games / Columns

The 8 Ball: Top 8 Animal Games – Sonic the Hedgehog, Crash Bandicoot, More

November 20, 2018 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Crash Bandicoot

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about video games staring animals. Some of these games try to emulate the behavior/world of an animal or else just have an animal mascot. Let’s begin:

#8: Goat Simulator/Octodad

I’m putting both games in one slot (and fairly low on this list) because they have similar chaotic natures. Octodad is a stealth game about an octopus pretending to be a suburban dad alongside some complex controls and a fairly erratic physics engine. Goat Simulator is like that only without the pretense of the suburban dad storyline and, if anything, a more bonkers physics engine. Both games are played off as jokes, and they are to a major degree, but can be enjoyed for some dumb fun.

#7: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

Most of the Crash games are good but I think 2 might be my favorite. Probably the biggest reason is because of Clancy Brown as Dr. Neo Cortex. Mr. Brown has a superb voice and having him play the evil scientist was a delight. Sadly, the N-Sane Trilogy didn’t get him back, which is why that game is worthless to me. Crash 2 also had a little more level setting variety than Crash 1 and had a better hub-world system. Honestly, Crash 1-3 are similar to one another but Crash 2 is the one I spent the most time with.

#6: Gex: Enter the Gecko

The first Gex was a 2D platformer that had very scant references to pop-culture, aside from a few quips by Dana Gould. Enter the Gecko went into the third dimension alongside some theme levels. There was the Toon channel, the Martial Arts channel, a Horror channel, etc. Most channels had at least two levels in them and were fairly large. The game also had an over-world you could explore and possibly find some secrets along the way. Enter the Gecko was structured very similarly to Mario 64 just with a lot less draw distance.

#5: Sonic the Hedgehog/Sonic Generations

Whenever I talk about Sonic I almost always end up talking about Sonic 3/Knux and that can get boring after a while. Instead, I’ll talk about Sonic Generations. Generations is one third to one half of an amazing game. Seriously, the first three levels where they remade classic Sonic 1-3 levels is great and had they done more of that, it would be a stellar package. They even do a City Escape level from Sonic Adventure 2 that isn’t bad. At a certain point though, the game gets really bogged down, specifically in the Seaside Hill and Planet Wisp stages. They take FOREVER, especially if you are Modern Sonic. I think it took me 20 minutes to make it through the stage as Modern Sonic because of how protracted it was. Generations also has a lot of really pointless busy work where you play as alternate characters in one-off stages or something else that is usually never fun. In the pantheon of 3D Sonic games though, Generations is probably still the best.

#4: Okami

You can literally pee and poop on enemies in the game to get a special currency! Okami rules. Okami is always going to be one of my favorite games, it is very long and involved but almost infinitely rewarding. The art style, music, amount of characters you meet, the lore and just the general gameplay is all great. I’ve bought Okami for multiple systems and will likely to continue to do so when they re-release it in the future. The only real reason it’s slightly low on this list is there is a section where you play as Issun and last time I checked, he wasn’t an animal just a bug-sized man.

#3: Toyko Jungle

God, how great would a HD remake or even sequel to Tokyo Jungle be? Tokyo Jungle has you playing as herbivore or carnivorous animals amidst an abandoned city that has been ruined. The herbivores have to eat grass and avoid predators while the carnivores have to eat the herbivores, or lower carnivores, spread their territory and the like. Both types of animals have to also mate which can extend the life of your animal by quite a bit. There’s also a whole story about why humanity is gone and how they fouled up the planet, but really, just playing Tokyo Jungle with the dozens of different animal species in it, is really fun.

#2: Deadly Creatures

This game was pretty forgotten about, even when it came out, which is kind of a shame. The two main animals are a scorpion and a tarantula as they navigate desert environments and try to survive against other dangerous animals. The framing device of the game though involves two guys, voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper as they are involved in a quest to find some lost Civil War gold. The perspective of the game is great, it feels very small and claustrophobic which is probably what a lot of these environments really are. If they were ever going to do a serious Ant-Man game, they should Rainbow Studios to develop it as Deadly Creatures has shown they can make some great looking small worlds.

#1: Mister Mosquito

That upcoming game Bee Simulator has clearly taken its influence from Mister Mosquito and that is great. While you don’t play as a strict animal in Mister Mosquito, it’s close enough. As the robotic mosquito, you have to suck the blood from the Yamada family as they go about their daily lives. You have to land on them, suck the blood but be careful not to suck too much too quickly or you’ll draw attention to yourself and they will begin to hunt you. You can also distract them by turning off light switches or occasionally other objects with a dash move you have. The game can get a tad pervy, especially with the daughter, but it’s one of the weirdest and most interesting PS2 games ever made.

For comments, list your favorite voice casts in video games and why.

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Top 8 Needed Switch Ports

article topics :

The 8 Ball (Games), Marc Morrison