Damn Good Old Games

Recently, I was reading an article, I think it was on Time.com , and it had a list of the top 10 best role playing games.  Final Fantasy VII made the cut, of course.  It was revolutionary to game design at the time that it was made.  Not only that, but the name Final Fantasy was already a fixture in gamedom since the late 1980s.  Final Fantasy was really leading the charge in game technology.  Even back in it’s infancy, Square Soft (now Square-Enix) was pushing the envelope.  They also came out with such gems as Vagrant Hearts, and Bushido Blade.  Bushido Blade was one of my favorites.  It was the first game I ever played where one blow could kill you.  It also had the guy with the gun, and I made some pretty damn good shots with that gun.  It was truly amazing how fun it was.  Not only that, but it was a game you could play with another person and you would both be on pretty even footing, since one errant blow could kill either of you.  Square was also responsible for Chrono Trigger, which is a classic for anyone who loves a good RPG.  Parasite Eve was also one of their…Strange RPGs.  It was in fact an RPG, it was one of the first I could remember being a real time sort of RPG, not just the typical turn based.  I have yet to go back and finish it, but I’m sure when I do, I won’t be disappointed.  Also seeping out of  Squares pores were the Kingdom Hearts games.   Kingdom Hearts would appeal to a vast array of gamers, gamers who were just getting into gaming, kids who loved both the Disney universe and the Square universe. In all truth, it was a really good move for them when their company was in trouble.  All in all, wonderful games.

Konami was also a genius when it came to making stuff that people liked.  Suikoden was one of the best games I have ever played, and one of the most difficult.  Not only do you have to work through the main story line, but you have to gather the 108 Stars of Destiny, 108 characters who may or may not be part of the main story line.  And the story is so massive with tales of love, betrayal, hatred, and redemption.  Only if one gets the 108 stars will they get the ending they might want.  The same goes for Suikoden II, this story is even more massive then the first, incorporating  some of the characters in the first game into the second.  The goal is the same, gather 108 stars (people) while working through the main story line.  It isn’t easy.  Some of the characters want you to do something for them before they will join you.  If you want to get all 108, you should be willing to spend a lot of time catering to the needs of these people who never seem to be satisfied.  It is not just the first two that are excellent.  All five and the Tactics game are awesome.  But as afor mentioned, be willing to spend some time.  Konami also gave us Silent Hill.  Pretty much, the whole gist of it is, if we’re not freaking you out, it’s not working.  It is a truly freaky game, maybe more so than any Resident Evil game because you don’t quite know what you’re up against.  They spawned a bad movie from it that was freaky, it just wasn’t that awesome.

One of my old favorites was the game Doom From id Software.  It was just so damnably fun.  It didn’t have much of a story, the graphics were crap, but somehow it was still just insanely fun.  I used to play it with my nephew, and I would walk and aim and he would shoot.  There were some bits of it that were extremely frustrating, but we got through the game and kicked it’s alien intruder ass!  It was lovely.  Also along those lines is Star Wars Dark Forces, an old, old LucasArts favorite.  It was a FPS where the character Kyle Katarn was sent on missions by the Rebel Alliance to spy, or retrieve, or even destroy.  He was sent to find out the truth about “Dark Troopers” a new weapon being worked on by the Empire.  Just like with Doom, there isn’t a massive amount of story.  Basically it was just fun to shoot at things…And the cheat codes were all really awesome and easy.

Valve’s first Half-life game was awesome.  I only got the chance to play the PS2 version, but I really enjoyed it.  I am not very good with FPS, so it wasn’t that much of an enjoyment, but it can’t be denied that it is a good game.  It certainly had more of a story than those early FPS.  It was a bit off the wall for a game story, but other than that, it is very good.  I enjoy play all sorts of games, regardless of whether or not I am good at them, just so I know about other types of games, what other people enjoy, and so that I can learn something new.  I will admit that whenever I play Halo or Call of Duty with anyone, I get my ass shot off.  In those cases, I don’t play to win, I play because others are playing and that is what makes it fun…Though I do wish we could play cooperatively sometimes.

Phantasy Star Online was the first MMO I had ever played.  From Sega Team, I have fond memories of smacking monsters with a giant frying pan.  I miss that weapon, only because my character was this little elfish chick in purple and it just looked so freakin’ funny to see her waving this giant frying pan around. It was especially funny when she did a combo move and got to hit the baddies three times in a row with the giant pan.  I enjoyed the game because, for the most part, people were nice and generous.  They felt it good to help their fellow player.  It is something that I think still exists in MMOs today, but with games that incorporate PVP, some players are just not kind, especially to the poor noobs that are busy getting their asses handed to them anyway.  Moral of this paragraph: Be nice to noobs, they’re tomorrow’s Griefers and you made them.

Other games that I have been enamored with over the years include Killer Instinct, boy could I ever kick ass in Killer Instinct for  SNES.  It was so simple to be good at it.  All you had to do was push back and forth, it was easy, it didn’t really matter what attack button you pushed, if you could push backward and then forward while pushing it, you were king.  Grandia II was also awesome for the Dreamcast, as well as the original Soul Caliber.  Soul Caliber was an absolutely beautiful game.  It’s even more so with the newer versions, but for it’s time, when it came out, it was awesome.  Also Shenmue was a fabulous game as well.  It combined story telling, role playing and fighting aspects into one game.  They all fit together so well.  I have game two but I have yet to finish it, but I am sure it will be just as awesome.

I loved playing both Riven and Myst.  They were beautiful games, and they played so wonderfully.  There isn’t much action in the game, as it is all about solving puzzles and putting the pieces together.  But a gamer has to kind of admire that when they look at other games like Halo and Call of Duty that are nothing but action.  ALso on my list of favs is Fable.  The first one is the best.  It isn’t as pretty as the second, but the story is ten times better than in Fable II.  I finifhed up Fable II’s story line in twelve hours, which left me somewhat disappointed.  I am hoping for better when I get to Fable III.

I end with Indigo Prophecy from Quantic Dream.  It’s beautiful, it has action, problem solving and it incorporates a different type of game play, one that I really got into.  You immediately know what the main character is dealing with and the goal is to solve his mystery and keep him…alive.  It involves the type of puzzle solving that I can really get into.  The game requires things of you.  It won’t just tell you to shoot some one. First they’re gonna make you find the gun.  It doesn’t just clean up your murder scene, you have to clean it up yourself.  All in all, an awesome game. Now I guess I have to get a PS3 and play Heavy Rain.

These are some of my favorites, and I am sure you have favorites of your own. Let me know them, I want to discuss.  Thank you for reading!

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