Microsoft’s Kinect has been out for about a week now, and it appears as though Dance Central is the launch game to get. With every launch (at least the good ones), there’s usually at least one killer app that early adopters flock to or raise in high regard.
The launch of Kinect got me thinking about previous console launches and the games that came out alongside them, which ultimately lead me to the question, “What is your favourite launch title of all-time?”
I’m going to answer this question with a caveat I will apply to myself that you don’t necessarily have to adhere to: the launch game has to be for a system I bought within the launch time-frame (let’s say that window is about a month). Games that coincide with a launch usually don’t have the same weight to them when you’re playing them years after the fact.
That narrows the choices down considerably for me. The only systems I’ve owned at launch were the Nintendo 64, the Gamecube, the Wii and the Gameboy Advance. The Gamecube and Gameboy Advance had generally weak launch line-ups. The Wii had Wii Sports, which will go down in history as one of the most important games of all-time, but that’s not my choice either.
By the process of elimination, that only leaves the Nintendo 64. That launch was one of the most barren of any system launch, since consumers only had one of two choices as far as launch titles went. However, it doesn’t hurt when one of those launch titles was Pilotwings 64, and the other one just so happens to be this:
I actually had the pleasure of playing this game before it came out. I was at a a major amusement park in my area and they had the Japanese version of Super Mario 64 months before it was scheduled to be released here. That moment of seeing and playing Mario with 3D graphics was absolutely mind-blowing. On top of how amazing it looked, it played like magic.
For months, I anxiously awaited the arrival of Super Mario 64. My excitement level was so high, I didn’t even want to play my Super Nintendo anymore. My one Super Mario 64 experience had made my entire catalogue of Super Nintendo content obsolete in my eyes.
When I finally got it, those first few weeks with Super Mario 64 were some of the best weeks of gaming in my life. That game is still amazing and revolutionary. If for some crazy reason you have yet to play this game, pick it up on the Wii Virtual Console now.
As for the rest of the Nintendo 64 launch lineup (or lack thereof for like, six months), that left a lot to be desired.
Now that I’ve shared mine, feel free to share yours. What is your favourite launch title of all-time?