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1996 in Gaming

On 08/28/2023 at 02:42 PM by KnightDriver

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Playstation won the console wars. Super Mario 64 won at home worldwide. Firaxis, Valve and IGN were all founded this year. Coolness! That year I and my friend Mad Krammer were playing mostly FPS games ported from PC to PS, N64 and Saturn. Over the years, though, I've discovered quite a few others. 

Games I played back then: 

Duke Nukem 3D: My friend and I played the single player many times across many systems: PC, Playstation, N64, even Saturn. I vividly remember great multiplayer deathmatches on the N64 version. Remember explosive shotgun shells and split screens?

Quake: Same with Quake, although we didn't do much multiplayer until Quake Team Arena a few years later. 

Final Doom: A collection of user created levels if I remember rightly. We played it on Playstation. We couldn't get enough Doom in those days. 

Destruction Derby 2: Call it the proto Burnout game, it took destruction derby out of arenas and onto raceways. You race and crash and watch your body damage indicators to avoid getting knocked out. We played this way more then the first game and had a blast with it. 

Others I've played since then: 

Super Mario RPG: I went back to this after falling in love with Mario & Luigi Partners in Time on DS. Only played part of it though, need to complete it. 

Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara: This is a DnD liscensed beat 'em up arcade game that was the sequel to Tower of Doom. Both are in a collection on multiple consoles, and I have it. A wonderful looking game too. 

Metal Slug: I so love this series's art style. Even the gameplay is good, but darn difficult. A port of this is on consoles right now. 

Donkey Kong Country 3: I seem to have gotten less and less far into these games as the series progressed. 50% for 1, probably 25% for 2 and 10% for 3. I played that 50% on 1 multiple times however. 

Star Wars Shadows of the Empire: I'm sure I played this on N64. It's a 3rd person shooter if I remember right. It's been a while though. Would like to revisit it. 

Ones I've never played but want to: 

Dragon Quest III: I have it on Game Boy Color but haven't tackled it yet. 

Strikers 1945: A Psikyo made game that looks just like Capcom's 194X series. I seem to have it on Xbox too. I must've tried it and forgotten about it. I'll have to play it again. 

Civilization II: My friend and I got really into Civilization Revolution back on Xbox 360, and I've always wanted to check out the main series sometime. VI is on Game Pass, or was. I think the previous games haven't been ported to consoles yet. 

Kirby Super Star: I'm sure this is on the Wii's Dream Collection, which I have. I might have touched upon it some years ago, but I'd like to revisit it. 

Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games: Sirtech's sequel to the first Jagged Alliance game. A spinoff game is on Xbox Game Pass. I love turn-based strategy. Reminds me of the old war board games I used to play. 

And that's about it for that year. Probably there are others if I look up the individual system's game lists, but I don't have time for that right now.

Certain notable series began this year like Resident Evil and Crash Bandicoot, but I haven't found one of those games all that appealing to me so far. 

I'll be moving on to the 2000s in Sept starting next week, so, unfortuneately, '97-'99 will have to wait until next year. Y2K will be next. I think I'll start with PS2. 




08/29/2023 at 05:49 PM

What a year! Shadows of the Empire is a game I am afraid to revisit. I played it so much and beat it on every difficulty. But I fear it will not hold up at all today. My favorite parts were the flying levels (like the battle for Hoth) which have been done so much better by the Rogue Squadron games. I'd hate to tarnish the great memories of I have of Shadows of the Empire.


09/01/2023 at 09:09 AM

I know I replayed a bit of Shadows a while back and was surprised by the lack of detail in some levels. As long as I don't get lost, I can deal with it. 

Cary Woodham

08/30/2023 at 07:56 AM

1996 is when I first started writing game reviews for The Dallas Morning News.

Super Mario RPG was a big deal back then.  Are you excited for the Switch remake.  I sure am!

Metal Slug looks and plays well even to this day!  I love it when you eat a lot of food healing items and get fat!

Even though DKC3 isn't as good as the first two, it's still a VERY good 2D platformer.  DKC3 is a very special game to me because it's one of the first games I reviewed at the newspaper.

Kirby's Super Star is still one of the best Kirby games.  I loved playing it with my brother Jeff when he was little.  On our first podcast, this was his number one favorite game of all time!


09/01/2023 at 09:11 AM

Yes, I'm excited for Super Mario RPG remake. 

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