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

  1. #226
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    42. Oh man, this game takes me back. When I used to collect GamePro magazines and the Sega CD was a big deal, I remember seeing all of the promos and ads for this game and the awesome anime artwork. I was sad I couldn't really play it since I was just a kid. Fast forward to 99, everyone is super excited for FFVIII to come out and I picked up an obscure gaming magazine that had a neat article concerning first impressions of the Japanese version of the game. Except the cover article looked really familiar to me. Turned out Lunar got a remake and thanks to Working Designs (God rest their beautiful souls) was headed to the west for PlayStation. I finally had my chance to play a game that eluded me in my childhood.I honestly had a blast. In an era where game designers were trying to impress people with quirky designs or gorgeous 3D graphics, it was kind of nice to play something so unapologetic and old school. I'm not going to try and sell the gameplay here. It's turn base, each character has their own skills, and you have as much customization options as you do in FFIV. It's vanilla, non-offensive and some may say it's boring. I feel it gets the job done. The plot itself also feels incredibly vanilla. Alex lives in a small backwood village and dreams of following in the footsteps of his hero Dragonmaster Dyne who also was born in the town of Burg and his grave stand son a hill. Also dreaming of adventure and getting away from home is Ramus, the mayor's son who is more interested in running a business than taking over his father's position as head of the town. Along with Nall, a talking flying cat creature Alex grew up with and his childhood friend Luna, a girl adopted by Alex's family with mysterious powers associated with her singing; the four visit the local cavern that holds Quark, one of Dyne's dragons in hopes of finding a precious stone. Quark senses that Alex has great potential and with the gem in hand, the boys decide to head to Meriba to sell the gem and start their adventure with a reluctant Luna. On their way, they meet up with an adventurer named Laike who gives Alex advice on how to follow in Dyne's footsteps, and Nash, a top student of a the Magic Guild on his way home. It's all typical RPG shenanigans with the party meeting and losing friends on the way, and meeting with the great heroes who fought alongside Dyne such as his close friend and a powerful sorcerer Ghaleon and Hell Mel the beast-man. The group soon discover that a sinister army form the outlands of Lunar, led by the sinister Magic Emperor have their sights on taking over the world. Alex discovers his destiny, Luna learns about her past, obvious betrayals, a story about a new generation following in the footsteps of the old heroes, yada yada muda muda, you get the point. This game is not taking ideas from the big book of cliches, technically by historical definition, it is the book. So the plot isn't really going to throw any curve balls either. So what pray tell let this game get this far on the list?Mainly the characters, but I would also say the game also does the other elements well enough of at least in such an inoffensive way that it' easy to just give it a pass on it's percieved shortcomings. The battle system has no thrills, but it's still fun and rewarding. The plot has a "been there done that" vibe but it's so charming and colorful that you're never really going to mind. The cast are mostly stock tropes, but the characters are so warm, friendly, and well written that it's difficult not to fall in love with them. For a game released in the early days of the Golden Era of RPGs (90s to early 2000s) it holds up surprisingly well despite how much the genre has advanced. I mean I love quiet and adventure seeking Alex, bossy Nall, charming Luna, arrogant Nash, boisterous Jessica, humble Mia, and goof ball Kyle, and that's just the core cast. The game is filled with wacky characters and there is almost an odd, Studio Ghibli vibe to the charm this game gives of that makes you feel nostalgic for good old fantasy. Another factor I love is the hilarious localization the game is given. Sometimes if descends into juvenile toilet humor, but it adds a fun flavor to a game that could easily be very generic otherwise. NPCs will say pop culture references, towns have unique dialect or weird backstories to make them feel a bit more interesting, and the game is very tongue in cheek about everything, which really works to give this lighthearted romp of an adventure the extra push to feel like something greater than it is. The game is also filled with new animated cutscenes by Studio GONZO of all places which are gorgeous and filled with some of the games best moments. The lone exception being the game's ending when Alex must face the final threat to Lunar which cannot be won through a battle but instead with a certain item Alex never let go of and it's really touching to see. Lunar is pretty unique for me, it's one of the very few JRPGs that I appreciate for its simple adventure and fun cast of characters rather than some deep meaningful message or philosophical angle. It's a simple warm soup and piece of bread on a snowy evening, simple, but all you need to feel warm and peaceful as you watch the snow fall.



  2. #227
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Ohhh we have that I am excited to play it!

    Was expensive

  3. #228
    Shlup's Retired Pimp Raistlin's Avatar
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    Lunar SSSC remains one of my favorite RPGs. I don't have much to add to the praise. The characters and writing are just so endearing and surprisingly heart-warming. It's relatively short by modern standards, and everything about it is just fun. Kyle and Nall are non-stop hilarity, and the music and animated cutscenes are fantastic.

    Also in an era that had a bunch of terrible voice-acting, Lunar SSSC stands out with its excellent cast.

  4. #229
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    41.
    Now we've come to my favorite Mario game of all time. In the fourth grade, I was invited to a classmates house for his birthday. he got an SNES for his birthday and we hooked it up that night and played it until morning. A few years later, I got my own SNES with World, Mario All-Stars, and another game that's on this list. Despite owning the previous entries, this is actually the first Mario entry I've ever beaten.
    There has always been an argument over whether Super Mario Bros 3 or Super Mario World is the best 2D Mario game, and to be fair, they both have a lot of similarities. I feel that what makes Mario World Stand out to me more is that despite having almost the same amount of levels, World tends to have multiple paths within their levels that open up the world differently. SMB3 had the stages pretty much blocked out, and needed to be completed in some for of order to reach all stages, but World hid the maps to you, so you couldn't see how many stages there were, and the alternate exits could open up pathways and reach stages you may not have realized was there. This dynamic layout always felt more exciting to me than SMB3's static design, and secondly, the fact that many of these stages could only be opened by finding alternate exits within stages often meant really combing the levels and increase replay value.
    SMB3 had some cool alternate mini-games on the stage for fun, but I prefer World's more intriguing secrets like the Block Palaces that would fill in the special blocks, and the Star Warps that lead you to Star Road, and eventually the Special Zone. The secrets in World simply felt more meaningful as you got rewarded with quick travel, extra stages, and unique Yoshis. My absolute favorite secret is completing the Special Zone and unlocking the Fall version of Super Mario World, which was a nice Easter egg.
    Boss battles have a bit more variety to them as well. The Koopa Kids all basically fought the same way in SMB3, but World made them a little unique by at least giving us a few different types of battles. It isn't a huge leap, but I appreciate the effort. Also the Ghost Houses are some of the coolest stages in this game and brings us back everything cool about the Fortress Stages in SMB3 but making them even more twisted since the Ghost Houses will likely be the players real first taste of having multiple paths to complete the stage.
    The level design overall is pretty solid in this game, which is par the course for the franchise but World is devoid of some of the more obnoxious stages from previous games. I still shutter when I think about Pipe World from SMB3 whereas World has only a few small handful of stages I actively dread. While the removal of the various costumes is a bit sad, I felt the new item mechanic in the game was a bit more functional and less exploitative than SMB3's system where I could save a few P-Wings to trivialize half the stages in a world I don't like. Though we probably could have done without Yoshi's Secret Stage that allows you to get infinite 1-UPs. It's not like World is terribly difficult to begin with compared to say... Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels.
    Overall, the cool new enemies, better world set-up, cool secrets and tight level design has always made this game one of my favorites. Letting Mario ride around on a dinosaur was also pretty rad too. Man the 90s, what a time to be a kid and a gamer.



  5. #230
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    Lunar had some fantastic characters. It's gameplay was a little old school (I only played it recently), but the characters and writing more than made up for it.

    A long time ago, my mom's grandma died and left her some money. So my parents took us to Sears and told us we could pick out one system. SNES and Genesis were both set up with a demo at the Sears. On Genesis I played Sonic the Hedgehog and on SNES I played Super Mario World. I immediately fell in love with SMW and the choice was easy. It's one of the best games ever!

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  6. #231
    SHAAAAAUN! Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
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    I love Mario world. I played the psp version of silver star story and enjoyed it. I'm not sure how different it is from the ps1 version. I did like the characters and such, but I think I would have liked it all more had I played it back when the ps1 version came out.

  7. #232
    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    I love this game so much. Partly because it has one of the most incredible modding scenes ever. Seriously.

  8. #233
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    40.
    An RPG released late in the SNES's life cycle. I feel slightly bad for this game because it was released the same year as Chrono Trigger in Japan, the same year as Super Mario RPG in the States, and the same year as FFVII in Europe. It doesn't really surprise me that people have never heard of this game and none of this is helped by the fact that it looks like a pre-FFVI RPG. I only discovered it thanks to a friend who would buy anything up with the RPG genre slapped onto it. Him lending me this game allowed me to fall in love and eventually pick up my own copy. Developed by Neverland, who is probably better known for their Rune Factory series, the game was originally called Estpolis Denki (Biography of Estpolis) published by Taito, which was bought out by Square, which is how SE kind of acquired the rights to the franchise in later years and developed an Action-RPG remake, that tries too hard to update the game for "cool kids". Course I might still just be a bit bitter about that...
    Despite the 2, in the title, Lufia 2 is actually a prequel to the first title: Lufia & The Fortress of Doom, which was a sub par Dragon Quest clone with some unique puzzles and a cool prologue, which is actually the ending of this game. Set a hundred years before the first game, Lufia deals with the story of Maxim, a legendary hero fated to save the world from the Sinastrals, powerful gods who refuse to relinquish their control over the world and let the Age of Man begin.
    Maxim is a monster hunter who lives in a small village of Elcid with his childhood friend Tia. Tia wants Maxim to get his thirst for adventure out of his system so they can finally settle down together, but the rise of the monsters now attacking villages as well as the prophecy of the mysterious woman Iris has Maxim gladly leave his home and travel the world to uncover the truth about the monster uprisings as well as his destiny. Tia reluctantly joins him and eventually he meets up and joins the bruiser Guy, who teams up with Maxim to rescue his sister; Selan, the commander of the Parcelyte Kingdom and a powerful magic sword woman; and Dekar, the bodyguard of the Prince of Bound, and a stupidly awesome badass who is awesomely badass because he's a bit too dumb to understand the kind of danger he's in. The group encounter the Sinistral Gades, the God of Destruction who levels a town and threatens to sink the continent into the sea unless Maxim defeats him. Their battle with Gades becomes a major turning point that puts Maxim on his path to become a legend and the tragedy that follows.
    It may be hard to read that and look at these screenshots and feel like this game is anything more than some generic romp through typical fantasy tropes. Yet Lufia 2 is incredibly deceptive in it's presentation, and story. The plot actually plays the "heroes of destiny" spiel incredibly straight, and it becomes apparent that Maxim and his allies really are different. This is beautifully played out with Tia, Maxim's childhood friend and starting love interest. She wants Maxim to finally settle down and stop his need to fight and adventure, but it becomes increasingly apparent to her as the journey continues that this is who Maxim really is. A normal peaceful life is simply not something he really ever wanted, and his other allies have similar issues of restlessness and the constant need for conflict. It creates an interesting way of looking at some of the heroes of other stories in comparison. I mean, can an ordinary person really understand a person destined to slay gods? That's not to say that Maxim is unknowable, surprisingly enough, he actually winds up settling down and having a family midway through the game before the Sinistrals return and he's back into adventure. His actual growth as character from his teen years into adulthood stems from the fact that before he fought for the need to do so, but after raising a family, he actually has something to protect. It's very subtle, but something I appreciate the game doing. Hell, one of the bigger twists in the game and by extension, the whole series is that Maxim beating Gades in the first half of the game doomed his descendants and the planet to face the wrath of the Sinistrals for centuries to come. It's elements like this that make the game stand out to me. The emotional ending is also quite powerful, leaving this game on a very strong note despite it's generic beginnings.
    Gameplay is the real treat of this game. Don't let the cartoony and generic fantasy setting fool you, Lufia 2 has some serious depth under the hood. While all characters are predetermined to fall into the typical RPG dynamic of Warrior/Mage/Red Mage with people who can use spells buying up magic scrolls in shops and their spell selection being determined by their class, the game has the awesome IP system to add several layers of actual customization. Basically, IP is a bar that goes up as your character takes damage and it can used in junction with IP Attacks which are connected to the characters equipment. So, your character might have an Agility Rind that speeds them up when equipped, but also grants the character the ability to use a speed increasing spell with the IP system. Using these abilities drains IP, so they can't be used consecutively unless the cost of the move is small enough,but the game offers a wealth of unique moves that allow characters like Dekar and Guy, who have no magic ability to have unique special moves to help turn the tide of battle. Every piece of equipment can potentially have an IP ability and it's possible to build your party around the abilities instead of just which gear has better stats. One of the accessory slots allows you to equip Rocks given by enemies that allow you to use some of their signature moves which gives a nice Blue Mage vibe to the system, hell you can even acquire some of the Sinstrals weapons and get access to some of their unique moves like Gades Sword which allows a character to attack eight times in a row.
    Another cool feature are the Capsule Monsters, seven special monsters you can find in the game, each one based on one of the elements in the game along with non-elemental. They act as an A.I. controlled fifth party member that can't be healed or resurrected in battle but get fully restored after every encounter. These guys not only offer a nice decoy for your party in long stretches of dungeon crawling, but also can become quite powerful with enough levels and through evolutions. Evolution? Yes, by feeding the monsters the equipment you don't use, they begin to slowly grow as seen through a bar. Once the bar is filled, the monster will evolve into a new form with new attacks and better stats. Their final forms are as powerful and as durable as a full party member, so it's worth evolving all of them.
    Dungeons are unique because not only can you see the enemies on the screen, they only move in relation to your own movement, so you can effectively get out of fighting by being careful when walking around a room. It's even used for some of the puzzles. Probably the most defining element of the game for me is the Zelda style puzzles in all of the dungeons. They are frankly more memorable than the bosses to be honest. Maxim will also gain tools to use like a hookshot to cross ledges, arrows to strike switches from afar and even a Reset move when you seriously smurf up. There is one puzzle late in the game that stumped me so bad, I had to photocopy the solution from an old issue of Nintendo Power at the library, just so I can move on. I still have it taped to the cartridge.
    Another cool element is the Ancient Cave, a rogue-like sidequest where your party is stripped of all of their gear and returned to lv. 1 in order to tackle this 99 floored behemoth. It lacks the puzzles of the main dungeons and is pure dungeon crawler but offers many exciting challenges. The best part is that while most gear you find is taken away when you leave, there are some unique gear that can only be obtained here and they can seriously break the game if you're diligent enough and the RNG likes you enough to acquire early. The best part is that this gear will also not be removed when you try the dungeon, so you can effectively start the dungeon with an endgame armor or weapon. After beating the dungeon or NG+ you can unlock the Ancient Cave as a separate game from the start menu which allows you to assemble a team from any party member in the game, allowing you to use party configurations your normally can't. Another sidequest involves finding eight dragon eggs scattered in random dungeons which can be given to the Egg Dragon in exchange for a wish, Dragon Ball fans have fun. Also, as mentioned, the game has NG+, but unlike most games that let you start over with everything, Lufia 2 simply balances it out by having the enemies drop 1.5x more Gold and XP, allowing you to level faster and always be well equipped which makes multiple playthroughs faster without totally borking the challenge.
    Overall, despite how lame the game looks, it has a pretty engaging story and some rocking gameplay that I still remember fondly. It was also one of the few SNES RPGs to be released in most of the regions surprisingly enough. It's a shame the later installments could never live up to this entry, and the first game is a generic dud, leaving this franchise a one-note wonder, but you can feel it's impact in later franchises like Wild Arms and Golden Sun which borrowed ideas from this title.


  9. #234
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    You are on a roll with the classics, Wolf. There are not many media where the sequel/prequel is better than the original but Lufia certainly is one of them.

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  10. #235
    *permanent smite* Spuuky's Avatar
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    I love Lufia 2, and I love the hilariously bad localization that it has. Wish more RPGs would do the puzzle dungeons.

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  12. #237
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    39.Now back to those Arcade roots. X-Men The Arcade game was developed by Konami and loosely based off of the pilot X-Men Cartoon, X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men, which is where many of the enemies and team line-up come from. This game was kind of a big deal back in the day due to being a six player co-op experience and I can say that when you do get all six people playing, this game seriously rocks. Magneto has captured and re-purposed the Sentinels to use in his war against humanity, which he uses to attack a city. The X-Men travle there to stop them and their leader, Pyro only to learn too late that the attack was a ruse used for Magento and his Brotherhood to capture Professor X and Kitty Pryde. Traveling to M Island, which is totally not a poor copy of the Savage Lands minus Sauron, the X-Men battle major enemies like White Queen (remember when she used to be a villain?), Wendigo, Nimrod, and Juggernaut to rescue Kitty, before heading up to Asteroid M to battle Magento himself and rescue Xavier. The game introduced, to me at least, specials which my dumbass kid self used to feel were actual powers the characters had in the case of Wolverine and Colossus which could be used to clear out swarms of enemies. I can honestly say that I really love the lineup as well in retrospect, especially giving Dazzler, who I always felt was underrated in the series, the limelight. This game also got me to really appreciate Nightcrawler and Colossus even more. Why this game is ultimately here, is not necessarily due to being a great game. I mean it's a fun co-op brawler don't get me wrong, but it's really here because it kind of coincides with my love affair with comic books and may have been the game that got me from casually knowing about comic books to actively wanting to check them out, which was later solidified with the X-Men Animated Series. So in a way, this game represents a pivotal part of my childhood (along with another arcade classic we'll get to pretty soon) and simply trying to learn more about the characters from this game made me seek out all of those back issues where I fell in love with the franchise. Truth be told, I was once a huge X-Men fan and I consider the era between the Post-Dark Phoenix Saga to the end of the Age of Apocalypse to be the franchises Golden Age (early 80s to almost the mid-90s) where the series kind of moved away from fun but kind of trashy pulp stories where the team regularly fought off aliens and Dracula, to a story that really began to focus more on the characters and the growing cynicism about Xavier's dream of mutant acceptance. I came in around the Jim Lee era when the second X-Men book got launched, but I kept digging backwards to witness Storm losing her powers, Rogue starting as a villains and then begging to join the team, Colossus watching his sister lose her innocence when the team was trapped in Limbo, Wolverine losing his wife Mariko, and both the dissolution of the team in Fall of the Mutants, to all of them combing back together on Genosha to fight Cameron Hodge in Extinction Agenda. The Jim Lee era was fantastic as well with the new team line-up, my favorite incarnation of X-Factor, and great story arcs like X-Cutioner's Song and Fatal Attraction before climaxing with the mother smurfing Age of Apocalypse. I grew up with these characters and this game still brings me back to those days where I wanted to know more, which is why it's on this list.



  13. #238
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    Ahahaha! Welcome to die!

    Proud to be the Unofficial Secret Illegal Enforcer of Eyes on Final Fantasy!
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  14. #239
    *permanent smite* Spuuky's Avatar
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    I was a Nightcrawler player myself, and my brother was Colossus.

  15. #240
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I'm going to be at a convention for most of the weekend, so updates will be infrequent for the next few days. Sorry about that, but I'm sure some people need to catch up.

    So what has been your favorite game so far on this list, and which one surprised you the most?

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