RPG's rarely have great game over screens but this one is interesting for how basic it is. Upon final defeat the game over message appears over a picture of a shattered Gunblade, this is quite refreshing as it has some of the samurai imagery in the way the sword would break upon death of its master and also wasn't totally alienated from the characters killed, which is something most rpg's do when it comes to game over.
Not a real 'game over' screen but more a continue screen, legendary for the classic slating that each fighter would give the other, including such lines as 'Attack me if you dare, I will crush you!' or the hilarious "Beautiful people never lose!", vain, arrogant and wholly cheesy, it just has to be included! Shout outs to all the later ones too, each had their own brand of humour somewhere in it!
This primitive first person shooter had an excellent game over screen for its time. The in-game screen is meant to be a live feed of each character on board the ship and a picture of their face is at the bottom of the screen, like in Doom. When an 'alien' killed you, the screen would go to static and the face would be replaced by an image of an Alien biting it in half. Since this was late 1980's not only was it quite grim, but also highly effective.
This game over screen is simple but highly effective, having lost all your camp counsellors to Jason it cuts to a black screen with the message 'you and your friends are dead, game over' Such a brutal and cutting screen almost as if to say 'you suck at this game.' It's great because it makes you think 'oh really?' and play it all over again.
#6: Fear Effect (PS)
Tough anime inspired puzzle/action shooter, fitting it should have good game over screens. Each one evolves with the story, early on where your surrounded by the neon billboards it is a mostly electicity inspired 'game over' message, but on disk 4, in the depths of hell it becomes a flaming screen that tranforms into 'game over', so cheesy that it's just awesome! If only it didn't cause those horrid loading times...
The original ninja stealth game had a pair of game over screens (one per character) which are on the list because of the way they mock the player, to quote 'The ninja Ayame returns to the shadows whence she came, to be forgotten forever as a failure.'' and then it has the 'retry' option, it is goading you by saying 'you failed and died, have another go.' casually dismissive and a great summary of the sinister mood the game had.
Ideally all three should be here, this one is the greatest because of the animation too it. Your character, after being defeated, is strapped to a table and then a roof of spikes slowly descends to finish them off, while a counter allows you to continue. On the table they vehemently resist and if there was sound would no doubt be screaming, great screen. Honourable mention to 1 and 2, for the dynamite/drowning screens.
#3: Comix Zone (GEN)
This game has an awesome game over screen because it completes the story, almost like a bad ending if you will. On screen your character is scored out and it cuts to Sketch Turner's apartment, where the cartoon enemy becomes solid and human, before promising to 'rock this world' on a stormy night, totally over the top, excellent!
Any res evil would get nominated here, so what does this one have the others don't? Well, your character dies and you see an animation of the enemy responsible rending at them until they finally cry out in death, continue to be eaten and a blood writing message of "You Died" appears, legendary, almost as if saying 'you know you're dead, but I'll tell you anyway'.
#1: Theme Park (PC)
Oh boy, the greatest ever, how could a cute game like this have such a great and controversial game over screen? The action cuts to an office desk upon which there is a framed photo of a family, silhouetted in the glass is the image of the theme park owner jumping to their death due to bankruptcy. Sinister and humourous, the greatest of all time. No chance of the creators getting away with this today.
There seems to be a hesitance when it comes to game over, most companies seem to want gamers to get that screen out of the way quickly in order to continue the game, but for me, they are an opportunity to connect with the player. Some titles do feature great screens and am sure there are plenty that aren't on this list, but it does seem that all too often the companies settle for the basic, rather than trying to either stick the boot in or give an alternate outcome to the story, which is a shame.
List by enemy of the public (06/14/2007)
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