2012 – New Super Mario Bros. U

New Super Mario Bros. U

nsmbu

Developer(s) Nintendo EAD Group No. 4
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Masataka Takemoto
Producer(s) Takashi Tezuka, Hiroyuki Kimura
Designer(s) Shigeyuki Asuke, Daiki Iwamoto, Ryutaro Kanno
Artist(s) Masanobu Sato
Composer(s) Shiho Fujii, Mahito Yokota
Series Super Mario
Platform(s) Wii U
Release date(s) November 30, 2012
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution Wii U Optical Disc, Nintendo eShop

Liam:   So here we have it. 29 hours down and we can get stuck into the last game on the list. By this point I imagine our bodies (especially our thumbs) will be tired and weary and we will be craving natural sunlight and non-sugarcoated foods. Fittingly we end with a game that is not only part of the biggest video game franchise of all time, but also has played a massive part in our lives as gamers.

The thirty years we have covered, encompass the whole span of the Mario lifecycle so far with Mario Bros. the arcade game being released in 1983. Mario did appear in Nintendo’s ‘Donkey Kong’ a few years before as a character nicknamed ‘Jump Man’ but he did not receive his own name until 83. Since then the Mario franchise has spawned over 200 games, several TV shows, a raft of merchandise and a terrible terrible film. (Seriously the film is awful, if you want to watch a video game film go watch Street Fighter with Jean Claude Van Damme, Kylie Minogue and Raul Julia – that’s how it should be done)

NSMBU is a 2d side scrolling platformer. Similar in vein to the Mario Bros. games of old that we both grew up with. The series has received a lick of paint and a HD upgrade for the Wii U – Nintendo’s newest console. In the story, Bowser and the Koopa Troop invade the mushroom kingdom (again) and take Princess Peach hostage (again). It is then up Mario and Luigi, with the help of yellow and blue toadstools, to rescue Princess Peach and bring tranquillity back to the world by eating super powered mushrooms, smashing bricks with their faces and jumping on turtles. I imagine most people are familiar with the concept of a Mario game and this one does not disappoint. Despite the Wii U being less powerful than the next generation consoles due to be released this year it manages fine with the colourful Mario bros game. In fact Mario has never looked so good.

The Wii U allows up to 5 players to play simultaneously. Four players control characters using wiimotes, with 1 player using the Wii U gamepad to block off enemies and lay blocks for the players to jump against. It’s a nice mechanic that allows the whole family to enjoy the game together – a core part of Nintendo’s recent approach to gaming.

In fact it’s worth mentioning that we are borrowing the Wii U from my daughter Paige who has kindly allowed us to use it for the event. By this point in the challenge she will be there along with her brother and sister and my partner to cheer us over the finishing line, and possibly to administer fruit and vegetables.

Joel:  This is it… The final writeup. If I could get Europe’s smash hit out of my head I might be able to write something insightful, but right now, all that’s bouncing round inside my melon is “do-do-do-doooooooooo, do-do-do-do-doooooo, the final write-up!” So anyway, here it is. New Super Mario Bros. U is a great example of the Mario franchise, as well as demonstrating how difficult it is becoming to name new Mario games, presumably because of the number of previous releases in the franchise. This is about the 20th (platform) game in the series, 19th according to Wikipedia, but I can think of at least one release they have not included in their timeline and that doesn’t include non-platformers, such as Mario Kart and the various puzzle games. I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of Mario and consider myself a bit of a buff on the subject. There’s even a vicious rumour that I may have a Mario tattoo somewhere, but that’s a story for another day.

I reckon if you went outside and grabbed the next 50 people who passed and showed them a picture of the red-capped plumber, 48 of them would know who it was. Maybe even 49. He has become a legend in his own (virtual) lifetime and Nintendo’s major cash cow, having a release of some kind on every major platform Nintendo have pushed out in the last 30 years. My first Mario game was Super Mario Land on the (Fat, original) Game Boy, though I had played all the other major previous releases (Mario 1, 2, 3) at friends’ houses. I tell you, I played and played and played that damn game until I completed it – no mean feat for an 8 year-old! I do still have a Game Boy, sadly it’s not an original, but a bright yellow “Game Boy Pocket” and I do still have that Mario game. I was actually playing it a couple of nights ago.

This is one of the games I’m most looking forward to playing as I am yet to use a Wii U and I’m dead keen to see what this latest iteration has in store for our old friend Mario and his slightly under-appreciated chums. You can apparently have up to five players on this, with four on standard controllers and the fifth on the whizzo tablet-controller-thing that comes with the Wii U. That guy apparently is able to place blocks in the playfield and interact with enemies, but not have control of his own character. Some kind of ben/mal-evolent God type role from the sounds of it. I can see me dropping blocks over pits whilst my “friends” try to jump over them, making them fall to their doom. Yes, this is going to be fun for sure.

So, not only is this the last writeup, but, as such, this will be the last game in the marathon and the end of this rollercoaster few months preparing (not that we are ready yet – the game are about the only thing that are actually sorted!!) I don’t imagine that I’m going to be quite myself by the time we’ve finished this thing, but I do honestly think a part of me will be sad that it’s over. When I first signed up for this, I thought it was going to be an absolute nightmare and it times it has been, with the worst yet to come, but still, it’s been great. I don’t think I’ve put so much time, money and effort into anything (aside from child-rearing) for a very long time and I don’t regret a single bit of it.

 

Yet.

 

 

Advertisements

2008 – Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart Wii

 mario kart wii
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD Group No. 1
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Yasuyuki Oyagi
Producer(s) Hideki Konno
Composer(s) Asuka Ota, Ryo Nagamatsu
Series Mario Kart
Platform(s) Wii
Release date(s) April 11, 2008
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer

Liam: Mario Kart Wii is apparently the world’s best selling racing game. I can see why, the game is the most charming game in a series renowned for making charming games.

Mario Kart is essentially the racing game equivalent to crazy golf. You and a series of other Mario franchise characters hurtle around a brightly coloured track on go karts. Along the way you avoid various obstacles and enemies while collecting coins and power ups. The power ups are quite easily the best part of the game. Some are fairly explanatory and rather general like invulnerability stars, speed boost mushrooms and banana skins to drop. Some power ups are much more specific, for example if you are in last place and you collect a power up box, chances are you will receive the ‘Bullet Bill’ power up turning you into a massive automatically flying bullet which is usually enough to drag you up from last place. My personal favourite and the bane of every half decent Mario Kart player is the blue shell. The blue shell, when fired, will seek out and blow up the lead kart causing them to lose a great deal of speed and possible the lead. The lead kart can hear it coming but can do nothing about it.

Being the Wii the controls for this game are slightly different to preceding versions. Instead of the typical control pad steering, you ‘steer’ by tilting the wiimote left and right. Many people also have little plastic wheels you clip the wiimote into to make this seem like actual driving. In truth this control system is a little erratic and takes some getting used to. On a game that takes itself seriously this would be a problem, however if anything this seems to add to the charm of Mario Kart in a way that it would with no other game. I’m eagerly awaiting the Wii U version of Mario Kart due out next year, as is the entire Fitzgerald household.

For reasons such as this I think this will be fairly hard to predict. Joel is undoubtedly the better driver and as we go through to some of the harder courses (Rainbow road!) I would expect that will start to tell. On the easier courses though? I have just as much of a chance as anyone else.

Oh and don’t ask why I race as Daisy. I just always have okay. (Daisy rocks!)

Joel: I’ve gotten excited anticipating the release of many games over the years, but I was beside myself in the build-up to this one. I love Mario games, I love racing games, I love the Mariokart series and at the time this came out, I was still pretty enamoured with the Wii’s innovative control system. I’m pretty sure I got it on release day. I was not disappointed.

For the uninitiated, the Mario Kart series has had a release on every Nintendo platform since the SNES. Copies of earlier ones go for an awful lot of money, relatively speaking. The premise is pretty simple if you don’t know – various characters of Mario lore compete in go-karts on tracks styled around the various realms of the Mushroom Kingdom – the home of said characters. There are various lore-consistent weapons and bonuses which can be collected in-race. Each new release came with a number of new tracks and a selection of re-made, re-mastered versions of tracks from previous iterations. That about covers it, but doesn’t really do justice to the amount of fun you can have with a few friends and a copy of this brilliant game.

I’m not sure what else I can tell you about this one really. I could write about the time the boy accidentally over-wrote my ninety-something percent complete save game with a fresh one, but that wouldn’t be very professional of me. I think, really, that if you haven’t played any of the Mario Kart series then you have sorely missed out. If you have any kind of dusty old Nintendo kicking around, it’ll be money well spent to pick up a copy of the relevant version of Mario Kart and give it a bash. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

In terms of predictions, despite my comparatively vast experience of racing games compared to Liam, he is actually uncharacteristically good at Mario Kart. I still think I’ll win, but it will be a lot closer than I’d like to think.

2006 – Wii Sports

 

Wii Sports

 wii tennis
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD Group No. 2
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Keizo Ohta, Takayuki Shimamura, Yoshikazu Yamashita
Composer(s) Kazumi Totaka
Series Wii
Platform(s) Wii
Release date(s)  December 8, 2006
Genre(s) Sports
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution Wii Optical Disc

Joel: Well, here we are. The “home stretch” if you will. We have reached the 7th Generation of consoles and, after this we will also have reached 24 hours. I am genuinely concerned that we won’t be able to even stand to play these games. That point actually brings me nicely to where I wanted to start writing about the actual game, so here goes:

If you aren’t familiar with this game you’re probably wondering what makes it so special. Well it’s the fact that it actually gets you off your backside, forcing you to mime the actions of the players in order to properly control the action. I’ve managed to cripple myself a few times playing the baseball “homerun challenge” just to name one example.

However, If you don’t live in Japan and you bought a new Wii, you will have at least initially, owned a copy of Wii Sports. It was the launch game bundled with the Wii and what an introduction to the one truly original console of the past few generations it was! Everyone I’ve persuaded to play this from 5 year-olds to 65 year-olds have had a whale of a time with one sport or another on this wonder of a game. Simple to learn and difficult to master, there is a game or a mode for every level of player- Whether you want to idly knock a ball back and forth whilst pretending you’re Andy Murray and crying into your Cheetos or you think you’d give Rory McIlroy a swift kicking in the back nine, there’s something in it for you.

In case you somehow missed this phenomenon, I’ll give you a brief overview of the game – You (or rather your painstakingly crafted in-game avatar) can choose to compete in any of the following games (listed alphabetically as I’m a little OCD at times)  – baseball, bowling, boxing, golf or tennis. When you start out, you play against appropriately inexperienced AI players, but as your aptitude increases, so does that of your opponents. If you reach a “level” of 1000 at a particular sport, you become a “Pro” and are rewarded with something shiny – a glittery bowling ball, golden bat and whathaveyou. There are other play modes as well – the fitness test thing is pretty good – you are randomly given three different games (and modes of them) to play and based on your performance given an apparently arbitrarily determined “Age.” This is always a fun way to compete with your co-habitants.

Sadly, we aren’t going to have enough time to play each game mode really, so we have decided ahead of time which games and formats we’ll be using – Standard rules baseball, 3-set singles tennis and 9 holes of golf. That, golf that is, is going to be hilarious. I can’t make par on a good day, never mind the state we’ll be in on the night.

I suppose it’s time for a prediction then. We’ll be reaching new levels of staying power for either us by this point and it’s going to messy, whoever wins. But I have decided I will win. Just because I really can’t even begin to fathom how this is going to play out.

 

Liam:  Did you know Wii Sports is the biggest selling video game of all time with over 82 million copies sold? That’s roughly the total number of record sales of the Red Hot Chili Peppers over their 30 year career. Mind blowing stuff. This does however take into account the fact that the game was bundled with consoles in all places but Japan

Wii sports was a launch game for the Nintendo Wii, a console which has changed modern gaming a great deal and threw console gaming back into the front rooms of the casual gamer. Everyone knows someone who owns a Wii and this game was the perfect launch game for the console and worked out as being the quintessential ‘Killer App’. The fun of motion gaming cannot be explained in trailers or described in articles, instead Nintendo released a series of mini-games all of which use the Wii’s motion control in a manner so intuitive that this game is truly pick up and play. It was exactly what Nintendo needed for their new console and soon people had in their room a gaming system which could involve the whole family from young children to pensioners.

The game represented five games: Bowling, Boxing, Tennis, Golf and Baseball. Over the hour we are looking to play all but bowling and boxing, with bowling sadly taking too long to complete a game and boxing being far too much bloody effort. All of these games are a very simple representation of the game and controlled by swinging, waggling or flailing the ‘wiimote’ at the screen. None of the games require a great deal of skill and compared to modern motion games feel a bit clunky and imprecise, to the point where you realise that a quick wrist flick of the ‘wiimote’ while lying on the sofa is just as effective as getting up and prancing about like an idiot in front of your television. After 23 hours solid awake staring at a computer screen I will be very grateful for the opportunity to stretch out.

Quick predictions based on the three games. I think Tennis will be fairly even, I have the advantage with the Golf and Joel is probably just ahead of me on the Baseball so we are looking at a pretty tight contest. It might just come down to who is the least stiff and retains the most flexibility leading into the matches; I think this may be my secret weapon. If we spy someone surreptitiously limbering up during Need for Speed at least we know why.

1997 – GoldenEye 007

GoldenEye 007

goldeneye
Developer(s) Rare
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Martin Hollis
Producer(s) Martin Hollis
Artist(s) Karl Hilton
Writer(s) David Doak
Composer(s) Graeme Norgate
Grant Kirkhope
Robin Beanland
Series James Bond
Platform(s) Nintendo 64
Release date(s)
  • JP 23 August 1997
  • NA 25 August 1997
  • EU 25 August 1997
Genre(s) First-person shooter, stealth
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Joel: This here, is a significant moment in the marathon – not only is it going to bring us to the halfway point of our sojourn, but it is also the first game on a 64-bit machine in our list.

At the time this was doing the rounds, I wasn’t lucky enough to own an N64 – I think I was into PC gaming in ’97- things like Diablo, Destruction Derby, Carmageddon – but several of my friends had this, so I got plenty of exposure to it. Based around the lore of the GoldenEye film, the premise was that you, a certain Mr. Bond, are tasked with preventing a nasty criminal type using some crazy satellite weapon to destroy London, or something. Who played this in single player anyway? This was all about the evolutionary leaps made in the arena of FPS games by this beauty of a title. I don’t even like the Bond franchise, but boy do I love this game.  What’s it got that the other didn’t? well… it was the first with a zooming sniper rifle and the first with 4-way local multiplayer. Probably a few more things, but that 4-way local multiplayer was the big deal. One of the first proper “party games” I remember Many a night was spent squinting at a quarter of a 14″ portable TV and yelling at my friends rather than doing things normal people did, like, I don’t know, going outside. As I said above though, I didn’t get my hands on one of these until some years after their prime when I managed to pick one up for a tenner at a car boot sale, complete with a small selection of games, controllers and cables. This being one of the games I got. I was delighted to find it hadn’t lost any of its appeal and I had soon obtained enough controllers for 4-way action AND had a big enough telly to actually see it. That was possibly the best tenner I ever spent. Though the Dreamcast I picked up a few months back, also for a tenner, was pretty special.

So, to summarise, this is a great example of the FPS genre and I think, something of a portent. I wouldn’t call it “ahead of its time” but it definitely helped define things to come. Liam and I are both pretty decent FPS’ers, but I think I probably have more recent experience here.

Liam:  dundedun dun dun dun dundedun dun dun dun dundedun dun dun dun dundedun dun dun dun DA DAAA da da da

I think when we first discussed doing this challenge for charity I think Joel’s first question was ‘So we get to play GoldenEye?’ For good reason too – GoldenEye has a special place in the hearts of people our age as it was the first time, barring j-cart games or people who owned a multitap, four players could play together easily meaning that everyone was involved. The wide array of characters (including Oddjob, who is BANNED Joel!) and massive selection of weapons really showed off the N64s capabilities as a new generation of console.

I always liked the N64, it looked very odd and the controller took some getting used to, but it represented a massive shift in gaming consoles. Going from the Mega Drive to the N64 in our challenge will be a huge jump.

I never owned a N64. I had a pretty decent PC (a 486dx4 100… not quite a Pentium which Joel loved reminding me of every fucking day) and for me, 1996 meant the start of online multiplayer gaming with Diablo, GTA, Red Alert and Quake playable over a dial up connection. PC gaming was going through a kind of renaissance so by this point and was far more content playing PC games on my own. It really doesn’t surprise me that this golden era of 95-97 spawned some franchises that are still (or should be!) selling millions of copies now… Diablo, GTA, Fallout, Age of Empires, Quake, Dungeon Keeper, FF7 and Warcraft 2 were all released on the PC over these 3 years.

I didn’t need to own a N64 to log hundreds of hours of GoldenEye though… everyone else I knew had one and loved to play multiplayer. Being used to the smooth scrolling and mouse look setting of the OpenGL powered Quake (why aren’t we playing Quake?) I found controller based FPS games clunky and inaccurate, luckily when playing GoldenEye 4 player you never got relentlessly targeted and the inaccuracy and clunkyness became part of the games charm. If it was a 4 player game I recon I can hold me own, but in a 1v1 without a keyboard and mouse I won’t stand much of a chance.

1992 – Street Fighter II

Street Fighter II

Although Street Fighter II was not the first f...
Developer(s) Capcom
Publisher(s) Capcom
Producer(s) Yoshiki Okamoto
Designer(s) Akira Nishitani (Nin Nin), Akira Yasuda (Akiman)
Programmer(s) Shinya Ikuta
Artist(s) Eri Nakamura, Satoru Yamashita
Composer(s) Yoko Shimomura, Isao Abe
Series Street Fighter
Platform(s) Arcade, Super NES,Mega Drive/Genesis,Master System, Amiga,Atari ST, Commodore 64,ZX Spectrum, PC,Game Boy, PlayStation,Sega Saturn,PlayStation Portable, iOS,PlayStation 2, Xbox,Java ME, Virtual Console(Wii)
Release date(s) Arcade March 1991, SNES August 1992
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Media/distribution ROM, cartridge, Compact Cassette, floppy disk
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system CP System
CPU 10 MHz
Display Raster, horizontal orientation, 384 x 224 pixels, 4096 colors, 60 Hzrefresh rate

 

Joel:  Well, this game stands for quite a lot in gaming terms – it was the de-facto standard for fighters for a long time, has a huge following and regularly releases new versions. Sadly, that’s what’s also wrong with it – so many variations, updates, versions, crossovers and re-imaginings. The original Street Fighter was, in my opinion at least, poop. I don’t think the home consoles were up to the task of anything like accurate re-creation of the arcade version. I never saw the Amiga port, that might have had the grunt for it, but the C64 and speccy most certainly did not. You might argue it was “ahead of its time.” However – with the addition of those extra 8 bits and something of an overhaul, Street Fighter II blazed onto our little home TV’s in a way no fighter had before. Loads of characters to choose from, rich, colourful settings, improved fight configuration… This really made Street Fighter a household name. Then they did it again and again and again with the Turbo edition – the first game I played in this franchise being the final permutation in this format. This is where it all went wrong, in my opinion. SFII: Turbo was in fact the fifth incarnation of SFII. Then came more and more watered down versions of a similar premise – the SF Alpha series – another 3 mediocre releases, the EX series –  three more. The vs series – where they tried to fuse other brands into SF lore, such as Tekken and Marvel characters – another five or six releases… SF3 with 3 or 4 permutations and then on to SF4 if you can believe it, all in the space of about 20 years. As a franchise it is remarkably successful and these are just my opinions on the matter, but I haven’t enjoyed a release of Street Fighter since SFII. Their early attempts at 3D playfields still cause me to involuntarily shudder when I think about them.

 

All that said though, I am quite looking forward to this challenge. As I said way back at the start, I did enjoy this franchise back then and put quite a lot of time into ‘Turbo, so with a little luck and some muscle memory, I should have Liam on his back in pretty short order.

 

SHORYUKEN!!

 

Liam:  It honestly doesn’t seem that long ago I was playing this game – hard to believe that the game was released 21 years ago. It was probably the first vs fighting game I had played, although I much preferred Midways Mortal Kombat which if it wasn’t for the threat of 2hours solid of 2d fighting games would have been my choice for 1993. However we didn’t have a SNES game and considering it was one of my favourite consoles (mainly for Zelda, Mario All Stars, Super International Cricket, Sim Ant and Earthbound) we couldn’t go without it.

 

Street Fighter inhabits a world where superhuman fighters with extraordinary powers fly around the world beating the snot out of each other instead of taking to the streets in lycra fighting crime – dicks. The game itself had a pretty flimsy plot told through a series of shorts once the game had been beaten – the best being Zangief Cossack dancing with the last Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in what can only be described as a video game equivalence of Glasnost. Memorable because in between the games coding and it’s home release in the UK in 1992 the Soviet union had fallen, you can’t blame Capcom for not predicting it – nobody did really. The stars of the show were Ryu – a martial arts fella from Japan and his bessie mate Ken who both had pretty much the same move set with the same special moves, Chun-Li – a Chinese fast kicking fighter who is a cosplay favourite and E Honda – a sumo wrestler with who can just spam a punch button (or a turbo pad if you want to be a proper bellend) and become almost unbeatable. I used to play as Zangief – but I also used to know the buttons.

 

The last version of Street Fighter I played was SSF4 which I enjoyed far more than I thought I would, although I was absolutely terrible at it. Street Fighter 2 was a classic, but seeing how much fighting games have moved on I have a funny feeling SF2 will feel very dated and this hour is going to be quite painful. I will still beat Joel though because he sucks.

 

 

 

SNES Games Charity Auctions!

Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) Eur...

Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) European version. Photo by User:Sandos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charity Auction o’clock!

Right then folks – As you’ll no doubt have been keeping a close eye on our updates, you’ll obviously have already seen my post with the SNES in? Obviously. Well, in case you missed it, it came with a load of games. Most of them are football – Got the original FIFA international Soccer in there! Anyway, I’ve decided to put some of them up on a certain auction site. Any profits made from these sales will be promptly handed over to Child’s Play. Can’t say fairer than that, can I? So, click the link, check the list and dig deep!http://goo.gl/pxJI3


-Even if you don’t bid, take a look at the Virtual Soccer listing to see the original Woolies till receipt from 1994! That alone has to be worth something, right?

1986 – Excitebike

Excitebike

A screenshot of the game.

A screenshot of the game. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Developer(s) Nintendo R&D1
Arika (3DS)
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Shigeru Miyamoto
Composer(s) Akito Nakatsuka
Series Excite
Platform(s) NES/Famicom,NEC PC-8801, Sharp X1,Arcade,Game Boy Advance,Nintendo GameCube(Animal Crossing), Wii(Virtual Console), 3DS(eShop)
Release date(s) EU September 1, 1986
Genre(s) Racing game
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Media/distribution 192-kilobit cartridge

 

Joel:  This is another old favourite of mine, seems a lot of the older-end of the list are games I like a lot, I guess that says something about me :\ I honestly didn’t realise quite how old this one is – I remember picking it up some time in the nineties when my folks bought me a discount NES after considerable harassment (bundled with Mario 2 – That’s a tough game.) It was the first game I played where one could build their own courses and even save them IIRC.. This was revolutionary for me. Suffice to say I hardly touched the “normal” mode, favouring making stupidly impossible courses that the little bike man couldn’t even dream of conquering. I actually picked up the Wii Virtual Console version of this as soon as it was released, but it falls victim to the button-lag that plagues Wii virtual arcade games, which is a real shame. OK Rant time – The Wii was the first of the current (well last now I guess) gen consoles I bought and I did so because of the promise of a library of backward compatible games to be released through their store. Whilst they most certainly have produced a veritable cornucopia of legacy games for use on the Wii, the button lag makes a lot of them difficult to play at their intended speed. This may well be what started me down the road of re-buying all the old consoles I used to have – nothing compares to the originals.

So to summarise – Excitebike -Good. Virtual console -not so much. Liam’s chances of winning this one? I wouldn’t bet on him.

 

Liam: A racing game. I have issues with simulation racing games, mainly due to the fact that I have zero interest in going round and round in circles. I don’t see the point in Formula 1, Nascar or even go karting. I don’t drive and can’t even ride a bike.

I have observed a law in driving games that the level of awesomeness isI directly proportional to the level of violence. Check out this list of awesome driving games :-

  • Road Rash – Awesome
  • Burnout 3 Takedown – Awesome
  • Destruction Derby – Awesome
  • Mario Kart – Awesome
  • Carmageddon – Really awesome.

Submit this shit to some sort of scientific journal! It works for films as well. Would you rather watch Days of Thunder or Deathrace 2000? Yeah I thought so.

Excitebike is not a violent game, but on the other hand it is not a simulation really. The game itself is pretty simple which is makes it fun. Watch the temperature gauge, avoid obstacles and other riders, and land your jumps. The one thing that makes this game great is that you can speed ahead (or time your jump right) and get in front of your opposition and clip their front wheel with your rear wheel. It then takes them out of the game for a few seconds. This generally causes your opponent to hurl the NES controller at you in a pique of fury. The non-violent game is now a violent game! Hurrah!

I may not win, but I think I can damage Joel’s blood pressure enough to make it entertaining!