That being said, let's not waste any more time and jump right into the list.
Active Reload in Gears of War
I also wanted to give a shout out to the battle-ending guitar riff. That riff has been there since the beginning and I would be genuinely disappointed if it were ever removed or altered.
Goal Explosions in Rocket League
When the game is tight and all 8 players are near your opponent's goal furiously trying to score/defend and you watch every player fly backwards from the force as the ball crosses the threshold is one of the most satisfying feelings you'll ever get in a competitive game.
Alucard's Glide in
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
But you know what no one ever talks about? Alucard's glide. No, I'm not referring to the backward dash that you see speedrunners use, I'm talking about the short glide that Alucard does when he begins moving again after a complete stop. I wouldn't be surprised if you told me you've never noticed it, and I can't properly articulate why I love it so much.
Unfortunately, I can't find a good gif of the glide move I'm talking about, but in the one below, you'll see it just after the player ducks the axe the second time.
Symphony of the Night for the Error Machine Podcast, Luke Roberts and I discussed the glide, and I think Luke put it best when he said "that glide is just...so Alucard." That's the perfect way to describe it and I have no idea why. It's just such an Alucard thing to do.
The Complete Tonal Shifts in
(If you've read my writing for any period of time, you're probably tired of me talking about Deadly Premonition, but I genuinely love the game and you need to love it too)
One moment Agent York will be discussing the details of the gruesome murder of a local girl with the town's deputies and the next moment he's going on and on about how good the coffee is at his hotel. Agent York will be speaking to the absent "Zach" about the townsfolk and then immediately switch topics and start talking about the worst Superman film.
It's bizarre in a "I love this but don't know why" kind of way.
The Abstract Visuals of Metal Gear Solid
I never owned a GameCube when it was a current, relevant system outside of a brief period where I bought one with a copy of the Resident Evil remake and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes. The remake of Resident Evil updated the graphics to make it even more terrifying. The updated visuals of Twin Snakes, on the other hand, robbed the original of its soul.
On another note, Metal Gear Solid goes out of its way to not show you something. Case in point: the reveal of Gray Fox prior to his fight. In the original, little to nothing is shown to you as you make your way down a bloody corridor filled with the bodies of enemy soldiers. In Twin Snakes, that scene becomes The Matrix and Gray Fox's executions are all shown in slow, insane detail. Gray Fox loses all sense of mystery.
There's just something about the way the characters move that I prefer in the original. Perhaps it's just nostalgia talking, but I'm usually the type to support remasterings of old games, but Metal Gear Solid is a case (at least to me) where you don't need to try and fix what wasn't broken.
Hey, thank you for reading. Here's the other stuff I do: