Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I was reading through IGN’s Top 100 Games of all Time….and found myself wondering what kind of brain-dead retards made this list.

Oh, user created...that explains a lot.

Half Life 2 didn’t even break the top thirty, the original Zelda wasn’t even on the list….and the original Halo, one of the most boring, unoriginal shooters of all time scored so highly I don't even wanna think about it.

This list really shows just what a diverse bunch of people gamers are. Trying to rank the top 100 games of all time is like trying to rank the top 100 movies or books of all time. It just can’t be done because you’ll never reach a consensus.

It may be possible to rank the top 100 PC games of all time, or the top 100 Nintendo games of all time…but the top 100 cross-platform, cross-generation games of all time? Can’t be done.

Take the above. I don't like Halo because, while Halo was absolutely groundbreaking for console gamers, it was just 'another shooter' for PC gamers. In fact, it was an incredibly mediocre shooter for PC gamers with it's cut-and-paste locations and unimaginative weapons.

Here’s the thing, I played my first videogame at two years old back in 1983 and in my lifetime I’ve owned a ton of gaming systems and computers:

Acorn Electron

Binatone Pong

Commodore 64

Atari 2600

NES

Sega Master System

Sega Genesis

PS1

Gamecube

PC

Xbox360

Those are just the ones I’ve owned. If I expanded that list to include the computers and consoles I’ve actually played…I’ve used pretty much every console and home computer made since 1983.

So, it’s hardly surprising that my idea of the top 100 games of all time are a little different to a ten year old’s who cut his gaming teeth on a PS2 and first experienced Pacman on Xbox Live Arcade.

I remember what it was like to pump my entire week’s allowance into Ms. Pacman or Afterburner at the arcade, or stay up all night beating Double Dragon on the Master System. Today’s kids only know Pacman from their cellphones…and try explaining to a ten year old today why Double Dragon is awesome.

Then, you have games like Doom. They look absolutely awful and are extremely simplistic by today’s standards…but Doom basically defined the modern first person shooter. We wouldn’t have Call of Duty 4 today if it wasn’t for Doom…but someone who cut their teeth on Call of Duty, Doom is just another crappy iPod or cellphone game.

This list reminds me of a similar one I read a few years ago about the best, most imaginative weapons in first person shooters. The weapon that scored number 1? Halo's pistol.

A handgun with a low powered scope is the best, most imaginative FPS weapon of all time? I don't think so.

I can name two better from a single game. How about the freeze gun and miniaturizer from Duke Nukem 3D? At a time when FPS weapons were just pistols, shotguns, machineguns and rocket-launchers, Duke Nukem gives you a weapon that freezes your enemies solid (and then kick and smash them), and another that shrinks them down to mouse size and lets you stomp on them. Duke Nukem was also the first shooter that gave the player a jet-pack to allow them to fly and one of the absolute first to release a level editor with the game.

So Duke had innovative gameplay, imaginative weapons, great level design, the ability to create your own levels, had a list of 'firsts' as long as your arm...but didn't even get on the list, never mind score high on it.

Long story short, 'best ever' lists don't work when it comes to games because a huge portion of the people voting only have experience of the past few years of a forty year plus industry.

1 comment:

Evanesce In 2008 said...

Well said.

I remember pong when it first came out... night driver on the atari2600... space invaders... galaga...

You're right about Doom and Duke!