I know what you're thinking. What the hell is Mischief Makers? And why is it ranked #33? Mischief Makers is only one of the best 2D platformers ever and is one of the hidden gems for the Nintendo 64. Read the review and you'll find out why I love this game so hard. Note that this isn't the only obscure game on my list, my list of favorite games isn't like most people.
Title: Mischief Makers
Console: Nintendo 64
Release Date: 10/01/97
My Ranking: #33
In Mischief Makers, you play as Ultra-Intergalactic-Cybot G Marina Liteyears, or just a cyborg named Marina (she's hot) for short. There's a story in this platformer too, but trust me, you really won't care. A professor dude got kidnapped on the planet Clancer and you gotta save him. See? Told you didn't care.
What you will care about is the gameplay, which is honestly unlike anything you have ever seen before in a 2D platformer. Mario games have you kill enemies by jumping on them or hitting blocks under them. Mischief Makers has you grab enemies and throw them to their death. Hell, you can even shake them if you want and healing crystals might pop out of them.
The grab function in Mischief Makers is not only unique, but it's smooth and utilized extremely well. In one boss fight, you are riding on top of a tiny white cat who is running away from a mechanical motorcycle. (Yes, the cat is running at the same speed as the motorcycle, don't let logic bother you.) While on the cat, you need to jump on top of missiles the boss is shooting at you and catch other missiles, which you can shake to make stronger, so that you could fire back at the boss. Timing is essential for the grab, and a timing error will result in damage. All the meanwhile you need avoid other attacks that you can't grab, a laser beam being one of them.
The grab function is also used extremely well in the general platforming levels. By grabbing and shaking different balls (stop laughing!), the balls will activate switches or maybe the balls will follow a track in which you'll need to jump off at the right time and jump on another track. There is no simple running and jumping in mischief makers. Sometimes you'll need to air dash correctly to make it over large gaps and other times you'll need to rely on timed grabs to get across tricky parts.
Beating Mischief Makers wasn't that difficult either. Some of the bosses were difficult to figure out how to beat, but eventually I was able find out what I needed to do in order to win. What was insanely difficult though was getting 100% completion and seeing the main ending and surprise ending.
In order to get the complete ending, you need to collect the cleverly hidden golden crystals that were in each stage. Some crystals forced you to think outside the box to press the right switches, some were just in obscure parts of the map and others made you tempt fate over treacherous areas. The most hardcore crystals though, were the golden crystals for bosses, which you could only get by not taking any damage throughout the whole battle. Trust me, getting those crystals was RIDICULOUS. And insanely fun.
I felt so satisfied after getting all the golden crystals since I knew I had completed something very difficult and was rewarded with an awesome complete ending. The effort I had to put into this game was so intense and I remember playing some bosses dozens of times before doing a successful no-hit run. I'm not sure what compelled me to go for 100% completion in Mischief Makers; the game was just addictive.
Why should you play this game? Outstanding level design, controls and some of the most memorable boss fights you'll ever experience, especially if you're going for a no-hit run. The crazy awesome boss fights are no surprise either, since this game was made by the same development team that worked on Gunstar Heroes and Contra. Yeah, the music is kinda lame, and you may not like the cartoony graphics, but most importantly, you'll have fun. If you have an N64, get this game. Amazon has copies of it for less than five bucks.
My Top 52:
#52 --- Star Fox 64 (N64)
#51 --- Kirby's Adventure (NES)
#50 --- Roller Coaster Tycoon (PC)
#49 --- Grand Theft Auto III (PS2)
#48 --- Metroid Prime (GC)
#47 --- Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
#46 --- Bomberman 64 (N64)
#45 --- Guitar Hero II (PS2)
#44 --- Super Street Fighter II (GEN)
#43 --- Pokemon Puzzle League (N64)
#42 --- Soul Calibur II (GC)
#41 --- Gears of War (Xbox 360)*
#40 --- Elite Beat Agents (DS)
#39 --- Call of Duty 4 (PS3)
#38 --- Super Metroid (SNES)
#37 --- The Orange Box (PS3)*
#36 --- Metal Gear Solid (PS)
#35 --- Doom (PC)
#34 --- Super Mario Kart (SNES)
#33 --- Mischief Makers (N64)