Nostalgic Video Game Review And Procrastination

As usual I’m supposed to be doing homework, but it seemed like I was in pretty good shape last night, so what the heck? I’ll see if I can find something interesting to say before I start this morning.

Yesterday my brother and I went over to Game Stop while my mom was picking up food because we’ve been wanting to get a copy of “Border Lands.” I don’t really know what it’s about, but my brother says it’s a two-player, split-screen, adventure shooter, which sounds like fun. I’m very bad at shooters, but he assures me it won’t be that hard. I can do okay as long as I have a team mate.

Anyway, while we were there, my brother went off on a nostalgic tangent about Play Station 1 and 2 games. We both agree that the best video games were made in the late 90’s to early 2000’s, with a few very good exceptions, of course.

My favorite video games of all time are (and this is not in any particular order):

Jack and Daxter (PS 2)
Spyro 1, 2 and 3 (PS 1 and 2)
Spyro 1, 2 and 3 remakes/new story (PS 2)
Crash Team Racing (PS 1)
Crash Warped (PS 2, I think)
Crash Bash (PS 1)
Journey (PS 3)

If you haven’t played these and you like relatively easy/fun games, you should absolutely play them. I know for a fact you can download the original 3 Spyro games, Crash Team Racing (CTR) and Crash Warped on a PS 3.

Jack and Daxter basically a fantasy platformer. Each area is “related” to a different element, which are different from the standard water, fire, etc. Different forms of energy in this game give you different abilities. The basic story line is that Jack and his buddy Dxter are two young boys who head over to a dark, creepy island, which (it’s safe to assume) they’re not supposed to be doing. Daxter falls into a vat of “dark ooze,” and is turned into a little orange fuzzy thing. Originally the point of the game is to make it through all the levels to presumably reach the Dark Sage (or something to that effect, I haven’t played this in a while), to get Daxter changed back. But like any good fantasy game, the point shifts to SAVIN’ THE WORLD!

The original 3 Spyro games are very straight forward. The point is to go through all the levels, collect all the treasure, free all the dragons and collect all the dragon eggs to unlock “The Super Bonus World.” There’s a version of this final level in all three games. There are a few puzzles here and there but for the most part it’s very straight forward. Of the three, I like the third one (Year Of The Dragon) the best.

The next couple Spyro games were really awful. I think they just tried to extend the story farther than it could or needed to go. Then a new trilogy came out that basically started the story over. These three games (the names of which escape me at the moment) were actually pretty good. The first one was a bit too easy, but overall they had a pretty good plot line, the enemies were pretty interesting and there was even a two-player aspect in the third one. The only thing I really think think they could have done better is voice acting/dialogue. Some of it was just painfully corny. I also don’t particularly love what they did with the dragonfly, Sparks. In the original three games, he would change colors to indicate how much health you had. In the second trilogy the only purpose he served was comic relief (which he actually did a good job with).

Crash Team Racing and Crash Bash are just fun multi-player games. CTR is like any old racing game. Weird track and characters meet ridiculous weapons such as the Electric Bomb (my name for it) and Homing Missile. I think the appeal of CTR is that it’s not quite as trippy as any of the Mario racing games (although I suppose it’s arguable depending on the track). Crash Bash is similar in that it doesn’t actually have a plot. You could probably call it a smaller Mario Party equivalent. The mini-games are very violent and completely ridiculous. It’s even fun to lose in that game. My brother and I couldn’t beat a particular mini game, but we couldn’t stop laughing because of what happens when you lose. If you want to know what happens, you’ll just have to play it. What’s good about this game is that you definitely need to use teamwork to win in most cases.

Crash Warped is similar to the original Spyro games in that the the point is to collect all the items and defeat all the bosses to get 100%. I don’t think I need to go into much detail about this one because it’s so similar. One aspect that I somewhat dislike is that you basically have to go through each level at least three times (for different reasons, of course) before you beat the game.

As you can tell, Journey is the only “recent” game on my list. I already gave a description in my post “Mind Candy,” but I’ll give a quick one here. The point is literally just to get to the shiny mountain. There’s no actual reason for getting there, it’s just what you have to do. You do so by going through the levels with the aid of these little magical cloth creatures. The music and the use of sound in the game are fantastic. The scenery is beautiful, and the multi-player is pretty fun. The only downside is that it’s only online, which means you can’t play with your friend who is sitting next to you. Even so, it’s kind of fun to go through the game with a mysterious stranger. Interestingly, your only way of communicating is with the little chirps that your characters can make, but it works pretty darn well. You learn to use it effectively pretty quickly.

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