25/08/2017

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 Pok√©mon 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
Yoshiiiiiiiiiiii!!!

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.