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Thread: WK's Top something or other... let's just say "games" and call it good list.

  1. #106
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    I love FFV!

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    65.It's our second Zelda game to make it onto this list. Link's Awakening actually has a bit in common with two other entries on this list, namely Majora's Mask and FFTactics Advance. Like FFTA, LA places you in a bit of a moral quandary about halfway through and like TA, the player is kind of left at the ending wondering if you did the right thing. The similarities with MM on the other hand are far more apparent. The game actually has an interesting origin, as it was being secretly developed by some of the programmers who did LttP using ideas and concepts that didn't make it into the main game. They did this to blow off steam from the major projects they were working on. Soon what became a simple project started gaining more people helping out, and soon Nintendo game them permission to make the game. Wishing to make this more of a spin-off, the game incorporates villains and enemies from Mario and Kirby titles, and it was intentional to move the setting away from Hyrule and the main story. The Giant Egg idea was a scrapped idea for Ltt and found it's way into this game. The scenario writer Yoshiaki Koizumi, came up with the basic story and themes, and wanted to make the game feel like the TV series Twin Peaks, so he wrote the characters and the islanders to reflect this concept along with the underlying mystery surrounding the island. Link's Awakening is a direct sequel to A Link to the Past. After saving Hyrule, Link goes on a journey and tries to cross the ocean before he is caught in a storm. When he wakes up, he finds himself on a strange island filled with colorful characters who worship the Wind Fish that sleeps in an egg on a mountain in the middle of the island. No one knows how long they've been there and have no real memory about the past. Only Marin, the young singer who found Link on the shore and helped him has ever really wondered what the world beyond the island is like. Link meets a strange talking owl (who would later inspire the different character in OoT) who convinces Link that his only way of leaving the island is to wake the Wind Fish by gathering eight spirit instruments and play a certain song to wake it up and get it's help off the island. About halfway through the game a certain revelation is made to Link by the monsters who guard the treasures that puts Link's journey into doubt. So like MM, Link is ultimately transferred to a new place with a new villain, in fact Ganon, Zelda, and the Triforce are barely mentioned in passing and Link's real foe is original. The game is also less heroic fantasy and has more of a dark edge to it's story which is juxtaposed with a quirky cast of fun characters who are surprisingly cheerful considering what the story is really about. There is also a greater emphasis of talking and dealing with the locals, as often the temples are connected to them in some way. Marin herself is more prominent figure in the plot than previous NPCs in the franchise. The game also serves a s a bit of a bridge between A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, as the game is loosely based on the tech of LttP, but it also brings in many elements that would become major features in OoT. For instance, the Ocarina and the need to learn various songs to progress the quest, actually debuts in this game. The game also introduces the Mario Bros. expy's and along with Marin herself, will come to be expy's again in OoT as Maron and the Lon Lon Ranch crew. The core gameplay isn't terribly different from mainline Zelda titles, but there are more experimental elements in the game than typical Zelda titles. The game plays around with Mario style side scrolling elements and there are actual a few Mario enemies like Goombas and Chomp Chomps that makes appearances in this game. Even King Wart from SMB2 (also on this list) appears as the King of the Frogs and teaches the Frog Song to Link. There is also a cameo from a character from another Game Boy title that never made it out of Japan. Probably the coolest feature the game brought, which for reasons I'll never fathom, didn't become a major feature for the franchise and only ever showed up in one other game, is the ability to use two sub-weapons/item by replacing the sword with one of them. This ends up creating some interesting combinations like combining the Bombs and Bow to make Bomb Arrows, or using the Pegasus Boots running mechanic in conjunction with the Roc Feather's (debut) jumping mechanic to greatly expand Link's mobility and create more clever means of getting around the island. While Link's Awakening is kind of doomed to be always overlooked by Zelda fans since it's not a console entry and more of a spin-off, the game is really well designed and has a great cast and story with it. It was a sheer blast playing through this entry a few years ago, and I'm still kicking myself for taking so long to get around to it.


  3. #108
    Ghost of Christmas' past theundeadhero's Avatar
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    I liked a lot of things about Link's Awakening. The trading adventure was fun. Sea shell collecting was interesting to power up your sword, and it was especially useful that if you went to the gauge after every five you got a free sea shell. I liked that you could steal a shovel, as long as you never went back to the shop, but then everyone would call you thief instead of your name for the rest of the game. It was an especially nice touch that Marin actually turns into a seagull and flies away if you manage to beat the game without dying.

    Bork Bork

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    Nooo, I missed FFTA and KH: CoM. These update too often!
    My friend Delzethin is currently running a GoFundMe account to pay for some extended medical troubles he's had. He's had chronic issues and lifetime troubles that have really crippled his career opportunities, and he's trying to get enough funding to get back to a stable medical situation. If you like his content, please support his GoFundMe, or even just contribute to his Patreon.

    He can really use a hand with this, and any support you can offer is appreciated.

  5. #110
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    These last three are absolute gems.

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  6. #111
    Blood In The Water sharkythesharkdogg's Avatar
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    Link's Awakening is my second favorite Zelda behind ttP. It really is a pretty great game in a lot of ways. It's sad though.

  7. #112
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Probably not going to have an update today. I'm pretty exhausted tonight. Sorry.

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  9. #114
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    64.When asked the question of which DQ Yuji Hori considers his favorite, he answered this game. He considers it his magnum opus for the franchise and after play through it, I am of the impression that he is most likely right. Dragon Quest V is a special game in terms of it's overall design and I feel it breaks away from the "DQ Mold" a bit more than any other entry in the series, which really sets it apart for me.Set during the loosely defined Zenithia Trilogy (Super Famicom era), DQV is a generational story separated into three arcs. The first arc begins with your character as a small child traveling the world with your badass father to find the Zenithia gear and the Hero of Legend to stop an underlying evil encroaching on the world. The second arc begins as your character is a young man still continuing your journey and ends up finding some of the gear, but gets married and learns more about his past. The third arc is about the character traveling the world with his own kids and finally fulfilling the journey they started as a small child. This is a very vague description because I feel you really need to experience the journey for yourselves. Like most DQ games, the game is a bit light on plot but makes up for it with a good cast of characters and memorable scenarios. DQV is tied with DQVII for me as a game that really has some heart-wrenching moments scattered about it as well as some really warm elements as well. In truth Hori was at his A-Game with this titles story which is saying something coming from me because I rarely like DQ stories. With that said, DQV's plot does kind of fall apart for me by the end. Largely because the main villain and even his cronies are such a background element to the plot that beating most of them never really had much satisfaction as you kept asking yourself, "who are you again?". There is also a major subplot that only gets pushed into the front of the story about three times in the plot, about once per arc, and due to being so scarce, it's resolution in the final act, which is meant to be a very powerful moment kind of fell flat for me because it involved a character who spent most of the game as an unknown entity. DQIII has a similar plot thread, but made sure to keep it as an element throughout the plot, so it's impact was far more powerful imho. Still I liked that he re-utilized the one interesting idea from DQIV which was the chapter scenario by splitting the game into different arcs with a clear beginning and end. It's amusing playing as a weak small child and having your A.I. controlled father show up to absolutely wreck everything for you and then transition to the second arc, where you have to fend for yourself. My one gripe is that again, the third arc falls a bit flat, which is sad when it begins so powerfully, but this is largely due to a combination of the villains being underdeveloped and the game deciding to overload you with a bunch of human characters at the last minute after you spent so much time building your Monster Dream Team. "Monster Dream Team" you ask? Oh yes, this is what really separates this game from it's peers. The game follows a gameplay structure out of Shin Megami Tensei, and while you do have a few human companions to help you at certain points of the plot, your party is basically built with the various monsters you battle in the game. Sometimes when you finish a battle, one of the monsters may get up and ask to join you. Monsters learn their own spells and can use some gear as well. People who have played XIII-2 will recognize the monster leveling mechanic, as some monsters start off with beefy stats but will level cap at Lv. 20, while some weak monsters can eventually be leveled to 99 and gain ungodly powerful skills. While the acquisition of monsters is a bit random for my taste, it is still an absolute blast trying out different monster teams and seeing which works best. Probably the most well known element about this game is the fact your character can get married, and you actually get to choose which of the fair maidens to choose from. In the original, it was only between the childhood friend Bianca or the quiet and demure Nera, but the DS version adds Deborah, Nera's more selfish and strong minded older sister as an option as well. The game is also a bit anvilicious about the choice as the original version makes it clear that Bianca is really the only choice, especially since she's the only one to really appear in any of the official artwork. So it's nice the remake kind of scaled back pushing her as the right choice. While Dragon Quest is a bit more niche in the West, I will wholeheartedly say that if you really wanted to know what all of the fuss is about, this is the best game to play. It's easily the most creative entry and has better replay value than many of the other games in the franchise.


  10. #115
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    DQV is excellent. Nera is bae

  11. #116
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharkythesharkdogg View Post
    Link's Awakening is my second favorite Zelda behind ttP. It really is a pretty great game in a lot of ways. It's sad though.
    Knew I liked you for a reason.

  12. #117
    *permanent smite* Spuuky's Avatar
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    Had Liquid Metal Slime in my party, A+++

  13. #118
    Taking care of business Cid's Knight Bubba's Avatar
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    I've never attempted a Dragon Quest game. I remember in the early days of he SNES, the magazine I used to buy (Super Play) had a monthly feature on Japanese rpgs and this series (along with Final Fantasy, of course) grabbed most of the headlines.

    I should really attempt one at some point.

  14. #119
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    You are on a roll here Wolf.

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  15. #120
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    63. Man, is this really the first MegaTen title on this list? This game is a bit of an oddity in he SMT community. First off, I don't think any of us were expecting it since Atlus released the third entry in 2003 which itself was close to ten years after SMT2 came out, so it seems like Atlus can only give us a legitimate sequel to the franchise once per decade. This was also the first entry to only have modest contribution from the core SMT team since many of them either left the company or got kicked up stairs in the corporate ladder. The game was built with a team comprised of older veterans of the franchise and new people and apparently there were lots of disagreements on how to go about this game, but I'll get to that later. Shin Megami Tensei IV takes place in the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado, a feudal kingdom with a strict caste system of Luxurors and Casualrys which you are born into. The only way for a peasant Casualry to circumvent their status is to be chosen to be a Samurai, a prestige position of knighthood who protects the realm, on their eighteenth birthday during the Rite of the Gauntlet. You play as Flynn (though you can change his name) who travels to the capital city with his friend Issachar to fulfill the rite. Flynn passes as the mechanical gauntlet boots up and he's introduced to the spirit of the gauntlet known as Burroughs. Issachar fails and has to return to his old life. Flynn meets his fellow knights who recently passed the rite: Jonathon, a kind-hearted Luxuror who want to change the caste the system to help everyone; Walter, a fellow Casualry who is happy to leave his life behind and has a carefree attitude that likes freedom; Isabeau, a Luxuror associated with the monastery branch of the government, she is more calm and serious than the other two but tends to be a bit more indecisive. Finally there is Navarre, a spoiled Luxuror who is annoyed that he has been chosen, he looks down on all Casualrys. The five recruits are soon taught the basics of their new jobs and learn to their horror that it's to protect the realm from demon invasions. Even scarier is that the gateway to Naraku, the demon realm, is actually under the capital city. Luckily the gauntlet's they receive give the Samurai the ability to speak and even recruit demons to help them on their holy quest. Eventually the team come in contact with a mysterious Black Samurai, who has come from the depths of Naraku and is causing a social conflict between the Casualry and the Luxurors by distributing books to the peasant caste and teaching them to read. Hoping to stop her, the Samurai are tasked with traversing the deepest parts of Naraku until they find her, something no Samurai has ever done before. To the samurai's surprise, Naraku leads to a post-apocalyptic modern Tokyo that has been trapped in a mysterious magical dome after a war between Lucifer and the Angels of Heaven twenty five years prior. After this point, the plot just get more convoluted and twisty and frankly I'm trying my best to be vague on details because uncovering the true mysteries of the Mikado and Tokyo's connections is one of the games high points for me. SMTIV has a more Dark Souls approach to story, despite having more fleshed out characters in the plot than previous installments of the series. The early sections are more story driven as they set-up the world of the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado, but Tokyo and it's connections are far more subdued and involve talking to most of the NPCs to really put together what the hell happened twenty five years ago and how everything gets interconnected. SMTIV also adds a new element to the traditional plot themes. Usually the stories involve mankind being stuck in between the power struggle of the Chaos forces of Lucifer and the Law aligned forces of YHHW, but IV introduces a new faction called The White, which are godlike being created from the nihilism of mankind and simply want to end the cycle once and for all.The game has some cool twists and turns and plays with the series central conflict of Chaos vs. Law. There is even a point where your team get to see what a Chaos or Law world would even look like.
    Gameplay is familiar to people who've played the franchise before but has several interesting touches that make it stand out from it's peers. Battles are fought in a first person perspective, which is traditional of the mainline franchise, but the dungeons are traversed in third person like SMTIII. Battles retain Digital Devil Saga's (Avatar Turners) version of the Press Turn system where defending will prevent your weakness from being exploited, but has added a new mechanic called Smirk. Smirk activates sometimes when your party member lands a critical hit or nullifies an element attack from the enemy. Smirk lasts for one turn, but greatly enhances the power of your next action like doubling the potency of buff/debuff spells, or increased damage and healing from spells. It also makes physical attacks a guarantee critical hit, as well as boost your character's evasion to nearly 100%. So yeah, it's kind of overpowered, but even enemies can gain the status and you'll learn that quickly when you fight Minotaur and he basically becomes unstoppable because you can't control the flow of battle enough for him to not keep getting this perk. Another interesting addition to gameplay is how stats work. Firearms are now controlled by their own stat instead being based on your strength which greatly reduces their broken nature in previous installments. The most peculiar change is the removal of the Defense stat, instead your defenses are completely based on your armor or demon's natural defenses against the elements. This greatly speeds up combat as now everything in this game does ridiculous damage and even boss battles may only last four or five rounds top with the right party configuration. Course this also means that even backtracking can be dangerous as even low level enemies can wipe out your whole party if you don't have the right defensive build. It's a bit awkward but doesn't take long to get used to it. On the one hand, battles are thankfully short, on the other hand, party death is more common. Thankfully, SMTIV actually drops the whole "party leader dies = Game Over" since a party wipe is very common now.
    Flynn's customization also greatly differs from previous protagonists. His armor now completely controls his defensive game and it's important to keep a wide selection for any type of engagement. On the plus side, equipment actually changes Flynn's appearance and their are some nice touches with the designs. Flynn is also the first all human MC in the series to be able to use magic. When a demon under his employ finishes learning all of their skills, they can use Demon Whisper to teach Flynn one of the skills they have, though Flynn can only use eight. On the other hand, teaching Flynn the same skill powers up the skill for eight total ranks. This has the potential to transform Flynn into one of the most powerful characters in your party, much like the Demi-Fiend was in SMTIII. Demons are still obtained the same way, negotiations and demon fusions. Negotiations are a bit harder in this game than usual, due to demons being way more finicky and your answers having more of a percentage chance of succeeding rather than guarantee. This makes it hard to use negotiations to talk your way out of a losing battle or trying to acquire that one demon you really want. Thankfully, SMTIV brought back the App system from Strange Journey, so you can acquire apps that will help with negotiations, but it can be frustrating in the early to mid-sections of the game to either have a demon rob you of some rare items in negotiations, only to run away, or having one keep getting free turns to wreck your party because the answer you gave a hundred times before when talking to this demon stops working arbitrarily. Fusions have become far more user friendly in this game. The game adds the ability to break down what you want from fusions by adding restrictions like fusions for current levels, or a certain type of demon. You can even go by simply what is missing in your compendium. This makes creating the right demon super easy and reduces the need for a guide which is super convenient. Also, the game borrows from Devil Survivor's mechanics and let's you pick and choose the skills a new demon will learn from it's "parent demons" and the skill restrictions have been lifted so feel free to teach an ice demon like Jack Frost that Agidyne (fire) skill. This ultimately creates some serious balancing issues and by end game, it's not uncommon to find that you're rolling a COMP of twenty demons who all basically have the same move sets and only differ by slight stats and resistance changes.I said before the game had some conflict with it's development between the new team and the old team. SMTIV basically feels like an SMT team made to win over the Persona crowd of fans. It has a much simpler game design, more character driven and the difficulty has been curbed down. Unfortunately, it's still a mainline MegaTen game and tries it's best to adhere to series traditions. What we end up with is a game that kind of turned off fans of both series. Old fans hate that the more complex themes of the series are minimized to deal with how the characters are feeling. Persona fans hate the fact that all of the characters are a bit flat and one dimensional compared to the more robust ones from Persona. Old school fans feel the game holds your hands too much, while newer fans are thrown off by the game's more lore based story telling. Both sides kind of have a point, but ultimately I feel the game is actually pretty good overall if you don't adhere to some staunch ideal of what the series has to be. Frankly, I feel SMTIV did a lot to expand on the lore of the mainline games and I was happy that the Law, Chaos, and Neutral Heroes are all likable after suffering through Devil Survivors wishy-washy and angsty interpretations of the factions. The game does have some balancing issues that make it a bit too easy, especially when you put in account the game's DLC that practically gives you infinite money, skill cards, and leveling items. Still, I can appreciate Atlus trying to make the series more accessible because hot damn if it isn't a pain to convince people to play through Nocturne when they get murdered ten minutes in by a team of pixies. I honestly feel that people should give this game a try if you want play around with the main series of MegaTen, it was practically designed to be a "gateway" entry and I feel it does a great job. The story is pretty great if you can piece it together and the gameplay is excellent as long as you don't build a clone team.


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