Twitter Topic – What is Your Favorite Game for Every Year You’ve Been Alive?

mario and luigi with babies

Everyone loves talking about their favorite games.  That is, after all, part of what being a ‘favorite’ is all about.  Recently on Twitter, some folks came up with an idea: “what are your favorite games from each year you’ve been alive?”

Sure.  I can talk about 30+ games.  I love games.  I know what my favorite things are.  I thought to myself how simple this could be.

I was also terribly wrong.

Filtering through the lists of games that came out from each year, I was a little stumped in the early years, and by the time I got to the Super Nintendo days, I had to slough off a lot of games to narrow them down to my favorite for that year.

Special thanks to The Well-Red Mage (whose awesome site is here and well worth a visit once you’re done here) for doing his own list that inspired me on to do mine!

Now, without rambling on any further, my list of favorites games from each year I’ve been on this Earth-

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Step Into The Darkness – Nintendo Entertainment System – Castlevania – 1986

castlevania

CASTLEVANIA
Nintendo Entertainment System
Konami
(c) 1986
Genre: Horror Platformer

Every so often, a game spawns an entire legacy, inspiring a number of works ranging over various systems and revamps to cement their role in video game history. A number of popular properties started on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Super Mario Brothers, Metroid, Final Fantasy– the list goes on. Among those titles, though, is a little horror game called Castlevania.

Given the amount of entries in the Castlevania series at this point, it very well rivals and surpasses most of the above titles by quantity alone.  Whatever the deviations or however many times a game may re-imagine its origins, every series has its humble beginning, and while Castlevania graced nearly every television set I grew up around, I could have never imagined how much this title would have spawned going forward and how addicted I would still be to those future titles.

Going to the beginning of the legacy of Castlevania, though, how does it hold up, and what groundwork did it lay for the rest of the series?

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A Rough Mystical Midnight Ride – Nintendo Entertainment System – Little Nemo: The Dream Master – 1990

Little Nemo 2

Little Nemo: The Dream Master
Nintendo Entertainment System
Capcom
Genre: Action Platformer
1990

Growing up, there were a few movies that I found myself addicted to.  Like most kids- whether my parents liked it or not- I insisted on watching certain cartoons until my VCR had them memorized.

One of those movies was ‘Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland’, a story of a young boy who lives out wild escapades in his dreams and inevitably saves the surreal world of Slumberland from the forces of evil that had been locked away (until he showed up, but that’s another story for another time).

I found out that there was a Little Nemo video game, and I was floored.  Not only had this game been out already for a couple of years by that time, but I could play through the movie that I had watched almost daily.  How amazing was that for my six-or-so-year-old brain to take in?

Well, it wouldn’t be until about a week ago that I actually played through and finished that game.  Sit down and little me tell you a little story about Little Nemo: The Dream Master.

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Let’s Mix It Up! – Nintendo Entertainment System – Monster Party – 1989

Monster Party (U)_001

Monster Party
Nintendo Entertainment System
Bandai
Genre: Action Platformer
1989

Early Nintendo games are not known for being horrific, at least not in the States.  Sure, some of them are dark- you don’t have to look much further than Castlevania to see that.  Where Nintendo’s prime market was located, though, was squarely in heroic fantasy.  While titles like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda were made accessible to all ages, games like Uninvited were made more accessible to a higher age bracket by way of design before the ESRB came into play.

When you find a game like Monster Party, you can be sure that some parents were a little more surprised by what they had purchased.  Yes, the box of the game shows a variety of classic looking monsters like a vampire and a fishman.  It still looks more like a budding monster movie fan’s dream title than a disturbing romp through a bizarre world of terror and blood.  Those who played the game, though, may have found otherwise.

So just how well did this game fare in the sterile land of Nintendo’s early library?

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Stranded, Steadfast, and Surviving – Nintendo Entertainment System – Startropics – 1990

Startropics 1

Startropics
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo
1990
Genre: Action Adventure

Over the years, certain properties of companies like Nintendo have fallen to the wayside. Some of them also have a cult following, fond memories of yesteryear making for occasionally fulfilled wishes of revisiting once promising stories and characters. One title in particular, Startropics, is a title that I remember from growing up but never really playing it, despite stories about how much fun it was. It fell off my radar growing up, though. Thanks to some manner of circumstance, Startropics came back into my periphery. I decided to seize that lost opportunity from years ago and take the game for a whirl.

Startropics has a couple of flags that pop up, so far as some of my research has come up with. Word has it that this is a Zelda clone. Given that the game came up mere years after the original Zelda, that wasn’t the most promising thing I could hear, but it’s certainly not a strike against the game from the outset. There has to be some reason that the game didn’t spawn more than one sequel, though, right? If it has so many people who have such fond memories of it, it has to have done things right.

Could it be that the game was just a victim of being forgotten? Maybe it’s just the haze of nostalgia that’s left a mark on gamers who played during a simpler time?

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