From a Gamer’s Basement

No introduction is needed really. Last week I did 10-6, so here is the top five guilty pleasure games from my gaming life.

5. San Francisco Rush (Multi)

This is a great racer. No, seriously, Iâ┚¬â”žÂ¢m not kidding. Stop laughing. I mean it. Ok, ok, so maybe San Francisco Rush didnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t have all the polish and glitz of the other racers of itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s heyday on the Nintendo 64 and Playstation. It was fun though, and that is what really mattered. Whether you were racing just to have the ability to say you won every race you were in, or if you were just trying to do insane jumps to collect all the secret keys to unlock different cars and whatever else there was to get, you can not deny that San Francisco Rush was flat out fun. Ok so maybe you CAN deny that, but I will still disagree with you. The tracks were well designed and the environments were pretty good for matching the mood of where they were supposed to be racing at. In addition to this I really thought the control scheme was excellent. Perhaps I just have weird tastes in racers, but the only racer I hold above this game is Super Mario Kart 64. While it has fewer tracks, less cars to choose from, and whatever else than itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s competition at the time, none of that ever mattered to me. I liked the opened ended feel of the game and the numerous things to do once you really got into it. Perhaps I just havenâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t found the right racer since, because ever since the new consoles hit I have yet to find a racing game I truly enjoy as much as San Francisco Rush.

4. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES)

This is a game that is SO bad that it somehow ended up being a laugh fest that left me with very good feelings about it. If you think Square Enix hasnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t been producing quality titles lately then you need to stop for a second and thank God for what you have. Because, folks, it doesnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t get any worse in terms of a Final Fantasy game than Mystic Quest. How this game even got the FF title in it is still a mystery to me. It doesnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t play like any other FF out there, and it can be completed in roughly four hours if you force yourself too, and I donâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t recommend that. Honestly you need to be a little masochistic to love this game. I truly believe if I didnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t have some sort of gaming pleasure from pain complex this game would have hit the rubbish bin a long, long time ago. Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s like the old Hogan movie, Santa With Muscles. Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s just so bad, so without redemption, that it ends up being a cult classic. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is more than just the black sheep of the family: Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s the one game Square probably openly wonders just what the hell they were thinking when they made it. Yet itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s still in my SNES game holding box, and yes every now and again I put it back in and spend a few minutes wondering how I could ever like something this bad. If you ever find a copy of this, you owe it to yourself to get it. This is a bad RPG. So bad youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ll love it.

3. Friday the 13th (NES)

Jason Voorhees is perhaps one of the most well known horror cultural icons of our time. Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s only natural that based on the huge success of the movies that center around him that there would be a video game out of all this. And what a BAD video game it was. And just like Mystic Quest, itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s so bad that itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s good. Where else can you chase off Jason with rocks? Tell me that, huh? Where else can you walk around from place to place wondering just what the hell the point to all this is? Friday the 13th was bad way before the movies started to decline, but unlike some of Jasonâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s later offerings, this game still holds up today as one of the worst games to bring a smile to my face. Seriously, if you completed this game, PLEASE e-mail me so I can know someone else out there sat down and dedicated the time to beating this abortion besides me. Double the points if you actually liked it even half as much as I did. I canâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t even really say what my favorite part is, as there are several laugh out loud moments here. Maybe itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s fighting the head of Mrs. Voorhees. Or maybe itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s the cool opening only to be followed with a game that is just so unbelievably bad. This is guilty pleasure gaming personified. I really came close to putting this as number one, but sadly just couldnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t justify doing it, because the next two just outdo it in my gaming mind for guilty pleasure supremacy.

2. Actrasier (SNES)

I debated on whether or to include this, because there is a sizable amount of people out there that really liked this. But it really is a little known title in todayâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s gaming world, and besides I just wanted an excuse to write about Actraiser. Its Sim City meets Castlevania. Odd combination to be sure, but it works remarkably well. And honestly the side scrolling action of this game was always secondary to me. The real fun is being God to primitive people who worship you for good fortune. Growing crops, building fortifications, and helping them through plagues, famines, fires, and whatever else happens is just amazingly engrossing. Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s no where near as complicated as the sim games we are used to, and maybe thatâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s why I like it. I didnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t have to think about much besides that I was playing the part of a God, and starving the people was kind of fun. Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s no wonder Iâ┚¬â”žÂ¢m usually lousy at any and all sim games. People, if you like sim games, or just RPGs in general, and you ever find a used copy of this old SNES title then do yourself a huge favor and snap it up. Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s more than worth the five or ten bucks youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ll toss down on it. And even if you hate it, it still will make you laugh. Honestly there is no downside to Actraiser no matter which way you slice it.

1. Jet Forâ┚¬Â¦I mean: Donkey Kong 64

I wanted to put JFG here, but since I already dedicated an entire column to it, I figured I would just make it ineligible for this list. So instead we have another Rare game, and one of the few Donkey Kong games not received well by critics. I really have no idea why, because I though DK 64 was a masterpiece, and the perfect transition from 2-D to 3-D graphics. I; however, am in the minority with that one. Sporting five different characters to choose from and countless hours to play due to all the things you could do and collect, itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s no wonder Iâ┚¬â”žÂ¢m hooked through the bag on DK 64. I love games that give me meaningless tasks for some reason, and this game certainly excelled there, although I always found the tasks to be fun and challenging. Plus this game had a perfect port of the original Donkey Kong in it! How could you go wrong? I have always firmly believed that Rare was the best developer for Nintendo during the Nintendo 64â┚¬â”žÂ¢s heyday. I was a Rare fanatic and this is just one more example as to why.

So there you have it folks. The top five. Feel free to e-mail me and discuss. Regardless next week Iâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ll have something new for you guys. So until then take it easy, and make sure you try a couple of these games. I donâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t think youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ll be too disappointed.