Koopa Troopa Beach
Mario Kart (1997)
Whenever the word beach is uttered with the word gaming, Koopa Troopa Beach from Mario Kart 64 is always the first to come to mind. Waves continually washed in and out of the track, sometimes covering the smaller paths. Crabs posed a threat as they moved side to side, threatening to drop you from 1st to 4th. The overall ambiance of the track was boosted with the catchy island tune in the background. It was a fast, fun, and memorable race destination.
Super Mario Sunshine (2002)
It is just not a beach blog without mentioning the game centered around an island paradise. Super Mario Sunshine sported many island locations, but Gelato Beach was one to behold. Being able to see the pristine beach and crystal clear water was incentive enough to help clean the beach of any pollutants with F.L.U.D.D. Collecting red coins in a coral reef, pushing a giant watermelon along a boardwalk, and even fighting a giant Wiggler on the beach made this one memorable beach world.
Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
Halo took beaches and introduced them to Michael Bay. The second you touch down on the beach you are bombarded by Covenant fire with the classic Halo theme backing your regime. The level consists of you driving around the island, infiltrating various facilities as you blast your way through a Covenant armada. It was a strangely satisfying feeling as you splashed through shallow waters in your Warthog to your next destination, gunning down Elites along the way.
Chapter 8: Sandtraps
Half Life 2 (2004)
After driving along the coast line for a time, you soon must trudge along a beach to face the Combine head on at Nova Prospekt. Disembarking from your vehicle landed you in a mad dash past Antlion infested sands. It was the latter half of this chapter with the beach confontration at night that stuck with me the most. With control of Antlions via Bugbait, you marched past the rocky shore to soldier outposts, leaving devastation in your wake. It was a nice contrast from fearing to welcoming the Antlion presence, and such a distration that you almost forgot that you were on a beach.