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Washboard's Games And Music

Just for fun. You'll probably recognize most of these, but I think most of them are underrated. The games are in no order, the music is a brief top 8 favorite albums.
1Pizzicato Five
Bossa Nova

DONKEY KONG COUNTRY 2 (SNES): Without any drastic changes to the original formula, Rare?s second dual ape assault unfolds in a stylishly twisted new world filled with killer bees and thorned briars. Donkey Kong Country 2 is much more charming than the original game, adding bubble-blowing girlfriend Dixie Kong and a darker atmosphere to the impressive graphical powerhouse. Gameplay is challenging and well-paced, shooting monkeys out of barrel cannons and stabbing aquatic life with a swordfish?s snozz is more satisfying than ever. Through several timed bonus rounds, you can even work your way into the ominous hidden worlds (ala Super Mario World?s Star Road) by collecting special coins and paying them to a gatekeeper troll. You?re missing an engrossing and charismatically creepy platformer game if you haven?t already played this.
2Boards of Canada

ZOOL 2 (Jaguar): Taking cues from Ninja Gaiden and Sonic the Hedgehog, Zool 2 delivers fast-paced, chaotic, pea-shooting action to the platformer table. Running fast, climbing walls, and breaking enemies into assorted doodads is shared between the game?s 2 characters, the only major difference being a few exclusive parts of the levels. But that?s ordinary compared to the rest of the game. You?ll find chicken heads on a stick coughing pellets into the air, desk lamps hopping their way over to attack you, and many, many strange paraphernalia to collect (Rings? Coins? More like tiny rubber ducks, lollipops and batteries). The largest chunk of the game?s charm comes from the visuals, whose backgrounds, characters, items and stage themes are pretty weird and you?ll really like them. The music is pretty good too, though some might get annoyed of the shattering glass sound effects that accompany each enemy?s death.
Katamari Damacy Soundtrack

KATAMARI DAMACY (PS2): The King of All Cosmos is a large, bearded man, colorfully dressed and wears a tiny crown in between the drum-shaped thing around his head. Drunk, he?s soaring through space when he accidentally shatters every star in the sky. In a pseudo-poetic tone, he orders you, the Prince, to go to Earth with a chew toy-looking ball called a Katamari and roll up piles of garbage to replace the stars in the sky. You start out rolling around on a table, as the Prince is very small, and you roll up in your clump everything from thumbtacks, to paperclips to pencils. As you get bigger, you move up to books, small animals, trash cans, people, cars, buildings, and eventually islands. You do so in timed bursts of 7-12 minutes, restoring stars to the sky as you go. You have to make constellations to, but those a bit different. To make Cancer, you have to roll up as many crabs as you can within the allotted time, as with fish for Pisces. The gameplay stays relatively the same, but the worlds are so engaging and weird the game never feels tedious or rehashed. The world is just psychedelic in nature, especially with the environments you?ll be rolling around in. Crossing a bridge, you?ll scoop up a line of Japanese doors standing right in your path, and later you?ll cross the lawn in a trail of bananas. Other ridiculous things like giant octopuses, hurricanes, rain and gods can be picked up later on, so you?ll find the restoration process to be quite rewarding. Also check out the game?s soundtrack, whether you play the game or not. It?s simply gorgeous and takes up at least half of what makes this game?s charm pie chart.
4The Knife
Silent SHout

RISTAR (Gen): Another old platformer game, Ristar puts you in the shoes of a long-armed walking star sharing the game?s name. In the vein of Kirby or Klonoa, Ristar uses his long arms to grab his enemies. He doesn?t strangle them to defeat them, he actually throws his body at them and sends them flying off the screen. Otherwise, he can swing from bars at high speeds to send himself shooting off in one direction, swing from trees, or grab ladders to climb. Most of your abilities are reliant on your environment above all else. There isn?t much here you can?t already find in several other platformers, but it?s a bit different if you?re digging around for crafty old games to play. Ristar features great graphics, simple but charming gameplay and a bit of a diversion from those Hedgehog games you bought a Genesis for.
Emerald Fantasy Tracks

PIKMIN 2 (GC): It?s pretty disturbing to watch little tiny Pikmin souls drift off into oblivion by the dozens, but risking their little lives isn?t an option. Pikmin 2 is a little bit action, a little bit puzzle, and a little bit of real-time-strategy. On a distant planet, you have come to salvage many treasures, like Duracell batteries, rubber duck heads, assorted bottle caps, and Nintendo memorabilia, in order to pay off your company?s debt. You do so with the help of Pikmin, which come in 5 different colors and have their own unique skills and capabilities. Shuffling through the different Pikmin types, splitting up your party, choosing who to send to do what, and taking down the game?s various enemies requires some thinking and a bit of reflex. You want to kill everything in the room that?s not yours, then take all the treasure you can for yourself. Sometimes you have a large enemy (or even an invincible one) stalking your ass down, making this a bit harder for some areas, and even then there?s plenty of moments where you have to stay on your toes and plan carefully. A bit underrated I think, Pikmin 2 features great collect-it-all gameplay, tons of items to find (familiar brands can be found on some of them), a solid multiplayer mode (co-op and battle), and is much more sophisticated and deeper than the original.
Cinema Scope

CHIBI ROBO (GC): As you can tell by now I like collecting shit off the ground. Both Katamari and Pikmin thrive off that formula, but Chibi Robo is a little more than that. You see, as the pint-sized joy machine Chibi Robo, your task is to make the Sanderson household happy, and cleaning garbage off the floor is included. Set in a Toy Story-like universe, you?re brought into a world filled with alive-by-night toys and knick-knacks, purchased by the family?s collect-aholic father. The goal is to make everyone happy, and though you were bought to make the family happy, you can make the toys happy too. This, along with cleaning stains, fetching items and feeding fish, is rewarded with Happy Points. As a robot made to make people happy, via the internet you can download various upgrades from your developer company to expand your battery life and exploration of the large house you are in. You can get a gun to break open small passageways, flower seeds to grow and later give to Mrs. Sanderson, and a radar to talk with aliens. The game takes place entirely inside this house, and exploring it is a lot of fun. While you?re free to do anything you?re capable of, the main goal is to fix the family?s internal issues. Because Mr. Sanderson buys toys all the time, the family is in financial trouble. This makes his wife frustrated, so there?s some potential divorce looming around. The daughter is aware of this, and in denial, wears a frog hat all the time and only communicates through ?ribbits?, or by making her teddy bear talk. Some people may be turned off by the constant recharging of your battery or slightly repetitive gameplay, but it?s a really interesting game regardless, with lots of good characters to be found.
7The Smashing Pumpkins
Siamese Dream

PAPER MARIO: THE THOUSAND YEAR DOOR (GC): Most of you might prefer the original Paper Mario for N64, but I?m siding with this one over which is better. Using most of the same gameplay mechanics from the original, Paper Mario 2 adds little nuances to the battle system like stylish commands, a crowd and stage system, and input commands for the star abilities. Outside of battle, there are several new abilities to use that don?t require a partner, such as turning into a paper plane, a boat, or turning sideways to slide through tight spaces. This compliments the ?paper? theme of the game very well, and so do the visual effects. Opening a pathway is now really entertaining to watch: a bridge can build itself flipbook-style after hitting a switch, or a staircase can unfold from a simple rectangle shape right before you. Bosses are no longer just 2-dimensional paper sprites. Many of them look like origami or paper crafts, taking advantage of the better 3-D capabilities of the Gamecube. Environments like Boggly Woods are artistically beautiful, using elaborate black and white flare to great effect. The story is just as rich with great characters and hilarious script, but I personally prefer the digging-up-an-old-town theme from this game.
8Nine Inch Nails
The Downward Spiral

CHU CHU ROCKET (DC): This is a really good party game. Chu Chu rocket isn?t like Super Smash Bros or Power Stone 2, and is actually a variation of a puzzler game. Actually, one segment of the single player mode is fully devoted to the puzzle genre, but the rest of the game is packed with high-speed action and quick thinking. In multiplayer, your goal is to guide tiny little mice, who wander around like lemmings, into your rocket ship and accumulate the most rats before time runs out. You do so by placing arrows onto the playing grid, 4 different ones pointing in every cardinal direction, that change the direction of a mouse?s path (they can?t walk into your goal by themselves). It isn?t just limited to that; you can just as easily put an arrow down to move mice away from another player?s goal, or even guide one of the orange cats into their rocket to half their mouse count. Short events occur, such as higher game speed, double the mice that walk onto the grid, or a brief moment where there are only cats. These happen every 30 seconds or so, whenever you scoop up a gold rat. It?s very fast-paced and thrilling, easy to pick up and hard to master. There are also plenty of modes to play single player too, and while the game is very basic in nature, it?s hard not to get engaged with.
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