Best Game Ever (1972-1988): Battler Round

GameFAQs is running another tournament.  Instead of video game characters fighting it out, though, the games themselves will do the battling.  It’s a hell of an idea but because of the overabundance of Nintendo and Squaresoft fanboys, these polls will come down to Final Fantasy VII or Zelda:  Ocarina of Time.  Let’s see how my tastes differ from those of the masses!

My criteria for choosing involves the basics of a game review (gameplay, graphics, sound) as well the long-term value of the game on the franchise.  A game that contains all of those features should win the battle easily!  Games struck out are ones I’ve eliminated and I’ll post a short blurb why I did so.  Games in blue were the ones chosen by GameFAQs users to advance to the next round, though they might not appear in the next round of my tournament.

Donkey Kong vs. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out vs. Space Invaders vs. Tetris


The poll results were pretty accurate here.  Tetris is an insanely addictive game and is one of the many reasons Nintendo dominates the handheld market.  The original Game Boy sorta sucks.  It’s big, clunky and the graphics are on-par with a Game & Watch.  In a stroke of brilliance, Nintendo decides to package the Game Boy with Tetris, the perfect game for people on the go.  Tetris went on to sell 33 million copies.

The original Donkey Kong gets the runner-up vote.  Not only was it a revolutionary game for its time (first to advance a story via in-game cutscenes) but it jump-started Nintendo’s console dominance for the rest of the decade.  Punch-Out and Space Invaders are fun in their own right, but they are outclassed by Tetris and Donkey Kong.

MegaMan 2 vs. Pac-Man vs. Pong vs. The Oregon Trail


Pong might have the honor of being the first game ever made, but that doesn’t make it any less boring.  Playing 2-bit table tennis is certainly not the “best game ever.”  So, we’d have a three way fight between MegaMan 2, Pac-Man and The Oregon Trail…and each are worthy of a vote.  Since the deadlock couldn’t be broken objectively, I picked the two games I liked more:  MegaMan 2 and Oregon Trail.  Speaking of Oregon Trail, this is a must-read!  Also, speaking of MegaMan 2, this is a must-listen!

Duck Hunt vs. Galaga vs. Ninja Gaiden vs. Super Mario Bros.


People might as well pencil Super Mario Bros. as this division’s champion.  No game on this list compares to it in terms of greatness, whether it be the gameplay or the long-lasting effect it had on the industry.  As for the runner-up, none of these games are worth advancing to the next round.  The only reason Duck Hunt is here is because that stupid dog has become an Internet meme.  I’d never heard of Galaga before playing it and the game was just “meh”.  Ninja Gaiden is hard but most hadn’t heard of it until the Xbox remake.  Let’s go with the GameFAQs poll because Ninja Gaiden will be eliminated next round anyway.

Dragon Warrior III vs. Contra vs. Metroid vs. The Legend of Zelda


I thought about eliminating the first Zelda game because it’s so overrated.  The game was nigh-impossible to beat without a strategy guide, thanks to the lack of direction.  Hell, it made some of the dungeon locations invisible and no one could find them without a guide!  I also like Contra better than any game on this list but that game is insanely difficult, harder than Zelda!  In the end, I sided with GameFAQs, if only to meet a deadline (tonight) and make the next round more interesting.

That next round won’t come around for another month but feel free to check out the bracket here.  My tournament differs a smidge from the GameFAQs one so it’ll have Tetris – Donkey Kong – MegaMan 2 – Oregon Trail fight it out in one match and Super Mario Bros. – Ninja Gaiden – Metroid – Legend of Zelda in the other.

Games missing in this bracket?  Super Mario Bros. 2.  Yeah, it’s different but that game would have been more fitting than Galaga.  That’s the only one off the top of my head, though.

Aside:  So, that write-up two posts back can be ignored.  I reactivated Facebook but only for Sandy and Jackie.  It makes a lot more sense to keep in touch with them over a social network since all the other ways are dead.  No one updates here (and Xanga’s not suited for social networking, despite all the crap they keep adding) and does anyone use AIM anymore?  I’m still pretty peeved about it but it’ll pass.

Mucal invader!  Is there no end to your oozing!?

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