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GAMES THAT WILL ALWAYS BE A PART OF YOU?


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Well, my baby daughter has woken me up at 4:30am, and I can't get back to sleep. The old grey matter is buzzing away, so the computer's been turned on.

I posted on a thread the other day "coming this fall", about the NHL11 rom that everyone's been going crazy over. A true masterpiece. I made the observation that although other games are remembered fondly from my youth, and played a big part in it, none quite had the effect of NHL94. Lets face it, there aren't any websites i'm aware of dedicated to online play of Mortal Kombat, or Virtual racer.........or maybe there are, I actually don't know!

So why is NHL94 so different? Why 17 or 18 years after the release of the game, when gaming has moved on to incredible levels, where people are playing Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, the latest Madden or FIFA soccer are hundreds still signing up to online leagues of a hockey game from an obsolete 16-bit console?! There's so much out there, and so many modern hockey games that should be a million times better than NHL94..........so why do we all choose this, and dedicate ourselves to it rather than moving on to the state of the art games that are out there? Why does 94 have this amazing hold over us?!

When your brain kicks into gear at 5am completely pointless things start going through your head. I started thinking about all the wonderful games that played a major part in my childhood. There are some I still play today, others that are remembered fondly, and all that could be picked up now and easily played for hours every day for the next few months. But none of them mean the same as NHL94 for some reason.

I've come to the conclusion that it's for a combination of reasons. There are many games that were just as good, or perhaps better than NHL in their own way. Of course, like anything deeply meaningful, a large part of it is largely unexplainable, but for what it's worth, here's my best try:

* First of all, the game has wonderful playability. It just feels right. It's simplistic 3-button play disguises how complex the game can be - The tactical feel, the feel of the different players, the way you have to use those players to their different strengths. NHL94 wasn't like those other games where there was a set way to play the game, an exact way to score the goals. Every team felt different and the overall gameplay just feels perfect. Later versions of the franchise added new elements and attempted to "improve" on it's predecessors, but with each new incarnation something was actually lost from 94 in my opinion. Each new addition moved the gameplay away from that perfect feel 94 had managed to achieve. That's why still today 94 is the best hockey game i've played. The latest versions with their incredible graphics are just games, that feel like games, but 94 had a unique feel that made it something else completely in it's own right.

* NHL brought friends together. One of the reasons this game means so much to me is that I can still to this day remember specific matches or tournaments, and the rivalries we had with each other. You were just a group of mates gathering together to play a computer game, but my god if each of those tournaments and leagues didn't mean something to you! If I didn't win the league I would be devastated, dying for the next one to start so I could get my revenge. Take my rightful place at the top again! After a few bad seasons you'd be desperately tinkering with your lines trying to change your fortunes, all so that your best mate/arch enemy wouldn't get the bragging rights over you again! Kelly Hrudey had several seasons on the bench on the back of his howlers, whilst for a couple of seasons The Great One (Who was 2nd in the all-time scorers list behind only Steve Yzerman) was moved onto the left so Jimmy Carson could move up into Sc1 for the benefit of his one-timers.........oh the ridiculous decisions I made in search of a change of fortunes!

* Because of how meaningful each league with your friends was rivalries were formed in the game that you and your friends could still sit down and talk about for hours now - Who was better - Roenick or Yzerman? Chicago was always my team in NHLPA93, so for me it was always Roenick, but one of my friends always used Detroit, and was awesome with them, so for him it was always Yzerman. Chicago vs Detroit games always had that special bite to them because of it. Who would come out on top? In which minute would Bob Probert & Marty McSorley get into a fight in 93? McSorley was so slow he'd always lose, but my god he liked a dust-up! Porbert was hard as nails. I think Rob Brown was the only player I could ever beat him with. We've all got our favourite players: favourite goalies, favourite defenders, favourite attacking players, but what i've come to realise is it wasn't the rivalries in the game that existed - it was the rivalries we created between them as friends that made them important to us, and make us remember those players fondly. Although the players with those names did exist for real, it's our experiences of using them in the game that make us remember them - Roy, Belfour, Chelios, Coffey, Gartner, Messier, Gretzky, Oates, Roenick, Yzerman, Fedorov.........the list goes on, and i'll remember each name 'til the day I die, not because they were ice hockey players, but because they were NHL94 players.

So, I realise i've banged on for an age about NHL94 here, but, like I said, it got me thinking. I thought of all the other games i've loved over the years, on all the different systems i've owned. Games that will always mean something to me, but just not in quite the same way as NHL94. Would be interested to know other people's memories and influences. I'm english, so there's a big football (soccer) influence in there, but these are some of the games that, like NHL94 I could easily sit down to play now and spend hours on, and in some cases have done only recently, despite the fact that modern gaming technology should have made them obsolete years ago. It's funny how our memories and experiences can compensate for all the visual perfection and advanced control systems of today's games..............god I feel old saying that! lol

Most everyone will know, but perhaps there's one or two there you haven't seen before. All the ROMS or ISOs are easily available and really worth a play. Toca Touring Cars 2 on the Playstation is perhaps not too well known in the U.S., but is probably the best racing game i've ever played, and was an awesome 2 player game via the old link cable between 2 machines, as was command & conquer, resulting in many walks to my friends house carrying my Playstation and my portable TV! Of course i've enjoyed other games, but these are the timeless ones i'll always be able to play, and will never feel old to me. If anyone else has any other great ones they'd like others to know about put them on here so we can all look them up!

ZX SPECTRUM 128K

Tracksuit Manager

Robocop

The Last Ninja

COMMODORE 64

Pitfall

MEGADRIVE (GENESIS)

NHLPA 93

NHL 94

Sensible Soccer

PGA Tour Golf 2

Flashback

(MEGA CD (SEGA CD)

NHL 94 CD

Sensible Soccer CD

Snatcher

Final Fight

PLAYSTATION

Resident Evil

Toca Touring Cars 2

Final Fantasy 7

X-Com

Command & Conquer

Alien Trilogy

Doom

NINTENDO 64

Goldeneye

International Superstar Soccer 64

Ocarina of Time

Perfect Dark

Rogue Squadron

Thanks for reading. Hope I haven't bored you too much!

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P.S. I can't get NHL 94 CD to work on GENS! I've got the correct Bios and Snatcher & Final Fight work great, but 94 just loads up to the "SEGA screen" with Sonic on it, but then goes blank and the intro video never starts.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. It's my favourite version of the game!

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Combat - Atari 2600

The Legend Of Zelda - NES

NHL '94 - SNES

Street Fighter II Turbo - SNES

The Legend Of Zelda; A Link To The Past - SNES

Duke Nukem - PC

Command And Conquer Red Alert.... - PC/PS

007 Goldeneye - N64

lots more. I stopped before I hurt my brain.

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lol great post comeback. i think most of us (definitely myself) would agree that EA hockey games went downhill fast starting with NHL '95. 94 is just a masterpiece, not very realistic but like ive said before i dont play it for a true to life hockey experience, i look at it like air hockey or foosball.. its just for the fun factor and NHL '94 is the funnest game ever IMO.

as for other games.. Zelda Ocarina of Time left a huge impact on me as a child and i still play it today occasionally. and i sorta dig the call of duty series, not that new lame black ops thought that game is hella wack.

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lol great post comeback. i think most of us (definitely myself) would agree that EA hockey games went downhill fast starting with NHL '95. 94 is just a masterpiece, not very realistic but like ive said before i dont play it for a true to life hockey experience, i look at it like air hockey or foosball.. its just for the fun factor and NHL '94 is the funnest game ever IMO.

as for other games.. Zelda Ocarina of Time left a huge impact on me as a child and i still play it today occasionally. and i sorta dig the call of duty series, not that new lame black ops thought that game is hella wack.

Ocarina is considered the best game ever

http://www.gamerankings.com/browse.html

I installed an emu for it.. slowly working my way through it when I find time!

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NES

-------------

Blades of Steel

Genesis

-------------

NHL Hockey (92)

NHL 94

PSX

-------------

NHL 98

Cool Boarders 2

Dreamcast

-------------

NHL2k

NFL2k

PS2

-------------

NHL 2003, Some people hated it...I loved it. Was my first PS2 game.

360

-------------

NHL 09

just thinned my list and it's incredibly boring...my favorites for each system are all hockey.

Edited by beavers33
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where the f**k is toejam and earl on that list

Haha. You know, I thought of great games I loved like Sonic 2, Road Rash 2, Streets of Rage. They were awesome and helped me waste large portions of my youth, but they've been and gone for me. I loved them at the time, but wouldn't be interested in going back to them.

There's lots of others like that, that I remember fondly, but I just kept the list to those ones that will never be old for me. I've got the project 64 emulator and have Ocarina of time about half complete on there. Have to find time to get back to that soon..........but Sonic, Road Rash, or Toejam and Earl I think i'm leaving as a memory. lol

Oh, have a look for "Heavyweight Boxing Manager" on Spectrum or Commodore 64. So basic, but great fun somehow!

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Combat - Atari 2600

The Legend Of Zelda - NES

NHL '94 - SNES

Street Fighter II Turbo - SNES

The Legend Of Zelda; A Link To The Past - SNES

Duke Nukem - PC

Command And Conquer Red Alert.... - PC/PS

007 Goldeneye - N64

lots more. I stopped before I hurt my brain.

This list is spot on here... 1 title per system, keeping it real.

I purchased a SNES at a garage sale 3 years ago... never grew up with one, I was a Genesis guy. The titles that I've been playing on the SNES that hold up real well are Yoshi's Island and Mario Kart. I'd love to hear about some classic SNES games I should look to pick up.

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NES

Techmo

GENS

NHL 96/97.. I never actually played nhl94 until joining this site in 06

Toejam & Earl

N64

BLITZ

gamecube

Super Smash Brothers Melee

ps2

Madden 2004-2007 best maddens to date

xbox

Halo 2

ps3

COD modern warfare

Edited by Carse
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This list is spot on here... 1 title per system, keeping it real.

I purchased a SNES at a garage sale 3 years ago... never grew up with one, I was a Genesis guy. The titles that I've been playing on the SNES that hold up real well are Yoshi's Island and Mario Kart. I'd love to hear about some classic SNES games I should look to pick up.

zelda (as already mentioend) and chrono trigger. two awesome games!

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NES: Super Mario Brothers

SNES: Rock and Roll Racing

SNES: Star Fox

Genesis: NHL94

PSX: Twisted Metal (used to rent a PSX and this game with my friends all the time)

PC:

(ruined all other melee fighting adventure games for me because you ACTUALLY control the sword in this one with a joystick, you don't button mash. Plus it's hilarious.)

PC: Warcraft II

PC: Civilization II

PC: Homeworld, Homeworld: Cataclysm (expansion)

XBox: Halo 1, playing co-op

First thing I'll do when I get my new computer in a couple months (just in time for Duke Nukem Forever!) will be to reinstall Homeworld Cataclysm and play it on a giant widescreen LCD with upgraded graphics packs that people have made since the game came out...

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....I was a Genesissy....I'd love to hear about some classic SNES games I should look to pick up.

admitting it and seeking help for it puts you way ahead of most of the population here. you should consider NHL '94. if you need one, I have many. Street Fighter II Turbo is often expensive, but worth it, in my mind. Rampart is another game that is fun in one- and two-player modes. I like Sim City, which you should be able to score as two-for-fives. (funny sidenote: I used to buy copies of Sim City at one end of a shopping center and sell it used at the other for a profit.) if the other years of the NHL series are cheaper than $2, snag each, as they are fun for the non-'94 novelty. actually, NHL '95 is decent and the rest are sub-par but playable. Super Mario World/Super Mario Allstars cart(s) is a (are) must-have(s), as is/are Tetris And Dr. Mario. both of those multigame cartridges are worth their high prices. Speedy Gonzalez is like Sonic, if that's your thing. NBA Jam Tournament Edition is a popular game that I often give in and play upon request. please let me know about others you come to enjoy.

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NES: Super Mario Brothers 1,2 and 3. Baseball Stars 1 and 2.

Genesis: NHL94,NHL96, Madden 97, Desert Strike, World Series Baseball, PGA tour something.

PSX: NHL 99, Crash Bandicoot 1,2 and Warped, Crash Team Racing, lots of sports games.

Gamecube: Super smash brothers brawl, Zelda Windwaker.

PC: Warcraft III

PC: Civilization III

PC: Team Fortress II

PC: Halo 1 (One word: BETRAYAL)

PC: NHL 2004

PC: Star Wars: Knights of the Old republic I and II

XBOX 360: Mass Effect 1 and 2. Fable I and III.

And a bunch of other stuff I can't really remember.

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This list is spot on here... 1 title per system, keeping it real.

I purchased a SNES at a garage sale 3 years ago... never grew up with one, I was a Genesis guy. The titles that I've been playing on the SNES that hold up real well are Yoshi's Island and Mario Kart. I'd love to hear about some classic SNES games I should look to pick up.

There are a ton of good RPGs for the SNES if you are into them - Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 2(IV) and 3(VI), Secret of Mana, Super Mario RPG, Lufia 2 just to name a few.

NBA Jam, Turtles in Time, Link to the Past, Mega Man X, there are a lot of good quality SNES games out there.

Anyone who has an N64 out there needs to check out Blast Corps. Fun as hell, best game no one knows about.

I'd have to say one of the games that always will be a part of me is Battletoads for NES. By far the hardest game I've ever played. I still haven't beaten it, it is downright impossible. I always go back to it and it still gets the best of me. Beating that game is a big accomplishment.

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There are a ton of good RPGs for the SNES if you are into them - Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 2(IV) and 3(VI), Secret of Mana, Super Mario RPG, Lufia 2 just to name a few.

NBA Jam, Turtles in Time, Link to the Past, Mega Man X, there are a lot of good quality SNES games out there.

Anyone who has an N64 out there needs to check out Blast Corps. Fun as hell, best game no one knows about.

I'd have to say one of the games that always will be a part of me is Battletoads for NES. By far the hardest game I've ever played. I still haven't beaten it, it is downright impossible. I always go back to it and it still gets the best of me. Beating that game is a big accomplishment.

This is a great list chaos for snes. Never played blast corps...might have to get the rom for that and try it out sometime.

And I would agree battle toads is an extremely difficult game..I never beat it either. The original turtles for NES I thought was really ahrd as well...never beat that one.

And for LA Robbie, great post to start this thread. This community is incredible. It amazes me how many guys stick around year after year to play this great game. If I'm not mistaken, HABS played in the first season over 5 years ago and he's still around playing. There's been plenty of others who've played for the last 4 or 5 years. Fenty, matt hurray, AJ, carse, boknowsnhl94, vocally caged, smozoma....just to name a few.

Evan and chaos make it possible for us every year to enjoy the site and keep playing the game in leagues.

Smozoma, clockwise, wboy, statto and others have made it possible to edit the game for our enjoyment.

All these guys do it for no pay, just the love of the game.

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I'd have to say one of the games that always will be a part of me is Battletoads for NES. By far the hardest game I've ever played. I still haven't beaten it, it is downright impossible. I always go back to it and it still gets the best of me. Beating that game is a big accomplishment.

I had that too. It's a crazy hard game... The first level isn't bad (really fun, too), but the 2nd level with the speeder bikes is tough (pretty much impossible in co-op on a console), then the snow level I could pass once in a while... I might have beaten the snake level once. They really don't make them like they used to!

I tried it a couple years ago with a friend, and we played on an emulator so we could save/load constantly... we still gave up, since it was so frustratingly hard. I think we got 2 levels past the snake level...

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I feel even older now seeing people putting PS2, PS3 & 360 games down. I loved Grand Theft Auto 3 & Vice City on the XBOX and Pro Evolution Soccer 2005, and could easily play through them again now..........but I was in my mid-late 20's when I was playing them! Don't really count as part of my childhood! lol

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