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Celebrating Video Games Day With Some All-Time Faves

Today is Video Games Day, and it’s making me very nostalgic for some of my all-taime favorite games. I’m not a big list guy (as it’s too hard to narrow favorites down), but in honor of the day, I wanted to share a few thoughts about some of my favorite games and why they are special to me.

Super Mario Bros. (NES)

This is one thing I’m sure of–Super Mario Bros. is my favorite game of all time, and in my opinion, a perfect video game. I will never forget getting an NES for Christmas the year it came out, and brining it to my gandparents’ house with me. As soon as I could, I snuck upstairs into my grandparents’ bedroom and hooked the NES up their little 12-inch TV, where I played for hours. Super Mario Bros. is a game I ahve revisitewd countless times over the years, and it will never get old to me.

Pitfall (Atari 2600)

My first console was the Atari 2600, and my love for Activision began with the great games they put out for that console. River Raid, Kaboom, Keystone Capers, Fishing Derby, Megamania–the list goes on. But Pitfall is the one my memories are tied to the most. I remember my friend Doug and I sitting in my bedroom playing Pitfall for hours and hours. The fact taht you could go either right or left from the start screen was amazing in and of itself, not to emntiont he fact that each screen had an upper and lower level. Pitfall is another game you can pick up to this day and immediately have fun with.

PGA Tour ’96

I love golf games, and this golf game is my favorite. PGA Tour ’96 from EA Sports was probably my most-played game on the original PlayStation. I had been playing EA golf games since the Genesis days, but ’96 feature the TPC at River Highlands, a course in Connecticut that I had been to many times. For a solid two years, I played this game almost every night with my friends. If EA re-released it today I would buy it ina second.

Tekken 2

This was actually my most-played game on the origianl playStation. I’ve never been a huge fighting game guy, but Tekken 2 sucked me in and made me a fan. Between the cutscenes that were mind-blowing at the time, to the amazing roster, to the near-perfect gameplay, this will always be my favorite fighting game. My favorite characters? Armor King and Lei Wulong.

Crackdown

To this day, Crackdown is my favorite game on any Xbox console. The fact that it is stiull not backward compatible, and the new Crackdown was delayed again, are super frustrating to me. One of my closest friendships was built around this game. The progressions system is amazing, as you go from an average joe to a superhero over the course of the game. The action gets insane at times, and they city is a blast to traverse. If the new crackdown captures the feel of the original, it will have been worth the wait.

So that’s just a quick list of some of my all-time favorites as we celebrate Video Games Day today. Tell us about some of your favorite games in the comments, or hit us up on twitter @CoOpCritics!

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E3 2014: What I’m Excited About (Part 1)–New Crackdown!

Last week I made my wish list, and now the E3 press briefings for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony are behind us. While it looks like only one of my wishes are coming true, there were some things from each conference that I’m really excited about/ In the next few posts, I’ll highlight some of them.

First up, let’s talk about my one wish that came true. We are getting a new Crackdown. Here’s the new trailer:

It doesn’t look like the MMO I was hoping for, but from the look of the trailer, it’s going to be big. There were a number of encouraging things in the trailer, even if it didn’t feature any gameplay. First off, we see the leader of the Los Muertos gang in this new city, which means the gangs from the original Crackdown are back. The trailer also leaned heavily on the concept of cooperative play, as the agents are all working together to make an assault on the gang boss’ headquarters. The big moment in the trailer certainly suggests there will be some destructibility in the environments, which would be a great addition to the gameplay.

Perhaps most exciting though, was the fact that this game is not being called Crackdown 3. Whether it’s a complete reboot or not, I like the idea of giving the series a fresh start on the new platform, and it suggests this could be an ongoing franchise moving forward.

The only thing that bummed me out was there were no Freaks in the video, which means it looks like the franchise is moving away from the concepts introduced in Crackdown 2. That’s probably a good thing, as Sunset Overdrive is using a similar concept, but I actually enjoyed the Freaks in Crackdown 2. Remember them?

I am really looking forward to learning more about Crackdown, who is developing it, and getting some idea of when we’ll see it. My gut tells me it won’t be until 2016. In the meantime, I would love to see a port of the original Crackdown (and maybe even Crackdown 2) for the Xbox One. I wouldn’t even care if they gave it the full HD treatment, as the cartoonish style holds up better than a lot of last gen games. I just want to dive into that world again–soon. Here’s a great fan-made trailer for the original, in case you forgot how much fun it was. There’s a lot of great ideas that the series doesn’t get credit for, like the voice of the Agency who is constantly commenting on your actions in the games.

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Saints Row IV is Crackdown 3

Perhaps me spending a lot of time re-playing Crackdown 2 recently was just a happy coincidence. but, when I started Saints Row IV this week, the similarities between it and the Crackdown franchise were immediately apparent. In fact, Saints Row IV may just be the Crackdown sequel gamers have been waiting for.

Maybe the biggest addition to the franchise in Saints Row IV is the introduction of super powers. Early on in the game, you get super sprint and super jump abilities, which make navigating the world feel very similar to a powered up agent in Crackdown. Saints Row IV also features golden orb-shaped robots that you have to chase down . In Crackdown 2, these were known as “Renegade Orbs,” but Saints Row IV refers to them as “CID Command Orbs.” They function pretty much the same though, granting rewards for tracking them down.

Using your jump powers to bound from building to building like the Hulk feels very much like jumping around in Crackdown. As you get further into the game, you get a wider variety of powers than what Crackdown offers, but the moment to moment gameplay still feels very much like Crackdown, as you’re often using a combination of your powers as well as firearms to deal with large crowds of enemies.

I was already a huge fan of the Saints Row series, but by sprinkling in a dose of one of my other favorite franchises, Volition may have created my favorite open world action game yet.