Top 10 Most Entertaining PS4 Platinum Trophies

PS4 platinum image

When it comes to the trophy system, let’s face it, there’s nothing like the hook of hearing that “ding” sound when you earn a trophy. Furthermore, there’s something really gratifying about earning a platinum trophy for a game knowing that you completed the game more or less to its entirety (depending on what the trophy list entails). Now, this list is not about which games are the quickest and/or easiest platinum trophies to earn (we’ll save that for another time), this is about the games that were the most entertaining to grab the platinum trophies for. Each game listed will also mention the “Most Difficult Trophy” that may pose a moment that may take away from the “entertaining” aspect of earning the platinum. With that being said, here are the top 10 most entertaining platinum trophies to earn.

10) Strider

Strider

Capcom resurrected Strider Hiryu with his own game courtesy of Double Helix games. Bringing about Metroidvania gameplay, the game itself is actually one of the better PSN titles for the PS4. Nice visuals, great gameplay and an awesome soundtrack all help make this a really enjoyable game, and one that you’ll enjoy grabbing the platinum for.

Most Difficult Trophy = “Speed Demon”

Now Strider is the type of game where a chunk of trophies are collectibles-based. However, as irritating as those can become due to a somewhat shoddy map system, it’s not necessarily “difficult”. Now this particular trophy mentioned in the title has you aiming to beat the game from start to finish in under 4 hours. It’s actually completely doable on your first playthrough (and if you want to be daring like I was, do this while on Hard mode for the first playthrough). Just be aware that going for this trophy means you’ll not have a lot of upgrades to work with. Just keep moving and focus solely on progressing the story.

9) Need for Speed Rivals

NFS Rivals

When the PS4 launched November 2013, one of the more engaging games to release was Need for Speed Rivals. While the series has had its ups-and-downs, EA Ghost did a superb job creating an adrenaline-fueled racing title in a suitable open-world. Tight mechanics, solid visuals, and great audio design that all led to addictive gameplay. Now the trophy list isn’t all too difficult, as you will earn a good chunk of the trophies just casually playing the game. An interesting aspect is that a majority of stipulation trophies require driving Ford manufactured vehicles…and while many may think that’s odd or lazy, I thought it was fine racing a Mustang around for some trophies. Also, the movie (which was surprisingly quite good and probably the best video game based movie) focused heavily on the Shelby Mustang, so it’s fitting. The only trophy-grinding will be to reach Rank 60 for both the Racer and Cop campaign, but ranking up takes anywhere between 3-25 minutes on average, the higher ranks taking about 25 minutes naturally. Honestly, the game is just plain fun and chances are you’ll be hooked into it enough to aim for the platinum.

Most Difficult Trophy = “Bigger Points”

The catch with this trophy is that you have to net 500,000 points in a single session out on the road. What is the difficult part to it? If you lose all your health or get busted, you lose all the points you were accruing in that session. The best tip for this one is to stay near a gas station to repair and replenish your vehicle, while causing mayhem there.

8) Infamous First Light

rsz_infamous_first_light-fetch_close_up_1402372350

In the standalone expansion to inFamous Second Son, First Light has you experiencing the events that unfolded for Fetch prior to Delsin’s story. All held within the city of Seattle, the game added a battle arena mode that tied into the story. It was an excellent standalone expansion and one that many may have gotten for free a few months ago via PlayStation Plus. The trophy list is pretty straightforward and unlike Second Son, you don’t have to play the game on Expert to work your way to a platinum.

Most Difficult Trophy = “Perfectionist”

Again, nothing too difficult but the one that may take the longest to achieve out of the list. The game has a whole list of challenges to complete that you can view in the pause menu. It’s not as daunting as other games’ challenge lists so completing this shouldn’t take too long.

7) Infamous Second Son

inFamous Second Son Gameplay 2

Next up is one of best exclusives on the PS4, inFamous Second Son. This installment has players assuming control of Delsin, a delinquent punk part of a Native American tribe that becomes imbued with conduit powers. While fans found this installment to feature less content than previous ones in the series, I personally found Second Son to be the best in the series hands-down. Excellent story, great visuals, energetic soundtrack and addictive gameplay, inFamous Second Son is an amazing PS4 game that’s very entertaining to platinum in the process.

Most Difficult Trophy = “Unstoppable”

This trophy requires that you complete the game from the very beginning on Expert difficulty. Honestly, the game isn’t much harder on Expert at all, so playing through this on your first play through shouldn’t pose much of a problem. Just evade combat whenever that screen becomes colorless to recover health and then jump back into the action. The main scene that’ll challenge you on Expert will be the final boss battle, but stick with it and you’ll eventually succeed.

 

6) Riptide GP2

Riptide GP2

Now here is a sleeper hit released on the PSN, Riptide GP2. Developed by Vector Unit, the game is a hybrid of Hydro Thunder and Wave Race that was originally released on iOS and Android devices, followed by Xbox One, and now PS4. This extremely affordable $6.99 game is actually really engaging and addictive, with each event taking about 1-3 minutes to complete. There’s no online play so no need to worry about online trophies, but the game does support 4-player split-screen for those who miss the days of local multiplayer. Also worth noting, the game runs at a smooth 60 fps. The trophies are very straightforward and won’t require much effort other than getting first place in every single event. Thankfully, because the events are so quick, replaying any events was far from a chore.

Most Difficult Trophy = “Destructive Tendencies”

While getting first place in every event may prove a bit challenging at times without the proper upgraded vehicle, this particularly trophy is the one that’s more luck-based. This trophy requires you to takedown a bridge in the Factory Shift event. The challenge here is hitting the water with the right speed and position to bounce off a wave and collide into the bridge. This one may take a few tries, but save it for last as having better upgraded vehicles will make this slightly easier. There’s also a strong chance you may get this in the middle of an event.

5) Saints Row IV: Re-Elected

Saints Row IV Re-Elected

Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is a upscaled version of the 2013 release, but man is it still a ton of fun to play. While the Saints Row games have gotten crazier and more over-the-top, it’s very refreshing to have an open-world game that ditches realism and is more focused on plain fun. While returning to Steelport in a simulated environment, you’ll have superpowers like Super Sprint, Gliding, Fire and Ice Blast, Telekinesis, etc…and that’s just plain awesome. To make the game even more entertaining is co-oping the entire game online with a buddy. By far one of the most entertaining, over-the-top games to not only play, but platinum as well.

Most Difficult Trophy = “Fourth and Forty”

This game’s trophy list doesn’t require playing on a hard difficulty, nor does it have any difficult stipulations. However, the most grind worthy trophy is to play the game for a total of 40 hours. The problem with this trophy is that honestly, I had 100% game completion and all the other trophies in 25 hours. This forced me to just leave the system and game on for another 15 hours just for the trophy to pop and earn my platinum.

4) The Order: 1886

The Order 1886

If there’s one game that I’ll disagree with the masses about, it’s The Order: 1886. While the game is more of an interactive narrative with some gunplay sequences, the game was incredibly engrossing. Rich atmosphere, solid gunplay, cool weapons, great story and absolutely stunning visuals. While the game doesn’t take long to complete, it’s a must-play experience. The trophy list is also very reasonable, easy to platinum, and more importantly, very entertaining in the process.

Most Difficult Trophy = “Inspector First Class”

This trophy requires that you examine each and every item in the game. Now most of the items are very easy to find as they’re usually in front of your path. However, some items may not be as upfront in view. The thing is though, there’s no way to check all the items you’ve found or inspected (except for cylinders). Despite that though, this really is simple enough to YouTube a video guide for to make sure you see which ones don’t look familiar to the ones you found during your playthrough.

3) Dust: An Elysian Tail

Dust An Elysian Tail

If there’s one indie that has stood out tremendously for me on the PS4, it’s Dust: An Elysian Tail. The game is a superb 2D action-platformer that takes Metroidvania elements, and provides players with a smooth, robust, and fluid combat system. Mixing beautiful visuals and excellent audio to the overall package makes the game an absolute must-play on its own. Thanks to how enjoyable the game is, the trophy list is also very entertaining to tackle as well. If you haven’t played Dust: An Elysian Tail yet, I strongly advise doing so.

Most Difficult Trophy = “The Stuff of Legends”

Dust’s trophy list isn’t necessarily easy, but as mentioned, thanks to it being an immensely enjoyable game, it greatly helps make going for the platinum entertaining. While you will have to play the game on at least Tough difficulty, the true challenge will be earning four stars in every single challenge arena. These challenge arenas will test your skills to the limit, taking down enemies with finesse, dodging obstacles as safely as possible and all doing so as fast as possible. This will be the main trophy to go for that may provide the most challenge, but does not make the game any less entertaining.

 

2) Resogun

Resogun

The PS4’s flagship launch-day game that was reason alone to be excited to own the system. Resogun, developed by the masterminds over at Housemarque, struck platinum (pun intended) by providing all new PS4 owners with a game so intense, so engergetic, and so addictive, you can’t help but platinum it. Resogun is a brilliant pickup-and-play game that really is hard to put down. The game is a real challenge on the harder difficulties, and you will have to complete Expert mode to earn the platinum, but it’s immensely satisfying and entertaining.

Most Difficult Trophy = “Masterful dodger of revenge bullets and stuff alike”

Let me get this out of the way, there are a few trophies here in Resogun that would qualify as difficult, whether it’s to save all humans, beat the game on Expert, or complete the game without losing all lives. However, the one mentioned in the title above is for true masters of the game. You will have to complete one level on Master difficulty (which is unlocked after beating Expert). Master will have you really tested as every single enemy you destroy will fire bullets back at you upon explosion. It becomes the definition of “bullet hell”.

 

1) Bloodborne

Bloodborne

And now, for the holy chalice of PS4 games, the game that truly stands as the PS4’s finest game, Bloodborne. From Software truly showcased a game that had hype surrounding it, and exceeded everyone’s expectations. It takes what Souls fans are familiar with, changes up some elements to make it feel very unique, and provides people with a game that’s made for hardcore, masochistic audiences. Now how is one of the PS4’s most difficult games the most entertaining to go grab a platinum for? Well for starters, this is a game you will be so deeply engrossed in, you will want to see everything the game has to offer. This means exploring every area, tackling all bosses, going through Chalice Dungeons, and then…oh wait, you’ll get the platinum basically. In all seriousness, a majority of Bloodborne’s trophies are based on the bosses you defeat, specific items you find and which endings you get. This game is a masterpiece and one that will consume a lot of your time both cursing the game off and applauding it as one of the most amazing games ever made.

Most Difficult Trophy = “Rom, the Vacuous Spider”

Out of all the bosses and trophies the game contains, there’s one mandatory boss that drove me up a wall for a solid week straight, Rom. This boss battle is one that is so absurdly difficult, that every boss afterwards was practically a pushover, no joke.

What are your most enjoyable PS4 games you have platinumed? Have you earned any of these? Sound off in the comments below!

Top 10 GBA Games that Need to Come to Wii U VC

Wii U GamePad

Nintendo has finally rolled out the Virtual Console service for the Wii U and they’ve mentioned that we will see GBA and N64 titles hit the service in the near future. For this Top 10, I’ve decided to look back at some GBA classics that I feel would make a perfect fit for the Wii U VC service.

10. Advance Wars

Advance Wars

Intelligent Systems is one of Nintendo’s top-tier developers. Known for their Fire Emblem series, as well as Paper Mario, they’ve always developed games that are worthy of their praise. With the GBA, they created a new IP called “Advance Wars”. Incorporating strategy-tactics gameplay, with an excellent visual presentation, Advance Wars was a game that really took off on the GBA. It had some great depth and immensely gratifying gameplay that would do well for tactics enthusiasts on the Wii U.

9. Bomberman Tournament

Bomberman Tournament

Since Bomberman’s debut back on the NES, we’ve seen the character receive countless titles in the series on a ton of different platforms. Whether it be the NES, Game Boy, SNES, GBC, or N64, chances are that you’ve played at least a single Bomberman title. They’ve always been known for their simple, yet incredibly addictive multiplayer. So with a title like “Bomberman Tournament”, you would think the game focuses on a more multiplayer-central component, right? Well, here’s the interesting part. While the game has the excellent multiplayer intact, the single-player played like a Legend of Zelda title. This story mode shift for Bomberman was actually one of my personal favorites, as the Zelda-style gameplay worked brilliantly for the game. This may have been a title that many missed out on for the GBA, which is one of the many reasons it would do very well to release on the Wii U VC.

8. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2

The Tony Hawk Pro Skater series was a tremendously successful franchise, selling millions and millions of copies…and for good reason. The concept of completing goals within a two minute time limit, the complexity of the trick system, great soundtracks and nearly impossible to put-down gameplay made the series relevant for the gaming community. When Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 launched alongside the GBA, developer Vicarious Visions showed the power of the system by providing an absolutely superb rendition of a much beloved console game. This was the very first GBA game I ever played prior to owning my own GBA, and remains one of my most remembered. I earned 100% game completion with every single character…and I would easily do that again should the game release for the Wii U VC.

7. Golden Sun

Golden Sun

Camelot Software, known for their excellent Mario Golf and Mario Tennis titles, graced the GBA with a knockout RPG, Golden Sun. Camelot Software had experience in the RPG field, as they were behind the Shining Force series for Sega. The fantastic visuals, gripping story and top-notch gameplay really made the game stand out among the top GBA titles ever released. Golden Sun is a game that I feel would be a prime fit for the Wii U VC. Maybe we could see a Golden Sun hit the Wii U in the near future? One can hope…

6. Sonic Advance

Sonic Advance

Sonic has seen a ton of titles in its lifecycle. The blue hedgehog has been around for over 20 years and when Sega decided to leave the hardware business, Sonic has seen a good amount of his titles come to Nintendo’s platforms. In particular, the very first Sonic game to grace Nintendo’s portable format was Sonic Advance for the GBA. Visually, the game was vibrant, detailed and ran incredibly smooth. The gameplay was rock-solid and was one of the better Sonic games in the series’ history. While Sonic Advance had three installments, the first one was the one I was most fond of on the GBA…and would love to see hit the Wii U VC.

5. Metroid Fusion

Metroid Fusion

Metroid is another golden franchise that Nintendo has established. From the days of the original that shocked everyone that Samus was a girl, to the SNES classic that’s soon coming to the Wii U VC, to the spectacular Prime series that Retro Studios handled, it’s a series that deserves the limelight. Metroid Fusion was a title I never got around to fully playing until the 3DS Ambassador Program. At the time of the game’s release alongside Metroid Prime for the GameCube, I only had enough money to get one game, so I went with Metroid Prime. I had always been eager to play Fusion and once I did at the end of 2011, it stands as one of my favorite Metroid titles. The dark setting and storyline, challenging difficulty and well-paced gameplay gave me a hard time putting this game down until it was beaten. I really loved that Samus was being hunted down throughout the game, at times giving it a survival horror feel. Nintendo would do very well to release this to the general public of Wii U owners.

4. F-Zero GP Legend

F-Zero GP Legend

F-Zero has always been a racing franchise I’ve held near and dear to me. Ever since I first came across it on the SNES, to the heavy metal sequel on the N64, F-Zero X, to the GBA launch of Maximum Velocity, and then my personal favorite installment (and racing game of all-time), F-Zero GX, I couldn’t get enough of it. Nintendo had decided to release an animated cartoon in 2004 based on their franchise titled “F-Zero GP Legend”. Naturally, a game was made for the GBA based on the cartoon universe. Now this was a title that I picked up back in the day for $4.99 in a bargain bin at Toys R Us…and damn was this an awesome game. It played very close to the SNES classic and GBA launch predecessor, Maximum Velocity. The main difference from the previous GBA iteration was the amount of content and story mode. F-Zero GP Legend was another excellent installment that got overlooked on the GBA but really had the same level of quality that should be expected from an F-Zero game. Nintendo, bring this classic to the Wii U VC while we wait for the proper F-Zero game to hit the Wii U!

3. The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap

Legend of Zelda Minish Cap

The Legend of Zelda…an immensely popular franchise for Nintendo that still excites gamers today. Thanks to its ingenious level designs, interesting characters and plots, fine tuned gameplay and superb soundtrack, there are plenty of reasons it’s successful. I’ll admit, I never got around to playing Minish Cap on the GBA when it released. It wasn’t until the 3DS Ambassador Program when I got the opportunity to play it and was appalled at myself for never getting it back in the day for my GBA. The game was excellent to say in the least and had a terrific soundtrack to accompany it (the Minish Woods track is incredibly catchy). While we wait for the Wind Waker HD, Link to the Past 2 and the new Zelda for Wii U, The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap would be a no-brainer for Nintendo to release for the GBA VC on Wii U.

2. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3

Super Mario Advance 4 - Super Mario Bros 3

Over the GBA’s life-cycle, we’ve seen Super Mario games get some nice remasters. From the launch day title, Super Mario Advance, that completely remastered Super Mario Bros. 2, to the last entry that remastered Super Mario Bros. 3, they were “advanced” for on-the-go entertainment. So why did I choose SMA4 over SMA2 which brought us Super Mario World? Simple. Since Super Mario World is now available on the Wii U VC for the SNES, and the fact that very little was tweaked to SMW, it seems like the most logical choice would be to have the “advanced” Super Mario Bros. 3 available. SMB3 is, and always will be, a fine gaming masterpiece that should not have been missed.

1. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

Castlevania Circle of the Moon

My very first game for the GBA was not only my favorite Castlevania title ever made, it stands as one of the greatest games of all-time in my book. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon introduced us to Nathan Graves, the new protagonist that wielded the “Hunter Whip”. The story is about Dracula’s resurrection (as are most Castlevania games) but the characters had a good amount of depth to them. However, Circle of the Moon’s gameplay was as flawless to game design as it could get. Taking the gameplay style of Symphony of the Night and expanding upon it dramatically, it was unbelievable to see the game running on a GBA and of such high quality. The interesting mechanic was the DSS Card system, which allowed you mix and match between 10 Action cards and 10 Attribute cards. This gave the player a hundred different combinations to create and utilize, giving Nathan new weapons and abilities. Finding new cards was addictive and seeing what the combination of cards created was always exciting. I could spend days talking about Circle of the Moon’s perfection. Simply put, this MUST come out to the Wii U VC service immediately.

These are my personal “Top 10” picks on the topic and here’s hoping that Nintendo follows suit on releasing some (if not all) of these titles on the platform. Which GBA titles do you guys want to see release on the Wii U VC? Have any memories of the titles mentioned above? Sound off in the comments below!

Top 10 Wii Titles to Own for the Wii U

In less than a week, many will be getting their hands on Nintendo’s highly anticipated console, the Wii U. Being fully backwards compatible with Wii titles, I looked back at the games that really stood for me on the Wii. Seeing as how there are many people who skipped out on the Wii but garnered interest in the Wii U, I’ve compiled a list of favorites that I strongly recommend should be looked into.

10. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

When it comes psychological horror, Silent Hill has become infamous for that. While the franchise has seen it’s ups and downs recently, there is one notable installment that was outsourced to Climax Studios, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Climax (whom also developed Silent Hill: Origins) decided to provide a fresh experience by creating a re-imagining of the original Silent Hill from the PS1. Controlling Harry Mason, you search for your missing daughter after a car accident. As opposed to seeing Silent Hill from a “hellish” perspective, it is now a “frozen hell” in which the environment will ice up and when it does, it’s time to run for your life. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories takes full advantage of the Wiimote and does so without the use of Motionplus. For example, you’ll receive calls on your cell phone but the only way to hear the call is by putting the Wiimote speaker up to your ear, as if you were holding a cell phone. While there are a few others games that have done this (No More Heroes for example), Silent Hill brings elements that truly immerse you into this deep, psychological horror experience. To make things more tense, you don’t have a single weapon to utilize. It’s all about being powerless and having to utilize the environment to evade creatures that come after you. When a creature grabs you, you’ll have to thrust the Wiimote and Nunchuk in a motion that would replicate throwing them off in a specific direction. It registers very well and is more so impressive that it was done without the Motionplus attachment. If you’re looking for a unique and creepy experience, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is one that should not be overlooked.

9. Kirby 20th Anniversary Collection

Kirby has really established quite the fan base since it’s original release on the Game Boy in 1992. Since then, we’ve seen a plethora of games starring the puffy pink guy throughout every console (except Virtual Boy) that Nintendo has put out. To celebrate Kirby’s success, Nintendo recently pieced together a 20th anniversary compilation that consists of Kirby’s Dream Land (Game Boy), Kirby’s Adventure (NES), Kirby Dream Land 2 (Game Boy), Kirby’s Dream Land 3 (SNES), Kirby Super Star (SNES) and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (N64). While it’s not all the Kirby games ever released, it contains the essential ones that really made the franchise what it is today. There were numerous spin-offs as well, and you’ll be able to see what they all were in the game’s “History” which labels key events during the years of a Kirby title’s release. Aside from the excellent selection of Kirby titles included here, there’s also a brand new mini-game called “New Challenge Stages” which is built off of the “Kirby: Return to Dream Land” game engine. These provide levels to complete utilizing certain abilities Kirby can obtain. Compared to Nintendo’s previous anniversary collection which was very barebones (Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary), this collection is worth every penny and feels like there was more care put into it.

8. Punch-Out!!

Little Mac returns to the Wii to give fans a new fight to take part in. Developed by Next Level Games, whom were also behind Mario Strikers, Punch-Out!! brings back that classic feel of its predecessors by throwing in some classic fighters, while also introducing new ones. Having a very vivid art style, Punch-Out!! is a very nice looking game that runs at 60 fps, which is integral for the split-second reaction time you’ll need for dodging and attacking. Next Level Games incorporated a few control schemes to tailor to even the most old-school player. You can utilize the Wiimote and Nunchuk to throw punches and dodge, you can throw in the Wii Balance Board so that you can actually bob and weave your way through a fight, or you can even just hold the Wiimote sideways like an NES controller and play it old-school. Punch-Out!! fans owe it to themselves to enter the ring.

7. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor

Sin & Punishment is by far, one of the most under-appreciated games in Nintendo’s library. When the original released for the N64, it never made it’s way overseas to the US. However, thanks to the Wii’s Virtual Console service, Nintendo made it available to download and even went back to translate all the menus into English. Upon playing through the N64 version and completing it entirely, it was a game that definitely seemed like it would’ve been a huge hit with the Wiimote controls. Apparently, the developers over at Treasure (Gunstar Heroes, Ikaruga, Sin & Punishment) were indeed working on a sequel to the N64 version, this time for the Wii. The game plays just like that of its predecessor but much more up-to-date and with incredibly simple controls. Your combat will consist of rapidly firing your blaster, charging up a power shot, or switching to your beam sword, all on the fly. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor is one of those game’s that flew under the radar for many, but garnered much praise from fans of the original. The game’s mechanics are simple to pickup and play, but as with any Treasure game, choosing the Normal difficulty setting will have you really working for success. The game contains local co-op as well, so if you’ve got a buddy over, get them in on the crazy action. This is another game that takes advantage of the Wii’s hardware and boasts some impressive visuals. Also, the game has a rockin’ soundtrack that’ll stick with you, not to mention it has the best main menu song…ever. If you’re looking for an intense action/rails shooter, then Sin & Punishment: Star Successor deserves to be in your library.

6. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Samus is a very beloved character in the Nintendo universe. There are still those who recall finding out that Samus was actually a “girl” upon completing Metroid on the NES. From then, we’ve seen the series evolve dramatically, providing incredibly memorable soundtracks, ingenious level design and outstanding gameplay. Entering the GameCube era, Metroid was taken in a whole new direction in which the player would see through the eyes of Samus Aran in the first-person perspective. Thanks to the truly talented folks at Retro Studios, Metroid Prime ended up becoming a massive success amongst both critics and fans. When the Wii launched, Retro Studios decided to bring the final installment in their trilogy to Nintendo’s new console. Not only did they succeed in bringing the best installment to the trilogy, they also perfected FPS controls that set a new benchmark for the Wii. The controls really immersed you into actually “feeling” like Samus and aiming/shooting couldn’t have been smoother. Visually, the game looked stunning and ran at 60 fps no matter how intense the action got. If you’re looking for a first-person adventure with a hearty-sized campaign to tackle, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption fits the bill.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The Wii has seen two proper installments in the Legend of Zelda franchise, one at launch and one completely tailored for the Wii Motionplus. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword celebrates the 25th anniversary of the franchise by providing players a new experience that once again reminds them as to what made the series the success it is. Our hero is raised in an entirely different form of environment, this time one that resides in the sky known as “Skyloft”. However, Link will soon be on a quest that will make him explore the lands below Skyloft. Link will have to use his wits and gear to rescue his childhood friend, Zelda, from the clutches of the Demon Lord. Utilizing the Wii’s Motionplus remote, you’ll be able to wield Link’s sword with a 1:1 ratio response. With it’s rich amount of content, beautiful art style, and perfected-as-ever gameplay, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword provides an experience that fans mustn’t miss out on.

4. Donkey Kong Country Returns

When it comes to 2D platformers, Donkey Kong Country on the SNES was considered an absolute gem and still is to this day. When Rareware was bought out by Microsoft, there was a bit of concern from Nintendo fans about whether we’d ever see the ape and his little buddy return. Thanks to the fine people at Retro Studios, Nintendo’s new “Rareware” in a sense, they’ve crafted an outstanding revitalization in the franchise that provides some of the most nostalgic fun you’ll get on the Wii. The game still retained the brutal difficulty but no matter the situation, this was one game that was incredibly difficult to turn off. DKCR was also a visual delight, pushing some really beautiful graphics on the Wii. Make no mistake, DKCR is one of the best Wii titles to ever be released and should not be missed at all.

3. Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition

You can ask anyone on my staff and they’ll tell you, Resident Evil 4 is my personal favorite game of all-time. When it released in January of 2005 for the GameCube, Resident Evil 4 was THE game everyone was talking about during my High School days. I remember people going out to buy a GameCube just for this and for good reason. Then it came to the PS2 later that year (October 2005) with additional content and Ada’s extra campaign, Separate Ways. While the PS2 version contained more, visually and audio wise it was a downgrade from the GameCube version’s due to heavy compression. When the Wii was released in November 2006, the first GameCube backward compatible game I popped in was RE4 and at that moment I thought, “Capcom should bring this back to the Wii with the Wiimote controls…” Sure enough, in June of 2007, Capcom released Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition with all the content from the PS2 version, while building it from the audio and visually superior GameCube version. When playing RE4: Wii Edition, there was no question that it felt like a different game. It may have just incorporated Wiimote controls, but they made the game feel not only like a fresh experience, but one that was tailored for it. Capcom did bring RE4 HD to the PSN/XBLA but those are simply HD upscales of the PS2 build. If there’s any version of RE4 to own, it’s on a Nintendo platform and if you’ve still missed the game, this is the version to pick up for your new Wii U.

2. Super Mario Galaxy

Mario has come a long way since his NES days. What started as a simple, yet revolutionary step into gaming still continues to set impressive benchmarks. With its familiar, yet fresh gameplay, Super Mario Galaxy turned out to become the best Mario game since Super Mario 64 and was as much of a leap up for the franchise as that installment was as well. Galaxy is easily one of the best looking Wii titles, with visuals that really pop out and level designs that are simply brilliant. The difficulty is that of which you’d expect from a Mario game as well. Just going through to complete the story mode won’t be a terribly daunting task, but going back to collect all 120 stars will test the patience of even the most devoted of fans. Super Mario Galaxy is simply a game that deserves all the praise it has received.

1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Super Smash Bros. is a franchise that carries a concept any Nintendo fan has ever dreamed of, pitting all their characters against each other. With the enormous success it received on the N64, HAL Laboratory went ahead to bring their sequel, Super Smash Bros. Melee, as a launch title for the GameCube in 2001. It goes without saying that the system sold like hotcakes for this title alone. Melee gave players a ton of content that blew the original game out of the water, filled with hidden characters, unlockable stages and a sweet Adventure mode that brought players through various Nintendo locales. In 2008, Game Arts brought the latest installment to the Wii, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which provided so much content that the game was burned onto a dual-layer disc. With a hefty-sized story mode, stage builder feature, insane roster list that contained cameo appearances from even non-Nintendo franchises, and endless stream of unlockable content, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a game that still continues to be played years after its release and must be owned by every single Nintendo fan.

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Now there are plenty of other Wii titles that categorize themselves as must-owns as well. However, these were the ones that truly stood out for me within the console’s six year cycle.

Which games have you played here? Any particular Wii titles that stood out for you? Sound off in the comments below!

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Top 10 PSN/XBLA Downloadable Titles

Over the course of this console generation’s life-cycle, we’ve seen a ton of downloadable titles hit both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. Currently owning over 140 downloadable games available for both platforms, I’ve decided to sort through my catalog of titles and list which ones are entirely worth the purchase. It’s important to note that all the titles mentioned here are available for both the PSN and XBLA, no exclusives. Also, these are titles that were built with the downloadable format in mind, so no HD remakes/classics are included here. Here are my personal choices:

10) BloodRayne: Betrayal

Wayforward Technologies is very well known when it comes to having outstanding 2D visuals; full of color and insanely detailed frame-by-frame animation. Mainly known for their work on Shantae and Mighty Switch Force, BloodRayne: Betrayal provides gamers with an old-school, 2D action/platformer that will test the skills of any gamer. With precision style platforming and challenging gameplay, BloodRayne: Betrayal provides an experience and sense of satisfaction that replicates old-school gaming.

9) Braid

A combination of Mario platforming with Prince of Persia time-rewinding effects, Braid has you thinking to the point of migraines. Trying to solve some of the most bizarre yet ingenious puzzles, you will venture through six worlds, each trying to explain your character’s story of how he was taken away from his princess. With some of the most inventive mechanics, alongside a mind-blowing twist, Braid is one of those games that should not be passed up by any means.

8) Limbo

You wake up in a forest, notice that there’s no signs of life anywhere and everything’s black and white. With no tutorials presented at all, you take a few steps forward and your head gets decapitated from a bear trap that’s camouflaged in the game’s backdrop. Immediately, you know you’re in for something surreal. As you progress, you’ll approach a massive spider that blocks you path. With no combat to utilize what-so-ever, you’re forced to rely on the environment and wits as your way to fight back. Limbo is an incredibly eerie game that makes you curious as to what’s going on the more you play. It’s not only one of the creepier games available this generation, it’s also one of the most unique experiences available on the PSN and XBLA.

7) Hard Corps: Uprising

When it comes to “old-school, controller throwing, cursing repeatedly to your screen” frustration, Hard Corps: Uprising certainly excels in this scenario. However, any Contra fan knows that those games are practically as hardcore as it gets. Hard Corps: Uprising, developed by ARC System Works (known for Guilty Gear and Blazblue), was able to capture the Contra formula while adding it’s own enhancements to the mix. Upgradeable weapons, health, lives and abilities help make this a game that starts off absurdly hard and lets you work your way forward. Thankfully, not only is the traditional local co-op in place but there’s online co-op as well to share those memorable frustrating moments with a friend…or you can laugh at each other’s mistakes. Hard Corps: Uprising is a fast-paced, tough-as-nails 2D side-scroller that certainly tests your skills, but rewards you with a grand sense of satisfaction upon completing each level.

6) Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

Now, this game will be questionable for many except the Castlevania fans. Castlevania: Harmony of Despair lacks a proper tutorial for any new gamer to the series and doesn’t describe how certain attributes affect your character. However, as you learn the game’s mechanics and get a solid understanding for it, you’ll be hooked. Fans of the franchise will definitely get the most out of the game. Die-hard fans will pick up on all the franchise’s characters that are usable, all with their unique abilities. While the game has numerous DLC to invest in, it’s one of the few games that actually is worth it. Hell, one of the DLC’s lets you revisit the original Castlevania on the NES, full 8-bit sprites in tact. That’s just freakin’ awesome!

5) Bionic Commando Rearmed

A remake to one of the greatest games ever made, Bionic Commando Rearmed was an excellent homage to fans of the NES classic. A remixed soundtrack that infused the 8-bit tunes with some modern beats, solid controls and physics, and clean, colorful visuals all running at 60 fps are some noteworthy elements to mention here. Aside from that, the game also includes co-op play (even though it’s local only) so you can team up with a buddy during your playthrough. GRIN also went the extra mile and added a Challenge Mode in which you can try and perfect over 50 missions included here. These missions will test even the most skilled Bionic Commando fans. Overall, this is a classic remake done right.

4) Pac-Man Championship Edition DX

Who doesn’t love Pac-Man? Easily Namco’s best rendition of the iconic character, Pac-Man Championship Edition DX provides the most intense, fastest paced version of Pac-Man ever. Thanks to the neon-lit visuals and bumpin’ club-style remixes of Pac-Man tunes that will get your blood pumping, this is one game that you’ll be coming back too time and time again!

3) Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

I’m not going to lie here, I was incredibly skeptical when Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was announced. The thought of the game being a top-down view just sounded a bit odd for the series. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong when I got my hands on this game. Aside from camera adjust and co-op play, this was still a Tomb Raider game at its core. Clever puzzles, creative co-op mechanics, strong audio, impressive visuals and tight controls make this a downloadable title that can’t be missed!

2) Castle Crashers

The ultimate 4 player co-op beat-em-up available on both PSN and XBLA, Castle Crashers has you venturing to rescue the four princesses from the clutches of the evil wizard. As you progress through the game’s campaign, you will be treated to a responsive and upgradable combat system, a wide variety of tunes ranging from quirky to epic, and some of the funniest humor in recent time of gaming. Come on, there’s a crap-propelled deer…enough said!

1) Outland

Housemarque’s first multiplatform title, Outland borrows a Metroidvania-style gameplay and meshes it together with Ikaruga’s polarity changing mechanics. Outland provides an unparalleled 2D platforming experience on the PSN/XBLA that I couldn’t recommend more. It’s an expertly crafted game combining terrific visuals, great soundtrack, fun co-op play, flawless gameplay mechanics and some really memorable and intense boss battles.

Have you played any of the titles mentioned above? If so, which ones were your favorites? Sound off in the comments below!

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Top 10 First-Person Shooters of All Time

First Person Shooters are one of the most beloved, yet over-saturated genres currently in the gaming industry. While there are a lot of great ones out there, there are an exceptional bunch that stand out over the others. Here are my personal favorites in the industry that truly stood out:

10) Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas

Ubisoft welcomed gamers with the tactical FPS, Rainbow Six Vegas, when it hit the market back in the Fall of 2006. With it’s hybrid of FPS mechanics and TPS cover system, you got a nice blend that gave gamers something different from your typical FPS. Couple that with some great environmental design, strong soundtrack and gripping story, with an ending no one sees coming, and you’ve got a stellar game here that FPS fans owe themselves to play.

9) Doom 64

Doom has always been a sweet FPS that many hold dear to them. However, what set Doom 64 apart from the prior installments was the creepy mood it captured. Environments were much more expansive than ever before and the audio really set a strikingly creepy vibe. In the previous ones, you’d have bumpin’ rock tunes to listen to while shooting away at mutants. This one had you sitting tensely thanks to atmospheric tunes that set your mind in a more “horror” mentality. It was still the same game we grew to love, only evolved into a horror state.

8) Half-Life 2

When it comes to FPSs, Valve is certainly known for providing groundbreaking experiences and that came with Half-Life. We had never seen or played any game like it before and to this day, still stands out as a revolutionary experience. Many years later, after much hype and demand, Valve released the highly anticipated sequel, Half-Life 2, to much critical and consumer reception. Implementing a whole new physics engine that had never been seen before, along with a gripping narrative, Half-Life 2 set out to create a new standard in FPSs and did exactly that.

7) BioShock

“Son, you were born to do great things…” Upon hearing that line, the airline you’re on begins to malfunction and crashes in the ocean. As you swim to the surface, you look at the remnants of plane, astounded by the visuals Irrational Games achieved. BioShock easily has a lot going for it. Set in alternate 1960s era, you’ll be greeted with a mystifying narrative, outstanding visuals, strong environment designs, fine-tuned combat and some of the best water effects seen in a game to date. The city of Rapture was a joy to explore as you never knew what to expect next.

6) Resistance: Fall of Man

To start off, Insomniac Games is one of my favorite developers. Granted, I never really got around to playing the Spyro games on PS1 but I started with their Ratchet & Clank titles on PS2 and damn, were those flawless games. At the release of the PS3, there’s no denying that there was a lack of solid titles to pick up alongside the pricey system…except for Insomniac’s “Resistance: Fall of Man”. Not only was it the best PS3 launch title, it was one of the best FPSs ever created. Solid visuals, a mystifying story, tight gameplay, lengthy campaign, intense 32 player online mode, suspenseful soundtrack and some of the best sound effects in a shooter, Resistance: Fall of Man is one FPS that should not have been missed.

5) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

While Call of Duty is turning into a mundane yearly affair for many, there was a recent time where we didn’t trash on the game as much. COD4: MW was simply the best one as it wasn’t too heavily structured as being a mindless shooter. Easily the best campaign in the series, it also had the most polished and fine tuned multiplayer. As the series went on, they aimed for a “more is better” approach on multiplayer which in turn, made the series become a turn off to many die-hard fans of COD4.

4) Turok 2

Turok 2 is the definition of how an FPS adventure is done right. Brilliant weapons, sharp visuals, environments full of detail, phenomenal cinematic soundtrack and finely tuned shooting mechanics. This game would eat up an easy 20-40 hours just to get through the rich campaign. After this installment, the franchise fell from grace with the questionable Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion, atrocious Turok: Evolution and mediocre reboot that hit the current gen simply known as Turok.

3) Perfect Dark

Another stellar FPS to hit the N64 (and later with an HD remaster on XBLA) was toward the end of the system’s lifecycle. Perfect Dark pushed the visuals of the N64 beyond anything thought imaginable on the system at the time. It built upon and perfected the gameplay mechanics made for GoldenEye and had a ton of content to take on. Awesome weaponry, outstanding soundtrack, a mostly solid campaign (starts amazing but begins to feel a bit jarring towards the end), one of the most robust multiplayers that still competes with today’s standards, and flawless mechanics made this an FPS that couldn’t be missed.

2) GoldenEye 007 (N64)

No matter how you put it, GoldenEye was one of the pinnacles of FPSs to ever grace gamers. At the time, there was really nothing quite like it. A solid campaign that made players complete a variety of objectives, along with an untouchable 4-player multiplayer that provided for some of the most memorable moments when playing with friends. The game added further complexity by adding cheats to unlock by completing missions on specific difficulties while speed running them. Simple unlocks consisted of the infamous DK Mode and Paintball Mode, but truly skilled players could unlock Invincibility by completing the Facility level on 00 Agent in under 2:10, which is incredibly impressive.

1) TimeSplitters 2

TimeSplitters 2 was developed by the same team that was behind the flawless GoldenEye 007 back on the N64 but also behind the game that shut them down, Haze. Regardless, TimesSplitters 2 had it all. An over-the-top, fun campaign, deep and fully customizable multiplayer and a full-blown Map Maker so that you can not only make your own multiplayer maps for you and your friends to duke it out on, but also create Single Player missions! Top this with nostalgic mechanics from GoldenEye, a brilliant soundtrack and a rock solid 60 fps and you’ve got a package that is truly astonishing.

Did you play these titles? If so, which ones were your favorites? Sound off in the comments below!

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Top 10 Retail Titles for Under $20 this Generation

There’s no question that this current generation has provided some truly astonishing games. However, there are still those who may have missed out on must-play titles or are just now getting into this console generation. With that perspective, I’ve compiled a list of titles that can be nabbed for the mere price of a Jackson. Here are my top 10 recommendations for those who never got around to playing certain titles that they can get for budget price now:

– Batman: Arkham Asylum

Widely considered as the best comic book game of all time, Batman: Arkham Asylum will have you puzzle solving and crime fighting like the Dark Knight himself. With a gripping story from series veteran Paul Dini, gritty graphics that capture the world of Batman, top-notch voice acting and stellar gameplay mechanics, throwing down 20 bucks here is a no brainer. While the critically acclaimed sequel, Batman: Arkham City, has been out for roughly 5 months now, those who never had the opportunity to play Arkham Asylum owe it to themselves to seriously play this outstanding title.

– Demon’s Souls

Like getting your ass handed to you repetitively? Of course not. Like getting a satisfaction that very few titles provide this generation? Who doesn’t. Demon’s Souls was mentioned as one of the hardest games of all time in my previous Top 10 list (Top 10 Hardest Games of All Time). However, hearing that should not discourage you from ever touching Demon’s Souls. I stated it had some questionable, yet intentional gameplay mechanics that would normally seem archaic. Yet, the game just does everything right to ensure a deep challenge on a fair level. Dying in this game will set your progression back numerous hours if not careful, but if you die, it’s your fault. The combat is never cheap, just very unforgiving for you being careless. It tries to belittle you but you will demand for more until you complete it…and it doesn’t end there. When you’re done with the game, you will be able to replay the whole game with all your items and continue to level up your character. Don’t expect to have an easier time with the game since the developers made sure to make the enemies stronger throughout each playthrough.

– Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

The Ratchet & Clank series may look like a childish series to those who judge a book by its cover, but that type of ignorance only resorts to the loss of that person. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in TIme may be the final installment to the R&C Future saga but damn it if it’s not an outstanding merit on Insomniac’s part. Ratchet’s formula has something that many franchises tend to have difficulty nailing with each installment, perfection. From the perfected platforming, incredibly tight shooting mechanics that never get old, engaging flight mechanics, highly addictive upgrading system, beautifully detailed worlds, very well written story and climatic final battle, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time is one game that PS3 owners should not miss at all.

– Split/Second

Sure, racing games are almost as abundant as FPSs, but there are certain ones that really stand out in the pack. In this case, Split/Second provides gamers with a racing title like no other. Instead of just racing around a track, you will participate in a TV show that will involve you and your rivals to trigger “power plays” to take out racers and cause mayhem that even Michael Bay would be jealous of. Whether you’re triggering a Boeing 747 to come crashing on the runway to take out your opponents, causing a skyscraper to come crashing down and forming a new path on the track or just doing your best to survive this brutal racing TV show, this is one racer that will truly heighten your senses and get your adrenaline peaking to new limits.

– Dead Space

When it comes to survival horror titles, Dead Space reigns supreme this current generation. EA took a risk by developing a new IP back in 2008 and struck gold by delivering a horror title that was actually too scary for many to even finish. You don’t play as some gung-ho military soldier, but rather an engineer with little to no combat experience. However, Isaac adapts to his surroundings and does whatever he can to fend himself for survival. Throughout the game’s 10-12 hour campaign, you will research what the cause of the Necromorphs was, as well as what really happened on the USS Ishimura. Best part about the game is the New Game Plus that allows you to replay the game with all your equipment and continue to further upgrade your gear. Add that feature to some of the most fine tuned gameplay mechanics, mystifying story, awe-inspiring visuals and the coolest sound effects in gaming history and you’ve got a lot to look forward to on this one. Word of advice to the squeamish, have a barf bag next to you when witnessing the brutal deaths that may occur to you.

– Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 may be a flawed game, but it makes up for it in having a just plain fun experience. Essentially, the purpose of Just Cause 2 was to have the entire island of Panau become your ultimate playground. While the story is sub-par and the voice acting is hilariously bad, the missions are very well done and provide plenty of “holy crap” moments as you perform certain actions. Thankfully, the PS3 version has a video capture feature to let you record these crazy moments you’ll experience and for a game like this, you’ll be utilizing it a great amount. The grappling hook and parachute mechanics combined provide a very intuitive way to transport yourself around the environment. The developers also incorporated the island from LOST as an “easter egg” that fans will tremendously appreciate to see as they nailed the island better than Ubisoft did with the actual LOST: Via Domus game. You can easily invest well over 50+ hours just screwing around and even then, you’ll come back for more. The mayhem and carnage you will cause usually has no particular reason to it. You mainly do it just cause you can. In the meantime, you can check out a montage I compiled for the game back when it was released.


– Borderlands

Gearbox Software’s 2009 surprise hit, Borderlands, was an interesting FPS/RPG hybrid but worked out brilliantly. Players will assume the role of one of four fortune seekers in search of the unopened Eridian Vault. The story is far from deep, but intriguing nonetheless. However, you don’t play Borderlands for its story. You play Borderlands to have one of the most enjoyable and addictive co-op experiences available on the market. The mixture of tight FPS mechanics with an RPG twist to it makes leveling up a grinding addiction and the game as a whole carries that “one more mission” syndrome. Hours of gameplay will literally feel like a matter of minutes. For the current price it’s going for, Borderlands will have you clocking in numerous hours and many more with its DLC.

– Ninja Gaiden Sigma

One of my personal favorite games of all time, Ninja Gaiden Sigma is just a flat out awesome game. Having one of the best combat systems ever designed in gaming along with some imaginative locations, a fast-paced soundtrack, and rock solid 60 frames per second visuals are all part of the experience. While the game may not be for everyone, it is highly recommended that those who have yet to touch Ninja Gaiden Sigma do so immediately. The campaign will last you 7-10 hours on your first playthrough and while it lacks a New Game Plus feature, you will still want to tackle it again. Add in the Ninja Missions that you can take on after completing the campaign and you’ll add a good amount of longevity.

– Mass Effect 2

Imagine having a massive galaxy to explore with the story unfolding at your fingertips. Every slight decision you make playing a huge role in how the story will play out. Thanks to deep writing and a rich universe to explore, Mass Effect 2 provides gamers with over 25+ hours just to complete the main campaign. Then you can replay the game as an entirely different character class, as well as making totally different decisions that affects your experience. For the asking price of 20 bucks, there’s no excuse to skip out on this phenomenal title.

– Burnout Paradise

Burnout Paradise is, and always will be, my favorite racing title this generation. No other racing game provides realistic crashes such as this. Plus, for the price, EA includes FREE downloadable content as an update which include the ability to drive motorcycles (which has its own campaign as well), day and night cycling, and dynamic weather effects just to name a few. There is also premium DLC such as Big Surf Island, which provides players with insane Mega Jumps you can pull off, as well as a rich new city to explore. However, as just a standalone game, Burnout Paradise provides players with countless hours of fun to be had and the seamless online integration will keep players coming back for more.

There are many other great titles that you can grab for under 20 bucks. However, these were the 10 titles that personally provided the most value for me and just wanted to give them the recognition they deserve. Agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments below!

Top 10 Hardest/Most Rewarding Gaming Challenges

Many will say games are meant to be played for enjoyment. Others are masochistic and love their gaming challenges, no matter how extreme and demanding the game may be. We’ve all had our share of moments where not only did we play a game on the hardest difficulty, we’ve completed certain stipulations to unlock bonuses or just for that extra sense of satisfaction. Here are my top 10 hardest gaming challenges:

– Devil May Cry (PS2): Completing Dante Must Die Mode

The original Devil May Cry stands as one of my favorite games of all time. The fast, fluid combat system integrated with firearms and swordplay really worked well and the soundtrack was a driving factor for me to keep playing the game. However, I remember my friend telling me how he tackled and beat Dante Must Die mode and I thought, “What the hell. I’ll give it a shot too.” One of the most infuriating experiences I’ve ever had in gaming. The name of the mode was not kidding. The game was out to kick your ass inside-out. Beating this was rewarding as you earned Super Dante which allowed you to play the game over with unlimited devil trigger. Only thing was, you never wanted to see this game again for quite some time after proving that Dante Mustn’t Die.

– Ninja Gaiden (Xbox/PS3): Master Ninja Difficulty with No Upgrades

Another one of my personal favorite games. Ninja Gaiden has usually been a console seller for me. I got an Xbox just to play the original. I sold my Xbox to get a PS3 with Ninja Gaiden Sigma. Now, Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus is coming out for the PS Vita’s launch which will no doubt be my first game (alongside Uncharted: Golden Abyss). One day, I was talking to my brother about Ninja Gaiden Sigma and he was telling me how he beat the game without ever using Ninpo, upgrading health or upgrading any of the weapons because he simply was too engrossed in the game that he forgot about upgrading. Well, I decided to 1-up his “challenge” and thought, “Well, I’ll just do that but on Master Ninja difficulty.” Probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever brought on myself as the game caused me to say words that many would find incredibly unpleasant. With some hardcore dedication, it appeared the impossible was actually possible…even beating Alma! You don’t earn anything for this specific stipulation other than pride. A proud achievement and one that I challenge those who haven’t dared this before.

– Shinobi (PS2): Completing Super Mode

Another ninja game that drove many to the edge. Shinobi for the PS2 was a very good game in my personal opinion and had me hooked into trying to complete the game 100 percent. This meant getting every Oboro Coin in each stage and completing every difficulty. I heard that you unlocked “Stage-EX” for collecting all the Oboro Coins on Super Mode difficulty and since there was no video of what the level looked like, I was determined to take on the challenge. Well, for those who don’t know how Shinobi plays on the PS2, your sword has a meter that if not fed with the souls of those you kill, it will consume your soul. It was an interesting premise but on Super Mode, it was the complete opposite. The meter would deplete stupid fast and it was bad enough that the enemies did a ton of damage to you. Oh, and this game was old-school hard by not providing any checkpoints mid-mission. The only checkpoint you had was at a boss and this game had some of the most difficult bosses in gaming history…especially the cheap-as-hell final boss. Well, when all was said and done, I unlocked Stage-EX and expected something really neat. It was nothing but a ninja trial stage that tested your skills. Are you serious? Wasn’t completing Super Mode enough?

– Goldeneye 007 (N64): 00 Agent on the Aztec Level

Ah Goldeneye…so many memories, so many infuriating controller throws at the TV. Completing 00 Agent in Goldeneye was no easy task, but it was certainly doable with enough devotion, patience and memorization. Aside from the broken Train level where you had to laser the floor and escape with the brain-dead Natalya (who for some reason loved to stay in the train and blow up), there was one level that separated the gamers with the hardcore gamers, the Aztec.

When you start a level with the wall opening in front of you and a barrage of bullets are flying at you from far away (all with pinpoint accuracy might I add), you know you’re in hell. Once you got past the room where you had to escape the launch shuttle sequence by shooting a vent and going through there, enemies had Moonraker Lasers that did a ridiculous amount of damage to you. The easiest objective to do in this level was kill Jaws because you can exploit the AI into just running circles on the staircase and you pummeling him with lasers. However, once you beat him, you had to backtrack all the way to the beginning of the level and insert a tape in the bulletproof control center. Then, an onslaught of enemies would come after you and you had move forward again to insert another tape into the launch console. Finally, it was here where you were sweating bullets and hoping that no one would sneak up and kill you because you had a time limit that initiated the launch sequence. All you needed to do was wait for the launch to go off and stand your ground…until something wrong happens and you have to run and activate yet another switch.

Bottomline was that this level on 00 Agent was absolutely ruthless. Back then, there was no such thing as a regenerating health system. Hell, you couldn’t even replenish your health. The only item you could get to help you out with receiving a few extra hits was body armor, and even that was rare. Beating this mission on 00 Agent unlocked the Egyptian Temple, which many have never seen due to the ludicrous stipulation required to access this level.

– Battletoads (NES): Completing the Game in Co-op

Battletoads was an awesome game. Tight gameplay, good graphics and a ballin’ soundtrack (as I stated in my Top 10 NES Soundtracks) made this one of those must play games. However, those who complete the game know it’s a true testament of old-school challenge. The real challenge though is to complete it on co-op. You and your partner must be both pinpoint accurate with every action you two do. If one player loses their life, it will set both players back to the beginning of the level…oh and you can hurt your partner if the game wasn’t challenging enough.

– Contra: Shattered Solider (PS2): Completing Game with S-Rank

Contra has always been known for it’s tough-as-nails difficulty and Shattered Soldier was up there. Here was the catch though. In order to see the best ending the game had to offer, you had to complete the game with an S-Rank. To do this, you had to destroy literally everything in a stage to get your Hit Rate to 100 percent. If you died, your Hit Rate percentage would subtract from your overall score. You needed 97% Hit Rate to get S-Rank which left room for only death per level and that’s only if you destroyed everything. As any other Contra installment, this game demanded complete concentration and memorization beyond belief. However, completing this game and getting the the best ending (even though it was lame) was one of the most rewarding gaming accomplishments one could earn.

– Super Monkey Ball (GameCube): Completing Expert Stage

Super Monkey Ball may appear to be a cutesy game, but it’s really the work of the devil. Completing the game’s 50 level “Expert Stage” was only meant for those with nerves of steel. Words can’t even comprehend how insane this game’s difficulty was. The first couple of levels start off pretty reasonable but once you get to floor 7, the game doesn’t hold your hand by any means. Oh, and you only had three continues at the initial start. Once you unlocked all three mini-games, you would start earning play points for just playing the game. Every 2500 points earned you an extra continue. Once you earned 9 continues and achieved another 2500 points, you unlocked unlimited continues. Even tackling Expert Stage with unlimited continues doesn’t necessarily make it easier. You still have to complete the 50 level endurance without shutting off the game. Despite the game’s asinine Expert Stage, the game was addictive enough for you to keep trying until you completed it.

– Demon’s Souls (PS3): Everything but the Final Boss

Seriously, Demon’s Souls is a brutal game. It has all the concepts that would normally make for a crappy game but executes it in such a way that makes it among some of the best. However, when the first level gives people such a tough time, to the point where they just give up, it’s evident that the game is pretty damn hard. Upon completing the first boss, you will have a huge sigh of relief that you conquered the boss battle. Mind you, I mentioned the first boss. The bosses truly defend what the definition of a boss is, someone who you should feel intimidated by and worried to confront. You will be jumping up and down cheering each time you finish off a boss in Demon’s Souls. The only thing that will make you not cheer so much is when you finish off the final boss. The final boss is a complete push-over and can be taken down with almost no effort at all. Either way, everything that led to this moment makes you feel like you gave the game your all and deserved to finish it. It is by far the most rewarding game this current console generation, hands down.

– The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES): Completing the Great Palace

The Great Palace serves as the final test in the game, and surpasses anything else you’ll face in the game. Not only is it massive, requiring extensive exploration and monster-fighting, but also ends with not one, but TWO bosses. As if the Thunderbird isn’t enough of a challenge, you need to fight Dark Link, a shadow version of yourself who knows all of your moves. Worst of all, if you die, you have to go all the way back to the beginning of the dungeon. The Adventure of Link may have received mixed reviews by the gaming community, but anybody who had the skill to beat it should be proud, for it’s one of the biggest challenges in video game history.

– F-Zero GX (GameCube): Completing Master Class

Now this one drove me over the edge…no pun intended. F-Zero GX goes down as my favorite racing game of all time but also the most difficult. I remember picking this up, booting it up and being blown away with…well, everything! The visuals are still some of the best, the controls were tight, the gameplay was lightning fast and provided one of the best soundtracks (in my Top 10 Nintendo GameCube Soundtracks) in gaming history that would get your adrenaline going. Regardless of what made the game phenomenal, the difficulty for the Master Class was beyond asinine. Completing the Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond Cups on Master Class is what was required to unlock the AX Cup, which had all the levels from F-Zero AX, the arcade version. You could get those levels by bringing your memory card to the arcade machine itself and plugging it in, but not a single arcade had this game in my area so I had to earn it the hard way. Every race had you sweating for the top spot and when you’d complete the cup in first place by a narrow finish, you’d jump up shouting and cheering. The Outer Space level in the AX Cup was entirely worth unlocking. After all that hard work…my memory card accidentally got thrown out and I lost my file. I have yet to re-achieve this behemoth of a challenge.

What were some of your hardest, yet most rewarding gaming challenges? Sound off in the comments below!

Top 10 Nintendo GameCube Soundtracks

The Nintendo GameCube will always remain one of my favorite consoles to date.  It had some truly great titles along with some of the best exclusives during it’s time period.  Let’s take a look at my top 10 favorite soundtracks on the GameCube after a decade of it’s release.

– F-Zero GX

F-Zero GX was the first F-Zero title to not be developed by Nintendo.  In collaboration with SEGA, they had AV (Amusement Vision, known for the original two Super Monkey Ball titles) behind the development…and they surely nailed the franchise perfectly.  Crazy sense of speed? Check.  Outstanding graphics? Check.  Tight controls? Check.  Insanely awesome soundtrack? Double check.  F-Zero GX was the definition of a stellar racing title and the soundtrack tremendously aided in this department.  It was hard to pick only one song to demonstrate, but Green Plant’s theme was the one that always made me max out the volume on my TV.  Still can’t believe I completed this on Master Difficulty…anyway, take a listen below!

 

– Resident Evil 4

“Destined to be the greatest survival horror game of all time” is the quote that Game Informer stated on the back of the box of RE4…they couldn’t have been more correct.  Resident Evil 4 still stands as my favorite game of all time and if you haven’t played it yet, shame on you.  However, I’m not here to tell you why the game was beyond incredible, but I’m here to tell you how remarkable the soundtrack was.  Every song in the game either gave you a creepy vibe of what lurked in the area ahead or amped up the intensity factor drastically.  Couple that with some of the best sound effects in a game and you’ve got audio design at its finest.  Choosing only one song was incredibly difficult to display for you readers but I chose the one song that really got my adrenaline going during the extra mode, The Mercenaries.

 

– Super Monkey Ball

Yes, that’s right.  Super Monkey Ball is on this list, but let me explain why before you quickly dismiss it.  Super Monkey Ball was a launch title for the GameCube that I had zero interest in.  As a matter of fact, I remember going into Blockbuster aiming to rent Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.  Naturally, since it was a new release, there was no copy there to rent and the only available game that was sitting on the shelf was Super Monkey Ball.  Now I remembered reading Nintendo Power’s review for it and while they praised it, I still had no interest in it.  I didn’t want to leave Blockbuster without renting a game for my ‘Cube so I decided to give it a shot.  Well, after firing it up on the console, I started the first level and thought, “whoa, the game runs in 60 FPS and has some pretty catchy music!”  As I kept playing, I instantly grew fond of the songs within the game, no matter how challenging the game became.  Granted, you needed nerves of steel to complete Expert Mode (proud completionist right here…not trying to brag or anything) but it was still addictive to keep trying.  The soundtrack was a motivator for me to keep trying as well.  It just fit the game in a way so few do.  While the Super Monkey Ball franchise has gotten dramatically worse after the second installment (due to Amusement Vision not being behind the development), this first installment was the one that will always remain fondly in my memories.  Check out the song for the first level below!

 

– Viewtiful Joe

Viewtiful Joe was an interesting game.  I remember hating the game at first wondering why it got praised from the critics.  However, after giving the game a second playthrough, I started to really grasp the gameplay mechanics and really appreciate everything the game had to offer.  This wasn’t your average side-scroller where you could literally pull off the same moves to best your opponents.  This game demanded your attention, even on the Easy difficulty.  While the story wasn’t exactly my main motivator to progress through the game, the humor incorporated was pretty well done.  The soundtrack on the other hand was another story.  The game’s tracks were really fast-paced and only added to the intensity level of game’s difficulty.  Take a listen to the track below to get an idea of how fast-paced the music is!

 

– TimeSplitters 2

“Heir apparent to GoldenEye” was the main quote on the front of the box from Electronic Gaming Monthly.  Well, seeing that developer Free Radical consisted mostly of members from RareWare that were behind GoldenEye and Perfect Dark, I’d say the statement is entirely valid.  TimeSplitters 2 was a true classic that provided limitless hours of entertainment and creativity.  The creativity part comes in the fact that you had a truly in-depth Map Maker feature that let you create not only multiplayer maps, but single-player missions with your own objectives and enemy AI that you programmed yourself!  As of today, I have yet to see a console game that matches this map maker mode.  The coolest part to the Map Maker was choosing what song you wanted in your newly created map.  The tough part was actually choosing one song to fit your map seeing that each song was entirely unique and memorable.  Check out the track below to hear what I mean!

 

– Luigi’s Mansion

A launch title that received mixed reactions, Luigi’s Mansion puts you in the role of Mario’s brother packing a proton…er…Poltergust 3000 to capture ghosts in a haunted mansion in which Mario was last seen.  Personally, Luigi’s Mansion was one of my favorite Gamecube titles to ever grace the console.  Luckily, we’re seeing a proper sequel 10 years later on the 3DS.  However, one element that really stood out was the soundtrack.  I can’t help but hum with Luigi (who’s humming the theme himself) as I go through the creepy mansion.  Heck…I hum the theme sometimes when I walk around my house when it’s pitch black.  Take a listen below!

 

– Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

Silicon Knight’s under-appreciated psychological horror title, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, was a really unique experience.  I remember playing this game late at night and all of a sudden the volume on my TV actually raised to the max on it’s own, then muted it…then I decided to save and shut off the game until the game said it was erasing my entire memory card.  I remember cursing up a storm wondering “how the hell is this possible?!”  I shut off the system, rebooted it, checked my memory card and everything was still there.  The game was completely messing with me.  It was at this moment that I knew the game was going to be a one of a kind experience.  Eternal Darkness’s atmosphere was incredibly creepy and aside from the psychological tests the game will put you through, the soundtrack was enticing.  Each track fits the era you adventure through from the moment you start until the moment you reach the final battle.  Take a listen at the awesome final boss battle music below to get a taste of how well done the soundtrack was!

 

– SSX 3

One of my personal favorite games of all time, SSX 3 took everything that worked perfectly in the SSX franchise and made it open-world across three peaks on one mountain.  You were able to actually board down the mountain from the top of peak 3 to the bottom of peak 1 without a single load time and it would take roughly 30 minutes!  However, what’s snowboarding without an awesome playlist of songs…and SSX 3 delivered.  SSX 3 had a dynamic soundtrack by playing certain segments of songs at certain sequences of the level, which really immerses the player throughout their traversal down the mountain.  The licensed soundtrack had a ton of variety and while every song might not have tailored to you, there were always a handful that would stay on your playlist to listen through.  Take a listen to Andy Hunter’s “Go” which was one of the main themes of the game!

 

– Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes

The remake of Hideo Kojima’s classic for the PS1, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes was the original MGS combined with all the gameplay elements from MGS2.  It was a well made remake of a much beloved classic but the one change that was made which initially annoyed me was the soundtrack.  When I heard it was not the same soundtrack, I was wondering, “Why would they change a perfect soundtrack?”  Well, after booting the game up, my initial thoughts were gone and by the end I thought, “Damn, that was a really good soundtrack!”  It was essentially most of the same songs remade with a different tone to them but then there were entirely new tracks as well.  One in particular was Psycho Mantis’s boss battle theme.  In MGS for PS1, every boss had the same epic song.  In the remake, every boss had their own theme.  Each song was very well composed and ended up sticking in my head a good chunk of the time upon completion.  Take a listen to Psycho Mantis’s battle music below…and don’t worry, you won’t need to swap your controller for him to know that you’re listening to it.

 

– Super Smash Bros. Melee

The classic fighting title for the N64 returned as a launch title for the Nintendo GameCube and what a sequel it was!  Super Smash Bros. Melee was one of the best launch titles that was ever released for any system.  I remember being in eighth grade and right after Christmas, it was the one game everyone was talking about besides MGS2.  After spending hundreds of hours playing this with my friends, it’s no wonder the music stuck in my head.  Take the iconic songs from classic Nintendo franchises and touch them up to 2001’s standards and that’s how to sum up SSBM’s soundtrack.  Take a listen to Hyrule Temple’s song below to hear how they took the infamous song from “The Legend of Zelda II: Link’s Awakening” and made it better!


There you have it readers.  Naturally there were many other titles that I wanted to add to this list but these were my personal top 10 soundtracks for the GameCube.  Agree or disagree, sound off your thoughts in the comments!

Top 10 PSOne Soundtracks

Sony’s PlayStation was first introduced to households in 1995 and took the market by storm.  Within roughly nine years, it shipped over 100 million units and had a library of over 2400 titles (worldwide).  It was clear that Sony was extremely successful with their first home console.  With so many great titles that are still seeing sequels this generation, it was a stepping stone for many new franchises.  With so many titles on the PSOne, it was certainly no easy task to choose the “Top 10” soundtracks for this console.  Well, here’s my Top 10 PSOne Soundtracks…

– Dino Crisis 2

Capcom’s alter-ego survival horror sequel may have gone the route of pure action but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Dino Crisis 2 was an intense game with a very good story and excellent soundtrack.  Whether you were exploring the jungle taking down some velociraptors or fighting a T-Rex in a missile silo that was about to self-destruct (real original Capcom…), the songs perfectly sculpted the scenarios.

 

– Resident Evil 2

What is considered to many as the best Resident Evil installment of all time, Resident Evil 2 was a massive upgrade to the original.  With much better voice acting, better visuals, better gameplay mechanics and a much better soundtrack, it was everything an excellent sequel should be.  I’ll never forget the first time I heard the music that initiated upon entering the Raccoon City Police Station to when I heard the awesome “Escape from the Laboratory” song that played during a…you guessed it, self-destruct sequence that Capcom staples into practically every game they make.

 

– Parasite Eve

Now, this one was a title I’ve always wanted to play when it was originally released but thanks to the PSN releasing it on the PlayStation Store, I bought it and had the opportunity to finally play it.  Parasite Eve is an excellent action/rpg hybrid with a gripping story, addictive gameplay and brilliant soundtrack composed by Yoko Shimomura.  The soundtrack is absolutely genius and was one of the main factors for pushing me to keep advancing through the game.  The boss battle music alone is, well…just take a listen to it below to hear how dark and awesome it is.

 

– Syphon Filter 2

I clearly remember back in day that PlayStation fans would have debates about which stealth game was better, Metal Gear Solid or Syphon Filter.  I personally felt they were two entirely different games but that’s just my opinion.  Either way, Syphon Filter 2 was my introduction into the franchise and was a great game.  Great conspiracy theory story, impressive gameplay mechanics and an intense soundtrack that suitably fit each set piece that the game had to offer.

 

– Metal Gear Solid

A PS1 classic that redefined the way we watch…er…play cinematic games.  Metal Gear Solid had excellent stealth mechanics that were second to none at the time as well as an extremely well written story.  Solid Snake, one of the most popular characters in video game history was also one of the most likable thanks to great voice acting from David Hayter.  However, not only did Metal Gear Solid have outstanding voice work, it had one of the most exhilarating soundtracks ever made for a video game.  From the menu music, to Psycho Mantis’s hymn, to the incredibly intense boss battle music, Metal Gear Solid had an astonishing soundtrack from beginning to end.  If you’ve never experienced the original Metal Gear Solid, be sure to download it ASAP from the PSN.

 

– Wild 9

Now many of you may be wondering what Wild 9 even is.  Wild 9 was a 2.5D action/platformer from the team that brought you Earthworm Jim and was as comical as that game.  In this inventive title, the core gameplay element was to find ways of torturing your enemies with “The Rig” that Wex Major (the main protagonist) weilds.  This allows you to grapple enemies with an energy-like whip and throw them into dangerous environmental objects to help you advance throughout the levels.  The soundtrack was also a big standout for this title.  It was an energy-infused soundtrack that really nailed the feel of the game.  Just take a listen below at the opening stage’s song…it’s “wexcellent!”

 

– The Legend of Dragoon

Now the PSOne was very well known for it’s enormous selection of RPGs, many of which had outstanding soundtracks.  However, there was one in particular that stood out for me…The Legend of Dragoon.  Throughout your journey of Endiness, the songs played throughout the game are very catchy and the battle music would easily get stuck in your head.  Take a listen below…

 

– Final Fantasy VII

Ah yes, Final Fantasy VII…the one game that so many fans keep asking an HD remake for.  Final Fantasy VII is considered one of the most classic titles that ever graced the PlayStation.  With it’s gripping story, to it’s enormous world to explore, to the captivating soundtrack, there’s plenty of reason to believe why it’s so beloved by fans of the franchise.

 

– Jet Moto 2

Sony’s futuristic racer was a creative, fun title that certainly could use a new installment for this generation.  Jet Moto 2 was a sleek racing game that gave your hoverbike an energy grapple that you could use to quickly swing around bends, adding a unique mechanic to the game.  The level designs were very impressive, the AI was challenging and the soundtrack was an adrenaline rush.  Just take a listen at the track attached below to the level where you’d be racing on a snow peak that even Sylvester Stallone wouldn’t climb (“Cliffhanger” reference for those of you who remember that movie).

 

– Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

What is considered the greatest Castlevania game in the existence of the series, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night puts you in the role of Alucard, son of Dracula, to stop the Lord of Darkness from being resurrected.  Castlevania: SotN was the first Castlevania title to have a completely new style of play that was along the lines of Metroid and borrowed heavily on RPG style elements.  It was still a Castlevania game at it’s heart despite the massive change from the originals, but it worked so well that it set a new standard for later entries in the series.  The soundtrack was brilliantly composed, having some old classics remixed to having new pieces to listen to that perfectly captured the gothic-esque environment, adding a very creepy feel to the game.

 

There you have it.  There’s an abundant amount of games the PSOne had with such excellent soundtracks but these were the 10 that stood out to me the most.  Sound off your thoughts in the comments below!

Top 10 Nintendo 64 Soundtracks

The Nintendo 64 was revolutionary upon it’s release in 1996.  It was the first time we got to play a 3D platformer on a console that truly redefined the way we play games today.  The N64 had a ton of great titles…but which ones had the best soundtracks?  Let’s find out what my personal top 10 soundtracks were for the N64.

 

– The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time

What is considered to be not only the greatest Zelda game of all time, but the greatest overall game of all time, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time really set a whole new standard for future adventure games.  The amount of gameplay elements incorporated into this game were simply stunning.  However, the soundtrack is easily one of the N64’s strongest.  From it’s variety of cheerful tracks, to adventurous ones, to just downright creepy, this soundtrack was absolutely brilliant.

 

– Super Mario 64

Hands down, Super Mario 64 was my favorite Mario game of all time.  Lengthy, challenging and downright addictive, Super Mario 64 was my introduction into the 3D world of gaming.  The soundtrack alone was a motivation for me to keep playing.  The tunes normally stuck in your head during and after your play session but there was one tune that really kept me going, Bowser’s Stage Theme.  Whenever you get up to the level leading up to a battle with Bowser, it got you completely pumped up for overcoming the challenges ahead to tackle the King of Koopas himself.  If you’ve never played Super Mario 64, I pity you…

 

-Castlevania

Castlevania for the N64 didn’t sit well with most fans of the franchise.  Fans considered it too much of a departure from your standard Castlevania title and felt the gameplay was too basic.  I completely disagree with their thoughts and feel, as a diehard Castlevania fan, that it was one of the best installments.  Why?  More like why not.  It was a creepy adventure with a good storyline and fun gameplay mechanics.  Sure, it wasn’t a perfect Castlevania title, but it was very addictive…and to this day, still is for me.  To be fair, the soundtrack greatly enhanced my experience with Castlevania.  The songs in this game were chilling and intense at the same time, which perfectly incorporated into the atmosphere of the game.  Plus, Castlevania is about going up against vampires (and I’m not talking about the emo “Twilight” ones)…this game did just that!  The track attached below is from the “bull boss battle” in the Castle Center stage and the “final boss battle.”  This track alone masterfully depicted the intensity of these boss fights and really brought you further into the experience.

 

– Conker’s Bad Fur Day

“Ah, that’s better.”  Conker’s Bad Fur Day was, in my opinion, Rareware’s last classic game they’ve developed.  It was gruesome, vulgar and downright hilarious!  From the moment you started Conker and saw it’s dark opening, you weren’t quite sure what to expect from the game.  Then when you start playing and encounter “Beerdy…er…Birdy the Scarecrow,”  you know you’re in for a one of a kind experience.  The soundtrack greatly varied depending on the situations at hand.  If you were out in the field, it was normally cheery music.  Get to the haunted house stage and naturally it becomes very creepy.  Reach the “lobby scene” from “The Matrix” and it gets very techno-y.  No matter what, the music perfectly fit each scenario.  However, my personal favorite song in this game was from the “Rock Solid” nightclub.  Everytime I hear that, I feel the need to get drunk, unzip my pants and start taking a piss on anyone in front of me.  Ah Conker, you’ve taught me many good things in life.

 

– Jet Force Gemini

Jet Force Gemini is a completely underrated gem from Rareware.  This sci-fi action/adventure shooter was very impressive in terms of…well, everything.  It really displayed some beautiful visuals for the N64, had great controls, addictive gameplay mechanics and an epic soundtrack.  The soundtrack was very cinematic and to this day, still stands the testament of time.  From the character select screen, to the first time you reach the SS Anubis, the music alone prepared you for how insane the game was going to be.  A true N64 classic that many people unfortunately missed…

 

– GoldenEye 007

Of course GoldenEye was going to be on this list.  Graeme Norgate is a genius when it came to composing music for Rareware.  Always creating intense tracks for games that set the mood brilliantly, GoldenEye was strongly enhanced due to it’s incredibly memorable soundtrack.  Every single level had a unique feel to it thanks to the variety in each track.  I could literally go on for days about what made GoldenEye so incredible, but I’m sure most of you readers know how amazing of a game it was.

 

– Perfect Dark

The spiritual successor to GoldenEye, Perfect Dark was Rareware’s return to the FPS genre…and wow, did it return with a bang.  Perfect Dark had outstanding visuals, flawless gameplay, a multiplayer mode that has yet to be matched (in my opinion) and a rockin’ soundtrack.  One of the coolest features within the deep customization of the multiplayer was the fact that you can choose the song to listen to during the multiplayer match (something many other games really need to start utilizing).  However, the moment you start the first campaign mission, you know the soundtrack is going to be killer to listen to.

 

– Spider-Man

Spider-Man for the N64 wasn’t just an awesome superhero game, it was just an awesome game in general.  Sure, the game lacked length, but it also allowed for multiple playthroughs that way.  The soundtrack was a strong highlight for the game.  Whether you were chasing Venom, fighting lizardmen on top of a subway train to get to Mary Jane, or being chased by an NYPD helicopter in an intense sequence, the music always deeply contributed to the set pieces.

 

– Extreme G

Futuristic motorcycles?  Check.  Ludicrous speed?  Check.  Bumpin’ techno soundtrack that you could rave to no matter where you are?  Checkity check check!  Extreme G was one of the fastest racing games available for the N64 and was also one of the best.  The soundtrack literally drove this game though.  Every song played for each stage fit perfectly into the game and increased the intensity of the game by doing so.

 

– Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

Back when FPS’s weren’t only about running forward and shooting anything that moves, Turok 2: Seeds of Evil was one of the best FPS’s available for the N64.  A massive campaign, excellent graphics that showcased the N64’s capabilities, some of the coolest weapons seen in a game to this day and a truly magnificent soundtrack made this one hell of a package.  The soundtrack really depicted the atmosphere in a brilliant manner, whether you were in a city port (Port of Adia) or in a Mantid Hive, these tracks would last anywhere between 5 to 11 minutes each!  Realistically, most games nowadays have music that only lasts for two minutes, then loops again.  Every song sounded completely unique and never repetitive by any means.  Turok 2: Seeds of Evil is an example of how to score a soundtrack for an FPS.

 

The Nintendo 64 was one of my favorite consoles of all time and I have numerous memories of many games on the system.  There were a lot of games lined up for this “Top 10 Soundtracks” list and it was tough to eliminate them, but in the long run, these were the games that had the most memorable soundtracks to me.  Sound off your thoughts in the comments below!