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25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
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25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
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25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
25 killer console exclusives   www.gamebasin.com
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How have our favourite videogames changed since the 80s?How have our favourite videogames changed since the 80s?
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25 killer console exclusives www.gamebasin.com

  1. 25 Killer Console Exclusives http://www.gamebasin.com/news/25-killer-console-exclusives With each generation of gaming consoles there are a number of factors which help gamers decide where to spend their money. On a logical level we look at hardware parity – is there a stand‐out performer which, on paper at least, surpasses its competitors? On the opposite side of the rational spectrum, there is an emotional connection… a sort of brand loyalty that can be cultivated over years (in the case of a generation‐spanning brand like Sony’s Playstation), or birthed suddenly by masterful marketing and an impressive product to go with it. Somewhere between the rational and the emotional, another hugely powerful differentiator which can make or break a console is the selection of exclusive games which find their way onto the system. Often heavily bankrolled by the console manufacturer, its usually these mega‐franchises or stand‐alone blockbuster titles which show off the best of what the hardware has to offer. These massive IPs, especially those which branch over multiple console generations, form a bond with gamers. We make an emotional and financial investment in them over the years – when you’ve been blasting Covenant scum in Halo for a decade, it’s hard to give up on Master Chief and jump ship. When we bond with a game, and by extension with a specific console, things can get heated. Generations of gamers have wasted countless hours furiously flaming one another in “my console exclusive is better than yours” wars. For every Mario and Solid Snake, there’s a Sonic and Marcus Fenix. These are the games which captured our hearts, and which poured big money into the pockets of the developers, publishers and console holders involved. Considering the impact these titles have made, let’s take a look back at three decades of the incredible console exclusives which defined their generations. (The fine print: some of these games have been released on other consoles later, or on another console within their own family. Or on PC. But you get the idea.)
  2. 25. Super Mario Bros. – Nintendo Entertainment System (1985) This moustached plumber has to rank among the most famous, widely recognized characters in gaming history. While his adventures didn’t start with the Nintendo Entertainment System classic Super Mario Bros. back in 1985, it was his staring role here which turned Mario into a worldwide phenomenon. One of the earliest examples of game mascot mega‐stardom, Mario’s adventures became the blueprint for platform gaming for years to come. Coming off the back of the miserable video game industry crash of 1983, this trip through the Mushroom Kingdom not only cemented Mario’s place in gaming culture but did wonders for the success of Nintendo’s fledgeling console. Through its lifetime the NES (and it’s Japanese twin Famicom predecessor) was the birth place for many acclaimed long‐running franchises, but none have surpassed the impact of our favorite Italian tradesman. 24. Metroid – Nintendo Entertainment System (1986)
  3. For its time, Metroid was a vast game. The sprawling alien world of Zebes stretched out in all directions, prompting hours of wandering around, backtracking, frustration and eventual relief when you defeat Mother Brain. Renowned as one of the earliest instances of open world gaming, in a time where platform gaming was all about running and jumping from left to right as fast as possible, Nintendo brought immense depth and scale to the action‐adventure realm. The maze‐like caverns forced us to rethink our conventions when it came to platform gaming – progress gates and bottlenecks demanded exploration, while the sense of solitude forged a meaningful attachment to our hero Samus Aran. Who then turned out to be a heroine. The Metroid name has gone on to become one of the most revered franchises in the Nintendo stable, this first outing setting the scene for the adventures to come. 23. Alex Kidd In Miracle World – Sega Master System (1986)
  4. By 1986 Mario was running rings around any platformer that Sega could put together. Super Mario Bros. gave Nintendo the console mascot that the NES needed. To compete, Sega had to come up with something similar – that one “killer app” that would attach a cheerful, memorable face to their console. For years, Alex Kidd was that cheerful face. Taking everything good about platform games at the time and dressing it up in the lush colors and detailed sprites afforded by the Master System’s advanced hardware, Alex Kidd tried his damnedest to shift consoles as fast as his Italian nemesis was doing at the time. He remained the pointy‐eared poster child for Sega for some time, until a particularly quick hedgehog showed up. 22. Phantasy Star – Sega Master System (1987) Sega had a serious battle on their hands going into the 8‐bit console wars against Nintendo. The
  5. NES was dominating the North American market, raining down pixelated happiness on gaming audiences, leaving Sega to fight hard to find market share. Phantasy Star may not have turned the tide, but it made a valuable impact that gave the Master System a much‐needed boost – this was a console regarded to be more impressive technically, but which lacked the pull of Nintendo’s library of awesome exclusives. Phantasy Star was lauded in its day for making sweeping advancements within the RPG genre, especially in the West, mostly in terms of the depth of its narrative, the scale of the game world and the detailed quasi‐3D visuals. This massive role‐player pushed the Master System hard, with stunning results. 21. Super Mario World – SNES (1990) It’s Mario again, all grown up and looking handsome (in a podgy, dungaree‐wearing plumber kind of way) with 16‐bits of Nintendo power backing him up. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or SNES, was a huge leap from its predecessor and Super Mario World was a showcase to get us hooked on this new generation. It was a meaty platformer, loaded with new gameplay features that separated it from the 8‐bit renditions, as well as some of the best level design ever dropped on a console. Every generation since his first outing has had at least one sublime Koopa‐crushing, princess‐saving, mushroom‐munching Mario extravaganza, and for most of us this was the one which defined the 16‐bit era. 20. The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past – SNES (1991)
  6. Like Mario and so many other timeless Nintendo classics, the Zelda franchise also had its roots in the 8‐bit age. But, again like Mario, it was when Nintendo entered the 16‐bit console wars that we got the best out of Link. The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past is still considered one of the greatest moments in video gaming history, even by today’s standards. It was an enchanting narrative, played out in that vibrant, welcoming visual style that has since become a trademark of first‐party Nintendo franchises. Yes, we were out saving princesses again, but this time there was a brilliantly crafted storyline driving us to explore every corner of this boldly realized gameworld. 19. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 – Sega Genesis (1992) It’s no easy task, dreaming up a successful brand mascot. There doesn’t seem to be any concrete rules governing the process, the deciding factors that make a blue hedgehog infinitely more
  7. memorable than a decidedly un‐awesome possum. Whatever the reasons, Sega got the mixture just right when they developed Sonic The Hedgehog – the spiky chap became an instant hit, and was largely responsible for making the Mega Drive/Genesis a real contender in the 16‐bit era. The franchise debut engraved Sonic into gaming history, and led to a grand career for him, but Sonic The Hedgehog 2 was easily the superior game. Sleeker, more confident… even the squashed split‐screen 2‐player mode was a blast – this was the zenith of silky smooth platform gaming. 18. Streets Of Rage 2 – Sega Genesis (1992) As with Sonic The Hedgehog 2, we’re once again selecting the sequel over the original here with Streets Of Rage 2. And with good reason – this esteemed side‐scrolling beat‐em‐up was the culmination of everything we had grown to love about the genre at the time. This classic brawler borrowed heavily from the design framework of Double Dragon, but perhaps had more in common with Capcom’s Final Fight. Tight controls, cheesy characters and a seemingly endless onslaught of enemies to beat into the ground, this was the aggressive face of Sega’s most successful console. 17. Alien VS Predator – Atari Jaguar (1996)
  8. There was precious little to recommend about the Atari Jaguar, but if you owned one and didn’t pick up Alien VS Predator then you were missing out. The Alien VS Predator concept wasn’t new – by this point we’d seen these nasties going up against one another on various systems – but Rebellion’s version was a hellish FPS that outdid anything else in this franchise mash‐up. It was a dark, exhausting game, the tangible fear amplified by the murky gloom and bloody frightening screeches of your enemies. The sneaky monsters had a knack of appearing behind you without warning, prompting that classic “backpedal and fire wildly into the dark” FPS standard. 16. Super Mario 64 – Nintendo 64 (1996) Another Nintendo console, another sublime Mario release to send the gaming world into a shopping frenzy. Pilotwings 64 was pleasant enough, but as a launch title you couldn’t have asked for better than Super Mario 64. The move from 2D to 3D platforming was a young concept in 1996, and Nintendo set a new standard for the genre with this release. Incredibly fluid gameplay in a
  9. vivid, cheerful world, it was a potent reminder of Mario’s stature as a console mover. Nintendo had polarized publisher support by going with cartridges instead of optical discs, but with such a strong library of first‐party IPs like this one, they turned the N64 into one of the most sought‐after consoles of all time. 15. Fighters Megamix - Sega Saturn (1996) Sega’s hardware aspirations took a beating after the worldwide success of the Genesis, losing just about all momentum in a matter of years. Neither the Sega CD nor 32X made an impact, so consumer confidence was low when the Saturn showed up. We all know how it turned out – Sega’s machine was demolished by the Playstation – but it brought a couple of stellar exclusives along with it. Besides a selection of brilliant renditions of Sega arcade hits, one of the key motivators to pick up a Sega Saturn was Fighters Megamix by Sega AM2. A real labor of love from the arcade masters at the in‐house AM2 division, Fighters Megamix took the best elements of their top beat‐em‐ ups and put together a terrific line‐up of brawlers from across the board. With such a rich catalog of games to choose from, including some particularly quirky inclusions, Sega AM2 gave us a roster of over 30 fighters for this perfectly balanced fighter. 14. Gran Turismo – Sony PlayStation (1997)
  10. Sony imprint Polyphony Digital (still operating under the cumbersome Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios banner at the time) worked for half a decade to put Gran Turismo together, and the game was buried in a sea of awards and accolades for their troubles. Best this, Greatest that, the gaming press went ballistic for this impeccable racer. It wasn’t just critical praise either – the man on the street was equally taken by Polyphony’s racing debut, making Gran Turismo the biggest selling game for the original Playstation. With more cars than a United Arab Emirates oil baron’s garage, a selection of stunningly realized tracks to scream around, and a handling model as close to the real thing as we’d experienced at the time, it’s no wonder GT went on to become one of the biggest franchises for Sony’s console. 13. Metal Gear Solid – Sony PlayStation (1998)
  11. In terms of fervent fan‐bases, not many franchises can compete with Metal Gear Solid. Followers of Solid Snake seem to take it all very seriously – speak badly of Hideo Kojima’s famed creation, and you’re guaranteed to feel the full weight of an army of fanboys coming down on you. MGS has earned this level of passionate support though, and has been critically acclaimed as one of the most important and influential games of all time. Sneaky, shooty and very talky for it’s time, the stealth genre hadn’t seen anything like this before, and gamers flocked to it in their millions. You might say that the story was rather disjointed and the cutscenes too overbearing, but that would just be silly… we don’t want to start a war now, do we? 12. Panzer Dragoon Saga – Sega Saturn (1998) Even with a library of unique, delightful exclusives, the Saturn was never able to recover from its slow start against the PlayStation. There were a few games which turned up at the tail end of the Saturn’s life, though, that showed us that we had possibly been neglecting an amazing machine. Team Andromeda’s Panzer Dragoon Saga was a shimmering example of what Sega’s beleaguered 32‐bit system was capable of. Technically Panzer Dragoon Saga pushed the console close to its limits. It was shorter than the core RPG franchise releases tended to be at the time, but it was just as compelling as the best of the genre. The depth of the dragon‐based combat, the scope of the landscape to explore and the intricate tale woven throughout made this Saturn last gasp an unmissable RPG even today. 11. Shenmue – Sega Dreamcast (1999)
  12. The Sega Dreamcast was a passionate love affair, but a painfully brief one. Of the 64‐bit children that were born out of this tumultuous relationship, Shenmue was the console’s proudest creation. Sega AM2, with the legendary Yu Suzuki at the helm, carved the path that would shape open‐world sandbox action gaming from then on. It’s hard to imagine a GTA V without Shenmue as an ancestor. The vast areas to explore were packed with voiced NPCs with their own day‐to‐day schedules, some integral to the narrative, others just to add light and shade to the gaming landscape. It was a persistent world unlike anything we had seen before, and while it didn’t come close to recouping its colossal development costs, Shenmue set the bar for immersive free‐roaming gameplay. 10. Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec – Sony PlayStation 2 (2001) Before we had Turn 10 and their brilliant Forza series to challenge Polyphony Digital, Sony’s in‐
  13. house dev team had the hardcore console racing market all to themselves. Over the years the Gran Turismo has become somewhat overbearing in its quest for clinical precision – incredible, yes, but possibly in need of a touch of fun. Gran Turismo 3: A‐Spec, though, was the pinnacle of the franchise, an unbelievable achievement in game design. Late nights spent shaving milliseconds off your best times became a thrilling addiction, while endurance races would easily eat any free time you had available. Slicing through the perfectly banked corners and bulleting down the straights, there was little to match the feeling. 9. Metroid Prime – Nintendo GameCube (2002) If you think the troubles Nintendo has been facing with certain publishers pulling away from the Wii U is a new thing, you’re very much mistaken. These guys are used to it by now – back in the GameCube days, big boys like EA were just as wary. But as we know, Nintendo doesn’t rely on third‐party goodness to make or break a console, and with their incredible library of in‐house titles it’s easy to see why. Mario is always the flag bearer for the brand, but for more mature audiences it has been Metroid which has earned the most critical praise. Metroid Prime was a vast departure for the series in that it took us into the third dimension for the first time, throwing Samus into a first person shooter perspective. A gamble, possibly, but at a time where side‐scrolling platformers were old news it was time for something new. The result was one of the most highly rated games of all time, on any platform. As dark and brooding as any Metroid which came before it, Samus in FPS‐guise was an engrossing shooter that demanded even more of the player than before. 8. Halo 2 – Microsoft Xbox (2004)
  14. The idea of corporate megacorporation Microsoft diving into console gaming was met with all kinds of disdain, distrust and general skepticism. How could the suits at Redmond have any clue about the intricacies of this very specialized industry? Our fears weren’t entirely misguided – the original Xbox fought an uphill battle to gain market share, console sales paling in comparison to that of the PlayStation 2. But, sales disappointments aside, one thing that we will never forget about the Xbox was that it gave us Halo and it’s sublime sequel. Microsoft’s console needed something special to drag it out of the jaws of obscurity, and the adventures of Master Chief played that part perfectly. The franchise debut introduced a lot of what has since become standard operating procedure for console shooters, and then Halo 2 sharpened and refined all of that. Arguably the most important instance of real online multiplayer FPS action on consoles at the time, Halo 2 solidified the franchise’s reputation as one of the most feverishly defended and attacked console exclusives ever made. 7. God Of War 2 – Sony PlayStation 2 (2007)
  15. Relentless combo‐based brutality. That’s what it was all about. And we devoured it, just like we did its predecessor and its follow‐ups years later. The original God Of War may have scored higher in certain areas of the press, but put them next to one another and it’s obvious that the sequel is the more impressive title. Thunderously aggressive in that most wonderfully overwhelming way, God Of War 2′s violence was elegantly balanced with its cheesy but intriguing narrative to keep pushing you onward. SCE Santa Monica had taken the two years since the original to really get to grips with Sony’s hardware and were squeezing incredible things out of it by 2007 – God Of War 2 is undoubtedly one of the most astounding pieces of full‐on hardcore action gaming to come out of the sixth console generation. 6. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Sony PlayStation 3 (2009)
  16. Like Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes back and The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, 2009′s Uncharted 2: Among Thieves also contained a colon in its title. But that’s not all they have in common – all three have the enviable pleasure of being the middle child in their respective trilogies. What difference does that make? Well, as the bridging episode, these Part 2 releases don’t have to worry about setting the scene or tying up any loose ends. Uncharted 2 gets stuck in right away, dishing up Indiana Jones‐esque set pieces one after the other, and doesn’t let up until the credits role. There are barely any weak spots here: the combat is tight and slick, the exploration elements are intriguing and the story is delicious in that most corny Hollywood adventure style. Uncharted 3 may have improved on certain aspects of the gameplay, but it was Among Thieves which enchanted us most from start to finish. 5. Super Mario Galaxy 2 – Nintendo Wii (2010) Once again, Nintendo churns out yet another impossibly brilliant game and keeps it to themselves. How selfish! Mario had been doing this for about twenty five years when Super Mario Galaxy 2 arrived. That’s longer than many of you have been alive. Yet we’re still enraptured by each new princess‐rescuing hop‐along adventure with his moustached face on the box. This nigh‐perfect 2010 platform romp was drenched in classic Nintendo charm and polished to a radiant shine, a masterclass in game design that few could live up to. Challenging right up to the point of frustration but never overstepping that line, every bit of Super Mario Galaxy 2 was handled with love and extreme devotion. Gameplay was razor‐sharp, often taxing but always a joy to experience, and as an audiovisual spectacle this was a feast too, even on the substandard Wii hardware. No other console mascot has been so prolific since inception, and it doesn’t look like we’re likely to see the end of Mario anytime soon. Perhaps, though, it’s time for Nintendo to consider licensing some of its stunning first‐party brands and popping the plumber on competing hardware – Wii U sales haven’t been breaking any records, but imagine the impact that a new Mario game could have on the PS4 or Xbox One? Nintendo could stand to make some serious cash.
  17. 4. Halo: Reach – Microsoft Xbox 360 (2010) Even the most weary, grizzled anti‐Xbox activist would have a hard time finding serious fault with Halo: Reach – it really is just that close to being the perfect shooter. As a way for Bungie to say goodbye to the franchise it created, this 2010 swansong was more than we could ever have hoped for. Even without Master Chief. The setting was part of the genius. Going back for an origin story, Reach strung together a far more coherent narrative than we were accustomed to from the Halo franchise, loading each event with reverse nostalgia as we see how the past and future meet. Single player aside, the riveting, lightning quick multiplayer kept gamers plugging in long after the campaign had run its course. A properly epic shooter with a sense of grandeur that eclipsed almost any other FPS at the time, as a technical achievement Halo: Reach was the ultimate closing scene from Bungie, and the perfect springboard for 343 Studios to build on. 3. Gears Of War 3 – Microsoft Xbox 360 (2011)
  18. Few developers had a handle on the architecture of the Xbox 360 hardware quite like Epic Games. They showed off the power of Microsoft’s hugely popular console in its early days with the first Gears Of War, and then again showed us just how far we had come five years later, ending the trilogy with Gears Of War 3. Heavy‐handed blockbuster action hanging off a framework of surprisingly poignant storytelling, the final chapter in Marcus Fenix’s narrative was explosive and yet also sensitive and heartfelt. Well, sensitive and heartfelt in a very testosterone‐fueled macho kind of way. This was the ultimate bromance. This finale was genuinely satisfying for those who had been following the war against the Locust Horde and the Lambent for years, and for gamers who didn’t bother too much with the intricacies of subtle plot development, the multiplayer component here was even more aggressive and finely tuned than it had been before. New gameplay modes, more streamlined controls, better weapons and hugely improved graphics, all added to what was already considered the epitome of cover‐based shooters? Yes please. 2. The Last Of Us – Sony PlayStation 3 (2013)
  19. If you’ve been following the last console generation you would have heard a general consensus for the bigger picture: Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was easier to develop for, while the PlayStation 3 had developers jumping through hoops and over hurdles to get the best out of Sony’s hardware. The result was that the first few years of the generation saw many multi‐platform releases coming out on top on the Xbox 360, even if just by the smallest margin. But time and perseverance undoes the most stubborn of knots, and by the time the next generation was ready to roll out, developers had unlocked the secrets of the PS3 and unleashed far more of its potential. The Last Of Us is a prime example of this new level of understanding of Sony’s hardware. An unbelievable achievement both technically and in terms of narrative, most would agree that Naughty Dog’s latest is pushing the 7th generation hardware to its limits. Gritty and dirty as the setting may be, the visuals still leave one spellbound – even more impressive when compared to what we’re seeing on the 8th gen consoles so far. But it is the emotional depth of The Last Of Us which leaves a bite mark on the soul, beyond the amazing technical achievement… a masterstroke of character development in interactive entertainment, and a standout game of our generation. 1. Titanfall… And The Future Of The 8th Generation
  20. The new generation hasn’t been around long enough to pick out too many unmissable instant classics, but Respawn Entertainment deserves special mention for building up an immense wave of hype for Titanfall and then delivering on those promises too. It’s not the only exclusive title picking up heat right now – both the PS4 and the Xbox One have their share of fanboy‐baiting exclusives well worth playing. But while both machines are spitting up one‐off exclusives that come across as tech demos to show off what the hardware can do, Titanfall really feels like the beginning of something big. Yes, its available on the Xbox 360 and the PC too, but the Xbox One is where its focus lies. Maybe its the Call Of Duty connection, since Respawn rose from the ashes of Infinity Ward, that gives us the impression that Titanfall could become a generation‐spanning, genre defining franchise over the years… We all know that right now the PS4 is running away with things and the Xbox One needs something special in a hurry. Perhaps this is it. But there are many more promising titles in the pipeline for both consoles, games which could totally shift the course of this new generation. Some will be revivals of existing franchises – games like Uncharted 4, a new Gran Turismo, Halo, the big names that sell consoles – and some will be all new ideas… games like Quantum Break on the Xbox One, or PS4′s The Order 1886, the titles which will separate these two consoles and the fans who buy them. It’s been said that this console race is a marathon, not a sprint, so we’ll just have to sit back and watch as the big boys battle it out for your cash. PC Game CD Keys:  EA Games CD Key http://www.gamebasin.com/publisher/ea.html  RPG Games CD Key http://www.gamebasin.com/pc‐games/rpg‐game.html  ACT Games CD Key http://www.gamebasin.com/pc‐games/act‐game.html  FPS Games CD Key http://www.gamebasin.com/pc‐games/fps‐game.html  Adventure Games CD Key http://www.gamebasin.com/pc‐games/avg‐game.html  Racing Games CD Key http://www.gamebasin.com/pc‐games/rac‐game.html  Sport Games CD Key http://www.gamebasin.com/pc‐games/spt‐game.html  FTG Games CD Key http://www.gamebasin.com/pc‐games/ftg‐game.html  RTS Games CD Key http://www.gamebasin.com/pc‐games/rts‐game.html
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