Why 1998 Kicked Ass
1998 is my favorite year ever. The year 1998 kicked ass on so many levels. From videos games to movies, music and beyond 1998 had some of the best in these categories. Let’s take a look at some of that year’s finest examples:
I never bought this game but always had a blast playing it at my cousin’s house. The game was great fun. I loved the big air section. This was also the first snowboarding game I ever played. I remember being so to use a late 90’s term, “stoked” when I finally pulled off a 1080 spin in this game.
One of the greatest RPGs of all time came out in 1998. This was one of the first games I ever played that came on multiple discs. It is amazing how even though the game is eleven years old it was just loaded with content right out of the box. I’ve seen many newer games that don’t even have half the content of Baldur’s Gate. On top of that it incorporated the AD&D rules perfectly. It is the finest example of using these rules in a computer game that I’ve ever played. This was definitely a game you would get your money out of.
Devil Dice is one of the best puzzle games released on the Playstation. It is highly addictive and just a lot of fun. You have to line up dice to score points. You need to line up dice of the same number and on top of that you need to line up that number of dice as well. For example to score on 4’s you need to line up four dice with the number four. You can score combos and multipliers as well. This is definitely one of the best puzzle games I’ve ever played.
Less than a year after the incredible game Fallout was released in 1997 we got the follow-up game in 1998. I liked the original a bit more but Fallout 2 is still an amazing RPG set in a post-apocalyptic future. The gameplay is pretty much the same from the original and that is a good thing as the original is one of the greatest PC games of all time. Fallout 2 offered the play a larger range of weapons and items. There was also a larger emphasis on exploration as many quests had you going from town to town in order to complete them. It may not be as good as the original but it is still an amazing game.
Goldeneye actually came out in 1997 but it was still very widely played in 1998. I remember playing this game quite often even a year after release. The multiplayer kept players coming back and I also loved just messing around with the various cheats. I loved running around with unlimited ammo and invisibility and exploring the levels and taking out enemies who had no idea what was going on. Goldeneye was still one of the most widely played games in 1998 and with good reason, great multiplayer, and just a lot of fun to mess around in the game as well.
Grim Fandango is one of the last great LucasArts games. This is an amazing adventure game. It also marked the last adventure style game by Tim Schafer. Everything about this game is amazing. The setting, the characters, the story and so on. The game has a film noir feel. On top of that it is injected with Schafer’s great sense of humor and storytelling. Definetely one of the best games of 1998 and of all time.
Half-Life was released late in 1998 and changed the first-person shooter genre forever. Valve didn’t put you in the role on some super solider or badass mercenary instead they made you play as a scientist. Also the intro has a very “just another day at the office” feel to it and it works in easing the player into the game as opposed to just throwing them into the middle of a huge battle like most first-person shooters did before Half-Life. There is also a great story in the game. Many other games in this genre had little to no story behind them. Half-Life was one of the greatest games on 1998 and of all time and is also one of the most influential games ever created.
Metal Gear Solid:
I didn’t have a Playstation back in 1998 but that didn’t stop me from playing this game. I played it with a friend and we loved it. This was the first game I ever played that felt like I was playing a movie. The production value in this game is amazing. I loved the story, the characters, the music, everything. Avoiding fighting was something many people hadn’t seen in a game before and the mechanic works extremely well. Metal Gear Solid really changed how games were made and the contributions to the video game medium from this game can still be felt today.
Pokemon Red/Pokemon Blue
The first games in the Pokemon series was released in 1998, in the United States anyway. These games started a phenomenon and a huge craze. The games were perfect for the Gameboy system. You could play a little bit and save your games and go back later. In a way it is a perfect hand held game. It is now 2014 and the series is still going strong. Back in 1998 and 1999 the franchise was huge.
Resident Evil 2:
The original Resident Evil gave many zombie fans the first in a long line of great games, but none of the others in my opinion felt like a zombie apocalypse like Resident Evil 2. No longer confined to the mansion now the entire area of Raccoon City was infested with zombies. Resident Evil 2 introduced some great new enemies to the series and really felt like you were alone against the world. Out of all the games this is the one that felt the most like an interactive zombie movie.
Originally many people though that Starcraft would basically be Warcraft in space. Blizzard proved them all wrong with one of the greatest strategy games of all time. Starcraft gave us a totally amazing experience with three distinct races to play as. On top of a great single player campaign they included one of the greatest multiplayer games of all time as well. The multiplayer is still widely played today.
Star Wars Rogue Squadron:
The N64 had some really fun Star Wars games, Rogue Squadron was my favorite. You are a part of Rogue Squadron and you get to fly some iconic Star Wars vehicles. The missions were all very well designed and some were quite challenging. There was even a level based on the original Death Star attack. This was also one of the first games to make use of the N64 expansion pack which allowed the game to use better textures and so on. There was even a cheat code to use the Naboo Starfghter from Star Wars Episode 1 which was still five months away from release when this game came out.
WCW VS nWo Revenge:
Following on the success of WCW VS nWo World Tour THQ came out with Revenge in the fall of 1998. They improved on World Tour in every way possible. They added more wrestlers, more match types, and allowed players to customize the wrestlers to a certain extent. This is still one of the best multiplayer wrestling games you’re going to find. I had many hours of fun playing this game with friends. Also this is still one of the best wrestling games of all time and paved the way for Wrestlemania 2000 and WWF No Mercy.
1998 had some really great movies. Many of my favorite movies came out in 1998, let’s take a look at some of them:
This is one of my favorite thriller movies. At first glance you’d think this is just some cheesy skin flick. You’d be right for part of the movie. I think that was a huge selling point. But beyond that you have a great movie with a lot of cool plot twists. You get great characters, some great music and a hell of a story. This movie kept me guessing until the very end. Also don’t stop watching once the credits start rolling. During the credits you get some nice scenes explaining all the cool twists.
There’s Something About Mary:
This is still today one of my favorite comedies and one of the only Farrelly Brothers movies I actually liked. Some of the jokes are gross-out jokes but they all work well in the story. I really liked all the characters in this movie. The story is also well written. This was also one of the first movies I bought on DVD. This movie works well because of the year it was released in. Today doing something like the main character does would be a lot easier with stuff like Facebook and MySpace so you kind of have to appreciate the way he goes about tracking down Mary. Still to this day this is one of my favorite movies. Matt Dillon had a great year in 1998 appearing in two of my favorite movies from that year.
A Night At The Roxbury:
Another great comedy. This was another movie based on a skit from Saturday Night Live. The movie is very funny and has some great performances from Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan. The movie is pretty silly but overall it is a really fun movie to watch. On top of that it has one of the best soundtrack compilations I’ve ever heard in a movie. Some great dance music from the time period. Definitely worth watching and the soundtrack is worth picking up also.
The Big Lebowski:
As with There’s Something About Mary, 1998 was a great year for comedies and The Big Lebowski is another one of the best comedies of that year and possibly all time. Here we get a story about a case of mistaken identity, how things were in 1991 and bowling. I liked the 1991 angle to this movie because 1991 was a really fun year for me. So seeing this movie set in that year was a lot of fun. The characters in this movie are excellent. From Jeff Bridges as The Dude all the way to Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers Kieffer(Nihilist #2). I actually own a copy of the DVD signed by Jeff Dowd the real-life inspiration for the character of The Dude. He did an interview on Attack of The Show once back in 2005 and my call-in question was answered so G4 sent me a signed DVD. This is one of my favorite comedies and is a lot of fun to watch. It has gathered quite a cult following as well.
The Wedding Singer:
Another great comedy from 1998. I really enjoyed this movie. It was quite funny and it brought back a lot of great memories from the 1980’s. Also this was the first Adam Sandler movie I remember seeing where he wasn’t acting is a slapstick style movie. He is still funny in this movie but is also more serious in parts of it as well. Drew Barrymore was also enjoyable to watch. Also the cameo from Billy Idol was really cool to see. The soundtrack to this movie is also amazing as it is a great collection of 80’s music.
I saw this one afternoon with a friend of mine. We both really enjoyed the movie. The action was pretty good, especially the car chase. It was also a pretty good mystery and was also quite suspenseful. Robert De Niro was good in this movie. Also Sean Bean was in this movie. Ever since seeing him in Goldeneye a few year earlier he soon became one of my favorite actors. A couple people who went to the same high school also saw the movie and we’d sometimes quote some of the funnier lines to each other. Especially the line where Seamus O’Rourke points a gun at Sam and yells “You stupid shite! You’re a dead man!” Ronin was definitely a good movie I enjoyed in 1998.
Some great music was released in 1998, here are some of the best albums of that year:
Beastie Boys – Hello Nasty:
1998 had some great hip-hop albums. Hello Nasty was one of my favorite of the year and is still one of my favorite albums of all time. This album featured great track after great track. The smash hit Intergalactic was just one of many hits on this album. Even the less traditional songs like Picture This, and Instant Death were nice changes of pace from the group and didn’t feel out of place on the album. One of the Beastie Boys best albums for sure.