God is a Geek’s Top 5 Games that NEED To Return

by on December 20, 2010

Over the years there have been an almost infinite amount of games created. Some of these range from pretty damn good to absolute turd, but every now and then developers create something that is absolute gaming nirvana. These are always a pleasure to play and seem to just eat away the hours. When you play these games it becomes an obsession. If you’re not playing them, your constantly thinking about them and what you’re going to do next. It makes you feel like a kid again and brings about a joy that is not often experienced again in adult life.

So to celebrate this feeling, we at God is a Geek HQ have now created a Top 5 of “Games that NEED to return” list of all our personal favorites from back in the day. This list spans across all consoles and computers from since computer games were first created.

5 – Star Wars: Jedi Knight Series

Everyone loves a Star Wars Game and this one was definitely one of the best.  This was a first person shooter and followed the story of Kyle Katarn, a rebel spy who trains to use the force and become a Jedi Master and is originally set between Episodes IV,V and VI of the movies and Kyles actions in the games answer many unanswered questions in the movies (i.e. Kyle retrieves the plans for the Death Star).  There have been quite a few titles in this series, (Jedi Knight II, Jedi Academy) and have received great recognition, mainly because it was one of the first Star Wars titles to enable the player to use a Lightsaber as well as commanding the force.

Another feature about the game was that it had two endings, Light side or Dark side, which meant you had to play through again to be able to see the games different story line and other ending.  There was also, later on in the series, a multi-player which had death-match and capture the flag options to play.  Although the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed series is similar to this series,  it would be great to see these characters and story line return in a modern day version.

4 – F-Zero

This futuristic racing game came out in 1990 for the SNES and inspired the likes of Daytona USA and the Wipeout Series.  It was the first SNES game to use a technique called Mode 7 Scrolling which, when combined with scaling and positioning of the layer on a scanline-by-scanline basis it could simulate 3D environments.  This made F-Zero the fastest ever game at the time of its release.  The title was quite a success especially in Japan, which spawned a number of sequels and even an anime series.

This title will be best remembered for its high speed racing, original characters, challenging game play and original music score.  Considering that the technology has massively improved from the days of the SNES, a new F-Zero title properly revamped would be a greatly anticipated game.

3 – Viewtiful Joe

This title was a 2D with 3D cel-shaded, side scrolling, action beat ’em up which received great reviews on its release.  The main protagonist of the game was Joe, a massive movie nut who’s favorite movie character was Captain Blue.  One day, Joe and his girlfriend Silvia are in their local cinema watching a Captain Blue movie, where Blue is seemingly defeated and the movies antagonist called Jadow, reaches out of the cinema screen and abducts Silvia, taking her into Movie Land.  Joe is also transported to Movie Land by Captain Blue’s giant mecha robot, where Blue gives Joe a V-Watch, a device he can use to transform into a superhero upon saying the word “Henshin”.   Joe promptly does so inventing his own catch phrase: “Henshin-a-go-go, baby!” and proceeds to rescue Silvia from the evil clutches of Jadow and his minions.

Viewtiful Joe was a great fun to play.  The platform aspect of the game was quite challenging to play along with the beat ’em up game play.  Joe also had special powers such as Slow and Mach speed, and combining them together made the game even more exciting.  It was first released on the Nintendo Game Cube and was later re-released on the Playstation 2.  The title also had a sequel and a few other titles on the PSP and Nintendo DS.  This game definitely needs a revival as it was very addictive, funny and an absolute joy to play.

2 – Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiricies

This was a third person shooter developed by Midway, in which you play Nick Scryer, a “PSI-Operative” whose mind has been wiped to allow him to infiltrate a terrorist organization. However, he is captured and must fight his way out with the help of Sara, a double agent. As he progresses, he regains his PSI powers, some of  which include Telekinesis, Mind Control, and Pyrokinesis.  You could use these powers to do some interesting things, like picking up a truck with your mind and throwing it at the bad guys. Also being able to use mind control on a sniper, killing all of the other enemies in the room, then making the sniper jump off his perch.  Hours of fun!

Along with these cool psycic powers available to you, Psi-Ops used the Havok 2.0 engine for some pretty cool rag doll effects.  The game play was brilliant and the storyline was very gripping, although it did finish with a “To Be Continued” ending.  Sadly the sequel has never seen the light of day and it would be great to find out what happened in the story and also how the developers would’ve improved on the title and find more interesting ways to destroy the enemy.

1 – Legacy of Kain Series

This fantasy action-adventure game has seen many guises over the years.  It first started off in 1996 with Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen which first introduced us to the land of Nosgoth, a fictional Gothic world. It was designed with a fantasy novel-like complexity and gives the player control of Kain, a newly resurrected vampire seeking revenge against his murderers and a cure for his vampiric curse.  Originally out for the Playstation and Windows, this was a 2D top down game similar to the title “Diablo”.  It boasted a 50+ hours game play time with a massive arsenal of weapons and items and also vampiric abilities to boot.  Blood Omen had a great voice cast and intensely gripping storyline which you had to pay attention to admittedly but in doing, so created a vast universe of sub stories and characters.

The next Legacy of Kain game was Soul Reaver and later Soul Reaver 2.  This was a step in a different direction from the previous title.  It was released in 1999 for the Playstation, Windows and Dreamcast, with the sequel then released in 2000 on the Playstation 2 and Windows.  This time the game design was a 3D Gothic representation of Nosgoth that you could explore and was similar in many ways to Tomb Raider (except this time with a vampire and not a massively jugged lady).  The main twist was that this time you did not command Kain as the main character as in this game, he is the main antagonist.  The main character this time is Raziel, one of Kains six vampire lieutenants, who is murdered by Kain after surpassing him and thrown into an abyss.  Raziels corpse is regenerated by a mysterious ancient beast that gives him the powers to destroy Kain, whilst trying to solve the mystery surrounding his own destiny.  Soul Reaver 1 & 2 was received extremely well by the gaming community with its great story line and voice acting, along with its brilliant graphics (for the time) and next to no loading time due to its data steaming engine.

The next game in the series was Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2 which was similar to the Soul Reaver game but this time returned to Kain as the main character.  The story line was based on a paradoxical event from the end of Soul Reaver 2 that does not occur in the series main story.  Unfortunately this was a bit of a flop as it made the story a bit confusing, which was one of the reasons to why it didn’t sell so well.  This was probably due to the fact that a different team at Crystal Dynamics developed it.  The other bad points to it were that the puzzles were too simple and it focused too much on blood and gore.

The final game in the series was Legacy of Kain: Defiance where you play as both Kain and Raziel in separate stories that eventually come together in a brilliant conclusion, but also leaving the game open for a final game to conclude the legacy.  The title returned to its Soul Reaver routes and also tried to re-balance and consolidate the story line as well as the puzzle solving aspect of the game.

Although it didn’t do so well in reviews and sales, it was a vast improvement from Blood Omen 2 and left you wanting for the next title but unfortunately it never came to fruition.  Unfortunately, the deaths of voice actor Tony Jay and Crystal Dynamics employee Kyle Mannerberg have hampered a conclusion to the series and pretty much have disappeared into the ether.  However, there are signs that Crystal Dynamics has not forgotten the Legacy of Kain series in the form of easter eggs in Tomb Raider: Legend, and statements from Eidos US CEO Bill Gardner expressing interest in reviving the series.  We can only hope that one day we will see it come back to our consoles and continue the great story that this game has created.