Every once in a while, you will think about video games and then ask yourself a question that has no rhyme or reason, but that just happened to pop in your head at that exact moment. In some rare instances, not even Google or Wikipedia can provide the answer you need. Sometimes you wouldn’t even need an answer to that question.
This is where we come in.
Our panel of experts is here to take on all of your video games-related questions, no matter how serious or silly they may be. Each week, we will submit a question to this elite committee, which will in turn try to provide you, our beloved readers, with the most accurate answer they can come up with.
Do you have a question for us? Shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Ask the Kliq”. The best questions will be featured in an upcoming column.
This Week’s Question
With Spore now released, it brings along with it the millions of creatures that have been created using its editors which was released a while ago. People went crazy with it, finally being able to give life to whatever was going on in their mind. With that in mind, we asked our experts:
What’s the best in-game editor you have ever used?
Michael O’Reilly: Warcraft 2. Simple, effective, fun. Building maps was nice enough, but to go in and mod the sounds the characters made increased the replay value for me and my friends. Peons chopping trees down to the sound of Pinky saying “Narf” was something to behold.
Nathan Birch: My favorite still has to be No Mercy’s Create-a-Wrestler mode. Since then a lot of other create-a-character modes have surpassed it when it comes to altering your dude’s appearance, but it seems the vast majority of the time this painstakingly created image is nothing more than a skin you create to cover a small handful of pre-made character classes. No Mercy on the other hand gave you control over every insignificant motion your character made, allowing you to choose from a staggering list of moves covering the US, Japan and the move-sets of a lot of guys not actually under WWF contract. The guys at Aki basically designed the Create-a-Wrestler so players could skirt the WWF license and create a roster covering all the top stars of the WWF, WCW and Japan, which was an awesome gesture for hardcore wrestling fans. Granted I spent most of my time designing guys that were morbidly obese, wore short-shorts, used the divas walking animation and had a kick to the junk as a finisher, but it’s nice that there was secretly the ability to make Goldberg or Great Muta in there.
Speaking of N64 games where you punched and kicked people, I must also shamefully admit I got really into largely forgotten Konami fighter Deadly Arts. I realize now the game was like, really god-damn terrible, but to this day it’s one of the few non-wrestling fighting games to have a full Create-a-Fighter mode (the only other example I can think of is Soul Calibur 3 and 4). Maybe if the Create-a-Fighter mode was a little deeper and let you create obese, short-shorts wearing, junk kicking dudes the game wouldn’t have got mostly 2s and 3s out of 10 when it came out.
Bebito Jackson: Excite Bike (NES)
Alix Talbot: Monster Rancher for PS. Make monsters using your very own music CD’s. Yay!
Matt Yeager: Neverwinter Nights 2.
Adam Powell: The Mii channel – simple, fun, addictive. anything that can make me look cute has some sort of merit.
Robert Capra: God help me, but Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. You could make some very nice Marvel/DC characters with the editor, as well as a slick He-Man and Skeletor.
Alex Lucard: Hmmm. For me it’s a toss up. On one hand I think RPG Maker 3 is the best customizable package around, but it takes forever to make anything playable and it eats the very soul of your memory card. That’s one good thing about the PS3 I suppose.
For memory though I’d say Vampire The Masquerade: Redemption. The main game itself wasn’t that great, but the create a world/story/characters editor was awesome and I had a lot of fun playing that with old friends when I was living in Portland, OR. God knows the end result of manmade games was better then Bloodlines.
Aaron Sirois: WWF Attitude (PSX)
It may not have the most options, but I loved how they set up choosing your moves. Every move the game had was given an amount of points it was worth. Finishers like the Tombstone were with 10 points, while a basic punch was worth one. You had a set limit of points you could use, and the idea was to create a well balanced character with attacks in every category. If you were stupid and made all of your attacks finishers, you’d have almost nothing in your repertoire that you could use if your opponent was on the mat or in the corner. Plus, you would have bad striking and aerial attacks. Oh yeah, the points also represented how much damage the moves did, adding another layer of depth when it came to choosing your moves. There’s a reason I created dozens and dozens of wrestlers for that game, but only a handful for future wrestling games.
Christopher Bowen: The Tiger Woods PGA Tour games have usually had fantastic editors, but I have to give special props to the one in Tiger ’06, in which I got my face much closer to what I really look like than I did using my own photo in ’09.
Guy Desmarais: My favourite would have to be the team editor mode in the NHL series starting with (I believe) NHL 2003. Managing my own hockey team has always been a fantasy of mine, and being able to populate it with players I created made it even better. This is the only I could make me and my buddies into real NHL-caliber players that played for the Honolulu Coconuts. Taking this expansion team to the Stanley Cup and trying to take every individual trophies for me and my friend is still something I’ll do every once in a while.
Another challenge I would try to do is to build a team using only free agents and players from the foreign leagues. A lot of older NHL players play in these leagues, so trying to bring back Jesse Bélanger and Yves Racine to the spotlights for my brand new team, the Quebec City Résistance, is always a lot of fun. I can only hope that such a mode made it to the Wii version of NHL 2K9 as it is the only hockey game I will be able to play on that console.
Bryan Berg: My favorite engine – not the BEST engine, mind you – would have to be the one from the old NFL Fever games on the original X-Box. It was the most ridiculous thing ever. You’d just take over an existing NFL team and change its uniforms, name, and stadium… and that’s it. So, assuming you replaced a crappy team like Arizona, you’d be stuck with their roster and schedule. Not exactly appealing. And it was unintentionally hysterical for other reasons as well. Close-ups of your coach would reveal him wearing a sweater bearing the logo… of some other team. Truly an amazing(ly awful) game, with a create-a-team option to match.
Charlie Marsh: I always liked playing around with the level editor on Lode Runner: The Legend Returns for PC… must be 10 years ago now. Just making my own levels and playing them, mostly because I made them easier than the actual game was.
That’s all for this week. Do you have a question of your own which you want our experts to answer? Send an e-mail to kapoutman AT hotmail.com with the subject line “Ask the Kliq”. We’ll put our team right on it.