KINKER KORNER’S TOP 35 VIDEO GAMES OF 1998 NSFW

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Let’s just get straight into it!. Here we go!.

 

35. F-Zero X-N64

The lightning fast paced futuristic racing series returns for it’s n64 outing and although graphically the snes has aged even better it’s still loads of blistering fun to race through the various tracks. The tracks were well designed and the move to 3d didn’t effect the speed and racing fun.

 

34. Mario Party-N64

It’s now a very popular series but it started here as a fun little collection of multiplayer party games. It’s a lot of fun to have a group of friends playing over 50 mini games but your friendship will no doubt come under strain as it brings out the competitive animal in you.

 

33. Point Blank-Playstation/Arcade

A ps1 port of the super fun arcade light gun game in which you play mini games and shoot cartoony characters and targets. Unlike most light gun games it’s more kid friendly and you’re not shooting humans and bad guys like in Virtua Cop or Time Crisis. It’s really fun and using the awesome Namco G-Con 45 gun was always great.

 

32. Future Cop L.A.P.D-Playstation

A third person mech shooter with cool cutscenes and exciting gameplay as you stroll around as a kind of ED 209/Optimus Prime hybrid and enforce the law by smashing everything in sight and….blowing buildings up. Future cops are not serving the public very well. It’s very stylish and fun to play.

 

31. Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers-Arcade

Mostly the same roster as the first with the inclusion of series antagonist Geese Howard now playable from the start along with newcomers Rick Strowd, a native American boxer and Li Xiangfei, a young Chinese waitress. It’s the usual SNK fighting game goodness and I’m running out of ways to talk about them.

 

30. Thief:The Dark Project-PC

A cult classic first person stealth thriller from Eidos. You play as Garrettt who has been trained by a secret society in the art of thievery. He becomes embroiled in a huge plot about a great power about to be unleashed and he has to stop it using his sneaky skills. Innovative in it’s atmosphere and sound with the prospect of avoid action as much as possible being something of an anomaly in the gaming world at the time. 

 

29. Tenchu: Stealth Assassins-Playstation

Another stealth game and I’m aware that this really shouldn’t be above Thief in terms of quality but I owned this game at the time and didn’t play Thief until much later so I have much more of a connection to this game. Brutally difficult but a hell of a lot of fun trying to master it, this addictive ninja game was my first foray into the world of stealth gaming.

 

28. 1080 Snowboarding-N64

Bodacious, radical, cowabunga, woaaaaah duuuuude etc. Extreme sports were getting incredibly popular in the late 90s and this fun snowboarding game took advantage of that. Incredibly fun to play and with great graphics, it’s still fun to play these days.

 

27. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventur-Arcade/Playstation

A stylish and overlooked fighting game based on the manga of the same name. The last few years have seen a massive rise in western fans of the franchise due to the several newer anime series so I hope they go back and check this gem out. There are loads of flashy special moves and a good roster of characters from the manga to play as.

 

26. Star Wars:Rogue Squadron-N64

Before I had Star Wars fatigue and just before the infamous prequels started we got this entertaining flying shooter. Pilot x-wings, A-wings, Snowspeeders and more and take down the empire with their tie fighters, speed bikes, droids and others. The flying combat was always fun and playing as part of the rebellion was a thrill for a young fan of the franchise.

 

25. Xenogears-Playstation

Following a jrpg masterpiece like Final Fantasy 7 was always going to be an uphill battle for Squaresoft but they sure as hell gave it a crack with Xenogears. It’s more of a cult classic than the monster success of some of their releases but those who have played it generally had a great experience. The story is great and sees a band of rebels trying to overthrow an oppressive government.

 

24. Einhander-Playstation

It’s Squaresoft again and this time they have a go at making the scrolling shooter genre. Wouldn’t you know it, they pulled it off as they did with most things in the 90s. It’s a great looking game with a thumping electro soundtrack and plays really well. It’s just a shame there’s no two player option.

 

23. Guilty Gear-Playstation

Arc System Works’ popular and incredibly stylish 2d fighting game series started here on the ps1. Wonderfully drawn sprites and great animation makes the action pop and it’s a visual treat like playing an anime which was fantastic for the time.  It’s brutally difficult at times in single player though in that typical arcade style with cheap bosses causing many broken controllers around the world.

 

22. Fallout 2-PC

If you read the 1997 list you can pretty much copy and paste what I said about the first Fallout game. It would be higher if I played it more and need to get round to putting more hours into it. A fantastic, lived in world with humour and serious aspects and a brilliant post apocalyptic setting.

 

21.The King Of Fighters ’98-Acrade

A fan favourite in the popular series, the 98 edition is full of the characters we’ve grown accustomed to but there’s no plot in this one. It makes up for it with some of the best fighting mechanics in the series and great visuals.

 

20. Heart Of Darkness-PC/Playstation

Eric Chahi’s follow up to Another world is another cinematic platformer that looks like nothing else in the gaming world. Beautifully animated and an absolute treat to look at with a plot about saving your wee dog who has been kidnapped by a bunch of shadowy demons. What’s not to love?.

 

19. Street Fighter Alpha 3-Arcade/Playstation

The third in the alpha trilogy is largely considered to be the best but I’ll be honest…..despite it looking amazing I just found/find it way too hard. That’s my problem though, a lot of people don’t seem to have that problem so I guess I just suck at it. I love it in two player though and the inclusion of some great characters helps. In come main series favourites like Cammy, Vega, E.Honda etc and most importantly my boy Cody from Final Fight makes his first appearance in the series with an updated story. It seems since his Final Fight days he got bored with life and started getting into trouble with the law for violence. This game sees him appear as an escaped convict with handcuffs and striped jammies. Quite the shout for fans.

 

18. Star Wars Trilogy-Arcade

I used to stand staring at this cabinet with no money just watching the attract mode wishing I some damn money. Cut to almost two decades later and I’m on holiday in Tokyo at a Sega arcade with money to pump into the machine. I played it from start to finish with my ex telling me we were about to miss our last train home but there was no way after all these years I was leaving early….I had to finish it with that battle against Vader I had watched in the demo all those years previous. 

 

17. Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus

Abe and his Mudokon pals are back for another adventure. It’s very similar to the first game which is not exactly a bad thing at all and it continues the story of Abe trying to save his race from another assault. I always loved the visual style of these games, beautifully animated but murky and dirty looking at the same time.

 

16. Marvel vs Capcom: Clash Of Super Heroes-Arcade

Yet another of these Capcom crossover fighting games but this is where they stuck with a name for the series. instead of Capcom just using their Street Fighter characters to go up against the Marvel bunch they threw in all of their characters from all kinds of games. It was fun being able to play as the likes of Strider Hiryu, Mega Man and Captain Commando in a fighting game. The series would improve even more down the line.

 

15. Parasite Eve-Playstation

It’s Squaresoft again and this times it’s a mature rpg based on the controversial sci fi horror novel by Hideaki Sena about mitochondria cells and all kinds of creepy body horror. This action rpg is heavy on atmosphere and the tension builds as the story unfolds. It has one of the greatest intros of it’s era and although the latter half of the story falls flatter than the first it’s still a great playthrough.

 

14 (Tied). Spyro The Dragon-Playstation

Insomniac’s venture into the mascot platformer weas a hugely successful one that started a franchise. Spyro the adorable little dragon and his wee dragonfly friend go through their land and save their fellow dragons from a spell that has been placed on them by the evil Gnasty Gnorc the orc gnome……as good a plot as any I guess.

 

14 (Tied) Medievil-Playstation

Out of nowhere at the tail end of last year Sony announced an HD remake of this cult classic platformer starring our favourite gentleman skeleton Sir Daniel Fortesque. The evil sorcerer Zarok is invading Gallowmere and it’s up to you to stop him. You also need to become a hero to redeem yourself after lying about your exploits in human form where you died at the very start of battle.

 

13. The Last Blade 2-Arcade

A sadly underappreciated entry into the SNK fighting game catalogue and one that is closer to Samurai Shodown than King Of Fighters. Really great, well drawn visuals and tight fighting mechanics with cool special moves and weapon combat make for an excellent and refined fighting game.

 

12. Banjo-Kazooie-N64

Yet another mascot platformer, this time from the much lauded Rare Software. You play Banjo the ear who keeps his wee pal Kazooie in his backpack. The two cutesy characters help each other through this inventive and enjoyable platformer as they go against the witch Gruntilda. A mix of platform action, collectathon and action.

 

11. Half-Life-PC

Another one of those games that would no doubt by higher if I had played it more. I remember watching my bud Rick play this (a sentence I’ve used a lot on these lists) and was blown away buy the cinematic nature of the intro. It made me wish I had a pc at the time. It’s gone on to become a classic and part of a much loved series for Valve with a 3rd game constantly being petitioned for.

 

10.Knockout Kings-Playstation

As a massive boxing fan, this game with it’s roster filled with current fighters and legends was a learning experience as well as a fun, enjoyable sports sim. You can make dream matches between David Tua and Sonny Liston and of course Muhammad Ali against….Butterbean . The series evolved into the popular Fight Night which is well past due a new game. 

 

9.The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time-N64

Many consider this to be one of the greatest games of all time. My wee brother is one of them. I just think it’s a very good game with a cool story and enjoyable world to play in. The Zelda series has it’s first outing in the 3d world and it ages and plays well with Link taking on his nemesis Ganondorf as he threatens to take the triforce and gain ungodly power.

 

8. Panzer Dragoon Saga-Saturn

I discussed my love the original Panzer Dragoon before and this sequel takes a hard turn into rpg country which is a brave and bold move. It pushed the saturn to it’s absolute limits with it’s voice acting, free roaming world building and action to the point where two of the developers died while working on it. The deaths were blamed on stress and overworking. Crazy stuff but the game itself is their lasting legacy and is largely considered the best saturn game.

 

7. Crash Bandicoot:Warped-Playstation

The third and best Crash game sees our favourite marsupial and his little sister Coco traveling through time to save the world from Dr Nefarious, Cortex and their goons. It’s a great looking game with a lot of variety, loads of cute animal helpers and fun characters like an animated kids movie that appeals to adults too. Loads of fun.

 

6. WCW/NWO: Revenge-N64

The best WCW game by a long shot and another evolution of the AKI game engine. I still play this on a regular basis and not only does it capture an amazing time in the wrestling world but it’s also just straight up and amazing wrestling game with loads of great moves, unlockables and modes.A roster of wrestlers like Kevin Nash, Raven, Chris Jericho and of course La Parka, the chairman of WCW.

 

5. Soulcalibur-Arcade/Dreamcast

The sequel to my favourite ps1 fighting game Soul Blade came out in the arcades and upped the game to a ridiculous level. Visually stunning, fast, great characters and moving on a 3d plain, it was up there with Tekken 3 (also by Namco)  and even ahead of it in some ways. Mitsurugi, Taki, Rock, Astaroth, Hwang are all back but noticeable in his absence is my boy Li Long whose style is replicated in the new cocky teen Maxi. Sacrilege!. The dreamcast port of the following year is arguably even better than the arcade version.

 

4. Sanitarium-PC

Talk about an inviting box for a horror nut like me. This mature point and click adventure deeply examines mental health and insanity. After a car accident leaves your character fully bandaged and abandoned at a creepy sanitarium it’s up to you to figure out who, why, where, when and what the hell is going on. The journey takes you to some incredible places and you don’t know what’s real and what’s all in your head. It’s an amazing experience for over-thinkers and horror fans.

 

3. Grim Fandango-PC

One of, if not the greatest adventure game of all time. It’s Lucasarts so you know it’s quality especially when the likeable Tim Schafer is the project leader. It’s a film noir homage with you playing as Manny Cavalera who acts as a travel agent for newly deceased people, helping navigate their way into the afterlife. It’s filled with brilliant humour, fun puzzles and excellent character interactions. A loving tribute to murder mystery noir movies.

 

2. Resident Evil 2-Playstation

I remember so clearly being at football training knowing that I was going down to Woolies to pick this game up after it and being ridiculously excited. I’d been a fan of the original as you’d know from me gushing over it on the 1996 list. I remember being terrified at the box art staring at me as I lay in bed too  and I’m glad that’s the art we got as the American box was a bit lame. Anyway this all time classic takest he action away from the Spencer mansion and into Racoon City, the police station and the underground Umbrella labs. It expands the story of Umbrella’s experiments and how rookie cop Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield (brother of first game protagonist Chris) are caught up in the middle of the zombie outbreak. A horror masterpiece.

 

1 Metal Gear Solid-Playstation

This top 3 has been ridiculously difficult to separate but here we are, I’ve finally managed to take everything I feel about all of the games and placed them accordingly. Hideo Kojima has been on the list a couple of times but this was where he really came into prominence and worldwide recognition. A cinematic stealth game that pays homage to several movies and has a deep story filled with memorable characters. None more so than Solid Snake played by David Hayter who has gone on to become a favourite character among gamers. The super intricate plot went on to become ridiculously complicated and convoluted as the franchise continued but it’s still incredibly interesting with all the espionage, supernatural characters and double crossing shenanigans. Who can forget the Psycho Mantis boss fight? One of the most inventive pieces of gaming for it’s time and we had a guy at school who said he figured it out instantly on it’s own. I’ve never forgiven him for that outright lie.

 

What a great year! Let’s see how we end the decade when we do 199. Catch me @swing_kinker until then and thanks a lot for reading.

 

 

 

 

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