It’s really interesting to see that this year in gaming, since we already have Genesis and SNES competing against each other, there were so many remarkable titles released this year that not only continue to revolutionize the gaming industry but also started new genres that are still expanding to this very day; like Wolfenstien 3D started the FPS, Alone in the Dark for Survival Horror, and Dune II for Real-Time Strategy. It was a year of new beginnings and top tear franchise installments! See all of the best games released in 1992 and find out yourself why this is another great year in gaming!
Number 10. – Flashback
It’s really interesting to see that Delphine Software, the company where Eric Chahi (creator of Out of this World), simply took inspiration from his creation and have a different game with the same gameplay. I always like to see Flashback as the Bladerunner meets Another World as they do blend well, hand and hand. The fact that you can do so much more like shoot out with a firearm, have a lot more puzzles to solve, and so much more made it a totally different game out of the Cinematic Platformer genre. Its intriguing story and overall appeal will make you want to quest for your identity. A lot of imagination was put in Flashback as it blew anyone’s mind back in the early 90s. I would of love to put this game higher on the list, but I really don’t find myself replaying through the frustrating difficulty of this cinematic platformer nor do I have a real connection to any of the characters or the story.
Number 9. – Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
The Indiana Jones trilogy will always be some of the most beloved movie series of all time, and we couldn’t get enough of it because we all know that the character has had more adventures than what has been seen in the movies. Thank God that Lucas Arts was around to actually make this happen because this quest for Atlantis could possibly be one of his greatest adventures! The epic plot is involving and suspenseful, putting you in the shoes of the world’s most famous archaeologist as he single-handedly wards off the forces of evil. Effectively three games in one, due to the multiple paths, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis offers excellent value for money, with re-playability, a fantastic musical score and lively characters combined to create an exceptional gaming experience.
Number 8. – Lunar: The Silver Star
If you lived in Japan around the time when the Sega CD was released, there was no way that you could missed this game out because it was included with the Sega CD, unfortunately the rest of us had to buy it separately. So what makes Lunar: The Silver Star special anyway? How about being that it is the very first RPG that has voice-acting (both Japanese and English) and a strategic turn-based combat system where you can place your characters anywhere in a battle field on your side of the fight? No doubt that it brought something brand new on the table and I hate the gaming industry for forgetting the impact that Lunar gave to the industry. It has a very memorable score, very detailed design throughout, a wonderful adventure of getting Alex to become a Dragon master, and dared to try to be anime inspired, which is a risk taker when being released to the world that wasn’t familiar with anime at the time. The only thing that’s holding the game back is that the game is too damn cheesy; it’s too light-hearted that it feels very one dimensional. Other than that, it’s a classic that’s worth visiting.
Number 7. – Streets of Rage 2
I really can’t tell you the difference between the first or the second game outside of having more moves, more levels, and more characters that boiled-down to being a great side-scrollin’ beat-em-up, I can easily say that Streets of Rage II is the clear victor. Don’t ever get mixed up with Sega’s Streets of Rage and Capcom’s Final Fight. Sega basically took the Golden Axe formula and changed the whole look to gang-fight theme for a video game and the sequel is a refinement of what was left from the first. It’s pretty cool to see three ex-cops abandoning the force and decide to go fight dirty with the gangs of the city. I spent so many hours playing with my friends together fighting against wave after wave of over-the-top enemy variety. It’s really sad to see that such a big time franchise all of the sudden was wiped-out of the face of the Earth for just one mediocre sequel. I’ll still give the series a chance for another installment in 3D if Sega gives it another-go-round.
Number 6. – Wolfenstein 3D
It’s amazing to have two best friends John Remero (the guy with the crazy ideas) and John Carmack (the man who can make it happen) could actually bring results. What a result it was to see the grand forefather of the first person shooter genre! I could care less if you favor for modern first-person shooters that are in the market today, but you have to respect Wolfenstein 3D for starting it all. All the elements and gameplay features that this classic has started, its still being carried on to all FPS today; from moving forward and shooting, walking over for ammo and weapons, finding secrets, and so many more! And to put even more similarities, developers are still making FPS’s set in World War II and killing Nazi remains as one of the biggest villains in video games just as they are in real life. Sure, in today’s age in gaming, this is looks as a dinosaur (in term of age) but you have to remember that back in 1992, this was such as shocking game as it has violence that looked as a killing simulator, enemies that come close or further from you appear like legitimate threats, and the feeling of firing the gun and killing someone was unlike any game that has ever been made! We all love to fire guns in a video game and that’s why FPS’s are so popular. But don’t ever forget what made the genre because Wolfenstein 3D is the most important game that innovated it!
Number 5. – Mortal Kombat
It’s really interesting to see that Street Fighter II, though it started the fighting game boom throughout the 1990s, only remained on top for only a year after its release, until Mortal Kombat came along. Just like deciding Nintendo or Sega, I can see why people favor for Mortal Kombat over Street Fighter because it is insane! I mean, the game itself is just some of the most violent games ever. It made a staple in video game history and it created the ESRB rating (similar to movie rating) in video games everywhere, after politicians and parents against video games debated over violence of video games. I still find a lot of entertainment playing Mortal Kombat (though I do favor for the sequels more) because it was mindless fun, everything destroys the laws of physics, and the fatalities were amusing as to all hell. It’s no wonder why so many people want to keep going to the arcades and compete in the most brutal way fashionable. The only problem I have with Mortal Kombat is not the game itself, but the impact that it left that inspired developers to make more than enough rip-offs of Mortal Kombat throughout the 1990s; it has made fighting games, at one point in time, very uninteresting. Hell, even the parodies of Mortal Kombat knows the secrets of how to make the game by using actors to photograph for sprites to look so simplistic. But still, who knows what the world would be like if we didn’t have Mortal Kombat, but give thanks for giving the ESRB rating system that’s a huge importance for video games today.
Number 4. – Alone in the Dark
Even though there have been mediocre horror games in the past, all shall recognize Alone in the Dark as the very first survival horror game. No doubt about it, every survival horror game after it either took inspiration or flat out rip off Alone in the Dark. The fact that there’s more than plenty of H.P. Lovecraftian elements and references in so many parts of the game sticks out more as an innovator; from the puzzles, gameplay, clues, and scavenging for items. Oh sure, people would like to bitch and moan about the genre being hard to control because of the tank controls and combat is to use to defend yourself, but do you all know why the modern horror games are no longer scary? Because if you’re too powerful, then there’s nothing to be scared of, and for the fact that it makes it hard to kill an enemy, it really does make the horrors more intimidating and frightening. I can still feel the classic scares still to this day and I am really amazed to finally see that this is finally a 3D game that actually utilized polygons and make them appear like 3D objects. This is the first real steps of 3D graphics for video games and every developer, to this very day is still on the never ending race of displaying the best graphics! But for me, I just love the comfortable feeling of adventuring through a haunted house seen in this very game!
Number 3. – Sonic the Hedgehog 2
My biggest complaint with the original Sonic the Hedgehog is that it’s more about the character and what he can do instead of the actual gameplay experience. However, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is both all about the character and the experience as it is all together fulfilling! The feature of having Miles “Tails” Prower (the two tail fox) as a either a side kick CPU or a second player character was just as revolutionary as Super Mario World introducing Yoshi! No doubt that this is superior than the original Sonic in every meaning of the word! It’s really that side-scrolling platformer that the Super Nintendo could never have in their library because Sega had the imagination to actually deliver it to their audience. It’s no wonder why this is the best selling Sega Genesis game of all time and people everywhere still plays this classic. It really is those games that hasn’t lost an ounce of its likeability over the years and which has also aged extremely well as a gaming experience.
Number 2. – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
Konami’s TMNT game series may have had a rough start on the NES, but the games kept on getting better until, finally, TMNT 4 became one of their all-time classics. If you’re a Ninja Turtles fan, then it’s absolutely the best Ninja Turtles game to own and if your a side-scrolling beat ’em up fan, it is the best game of the genre! I brutally love that it is a blend between all the Turtles incarnations from the comics, cartoon, and movie where all of those characters and their designs were featured in this game. Sure the arcade version was released in 1991, but the SNES version, believe it or not, is actually superior. Sure the arcade offers a four player cooperative play, but even the consoles only can offer two players, it had a more redefined level design, the score were more clearer and catchy, the enemy and boss variety was vastly improved (Tolka, Razzah, and Super Shredder from TMNT 2: Secret of the Ooz were featured), and the gameplay is the most fluid of the whole genre. Remember all those times where you smashed foot soldiers “Hulk-style”, through them off the screen, and so many variety of wiping out a foot soldier? It really showcased what 16-bit graphics can really do. The fact that I played this game to death as a child and its still one of the quintessential pick-up-and-play experiences from the SNES, it has to be this high on the list!
Number 1. – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Nintendo Entertainment System just has more than enough bad sequels (Mario Bros. 2, Castlevania II) and Zelda II is the most despised of all. We wanted nothing more than another Zelda game that plays like the original Legend of Zelda and that’s why A Link to the Past not only delivered, but gave us more than what we all asked for. The joys of playing on an over the head view point, sword slashing (and many methods of attacking) so many variety of enemies, find items and secrets, going through dungeons to solve puzzles, fight bosses that offer different challenges, and go anywhere you want as long as you have the necessary requirements like all formula of every Zedla game, but it never felt so grand! But the period in time of Zelda II to A Link to the Past was indeed a long time in the coming, it was well worth the wait. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past provides hours of action and a surprising amount of replay value as well. The graphics are vibrant and the music is infectious, which enhance the enjoyment. The story itself is well written and adds to the game’s charm. But most importantly, the gameplay is not only a huge improvement over the first Zelda game, but it was a completely new side of the Zelda world. Weather if it’s the iconic stormy opening, entering any temple, or facing any kind of creature, it was a huge adventure that no other game before it has even came close. And to go an extra mile, you have have a light and dark world to travel that made the adventure much bigger than anyone can imagine. Jump shifting from light and dark world is one of the coolest and innovative level designs that even the like of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes heavily borrows from. Not only that, but there are more than enough weapons, items, and gears that improves Link to the very warrior that you want to play as. Though he may be overpowering, but that’s the whole fun of this adventure, plus the puzzles are tough but fun as well. I can argue that single Zelda title has more action and many ways to kill enemies than any other Zelda game to date and it did feel like a waste at all. There’s a multitude of so many things to discover that it kept players connected for many years! It’s no wonder why this very title has been on Nintendo Power’s Top Game list for five years (though I do argue that there have been better SNES games after it) it should tell you why it’s so loved. The gameplay and adventure of Zelda: A Link to the Past felt seamless. Every subsequent Zelda takes their cues from this very game; as it introduced many familiar creatures, elements, and characters that would appear throughout the rest of the Zelda series. This is a game that never gets old no matter how many times you played it! For everything that I said about this game, it is the prime evidence why it belongs on the top of the list as the best game of 1992!
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