Gaming My Way

29 May

100 Games I’ve Played, Part 5

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.

41) Soul Calibur (Dreamcast)

To this day, Soul Calibur is my favorite traditional fighting game. Like Sonic Adventure, this game sold Dreamcasts to a lot of people. One of the first games to have a near arcade perfect port to a home console due to the Dreamcast’s similarity to the Naomi board, this game oozes quality all around. You have the standard modes most fighting games are known for, such as Arcade, Survival, Versus, and Practice. Then you also have Time Attack (Arcade mode on the clock, not really a big deal) and the robust single players Missions Mode. Missions Mode had many hours worth of gameplay, and is the reason this game makes an excellent single player game in addition to the awesome multiplayer expected of fighting games. The missions tweak fights to make them easier and harder, and this is also where you get to play through the game’s story.  And let me tell you, the story is actually very good. It may not be blockbuster movie good (like Metal Gear Solid), but it will definitely keep you playing to find out more. When’s the last time a fighting game could claim that about it’s story mode? Of course, the story isn’t what makes the game, as what we really care about in a fighting game is the combat, which this game also handles wonderfully, with lots of ways to attack and counter the variety of moves in the game. This allows for lots of the mind games that make fighting games fun.

42) Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (PS2)

Here we have the little strategy rpg that could. You get to control a demon overlord. You get to create loyal minions who obey your every command. Plotting sidekicks want to take over your throne, or destroy you for the good of Earth, or any number of unsavory things. An angel sent to assassinate you thinks she can save you and find goodness in a demon overlord. All of this leads to lots of anime style humor along with the occasional bit of serious plot slipped in for good measure. What more could you want from a strategy rpg? Oh right, an awesome combat system that lets you pull of insane tricks in combat, level up to level 9999, reincarnate for even more power, and aquire more power through bending the dark assembly to your will through bribes and killing the assembly demons who don’t vote your way.

43) Mystic Towers (PC)

This one’s old. You take on the role of a wizard who needs to take back his tower from the wizard who took it over. As you progress through the game, you gain more magic, but you also need it in order to navigate through trickier puzzles and to deal with tougher enemies along the way. It’s definitely a dungeon crawl, but it’s a great puzzle game with bits of action that will definitely entertain.

44) Legacy of Kain: Defiance (PS2)

I won’t lie, when I played this game, Raziel’s parts were kind of a letdown. That’s not to say they weren’t fun, but let’s face it, playing as Kain, the vampire who can telekinetically throw enemies around like ragdolls is way more fun than playing as the guy who runs up and stabs them with his lightsaber knockoff the Soul Reaver. The best parts are simply goofing around and seeing how cinematically you can build the battles up to be. There’s a semblance of a story, even a moderately decent one, but it’s a bit on the convoluted side, and the real fun is in the gameplay.

45) Phantasy Star Online (Dreamcast)

This was a tough one to get into. Of course, my Dreamcast was never hooked up to the internet, so I was playing this single player only. Still, I found the gameplay itself to be rather choppy, and a lot of the tedium many mmorpgs seem to have. Still, as an action game, it had some life to it, and I did enjoy the game, particularly upon reaching the fourth and final part of the game. While this certainly wouldn’t be my first recommendation to the rpg crowd, it’s a decent action game that will bring some fun. Just be prepared for some tedium and a lacking story. This is all about the action and grinding. I will say that I really enjoyed the final battle against Dark Falz though. It had a scale to it that’s missing in a lot of action rpgs, and seemed to still make sense, unlike the crazy bosses you see in some turn-based rpgs.

46) Sonic Riders (GC)

When I first played this game, it hurt a lot. The controls are very clunky, and given this is a racing game, with Sonic, I expected there to be speed. Unfortunately, the boards seem to just slow him down, and the controls make it so that even when you get some speed built up, you lose it taking a turn or crashing into something. After gaining some proficiency with the controls, it’s easier to keep things moving smoothly, but in a Sonic game, this shouldn’t be an issue. Still, there’s a decent game buried in here somewhere, it’s just a matter of deciding whether digging it out is worth the effort to you. Eventually, I decided it was worth it, but there are definitely better choices of games to spend your time with.

47) Twisted Metal 2 (PSX)

Take a bunch of insane drivers with crazy reasons for joining an armed battle to the death. Let them bring their pimped out rides, with all sorts of crazy weapons and decorations, ranging from a crazy clown with an ice cream truck to a guy with his arms mounted into a pair of gigantic tires. Give them extra weapons, and promise them they can have any wish they want if they win. Then put them all in an arena, and open fire. Sound like fun? That’s because it is.

48) Punch Out (NES)

Yes, I played the version stripped of Mike Tyson in favor of adding in Mr. Dream. Same game, different sprite. And what a game it is. You step into the ring as Little Mac, a young boxer looking to prove himself. You start small, against pushovers like Glass Joe, but quickly find yourself against crazy opponents such as the King Hippo, who can only be injured in one particular location, Bald Bull, who has a mean charging punch that must be countered to stop his momentum, and Great Tiger, who magic punches will leave your head spinning… and his too if you deal with them properly. Of course, there are tons of other characters as well, including the final bout against Mr. Dream, who can take you down in a single punch. Better work on your footwork for that championship fight.

49) Tetris (Gameboy)

Okay, this is another one of those games you don’t really finish, but it’s Tetris. I’m sure you need no explanation, but for those who do, you take falling blocks of varying shapes and attempt to line them up in complete rows to make them disappear. Creating multiple rows at a time causes you to get bonus points, with four rows being a Tetris that grants lots of bonus points, and a feeling of great satisfaction. Of course, can’t let the blocks get too high, or you lose. I’ve hit about level 15 or so starting from level zero, so I’m definitely no pro, but I’m not awful at the game either. Oh, and I have finished a game B style game on level 9 with 5 rows of blocks, so that kind of counts as finishing the game… but I know, not really, because Tetris can never be finished.

50) Bangai-O (Dreamcast)

This 2D shooter from treasure is definitely all about the gameplay. The most prominent graphics you’ll see resemble what you might see from an NES or SNES game. Of course, neither system could actually handle this game, as it does sport some very detailed backgrounds, as well as tons of on screen action that requires a good deal of processing. You can literally be battling over a hundred enemies at a time… and they can all explode together as well if you time it right. It’s quite the fireworks display. You can switch between homing missiles and bouncing lasers as your weapon of choice whenever you like, and there’s a fair bit of strategy to picking the right weapon for the right time, and firing at the right time. Controls are very tight, which is important, because this game is quite challenging, and you’ll need to be able to react on the spot often. A very fun shooter, definitely worth a playthrough.

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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