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Sir Grim Locksmith VIII

Favorite Main Menus in Video Games

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Main Menus aren't normally crucial parts of the gaming experience, yet they do still serve an important, if overlooked, function. They exist to not only give the player an option to scour through the game's settings and find the most optimal configuration (at least for modern games), but they provide the player a bridge between reality and the game itself. They are supposed to introduce the player to the sort of atmosphere, tone, subject matter, and themes seen throughout the rest of the experience upon pressing the start button; they hype up the player, as it were.


One of my favorite main menus, surprisingly enough, belongs to an installment of the franchise everyone loves to hate: Call of Duty Black Ops. What makes this main menu so interesting is how "interactive" and immersive it is. The menu itself is relegated to the television screen of an interrogation room, the interrogation room which Alex Mason, the main character, resides in near the end of the campaign. In fact, you're playing as Alex Mason (and yes I said "playing") within this main menu. You can move the camera as if you were turning Mason's head, looking around and being able to appreciate the detail and effort put into the room itself. If you look up you'll see a shadowy figure through a glass window overlooking your own position, the figure asking you the occasional question, such as, "The numbers Mason, what do they mean?", in a distorted voice. This level of immersion contributes to the flashback-heavy nature of the campaign's story, as it lets the player question how the main character ended up in this predicament without shoving it down their throat through a cutscene. Bloody-red numbers would also occasionally replace the rusty and dimly-lit walls of the room, adding to the cerebral and eerie nature of the campaign's story while also alluding to Mason's number-related hallucinations.


But wait! There's more!


If you look down, you'll be able to see Mason's own body strapped to the interrogation chair, his palms twitching every once in awhile. Whether it's through a game FAQ or sheer accident, the player may realize that pressing certain buttons (the trigger buttons of a Playstation or Xbox controller, for instance), will cause Mason's hands to twitch even more, and pressing said buttons simultaneously will cause Mason to break out of his confinements, allowing the player to explore the entire room. And if the player manages to walk around the chair, he or she will find a desk with prototypical computer monitor that lets you unlock certain cheats and easter-eggs upon inputting the correct passwords. AND THIS IS ALL FOR A MAIN MENU SCREEN! The interrogation room even changes slightly if you decide to enter the Zombies gamemode, wherein everything is put through an intense red filter, and the unknown interrogator walks out of the room momentarily only to run back in and start pounding on the glass in a frenzied and unnatural fashion, as if he himself turned into a zombie! This combination of elements culminates into some truly memorable shit! 


Just look at this masterpiece!



So...uh...what are your favorite main menus? 

Edited by Sir Grim Locksmith VIII

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While few can touch the intrigue and atmosphere of the Metriod series, admittedly. I have a huge soft spot for Sonic Mega Collection. I think it mainly has to do with the music, much like Mario 64. But also the hours upon hours I would spend in those menus looking at all the artwork from the various Sonic games, and especially the hundreds of Archie's Sonic comic book covers, which were a huge part of my childhood. It's just pure nostalgia and the music is so perfect. Sonic Gem's collection wasn't bad either, for similar reasons.




Edited by Marxforever
Huh, can't get the dang link to embed. Thought they did that automatically here.

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True, on that part @Marxforever. Although, I would like to mention that Sonic Gem's Collection hit me a little bit harder at home when it came to the nostalgia. If you need proof just listen to the both the menus for the Games and Manuals.


It suddenly takes me back those rainy days of playing my Genesis collection. The days before Sega went third party, the days when Sega created quality experiences, the days when it was just a duo of a blue hedgehog and a yellow-tailed fox were only ones known in stopping the plans of a mad doctor.


I just hope Sonic Mania will have music just as nostalgic as both Gems and Mega.

Edited by AGES

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Aside from the Metroid Prime and Super Metroid kind of examples, I would still have to go Arkham City. Seeing Batman perched on a gargoyle or rooftop (forgot which) with all the rain and background, and the music playing which is one of the best main menu music I've ever heard... Well, all of the game's and Arkham series' soundtracks were generally good, but whoever composed City's menu theme was a genius. It captured the perfect feel and influx to being Batman.

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