Gaming My Way

22 Nov

100 Games I’ve Played, Part 10

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.

This is the final post in this series, and also my 100th post on Gaming My Way. It took me a lot longer to get here than I expected, mostly because  after I got a fair way in, it was hard to stay motivated to keep on going with this series. Throw in a taste of the rest of my life, and this series took way longer than I intended. I don’t think I’ll be trying any long running series in the future, at least not on any timeline, since I like having the freedom to write what I want when I want. However, this post is about finishing the list of 100 different games I’ve played and my thoughts on them, so let’s get on with that now!

91) Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

This is my favorite Zelda game. Ever. You will not find a game in this series put together better than this one. The top down view let’s you see the action all around you, the world is wonderfully detailed, the story is excellent, and every dungeon feels fresh. That isn’t to say other Zelda games don’t have this… this game just does it better. It just has that feeling where everything comes together exactly as it should. And in case you didn’t know,  yes, you have to save Zelda again, and yes, you’re going to have to find all sorts of trinkets on the way to do it. And it will be pure action and exploration goodness the whole way through.

92) Crono Trigger (SNES)

This very well may be Squaresoft’s masterpiece. The gameplay is reminiscent of what you might find in the Final Fantasy games of the time, but changes such as adding team attacks and combats that take place on the overworld map help to give this game some extra options in combat as well as a slightly different feel. Then, you realize the graphics are some of the best of its generation, and the art is simply spectacular. Add in a spectacular story that feels more carefree than the typical Square rpg, though still maintains the let’s all save the world scale, and also traverses across all of time, and you have yourself a winner. If you haven’t played this game yet, go play it now: your options are old SNES cart, Playstation disc from Final Fantasy Anthology, or the new Nintendo DS remake.

93) Super Mario RPG (SNES)

I’m going to go ahead with some more love for old school Squaresoft. Teaming up with Nintendo, they brought us another masterpiece in Super Mario RPG. This is the only game for the SNES that I know of with 3d graphics, and it looks very good. On top of that, it’s Mario, attempting to save the Mushroom Kingdom again (which must get really old after the first couple times), though this time at least he has people to help him out. With a mix of Mario characters and some additions unique to Square, the cast is very well done and feels true to the personalities I had projected onto them from previous games. Also of note is the streamlined battle system used in this game, ostensibly to make it accessible to younger gamers. If that was the goal, I’d say it was successful, and still managed to keep most of the complexity of any other rpg to boot. Very nicely done.

94) Silver (Dreamcast)

I’m not sure how I feel about this game. I can’t for the life of me remember the plot, which doesn’t say much for the story. I remember thinking it was ok, but it’s certainly not memorable. The gameplay was hack and slash, but it was also very well executed hack and slash, so points for that. There were all sorts of different spells and attacks to use, and the radial menu used in the game made it nice and easy to come up with what you wanted in the heat of battle. That aspect of the game was actually beautifully done. The challenge wasn’t there quite so much, as many of the monsters were pretty easy to just plow through, but the challenging fights were quite good. If you’re looking for a good action game, this might be worth a try, but don’t pick it up if you want a good story, because you won’t find one.

95) Megaman Legends 2 (Playstation)

This was a very new take on Megaman, but it worked very well. Think Zelda with guns and you’re pretty close. There’s a fair bit of exploration in this game, but you will get to enjoy your blaster combats as well. The controls took a little bit to get used to, but they worked well once you pulled it off, particularly in combat, where they really matter. This is also a really good looking game, though if you’re used to modern games the slight blockiness will take some getting used to. All in all though, this was 3d Megaman done right.

96) DDRMAX: Dance Dance Revolution (PS2)

This game is exactly what you need if you need a workout. I know we have Wii Fit these days, but it just isn’t the same. The game is pretty simple to figure out, but it’ll take a good long time to get all the step patterns down. Yes, for those living under a rock, you play DDR with a dance mat, not a controller. Arrows scroll up the screen and you tap the arrow with your foot. You do this to crazy J-pop and techno you wouldn’t be caught dead listening to otherwise, and you like it. The music just fits with DDR. I think it’s because playing the game makes you feel a little ridiculous, so the ridiculous music just sort of fits in because of that. Songs range from incredibly easy to pass, to near impossible, so the game will last a good long while for most players. Everyone who hasn’t should give this game a try. It’s so different from everything else on the market (including the new music games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero), it’s worth it just to understand it.

97) Sonic Spinball (Genesis)

Someone had the bright idea that Sonic’s signature attack involves him rolling up into a spiny ball of death, so why not make a pinball game out of him. This is the result. It’s kinda gimmicky, but it’s also the best console pinball game I’ve played. There are four stages, each of which forces you to locate a number of chaos emeralds dictated by the stage, many in tough to reach places. After that, you guide Sonic through the pinball machines to the boss fight for the stage. The bosses are actually moderately challenging, and the final boss fight actually does feel a little intense, even if it is still easy and just a game of pinball. A very fun game of pinball.

98) Suikoden 3 (PS2)

This was an excellent rpg. There are three types of combat in this game, with the standard form being the turn based back and forth we’re used to that would make any console rpg proud. It did have a twist in that the six characters in the party are paired up, and commands are entered for each pair instead of each individual character. It was a little odd to get used to. But it was well designed and set up, and many fights were truly challenging but possible with the right strategy. Then there were the large battles, which saw you bringing your party to attack strategic locations on a battle map to achieve an objective. Finally, there were one on one duals, which had an rps quality I wasn’t a big fan of, but it did work well enough. It was definitely the story that set this game apart though. You play the game from three different viewpoints in the beginning: that of a barbarian leader, a holy warrior, and an undercover agent. They all have their own reasons for being involved, and at times clash, but in playing from each person’s viewpoint, you also really understand they’re all trying to do the right thing. This really helps to add some dimension to each of the characters, who had to make some hard choices in regard to the other characters at times. Of course, each of these characters have their own followers, who round out the parties of each leader. Also, just in case you needed them, there are 108 different characters in the game. Good luck to all the completionists out there.

99) Road Rash (PC)

This one is an old favorite of mine. Grab a motorcycle, enter a race on the city streets, and be the first to finish. Simple, no? Well, not so fast. See, in Road Rash, it’s acceptable to beat on your opponents. Interestingly, you never seem to start with a weapon, while some of your rivals do. It’d be nice if you could bring your own chain or club to the race. No matter though, it is possible to steal weapons from your opponents, and it’s a great feeling to pull it off. Of course, there are hazards as well. If you’re beat up enough, you’re rendered unconscious and lose. If you crash too often your bike explodes and you lose (unless you run to the finish line, but then you probably lose anyway unless you were really close). If you get caught off your bike by the police (and they will try to knock you off if you don’t pull over), you lose. Losing is generally just a temporary setback though… you pay hospital bills, bike repairs, and/or bail, and you’re ready to race again, so you really only lose when you’re out of money. Of course, your reward money for winning races can also be used to get new bikes and upgrade the bike you currently have. It’s all a very nice package if you want a racing game that isn’t just another race to the finish line.

100) Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

You might notice this is the only current generation game on this list. While I don’t have any current generation consoles, my friends do, and one of them was kind enough to let me play through. So I did, and I had a blast, as this is far and away the best game of the series. Nintendo crammed in a much better variety of characters than the last game, and they even obtained permission to add Sonic and Solid Snake as playable characters. In addition, the adventure mode is more fleshed out than it was in the previous game, and this time it really does feel like a combination of platformer and beat ’em up. With some awesome cutscenes added in as well, there’s even a good story to go with it. Finally, there’s the fighting itself, which is very similar to that found in Melee. Beat on your opponents with a wide variety of physical and special attacks, all easy and intuitive to use, and once you’ve beat them enough, send them flying off the stage beyond the point of no return. And be sure to avoid this fate yourself. There is also the addition of smash balls. Breaking one open will allow you to perform an amazingly powerful move, called a final smash, one time only. I have mixed feelings on them, as some characters, such as Sonic, Mario, and Snake, have amazing final smashes, while others, such as Donkey Kong and King Dedede, have some… less than stellar final smashes. It’s not the end of the world, but it can be disappointing to see what some characters get stuck with when compared to the really good ones. However, this is a minor quibble when compared to the rest of the game, and it is, as I said before, the best of the series and well worth playing. As anyone who cares probably already knows by now.

So there you have it. 100 different games I’ve played and finished, all from different series, though I know stretched that a little bit. Hopefully you enjoyed it all, and weren’t getting too anxious for a return to the writing I was doing before. If you were though, fear not, I’ll be going back to that now that I’ve finished this series. But perhaps in the meantime, you’ll find a new game you want to try out (or play again), or perhaps one you can foist on a friend for forgetting to invite you to that big party.

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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