The Sega Addicts Top 10 Vehicle Based Games
This we continue our features inspired by Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed’s upcoming release by highlighting 10 of our favorite vehicle based games. Last week, we highlighted our 10 favorite racing games so this week it’s all about the arcade action as no racing games were allowed in this list.
Hit the jump to see our 10 favorite vehicle based games!
After Burner Climax
Josh Newey: This game isn’t a racing title, but it sure as hell feels like one. That’s largely because it does such an impeccable job of infusing a ridiculous sense of sight-blurring speed. Even more impressive is just how nimble and empowered you feel in the air, despite the game’s obvious restrictions of movement and the perpetual drive onward. While hundreds of flight simulators give you tons more capabilities and realism, After Burner proudly shirks its real-life inspirations in favor of delivering a straight-forward, punchy and genuinely thrilling ride composed of nothing but blinding speed, accessible shooting, and a sense of triumphant adventure.
Mike Kyzivat: Best driving game ever!!!! I mean it. This is just a great concept masterfully executed and makes for an entertaining game that anyone can enjoy. The basic premise is this: You are a convertible taxi driver looking to take people to the places they want to go. You pull up and they hop in, which then starts a timer counting down. You have until the timer reaches zero to deliver the person to where they are going or else you will loose the fare and you will have wasted precious time. The great thing about this game is that it is an arcade experience and not a simulator (thank god). So there are some liberties taken with the physics, and roads are optional when getting from point A to point B. You will also earn money by keeping your passenger happy. And by happy I mean getting dangerously close to other cars, weaving in and out of traffic, doing jumps off of strategically placed ramps and driving into oncoming traffic. All things that would make a meter maid faint. But it’s soooooo much fun to break the rules of driving just to get that extra dollar. And lets not forget the sound track consisting of songs by The Offspring, and Bad Religion that just encourage the reckless behavior. In fact to this day I if I hear the song “All I Want” by The Offspring while I’m driving, I have this extreme desire to drive like a maniac (or what would be considered a normal driver in New Jersey). If you haven’t played this game, what in the world is the matter with you? It’s on every system ever made, so It shouldn’t be hard to find.
Scott Morrison: Galactic Attack is a little gem I stumbled upon on a blind rental back when BlockBuster Video still existed in my neighborhood. In turn, I ended up buying a second controller just for Galactic Attack, which also introduced me to the “Shmup” genre. The vertical-shooting game is simple enough when starting out, and supplies lots of eye-candy within levels. However, with each level beginning somewhat small and simplistic, the game quickly throws you into screen-engulfing armadas and giant boss battles for the sake of saving the universe. The small variation of your 2 weapons in such a chaotic game was very complimentary as you could always keep track of your own shots compared to the enemies. I’ve owned the game since 1996, but to this day, I have still not seen the final boss. In a time when continues were the closest thing to an arcade port’s save file, Galactic Attack won’t allow any cheaters. The game will kick your sci-fi-loving butt until you have the letter “C” grained into your thumb from holding down that laser machinegun button, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Alex Riggen: There’s a reason there’s an exclamation point in the title of Jambo! Safari. It’s because there’s nothing more exciting than driving your Jeep around an African safari while lassoing endangered species just for kicks. And since doing that in real life was made illegal in 1993, Sega decided that the only way people could live out their fantasy was in a virtual world hosted inside one of their arcade cabinets. Jambo! Safari reminds me a lot of Crazy Taxi in that it’s a driving game all about beating the timer to rack up the most points and you drive like “crazy” to do that. The game did get a Wii and DS port so it is possible to play this at home but I can’t attest to the quality as I’m only done my Jamboing in the arcades.
Scott Morrison: Jungle Strike is an amazingly fun and simple isometric game where controlling a helicopter has never been more hilarious. Jungle Strike for me was Grand Theft Auto before Grand Theft Auto existed. Rarely did I complete any missions in the game, because I preferred flying around aimlessly and attacking anything that moved. If my towing cable lowered for a mission I would slowly and patiently grab my cargo and quickly fly into the nearest building. Why? Because it was brainless fun and I loved watching my helicopter spin uncontrollably. The game itself was not the most impressive-looking or varied, but that didn’t really matter when you were indirectly creating a baron wasteland of demolished buildings and vehicle remains. The best part about the game was the fact that failing mission did not always mean the immediate end of the level. You could fly around briefly until your helicopter would self-destruct, which created a fun, “destroy-as-much-as-you-can-before-you-explode” mode. Jungle Strike is fun for anyone who doesn’t take video games seriously, or needed a break from all the platformers back in the 90s. The game was also fun when you did play it correctly, even if some missions did seem a bit slow. Contrary to my initial playstyle, it did feel satisfying when I could complete a level without causing complete mayhem. For the good of America, of course.
Scott Morrison: A game has never had a more appropriate title. It’s almost as if someone was watching me play Jungle Strike and realized no one wanted to follow organized missions outside of shooting anything that wasn’t already on fire. For the sake of America, or some sort of national group, you have to jump into a tank and destroy nearly everything in your way. That is if you don’t run it over first. You can choose one of three tanks, although it’s best to just go with the average one because otherwise you’re too slow or too weak. Some mission objectives require you to simply “secure” a village, until you are allowed to blow everything to kingdom come. The weapon selection includes everything from missiles and mortars to flamethrowers and air strikes. Some missions can be challenging with the amount of enemies facing off against your lonely tank, but if you stock up on enough weapons you’ll be good to go. Ironically, there is a small bit of depth within the game if you can complete certain hidden missions (IE: destroy a certain hidden house/person/vehicle), because you then you can unlock every level in the game. I said a small bit of depth. As simple as the game is, and as repetitive as it may be, it’s still an absolute blast to play. Pun completely intended. This game is like a Die Hard movie of video games with the exception of the one-liners, although the best way to play this game is probably while yelling, “Yippy Ky-Yay,” the entire time.
Josh Newey: Perhaps a better title for Red Dog would have been Underdog. I say that because this game hardly registered on anyone’s radar when it was released on the Dreamcast, even as reviews came out giving it props for its pure-and-simple premise of relentless destruction. Sure, the game was and is ugly as sin, and its bare-bones layout can get a bit “ho-hum,” but it comes packing some real variety and combative punch that I think a lot of people could enjoy. You spend the entire game in your runty little moon-buggy-esque tank, rolling through a multitude of environments and eliminating an alien race that has been swelling in numbers. Along the way, you’ll pick up several unique weapons, including lasers, several types of cannons, and explosive shells. The best and most creative of the bunch is a shield that you can throw up to deflect incoming bullets back at enemies, much like the one found in the aforementioned Renegade Ops. All in all, Red Dog may not be the best game to ever grace the Dreamcast, but its fun driving, relentless combat, and varying weapons really make it an entertaining excursion and a sadly forgotten vehicle-based game that people should try.
Josh Newey: The driving mechanics may take a little time to get used to, but there’s no denying that few XBLA games do a better job of chaotic mayhem, satisfying explosions and vehicular combat than the hot-tempered General Bryant and his team of vigilante heroes. Proudly carrying the torch of military-themed Genesis games like the aforementioned Jungle Strike, half of the thrill of Renegade Ops comes from skidding around open, beautifully rendered maps; sliding through clouds of dust and crumbling buildings; and catapulting off ramps and into yet more buildings. For a top-down game filled with tiny cars, Renegade Ops is surprisingly exhilarating, and that’s just a testament to how honed its driving and shooting really is.
Josh Newey: Ok, ok, I kinda cheated on this one. The rocket used in Space Harrier isn’t a vehicle per se, but the way it propels your character forward, imbuing him with the ability fly, really makes it feel like one–and one of the most enjoyable ones at that. That’s because with this game, Yu Suzuki once again took the one-two punch of on-rails flight and shooting found in games like After Burner, and applied to a fantastical realm filled with dragons, aliens, and wooly mammoths. How the hell could you not want to play that? Adding to the game’s vehicular style is the fact that it was one of the first arcade titles to utilize a sit-down cabinet that actually moves according to your control. Not only is your character riding his rocket (stop giggling)–you are too (seriously, stop giggling). Space Harrier really deserves props adopting that idea so early on. Even today, with games like Sin and Punishment 2 refining the fantasy-themed on-rails shooter to an incredible degree, Space Harrier still feels fast and incredibly fun. It may not completely fit the definition of vehicle-based, but it’s this difficult-to-define combo of fantasy, flight, and shooting that makes it fall so perfectly in line with Yu Suzuki other wheel and flight-based arcade greats.
Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense
Tom Kyzivat: Racing games are great and all, but competing with vehicles strictly based on speed seems like a waste to me. Now, add all manner of guns, missiles and other crazy weapons to the vehicles and pit them against each other in a death match–now we’re talking! Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense sets an eclectic roster of vehicles against each other in bizarre arenas for a game that was as zany as it was fun. What stood out most to be was the colorful cast of characters, each with their own unique, themed car, equipped with a special weapon that played into the theme. For instance, one of my favorite characters was a space chimp in a moon rover. When you collected his special weapon, robot arms were added to the vehicle, and you could capture and thrash other cars in their steely, cold clutches! Other zazzy vehicles included a garbage truck that could compact you, an RV full of new-age hippies with space alien connections, a cowboy-themed futuristic car, a prison bus, a tow truck and all other manner of vehicular manslaughterers. And don’t forget John Torque, the Shaft-like 70s detective, complete with shades and ‘fro. Can you dig it? The levels you fight in were a lot of fun, too. My favorite is probably the desert, where strange alien happenings make the level more interactive. A meteor crashes in the center of the stage, and giant ants emerge and run loose! Egad! Overall, 2nd Offense was a very fun, polished and engaging game–everything I would look for to draw me into a vehicular-style game. Who needs a finish line when you can destroy your opponent with rockets?
|This entry was posted by Alex Riggen on November 11, 2012 at 9:19 am, and is filed under Features. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.|