The Best Game Ever

After more than a year of special moments and memories from games, it’s time to finally establish some actual facts on Wall Jump. And if you’re going to set facts, you have to reach to the top of the shelf where the dusty trophies, plaques, and medals are, grab just that slightly shinier medal, give it a quick wipe with your sleeve, and then you have to get tape and a sharpie and stick a piece of it over “Ocarina of Time”, but not over “Best Game of All Time”, because the best game of all time exists from now on and infinitely, it’s just not Ocarina of Time anymore. Who it is is determined by the felt-tip pen that you have to use to write the worthy successor on the tape: Cruis’n Blast!

Cruis’n Blast?

Sure it is.

In order to support the indisputable fact that Cruis’n Blast is the best game of all time, and no longer Ocarina of Time and certainly not Dark Souls or even Halo, it is perhaps necessary to explain how the category “best game of all time” is defined. And for this purpose, as in many cases of problems hard to solve, a short time travel serves.

Back in the day, a little bit longer ago than you might expect when you meet me, but then again not so long ago that the stories from the past are hardly comprehensible, so in the 90s, my involvement with video games was a little different than what the articles on Wall Jump are about now. Even if we often look back into the annals of gaming here, and certainly in personal anecdotes, it’s a view that can only be gained with distance. The contextualization of many game encounters only emerges from all the other games that have come along over the years, and so decisions are sometimes made rationally-founded, sometimes romantically-explained – but above all with the elitist view of the adult gamer, who knows everything and can do everything and only wants games to be evaluated in the overall context of different cultural values anyway.

I, too, fell for this misconception for a long time, talking about immersion and media convergence. But of course that’s all nonsense.

In the past, when everything was better, including the best games, the best game of all time was often a game you didn’t own. For me, Blast Corps was such a case. A classmate waved the cartridge under my nose one day and raved. Really cool cars! You can smash everything! Really phat explosions! And supposedly, he had heard that somewhere, you even eventually play on the moon! It was clear: This must be the best game ever. According to a similar premise, an entire online cult is also firmly convinced to this day that Mother 3, a role-playing game once announced for the ill-fated 64DD, would certainly have been the best game of all time. If it had been released, because it wasn’t. Still, great game! Even purchase decisions could be made so effortlessly and justified even more easily: Because once the precious savings are spent on “Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy”, it is of course clear that this simply has to be the best game of all time. Why else would you have bought it? After all, you’re fighting a diabolical regime as a soldier with memory loss, WHILE also rediscovering your forgotten telekinetic abilities! And your name is Nick Scyer! How much better can it get?

Two former best games ever

At some point as I got older, I no longer wanted to declare every game the best game ever. Because the older you get, the more ironically distorted distance you need in order to appear as unapproachable as possible to your peer group, and then to be able to celebrate this within your own four walls with depressive music and desperate teenage lyrics. The latest super blockbuster for the PlayStation, brought along by friends? If that’s successful, it can only be mass-marketed. In order to become the best game of all time, supposed depth, i.e. nowadays probably something with foxes, the storage in a Swiss cheese bank and the commercial bankruptcy of the developer are inevitable criteria. It doesn’t get any deeper than that.

I myself am of course above this predictable behavior. That’s why a good year ago, I myself fought against this blasphemy and wanted to declare Crayola Scoot the best game of all time. I had neither bought nor played it, but for some unknown reason the name Crayola Scoot puts me in such a good mood that hardly any other game can top this intrinsic fun factor.

But the now really best game of all time takes it up a notch. Cruis’n Blast has a similarly meaningless name, because the arbitrarily placed “Blast” at the end immediately promises fun. Let’s have a blast! Unlike Crayola Scoot, however, it just keeps getting better as you start the game. At a point where words just won’t do, the inclined reader should now spend the next 30 minutes with this loop of the game’s title track:

Welcome back and congratulations on the best earworm that only the best game ever can give!

Of course, the greatest fun of all times doesn’t end here: Once you’ve said goodbye (CRUIIIIISN!) to the small (CRUIIIIIISN!!!) menu party (OH YEAH!), as in any (COME ON LET’S CRUIIIIIIIISN!!!!) proper racer, the vehicle selection is on (COME ON COME ON!!!). There are cars. Cool cars. But because cool cars aren’t cool enough, you can upgrade them. And not with boring but game-relevant upgrades that make the car faster or more maneuverable, but with neon lights! And weird Hot Wheels-like engine designs! And even more neon lights! Of course, you can also unlock new vehicles. Although the game consistently uses the word “vehicle” in a broad sense. After all, instead of just more dumb carts, you can race just as well with a helicopter, a UFO, a shark, or a unicorn. And, yes, I may confirm: Even the shark can be further optimized with neon lights!

Before you can finally go CRUIIIIISN!!!!!, you have to choose the race competition. Here, too, Cruis’n Blast does everything right: Instead of boring tournaments, I can choose between the Chopper Tour or the Dino Tour! That doesn’t just sound totally super, it is. Because while I race around the track, which, of course, is presented in glistening neon light, a tyrannosaurus chases me, the ground breaks away under an earthquake and a giant donut destroys half a city. And all of this happens every second. One could note that Cruis’n Blast also controls quite well and has a stable framerate, but really it doesn’t matter at all. Who ever bragged about a stable framerate to their friends? Only with exploding tankers, fighting yetis and attacking UFOs the weekly poker round really seems impressed!

By the way, I like to tell people, like here, that in Cruis’n Blast, once you’ve won all the cups, you can drive on the moon. In glistening neon light. Whether that’s really true, I don’t know. But I can well imagine it. After all, it’s the best game ever.

Actually, in the category “Moments” we look at single, special moments of games. But Cruis’n Blast is such a furious inferno that the overall experience becomes a special moment. This is also logical, because it is, after all, the best game of all time.

This post is also available in: German