This is it! This time I know it’s the real thing. We have come to the end of the list….exciting times eh? eh?….ah well. This list seems really popular so I hope you stick around and check out all the other Kinker Korner lists. Let’s count down that top ten!
10. The Punisher: Arcade-1993
Another capcom beat em up that doesn’t get the acclaim that a lot of the others did which is pretty criminal….and you know what the Punisher does to criminals! This was a two player game in which the 2nd player took on the role of grizzled director of S.H.I.E.L.D Nick Fury to form the most kick arse tag team since Demolition. As with most of these types of games there’s a nice collection of weapons to help you beat on the criminal underworld scum such as swords, ninja throwing stars and even guns (it is the Punisher after all). This game is so good that it would have been even higher on the list if I had played it more as kid and had more of an emotional attachment to it. Alas I’m sure it’s very happy at it’s number 10 position. It’s done well on the prestigious Kinker Korner. The Sega Mega drive got a heavily watered down port too, worth checking out but don’t expect anything near the quality of the arcade game.
9. Wolverine Origins: ps3-2009
Well well well what do we have here? A movie tie in game? of a not very good movie? Well, tie ins have a reputation of being almost universally awful. Origins blew that theory out of the water and really, who the hell was expecting this? Nobody, that’s who. You often hear people bemoaning the lack of violence from Wolverine in his media outings, claiming he’s an angry mutant with adimantium claws….why isn’t he slashing people with body parts flying all over the place? This game agreed and that’s what we got…an absurdly violent hack and slash game with limbs, heads and guts flying all over the place. The fighting system was visceral and worked well with leveling up and gaining new ways to gut weapon x employees. There were also collectable skins such as the animated series uniform and the original brown and yellow outfit. What’s that you ask?….oh why yes……my boy Gambit IS IN THE GAME YAAAAAAS!.
8. Injustice: Gods Among Us: ps4-2013
NetherRealm studios, the team behind the Mortal Kombat series have always been brilliant at marketing and hype with decent, fun and violent games. That said the blood and fatalities were often accused of being a gimmick to hide the simplistic and poor fighting mechanics….it’s hard to argue but they finally got things right with Mortal Kombat 9. MK9 Was a fantastic surprise that combined brutal, disgusting fatalities but also had a very well implemented fighting mechanic. When it was announced that the team were going to be using the same engine they used for MK9 on a game all about the DC universe the announcement was met with cautious optimism. Cautious because we’d already had an average MK vs DC game that didn’t fare too well. All worries were dampened when the game came out, it was fantastic and combined an excellent fighting system with a surprisingly good story. I hope this trend of deep stories in fighting games continues, it’s a brilliant way to play the game and use different characters. The super moves are so over the top and wacky that they never fail to put a smile on my face. Superman punching you into orbit, Aquaman setting a shark on you! From Batgirl to Solomon Grundy, there’s a character here for you so suit up and get yourself into a bunch of super powered fistycuffs.
7. Batman Returns. Snes-1993
Konami are at it again…they just knew how to do it. Make a beat em up simple with good hit detection, interesting characters and environments….that’s all you need for a beat em up. Batman takes this ideology and uses it to create one of the best beat em ups ever. You can smash two bad guy’s heads together, you can crack them into walls and break windows with their faces! Batman is the fighting machine he should always be. Konami captured the wintery aesthetic of Gotham that Tim Burton created for the movie of the same name and it works so well….you’ll never see another Batman game that looks like this. It’s hard though…..jeeez it’s hard. The bosses, particularly Catwoman on the rooftop, are controller smashingly difficult. Nonetheless I would try and try to get a little bit further every time and it was never anything but fun to do so.
6. Teenage Mutant Hero (Ninja) Turtles: The Arcade Game: Arcade-1989
I say “hero” Turtles because of the ridiculous censorship of the word Ninja in Europe, presumably as the higher up were terrified an army of child ninjas would somehow take over Europe with their sai and shuriken. That said… I’ve seen many a sword hanging on a wall below old firm flags so maybe……Anyway this cabinet has a very special place in my heart as it would often appear in my town, especially when the switchies (carnival) was in town. Between this and Final Fight me and my buddy Ewan would spend all of our pocket money on these machines when the other kids were playing on the rides and trying to meet girls. No time for that lads, we have to save April!! Another….yes another Konami beat em up that was colourful, fun, 4 player and faithful to the source material. If you’ve read my stuff on this site before than you’ll know about my deep love for the Turtles, it just never left me. Such a fun game, but not the best Turtles game……watch this space.
5. The Wolf Among Us: ps3-2013
Part of Telltale Game’s new wave of graphic adventure games, The Wolf Among Us is based on Bill Wllnigham’s brilliantly inventive and mature comic series Fables. It revolves around the fairy tale characters we all know and grew up with having to leave their world because of an unknown evil and they’ve made their way to real life New York. They have their own community in run down areas so Princesses are living in hovels and the non human characters use an expensive drug called glamour to hide their appearance from the norms. The playable character is Bigby Wolf….get it? Who is in charge of keeping the peace within the fable community, often acting as a detective. So when a murder panics the community, it leads Bigby and Snow White down a mysterious and dangerous road with branching strorylines depending on your decisions throughout the game. Really immersive and entertaining stuff with a wonderfully grimy neo-noir aesthetic and stellar voice acting.
4. Robocop vs The Terminator: Mega Drive-1994
Oh the controversy…think of the children etc! I was 10 when this came out over here and I remember the media being up in arms about the graphic bloody content so don’t worry kids, it’s always been like this. As usual it, along with Mortal Kombat was blamed for any violence in the country, bypassing the pillaging of our resources by the last few governments creating a class war and sending many parts of the UK into the pits of poverty……..yea….it’s a mega drive game’s fault. Aaaaaanyway this is based, very loosely on the Frank Miller miniseries of the same name and involves Robocop going through the streets of Detroit and turning bad guys and gals into a mushy red pulp, awesome. The plot ends up with you taking on OCP and a now self aware Skynet. The snes had a port that was vastly inferior…not just because of the lack of blood on the family friendly console, but because it played worse and looked worse. The mega drive version is the only way to go for this one.
3. The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game Series: Season 1 and 2: ps3-2012-2014
Speaking of the new wave of graphic adventure games like The Wolf Among Us, this is the one that started the revolution. The game that seemed to come out of nowhere and hook everyone who spent 5 minutes with it ended up with several game of the year awards. It gave us 2 of the greatest and most relatable characters of all time. Lee and Clementine will have your heart in the palm of their hands and occasionally squeeze it or throw it against a wall, such is the emotional punch that this game is capable of. I would literally be lying in bed after playing the game thinking ” I swear if anything happens to Clem I’ll fuuuuu….” I love this game so so much, it’s got my lady heavily into graphic adventure games now too which is excellent because as our stories branch off and take different turns, we can discuss how our adventure unfolded. I could wax lyrical for pages and pages but you don’t want that….short and punchy, it’s just a list dammit!. You really are missing out on a powerful, immersive masterpiece if you haven’t played this. The people who made it have heart and my eternal thanks for letting me experience my version of the story. …….I’ll always keep Clem safe……always.
2. Teenage Mutant Hero (ninja) Turtles 4: Turtles In Time: Snes, Arcade-1991-1992
I struggled so much between this and the number 1 game….more than any sane human should. I mean, this is one of my favourite games of all time…..but so is number 1. What are the odds that 2 of my favourites would be licensed games? They’re supposed to all be terrible! My buddy Ewan is involved in this one again as he lived next door to me and got this for the snes, instantly and excitedly inviting me over to play it. We couldn’t believe we were playing a Turtles games this arcade perfect on our super nintendos. I ended up getting it myself, such was my love for it and I sunk so many hours into it. Completing it several times and seemingly never getting bored with it. Unlike past Turtle’s games, each Turtle was actually useful…(I’m looking at you Raph). It wasn’t just the long range characters that were of any use now so it was fun to try and complete the game as each Turtle. You start off in present day New York as Krang steals the statue of liberty….for some reason and the first level is avoiding Super Krang’s laser beams and beating up Baxter Stockman, The Fly! What a start. You then spend the game traveling to the prehistoric times to fight all sorts of monsters, into the future to use hover-boards and fight regular Krang. You fight on a pirate ship with Bebop and Rocksteady dressed up as pirates. Oh and the game finishes with an epic battle against super Shredder!(sadly not played by big sexy Kevin Nash). I can’t say enough good things about this game….it’s a perfect beat em up, just bloody perfect. There was a remake made in 2009…..it was not good…. The end.
1. Batman: Arkham Asylum: ps3-2009
It was a tough choice to pick just one from the Arkham franchise as Arkham City is also a stunning game with more to do and a bigger world to explore. So why did I pick Asylum? Indulge me for a minute please….I was late getting into the 7th generation of consoles. I stuck with my PS2 for ages as I kind of fell out of love with gaming for a little while. Between Uni and my band constantly gigging I would only really casually pick up fighting games for a wee jam and that was it. When I did decide to join the 7th gen I was checking out what games to get and I saw a developer diary of this game. It looked really good and had all these promises of new fighting and stealth mechanics never seen in a Batman game before. Heard it all before but I decided casually to give it a go when it came out. So far in the 7th gen I had played games like Burnout and Fifa but when I started playing Asylum I thought wow this looks incredible. The opening sequence was excellent and when it threw you into combat it felt smooth and tight. As a beat em up fan (oh really ???) I was elated as everything was just clicking into place. As the game went on I was surprise after surprise and then came The Riddler challenges. The trophies I could give or take but all of the secrets where you have to find clues about random Batman characters had me hooked. I’m not going to lie….I had never seen a game that took a franchise I love and poured so much heart and love into it and it nearly brought a tear to my eye. I think it was when I found the Killer Moth clue I just smiled…I mean they’ve put a hidden clue for Killer bloody Moth in this game. Everything was just so perfect, it was the definition of fan service. The voice acting from the cast of The Animated Series, the combat, the stealth, the story, everything just worked. Most of all though and what separates it from Arkham City is it felt like a horror game. It was claustrophobic, Scarecrow was messing with your mind and you were trapped. This game made me fall in love with video games again and I’ll never forget the first time I played this. I’m a nostalgic sod as it is which is probably obvious by my rants in this list and this is going to be talked about with my Grandchildren. Then they’ll throw me in a home to shut me up.
Phew, there we go Kinkermaniacs. Thank you very much for indulging me and sticking with me as I vent my spleen. It really means a lot that you take the time to read my blethering thoughts. There’s more to come and there’s plenty on the site already if you want to check them out. As always gimme a shout if you want to discuss the list @swing_kinker or @BigGlasgowComic Until next time…