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Friday, February 5, 2016

Outstanding Openers Vol. 2

Not every game immediately thrusts you into the gameplay. While its common place to have some kind of introduction scene in games these days, even before the HD era, we had games that took a bit of time to provide some plot before placing you in control. Outstanding Openers centers around intros that managed to grab my attention, make my jaw drop or say, "Wow, that was neat." Just click on the title of the game to see the opening unfold.

Rage Racer (PS)

Bet you weren't expecting to see an opener from a racing game on here, were ya? Oh you were? Oh, well, never mind then. Ahem, released in 1997 on the PlayStation, Rage Racer was a radically departure from the first two Ridge Racer games. Your performance on the track determined how much cash you were awarded to buy new cars and upgrade them with more horse power. Rage Racer sports a slick FMV opening cinematic, showing off some of the game's tracks, cars, music numbers and even some of the announcers praise and snarky commentary.

Bomberman 64 (N64)

The opening demo gives you a glimpse of the worlds you'll be traveling through in Bomberman 64 as well as the adversaries you'll be facing. The actual opening shows that Altair and his crew, the bad guys of this game, don't screw around. Their first order of business when they invade Bomberman's world is blowing stuff up. Laser beams blast the planet as Bombermen scurry away for their lives, with a few of them being unsuccessful in their attempts to escape. White Bomberman arrives to see his world under siege and after some words from Sirius, he charges into battle. Gotta love it when cute games turn real dark, real quick.

Mega Man 4 (NES)

You'd think the origin story of the main character would be divulged in the first game. OK, well it was in the instruction manual, but, let's be real here, who actually didn't lose those? Kind-hearted, house hold robot Rock volunteers to stop Dr. Wily's mad ambitions, becoming the super fighting robot, Mega Man. As Mega Man prepares for his fourth adventure, we see one of the most badawesome train rides in the history of video games.

Sonic Unleashed (Multi)

This game opens with a bang. We see Sonic, single-handed taking on a swarm of Eggman's robots, and even taking on big cheese himself, outrunning machine gun fire and missiles. Just when Eggman gets a grip on our blue hero, Sonic goes super, breaking free and making short work of Eggman's latest toy in Super Sonic glory. Eggman flees and Sonic gives chase. Just as he has egghead cornered, the man with the 300 IQ springs his trap. Turns out this was all part of Eggman's plans to use the energy from the Chaos Emeralds to tear the planet apart and free Dark Gaia. As a side effect, this also turns Sonic into a Werehog at night that fans continue to bemoan to this very day. Still, a great opener!

Final Fantasy VIII (PS, PC)

How does one describe the intro to Final Fantasy VIII? In a word, whoa! In more words, a promise is made that won't become clear until you've advanced considerably further into the game and we see Squall and Seifer clash swords. Its only training but from the way these two are going about it, you can tell this is no mere sparing match. We get to see just how Squall got his scar and he promptly returns the favor to Seifer.

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