Saturday, August 19, 2017

Top 5 games of 1990

I’ve been a gamer for most of my life, having lived through the third generation of gaming (NES) upwards. Over the next 25 weeks, I will list my top 5 games from 1990 – 2015. To ensure consistency, here are the rules I will be following
  • I will only write about games I’ve played
  • Even though I played most of these games a few years after they released, I will stick with the year they were released (otherwise this list will be all over the place)
  • Some games may have been released at different times for different regions. When this happens, I will use the year related to the version I’ve played
  • Due to the second rule, it does mean I won’t be able to list gems like Super Mario Brothers and Circus Charlie
This week I will highlight 1990

Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES/ Golden China)
As a thirty-something year-old man, I tend to be a little jaded when it comes to licenced games, but as an eight-year old kid hooked on Disney cartoons during M-Net’s Sunday evening open time slot, I couldn’t get enough of it. Chip ‘n’ Dale was a fun platformer, improved by the option to play two-player (loved chucking Dale onto enemies). I never actually owned a NES, and did most of my gaming on a Golden China (had no idea I was playing pirated software), so with no option to save my progress, it actually worked in my favour that the game could be finished in a single sitting.
chip n dale

Super Mario Bros 3 (NES/ Golden China)supermario3
You’re going to be seeing a LOT of Super Mario games in my lists. Arguably one of the greatest games ever made (having just been chosen as number 1 in IGN’s Greatest Games of all-time list), Super Mario Bros 3 was and still is an absolute joy to play. I recently booted it up for my nephew to play and within ten minutes I wrangled the controller from him and took over. A timeless game that every gamer should play.

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (Sega Mega Drive)
I never actually owned an original Mega Drive. I got a knock-off at a flea-market along with an 8-in-1 cartridge that had Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, Flintstones, Columns, Mickey Mouse and a few more games. I did not know it was a knock-off at a time (8-in-1’s made sense compared to the previous 64-in-1’s I had in my previous knock-off). Like Chip ‘n’ Dale above, this was another Disney platformer I was really into in my youth. The game sees Mickey save Minnie from a witch named Mizrabel (ten points for name) who wanted to steal her youth (a theme we will see a few years later in a famous Rare game). The game was a mix of the first two Super Mario games, in that your attacks alternated between jumping on your enemies heads (like the first SMB) or throwing apples (like the second SMB).

Snow Bros: Nick and Tom (Arcade)Snowbros
The second co-op title in my list, Snow Bros was a spiritual successor to Bubble Bobble, and continued in its storied, manic tradition of encasing enemies and then killing them. I never thought I was actually killing them before I sat to type this piece. Games are simplistic like that, like old action movies. The game follows the exploits of these murderous siblings on their quest to save their girlfriends (I’m not sure if they were also siblings). These icy damsels happen to be princesses, and the bros happen to wear overalls. Coincidence? I replayed Snow Bros about six years ago, and it remains just as fun.

columnsColumns (Sega Mega Drive)
Confession time, I actually prefer columns to Tetris. This might seem blasphemous but some of my fondest memories of playing video games as a kid was playing columns while my granddad sat on the couch next to me, probably judging me for not using investing my time in better pursuits, like rubbing his feet or playing Carrom (check it out). For all the millenials reading this, Columns is the spiritual ancestor of bejeweled, or candy crush, without the annoying social media sharing.

So these are my top five games that were released in 1990. Join me next Monday as I go through my favourite games from 1991. Leave a comment and let me know which were your favourite games from the past, and if you can guess the Rare game I referenced earlier.

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