Hiiiiiiii welcome back to all you Kinkermaniacs out there and for first time readers, welcome. Kinker Korner is where I take ideas for lists for readers and then …..do lists. It’s been a blast so far so keep firing your ideas into @swing_kinker for me or @BigGlasgowComic for the site. Also, I’m able to handle debate without crying about it so let’s chat, give me your ideas for what you would have had in the list instead. It’s all about that swing kinker family! As usual my punk rock dignity comes into play here so no pretending I’ve played games because it’s the popular opinion. If I haven’t played it, it doesn’t make it. So with that said let’s fire on.
29. Samurai Warrior-The Battles Of Usagi Yojimbo: c64-1988
My family never owned the commodore 64, we were too cooncil for that so instead we had the Spectrum. That doesn’t matter in this case as I never played either version as a child….nope, I played this during the heady days of emulation in the early 00s. I’m a huge fan of Stan Sakai’s “Usagi Yojimbo” comic, a love letter to Japanese history, particularly the Edo period. Anyone who knows me knows about my love for the land of the rising sun so it’s right up my alley. So when I heard this game existed I just had to check it out. To some, nay most younger readers this will seem insanely simplistic and limited but I grew up on this kind of thing. To this day my favourite games are side scrolling beat em ups….Final Fight is my favourite game ever dammit! It just never left me. Walking in a line and slicing impudent, dishonourable ninjas will never not be awesome.
28. The Punisher: ps2- 2005
To do a Punisher game right, to do a Punisher ANYTHING right it has to be super violent. That’s not me being immature but the character just doesn’t work otherwise. The character was responsible, for better or worse, for bringing the anti-hero into comics and as he’s evolved he has both influenced and been influenced by the likes of Charles Bronson in Death Wish, Stallone in…..loads of stuff and the million other revenge characters in the media. So this game agreed with me and acted as a vigilante playground, letting the player dispose of gangsters in a variety of brutal and pleasing ways. Sadly (I’m not a psycho I promise) the UK were presented with a watered down version of the game with the gory interrogation scenes having a grainy censor blocking our fragile little eyes from the visceral fountains of claret escaping the bodies of the criminal underworld. The game played like a Max Payne rip off but that’s fine by me. It was very loosely based on the 2004 underrated movie but also added elements from stories like Welcome Back Frank which is great. Thomas Jane reprises his role as our boy Frank in what is a fun game all round.
27. XIII: ps2- 2003
This stylish little cracker sort of flew under the radar sadly. It’s based on a bunch of graphic novels from the 80s that I’ve never read so I had no connection to the franchise going into it. I just remember seeing the cel shaded graphics (which were huge at the time) and the unique onomatopoeia spread across a comic style paneling on the screen. You play an amnesiac (played by tragic sex addict David Duchovny) who wakes up and finds out he’s being accused of killing the president of the USA, ouch. The story is a load of nonsense but it’s fun nonsense and it plays decently well as a first person shooter too. A somewhat hidden gem.
26. Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage: Snes-1994
A game based on that festering pile of bum juice of a comic crossover, Maximum Carnage, made by famed laughing stock of the video game publishing world? Gather round everyone this is going to be hilariously bad……….Nope, laughing stock or not, LJN could occasionally come out with some fun games and this is certainly one of them. It’s a….guess…….it’s a side scrolling beat em up in which Spidey and Venom must team up to take down an out of control Carnage who is gathering a group of misfits and going on a murderous rampage. Nice sprites, solid combat and awesome music…..oh the music. Let me tell you something, let me fudging well tell you something! This soundtrack was made by Green Jelly ok?! Yea 16 bit metal blasting through my little bedroom tv, little swing kinker dancing around and kicking street thug arse. Yea this game rocked…in every sense.
25. Watchmen: The End Is Nigh: ps3-2009
So you’re going to make a game based on what is considered by many to be the greatest graphic novel of all time? What style will the game be? It has to be epic right? Do it justice with a sprawling rpg maybe?……NA!! let’s just make it a beat em up!. It’s the 90s all over again and I love it!! It’s for this exact reason many critics destroyed this game for being unoriginal and unworthy of it’s name etc. Get over yourselves I say, it’s basically an updated Streets Of Rage with Nite Owl 2 and Rorschach, not a damn thing wrong with that in my book. The action is intersected by drawn comic-like interludes expanding on a side story from the source material and it’s pretty much just there to be honest. Look, this game is nothing spectacular and even a bit dodgy at times but like I said earlier, I grew up on this kind of game and I love it….there’s not enough of them these days. Developers seem to be scared to keep it simple in this day and age, thus over stretching and often ruining what could have been a simple beat em up in the first place. It helps immensely if you’re a Watchmen fan of course.
24. X-Men Mutant Academy 2: ps1-2001
Late in the playstation’s life this little cracker sneaked onto the scene relatively unnoticed. The first game had been quite well received as a fun fighting game with a decent cast of x-men characters beating the bogeys out of each other. Mutant Academy 2 blew the first game out of the water with a better roster, refined fighting mechanics and a better look to the characters and backgrounds (which have aged terribly) making the first game obsolete. Like most games that come out so late into a console’s run though, it slipped through the cracks and is rarely talked about these days. Those who do discuss it have nothing but good things to say though. My boy Gambit is playable which is always a plus point.
23. Scott Pilgrim vs The World: ps3-2010
A passionate love letter to the games I’ve been describing during this list such as Final Fight and Streets If Rage. The comic series itself was always incredibly self aware and wore it’s influences proudly on it’s sleeve….almost to the point of pretentious hipster levels. Nonetheless the same applies for the game with a reference of some kind every few seconds. That sounds a little annoying but most of the references are 90s based and if you know me I’m basically a living representation of the 90s…..I won’t shut up about them. The Akira style boss fight made me laugh out loud, there’s so many brilliant nods to past games and movies. None of this means anything if the game plays like crap though….thankfully it plays well…it’s very difficult but it has satisfying combat. That said I would have liked the sprites to be bigger….a small problem and if that’s all I have to moan about then we have a good game on our hands. Oh and the music from chip tune band Anamanaguchi is outstanding. Go download it for whatever platform you own.
22. Spider-Man: ps1-2000
Back when it wasn’t cool to be a geek, games with this amount of fan service were rare, so context has to come into play when discussing this game. Stan Lee (who wasn’t omnipresent at that time) introduces you to the game, daredevil and the Punisher are involved. It’s all about symbiotes and for the first time you could web-sling in 3d. I spent hours and hours….. and hours on this game and it just kept pouring references and collectables at me. I would spend ages looking at the stats pages and character bios I had collected……something I never do now which is sad. A product of information overload…the internet has broken my brain. There was a sequel which had Electro as the villain that was also very good but this was so fresh and groundbreaking and that’s why it takes the incredible position of #22 on a Kinker Korner list…….yaaaay
21. Cadillacs and Dinosaurs: Arcade-1993
Capcom were untouchable in the 90s (there I go again) they delivered hit after hit. Just a crazy amount of quality which makes it all the more sad that whoever runs the company now seem to have disdain for their target audience. Anyway, the whole internet is sticking the boot into them these days so I’ll leave that subject alone. This game is mental….look at the title. It plays like a typical 90s beat em up and one of many that ruled the arcades, generally Konami or Capcom games but the premise could not be less typical if it tried. Rad dudes and dudettes jumping out of sweet 50s cars and beating up on thugs and prehistoric enemies. I had no idea why, knew nothing of the comic but all I knew was that this game kicked arse. How this never got a console release is one of the most baffling conundrums in gaming history.
20. X-Men 2: Clone Wars: Mega Drive-1995
This game begins with no intro, no title screen and it just dumped you , as Beast, into the middle of a snowy level. The amount of times I reset the game and thought it was broken makes me feel like a very stupid boy but I had never seen anything like that before as a young kid. The title screen does eventually come up and you get your feet on the ground, feeling more secure that everything is all good with the game. You can choose between a few x-men including Psylocke, Wolverine and my boy GAAAAMBIIIT! This game has one of the best damn soundtracks on the Mega Drive….it’s awesome and just helps the flow of the game. Also, you team up with Magneto at one point which is obviously doss (good). Good stuff.
Part one is done let me know what you think Kinkermaniacs. Part two will be up soon.