Okay. So, in the early ‘90s everyone needed a stupid mascot, primarily because Sonic was all the rage and every developer with access to electricity figured they’d become instant billionaires by making games with impatient roadkill as the star. One of the worst offenders is, without any hesitation, Awesome Possum.
Above: He actually says “I’m awesome!”
Notice the mixed messages of recycling and kicking a lot of butt. Throughout the entire game Mr. Possum jabbers on and on about how cool he is or how hard he's rocking the goddamn scene, all while jumping on robots and collecting aluminum cans like some kind of homeless Aero the Acrobat.
Above: Cutting-edge robots armed with the very latest saw technology
But, for the purposes of this article, the game does convey a staunch defense of environmentalism, be it through the aforementioned trash cleanup or the mid-level quizzes on the state of the world’s ecosphere. Here’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask a 13-year-old:
Above: Uuuuhh… all of them?
Above: Which animal would you say is the most outraged?
And while we’re at it, what the hell kind of mascot is a possum? Do they know what a possum really looks like?
Environment saved: Didn’t play long enough to find out and no one’s written any FAQs for us to guess. Rainforests can be pretty big though, so let’s go with that.
Part McDonald’s propaganda, part eco-pushing platformer, Global Gladiators is not above summoning Ronald McDonald to magically whisk children into harm’s way for the sake of teaching them valuable lessons about Styrofoam packaging and childhood obesity.
If you’re wondering what that smell is, it’s the stink you’ll never wash off for not buying Okami. You had two chances to contribute to Capcom’s gorgeous adventure and instead allowed a myriad of evil spirits to overtake Amaterasu’s colorful kingdom, forever sentencing her to transform this mess:
Into something where people can actually live:
As a heartless creature of the night, you’re possibly not aware that the majority of the game is bringing a cursed world back from the brink, changing dark, dank locales into stunning vistas that impress even on crusty old PS2 hardware. The concept of rejuvenation is so strong that even a simple act like running causes flowers to sprout up in your path. It’s as colorful as can be, and a damn fine game on top of its visual buffet.
Above: This is Okami’s fourth appearance on our Top 7 lists. We promise to bring it up again in August
Environment saved: A vast kingdom, possibly a continent, potentially the world… if you bought a copy, anyway.
Prince of Persia is not just one of the prettiest games - it’s also one of the most Earth-friendly titles of the modern console generation. As in Okami, a once lush world has been cursed and frozen, and it’s up to Brendan Fras… er, the Prince of Persia to restore the balance.
There was some internal debate about how far up the list Trigger should be. On one hand, it’s true that you spend the game protecting the entire planet from a malignant, spaceborn foe that threatens to rain destruction down on the surface. That’d be Lavos, seen here ending the world:
Above: Lavos, the glorified Space Tick
But you save the world in countless games, so it’s more fair to pick a specific positive impact Crono, Marle and the rest of the crew have on the environment. Early on, you’ll wander south and find a dusty stretch of boring land, nothing remarkable about it in any way.
Above: Nothing says “adventure” like dirt
Waaaay ass later, your robotic pal… Robo… offers to spend 400 years planting trees in this very spot, but he does it 400 years in the past. Therefore, when you travel back to present day in your fashionable time machine, poof, there’s a brand new forest built by the magnanimous robo-tiller.
Above: Robo, toiling away in 600AD
Above: Kapow! 1000AD arrives in the blink of an eye
Even if we don’t want to count the team saving the whole world from certain doom as “green,” we can easily honor the tireless efforts of a robot that never gets tired. Hats off, Robo!
Environment saved: Definitely a large forest, technically the whole planet.
You know that obscure game about that obscure comic from that obscure publisher? It was about the environment and stuff. You’re a ninja that fights bad guys in oil refineries and toxic waste dumps. It was way rad.
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