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

  1. #346
    Radical Dreamer Cid's Knight Fynn's Avatar
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    Great to see Twilight Princess get some much deserved love!

    And I still need to get to Ico one day

  2. #347
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    I hated Ico so much xD

  3. #348
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    18.Oh man, we've come to my first love of the Castlevania franchise. While I've dabbled with the series before this one, SotN is the game that really converted me to the franchise and the Metroidvania style of gameplay the series adapted over time. It also established Richter as my favorite Belmont and like a lot of game franchises transitioning from the 16-bit era to this new one, Castlevania toys with transforming a traditionally evil villain into a more sympathetic character. The game opens in 1792 with the end sequence of Rondo of Blood, now altered to reflect the more literary gothic take on the franchise as we watch Richter and Dracula battle it out both ideologically and physically. With Dracula slain and Richter proclaimed as the strongest Belmont to ever live, Castlevania disappeared for it's hundred year sleep. Except it doesn't, the castle reemerges only four years later and Richter is nowhere to be seen. Dracula's estranged son Alucard, wakes from his sleep 300 year nap since Castlevania III and discovers the castle has reappeared earlier than expected. He storms the castle to face the lord of the manor but is intercepted and stripped of his powerful gear and powers by Dracula's servant Death. Alucard slowly traverses the castle and meets with several employees of his father and even a teenage Maria from Rondo of Blood. The truth about the castles reappearance and the past Alucard soon overtake Alucard's simple battle with his father and has more to do with the events from four years ago that one might imagine.There is a bit more to the story but I won't spoil it. Of anything, I feel it's one of the major testaments to the game is that it incorporates more of a plot and several other RPG elements that made this game standout. Unlike the Belmont clan, who are stuck with a whip and the various sub-weapons, Alucard can equip various pieces of armor and weapons he either finds, takes from enemies, or purchases from the Librarian. The weapons offer several different variations of playstyle which helps to break up the usual monotony these types of games would induce. Other new features is how Alucard's basic vampire transformations are utilized to expand the scope of your exploration. Small passages that mist is need or massive chasms where turning into a bat would be more useful. Another new and unique feature for Alucard is the familiar system, where Alucard can summon a companion to help in battle. The Fairy will use items on Alucard to restore his status, the bat will fire fireballs, the demon imp can hit switches, the floating skull will use sol suck on enemies to hurt them and restore some of Alucard's health, and the sentient sword murders everything. It's a neat mechanic used to help get deeper into the castle while also adding more variety to Alucard's arsenal. Of anything, I think the reason why this game stands out more than it's successors is simply the sheer variety of content the game hands you. It was years after I beat the game I even learned about the Shield Rods special ability which adds a whole new layer of depth to the game and changes how you look at the various shields you can collect. The game is filled with secrets, the most infamous being the reverse castle. If you lay the game straight through with minimal exploration and not really using all the tools handed to you including the one that feel useless, you'll get the game's bad ending where you destroy the castle but are left with a tone of questions. By utilizing a specific item in the final boss fight, you can uncover the real culprit of the plot and open a way to a reverse castle that is the second half of the game with more bosses and gear and the contractually obligated showdown with Dracula. It was pretty mind blowing in 1997, and I'm both happy and sad that the later spiritual successors were smart enough not to steal the idea, but a little sad that many of them fail to hit you with such a cool secret as that one. Other features I love is the secret modes, not only can you unlock a badass version of Richter to play through the game with that will make you wish he was this mobile and versatile in Rondo of Blood but you can even get joke characters like the Axe Armor and there is a mode that starts you off with ridiculously low stats with the exception of an extremely high luck stat that makes the monster drop rate manageable. These modes offer new challenges and more longevity to a game that is honestly just staggering. Super Metroid may have advanced the formula, but I feel SotN set the gold standard of what to expect, and while it's successors are still fun romps in their own right, none of them really hit that level of depth in both story and gameplay that I felt this game does. I think the other reason why this game is so close to my heart is that it's the closest thing to a good Vampire Hunter D title that I'll ever play unless the franchise somehow becomes super popular in Japan again and an actual good company makes a game for it. I own the PS1 title, and combining swordplay action with clunky tank controls is a bad mix, Onimusha notwithstanding. Anyone familiar with the films, or better yet, the novels will see how much they heavily influenced Igarashi's take on the franchise and I am not complaining because I'm a big fan of the franchise and wish we could see more. Overall, Symphony of the Night is easily one of my top ten favorite games for the PlayStation and easily my favorite entries in the Castlevania series. I'm looking forward to see if Bloodstained will measure up, but I may spend more time catching up on a few more of the Igarashi era titles in the meantime.

    Coming up: In my restless dreams, I see that town...

  4. #349
    SHAAAAAUN! Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
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    Symphony of the Night is so good. Iíve been itching to play it again. Iím hoping Bloodstained can be of similar quality whenever it comes out.

    I miss those days of Konami. Castlevania, silent hill, and metal gear are some of my favorite series.

  5. #350
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    SotN is fantastic. Hard for me to determine whether that or Super Metroid is best in that category.

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  6. #351
    SHAAAAAUN! Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
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    I feel like the setting of castlevania will make it the more fun game for me, but I am going to be playing super Metroid for the first time soon. Iíd really like to play more stuff in the metroidvania style.

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    WHAT IS A MAN ? A MISERABLE PILE OF SECRETS.


  8. #353
    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pumpkin View Post
    I hated Ico so much xD
    Why are we friends?!

  9. #354
    Taking care of business Cid's Knight Bubba's Avatar
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    Man, I've missed some good ones! I need to catch up with this now...

  10. #355
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    17.While this list has had very few survival horror titles on it, I'm happy such a gem of a game ended up staying with me for so long after I finished it, which is how I feel a real good game should be. SH2 is the only Silent Hill I've finished, not that I dislike the others, I just haven't had the time to really delve into the other entries like I was able to with this game. Overall, this might be the oddest title to make it to this list and reach so far, but I'm getting ahead of myself.Silent Hill 2 is the story of James Sunderland, a grief-stricken widower still mourning the death of his wife Mary from a terminal illness two years ago. His world is turned upside down when he receives a letter from her in the mail that was sent recently, telling him to meet her at Silent Hill where they spent their honeymoon. Emotionally distraught and with nothing else to live for, James comes to Silent Hill which is overrun with a mysterious fog, the townsfolk have mostly disappeared except for a few weirdos, and the town is infested with horrible flesh monsters from your worst nightmares, including a violent and grim stalker called Pyramid Head. James encounters several people including: Angela, a broken girl looking for her mother; Eddie, a deranged and self conscious man; Laura, a bratty little girl with a connection to Mary; and Maria, a local stripper who bears a striking resemblance to Mary. James journey through Silent Hill to discover the truth about the letter he received will lead him on a dark journey of discovery and psychological horror that will stay with you for quite awhile. While SH2 is a sequel to the first game, with the exception of the setting and the fact the monsters are based on the psychological manifestations of the key story character, the game has little story connection to the first game which revolved around a doomsday cult trying to perform some unholy spell to summon their god. SH2 was smart enough to kind of drop that whole premise and instead focus on a more personal story that ultimately leaves you the player wondering if Silent Hill is some kind of eldritch location that manifests your worst fears, or if the whole scenario is simply the result of James' own mental breakdown from his grief. The game actually has a more sly hint that the "monsters" James encounters are not actually monsters but possibly people. It's easy to miss but I liked the idea. Overall, SH2 isn't exactly a "scary" game but it's a very mind twisting one as you deal with the unreliable narrator of James and delve into the psychosis of the games unhinged cast. It's amazing how many interpretations the plot has gotten from fans over the years and I feel this is why SH2 is often considered to be the best entry because it's never straightforward like the other entries. The game has multiple endings and none of them give a clear answer to anything and it's debatable whether you can consider any of them as "good" but instead left to the player's decision. I got the "In Water" ending at first, and frankly, I find it to be the most satisfying for myself but other fans I've spoken to consider some of the other endings to be the "right one". I honestly appreciate this level of discourse the game brings up. Hell even Pyramid Heads role is often debated by fans, with some feeling he's Silent Hills knockoff of Resident Evils Tyrant who stalks James throughout the game to murder him, whereas other players feel Pyramid Head may actually be a guiding figure trying to set James on the "correct path" whereas another character is the one misleading James. SH has taken cues from several movies and stories over the years, and one in particular that SH2 borrows from is a film called Jacob's Ladder. It's the story of an ex-Vietnam vet struggling to cope with the grief of his son's death and the eventual dissolution of his marriage while also the PTSD he obtained in the war. He starts being plagued by visions of monsters and hallucinates disturbing scenes. The film offers two explanations for his problems and leaves it up to the audience to come to their own choice of what it is. Fun fact, James' outfit in SH2 is modeled directly after one worn by the main character in this film. Another film associated with this game is Solaris, a psychological sci-fi story by Polish author Stanislaw Lem about a psychologist investigating a space station studying a strange planet that might have life on it, only to discover that the whole crew is being haunted by apparitions that take the form of love ones or people they knew, in the case of the main character, his dead wife. As a it of a film buff, these parallels and shout outs to great cinema is much appreciated, and you can tell Team Silent drew upon these inspirations to help craft the games intriguing cast of characters. James is a broken and unassertive every man, hardly heroic and sometimes selfish or at least insensitive to the plight of others. Not someone to look up to, but also deeply sympathetic. The other cast members also become more nuanced as you slowly unravel their stories and personal demons. The lone exception being Laura, who is pretty much just a bratty little girl from beginning to end. Okay, so let's talk about the big pink elephant in the room here. I have spent a lot of time talking about the story and characters but not a whole lot on the gameplay. Well remember when I mentioned this game was an oddity on this list? Well it's because I don't really care for the gameplay, which may be a large part of why I get so easily distracted with the other entries because they take longer to get me invested in the story so I'll suffer through the games asinine puzzles, clunky tank controls, and awful combat mechanics. I could never recommend this game purely on it's gameplay, yet what is a bit odd is that I don't feel like SH2 would have the same kind of impact had it been written as another medium. I don't feel like you would have gotten the same sense of isolation, moodiness, and ambiguity had it been a film or book. Traversing and exploring Silent Hill as you uncover clues feels like an integral part of the experience, and something would be lost without it. I reaffirmed this recently when I was trying to explain the story to a coworker recently and found the story falls flat without the extra moodiness of the world. The saving graces of the gameplay besides the atmosphere and secrets it provides are the fact that you can actually lobotomize the game to the point it becomes a simple adventure game if you want, and if you do bother with the combat, the enemies are surprisingly indifferent and easy to deal with. Not like SH1 where everything in town is fast, aggressive, and will relentlessly follow you faster than you can really run. SH3 and 4 pull similar stunts with enemies designed to block your progression until you fight them, or the obnoxious ghosts you have to and often fail to avoid. So I appreciate the fact that the enemies are just as interested in fighting as I am in SH2. In terms of atmosphere, Silent Hill 2 is incredibly creepy. The fog and the sound of the radio going off will chill you as you try to anticipate from which direction the enemy will be coming from and the dark world makes it even more unsettling. I actually feel the radio is a real clever idea as I feel the anticipation of attack is more unnerving than simply being surprised. The town has a washed out and dirty vibe, feeling like a town that was abandoned after severe flood damage and I like how this differentiates the game from the other entries that always went with an industrial "blood and rust" aesthetic. The town is surprisingly huge and you have far more freedom to explore than you would imagine. Of anything, it's a bit surprising to learn how many areas are accessible despite the game giving you no real reason to ever explore beyond the story path but it's actually kind of refreshing to take a detour from time to time if not just to find some extra resources to survive but to also uncover more clues and weird mind screw moments. The ending I received on my first playthrough is largely only obtainable by actually exploring the town as the event flags for it involve finding certain clues scattered about town. In fact, SH2's treatment of the multiple endings are pretty clever because they're largely subtle and never break the illusion of the story to remind you you're playing a game which is really a testament to the design teams writing and design capabilities. There is so many really cool directing cues in this game as well. I mean seriously this is one of those games where picking it apart reveals layers of really well thought out choices and design decisions and it's a damn shame modern horror films can't muster up the same level of care. Another thing I must gush about is the game amazing soundtrack. I was a little put off at first with some of the jazzier tracks that seemed a little too energetic for such a moody title but it frankly works better than I thought and ends up giving diversity that a simple doom and gloom OST could provide. I ended up buying the OST shortly after finishing the game because I was so impressed with the music and I've been using it to help with some of my own writing projects since the games soundtrack is great for character moments. Even if you're not into horror games or the game sounds boring, I would still implore people to give the soundtrack a listen cause it's really well done and helps sell the world and experience which is what a good soundtrack should do.

    Overall, Silent Hill 2 is a chilling and atmospheric tale about grief, anger, sexuality, and self loathing. A claustrophobic experience with many twists and turns that will keep you hooked even if you have to deal with troutty controls and tedious gameplay. It won't take long before you understand why all the post-Team Silent era games ape the hell out of this game's design. It was easily the series Magnum Opus despite making two pretty solid efforts afterwards. Check this game out, I don't often recommend games purely on the merits of the story, but this is one of the few I do.

    Coming Up: Reinforcements? I AM the reinforcements!

  11. #356
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Gonna try that game eventually and cry out of fear

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  13. #358
    SHAAAAAUN! Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
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    I couldnít get into silent hill 2 as much as everybody else seemed to, but itís still fantastic. I need to get a hold of these games and do a series play through sometime.

  14. #359
    Taking care of business Cid's Knight Bubba's Avatar
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    Symphony of the Night still gets regular playtime on my Vita. More-so than Super Castlevania IV which I always thought was my favourite. It's a tough call now!

    I can't believe I still haven't played Ico. Shadow of the Colossus is one of my all-time favourite games. I bought the PS3 collection with both games on. It's terrible that I haven't even booted up Ico... or bought The Last Guardian yet. Ugh, I need more time.

    My only experience with Silent Hill was either 1 or 2, I think it was the first one. I was running down a foggy alley and I was being followed by some kind of reincarnated foetuses... I was like "I don't smurfing think so" and noped out of it.

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