Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Top 5 games of 1994

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. 
Here's 1994
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Mega Drive)sonic 3
Instead of describing Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (which is basically a slightly less fun version of Sonic 2 – I found it to be too ‘busy’ at times, making it difficult to keep track of what’s happening) I’d like to share a story about the game – Not many know this but Michael Jackson was originally commissioned to compose the music for the game. Sega pulled out after his child abuse allegations came to the fore. Apparently the credit music was the inspiration for one of his songs, ‘Stranger in Moscow.’
sonic 3
Sonic and Knuckles (Mega Drive)
Sonic and Knuckles reads a lot like modern DLC. Originally developed to be included in Sonic 3, it didn’t make the cut because of time constraints. It released with a physical feature called lock-on technology which allowed you to play through Sonic 3 as Knuckles and to play as Tails in Knuckle’s game. For a kid like me, this was nothing short of pure magic, and breathed new life into my older games.
sonic and knuckles
Earthworm Jim (Mega Drive)
This is the second consecutive year that one of David Perry’s games made my list (he also worked on Aladdin the previous year). I got Earthworm Jim as part of a second-hand bundle (I can’t remember what the other game was). The game was unlike anything I played before. As a kid, you don’t really understand what ‘tongue-in-cheek’ meant, but you did recognize when something was trying to subvert the status quo… and Earthworm Jim did this in spades – you had to rescue someone named ‘Princess What’s-Her-Name’, who gets crushed by a cow as you approach her after the final boss. You also fight a goldfish and a conjoined monkey-headed scientist. To say this game was weird is like saying Max Payne liked the occasional swig. I also remember this game being really difficult. Did you find it tough?
earthworm jim
Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
Part of Rare’s golden era, Donkey Kong was an important weapon in Nintendo’s fight against Sega and Sony’s fledgling 32-bit contender (more on this console in later years). Through the use of a silicon graphics workstation, Rare were able to develop a swansong for the then-dying console (think God of War 3 for the PS3). I’m a huge platform guy and big fan of the series (I am currently playing Tropical Freeze on the Wii U). Donkey Kong Country is to this day, the second highest-selling game for the console and a must-play for any avid retro gamer.
donnkey kong country
Lion King (Mega Drive)lion king
Lion King was my life in ’94. No other animated movie has since come close to dethroning it. I had the VHS, the song books, even those little white marbles with the cheap stickers that peeled off after a week. I remember seeing a review for the game on KTV (I might be wrong) and thinking, this game is legit (I didn’t have too much experience with games where your character evolved over time – in this case, from cub too hyena-slaughtering bad-ass). GamePro slated the game, saying it was too repetitive… but they were wrong (more wrong than when Colin Powell told the UN that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
lion king
So these are my top five games that were released in 1994. Join me next Tuesday as I go through my favourite games from 1995. Leave a comment and let me know which were your favourite games from the nineties.

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