Retro review : The games that meant the most

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[Ed’s note : A lack of time, a result of short staff means there’ll be no “The best games you’ve never played” this week. Don’t fret though fans of retro gaming, today we have a community retro feature]

By Chris van Vuuren

After playing games since before I can remember, each generation of consoles has held me in rapture until I could no longer see straight. It all started with Golden China. Forget Atari and Nintendo – If you were a South African kid in the early nineties, then Golden China was what you got. Nothing like a ripped off NES to get us going. Sega Mega Drive then burst onto the scene, followed by the ‘no more blowing into the cartridge’ PS1. God I loved that grey box.

After the complete dominance (and awesomeness) of PS2, the next gen arrived, and classic games have become harder to find. Granted, the current ranges of consoles have and will continue to create mind-blowing and thoroughly enjoyable games, but the truly memorable ones will be few and far between. Gaming technology is getting better at a faster rate than ever before, and developers will find it increasingly difficult to create that true classic.

With the potential next gen classic LA Noire on the horizon, I decided to take trip down memory lane to remind us of why we got into gaming.

In my opinion, here’s a list of games that each console can be remembered for:

Golden China

Contra

You were deprived if you didn’t play it. You and your buddy playing together and kicking ass! Also, fighting over who got what power up was potentially dangerous.

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…ontra?

Ice Climber

Hit the bricks! Nobody wanted to be the pink Eskimo.

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Also, nobody cared in the late 80’s

Sega Mega Drive

Sonic the Hedgehog

Before it was ruined by KTV’s stupid caller game – Forward, Forward, Forward, Jump, Jump, Forward, Forward, Forward – Sonic was the shit. Doing those crazy loop-de-loops and running at incredible speeds, Sonic tested your reflexes and your willpower. Having no more continues left was enough to put any person into a blind rage!

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How the hell do I get the monitor?

Urban/Desert/Jungle strike

One of the first games to tap into your sadistic side, The Strike Series was awesome for its time. The option of killing friendlies/innocents at will was a novel concept. Also, completing sub-missions while flying around in a helicopter blowing stuff up was very entertaining.

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The wooden bridge was surprisingly sturdy

Playstation 1

Metal Gear Solid

Sneaking around while taking down random henchman – an espionage RPG like no other. Snake and his snake-like ways had players spellbound. Lurking in the shadows had never been this much fun.

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“Last shift then it’s the Bahamas baby!”

Tekken 3

Mortal Kombat almost made the list, but to be honest Tekken 3 was just better. Even though there were no brutal fatalities, the likes of Hwoarang, Jin and Yoshimitsu more than made up for it. Its groundbreaking gameplay and slick movement had people challenging each other way into the early hours of the morning. Besides, everyone had their own favourite character.

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“Kiff hairstyle bra.”

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

This has to be the one game that almost everyone was at least competent at. The first level in the hangar was the venue for many an epic showdown. You have 2 minutes – Let’s see what you can do!

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Only 29000 points with 40 seconds left? You are lank average.

Playstation 2

FIFA 07

The game that took the FIFA franchise to the next level. It was a huge step-up from FIFA 06’s arcade style, with the main focus being complete simulation. The game is best remembered by playing mini-tournaments with your mates. Whether it was for money or pride, being the champion of FIFA 07 was a mark of respect. It is truly a benchmark in sporting titles.

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What is that???

GTA San Andreas

Even though GTA 3 was the first to bring the 3D factor, and can be argued as the most classic, San Andreas perfected the sandbox style that Rockstar is famous for. Being CJ in a fictional California provided pure addiction. From the twisting storyline to seeing how long you can evade the cops for, GTA San Andreas is probably one of the best games ever made.

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Haterz be Hatin

God of War

Uber Violence with a mythical twist, God of War is one seriously good game. The puzzles, weapon upgrades and button-specific finishing moves made all of us giggle with gory glee. For its time, the graphics were outstanding and it was something which hadn’t been seen before. Oh yeah, Kratos is also one of the best video game characters of all time.

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“Would you like a mint?”

Let’s hear what the masses have to say. What game sticks out for you as being truly memorable? The one which you could play over and over?

Let the classics roll in.

Last Updated: March 25, 2011

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