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Author Topic: LoC 50 - Top Video Games of the '80s (And before!) - Today's High Scores  (Read 37000 times)

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Johnny Unusual

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Gauntlet is great, but I didn't play a lot of it, in all honesty.  There's a very good homage to it in the recent Simpsons video game that came out a year ago "No one asks me if I need food."

I completely forgot Megaman 2.  That would have been in my top ten for sure.

Rampage is insanely fun.

Contra and Castlevania were also completely awesome games.  I beat Castlevania for the first time recently on the Wii. Helps when you don't have to reset the game just because supper is ready.


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Its funny i think all of todays entries were on my list, im really curious to see what the top 10 are. 


Russell

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in Terms of sheer replay value, I dare say Mega Man 2 is easily the best game of the 80's.


Offline RoninFox

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#20 – Dig Dug

(71 Points) 6 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - 2 - RVR II


Here's the Dig Dug commercial we might have seen

(caution, swearing)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/RKG9cW0SvNs" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/RKG9cW0SvNs</a>

Probably would have been better than Cop Out.
RoninFoxTrax Presents Rocky

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Offline D.B. Barnes

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Dig Dug
That's some really good analysis there, Pak. It was indeed a free-for-all. Something that bucked the 'down-the-hall, alley, space corridor, etc.' trend. Dig-Dug was liberating. Gloria Steinham was even known to order a slice and throw down a few quarters.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/nAjY1leC4WQ?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/nAjY1leC4WQ?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

Star Wars
I think I slept in this machine a few times. Gimme' a decent buzz and a handful of quarters and I'll be good for quite a while.
VIVA IL ESORDIO DEL DIABETE ADULTO DUCE!!!


Russell

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Star Wars
I think I slept in this machine a few times. Gimme' a decent buzz and a handful of quarters and I'll be good for quite a while.
It's better than a hotel room actually.


Offline Pak-Man

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#10 – Super Mario Bros. 2

(94 Points) 7 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #2 - Johnny Unusual


Commercial:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/mMFdeYwPEQQ?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/mMFdeYwPEQQ?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

Release Date:  1986

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Super Mario Bros. 2, often abbreviated SMB2 and also known as Super Mario 2, is a platform game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System as a sequel to the 1985 game Super Mario Bros. The game was also remade as part of the Super Mario All-Stars collection for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), released on August 1, 1993 in North America and December 16, 1993 in Europe. It was rereleased on the Wii's Virtual Console in Europe, Australia and New Zealand on May 25, 2007 and the U.S. on July 2, 2007.
 
Unlike the majority of other Mario titles, Super Mario Bros. 2 was not developed from the ground up. Rather, it is a redesign of the Japanese Family Computer Disk System game "Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panikku" (Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic). Nintendo's original sequel to Super Mario Bros. was released in Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2 in 1986; however, because of that game's difficulty and its close similarities to the original game, Nintendo decided not to release it in the West at that time. Because Super Mario Bros. 2 is a redesign of a non-Mario game, the game differs greatly from the original Super Mario Bros., though many elements from the game have since become part of the Mario series canon. The redesigned Western version of Super Mario Bros. 2 was released in Japan in 1992 under the title Super Mario USA, and in 1993 a 16-bit remake of the original Japanese version was released to the rest of the world as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels as part of Super Mario All-Stars.

Super Mario Bros. 2 is set in the dream-land known as Subcon. Mario's task is to free Subcon from Wart, the game's final boss.
 
The game is a side-scrolling platform game. At the beginning of each stage, the player is given a choice of four protagonists to control: Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach. Each character has different strengths; Mario is a well-rounded character; Luigi can jump the highest of the four; Toad can run and pluck vegetables the fastest but can't jump well; and Peach can jump the farthest, due to her ability to hover for a short time, though she is the slowest runner and slowest at plucking items from the ground. All characters have the ability to increase the height of their jump by ducking briefly before they jump.
 
Unlike the previous and following Mario games, no enemies can be defeated by jumping on them. Instead, the player character must throw objects at enemies, such as vegetables plucked from the ground. Certain opponents can be picked up and thrown as well, and several levels feature blocks marked with the word "POW", which when picked up and thrown kill all the enemies on screen at impact, similar to the one in Mario Bros.
 
The game features a life meter, a then-unusual feature in the series. The player begins each stage with two points of health, represented by red hexagons (in remakes, they are shaped like hearts), and can increase the number of health points in the meter by collecting mushrooms. Health can be replenished by floating hearts, which appear after a certain number of opponents have been defeated. The invincibility star from the previous game appears, with a player needing to collect five pairs of cherries to acquire it.
 
Each stage contains one or more hidden flasks of potion. When plucked and thrown, a potion creates a door to Sub-Space, an alternate world in which coins are collected instead of vegetables when plucked. The mushrooms used to increase the health meter can also be found here. The player automatically leaves Sub-Space after a short time. The coins collected are used in a slot machine mini-game played between stages. This mini-game is the chief means of obtaining additional lives. In addition to the mushrooms and slot machine coins, several Sub-Spaces are also used as warp zones; these involve the use of vases as pipes.

Pak's Thoughts: And Mario makes his debut at the bottom of the top 10! (I don't think I'm spoiling much by saying we haven't seen the last of him). Super Mario 2 is an odd beast. It wasn't originally a Mario game, but it does feel like it BELONGS with the Mario games. It didn't back then. When Super Mario 2 came out it didn't seem right. I don't think there was any game at the time that had a sequel that so radically departed from the base formula. This was to spare us the heaping bowls of gamer-pain that the Japanese Super Mario 2 would have dished out, of course, but I think most of us were expecting more goomba-squishing. What we got, though, was a gem that would have been overlooked if the Mario sprites hadn't been spliced in. There's nothing else like it at all.


Offline Pak-Man

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#9 – Space Invaders

(96 Points) 7 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #1 - Monty


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Release Date:  1978

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Space Invaders is an arcade video game designed by Tomohiro Nishikado, and released in 1978. It was originally manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan, and was later licensed for production in the United States by the Midway division of Bally. Space Invaders is one of the earliest shooting games and the aim is to defeat waves of aliens with a laser cannon to earn as many points as possible. In designing the game, Nishikado drew inspiration from popular media: Breakout, The War of the Worlds, and Star Wars. To complete it, he had to design custom hardware and development tools.
 
It was one of the forerunners of modern video gaming and helped expand the video game industry from a novelty to a global industry. When first released, Space Invaders was very successful and popular. Following its release, the game caused a temporary shortage of 100-yen coins in Japan, grossed US$2 billion in quarters by 1982, and by 2007 had earned Taito over $500 million in profits. Guinness World Records ranks it the top arcade game.
 
The game has been the inspiration for other video games, re-released on numerous platforms, and led to several sequels. The 1980 Atari 2600 version quadrupled the system's sales and became the first "killer app" for video game consoles. Space Invaders has been referenced and parodied in multiple television shows, and been a part of several video game and cultural exhibitions. The pixelated enemy alien has become a pop culture icon, often used as a synecdoche representing video games as a whole.

Space Invaders is a two-dimensional fixed shooter game in which the player controls a laser cannon by moving it horizontally across the bottom of the screen and firing at descending aliens. The aim is to defeat five rows of eleven aliens—some versions feature different numbers—that move horizontally back and forth across the screen as they advance towards the bottom of the screen. The player defeats an alien, and earns points, by shooting it with the laser cannon. As more aliens are defeated, the aliens' movement and the game's music both speed up. Defeating the aliens brings another wave that is more difficult, a loop which can continue indefinitely.
 
The aliens attempt to destroy the cannon by firing at it while they approach the bottom of the screen. If they reach the bottom, the alien invasion is successful and the game ends. A special "mystery ship" will occasionally move across the top of the screen and award bonus points if destroyed. The laser cannon is partially protected by several stationary defense bunkers—the number varies by version—that are gradually destroyed by projectiles from the aliens and player.

Because microcomputers in Japan were not powerful enough at the time to perform the complex tasks involved in designing and programming Space Invaders, Nishikado had to design his own custom hardware and development tools for the game. He created the arcade board using new microprocessors from the United States. The game uses an Intel 8080 central processing unit, and features raster graphics on a CRT monitor and monaural sound generated by analogue circuitry. Despite the specially developed hardware, Nishikado was unable to program the game as he wanted—the Control Program board was not powerful enough to display the graphics in color or move the enemies faster—and he considered the development of the hardware the most difficult part of the whole process. While programming the game, Nishikado discovered that the processor was able to render the alien graphics faster the fewer were on screen. Rather than design the game to compensate for the speed increase, he decided to keep it as a challenging gameplay mechanic.

Space Invaders was first released in a cocktail-table format with black and white graphics, while the Western release by Midway was in an upright cabinet format. The upright cabinet uses strips of orange and green cellophane over the screen to simulate color graphics. The graphics are reflected onto a painted backdrop of a moon against a space background. Later Japanese releases also used colored cellophane. The cabinet artwork features large, humanoid monsters not present in the game. Nishikado attributes this to the artist basing the designs on the original title, Space Monsters, rather than referring to the in-game graphics.

Pak's Thoughts: 33 years old and still rocking the top-game lists. It's hard to deny the legacy. Like the wiki says, just one glance at one of those digital aliens conjurs up the very essence of gaming. I never rocked the high score list, but I could routinely clear out the first wave or two of invaders back in the day. It's still a pretty fun game today. Here's a fun fact: Mario creator and all-around-gaming-legend Shigeru Miyamoto says he never cared much for video games until he tried Space Invaders. If it hadn't been for this invasion, the face of gaming as we know it could have been forever changed. Thanks, Space Invaders!


Offline Pak-Man

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#8 – Donkey Kong

(109 Points) 12 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #7 – RVR II


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Release Date:  1981

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Donkey Kong is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. It is an early example of the platform game genre, as the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while dodging and jumping over obstacles. In it, Jumpman (now known as Mario) must rescue a damsel in distress, Lady (now known as Pauline), from a giant ape named Donkey Kong. The hero and ape later became two of Nintendo's most popular characters.
 
The game was the latest in a series of efforts by Nintendo to break into the North American market. Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo's president at the time, assigned the project to a first-time game designer named Shigeru Miyamoto. Drawing from a wide range of inspirations, including Popeye and King Kong, Miyamoto developed the scenario and designed the game alongside Nintendo's chief engineer, Gunpei Yokoi. The two men broke new ground by using graphics as a means of characterization, including cut scenes to advance the game's plot, and integrating multiple stages into the gameplay.
 
Despite initial misgivings on the part of Nintendo's American staff, Donkey Kong proved a success in North America and Japan. Nintendo licensed the game to Coleco, who developed home console versions for numerous platforms. Other companies cloned Nintendo's hit and avoided royalties altogether. Miyamoto's characters appeared on cereal boxes, television cartoons, and dozens of other places. A court suit brought on by Universal City Studios, alleging Donkey Kong violated their trademark of King Kong, ultimately failed. The success of Donkey Kong and Nintendo's win in the courtroom helped position the company to dominate the video game market in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Donkey Kong is one of the earliest examples of the platform game genre; it is sometimes said to be the first platform game, although it was preceded by Space Panic. In contrast to Space Panic, however, Donkey Kong was the first platform game to feature jumping, introducing the need to jump between gaps and over obstacles or approaching enemies, setting the template for the platform genre. Competitive video gamers and referees stress the game's high level of difficulty compared to other classic arcade games. Winning the game requires patience and the ability to accurately time Jumpman's ascent. In addition to presenting the goal of saving the Lady, the game also gives the player a score. Points are awarded for finishing screens; leaping over obstacles; destroying objects with a hammer power-up; collecting items such as hats, parasols, and purses (presumably belonging to the Lady/Pauline); and completing other tasks. The player typically receives three lives with a bonus awarded for the first 10,000 points, although this can be modified via the game's built in DIP switches.
 
The game is divided into four different one-screen stages. Each represents 25 meters of the structure Donkey Kong has climbed, one stage being 25 meters higher than the previous. The final screen occurs at 100 m. Later ports of the game omit or change the sequence of the screens. The original arcade version includes:
- Screen 1 (25 m), Jumpman must scale a seven-story construction site made of crooked girders and ladders while jumping over or hammering barrels and oil barrels tossed by Donkey Kong. The hero must also avoid flaming balls, which generate when an oil barrel collides with an oil drum. Players routinely call this screen "Barrels".
- Screen 2 (50 m), Jumpman must climb a five-story structure of conveyor belts, each of which transports cement pans. The fireballs also make another appearance. This screen is sometimes referred to as the "Factory" or "Pie Factory" due to the resemblance of the cement pans to pies.
- Screen 3 (75 m), Jumpman rides up and down elevators while avoiding fireballs and bouncing objects, presumably spring weights. The bouncing weights (the hero's greatest danger in this screen) emerge on the top level and drop near the rightmost elevator. The screen's common name is "Elevators". This screen appears as an unlockable stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
- Screen 4 (100 m), Jumpman must remove the eight rivets which support Donkey Kong. The fireballs remain the primary obstacle. Removing the final rivet causes Donkey Kong to fall and the hero to be reunited with the Lady. This is the final screen of each level. Players refer to this screen as "Rivets".
 
The player loses a life if:
- Jumpman runs into a barrel, fireball, flaming oil barrel, spring weight, cement pan, or Donkey Kong;
- Jumpman falls off the structure or through open rivet holes;
- The bonus timer reaches 0.
 
These screens combine to form levels, which become progressively tougher. For example, Donkey Kong begins to hurl barrels faster and sometimes diagonally, and fireballs get speedier. The victory music alternates between levels 1 and 2. The 22nd level is unofficially known as the kill screen, due to an error in the game's programming that kills Jumpman after a few seconds, effectively ending the game. With its four unique levels, Donkey Kong was the most complex arcade game at the time of its release, and only the second game to feature multiple levels (the first was Gorf by Midway Games).

Pak's Thoughts: Even before we got to know Mario, Donkey Kong was an incredible game. The graphics were eye-grabbing, the gameplay was completely new, and the sound effects are infectious. I always tried to target a different game whenever I hit the arcade, but I always saved a token or two for Donkey Kong. It just wasn't a trip to the arcade until I jumped over a couple barrels.

If you want an insanely complete write-up on the history of Donkey Kong, check this out: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/6422/the_secret_history_of_donkey_kong.php


Offline Pak-Man

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#7 – Pac-Man

(119 Points) 10 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #4 - RVR II


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Release Date:  1980

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Pac-Man is an arcade game developed by Namco and licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway, first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. Immensely popular from its original release to the present day, Pac-Man is considered one of the classics of the medium, virtually synonymous with video games, and an icon of 1980s popular culture. Upon its release, the game—and, subsequently, Pac-Man derivatives—became a social phenomenon that sold a bevy of merchandise and also inspired, among other things, an animated television series and a top-ten hit single.
 
When Pac-Man was released, the most popular arcade video games were space shooters, in particular Space Invaders and Asteroids. The most visible minority were sports games that were mostly derivative of Pong. Pac-Man succeeded by creating a new genre and appealing to both genders. Pac-Man is often credited with being a landmark in video game history, and is among the most famous arcade games of all time. It is also the highest-grossing video game of all time, having generated more than $2.5 billion in quarters by the 1990s.
 
The character has appeared in more than 30 officially licensed game spin-offs, as well as in numerous unauthorized clones and bootlegs. According to the Davie-Brown Index, Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness of any video game character among American consumers, recognized by 94 percent of them. Pac-Man is one of the longest running video game franchises from the golden age of video arcade games, and one of only three video games that are on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. (along with Pong and Dragon's Lair).

The player controls Pac-Man through a maze, eating pac-dots. When all dots are eaten, Pac-Man is taken to the next stage, between some stages one of three intermission animations plays. Four enemies (Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde) roam the maze, trying to catch Pac-Man. If an enemy touches Pac-Man, a life is lost. When all lives have been lost, the game ends. Pac-Man is awarded a single bonus life at 10,000 points by default—DIP switches inside the machine can change the required points or disable the bonus life altogether. Near the corners of the maze are four larger, flashing dots known as power pellets that provide Pac-Man with the temporary ability to eat the enemies. The enemies turn deep blue, reverse direction and usually move more slowly. When an enemy is eaten, its eyes remain and return to the center box where it is regenerated in its normal color. Blue enemies flash white before they become dangerous again and the length of time for which the enemies remain vulnerable varies from one stage to the next, generally becoming shorter as the game progresses. In later stages, the enemies don't change colors at all, but still reverse direction when a power pellet is eaten.

The enemies in Pac-Man are known variously as "ghosts" and "monsters". Despite the seemingly random nature of the enemies, their movements are strictly deterministic, which players have used to their advantage. In an interview, creator Toru Iwatani stated that he had designed each enemy with its own distinct personality in order to keep the game from becoming impossibly difficult or boring to play. More recently, Iwatani described the enemy behaviors in more detail at the 2011 Game Developers Conference. He stated that the red enemy chases Pac-Man, and the pink and blue enemies try to position themselves in front of Pac-Man's mouth. While he claimed that the orange enemy's behavior is random, a careful analysis of the game's code reveals that it actually chases Pac-Man most of the time, but also moves toward the lower-left corner of the maze when Pac-Man is facing a certain direction.

Pac-Man was designed to have no ending – as long as the player keeps at least one life, he or she should be able to play the game indefinitely. However, a bug keeps this from happening: Normally, no more than seven fruits are displayed at the bottom of the screen at any one time. But when the internal level counter, which is stored in a single byte, reaches 255, the subroutine that draws the fruits erroneously "rolls over" this number to zero, causing it to try to draw 256 fruits instead of the usual seven. This corrupts the bottom of the screen and the entire right half of the maze with seemingly random symbols, making it impossible to eat enough dots to beat the level. Because this effectively ends the game, this "split-screen" level is often referred to as the "kill screen". Emulators and code analysis have revealed what would happen should this 255th level be cleared: The fruits and intermissions would restart at level 1 conditions, but the enemies would retain their higher speed and invulnerability to power pellets from the higher stages.

A perfect Pac-Man game occurs when the player achieves the maximum possible score on the first 255 levels (by eating every possible dot, power pellet, fruit, and enemy) without losing a single life, and then scoring as many points as possible in the last level. As verified by the Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard on July 3, 1999, the first person to achieve this maximum possible score (3,333,360 points) was Billy Mitchell of Hollywood, Florida, who performed the feat in about six hours.
 
In September 2009, David Race of Beavercreek, Ohio, became the sixth person to achieve a perfect score. His time of 3 hours, 41 minutes, and 22 seconds set a new record for the fastest time to obtain a perfect score.
 
In December 1982, an 8-year-old boy, Jeffrey R. Yee, supposedly received a letter from U.S. President Ronald Reagan congratulating him on a worldwide record of 6,131,940 points, a score only possible if he had passed the Split-Screen Level. Whether or not this event happened as described has remained in heated debate among video-game circles since its supposed occurrence. In September 1983, Walter Day, chief scorekeeper at Twin Galaxies, took the US National Video Game Team on a tour of the East Coast to visit video game players who claimed they could get through the Split-Screen Level. No video game player could demonstrate this ability. In 1999, Billy Mitchell offered $100,000 to anyone who could pass through the Split-Screen Level before January 1, 2000. The prize went unclaimed.


Pak's Thoughts: Eh. Never heard of it...





OK, so I still recall Pac-Man fever with great fondness. For the kiddies out there too young to remember it, there hasn't been anything like it since. Think back to when Star Wars: Episode 1 hit theaters. Remember how every other item in every store in the world had Star Wars emblazoned on it somewhere? It was that, but with Pac-Man. Pac-Man watches, board games, plushies, silverware, trading cards, bed sheets, cartoons, records, T-Shirts, stickers, folders... It was glorious.

So why wasn't Pac-Man my number one? Well I didn't pick the username of Pak-Man all those years ago (I entered the web back in '95. I used a text-based browser on my dad's computer) because Pac-Man was my favorite game. Although I have tremendous respect for the game and I'm still a HUGE fan. I picked it as a bit of word play on the term "Game Pak". Game Pak + Pac-Man = Pak-Man, or a man who enjoys a good Game Pak. There were better games lurking around the '80s, and I gave them credit where it was due.

That said, Pak-Man is an incredible game. When you get in the zone and you're dodging ghosts left and right and clearing out the board-- there's nothing like it.



Offline Pak-Man

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#6 – The Legend of Zelda

(127 Points) 8 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #1 - Rattrap007

It's a secret to everyone!

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It's the Legend of Zelda and it's really rad...

Release Date:  1980

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:
The Legend of Zelda, originally released as The Hyrule Fantasy: Legend of Zelda in Japan, is a video game developed and published by Nintendo, and designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. Set in the fantasy land of Hyrule, the plot centers on a boy named Link, the playable protagonist, who aims to collect the eight fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom in order to rescue Princess Zelda from the antagonist, Ganon. During the course of the game, the player sees Link from a top-down perspective and has to navigate him through the overworld and several dungeons, defeating enemies and solving puzzles on the way.
 
The inaugural game of the Legend of Zelda series, it was first released in Japan as a launch title for the Family Computer Disk System peripheral. More than a year later, North America and Europe received releases on the Nintendo Entertainment System in cartridge form, making the game the first home console title to include an internal battery for saving data. A Japanese cartridge version for the Family Computer was released in 1994, and was followed by reissued ports for the GameCube, Game Boy Advance and the Virtual Console.
 
As of 2011, Nintendo plans to celebrate the game's 25th anniversary in a similar vein to the Super Mario Bros. 25th anniversary celebration the previous year, but is promised to be "different." This celebration has so far included a free mailout Club Nintendo offer of the Ocarina of Time soundtrack to owners of the 3DS version of that particular game, as well as a special stage inspired by the original Legend of Zelda in the upcoming Super Mario game for the 3DS.

The Legend of Zelda incorporates elements of action, adventure, role-playing, and puzzle games. The player controls Link from a flip-screen overhead perspective as he travels in the overworld, a large outdoor map with varied environments. Link begins the game armed with a small shield, but a sword becomes available to Link after he ventures into a cave that is accessible from the game's first map screen. Throughout the game, merchants, fairies, townspeople, and others guide Link with cryptic clues. These people are scattered across the overworld and hidden in caves, shrubbery, or behind walls or waterfalls.
 
Barring Link's progress are creatures he must battle to locate the entrances to nine underground dungeons. Each dungeon is a unique, maze-like collection of rooms connected by doors and secret passages, and guarded by monsters different from those found on the surface. Dungeons also hide useful tools which Link can add to his arsenal, such as a boomerang for retrieving distant items and stunning enemies, and a recorder with magical properties. Link must successfully navigate through each of the first eight dungeons to obtain all eight pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom. Once he has completed the artifact, he can enter the ninth dungeon to rescue Zelda. Apart from this exception, the order of completing dungeons is somewhat left to the player, although they steadily increase in difficulty and some of them can only be reached or completed using items gained in a previous one. Link can freely wander the overworld, finding and buying items at any point. This flexibility enables unusual ways of playing the game. For example, it is possible to reach the final boss of the game without ever receiving the sword.
 
After completing the game, the player has access to a more difficult quest, officially referred to as the Second Quest where dungeons and the placement of items are different and enemies are stronger. Although this more difficult "replay" was not unique to Zelda, few games offered entirely different levels to complete on the second playthrough. The Second Quest can be replayed each time the game is completed and can also be accessed at any time by starting a new file with the name "ZELDA".

Pak's Thoughts: It took me almost a decade to finally defeat Gannon and claim the Triforce. The journey through Hyrule is an incredible experience and should be a must-play on any gamer's list.

I remember when this game hit the virtual console a few years back, I popped my head in on the then-active official Nintendo forums. There were kids who were completely perplexed by the game. "Nobody tells me where to go or what to do and the map doesn't tell me where to go next. There's not even a tutorial." It's funny how much we took for granted back then, really. A lot of really complex video games would just kjnd of push you into the swimming pool and expect you to swim. And yet we learned. Back then you didn't have gamefaqs. You had Nintendo Power coverage if you were lucky. That was it.

And that's it for today's entries. Who will take home the #1 spot? You may begin your speculation!


ALSO, keep an eye out later today for 3 bonus entries. A couple of you are probably starting to give up hope on your number 1 making the list. Well with a 35 point buy-in, there were a couple #1s that didn't make the cut. I'll be giving them full BONUS ENTRY write-ups in just a bit!
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 09:14:21 AM by Pak-Man »


Offline RVR II

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Sweet!
Another couple of my Highest Rankings! :o :o


Offline Pak-Man

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BONUS ENTRY #1  – California Games

(25 Points) 1 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #1 - goflyblind


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Release Date:  1987

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:
California Games is a 1987 Epyx sports video game for many home computers and video game consoles. Branching from their popular Summer Games and Winter Games series, this game consisted of some sports purportedly popular in California including skateboarding, freestyle footbag, surfing, roller skating, flying disc (frisbee) and BMX.
 
The game sold very well, topping game selling charts for winter months. It also got very positive reaction from reviewers, many of whom consider California Games to be the last classic Epyx sports game, due to staff changes not long after its release.
 
The game was followed in 1991 by California Games 2, but the sequel failed to match the original's success.

Several members of the development team moved on to other projects. Chuck Sommerville, the designer of the half-pipe game in California Games later developed the game Chip's Challenge, while Ken Nicholson the designer of the footbag game was the inventor of the technology used in Microsoft's DirectX. Kevin Norman, the designer of the BMX game went on to found the educational science software company Norman & Globus, makers of the ElectroWiz series of products.
 
The sound design for the original version of California Games was done by Chris Grigg, member of the band Negativland.

California Games contains a number of easter eggs:
- On some random occasions, there is an earthquake during the skateboarding event, causing the H of the Hollywood sign to fall down (The remaining "OLLYWOOD" might also be a reference to the ollie skateboarding trick.)
- Players can hit the seagull (named 'George') in Footbag. Hitting the gull grants more points.
- A shark or a dolphin or a seagull occasionally appears in Surfing after a player falls off the board. If the shark comes the iconic theme from Jaws plays briefly.
- When practicing Flying Disc, if the player repeatedly fails in his attempts to throw the disc, a UFO appears and abducts the catcher.


Pak's Thoughts: California games was an awesome game as long as you didn't try to "Pick up and play". The controls for every event were different and took some getting used to. I always failed miserably at Hacky Sack. Never could get the hang of it.


Offline Pak-Man

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BONUS ENTRY #2  – Wizardry

(25 Points) 1 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #1 - Compound


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Release Date:  1981

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:
Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord is the first game in the Wizardry series of computer role-playing games. It was developed by Andy Greenberg and Robert Woodhead, and launched at a Boston computer convention in 1980. In 1979, Robert Sirotek and Fred Norman created Sir-tech Software, Inc. to distribute the game, and it was released in 1981.
 
The game was one of the first Dungeons & Dragons-style role-playing games to be written for computer play, and the first such game to offer color graphics. It was also the first true party-based role-playing computer game.
 
The game eventually ended up as the first of a trilogy that also included Wizardry II: The Knight of Diamonds and Wizardry III: Legacy of Llylgamyn. Proving Grounds needs to be completed in order to create a party that could play in the remainder of the trilogy.

Starting in the town, the player creates a party of up to six characters from an assortment of five possible races (Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Hobbits), three alignments (Good, Neutral, Evil), and four basic classes (Fighter, Priest, Mage, Thief). There are also four elite classes (Bishop: priest and mage spells; Samurai: fighter with mage spells; Lord: fighter with priest spells, and Ninja: fighter with thief abilities). Characters can be changed to an elite class after meeting the stat requirements. Priests typically cast healing spells, while Mages cast damage spells. Bishops, being a combination of the two, learn both sets of spells but at a reduced rate.
 
After equipping the characters with basic armor and weaponry, the party then descends into the dungeon below Trebor's castle. This consists of a maze of ten levels, each progressively more challenging than the last.
 
The style of play employed in this game has come to be termed a dungeon crawl. The goal, as in most subsequent computer role-playing games, is to find treasure including ever more potent items, gain levels of experience by killing monsters, then face the evil arch-wizard Werdna on the bottom level and retrieve a powerful amulet. The goal of most levels is to find the elevator or stairs going down to the next level (without being killed in the process).
 
The graphics are extremely simple by today's standards; most of the screen is occupied by text, with about 10% devoted to a first-person view of the dungeon maze using high-resolution line graphics. By the standards of the day, however, the graphics were a step forward from the text-only games that had been far more common. When monsters are encountered, the dungeon maze disappears, replaced by a picture of one of the monsters. Combat is against from 1 to 4 groups of monsters. The game's lack of an automap feature, which had not been invented at the time of its release, practically forces the player to draw the map for each level on a piece of graph paper as he walks through the dungeon maze, step by step - failing to do this often results in becoming permanently lost, as there are many locations in the maze that have a permanent "Darkness" spell upon the square (making the player walk blindly) or a "Teleport" spell sending the player to a new location. A magic spell can be used to determine the current location of the party, and at higher levels there is a teleport spell that can be used to quickly transition between the maze levels.
 
The game is unforgiving of mistakes or bad luck, requiring the player to start over if the party was killed in combat or accidentally teleported into solid stone. The challenge ultimately became part of the appeal, however, and the game still holds nostalgic appeal for many old-time computer gamers. The game can also require hundreds of hours to complete.

Pak's Thoughts: OK, Wikipedia. If there's one phrase I never want to hear again it's "Old-time computer gamers." I feel like I should be wearing a straw hat and chewing on a piece of straw while rocking in a chair. (I am rocking in a chair, but it's a computer chair so... I guess I AM something of an old-time computer gamer.)

Actually, I was a little too young to appreciate Wizardry when it came out, but I did enjoy Wizardry 7 when it hit the Super Nintendo. I can see the appeal and I've played many of it spiritual successors. I never made it to far, but I bet there were many, many hours spent by the more-determined trudging through the dungeons.

BTW, if you lament that they don't make them like this anymore, try some of Atlus' DS games. The Dark Spire is a direct homage to Wizardry (You can even change the graphics and music to an old-school setting) and the Etrian Odyssey games even have you keeping track of your own map on in-game graph paper on the touch screen.


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BONUS ENTRY #3  – Space Quest

(25 Points) 1 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #1 - Pak-Man

To boldly go where no man has swept the floor!

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Release Date:  1986

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:
Space Quest or more formally Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter was a video game released in October of 1986 and quickly became a hit, selling in excess of 100,000 copies (sales are believed to be around 200,000 to date, not including the many compilations it has been included in).

Players of the original game are never told the hero's name, but are instead asked to enter their own. The default name of "Roger Wilco" — a reference to the abbreviated radio communication, "Roger, Will Comply" — became the de facto name of the hero in the later games of the series.
 
Roger is a member of the cleaning crew onboard the scientific spaceship Arcada, which holds a powerful experimental device called the "Star Generator" (a thinly-veiled reference to the Genesis Device from Star Trek II). Roger emerges from an on-duty nap in a broom closet to find that the ship has been boarded and seized by the sinister Sariens. Using a keycard that he found from the body of a dead crew member, he finds his way to an escape pod and escapes the Arcada.
 
The game was programmed using Sierra's AGI engine and featured a pseudo-3D environment, allowing the character to move in front of and behind background objects. The primary means of input in Space Quest, as in many other AGI games, was through the use of a text parser for entering commands and use of the keypad or arrow keys for moving Roger Wilco around the screen. The Amiga, Apple IIGS, Atari ST and Mac versions of the game offered basic mouse support for movement as well. The game had a 160×200 resolution displaying 16 colours. Sound cards were not available in 1986, so sound was played through the PC's internal speaker; owners of Tandy 1000, PCjr and Amiga computers would hear a three-voice soundtrack, while Apple IIGS owners were treated to a fifteen-voice soundtrack with notably richer sound.
 
A precursor of this game is the interactive fiction game Planetfall, created by Infocom, whose player-character is a lowly "Ensign Seventh Class" who does the lowest form of labor aboard a spaceship and who appears on the cover with a mop. Just as King's Quest adapted the text-adventure puzzle games set in a medieval world to a visual display, Space Quest did the same for the space puzzle game.

Pak's Thoughts: Yup, my #1 choice got snubbed on my own list, reducing it to bonus-entry status. This game was just about my favorite thing ever as a kid and it remains one of my favorite games. The sense of humor is snappy, the puzzles are tricky (To the point of being unfair at times. I'm looking at you, piece of windshield on the floor of the ship that isn't even shown!) and in parodying sci-fi it actually becomes pretty good sci-fi on its own. The entire series is a real gem, and if you've never given it a whirl and aren't averse to text parsers, give the original a try. If you ARE averse to text parsers, try the remake! Just remember to save, save, save. You die a LOT. :^)