You ever have those games you're ashamed to admit you've never played or finished? I have quite a few, that's why I've been on my recent backlog adventures. I've managed to get several titles off of my shame list, but it didn't do much, as there are still countless games that I need to get to. The games on this list are the most notable ones for me.
I was born the same year the NES came to the United States, and since I had a brother who was a few years older than me, naturally the NES wound up being our first videogame system. I consider the NES era to be the weird pre-teen age of videogames; a little wiser than it was in its infancy, but impressionable enough to where its best days were still ahead. Despite this, the NES is still my favorite console of all-time to this very day. Growing up in this era meant that I played all the classics: Super Mario Bros. 3, Castlevania, Contra, Punch-Out, and of course, Mega Man. Notice that I used the word 'played' and not 'completed'. Because videogames were still coming into their own, there were some designs choices that would need to be altered over the years, one of which would be difficulty.
I don't mind difficult games, I've completed my fair share of them, but as a youngster, I didn't have the fortitude or patience to stick with games that were giving me an extra hard time. While Mega Man games are far from being unbeatable, they're still mighty difficult, especially the 8-bit titles. If I were to go back I'm sure I'd be able to stick it out and beat one now, I just haven't. With the releases of Mega Man 9 and 10, I had renewed vigor for the series. I wound up getting to the final stage of MM9, which I've been told is one of the hardest Mega Man games there is, but I just never got around to finishing it. Mega Man 10 came around a couple years later and I wound up beating it...on easy mode. It counts, I guess. I've tried some of the Mega Man X titles, and Mega Man Zero, but it seems that I would always get fairly far, then come to a difficult section or level and give up in favor of different games. As a kid I would just give up and go outside, but now I give up and play one of the hundreds of other games sitting in my game room. I'm sorry Mega Man, I'll get to you eventually.
I've stated before that I've never liked turn-based combat with only a few exceptions. Also, I played a lot more Sega Genesis as a youngster than I did the Super Nintendo. I wound up having both, but the Genesis had the Sega Channel, which to this day is still one of the coolest gaming services that has ever existed. Because of this, I missed out on a lot of classic SNES games. You may have noticed that 4 of the 5 games mentioned in last weeks Top 5 were SNES games, and now you know why. I didn't play Final Fantasy II/III (or IV/VI if you want to be that guy), I didn't play Chrono Trigger, I didn't play Earthbound, and the list goes on. I tried playing Chrono Trigger when it was ported to the DS and wound up making it to the Black Omen, which I'm told is pretty far into the game, but I got frustrated because I couldn't make any progress and quit the game. I don't know if perhaps I was under-leveled (screw grinding) or if there was some tactic I should have been using that would have helped, but nevertheless, I put it down and never returned.
Every game that I've mentioned in this entry is one that many people will argue for being the greatest game of all-time. I see their points, and I did enjoy the time I spent with Chrono Trigger up until I got to the Black Omen. There's a part of me that feels like less of a gamer because I haven't finished--or started--some of these games. I'm still in backlog mode, I just started Secret of Mana, so perhaps one of these other games will be the next one I tackle.
Outside of a short, plump, Italian plumber, I would have to say that Metal Gear Solid is my favorite series. I've been in love with it since I first explored Shadow Moses back in 1998, and every title that has come since then has been one that I frothed over. My anticipation hasn't dwindled at all, as Phantom Pain is the only game I currently have pre-ordered and is easily my most anticipated game of 2015. The one title that I just can't get into, and shames me to this day, is Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
Originally a PSP game, I had already traded in my PSP by the time the game was released, and it really bothered me that I didn't have a way to play the latest Metal Gear Solid. And it follows the events of Big Boss after Metal Gear Solid 3? Now I'm really bummed! It wasn't until the game was released as part of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection that I finally got my hands on it, and boy was I disappointed.
Peace Walker is much different than all other Metal Gear games. I'm not saying that just because a game is different than its predecessors that it's bad, but it's not what I wanted from a new Metal Gear Solid. To me, Metal Gear Solid has always been a single-player experience, and I didn't like the fact that playing online with others was both encouraged and necessary. I also didn't care for the base-building game-within-a-game. I only made it a handful of missions into the game before I came to a spot where I needed to blow up something that was blocking my path, but I didn't have C4. Where can I find the C4, I wondered. Well, it turns out I have to create it back at the base. The base where I don't fully understand what I'm supposed to be doing or how I'm supposed to be doing it. Eventually, I gave up.
Why couldn't there just be some C4 for me to find somewhere? Should I replay previous missions to gain more xp? Is there xp in this game? What's with this base? The only reason this game shows up on my shame list is because I'm such a big fan of the series that I feel like I need to know what's going on, and reading about a Metal Gear game is nowhere near as exciting as playing/watching it. I'm not sure if I'll ever go back to this one, so perhaps reading up on it is the only option I have.
I only owned a Nintendo 64 for a very limited window of time before I traded it in towards a PlayStation. The only game I ever owned for it was WCW/nWo Revenge, a fantastic game for sure, but not one of the titles synonymous with the system. Because of my limited time with the N64, I completely missed out on Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, StarFox 64, Mario Kart 64, and other games with numbers in their titles.
At the time of its release, Super Mario 64 didn't interest me. I think I wasn't ready to move to the third dimension just yet. I didn't even try playing it until I first got a Wii and picked it up on the Virtual Console. I can say that I enjoyed my time with it immensely, but didn't feel compelled to finish the game. I'm a self admitted Mario fanboy. I think that little man can do no wrong, even the ones considered by many to be lackluster, like Super Mario Sunshine and New Super Mario Bros. 2, are some of my favorite games on their respective consoles.
Luckily, I've become more of a portable gamer than anything these days, and games like Ocarina and StarFox 64 have found new life on the 3DS, as well as a Majora's Mask remake in the works, so there's a good chance that this particular shame may be put to rest someday.
I almost feel bad for what I just typed. I don't care what anyone says, Super Mario Bros. 2 is great. If you're one of those people who say "It's not the real Super Mario Bros. 2" then I'll kindly ask you to shut up, because the "real" SMB2--known better to us in the States as The Lost Levels--is horrible. If I had played that game as a kid, I would have been angry at Nintendo. Instead we got a Japanese game that was re-purposed and given a Mario paint job, and it was excellent. If it weren't for Super Mario Bros. 2, we wouldn't have classic Mario characters like Birdo, Bob-ombs, Pokey, and Shy Guy.
I never owned this game as a kid, but I rented it from the local grocery store (ah, memories) more than I did any other game. Super Mario games on the NES are fairly lengthy if you forego warps, and the absence of a save feature made these games difficult for me to complete as a child. Out of all the shames I've just listed, this is the one that eats at me the most, and the one that I'm vowing to complete in the near future. This list could almost be called "Top 5 Gaming Resolutions" because I intend to beat all of these over the course of 2015, but I've had over a quarter of a century to strike this one off the list, and I haven't been able to it.
This will be fixed. This, I promise.
Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter @TheDustinThomas, and you can also listen to my podcast, we just did an episode about The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and The Last of Us.
Thanks for reading.