Video Games That Ruled My Youth: The 16-Bit Years
Everyone has a few video games in their life that sucked away hours of their youth. Some games I couldn’t help but stay glued to the TV playing over, and over, and over again–even when I could move on to another game. Last time I listed the NES games that took control, now it’s time time for the 16-bit games that did the same. This one is slightly shorter since this era didn’t last very long for me overall, but there were a few games that maintained a firm grip of gaming goodness.
Super Mario World – Super NES, 1991
The crème de la crème of Super Mario games, in my opinion. This was the first game I was addicted to on the SNES. There was so much content in this game, so many secrets, and it introduced Special Worlds to the Super Mario series. You know what’s amazing? This game totally holds up to this very day.
Streets of Rage 2 – Sega Genesis, 1992
This was the go to beat ’em up for the Genesis in my day, and it still is. There were plenty of games that I played on the Genesis, but this one was played through more times than I can count. With four playable characters, and challenging myself to defeat the game without dying, replaying this game was fun. And it has one of the most awesome soundtracks in retro gaming. When it was released on Xbox Live Arcade I had to have it and enjoyed unlocking the achievements. When the Streets of Rage collection was released I played it yet again. There’s something special about a game that transcends past your childhood memories and still worth playing.
Mega Man X – Super NES, 1994
One of my favorite games of all time has to be Mega Man X. The main reason this game was a time suck was the collectible upgrades for X. The one that takes the cake is the Hadouken upgrade in Armored Armadillo’s stage. You had to play the stage nine times with X fully upgraded, including full backup tanks and 9 lives, plus keep your health at max, to get the Hadouken. I spent so much time with this game I could get 100% in one sitting, including the Hadouken. A love born from a game I borrowed from a classmate.
Mega Man X2 – Super NES, 1995
I loved the first one so much, why not go nuts with the second entry in the series? There is something about these early Mega Man X games that I love, and it’s because they are so well designed. Unfortunately, I remember spending way too much time collecting the Heart Tank in Crystal Snail’s stage and the Shoryuken in the third X-Hunter level near the end of the game. The time I spent perfecting the precision for those upgrades astounds me. But I would do it all over again.
I unfortunately cut my time short with the 16-bit consoles because the PlayStation came into my life. I traded in all my games for SNES and Genesis to have more to play on the PlayStation. Naturally that means the third part of my collection taking advantage of my fleeting youth will be the seductive PlayStation games sucked up my time and made me cut class during my teenage years.