Saturn Bomberman

Dynamite down the pants, explodo!

I thought that Super Bomberman could not be improved upon. It had everything it needed and looked good doing it. Why, then, would you ever need another Bomberman title on the 1001 list? Because Saturn Bomberman is better.

Look at that map. That's the story mode. Saturn Bomberman has a story. So did Super Bomberman but it's crap when compared to this. The Bomberman grid is there but is hidden amongst trees and lamp posts and you're blowing up ice cream, for some reason. It doesn't matter, it looks fantastic.

It looks so good in fact that I resolved, there and then, to try and get Sega Saturn emulation working - or working better for me in any event - just so I could play Saturn Bomberman.

Did I succeed?


Time Crisis


It still bothers me that I can't remember how or why I got a light gun for the PlayStation. I know I used it to play Die Hard Trilogy, and I'm fairly sure it was a straight up Guncon, which means it was made by Namco and probably shipped with Time Crisis, and yet I have no recollection of Time Crisis at all.

Did I get the light gun second hand? Am I thinking of a different light gun entirely? Did I even have a light gun of my own or was I borrowing it or playing at a friends house or something? These are questions with answers I'll never know, but here's a question with an answer I can: What's Time Crisis like?

There's only so much you can do in on-rails light gun shooters, but Namco added the one thing that was missing from them all until now - ducking into cover.

Most people in the arcades back then thought that light gun shooters were dangerous games. Now, if I were to stand up, I might be killed. But to us, behind this wooden crate, they're pretty safe - so to us, light gun shooters are safe games right here. We feel pretty safe. Do you feel safe?


PaRappa the Rapper

I gotta believe!

Source // PlayStation.com

I don't have the lyrical genius to succinctly introduce you to a dog, in a beanie, who solves his problems by learning valuable life lessons taught via the medium of rap. I just can't do it. But what I can do is say that I never owned PaRappa the Rapper as a child - or an adult, for that matter - because I wasn't really interested in it.

It holds a spot in our collective memories as being 'that game with the rapping dog and the onion karate teacher' because that's probably what most people saw PaRappa as - that one demo whose rap gets stuck in your head for a while.

Is there any substance to this little game then? I have absolutely no idea, but it just so happens that a remake has been recently released for the PlayStation 4, so let's get our rap on.


Pilotwings 64

No, he was the man. It was a really great move. He was inverted.

Way back when, I played Pilotwings and didn't quite get off the ground with it, despite the game taking place everywhere other than the ground. The controls were imprecise, or perhaps precisely too precise, and my level of skill was so far off the charts that getting into the office in order to take the various pilot license tests was an achievement too far.

Enter, then, Pilotwings 64, a 3D sequel, again releasing alongside its host console, the Nintendo 64, hoping to introduce players to the skies with a colourful cast of characters whizzing about a tropical island in hang gliders, jetpacks and gyrocopters.

Will the introduction of an analogue stick lead to more success for me? There's only one way to find out.


Resident Evil

Enter the survival horror.

We all have our favourite genres, and we probably all have genres that we don't even touch. Survival horror titles are one of the genres I don't even touch. Dark, dingy environments littered with things whose sole purpose is to make me shit myself in fear? Nah, not my cup of tea, that. Shame we've got a load of them on this 1001 list then, with the grandfather of the lot of them perhaps being Resident Evil.

Bravo Team of the Raccoon City PD's Special Tactics and Rescue Service have gone into the wilderness to investigate some strange murders, but all contact with them has been lost. Alpha Team is sent in to find them, but what they discover is something altogether more mysterious and deadly than a bunch of murders.

Before we start, let's get the warnings out of the way...

Still with us? Good good.




"Hey, John, this 2.5D thing we've got going on for Doom is great and all, but we can do better, right?"
"Totally, John, we can add another 0.5D, I reckon."
"You mean we can get an actual 3D game going if we put the work in?"
"You bet, and it'd look great as another first-person shooter."
"That's a damn good idea there, John."
"Certainly is, John."

And that was how id Software got started on Quake...

When I got this PC of mine a few years back, I obviously had to test some of the standout games to see what this rig could even do. Not knowing a whole lot about PC gaming, I played it somewhat safe and started by chucking a load of Skyrim mods together, and that seemed to run pretty darn well. Convinced I had made the right choice, I fired up some old-school games which were, after all, going to be the majority of games I play on here. Quake was one of those titles to get a quick blast.

I have no history with Quake beyond that. I'd never played it before then, nor its sequels and spinoffs. The closest I got to playing Quake was playing Unreal Tournament on a PlayStation 2, and we all know how close that is to playing Quake (not very).

I knew of it, as a great many players probably do know of it, but I had simply not been around PCs when Quake unleashed itself upon gaming history, and given how monumental it was to that history, that needs to be rectified.

Let's ready our shotguns and prepare to enter the Slipgate.


Marathon Infinity

And beyond!

If you know a thing or two about Halo, you might well know that it was originally heading to the Mac before eventually ending up as the Xbox juggernaut it has since become. It was heading there because developers Bungie Software had a fair bit of history with the Mac, including an entire trilogy of Marathon titles, the third of which, Marathon Infinity, making its way onto the 1001 list.

Like Halo, Marathon Infinity is a first-person shooter set somewhere in the Universe that isn't Earth. You'll be fending off all kinds of monstrous threats as you navigate the maze-like levels to the best of your abilities, all the while pointing out references to the Halo series, should you know any.

Anyway, it's time to head towards infinity...


Harvest Moon

I want a combine harvester.

Not gonna lie,  Harvest Moon looks so dull that I've been doing all in my power to put off playing it for as long as possible. It is a pleasant looking little 16-bit farm simulator, complete with chubby cows, adorable chickens, mans best friend and some villagers and lots of farm antics and changes of seasons and work and ugh, just end it already.

It's like an empty Zelda. It's got that look, but where are the clear and visible threats to my wellbeing? What do I do? Why am I doing it? Let's attempt to find out.


GTI Club: Rally Côte d'Azur

Go Ahead. Keep This Way.

Source // Moby Games

A rallying game set in the French Riviera, where the sun constantly shines and the fact that eight drivers are smashing cars through restaurant seating in an effort to take drastic shortcuts to catch the front-runners isn't worried about? Why GTI Club: Rally Côte d'Azur, you've captured my attention...


Nights into Dreams

New Record though...

As I think I've mentioned before, the Sega consoles flew right past me as a child. I have more fingers on one hand than I know people who owned a Mega Drive, and I couldn't tell you anyone who owned a Saturn and insisted that I play Nights into Dreams, a chilled version of Sonic the Hedgehog, you might say, with more depth and fewer animals.

Dream energy is getting stolen from unsuspecting dreamers Elliot and Claris, and it is up to a flying jester-looking guy called Nights to help them get it back. It's the right thing to do, I suppose.


International Track & Field

Brilliant! Excellent! You are the winner!

Aaahhhh-thletics. Athletics can be interesting. Events are shows of strength, both physical and in character. The competitors hail from all kinds of backgrounds and upbringings and compete on the levelest playing field that there could possibly be, with absolutely no drugs in sight.

There aren't any drugs in International Track & Field, but there is the potential for drama. The extreme lows of frustration are followed by the exhilarating highs of victory as players battle it out across eleven track and field events, either against the computer or a bunch of other people on the same couch.

I don't have a bunch of people or a couch, so I'm going toe to toe against ol' CPU to see where I stand in this world of sport. May I bash my buttons with precision and skill, rather than blind rage, all in an effort to cross the line first, throw the thing the furthest, or whatever else we find ourselves doing.


Guardian Heroes

"Does he obey our commands? This is gonna be fun!"

Source // NeoGAF

Do you like side-scrolling beat 'em ups? Do you like role-playing games? Do the stories you enact simply have to include branching paths and multiple endings? Do you only have a Sega Saturn with which to experience all these things, and must have them all appear in one game? Then it looks like Guardian Heroes is for you and your weirdly specific preferences.

Four young warriors have stumbled across an epic sword, and then the troubles really start, as they find themselves brought into a battle between spirits of the Earth and the Sky. And I thought it was just a button masher.


The Neverhood

*gibberish mumble mumble brrrpbrpbrrp*

"The Neverhood? Neverhood of it before in my life!"

Seriously though, I haven't seen nor heard of The Neverhood up until this point in time, and I am perhaps gladder than I've ever been to see that corrected and to fill in another blank spot in my knowledge of gaming history.

Created by the guy who brought you Earthworm Jim comes the somewhat silly adventure of Klaymen, seemingly alone in the world called The Neverhood. Not much adventuring to be had with nobody to interact with, is there? What's a funny point and click without funny conversation trees?

Oh yeah, this game is a point and click. Aaaaand, let's go!


Mario Kart 64


"Who loves Super Mario Kart?"
"I love Super Mario Kart. That's a classic game, right there, yessirree."
"Who wants to see it leap into the third dimension, a strange place where tracks can have curves and bumps and uppy-downy bits and scenery - actual scenery?"
"I'd like to see that, yes, certainly."
"Then I give to you, Mario Kart 64. All the graphical power of the Nintendo 64, with none of the sprite work from yesteryear."
"But there's spri--"

There's something inherently fun about not letting go of the accelerator as you tear around an otherworldly race track, dropping bananas and F-bombs as you go. I don't know what it is exactly. Maybe it's the fact that it's so not serious, and yet in a multiplayer battle - literally or not - it sure can be.

Mario Kart 64 is perhaps the forgotten Mario Kart game. It hasn't aged brilliantly, but that's not going to stop me from rediscovering it twenty-odd years later.


Civilization II

"Your attempted 'review' makes us laugh."

A while back, I said that I would never have the time for a proper game of Civilization, where I'm in control of every tiny detail, micromanaging my units across the globe. I had fun with it, but felt it was a little bit automatic, with advisors prompting me into this or that, promising me that it would mean something in the future - only I never knew what, exactly.

Why was I going down this path? Why should I build this unit? What is my strategy? I had little idea and was just following the motions until eventually wiped off the face of the map.

Fast forward to the here and now, and it's Civilization IIs time to put my knowledge to the test. What's changed? What's new? Will I still start as the English?

Well, duh, yeah.


Command & Conquer: Red Alert

Sooner or later, time will tell...

Until fairly recently, there were only two Command & Conquer titles that I'd owned, despite enjoying them a fair bit. The original, naturally, and Command & Conquer: Red Alert, both for the PlayStation. It'd be close to two decades before I'd gotten PC versions of them, and others, in The First Decade collection.

For this entry, I wanted to go and check out the PlayStation port before the PC version, mostly because I didn't do so for C&C and really ought to have done so. It's time to correct that mistake with Red Alert, and a version that I've not played this Millennium.

Alfred Einstein has gone back in time and killed Adolf Hitler, changing history as we know it. Has he done so for the better? What world do we now live in? Red Alert shows that we'll still find reasons to go to war.


Duke Nukem 3D

Hail to the King, baby.

Source // Wikipedia

I've always seen the early days of first person shooters as Doom vs Duke Nukem. Why, I don't know, because there's a whole load of games I'm ignoring from those early days, but it's those two that have defined the early days of the genre for me.

Now Doom isn't a serious game, but when you stack it up against anything starring the Duke, it most certainly is a serious title. And yet the Duke Nukem series isn't really a straight up piss take of the genre like I thought it was.

It's a parody but still requires you to be alert, quick witted, and thorough in your level exploration, and my first proper look at the series is here, now, in the form of Duke Nukem 3D.

All the Duke wanted was a vacation, but no, Los Angeles is infested with aliens who have turned the police force into violent pigs. Literally violent pig-men. It's the tongue-in-cheek Duke Nukem series alright...


The 301/1001 Milestone Awards

"Remember us." As simple an order as a game can give. "Remember why you played." For they did not wish tribute, nor song, nor monuments, nor poems of console wars and valour. Their wish was simple. "Remember us", they said to me. That was their hope, should any free soul across these technologies, in all the countless centuries yet to be. May all our voices whisper to you from the ageless cartridges, "Go tell the gamers, new player, that here by gaming greatness, we lie."

Oh, these Milestone Awards are like GCSEs - they get harder every time and still count for very little, but here we are, celebrating the next batch of brilliance that has been paraded before us. The 301/1001 Milestone Awards will see us struggle to select the best, the worst and the middles from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening to Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, and there are going to be cuts.

It is perhaps this list, more than any, that shows you how biased I am with all of these classic titles. This is the point in time where my childhood really started moving. It is the moment when memories really formed, and the first-hand experience with games I played for hours upon hours starts to leave lasting impressions.

Objectivity has gone out of the window, though to be fair, I don't know if it was ever in the room to begin with.

Speaking of beginnings, let's get The Indifferent 5 out of the way. Five games that, were they to be cast in 300, would be the guys towards the back of the pack, to flesh out the scene. Heck, their generic actions are probably copied and pasted - if they're even real people in the first place. They are, in no particular order, as follows.

The Dig, LucasArts
Virtua Cop 2, Sega AM2
Sub-Terrania, Zyrinx
Monster Max, Rare
Gravity Power, Jens Andersson and Jan Kronqvist

May you be remembered by a stone epitaph a few thousand years from now.

There is, unfortunately, one game that shouldn't be remembered in stone. One game from this batch must be the answer to the question What Was That 1 Even Put On The List For? The answer is simple.

What Was Little Big Adventure Even Put On The List For?

Just... ugh.

Why couldn't we have been allowed to play Twisted Metal instead? Or even Pokémon Red/Blue? In fact, if the list isn't going to take itself seriously, then I'm not going to take the next award seriously either. You Forgot What?! is the question we're bellowing into the beyond, and the beyond shouts back...

Of course it does. Why wouldn't it shout back The Lion King? He's the King of everything up to the goddamn horizon, after all.

Right. Down to business. The battlefield is strewn with combatants. Most will fall. Some who should have survived will definitely not. You're not going to like The Top Ten if you're a fan of Nintendo - I'm just sayin'.

10: Puzzle Bobble, Taito Corporation
Wee little time wasters do have their uses.

9: Worms, Team17
Name something after your friends and then drop rockets on their heads? Yes, please.

8: Yoshi's Island, Nintendo EAD
A little change of pace and something different to look at too. It's lovely.

7: Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament, Supersonic Software
My inner child definitely voted for this one. I don't know why I listen to him sometimes, he knows nothing.

6: Wipeout, Psygnosis
The music is still on shuffle, the design is still top notch, The Omega Collection is still waiting to be purchased, though...

5: Tekken, Namco
It's not even my favourite Tekken title, but damn it I'm a sucker for it.

4: Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Totally Games
Hella difficult, but I so want to get into it somehow.

3: Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Blizzard Entertainment
Didn't think I'd like it, couldn't put it down.

2: Command & Conquer, Westwood Studios
That. Theme music. Mmm.

Which leaves us with only one title. I told you that if you're a Nintendo fan this list isn't for you because there's no way I could not give the number 1 spot to Descent. Yes, that's right, even with Super Metroid on the list.

However, there is a bucket load of Nintendo titles on The Topper Than That Top Ten list - the best games from the 301 that have been played so far. How many of them still stand tall against these latest entries? Is The Oregon Trail still featured? Cavil! Stop Waffling. Gamers! Come and argue.

10: The Oregon Trail, MECC
It's slipping! It's slipping but hasn't died yet. Still clinging to glory despite being the first game on the list.

9: Bomberman, Hudson Soft
I want to play another round right now.

8: Command & Conquer, Westwood Studios.
Played for hours, completed, played again. The sign of a good game, surely?

7: Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov
The screen is filling up now... It can't be too long before the pieces fall too fast for us to stay in control.

6: Super Mario Bros., Nintendo R&D4
He's still Super, but he's also slipping down the rankings.

5: Descent, Parallax Software
The puns will write themselves come The 351/1001 Milestone Awards, but until then, it sits right in the middle. Or hovers there, until it gets turned upside down and drives into a wall.

4: Doom, id Software
I hear someone has managed to get it to run on board games now.

3: Super Mario World, Nintendo EAD

2: Super Mario Kart, Nintendo EAD
Wipeout is great, but Mario Kart is Mario Kart.

1: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Nintendo EAD
The builders are in next door and I can't think straight over the sound of the machinery, but one look at a screen of Zelda - any screen - and I'm whisked away to a place where I just can't be bothered by the outside world.

So that's that, then. A few changes, but Nintendo still dominate. The 1990s are really steamrolling ahead now, and the next batch of 50 games begins with some guy called Duke Nukem. I'm sure he'll be a pleasant chap.

Until next time, game on.


Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo

And I thought it was everyone but Capcom who poked fun at their naming conventions...

Source // Game Oldies

It's easy to lose track of which versions of Street Fighter II you've played when there are at least eight of them out there, most with wacky titles that make little to no sense. Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, anyone? The series' title structure, or lack thereof, is a joke that I didn't think Capcom would take too well until researching Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.

There is no Puzzle Fighter. There is no Super Puzzle Fighter II. There is just one game and its title serves as a joke, poking fun at the absurdly named Street Fighter series that it dabbles with.

Here, 'fights' are less about your braun and more about your brain, as you carefully place and destroy blocks and gems in order to clog up your opponents' playing field before they clog up yours.

It's so simple that you don't even need to learn how to quarter circle, so I've no excuses.


Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars

Paris in the fall...

If I'm not mistaken, the first point and click adventure I played was Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars. It was definitely a demo, rather than the full game, and the internet points me towards it being given away with the Official UK PlayStation Magazine in March 1997.

I haven't played it since.

Not because it was a point and click, no. Honest. I thought the demo was awesome. A game that looked like a cartoon - that even moved like one. I hadn't come across that before. Earthworm Jim wasn't in my life until later, for one example that springs to mind.

Anyway, believe it or not, I liked the idea of Broken Sword and what it had to offer, but kids being kids and pocket money being pocket money, I didn't get Broken Sword. It just fell by the wayside as I got easily distracted by whatever came after it.

As life went on, I never saw a reason to go back and actually see what the game was like beyond the conclusion of that demo. I never looked into the sequels - never even knew about most of them - and Broken Sword was left as little more than a memory.

Until, of course, this 1001 list...


Sega Rally Championship


Source // Retro Gamer

Cars aren't really designed to be driven through the driver's side window, but damn are they a joy to watch when they are. I've always had a bit of a soft spot for rallying. Never really understood the likes of drifting and traction and changing road surfaces and all that stuff, but I don't go into games wanting all of that.

I want to put the pedal to the metal and thrash through a muddy field in the middle of Europe. In the rain. While a navigator somehow keeps his cool despite shouting into my ear, and onlookers dart for cover behind the nearest bramble bush.

Rallying is messy, noisy, stupidly fast and seems to go against everything that track racing stands for, so it was only a matter of time before someone gave a bit of thought to creating a game so that we can rally in the safety of the arcades.

Sega Rally Championship is that game, and it's arguably the first game to connect players to the road beneath their wheels. Handling matters. Adapting to change is a necessity. Having a good time is mandatory, and I can't wait to play.


The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery

When the point and click fans go marching in...

Do you think I'm the kind of person to know of the Grabriel Knight series of point and click adventure games? I'm not the kind of person to know that Gabriel Knight is a name that is even associated with video games, let alone that it's the name of the lead character in a bunch of point and click adventure games.

If I don't know that, then there's no chance in Hell that I'd know that The Beast Within, the second game in the series, went down the full motion video, interactive movie route, putting blue-screened actors inside digital photos where, somewhere, there exists the thing you need to click on to progress the plot.

After reading that it was indeed a point and click with real people, I was interested in playing it. The introduction movie gives me no ideas as to what's going on, but what's new there? It's got fire and German folks in it, that's about all I gathered before being introduced to Gabriel Knight himself.


Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness


The juggernaut that is World of Warcraft had to start somewhere, and while Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness wasn't that start, it is the first of the Warcraft titles to make the 1001 list.

A real-time strategy title in the vein of Command & Conquer but swapping out humans for humans and orcs, tiberium for gold and wood, and full motion video cutscenes with in-game one-liners that do eventually get a bit old but at least lend to the almost cartoony charm on display.

It may sound like a reskin of a more familiar game, but saying that doesn't really give it a chance to show itself off, so I'm going to dive right into another game I've never played, absolutely blind as usual.

Wish me luck.


Return Fire

"I've got an awful lot to live for."

On a list as large as this, you can't expect every single entry to be ground breaking, or earth shattering, or such a giant leap forward for the technology that everything else is insignificant in comparison. It's just not going to happen. Some games are on the 1001 list just because you should have a go at them.

Return Fire is one of those games.

It's not often a game is centred around vehicles blowing up everything man-made in an attempt to find and capture an enemy flag, but I doubt it's the reason Return Fire makes the list. It's also somewhat of a rarity to hear classical and conveniently out-of-copyright music because it can sound a little cliché and cheesy, but it's present in Return Fire and somehow makes the game worth playing.

Return Fire's inclusion is currently boggling to me, so it's time to fire it up and see what's going on.


The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis


This game has such a nonsense title that I must have blanked it from my memory until it came time to write this entry because I had to triple check that what I had written down, The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, was an actual game, and not something I'd typed horribly wrong.

If I didn't know the name was correct, there's no way I'd guess that it was an educational title that has you guide little blue blobs through logic puzzles on their way to a new village.

The games you never knew existed, eh?


Chrono Trigger

Lower thine guard, and thou'rt allowing the enemy in...

The SNES had quite a few role playing games to keep players busy, but there's one that does things a little bit differently, and it's got a fanbase desperately wanting more from a series that can barely be called a series in the first place.

Chrono Trigger follows the time-hopping adventures of Chrono and friends, where battles in the past must be won in order to make sure the future still takes place, and fights in that future must be won to save the world, as always.

It's a game that I've been aware of and watched in the past, but haven't ever played it. I've always thought that it'd be too much to get into, yet I read that it's on the short end of the RPG completion time scale, so at the very least I should finally get around to giving it a bash with a controller in hand.

Let's dive through the potentially definitely malfunctioning teleporter into strange yet familiar worlds, firstly on a quest to save a damsel who could well be in distress.


Yoshi's Island

Waaah. Waaaah!

You might know by now that I'm not terribly fussed about the Mario franchise. Very good games, don't get me wrong, but I'm never in a rush to get round to playing them, let alone playing them for any length of time, or with the intent of finishing them.

I'm not saying that that opinion has changed, but I will say that Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island has got the biggest reaction a Mario game has got from me for a while now.

All I knew about it was that Yoshi was heavily featured and that the art style was a little different. That's it. That's all I've got to go with as I dive back into the world of 2D platformers to see why this one needs to be played by gamers.

Let's get comfy and settle in for some fun.

These hills are so goddamn happy!


The Dig

Low to Brink. Low to Robbins. Low to Brink.

Of all the LucasArts point and click adventures, it's the one with the forgettable title that breaks the trend of outright funny dialogue and humourous situations in favour of a Steven Spielberg inspired tale of survival and aliens.

The Dig does eventually get around to having you dig something, but not until it has set the scene, and it's a scene you might not have ever guessed from the title. You're in control of Commander Boston Low, an astronaut on a mission to detonate nuclear weapons on the surface of an asteroid that has a 99% chance of slamming into the Earth.

The first thing you dig is a hole for your nuclear device, but things get a little more interesting from there...


Virtua Cop 2

Big Chase! Let's go!

If you're currently living in Virtua City, get the hell out. For the love of all that is Holy, get out. Have you seen the state of your city? Criminals greatly outnumber the citizens and all of them are happy to appear out of nowhere in vast numbers in the shooting range that is Virtua Cop 2.

Following on from the original arcade game comes a sequel with three short but action packed levels of murderous mayhem - in the name of justice, of course.

I'm not able to play the arcade original, nor do I have a light gun to point menacingly towards a television. The best I've got is Virtua Cop: Elite Edition for the PlayStation 2, which combines Virtua Cop 2 with Virtua Cop and updates the graphics and whatnot too. Quite the package for a quick blast at hundreds of villains.




So there's this new console coming out, right? The PlayStation, they call it. Cutting edge and grown up. The kind of thing that all the cool kids will own because they're not kids kids, they're older kids, you know? By default, they're cooler than you and your idiot friends. That's just how it is. When they're not filling their ears with electronica and club music past your bedtime, they'll be doing the drug that is Wipeout. WipEout. wipE'out". Whatever.

Wipeout is tough for me to explain, because it's not just Super Mario Kart meets science fiction, nor is it a 3D F-Zero. It's a racer with weapons, but that comes nowhere close to describing just how cultured Wipeout is.

When the PlayStation was set up in clubs for young adults to demo, it was Wipeout that was championing this new era of video gaming. Wipeout was a statement, of sorts. A symbol that gaming had evolved, to the point where we ought to think about the medium in new ways.

That's a load of waffle though. Most of that stuff goes above my head, I just play the games, and I played a lot of Wipeout as an idiot kid, and stuck with the series - on and off, it must be said - to the modern generations of consoles. It's time to remember where it all began.


Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom

What are you, my Mother?

"Hey, Cavil"
"Yes, 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die?"
"You know how I've chucked a few flight sims your way recently, allowing you to experience the joy of dogfighting in space from the comfort of your office chair, with the sweetly calibrated refurbished flight stick you got because it was cheap?"
"Yeah, those games are great!"
"Weeeellll, how about another one, with film quality full motion video starring Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowel, John Rhys-Davis..."
"I've heard of those people!"
"Then let me introduce to you Wing Commander IV"

Were the 1001 list to be anthropomorphized, that might have been the conversation we had about the next game on the list, the fourth - I would imagine - in the Wing Commander series, Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom.

Following on from the plot, or at least the canon of the earlier games in the series, this high budget space combat simulator sees you play as Mark Hamill, reprising his role as Colonel Christopher 'Maverick' Blair, hero of the... plot... I have no idea.

There doesn't appear to any kind of start menu here, so I've no choice but to sit back and pay attention to this wonderful mix of CGI and live action actual human beings in my video game.

I know it's not the first time we've seen people in video games, but cut me some slack eh. Even Kane doesn't compare to these guys. Sorry, Kane.



Ascending through the rankings?

Over the past year or so, at the time of writing this, I've been as invested in board gaming as I have with video gaming, and on the top of the tables, you can play the dungeon crawling, part-RPG part-puzzle, figure heavy game called Descent.

It's alright. It's not piqued my interest enough to be in my collection, but I'll play it if it's brought out. I'm not sure why I'm telling you this, really, because Descent has nothing to do with Descent, the first person shooter flight sim hybrid, I suppose you'd call it.

I've only heard of Descent in passing and I wouldn't bet on being able to pick it out of a screenshot lineup (ignoring the fact that its 1001 write up is headed with a screenshot). Save for the genre and a few paragraphs explaining how actually really 3D it is, I'm in the dark on this one.

Let's pilot our way to the surface of the Moon.