July is here and that means the United States is on the cusp of celebrating its 234th birthday on the 4th, and what better way to celebrate our independence than partaking in tradition and enjoying some fireworks. The lovely glow of burning gunpowder can be appreciated whether you live in New York City or the Mushroom Kingdom, as video games are no stranger to fireworks. They’ve made appearances for many years, both for celebrating and for gameplay. In honor of the upcoming holiday, we’ve put together our list of some of the best fireworks that video games have ever seen.
Big Bang Mini is one of the DS’s most underrated titles, especially around this time of year; because it lets you actually create fireworks with just the flick of your stylus. A unique take on the shoot-em-up genre, “BBM” uses the fireworks you shoot off as attacks on enemies and bosses on the top screen; explode enough on target and you can take them out.
“FantaVision” was released early on in the PS2’s life, and may have long since been forgotten, but it is a title that prominently features colorfully exploding gun-powder. This tech-demo-turn-retail-release had players reversing the classic “Missile Command” formula and trying to make flares explode over a city skyline while attempting to string together as many as possible to up their combos.
Blending classical music and rhythm games with a beautiful result, “Boom Boom Rocket” was one of the earliest original Xbox Live Arcade games, and the first (and only) one to include a soundtrack inspired by the likes of Bizet, Wagner, and Beethoven. Time your button presses well and you’ll light up the sky with a beautiful display. Forget the rockers of “Guitar Hero,” who needs that when you’ve got techno remixes of classical music.
Quite possibly the most dangerous representation of low explosive pyrotechnics on this list, “Dead Rising 2” actually puts fireworks in the hands of the protagonist Chuck Greene in the form of a giant gun. Packing more power than your standard roman candles, you can lay waste to the zombie nuisance with a firework bazooka and not only treat yourself to a lovely display of light mixed with exploding zombie bits all over the screen.
The fireworks in “Super Mario Bros.” may be the most famous fireworks in all of video games, because when you could manage to make them appear they would magically up your score. If you finish any level with a flagpole and the numbers 1, 3 or 6 are the last digits of your time, you’ll be handsomely rewarded with 500 points per explosion. These are best enjoyed if you image a group of Toads hiding behind the castle just waiting for the right moment to light a row of fuses.
Remember everyone: handle fireworks with care, and have a happy and safe 4th of July.