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Video Game Index / Main Page


#100: Rastan

Company: Taito    System: Arcade

One of the more challenging platform games out there... damn the lack of not being able to continue on the last level!

When you combine the solid gameplay with graphics which are still pretty decent to this day, inventive and varied enemies, and one of the best background tunes ever made, Rastan is a sword-and-sandal classic for the ages.



#99: The Ninja Warriors

Company: Taito    System: Arcade

If you're one of those kids out there that doesn't remember an arcade that actually took quarters, then you'll probably disregard The Ninja Warriors as a lame side-scrolling beat-em-up featuring cyborg ninjas.

There were a surprising amount of these types of games made during this time -- ninjas are always cool, and once you combine them with cybernetics, that's gold, baby... or at least, many lazy designers thought.

Anyway, seeing this game in "the wild" at the time of its' releases was a thing of glory. Not only did Taito once again bring on an awesome soundtrack (with full-on stereo speakers), the multiple-screen display gave this game all that much more punch for your token.

Alternating between exhilirating and frustrating, The Ninja Warriors always seemed to pull that last quarter from your pocket.


#98: Driver

Company: Reflections    System: Playstation

Driver has an almost-legendary level of difficulty. Many gamers weren't even able to get past the "training" mission. But those that did were treated to the first real glimpse of what could be done with a real-time 3-D "open-ended" world. And the fact that the game -- once you get a hang of its' controls -- is a blast to play doesn't hurt matters any.


#97: Metal Slug

Company: SNK    System: Neo-Geo

Combining hardcore and inventive blasting action with a great sense of humor, the Metal Gear series -- the first entry in particular -- is among one of the best shooters ever created. Don't let the cartoony graphics fool you; this game will test your gamer mettle, as long as you're not a momma's boy and don't resort to using unlimited continues.


#96: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

Company: Neversoft    System: Gamecube

Before the series got too complicated with part 4 and then fully jumped the shark with the whole "GTA on a board" thing on Underground, THPS3 bolted down to a tee the whole "extreme sports" vibe with some crazy levels, awesome tricks and, most importantly, Motorhead on the soundtrack.


#95: Asteroids

Company: Atari    System: Arcade

Anyone who walked up to Asteroids in the arcade for the first time, with its' horde of buttons labeled like a "real" spaceship, was intimidated, but was still intrigued enough to at least give the game a try. Like most great shooters, Asteroids initially sucks you in by letting you think you can run the table on it. But once the near-hypnotic gameplay kicks in, you'll be grabbing for quarters long after you should have gone to bed.


#94: Manhunt

Company: Rockstar    System: Xbox

Is it fun to sneak behind someone and then kill them in a brutal fashion while a sadistic "director" is screaming orders in your ear? I'm not sure. Manhunt goes down the dark path of the psyche which most forms of media have feared to tread. To most people, Manhunt might be overly violent, and it might be disgusting, but have no doubt that it is one of the most unique experiences you will ever have as a gamer.




#93: Altered Beast

Company: Sega    System: Genesis

"Wiiise fwom yaw gwaaaave..."

For many gamers who cut their teeth during the late 1980's, that Fudd-esque voice sample showed that home consoles were capable of fully replicating the action that you could only previously get at the arcade.

Beat-em-ups were huge hits during this time, and Altered Beast, with its' unique method of powering up that would eventually morph your character into, well, some sort of beast (with special powers, of course) was a hit with audiences -- but the home versions left something to be desired.

Sega's version for its' own Master System was not only lacking much of the graphics and sound effects which made Altered Beast a hit in the arcades, but an entire level of gameplay as well. Unfortunately for gamers, this sort of thing was very common during the 8-bit era. Very smartly, Sega made the "enhanced" version of Altered Beast the Genesis' pack-in game when the system was released in the US.

With its' parallax scrolling, digitzed voice, lack of black backgrounds when you were fighting a huge boss, and most importantly a "full" experience with all of the levels that were in the arcade game, the Genesis version of Altered Beast (as dated as it might appear today) sold a hell of a lot of systems for Sega, and established console gaming as a real alternative to dropping quarters at your local 7-11.


#92: Medal of Honor - Frontline

Company: EA    System: Playstation 2

WWII games are a dime a dozen nowadays, and you have the initial Medal of Honor game on the Playstation to thank for that. As groundbreaking as that game was, Frontline gets the nod here for its' first level, which is an intense re-enactment of the famous "storming" of Normandy on D-Day by the Allied forces. It's as close to a real firefight than most gamers will ever want to particpate in.



#91: Hard Drivin'

Company: Tengen    System: Genesis

Okay, here goes what I think is the first controversial entry on this list. Hard Drivin' was moderately fun at the arcade because you could sit down in a big cabinet and you didn't have to just sit and drive in a straight line, but most people thought the home versions were utter crap.

I agree that the graphics look pretty horrible now, and the racing "action" isn't that thrilling, especially when compared with stuff like Gran Turismo or Burnout. But the free-roaming you could do in practice mode, combined with the instant replay crash cam, provided many wasted hours for myself (and at least a couple of other gamers) back in the day of 16-bit gaming. Hell, I'll still play this occasionally just to try and knock that damn cow off of it's ass.

Do you like screeching around and making crazy jumps in "sandbox" games like GTA? Then you owe at least a small debt of gratitude to this early experiment in fully 3-D driving.