Time travel has been a super popular theme in movies, books and games ever since the first time machine was invented in the year of our Lord Zenithox 33270XX, so naturally there have been plenty of virtual heroes zipping through the space-time continuum. Even with so many cool games featuring time travel, these eighteen veteran characters stand out for going the distance in the past, present and future. Their heroic chrono-adventures have taught us all that no matter how far into the past or future we go, bad guys and logic puzzles span across all history.
18. Bernard, Hoagie, Laverne (Day of the Tentacle)
Way back in an earlier epoch VH-1 historians now refer to as "the early '90s", the forward-looking game scientists at LucasArts developed Day of the Tentacle. The point-and-click adventure game followed a guy, a girl, and another guy in their efforts to foil a sentient purple tentacle's plot to take over the world. The course of human and tentacle events leads to each character being stranded in the mansion at a different period of time. The game played around with the unique temporal level structure, allowing the player to eventually switch between the three time periods, trade items, and show how the effects of a change to one period could have puzzle-solving consequences in future areas. The game's quirky sense of humor and cartoony visuals masked an educational journey, as the kids playing learned more about the Founding Fathers than they ever would have at school. For instance, did you know that John Hancock made the first bad Woody Allen impression in recorded history in Maniac Mansion over 200 years ago? Knowledge.
Sadly, the untimely demise of LucasArts means that this series is likely history. More time-travel wordplay to follow.
The launch of a console is terrifying. A beloved company could find itself dashed against the cold shoals of consumer culture, or exalted into everlasting greatness and high stock prices. You could end up sinking your hard-earned ~$300-400 into a big dusty brick to be boxed up with your broken VCR, or investing in a permanent fixture in dorms and apartments to come. But there, guiding you to safety like harbor buoys through a thick mist, there are the games launching alongside the console, and every now and then there comes a launch game so powerful, so potent, so perfect, it single-handedly justifies that day one impulse buy or that midnight launch line. Here're the 12 best console launch titles ever put out.
12. SSX (PS2)
Bright, bumping, and bold, SSX was a gauzy dream of a racing game, trading in the white-knuckled adrenaline of your Gran Turismo or your Mario Kart for a Zen-like downhill flow state, aided by dynamically shifting electronic music. The brilliance of SSX was that, at a certain point, the whole "racing" thing just falls away in your mind, and you become engulfed in floating through impossible topographies, borne on an infinite crystalline carpet, feeling the pulse of the world wash over you like a sonic ocean. I guess what I'm getting at is that SSX is basically just MDMA.
They say "Never judge a book by its cover," but they never said we couldn't judge videogames that way. Terrible videogame covers have a lot of explanations: laziness, confusion, the desire to depict an airbrushed photo of Tommy Lasorda that came to the artist during a night terror, etc. But they all share one common factor: they are hilariously awful. Here are 20 of the worst offenders of all-time.
(Note: We are excluding the Mega Man games, since we already covered them extensively.)
Ultimate Duck Hunting
What's Wrong With It: Welcome to the nightmare world of Ultimate Duck Hunting: Hunting & Retrieving Ducks, which seems like it should really change the title to give more focus to the enormous, god-like floating dog head that seems really disappointed in the badly de-saturated hunter's attempt to shoot a duck at his hip by aiming up into the sky.
Who would you say is the most merciless, heartless killer in nerd culture? Anakin Skywalker was pretty ruthless when he mowed down those adorable little Padawans, right? Maybe the Doctor, who killed every other Time Lord and a good chunk of Daleks in the Last Great Time War? While these people are brutal killers, all pale in comparison to the most remorseless, cruel murderer in nerd history: Joss Whedon. Here are the 7 most tragic deaths caused by Joss Whedon.
7. Penny (Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog)
Penny serves as a unrequited love interest for the evil mad scientist, Doctor Horrible. In the end, Doctor Horrible's hollow victory is caused and hinged upon Penny's death. That's the way tragic irony works the audience yells, "No! That is the exact opposite of the thing that was supposed to happen!" Penny dying is like your mom giving away your favorite teddy bear because it got old and the dog puked all over it, but replacing it with a new, better teddy bear. Sure, you got a fresh new toy now, but at what cost? (oh, also, Joss Whedon stabs your old teddy bear in front of you a bunch, too) Penny is portrayed by the funny, smart, talented nerd queen Felicia Day, who I kinda want to be when I grow up. I think it was my Felicia Day love that left my heart as vulnerable as hers was when she was punctured through the chest by stray shrapnel. Wait, I guess all hearts are vulnerable to that.
Article 8 Things Gamers Want
1. No More Zombie Games
Is there any genre more tired and worn-thin than the zombie genre? We've explored army zombies, tropical island zombies, mall zombies, urban zombies, British zombies the list goes on. Resident Evil is creatively-sapped, Dead Island was a bore, and too many games are lazily coming back to the same old ideas. This genre should be left for dead!
2. More Zombie Games
except Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 are actually really good. Hope they come out with some new campaigns sometime soon, or maybe a full-fledged sequel. Also have you SEEN DayZ? Oh man, so good. Ever wanted a realistic zombie game where you're in an incredibly frustrating, difficult, horrible, nihilistic environment and the only escape is the sweet release of death? Hell yeah, sign me up for some of that. Basically, gamers want to live in The Walking Dead not the actual Walking Dead game though, because that game didn't allow gamers the freedom to lay down in a field for hours waiting to murder anything that came along but The Walking Dead game was actually really, really good. Another one of those would be great. Oh, and a Zombies Ate My Neighbors remake! Why is no one working on that?!