It's been about a month and a half since I last updated my list for this thread, and I've got a quite a few games to add!
30. Sonic Blast (Sega Master System)
It's laggy and a little clunky, but it's still Sonic! A fun game that took me most of a morning to play through, since some of the puzzles in the game took quite a while to figure out, but it was definitely worth playing. Even with the notorious SMS lag it was still a really enjoyable little adventure with challenging bosses and great graphics for an 8-bit system.
31. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Master System)
Another Sonic game on the Master System, this one really took me by surprise. While it does look and sound like Sonic the gameplay is more akin to a Super Mario game, and by that I mean rather than focus on speed it's more about tricky precision platforming. I think it took me a good 4 or 5 tries before I was able to beat it, but I think it was gaming time well spent. The first Sonic the Hedgehog for the SMS is a very different game than the first Sonic for the Genesis, but both are quite good in their own right. I do like the Genesis version better, but I'll probably still play through this one again at some point.
32. The House of the Dead III (Nintendo Wii)
I had beaten The House of the Dead 2 on the House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return compilation for the Wii several times in the past, but it wasn't until just last month that I managed to conquer the third game in the series. I could make it to the final boss without much difficulty, but the speed and precision required to finish off the last boss was just too much for my wrist and trigger finger to handle before hand cramps eventually lost me the battle. Last month though I was able to power through the hand cramps and put the nail in the coffin on this one, and I have to say that it was an extremely satisfying experience doing so! I had been wanting to beat The House of the Dead III for a really long time and I'm very happy to have finally done it!
33. Orcs & Elves (Nintendo DS)
A real hidden gem of the DS library! After what an abysmal experience I had trying to play (or rather, figure out how to play) the critically acclaimed The Dark Spire for the DS I wasn't expecting much from Id Software's take on the first person dungeon crawling genre, but man was I ever pleasantly surprised! Orcs & Elves is everything that I wished The Dark Spire was and I couldn't recommend it more highly. It's fast paced and chalked full of action, has a great high fantasy story with lots of humorous dialog, and the gameplay mechanics and controls are all thoroughly explained as you go along; making the whole experience very approachable for people such as myself who aren't generally into RPGs. This is just an all around wonderful game that I'm sure I will go back to play through many times over!
34. The House of the Dead: Overkill (Nintendo Wii)
June was a good month for shooting zombies with light guns this year, and The House of the Dead: Overkill was a phenomenal take on the genre. From the campy B-movie story line to the extreme amounts of profanity and adult content, this game just oozed style in the best kind of way. The shooting action was fantastic too, so if you're in the market for a very adult oriented light gun game then this is definitely one to pick up. I think I beat it at least 4 times on both regular and Directors Cut mode until I had unlocked everything there was to unlock, because that's just how good of a game it is.
35. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (Nintendo Wii)
More zombie annihilating light gun action! I've always a been a huge fan of the Resident Evil series all the way back to the first game on the original PlayStation, and with my love of light gun shooters you can probably imagine how much I enjoyed this game. It was another one of those "Play through it half a dozen times until you've unlocked everything" sort of experiences for me, and I feel like every minute of it was gaming time well spent. It's games like this that really make me love the Wii.
36. Dead Space: Extraction (Nintendo Wii)
Saving the best light gun shooter in the Wii for last, next up is Dead Space: Extraction! I don't think any other light gun game on any system has ever come even remotely close to matching the depth of the story and gameplay in this one, and those looking for a truly deep, immersive, and downright terrifying light gun gaming experience absolutely owe it to themselves to play Dead Space: Extraction. Also, while I generally prefer to play light gun games on the Wii using either a Nyko Perfect Shot (or two of them, in the case of House of the Dead: Overkill's "Dual Wield" mode) or the CTA Sure Shot Shotgun this happens to be one of the few light gun games for the Wii that I think is best played with the official Nintendo Wii Zapper accessory. A lot of the gameplay mechanics and on-screen cues are designed with the Zapper in mind, making Dead Space: Extraction without a doubt the best game to make use of Nintendo's official Wii Zapper accessory; and possibly the finest light gun game ever created for any system period.
37. Metroid II: Return of Samus (Game Boy)
I was laid out sick for the better part of a week not long ago, and I decided to use the downtime to revisit an old favorite game on the Game Boy. Metroid II is just one of those "must own" titles for the original Game Boy and without a doubt one of the best adventure and exploration based games on the system. At this point I've played through it enough times that I don't even need to make or reference a map anymore, but it's still just as fun as ever to spent half a dozen or more hours wandering the dark and mysterious catacombs of SR388. The environments are varied and interesting to look at, as are the enemies and power up selections (especially when played on the Game Boy Color, since the custom color palette programmed into the system for Metroid II really spruces up the visuals). The additions of a save battery to save your game at checkpoints along the way and health & missile refill stations fix pretty much everything that made the original Metroid on the NES often frustrating, making the Game Boy sequel just a wonderful gaming experience through and through. And believe it or not, 25 years after the game's initial release the original save game battery in my cartridge still works just fine! That's some serious staying power.
38. Xenon 2: Megablast (Game Boy)
The last one for now! I had been wanting to get my hands on a nice condition copy of Xenon 2 for a reasonable price for a good year or two, so when one finally popped up on eBay last week I snagged it faster than you can say "Sold!" As luck would have it, the game was well worth the wait and I ended up spending all morning today playing it until I was able to beat the game on Easy mode. It's just an all around fantastic shoot 'em up, with great graphics, loads of 8-bit charm, and a really unique upgrade system that adds a lot of strategy and challenge to the game. It took me a good 5 or 6 tries before I was able to beat the game, largely because that's how many tries it took me to find the right strategy for which weapons and power ups to buy from the shop that you can visit after each boss and sub-boss. Getting to choose your own upgrading path gives the game a great deal of variety and allows not only for every player to choose the equipment that best suits their own individual play style, but it also gives the game a great deal of variety and replayability; since you can experiment with different weapon loadouts every time you play. All in all I think Xenon 2 is just a fantastic game and a definite "must own" title for any Game Boy owner who is a fan of vertical scrolling spaceship shooters.