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6. Soccer Slam: Soccer Slam gets broken out at just about every party. Ultra-stylish and sporting strongly defined characters, it’s a game that can entertain a room full of people effortlessly. Flawless controls and diverse, meaningful character upgrades simply perfect it further. I deeply envy the young man or woman who, turning it over in the used bin, decides to pick it up on a lark.
5. Mech Assault: God knows what exactly keeps us coming back to it, because it certainly isn’t all that rich complexity. MechAssault is about as simple as a game can be and still meet the criteria for “Game.” Now, it’s on this list for a reason, obviously. You can play it and play it and play it and all of the sudden it is two thirty in the morning or some shit. The game is natural and elegant and right. The promise of new content virtually weekly starting in January is just gravy - the game was always must-own.
4. Sly Cooper: I need to remind no-one, least of all the hardcore, of the seminal Ringtales on the SNES. Taking what it needed from every genre and ejecting the desiccated husks, Ringtales picked up the gauntlet thrown down by Starfox, put it on, and said, “You know what? This is actually a pretty good gauntlet.” Equal parts space shooter, platformer, and RPG, the Derelict Cruisers still represent the most satisfying and well-conceived dungeon experiences of the entire 16-bit generation. Sly Cooper doesn’t really have all that stuff, well, except the raccoon part, which it executes flawlessly. I’d left the land of platformers for good, or so I thought. Had Sly Cooper not done virtually everything perfectly, that might still be the case.
I could talk about my Sidekick/Hiptop/Whatever it is called with pride, for hours, like a proud (and apparently loquacious) father. I probably won’t, not today anyhow, because that’s a segue too rough even for me to contemplate. From raccoons to wireless data? It isn’t the sort of thing you attempt without stretching.
these are the days of the gifted young