Friday, February 06, 2009

Ice gaming moments

I’ve never seen so much snow in Peterborough. We don’t usually get much round these parts, but we’ve been covered with at least six inches of the stuff since yesterday morning. It took me nearly two hours to travel about three miles. I was skidding up the main road into the city centre, with a sick child in the back, and a missus who had to get to London for vital meetings. It didn’t end there.
Where I live there are two roads leading into the estate, both uphill. I’m sure the council gritted them, but could I get up them? No. And thanks to two OAP drivers, I was waiting patiently at the bottom of the hill while the traffic cleared at the top, only for them to overtake me. Old drivers are a disgrace. So I abandoned the motor and walked a mile-and-a-half with my poorly son. He had no mittens either so his hands were like ice. Sorry, son.
So the weather got me thinking last night about what my latest post would be. I thought about my favourite cakes (after my good lady treated me to a cupcake from an Italian deli in London), favourite American football moments (as I’m still getting through the Superbowl, and no it isn’t this) or my five favourite snowy moments in gaming. Here’s the list:

5. John Madden
I couldn’t find any movies of the snow-covered pitch, but getting an icy stadium meant that with a quick running-back you’d be eating up the yards. Throw in a spin or two and those first downs would be seen more than selecting a fake punt at fourth down (we all did it, didn’t we?) or a Hail Mary in Madden 92.

4. Banjo-Kazooie
Okay, so Snow Mountain in Super Mario 64 had the better music, but the toboggan race with Boggy in B-K’s Freezeezy Peak was mint! And who remember’s the hidden gift in the cave – Rare’s Stop ‘N’ Swop idea?

3. 1080° Snowboarding
I never did get a 1080°, but this was the finest snowboarding title of the 64-bit era. Snowboard Kids was limited fun, but you could never rock down the slopes as a panda, could you.

2. Diddy Kong Racing
Everfrost Peak, Snowflake Mountain and more were quality, though not as memorable as my No.1 choice. But the use of a speedboat on the slopes made for some white-knuckle rides without the thought of any broken bones, AND you got to race a walrus!

1. Super Mario Kart
I remember hating the Vanilla Lake tracks. My mum told my bro and me off for yelling at the TV because we kept screwing up these levels, with their well-placed ice blocks, or when you got bumped into the frozen water of the lake. As Thegamerwalkthroughs put it on his YouTube page: ‘Fucking red turtle shells’. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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