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Top 5 “Save The Girlfriend” Video Games

I love a good story, one filled with dialogue as sharp as the twists and turns. But the saying, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” exists for a reason, and video games are no exception.

So, while I have a deep appreciation for video games with stories that think outside the box, I don’t have an issue with stories that follow a tried and true formula. And what’s tried and true more than a story about a man saving his girlfriend?

In honor of the Valentine’s Day season (when your girlfriend may or may not force you away from your gaming PC and or console for the day), here are my five favorite games where saving your girlfriend is a or the main plotline of the story.

#5–Double Dragon

I played so many side-scrolling beat ‘em up games as a kid that I’ve lost track of them all. The Simpsons, The Punisher, X-Men (Master of Magnet!), Spider-Man: The Video Game, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Streets of Rage, and of course, Double Dragon.

Double Dragon may have first come out years before I was even a thought, but I still enjoyed it in the arcade when I was old enough to play it. Two badass dudes, Billy and Jimmy, fight their way through gang territory and countless thugs to rescue Billy’s flame, Marian. Video game plots weren’t high on complexity back then, so this was as much story you needed or were going to get. And it’s good enough for me.

One of the pioneers of the beat ‘em up genre, which would go on to spawn many, many successful titles, Double Dragon is a classic that still holds up to this day.

#4–Resident Evil 7

Resident Evil 5: Boulder Punching Simulator, and Resident Evil 6, weren’t the most well-received games, with many fans of the longstanding series believing that it had lost its way. And then Resident Evil 7 came out and put the series back on track.

Stepping into the shoes of Ethan Winter, you travel to a backwater plantation out in Dulvey, Louisiana after receiving a message from Ethan’s wife Mia, who has been missing and thought dead for several years. Being a return to form for the Resident Evil series, creepy and horrifying events ensue.

Bioweapon little girls, an unkillable hillbilly with an axe, and getting his hand chopped off (temporarily) by his crazed wife, no less, Ethan goes through one hell of a journey in Resident Evil 7. If you play your cards right throughout the story, Ethan can get himself a happy ending, and after everything he goes through to save his wife, he sure as heck deserves one.

#3–Prey (2006)

Not to be confused with 2017’s Prey, which has you bashing an endless amount of love children spawned from Black Zetsu and Ivan Ooze, 2006’s Prey gave me a little bit of Turok vibes from its premise. And since Turok is awesome, that was enough to get me into Prey.

Cherokee lad Tommy Tawodi, his girlfriend Jen, his grandfather Enisi, and a few other folks get abducted by aliens one night, and it soon falls up Tommy to sort out the mess that he and his loved ones were thrust into.

Prey had a little bit of everything in it. Good FPS gameplay, varied environments, puzzle-solving involving portals, and a dash of Sci-Fi horror. It also had a neat spirit mode mechanic that reminds me of a little bit of Geist.

Prey was a game long in the making, with the original concept being conceived 11 years before it was released, but I think it was worth the wait. It’s a pretty underappreciated title and one I highly recommend.

#2–Maximo: Ghosts to Glory

You know what’s worse than your old man advisor snuffing you out? Your old man advisor snuffing you out and then proceeding to steal your girl.

Luckily, as it turns out, the Grim Reaper is a reasonable guy. After King Maximo is betrayed and killed by Achille, the Grim Reaper approaches Maximo with a proposal. Achille raising all the dead is a big problem for the Grim Reaper, so he’ll bring Maximo back to life if he can stop Achilles and his magic. And, of course, by doing so he will rescue his beloved Queen Sophia.

A spiritual successor to Ghosts n Goblins, Maximo: Ghosts to Glory is an awesome hack n slash platformer from the PlayStation 2 era. It’s also pretty damn hard, especially for 8-year old me. But it was fun from start to finish as well.

Maximo includes a bunch of little touches that I really like. Maximo’s armor pieces increase as you collect a certain amount of coins, which increases the number of hits he can take before he dies. When you’ve reached max armor pieces, Maximo’s armor turns golden. When you’re on your last leg, Maximo dukes it out with the undead in his pink heart boxers.

Maximo has plenty of abilities at his disposal to dispatch his enemies, and he can purchase weapon upgrades from shops located around the levels. If he finds and frees the captured sorceresses of every realm, he can get something special from them as well.

Just don’t tell Sophia about those kisses, mate.

 

#1–Viewtiful Joe

 

I love me some one-of-a-kind video games, and Viewtiful Joe is certainly one of a kind.

Joe loves movies, especially those featuring his favorite superhero, Captain Blue. One day, he takes his girlfriend Silvia to see a Captain Blue movie, and Silvia ends up getting kidnapped. Joe then finds himself warped into Movieland where his hero Captain Blue turns Joe into a superhero and tasks him with saving Silvia.

It’s a little hard putting Viewtiful Joe into words, and I also think everyone should enjoy it for themselves. Featuring side-scrolling action, with various VFX Powers and beautiful cel-shaded graphics, Viewtiful Joe is like an American dude getting to live out his dream of being a Kamen Rider.

It’s an absolute blast to play, and most literal save the girlfriend title on this list, and is well deserving of the top spot. And did I mention the PlayStation 2 version of the game allows you to play as Dante from Devil May Cry?