I’m holding off on my retro review so I can give an honest opinion – Left 4 Dead and Pokemon Yellow are too distracting, as well as the dreaded Real Life ((Not the awesome webcomic – that thing where you have to be responsible)). However, I will not fail in my weekly Top Ten lists. This week, it’s my top ten games and series I think you should go try out. I’ll be delving deep into my collection and memories to bring you games that will give you an experience like no other.
Empire Earth – PC
Empire Earth is a RTS game, in the same vein as Age of Empires, but when it was released, a lot more detailed. Beside from the four campaigns where you fought as either the English, French, Russians and the Greeks when they were in the height of their power, or during key moments of their history. There are also the Death matches and such where you can face 7 other Nations in all out war. There’s a map creator system as well, but it’s a bit complicated, so I just had fun with random generated maps. Basically, it’s a bigger version of Age Of Empires. It’s great fun, because Age of Empires doesn’t let you build a robot army and Atomic Bombers to decimate your opponents, does it?
Tetris – Game Boy, DS, Flash Games
It’s simplistic, it’s got one objective – it is bloody addictive. Tetris is a game where you can easily say “Oh, I’ll just have a quick game,” but end up saying “When did I last eat?” It’s basically a puzzle game, where you make full rows to score points, with the demolishing of four rows called, unimaginatively, a Tetris. There are seven shapes, which all resemble a letter. …That’s it. Go play after reading the rest, not now of course.
Beyond Good & Evil – Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, GameCube, PC
In my opinion, one of the most underappreciated games of the last generation – along with Psychonauts, it is a great, original platformer, great gameplay, good story – a top game, but very few people bought it. You play as Jade, a freelance photographer with a big metal pole she uses to bash things. I forget the actual name, but it’s a big metal pole! Anyone can use a sword, axe or hammer – it takes true badassery to save the world with a stick! You also take pictures of species for money that lets you get cooler gadgets, more health and stuff. You just need to play the game, because no-one can describe it. It’s from Ubisoft, when they knew how to make a good game. I recommend you go play it before the sequel is released…and buy the damn game when it’s released!
Ninety-Nine Nights – Xbox 360
You may notice the abundance of not exactly well known, mainstream games – if you are disappointed that I have yet to say things like Halo, GTA, Final Fantasy, etc – Tough Titties. Now, N3, as it’s more commonly known as, is another underappreciated game, which is, on its surface, your basic kill all enemies game – nothing original or unique. It’s main selling point is the sheer epicness of the battles. Literally, hundreds of enemies on screen at once. Remember that 1000 Heartless battle in Kingdom Hearts 2? This game is like that…but a lot more awesome and lasts longer. The combos, the smooth movements, watching bodies fly in all directions? All add up to a satisfying experience.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – Too many consoles to list.
Remember when Sonic was a good gaming series? When Sonic Team knew what they were doing? I do – and Sonic 2 is the pinnacle of the series. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, but the Special Stages were too easy, letting you go Super early, taking away the challenge. Getting the Seventh Emerald in Sonic 2 was insanely tricky, making you actually feel you’ve accomplished something by beating it instead of “Oh, is that all?” Go get it; if you can read this, you have something that can play it.
Dead Rising – Xbox 360, Wii
You’re given an assortment of weaponry, dropped in a mall filled with zombies. You have two options, do the missions, get good ending or mess around, kill everything and get bad ending. The problem is with most gamers, if given the option of being nice, helping people out, and going crazy, killing and smashing stuff…what do you think they will choose? Here’s a hint. That chainsaw isn’t for firewood. You get every type of weapon conceivable in this game, even Mega Man’s arm cannon. If shooting Zombies dressed as Mega Man doesn’t sell this game for you, then nothing else will.
Left 4 Dead – PC, Xbox 360
You may remember my review of this game, and called its enjoyment levels dependant on if your teammates knew that it is a team game. If you can get a good run with some decent teammates – then the experience warrants L4D’s position in my Top Ten, but not as high as the sensation of running through a Hospital/rural town/airport/Countryside, using an automatic shotgun to tear through hundreds of enemies, lighting them on fire, and the genuine relief of making it to the end. If it wasn’t for the chances of getting some idiots in this game who don’t know how to fire a gun – then this would be Number 1.
Mario Kart – Pretty much Every Nintendo System
It’s Mario Kart, can I explain it anymore? Hell no. It’s a fantastic game that, even though we saw plenty of times before, we still bought it, and still played it – because it was Mario Kart. The tracks ranged from easy straights with soft corners, to tracks filled with hazards and pitfalls. It was challenging enough to keep us playing for hours on end, but not so difficult that we got angry and turned off the machine in protest. There was a minimal amount of strategy involved, but it didn’t stop us picking Bowser so the poor guy would win for once. All he knows is how to be evil – he deserves the odd, pointless win.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance – GBA
This was a great game to have in your collection. The story lasted thirty odd hours, which is longer than quite a few games on the consoles. The characters weren’t 2D planks of wood we didn’t care about…even the grunts with random names you felt bad when they suffered a KO – whenever that happened, you stopped whatever flimsy strategy you had, and decided to go annihilate the person who hurt your clan mate…they shall pay with their blood! Ahem…anyway, it’s a hard game to find nowadays, but the effort is worth it. I also recommend picking up FFTA2: Grimoire of the Rift on the DS. A worthy sequel.
Pokemon Silver – Game Boy Colour
Yep – Pokemon Silver is my favourite Game of all time. Again, I reviewed this earlier in the week. I love it, both by itself, and for the fact it managed to revolutionise a series. How many games can say they managed to do that? It was one of the biggest games, it was one of the best. The story was good, the revisit of Kanto was good. I’d just be repeating myself from last time about this game, so go read my review on the proper Pokemon series. Again, a rare game, but worth the time to find.
And there you have it. Ten top games, with some surprises, some oldies and some more modern games. You may notice that Left 4 Dead is the only game released in the past twelve months on that list. Does this mean that Game Developers are getting lazier? Well, we had GTA4, Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, Fable 2, Tomb Raider: Underworld. 2008 will forever be known as the year of the sequels. Actually it should be known as 2007 2. I’ll either have that retro review or a nice rant on something next time – depends how my L4D goes tonight.