Editorial: Unexpected Favourites

Let me be honest, LusiFolks. Whether or not I specifically mention them, whenever I write about games on this glorious website, my ramblings tend to relate to my very favourite titles or the RPG genre. If I am talking, it can be expected that I will mention Final Fantasy IX, Flower, Shadow of the Colossus, Mass Effect, or any number of the 3D Legend of Zelda titles.

Ethos’ first game ever.

Of course, there is always the off chance that I will mention my “tier 2” favourites like Skies of Arcadia, inFAMOUS, Final Fantasy XII and VII, or any number of the games in the now-bloated Kingdom Hearts series.

However, sometimes I get so caught up in the games that I love the most that I forget about the titles that I really have – or have had – a lot of fun with that never get the spotlight in my writing. Maybe it is that I have not played them in a long time, or that they are overshadowed by the more emotionally poignant or grander-scale titles. Still, they are a part of my gaming makeup, so I feel like they are worth mentioning.

Kirby’s Dream Land (GB)
Yes, the Game Boy title. It is a bit of a joke now. It is very easy and there is nothing particularly special about it, but it is the very first game I ever owned and so it has a special place for me. I was caught up by the fact that I could actually control a character on a screen that I had no room for critical analysis. It was just pure fun to Child Ethos.

Snow Bros. (NES)
This is even older and even more obscure. Before I owned my own console, I had to play at other people’s houses. This is a game I would prefer never to play again. This is because I am quite sure that it is exponentially better in my nostalgic memory than as an actual game. Even recalling it now makes me remember a horrible premise, forgettable gameplay, and no boundaries pushed. But at the time, there was no story more grand, no gameplay more nuanced, and nothing more fun.

Tecmo Stackers (PSX)
Now we get into the games that I actually think are pretty good. This is one of those games that rides the fine line between absolutely horrible and strangely incredible. On one hand, the title takes the standard Tetris formula and turns it into one of the more unique and addicting iterations of the puzzle game that I have every played. Gameplay is fast and furious, strategy-based, and requires unlearning a lot of the standard ways of thinking about puzzle games.

So so weird.
So weird.

Yet, on the other game, the game is so bonkers, one has to wonder how it ever got a stateside release. Each match starts with a countdown that inexplicably switches from girls in pretty dresses to shirtless dudes with weird voices. Menu choices are selected by one of the puzzle blocks licking the selection, and the title features what is probably the smallest and laziest OST in gaming history.

At the same time, however, these obscure low-rent choices make the experience that much more surreal and hilarious while playing. Sometimes I lost matches to a friend because of how hard I was laughing at the strangeness on screen. It is very difficult to say whether or not Tecmo Stackers is a good game, but I sure as hell have a lot of amazing memories with it.

Super Smash Bros. (N64/GCN/Wii)
This might seem like a bizarre entry to include given its popularity, but I mention it so rarely in my writing that it is pretty surprising consider the number of hours I have spent with these games. While Melee is probably the most balanced of the three, there is no Captain Olimar in Melee. I will be the first to admit that I am not very good at video games, but if I had to show off with any title, it would be Brawl. Those pikmin are powerful defenders.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
While the New Super Mario sequels look to be more of the same, Super Mario Galaxy 2 was a case of perfecting a new formula. The game sliced down the number of missions per levels and instead offered more worlds, more varied missions, and the most skill-based suit I can remember in a Mario game in years: The cloud suit. The 3D Mario games are certainly not for everybody, but Super Mario Galaxy 2 is far and away the best one of the lot and I barely ever mention it considering my deep respect and love for one of Nintendo’s rare success stories of late. Maybe it is because the Wii is stupid.

What about you, LusiSlaves? Do you have games that you have great memories with or might even consider to be one of your favourites that you just never tend to talk about? Good, bad, guilty pleasures, all is fair game!


  1. I play pretty much anything except FPS, racing, and sports games nowadays. I certainly don’t think much of them so I would have forgotten about some games I really had fun with if I didn’t have to think hard about them.

    Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey (N64)
    I hated this game. A “friend” screwed me over and received this instead of Golden Eye. I got even later but in the meantime I had this thing I had no interest in and the other games I had at the moment were SM64 and OoT which I had already played too much. I knew nothing about hockey and didn’t (still don’t) like sports games but I gave it a shot. I played it a ton. It was great to play with friends and have a lot of fond memories of it. Got really good at it too. I don’t think I’ve touched a sports game since outside of a few FIFA matches here and there with friends.

    Gran Turismo 2 (PSX)
    Outside of Mario Kart (which is sort of a racing and party game hybrid), I avoid racing games. GT2 was the only game I had available on a long vacation. Despite my initial disdain for it, it quickly grew on me. It looked fantastic, it completely blew me away at the time. It also had great music and tight controls. Though I only had a passing interest in cars, it was awesome to customize and drive the best cars in the world. I did everything that could be done in the game, and that’s a lot.I couldn’t wait to play GT3, but eventually that died down as well as my interest in racing games.

    Golden Eye 64.
    After I got even with my friend, I got was what righfully mine. Unlike the other two games, which I played begrudgingly in the beginning, I wanted this from the very start. It was an awesome game, so much to do and so many ways to do them in. The multiplayer was amazing and holds many hours of fun memories for me and my friends at the time. I was the asshole that used only proximity mines and relished the moment where my traps blew on my opponents’ faces when they were sure they had me (wow, I totally forgot about that).

    Medal of Honor Frontline (GC)
    Another game that I played because there wasn’t anything I wanted to play available. I poured a lot of hours into the single player mode, but what I remember the most were the matches I had with my brother. We had almost nothing in common, so it was a nice thing to have.

    When I try to think of my fondest moments in gaming, usually an image of a 16bit JRPG, a few Zeldas or some games from the PSX-PS2 era pop up so actually sitting down and trying to remember fun games I usually don’t even think about was really interesting (and a little surprising).

  2. WAYNE GRETZKY’S 3D HOCKEY! HOW COULD I FORGET! MAN that game was dumb, but SO much fun. Definitely should have been on my list. It was part of Canadian curriculum. Thanks for adding your list! I had the same interesting/surprising experience. Good call putting the system names, I’m going to edit my post.

  3. The original Kirby’s Dream Land was a fun game. The second GB game was better, but the first one was still a lot of fun.

  4. Silly Ethos, Olimar’s tether recovery puts him at a big disadvantage in a smash game where most of the characters are able to recover from nearly off screen. Once he’s off the edge…edge hog him. And if that seems unfair, his predictable recovery pattern (consisting of a total of two moves, Up B and Down B) also count pretty harshly against him. The biggest things he’s got going are his size and his grab range. You so silly.

    PS I heart Olimar.

  5. Actually, Olimar is currently ranked in the 2nd of 8 tiers in Brawl (excluding the imba Meta Knight). You are foolishly assuming that you can get Olimar in a position in which he would need to recover.

  6. @SN – So many people love that game. If you tried to buy it in Canada, the Canadian Police (aka beavers in uniform) would take it away, light it on fire and – if you were lucky – replace it with a copy of Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey.

  7. Man, Olimar has moved up since I last checked the tier listings.

    The more I look into it, the more the community has decided that his easy gimpability off the edge is no longer a crippling weakness. Aside from that, Olimar’s got everything going for him, from disjointed EVERYTHINGs to super armor.

    Ethos, if Nintendo didn’t use soup cans for their internet infrastructure, I’d challenge you to an Olimar ditto match.

  8. I dunno. This is the highest he’s been, sure, but he’s been at least in tier C since I started checking. Which was years ago because I discovered my affinity for him pretty quickly. Olimar is strangely defensive and more timing based than positioning based.

    And oo! You’re hypothetically on. Although I’m very confused about how a Olimar v Olimar match would go. That seems very confusing to me.

  9. It appears Oli’ started at number 18, back in 2008, then jumped rather considerably to number ten by tier revision 2 and stayed there up to the current revision (4).

    It would be a lot of pikmin tossing, a lot of grab attempts and aerial approaches. Oh, and I’ll share a fun Oli’ tip I used back in the day. It’s easy to take advantage of his smash wind up animations all looking similar. So, if someone is getting up off the edge, run to them and charge to smash forwards. Do that a few times through out the match, then switch it to an up smash. The wind up animation is near identical AND his up smash (especially if it’s with a purple pikmin queued up) will likely give them the Team Rocket treatment. So the other person will jump over you, thinking it’s a forward smash…but nope!

    The only one I have more fun playing as is probably Ganondorf. He’s nearly rock bottom on the current listings, but he’s too fun. Dat up tilt.

  10. Oh yeah. In the non-competitive scene it’s a blast using other characters. Lucas is a favourite, and my second most used character is actually ROB the Robot.

    Also, it sounds like you and I approach Olimar a little differently. Although I definitely use managing expectations to my advantage.

  11. Yeah, while I like Melee over Brawl for the increased competitiveness I think Brawl is both easier to play casually and has more characters that are generally more fun to play with…despite how imbalanced it is in the end. (The Project M mod for Brawl is amazing since it combines these two very nicely)

    In Melee I only play or even have fun with Falco and Dr. Mario and previously Zelda/Sheik (yes, both of them, not just Sheik). In Brawl I can actually play well with Ike, Lucario, Olimar, Falco, Wolf, Ganondorf, Captain Falcon, Zelda, Pokemon Trainer, Snake, Zero Suit Samus, Toon Link, and DK.

  12. Shitty as in they’re bad in Brawl or that they’re bad in their own games? Do you even play Brawl?!

  13. Fair enough. But I maintain those are all fun characters. And I add Lusipurr to my hypothetical challenge (or a real one if anybody wants to deal with the shit wifi connection)

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