Game of the decade 1990-1999
  • regmcfly
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    Poppo, frosty, goober and cocko - can you guys confirm how 100% you are?
  • cockbeard
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    Very much unconfirmed, sorry chief
    "I spent years thinking Yorke was legit Downs-ish disabled and could only achieve lucidity through song" - Mr B
  • My initial list is final, otherwise i wouldn't be following my own advice! ;)
    "Like i said, context is missing."
    http://ssgg.uk
  • Andy
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    My brain is weird, though. For example, when I found Panza Kick Boxing on an old list, it brought back memories of just how long I spent playing that game for hours on end every day. It was borderline obsessive. But, when faced with a question as open as my favourite games from 90-99, it’s unlikely to pop into my head on its own. I also had a bunch of games which popped into my head but, on checking, it turns out were released in 1989. It makes more sense to me to compile a list of what’s eligible, and pick from there.
  • Ha. i remember playing that on the amiga, but if you'd not mentioned it I don't think i'd have ever thought of it ever again.
    Personally, i don't think it's even possible to come up with a genuine objective perfectly ranked top 10, even if with perfect recall of every game i'd played. You're trying to rank moments of joy and periods of interest/obsession... how could you distinguish fairly between 10 and 11th? Just go with your gut, there's no right or wrong* or prizes if your own favourite wins.

    *clearly i'm lying and my own list is best and everyone else is wrong ;)

    edit: @andy in that 2nd paragraph i just mean a general 'you' and about my own thoughts, not telling you specifically what to do.
    "Like i said, context is missing."
    http://ssgg.uk
  • regmcfly
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    I just remembered Cannon Fodder.
  • regmcfly wrote:
    Poppo, frosty, goober and cocko - can you guys confirm how 100% you are?

    I was 100% serious. Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe was my game of the decade, and I haven’t time to think about a following nine games.
  • regmcfly wrote:
    Poppo, frosty, goober and cocko - can you guys confirm how 100% you are?

    90%

    I might change Grim Fandango but I may not. I'm pretty happy with it overall.
  • regmcfly wrote:
    Also @mugginsxo same qu?
    Yep.
    AFTER HOURS by The Weeknd out 20th March! XO
  • Life for me is made easier by the fact I skipped all the stuff between Atari 2600 and n64. So mine is basically a 5 year window.
    I'm still great and you still love it.
  • GooberTheHat
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    regmcfly wrote:
    Poppo, frosty, goober and cocko - can you guys confirm how 100% you are?

    Yeah, I'm going of my gut reaction so I'll confirm I'm 100% final.
  • still not final
    1-5

    Goldeneye. Before halo, this was the jam. I played doom at a mate's place, and that got me down with fps, but GE was something else again. The silenced pistol, the animations for body shots. Just sublime. Hours and hours into it. Never mind the mp. Insane fun.

    (pd would be in here too if it wasn't 2000 release. Because oh my, all of the above, plus an insane weapon set.)

    Blast corps. Platinum baby. On everything. Genius premise, that allows for a fun, tense, explosive first run through. Then it turns into a masochistic time attack puzzle game requiring blurry pixel perfect angles. Soooo good.

    Gran tourismo. Hadn't been a big car guy either in games or in life until this. Handling incredible. The, dare I say it, realism. Cars that felt like they were actually touching a road. I would actually watch some replays. What a time sink. (once again, if 2000 was in then cm2.0 surpasses it in every in game respect.)

    Tenchu. Just my jam. MGS is amazing, see later. But I was always a bit rubbish and/or kojima controls cameras and plethora of options was too much for me. This stripped things back. I recall hammering one of the late middle levels, which could be done very quickly, and just spending an hour scouring every last bit and taking out everyone. LIKE A FUCKING NINJA. oh yeah.

    Panzer dragoon saga. By the time I played it, I think dreamcast and even Xbox might have been out, had a chipped saturn and a burnt CD copy.

    4 fucking cds worth. Mainly for cutscenes lol.

    Opening cutscene gave me wood. Vibe and a half.

    In game graphics varied between awesome (dragon morphing) and awful (background trees made of flat pixels the size of my fist.)

    Fight mechanics were clever, but never quite challenging enough.

    But man, I still remember so much of the game. Just being in the world and all the feels.

    5-10

    MGS. Never got real good at it. Played it through a number of times. And when the going got tough, I laboured through bosses, in particular. But still, the kojima styles were amazing at the time.

    Chrono cross. Only 2 cds. But could have switched this with panzer. Graphically, a big step up. Super pretty hand drawn backgrounds. A fighting system that actually did some cool stuff and worked. And was the right side of challenging.

    Just a lovely world which I spent hours and hours in. (as I recall, I had this at a time when I'd copped a nasty bout of bronchitis. Had a year from hell off and on being sick for a month at a time. 13 hour days on this.)

    Xi (devil's dice) so fucking addictive. Perfect puzzler. Legit brain ending puzzles that you could take your time with, on top of the main infinite mode that could eat days. Sublime.

    Mario 64. Never big on Mario as a character. Never excited by the worlds, but can't knock the movement and inventiveness here. Real good.

    Parasite eve. One of the wins of chipped ps1. Wasn't released in Oz for aaaaages. Got in early from my pirate guy. Loved the shorter length, the locale and the fighting system. Just a cracker of a game. (if vagrant story wasn't 2000, it would probably replace.)

    Alsorans for now:

    Banjo kazooie
    Silent hill
    Mariocart 64
    Driver
    THPS
    Doom
    I'm still great and you still love it.
  • regmcfly
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    Will add up first scorers tomorrow to give a rough sense.
  • I'm late to this but Jesus what a near impossible task. There's lots I've left off here and i dont even think this is a correct order but this is what first jumped into my head so lets go with that.

    1. Street Fighter Alpha 2 (Saturn) - Any of the SF games around this time and theres a strong shout for SF2 - Hyper or Special Champ from the SNES and Megadrive era BUT I felt Alpha 2 with the Saturn Pad was the definitive game.

    2. Goldeneye (n64) - Yes, it may have aged badly. But at the time there was no better couch game. And who didnt hate using the unofficial joypad in 4 player?

    3. Streets of Rage 2 (Megadrive) - So good it killed the genre

    4. Sega Rally (Saturn) - For a well, I think this was my perfect game. The time trials were just so addictive and the feeling of control was excellent. 

    5. Championship Manager 3 (PC) - PCs were never a format for me beyond Doom and this absolute time killer. Coincided with my happiest time as a Newcastle Fan

    6. Mario Kart (SNES) - I think this was the only SNES game I had for a while. It was enough.

    7. Super Mario World (SNES) - Dont need to explain this really.

    8. Shining Force (megadrive) - Super simple by todays standards, but this was my first really engrossing turn-based games. Loved it from start to finish and yes, like SOR 2, I have the steam version.

    9. Soul Calibur (dreamcast) - Was the first and last game I ran on my dreamcast. Hugely impressive and epic fun in single player as well as multiplayer

    10. Turrican 2 (amiga) - The music, the graphics, the gameplay **kisses fingers** Mwah! Amigas finest hour.


    As I said, very much out of place and many games missing but I would take these games to an Island and be pretty happy. Even if I only had an unofficial n64 joypad...
    SFV - reddave360
  • Andy
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    Here we go. My final list, counting down from 10th place.

    10. Tekken 3 [PS1]
     When I bought my PlayStation, one of the games I bought along with the console was the original Tekken, which had just been released on the fairly new Platinum range (which, as PlayStation branding goes, I still prefer over the follow-up ‘Essentials’ and current ‘Hits’). I was either going to buy Tekken or Battle Arena Toshinden, but I seemed to get better with the former’s gameplay. I still tend to prefer the rhythm of a Tekken battle to other fighters, and the control layout and flow of the combos made more sense to me, so I was better able to learn the sequences and know what I was doing as I fought.
     I could never have imagined, when I played Tekken, which looked so amazing to my 1997 eyes, that just over a year later something that looked like Tekken 3 would come out on the same hardware. (My 2020 brain can hardly believe it was just over a year between me buying a PlayStation, and Tekken 3 coming out.) I imagine I’ll be writing about Sound a few times in this post, but I’m sure anyone who had this can hear, “You win,” in their heads. Or, if you’re a fan of Spaced, “Nina Williams wins.”

    9. Destruction Derby 2 [PS1]
     One of the other games I bought alongside my PlayStation was Destruction Derby. When DD2  came out, it was another game that saw a marked improvement; the introduction of elevation and jumps in the tracks made a world of difference to the racing and made for some far more spectacular crashes. On the hardest difficulty, races could feel like epic grudge matches, and the feeling of crawling over the line, in reverse, with a front wheel missing, because it was the only way your car would drive, getting the win having left all your opposition as smoking wrecks, was immensely satisfying. Despite how much I enjoyed the various entries in the FlatOut series, it has taken until last year and the release of Wreckfest for me to find a derby racer I would pick over Destruction Derby 2 if forced to choose.

    8. Nitro [ST]
     Probably one of Psygnosis’s less well known releases. The box art, which used the same illustration as the cover of Fighting Fantasy book Freeway Fighter, hinted at weapons, but in fact the game was a straight racer, albeit set in some apocalyptic future. It was a top down vertical racer, similar in feel to Super Sprint, Championship Sprint or Grand Prix Simulator, but with point-to-point racing instead of circuits. The races generally moved upwards, but there was plenty of cutting back and lateral movement, too. At the time, the stages felt like marathons, so watching YouTube I’ve been surprised by their brevity. The night stages, where only a small circle of light ahead of your car was visible, were tough going, though. There were pick-ups on the track, and money floating across the screen to further upgrade your car, but the main thing you had to look out for were the fuel pickups, because running out meant game over. As with the front cover, the game is a product of its time, with the player characters bearing striking resemblance to a cyborg versions of Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name, Roger Moore’s James Bond, and Sylvester Stallone’s John Rambo.

    7. Supercars II [ST]
     Despite the fact that this game did feature weaponry, the presentation was much more jovial than Nitro. There are few things I loved more than having enough credits to buy a ridiculous supply of missiles, and take out as much of the pack as I could on the starting grid as the race started. There was also a special joy when, playing two player, your friend/sibling hit a mine you’d left in a tunnel. Another product of its time, with your competitors featuring the likes of Nijel Mainsail and Ayrton Sendup. The soundalike names were, however, dropped for newsreader Harrison Ford, and field reporter Nancy Allen.
     Another game to feature some unforgettable sound, the main theme tune was absolutely banging.

    6. Grand Theft Auto [PS1]
     I remember the Friday morning that I had grabbed a lift into uni with my mum, and Radio 1’s NewsBeat was running a story on the controversial game being released that day. “That’s not the one you’re getting today, is it?” I could not hide my gleeful grin as I responded that yes, yes it absolutely was the game I was getting that day.  I could hardly wait.
     I had been following the development in the preview/hype features in Play magazine, eyeing up the screenshots and imagining how it would all look in motion. I was not disappointed. Loading up the game, I felt like I was in a living, breathing city. Sure, I couldn’t ride the train, as had been promised in early previews, but why would I want to when I could jack a car and tear across town, mowing down cops and Hare Krishnas with wanton abandon. Plus, of course, this game has the most iconic piece of gta music in ‘Joyride’ by Craig Conner and Robert Denegro (Da Shootaz).
     I’ve said it so often I’m boring myself, but I’d love to see another top-down gta. I’ve got Chinatown Wars on my Vita, but it’s not quite right. Last year’s American Fugitive demonstrated the potential for a modern top-down gta.

    5. Colony Wars [PS1]
     This is another game where, wrapped up with the nostalgia of playing, is the nostalgia of reading about it in previews for weeks and months beforehand. I was excited by the prospect of epic space battles, skimming the surface of huge freighters and battleships in my nimble fighter, and by the soundtrack, a sweeping, cinematic orchestral piece, which would adapt in response to gameplay events in real time. Mind blowing.
     It was everything I wanted it to be and more. Sitting in the dark in my room in halls of residence, falling in love with the various, fantastic ship designs. The various pre-mission clips, showing your fighter being brought up for launch from a larger ship, or racing through deep space to reach its mission, perfectly setting the tone for each sortie. I wasn’t just playing Colony Wars, I was an ace pilot in the League of Free Worlds, standing up to the sinister Colonial Navy.
     As is the case with all great games, this still plays well. Every time I go back to it, it takes my brain a moment to retune itself the the control scheme but, once I’m over that hump, I’m back reliving all my Han Solo / Starbuck dreams.

    4. Cannon Fodder [ST]
     War has never been so much fun. I know it’s a cliché to write about Cannon Fodder using the main lyric from its theme, but it was true at the time, and there’s an argument to say that it’s still true now. Such a simple system; set a destination with the left mouse button, fire with the right. There are occasional complications, like rockets, grenades, splitting the squad and dividing your attention between them but, for the most part it’s just setting a destination with the left mouse button, firing with the right it never, ever gets old.
     It was fun but, for such tiny pixel characters, it also had surprisingly graphic injury detail. Sending enemies cartwheeling through the air, almost torn in two by machine gun fire, can be sobering. Briefly. It won’t be long until you’re cackling again, wiping out companies with your small but lethal team.
     When I’ve played more recently, I’ve tried to keep my initial squaddies alive and repeatedly promoted, but I sometimes miss the carefree approach I took in my youth, when a seemingly endless line of recruits were queueing up to fill the vacancies.

    3. Rally Cross [PS1]
     It’s been well established that my tastes don’t often align with general consensus. I’m often drawn to the alternative, or underdog.  Two rally games were released for PlayStation in July 1997, and the one that most people seemed to be eagerly awaiting was V-Rally. The thing was, though, I’d been reading up on both V-Rally and Rally Cross, and I knew which one I’d enjoy more.
     This is one of those games I can specifically remember buying. It was a rare, sunny, warm day in Aberdeen, and I went into the games section of the Virgin Megastore on Union Street. The games section was a strange little annexe to the main store. It was one of two shops (along with HMV) where I had regularly stopped on my post-work walk the summer before, where I had changed my plans to get a Saturn to the PlayStation, then regularly spent a chunk of my Friday pay packet on new games. I’m sure it was £30 at launch, and it felt like a double win buying the better of two rally games at a lower price point.
     I can’t recall if the previews covered the physics, and if that’s what drew me to the game, but - oh man - this game’s physics are phenomenal. I can hear the lurch of vehicle suspension as I write this. Fuck, I can almost feel the weight shifting in the car, the same way as I swear I can feel it when I play. The slump of the cars as the land, the bounce as they navigate uneven terrain, the swing as the car takes a bend, and just reaches that point of the inside wheels lifting, the slight raise as you somehow hold it (or the complete roll onto the roof when you don’t), it’s all so perfect.
     And the way it looks. It’s a weird cocktail of 3D car models (all of which look litigiously close to real world cars) on 3D tracks, but with 2D sprites of splashing water or splurting mud, and it’s all so, so ugly it’s beautiful.
     This is another game I still regularly play. I recommend you do too.

    2. Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe [ST]
     Mention this game, and people do their ‘ice-cream’ impression. For me, though, the sounds I hear are the wailing sirens of the ambulance bots, and the techno fzjxh of the ball launcher flipping over at each restart.
     The first time I played Speedball 2 was at my friend Lee Brown’s house. I think it must have been before my brother and I bought our own Atari ST. I learned the game the way children so often do; by being thrown into the deep end playing two player with a friend who has been playing for ages, and who hasn’t explained how most of it works.
     It wasn’t until we bought a second hand ST and I copied Lee’s disc, that I even got to hear the amazing Nation 12 (John fox of Ultravox’s solo project) theme tune and read the frankly needless but cool-to-an-eleven-year-Old back story.
     Sorry if I’m being repetitive, but I still play this. I have Speedball 2 Evolution on my Vita and, apart from the move away from one button controls, it looks and feels to me like a fairly straightforward reproduction. That doesn’t stop me, though, from being excited about Rebellion buying the rights to the Bitmap Brother’s IP portfolio. If there’s an anthology coming, with the likes of Xenon 2: Megablast and The Chaos Engine, I’ll be all over it.
     I’m less excited by the prospect of new games based on the IP. In my opinion, the attempts to rehash Speedball 2 have not been successful. It’s testament to how well it plays that attempts to tinker with the formula and improve it don’t seem to pan out.
     Just let us charge around that metal field, deliberately giving the ball away to the opposition in order to bowl them over and steal it back, lighting up the loop-the-loop multiplier twice to double your score and reap the rewards when players start falling towards the end and, crucially, trying to nail that perfect throw where you deflect the ball off the electrified so it topples the opposition keeper as it rolls into their goal. Let us lead Brutal Deluxe to glory.

    1. Bushido Blade [PS1]
    Let’s not pretend this is a surprise to anyone who knows anything about me. My love letter to this perennial beauty is here.
  • Tekken 3 could have made my also-ran list. Good shout.

    Colony wars is also a good shout. Not near a best of for me. But good game.
    I'm still great and you still love it.
  • regmcfly
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    Tekken 3 may trouble my list..
  • Seeing a few of my likely entries here. Going to limit myself to games I actually played in that era rather than later, so no dice for chrono trigger despite its amazingness.

    Most of my time was on amiga, megadrive, ps1 and dreamcast with a little bit of Saturn and n64.

    It's going to be a tough choice.
    .
  • Andy's no1 is something I vehemently agree with.
    .
  • Not sure I've ever played Bushido Blade, or that it would 'work' for me, but I like the idea and really enjoyed Andy's write up.
    "Like i said, context is missing."
    http://ssgg.uk
  • What little I played of it was impressive. Would love to go back and play now but a) limited time and b) PS1 games look almost unplayable now.
    "But enough talk. HAVE AT YOU!"
  • cockbeard
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    I'm like Ram, don't recall ever playing it, but looing forward to giving it a go next week
    "I spent years thinking Yorke was legit Downs-ish disabled and could only achieve lucidity through song" - Mr B
  • Bushido Blade - concept was great, and I really enjoyed it (even renting the English version after having got all the endings in the Japanese version, just so I could run through and understand wtf was going on). 

    But.... the AI wasn't great, and I never felt like there was any need to play with anything other than the normal sword (because the AI couldn't deal with the stab attack).
  • acemuzzy
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    GTA and Cannon Fodder are good shouts
  • regmcfly
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    The GTA demo was more important to me than the game. I got things down to a t with that time limit.
  • regmcfly wrote:
    The GTA demo was more important to me than the game. I got things down to a t with that time limit.

    I had a similar experience with Vanquish when the demo first came out. Played it to death, always looking to improve on that one level. Still loved the main game but the demo probably got more focus.
    SFV - reddave360
  • cockbeard
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    I was gonna add GTA, I had so much fun modding the game adding in escort cossies and mercs
    "I spent years thinking Yorke was legit Downs-ish disabled and could only achieve lucidity through song" - Mr B
  • regmcfly
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    Iirc up and to the left was where the 4 phonebooths and the spider car was.
  • I just realised Mario 3 was released here in 1991 which is absolutely insane. 3 years after the Japanese release. Tetris and Mario 3 to Soulcalibur - crazy.

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