A few days ago my friend Lumpz the Clown tagged me and the other Rebels in his answer to the 5 Most Nostalgic Games question and therefore I am contractually obliged to respond. Of course, I don’t do video since I hate being on a camera so you all have to read my answers.
Deal with it.
These are in no particular order except in the “I just thought of this one” order. That said, enough lollygagging – time to countdown.
5. Legendary Wings (Arcade)
While there is a very good port of this available on NES the version that I am nostalgic for is the arcade. When my brother and I were little we would often go to a local BBQ restaurant with our dad that always had a couple of arcade machines at the back of the dining area. While the restaurant is still there – and still delicious – they’ve of course changed machines in the decades since. Of all the games we sank quarters into nothing compares to Legendary Wings. The sharp shmup action and unique setting drew us in, even though we were too young to be very good at it. Even today, playing the game’s port in the excellent PSP offering Capcom Classics Remixed takes me back to killing time blasting baddies while waiting for our “Lotta Pig” sandwiches to be ready.
4. Super Mario Bros 3 (NES)
Besides the fact that it’s my favorite game of all time and my personal choice as greatest game ever made, for me it represents what brought me back into game collecting. In 2003 I graduated high school and with about $50 of gifted money I got on ebay because I wanted a NES. I got the console with about twenty games so the day it arrived at my house I plugged it up and immediately started SMB3. I used to take the box of NES and games with me when I would go to parties at friends houses so much that I honestly can beat the game in my sleep. The fact that I used to beat the game while impressively drunk may help matters. While of course the childhood memories of the game are great, I look back even more fondly on my early adulthood, happily passing the controller back and forth between a half dozen friends as we stomped Bowser’s ass over and over.
3. Mortal Kombat II (Genesis)
While you can argue the arcade original is better, to my mind the best memories of MKII came from sitting at home with my brother and a dog-eared copy of Tips & Tricks magazine trying to do a fatality. I was the first to get it right, with Kitana of all characters, to our wide-eyed astonishment. Dad is a huge fan of classic rock, so to this day my memories of MKII have a background soundtrack of the classic stylings of Foreigner. For some reason the two are irrevocably connected in my mind, the driving riff of Hot Blooded synced up forever with the copious blood as a losing kombatant gets uppercut into the spikes of the Kombat Tomb.
My brain is weird.
2. Puss In Boots: Pero’s Great Adventure (NES)
A very odd, and quite obscure title, but it’s on the list for a good reason. This was the very first game I ever beat in my life. I don’t know what induced me to rent this game back when I was at most a 1st grader. Maybe it was the fact I had read the original story recently, maybe it was the well done Saturday morning cartoon style box art, maybe I was just bored and said “why not” but I took it home one night. The game is a simple action platformer, but for a very young kid it was beatable and when I actually beat the last boss I felt accomplished. I could never get Mario to the Princess or get Simon Belmont to kill Dracula, but I got through this one. I honestly don’t think I could write a list that didn’t include this one.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis)
While it’s sequel is not only the pinnacle of the series but also my personal favorite, the original Sonic has a special place in nostalgia for me as it’s the game that made me a hardcore gamer. While I had a NES before I got a Genesis when I was going into second grade and that’s the console I spent the most time with. While I played a lot of NES as a kid it was the first Sonic that got me to play for hours trying to get good enough to beat the game. While it would be years before I actually put the boot to Robotnik’s ass I got to know the first three levels of the game by heart, and to this day the theme song to any of those levels brings me back to being a kid just wanting to get one more zone into the game. I often complain old man style that today’s gamers don’t have the dedication us older gamers do because we had to grow up in the days before Youtube walkthroughs and instant access to any cheats or help. We had to sit down and keep trying over and over until we got it right. To this day, I consider having that drive to keep going in a game one of the best traits a gamer can have. For me, it all started with Sonic the Hedgehog.
Tails is still a dipshit.
Polybius (Arcade/Conspiracy Theory/Bullshit)
I may be the only one who does one of these lists who name a game that doesn’t properly exist. The conspiracy around this game formed the basis of the very first article I wrote for Gaming Rebellion almost two years ago and that will always be a happy memory. I’ve gotten to read/watch so much amazing content on this site as well as talk with lots of gamers I may never have otherwise thanks to GR. It’s hard not to look back at the game fondly.
Except for playing it. Trust me, I’m not in any way anxious to have another fucking seizure and that game is like “Raid” for epileptics. Pokemon has nothing on this.
I want to thank Lumpz for tagging me on this as it was a lot of fun to write. I’ve really enjoyed a lot of the videos my friends have done with this question so to close I get to tag others. I chose any of you reading this. If you feel so inclined, why not sign up and write a list in our community or make a video and post it here? We’re always happy to have more great content and I can’t see why yours should be any different.