Maybe this is just me being an old curmudgeon (get off my lawn, etc.), but I don’t think the title screens of today are at all as good as they used to be. I could sit here and prattle on about every single ancient title screen that tickled my fancy over the years, but I can’t do the same for current games. In fact, outside of the Resident Evil series, I don’t really think any of them are all the memorable.
Why Resident Evil? The creepy guy that announces the title as the screen pops up… “RESIDENT EVIL…..FIVE!” Never liked it that much, I just remember it.
I’ve decided to break down my favorite title screens in the realm of video game classics. What makes a classic a classic? That’s a debatable point that we can settle in an entirely separate article. For now, and for the sake of moving the heck on, let’s say that classics are solid games from before the last generation of consoles. PSOne and earlier.
Blades of Steel – NES, 1988
The highlight of the text, the sound of blades clashing and the way-too-old voice over announcing the actual title of the game. The Blades of Steel intro screen got my friends and me absolutely hyped up for every bout of hockey we were prepped to experience. The nice thing about the video you see above is that it actually shows the start of a single game. Hear that music at the beginning? That’s my ringtone. Straight nerding out.
Donkey Kong Country – SNES, 1994
This was probably the first time you saw the eldest member of the Kong family. And there he was, standing on a steel girder. That is until Donkey Kong pounces in and and start playing music the old-timer can’t stand. It’s cheesy, for sure, but that was part of the fun when it came to gaming 17 years ago.
Vectorman – Sega Genesis, 1995
Am I cheating in my own list? Ehhh, maybe. I’ll still qualify this one as a title screen if you’ll let me. Vectorman actually let players fool around in the logo area. It would stay there until you stopped moving. More than that, though, you could actually launch into a mini-game that could let you start at later levels. Cool, and definitely unique.
Resident Evil – PlayStation, 1996
I mentioned this one in introducing this top five, but I absolutely must pay tribute to one of the coolest and creepiest title screen trends across a single franchise… The original Resident Evil started it all, it’s the second title in the title reel video above, and it lead to a mass collection of the same dude saying the same creepy thing for more than a decade. RESIDENT EVVVAAALLLL!!!
Super Metroid – SNES, 1994
What really set this title screen apart for me, and what makes it one of my favorites of all time, is acutally split between two simple factors on display: The audio track and the visual. The bodies laying on the floor always, always, always creeped me out. Add to that the haunting soundtrack and the intermittent sound of radio static and this title screen set the mood for the adventure behind it. One of the best of all time, undoubtedly.
What are some of your favorite classic gaming title screens?