One might wonder why Sonic would ever need a snowboard – after all, he seems to be fine running across anything and at super-sonic speeds, no less. Well…it looks pretty cool. Not saying that they should make an entire game where he speeds around on a board instead of running (I'm looking at you, Sonic Riders), but for the first section of this level, it's pretty cool. The rest of the level is the typical old-school Sonic fare: Blazing fast speed, decent Robotnik battle, and lots of annoying spikes. Really, as long as it doesn't involve a giant cat going fishing or creepy human-rodent love affairs, it qualifies as an amazing Sonic level these days.


The place: Kazakhstan. The mission: Try to not make any Borat references since it's not 2006. Oh, and also plant some C4 and retrieve a satellite module in the midst of a blizzard. The problem: You can get an achievement if you can keep yourself from killing anyone, but you really, really want to kill these anonymous Russians. The outcome: Nearly falling to your death, Soap saving your life, a snowmobile chase, and one of the worst snow levels ever…NOT! Very nice! Oh…sorry. Mission failed.


There were a lot of questions when Metroid Prime was first announced: Would it be able to have the same awesome gameplay as an FPS? Would the limited power of the Gamecube be able to provide adequate graphics for the sci-fi environments? 3-D SAMUS IN A BIKINI PLZ??? The best response to two of these three questions (guess which!) is Phendrana Drifts – the snowy level looks fantastic, the music is great, and the gameplay is top-notch. If you ever dreamt of being trapped in a horrible frozen alien landscape, then…you should probably dream a little bigger.


Shadow Moses was our introduction to the Metal Gear world in 3-D – where we would go on many adventures sneaking around in boxes and pretending like we understood Hideo Kojima's idea of a coherent plot. A small island in Alaska, it was filled with crazily-named villains, giant robots, and an overwhelming sense of creepy calmness in the year-long winter. But we can all agree it was easily the most badassly-named Alaskan island since Shaded Methuselah.