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Jun 30, 2012

Welcome to The Very Official Something Awful Games Forum Best Games of All Time Thread!

Whatís This Thread About?
In this thread, we will write, opine, rant, and otherwise discuss at length our favorite games ever, or even just games that fascinate us. This thread will be a repository of long-form writing by Games forum posters about the games they think are the best, or at least the games that are most special to them. All games as welcome, as long as theyíre games you care about!

Long-Form? I Gotta Write Words?
Yes! Well, as many words as you feel like.The idea is to bring up games in this thread that you have something to say about. In other words: if a game is one of your favorites ever, or a game you just canít stop thinking about, tell us why! You donít have to be exclusively positive--even the greatest games have flaws that are worth discussing, after all--you just need to have something to say.

Itís up to you if you want to just rant for a while, or focus on one feature you really love, or try to write a sales pitch to get other people to play a game you think is overlooked, or even go for a more structured essay, article, or review. All are welcome.

You are free to talk about as many or as few games as you want. If you want to do a big post about your ten favorite games ever, great! If youíd rather do one post about one game, and write about another one later, hell yeah, thatís cool, too!

What If I'm Not a Very Good Writer?
That doesn't matter! :justpost:

I'm sure some of us will be using this thread to write our Very Important Video Games Thoughts in as well-constructed a form as we can, but that's not the only purpose. If you have a lot to say about the games you love, you're welcome to say it here, even if you're not confident in your writing skills. This isn't a writing critique thread, after all. It's a Talk About Good Games thread!

Will There Be a Ranking?
Nope! Unlike the annual GOTY threads, there will be no end-of-thread rating, and in fact no defined ending to the thread. This thread will hang out for as long as people want to post in it.

Can We Talk About Games?
I sure hope so! While the point of the thread is for people to post a bunch of words about the games they love, we also welcome more casual discussion about the games that have been brought up. However, please see the more specific rules below about what kind of discussion is okay!

The specific thread rules are as follows:

1. If you bring up a game for discussion, please have something to say about it. Iím not going to put a word or sentence count on it, but the goal is for this thread to be a place where we can write and read about why these games are special.

2. Donít be a dick about other peopleís choices. Like the annual GOTY threads, this thread is a place for gushing about games we love, not a place to try to land sick burns about other peopleís favorites. Itís okay to not like things, just donít be a dick about it. If people are posting about a game they love that didnít work for you, and you want to ask questions about what they loved, or just generally discuss in an honest, good faith way, thatís okay. To boil this down to one enforceable criterion: if discussion is changing more into people defending a game from negativity, we will ask you to change the subject.

3. Please use spoiler tags if you bring up spoilers.
Ideally, readers of this thread will find new games that they can try out, so please donít spoil people on games they may not have played!

And thatís all! Go ahead and get posting, everyone. I promise Iíll pitch in my own rants as well--you couldnít stop me if you tried.

Thread Index (Updated 2023-03-06)

Jerusalem posted:

A long overdue update for the OP!

A Fisherman's Tale by The 7th Guest
A Hat in Time by Zybourne Clock
Age of Empires 2 by TheMostFrench
Alpha Protocol by theshim
Alien Isolation by VinylonUnderground
Anachranox by Whybird
Analogue: A Hate Story by Reveilled
Another World by VinylonUnderground
Aquanox (video) by Sardonik
Armored Core 2 by Shine
Atelier by cheetah7071
Batman: Arkham Asylum by thrilla in vanilla
Black Magic by fridge corn
Blades of Exile by Whybird
Bloodborne by FrozenGoldfishGod
Burnout 3: Takedown by thrilla in vanilla
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger by Zenithe
Cannon Fodder by GazChap
Civilization by Lampsacus
Civilization 4 by Erwin the German
Commander Blood by Lid
Crash Bandicoot 4 by Violen
Crusader Kings II by VinylonUnderground
Cyberpunk 2077 by Erwin the German
Dark Cloud 2 by dracky
Dark Cloud 2 (Spheda) by Senerio
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic by Jeza
Dark Souls by Shine
Dark Souls by FrozenGoldfishGod
Dark Souls by VideoGames
Dark Souls 2 by FrozenGoldfishGod
Dark Souls 2 by VideoGames
Dark Souls 3 by FrozenGoldfishGod
Dark Souls 3 by VideoGames
Dark Queen of Krynn by Glare Seethe
Death Stranding('s truck) by FiveSixKilo
DEFCON by Sardonik
Deus Ex by Erwin the German
Diablo 2 by TheMostFrench
Disco Elysium by Erwin the German
Doom (1993) by CyberPingu
Dragon Quest XI by quiggy
Duke Nukem 3D by Heavy Metal
Earthbound by Clockwerk
Earth Defense Force by Shine
Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall by Thothanon
Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind by Erwin the German
Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind by VinylonUnderground
Enderal (Skyrim Total Conversion) by Ice Phisherman
Fallout 2 by VinylonUnderground
Fallout: New Vegas by Erwin the German
Farming Simulator 22 & Follow Up Post by Mrenda
Farming Simulator 22 by FishMcCool
Faster Than Light by VinylonUnderground
Fifth Eskadra by Madurai
Final Doom: The Plutonia Experiment by Skios
Final Fantasy 4 by Spuzzz
Final Fantasy 7 by Erwin the German
Final Fantasy 11 by star eater
Final Fantasy 11 by punk rebel ecks
Final Fantasy 14 (short) by Erwin the German
Final Fantasy 14 (expanded) by Erwin the German
Final Fantasy 14 Part 1 & Part 2 by Heran Bago
Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker by Runa
Fire Pro Wrestling World by Maxwell Lord
Freespace/Freespace 2 by theshim
Freespace 2 by MikeC
Frontier: Elite 2 by GazChap
Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy by Reveilled
Guilty Gear Strive by Jinh
Hades by Jossar
Hades by Sab Sabbington
Half Life (mods) by TheMostFrench
Half Life 2 by Erwin the German
Hidden & Dangerous 2 by Budzilla
Hitman: Contracts by Erwin the German
Hollow Knight by The Zombie Guy
Homeworld by dead gay comedy forums
Homeworld: Cataclysm by TheMostFrench
Horizon Zero Dawn by sean10mm
Hunt: Showdown by Erwin The German
Hyper Light Drifter by Muscle Tracer
IL-2: 1946 by Shine
Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy by Erwin the German
Kenshi by punk rebel ecks
Kenshi by Ice Phisherman
Kenshi (mods) by punk rebel ecks
Kentucky Route Zero by Mode 7
Killer 7 by PNGYAKUZA
Killer 7 by Incoherence
King of Dragon Pass by Fly Ricky
King of Fighters 99: Evolution by Heavy Metal
Kirby Mass Attack by Regy Rusty
Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords by Erwin the German
Knytt Underground by Glare Seethe
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver by Rarity
Legend of Grimrock 2 by Polo-Rican
Legend of Zelda by Mr. Pickles
Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask by Erwin the German
Legend of Zela: Majora's Mask by star eater
Legend of Zelda 3: A Link to the Past (randomizer) by Konstantin
Legend of Zelda 3/Super Metroid romhack by Feldegast42
Life is Strange by exquisite tea
Life is Strange by parkingtigers
LISA the Painful RPG by Mizuti
Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals by Captain Invictus
Mafia by Erwin the German
Marathon by DAD LOST MY IPOD
Marathon 2: Durandal / Marathon: Rubicon by Glare Seethe
Marathon Infinity by haveblue
Marvel Heroes by Shine
Master of Orion 2 by VinylonUnderground
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne by Erwin the German
Mayhem Triple by Sorting Algorithms
Mega Man 2 by Shine
Mega Man X by Shine
Metal Gear Solid by TheHoosier
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes by Heavy Metal
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater by Erwin the German
Metroid Prime by Erwin the German
Mirror's Edge Catalyst by BeanpolePeckerwood
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate by quiggy
Monster Hunter World by Shine
Mordhau by Gnarly Sheen
Myth 2: Soulblighter by Pain of Mind
Myth: The Fallen Lords by dead gay comedy forums
Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition by Erwin the German
Nier: Automata by Erwin the German
Night in the Woods by VinylonUnderground
Night Stalker by Shine
Occupy White Walls by Swedish Thaumocracy
Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen by The Zombie Guy
Ori and the Will-of-the-Wisps by Canine Blues Arooo
Ori and the Will-of-the-Wisps by Lechtansi
Out of the Park Baseball by F_Shit_Fitzgerald
Out of the Park Baseball by Arms_Akimbo
Path of Exile by theshim
Pathologic 2 by Mizuti
Pathologic 2 by Vookatos
Perfect Dark by star eater
Perimeter by Sardonik
Phantasy Star IV by VinylonUnderground
Pirates Gold! by VinylonUnderground
Planetside by Captain Invictus
Prey by VinylonUnderground
Prey by Erwin the German
Project Zomboid by loving Moron
Project Zomboid by Ice Phisherman
Psychonauts by Jeza
Psychonauts by Sab Sabbington
Punch Out!! by Shine
Quake II by imperiusdamian
Rain World by f#a#
Ratchet & Clank - Up Your Arsenal by Shine
Remember Me by Parkingtigers
Resident Evil by BiggerBoat
Resident Evil REmake by Electromax
Resident Evil 4 by Erwin the German
River City Ransom by Zerilan
Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves by Shine
Rocket League by Shine
Rocky's Boots by fridge corn
Romancing SaGa by 5-Headed Snake God
Runescape by Jossar
Sacrifice by Jeza
Saints Row 2 by Skios
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin by Xarbala
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice by Saint Freak
Severance: Blade of Darkness by Mr. Pickles
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri by dead gay comedy forums
Sin & Punishment: Star Successor by punk rebel ecks
Snoopy Silly Sports Spectacular by Shine
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 by VinylonUnderground
Soul Sacrifice by free hubcaps
Space Rangers 2 by Shine
SSX 3 by morallyobjected
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl by Erwin the German
Star Wars: Racer by Mr. Pickles
Star Wars: Squadrons by morallyobjected
Stickybear Basket Bounce by fridge corn
Streets of Rage 4 by Capital Letdown
Suikoden II by AuroMarshmallow
Suikoden II by Ms Adequate
Super Hexagon by Glare Seethe
Super Huey by Shine
Super Mario 3 by Shine
Super Mario 64 by Heavy Metal
Super Metroid by Shine
Super Punch-Out by Shine
Sweet Home by Zerilan
Tales of Mal'Eyal by Konstantin
Teardown by Drinkslinger
Terranigma by theshim
Terraria by Helicity
The Hunter: Call of the Wild by Zaphod42
The Longest Journey by Erwin the German
The Stanley Parable by dead gay comedy forums
The Void Rains Upon Her Heart by Sorting Algorithms
The World Ends With You by theshim
TIE Fighter by Shine
Thief: The Dark Project by Mr. Pickles
The Dark Mod by Erwin the German
Tomb Raider Anniversary by Heavy Metal
Tomb Raider Anniversary by VideoGames
Total Annihilation by TheMostFrench
Towerfall by Polo-Rican
Track & Field 2 by Shine
Traffic Department 2197 by Skios
Transistor by Sardonik
Tropico by VinylonUnderground
Undertale by Erwin the German
Unreal Tournament by Shine
Unreal Tournament 2004 by dead gay comedy forums
Vagrant Story by Party Boat
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines by Erwin the German
Wario Ware: Mega Microgame$ by GoutPatrol
Winter Games by fridge corn
Wizardry 8 by Chairchucker
World of Warcraft by GreatGreen
World of Warcraft by Ms Adequate
World of Warcraft by Pikestaff
XCOM: Enemy Unknown by Shine

Somebody fucked around with this message at 14:41 on Mar 6, 2023


fridge corn
Apr 2, 2003

I have a talent for making do
Nice op op

Regy Rusty
Apr 26, 2010

The best game ever made is Kirby Mass Attack. It's got the most Kirbies and therefore is the best game.

Jun 30, 2012

How many Kirbies does it have? Can we quantify its Kirby Quotient to determine the ideal number of Kirbies?

Regy Rusty
Apr 26, 2010

Get this - TEN KIRBIES

Oct 21, 2010

~*4 LIFE*~
I will be talking about lots of games here :hai:

Relax Or DIE
May 8, 2006

"My brain is amazing! It's full of wrinkles, and... Uh... Wait... What am I trying to say?"
i'm going to be a huge problem in this thread thank you for posting it!

Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?
can we do video essays as well

Oct 20, 2010

honk honk
College Slice
I'm gonna post about games

Feb 13, 2011

Entenzahn posted:

can we do video essays as well

You'd better

Jun 30, 2012

Entenzahn posted:

can we do video essays as well

Hell yeah

punk rebel ecks
Dec 11, 2010

A shitty post? This calls for a dance of deduction.

Metis of the Hallway
Aug 1, 2014


367 min read

oh my

Metis of the Hallway
Aug 1, 2014

I am making my contribution to this thread in the form of a list of media that give me the same sense of discovery and realisation as Outer Wilds. I brought this up in my GotY post, and I posted a shorter version of the list in that thread. This isn't just games, but films, TV, novels and more. I've included a little summary of what I got out of each item.

List of ďdiscoveryĒ media
This is a list of media that provokes a dawning feeling of realisation as you understand whatís going on. They tend to encourage you, the reader/viewer/player, to actively figure things out, make connections, and occasionally choose the order in which you experience events. Theyíre not necessarily twisty, but they do involve changing your perspective on what you thought was true. Some are puzzle piece mysteries, while others are more about the journey.

I lost an older version of this list so I am rebuilding it as I remember everything.

The Outer Wilds [video game]
The game that sparked me to rewrite this list, as itís a perfect example of the ďgenreĒ. A game of pure discovery and exploration.

Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang [short story] (also Arrival [film])
If you only take one recommendation from this list, make it Story of Your Life. This is an absolutely gorgeous short story, and the moment you understand it, the entire narrative unfolds before you and you can see beginning and middle and end all at the same time. Itís a beautiful experience. I recommend the story over the film, but both are good.

Her Story [video game]
Search a database of police interviews using keywords to piece together a mystery. I wouldnít say the story itself is any more than decent, but the sense of investigation is brilliant.

Sleep No More [immersive play]
Set in a building in New York where you roam from room to room witnessing various spectacles until they all come to a head in the climax. Itís really fun wandering from set piece to set piece and seeing the same events play out multiple times.

Fish and Cat [film]
I wanted to leave the cinema in the first half hour of this movie, but then something happened that had me rooted to my seat for the rest of the runtime. On its face, a movie about a bunch of Iranian students going camping, but in reality something much weirder.

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer [novel, also a movie]
The story of a science expedition into a strange, pristine wilderness that appeared out of nowhere on the coast of Florida, and is steadily expanding. Where did it come from? How? And why is the protagonist so drawn to its mysteries?

Return of the Obra Dinn [video game]
Similar in concept to the Outer Wilds, this is a game of pure deduction. It gives you all the tools, and you have to figure it out.

Basically every Uchikoshi game ever made [video games]
Itís his bread and butter. The Zero Escape Games, AI: Somnium Files, and I know whatever he makes next will also end up on this list.

Dark [TV show]
A German show about time travel, and time loops, and fate, and some really, really crazy stuff. It just gets deeper and deeper as you keep watching. Try sketching a family tree as you go.

The Constant, Lost [TV episode]
Look I know people mostly think of Lost as a show that ate its own tail towards the end but itís still one of my favourite series, and this episode the best of what the show has to offer -- a science fiction framework delivering a powerful and emotional story. Each episode of Lost is structured with flashbacks to a protagonistís past, and The Constant uses the audienceís expectation of that structure to great effect.

The Screwfly Solution by James Tiptree Jr [short story]
A classic science fiction short story about a plague running rampant across the world. The nature of the plague is horrific and mysterious. Timely!

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson [novel]
Written by a goon, Traitor explores the effects of imperialism and colonialism in a low fantasy world. Baru, the protagonist, is a fascinating character, and the novel puts you firmly in her head, which creates interesting, deliberate blind spots in the narrative that you can pick up if youíre very observant.

Les Revenants [TV show - watch the French one, do NOT watch the American remake]
The dead come back to life, but not as zombies or monsters, but exactly as they were the day they died. How do they fit back into the lives of people who have long since moved on? Youíll never quite get to understanding exactly whatís happening in this show, but thatís because itís all about the searching and yearning for understanding.

Dear Esther [video game]
In 2014 I visited the Museum for the Moving Image in New York where I played a portion of Dear Esther in an exhibition of games. This game, more than any other, made me engage critically with video games as a genre, rather than just consuming them as fun stories. Itís a linear, simple walking simulator, but it gave me a powerful feeling of discovery and exploration, and completing a journey.

There are things I havenít seen or played or read yet that Iím sure would fit on this list -- I know 13 Sentinels is definitely one, and Telling Lies from the same developer as Her Story -- so please if you have any suggestions, let me know!

Oct 24, 2010

What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?

New Super Metis posted:

Dear Esther [video game]
In 2014 I visited the Museum for the Moving Image in New York where I played a portion of Dear Esther in an exhibition of games. This game, more than any other, made me engage critically with video games as a genre, rather than just consuming them as fun stories. Itís a linear, simple walking simulator, but it gave me a powerful feeling of discovery and exploration, and completing a journey.

I should check out how much changed between the mod and the paid release. That version felt like a wistful carnival ride.

May 4, 2004


then this is the thread where i talk about Mirror's Edge: Catalyst


There's no gunplay at all in Catalyst, but the parkour is twice as amazing. They've added a fairly robust melee combat system but at heart it's still about ditching bitches and carving your own path. Catalyst is better in every way than the original by a huge margin (music, controls, level design, length, and presentation), but as is customary it's a niche game that doubles down on the original's core ideas and it alienated a number of people


Portal/2 and ME/ME:C are really special games imo, and we're unlikely to get a lot of stuff like that in general. I've always felt like the Portal/Mirror's Edge series really represented their own micro-genre, a stylistic and mechanical repudiation of the entire FPS genre born both out of technological circumstances of the 7th generation hardware as well as of a diffuse socio-political reaction to the Iraq War...when the games industry was betting heavy on a new wave of FPS/TPS mechanic conventions.

ME:C is the ultimate culmination of this for me: a free-form, anti-fascist, anti-corporate, anti-surveilance, anti-police game about understanding, manipulating, and flowing through and around your environment. It's like the Jeet Kune Do of videogames. I've gushed about it here on numerous occasions but that's mostly because year over year I'm more convinced than ever that it is a game that exists out of time. Portal 2 is kind of this way, too, but in a more linear and surreal way that focuses on narrative interaction, challenging you to understand the environment as a hierarchical toolset and then asking you the player whether that toolset can be broken. I know I'll sound like a broken record when I say this, but both MEC and Portal 2 come across as very anarchic in principle.


I listened to ME:C's soundtrack for most of the last year during almost every life activity.

The good songs in the original game are about 1-2 minutes long each, and are nearly all bookended with unremarkable hard driving 'escape' tracks that don't match the level theme. The soundtrack for ME:C is 5 hours long, no cut and paste repeats. The tracks used for story missions are complete themes that run anywhere from 10-25 minutes in length and have a fully fleshed out mood and arc that fits with the levels but also works as actual music.

For example, I'll cite the music from each game's final level, conveniently both are called The Shard. ME:C's soundtrack makes the jump from "these are cool, moody, chiptunes on infinite repeat" of the first game to "these are fully realized suites of electronic music that someone put an incredible amount of effort into."

And they are awesome.

Oct 24, 2010

What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?
The original ME had the benefit of not allowing the player to get bogged down in open world miscellanea (something I tend to have trouble with). And of what I've seen of Catalyst so far, I preferred how the original looked. The are compromises in versimiltude you don't have to think about when making a linear game compared to a open world one. Catalyst to me more often than not feels like an artificial playground. Its city is a less believable place (which isn't necessarily a criticism).

punk rebel ecks
Dec 11, 2010

A shitty post? This calls for a dance of deduction.

If you all would prefer I can post the entire thing in this thread.

Erwin the German
May 30, 2011

This will be a Post, or several Posts. I started making a top ten, then I just kept adding more and more as I thought about it. The top ten will still be there, but Iíll be writing a bit about other games I have a lot of love for, too. Silly images and music included.

10. Neverwinter Nights (Enhanced Edition)

I actually debated a lot on whether I even wanted to include this - itís a game Iíve poured an immense amount of time and effort into, but looking back, itís also one thatís caused me a lot of personal problems, or at least been a sort of catalyst for. It was this game I got my ex into as a way to give us something to do together - a few months later, we split and she ended up with someone from the game. Obviously a lot of that has less to do with Neverwinter Nights and more to do with the relationship, but itís unavoidably hard to mentally divorce the two and draw connections. Iíve been playing this game for a decade now, and have had a lot of good times on it - Iím a roleplayer, and this is one of the absolute best avenues for roleplaying in a video game thatís out there. But itís telling that I often take lengthy breaks from playing this for months at a time, burnt out and more emotionally drained for my troubles.

But, itís one of those things I keep coming back to, regardless - because I am a roleplayer, and it doesnít get much better than NWN for me. As a game, itís strictly fine - one of Biowareís earlier efforts, with some pretty miserable-to-average official campaigns. It uses the old, nasty and busted DND 3 rules, before 3.5 codified things for years, a system that the gameís worse sequel uses. Base game wise, youíd still have a lot of content to sift through, and persistent worlds to check out if youíre into roleplaying or even just playing an RPG with other people. Or fighting them. Whatever.

That said, the game has been modded out to the gills, and Iíve seen people do amazing thing with it - write entire new stories and modules, some of them extremely good, a lot of them average, and a few(lot) that are extremely horny. Modded out persistent worlds such as EFU (Escape from insert U word here), City of Arabel and, most recently, Risenholm are places I have invested a ton of blood, sweat and tears into. I highly recommend the aforementioned Risenholm, a server Iím in right now as I write this - the code magic that went into this server is nothing short of genius, and practically reinvents the combat loop of the game, much for the better. That the quality of roleplay on average is also high is just the icing on the cake. If youíre into the idea of roleplaying in a game, RPG mechanics, dice rolling, and a moderate amount of jank, you can do a lot worse than Neverwinter Nights.

Iím actually not huge on the music of the base game, but in yet another plug for Risenholm, a server which has its own custom-made soundtrack-

9. Final Fantasy 7

My first JRPG, or at least the first I played and thought to myself Ďhey now, this is a JRPG Iím playing.í Having not played a crazy amount of them since, and it being the only main-line FF game Iíve played, I still consider it an incredibly fun and charming game. Iím sure other people can evangelize in much more compelling words why this game is great, why it was revolutionary at the time, whether or not itís actually stood the test of time. All I can really say is that I absolutely love this gameís characters, the dialogue (which is often mistranslated, insane, or just weird - the product of, I think I remember, one manís localization), and the story - more so towards the beginning, but it remains compelling and fun in an anime schlock kind of way all the way through. At its most silly, itís extremely charmingly silly. At its most serious, itís brilliant. The systems are fun, the materia system makes for great progression, and battles take a reasonable amount of strategy. Plenty of insane, obscure secrets abound, too. Overall, just a wonderful game to run through, and it holds a special place in my heart for playing it as a younger teen with my twin and I riding on every plot development.

8. Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines

Bloodlines is a brilliant game that perfectly captures the source material from the White Wolf tabletop RPG - itself an insane, overbloated mess that was spawned from a twin obsession with 90s edge punk and vampires. Bloodlines is mostly brilliant in that, while itís also well-written, often hilarious, fun to play through multiple times with potentially drastically different play styles depending on your chosen clan, it manages to distill the best parts of the setting into a mostly comprehensible product that has introduced many people to the World of Darkness in a way that isnít bizarre or alienating. VTM features very heavily in tabletop horror story threads, and for very good reason - itís a game about personal horror, but many see it as an excuse to play out fantasies, be they of the power or sexual variety, that other players probably donít want to deal with. Bloodlines does not stray away from the personal horror elements, expertly suffusing it with an often-winking nod towards the gameís edgier roots. Everyone in this game acts exactly how Iíd expect NPCs a GM was playing to act in a VTM session, the lore is absolutely spot on - from a puristís stand point, itís a joy to see in action. It wears all of its grit, sex, laughs and violence proudly on its sleeves.

Of course, the game is also a buggy mess - Troikaís swan song of a game, but what a note to go out on, with the game now rightfully considered a cult classic. Just make sure you invest in some combat skills - the game loves to hear itself talk, but only to a certain extent.

7. The Longest Journey

Itís been too long since I played this, but it definitely made a lasting impression when I did - if youíre looking for an adventure game with a sterling, funny, and absurdly well-written plot with some of the best dialogue in any game that Iíve played, you shouldnít look further than TLJ. These days itís certainly showing its age, and can probably use a remaster at some point, but I have little doubt that if I played it again today, Iíd be just as arrested by its charming, very real characters and the twisting plot that April Ryan - a delightfully wonderful, earnest and sardonic both, protagonist - has to navigate. It has a bunch of sequels, of which Iíve only played Dreamfall, a game that didnít land nearly as much for me, but is still pretty good in its own right. Talks of The Longest Journey Home had me excited for a while, but have since failed to materialize into anything. A real shame, too - spending time with April and Crow and their banter and observations about the twin-worlds they inhabit is nothing short of a joy, and Iíd like to again some day with a fresh story to go along with it.

Itís an adventure game, so obviously expect ridiculous puzzles, particularly towards the beginning - take no shame in playing with a guide, the puzzles arenít the point.

6. Metroid Prime

My first Metroid game, way back in the day, and enough of a cool thing at the time that for a while my internet handle was just Ďmetroid*number here*í or some variation of that. I fell in love with it pretty much instantly - Samus was immensely cool to play, the music was probably my first introduction to a more electronic sound that Iíve since embraced thoroughly, and the gameplay was just a delight for my grubby, younger mind. Get all the upgrades. Find cool hidden stuff. Use that cool hidden stuff to find even more cool hidden stuff. Find story stuff and use that to find cool hidden stuff. Youíre always getting more powerful and knowledgeable in these games - and Metroid Prime really shines in rewarding the player for paying attention to their environment, for being inquisitive and using the tools at your disposal. Itís not an incredibly hard game, though certain boss fights definitely gave me trouble as a kid - the fun is in the presentation and the feeling of heightening empowerment as you play. As a console FPS, itís also exceedingly well-designed for a controller. Likely still hard to go back to, thanks to my keyboard and mouse muscle memory. But I know that wouldnít stop me. Iíd re-learn it, and Iíd love it again, just like every other time.

The sequels are okay - Echoes, particularly, is a little better than 3, but neither hold a candle to the originalís tight focus and understated, very purely Metroid design. Donít mess things up with too much plot - Prime gives you just enough background lore and setting to make you appreciate the setting without overwhelming you in needless details that have little to do with Samus having an excuse to shoot things and learn how to jump in a cooler way. Some of my favorite memories as a kid, playing any game at all, often involve pitched gun fights with the agile, screeching and awful space pirates in this game. Even when you realize you can kill them pretty drat easy with the right tactics, the rush of running around and fighting them always makes me want to take my time with it and enjoy that adrenaline.

5. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

MGS is a fairly fraught series for me - some, like Snake Eater, I absolutely adore - though itís mostly just this and Sons of Liberty, which is undoubtedly Kojimaís actual best MGS game, one with an actual lasting message about the perils of control, identity and technology. Some, like MGS 4 and 5, I see as much more cynical projects, either trying to wrap up too much as ridiculously as possible, or just kind of an excuse plot in the latterís case. Twin Snakes (havenít played the actual first game, to my shame), the less said the better - marvel at Snake doing a flip for no reason, or bouncing off a missile in active-flight.

Snake Eater is wonderfully pulpy, and wonderfully heartfelt. It relishes in all of Kojimaís questionable weirdness, though Iíd say in 3 itís just silly enough for the most part to not really be all that egregious. Itís not nearly as complex a story as 2, but has its own very heart-wrenching twists and turns, and succeeds in turning a villain from the very first two games into, arguably, the seriesí most beloved protagonist. Itís essentially a James Bond movie, just in the Metal Gear world - it works very wonderfully, in no small part due to the performances of the cast, the generally good writing (while still relishing in Kojimaís penchant for over-explaining things and treating everything with immense gravitas), and the enjoyable stealth gameplay loop. The music is probably the best in the series, too, and does an extremely good job of selling emotional moments and high-adrenaline ones in equal measure.

Snake Eater is good because it takes the setting and gameplay premises of the MGS setting and turns it all into an easy-to-follow, James Bond-esque romp, goofy and sad and heart-felt.

4. Final Fantasy 14

FF14 is, as I said in this threadís progenitor, the best Final Fantasy game. Iíll just post here what I posted there for posterityís sake.

Erwin the German posted:

So, my first MMO-like experience was Guild Wars. Didn't like it. I've tried a few over the years, such as The Old Republic and Elder Scrolls Online, all with my ex last year. Wasn't a fan of those, either. MMOs just weren't my scene, and I was fine with that. Then, after I split with my girlfriend in Feb, one of my friends bought me this to help me through it. He'd been pestering me to get into it for a while by then, and I figured, gently caress it, might as well.

Final Fantasy 14 is the best Final Fantasy game. 7 remains one of my favorites, but the world of 14 is just so well-realized and thoughtful. Every area has history to it, and as someone who loves fictional histories and stuff like archeology and the like, this game hits basically every good mark for me in terms of world building. The characters are truly delightful and heartfelt to interact with, going through long story arcs where they have their highs and lows. Some are better than others, but the core cast of characters especially are extremely likable and wonderful people in their own rights, and give the overall journey of your adventures a much-needed shot of personal investment as far as MMOs go. This game is far from perfect - A Realm Reborn is pretty much a loving slog, especially back when I played it earlier this year. That and the stretch post-expansion into Heavensward is miserably full of fetch-quests and plodding story progression.

But man, once you get into the expansions, the game practically transforms. This is, of course, like 20-30 hours later, so you're in for a bit of a slog before you get to the good stuff. The good stuff is worth it. Heavensward is amazing, Stormblood is mostly good, and Shadowbringers is one of my absolute favorite stories in years. The climactic story beats in this MMO are so unbelievably high and emotionally gripping - I truly, truly gave a poo poo about what was happening, and was gripped with the desire to keep going and find out more. The music is overall impeccable and makes those aforementioned story highs incredibly satisfying to witness. If you get hooked even slightly on the story and setting of this game, playing through it is a truly special experience. I'm unironically grateful to have had it to play this year, as being engrossed in this world got me through some very difficult emotional months. To say nothing of this year in general, too. FF14 got me through a very hard time.

Oh, and there's MMO gameplay. Press buttons in the right order to win, learn the mechanics, don't step in the bad. Nothing groundbreaking, but it's more interesting to play than any MMOs I've played previously, so that's good.Ē

Not much Iíll add, other than that, as a roleplayer, it does leave a lot to be desired unless you get lucky with your group, or have pretty low expectations for character development that doesnít involve sitting in bars and talking. But the roleplay scene isnít the reason you play this. Different strokes, though. Highly recommend for anyone who likes MMOs, or wants to get into them, or wants an MMO with one of the best settings and plots out there.

Gonna spoiler the music for this one - itís not a major plot thing, this one, but all of the best music for FF14 comes at points where it just makes the whole thing that much better, so itís best to experience it yourself for the first time in game. Yíknow, after like 40-ish hours.

3. Disco Elysium

Much stronger posters than I have waxed poetical about how stupefyingly excellent Disco Eylisum is, but I will make a modest attempt. Itís the best-written game Iíve ever played, which is easily the highest bar for excellence in a game you can get with me. Itís incredibly honest, heart-felt, funny, depressing and thought-provoking. Itís a game about a lot of things - making the best out of lovely situations. Dealing with loss. Trust and camaraderie. Politics, and the very real people who hold opposing values, and in poking fun at all of them, somehow making all of these people valid in their own, flawed ways. Mysteries - some better left to gather dust. Itís a game about a guy who just wonít stop trying to solve the case, no matter what happens, no matter how ruinous he has been to himself and all of those he cares about - and itís a game about either wallowing in this, embracing it, or trying to turn over a new leaf. And itís not as simple as just taking the Ďmorally goodí options, either. You have to work for that.

Itís in many ways my perfect game, an instant classic that already feels timeless. It would be one thing if it were simply well-written, but every system is fine-tuned and engaging, every wrinkle of background detail intriguing to figure out, every piece of music moody and excellent, every joke hilarious. Itís just absurdly good, a miracle of a game, and the more I write about it, the more I ask myself why it isnít my number one pick. It would be, if I werenít hard and fast about what that game is, and probably always will be. The longer Disco Elysium sticks with me, though, the further up the list itís bound to go, though. Canít wait for the directorís cut in March.

2. The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind

Itís here that I start my dive into unrepentant nostalgia. Unrepentant, though, being the key word, as while these next two games are dated, I unabashedly love and defend both at every single opportunity given to me. Starting with Morrowind, which is simply excellent and the best Elder Scrolls game there is in terms of commitment to actually roleplaying your character (at least until you break something and become a super god, inevitably), music, setting immersion, writing, and gamepl- haha, just kidding. I unironically enjoy Morrowindís gameplay, but Iím not so slavish as to say itís the best in the series, just the most enjoyable to me personally. Itís familiar and fun in its weird, janky frustrations, enough so that it ceases to become frustrating and instead just gives me the warm and fuzzies. Chafe all you want at your lack of hitting things, Iíll be conserving my stamina in the corner and waiting, and probably loving every second. Or at least smiling placidly.

The real star of this show is in the setting, though. I absolutely loving adore The Elder Scrollsí lore and world, and itís at its best when itís weird, alien and hosed up - most prominent in this game, thanks to the LSD-addled brain of Michael Kirkbride. I love Vivec, and I love the horrible society of the dunmer, awful beyond words, but incredibly real in its wrinkles. I love the giant mushrooms and oblique angles of daedric ruins, infested with strange, malformed monsters who, in later games, become far more sensitized and streamlined. Thereís jagged edges to this game, a clunky feeling to its design - all of which only makes it feel more real and lived-in to me. Most caves arenít well-structured dungeons with a comfortable amount of enemies and puzzles. Theyíre lovely caves that people do crimes in, mostly, or hide away from the world. While alien and off-putting, filled with racists with lung problems, Morrowind succeeds in feeling like Bethesdaís most well-realized world. I can get lost for hours in it, every time I play, just appreciating the strangeness of Vvardenfell.

As with most TES games, too, itís full of mod potential, many of which make the game much more approachable for gamers today, in both gameplay and looks. Go hog wild with Ďem, itís a fun time in itself.

1. Deus Ex

I first played Deus Ex, my favorite game ever, when I was like, 12 or 13. I bounced off of it hard, finding its controls alienating and bizarre, the way it played to be quite unlike any FPS Iíd played, of which there were few by then. It just didnít feel right at all - why did I have to wait to shoot? Whatís with this head bobbing? These characters look like junk. Etc, etc. I did not enjoy it at all. I gave it a few months and came back, though Iím still not sure why. It wasnít like Iíd read anything to convince me. I just gave it another shot, and something instantly clicked. I fell in love, and though that love has cooled over the years as I came to see more and more flaws, it has never gone away.

Deus Ex is a lot of things - but first and foremost, it is an immersive sim. You make your JC - you choose how to specialize your skills, choose your weapons, your tools, your augmentations - the powers that put you another step further from your common field agent - and then you complete your mission. The how is up to you - often itís entirely dictated by pragmatism, your means, skills, and knowledge of the game and its maps. Deus Ex is one of the first games to make sandbox levels that, for the most part, respect the intelligence of the player to let them figure it out how to progress and Ďwiní. Youíre asked to make meaningful choices about your build, which will often compliment the way you play. Invest in lockpicking, invest in small guns, invest in melee - but thereís no take-backs. No replacing the aug you slot in - Deus Ex demands you live with your choices on a character development level, and is much better off for it. I have immense respect for games that do this and find them far more compelling to play than others that will meekly let the player do whatever out of fear of them Ďmissing outí somehow. Let me choose and live with that choice. Deus Ex was the first game that let me do this.

It was also the first game that made me really think, even if in hindsight a lot of its concepts are on the ridiculous side. Itís a game about conspiracies, first and foremost, and almost all of them are real - this resonated with a younger me, who started thinking about the world, asking questions about how it worked, and wondering if people in charge are actually interested in your well-being and not just on their own hides. Do I think the Illuminati is running the world? No, not really. But Deus Ex was among the first pieces of media that left me with useful lessons about trust in things much, much bigger than me. With the lovely way things are today, more people owe it to themselves to not blindly trust in institutions they donít understand, that few can, that are so nakedly obfuscating so much. Itís a good way to get exploited to simply trust the government to have your back if itís not being completely open and compassionate with you. Governments often run on secrets - Deus Ex posits that these secrets are sinister and epic in scope. Maybe. Or maybe itís all so much more banal and mundane than that, yet just as harmful to us. Be conscious of these things - ask questions, and demand accountability. Be aware.

Anyway, Deus Ex has Illuminati, Men in Black, new world orders, etc. Itís a lot, and itís not everyoneís cup of tea. At this point, the story, the writing, and especially the (often ridiculous) performances all have a sort of hokey charm to me, rather than the naked and earnest appreciation and convincing of quality I used to have for it. I know the gameís script practically by heart, I know the levels, I know secrets and twists and consequences of actions like the backs of my hands. I know this game intimately, all the warts and blemishes and all. It was formative, it helped teach me to critically think, that the comforting presence of authority was not always looking out for my best interests, and that thereís always more going on behind the scenes than people would prefer you to know, especially if itís important enough. Does it always involve aliens, bio-weapons and code words and augmented super soldiers with phoned-in voice lines? Of course not. Just never settle for ignorance, even if the truth is a more boring brand of evil.

Deus Ex is great, and I think itís as utterly brilliant today as it was when it came out twenty years ago. Its sequels are quite good as well, but not nearly as formative influences on me - nor as good as the first game. Many have imitated it for a reason. My glasses are utterly rose-tinted when it comes to this game, and I donít care. Itís the sort of game where even its flaws have warped into charming features. I can discuss those flaws openly and condemn them, but Iíll still be smiling like a dumbass while playing it.

More games to come, this time in no order. Tomorrow.

Erwin the German fucked around with this message at 06:37 on Jan 11, 2021

May 4, 2004


Rinkles posted:

The original ME had the benefit of not allowing the player to get bogged down in open world miscellanea (something I tend to have trouble with). And of what I've seen of Catalyst so far, I preferred how the original looked. The are compromises in versimiltude you don't have to think about when making a linear game compared to a open world one. Catalyst to me more often than not feels like an artificial playground. Its city is a less believable place (which isn't necessarily a criticism).

Curious how far you are, if you've unlocked the majority of the skill tree (which you can do by the time you've played Benefactor), and whether or not you turned runner vision down and cranked the FOV up. Open world stuff is certainly processed by each player differently, and personally I hate the formula of open world games, but it's the atmosphere and skill-based traversal which are king in Catalyst. By the time I had the entire city open I was just running around endlessly like a madman, because by that stage the entire point was to keep running and never stop, but I also found myself collecting poo poo when I found new areas, too. Anyways, it has the baked-in story missions, too, which I went back to many times. The Leo Talks vid above addresses momentum and combat flow in the context of its design and I agree with the points he makes. And overall it was all I could ever ask for as far as a reimagining of the original 'proof of concept' brought by the first game; in fact it was all the things I wished that original was, so I never even bothered to go back.

Sep 15, 2008

"Negotiations were going well. They were very impressed by my hat." -Issaries the Concilliator"
I didn't like Catalyst either. I prefer the tight handcrafted levels over the open world stuff.
Unlocking things is another thing that really pissed me off about the sequel.

In ME you got better at the game, which made new things possible.
In sequel you got new toys that unlocked things.

Also the time trials were way better on OG.
I think I uninstalled the catalyst after getting the grappling hook and realized that
I've wasted 2 hours of time perfecting my time trial run, when there's a literal 30 second shortcut with it at the beginning.

I still got the OG Mirror's edge installed on Xbox.

Aug 18, 2003
This thread is going to be amazing and I promised that if you made it then I would talk at length about my top 30 with the same kind of thoughts as I did Bloodborne. So that is what I will do.

May 4, 2004


adhuin posted:

I didn't like Catalyst either. I prefer the tight handcrafted levels over the open world stuff.

Good thing Catalyst has both!

adhuin posted:

In ME you got better at the game, which made new things possible.
In sequel you got new toys that unlocked things.

Untrue. Catalyst's free-running is far tighter and more technically involved in almost every way!

adhuin posted:

I think I uninstalled the catalyst after getting the grappling hook

Major fail. That's like uninstalling right before the tutorial ends!

adhuin posted:

Also the time trials were way better on OG.

This would be a hard thing to know if you uninstalled it because all the best time trials exist at a point beyond where you stopped playing!

adhuin posted:

I still got the OG Mirror's edge installed on Xbox.

Also a good game!

May 4, 2004


soon very soon I am going to gush in this space about The Last Guardian and y'all are gonna be forced to read it :blastu:

Sep 23, 2003

My entire top 10 list of best ever games mostly exists of really old games which were exceptionally good at it's time and mostly also very innovative but can't be really regarded as best games ever anymore but I am a massive gaming nostalgia dweep. Think of games like Elite (8 bit versions), Speedball 2 on the amiga, Streetfighter 2 Turbo Arcade or SNES but also the entire Civilization series (6 bad tho, yea i liked 3 a lot)

Wonderboy in Monsterland has a special place in my heart

Oct 21, 2010

~*4 LIFE*~
Street Fighter II is the best fighting game of all time, come at me :colbert:

fridge corn
Apr 2, 2003

I have a talent for making do
I was thinking up some games I could post about but quickly realised that of the titles I came up with I really didnt have much to say about the games themselves but more so that they were important to me for other personal reasons: games that I was playing at pivotal moments, or were defining or nostalgic in some way to specific periods of my life, and nobody wants to hear someone ramble on and on with personal anecdotes only tangentially related to the topic at hand so idk

Aug 18, 2003

fridge corn posted:

I was thinking up some games I could post about but quickly realised that of the titles I came up with I really didnt have much to say about the games themselves but more so that they were important to me for other personal reasons: games that I was playing at pivotal moments, or were defining or nostalgic in some way to specific periods of my life, and nobody wants to hear someone ramble on and on with personal anecdotes only tangentially related to the topic at hand so idk

I would like to hear them.

Oct 21, 2010

~*4 LIFE*~

fridge corn posted:

nobody wants to hear someone ramble on and on with personal anecdotes only tangentially related to the topic at hand

gently caress yes I do

Sep 16, 2009

It may not be the best per se, but I will have no hesitation suggesting Dragon Quest XI if someone wants a old school-style jRPG recommendation. Just a well-refined and well-executed example of the classic jRPG story progression and character growth.

Had a blast playing it, and I would be first in line to purchase the next game in this series if Squeenix puts as much care into that game as they did into this.

Jun 30, 2012

fridge corn posted:

I was thinking up some games I could post about but quickly realised that of the titles I came up with I really didnt have much to say about the games themselves but more so that they were important to me for other personal reasons: games that I was playing at pivotal moments, or were defining or nostalgic in some way to specific periods of my life, and nobody wants to hear someone ramble on and on with personal anecdotes only tangentially related to the topic at hand so idk

I watch Tim Rogers videos so yes, I would read this

Erwin the German
May 30, 2011


fridge corn posted:

I was thinking up some games I could post about but quickly realised that of the titles I came up with I really didnt have much to say about the games themselves but more so that they were important to me for other personal reasons: games that I was playing at pivotal moments, or were defining or nostalgic in some way to specific periods of my life, and nobody wants to hear someone ramble on and on with personal anecdotes only tangentially related to the topic at hand so idk


Don't sweat it, people will read it! Tell us why they're important to you.

Oct 21, 2010

~*4 LIFE*~
I think when you're talking about your favourite games of all time then it's expected that you're going to go off on personal reflections. There are lots of great games out there but the games we love the most are because we built up a personal connection with them and hearing about that story is way more interesting than 'the graphics are beautiful and I pew-pew the mens real good'.

Nov 4, 2011

Just Post, Kupo

Rarity posted:

I think when you're talking about your favourite games of all time then it's expected that you're going to go off on personal reflections. There are lots of great games out there but the games we love the most are because we built up a personal connection with them and hearing about that story is way more interesting than 'the graphics are beautiful and I pew-pew the mens real good'.

Rarity posted:

Street Fighter II is the best fighting game of all time, come at me :colbert:


fridge corn
Apr 2, 2003

I have a talent for making do
Thank you for all the replies to my very self aware post. I will have a think about what I want to write about

Erwin the German
May 30, 2011

The posting will continue now.

Half-Life 2 (And other Source games)

Half-Life 2 and its associated Source games are ones Iíve played, frankly, a whole lot of, easily enough to warrant spaces in the top ten - Team Fortress 2 and Garryís Mod specifically. Iím lumping them all together here because they all occupy a sort of similar head space for me. Gmod and TF2 are the only ones I go back to semi-regularly, but I admire Half-Life 2 the most of them, along with its episodic sequels. The reason theyíre not in the top ten is mostly cause I like other games a lot more, and while I think HL2 is pretty groundbreaking, and I attribute its existence and the associated Steam platform it came with as a primary reason for my becoming a PC gamer, I think itís also a little dated at this point. Still a master-class in combining story with first person action, and Valve has a knack for interlacing good narratives into its often-experimental projects. Even TF2 has a (very silly, often hilarious) story, mostly told through videos and comics. Garryís Mod has also been a major stomping ground for me in terms of roleplaying, and unlike in NWN, itís a place I have mostly fond memories of, and a lot of lasting friendships have resulted from it, great people who Iíve even met in person a few times. That doesnít mean Gmod isnít, mostly, a cesspit full of teenagers and genuinely lovely individuals, however - it absolutely is, and thatís a price that comes with its popularity. NWNís a much better platform for the medium, but somehow Gmod has left a more positive impact on my life.

Civilization 4

Probably my favorite 4X game - strategy genre thatís mostly defined by starting from a single position and expanding your empire, civilization, society, what-have-you, exploring the generated map for resources to exploit, and finding other players or AI contenders and inevitably fighting them. You build new cities, make buildings in them, specialize them, built units to fight and explore, make money that you funnel into various projects, diplomacy, etc. The Civ series itself is extremely popular, though I bounced off of 5 and have yet to play 6, which Iím pretty curious about if itís in the same vein as 5 or more akin to the, in my opinion, much better 4. Civ 4 has quirks to it that make it much different from 5, at least - thereís less emphasis on special traits, particularly, and thereís more than one leader per civ, usually with differing play styles. Mostly I appreciate it because of the lack of one unit per tile, a system Iím really not fond of. The death stacks in 4 are only scary if you didnít build enough siege weapons!

Civ 4 has the best modding scene among the modern civ games, particularly thanks to a bunch of total overhauls, the best of which being Fall from Heaven 2. FFHís a fantasy total conversion, and has a lot of grit and dark fantasy elements to it, and some pretty inspired gimmicks for a lot of the civs it adds. It even has mods for the mod, a lot of which are still being updated today. Mostly, though? Iíve played a lot of this game with some of my best friends, and we spent countless hours cooperating and working together in our various wars and exploits against the AI and other players. Itís a lot of fun, and I miss those days.

The Dark Mod

I really like the Thief games, but I love The Dark Mod, the fan-made spiritual successor that originally started off as a mod for Doom 3 of all things. I also really like games like Dishonored, another immersive sim that features you sneaking around old places, though Dishonored is much more story-focused. The Dark Mod distills the things I really enjoy most about all of these sims - the thrill of using your wits, caution and tools to sneak past unsuspecting people - and makes an entire game fixated on them. The Dark Mod is about stealth and thievery. The plot of a fan mission - there is no plot campaign, only missions you download made by fans - is typically just an excuse for you to sneak into a place, find a specific priceless trinket, pilfer as much as possible along the way, and then extract yourself without dying. The mod shares Thiefís focus on sound, so it pays to be observant in your environment and exploit opportunities as they arise - listen at a door to see if anyoneís moving within. Time your jumps onto carpets to muffle the noise of your landing, because walking on marble tile is noisy as gently caress. Shoot moss arrows to give yourself more breathing room, or shoot a gas arrow at a guy who refused to move from his post. Or maybe just find another way in entirely. Find hidden buttons in the wall to discover secrets, ranging from a gold bar to a sacrificial shrine to a dark forest god nestled in a city. Just donít kill anyone, that poo poo is for amateurs, and your lovely apartmentís rent is riding on this job going cleanly.

It owns. A lot of the FMs are extremely well-done in terms of level design and capturing the essence of what makes a Thief mission great. Just donít expect amazing voice work. A wonderful little mod thatís stand-alone now, so no reason not to download it and give it a shot if you enjoy sneaking around and exploration. Highly recommend Bobbin Threadbareís LP on it.

Fallout: New Vegas

I started with 3, when it comes to Fallout, riding a bolt of lightning of hype that started with Morrowind, arced into Oblivion, and terminated with Fallout 3. Oblivion and F3 kinda killed my expectations when it came to Bethesdaís products, even though Iíd play the poo poo out of them, they were just lousily written and kind of a slog to play sometimes. Oblivion is a better game than I gave it credit for back then, but itís telling that I mostly derive my enjoyment from almost all Bethesda games with the help of mods. The same holds true with New Vegas, which I absolutely mod to the gills whenever I play - with one important exception. New Vegas is very good even without mods, standing on the strength of its shrewdly crafted systems, absolutely excellent writing, and general western post-post-apocalypse atmosphere. Itís an excellent explore-kill-loot game by itself thanks to the interesting enemies, fun locations, and the absolute abundance of loot you can find. All of Bethesdaís games are also good at these things, but New Vegas has a lot more going on in it to actually make that gameplay loop engaging for long after the sheen of it wears off.

Thereís very good videos and essays all about the way New Vegas treats its factions, the people living in the Mojave wasteland, the extremely cunning way it weaves its story elements in with gameplay. Theyíre pretty much all correct - New Vegas is a believable world in a similar way that Morrowind is. People have very real, complicated, always opposing motives. Character progression offers meaningful decisions in terms of perk selection, often changing the way you play, or further emphasizing your unique play-style - it does not fall prey to the errors of Bethesdaís later games, which, again, are just so terrified youíll miss something along the way. New Vegas stands extremely confident in opposition to this philosophy - play how you like, then play it again some time down the line and do it a different way. Side with another faction, if you want. Complete quests in another way. A truly great roleplaying game, with some truly great DLC - Dead Money remains one of my favorite short stories in video games.

Legend of Zelda: Majoraís Mask

I owe it to Ocarina of Time for my really getting into games - it was the first game Iíd ever picked out for myself in a Funcoland, shortly before it was bought out by Gamestop. I loved it, needless to say, and Iím sure I blazed through it quickly way back then. Then, eventually, I got Majoraís Mask, with its gold, holographic sticker on the cartridge, and I loved that one too. For a long while, I wrestled with which one I liked more - when I was younger, OOT resonated more, with its simpler story and themes, cleaner art style, and general lack of bizarre poo poo. These days, I love Majora more for those exact opposite reasons. Majoraís by no means an adult game, though it does deal with some more mature themes at times, but it is certainly a darker game than Ocarina, a dirtier, grittier title, and brimming with absolute weirdness. It is the better game for all of those reasons, unafraid to dip you right into the center of the strangeness pool and expecting you to swim back to safety. The three-day loop is well-crafted, and demands a lot more preparation and thought to go into your gameplay, making sure you time things well, get tasks done expediently. I donít think itís an accident that every time you do the preparation phase for a dungeon, doing story content and finding key items to let you into it, that it usually takes up more time than youíd be comfortable with for a dungeon-run. The game lets you become invested in characterís plights and sorry stories, the tragedies that lead to you getting new masks and items, and then all-but expects you to spurn their last wishes by going back in time for the sake of convenience and more time. Every failed loop is another instance of the moon falling and wiping everything out without you.

I respect the poo poo out a game like this. Side-quests galore, interesting masks that change your gameplay style and synthesize with the 3D Zelda gameplay that OOT pioneered. Itís both stressful and joyful to play, filled with sorry stories and the ever-present feeling of being in a doomed world that you can only brighten up in rare corners before setting it back to its dreary, vaguely unsettling default. It has the feeling of a fever dream, and the fact that the second 3D Zelda game was one this bizarre and excellent is pretty miraculous.

More to come at some point, enjoy these five for now.

Oct 21, 2010

~*4 LIFE*~
Rarityís Top 50 Games of All Time

#50. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

Atmosphere. If I had to sum up Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver in one word that would be it. The world of Nosgoth drips atmosphere from its every pore. With graphical capability punching high above the PS1ís weight Soul Reaver presents a world in decay, a relic of a mighty empire that has long since fallen leaving just parasites and scavengers to squabble over its remains. This is the setting for a revenge story Shakespearean in its tone. The protagonist Raziel is a lieutentant of Nosgothís ruler Kain who is murdered by his own liege and sets out to overthrow him for his own satisfaction. There is no pretence of nobility or heroism here. The gameplay is a typical character action affair with a couple of neat twists thrown in with enemies requiring special methods to kill and Zelda-esque light and dark worlds to shift between at will.

I have a bit of a confession to make here. I never got that far in Soul Reaver. I canít remember exactly where I got to but it canít have been more than a couple of bosses in. I was young, my gamer levels had not yet improved and by the time they had I had long stopped thinking about PS1 games. But what speaks to me about this game is the way that it sparked my imagination. The world of Nosgoth seemed vast in scope promising new wonders and dangers beyond every horizon. Perhaps one day I will play it and realise Iíd seen 75% of the game already but as it is the version of Soul Reaver that exists in my head is an epic adventure full of tension and darkness. With a world that presented so much possibility the Legacy of Kain will forever be one of the biggest missed opportunities in gaming.

Oh I'll get to it :colbert:

Sep 6, 2004

I can't promise it will live up to the hype, but I tried my best.
I want to write about NieR: Automata, Thief II: The Metal Age, Bloodborne and maybe a few more under-the-radar games like Universal Paperclips or DUSK, but for now, this is the one that popped up as near-and-dear to my heart.

Rain World

Matthewmatosis Recommending Video

You are one step above the bottom of the food chain, and alone in a uniquely post-apocalyptic world, with only a hint that your pack might exist some way off. Can you outsmart the flora and fauna who consider you food, and surmount hefty platforming challenges to finally make your way to them?

Rain World is a uniquely interestingóand punishingóexperience. Mechanics frequently go unexplained. The controls are designed to be cumbersome. The creature ecosystem is largely procedural, which means that you might land right in the jaws of a hungry lizard when crossing a screen transition. Checkpointing is nonexistent, and the game favors a persistent world with sparse respawn points.

And then there's the impeccably presented rain, which acts as a hard time limit on your days of exploration and foraging. I struggle to think of something more dreadful than how this game presents it: the sky darkens, and distant thunder reverberates through the industrial wastelands while my slugcat sits exposed, underfed, and a long way from the next hibernation point. A single drop of water hits rusted metal with a pang, and before long, the rain is deafening, blinding, and all-consuming.

But make no mistake: if you can get acclimated to Rain World's challenges, you'll experience a fantastic game full of mystery and grotesque wonder that uses language and signals all of its own (seriously, this is a game where one of the NPCs is named "Six Grains of Gravel, Mountains Abound"). Each area is crafted to capitalize on different aspects of the game, whether it's an inconceivably tall vertical climb that tests your platforming skills, or a set of deadly fields that asks you to master befriending the strange inhabitants of the world. The first time I was devoured by a Pole Plant, I was too unsettled to continue for the night. Seriously, there's some primally weird stuff in this game, and it's fascinating and varied enough that you'll want to experience it.

The ecosystem is also impressive in its variety, and there's a lot of joyóand relief!óto be had in figuring out the more intricate interactions of the creatures and plants you'll find throughout the land. If you think of an out-of-the-box solution, it will probably work. Stealth and evasion are useful for most hostile creatures (each with their own senses and place in the food chain), but you can also grab that fly to increase your jumping distance, or make an ally of a creature with the right offerings.

This game initially got panned for its aggressive difficulty, but patches have introduced alternate play modes including an easier variant (it's still no walk in the park, though!). I really hope people give this game a chance: it's far more elaborate than meets the eye, and has a beautiful flare for the strange.

fridge corn
Apr 2, 2003

I have a talent for making do
I never played Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver but a mate of mine did and he insisted on calling it Legacy of Kain: Puzzle Reaver at every opportunity


Erwin the German
May 30, 2011

Depressed beyond words that we'll never hear Raziel waxing on philosophically about how a puzzle reminds him of the way he's always needing to unravel the mysteries and conspiracies surrounding his quest.

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