Ever since I was a young gamer playing games like Ninja Gaiden, Roller Blades and Double Dragon on my Nintendo, I’ve always wanted to have that cinematic experience during game time. The game developers did what they could with what they had and I was surely happy for it. The first time I heard a voice over in a video game was Super Metriod for the SNES. When I say voice over, I mean more than a sentence is spoken with a clear voice. I was amazed and floored that this was coming from my game console. Of course with each new generation of consoles, cutscenes got far more elaborate and cinematic. Over the coarse of my gaming, I’ve seen some game cinematics that left a lasting impression on me and I felt the need to share my top 5 favorite cinematics.
5. Onimusha 3 – Opening Cinematic
I remember when I bought the first Onimusha, I played it for about 5 minutes then I let it collect dust for quite a while. The next thing I knew is that I blinked and they were two sequels on the game store shelves. It got me interested in the game again so I decided to throw it back in and burn it out quickly. I had such a great experience that I decided to purchase the other two games right away. I quickly finished part two and when I got to part three and saw that opening cinematic, that was it for me. My mood was on such a high throughout that entire game because of the amazing ninja skills I bore witness to. The fact that the model of the character was based on an actual movie star also helped me to be immersed in the cinematics that much more. What was also great is that I got to witness all the special moves that could be done during gameplay in a cinematic context. The fight choreography was the very definition of immaculate. Watching Samanusuke take on two demons with a sword and broken spear was one of the highlights of that scene. If only this trilogy were actually films.
4. Metal Gear Solid 4 – Raiden vs Vamp
Raiden is one of the most polarizing character not only in the MGS series, but in gaming period. Metal Gear fans were not happy when the bulk of Metal Gear Solid 2 had you in control of Raiden instead of Snake. At the time, Raiden was a rookie straight out of VR training who also had a whiny attitude to boot. Series creator Hideo Kojima however remained steadfast in his love and support of the character despite negative fan feedback. Kojima decided he would give Raiden one more chance win over fans by turning him into a badass cybernetic ninja. Hey, if fans aren’t connecting with a characters, make them ninjas is always my philosophy in life. Needless to say, fans were very impressed with this new makeover. The scene that exemplifies just how awesome Raiden is, is the Raiden vs Vamp scene. First of all, Raiden manages to dispatch a few Gekkos while battling Vamp. The skills on display with the two combatants are some of the best I’ve seen both in video games and in film. By the end of the fight Raiden went down as one of the best Metal Gear characters created.
3. Final Fantasy XIII – Bringing out all Summons
One of the staples in all the Final Fantasy games have been the characters ability to summon creatures during battle. In some games they would come out just to deliver a devastating blow and then disappear, while in others they would come and stay for the duration of the fight or until they were defeated. In different FF games they are called different names. In 13 they were called Eidolons, and all playable character each had one in which they gained over the course of the game. After all Eidolons were received, there was a cutscene that occurred a little bit later that saw all our leads in a battle utilizing their Eidolons. What made the scene so amazing other than the awesome eye popping special effects and fight sequences, was the fact that it was one of the very few times in a Final Fantasy game that you got to see what a scene would look like with the characters using their summons in a cinematic setting. The scene was so fast and intense, it took me a few views to completely grasp every move that was made and every stunning takedown our main characters accomplished. The highlight of that scene is Lightning and Odin doing some massive tag teaming damage to the enemies. This is easily one of my favorite cutscene in all of the FF games I’ve ever played.
2. Ninja Gaiden – Opening Cinematic
For all the gamers who honed their gaming skills on the difficult and often frustrating Ninja Gaiden series, they will remember the amazing opening of the first game. For an 8 bit game, you were able to get the setup, emotions and tone, all from the opening. It was my very first cinematic experience in a video game and one that still lingers to this day. We saw two ninjas clash steel mid air thinking that no one was hurt only to see one ninja fall to his death. When we find out that the fallen ninja is the father of our main character Ryu, we were not only shocked, but we were ready to exact some vengeance on behalf of Ryu. The music during that scene is still one of the best in video games to this day.
1. Star Wars: The Old Republic – Opening Cinematic
Star Wars: The Old Republic or SWTOR as fans would come to call it, was the highly anticipated Massively Mutliplayer Online Role Playing Game in the Star Wars universe that some say was destined to dethrone World Of Warcraft as the king of all MMOs. To get everyone amped for the release, Bioware released a series of Computer Generated cutscenes that gave the idea of the setting and character classes that would be featured in the game. The last one they released happened to be the opening cutscene of the game that sold me in planting down a monthly fee for some Jedi action. This scene just made me more eager for a Star Wars film not directed by George Lucas. We got to see a real fight between powerful Jedi Knights and Sith Lords like we’ve never scene before in any of the films. Not to mention the always incredible Duel Of The Fates and Battle Of The Heroes theme music in the background. The scene is all the more epic for it.
So guys, what do you think of my faves? Got any of your own? Sound off below.
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