and even though I prefer Star Trek to Star Wars, I still love Star Wars pretty damn much. Flying an X-Wing was pretty hot for a 10 year old. I once scored in the high tens of millions on the arcade machine, probably because I had somewhere around 20,000 hours of flight time on the ColecoVision at home.
It should be noted, that the Arcade version featured the voices of Luke Skywalker and R2-D2... Which was bad-ass!
This game taught me that I wanted to really be an X-Wing pilot, and that I'd be pretty good at it, too... It also taught me that the Arcade version was ALMOST always cooler than the home version.
6) Empire Strikes Back (Arcade)
For all the reasons above, but I didn't have this one for the ColecoVision... I don't even know if they made this one for the ColecoVision.
This game taught me that I'd also be good at flying A-Wings as well.
7) Yars Revenge (Atari 2600)
I really don't know why I loved this one so much... but I played it for hours and I was pretty good at it. I once went about 6 hours without losing a man, and I never really played it much after that. I really didn't understand the whole point of the game, even though it came with a comic book that told part of the story that was encapsulated in the gameplay... still, I enjoyed it.
This game taught me that we don't have to understand something in order to enjoy it.
8) PacMan (Arcade and Atari 2600)
This was the gateway game... this is the first video game I ever played, and it stuck with me still to now. I loved the game, the album PacMan Fever, I had posters, the table top electronic game, the board game, the Atari 2600 game, I drew pictures, I had my mom get me the scratch offs they sold like baseball cards with the stale gum... In Kindergarten thru 2nd grade, Pac Man was my life.
The Arcade version totally blew away the Atari 2600, because the Atari 2600 version was programmed with the ghosts having only one path for the ghosts on each level. Once I figured out the right pattern to clear the level and eat all four ghosts for each power pellet, plus eat both "fruits" for each level, I was able to do it blindfolded, and I used to impress the crap out of my friends... because they knew nothing about patterns and ai... I however had a few magazine subscriptions to programming periodicles, and even though I wasn't able to program for Atari 2600, because the the compiler for the Commodore 64 if one even existed, nor did I have the Atari Computer or the chip burner for it.
The Arcade version was a completely different story. Until recently, I had no idea how the ghosts' AI was programmed... And now that I know the method and have had a chance to play with the code, I can now make it to the Death Screen, and I can eat all the dots on it, even though you can't pass the level because it doesn't have the proper number of dots to eat.
It should also be noted that this game kept me broke. Any time I came across an Arcade version of this, I used to blow all my time and cash on it (I was only 8 when I started playing, so it was usually no more than $5.00)... and I'll still play a quarter's worth and then hand it off to someone after a while.
This game taught me that video games existed... and that I had PacMan fever.
9) Impossible Mission (C-64)
"Stay a while... Staaaaaay forever!" I haveneverfigured out the point of this game, nor have I ever figured out exactly what to do with those puzzle pieces... but it was always fun to make the game character drop down a pit and make him scream, "AAAAAAAAAAH!!"
Always wanted to hack this one and give my dude some weapons, but I stopped playing this one before I had the chance to get any on the fly memory altering software or hardware... I have found the emulator for the commodore 64, and I'm looking into some of those side programs that allow you to alter memory addresses on the fly, so I can try to get my guy to blast the robots back with some lightning bolts for a change.
This game taught me that there was more to life than PLAYING games... This is the first game I looked into modifying, but I couldn't find the necessary information to do so.
10) Donkey Kong (Atari 2600, NES and Arcade)
Save the girl from the gorilla only to come back 30 seconds or less later to discover that she returned to his grasp... little did I know this game was preparing me for my entire dating life.
I didn't know it at the time, but this game taught me that what women need isn't always where their priorities are.
11) TigerHeli (Arcade)
I never really liked to play this one, but I liked to watch other people play it. I liked the explosions and the scrolling backgrounds. You could tell that the BG's were tiled even before I knew how to tile BG's to scroll and layer sprites over or under them. This was a very well thought out game, with very fine artwork with the limitations of the time.
I thought the game's playability was impossible, but only because I only had an interest in the artwork and not in the gameplay. I DID try to recreate it on the Commodore 64, but I never tried to make it playable. I only made it animated, and it wasn't very large, but I did manage to loop it. Had screensavers been the rage way back when, it would have made an excellent screensaver. I'm more impressed with myself because I did it entirely in basic because I didn't know how to compile or use MLX (Machine Language 10) yet.
This game taught me that its enough for a game to just look cool for it to be cool to some people.
12) Black Tiger (Arcade)
I completely loved this game. I played the crap out of it, I beat the crap out of it, I made it my bitch, and as of recently, I have acquired the ROM for MAME, and I continue to make those dragons hurt. I even got the cheat codes for it, and have been playing around with the code in both real time and on the overall program. I been playing with the art, the animation and the attributes, and I still have lots of fun with it. I'm looking to get the Japanese version of this (Black Dragon) to see what the difference in the code is between the U.S. and Japanese versions... Its just a bit of geekiness that will pass, I'm sure.
This game taught me that even the old games can not only remain cool but become cooler with a few extra tools at your disposal.
13) Punch-Out! (Arcade)
Glass Joe, Bald Bull, and company all got wasted by my hands and controller... After a while, repeatedly hearing the announcer call out, "body blow!" and, "put him away!" I invested in a walkman to drown out the announcer and pump Iron Maiden into my ears... A few of the songs actually had a great beat to turn the controller into a meat grinder... which actually got me into making extended heavy metal mixes of single songs which spanned over both sides of a 90 minute cassette tape, all while using a dual tape deck... it wasn't easy, but it worked... Effectively turning "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" from a 13 minute song with an interlude into a 90 minute song with no interlude.
This game taught me that too much talking coming from a game was not necessarily a good thing.
16) Yie Ar Kung Fu (Arcade and C-64)
Another simple game that was made more difficult by enemy characters that were not bound by the same laws of physics that the player was bound by. I still beat the heck out of this game, but I still haven't seen the code for either version yet... It is on my to-do list.
I used to hurt myself trying to do that one move where OOLONG (Yes, that's your character's name) would drop onto his back and kick the opponent in the face. I don't really think that was a real move.
This game taught me that I really wanted to learn martial arts.
14) 3D WorldRunner (NES)
I could never get the colors on the TV to work the right way to make the 3D work right, and also the TV I would play it on was too small, but I loved this game. They should have made this in a Vector, but they weren't using Vector for a while when this came out. If I can get an emulator for the Vectrex I may try to recreate this, now that I think about it. On computer, I could actually make this three dimensional with a bit of help by extending the capabilities of the Vectrex' programming code adding functions and increasing the memory allocations by adding more virtual chipsets to it (which means turning it from 4 or 8 bit to 32 or 64 bit), and even adding a thing or two to the overall engine (I know its not an engine, but I don't know what else to call it). So it really won't be a Vectrex game at all... But it'll look like one... In full color, too.
This game taught me that a remake sometimes sounds like a good idea even if you make it on an older console.
17) Kung Fu Master (Arcade and NES)
Sort of modelled after the Bruce Lee movie where he has to go through 5 different floors of an old Chinese building (I think it was Game of Death, but I'm not sure) but you had to fight through hoards of guys that would hug you to death, knife throwers, crap dropping from the ceiling, huge flies, and the level bosses, all to save Sylvia... and then do it again. The playability only lasted for a short time, but you came back to it again and again.
This game taught me that martial arts was still cool, but not as cool as I originally thought.
15) RC Pro Am (NES)
This is another one I didn't like to play as much as I liked to watch. My friend was one of the best at this, and if there was an online version of this, he would have been one of the top ten in the country. The artwork wasn't so hot, and the gameplay wasn't so smooth, but there was something mezmorizing about it nonetheless.
This game taught me how sometimes its better to see others enjoy something you don't.
21) Chuck Yeager's A.C.E. (Air Combat Emulator) (C-64)
The first flying combat game that I remember where you could free roam, hit a ceiling and flame out, crash into a mountain, hit a tree, take off and land on a runway, engage planes, smash SAM launchers, sink ships and refuel via one of those huge flying gas stations in the sky. For the limitations of the time, this game pushed the envelope. You could even have a friend fly while you were the gunner or vice versa. If you had the controllers that stuck to the desk like I had, you could take pilot and tactical at once. You had the choice of multiple loadouts to handle air-to-air, air-to-sea, air-to-land or multi-role weaponry. You could switch between weapons depending on what you were engaging, drop chaff and flares, and if you ran out of weapons, you could go land at the base and reload, or you could eject if you were over friendly land. So, for its time, it was one of the best Air Combat games of the time.
This game taught me that I could have a future with the Air Force... then I got glasses and was told I'd never be able to fly the supersonic jets.
18) Q*Bert (Arcade and ColecoVision)
Jumping around a pyramid while being chased by purple snakes and tricking them into jumping off the screen while flying away on UNO colored frisbees, avoiding red bouncing balls, evading purple dudes that jump sideways... all while chasing green balls and furry men and trying to change each square into a certain color... it could be exhausting if you were doing it all on your own... thank God for controllers!
This game taught me that moving my fingers was much easier than jumping myself.
19) Final Fantasy "Any Number" (Any Platform)
The closest you could get to AD&D without using dice or your own imagination... instant winner. In the later versions, especially for PlayStation and PC, lots of effort went into the artwork and animation, and if it wasn't for hardware limitations, we would look fake compared to the characters contained within.
This game taught me that visuals in gameplay was going to only get better.
22) RiverRaid (C-64)
A top scroller that stole my heart then blew it up. Knock out bridges, refuel on the fly, shoot tanks, choppers, all for the glory of the heat of battle against enemies along the riverbanks... Which, apparently, n guarded with all they had. Hours upon hours of playability in this one... very simple to play... and still a good go-to game on the C-64 Emulator after the rare night of drinking (I only drink 4 times a year).
This game taught me to drink at home... Its hard to make a scene when you're alone.
20) Pit Stop & Pit Stop 2 (C-64)
At the time, it was the most realistic Formula 1 Racing game available (with the hardware and software limitations at the time, it was great, but still there was a lot lacking). Heck, you even had to change your own tires in the pits, there were varying tracks (Le Mans was my personal favorite) over the circuit. While you never saw a trophy the game had hours of playability at a time, and with Pit Stop II, you could play head to head against another player... which leads me to memories of playing against my Aunt Chrissie and my cousins Chris and Tony, my Dad, and other family members in tournaments on big, all night holidays such as Christmas Eve and Newyear's Eve.
This game taught me that playing with family could be fun.
23) ChopLifter (C-64)
Blast enemy tanks, break out hostages, get them over the fence and onto the tarmac to safety... but work fast, and don't shoot them by accident. Don't land too hard either. Its also very hard to get a perfect save record on ANY skill level in this game. Simple concept and gameplay, you could almost do your homework while you're playing... yeah, I tried to use that one on my mom too, and she didn't buy it either.
This game taught me that I was, in fact, NOT smarter than my mom.
26) Venture (Atari 2600 and ColecoVision)
Being a floating head with a bow is hard enough... But fighting against moving walls, dragons, spiders, genies, skeletons, cyclops, goblins etc... and dealing with omnipotent hall monsters that make evil otto look like a high bounce ball with a smile makes treasure hunting a challenge. Fortunately, though, you have unlimited amunition and an adventurous spirit... otherwise this game would kill you fast. I have only two problems with this game: 1) Even a corpse you just left behind will kill you if you touch it, 2) the enemies in the Arcade version had a supernatural ability to dodge your arrows even if you were right on top of them... Which is why I hated the Arcade version and why its not listed here.
It should be noted, that when it came to the Arcade versions of their games, I would venture to guess that Epyx went the extra mile to make their enemies impossible to beat to get you to plug more quarters into their machines, and made the home versions of their games way too easy. I don't know if it's a hardware, software, or porting issue that they had, but when it came to their Arcade machines, I have no respect for their games because they made them way harder than their home versions.
This game taught me that the Arcade game isn't always better than the home version.
24) Double Dragon (All of them) (Arcade, NES, C-64)
Go and beat the heck out of the bad guys. Its not the first time we've played a game like this... But what made it stand out from the rest was multiple moves you could do. Punch, kick, jump, jumpkick, elbow, grab and knee, grab and throw, headbutt... there were so many options to beating the shit out of the bad guys... the only three games I know of that rivaled this one as far as the amount of fighting moves at the time were Karate Champ, Yie Ar Kung Fu and Karateka which were also available for home consoles and computers. But all of those fights were one-on-one... This was against an army of cloned street-thugs.
Bad-assery at its finest.
This game taught me the appreciation of variety in bad guys while and that violence was more fun with variety.
25) One-On-One Dr. J vs. Larry Bird (C-64)
Shoot from the key, baseline, layup, slam, crash the boards, steal, break the glass AND get yelled at by a guy with a broom... the most fun you could have playing basketball without breaking a sweat... and being under 5 feet tall and only 9 years old. It took 4 years for me to get to this one once I got my Commodore 64, because I wasn't a big fan of basketball... but this one actually inspired me to go play outside with a basketball... until I learned I sucked playing basketball... but it gave me the drive to learn how to play until I broke my ankle keeping a ball inbound by getting it caught between a chain-link fence and the pole it was wired to. Then I went back to playing Dr. J vs. Bird.
In the 90's, this game was remade as Jorden vs. Bird for a console (I don't remember which one), and with all the bells and whistles, the slam dunk contest, and such... it still didn't stack up to the original.
This game taught me that while white people can jump, it douesn't necessarily mean that they should.
27) CastleVania (NES)
You are Simon. You have a whip. You kill every type of monster ever brought to life in book or film... ever. You kill them up a very long road to a very large castle. It took me about a year to get to that castle, because I was a problem child who got grounded so often (what do you expect from a kid that always felt for the bad guys, and just ONCE wanted to see the bad guy win?). Anyway, when I finally beat this game, (which had some of the best music every put onto the NES, mind you) I found the end screens as anti-climactic as every NES title... so needless to say, I wasn't exactly disapointed, but I was left unfulfilled nonetheless. This is where I realized that the fun of games came from playing them, and not from beating them.
This game taught me that even though I liked to root for the bad guys, it was nice to be the good guy.
28) Strip Poker (C-64)
This was the first piece of pornography I was allowed to have... primarily because I didn't know how to play poker at 10 years old. It took me a long time to learn, too... About a month or so... which, to a 10 year old, is forever to see a pair of pixelated titties and muff bush. There were 2 opponents, the first of which was sort-of a chunky one, and a second one which was hard as hell to beat, and looked a lot more fit and prettier. However, I did manage to beat the 'hotter' one, and it was in mid-load and I was about to see her pantiless... then my dad walked in, turned off the computer, took the disk, and told me, "Well, you learned to play this one too well."
This game taught me that naked women were good.
30) Gunship (C-64)
You are the pilot of an AH-64-A Apache... one of the most bad-ass battle helicopters known to the 1980s. And there are lots of bad guys to get through to get to our objective target... and choppers have a much different strategy to them than the jet you flew in A.C.E. mentioned above... Imagine my surprise when the countermeasures where not where I left them. This game used almost every key on the keyboard, so you needed an overlay to play it. Not to mention the fact that in order to get back to friendly territory, you had to come up with the proper countersign to the password, or else your own guys blew you away. So, I borrowed my cousin's overlay and instruction book and copied them down by hand so I had it for later... another example of early anti-piracy protection that was easily overcome.
This game taught me that complicated games could be more fun, probably because you had to learn, think and have good hand eye coordination... it also helped to know how to type.
29) Silent Service (C-64)
"In the Navy..." well, not exactly. This game was one of the first games to have anti-piracy built into it... and being that all my games for the Commodore 64 were copied from friends and family, it kinda took me a while to get this one down...
You see, in order to play in any mode other than training mode, you were given a ship to look up in the instruction book, and match it to 4 ships on the screen. It was a difficult process, because what I had done in one day, through trial and error, was to draw all 4 ships on the screen, and guess. When I got it wrong, I'd re-start the game and draw the ships I didn't have down yet. When I guessed right, I would write the name of the ship next to the one I picked.
When I finally got that done, I was able to sit back and enjoy the game. And I excelled at it. It didn't dawn on me until I visited the USS Ling in Hackensack, NJ that being on a submarine wasn't necessarily a good thing... and that it wasn't a one-man-show... besides, by that time, I wanted to be the Capatin of the USS Enterprise, NCC 1701.
This game taught me that games didn't always mimic real life.
31) Rush 'n' Attack (Arcade, NES, C-64)
Simple enough concept. Go into enemy territory with nothing but a knife and shank everyone till there was nobody left, and rescue your P.O.W. friends. The Green Beret, who was your character was the most badass character in games at the time... I mean, for real... taking on the entire Red Russian Military Machine with nothing but a knife... what kid didn't want to be in Special Forces after they saw this game? Eventually, though, I learned what boot camp was like after watching Full Metal Jacket with my father one night, so I knew the military wasn't ever going to be for me.
This game, indirectly anyway, taught me that video games could be used as a propoganda tool.
32) Empire Strikes Back (Atari 2600)
Line after line after line of Imperial AT-AT's are on their way to destroy your generator... In third person view on a side-scrolling platform... needless to say, this wasn't the same vector game I mentioned above. I thought it was going to be when I asked for it for Christmas. It was a letdown at first, but then I started to play it, and it was pretty good. This was another one that was endless... no way to beat it, but I always tried to get a higher score every time I played it, and I got pretty damned good at it, too.
This game taught me that there were knockoffs out there... and they weren't as good as the original, but that didn't necessarily mean they were bad, either.
33) Bruce Lee (C-64)
Bruce Lee was a bad mother-effer... he could throw a punch from one inch away and throw a man halfway across a room. He could also kick a man through a pad and send him flying. But the one thing he really couldn't do was star in his own video game.
See, successful rip off versions of him have appeared everywhere, most successfully in the Tekken series with the charter named Law.
It would figure the one depiction with his name on it resembled the man by 0%. Niether his punch nor his flying kick in the game resembled anything the man ever did on screen or, I'm sure, in real life.
That doesn't mean that the game wasn't an epic adventure that couldn't be beat in an hour. I can't tell you how long it took me to beat this game, but there were a LOT of screens to it, and for back in the day, it was one hell of a map to go through complete with booby traps, jumps, timed trap doors... Plus a green Sumo and a skinny little ninja, who each had only one attack... all you had was two attacks yourself, but for what it was it was great.
This game taught me that sometimes it takes a name to sell it, but if its good, it don't matter what they call it.
34) Mr. Do!s Castle (Arcade)
Grab your hammer and break out the floor over the enemies heads, and do it fast because they're gonna multiply and come on faster if you take too long... and while you're at it, try to get the bonus screen... its not that easy, is it? That's right, its not. I never got past level 3, but that didn't stop me from pumping at least 1,000 quarters into this machine. Very fun, very addicting, almost imposible to play for longer than 120 seconds... but it never stopped you from trying. The three Korean kids that were in our school would be down at the bowling alley playing this machine for hours, and it would dumbfound the rest of us that they could play through without dying for so long.
This game taught me that other cultures had other talents than we did... and it was fun to see this at work.
35) Bowling (Atari 2600)
I loved bowling from the minute I first seen it on TV. I loved it even more the first time I ever rolled a ball down the lane. The game for the Atari 2600 was NOTHING like the real thing, but it was a ball and 10 objects to clear off the deck, and that was good enough.
This game taught me that bowling, in any form, was my favorite sport.
39) Operation Wolf (Arcade)
With nothing but an uzi and a few grenades, you go into a South American section of jungle to fight against a South American Army... just you an uzi and a few grenades.
Along the way, you shoot a few chickens and pigs and get ammo from them, because chickens and pigs carry magazines in their pockets.
As far fetched as it was, they had to put ammo in your clip somehow... and with all the action going on you wouldn't have time to pick the enemies' pockets... it must be easier to shoot a pig.
Hey, its a fun game as far fetched as it is... there was lots of you shooting at people, people shooting at you, and lots of other things to shoot as well... anything that wasn't a building was for destructive grabs, and in the game world, that's a good thing. Definitely very good. Who, in their fantasies, hasn't thought about grabbing an uzi and laying waste to an enemy base?
It should be noted that this was another game featuring you as a badass green beret... always a good thing.
This game taught me that a break in reality to play in a violent video game fantasy for a little while can get the tension out... especially if you're against a foreign army and you're a patriot.
36) E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (Atari 2600)
For a game that had absolutely no resemblance to the movie, E.T. was a killer game. Kinda like Bruce Lee above, sometimes it takes a gimmic to sell it. By all rights, it could have been just as good if the characters were completely different and if they sold it under a completely different title... that don't mean it would have sold as well, but then again, it got crappy reviews and it didn't do so well at all.
This game taught me that if you sell something, it should have what it promises in the title, and if it doesn't you should call it something else, because you may just do better with an original.
37) Rampage (Arcade)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a great big movie monster? What would it be like to eat people and take down buildings with your bare claws and throw cars and tanks around like toys? Apparently, it would be pretty good fun. And I continued to have fun until they took that game out of the local arcade in the next town. Here was a game that you finally got to be the bad guy... I was in my glory.
This game taught me that games where you were the bad guy are just as much fun as games where you are the good guy.
38) The Last Ninja (Commodore 64)
For a Commodore 64 game, the soundtrack was completely out of this world. Understand that we're talking about the Commodore 64. By today's standards, its just a midy track. By the standards back then, its amazing that they did what they did with what they got. The loading took FOREVER, but it was worth every second of the wait... just to hear the music.
The gameplay took a bit of getting used to, because they tried to simulate 3D and made the game as a map on a diagonal. Once you got used to moving around, then you had traps and stuff to get around, fighting other ninjas, ghosts and skeletons in the haunted dungeon, rivers to traverse on rocks, the list goes on and on. You also had weapons to collect... Smoke bombs, nunchauks, bo staff and stars... the thrown weapons had a limit, but the smoke bombs were key to pass a certain trap at the end of a level, so you better save them or else you wouldn't be able to beat the game.
There were a few parts that were flat out enigmas... like acquiring the ninja magic to get over an invisible trap door... you had to grab at the air at a spot on the rug... Strange, but it provided hours of play and frustration to get through these traps. Very well planned.
This game taught me that things aren't always what they seem, but if you think a little sideways, you can make sense of difficult puzzles.
40) Ghosts and Goblins (Arcade, Commodore 64 and NES)
This game was impossible... its kinda like playing tic tac toe without a pen. I never liked it then, I don't like it now, I won't like it in the future... I tried to get past that annoying devil for about a year before I gave up, and it never happened. Not every game is for everyone.
This game taught me that sometimes, the only winning move is not to play. (thanks to the WOPR computer in War Games for this quote.)