Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Discussion about things related to computers, games and internet.
User avatar
morhlis
Pink on the Inside
Posts: 386
Joined: May 15th, 2010, 23:59
Location: The Decadent South
Contact:

Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by morhlis » May 25th, 2010, 22:11

Yes yes. I've variants of this while looking through some of the older threads. But tastes change and so do opinions. Not to mention I'm giving you a full TEN SLOTS to add games. Now, I don't care about genre, platform, or anything else. I simply want to know which games you adore the most. In fact, I would even discourage using a number system...with the exception of Blood. Which I am sure will be #1 to everyone!

1. Blood - I think I have stated my many reasons for loving this game in other threads. The rest are in no particualr order.

- Painkiller: In many ways I found this game to be a successor to Blood. True, it was just a bunny hopping shooter far more akin to Quake than Blood in terms of gameplay. But in terms of enemy and character design, stylistic elements, and pace of combat I felt it hit pretty close to home. I bought it when it was very cheap, thinking I just wanted to try something new. But the second I arrived in 16th century cemetery with a whirling blade as my primary weapon I was blown away.

- Redneck Rampage: I live in the southern United States. This game gave me a chance to actually play a living breathing parody of the culture I grew up in. Also, the game's textures and level design are quite breathtaking. Also, the difficulty was massive! Even replaying it recently I was surprised by how frustrating it could be to find all the keys and progress to the next level. Still, great game!

- Doom: I count Doom 1 and 2 as the same game, so there 8) Wolfenstein 3D was the first game I ever played. Others played Mario or Pong. I played Wolf 3D. From that point on I was hooked, and for a long time Id was my dealer. Wolf didn't hold up for me over time but Doom definitely has. It was always more about heavy metal and "rip and tear" than it was about dark overtones and mood. Still, the grittiness of the game matches what I feel is good about games in general.

- Quake: This is Quake 1 only! Keep this in mind. I liked Quake 2 as well. But It just doesn't make it to my top 10. Quake was one of the few games I played after Blood that made me feel the same thing it did. The settings, especially after the first episode, made me think "Yeah, I could see Caleb here!" Not to mention all the Lovecraft references...and I was the only one at school that got them :?

- Half Life Series: A game series as well made as Half Life deserves to be on everyone's list. It had moments that appealed to my sense of humor, horror, and especially my love for sci-fi. It was a big departure from the games I usually played. Blood, Quake, Redneck, Doom - They all had stories, but they were stories that you kind of had to piece together with your imagination. Even with Blood's cut scenes there was still a lot of mental leg work to do. I viewed this then, and still do, as a good thing by the way! It allowed me to become more invested in the game. But playing the Half Life series is like playing a good movie. So yeah, different experience but still great.

- Caesar 3: Hey! They can't all be FPS games...well they could be, but they aren't. Caesar 3 combined my love for history and power into one package. I often found myself reinstalling it, playing it for a day, then uninstalling it, only to reinstall it again 6 months later. Plus I always thought it was amusing that all the characters had British accents. We just can't think of the Romans with anything BUT British accents for some reason...damn you Shakespeare!

- The Castlevania Series: When my family finally did purchase an NES system I begged for any Castlevania game. I had seen it played at a friend's house and wanted it. I got Castlevania 3. It was awesome. I have played nearly every Castlevania since then. Eventually the games went from the standard left-to-right side scrolling fare, to a more Super Metroid oriented style. Experience points were gained, items were collected, giant balls made up of corpses were hacked to pieces. Needless to say I'm still playing the new ones today.

- Dungeon Keeper: I don't know how many of you have played Dungeon Keeper or it's sequel. Even if you don't like above head games its a sick little treat. Recruiting demonic minions, slapping chickens until they explode, killing the good guys. And the game had a typically brilliant sense of humor. Bullfrog games always had a good sense of humor.

- The Fallout Series: Huge open environments, a million npcs, a billion quests, mutants, slavers, deathclaws, all set in a post apocalyptic world. Loved it then, love it now.

So there ya go. If you don't want to list ten then don't I guess I just wanted to see what everyone else likes. Is it mostly FPS games? Is there a large divergence of taste? I hope to find out!
Cruentu Pestis Cruento Rudsceleratus Sum

User avatar
Umnir
Half-homie
Posts: 4547
Joined: Jul 9th, 2007, 17:26
Contact:

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by Umnir » May 25th, 2010, 22:49

There was a similiar thread in other forum some time ago. I can't really say my top 10, since there are way too much good games that are left outside but here is what I answered:

Image
Tells story of man who wakes up in the bathroom of small New York diner, bloody knife in his hand, body on the floor and remembers nothing about it. Yea, I know, amnesia is kind of beaten up theme in games, but this one works better. This game is quite unorthodox (French) for gameplay. It mixes adventure, puzzles, reaction time games and so and so. There is also sanity factor in the game, where you must keep your head clear or you might kill yourself from depression. I particularily remember a very movielike scene from the game, where police was literally second away from busting in when I got my mess cleaned in the room and opened the door! Fantastic game, although goes a bit wild towards the end.

Image
Epic storytelling from several ten years about man who became wiseguy by sheer accident (and little choice). It's kind of like 30's GTA, but with better storyline and more mature taste. I think this is THE game if you like mafia theme.

Image
Jarmo's hairlook of preference.

Image
It is cute, it is funny, it is dark and scary, it is epic in size and propably one of the most beautiful games I've ever played. Can be exchaustingly long and ending was a bit anticlimatic for my taste, but a experience everyone should live once. Forget your prejudice and try it if you can.

Image
The whole series really. Just something about me draws to the adventures of Samus. I haven't played the last two installements of the 3d series, but is it enough to describe that I have considered buying Wii merely for the trilogy collection set? Maybe when it's cheaper..

Image
Propably the best RTS ever, except those fucking onagers! NNNNAAAARGH! By some reason, this is one of the few RTS' where you can buy fully functional custom citywall!

Image
Sink deep into the night. Another great story, suspense, greatest characters in gaming history ever. Period. Cherry on the top is the superior voice acting.

Image
Series. Nevertheless, one of the most atmospheric games ever made. Has propably the best level designing I've seen. I been close to shit in the pants scenarios with the undead in these games.. The shackles and whispering of skeletor running at your back makes you shiver and go completely fucking insane. :lol:

Image
Cyberhorror. I don't like horror that much, but this just does it. All the gizmondos and variety makes this game worth playing alone (like in Deus Ex), but the whole package with superior atmosphere and voice acting is experience that I've never felt like with this game.

Image
Pretty much same with this like with SS2, but in slightly different way and lacking the horror. I think this is sort of more "realistic" and "intelligent" version of SS2, where SS2 is the surreal and nightmarish hell.
Last edited by Umnir on May 27th, 2010, 12:38, edited 1 time in total.
LOL HI!

User avatar
morhlis
Pink on the Inside
Posts: 386
Joined: May 15th, 2010, 23:59
Location: The Decadent South
Contact:

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by morhlis » May 25th, 2010, 22:52

Damn! You're right 10 is way too small because I forgot to mention AoE 2 and that has to be one of my favorite games ever :x
Cruentu Pestis Cruento Rudsceleratus Sum

User avatar
Daedalus
Blood is my Medium
Posts: 4418
Joined: Apr 27th, 2004, 00:46
Location: The Door between Worlds
Contact:

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by Daedalus » May 26th, 2010, 00:41

Some good stuff mentioned here, guys.

I'm pleased you didn't force me to have to list their order. Here we go; ten games from my heart and I think you'll find I'm a bit out of place here and not for the first time. 8)

1.) Blood. Now and forever.

- Dawn of War. Not only the best RTS ever made, but it's also in my love list. It's very rare to have a RTS where it's just as fun to die as it is to win. Sure, the pathing's clunky, and it's not much of an empire simulation game, but those are really the only negatives that the entire game carries with it. Its gameplay is frantic and the levels only have the tiniest fraction of peace time in them. What sets this game apart from any other strategy, though, is its spirit. The game has so much love put into it and all the unit taunts and warcries are incredible, not to mention the finish moves. I can think of no other RTS in which you can just take control for a few seconds and be fully submerged in that world. Death to the enemies of the imperium!

- Deus Ex. The source of my username and a source of great joy to me. My meeting of this game, as with Blood, was something of a chance and I feel I might've been quite a different person had it bypassed me. The music is fantastic (a page straight out of when Unreal's music was good) and the game has such memorable characters. Deus Ex was like a revelation of genius in a very dark era of gaming. With the exception of editing, I'd say that I'm one of the most knowledgeable and experienced in this game, as I have finished it more times than I can count, know all the secrets and I've finished it in some truly bizarre ways. It's definitely not the game for everyone, but it resonated with me very strongly. If there was a game I could wipe my mind clean of and play freshly, this would be the one, straight after Blood. The part that won my heart forever was being directed by the raspy, calculative, secret command of Daedalus. That part of the game was just so mystifying to me and made it an instant winner to me.

- Red Alert 2. The prequel was a great engine, but it hasn't aged well. The sequel is too silly and modern, but still a hoot. However, Red Alert 2 roared onto the stage in a mighty fashion. There isn't a whole lot to say, as it isn't a deep game by any means, but RA 2 is just plain fun. I've never known a person to play it and not enjoy it, no matter their skill level. The game is so diverse and there are so many cute quirks and tricks that it's a real joy to play. I could watch nukes level bases all day in it.

- Age of Empires 2. Surely something incredible was at work the day this game was born. The prequel had terrible pathing and the sequel was just uninspired and missed the plot, but Age of Empires 2 will forever remain one of the best standing strategy games of all time. The games take a bit of investment before they get going, but once they do, it's something special. The graphics in this game are quite literally perfect. The civilizations are all quite interestingly different. The way that the terrain is transformed as the empires evolve is masterful. Just the blend of cultural warfare, diplomacy and many different units is something very special.

- Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. For the turn-based fan, this game is probably perfect in the truest sense of the word. The strategies are limitless, the factions are amazingly well balanced, the philosophy and technology is top notch. The amount of effort and love pumped into this title is absolutely remarkable. It is such a simple platform, but the way that the world is brought to life through the various vocal performances, ideologies, ambient sound and music is just beyond reproach.

- Civilization II. Where Alpha Centauri is perfection in all walks, Civilization is perfection in essence. Civilization dumbs down the complexity of Alpha Centauri for a quicker experience and has a more cheerful interface. This one avoids the unnecessary complexities and graphics which only serve to confuse in its sequels, while building onto the legendary original and adding a bit of refinement where necessary.

- Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. I think God Himself blessed this game's birth. I do believe this game stands as the unquestioned ruler of the true RPG platform. Its predecessor is a little too primitive, misdirected and has a little too much aimless combat, but the list of this particular title's accomplishments truly baffle the mind. Not a single square centimetre of this game is without total love and devotion and it shows. The entirety of the realm and items, all painstakingly hand drawn, just blow the mind away. The story is magnificent (offering my favourite villain of all time), the dialogue is exquisite, the characters are the most believable I've ever seen in a game, despite being only two-dimensional physical figures, the items are all interesting, the spells are very interesting and so it goes. This game actually succeeded in making absolutely every single fight in the game seem somehow warranted. There is never a single dungeon crawl for its own sake in the game and that's simply amazing. The combat is masterfully strategic. Really, I could just go on and on about this one...

- Diablo/Diablo II. The lords who gave birth to genres. There's not a whole lot to say on them, since everybody knows them. What the sequel lacks in the unbeatable ambience of the first, it makes up for in gameplay. Endless replayability, fantastic visuals, great itemization, brilliant enemies, so it goes. Not many games can say that every single game of the same type made since has simply been an effort to copy them.

- Starcraft. Not as fond of it these days, but it warrants a mention here for some nostalgia. The most successful competitive RTS to date, if not the most successful RTS overall. The first RTS to introduce very different factions. The gameplay's so solid it holds up to this day and is almost absolutely perfect in its balance. The music is great, with a special mention to the Terran tracks. The cinematics are great as well. Also probably one of the RTS games with the best writing from the era and with the most memorable characters. The only place my devotion truly lies here is in the opening Terran campaign of the original, though. There's a special magic at work in the American Southern frontier style in space that's very alluring. Unfortunately, the game later turns into a pretty mundane alien warfare title, but still.

Honourable mentions who didn't make the list, but might've on a different day: Unreal Tournament / Transport Tycoon / Master of Orion 2.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

User avatar
morhlis
Pink on the Inside
Posts: 386
Joined: May 15th, 2010, 23:59
Location: The Decadent South
Contact:

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by morhlis » May 26th, 2010, 04:48

I feel bad that I haven't played a Baldur's Gate game...for that matter I've never played a Sid Meier game. Somehow I managed not to. I think I jump on Underground Gamer and see if I can find a torrent of the Baldur's Gate games.
Cruentu Pestis Cruento Rudsceleratus Sum

User avatar
Umnir
Half-homie
Posts: 4547
Joined: Jul 9th, 2007, 17:26
Contact:

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by Umnir » May 26th, 2010, 08:23

Btw I left out blood from my list to tease and for obvious reasons lolz
Spoiler: show
:trollface:
LOL HI!

User avatar
Daedalus
Blood is my Medium
Posts: 4418
Joined: Apr 27th, 2004, 00:46
Location: The Door between Worlds
Contact:

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by Daedalus » May 26th, 2010, 10:43

Turn based strategies aren't for everyone, Morhlis, but if you're a fan of RPGs, Baldur's Gate would ...... please you. As I said, the first can be given a pass, as everything of importance in it is described almost instantly in the sequel's intro and it's a bit primitive, as it was part of their early development. Baldur's Gate 2's expansion; Throne of Bhaal brings some additional closure to the story, but it's also not essential. Play the original from the heart and have the patience for its learning curve and it will...... please you.

I'm quite skilled and knowledgeable in it, so I can offer insight or assistance where necessary.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

User avatar
Umnir
Half-homie
Posts: 4547
Joined: Jul 9th, 2007, 17:26
Contact:

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by Umnir » May 27th, 2010, 12:39

Updated the gamelist description a bit, tried to write longer messages but got a bit winded and Im at work after all. Maybe we should expand this to top-20?
LOL HI!

User avatar
ilikemyhandsbloody
Lightly Broiled
Posts: 750
Joined: Nov 23rd, 2009, 13:53
Location: outside yer little forum

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by ilikemyhandsbloody » May 27th, 2010, 15:54

Daedalus wrote:Red Alert 2
Yup very cool, but if you play it over the net you need to have an equally fast PC as your peers or else, when yours is too slow, you will lose in no time since the rest builds faster.
http://www.youtube.com/bloodmapedit
__________________________________________________________
http://www.baitd.bloodgame.ru/bme.htm

User avatar
morhlis
Pink on the Inside
Posts: 386
Joined: May 15th, 2010, 23:59
Location: The Decadent South
Contact:

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by morhlis » May 27th, 2010, 16:28

Daedalus wrote:
I'm quite skilled and knowledgeable in it, so I can offer insight or assistance where necessary.
Wonderful! I did find a nice torrent and I will probably be installing it over the weekend. If I have any questions you can expect a PM 8)
Cruentu Pestis Cruento Rudsceleratus Sum

User avatar
Daedalus
Blood is my Medium
Posts: 4418
Joined: Apr 27th, 2004, 00:46
Location: The Door between Worlds
Contact:

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by Daedalus » May 27th, 2010, 16:36

Sworn ever to your service when at peace and when at war.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

User avatar
NAto
Well Done
Posts: 1958
Joined: Jun 3rd, 2005, 16:32

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by NAto » May 27th, 2010, 20:40

You nee- You sou- What?- Don't ye- Jan Jans- *burp* Pardon, turnip reflex.

User avatar
Daedalus
Blood is my Medium
Posts: 4418
Joined: Apr 27th, 2004, 00:46
Location: The Door between Worlds
Contact:

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by Daedalus » May 27th, 2010, 22:02

Fucken lewl.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

User avatar
Daedolon
Supervillain outcast
Posts: 3338
Joined: Mar 28th, 2004, 14:06
Contact:

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by Daedolon » May 29th, 2010, 18:08

1. System Shock (1994, PC) FPS/RPG

Image

The very best in the field of Cyberpunk, the game was very innovative in 1994, albeit using a lot of its predecessor's (Ultima Underworld) features, but it was System Shock that refined them to a quality and quantity that still hasn't been seen in gaming ever since.

The story shortly, it's available here in its original form, the intro video, but I also wrote it below in different wording, although I'd suggest you to watch the video instead.

Spoiler: show
You are "The Hacker", doing what you do best. Hacking into the Tri-Optimum corporate network, trying to access files conserning a futuristic space station, The Citadel. The Tri-Optimum security apprehend you, but you are given a choice; Edward Diego of Tri-Optimum promises to drop the charges against you as you proceed you hack and remove the ethical constraints from SHODAN (Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network), the artificial intelligence running The Citadel Station for purposes yet unknown.

Having success in this operation, you are given a military class neural network interface and your mishaps are forgiven. While Edward removes all information this recent business, you enter a healing coma of six months only to awaken from The Citadel where everything seems to have gone wrong in the most possible way.
  • Most prominently visible, new features
  • Log files giving exposition into the storyline for players who want to go the extra length to obtain a better insight to the game and its characters.
  • Fluid inventory system that allows you to manage and gather resources such as different healing items, drugs for boosting your stats temporarily, bionic implants for implementing new features to your new self and more.
  • Different ammunition types for all projectile such as armor piercing, spreading and of flesh shredding types to name some.
  • A variety of interesting, rarely seen weaponry, such as stun guns and tranquillizer darts.
  • Different fire modes for weapons with internal energy, such as setting voltage for beam pistols and stun guns, as seen in the original Star Trek ("Set your phasers on stun.").
  • It had the Laser Rapier before Deus Ex in a video game!
  • Grenades and other secondary projectile weapons are also available in various forms.
  • The physics engine applied to grenades also work all other items and adds another dimension to the atmosphere, making the game less static than other games from the same decade.
  • Most weapons have stepless sliders for changing the weapon charge and energy use, good for devising tactics and adapting to new situations as energy does not come free.
  • Although there is no limb specific damage, you can receive different environmental damage such as get electrocuted and poisoned in various ways. While you have no real physical armor, you can get an armor hardware plug-in which uses your energy supplies along with other upgrades and items you may find on your quest.
  • The movement system is very complex and I've yet to see anything like that in games before or since System Shock: You can tilt your character to the left and right while changing your stance from prone, crouch to standing. That's a total of nine postures, plus the fact that you can run, jump and fly in various ways in the game. Also ZERO GRAVITY!
  • The engine supports textured three dimensional models which is used to give some enhanced detail to the architecture.
  • Games. System Shock comes with game applications you can play for a break in puzzle solving assuming you don't have mission difficulty set at highest. A fun variety of breakout/arkanoid clones and other similar games are available at your leisure.
  • CYBERSPACE! It has not aged visually well, but the notion of a free roaming, fully three dimensional cyberspace where you unlock security locks and find protected files while fighting off guard programs hasn't been seen in games that often, not even in 80's scifi movies.
Not to mention a well written, dark science fiction storyline and a game which supports it with its atmosphere to the fullest and it's all seamlessly written to support the storyline and gameplay. It is very believable and one of the best examples of a dark, oppressing, cold and alone future visions.

The music and the sound work can be really oppressing and sometimes even very unorthodox, consisting of electronic beeps and industrial noises, depending on the level (level as in floor or story) you are in. Not to mention the kick-ass melodic beats that are also available in a variety of choices which work very well with the cold, cyberpunk atmosphere while being exhilaratingly upbeat and fast. The fact that the game is set on multiple floors, you are free to go between any floors using elevators as long as you have re-routed power to some of the more damaged ones. The game provides a very believable space station for you to explore the maintenance, cultivation, flight, r&d and executive decks to name the most prominent ones, each with their own visual and auditory themes and challenges.

The game is heavy on the puzzle side, most of relating to rerouting electricity into doors and lifts, turning on the lights or even managing life support. The difficulty can be changed freely, you can completely customize the difficulty you want. As it's very rare for any game to have such difficulty level customization, I thought it's worth writing it all here:
  1. Combat difficulty
  2. Enemies are feeble and never attack first
  3. Enemies are fewer and weaker.
  4. Enemies are normal.
  5. Enemies are stronger and more numerous.
  1. Mission difficulty
  2. All plot elements are removed.
  3. Simplified plot and gameplay.
  4. Plot is normal.
  5. Time limit imposed on the game.
  1. Puzzle difficulty
  2. All puzzles are solved instantly
  3. Most puzzles are simplified.
  4. Puzzles are normal.
  5. Most puzzles are more difficult.
  1. Cyberspace difficulty
  2. Very easy time limit, control and combat.
  3. Time limit, combat and control are easier.
  4. Cyberspace is normal.
  5. Time limit, combat and control are harder.
I myself love the puzzles in the game as they are very hands-on, what you see is what you get. Plus they all make sense unlike the pipe "hacking" puzzles in BioShock or the minesweeper "hacking" in System Shock 2 which is all based on luck and character stats, not your actual puzzlesolving abilities. The game provides a steadily raising challenge for those who want it, but it's also possible to play the game without stressing over hard enemies and just enjoying the storyline and puzzles. I would not ever suggest lowering any of the skill levels from their default values ("Normal"), but adding the extra to the Mission or Puzzle really ups the experience of tension.

Then there's the enemies. While mostly available only in robotic 2D forms, they are very diverse from security droids to mutants and various cyborgs, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. While some might be not as clear at first, they all have their specific purposes of being on The Citadel.

All in all, the game is the most customizable and complex FPS I have ever seen and it all ties in perfectly without any specific low points. It is one of the rare games I can say I can't find any real flaws in it, it's a 10/10 case for me and I don't think any other game would ever reach that mark. Since I'm running out of words for a game that should not be explained, but experinced. If you have a thing for layered and diverse shooters with minor RPG elements and a dark, compelling storyline, I'd suggest you grab the CD version (comes with full speech and 640x480 res) of this game one at any cost.

Also I made this:
Image



2. The Witcher: Enhanced Edition (2008, PC) RPG

Image

This game just jumped on the list at the moment of writing this, as I hadn't thought about my personal top 10 in awhile. But if there is one plain RPG title I shall include here, it is The Witcher which will reach a high position. Another great example of an unique universe that draws from familiar things and creates a believable unity. The visuals are superb as they help explaining the story of a very normal universe: There are no huge skyscraper temples or reality bending structures here, much in contrast to the previous game. Everything you see in The Witcher makes you believe in it as it was written to provide a frightingly realistic world with all the disease, famine and corruption that you would expect to see in "medieval" times. If we could travel in time to the dark ages of Europe, The Witcher would give us a great insight on what things were those times, while blending its own mythos seamlessly in a world set in those dark ages.

There is no character selection, which helps the storyline to reach its full potential: Every bit of dialogue is written for Geral of Rivia, the main character and there is no doubt that the words fit him as a person. Unlike with the rise of more and more BioWare-ish titles, this is one of the things that make games like The Witcher surpass the dozens of sandbox games out there. Geralt is a Witcher in a world populated by human who blaspheme him. This and many other things allow the player to take the progression of the storyline in their own hands -- the option to choose how to play out the character, which is the most strong freedom I have personally ever seen in an RPG. All choices, dialogue or not, feel very real and proper and you never stop to wonder why a character reacted like he/she did to your doings, everything fits in place and you feel like you're surrounded by real people making real decisions instead of empty shells choosing from seemingly improbable decisions, as again, in all BioWare titles.

With a very solid world, characters, inclusion of magic as alchemy I personally see little to no wrong in The Witcher. The only big target of debate with this game is the combat. As with all role playing games, The Witcher makes you kill monsters and other bad things throughout the course of the game. While The Witcher offers three separate camera and play modes, the combat is the same. Plus having different weapons crafted and having different combat stances for killing different foes really help to differentiate The Witcher from other combat heavy role playing games. Where normally in a game like this, you point at an enemy with attack mode on and watch your character tear the enemy down without any logic of intervention or encompassive actions, The Witcher's system puts you on your toes by making you to do combos -- with every successful hit, you need to attack again to continuously attack the enemy. This is what the great debate has been about, people say they hate the combat since it is awkward, while in reality it's more interactive than most other examples of modern role playing games. It just seems to me like people who disregard The Witcher because of its combat system are short of attention span and lack proper attention to detail. With its operative and almost a ballet like, smooth visual confirmation of the battle it is thoroughly enjoyable for me.

My one favourite thing in The Witcher is the longevity of your decisions. Where you cross roads with a character, they might disregard you as a fool and start going on their own paths during the course of the rest of the game. Insulting an important character could make fade away from your life, only to appear later and bringing you accumulated harm by having bonded with the opposition, for example. There is very, very little to none of instantly seen consequences as there is no absolute good or evil in the world of The Witcher. The worst thing decisions in role playing games can do is making every NPC who disagree with you draw their sword and attack you on the spot, The Witcher shows no of this kind of shame.

"Nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."



3. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (1999, PS1) Action/Adventure

Image

The moment I laid my eyes on the immediate screenshots that started circulating on gaming magazines, I knew this game was great without any doubt. I had played the previous game in the series which was an interesting combination of adventure and RPG game elements, but fell a bit short on execution. After the one and a half year of waiting (a bit unheard of for a game during that time), the game was finally released and not to my surprise, it held everything it had promised. Still to this day it holds one of the most interesting storylines that draw from mythological history but create a completely new universe that still stands as completely unique experience -- you see a specific picture of a feature found in the game and you can name the series without doubt.

The game itself is a third person action adventure game, VERY heavy on the storyline and cinematic exposition. You gain new abilities as you go on, which allow you to pass onto previously unexplored areas, very similar to the original Legend of Zelda games. Passing all the beautiful, natural gothic scenery of temples, waterfalls and bending the very fabric or reality as you go, makes the game a very unique experience since one of your main powers is to shift between the material and the spectral realm to pause time to solve puzzles, which the game makes you solve a solid amount. The graphics haven't dated too well for it was released during the sad time when early 3D was taking over, but if you played it then or have any other favourite games from that period, I don't see any reason for you not to enjoy it now. Solid controls and even with all the shape-shifting gothic 3D scenery around you, the game provides a very smooth experience of great storyline and adventure.



4. WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness (1995, PC) RTS

Image

Classic.

While Dune 2 and WarCraft: Orcs & Humans really put real time strategy as a genre on the map, it was not until WarCraft II that the genre was polished and upped for the more demanding players. What WarCraft II almost completely lacks in differentiating the opposing forces, it makes up for it with an unique atmosphere and feel. While the first Command & Conquer might feel a more polished on the gameplay, storyline and even the setting, it comes nowhere WarCraft II for me. There just seems to be a certain feeling I incorporate with this game that I can't really place to words. The feeling when you build up your first barracks and set your Footmen or Grunt to explore the unexplored, the saddening music and sound of your units taking it on provides a perfect atmosphere for the war between Orcs & Humans. It's a perfect mix of semi-playful caricature characters with enough oppressing atmosphere and music to create a game that makes you be constantly on your toes but still have a great time doing that.

This is the game I played most of my childhood years. So as in the past, where other RTS games come and go, WarCraft II is eternal.



5. Silent Hill: Homecoming (2008, X360) Survival Horror

Image

I've been a fan of the series since the second game, which by long was my favourite in the series. With the dreamlike and often even nightmarish quality in storytelling, one can not help but get personally involved with the characters and storyline themselves. Silent Hill were always a hard series of games to explain to anyone as you really need to get in the role of the character by playing the game through in one sitting, cowering alone in the dark without any disrupting factors. If you can't identify with the characters, then the game is a waste for you.

While Silent Hill 2 took on a more primal level of fear of losing your loved ones and battling with the idea of being alone, it still was not a very polished came when it came to the gameplay. Silent Hill Homecoming took the route of a dysfunctional family as the main storyline element, which I kind of feel working better, since more people have seen trouble in their own families than lost a loved one. Albeit being a huge step forward from the first game. Silent Hill 2's greatest flaw was the fact that you were supposed to be a nobody, "just a regular guy" who came to Silent Hill looking for the truth. Yet... during the course of the game, the player could pick up weapons from pistols to hunting rifles and use them with impeccable accuracy and skill to defeat his foes. While the storyline, visuals, music and other elements of the game are VERY close to perfection taking in account the time of release, it just lacks some depth in believability.

Silent Hill: Homecoming was a bit of a surprise for me, not even made by the original team so I didn't have that much hope for it. No longer it had the awkward control of the previous titles, plus it moved the camera view behind the player for even a better level of immersion. In Homecoming, you ARE a soldier who knows how to handle weapons, yet you are given very close to no extra ammunition, so you have to deal with the enemies in melee combat. The melee in the game is very fast and fierce as the enemies are fast and can shield themselves from your hits. You need to learn how to dodge each enemy the correct way and when is the right time to swing your weapon. Even with ranged weapons such as the pistol, you can no longer fall back to the safety of an auto-aiming button like in the previous games, but you are forced to take the aim yourself and steady your weapon as you go.

Funnily, these things are what people complained the most about: Every time there is someone complaining about how "terrible" Silent Hill: Homecoming is, they say they made the combat unchallenging because you are a soldier. No more explanation given, it's like nobody even bothered to play the game after reading the initial storyline. I can't see how it is easier to manually dodge, time your attacks and aim at moving enemies than holding down one magical button that does it all for you. A lot of people must be blind indeed.

Then there's the camera angle, which is basically no different from the previous games. For example: In Silent Hill 2, the camera is fixed to a certain distance behind the player and you can only look around by moving in a certain direction, which I'm assuming was the limitation of the lack of detail in the game world. There are certain parts in the game that force a specific camera angle for cinematic reasons such as pointing out an item or revealing an enemy. In Homecoming, this is done the same way, except the camera was brought closer to the player and now you can look around instead of forced to look at your character from far behind. For me, this creates a much more oppressing immersion as you can see the world around you better and you're not as aware of the enemy threat circling around you. It's way more encompassing as a camera system and makes more sense in a game where the details of the world around you are made to portray a certain feeling. Silent Hill Homecoming also has pre-determined camera positions just like the previous games.

It's most likely a matter of choice, but I personally would choose a fierce game that puts you inside the oppressing storyline and makes you more personally roam around, instead of the distanced approach that Silent Hill 2 seems to take. I never realized that Silent Hill 2 indeed made you so distant from the game until I played Silent Hill Homecoming.



6. The Settlers II: Veni, Vidi, Vici (1996, PC) RTS

Image

There we have it, the most enjoyable, should I say even casual, real time strategy I know of. This game a great challenge packed in a cute outfit which makes you only get more in the game after a minor setback. It's another hard game to explain to the most "elite" of real time strategy players like StarCraft. But what sells this game to me is the fact that it's almost completely based around optimization of your routes: No resources magically appear at their destination like in other games, but everything has to be refined in their own buildings and then moved to the next destination by hand or on a cute donkey's back. Forgetting a crucial element like a sawmill out of the loop puts you in trouble very fast as without wood there is no productivity of other kind. The way the game combines thought-requiring micromanaging with a cute look and world of sound really sells it for me. Not much different from Theme Park, actually.



7. Thief II: The Metal Age (2000, PC) Stealth

Image

I do indeed like my odd challenge, be it a puzzle, micromanagement, or learning the guard patrol routes to sneak in a castle full of guard to snatch a purse full of gold coin. The Thief series is the master in stealth and for reason, it's the only way to play the game properly. Unlike games like Hitman or Splinter Cell where you can choose to go the stealth way for only so long, Thief forces you to think always ahead and look for alternative routes for your infiltration.

The world is very unique, with such factions as the Hammerites, Pagans or the Keepers make you delve into the world as it's unlike anything else in the field. One of the rare games where you are not to kill dozens of enemies for unwritten reasons, but rather pursue your goals of personal wealth, while maybe finding yourself inside a political issue or accidentally aiding someone in their quest of power. Any creatures you might encounter are there for a reason, such as the undead zombies can be found roaming the underground caves of a cathedral. Here, everything seems properly written in the game as well. Zombies can be only killed by imbuing holy water, spiders can poison you and civilians run for help at the sight of a thief.

It's another prime example of a game where the atmosphere and setting make it up for any minor flaws and let the game retain its position on my top 10.



8. Blood (1997, PC) FPS

Image

I don't think I need too many words here. But I think the main reason why Blood is so compelling is how bold it is, it is atmospheric, fluid and dynamic. It is challenging, dark and fun as hell. A prime example how to make a first person shooter not to be taken lightly, while the game doesn't take itself too seriously. Greatest experience any self-loving FPS fanatic could ask for.



9. The Elder Scrolls, Chapter II: Daggerfall (1996, PC) RPG

Image

This held the title of my all time favourite role playing game until I played The Witcher, which is a bit weird since they are very much in contrast. Daggerfall being this huge sandbox game with seemingly no end to the content and exploration. The main storyline is very interesting with the issues and backstabbing in crowned families and rise and fall from power of certain individuals. It's very fantasy-y(?), more so than any Dragonlance book I have read or any other game I have played and I love it. The biggest reason for my love of this game is the atmosphere (again) and how diverse it in reality is. There are over ten of regions which look different visually, from snowy mountains, through plains to the desert. All of which have their own musical score that change depending on the time of the day or the season of the year. The very feeling being lost in a huge randomly generated dungeon for weeks real-life time and hearing enemies you'd rather not face make noises around the corner that is seemingly your only route to get out. There is a definite challenge in understanding and appreciating this game as I don't know that many people that have surpassed the initial beginner's dungeon. It is definitely not for everyone, it's a very niche game and I just happen to be the target audience.



10. Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (2002, GBA) FPS

Image

There is no way I'd write a list like this and not mention Castlevania, which is easily one of my favourite game series as a whole. Although no individual games in the series rise up as high as to mention several of them in this list. Sadly this only reaches spot #10, but with so many great games I can't really complain. Really smooth gameplay with a shitton of items and places to explore, this game holds the record for the most enemies and bosses in a Castlevania. Has my favourite protagonist and a really interesting, unorthodox soundtrack. Overall the game is not as polished as maybe Lament of Innocence or Rondo of Blood, but it just has this certain quality that calls for me better than the other games in the series.



Honorable mentions
  • Beyond Good & Evil (2003, PC) Adventure
    A heartwarming adventure game with the cliché setting of evil invading a country but with a twist. The evil is controlling all media and you're supposed to reveal their true intentions by whatever means necessary. The game is laid out in a Zelda like fashion where you uncover new powers and abilities to find new areas to enter with a lot of content to the game. You have a hovercraft you can upgrade and do races with, you have a camera you can take pictures of animals with to gain points, you have a house you can move about in and talk with any NPCs you encounter. With such gameplay features like stealth and hands on melee combat and boss battles, it's a fun and a diverse experience. You can even even fly to space at one point in the game. There's a lot to do but it's all tied in very well with the progression of the main storyline and character development. Way beyond good, as someone said somewhere.
  • Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (1996, SNES) RPG
    My all time favourite JRPG. Fantastic battle system with an epic soundtrack, a diverse storyline combined with a shitload of challenge and mind-boggling puzzles make it my favourite of the genre.
  • God of Thunder (1993, PC) Adventure
    Another prime example of combining youthful imagery, similar to Settlers 2 and Theme Park, with a very solid gameplay and storyline. God of Thunder is the very epitome of a Zelda like game done right. The storyline is very simple, where you play as Thor the God of Thunder, send to rid the land of evil by your father Odin. You talk to NPCs, find items and skills to progress on in a land portrayed with a classic top-down view. The game is riddled with block moving puzzles that can be very challenging for the unexperienced and it's just what I want from a game like this.
  • Project Zero (2001, PS2) Survival Horror
    Japanese style Survival Horror at its best. A protective ritual goes wrong on a mansion built on the gateway to hell and the malice is let loose. Very creepy take on ghosts and darkness which we all had grown used to. This game was one of the only games that could seriously creep out such a horror movie addict like me. Still one of my all time favourite horror games, just barely missing the top 10.
  • Donkey Kong 2: Diddy Kong's Quest (1995, SNES) Platform
    I can probably say without a doubt that this is my all time favourite platform game. The visuals and sound surpass anything of the game genre made today, and this was on the Super NES. Again, the game comes with a very solid atmosphere and you can feel the oppression that the enemy brings upon the land once inhabited by the family of Donkey Kong. Perfectly set controls guide you through a variety of diverse levels in differently themed episodes. The game is not just limited to jumping about with your main character, but you take crash courses in mine cart racing, riding on animals and even controlling some parrots and other animals through levels that get linearly harder and harder. Very hard to find flaws in such a perfected game.
  • Strife: Quest for the Sigil (1996, PC) FPS
    I do love my FPS/RPG hybrids, and this game is no exception. It was built on the DOOM engine and sadly came out few years earlier than it should have. Another game in my top 10 with a Legend of Zelda like exploration system where you find new items to allow you to open new areas. Strife is in essence a solid FPS but with few big differences: You need to talk to NPCs with multiple dialogue options that actually can change your affiliation between the extremes -- much unheard in games during that time. There are shops you can buy items from and so forth. It is a very revolutionary game, yet nobody seems to know about it.
Image

User avatar
Umnir
Half-homie
Posts: 4547
Joined: Jul 9th, 2007, 17:26
Contact:

Re: Top 10 Games - Any Platform

Post by Umnir » Jun 1st, 2010, 15:19

morhlis wrote: - Dungeon Keeper: I don't know how many of you have played Dungeon Keeper or it's sequel. Even if you don't like above head games its a sick little treat. Recruiting demonic minions, slapping chickens until they explode, killing the good guys. And the game had a typically brilliant sense of humor. Bullfrog games always had a good sense of humor.
This I forgot to comment, yes, a fantastic strategy classic. I could say, one of my favorites. I own both 1 and 2, but unfortunately I haven't gotten the second one working in XP.. could be some strange conflict though who knows. And that voice is so brilliant! A salamander has entered your dungeon!

Bullfrog, back in the days when it existed, was my favorite game developer. Another of their game that is dear to me is Magic Carpet II (didn't play the first). They damn sure were creative.. Too bad creativity is punished throughout the history of gaming.
LOL HI!

Post Reply