Staff Picks: National Video Games Day – Born to play

By Bob Doda, NEWS 12 DIGITAL

Being born in 1982 certified a few things in my life.

One of which was the never-ending debate of what generation I belong to. (Gen X, Y, Millennial?)

The other was an interminable love affair with video games – too late for the arcade scene, but just in time for the console wars.

I was 7 years old when my brother and I got entrepreneurial in an effort to buy our first Nintendo Entertainment System. Our lemonade and popcorn stand on Dartmouth Drive in Smithtown was a surefire way to raise the funds we needed. And after one full day of sales, a miracle happened. Our parents bought us an NES (with the help of our $7.50).

Thus, triggered a lifetime of shooting bananas from go-karts, not understanding the plot of Metal Gear Solid 2 and failing to beat Dracula in the original Castlevania after almost 30 years of trying.

Today, there are people making a living off live streaming their gaming experience on the internet – a thought that would have made my head explode in 1988.

In July, News 12 was there when a teen from Pennsylvania won $3 million (!!!!!) playing in the first ever Fortnite World Cup at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens. Some 40 million players from around the world competed for a chance to play in the finals, which was narrowed down to 100 contestants from 30 countries.

Who knows what will become of this industry in the next 20 years. Maybe gaming will take over the Super Bowl someday.

But until then, and in the spirit of National Video Games Day (9/12), here’s a list of my top 5 favorite games of all time: 

5. RBI Baseball (1987, NES) – Of all the baseball sims on the NES, I find this one to be the fairest, the most pick up and play-able, and the most entertaining. Here’s what the 1986 New York Mets Game 6 comeback would have looked like if it were 8-bit.


4. Double Dragon 2: The Revenge (NES, 1988)
– This is beat-em-up bliss – mixed with a terrific soundtrack and storyline to boot. There’s nothing like the feeling of executing a perfect knee strike or spinning cyclone kick. I’m a dweeb. 


3. WWF No Mercy (N64, 2000)
– I say this without blinking: My crew from Smithtown, Long Island can beat your crew from Anywhere, Earth at No Mercy. This is my opinion, but it can be taken as 100% fact. This is the purest of cooperative gaming competition and provided hours of entertainment to me over the years, not to mention the epic intro:


2. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Series
– It comes down to the handles on this one. You are in complete control of your pro or custom skater for 2 minutes at a time, so make the most it. The game introduced me to Rodney Mullen, who is a real person pulling off video game tricks, in real life. Observe:


1. Metal Gear Solid (PS, 1998)
– It’s as immersive as it gets when it comes to story and stakes. Just make sure you have a few hours scheduled. Play with stealth or be an assassin – the choice is yours. It was one of the first instances of a game director (Hideo Kojima) actively messing with the gamer, and he has been doing it ever since.


Honorable mentions:

Mario Kart 64
Metroid
Pitfall 2
Donkey Kong (Arcade)
Ms. Pac-Man (Arcade)
God of War series
Mortal Kombat Trilogy
NHL '94
Contra/Super C

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."