One of the best things about gaming in general is the myriad of transportation options available to players. Most of the time it’s mundane stuff like cars, horses and planes, but not always. Sometimes we get to indulge in a bit of fantasy and unreality, and that’s where the magic happens! Using these is part of the fun rather than just being a convenient feature, and here are five of the best!
Highwind – Final Fantasy VII
At least half of Final Fantasy VII is spent trekking across one map or another waiting for the next random encounter to catch you by surprise. This is to be expected in the more contained areas of the game, but having to deal with it on the world map was a massive pain. And then that pain just goes away thanks to the game-changer known as “The Highwind.” Once you have the Highwind, you can bypass all of that annoying battling and get down to the meat of the game. As such, this is one of the most liberating vehicles I’ve ever had the pleasure of piloting.
Mine Cart – Minecraft
Okay, so there’s no way that the humble mine cart is anywhere near as magical as the Highwind, but that’s okay. The mine cart doesn’t have to be magical, because its magic is in the view. In order to use it, one must first construct a railway, and doing that requires lots of mining and progress in other areas. Once that track is built and the cart placed upon it, you get the chance to actually see how far you’ve come in the game, and that feels pretty awesome no matter how many time its repeated!
Rambi – Donkey Kong Country series
This is where all the talk of magic stops. Rambi isn’t magical; he’s a rhinoceros. He also happens to be just plain fun to ride around on. He lands with a heavy “THUMP” every time he jumps; he can head-bonk even the toughest enemies and he can plow through just about everything at break-neck speeds. One feels more or less invincible while riding Rambi, and it’s too bad he’s not used more often in the games that feature him.
Gauss Hog – Halo 3/Halo 4
The Gauss Hog is simultaneously the worst and best vehicle in Halo. Without a tank or heavy ordnance, bringing down a well-piloted gauss hog is a very tall order (even more so in Halo 4). They are highly-maneuverable, can kill in a single shot and have no blind spots. As such, playing against them is maddening. Conversely, piloting one (or using its turret) is the best thing ever. On the right map and with the right partner, you are basically unstoppable and it feels amazing. If you ever have the chance to get on the gauss hog, do it! You won’t regret it! (…well if your partner is actually good at driving/shooting that is. If not…well at least it’ll be a short trip.)
The King of Red Lions – The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
I’m one those weird people who actually likes sailing around in the Wind Waker, so I feel no qualms about putting its little red boat on the list. In all the years before or since the Wind Waker came out, I’ve never played a game that made me feel so free on the high seas, even if I’m only going from point A to point B. The sense of adventure is so palpable while sailing around on the King of Red Lions that I don’t think any of the other Zelda games have managed to best it. Not even Breath of the Wild.
Got a favorite vehicle or other means of gaming transport? What do you think of those listed here? Got other thoughts on them?
Image is Final Fantasy promo art.