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Veteran Member - Level 13
me, you're not the only one up in arms about our Top 200 Games of All
Time list from issue #200. From calls from my brothers to Facebook
messages from dudes I went to high school with, I've been hearing about
it from all quarters. Every time, my response is the same:"I hear you. You think I didn't fight those battles before we published?"I'm
not trying to present myself as some selfless martyr for the more
discriminating gamer. Everyone on staff has their own issues. I'm sure
Joe wanted Vagrant Story or some garbage on the list, Miller wouldn't
say no to like every freaking music game ever made. Ben...well, fill in
your own ridiculous assertion for Ben. The point is that the list is a
compromise; for every Heroes of Might & Magic III there, I have to
suck up a Punch-Out.Today, though, it's my blog and I don't have to compromise on nuthin'. I present to you the most egregious snubs I can think of.
Master of Orion, Master of Orion II, and Master of MagicThese
old Microprose 4X titles probably crush Civilization and World of
Warcraft combined when it comes to the amount of time I've spent with
them. They each have their own special place in my heart. MOO updated
the old Reach for the Stars formula and provided a great macro-level
space sandbox to build an empire in. MOO II introduced me to the
hilarity of overpowered ship designs (you think you can front on
autofire phasers, but you would be wrong. You haven't lived until
you've blown up the entire Antaran home fleet with a half-dozen
cruiser-class ships). MoM is still my favorite concept for a strategy
game ever, with heroes who level up and massive, world-breaking magical
spells at players' disposal grafted onto a solid 4X core. Hilariously
broken and imbalanced, of course, but good enough nonetheless to
inspire me to win with just about every starting position imaginable. I
really, really hope that Stardock does its legacy proud with Elemental.
Deus ExYeah, it's on the list, but nowhere near high
enough. Deus Ex might be my favorite game of all time; I can never
decide between it, Baldur's Gate II, and whatever 4X I'm currently
obsessed with. I haven't seen a gameworld crafted that even comes close
to the fascinating fiction of Deus Ex. I don't care if the textures are
dated and the character models embarrassing in their low polygon counts
nowadays. Everyone should still go back and play this masterpiece.
Twice. It's that good.
is more or less the original strategy game. Cities pop up on a randomly
generated map. Each turn, they can work toward producing one unit. When
that's done, the unit is ready for use. Players take turns moving their
pieces, taking over more cities to produce more armies to conquer more
territory. It's like Advance Wars, but in some ways better -- and it
was released in 1983. There's a great history written by the game's
author here; I suggest you check it out.
is to RPGs what Empire is to strategy games. The first computerized
implementation of a system similar-to-but-legally-distinct-from
Dungeons & Dragons, Rogue had me diving into the Dungeon (there was
just the one) late into the night as a kid. The "roguelike" genre still
exists, as evidenced by Japanese console releases like Chocobo Mystery
Dungeon and Shiren the Wanderer. More importantly, there's a fantastic
game called Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup
that you should totally play because it's free and awesome. It's kinda
sad, but I've been neglecting Dragon Age for Crawl lately. It's that
good. Just don't freak out at the permadeath; it's part of the game.
Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad OverlordWhatever
Rogue didn't do for RPGs, Wizardry did. This party-based dungeon crawl
is still cited by developers from the U.S., Japan, and Europe as a
primary inspiration. It's still reasonably playable, though the lack of
an automap is rough. You could check out The Dark Spire instead, which is a reasonably recent DS ode to Wizardry. Don't come crying to me when you die, though. It's meant to be hard.
Myst. I'll let someone else write the paeans to its glory since
adventure games make me want to chug Drain-O, but c'mon. Freakin' Myst.
Sid Meier's Railroad TycoonStill
the best business sim ever. I can go back and play this thing for
hours, even today. I learned more than anyone should ever know about
the minor cities that dot the U.S. countryside from it, too. Decatur's
a gold mine if you exploit it properly.
And there you have it.
Yes, they're all PC games. That's because PC games are awesome, and all
y'all need to respect your roots. Besides, I was conquering galaxies
and buying out rival corporations while console suckers were stuck
having to pretend that learning a rote button-pressing rhythmin Punch-Out!! was the pinnacle of gameplay.