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Summer. The sun shining down, the cool breeze offering a moment of relief from the heat, and the sounds of the waves crashing gently against the shore, retreating to the ocean to repeat the cycle anew. Who could guess that such a relaxing, pristine setting in real life could also be one of the best locales a video game could offer. In no particular order, here are a few games that gave some memorable beach excursions.
Koopa Troopa Beach
Mario Kart 64 (1997)
Whenever the word beach is uttered with the word gaming, Koopa Troopa
Beach from Mario Kart 64 is always the first to come to mind. Waves
continually washed in and out of the track, sometimes covering the
smaller paths. Crabs posed a threat as they moved side to side,
threatening to drop you from 1st to 4th. The overall ambiance of the
track was boosted with the catchy island tune in the background. It was a
fast, fun, and memorable race destination
Treasure Trove Cove
Banjo Kazooie (1998)
Kazooie had a host of worlds to explore, each more unique than the
last. One of the best was introduced early on; Treasure Trove Cove. This
open-world beach played host to some unique platforming and battles,
including collecting treasure for Captain Blubber to defeating Nipper,
the giant hermit crab.
Super Mario Sunshine (2002)
It is just not a beach blog without mentioning the game centered around
an island paradise. Super Mario Sunshine sported many island locations,
but Gelato Beach was one to behold. Being able to see the pristine beach
and crystal clear water was incentive enough to help clean the beach of
any pollutants with F.L.U.D.D. Collecting red coins in a coral reef,
pushing a giant watermelon along a boardwalk, and even fighting a giant
Wiggler on the beach made this one memorable beach world.
Halo took beaches and introduced them to Michael Bay. The second you
touch down on the beach you are bombarded by Covenant fire with the
classic Halo theme backing your regime. The level consists of you
driving around the island, infiltrating various facilities as you blast
your way through a Covenant armada. It was a strangely satisfying
feeling as you splashed through shallow waters in your Warthog to your
next destination, gunning down Elites along the way.
Chapter 8: Sandtraps
Half Life 2 (2004)
After driving along the coast line for a time, you soon must trudge
along a beach to face the Combine head on at Nova Prospekt. Disembarking
from your vehicle landed you in a mad dash past Antlion infested sands.
It was the latter half of this chapter with the beach confontation at
night that stuck with me the most. With control of Antlions via Bugbait,
you marched past the rocky shore to soldier outposts, leaving
devastation in your wake. It was a nice contrast from fearing to
welcoming the Antlion presence, and such a distraction that you almost
forgot that you were on a beach.
Honorable Mention: Farcry, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I know I am missing some, so are there any games you feel had great beach themed levels?