Gaming My Way

28 May

100 Games I’ve Played, Part 4

Inspired by James Newton’s Sega Top 50, I decided I’d like to try my own project. This is going to be one hundred different games I’ve played, beginning to end. There are a couple exceptions for games in a persistent world format, but they’re a minority. Of course, one hundred games are easy, but to keep things interesting, I’m only pulling one game per series. To be clear though, that doesn’t mean games with the same characters can’t show up together on the list, just not games from the same series. For instance, I could (and may) include both Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Kart, but I would not include both Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 64.

Now is the perfect time for this project, as I’m now leading up to my 100th post on Gaming My Way. Some of these games will be excellent, others will be awful, but all have been played through. Today, I’m moving on to the next 10, in no particular order, and I’ll do 10 more each post until I reach 100. Perhaps you’ll find some gems in here to try out, as well as a few to ridicule and warn others against playing.

31) Kingdom Hearts (PS2)

“Final Fantasy? Disney? In the same game?! I’m not playing that, it’s gonna suck!” How many of us had this reaction when we first heard about Kingdom Hearts? I know I did. Then I read some more about, and it seemed like it had potential. Then some friends played it and told me I’d better play it or I’d be missing out on something awesome. So I grudgingly bought myself a copy of the game, and realized, hey, this is a really sweet action rpg. Who knew that Disney characters could actually hold up in a Square-Enix style rpg so well? In any case, this game (as well as the second) were definitely worth playing, and are some of the last really great games I’ve played by Sqaure-Enix.

32) Megaman X (SNES)

There are so many games in this series to choose from, it’s mind boggling… and yes, I’ve played almost all of them. So why does Megaman X make the list? Simple, this is the one I keep coming back to play over and over again. The boss design hasn’t become stale yet, and you can actually dash, dash jump, wall climb, and all those other little things that make you more maneuverable that were missing before the X series. Of course, if you understand that I love agile characters and playing defensively in fighting games, then you understand why I like the added maneuverability in this game. It just suits my playstyle. Like all Megaman games, there are eight bosses to go up against, each of which has a power for you to steal upon their defeat. There are also capsule upgrades to make you stronger, as well as a hidden fifth capsule with an awesome Easter egg: the hadouken from Street Fighter, able to kill all enemies in a single hit… if you have full health, the skill at input, and can hit them from the ground before they hit you.

33) Threads of Fate (PSX)

This game was doomed to one of the worst release dates ever for an rpg. Don’t believe me? Check this out: It’s sandwiched between the releases of seven popular rpgs, many of which are sequels of other popular rpgs. And one of the world’s most beloved adventure series, Zelda. Even if Majora’s Mask was awful in comparison to the rest of the series, but I digress. Threads of Fate was an action rpg that cast you in the role of either a summoner and shapeshifter on a quest to bring his foster mother back to life, or a mage on a quest to take over the world after her family cast her out… despite her pretty much deserving it. While it’s story and gameplay is pretty simplistic, it’s also a very fun game to play, and if you happen to find it lying around, you should definitely give it a try.

34) Paperboy (NES)

This game, despite what you might think from the title, was actually pretty difficult. Sure, all you need to do is deliver the daily newspapers through a single neighborhood. But everyone is out to get you. Dogs attempt to drag you off your bike, angry customers try to stab you, lawnmowers start of their own volition to run you down, and tornados actually chase you down. Oh, and there’s the grim reaper hanging out on the sidewalk waiting for you, cars driving down the street, and go kart races at all the intersections. So, to the man doing his pilates in the middle of the sidewalk, just get out of the way, because seriously, it’s been a really bad week.

35) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (Dreamcast)

This game was fun purely for the rediculous stuff you could do. Seriously, no skater could link as many tricks together and still land as you can pull of in this game. All while adding in rotations for bonus points. Honestly, this game was way more fun for the head-to-head competitions than it was for it’s single player tournament events, but the single player was passable. Mostly, you play this one just to do crazy stuff and push the limits of what the game will let you do. Then you turn on the cheats you can unlock and do it again, with even crazier results.

36) Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest (NES)

I got this game when I was young. Probably five or six years old. I gave up on it pretty quick, because it’s hard. And at times you just wonder what you’re supposed to do next. When I hit the end of my teens, I gave this game another playthrough, and after a lot of effort, I finally reached the end. It was a fun experience to play through, but it’s one of those games you only play once, because it’s just not worth playing through again. And for those who were wondering, yes, it’s another quest to kill Dracula, just like all the other Castlevania games… though to be fair, it probably hadn’t gotten old yet by the time this one was released, since it’s only the second in the series.

37) Kirby’s Dreamland (Gameboy)

This was a game that I played and put down very soon after. It just felt kind of stupid the first time I played it. Eventually though, as little kids are known to do, I got bored, and wanted to play something different, so I gave this another try. Once I got to the tree boss, defeated him, and moved on to the next level, I was completely into the game, and spent a fair bit of time working my way through it. This was definitely a game that got better as I played through it, and by the end, I was rewarded by what I feel is still one of the coolest boss fights in a 2d platformer against King Dedede. Sure, it’s simplistic, but I always liked fighting enemies with the same powers as the main character. It always felt right to me, and added a feeling of balance I like in big fights.

38) Marvel vs. Capcom (Dreamcast)

Now, you may be wondering why I would choose this game over the second in the series. The truth is, I do think the second game is technically superior to this one, and has way more variety. However, this one has two things I like: simplicity, and a soundtrack that fits a fighting game. I like the simplicity of fewer characters, as well as the option of one button specials and two button supers. Sure, they aren’t arcade perfect controls when you play in that fashion, but they make all the moves more accessible for those who have a hard time with the rotations, double rotations, and occasional weird commands like for the dragon punches. And the music is much more action oriented, instead of the weird jazzy stuff used in the 2nd game. While I appreciate Capcom trying to do something different, the change in music was not a success in my book. With these two differences, I feel the first game has a lot to offer in terms of pure, casual fun, and is usually what I play because of that. The second is definitely the better choice for a tournament game though. What both games have is the awesome crossover battle between the best characters of Capcom’s video games and Marvel’s comic books, all on a modified version of the engine used in the Street Fighter series.

39) Evolution: The World of Sacred Device (Dreamcast)

Remember when the Dreamcast first came out? Remember the one thing it really lacked? That would be our friend the rpg. This game was the first. It had it’s fun points, but it was really just a dungeon crawl with little pieces of story scattered throughout. It makes sense, given that this game is all about a search for lost artifacts, but that doesn’t make it better. This is a game that became a place holder for me while I waited for a real rpg to be released. In the meantime, this game did provide some fun with endearing characters and some mindless dungeon crawling, but it just didn’t come together in a cohesive package that I can really recommend. If you see it on the cheap, it might be worth indulging, but with all the other rpgs you could be playing, you may as well skip this one.

40) Sins of a Solar Empire (PC)

This game only has a nominal story, something that surprised me since I was raised on strategy games like Lords of Magic and Warcraft 3. However, SoSE is really all about the strategy game, and there’s no real single player campaign, just the ability to play maps against AI controlled opponents. That said, this is still a very fun game, and it’s really quite awesome to watch the battles unfold once you set them in motion. Of course, there’s still lots of other stuff to take care of, but once in awhile, it’s nice to sit and watch… naturally, I’ll save before doing this, because I know I’ll fall behind from not paying attention to other things. In multiplayer, when I get around to trying it out, I won’t have that luxury of course, but then, it’ll be a very different game anyway. One thing I think that got right was the ability to customize the game to the way you want to play it. For instance, being able to turn pirate raids off or on is very welcome… the raids add an interesting dynamic to the game, but they can also be really irritating since they punish you for doing well. I imagine they’re a good feature for keeping games close and not becoming forgone conclusions way before the end though. Basically, this is a very well thought out strategy game. I’m just disappointed there wasn’t more to the story after watching the intro.

Links to all parts of this series:
100 Games I’ve Played, Part 1
100 Games I’ve Played, Part 2
100 Games I’ve Played, Part 3
100 Games I’ve Played, Part 4
100 Games I’ve Played, Part 5
100 Games I’ve Played, Part 6
100 Games I’ve Played, Part 7
100 Games I’ve Played, Part 8
100 Games I’ve Played, Part 9
100 Games I’ve Played, Part 10

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