I fondly remember the 32/64 bit gaming era. I started it with a bundle purchase of a Sony PlayStation, Ridge Racer and Tekken from Toys R Us. It wasn’t for a few months that a memory card was purchased, but that never saw my enjoyment cease. A year after the Nintendo 64 was released I had one in my possession. Unfortunately it took me until 2008 to call a Sega Saturn system my own, as the price and library never seemed enticing enough. While there were a few Saturn titles I enjoyed, none reached my top 25 list.
The 32/64 bit era also gave birth to my all-time favorite game, Suikoden. I know that seems like a spoiler, but the number of times I’ve mentioned my man crush with Konami’s RPG have been well documented, so sorry if that ruins any kind of non existent anticipation. But with that, lets take a look at my Top….25 – 2 32/64 Bit Games:
20. Ridge Racer Type IV (PSX)
The first few Ridge Racer games were all enjoyable in their own ways, but Ridge Racer Type IV fleshed out one element that can be finicky to develop – the controls. Power sliding, barreling down straightaways and pulling past the competition never felt so gratifying in a racing game before, or after this one. The flimsy storyline tacked in was a disappointment, but the vehicular controls were just too silky smooth for me to stay upset at the tacked on feature.
This is where I started my strategy RPG fascination. Not only did Squaresoft deliver on the core gameplay, but the difficulty as a whole did not relent, making each victory all the more sweeter. It’s been ported to a couple of handhelds, but none hold a candle to the immaculate, lag-free (in terms of action on the screen slowing down quite a bit on the portables) console version. I do feel the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS spinoffs are superior in certain respects, though Final Fantasy Tactics will always remain that overall watermark that developers should strive to surpass.
Tekken and Tekken 3 were outstanding 3D fighting games in their own right, but Tekken 2 always holds a more profound place in my heart. The character selection and gameplay were just right, with not a huge roster, as well as a solid engine all around. It was as entertaining solo as it was in multiplayer, even if my ex girlfriend had a better win ratio again me, though I blame that on her not having a memory card and having Baek unlocked! Regardless, it’s a solid brawler all around.
The thing that stuck out about Vagrant Story was its combat system. Players could aim at certain area on the enemy and depending on what weapons they and equiped at that time, can perform combos with properly timed button presses. It was one of those titles that could work solely off its gameplay, though outside of it being released at an awkward time (not on a DVD so no voice acting could help that narrative out some more), the complete package could definitely stand on its own legs as one of the premiere titles of its generation.
Depending on who you talk to, the Mega Man Legends series is either embraced, or scoffed at. As unorthodox as it might be, Mega Man Legends really was worth playing to the end. The camera controls did take a while to become accustomed to, but once that’s locked down, it was a new dimension for the blue bomber (no pun intended.) I never did play far enough into the sequel, but I can vouch for Mega Man Legends – one of the lesser appreciated titles in any of the major franchises.