ARRRRR! Ya scalawags! Be after my sunken treasure, eh? Well, you'll be facin' Davy Jones' locker when I'm done with ya. Now walk the plank, ya landlubber!
You know, a lot of Prima staffers might have been pretty good pirates…that is if Johnny Depp didn't go and perfect the form in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Still, that doesn't mean we can't go and try in video games as there are a number of pretty good ones that involve the pirating life (including the recently released Risen 2: Dark Waters that fans should go enjoy).
We've picked out a few pieces of gold when it comes to pirating life in video games (don't misread that as pirating video games, please…that's something different), and we think you'll agree with our choices. If not, well, you can always swab the deck, ya filthy mongrels!
Age of Booty (Capcom, Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network)
Before they worked on the excellent Crimson Alliance for Microsoft, Certain Affinity buckled down and created a noteworthy pirate adventure for Capcom. In Age of Booty, you float around in your pirate ship taking part in battles and capturing towns using a number of cannons and other power-ups to your advantage, including Ghost Ship (which turns your ship invisible) and Whirlpool (warping a ship to a random part of the map). Though the action is more real-time strategy based and not really set like an arcade game, it's fun to play especially in the Battle Royale mode where you can pit four teams of two players against one another to challenge who rules the high seas. You can download it now for moderately cheap: around $5-$10.
Skies of Arcadia (Sega, Dreamcast and GameCube)
As much as it looks like a futuristic adventure, Skies of Arcadia relies heavily on a pirating-theme even though you're flying around in the skies rather than sailing across the ocean. Sega developer Overworks created a massively cool role-playing adventure, one filled with memorable characters (you remember Vyse, right?) and beautiful visuals. Many dedicated Dreamcast gamers consider it one of the best games made for their system, prompting Sega to produce a quality remake for the GameCube that sold significantly well. The time has come for an HD version. So Sega, how about a downloadable Xbox Live or PlayStation Network Skies? We'd be all over it.
Zack and Wiki: Quest For Barbaros' Treasure (Capcom, Nintendo Wii)
Back when the Wii was just gaining steam on the market, Capcom came up with an innovative new adventure for it that was well suited for the system's motion controls with the kind of personality that attracted all ages of players. Zack and Wiki: Quest For Barbaros' Treasure is one of the more interesting games you'll find for the platform, packed with great puzzles, innovative gameplay and the kind of cute graphics that Capcom was used to be known for. The way you could transform enemies into vital tools to get further into a stage was rather cool (a centipede becoming a saw, why not?), and the cartoony results of each encounter were fun to watch. If you can, track down a copy of this gem you won't be sorry.
The Secret of Monkey Island (LucasArts, PC)
If we're going to talk about legendary pirate gaming, we have to mention the misadventures of Guybrush Threepwood, a would-be pirate who talks with characters and interacts with items in the PC gem The Secret of Monkey Island. The game remains a classic to this day, thanks to its signature sense of humor (Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer definitely worked their magic here, alongside Dave Grossman) and its interesting situations. The Monkey Island legacy continued to live on with Monkey Island 2, The Curse of Monkey Island, and most recently Telltale Games' Tales of Monkey Island games. Hopefully we'll see more of Guybrush emerge in the months ahead.
Sid Meier's Pirates! (Microprose, PC and later systems)
For a game that came out before all the others on this list, Sid Meier's Pirates! really went a long way for creating a massive pirate adventure, considering the limitations of the hardware that it was released on. The game featured many elements of pirating, including exploring the high seas, getting in sword fights and eventually considering marriage or retirement. The game was a cult success, prompting the release onto other platforms, including the NES, Sega Genesis, and most recently, on the Xbox in a revamp released by 2K Games. The game has since moved on to mobile platforms, where users can download and enjoy it on the iPad devices and Windows Phone and don't be surprised if 2K considers re-releasing it as an HD download sometime in 2013. This pirating life is just too good to pass up.
Uncharted Waters (Koei, NES, SNES and Sega Genesis)
Koei, who at the time were producing a number of simulation games for various consoles, decided to give pirating life a try with its Uncharted Waters series. Though it was more popular in the east Asia market than the rest of the world, the game found a decent following here in the States where users had the chance to live the life of a pirate through exploration, conquering, item management and sticking with a loyal crew in what could be best described as a pirate RPG. It's a decent game if you're a fan of Koei's older work.
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney Interactive, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP and Nintendo 3DS)
Last but not least, we've got an all ages pick that everyone should enjoy no matter what their platform of choice is. Lego Pirates involves Captain Jack Sparrow and a number of other heroes from the film series battling the odds across four separate chapters. They find items, solve puzzles and get into skirmishes with enemies. If you're looking for a pirate game that's easy (and fun) to play with friends and family, pick up a sword and fight the good fight with this one.