Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Top 5 games of 1992

I’ve been a gamer for most of my life, having lived through the third generation of gaming (NES)
upwards. Over 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 (which means no Mario Kart)
  • 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 1992
Mortal Kombat (Arcade)mk
This list was quite easy to compile (1992 was a bit of a dud year it seemed). The five games highlighted here were all quite special to me (except Darkwing Duck – it wasn’t really that good but I liked the show). When you’re a kid and your folks don’t take an active interest in what you play, you tend to play anything that’s cool. And Mortal Kombat was cool (maybe that should read Kool). You know what’s kool, being the inspiration for the Entertainment Software Rating Board forming (which explains why no one cared about age-ratings before). One of the things I liked about Mortal Kombat is that the developers wanted you to root for Lui Kang (the John Cena of the series) but everyone loved Sub Zero (cheap ice-balls) and Scorpion (because he was awesome). It was also responsible for a half-decent movie adaptation (with arguably the best theme song of the nineties, and every period since).
Streets of Rage 2 (Mega Drive)
Streets of Rage 2 is the pinnacle of side-scrolling beat-em-ups. It’s  been downhill since then. Don’t take my word for it (although I would really appreciate it as it cements me as an influencer) but ask any 30 something gamer who played Streets of Rage 2 when it was released and they will swear by it’s varied combat, eclectic cast, and kicking soundtrack. I completed it about fifty times and I can’t for the life of me remember the plot, but like all good beat-em-ups, it doesn’t matter at all, seriously, you could be pummeling a bunch of scientists who are 95 percent of the way to curing AIDS and it wouldn’t matter. Do check it out if you get a chance (it was reently re-released on the 3DS).
streets of rage 2
Sonic 2 (Mega Drive)sonic 2
One of the biggest rivalries in the nineties was between two wrestling companies, WWF (now WWE) and WCW. The competition pushed them to upped their game every week and in so doing, create some of the most memorable television to date (think NOW and Stone Cold Steve Austin). Sega and Nintendo had one of these storied rivalries, with hit after hit being unleashed on our battered wallets. Sonic games were the Fifa titles of the early and mid-nineties as everyone seemed to have  it (there was also a TV show where you barked orders over the phone while someone played it poorly (I can’t remember what this was so please remind me). Sonic 2 added Tails to the mix, in a half-baked mutliplayer mode that was perfect for when you had to play with younger siblings (You weren’t dependent on Tails keeping up and he never actually died).
sonic 2
Darkwing Duck (Golden China/ NES)
Darkwing was a lesser-spotted duck of the nineties (it was actually a spin-off of talespin, which was a spin-off from Jungle Book – Disney Inception). As stated above, I was struggling to find a fifth game that I liked  in 1992 and Darkwing Duck does tick all my low expectations (licenced platformer), yet I haven’t tracked it down since to replay it (something I’ve done with the other four? Perhaps because it felt too much like a mega man game, or it relied on me loving the source material more than I did. I think the actual reason I didn’t like it was because it was tough. Like darksouls duck tough.
darkwing duck
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (Mega Drive)
This game was very similar to 1991’s Turtles in Time, but like a good cinnabon with tea, it always hits the spot. This was the first game ported to the Mega Drive and it was all the more beautiful for it. It was the first time I noticed more frames in the sprite animation. There were fewer levels (these games were churned out annually like Call of Duty), but they were longer, so that helped.  The issue with beat-em-ups (including modern titles) is that as enemy types respawn, it becomes repetitive. This wasn’t really an issue in the TMNT games because the footsoldiers were these faceless entities anyway (stormtroopers of New York city) so it wasn’t too bad.
tmnt hyperstone
So these are my top five games that were released in 1992. Join me next week as I go through my favourite games from 1993. Leave a comment and let me know which were your favourite games from the nineties.

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