The best first levels.

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The best first levels.

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » August 1st, 2020, 1:47 am

Which games immediately won you over?

Could they keep up the quality?

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Re: The best first levels.

Postby Zack Burner » August 1st, 2020, 8:21 am

I can still remember the first time I played Donkey Kong Country at Sears way back in 1994, the first time I played Jungle Hijinx, I was blown away with the graphical detail and level design plus rideable animal, bonus room, and music. Talk about a great first impression.

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Re: The best first levels.

Postby VideoGameCritic » August 1st, 2020, 9:31 am

Great topic. I remember the first level of Crash Bandicoot as you step into the jungle it just sort of surrounds you and envelops you. I will never forget that sensation. Brilliant programming right there.

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Re: The best first levels.

Postby mbd36 » August 1st, 2020, 11:32 pm

Green Hill Zone - Sonic the Hedgehog

Iconic level that really shows off the game's parallax scrolling and speed. And then right after is the Marble Zone that has a bunch of precise platforming where you don't want to go fast at all.

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Re: The best first levels.

Postby Nevermind » August 2nd, 2020, 2:57 am

Rez. When I first played this on the Dreamcast I was hit with a rush of emotion - joy, disbelief, wonder - everything all at once. I was left open mouthed. It was a moment of sensory ecstasy.

Very different, but a great first level - Zero Gunner 2. The control system worked fantastically, everything was intuitive and the arcade action was perfect.

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Re: The best first levels.

Postby TheEagleXIII » August 2nd, 2020, 3:48 am

‘City Escape’ from Sonic Adventure 2. Sonic escapes captivity from an airborne military helicopter, falls back down to Earth with a makeshift snowboard and then shreds through San Francisco inspired streets, all set to the awesomely catchy and upbeat ‘Escape from the City’. You catch air over cars, can pull off a couple tricks, you eventually lose the board and continue speeding on foot, run vertically down the side of a tall building and outrun an 18 wheeler, it’s awesome. It’s interspersed with more traditional platforming but keeps the flow of action, using the homing attack and grinding on rails.

The level is really fun, full of action and gets you pumped. Then, from literally downhill, it’s figuratively downhill. Between the Tails/Eggman clunky platform levels to the slow Knuckles/Rogue treasure hunting levels, the remaining Sonic/Shadow levels don’t reach the same heights. I know it has its fans, but the rest of the game is rather tedious and the poor control isn’t masked quite as effectively as the opening level. It’s the only 3D Sonic level ever that I’d argue is actually good.

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Re: The best first levels.

Postby DrLitch » August 2nd, 2020, 9:56 am

Not surprised to see oldies brought up. A lot of modern games seem to take quite some time to gain traction. You need a lot of patience and perseverance. A lot of older titles, if the first level or game segment starts with a bang the rest of the game generally keeps up.

Anyway, my name in the hat here will be Castlevania Rondo of Blood. After a very brief battle with Death that burning village first stage basically says "this game gonna be good".

Agree with Crash Bandicoot here as well, the developers really nailed this one on the novelty front, grabbed you from beginning and the game never ceased to be fun, even that nasty Road to Nowhere level.

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Re: The best first levels.

Postby Retro STrife » August 2nd, 2020, 10:06 am

A few Sonic references here, and well deserved. My first thought was also a Sonic game... Sonic Adventure for Dreamcast. There's not much to it, just pure running and pure speed, and the memorable killer whale moment... but it's so fast and fluid that I instantly loved the game and thought - #1, Sonic was made for 3D, and #2, this game is going to be better than Mario 64. The first thought didn't pan out, but I still stand by that second thought.

The first level of Super Mario Bros. is another iconic one. In my personal top games, the first levels of NiGHTS are very good too.

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Re: The best first levels.

Postby LoganRuckman » August 2nd, 2020, 6:08 pm

Bob-Omb Battlefield in Super Mario 64. Just a large playground to run around in and get the hang of things.

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Re: The best first levels.

Postby charlie » August 2nd, 2020, 7:29 pm

I still remember playing Strider in the arcade for the first time, it blew my mind. When the boss assembled from the stadium of officers or whatever, I could barely believe it. I think I spent the whole $5 I earned mowing a lawn on it.

I played a lot of NHL 93/94 and some Sonic on a Sega Genesis in college, but didn't own one until the 2000's. I found Strider cheap at Funcoland(?), and was pretty stoked with how well it played on the Genesis as well. Very cool game!

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