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An incomplete history of time-travel games

Clive Barker’s Jericho (2007)




Because Clive Barker’s Jericho is a modern FPS, the ability to manipulate the flow of time and slow down enemies is pretty much de rigueur. Beyond this, though, the game’s story concerns an ancient evil who lives outside of time and space and attempts repeatedly to break into our own reality, requiring the protagonists to leap through time seeing it off. That Clive Barker, always with the damnation and unspeakable evil.

Did it do your head in? It was more concerned with doing the contents of your belly out.

Were there cowboys in it? One of the main characters is an American Indian shaman. While this would once have marked him as the antithesis of a cowboy, nowadays they’re pretty much two sides of the same coin. Post-racial!

 

Time Travel Satisfaction Rating:
 


Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time (2008)



This spinoff saw fit to include no end of time-freezing, fourth-dimensional sight, temporal collapse and other such high-falutin’ notions. This doesn’t actually manifest itself in as clever a fashion as manipulating time in Pokemon Diamond by changing the clock on your DS, but at least this one explained it in the manual.

Did it do your head in? If your main character is an existential anomaly who gradually fades out of his own timeline, and the only way you can resolve this is to break every rule of space-time in a massive deus ex machina just to avert a weepy ending, Your Game Might Be Complicated.

Were there cowboys in it? As the Pokemon world encompasses plenty of cowboy types anyway, there was no need to use time travel just to bring in more of them. Good call.

 

Time Travel Satisfaction Rating:
 


Braid (2008)



The reigning champion of headjob videogame adventures, Braid plays tighter and more challenging with time-travel than anything that’s come before. In fact, some might even say it’s too much of a total mental pooch-screw. Not us, though. We got through all the levels the first time, comprehended the game’s thematic subtext right off, and were all like, “okay, so is Braid 2 going to be intellectually challenging or anything?”

Did it do your head in? Of course it did. Your head? Didn’t stand a snowball’s! Oh, we were fine, though, thanks for asking.

Were there cowboys in it? Just look at the level names: Time and Forgiveness, Hesitance, Unnamed World 1 (the final world). The further you get through Braid, the less you come to expect a shootout in a honky-tonk cathouse.

 

Time Travel Satisfaction Rating:
 

Oct 21, 2009


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27 comments

  • bonerachieved - October 27, 2009 8:39 p.m.

    YESSSS BRAIDS BACK IN THE GAME!!!!
  • barrage7667 - October 25, 2009 9:37 p.m.

    what? no timeshift?!?!?!? i mean the entire game you are time traveling even while playing!! COME ON!!!
  • UnrealCanine - October 23, 2009 11:49 a.m.

    Why didn't you include the flash game Back to the Cubeture?
  • tgboy - October 23, 2009 6:48 a.m.

    Legacy of Kain series?
  • TriLun0r - October 22, 2009 11:44 p.m.

    lol no timeshift? good. that game sucked. saaadfaaace
  • Spybreak8 - October 22, 2009 11:19 p.m.

    Turtles time traveling in the comic books are really bad ass, that is all lol.
  • V13Dragongal - October 22, 2009 8:53 p.m.

    In sonic CD it gets hard to keep track of WHEN you are. Example, you go to the past twice, the future once, then the past 3 times, then future 5 times, past 2, then go to bed, wake up, forget everything that happened yesterday and do it all again. It dosent help that if you go forward or back far enough you start getting Day ja-vu(no idea how to spell it). Zelda was awesome however.
  • nebno6 - October 22, 2009 7:48 p.m.

    ONIMUSHA 3 ANYBODY?
  • helix92 - October 22, 2009 7:45 p.m.

    Does Assassins Creed count??
  • Spacegrass - October 22, 2009 5:06 p.m.

    I would have liked to see Serious Sam on this list; especially since, with his revolvers and coach-gun, Sam is basically a cowboy himself.
  • Yaro - October 22, 2009 4:41 p.m.

    Oh man, I'm so sad there is not legacy of kain, I mean as you play all those games or at least Soul Reaver 1 and 2 and Defiance, it's mind blowing, the finale of Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance are so...I dunno indescribable. You just stare at the credits with that awesome music and just wonder. I will never forget in my life the last line of Soul Reaver 2, "History abhors paradox." It took me quite a while to make sense of that statement, since english isn't my native language too. Anyway nice list and great article as always GR =)
  • Conman93 - October 22, 2009 3:13 p.m.

    No majoras mask??? Odd. Guess orcarina does have TIME in the title
  • Xplosive59 - October 22, 2009 3:08 p.m.

    as soon as i saw the title i knew that Chrono trigger would be in here
  • deedob - October 22, 2009 12:03 p.m.

    The Magic of Scherazade on the NES (maybe a typo there in the title :)...) was an arabian night-style where you had to keep going back and forth in time to solve puzzles. Can't go to an island to reach a temple? Travel forward in time a few hundred years when there will be no lake around the temple. Can't defeat an ennemy boss/demon thing monster? Go back in time a few millenias when he was still new to the world and beat him then. I still think it was a better "Zelda-like" game than Zelda itself. Chrono Cross/Trigger, Darkest of Days and yes... even the very known, but rarelly played DaiKatana could've been mentionned here. All games BASED on time travel.
  • Flyingwoody - October 22, 2009 3:09 a.m.

    Nice Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford reference. Awesome movie. I approve.
  • bamb0o-stick - October 22, 2009 1:36 a.m.

    I'm surprised Darkest of Days isn't mentioned in here. It was kinda fun jumping from war to war in mankind's history.
  • linkganon - October 22, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    Final Fantasy, which may or may not have had sequels, actually started the ball rolling with some half-hearted attempts at time-travel shenanigans. The game’s initial villain, Garland, believes he has created a time-loop in which to live forever, whereas his repurposed corpse turns out to be a vehicle for the ultimate evil, itself sent back in time by villains from the future. So basically it sets the tone for what would follow by being a wonderfully unintelligible load of old pants. What? this doesn't even make sense
  • CH3BURASHKA - October 21, 2009 11:27 p.m.

    Yee-haw!!!
  • Ded - October 21, 2009 10:45 p.m.

    Aw! No Eternal Champions, I thought that was more well known than that Time Killers game :D
  • Cyberninja - October 21, 2009 10:04 p.m.

    where is eturnal darkness it was great game about time but had no cowboys

Showing 1-20 of 27 comments

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