The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
I know. . . I am doing the most cliched blog in the history of all time. I know. . . this has been done thousands of times, but its my blog and I can write what I want, so here it goes. For those of you that actually care, as I put in the title and as you can tell from the really cool top 5 logo I found, this is my top 5 favorite video games. I only picked one game from a series, so there was some debating, but if one game from that series makes it on the list, there is an incredible chance that most of the games in that series are incredible. I will also put a little clip of gameplay that I find on youtube at the end, as well as a picture at the beginning, so you'll be able to see the games in action if you haven't played them.
* Warning: spoilers may be ahead for any of these games*
Number 5: Fire Emblem
This whole series is a remarkable blend of story-telling and strategy based gameplay, resulting in one of the best Strategy RPG's around, but Fire Emblem 7 (Fire emblem : Rekka No Ken in Japan, Just Fire Emblem in America, or Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword) is easy my favorite of the entire series. First of all, the graphics for a Game Boy Advance game are really good, the sprites look really nice, and the textures, while not remarkably detailed look smooth. The best part is the detail in the bust shots of all the characters, they all look really good.
The story for this game has to be my favorite story of the series, it starts off rather simple, you are a tactician and you are found by a young nomadic girl named Lyndis. From there you embark on a 10 chapter journey with this character and find out some cool things about this Lyndis girl. Then you kinda change direction, and still as this tactician you meet up with a noble named Eliwood, whose Father is missing. What starts as a very simple quest to find Eliwood's dad, ends up becoming a quest to save the world from a corrupt nation, a dark sorceror and dragons.The characters are another really strong point for this game. The main characters in this game, Lyndis, Hector, and Eliwood all become good friends and the relation between Lyn and Hector is like a brother sister realtion. Many of the supporting characters are unique as well and you can discover more about each through a support conversation system. If you stand by a character who can get support with you long enough, you have the oppurtunity to strike up a side conversation with that character. This really helps flesh out the characters.
The gameplay is really simple, but also very challenging depending on how you play. You move characters around on a "board" so to say, and they are limited on mobility, which is determined by several factors. The three basic weapons are swords, lances, and axes, but you also can get bows and such. The game uses a weapon triangle of sorts, the swords are beaten by lances, lances beaten by axes, and axes beaten by swords. This works out really well in planning a strategy. There is also a magic system which works the same way, but only mages can use magic, and they cannot use any melee weapons. This really adds to the strategy.
There are certain stages where you can't see who's in the battlefield thanks to fog of war or darkness that covers the area. In this type of map, you can only see a few spaces ahead of you. This tends to make you more conservative as to how you act. There are also really neat level designs, but they all follow a basic pattern.Outside, inside, mountains, plains, and thats pretty much the basic pattern. There is also a desert level, which is hard.
The hook though is once a character dies, they are gone. . . Forever! If a main character dies its game over, but supporting characters will just disappear. If they need to remain alive for story purposes they will receive a severe injury which they can't fight while they have that injury. This is when it gets hard. I try to keep everyone alive, so I am constantly restarting back from the beginning of the level. This makes it three times as hard but much more pleasing when you can beat the entire thing with almost all your characters. If you let to many die though, your gonna get screwed. Once I let all but six die, and by chapter 19 (out of a total of 31 I think) I was totally destroyed and I had to start over.
There is also a level up mechanic, whenever you kill an enemy you get experience, and when you level up you become stronger. Eventually with the right items you can advance to the next class. For Example: Archer-> Sniper, Mage-> Sage, Cavalier-> Paladin. They become a lot stronger after the next class.
Some other things about the game included its quick battle team mode thing, where you built a team of 5 and fought either computer controlled teams or friends teams using a link battle system. also the game used a nice autosave feature, when you turn the game off it saved at that exact same turn, so you could just turn it off, then turn it back on later and pick up from the same spot.
This was one of the best strategy RPG's I've ever played, and my 5th favorite game of all time, so now I leave you with some video so you can see what I've been talking all about.
Number 4: Mass Effect 2
Ah, Mass Effect, possibly the best RPG I've ever played. This game is just incredible. I really did enjoy the first one a lot, but Mass Effect 2 wins out for several reasons.
First is the combat. Mass Effect 1 had a really good battle system that paved the way for the much more refined experience in Mass Effect 2. That's just it though, Mass Effect 2's combat was much more refined and smooth. Cover didn't feel like a hassle anymore and gunplay felt much more like a common third person shooter. In the first game when Shepard would run for cover I found that half the time she wouldn't get behind the wall, which left me open for attacks. Also the first game had a lack of a vaulting system. Once you were behind one piece of cover, you had to move completely out of that cover and jump to another one. It was so aggravating, but the second one fixed that as well as making it easier to switch cover in general. Also the weapons were more focused, so that you couldn't get fifty different weapons but a few that could be upgraded how you wanted them to be. All these things make for a much more smooth experience.
Atmosphere is the other thing that I like a lot about this game. It is a suicide mission, a dark gritty mission. You know for the entire time that you need to get everything just perfect and get all your people as loyal as possible so that when you go on this mission you don't lose all your people. One example is the main hub world, Omega. Omega is the exact opposite of the Citadel, dark gritty, violent, and just plain slums like. It really sets up the overall dark feel of Mass Effect.
Also the side missions are really good. The loyalty missions are all really unique and fun. You can also embark on a few missions that aren't really required for anything at all. Those are okay, but DLC is where its at for bonus content. It may cost a little bit, but you can get a lot of really cool missions. Liara's mission, Lair of the Shadow Broker, is possibly the best side mission in the entire game, but you have to buy that. It is a really cool mission in which you get Liara as a party member and play through a really cool car chase sequence.
This is Mass effect, which is an RPG so you have to mention those elements of the game. There is a level up system where you can progress in skills and when you get to the last level of that skill it can become a new skill, which is usually either a stronger version with more benefits, or an AOE (area of effect) attack that does damage in a certain radius. It feels a little more dumbed down from the first one, but it is pretty streamlined and easy to power up your people.Also the gun upgrades mentioned earlier help with a more RPG feel.
The RPG elements really come out in the morality/ conversation system that is in the story. It is a pretty good morality system, that as Casey Hudson describes it, not so much about good or evil, but if your looking out for every one else or just worried about yourself. Some choices that give you renegade po0iints, may not be "evil", but they don't help other people, just yourself. It really is a good system that you have to play and use to get the full effect. The story is also worth mentioning sense that is a big portion of the game. It is mostly about recruiting your team for this crazy mission, and there are some plot twist and you find out some really cool things about the main enemy the Reapers and their helpers, the Collectors. The characters are all unique and I like the cast of characters in ME2 much more than the first one. This is really a game you have to play to see how great it is, because you can't describe it in words.
Here's a video to show you some of the opening of the game:
Number 3: Jak 3
The triple threat on the PS2, Sly Cooper, Jak and Daxter, and Ratchet and Clank, all have their strong points, but my favorite is easily the Jak and Daxter series, and Jak 3 has all the things I loved about 1 and 2, and put it together for one of the best gaming experiences available on the PS2. The story in Jak 3 wraps up everything that had been hinted at in the past games and revealed some surprising secrets about the ancient precursors. Jak 3 retained all the humor from the past games and applied it to new areas.Graphically the game is also very impressive. For a PS2 title, the textures are fairly detailed, the character models look nice, and the graphics never really look bad. They may not be on the same quality as some of the FF games on the PS2, it wasn't bad. From a technical aspect the game ran great, but it wasn't just about how well it ran, but how fun it was, and it was FUN.
Gunplay was really great and the variety of guns makes it fun. There is an anti-gravity gun, a super rocket launcher gun, a needle gun, and gun that shoots electricity, a gun that makes a wave that expands from your location, a gun that shoots out a ufo like thing and shoots bullets from it, a rpg launcher, and a couple others. The controls are really tight and responsive and the game plays like an action adventure style game. The guns take the fore-front gameplay wise, but you can also do a punch and a kick attack, but those tend to be last resorts.
Vehicles also play a much bigger part in this game than any of the others. You can pilot a slew of desert vehicles, which are almost as unique as the guns in the game. One car can do like a super jump, another is a huge battering ram, and one goes 100 miles per hour. There are other cars, but those are just some of the ones with unique abilities. In the desert there was one mission that you could fly a hang glider, which was rather fun, though at times the controls were a little clunky. You could also ride lizard creatures, even race them against monks. You can also ride the speeder like things that are found in the city. One mission has your ottsel partner, Daxter, riding a rocket.
One of the best things about the game is the dark Jak and Light Jak abilities. Dark Jak has a series of general destructive abilities, and one that allows him to become invisible. Dark Jak was introduced in Jak 2, but was perfected in Jak 3. Light Jak tended to have more helpful abilities. The ability to fly, heal, and slow down time was very nice. He could also create a temporary shield.
The game took away from the heavy platforming of the first game, but the way it made up in all of its gunplay, vehicle driving, epic boss fight glory, was plenty enough to distract from the lack of platforming. It was one of the best action adventure games I've ever played, and my favorite of all the Jak games by far.
Number 2: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Do I really even have to say more? This game is a classic and is truly amazing in every way, but I guess I'll explain why I like it so much.
For a long time I considered Ocarina of Time my Second favorite game of all time, so when I heard they were remaking this beloved classic for 3DS, well I knew I had to get one. So for my birthday I got a 3DS and a month and 11 days later I get Ocarina of time in my hands this past Tuesday. This game is everything I could've hoped for an more. Currently I am in the Water Temple(Rawr, Water Temple, anyone who has ever played the Water Temple knows why I'm Rawring) and it is an amazing game. The graphics are much better as well as the lighting. The menu interface is incredible, with touch controls and a map that is now shown at all times on the bottom. You can also aim with the Gyroscope, which feels very fluid and easy to use.
The game is very, very true to the original, even down to some of the more subtle hidden things. A few things have been updated, but largely it remains the same. So if everything is the same, what made the game so great to begin with? Well part of it was the gameplay mechanics that were introduced back in 1998 when the game was made hold up better than some mechanics of today. The targeting system was so easy to use, and made the combat feel precise, but never to easy. The puzzles that were littered throughout the game were some of the most puzzling of all the Zelda games. One of the biggest things about it though, which is still incredible today, was the vastness of the land of Hyrule. There is so much to see and do, and twice as many secrets to uncover than you think could be in a game. From getting ALL the items, to finding ALL the gold skulltulas, to Finding the great fairy lairs, there was just so much to do.
As Link's first foray into 3D gaming, many wondered how good the gameplay would be. The use of Z targeting eliminated all those worries. The system was flawless, click the Z button when an enemy was nearby to automatically lock on and begin a fight with that enemy. In the 3DS version the button became L, but it works just the same, and the lock-on system in this game has held up so well that it surpasses most other lock on systems. Gyroscope aiming in this version is also incredible and never experiences any hiccups. I could go for hours on how great the mechanics are, but if you haven't played you'll never fully understand how great the gameplay is.
The visuals for the 3D version are remarkable. The entire color palette was updated and the whole game had a detail enhancement. The game also looks really good in 3D, adding a much needed depth to the game. You have to see it to believe it, but it is really nice. Here's some gameplay to show you some of the refined things about the game.
*Spoils part of the water temple, so just watch out when watching the gameplay*
Number 1: Kingdom Hearts
The combination of a Square RPG and a Disney themed World, with creatures known as heartless, sounds completely insane. It did back in 2002 when the game released as well. But somehow, against all odds, this combo worked, and became my absolute favorite game. I'm not going to sit here and call myself a Disney aficionado, but I really enjoyed the disney movies and thought all the worlds they had created were wonderful. I will call myself a huge Square fan though, so of course I had to check this game out. My cousin bought the game and I went to his house and checked it out, and I was a little young at the time, but the disney aspect got me into it a lot. I decided to go ahead and buy it, why not right. It soon became my favorite game ever.
It starts off simple enough, your a kid named Sora who lives on an island and you are told there is something more to the world than just your island, so you and you to friends Riku and Kiari set off on an adventure (or try to at least) and one night your island is attacked and you get a magical key that can kill these attackers, called heartless. The heartless try to eat peoples hearts. Then you get sucked into a portal and transported to a town called traverse town. Then you set out on an adventure spanning many Disney themed worlds searching for your lost friends Kiari and Riku. There is a Tarzan world, (my favorite from all the games) a Alice and Wonderland World, (my least favorite) a Hercules World, Pinoccio World, and several others. There is also some original worlds like Hollow Bastion. The main villians are also Disney villians, like Malicifant, but the main guy is an original guy named Ansem. Final Fantasy characters also make a big appearance.
The story in this game is pretty good, but I prefer the second one's story, but the gameplay in the second game made it pretty easy. It became a more action oriented game, but that didn't make it bad, but I liked the puzzles and the strategy for some enemies and bosses from the first game. To put it simply the First game was more of an RPG. They had multiple weapons, items, a level up system, a cool story for the most part, some strategy in fighting, a pretty elaborate weapon upgrade system called synthesis, side quest like things, (puppy collection quest) and hidden secrets, all elements of a good RPG. A lot of that was dumbed down in the second game. HTis game was also pretty hard, especially on the hard difficulty and the bosses, but it was so fun that it didn't matter. Their are a lot of really good things to talk about, but I'll just show some video and tell you to go play the game for yourself if you haven't. You'll probably see why its one of my favorite games ever.
Thanks for reading this somewhat detailed look at my favorite games. Let me know what you thought of my picks and let me know your favorite games as well. I know some of these games aren't described to well, but I just didn't know what to put, and I assume most people played a majority of these, so please forgive that, and if you haven't played these games, you really should try them out. Good day and thanks for reading!
I agree with Jack 3, easily my favorite of the PS2 console mascots, i dunno about kingdom hearts as number 1, i mean it is an awesome game, but number 1? seems a stretch IMO.
I salute your epic choices, and your reasoning for each spot is fantastic. Although I'll still argue Wind Waker is better than OoT, mainly because Nintendo strayed a bit from the formula that started with Link to the Past. Instead of switching between two worlds, one light and one dark, you only have one world. Granted the dungeon system stayed the same, but still the sense of adventure and exploration that I got from Wind Waker is matched only by Oblivion.
Great choices! I would love to see an updated version of this in the future.
Nice choices, I also would love to see an updated list in the future.
Great list. I enjoyed reading this blog post