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Sweaty Hands

What's your most intense gaming moment ever?

By James Stevenson     April 25, 2003

The group of people I live with, work with, and go to class with are pretty damn cool. Recently, on our online messageboard, someone posted a thread about the most intense videogame moments ever. It was taken from a poll at a website and the list of games included such favorites as SYSTEM SHOCK 2, DOOM, HALF-LIFE, X-COM: UFO DEFENSE and RESIDENT EVIL. As I read this, I got to thinking, what are some of the most intense videogame moments of all-time?

Most recently I remember some great 16-player games of HALO. We were playing Capture the Flag in Blood Gulch over the building's network system (and on the 110-inch class room screens). I remember a few times grabbing the flag that would be the game winning-score and the all-out gunfight that happens near midfield as the two teams try to take control of the flag. My clammy sweaty hands gripped the controller as we try to pull it all off.

Another recent experience of mine was playing none other than MARIO KART 64. I was over at a girl's house when she decided she wanted to school me with her N64 and mad KART 64 skills. I was pretty relaxed about the whole thing, and we took the first race to Wario's course. I decided to play nice and not jump the wall at the start in order to make it "fair". To my utter dismay, she jumped the wall. The next few races were incredibly intense with at least three races decided by hundredths of a second (twice with one player spinning uncontrollable from a late weapon hit). She ended up winning 6-4, but it was still some of the best MARIO KART action I had experienced in quite some time.

Other particularly intense moments: Fighting any old-school boss with one life, and no continues left, particularly if this was the final boss. I remember many a game of JACKAL where I would get the final boss down to the point where he/she/it was flashing and I then lost my last life. I don't know how many NES controllers I destroyed with situations like this. I also remember many times like this in CONTRA. Another favorite moment was when we would finally wrap up a season of TECMO SUPER BOWL with two of the human players in the Super Bowl, that game would result in bragging rights for weeks while we played through another season.

I still think one of the most intense, underrated games ever was DEFCON 5. Not many people played it, but you were alone on a giant empty space station. It played from a first person perspective and you could find stuff to activate the different defenses and weapons and such. The problem is that the aliens are much faster and stronger. You had to survive for 24 hours before Evac arrived. The best part was it was dark and moody and you could hear the enemies coming for you by this shrieking sound... playing in the dark resulted in a sure pants-wetting experience.

What are your most intense gaming moments? E-mail at james@cinescape.com with them, and we'll include some in next week's Gamer's Thumb.


HALF-LIFE 2 will release in September... Nintendo will publish FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES and FINAL FANTASY TACTICS ADVANCE all during 2003...

Resident Evil for GameCube, how is this not intense?

The Simpson family will appear in a new mission-based driving game... Universal will produce a game based on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA... Square Enix is working on a massively online multiplayer bike gang RPG.... SONIC ADVENTURE DX will have 12 or more Game Gear games hidden throughout the title... STEEL BATTALLION ONLINE is headed for Japan... Nintendo has announced MARIO KART: DOUBLE DASH for the GameCube, the game will support 8-player LAN network play... SSX 3 has been announced by EA Big... SPLINTER CELL: SHADOW STRIKE may be the name of a sequel to SPLINTER CELL...


It's tough week again for


gamers. NBA STREET VOL. 2 will be great for fans of the series, but others might not bite. Otherwise RTX RED ROCK hits from LucasArts, and might be worth at least giving a try.

Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at feedback@cinescape.com.


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