KINKER KORNER’S TOP 32 VIDEO GAMES OF 2004 NSFW

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2004 you say? Let’s see what was hot when I hit my 20s then shall we?.

 

32. Backyard Wrestling 2:There Goes The Neigbourhood-Playstation 2

Well, the marketing team sure knew what they were going for.A demographic that sees Insane Clown Posse, New Jack and a pair of big ol’ fake titties promoting a backyard wrestling game knows they’re not going for high brow entertainment. It’s a load of rubbish but it’s entertaining rubbish in which you wrestle each other ,planting your opponent through tables, glass and use weapons. Backyard wrestling was hot at the time with the internet allowing for more accessibility to home made videos and whatnot. It’s a mad roster including New Jack, Vampiro, Sick Nick Mondo, Rude Boy, ICP, Andrew W.K, Tera Patrick and more with music from Bad Brains, Body count, ICP and of course Hoobastanks lolz. 

 

31. Mortal Kombat: Deception-Playstation 2

The MK franchise continues and this one follows on from 2002’s Deadly Alliance and pretty much plays the same but with an increased roster. It’s a perfectly serviceable fighting game but nothing special like with it’s predecessor it’s just fine. The main antagonist isn’t as interesting as previous big bads from the series. The inclusion of minigames like chess and a tetris style puzzle game is fun.

 

30. Fable-Xbox

I remember at the time this came out it was touted as a must have Xbox game and being a PS2 owner I was hoping someone I knew had it. That wasn’t the case so it wasn’t until a few years later that I played it…..and it’s fun but I wasn’t exactly blown away. Peter Molyneux’s promises and ambitions once again failed to come to fruition and he really is a thoroughly disagreeable man but it still worked as a fun little rpg…..just not the second coming he said it was.

 

29. Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy-Playstation 2/PC

A sleeper hit that I remember reading about in the gaming magazines at the time. I never hear this game talked about which is a shame as it had a lot of great ideas and although it’s final presentation never quite matched it’s ambition it’s still a really entertaining sci fi thriller. You use psychic powers like telekinesis to defeat you enemies in this 3rd person shooter.

 

28. Painkiller-PC

A slightly forgotten FPS with great graphics, fun level and enemy design with loads of mad weapons to mash up demons with. It’s fast frenetic, gory, violent fps action played at a break neck speed with metal music blasting out. It’s rock hard though and I suck at fps games so the fact I like it so much is testament to it’s quality. Loads of fun and I’m surprised it hasn’t turned into a bigger franchise. 

 

27. Killzone-Playstation 2

A Sony exclusive first person shooter that pushed the hardware to it’s limits with stunning graphics, sound design and an atmosphere that mixes action and tinges of horror. It was heavily hyped with extensive ad campaigns and magazines salivating over it but it failed to live up to that immense hype. It was a good game obviously, just not the be all and end all it was anticipated to be.

 

26. WWE Smackdown! vs Raw-Playstation 2

Right, you know the drill by now and there’s only so many ways I can describe the games in this series. This came out during the time of the WWE brand split where Smackdown! and Raw were seen as two different brands and the rosters were split into two. This game features newcomers like Renee Dupree, Mark Jindrak, Shelton Benjamin and more.

 

25. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow-Playstation 2

Sam Fisher is back for the sequel to the hit stealth game that started a franchise. Loads of hi-tech gadgets and stealthy attacks requires patience as it’s not the kind of game you can go in all guns blazing and expect to do well. It’s the usual espionage bollocks in terms of plot but it’s entertaining bollocks.

 

24. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes-Gamecube

This remake had the potential to be an all time classic but due to some bizarre stylistic choice it was simply a really good game. The gamecube had already hit a home run with the Resident Evil remake and here we have another cracker of a series that really found worldwide fame on the ps1 getting the next gen treatment. Ruyhei Kitamuira directed the cutscenes which is a cool piece of trivia for fans of Japanese cinema like myself but in all honesty his style doesn’t translate to the series well with some stylish fight scenes seeming completely out of place. Nonetheless it’s like playing MGS with MGS2 graphics which is never a bad thing.

 

23. X-Men Legends-Xbox

A fun action rpg in which you can play as several X-men and go through a bunch of levels taking on villains and leveling you character sup. You can play as Wolverine my boy Gambit, Rogue, Jubilee, Storm and more as you take on villains like The Blob, Pyro, Mystique, Marrow, the Sentinels and plenty more.

 

22. The Suffering-Playstation 2

An underrated third person horror shooter with a solid story in which you play a man sent to prison for the murder of his family. He remembers nothing of it and feels supernatural forces were involved. Those fears are legitimized when the prison is overrun with monsters and you have to fight your way out and figure out what happened. The sound design is excellent with screams, clatters, laughing, crying all coming from off screen scaring the crap out of you. The voice acting is poops though.

 

 

21. Burnout 3: Takedown-Xbox

When I first met my wee step brother he was obsessed with this game and got me into it too which led to many fun times smashing cars into each other. I’m not a massive racing game fan but this one had the cool gimmick of takedowns in which you smash into cars until they explode and fly into the air. Good fun.

 

20. Viewtiful Joe 2-Gamecube

More stylish, cel-shaded beat em up action featuring our little everyman and his new female partner as playable characters. Sexy Silvia is the new playable character after being merely a damsel in distress in the first game. Now she’s a kick arse fighter who joins Joe in Movieland to stop an alien invasion. Loads of fun and movie lovers will enjoy the little nods to cinema.

 

19. Vampire: The Masquerade-Bloodlines-PC

I wish I had spent more time with this game when I played it as I was really enjoying it but in typical fashion for the time I got stuck at one bit and went in a huff and left it to rot, moving onto something else. These was during my days of constantly gigging with the band so I wasn’t as hardcore into gaming as I had been and later became again. An action rpg based on a tabletop game, you meet several clans and interact with them, making choices along the way that help you align with them or oppose them.

 

18. The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay-PC

Ugh Vin Diesel just sucks but this game was surprisingly awesome. An fps based on the Riddick movie starring Diesel although the plot deviates, focusing on a prison escape scenario. Graphically impressive and combining a solid mix of stealth and action, it’s a surprise hit that bucks the trend of licensed games sucking.

 

17. Doom 3-PC

Critics are weird, they managed to categorise this as both the most disappointing game of the decade and…..also really really good. That’s how high their expectations were and no game was going to come close to the hype that it generated. The visuals were stunning, the enemy design was pretty good and the action was atmospheric and terrifying.

 

16. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes-Gamecube

Probably my favourite of the Prime trilogy with an interesting story, refined gameplay and a tense atmosphere with great sound design. Samus Aran is back and fighting space pirates while in the background a bizarre character known as Dark Samus is causing all kinds of chaos. A deeply atmospheric game with some great mechanics.

 

15. Spider-Man 2-Playstation 2

Right then, let’s just say this off the bat. I like this game but hoooo boy do I think it’s overrated. Each to their own though and I’m all about varying opinions. Swinging around New York is loads of fun and it had never been done better at this point but in all honesty the wall climbing always gave me a damn headache!. Doing sidequests and helping civilians with various tasks is fun and going up against the bosses like Black Cat, Shocker, Dr Octopus, Mysterio and more is a hoot

 

14. Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords-PC

I wish I had spent more time with this game as I never got it finished and I’d like to see where my choices took me. That said, the time I spent with it, although very similar to the first game, was loads of fun with tonnes of interesting characters like HK-47 the sociopathic droid who returns from the first game. Like I said before I’d love to see a sprawling rpg set in this world nowadays with hardware where it’s at today.

 

 

13. Onimusha 3: Demon Siege-Playstation 2

The Capcom developed samurai horror action game is back with a bit of a difference. You switch between an Edo era samurai and…..Jean Reno who is a cop from the future who gets time displaced with the samurai and all sorts of fish out of water shenanigans ensue. The combat has improved and the plot is insane fun but the horror is all but gone by this point in the series.

 

12. Syberia 2-PC

The sequel to the underrated cult adventure game is more of the same and follows Kate Walker as she travels to Syberia in order to locate remnants of prehistoric mammoths. Improved graphics and a faster moving plot distinguish it slightly from the original as well as some really good puzzles. Kate Walker is a fantastic protagonist so it’s fun to revisit her adventures.

 

11. Jak 3-Playstation 2

As I’ve mentioned with the first couple of games in the trilogy Naughty Dog were really finding their feet as developers and finding ways to deliver good plots and pushing the hardware boundaries. Here is an example of that with the best plot in the JaK And Daxter series and stunning graphical upgrades to what was already a very good looking game. The open world is fun to traverse and the characters are great.

 

10. Ninja Gaiden-Xbox

I’m counting the updates like Ninja Gaiden Balck etc that came a year later as they are the same game with improvements. Ryu Hayabusa is back and using all his ninja skills to hack and slash demons and all kinds of villains as he sets out to avenge his murdered clan. violent, gory and brutally hard, Ninja Gaiden came back with a bang and was hugely entertaining fun. Wall jumping into a multiple decapitation attack never gets old. 

 

9. Tekken 5-Playstation 2/Arcade

The ultra successful 3d fighting game series returns for an improved entry over Tekken 4 which I liked but was a little disappointed in. New characters include Asuka, Feng Wei, Raven and more. The usuals are here too with some characters returning from earlier games like Baek, Bruce, Ganryu and your mainstays like Kazuya, King, Marshall Law etc are all here. This one has really smooth, fast gameplay

 

8. Fight Night 2004-Playstation 2

EA Sports really started nailing the Fight Night series with this entry that featured a unique fighting system in which you use the analogue sticks to control the boxers punches. It took a bit of getting used to but it became very natural an intuitive after a while of practice. It had a solid career mode too and of course it’s all about the roster once you’ve got the gameplay down. Playable boxers include “current” fighters like Roy Jones jr, Shane Mosley, Tito Trinidad and more but it’s all about the legends in this one with the likes of Ali, Frazier, Sonny Liston, Sugar Ray Robinson and more.

 

7. Silent Hill 4: The Room-Playstation 2

The black sheep of the Team Silent developed games in the series which is a real shame as it’s a really ambitious, atmospheric psychological horror with some brilliant ideas. The reason it put so many people off was because it was so different to the original trilogy in so many ways. From having a supposed safe space in the flat to  only having one save point and the occasional first person perspective moments throw fans off. The story is fantastic and the atmosphere is up there with the best in the series. I’m glad it’s finally starting to get it’s fandom these days as it is a flawed masterpiece. Having a random chat with a fella who turns out hours later to be revealed to be the villain is something you miss but one of the many cool little bits in the game that are just so well thought out and the twin monsters…..good lord they are terrifying. Akira Yamaoka’s score is as brilliant as ever and I’m so glad I got to see him live. 

 

6. Half-Life 2-PC

Ok ok I know this always on the top of those “best game of all time” lists but as I say often on these lists….I just haven’t played it enough to justify it topping the list. It’s in the top ten so obviously I recognise how great it is. My wee bro absolutely loved it and introduced me to it but I’d heard plenty about it being the be all and end all of fps games. Gordon Freeman is back and taking on terrifying aliens like the headcrabs along with Alyx Vance of the resistance as they try to win the Earth back from alien invaders. A hugely popular game and for good reason, it was way ahead of the game.

 

5. Def Jam: Fight For NY-Playstation 2

It’s the AKI engine back at it again with another excellent wrestling game. This one though, is the sequel to the out of nowhere cracker that combined wrestling with hip hop which somehow worked. This one improves on the first one in nearly every single way with fights taking place on the streets, in subways and all sorts with the ability to fight with different styles instead of just wrestling. The roster has a lot of rappers from a  time when I wasn’t really enamored with hip hop but there’s plenty of more old school guys like Busta Rhymes, Ghostface Killah, Redman, Sean Paul and…..Henry Rollins? Fair enough.

 

4. Sly 2: Band Of Thieves-Playstation 2

Sucker Punch’s mascot Sly Cooper the raccoon returns for the sequel to the insanely likeable first game. It’s more of the same cel-shaded 3d platform adventuring but it’s less linear and has a hub world where you can choose missions that involve any of the gang. That gang consists of Sly, Murray the dumb but loveable Hippo and Bentley the super intelligent turtle. The cartoony tribute to film noir is hilarious and completely entertaining making it hard to not have a smile on your face when playing.

 

3. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas-Playstation 2

The third game in the 3d era of GTA games took inspiration from 90s hip hop culture with San Andreas being based on California and the hoods therein like Compton. Vice City had a Scarface vibe whereas here it’s more like Menace 2 Society which is right up my street. You play C.J Parker who is back in San Andreas to get his old gang back together and get to the bottom of his mother’s murder. Of course the fun is in the open world and all the crazy things you can do in it. From shopping, to getting haircuts, to participating in races and of course visiting ladies of the night if that’s your deal. As usual with GTA games the soundtrack is ace with contributions from 2Pac, Rick James, Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy and much more. It also features fine voice work from the likes of Sam Jackson and Charlie Murphy.

 

2. Ratchet And Clank: Up Your Arsenal-Playstation 2

I love the Ratchet And Clank series so much and this third entry into the series is an excellent one. The three main mascot platformers of this era were this series, Insomniac’s Sly Cooper series and Naughty Dog’s Jak And Daxter and it does my heart well to know that the rival developers would actually help each other out with ideas and cheerleading each other’s work. Such a rarity, especially as I come from an era where developers and companies were always at each other’s throats. Anyway it has the brilliant, inventive weapons and the great, funny plot with likeable characters that the series is known for.

 

1 Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater-Playstation 2

I clearly remember staying at my grans one day and picking up a gaming magazine, looking at the preview for MGS3 and just thinking “wow, this looks amazing”. I was already a fan of the series and this preview was showing stuff like having to live off the land while you’re on missions and blending into areas using camo which made it look so interesting. It lived up to the hype and it’s become one of those games that people still rave about well over a decade later. Set in the 60s, during the cold war, you play the Solid Snake we know and love’s daddy Naked Snake who is sent to save a Soviet scientist in the jungles of USSR. There are loads of twists and turns along the way and it ends with a huge gut punch that goes down in gaming history as an all time great  emotional reveal. Hideo Kojima does it again. 

 

Ok we’re getting to the half way point of the decade and the shift in trends is already becoming evident. Check back in for the next list to see where it takes us. Get me @swing_kinker until then ta x.

 

 

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