Straker Favorites: Def Jam Fight for New York

  This is my favorite game. I’m a huge wrestling fan and I used to play a game called Wrestlemania 2000 for hours when I was younger. So then EA BIG, which was a subsection of EA that made exaggerated version of sports games, came along and applied their craft to wrestling. So then they […]

 

This is my favorite game. I’m a huge wrestling fan and I used to play a game called Wrestlemania 2000 for hours when I was younger. So then EA BIG, which was a subsection of EA that made exaggerated version of sports games, came along and applied their craft to wrestling. So then they came out with Def Jam Vendetta which was a super version of Wrestlemania 2000. If that wasn’t good enough, it had a hip-hop coating. So for the sequel they decided they needed to take things in a darker direction. Because who really wants to see underground street fighting with pinfalls? Out came Fight for New York which took the action out the ring and into various venues like bars and scrapyards. The fight also involved weapons like glass bottles and pipes. Also, the audience would get involved. Then the fighting itself got revamped. They introduced the 5 styles and their permutations which served to make striking just as useful as grappling. Then they also redid the life bar system so matches went by faster. But they kept the staple of the game, the Blazins.

Wrestling, fighting, hip-hop, a good story, celebrity appearances, customization characters, and more. This isn’t just a Straker favorite, it’s the Straker Favorite.

Straker Favorites: X-Men vs Street Fighter

  When I was a kid the concept of the game blew my mind. To me and many others, this screen was the coolest thing in the world at the time. It ran side by side with the X-Men cartoon that used to show on FOX. So it was a double whammy. I finally got […]

 

When I was a kid the concept of the game blew my mind. To me and many others, this screen was the coolest thing in the world at the time. It ran side by side with the X-Men cartoon that used to show on FOX. So it was a double whammy. I finally got to play with the X-Men characters and then they were going against the Street Fighter characters. This game was also the first fighting game crossover and that would lead to Capcom vs SNK and Marvel vs Capcom. This isn’t really the best fighting game in the world but at the time the moves really grabbed me.

This is a Straker Favorite because of the butterfly effect it started along with that fact that it was right on time for my childhood.

Metroid Fusion

  I remember being absolutely stoked for this game when I first saw the commercial. Eventually I got my hands on it and it surpassed my expectations. Metroid Fusion kicks off with the interesting premise of Samus’ suit being infected by a virus. The color and shape of her suit changes and a new take […]

 

I remember being absolutely stoked for this game when I first saw the commercial. Eventually I got my hands on it and it surpassed my expectations. Metroid Fusion kicks off with the interesting premise of Samus’ suit being infected by a virus. The color and shape of her suit changes and a new take on Metroid. She would have her regain her powers through great boss battles. The most interesting part was Samus-X which was a virus that replicated Samus’ suit at it’s most powerful. Encounters with Samus-X were really well done because they felt like running from a villain in a horror movie. The fully powered Samus-X could easily kill the regular Samus and you have to avoid it for your life. This game fit right in with Super Metroid as platformer with a massive map and tons of hidden secrets. Zero Mission also came out on the GBA and was just as great but I hold Fusion in a higher regard just out of personal preference. This game is a timeless Straker Favorite and I still await a 2D Metroid that can surpass it.

Mario World

  I consider Super Mario World the greatest game of all time. It had an absolutely insane amount of content for a game that used about 330 kilobytes. There are 96 levels which have kept me busier that games that use multiple gigabytes. It created the concept of Yoshi and went an interesting route with […]

 

I consider Super Mario World the greatest game of all time. It had an absolutely insane amount of content for a game that used about 330 kilobytes. There are 96 levels which have kept me busier that games that use multiple gigabytes. It created the concept of Yoshi and went an interesting route with the character from the beginning. Yoshi was able to put shells in it’s mouth. The green Yoshi got different abilities based on the color of the shells. For example, if he got a red shell he would spit fire out. However the Yoshi of other colors had one set ability no matter what shell they got. So a red Yoshi would spit fire every time. This type of variation just adds to the timelessness on this game. The game featured a vast map with many different sections and secret passageways. Each stage became progressively more difficult thus making the player better as it went on. Each world had one of the Koopa Kids as a boss. Despite this being the only appearance of the kids, they became so legendary that they even got a spot in the latest Super Smash Brothers game.  It culminates with the final boss battle against Bowser which was a huge challenge to me when I played it. The music in this game is also timeless.

Once again, it is amazing how much content this game had despite being on a cartridge with little memory. When I consider the era it was created in and how it has stood the test of time, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the greatest game of all time and a clear Straker Favorite.

Straker Favorites: NBA Street Vol 2

Here’s yet another game I put tons of hours into. As a matter of fact, there were times in the 9th grade I would wake up and play a match or two before going to school. If I had to describe this game I would say it’s a superhuman version of 3 on 3 street […]

  Here’s yet another game I put tons of hours into. As a matter of fact, there were times in the 9th grade I would wake up and play a match or two before going to school. If I had to describe this game I would say it’s a superhuman version of 3 on 3 street basketball. The first NBA Street was the first game I had on the PS2 and I loved it. So naturally I made sure I got the sequel. Even from the intro the game is fun and exciting.  A focal point is unique characters such as Biggie Littles, a boy who was about 5 feet and couldn’t be older than 13 years old. There were also real life celebrities in the game such as Nelly with the St. Lunatics, and producer Just Blaze. And on top of that tons of NBA Legends like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson were included. Most of these legends and characters have unique introductions and moves.  The player is allowed to create players and 5 person teams which allows for a massive amount of different combinations. If I recall correctly my team was my created player, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, Biggie Littles, and Murphy Lee. Also, the face models of the real life players were pretty spot on and at the time that wasn’t very common. Then there was the nonstop commentary of Bobbito which never got old despite being a finite list of prerecorded lines. On top of all of those accessories, there is the heart of the game. the gameplay. The game was non stop fun because it ignored some of the rules or basketball. There were no foul calls. There was an unrealistic but excusable and preferred invisible force field that stopped the ball from going out the bounds. There were basically no violations at all except for the shot clock violation. Because of all the game there were no real pauses in the game and you just played until someone got to 21 points. The gameplay was also fast and if the two players had the same skill level, every possession was a battle for the split second that they could score a basket. But it was just about scoring points. There was also the mechanic of filling up the Gamebreaker meter by scoring with as much style as possible. The ultimate goal was to attain a Level 2 Gamebreaker  which not only could case a 5-6 point swing but were great to watch. These are the reasons this game is a Straker Favorite. I often dream of a modernized HD version of this game with online playability. I’m not sure if that will happen, but this is one of the reasons I still have my PS2 ready to be plugged in at a moment’s notice.