One of my favourite podcasts, Final Games, is to video games what BBC’s Desert Island Discs is to music. Each episode a different guest details their 8 video game choices they would take with them to a hypothetical deserted location for the rest of their days. If you're a gamer then you may be able to relate to this; thinking about what video games you would pick to take to your desert island. Which games would you choose to play for the rest of your life. Which classic consoles would they be for? Here are my 8 desert island video games.
Tetris (Gameboy, 1990)
There are many iterations of Tetris, but for me all pale in comparison in quality, simplicity, and sheer importance to video games than the Gameboy version. The tile-matching puzzle titan was the original mobile gaming phenomenon that brought gaming to the masses. It helped launch videogames into the mainstream and many of its derivatives appeal to those who even don’t consider themselves a gamer.
Back in 1989/90 when physical console multiplayer connections were a must, I often challenged a friend who lived around the corner, visiting each other’s homes to spend hours on linked battle mode.
Tetris is the perfect pickup and play game, whether it’s a bus journey, your lunch break at work, or simply the need to engage your brain for any amount of time.
Guest Blog post by: Robert @ C4ke
During the lifespan of the Game Boy we've seen numerous iterations of this device brought to us by Nintendo. It all started with a tiny monochrome display with its distinctive olive green colour scheme. While the competition used high-end processors and colour displays Nintendo used cheap and readily available components. With an impressive 10 to 30 hours of battery life and games such as Tetris and Super Mario Land 2 the Game Boy's success definitely did not short-lived.
One of the key elements for the Game Boy's success is simultaneously also its biggest flaw, which is the non-backlit display causing many third-party add-ons to improve the experience in low light conditions. Who doesn't remember the Worm Light? This problem kept existing on the GB's redesigns and its successors, with the exception of the Game Boy Light (only released in Japan) and the Game Boy SP.
One of my personal favourite handheld gaming systems is the Game Boy Advance. I like the way it fits in my hands just as a normal controller. Though released in 2001 it still had a poorly lit display. Not much later after the official release of the GBA we saw the release of probably one of the first modkits in 2002, the Afterburner modkit. With this modkit you were able to add a frontlight inside the GBA that greatly improved the screen visibility.
At the end of the Game Boy's lifespan we received the infamous AGS-101 model, the official Nintendo GBA SP handheld device with a backlit display! This screen is absolutely stunning to watch and enables the player to almost play anywhere anytime no matter the lighting conditions. Thanks to the modding community we are now able to combine best of both worlds; The original GBA with an AGS-101 backlit display giving us excellent ergonomics with a stunning display! I've been able to get one of these modded GBA's myself recently.
It took me a while to find a game that I became obsessed with in the PlayStation 1 days. My first PS1 experience was with Porsche Challenge, Crash Bandicoot and International Superstar Soccer 1997 which are all super solid video games so it comes as a surprise to know that ESPN Extreme Games was my guilty pleasure game. ESPN Extreme games on the Playstation 1 (later renamed to 1Xtreme when the ESPN license expired) is not well received by all gamers. In fact a lot of gamers claim that they had never heard of ESPN Extreme Games. If you are one of those people then I urge you to ignore that bad reviews online. Instead give this blog a read then go and find a copy here. ESPN Extreme Games was a launch titles in North America and later came to PAL regions in December 1995 (then hitting Japan in May 1996). It is a racing game with a difference. In the 90’s the racing genre was dominated by traditional and arcade style racers like Ridge Racer, Gran Turismo, Wipeout and the various iterations of Kart Racers. ESPN Extreme Games boasts a very different set of vehicles namely Skateboards, Street Luges, Inline Skates and Mountain Bikes.
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