Oh, Capcom. You have been so good to us over the years. Most recently with Mega Man 9 and Bionic Commando Rearmed. Unlike some developers (AH-HEM-Rare-COUGH) you never forgot your roots and frequently reward long time fans with remakes, sequels, and assorted rad shwag.
Capcom has made so many great games over the last couple decades that I found it nearly impossible to make a Top 5 list. Instead I just picked five of my favorites from console generations of old. Let it wash over you…
5. The Punisher – Sega Genesis, Released June, 1994
There is no doubt in my mind that Final Fight is one deadly game. But how to make it better? How about this; instead of having your protagonist’s daughter get kidnapped, how about the bad guys just fucking kill her. Hell, throw his wife on the murder train, while your at it. Thus is the motivation of Marvel’s skull encrusted avenger. You play as Frank Castle, AKA The Punisher. In 2 player co-op, your partnered with the cigarette-chomping cyclops-looking sociopath Nick Fury. No need to over think this one. It’s a Final Fight clone. With guns. It’s fucking awesome.
Mega Man V – Gameboy – Released July, 1994
It’s quite astounding that the last game of the golden age of Mega Man (as in not the X games or any of the dozens of shovelware titles that have dominated the handhelds recently) was one of the best of the series. Standing head and shoulders above the latter half of the NES Mega Man games, Mega Man V mixes all the hallmarks of the series’ high points: brilliant level design, an outstanding score, challenging and inventive boss battles, and over all playability. However, popping this cart into a Super Gameboy or Gameboy Pocket will cost you; the Gameboy version of Mega Man V is one of the rarest in the series, only next to the ultra-rare Game Gear and Genesis titles. Is it worth it? If you consider yourself a Mega Man fan then the answer is most definitely.
3. Final Fight CD – Sega CD – Released April, 1993
Many think of the Super Nintendo port when they think of Final Fight. While it’s a great game and all, it is actually terrible when you compare it to Final Fight CD. This is as close to arcade perfect as you are going to get. Sure there are some missing frames of animation and the sound effects aren’t entirely perfect, but who cares? It has all the stuff that went missing when the arcade brawler migrated to the SNES, including all three playable characters, the missing level and boss, and most importantly the 2 player co-op. Due to the CD quality audio the soundtrack absolutely kicks ass and all the arcade’s voice acting is present. Go buy this game right now. Seriously.
2. DuckTales – Nintendo Entertainment System, Released September, 1989
What to say about DuckTales? It stands among a few elite titles as one of the greatest video games based on a TV / movie license. The game features a totally genius and unique mechanic in the pogo stick. The pogo stick has to main functions, it can be used to bounce and or used to smash blocks, and treasure chest like a golf club. You do everything with the pogo stick from reaching high ledges to killing enemies, and it is your main weapon / mode of transport. A truly memorable and amazing soundtrack, spot-on controls, bright, beautiful graphics, genius level design; this game has it all. If you have never played this games than what the hell are you doing playing video games at at? What’s the point?
1. Little Nemo: The Dream Master – Nintendo Entertainment System, Released September, 1990
Here is a personal favorite from my childhood. This game will be forever engraved in my brain as conjuring both the fondest memories and manically frustrating fits of rage. In the same vein as DuckTales, this bright, colorful platformer is one hell of a challenge. The main gimmick here are the creatures that you can feed candy in order to sedate. Once they are drugged (?!) you can jump on there backs (or put them on as a morbid flesh suit) and use their abilities, ie Lizards that can dig in certain types of ground, bees can fly for a short period of time, etc. Each level is a new dream and the settings and enemies are highly imaginitive and bsically exactly what you would expect a child to dream. The game is based on an animated movie which is in turn based on an old comic strip and the visuals and chracters are recreated with amazing detail. One warning, this is a hard video game. But also completelt, totally and undeniably rad.