By the end of the week I’ll be packing my bags and taking a long deserved break to Florida leaving behind the world of gaming for a whole two weeks. Along with getting to meet Mickey Mouse (which is very exciting in itself) I’ll get to enjoy some sunny, warm weather. Then it got me thinking about those titles that give us that vacation feeling when we play them. The games that make us want to go book a holiday or maybe even visit their destinations if we could.
Madden NFL Series
I hate football (soccer) in the UK. I just cannot stand it! While it may annoy a lot of UK fans of the sport I instead actually really enjoy the American equivalent and its games as well. Madden NFL not only manages to offer some of the best multiplayer experiences and a great single player campaign, but also the feeling of the sport too. Cheerleaders, ridiculously huge stadiums and commentators that sound as excited as you are. This may be more of a personal view but it makes me want to go to America to experience the real deal.
Super Mario Sunshine (Isle Delfino)
The tropical Isle Delfino may have been covered with weird goopy crap when Mario arrived, but once the red plumber finished cleaning the place it revealed a beautiful beach resort complete with harbour, bays, reefs and even a theme park. The residents of the island may have been weird as hell, but you can’t deny those stunning beaches and clear waters.
Mario Kart 64 (Koopa Beach)
While looks are one thing, it was the music for this track that got you feeling in the holiday spirit. It’s just so bouncy and high spirited. It makes you wish go-karting wasn’t just restricted to tarmac tracks in cities and could be taken to the shores of a paradise island. *Sigh*
Theme parks are fun. A theme park vacation is stupidly fun. So obviously designing and creating your own parks complete with crazy rollercoasters, terrifying log flumes and even those random guys in panda suits to entertain your guests is so fun it’s going to get you craving the real thing. Sure going back to your local theme park is good fun, but after building some of the weirdest rides in Tycoon it makes me want to explore parks I’ve never been to before. Whether it’s elsewhere in the country, or on an entirely different continent altogether, this game inspires me to go searching for bigger and better attractions.
Dead Island (Island Of Banoi)
Ok granted what actually happens on the island of Banoi isn’t going to entice travellers to visit any time soon. Zombies roaming free, dudes trying to ram you in strait jackets and blood and carnage everywhere. However take all the events out of the equation and the actually resort itself is just the kind of environment you want when you want to get away from it all. Crystal clear ocean, sandy beaches, a quality hotel and some truly awesome sights. Yes there is a shanty town area and even a prison nearby, but stick with the beach resort part of the island and you’re looking at a true paradise.
Sonic Heroes (Seaside Hill)
Sonic games are renowned for opening the adventure with a grassy/beach styled zone. The first four Sonic games had Green Hill, Emerald Hill, Angel Island and Mushroom Hill. Adventure had Emerald Coast. Okay Adventure 2 was set in a San Francisco inspired city but you can see what I’m getting at. So what made Seaside Hill stand out? How about the sun drenched shores or maybe the leaping killer whales? You heard me right. A killer whale that leaps and flips over you as you run on by. For that reason alone, it’s in my list.
Burnout 2 (Airport Terminal)
Most people hate airports… okay well everyone hates airports, but I oddly enough find them exciting. Sure they’re just a means to get to your destination but it’s the build up and excitement of knowing after boarding a plane you’ll be somewhere new and spectacular. Racing around the terminals of an airport in Burnout 2 as planes fly overhead can’t help but get me in the holiday spirit.
Outrun Coast 2 Coast (All Of It!)
A lot of these locations have a bit of a theme going, and I know Outrun starts off just the same, on a fantastic looking beach setting, but venture on for a couple minutes more and you can drive through snowy mountains, flower swarmed fields, Las Vegas styled streets complete with bright lights and casinos or even jungles. While some of these other entries on the list may have environments that may seem more appealing, it surely can’t beat a location that allows you to visit a range of environments as diverse as this within minutes. When was the last time you could get from a scorching desert to snow topped mountains in a matter of minutes? Exactly…
Uncharted Series (All Three Games!)
In the games you get to visit the Himalayas, South America, jungles and more. Rather than grab a site seeing book all you need to do is play this game and you’re sure to find some amazingly exotic locations to visit.
It may not be a game, but it can sometimes prove just as addictive. When the 3DS was first released I tried my absolute best to take the console with me at the off chance of exchanging Mii’s with strangers. Ever since the system update however, I immediately felt the need to fill as much of my world map as possible with foreign Mii’s. Right now I have all areas of the UK completed. With one spot in Japan, Italy and another in America, the urge to nab more is proving too great.