Pimp My Ride: Great Videogame “Vehicles”

I recently made a move from my native land on the east coast of the United States to the Golden State of California – sunny San Diego, to be exact. While making the three-day, 3000-mile journey across the country in my trusty Toyota, I couldn’t help but ponder just what makes an awesome ‘ride’ in the video game world.

Being that next week marks the release of two very high-profile vehicle-based games in Grand Theft Auto 4 and Mario Kart Wii, I don’t think I could choose a better time to talk about this subject…so I will.

Here are some of my favorite rides from the virtual realm:

Yoshi (Super Mario World/Sunshine)

Yoshi may not be a “vehicle” per se, but as a means of transportation, he is totally badass. Not only does he move fast and jump high, but he has a deadly stomp and will chow down on almost any foe that stands in your path. As an added bonus, Yoshi is so very easy to sacrifice if you find yourself plummeting to your untimely demise – just jump off his back to safety and watch him take the fall. Poor, loyal Yoshi. We only do it because we love you…and life.

Superbike (Grand Theft Auto)

A Grand Theft Auto reference seems so very appropriate right about now, with GTA4 just around the corner, and what better choice than the Superbike? That’s right, before the days of three-dimensional Grand Theft Auto games, there was the charming top-down action of DMA Design’s original GTA, and a few vehicles that went so ridiculously fast that the scrolling of the screen could barely keep up. The Superbike was especially fun, because any driver of the damn thing would inevitably find him- or herself getting quite intimate with that cement wall, car bumper, street sign, or anything else that may have ended up getting in the way – and it ALWAYS did. Who can forget watching that little criminal-in-training fly across the screen like a crash test dummy?

Kuribo’s Shoe (Super Mario Bros 3)

OK, I promise that this is the last reference to a Mario game, but the Kuribo’s Shoe MUST be mentioned in any article regarding awesome modes of transportation. This thing shoes up in exactly ONE stage in Super Mario Bros 3, and it is absolutely the best thing that could have happened to that game besides a free gold chain with every purchase. While in this little green (apparently wind-up) xmas stocking, Mario and Luigi are damn near invincible. Any enemy is crushed under its mighty pitter-patter and not even the vicious black piranha plants can penetrate its impervious soul sole. Win.

 J-Bomb (Blast Corps)

Somehow, Blast Corps seemed to slip under the radar of many gamers when it was released on the Nintendo 64, even though it was purely enjoyable game of massive destruction (there’s strategy in there, too…somewhere). Of all the interesting ways players could demolish buildings in Blast Corps, the J-Bomb robot was undoubtedly the coolest. This thing would fly up and over buildings, and then smash the $#!% out of them from above, easily demolishing block after block of towering skyscrapers in just seconds. Basically, if you rode the J-Bomb, everything was your bitch.

Epona (The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time/Twilight Princess)

Do I even need to explain this one? Ocarina of Time was one of the earliest instances of legit videogame horseback riding, was the the first three-dimensional Zelda game, and is STILL arguably the best game of all time (era-adjusted, of course). Epona was a part of what made that game so great. Besides the vehicular purpose she served, Epona was Link’s companion throughout the adventure, and certainly part of a player/character bond that I’m sure plenty of gamers felt while playing Ocarina. In Epona’s triumphant return to the Zelda series, horse-mounted combat only makes one appreciate her even more (those mounted battle scenes were definitely some of the best parts of the game).

Rush (Mega Man Series)

This puppy (yeah…corny) does just about everything. He turns into a jet, a submarine, a motorcycle, a spring-loaded stepping stone, and various other aids to Mega Man’s cause. If my dog could do all of that, well, I’d sell my car and go deep-sea diving, but I’d also have the coolest dog in the friggin’ world. The best part about Rush – he doesn’t shed or need to be housebroken. Wooooo!!!

Anything from the Metal Slug series

I was just getting ready to wrap things up, when Rush reminded me of those mech suits in some of the other Mega Man games (I honestly don’t know what they’re called, and couldn’t even say with 100% certainty which games they were in. I believe it’s Mega Man X, but you guys can help me out if you know for sure). Those quickly made me think of Metal Slug, and here we are reading absolutely NOTHING about the vehicles I’m trying to describe (I’m getting there). The vehicles and suits in the Metal Slug games are absolutely awesome. They are like dual-wielding heavy machine guns with unlimited ammo and rocking a force field that makes your enemies cry tears of blood. Seriously, nothing stands a chance against a soldier in a slug vehicle.


So there you have it, some of the best videogame vehicles in my humblest of pretentious opinions. So what are the rides that stand out in your minds as the cream of the crop? I’m sure there are plenty of others that deserve some recognition, so comment it up!

P.S. This is what I ride to the office every day:

Eddie Inzauto


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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