Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Decade in (Imaginary) Review: Video Games

My God. It has been a busy, busy few weeks. Here’s the thing, chaps: I had been planning to write a post about my top ten video games of the last decade, but I didn’t comfortable doing so until I had played every single video game from that period. So for the last two months, I have sat down and played – to completion – every single PlayStation, PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360, PC, PSP, Wii, N64, GameCube and GBA game released since 2001. It was a massive task, but someone had to do it.

When you read the following, my ultimate top ten videogames of the last decade, I’m sure you’ll agree it was worth the bedsores, lost family time and thirty pounds of gained weight. Here’s the list:

10: Parkour Sniper (PS2)

A surprise hit amongst older people and the French, Parkour Sniper was released in 2005. The game is viewed from a first person perspective, and your task is to take out the agile young people jumping around the city landscape using a special light gun. A lot of satisfaction can be derived from waiting until they have made their way to the top of a tall building and offing them, watching their lifeless body bounce off the railings and flagpoles below.

9: School Dance Revolution (Arcade, PS2)

The best of the dancing games came as a surprise to most. What nostalgic fun this was! As a (computer generated) inept DJ span terrible music, the aim of the game was to stand at the side of your room for as long as possible. Later levels included awkward shuffling, surreptitious alcohol smuggling and teacher avoidance. The two player game, in which you had to be rejected by the other gamer in as cringeworthy a fashion as possible, was an added bonus.


8: Grand Theft Auto: Headbutting Authority Figures (PS3, Xbox, PC)

Finally, a GTA worth playing! None of that rubbish carjacking or drug dealing, just finding authority figure after authority figure and giving them the old ‘Glasgow Kiss’. Fun for all the family!

7: Movie Tie-In: The Video Game (PS, PC, Atari Lynx)

This sprawling RPG saw you take control of a video game designer given the task of adapting a new movie for the console market. With different playable characters, an excellent fight system for beating up annoying middle management types and levels of difficulty depending on the film being adapted (from ‘action/adventure’ to ‘period drama’), this game stood out in a time when RPGs were shite.

6: Nomihodai no Umeboshi (PSP)

Available only in Japan, this tragically overlooked game makes the list to show how amazing and extensive my knowledge of video games is.

5: Cowbell Hero (PS2, Xbox)

Who needs guitars? Nobody, when you have cowbells! Altogether now, “We need an increase in cowbell! I have an illness and the only thing that can cure it is an increase in cowbell!”

4: Jetpony II: Stumplegs (Every muthafarkin’ system)

The sequel to the popular platform shooter begins when Jetpony wakes up after a night on the town to find that his legs have been removed. Luckily, he still has his jets, and everyone’s favourite Shetland Pony goes on a murderous rampage to try and find his missing limbs and the bastards who took them. Quite possibly the goriest game ever made, and all the better for it.

3: World of Carpark (PC)

In 2001, Lizard Games released Carpark, their first garage-based rpg. It was mildly popular. Then, in 2007, they released the follow-up, a massively multiplayer online car park simulator, and the world rejoiced. Who can forget the first time they chose their character and set foot in that fabled land of disabled spaces, angry attendants and harried mothers? Sure, it could be daunting for the newbie, having to deal with older players who had levelled up and can do a three-point-turn on a sixpence, but this was as rewarding as online gaming was ever likely to get.

2: Tiger Woods Pun Simulator (Xbox 360)

Sure, it’s a brand new game, but making ‘Wood’, ‘In the Rough’ and ‘Leg-over par’ references will never get old! This game will run and run and run!

1: Help! I’m Trapped in James Cameron’s Nose! (PS, PS2, PS3, PS4, Atari 2600)

The best game of the last ten years, bar none. What more can be said? There is more playability, replayability, satisfaction and depth of gameplay in this release than every other game made in the last century. Escaping from the famed director’s nose is challenging, yet the difficulty level and enjoyment means you’ll keep trying to find your way out of the conk. My God, I’m going to go back and start it again, I can’t get enough of this game.

So there you have it. The best games of the noughties. But what do I think will be big news in the 2010s? Here are my tips:

Mummies: Zombies and vampires are old news. Egyptian undead sarcophagi-dwellers are going to be huge in the coming years.
Baccarat: Televised baccarat is gaining popularity, so expect to see lots of tie-in games.
Robots made of meat: I don’t know why, but this is my dark horse.
Benjamin Netanyahu: I’ll be honest, I’m out of ideas.

13 comments:

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I think most of Avatar was trapped in James Cameron's nose at some point!

And oddly, I gave the back end of the car a Glasgow kiss recently when I fell over on some ice and smashed into it. Ouch. Lucky I have a marble head really.

red said...

School Dance Revolution was way too realistic for my liking. I preferred James Cameron's nose.

Mr London Street said...

I have so missed your blog. This post would be worth the price of admission for Cowbell Hero alone.

BeckEye said...

I love School Dance Revolution! How do you get to the "crying in the hallway" level?

Hunter said...

It's either going to be meat robots or technological singularity this decade.

Nice to see you back.

BossHC said...

Every video game since 2001, and in just two months! Talk about intense!

I'm going back to the classic Super Mario Bros 3, and writing about all the secrets I can find in the game! Not as time consuming as your task, but I enjoy it!

words...words...words... said...

You're too late. I've just finished a marathon session of Benjamin Netanyahu's Undead Baccarat Challenge. It's glorious. At least you still have meat robots.

mo.stoneskin said...

The Tiger Woods pun generator sounds fabulous, hilarious in fact.

Soda and Candy said...

I would play the shit out of Jetpony, do they make it for the Wii?

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

TVA: Ouch. I hope the car was suitably scared. You should have added "And dinnae cam bach aroond heah y'sassenach" for added veracity.

Red: The realism is what made it so special. Memories...flooding...

MLS: Everybody loves the cowbell!

Beckeye: You have to get through half of the 'slow dance to Mariah Carey' level and then try to touch the other player's breast.

Hunter: My money is on bacon cyborgs. Or baborgs, as I call them.

BossHC: Good luck with that! I know you can do it!

WWW: We all have meat robots. They belong to the world.

Mo: It'll be even more popular than the Kanye West interruption generator, thats for sure.

S&C: Yup. It even comes with a special stumplegjet peripheral add-on.

Anonymous said...

stumpalicious

marion said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Lucy

http://racingonlinegames.net

micle said...

Manor West focuses on three basic elements to stand out in the San Francisco Nightlife scene: the design, the crowd and the talent. As you walk into Manor West, you are greeted by an impressive 30 ft backdrop designed by Yelena Yemchuk, former Creative Director for the Smashing Pumpkins. The rest of the interior, a direct antithesis to the unassuming (and almost hidden) exterior of the venue, feels comfortable and spacious with high oak ceilings and a raised VIP bottle service area.
http://www.manorwestsf.com

The 4,500 square foot venue has the feel of a smaller, more intimate venue. Creative placement of bars, bathrooms and VIP areas solve the flow problems that some clubs can experience on busy nights by releasing bottlenecks and making it easier to access the essential features of the club. Raised VIP booths surround the DJ Booth and allow VIP groups access to a private area with views of the entire club while a large VIP area in the back of the club allows groups of 20 to 30 to celebrate together. Talent like Caroline D’Amore, DJ Spider, Dirt Nasty, Andre Legacy and local favorites Designer Djs, Cams and Zhaldee have already graced the decks and SF can look forward to an impressive lineup of top notch DJs and bands to show up throughout 2010.