There’s a lot of stuff in the endless sea of pop culture we all paddle about in that will give you goose bumps of excitement.
Epic songs, intense movie scenes and of course rad as fuck gaming moments. I’m pretty easily set off by these kind of things so I might not be the best judge for an article like this but here I am anyway. I’m sticking to a few rules just to make things easier for myself because:
1. I’m a procrastinator, and…
2. Like I said I’m set of easily so this list could potentially go on a few too many zettabytes!
…So only gaming moments will be listed here and in particular only gaming moments where you get the control be it a full control fight or even just a single button press, if you get the power, it gets on the list.
The Metal Gear series isn’t short on epic moments and even with Kojima’s predisposition to putting cool scenes into long winded videos there are still plenty of chances for you to be the badass instead of just a silent observer! It was a real toss-up between a few games but after a chat with the only other guy in respawning who gets quite so hype about MGS as me. Salman and me debated it for a while but I soon realised he was right and so here we have Old Snake and Liquid Ocelot’s final battle atop the highest tower on the Outer Haven Battleship! Duking it out as two old men on the brink (albeit with some sick abs) you watch as the fight starts with each fighter at their best and using excellent techniques to try and end it but as time goes on and the health bars dwindle you start to lose control and the pair resort to panting and swinging wild just trying to land any hit they can. Couple that imagery with Ocelot slowly returning to his old personality and the health bars changing to represent the version of himself he has returned to and you have a real recipe for an emotional final battle and don’t even get me started on the moment when Snake Eater from the MGS 3 OST kicks in! Hoo Boy!
Final Fantasy XV is, at least on the surface, a game about a teleporting young man with a monotone voice meeting a succession of character each with a cooler jacket than the last. Now that alone would be enough to keep me playing but then they went and weaved some sick moments of gameplay throughout, what a treat! So, without bogging this down with the details of how and why, come the end of the game out moody lad Noctis pursues villain and fedora fan Ardyn into the afterlife to finish off the immortal bastard and save the world. Once there Ardyn greets Noct in his usual flashy style with a smug ol’ look on his face which changes when he sees Noctis is protected by the memory of his friends (because Japanese game). As he raises his hand you’re prompted to tap the “O” button and as so as you do the music hits a crescendo and all of Noctis’ ancestors appear behind him to charge at Ardyn. It’s a great pay off for a game that really doubled down on the emotional connections and made Ardyn himself seem almost unbeatable! Take that you gentlemanly fuck!
Anyone who’s checked my contributions this last year will know I have a soft spot the size of Jupiter for this little Norse adventure game. I spend HOURS combing every inch of the God of War realms finding everything I could and most likely killing it too so you can trust me when I say I know what I’m talking about here. Now nestled within all the amazing sequences that gave me the old bumpy skin was only one that made me genuinely stand up and smile like a nutcase at my TV. During Kratos’ final fight with Norse god Baldur there is a short section where you enter a God of War staple QTE and watch as the Ghost of Sparta and his young son Atreus each take turns beating the tattoo covered God of light into the ground while he desperately tries to block them. After playing through the whole game and watching the two struggle to bond and understand each other it makes you feel so invested to finally see them work together so flawlessly and of course makes you the player feel like an unadulterated badass.
I love on rails shooters! Don’t you? There’s something so simple and effective about wave after wave of baddies coming at you and all you need to worry about is where to point and shoot. Among the sea of these type of game you could choose from I’ve had to go for Star Fox 64. One of the first games I ever actually completed Star Fox stuck with me for years as one of my favourite games, right up until I played Star Fox Adventures and I was soured to the Foxy Pilot for the rest of my days. Back to the good times though, throughout the campaign for 64 you and your band of misfit animal pilots travel across the galaxy helping to defend the innocent people of each planet you travel to while waves of enemies come at you spouting violent quotes in the name of giant floating space monkey Andross (I honestly can’t make that shit up). Its not until later that the Star Fox team are finally on the offensive and damn does it feel good! As you appear in the Venom system you start your rampage through Andross’ defences and get to enjoy the sounds of you enemies panicking as you smash through each line and they have no idea how to stop you! Fear me you army of chimps and alligators!!!
Anyone who knows me will agree that I have nothing but distain for David Cage and his interactive movies that he has the gall to call video games. Pretty much everything he creates is pompous nonsense designed to tug at your heart strings and all it ever does it put me to sleep. Saying all that however there has been one time where Mr not Luke Cage has succeed at getting the emotional response he clearly wanted out of me. Fear, disgust, panic, anger and relief all in the space of a few minutes. What could possibly incite such a reaction? How about making the protagonist have to cut off his little finger in all manner of grim and painful ways for the satisfaction of the man who kidnapped his child? For context, Ethan has been searching for his missing son for a while now and has already endured 2 sadistic challenges to try and find him now at your third trial its make or break time. Odds are you failed at least 1 of the previous challenges so you need this win and by win I mean this stump where your finger used to be and a bit more of the address to find your son. So chin some whiskey, wipe some disinfectant and grab the sharpest tool you can find which in my case…was a rusty carving knife. Then mash “X” while you listen to the sickening sounds and watch a man scream in perhaps the most well acted pain I’ve ever seen in my life. Was it worth it? No…the kid was a dick.