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

  1. #331
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    24.My first of three Persona games on this list, and the most recent addition to the list as well. I've been debating with myself on how to tackle this one because it's so new and I really don't want to spoil too much for people who want to play it. P5 was definitely a critical hit for me as I've played through four fairly solid JRPGs (I am Setsuna, Final Fantasy XV, Bloodborne, and Persona 5) on my PS4 by this point and it was certainly the best contender and leaves me pretty optimistic about the genres revival for me on the new generation hardware, which is nice because I spent most of last gen muttering about how the genre seemed to be slipping away for me. In broad strokes, Persona 5 stars a young man who is forced to move to Tokyo and be under supervision as the last step of his parole. He got involved in an altercation in a domestic violence dispute and unfortunately, one of the party involved was a big shot adult who used his influence to set the guy up as the bad guy in the whole situation. Framed for a crime he didn't really commit, the MC has to now has to live in the attic of a coffee shop with it's eccentric owner and spend one year ins school without getting into trouble. Unfortunately for him, the school quickly discovers his bad rep as a delinquent and it's doesn't take long before your character becomes an outcast as the student body openly gossips about you and teachers are either apathetic to your plight or are actively trying to get rid of you to help keep the school's reputation from plummeting. It doesn't take long to realize the school has some serious corruption problems as teachers abuse their powers and despite the schools squeaky clean reputation on the outside, the place is filled with some dark secrets. The MC soon forms a bond with Ryuji, a fellow outcast with a chip on his shoulder with the schools P.E. Teacher and star employee. While walking to school one day, the MC discovers a strange app on their phone that they can't delete. When using the app, nothing seems to happen but when they try to get to school they find it's been transformed into a castle, and one of the teachers is lording over it as it's king. Completely dumbfounded by what's going on as they run into weird counterparts of their classmates and faculty and the main character awakens to his Persona in order to save his classmate. The pair encounter Morganna, a talking anthropomorphic cat and self-described "Phantom Thief" who is trying to sneak into the castle and steal the treasure of it's king in order to return to his original form. According to Morganna, the pair had somehow gotten access the collective unconscious and can see the world as other people see it, but when a person becomes corrupt in the real world, their desire warps the world around them in this mind world. Stealing their treasure, the item that is the cause of the warping will either kill them, or potentially give them a change of heart that will affect them in the real world.Seeing this mind world and it's correlation with the real world the pair try to fix things in the real world but events get more dramatically serious instead. They soon resolve themselves to help Morganna to steal the teacher's heart instead. From there, the Phantom Thieves begin. There is so much more that goes on here, but again, it's better to experience it for yourself. Persona 5 actually uses a very intriguing narrative device that really sets it apart from other entries in the series as well as delving into most serious topics concerning the abuse of power and social reform. This allows the game to tackle some heavy subject matter such as sex abuse, blackmail, suicide, hikikomori, organized crime, political scandals, and the central conflict on whether it is right to force a person who is doing wrong to do the right thing against their will. This game is easily one of the most politically charged games I've played in a long while and feels like something that as created due to real world issues like the rise in strongman politicians due to an apathetic citizenship. For a game about kids dressing up in silly costumes to go to colorful them parks versions of popular film "thief targets" like banks, tombs and luxury liners; the game is incredibly sharp on exploring these pretty mature themes. Their is a certain heaviness to the game that is not felt much in the genre which is usually fine with masquerading in make believe fluff for a thinly disguised and overused tale of self discovery, but P5 has an honest to goodness message going for it.Gameplay is also fantastic and easily the biggest improvement for the series. This game actually has real dungeons with real puzzles and real layouts instead of the series token copy/paste labyrinth design. They are incredibly fun and each new dungeon always offers some new element to keep them fresh from security cameras, to trip wires, to actually needing to talk to NPCs to gather clues to proceed, the level design is tightly designed and offers both a strong linear path that gradually opens into a more open dungeon design as you unlock paths to previous areas to make traversing the dungeons easier. The dungeon crawling plays up as a very stylized stealth mission as you try to avoid guards attentions and sneak up on them for preemptive strikes. Getting spotted too many times will boost the enemy awareness and aggressiveness levels. If you screw up too many times, you'll get booted from the dungeon and have to return a few days later after the Threat Level goes down. Combat has also been spruced up with several new options such as the ability to negotiate with demons being brought back, firearms have returned, the game adds back two elements from previous entries in Persona/Devil Summoner, critical hit abilities from Nocturne have returned, and the newest addition is the Baton Pass mechanic which brings back a level of depth and strategy to the games that have been missing for awhile. Basically if a party member unlocks this skill through their social links, when an enemy gets knocked down the player gets their second turn, or they can "pass the baton" and give their extra turn to another party member who also has the skill unlocked. This passed turn also gets a bonus to damage or healing and you can actually stack Baton Passes opening up the potential for some serious damage against enemies and bosses. Boss battles also have certain gimmicks to them that keep them feeling fresh, though if I have one gripe, they also can make some of the battles easier than they should be. They're still fun to do though and in the end, that's all that matters.The social side of things has also seen a few changes. One of the biggest changes is that since the game focuses on social outcasts and your character being a delinquent, you don't do the typical stuff like you would in previous titles. For instance, your school activities are restricted to just hanging out with your teammates, don't expect to be joining track team or the art club here, your character is not a model student in any way and instead you get to do things like help a washed up politician preach on the streets, go to the red light district to chat with a gonzo journalist about the Phantom Thieves, help run a plastic model gun shop that is a front for certain criminal interests and more. Your social link (now called confidants) are all people like the MC, delinquents and people who live on the fringe of society or social norms. In past titles, it has always been joked that the MC simply sees they're social links as a means to get stronger, P5 plays this incredibly straight as your social links are less about helping some poor souls struggling and instead finding assets who can help your crime spree. This is shown by how all of the social links garner bonuses for raising their ranks, something played with in P4 but brought to full fruition in P5. Even your party members will give you special bonuses aside from some cool upgrades like follow up attacks and Baton Pass, such as Yusuke fulfilling a role similar to the demon painter in P2, or the characters giving you a second chance with a negotiation that goes south. This ends up really changing the dynamic of how you approach the social links as some characters give off better bonuses than others like the one that boosts your XP or the one that helps maximize your social links faster. Two of them even give you new abilities in battle that help add even more options and tactics to your disposal. In addition to all that is the usual time wasters as well you can use to boost social stats or even major stats like HP/MP such as eating at certain places, watching movies, the battling cages, physical training, and making thief tools to use in dungeons.I could keep going on and on about this game, but I'll leave it here. Despite being ranked 24 on this list, I imagine it will continue to climb this ladder as times goes on. I can honestly see it actually becoming my favorite entry in the franchise with a few more playthroughs. In truth, I really needed this game. After several years of being jerked around and often disappointed by series, this game came as a reminder that sometimes it's not just empty promises. With the success and serious whoring out of P3 and especially P4 by Atlus, I was afraid the company was going down the same path as Square after FFVII and I would be stuck seeing Yu Narakami being painfully placed into everything for fan service cause he's from the big hit entry. I was worried the guys would just rest on their laurels cause I've seen too many companies do this after they get a smash hit. I was also worried because it had been eight years since the last entry and instead the company had been focusing on gimmicky spin-offs and ports that I worried this game wasn't going to hold up, especially when we've kind of been inundated with games with ridiculous development times that underwhelmed. Overall, the last ten years of the game industry has made me very cynical to the industry and the idea that everyone was the same, so it was a serious boon to find that not only did P5 stand out as a great game, but offered an uncompromising and intellectually stimulating story and message that keeps you thinking long after you see the games ending. This game pretty much represents everything I feel has been missing from the JRPG genre for nearly a decade. My one regret is the idea that we'll probably not see another game of it's caliber this generation, but this game has given me renewed hope that maybe I should lighten up and stop being so cynical about the industry as I have been. As I said, I played three pretty strong JRPGs before this one so perhaps the future will see my favorite genre turn around and become a powerhouse again.


    Coming up next: Here Comes a New Challenger!

  2. #332
    Shlup's Retired Pimp Raistlin's Avatar
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    I can't comment on Persona 5. But I definitely played a bunch of Civ II-IV. Civ IV, to me, is the most solid all-around game of those three (albeit also the one I've played most recently), but they're all addicting time-sinks.

  3. #333
    SHAAAAAUN! Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
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    I finally as of today beat Persona 5. I do like a lot of what it did, but it's definitely the kind of game I can't play all the time. The persona games take up a ton of time and have some poor pacing that has me getting bored and ready to play something else relatively frequently. Despite all of that, I really enjoy the series, and this rpg has helped keep the genre alive for me in the current generation.

  4. #334

  5. #335
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    23.So we've now come ton one of my favorite fighting games of all time, one of the more underrated spin-off series of the Street Fighter franchise besides Pocket Fighter, and a series that is filled with some awesome call backs to the first Street Fighter and Final Fight Series. While most of the images come from SFA3, which is my favorite version from a gameplay standpoint, I'll likely be talking about the series in general terms though I'm probably not going to bore you with the features from the Anthology version which mixed in some elements from SFIII. Street Fighter Alpha (Zero in Japan) takes place between the original SF and SFII, and it was heavily influenced by the Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie which is easily the best SF movie in terms of having a decent plot, respect for the source material, and actually giving characters not named Ryu some time to actually shine. Stages in this series are based on places from the film like the grassy field in a lightning storm where Ryu fought Sagat in the film's opening as well as M. Bison's Shadowloo Jet that he battled Ken Masters. You could even unlock a mode where you could double team M.Bison with Ryu and Ken just like the film. This feature ended up getting extended in later versions with more freedom to use different team combinations. What's really cool is that the game's roster is filled with upgrades on forgotten fighters from SF like Adon, Birdie, and my main man Gen but also brought in a slew of characters from the Final Fight series like Cody, Guy, and bosses Sodom and Rolento; which was a huge shout out for a guy who grew up in the arcade scene and knew that series pretty well. Shame Hagar never made his fighting game debut until MvC3. Yet it's not just people from the three core games of SF1, SF2 and Final Fight, new original characters were also introduced such as the iconic Dan Hibiki and Sakura, as well as anti-Shoto scrub Rose and haughty Sakura rival Karin. Hell the game expanded Cammy's backstory and gave her her own collection of clones to make shoto-clone players like myself feel a bit happier. SFA2 had a really solid roster but then SFA3 and SFA3Max decided to throw players a bone and release the whole cast of Super Street Fight II into the mix to add a tone of variety and even a few new people in the PSP version. Overall, I feel the new characters and the redo of older and forgotten characters worked really well for this game especially in comparison to new characters added in games like SFIV and V who just don't stand out to me as well as the quirky cast of SFAlpha. Course the fun character intros and gorgeous 2D artwork probably helps.In terms of gameplay, SFAlpha introduces a lot of features to the franchise. The game basically works off the DarkStalkers engine and gameplay style but got modified as the series went along. Air Blocks, Alpha counters, chain combos, and three levels of super gauge added a lot of depth to the tried and true SF Formula. The sequel added custom combos and the final game added the ability to choose an -iISM for the character which modified their super gauge options and even their character stats but offered a tone of replayability. With -ISM, you could do X-ISM which gave your character better attack power at the cost of lower defense and being restricted to one predetermined super move with only one bar creating a high risk high reward set-up. A-ISM was balanced and similar to previous titles normal play as you got three supers which cost different bar health and the character had balanced stats. V-ISM lowered a characters attack in exchange for higher defense and the super moves are removed and exchanged for custom combos from the second installment. The third entry also introduced a World Tour mode where you would have to perform challenges like beating an opponent with a 10-hit V-ISM custom combo or only use throws. What's really interesting about this mode is that it had RPG elements where beating challenges would reward special bonuses that could be equipped to your character to give them new advantages and customize their play style even further, you could even transfer this character into arcade or versus mode if you wanted. Beating World Tour mode under certain restrictions gave you the chance to fight and unlock Evil Ryu and then going through it again with Evil Ryu and completing the same requirement got you a chance to face and unlock Shin Akuma. Between those two and Boss Mode M. Bison in this game, SF Alpha has some of the most challenging bosses in the series that don't completely rely on cheap tactics like some other bosses I can think of. In many ways, SFAlpha represents my favorite era of Capcom's fighters as series like Darkstalkers, Pocket Fighter, and the early iterations of the Capcom Vs franchises were dominating the arcade scene and for a guy who grew up on the SF franchise, it was a sweet dream. The games all offered enough new elements and changes that I was never able to be bewitched and move onto 3D Fighters like Tekken or Soul Calibur which were starting to make most gamers move away from Capcom and SNK's more frenetic and gorgeously animated 2D fighters. Behind SFIITurbo, this is the series I played the most of in my fighting retinue and while I had some stints with Guilty Gear and SFIII, neither could really pull me away from my favorite iteration of one of my favorite fighting game series.


    Coming up next: A NEW GENERATION OF ROBOTS WHICH CONTAIN AN INNOVATIVE NEW FEATURE - THE ABILITY TO THINK, FEEL AND MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS...

  6. #336
    Edge7's Avatar
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    Man, of course you'd like Gen. He's also one of my favorite characters!
    Returners Represent!

  7. #337
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    22.
    The Capcom love continues. Mega Man X is a wonderful example of how to revamp an old formula while not throwing out everything people liked. Truth be told, I love the MMX series more than the main series overall if I was simply comparing the whole franchises to each other. I've only ever beaten three MM entries legitimately whereas X3 and the two X-Treme entries are the only MMX games I have not completed. It's a damn solid series overall and brought a lot of fresh ideas and a change of setting to make it stand apart from the other spin-offs and sequels in the Mega Man franchise.
    Set a century or two after the final events of Mega Man, whenever that was going to be, an archeologist named Dr. Cain uncovers an old lab belonging to the famous Dr. Light which contains Dr. Lights final magnum opus, X. X is the first robot built with free will, but fearing the possibility X could turn evil, Dr. Light had him sealed away and tested internally to make sure that X was endowed with a strong moral code that would prevent him from starting a robot uprising. He passed of course cause Dr. Light couldn't build an evil robot if his life depended on it. X's advancements were so great that Dr. Cain, foolishly reverse engineered his design to build a new series of sentient robots called Reploids with the help of X. Unfortunately, Dr. Cain failed to understand why Dr. Light had X sealed away and it didn't take long before Reploids starting rebelling against humanity. These rogue Reploids called Mavericks, saw the rise in the Maverick Hunters, a special Reploid Police force that neutralized Mavericks for the sake of humanity and non-Maverick Reploids. They were led by Sigma, Dr. Cain's most advanced creation and a very powerful and charismatic figure in the world. Then the worse case scenario happened, Sigma decided that the Mavericks had it right all along, humanity was not worth saving and had simply been holding back the Reploids as a subservient species. Declaring a revolution, Sigma defected from the Maverick Hunters along with several of his loyal comrades and formed an army to destroy humanity and us=her in a new age for machines. Feeling partly responsible for the rebellion, X volunteers to help Zero, the new leader of the MH, to stop Sigma, but can an "inferior" robot from the distant past stand a chance against this new menace?... Well yes, cause Dr. Light was a genius and the series pretty much establishes pretty quickly that despite being the oldest robot in the series, X is the most advanced.
    Core gameplay remains the same with X having to choose to battle eight Maverick Leaders before getting a shot at the big bosses stronghold. New to the formula is the introduction of a prologue stage used to teach the player several of the new mechanics this series introduces. If you want a real cool breakdown of how well thought out the level design for this stage was, you should check out Egoraptor's Sequelitis entry on MMX. One of the biggest new features for the game is X's ability to now cling and slowly slide down walls which he can also kickoff of to reach higher elevation. This not only limits the frustration of of instant kill pits the series is notorious for, but it also allows the designers to expand the level design to incorporate this feature as you may find your self in a dead end only to discover you either needed to climb some walls to reach the next area or more subversively, that bottomless pit you passed two screens ago is actually an entrance way. X also doesn't begin the game with full health anymore, instead the series incorporate a Super Metroid mechanic where you need to find life containers to effectively increase X's life bar to full, which is a actually a pretty interesting design because it makes the early sections much more challenging than they normally would be, which is nice because X is also a bit better about designing the bosses in such a way that you can beat them with your normal weapon if you're skilled enough. No more Crash Man incidents where trying to fight him without the weapon he's weak to or four E-Tanks is a death wish. That is not to say the game isn't challenging, the game drops the one time E-Tanks for four permanent ones that simply need to be refilled if you use them which makes going after power-ups even after getting full health more useful. One of the most iconic changes is the introduction of X's Advanced Armor. Scattered through the levels are old capsule pods with an A.I. Dr. Light Hologram ho has sealed away various armor pieces for X to help given him some improvements to help fight the badguys. The actual main armor piece halves damage, the boots give you the dash move which replaces Mega Man's slide move from the main games, the gun gives you a third tier charged shot and the ability to charge sub-weapons, and the helmet... well it kind of sucks in this game but later installments give it some oomph.
    Combining these elements with MMX retaining the modern (at it's time of release) ability from the MM series to go back to levels to pick up items you missed ends up giving this game a pretty open structure for advancing. There are upgrades you may not be able to reach until you find a certain other upgrade first, so the game kind of has an odd metroidvania feel to it despite having typical tight level design. One of the coolest features I loved in MMX and I am still flabbergasted as to why it never became a standard feature for the series is that defeating certain bosses before you should, can sometimes lead to major changes in another bosses stage. This is because the game makes it a point to say that the stages are interconnected as part of Siga's war machine which I thought was a cool way to tie in a neat gameplay feature to the story. So the one most people will see first is that by beating Chill Penguins stage first, it will lead to Flame Mammoth's stage being frozen over and thus you can avoid a lot of instant kill lava and frustration this way. It also gives you access to places you normally couldn't reach due to elemental hazards. Several stages have some interesting effects like this and it only adds to the game's interesting replay value of the stages to find the power-ups. The game also brought in the series trademark secret. In the first game, by fulfilling some requirement you can unlock the ability to let X use Ryu's Hadoken move from Street Fighter by actually performing the Hadoken move. This move was even an instant kill move though it can't be performed in the air. Another feature I love that was sadly phased out as the series went along was the introduction of power armors you could pilot in stages, which were similar to vehicles you could pilot in games like Contra or Metal Slug.
    Structurally, X was a real cool advancement on the Mega Man formula which was growing pretty stale at the time. Course the thing that kept me coming back to the series, and a lot of others as well was the game's more mature story. MMX is not the light-hearted Astro Boy knockoff that is the main Mega Man series which was always kind of tongue in cheek about the Blue Bombers relationship with Wily. It's a pretty grim series that only got darker and more desperate as the series progressed as you should all know after reading the MMX4 entry on this list, but it all started here. The intro stage has you battle it out with a ruthless ex-Maverick Hunter named Vile who totally thrashes you and you have to be saved by Zero. In the first stage of Sigma's fortress you infiltrate it with Zero who goes on ahead but he ends being taken down by Vile as well and you now get to rescue him but even with all your upgrades the battle is still against you and the whole sequence gets resolved with a heroic sacrifice on Zero's part and X, in a moment of righteous rage, laying the smackdown on Vile and this sequences was awesome. Even Sigma's battle is interesting as he mocks you ancient hardware and waxes on about the superiority of Reploids over humanity. Unlike Saturday Morning cartoon villain Wily, Sigma comes across like Magneto, though in the early years where he was still very much a bad guy, and so you kind of can't fault him for his beliefs and his idea that what he's doing is right for Reploids, something that becomes more poignant as the series went on and especially cuts you to the core when you reach MMZero series and Sigma's worst fears come true. Despite how little story there is within the game, MMX presents itself as a darker interpretation of the MM franchise and borrows a bit from anime and Terminator 2 to present a more complex scenario where the villains may not be real villains and your own actions are debatable. A lot of this is poignantly made by the fact that X himself is described as pacifistic, and his adventures through the series begin to take a serious toil on him consciously and this works better with this moral grey area the game's scenario presents.
    Overall, MMX is one of the highlights of the SNES and the beginning of one of my favorite franchises from Capcom. While only two entries made it onto this list, I honestly love most of the series with the exception of X7. Hell Command Missions is a super underrated JRPG for the PS2 and X8 was surprisingly good for a game made after the franchise killing X7. So if you want a cool action platform game series with some great characters, good level design, catchy music, and fun gameplay, I would recommend not only MMX, but the whole series.


    Coming Up next: The dreams I've abandoned couldn't have come true, I have other dreams I haven't given up on. They still shine bright, they still light my way...

  8. #338
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Oh look its Rockman

  9. #339
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    21.Now for my all time favorite Rhythm Game. A game that combines interesting and challenging gameplay with quirky Japanese sensibilities, and of course a rocking soundtrack. While I had heard of the game before through gaming mags, it wasn't until I saw someone playing a demo of it at an EB Games that I decided I was interested enough to check it out. After EB and Gamestop merged and they put up for sale a crap tone of rare games for some of their systems at a few locations, I was able to get my hands on it and it's been one of the coolest purchases I've made. Gitaroo Man is the story of U-1 this is a visual pun that the translators totally missed because his name would be pronounced Yuichi in Japanese which is a fairly common name over there, in the English version it's pronounced as you would expect. a klutzy and hapless kid who has a mad crush on a girl in his school but can't stand out to the snobby rich kid that occupies her time. U-1 takes advice from his talking dog Puma to learn guitar while also revealing that U-1 and Puma are actually aliens from the Planet Gitaroo and in possession of the last Gitaroo an artifact the evil Gravellion Prince Zowie is trying to acquire in order to combine it with the six he already own to gain ultimate power and conquer the universe. He sends assassins to battle U-1 for his Gitaroo but when he wields the Gitaroo, he transforms into the more confidant Gitaroo and battles them out in epic music duels which jump from rock, to reggae, to J-Pop, and classic guitar. Eventually U-1 is transported to his home world and battles Zowie for control of the universe. So yeah it's pretty weird and Japanese, especially the fun characters sent to take you down like a disco afro guy in a giant bee costume, a UFO who uses Dance Until You Die Rays on people, an operatic rock god, and some animated xylophone playing skeletons. Gameplay is a bit harder to explain, the game is actually a series of musical duels a la dueling banjo style where you have to counter your opponents style. Battles have three stages interspersed with Attack and Guard Phases. Attack Phase has the player follow a track line with the analog stick while hitting the play button to sync with the tracks on the line. In Guard Phase, various button prompts based on the four main buttons of the controller move towards the center and you have to time the presses as they hit the center to avoid damage. In the first Stage, known as Charge Stage, you have to correctly sync your guitar to the track line in order to fill up your health bar which always starts very low and hopefully move it to full before the second stage, battle mode presumes. Battle Stage is pretty straightforward as you alternate between Attack and Guard phases trying to whittle down your opponents health while avoiding your enemies attempts to do the same. The music actually has a lot of variation in the middle section and it's really difficult to hear every variation this middle section has. Depending on who is able to get the enemy into critical mode first, you jump to the final End phase if you win the tug of war in which you play a final piece to finish off the opponent with a bang.

    The gameplay is surprisingly challenging, but very rewarding, with great stages and tracks interspersed with a pretty comical and nonsensical story-line about the power of believing in yourself, destiny, the power of music, and just plain weirdness. If you wanted to play a game that made you feel like a guitar god but never wanted to shelve out the extra cash for Guitar Hero and it's other contemporaries, or spend the time actually learning guitar; this is the game for you. This is a game I used to play a lot around family and I ended up getting pretty good with some stages because certain family members liked the music and asked me to play those stages repeatably. There is a Master Mode you can unlock by beating the game which is pretty difficult. Getting high scores also allow you to unlock entries in the character bio sections so you can learn more about the game's wacky cast of eccentrics. There is a also a two-player versus mode, but I've never had anyone to play it with me. The game also got a slightly enhanced port for the PSP but like the original, there were not a whole lot of copies and it became obscure pretty quick, though I think it may have finally been released on PSN.

    It's a quirky and fun musical game with an interesting gameplay set-up and some awesome music, and it's hard for me to find some kind of fault in it. If you ever get a chance and want to check out a Rhythm Game that doesn't require some odd peripheral or physicality, this is a great game to start. My one regret is that I can't find a copy of the soundtrack.


    Coming Up: "Shadow and light are two sides of the same coin… One cannot exist without the other."

  10. #340
    Shlup's Retired Pimp Raistlin's Avatar
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    Mega Man X is a great game, and your list is making me nostalgic to play some Mega Man. Of course, the MMX series always reminds me of Tycho's strange ignorance of its entire existence.

  11. #341
    Radical Dreamer Cid's Knight Fynn's Avatar
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    GitarooMan looks great and I can't believe I've never heard of it and I really need to try it now or I'll die

  12. #342
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    Very impressive that a recent game like P5 cracks your top 25. I really need to play that one.

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  13. #343
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    20.Nintendo is a company that I grew up with, and while I feel I've either outgrown or have simply lost interest in many of the games they produce, the one series that has always kept me coming back to them is the Zelda franchise. I love this franchise and even in the times I didn't own a Nintendo system to play them, I always kept tabs on Nintendo's newest iterations. Even, now, I may end up picking up a Wii U just because of all of the Zelda love the console got with the two HD Remasters and Breath of the Wild. As it stands, This is easily my favorite 3D entry in the series.Set several centuries after the events of Majora's Mask in the Childhood Timeline, Link is a ranch hand who lives outside of the village or Ordon. He is well liked by the adults for his dependability, looked up to by the village children who are always up to something to alleviate the boredom of simple country living, and has caught the eye of the mayor's daughter who takes care of Epona. Link was getting ready to help with a traditional tribute to the Hyrule royalty when the village is attacked by Bulbins who proceed to kidnap the children and the mayor's daughter. With the town warrior injured in the attack, Link takes what weapons he can to go after the kids, but his journey is cut short when the world around him is twisted into twilight and Link is transformed into a wolf and imprisoned by Shadow creatures. Waking up in Hyrule Castle, Link meets a strange and mischievous imp called Midna who promises to help Link escape if he'll help her complete a certain task, with no choice the two join forces and meet with Princess Zelda, imprisoned in the castle who explains that Hyrule has been invaded by a wicked sorcerer from the Twilight Realm known as Zant. Turning out to be a common foe with Midna, Link and her restore his form and the parts of Hyrule engulfed by the Twilight Realm as they seek the pieces of the Fused Shadow, an ancient and powerful artifact that was created by the Twilight Realm to conquer it. Of course the game falls into typical Zelda shenanigans and a certain badass ginger with a penchant for pigs turns out to be behind everything but I digress, the story of Twilight Princess is actually one of my favorites. Gameplay is typical of the series, specifically Ocarina of Time but with several of the technical fixes brought in by Wind Waker like a refined Z-Targeting and more advanced sword play options. Where this might get interesting for some of you is that the version I own and have the most familiarity with is the Wii version which "flipped" the world to accommodate the usually left handed Link for righties like myself. This also means I played with the ham-fisted tacked on motion controls, but I'm here to say that I feel the complaints against them are largely over-exaggerated and because Nintendo wisely chose a No More Heroes "less is more" approach to the controls, I honestly feel they work really well with the game. In fact, I feel TP gave me what I wanted with motion controls far more than Skyward Sword which I felt hurt itself overall by making them too much of a focus for the game. It was actually hard for me to jump back to some of the older 3D Zelda games where I had to wrestle with analog sticks and shoulder buttons to use the hookshot and bow after playing the smoother interface of point and click. The fishing mini-game was a hoot as well thanks to the physicality of the controls. Of anything, I feel only the advanced sword skills really suffered from the Wii's sometimes spotty controls, but since there are only like three enemies that require you to know those skills to beat, it wasn't really all that much of a deal breaker. Moving back to core design, I feel this game's biggest strength may actually be it's dungeon and boss designs. When I honestly think about my favorite dungeons in the series, I find myself picking a majority of them from this game. Even incredibly gimmicky dungeons like the Arbiter's Tomb, the Yeti Mansion, and the Temple of Time are simply just fantastically done and make good use of their respective tools that you almost wish the game did a better job incorporating those tools in later places. I love how the Goron Mines changes the way you approach the Iron Boots with the magnets and sumo wrestling, I love the story element of finding ingredients for pumpkin soup for the yeti in his mansion, I enjoyed going all Spider-man in the Sky Fortress with double hookshots cause hell yeah. The bosses are also incredibly fun even if they suffer from the usual Zelda issue of being trivial once you figure out how to use the dungeon item on them. Still, the devs were trying to be novel like the boss of the Goron mines where you used the Bow to blind him but then had to grab the chains around his legs and wrap them around while using the iron boots to keep you place to force him to fall so you can finally reach his weak point. I mean damn, that's pretty intricate for a boss. Also, if you're going to steal boss fighting concepts from other games, Shadow of the Colossus is not a bad choice to be stealing notes from, and I loved the larger than life bosses you had to literally hook onto to as they took you for a ride like the bosses of the water temple and sky fortress. The other element I love about this game is honestly some of the more cinematic elements with the gameplay. Jousting with King Bublin on the broken Hyrule bridges, the wonderful spaghetti western segment in Impa's secret home, and of course storming Hyrule Castle in the game's ending, which is still my favorite final dungeon in the series. Course it's hard not to talk about TP and not bring up Midna, who is easily one of the best characters to come out of the Zelda franchise. What I feel works best about her is how different she is with Link which makes their relationship stand out more than lazy comic relief Linebeck, nagging Fi and Navi, or serious King Hyrule. She's fun in a mischievous way and her character growth throughout the game is really well done, in fact, it's probably safe to say that TP is more her story than Link's but I feel this is actually a good way to do it since Link easily fits into the Mad Max type role in the series. I must also commend this game for handling Ganondorf, who becomes such a major badass in this title that he became legitimately scary to go up against. I love the scene of his botched execution and the fact he uses the same sword as his own.Overall, I feel Nintendo hit it out of the park with this one, despite the devs not feeling the same way. While the game does have it's fair share of story issues (how did Ganondorf get the Triforce of Power again?) and some less stellar gameplay points (an escort mission on horseback?! Didn't you learn your lesson in Majora's Mask?) I feel the game is actually pretty solid and what few gripes I can really nail it with are either things past games have been doing for awhile or more often than not, Skyward Sword did it worst. It's still one of my favorite Zelda titles and easily my favorite Wii title despite originally being for the Gamecube.

    Coming up: Hey get over here! HEY! I said get over... no put the damn bird down. You know what, you guys can have her.

  14. #344
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    19. This was the game that was meant to come on earlier until I came to my senses, and decided to replay it real quick to remind myself why it was so special. The game that put Team Ico on the map and one of the best arguments for "Game as Art" arguments. Ico is a minimalist experience that takes one of the most dreaded gameplay ideas, the escort mission, and builds a powerful title around it. Ico begins with the main character, a boy born with horns, being transported to a mysterious and mostly abandoned castle by some men who chain him in a jar and leave him there to die as some kind of sacrifice or punishment. The boy is able to escape and comes across a mysterious girl named Yorda in a bird cage, and he frees her so they can escape the castle together. Yorda is weak and can't really move around like the boy but she has a mysterious power to open special doors the boy can't get past. As they search for an exit, mysterious shadow creatures appear and try to kidnap Yorda and the boy must protect her from them and their evil Queen who has an intimate connection to Yorda.The gameplay is a puzzle platformer where you must have the boy figure out a way to transport Yorda from point A to point B in the castle as you both make your way to the exit. The puzzles are often not noticeable and are well disguised as simple natural barriers. At certain points in the game or if the boy stays too long away from Yorda, Shadow creatures appear and will kidnap the girl, forcing you to fight them off. They can't kill you unless they knock you off a high ledge but failing to rescue Yorda also spells your demise. Controls are incredible simple as you fight with one weapon hold Yorda's hand to guide her, use another jump and climb, and you can call Yorda to places or to make jumps for your character. It's not terrible complicated, though I will say the controls are a bit rough around the edges in terms of platform controls compared to say Mario or other dedicated platform dynasties in gaming. What is really striking about the game is the minimalist design around it and the natural environments style of the puzzles. Sometimes the biggest challenge is just trying to figure out what you need to do as you waltz into a what looks like a fairly normal room with no obvious way to reach the door on the other side of the chasm. This organic puzzle solving element of the game is both a real sense of accomplishment and frustration, depending on how well you critical think and process the information the game does give you. On the other hand,. it can be frustrating, especially on a first playthrough and some platform sequences can be filled with red herrings as the level layout can be filled with climbable ledges but only one that will not lead you to certain death. If you're playing any version other than the original North American version for the PS2, you will be grateful to know that Yorda's A.I. is vastly improved and she's even been programmed to give you hints to what you need to do sometimes. Of course it's the minimalist design I adore the most. The game cuts away extraneous elements to make a gripping story and fun gameplay. The game is fundamentally simple but powerful none the less and I feel it's a cleansing experience to play something that reduces the player expectations of empowerment and Hollywood spectacle to play something so unapologetic and just presents the core of why we game. To be enchanted by a fictional world and it's characters, to conquer a great challenge, and to have fun exploring and playing in a digital playground. It doesn't have to be all super powers, love stories, and explosions. This game represents games in it's truest and purest form without the excess that other game companies have overindulged us on.
    Team Ico understood that the basis of human understanding is not language, which differs among cultures and despite our best efforts to bypass cultural and social boundaries, still leaves us with some level of misunderstanding. No it's body language that is the universal language and that's what Ico is all about. You can't understand Yorda, hell without the subtitles, you wouldn't be able to understand anyone, but the real message is conveyed by the boy waving to Yorda to come to her, Yorda gasping and running to Ico when he stumbles from a fall or gets knocked down by an enemy. The game saves by having the two simply resting on stone couches of which Ico has to gesture with his hand to make her understand what he wants. I really love this element of the game and how you do watch the two subtly grow closer together as you the player o as well. While several games have used body language to convey messages before in game, Ico is one of the rare few that makes it the only form of real communication, and I think that's special. Hell the game's "story" if you wish to call it is told only through actions and is filled with mysteries that it doesn't bother to answer but leave to the player. Are the shadows the spirits of other horned boys that have been sacrificed? Who is the queen and how did she acquire Yorda for her plan? Is the castle her home or a container for the shadows? Why was Ico born with horns and what is there real connection to the shadow queen? Who made the special swords that have Yorda's power? None of this gets answered and Fumito has said there is no canon answer, it's up to us the player to decide and that's some pretty powerful stuff to be coming out of a medium that sometimes unadvisedly spends too much time trying to overload the player with information relevant to their worlds and characters. This is a large part of what I love about the game is that I often feel your enjoyment is based on what you bring to it. The story is as compelling or boring as the limits of your imagination and the puzzles are clever and really fill you with a sense of accomplishment once you solve them. I love a game that makes the player get more involved in both the story and gameplay. This is an art game, and one I feel most gamers owe it to themselves to play through it at least once. Even if you don't wind up liking it, I feel like it's the type of game that everyone can take something from it.For me, it's the game that makes me believe in gaming as an art form and reminds me why I spend so much time thinking about games to begin with.

    Coming Up: What is a man? A miserable pile of secrets!

  15. #345
    SHAAAAAUN! Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
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    Ico is so good.

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