My Top Ten: Spaceships

Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship TSA. Its two-and-a-bit-year (so far) mission: to explore strange gaming subjects; to seek out new games and interesting news; to boldly go where no gaming blog has gone before.

Oh, and to be as funny as we can while we do it. Enjoy!

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  • USG Ishimura (Dead Space) – The huge mining ship provided an “Alien-esque” setting for one of the scariest, most atmospheric games in recent memory. I know the first few levels where you had to dick about fixing bits of it was mildly irritating but all in all it was a fantastic setting
  • SSV Normandy (Mass Effect) – This is the envy of the fleet. A prototype ship that’s fast and sleek. The case was also helped by the fact that it was wrapped around the best space-based RPG I can think of and is bound to feature in the sequel. Which I’m very much looking forward to…
  • Millenium Falcon (loads of Star Wars games) – This is the ship that made the Kessell run in less than twelve parsecs. It features in my favourite film series of all time and it’s piloted by Han Solo, who is the coolest guy in space and Chewbacca who is basically a cross between Mr T and the Honey Monster. What’s not to like?
  • Cobra MKIII (Elite) – Elite was one of the best games of all time and this is the iconic little ship you started out in. It was doing “open world” while Grand Theft Auto was still playing with Hot Wheels under the kitchen table. Not only that but it was more than just open world, it was open universe.
  • VIC Viper (Gradius) – Gradius is one of the most popular examples of a genre which has contributed many of the iconic spaceships in gaming history. The side-scrolling shoot-em-up is about speed and firepower which the VIC Viper had in abundance.
  • Dark Athena (Chronicles of Riddick) – This Mercenary ship is so cool that they named the game after it. Not to mention the fact that it sounds like the ill-fated early nineties chain of poster shops gone bad. Also, Riddick is hard as nails and he told me if I didn’t mention his name somewhere he’d come and knife me in the spleen. I like my spleen.
  • Geometry Wars ship – I don’t know if this spaceship even has a name but it’s bleeding mental. The original Geometry Wars was a funny little mini-game in one of the Project Gotham Racing games. Then it grew up and got an XBLA release and a sequel which is really rather special. It’s a very simple little white angular horse-shoe shape but it supplies us with some of the most manic visuals of space battle we’ve ever seen.
  • Söldner-X: Himmelsstürmer ship – Yes, it is only in the list because it has such a great name. I don’t know anything else about it other than it was a devilishly hard side scroller. Funny name though. Actually, due to my impressive work ethic I’ve researched it in depth (by spending fifteen seconds on Wikipedia) and discovered that it translates to “Mercenary X: Romantic Idealist”. Which is amusing and bizarre in equal measure. Smashing.
  • Hunter Class Gunship (Metroid series) – I’ve thrown this on the list simply for the fact that it was piloted by Samus Aran who was a kick-ass warrior with no fear and plenty of balls. Except Samus had no balls, the closing credits showed Samus shedding the power suit and revealing a rather curvey little pixelated lady. Which was ace!
  • Star Fox’s Ship (Star Wing/ Star Fox) – This was a pivotal moment in my childhood which shook my belief structure to the core. It was the moment when it first occurred to me that the Sega Meg Drive might not be as good as the Super Nintendo. It may not look like much now but back in 1993 the graphics and motion of this ship were, for a few months, what everyone was raving about. Luckily the Mega Drive was confirmed as being the best just a few seconds ago when I confirmed it. Confirmed!

P.S. Can we please have a remake of Elite with pretty HD visuals? Thanks.

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