“Summer Games Make Me Feel Fine…”
Well, allergies have begun to kick my face’s ass fairly regularly these past few weeks which can mean only one thing:
invasion Summer time is here. And as much as I love to make seasonal playlists that usually consist of soft, sweet sounds from the 70’s, I also like to revisit certain video games that lend themselves perfectly to lazy afternoons spent drooling in front of the air conditioner. On this top 5 list that I’ve so lovingly compiled for you dear readers, some of my selections may feel like obvious choices given their settings and themes. But the primary asset required for inclusion was whether or not the game made me nostalgic for those glorious several weeks away from school, a controller in one hand and an ice cold Coca-Cola within reach of the other. As always, all of the games that made the cut are indeed playable on Wii resulting in chosen software that was made for the system, GameCube and anything on the Virtual Console.
So here we go boys and girls: I present to you our top 5 Nintendo games you should be playing before the Fall strikes back.
5. Super Mario Sunshine (GameCube):
In the unenviable position of following up the masterpiece that was (and still is) Super Mario 64, Sunshine was bound to disappoint. While in the end the game itself does indeed deliver a solid platforming experience, the whole affair isn’t much of a step forward for the franchise and comes off as lacking a bit in the variety department. Specifically with the tropical setting (which normally would have been one of many themes in any other Mario game) and the water pack mechanics (which are fun enough but also a bit tedious by the end credits).
It’s included on this list because of the simple fact that you can shoot water in front of yourself and slip and slide whenever you want to.
4. Pokemon Snap (Nintendo 64, Wii Virtual Console):
People go on safari mostly during the summer, right? Or is it just always Summer in Africa? Anyway, this fuckin’ thing is one of those experiences that catches you by surprise. On the surface If I were to tell you that you just have to play this awesome on-rails game where the goal is to take photographs of different Pokemans and at the end of the track get rewarded for how well you framed the shots, you’d be forgiven for leaving the room without saying a word. But the fact is that Pokemon Snap is incredibly addictive and completely rewarding.
Not to mention ADORABLE:
3. SSX3 (GameCube)
3. Wave Race 64 (Nintendo 64, Virtual Console):
While the graphics may be far more detailed in the GameCube sequel Blue Storm, the music and water physics just flat out don’t hold a candle to the N64 original. As a launch window title for Nintendo’s underrated workhorse, this game was a pure revelation in the astounding seemingly real level of control across raging waters that it offered. Playing again recently it’s almost shocking how well the experience holds up as now, 15 years on, there really isn’t anything else quite like it.
Oh, and there’s also an unlockable dolphin you can ride.
2. Wii Sports Resort (Wii, genius.):
1. Super Mario Bros. 3 (Nintendo Entertainment System, Virtual Console):
Released in October of 1988 it wasn’t until that sweet Summer of ‘89 before the first kid in my neighborhood got ahold of a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3. Jeremy didn’t have a lot going for him, he was physically disabled and as a result couldn’t drink a can of soda without a straw. But despite this fact for those couple of months before the rest of us had a SMB3 cartridge to call our own, the guy was was afforded a taste of popularity that many will never experience in their lives. Any time spent that entire season not showing off whatever Ninja Turtle figure we just nabbed looked like us running through what is still arguably Super Mario’s finest platforming achievement. To this day, whenever I play this game I can’t help but think of that cul-de-sac and the people in it. Particularly that poor bastard who I hope is still out there and more importantly happy someplace. I, if not more, just as much as him…
…miss that Summer very much.