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

  1. #271

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    My Castlevania exploits last night had me pull out Simon's Quest and see if I can get it working, which I did and I'll try to play through it sometime in the future.

    So here's some clues for the rest of the thirty bracket, let's see how many of you can figure them out.

    • One game is about the bulltrout you go through when your friends have a criminal record.
    • One game is about the horrors of oversleeping.
    • One game shows how powerful whistling can be.
    • One game shows why you should get out more and see the theater.
    • One game is a cautionary tale about picking up shiny objects you find.
    • One game is an interesting take on communication abilities.
    • One game is what I feel may be the greatest licensed game of all time.
    Whistling makes me think Shadow of the Collossus?

  2. #272
    Ghost of Christmas' past theundeadhero's Avatar
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    *Also makes motorcycle noises*

    That is all.

    Bork Bork

  3. #273
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    But you can't deny that it fits
    Sadly, it fits better with that game than the one it's about. Course it was hard to come up with hints that didn't blatantly give it away.

  4. #274
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    I think number 2 is Red Dead and number 6 is Duck Tales.

    Proud to be the Unofficial Secret Illegal Enforcer of Eyes on Final Fantasy!
    When I grow up, I want to go to Bovine Trump University! - Ralph Wiggum

  5. #275
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    35.I'm sure this may come as a surprise for some people.Looking at this game and a few others on this list, I feel I have a serious soft spot for really creative and ambitious games that never got finished and were simply pushed out to make some holiday sale window. MGSV is also just as interesting for all of the drama surrounding it's creation and the firing of Kojima as well as Konami basically pissing off their last really loyal overseas fanbase since the company has a better track record of killing off their franchises than even Capcom or Square-Enix. So yeah, there is a lot of emotions and controversies within the game and surrounding it, but for now, that doesn't really matter. The game itself is good, really good in fact. The plot is a bit more convoluted than previous MGS games, only because in order to get the most emotional impact from this game, you really need to have played all of the Kojima made Big Boss titles. There are call backs to MGS3, but a lot of the story and drama comes from Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes. This next part is going to be a bit spoilery for people who haven't played some of these entries, so you have been forewarned. After his mission in Russia to kill the Boss, Naked Snake received the title of Big Boss but threw it away and left the U.S. government, despite helping Zero to create an organization to steer the country back into the direction that The Boss wanted the world to be. Disenfranchised with politics and homeland, Snake becomes a mercenary and joins up with Kazuhiro "Master" Miller to form the Militaires Sans Fronteires (Military Without Frontiers) in the Central America area and begins dealing with the proxy wars between the U.S., Russians, and the local countries sadly caught in the middle. He takes on a mission in Costa Rica on the behalf of an obvious Russian spy and a local girl named Paz. Here Snake confronts some serious WarGames type shenanigans when he discovers Huey Emmerich (Otocan's dad) and a bisexual fangirl of The Boss known as Dr. Strangelove are building an A.I. Controlled Metal Gear called Peace Walker on the behalf of the asshole politician that setup the Boss in MGS3. Crap happens, robots are destroyed, Snake finally decides he is walking down a different path than the Boss and finally begins to take on his title as Bog Boss. That Paz girl turns out to be an enemy agent working for Cipher, an intelligence branch of the U.S. government led by Zero, who was trying to frame Snake to force him back into the fold. Paz hijacks Metal Gear Zeke but is taken out by Snake and presumed to be dead.In Ground Zeroes, Huey Emmerich sets up a UN nuclear inspection of the Militaires Sans Fronteires base in order to get the world governments off their back for having a nuclear weapon. Meanwhile, the group finds out that Paz is alive and is detained in a military prison in Cuba that is totally not a thinly disguised Guantanomo Bay expy called Camp Omega. Initially Snake and Kaz were going to ignore her, but Chico, a boy the group picked up in Peace Walker who has a very complicated relationship with Paz, decides to go rescue her and gets captured as well. Well known for being a blather mouth, Snake is forced to infiltrate the camp the night before the inspection where he uncovers that the two have been horribly tortured both physically, mentally, and emotionally by a mysterious man with a disfigured face called Skull Face, who is trying to discover the location of Zero and seems to have a grudge against both him and Snake. While the mission is ultimately successful, it turns out the whole thing, including the UN Inspection, was a ruse by Skull Face and his Cipher unit XOF to destroy the base and assassinate Snake and Kaz. Both survive, but Snake falls into a coma.Nine years later, Snake has finally waken, and is trying to recuperate in a hospital on a small island in the Mediterranean. His memory and mind are fuzzy due to the shrapnel he took in the explosion that put him in the coma, and he lost his left arm as well. Unfortunately, just as he awakens, Cipher discovers his location and sends a hit squad to kill him, at which point Snake receives help from a mysterious figure named Ishmael who may or not be real. The rest of the opening is quite surreal and cinematic. It may actually be one of the coolest sequences in the franchise history to be honest. Eventually Ishmael disappears and Snake is reunited with Revolver Ocelot who helps Snake get back in shape and updates him on what has been happening for the last nine years. Kaz suffered only minor injuries and in Big Boss's memory, formed Diamond Dogs as his new mercenary company for the two of them with the sole goal of burying Cipher and killing Skull Face. Unfortunately, Kaz has been captured in Afghanistan at the height of the Russian conflict, and the newly titled Venom Snake goes in to rescue him. He encounters the Skulls, a paranormal military unit with superhuman abilities that led to Kaz getting captured and connected to Skull Face. Their search for revenge leads them all across Afghanistan and into the heart of Central Africa as well. The two of them have to deal with the changes they have endured through war and torture as well as the way their hatred and need for revenge has begun to warp their morals. In a lot of ways, MGSV has a lot in common with two controversial MGS titles: MGS2 and MGS4. Like MGS2, the game is separated by two distinct chapters, in this case Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, with the first chapter being a routine mission that ends up going out of control and resulting in the supposed death of the protagonist, the second half is a bit more of a surreal experience with many elements leading you to really question what you are seeing and discovering how some inconsequential details in one moments is actually a hint towards the games rather trippy non-ending. Both games also have the controversial ending which seem to only raise more questions and leaves you feeling like the story didn't really answer all of the questions. While some people would argue this is due to the game's troubled development, I feel like the game is too polished to feel totally incomplete and I'm pretty sure this was the planned ending all along. The game redoes a few ideas from MGS2, but I feel like Kojima has learned to do a better job of both getting his point across and while still controversial, I feel its safe to say from the little backlash it got, that is was not quite as controversial as MGS2 for fans. Like MGS4, Phantom Pain introduces a weird contrived science concept to explain away all of the weird trout in the game. I feel like Kojima was purposely trolling the fans like myself who bitched about MGS4's overuse of Nanomachines to explain away most of the plot. It feels almost a bit more satirical in this game but at least has some interesting elements that lead to some of the game's central themes about language, nationality and global control. Sadly, a lot of it kind of gets lost because we have to have a Metal Gear show up, by which I mean a goddamn Gundam. The other element it shares with MGS4 is retconning what you feel you know about the characters. Certain figures from Peace Walker become much more sinister figures in this game, and it's pretty obvious that Kaz himself has become a much darker figure than any of his previous incarnations, but he's not even the real surprise figure. Other figures get painted into being better people than you think, and if you were the type to get annoyed about the bombshell concerning the origins of the Patriots in MGS4, MGSV does a better job of explaining the whole mess in a better way.For a game with little in terms of story compared to the plot heavy series, MGSV is surprisingly powerful and more or less well told barring a missing episode concerning the end of Eli's story. Heroes become villains, villains turn out to be well intention extremist, and you'll definitely walk away from the experience with different views about several of the important figures in the MGS story. Yet I applaud it for not being as over the top and as fan servicy as MGS4 was, which had a bad habit of answering questions that didn't seem important and trying to to bring back ignored plot elements and haphazardly turn them into over dramatic plot fodder. The story has its fair share of nonsense, but it hits hard with the feels. Quiet for instance, may be one of my favorite female characters in the series despite her whole situation being a thinly veiled half ass excuse for gratuitous fan service. Yet, her story is pretty powerful when taken together and the ending will leave you a bit emotionally drained. I think my only major gripe with the plot is that some of the audio tapes should have been made into cutscenes. I feel some people would appreciate the ending more, had the Truth Tapes been adapted into actual cutscenes shown along with the normal ending. In fact the audio tapes still kind of bother me. I put up with them in PW because I felt the team was cutting corners to fit the whole game on the PSP, but in PP, it feels more like Kojima just giving a middle finger to fans who hated all the cutscenes and codec scenes. My real issue here is that it's hard for me to multitask, so whenever I needed to listen to the tapes, I would have to set the controller down and focus on it, otherwise I would get distracted if I was doing a mission or maintenance on Mother Base and have to restart the whole damn tape to keep my facts straight. My other gripe is that there are certain story/gameplay sequences that are unrepeatable without erasing your old file and starting a new one. Of course the crown jewel of the game is actually the gameplay, which is largely the reason it's so high on this list. I still find myself hopping this game back in to play around with it, which is a bit of a testament to the game as I rarely do this with MGS titles since I prefer them as a complete package. In fact one of my gripes with Peace Walker besides the game just not meshing well on the PSP was the "pick up and play" framework of the game, but I feel a lot of this has to do with the restrictive controls and dumbed down level design and enemy A.I. that compensated for the systems short comings standing in the way of making it fun for me. It took the series sixteen years since the leap to 3D to finally do it, but MGSV (and Ground Zeroes) has the most user-friendly interface and control scheme in the franchises history outside of the 2D entries. Switching from different weapons and combat styles is pretty damn seamless and while CQC is still a bit too easy for my taste, it has regained a lot of its options from MGS3 that both MGS4 and Peace Walker had removed, so it feels more meaty and useful. In a lot of ways, disregarding the games adopting open-world gameplay, the core structure of the game is basically Peace Walker's just finally built for console and with a better control scheme. You still capture enemy soldier to convert to your army, and between the usual stealth missions, the game adapts a building sim, where you need to allot soldiers to their proper units to help build up the Diamond Dogs with researchers to help build and arsenal of new weapons and toys to use on missions, combat units you can send out on missions to get more money and supplies, and other fields to help build a well oiled war machine. It's been improved from the original in small ways but some are much appreciated, I like the fact that you can slightly customize your base and even visit it which gives it a more personal touch than the boring text interface of PW. One of the biggest additions from PW and the series at large is the introduction of Buddies, special people you can bring along on missions to help you out in various ways. There are only four of them, but they actually have quite the impact on the gameplay. It's pretty amusing to feel like a total badass by getting a perfect score on a difficult mission with the help of D-Dog or Quiet, only to jump into the FOB Online missions and find out you are terrible at stealth because you over-rely on your buddy abilities. D-Horse is the game's best transportation with the ability to travel most terrains unhindered, and most enemies ignore the horse, so travel is pretty easy between side mission zones. D-Dog and Quiet are both pretty overpowered with their abilities to mark most enemy soldier in an area for you and their combat abilities. D-Walker is kind of the odd man out, being a bit too cumbersome for real stealth missions, but becomes a godsend on the missions where you need to take down the Skulls thanks to it's fire power. They bring some interesting dynamics to the game and it's super fun to replay missions with different buddies and load outs.The open world aspect of the game actually meshes incredibly well with MGS's core design. Yet, it's not terribly surprising because the series greatest strength has always been its open ended approach to levels and bosses, with multiple paths to your goal or multiple ways to beat a boss. The open world design simply allows the player to take it to another level as you can approach enemy bases from multiple directions, yet, MGS doesn't forget it's roots and there are several locations and missions associated with them that have a clear cut purposeful design like classical games in the series past. Of anything, the open world aspect simply makes what could have been the more tedious sections have more variety. One of the biggest contributing factors to all this is that the enemy tactics change to counter yours, which is absolutely brilliant. Do a lot of headshots? Enemies will start wearing helmets. Too many night missions, they all suddenly are sporting fashionable Night vision goggles. Love to CQC people, get ready for a shotun in the face. You can actually do missions which will temporarily prevent enemies from having access to these toold and weapons, but you don't have enough units to wipe out all of them at once, so you have to pick and choose which ones are more of an advantage for them, with the exception of Riot Gear, that should always go.There are also lots of fun little antics in this game, which is usual for the series. While the plot is pretty damn grim and very light on more lighthearted moments, the game makes up for it with wacky stuff in the gameplay department. Snake has a prosthetic arm in this game, so of course being a Japanese game, there is a Rocket Punch option. You can take down soem of the games hardest bosses with ridiculous methods like using ammo drops called in from Mother Base or even using a water gun to stop the Man on Fire. My personal favorite, and where I felt Konmai seriously dropped the ball with the DLC, is the ability to collect several 80s songs and giving you the ability to play them during missions on your walkmen or even have the Helicopter blair it loudly when it comes in for a kill strike or rescue. Nothing is more hilarious than wiping out an enemy base with A-Ha's Take on Me playing and then killing everyone with a chopper strike while its blaring Europe's the Final Countdown. it's silly and glorious all at once. I only wish Konami would have picked up a few more licensed tracks for it because I would have love to have Girls Just Want ot Have Fun blaring while I'm leveling up my female combat soldiers or the awkward moment of traveling with a car of knocked out soldiers across the African savahhna with the Cars Drive playing.I haven't gotten to the whole FOB stuff, which has it's fair share of shortcomings, but turned out to be a pretty enjoyable online experience where you can invade another players base and steal their resources and soldiers. I'm not a big fan of multiplayer titles as you can tell by the majority of my list consisting of single player experiences, and I lost my competitve drive years ago, so versus stuff doesn't interest me. Like MGS3 before it, despite my love of the main game, I have not bothered with MGO, like ever. I can still get behind the FOB missions because they offer some quirky challenges you can't get in the main game. Overall, I don't have many complaints against the game itself, except for maybe the lack of thrilling boss battles like in the first three games. I mean it's a vast improvement over Peace Walker's copy paste nonsense, but Man on Fire isn't quite the visual and "oh trout" factor of The Fury, Quiet is a fun sniper duel, but she's not quite as challenging as Sniper Wolf and The End, the Skulls are more annoying than fun to battle, and the games Metal Gear... well smurf that thing, I think it might be my least favorite Metal Gear with the possible excpetion of Peace Walker, but I need to replay that game to see how I feel now.

    In fact, that might be one of this games strengths is that while I was pretty lukewarm to Peace Walker, the MGSV Duology has made me pretty interested in replaying the game (with the console port to help smooth over the control issues) and while I still hate the circumstances of Ground Zeroes release and felt it should have been part of MGSV proper instead of being ut out to be an expensive demo, I'm still happy I played through it cause it really made this game feel more impactful. Overall, I feel that MGSV is the ending the series deserved, it askes as many questions as it answers and Kojima returned to his ideals concerning MGS2 in regards of making the player feel like part of the experience and leaving them to figure things out for themselves instead of having to sit them down and try to explain it all. If you haven't checked it out, it's a real gem of a game.


  6. #276
    SHAAAAAUN! Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
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    I still need to play through this. I only played a small part of it, but I did everything you could do in ground zeroes. Gameplay is fantastic, but what I've played and heard makes me think a little more could be done with the story. I don't mind the idea of listening to the tapes, but I feel like I'll agree with you on certain ones should be cutscenes. MGS4 did overdo it with lengthy cutscenes and such, but I thought the other games struck a better balance and wouldn't have minded something a little more similar to them in terms of storytelling. Not sure if that would be more difficult to do with the more open world nature of Phantom Pain, but yeah. Gameplay wise, it's practically perfect; but I don't think it will beat out MGS1 for me.

  7. #277

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    I only got to play the first half but the game definitely impressed. Couple gripes aside I was loving the Hitman style freedom in the missions. Take out the target however you like, or balloon the sucker, choices! And I like choices.

  8. #278
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    1st Clue

    1. One game shows how powerful whistling can be.
    2. One game shows why you should get out more and see the theater.
    3. One game is a cautionary tale about picking up shiny objects you find.
    4. One game is an interesting take on communication abilities.
    5. One game is what I feel may be the greatest licensed game of all time.




    2nd Clue

    1. "In that land, we led a free and hardy life, with horse and rifle. ~ Teddy Roosevelt
    2. "Love me or hate me, both are in my favor... If you love me, I'll always be in your heart, if you hate me, I'll always be in your mind." ~ William Shakespeare
    3. "Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not." ~ The Lorax
    4. "With some, we're certain our hearts must have been acquainted, long before we ever met them." ~Shakieb Orgunwall
    5. "Work smarter, not harder." ~ Allan F. Mogensen
    3rd Clue
    1. Muse ~ Knights of Cydonia
    2. Blue Oyster Cult ~ Don't Fear the Reaper
    3. America ~ Horse With No Nmae
    4. Molly Johnson ~ Best We Both Can Be
    5. Notorious B.I.G. ~ Mo Money Mo Problems

  9. #279
    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    AC3? Or perhaps RDR?
    Bow before the mighty Javoo!

  10. #280
    Shlup's Retired Pimp Raistlin's Avatar
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    That waterfall scene in third clue's #4 definitely reminded me of Suikoden II. I get that vibe from the corresponding second hint as well, as a Jowy/Riou or Rune of the Beginning reference.

  11. #281
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    34.Long before FFVII was a thing on the PlayStation, this game was referred to as the best RPG on the system. In a lot of ways, Wild ARMS is a wonderful distilled RPG experience, and when I think about what an RPG should contain within it, this game and one other on this list, always come to mind first for me. Good story, likable cast, engaging villains you feel for, interesting setting, great puzzles, great dungeons, and tons of secrets that reward you for exploring the whole world,; Wild ARMS has it all.Yet, I may be getting ahead of myself.Set on the world of Filgaia, the planet was ravaged centuries ago by invading aliens called the Metal Demons who came to conquer the world. The industrial humans and the native Elws joined forces and used the power of the Guardians, sentient beings created from the lifeforce of the planet, to fight them off. They won the war, but not without severe consequences. The planet barely survived the ordeal, the Elws were nearly destroyed and eventually left the world after becoming disgusted with humanity's methods of using the same technology as the Metal Demons to fight them, the Guardians are so badly weaken they vanished and became just some mystical legend some people talk about except for a few settlements here and there that still believe in them, and mankind was largely knocked back to a stone age and has been slowly trying to rebuild civilization. Mankind has rebuilt itself in this wasteland to a stage of technology that closely resembles early industrial revolution and the U.S. frontier, but their are still castles and knights in some places based off the old civilization. The world is filled with Dream Chasers, drifters who wander the frontier wasteland looking for work and embracing their freedom to go where the wind takes them. Beginning the series tradition, Wild ARMS begins with a long prologue that involves choosing to follow individual stories of the game's primary cast. Rudy is a silent protagonist and a Dream Chaser looking for a place to belong. His story begins with him helping a small town rescue a lost child who accidentally wakes up a monster sealed by the Elw in a local cave. Rudy saves the child by revealing his ability to synchronize and skillfully use ARMs, ancient guns that are based on Metal Demon technology. The townsfolk turn on him and exile him from the town for bringing back a power that many fear. Jack is a Dream Chaser and Treasure hunter, who travels with his friend Hanpan, a talking Wind Mouse, in serach of the Ultimate Power so he can resolve some dark crisis from his past. Hist story begins with a rather comical satire on Indiana Jones, as he tries to plunder an Elw Ruin only to set off most of the booby traps. He does gain information that what he seeks may be in the Kingdom of Adelhyde. Cecilia Adelhyde is the princess and heir of the Kingdom, who has spent most of her life at the Curan Abbey learning magic. Her seventeenth birthday is approaching and she will soon be able to return home for good to take on her royal duties like protecting the Tear Drop pendant she wears. She is contacted by a mysterious voice within the abbey and uncovers a hidden library where she battles a monster and frees one of the Guardians who informs her that she is the chosen Innocent One, who can serve as a medium between the human world and the spiritual world of the Guardians, he informs her that a great calamity is about to befall the planet. The three characters meet in Adelhyde which is preparing a massive festival which is showing off ancient artifacts from the Demon Wars. Cecilia chooses to go incognito in order to investigate the calamity the guardians spoke of and ends up joining Jack and Rudy who are hired by the engineer Emma to exterminate a monster dwelling in a local ruin where some artifacts lay. Here they encounter the Golem, a series of massive machines built by humans and Elws to help protect the world from the invaders in the Demon War. In fact, Emma has excavated several of them, with this one being one of the last. So at this predictable point, you guessed it, the town gets attacked by demonic forces and it turns out the Metal Demons have returned. They injure Cecilia's father, steal the Golems, and devastate the kingdom until Cecilia gives in and hands over the Tear Drop to them. From this point the three band together as Cecilia and Jack both have connections to the Metal Demons and Rudy is asked to come along since his ARMs weapons work against the demons. At this point, Wild Arms continues to feel a bit typical by the book RPG. The demons, led by Zeikfried need the Tear Drop to wake their Mother up, who originally led the invasion of Filgaia but was sealed by the Guardians. They hope to conquer the planet for themselves because their own home world was destroyed by some calamity in the past and they've been looking for a new home. Granted, the current crop of Metal Demons were too young to fight in the past Demon War and only know their history and their Mother second hand. While this all sounds pretty generic, Wild ARMS has this interesting habit of completely subverting your expectations and changing the dynamics of the story and characters. The Metal Demons start off as typical chaotic evil bad guys, but eventually it's revealed they have their own struggles and bickering going on within their own ranks. Zeikfried may not give a damn about humanity, but he's doing everything he can to give his people a better life. Zed turns out to be a Gilgamesh expy and winds up having a a rather friendly rivalry with the heroes before he finds something important to him to protect that puts him at odds with his race. Lady Harkan is a tragic figure and Boomerang (an expy of Shadow from VI), A Metal Demon from the Demon War whose love of battle was so great, he bewitched Lucied, the Guardian of Desire to side with the Metal Demons over Filgaia, winds up having a more professional respect with the group. When Mother finally enters the plot, it dramatically changes the plot for the villains and they soon have to reassert what they all actually want from the war. The three central figures themselves also have some pretty good writing. A central theme of the game besides the ecological one, is the idea of "what is power? and what is it good for?" and while this theme permeates through all three character arcs, each have their own theme based on the power of the three greatest Guardians: Love, Courage, and Hope. Cecilia might be one of the best "Royals who want to be treated like People" stories I've actually seen in the genre. She struggles with her role as the "Innocent One" and her royal duties, her story is filled with tragedy after tragedy in the game's opening prologue but her personal story follows along "Love" as she learns that it's her compassionate heart that makes her worthy of her duty as both a royal and a spiritual medium. Jack has a pretty heartbreaking backstory, which surprisingly, the game shows you in the alternate opening, and his story is pretty good as Jack has to deal with discovering for himself what true power is to him. t first he seeks simply a power to destroy his enemies, but eventually learns that his laid back, almost apathetic attitude is one of the reasons why he doesn't understand what true power is and it's only when he grows up a little and comes to terms with his failures does he begin to really understand the real power he's been seeking. Rudy probably has it the roughest between the three. Despite being a silent protagonist/player surrogate, Rudy does in fact have a pretty involving back story that resembles Terra's backstory from FFVI in that he is an outcast blessed with a terrible power he never asked for that forever keeps him at arms length from society and this builds in him a terrible loneliness. There is actually a really interesting twist in his story about 3/4ths of the way into the plot that leads into his backstory about being raised by an archeologist who spent his life studying ARMs and the Metal Demon technology. He instilled in Rudy and unshakeable hope that one day, he'll meet people who will accept him. I know it sounds a bit sappy, but the game does a pretty good job of telling it. The rest of the cast is also quite memorable such as Marina the last Elw, Emma the eccentric scientist, Captain Bartholomew the comic relief, and goddamn Calamity Jane who may be the first Tsundere I ever encountered and is absolutely a blast as a character. There are other great themes in the game, and oddly enough, when taken into broad strokes, Wild ARM's story actually feels like a true intermediary between FFVI and VII despite not being developed by Square. The three main characters have several parallels to characters like Terra, Locke, and Cyan. Boomerang is practically Shadow without the backstory. The game has an underlying theme about forbidden powers that destroyed civilization coming back to haunt the present and likely redoing the whole mess again, the Guardians also share some characteristics with the Espers working both as guides to help the party while also serving as a tool in gameplay to help fight, and Filgaia itself feels like the Ruined World at times with a sense of hopelessness about the planet recovering. On the other side, I feel like Sakaguchi and Kitase may have been sharing drinks with the Wild ARMs team while working on VII because it surprising how many elements they share. An ecological theme centered around man's apathy for the plight of the planet dooming both, the planet being treated as a living being that all life is interconnected with, an ancient precursor race with advanced science and magic based on being in harmony with the planet and almost being wiped out by an alien threat they mostly dealt with, the last of their kind still in Filgaia is a flower girl who tends a flower garden in a place where nothing grows, an alien son obsessed with reviving his mother, said mother is basically what I would imagine what Jenova would have been like if she could talk and actually played more of a role in the story than plot device, the cast learns about the planet being alive and the ancient ways of living in harmony with the planet in the heavily Native American themed town of Baskar, the WEAPONS are expy's of Wild ARMs Golems both serving the purpose of protecting the planet from the alien invaders and ultimately turning on humanity as a series of optional bosses thanks to the villains, and the main character is sent into a coma after discovering a horrible truth about themselves that involves one of the characters diving into his subconscious and exploring his past to finally bring him out of it though the same thing happened with Terra in VI as well.Again, I would point out that this is all in broad strokes, and I feel VII had a slightly better mythology concerning the Lifestream, but it's interesting how this game almost feels like a missing link between the two RPG titans. As if Wild ARMs took a lot of concepts from VI and added their own thing, and then Square turned around and did the same thing to this game. Course the games were only a year apart in release and most of this is likely coincidental, but the parallels are interesting to examine. Gameplay-wise, Wild ARMS is also deceitful, it feels kind of bare bones compared to the deeper customization systems coming out of the genre around this time, but WA keeps it fresh by having all three characters play slightly different from each other. Rudy is a slow tank type character who can acquire various guns to use in battle, they pack quite the punch but they have limited ammo and their accuracy is independent from Rudy's stats forcing you to use them in conjunction with this Force skills to make the most of them. You can take his weapons to various Experts who can raise the weapons power, accuracy, and ammo; but each weapon still has a certain limit and some really powerful weapons are stuck with abysmal accuracy and ammo. Jack is the master of the Fast Draw sword technique which he learns from various statues, weather phenomena encounter in dungeons or story events. They are quite powerful, but usually really pricey, especially with his low MP. Jack can fix this by using special cards to permanently lower their spell costs, but they only work these skills. He's the strongest natural fighter and very fast, but his defense is lower than Rudy's. Cecilia uses magic which you obtain by acquiring Crest Glyphs, which you can use with a teacher to make various spells by combining two of the four classical elements to make the spell. You have total control of which spells she learns this way and can by pass status magic for more useful healing or offense magic if you choose. You can even dissolve a spell and make another so you're not really stuck with the choice either. Eventually she will meet an advanced teacher who can teach her a whole new set of advanced spells with higher attributes and the Randomizer Spell itself can occasionally let her cast a third tier you can't get access to any other way. All three characters are surprisingly broken, but the game it built around how overpowered they are, so it never feels too easy and some boss battles (like Boomerang) can be incredibly difficult if you're not prepared. Force abilities were introduced in this game which is basically a limit break bar that will give access to one of four skills based on how much of the bar is filled and whether the party has learned the skill or not. The second level is the same for everyone and grants access to summons, but the character can only summon the Guardian they have equipped. Guardians come in a huge variety and most of them have to be found by exploring the map based on clues from townsfolk or some of the optional dungeons. Each character has mostly unique Force abilities. Rudy starts with Lock On which raises his accuracy to 100% and is paramount for his ARMS, Jack gets Accelerator which allows him to take his turn first regardless of the enemy speed. Cecilia learns Mystic, which allows her to make an item effect the whole team instead of one character. These abilities keep everyone feeling a bit distinct and grow more powerful as they obtain new skills throughout the game. In addition to all of this, Wild ARMS is the spiritual successor to Lufia 2 and the dungeons are filled with ingenious puzzles to conquer instead of just straight combat or exploring a maze. To add greater variety, each character can obtain special tools needed to progress past certain traps like Hanpan the Wind Mouse who can cross gaps to hit switches or Rudy's rocket power skates needed to get past moving floors. The puzzles keep the dungeons exciting and memorable. The game is also just filled with secrets like optional dungeons, bosses, a coliseum, and finding all of the Guardians scattered around the world. There is surprisingly amount of content in this game and even some storylines don't reach their true conclusion unless you take the extra effort to backtrack and explore the world.

    Overall, Wild ARMs to me is a simple, if well made gem of a game. It may feel like a cliche fest for some in today';s modern age, but this game was pretty rocking back in 96. I love the cast, the story, and the overall design of the game. Also, have I mentioned how great the soundtrack is, especially the opening, which might be one of my favorite openings in an RPG.


  12. #282
    Edge7's Avatar
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    God, I have a lot of fond memories of this game. Probably one of my favorite "classic" (vintage?) RPGs.
    The seven songs that play after the defeat of the final boss all the way to the credits have been a permanent playlist on my phone for the last decade (I like to call it the Wild Arms Ending Suite). Michiko Naruke is an amazing composer!

    Incidentally, I got this game as a PS1 classic for my 16th birthday along with Final Fantasy XIII. Kinda funny that the game I got as an afterthought stuck with me a lot longer. Hell, it introduced me to Trigun, arguably my favorite manga.
    Returners Represent!

  13. #283
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    33.Like with most of the FF games, I'm not going to dwell on explaining the plot or game mechanics much because I'm sure we're all familiar with it and have our own opinions. All I will say regarding the gameplay is that with the exception of the tediously long battle intros, I don't really have much of a beef with the combat. I prefer regular chess to speed chess and considering how much of a gameplay crutch Limit breaks were in the previous games (and the ones after it) I actually like the fact that Trance was designed to be unreliable because it's not like this game needed to be extra easy. So with that said, let's get on with explaining why this game is here.FFIX came out halfway through my senior year of high school. After putting up with the other two PS1 FFs and their obnoxious fanbases, I was excited to see that IX was going to be more of a throwback title. I actually liked the art direction, and what little I had heard about the plot seemed pretty nice. I got the game for my birthday and quickly became obsessed as I consumed it's content. The first time I ever lied to call in sick for work was partly to get out of driving in the snow, and partly so I could keep playing this game. The game hit a lot of the right notes for me, and even just thinking about the game for any length has an odd way of putting a smile on my face. Much like FFV, I'm somewhat baffled that I don't play this game as much as I should. We often say that IX was a retro-throwback title, but I feel that's undercutting what it really is: a celebration. A celebration of what Final Fantasy is. The game is incredibly charming and mixes it's humor with its dark moments well. The stylized graphics are a bit cartooney as well as the characters, but it's one of the best looking games Square made on the PS1 only behind Chrono Cross and Vagrant Story for me. It brings back those great FF classes but expands them and adds a good development system to keep the player invested. It's world is filled with things to do and wonderful characters to meet. I laughed, I cried, I felt things, and I frankly don't feel things very often. None of this is to say that IX is perfect, but even with my minor gripes with the game and story, I still consider many of them to be minor and hardly enough to wreck the game for me. The game epitomizes what I love about the series and I love how well it can juxtapose some really deep and thoughtful moments in a game that looks like it was designed by Jim Henson. In fact, I honestly miss the more whimsical nature of the franchise as every entry after has been going with some odd stylized realism and getting more serious with each entry besides a dumb joke here and there. It's like all the "fun" and "quirkiness" of the franchise has been squeezed out of it and it's why I love coming back to this gem which is unashamed to wear it's oddball nature on it's stupid cuff sleeves. IX was originally designed to be a celebration of the what the series was and as a farewell to the PS1 that had put the franchise and company on the world stage, but in hindsight, I also feel like it was a farewell for the fans. For me, IX is the last Final Fantasy, everything after has simply been trying too hard to recapture the magic or just wind up being some guest-directors interpretation of the franchise, yet none of them, not even XII which is on this list, have ever come close to really hitting the feel of franchise for me like the first IX games do. So for me, it gets a bit touching when you reach the end of the game and you listen to Melodies of Life, only for it to segue into the Main Theme of Final Fantasy, even back in 2000, there was a real sense that this game was soret of the end of an era, and I feel it has only gotten more poignant as time goes on. Vivi, Steiner, and Freya are some of my favorite characters to pop up out of the series and Kuja is still one of the last truly standout villain to grace the series. The music was amazing, the game has some of my favorite cutscenes in the series from the Black Waltz, to the battle between Bahamut and Alexander, to the entire intro of the game. IX is still the last Final Fantasy.


  14. #284
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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  15. #285
    Taking care of business Cid's Knight Bubba's Avatar
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    Fun fact: I'm starting my first play through of FFIX very shortly

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