Monday 26 April 2010

Greatest Games I Ever Played

Welcome once again to Greatest Games I Ever Played, where we here at E14 take you through some of the games that have touched us (not in that way) over the years. These can be any games, board or video, console or PC. So what game and system make the cut for my GGEP this week?

Well, I'll tell you, along with a short story. As we've established before, My first home console was a SEGA Master System II, that came bundled with Sonic The Hedgehog. Eventually, though, my parents told me that I could upgrade to a 16-bit console. I was understandably ecstatic, and decided to take my time and choose wisely. After checking out the deals available at the time, I went to the store with one objective; get a good console at a good deal. I was many things as a youngster, but a douchebag was not one of them - my parents were kind enough to offer to pay towards a new console, and I wasn't about to make that excessively expensive. Thus, my choice was clear, and I purchased a Super Nintendo with Starwing or Starfox as it was known across the pond in the US (the game was renamed Starwing in Europe due to another game bearing the name Starfox).

aking the form of a simplified space combat simulator, Starwing put you in the space boots of Fox McCloud (who has since gone on to star in Starfox-themed games and Super Smash Brothers in its various iterations across console generations), leader of a squadron of space fighters named the Star Fox team, a team of mercenaries hired by General Pepper to defend their homeworld of Corneria from the dreaded Andross. A nice simple premise, from the days before plots had to have twists in the plot as standard. As we've established before, as well, as a child I was all about simplicity when it came to video games, and Starwing had it in spades.

Everything about this game was awesome. At the time, the visuals were astounding, with the SNES' Super-FX chip allowing for 3D environments, something that hadn't been nearly as easy to do in previous years. The music was great, military-style music in the vein of Star Wars, and really set the mood for the upcoming battle. The level design was superb, with both planet-side and deep-space combat, with a branching level system allowing players to take different paths through different levels with a sufficient jump in difficulty between each path. Even re-visiting previous levels was made more difficult, with bosses being significantly harder to make the challenge more effective (and trust me, it was).

Now, the end boss may not have looked as terrifying as you might expect, considering you spent hours and hours pursuing him to his lair on planet Venom, and that he was a being who took up a tremendous amount of space, but trust me when I say that looking at him while trying to fly a starship successfully towards him, shoot the son of a bitch in the face and avoid the massive bits of crap he threw your way was certainly akin to the challenge of some of today's games.

One of the main reasons I loved this game was that it encompassed all of these things I mentioned above. Another was that it came packaged with the console, so it didn't cost me any more to buy the game, which is something I have kept with me to this day, always looking for the best deals on consoles. Mainly, though, Starwing was the first game I ever played through from start to finish, but by no means the last. Not so amazing considering that I only owned three console games before I got the Super Nintendo, and all my games on the Amiga were either limited in scope or crap (apart from one or two, but that's a story for another post...)

Sadly, Nintendo has yet to release Starwing on the Wii's Virtual Console service, but maybe...just maybe...I can start a revolution here. Maybe, if enough people read this, are sufficiently outraged and so contact Nintendo, we can get Starwing its rightful place among the other classics available for re-release purchasing goodness.

Or not, whatever works. In any case, I'm content in the knowledge that I completed a legitimately hard game, as well as handing a massive spanking to an end boss that sort of resembles the original Kryten from Red Dwarf.

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1 comment:

  1. 'I was many things as a youngster, but a douchebag was not one of them'

    --- When exactly DID it happen, then? ;)