Bill Clinton (NBA Jam Series)
He's not just ex Commander in Chief of the United States, but he's one heck of a basketball player, too. Don't believe me? Well, chances are the next NBA Jam that comes out (called NBA Hoopz) won't have Mr. Hillary Clinton. But, along with tons of other secret characters (including Prince Charles, Snoop Dogg, Sonic Youth, and others), Bill Clinton was the king of the Basketball world, and I have the proof!
Shaq (Shaq Fu)
For being such a big celebrity, Shaq really isn't very interesting at all. And his video game, Shaq Fu, isn't very interesting, either. Trust me, it was a tough choice between Shaq and that Is-Isn't he Michael Jordan (who had an equally horrible outing in Jordan in the Windy City). Shaq, however, who packaged his CD single with the video game, wins this victory. Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest Basketball player ever, and Shaq, well, he deserves a good video game, at least!
Dali Llama (Brutal)
Not just a clever play on the name, but Religious blasphemy. You have to like that. And with attention of game makers turning from fighting games to other genres, chances are we won't be able to play with him again. But, if there is anything I can do in this world, it would be to get the recognition he deserves. The Dala Llama has the best moves of any of the characters, yet, retains the coolest name, too. How do you get to be so cool?
Aero the Acro-bat
That's right, he's a bat, in a world over run by hedgehogs, plumbers, and other rodents. But the SunSoft character isn't all cheery. Aero is stuck in the big top (which is just about the scariest place to be, if you ask me), and even though the game is pretty long, he never seems to get out of the big top. I mourn Aero because I feel for him, I feel for anybody who is stuck in a big top. But where were the clowns?
Chuck Rock isn't the most mobile creature, but this cave man has a purpose. Heck, he even spawned a child, Son of Chuck. So, outside of a racing game, Core has all but forgotten about this character. His beer belly attack is priceless (though, limited), and his jumping is pretty sluggish. But he is endearing, and I certainly wish I could know what happened to him.
This game isn't exactly Gunstar Heroes, but Treasure has a character on their hands that should not be missed. Dynamite Heady is, as far as I can remember, the first puppet show video game. Everything from the backgrounds to the foregrounds change with the help of stage hands, and even the characters use stage logic (however, they constantly exit stage right, odd). Heady's main attack was his un-attached head (remember Decapattack? No? Maybe Sega will bring out a sequel to THAT game), which could also turn into a vacuum, spike ball, etc. The art in the game is fantastic, and the sense of humor is unparallel.
Three Dirty Dwarves
Three Dirty Dwarves gave me hope in a genre I had little hope in. As an action game Three Dirty Dwarves is amazing, however, as a multiplayer game this game is phenomenal!! Three players can play each of the three characters, each with their own weapon, sense of humor, and unique look. This is a prime example of a game that could never have worked without the characters.
Oh, so you heard the rumors about a new Kid Icarus, too? Well, I'm not going to believe it until I see it. But is there a Nintendo character more deserving of a quality sequel? Heck, this is one of the few characters that Nintendo HASN'T tapped into to save their sinking business. The character of Kid Icarus is a little sketchy, but the world, and possibilities, are endless.
Sparkster (Rocket Knight Adventure)
I remember seeing this game in action when Konami debuted it at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show. Tucked away in the back ground, Rocket Knight Adventure, the wicked story of a possum out to save the day, and Princess, instantly won me over. I ended up playing, and almost beating it, just standing there, and once I picked it up, I was hooked. Konami was nice enough to give us a semi-sequel (Sparkster for the Super NES), but the original is the best. So, how about it Konami? Rocket Knight 3?
The single best 16 bit game ever. Yet, Treasure has completely forgotten about them. Sure it didn't sell well, sure it didn't spawn a huge dance craze or anything. But the game did get critical raves, and anybody who has ever played it knows how addictive it is. If there is any justice in this world, we will see another Gunstar game, until then, I will hold them up for memory sake.
I'LL BUY THAT FOR A DOLLAR
As strange and twisted as this world is, sometimes there is justice. If you are a regular reader you know I complain about games being left in the dust for no good reason (like the top ten list to your left), but sometimes there is proof that somebody up there has a sense of humor.
I won't kid you. Smash TV is one of the best arcade experiences EVER. Having said that, it should also be followed up with a confession: My friends and I probably spent $10,000 on that game while growing up, heck, we even bought the slimmed down Super NES version. We were hooked. So how what do you do to make Smash TV better?
Well, you give it the war overhaul. Being as this is Memorial Day weekend and all, I thought it time to show the love to Total Canage, a game so sick and twisted it reminds me of Dr. Strangelove meets MERCS.
The story focuses on General Ahkboob trying to take over the world (Gulf War Style). You were either Captain Carnage and Major Mayhem, two of the toughest military men you will ever face. Together they fought through tons of levels (not to mention HUGE level bosses) looking for the General, his keys, and the Pleasure Dome!!
The game was released right after the United States' war with Iraq, and the settings are straight out of CNN. But the game really shines with the characters. Ahkboob gets so angry towards the end of the game you wonder why the heart attack doesn't kill him first, and the animation with him alone is enough to recommend the game (it's also fun to imitate).
The game also takes a lot from Smash TV. The game play and everything is exactly the same, and your goals, while not enclosed, are pretty much the same, too. The bosses are right out of Smash TV, and honestly, if it weren't for my undying love for Smash TV, I would have called this game a major rip off long ago. But this game rocks, it's one of the best War games I can think of! And wouldn't it be nice if all wars had a pleasure dome?