Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Best Games of My Lifetime - Part 2 - 1988

So here we are. The second part. I'm amazed I was able to start writing this soon after the first part. Just a few days ago I bought Xenoblade Chronicles for the New 3DS and instead of playing that, I'm writing! Wow. Insane, right?

So, on to the topic, what happened in the gaming world in the year 1988? Well, let me tell you, the year was owned by Mario. Super Mario Bros. 3, that's considered one of the best games ever by some people, was published in Japan for the Famicom. Also, Super Mario Bros. 2 was published in North America and Europe, a game that the Japanese population had been playing for 2 years....or was it? Actually the western version of Super Mario Bros. 2 was a different game completely than the Japanese version, mainly because the original game (Later named Super Mario Bros. Lost Levels in the Super Mario All-Stars collection for the SNES) was too hard for westerners, and because people would think that the sequel would look dated. So instead we got a reskinned Doki Doki Panic. Found a video explaining it better...I guess?

Some other random stuff that came out in 1988 were the first Advanced Dungeons & Dragons PC game; Pool of Radiance, the inspiration for the Fallout games; Wasteland and Mega Man 2! Sports nerds might know that the first Madden game (John Madden Football) came out on the Apple II. Sega fans might also rejoice since the Mega Drive also came out in Japan. The console was released with Space Harrier II, Altered Beast and Super Thunder Blade. Didn't sell too well, because everyone was playing SMB 3. We also wouldn't see Sonic for another 3 years.

The Best Game of 1988


1988.jpg


Although Metal Gear (NES) and Metroid (NES) came this year to the European markets, this was also the year that I got to fly around in a spacecraft for the first time, which to me is more important than sneaking around in a jungle or exploring a maze. Well, I didn't really fly the craft this year, but it came out, and that's what we're picking, the best games of my lifetime (that came in Europe....that I played...and liked).

And the prize goes to...

Fuck yeah!

So Gradius, as the best game of 1988, was really great! It was the first shmup I played (or was it 1943..), and I've loved the genre ever since. I sucked at the game as a kid (and probably still do), couldn't even finish the game, but I still loved the power-ups and just going through space and blasting stuff. Never even used the Konami Code. And as I said, it kindled a love for the genre, but I wouldn't be able to play anything like it for many years because I never had a Super Nintendo or Sega Mega Drive, and the friend who had the consoles didn't play shmups, if I remember correctly...but hey! At least the good friend of mine introduced me to a different kind of space-flying-shooting-stuff-game-something called X-Wing....and TIE Fighter...

Couldn't get past this stage.
As always, this list is subjective as hell, as I'm letting my childhood memories place these older games in the list. I do realise that Metroid would be the crown jewel of the games this year in Europe, if looking at it with a more objective eye. With my limited knowledge of anything, living in Japan I'd say Super Mario Bros. 3 and in America I'd say Castlevania 2! So there. But please, tell me your choice of the best game in 1988 in the comments! I don't know anything.