"Can I kick it?" "NO, NOT YET."
Are you familiar with the term 'bucket list'? It's a list you make of things you want to do before you 'kick the bucket'. In other words, die. Yeah, lovely, isn't it? Normally that means 'write a book' or 'kiss a girl', but a gaming-centric one is much more doable. This is a list of moments in gaming you simply have to experience before you shuffle off this mortal coil. No, don't worry, we haven't heard something you haven't. Honestly, you're fine. It's probably just wind.
The moments described in the following slides may not be particularly difficult to find or complete, but they are all essential virtual experiences. So if you consider yourself a serious gamer (or just want to know what all the fuss is about), then write these down and tick 'em off as you go...
Play 4-player GoldenEye, set to 'Slappers Only'
Yes, I know proximity mines are also an essential part of everyone's gaming education, but there's just something special about Slappers Only. For the uninitiated, this is a 4-player deathmatch on Nintendo 64, where James Bond and friends (BUT NOT ODDJOB SERIOUSLY HE'S BANNED) run around trying to slap each other with their chunky polygonal meat clubs also known as hands. It is still amazing. Probably because the action is ludicrously silly, but every kill is accompanied by that ultra-serious James Bond musical sting.
Choose Magical Sound Shower and play Stage 1 in OutRun
Yes, it's an ancient game--from 1986, no less!--but it is still utterly essential. Even if you crash out and don't finish the first stage, you will still have cruised along the beachfront with your little cutie next to you in the passenger seat (or if you're female, pretend it's a UK car and that the guy is your passenger), elbow on the side of your unlicensed Ferrari, soaking in the sunshine and all with one of the finest musical tracks in gaming blaring from the stereo. If you do reach the end of the stage, take a left so you get to go through that incredible sprite-scaler tunnel.
Score an aerial kill in Quake 3 multiplayer
There's nothing quite like hitting a moving target in Quake 3. It's made all the better by the resulting explosion of blood and guts, which is reminiscent of a firework going off. A firework packed with gore and awesome. You may shorten that to Goresome. Yes, that's the word for it. Goresome sauce. Naturally, a rocket launcher's good, but a Railgun is better.
Push someone down the stairs in GTA 4
In my eyes, the arrival of GTA 5 was a massive disappointment. Not because there is much wrong with the gameplay (far from it), but because the pedestrians are far too steady on their feet. The pedestrians in GTA 4, however, can have their balance upset by the tiniest nudge. So just brush against them at the top of a flight of stairs and watch as they tumble all the way to the bottom. Yes, that sounds evil, but it's SO FUNNY. Here's some evidence of that.
Play Christmas NiGHTS on a real Christmas Eve
There is nothing like the feeling of it being the night before Christmas, loading up Christmas NiGHTS and seeing Santa Claus in the background with his reindeer, flying around because your Sega Saturn knows it's Christmas Eve. So, so special. Jingle bells is playing... oh man, I wish it was Christmas. And I'm writing this in June, while it's beautifully sunny and hot outside the office window. This is just too good and you have to experience it. The HD version will suffice (just), but a real Saturn is where it's at.
Slide all the way down Cool, Cool Mountain holding the baby penguin in Mario 64
I did consider 'drop the baby penguin off the edge of Cool, Cool Mountain' as Mario 64's inevitable bucket list entry, but that is really cruel. Who knows where the clipping kicks in? Does he just fall forever? Does the level eventually wrap, causing him to reach terminal velocity and come crashing back in from the top, right onto Mario's evil head? It would serve him right... but I digress. The slide down the mountain is brilliant and always will be. For added awesome, play it on Christmas Day and recreate the feeling millions of gamers enjoyed in the 1990s.
Finish the first level of Sonic 1 in under 30 seconds
The first level of the first Sonic game. Speed is what the hog is all about, after all, so try to finish Act 1 of Green Hill zone in under 30 seconds. The game recognises this feat and awards a cool 50,000 points (not they mean anything in Sonic games). For added kudos, do it that quickly AND collect 50 rings along the way to open the bonus level. Get it right and it's 29 (or in the above case 26) seconds of gaming perfection.
Do a fatality in Mortal Kombat
Doesn't matter which game, doesn't matter which fatality. Though if you decide to go all in and opt for the 'circular saw between the legs' from Mortal Kombat 9, I'm not sure we can be friends. Cos that's just... all kinds of wrong.
Play Tetris on an original Game Boy
I don't care that Tetris is on everything and you can play the emulated Game Boy version on a 3DS. I simply don't care and I won't hear any arguments. There is only one way to truly play Tetris and that is with a Game Boy cartridge in a Game Boy. This is why I keep one by my bed and often play it before I go to sleep. It sounds wonderful, feels so perfect under your thumbs and is just as addictive today as it ever was. Must, must, MUST play.
Play the first level of Doom
Everyone who is anyone has played the first level of Doom. Everyone. So if you haven't played it yet, then get right on it. It doesn't even matter which version you play (except the Saturn one: don't touch that, whatever you do. Yes, you'll probably catch something nasty off it), and it's available on Xbox Live and PS3, not to mention every PC ever, so there's no excuse. Get on Doom and experience that first level if nothing more.
Import a video game from Japan
Obviously it would be preferable to import something worthwhile. For instance, Radiant Silvergun on Saturn. You know, something that only came out in Japan. It's what we had to do in the 1990s if we wanted the latest and greatest, after all. But the truth is, even today, almost all Japanese video game boxes are awesome, so it's worth buying one just so you can stick it on your shelf and look cultured when people visit your house. eBay is a good place to buy already-imported games if you don't fancy the prospect of customs charges from the likes of Play-Asia.
Trade a Pokemon with a friend
I'm not down with tales of people buying two Game Boys and both copies of whichever Pokemon game is hot right now in order to trade with yourself. That's sad. That's really, really sad. Instead, catch some wild Pokemon in your copy of the game, then meet up with a mate and trade with them. 3DS, GBA or humble Game Boy is fine. But keep it real. I guarantee you'll enjoy it.
Decapitate a row of enemies with a saw blade in Half-Life 2
Get the Gravity Gun, find a saw-blade (there are plenty lying around), then line up at least three enemies and kill them all with one shot. It's like physics or something. Considering more modern FPS games have plenty more processing grunt powering them, I can't think of any that have truly bettered this.
Play a full-band Rock Band session
Rock Band and Guitar Hero may have fallen away from the public's consciousness, but that doesn't mean they've become any less fun to play. Even if you've played in a real band, the experience with Rock Band is different and still something special. You might also melt someone's face while you're at it. Which I am told is a good thing, though I'm not certain it would be.
Spend more time tweaking graphics settings than playing a game
This is one for PC gaming in particular. I've done it too. Spent so much time tweaking a game's graphics settings, trying to find the perfect balance between frame-rate and detail, that when I actually got around to starting the damn thing, it was time to do something else. Mind you, I class it as time well spent, especially as it's arguably a game in itself. A never-ending, unbeatable game, unless you just buy a mega-spec PC and max it all out. But even then, that frame-rate could be smoother...
Do a barrel roll!
Star Fox 64 (or Lylat Wars depending where you're reading this) is a classic, but even if you've never played it, you must be familiar with the 'do a barrel roll' meme. Best way to be sure you're talking about the same thing as everyone else is to do a barrel roll yourself. How? Z or R twice, dummy!
Fus Ro Dah someone off a mountain in Skyrim
It's the most iconic shout from this most iconic open-world RPG and not unlike starring in your own medieval episode of Heroes. Sure, there's fun to be had shouting an entire banquet off a table (especially when the guests get blown around the room too), but I think shouting someone off a mountain is probably 'the one'. Feel free to dub on your own "I can see my house from heeeeeeeere..." dialogue.
Hide in a cardboard box in Metal Gear Solid
Everyone knows that Solid Snake hides in cardboard boxes, but make sure you actually do it yourself at some point. There's just something inherently funny about a tough, macho, special-ops dude being only visible from the shins downwards, creeping around underneath a cardboard shell. But when you're doing it yourself, it changes from mirth to magic, as you start to push the boundaries of what a guard might find logically reasonable. That, or just creep right up behind them and wait for them to turn around...
Get a Platinum Trophy or 1,000GS on at least one game
Even if you don't believe in Achievement whoring or Trophy... pimping(?), as a gamer, you really should max out at least one game, just so you can say you've done it. If it helps, I've only Platinumed one game and that's Resogun. But look at it this way... I Platinumed freakin' Resogun. See? That's got some clout to it. That could be you saying that.
Hit someone with a green shell ricochet in Mario Kart
Sure, firing a red shell is a gleeful experience, as our list of best weapons in games will attest. But there's one thing you *have* to do if you're a gamer, and that is fire a manually-aimed green shell into a wall at the edge of the track in any Mario Kart game, plotting its rebound trajectory in your mind and watching as it plays out and hits its intended target. You used mathematics. To win at games. You are SO CLEVER.
Finish Sagat with a Dragon Punch as Ryu
See that scar on Sagat's chest? He got that from Ryu in the first Street Fighter tournament, as a result of the final dragon punch uppercut that felled him. Since then, it doesn't matter which iteration of Street Fighter you happen to be playing. If you've picked Ryu and you're facing Sagat, you *have* to finish the round with a fierce Dragon Punch. Nothing else will do. Mmmmm, lovely old wounds being opened afresh... mwahahahaha!
Play the sit-down Star Wars arcade cabinet
These things are ultra-rare these days, but you can occasionally still find working specimens at touring game events like Game On. It doesn't matter how you track one down, just make sure that you do. Sat in that seat with the X-Wing controls in your hands, you feel encapsulated not only within the game and the Star wars universe, but also the early 1980s. While you're in that seat, it's still 1983 and this is the best thing you've ever seen. Time machines really do exist...
What would you add to the list?
Loads of things almost made this list, like launching the cow in Earthworm Jim, blowing on a cartridge to make it work, and even making a suit out of old NES games. OK, maybe not that last one. But what would you suggest? I just know you're thinking 'how could you forget blahdeblah?'. Well, you're right so replace 'blahdeblah' with real words in the comments.