Videogame thread


Shawty's like a melody in my head
is a Live Chat Contributor
all on xbox one s:

beautiful looking/sounding anime disney action jrpg that is extremely shallow and is a game for extremely young kids for the first 2/3rds of the game. yes the story is confusing
graphics: 5/5 music: 4/5 story: 2.5/5 gameplay: 3/5 value: 4/5 overall: 7.5/10
-no dlc -played on xbox one s -normal mode -never played a kingdom hearts game in My Life
  • graphics: mostly of the best looking and running (frequently 60fps) xbox one games i've played. some of the time you don't even know whether its cgi or not until you see the aliasing on the anime haircuts. also the cgi is great and a lot of the character designs are too
  • sounds: voice acting good (even if they say stupid lines) and the music is good too
  • combat: extremely easy: the only time i died was early on when I didn't get what you are supposed to do. the normal enemies you fight are all lame, with the only one you fight differently being the fat guy who your keyblade bounces off of. boss fights are better but they are hardly memorable.
    • i beat the entire game by spamming attack, alternating attack and dodge to get closer to my target,
this game is split up into 2 parts:
  1. disney part: 80% bad. takes up 2/3rds of the game if you do the bare minimum
    • level design: walk in a straight line until the paths branch and the wrong path is usually a short dead end or cliff that will set you back on the path, which sucks. alternatively walk around some space and look for stuff until you find enough stuff, which also sucks.
    • writing: terrible! people say stupid stuff, hardly anything makes sense, and once you get to the good part of the game they say none of it mattered. donald, goofy, and sora (which are all powerful characters) are the only things stopping me from skipping every cutscene
    • combat: extremely easy (i read online hard mode isn't much different): the only time i died was early on when I didn't get what you are supposed to do. the normal enemies you fight are all lame, with the only one you fight differently being the fat guy who your keyblade bounces off of. boss fights are better but they are hardly memorable.
      • i beat the entire game by spamming attack (A button), alternating attack and dodge (A and X) in the air get closer to my target, doing the special attacks with time limits for activation when they pop up (Y), and casting cure on myself (dpad down, A, dpad down a few times, then A twice). i never used link abilities or items besides to try them to see how they work.
      • overall if the game didn't look and sound so good i probably would have quit the game over how uninteresting this is.
    • other gameplay: there are a lot of other things you have to do to beat this part of the game besides walk and fight, and all of them feel extremely underdeveloped. they probably should have done less things to focus on a few minigames and make them notably good
  2. kingdom hearts part: 10% bad. takes up 1/3rd of the game if you do the bare minimum
    • level design: either just walk forward a few seconds to start a cutscene, or actually some relatively interesting stuff (the only good collectathon part of the game and the best platforming obstacles in the game, even if they are mostly easy with all the movement abilities you have by now)
    • writing: pretty good! almost everything that happens makes some sense now and a lot (yes actually a lot) of cool stuff happens (that actually matters this time)
    • combat: its basically a huge boss rush. some of the fights can be kinda tough but i never died and i was underleveled by like 10 levels (from what i've read online). my strategy still worked but you do need to run away until your magic meter restores more often
    • other gameplay: only one other thing happens in this section thats mostly a qte type thing. its also the best part of the whole game easily on multiple levels (i'm referring to the part where they rip off the nier automata thing
overall i do not regret playing this game because the long ending sequence is actually really sick. i'm actually kinda excited for future kingdom hearts if the visiting way more square enix worlds thing happens. i'm split on playing the old kingdom hearts games because i have a feeling the combat will also not be that good but will require more skill on my part, and if this game was hard to beat i don't think i would bother with it.

sick flight combat simulator(?) game with a story about as good as the other namco game called tekken. the online sucks and the music is surprisingly good (if you haven't played previous entries, at least). also you probably shouldn't pay 60 dollars for this
graphics: 5/5 music: 4/5 story: 2/5 gameplay: 4/5 value: 2/5 overall: 8.5/10

clearly low budget game...the gameplay of the story mostly sucks but the actual story itself is amazing. the side missions on the other hand are great and fun. disappointing soundtrack
graphics: 3/5 music: 2.5/5 story: 5/5 gameplay: 3/5 value: 5/5 overall: 8/10

sometimes looks gross due to unreal engine 3 but at other times is impressive even for today (watch the intro). the overworld is kinda weird to control, but the combat is a pretty interesting turn based jrpg. nobou uematsu on the soundtrack wins as usual. good story especially if you are ready to read a bunch of short books on your tv. it's underrated so play it (you will need an xbox 360/ one version (backwards compatible) fixes some stuff like the crazy load times)
graphics: 4/5 music: 5/5 story: 5/5: gameplay: 4.5/5 value: 5/5 overall: 9/10

Mr. Uncompetitive

The future is a clean slate, and you're the chalk!
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I have been playing Super R-Type for the SNES recently. It's a super fun but challenging and unforgiving game. Give it a try if you like old school arcade-style shooters! It's got a great soundtrack as well.

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Ooh if you're liking Super R-Type, you should check out Thunder Force IV, aka Lightening Force. I beat it recently and it's pretty much as good as it gets in terms of 16-bit space shooters (the Genesis is generally considered way better for shmups than the SNES :p). The fast-paced action, memorable setpieces, great spritework, surprisingly good sound design, and MOST IMPORTANTLY ITS SOUNDTRACK IS SO GOOD, literally just watch this if you need convincing to play the game (note that the player is using cheats, but this game is pretty damn hard tbf lol). I unfortunately haven't/didn't get around to doing a full write-up on it, but seriously, go play it, it's a damn good game.


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I am late as always, but after going up and down the wall deciding, here are my 9 games that "defined" me. I did this taking into account Martin's comment that they represent how my tastes and personality have been shaped, and not necessarily my favorite games. It is in order of when I played them, generally. I did a hard "one per franchise" rule, but they are in order of when I played that specific game, not when I got into the franchise.

Star Fox 64: This is extremely nostalgic for me, as it very well might have been the first video game I ever played. It has pretty much endless replayability as to this day, I keep coming back to it and keep on trying to beat my highest score. It's kind of sad what happened to the Star Fox franchise after this, but I've found this game just endlessly compelling and with a very rich lore from supplemental material, with that Pokemon-level of "just enough" worldbuilding to be the perfect sandbox for fan creation. Memes are good too.

Diddy Kong Racing: This one is not necessarily one of my favorite games or one I even played that much. But like Star Fox, it was one of the first games I ever played as a kid, every time I visited my uncle's house. And it has defined me in one forever inseparable way: it gave me my username. The music in this game is just incredible.

StarCraft: Brood War: One of the most notoriously difficult and high barrier-to-entry games ever. So it was very lucky for 5-year-old me that the game came with built-in cheats to basically make you invincible, produce units instantly, have endless resources, and see the entire map. One of the first games with a heavy story focus and brilliant sci-fi writing that I've learned to appreciate more and more as I've grown. This is a game that has stuck with my basically my whole life. I was too young to ever be actually good at this game as a kid, so I didn't play multiplayer at all (man, it would be cool to have experienced dial-up multiplayer though), but I did when StarCraft II dropped years later. StarCraft II ended up taking a huge shit on the lore but I at least was able to enjoy multplayer and eSports for the short while that it was on top, and it was actually my main community before coming to Smogon. Though I don't really look back at it too fondly because of the toxicity. Sarah Kerrigan was one of my earliest crushes too, especially after infested. I think that may have messed me up somehow.

Halo 2: I was a Halo kid like most people my age. Basically, I enjoyed it for the same reasons that I enjoyed StarCraft, and this game made me a fan of shooters in general. This is another game where I got deep into the lore and read the books and such. Fun times eating the classic Burger King nuggets and reading only the Covenant scenes in "The Flood" lol. I started on Halo 1, but Halo 2 was always my favorite of the series. I had it for PC but it was only for Windows Vista, meaning once I upgraded my PC it no longer worked. But I'm excited that it's finally on Steam, and I look forward to finally being able to play Halo 3 all the way through once that drops. I've been so patient for 13 years.

The Battle for Wesnoth: A Tolkien-esque turn-based open-sourced indie strategy game. This one has a lot of bittersweet memories for me, so I really thought about not including it here, but it just has defined me so much that I have to. In middle school, I was heavily involved in the user-made content side of this game's community, where I met a lot of cool people (including Smogon/Pokemon Showdown's very own Zarel!) but it was also where I learned a lot of harsh truths firsthand, like the reality of online harassment and how cruel people can be. So it has been tainted for me a little, though it helped me grow in a lot of good ways; I modeled my own "good cop" moderating style here on a moderator I knew there.

Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django: A lesser known Kojima production. Though it does have a Solid Snake cameo in it! I first discovered this series through the various crossovers it had with Mega Man Battle Network. I don't talk about it much but Boktai is hands down my favorite..."thing"? Not only my favorite video game series, but my favorite...let's say, work of fiction or even piece of art ever. It has engaging puzzles and gameplay and amazing music (my favorite composer, Norihiko Hibino) but I think my favorite aspect is the lore and mythology of the world. The player is basically thrown into a world and story with minimal cast where everything important has basically already happened. The past is hinted at, sometimes explained, but never shown. The best comparison I can think of is imagine if A New Hope was the only Star Wars that existed. No prequels or sequels filling in who the Emperor is, what the "Clone Wars" actually were, what Jabba the Hutt looks like, where the Empire came from, why Darth Vader is in a suit, how the Force works, etc. All the ways this drives your imagination wild. I spent years of my life joyfully constructing the timeline and theorizing the internal rules of the world with my friends.

Like most though, what makes this my favorite is just perfect nostalgic timing. I got it in 4th grade, and still have fond memories of my mom sitting at the kitchen table calling up every game store listed in the phone book in order to get it for me by Christmas. Then I started to get onto the internet more and made friends through a fansite; they were all much older than I was (I was a COPPA-ignorant pre-teen, they were all late teens and early 20s) so they basically raised me in a way. And we're still friends to this day. So it really means a lot to me. And it is what got me into the various things that inspired it, like Western films, Jazz, Norse Mythology, and Gothic literature. Those close to me know I am like, REALLY into those things, so now they know why.

Metroid: Zero Mission: Hmm...I'm seeing a sci-fi pattern here, lol. Metroid was my second favorite game franchise growing up. I possibly found it similarly fascinating how Metroid Zero Mission hints at a backstory without ever spelling it out (though eventually it is explained in various manga and other games in the series), and I found the universe of this series so interesting. It's one of the fictional universes I'd actually want to live in (most video game universes are too dangerous lol). The bonus ending art depicting all of these various cyberpunk cities that Samus visits always looked so fascinating to me.

Of course there is a lot of nostalgia for this one as well. As a 5th grader who was forced to go to South Korea with my parents and was too young and close-minded to want to try anything, I ended up just playing this game most of the time instead. At school, my friends and I would argue every lunch whether Samus or Mega Man was better based on one having powers the other didn't. And they joked that I cried out for Samus in my sleep. Good times.

Pokemon SoulSilver: FireRed was my first Pokemon game, and one I have a lot of nostalgia for but...I think in the long run, SoulSilver is the one that had the deeper impact on me. I quit Pokemon after Diamond and Pearl, and thought Gen 5 looked horrible (looking back, I think it was the last truly great Pokemon generation). But in July 2012, I decided to get SoulSilver, and it made Pokemon take over my life again. I played this game basically every day that Summer and I just get filled with such nostalgia thinking back to it. I loved having all of the phone numbers of the gym leaders and that I could call them whenever I wanted; it was like I had actual friends! Little things like that and their availability and locations changing on days of the week made this a rich game I could really just self-insert into.

At the time, I had just left the StarCraft II community, and was looking for a new one to join. I had dabbled in Yu-Gi-Oh a bit that summer as well, and thought about joining that community, but in the end, this game led me to Smogon which definitely changed my life completely. That connection I think puts SoulSilver over FireRed for me.

Mega Man Zero 4: This one I have a weird relationship to as it is almost a simulacrum of nostalgia for me. Mega Man is notoriously split up into several subfranchises, and so while I grew up knowing Battle Network, I didn't know anything about the classic series, X series, Zero series, or Legends series. But I always heard bits and pieces of it because like 90% of people I know did grow up with these games. It was like the video game equivalent of Harry Potter; something as a kid growing up in the 2000s I couldn't avoid seeing and hearing about everywhere even if I didn't read it myself. All of my roommates grew up with it, my cousin and brother grew up with it, hell, even new people I meet tell me "oh yeah, of course I grew up playing Mega Man Zero!"

So when the Zero/ZX Legacy Collection was announced last year, and most importantly included an easy mode, I was really excited to finally be able to play the games and kinda "fill in the blank" of my childhood, so to speak. Amazingly enough, it worked. It has only been 3 months since the game dropped but it has already affected me enough to be included on this list (you can even tell by my current avatar, which is Zero at the time of writing this). After playing it, it was like I had been a fan for my entire life. I ended up playing the 8 main Mega Man X games as well afterward. This position really stands in for the entire Zero, ZX, and X series. I put Zero 4 here because out of the 14 games I played, it is by far my favorite, and I found the story in MMZ to be surprisingly emotionally deep with some serious heady sci-fi themes.

I'm a flake so I have to put three honorable mentions and why they got cut:
Super Smash Bros (in general): Stop me if you've heard this one before: I got into it because my friends and family played it and I liked that I could use my favorite character from my favorite franchise. Then later on, I started to appreciate the competitive aspects of it more. I feel like just by the nature of the game, everyone has the same story for this. Doesn't make it any less true or significant to my life, but as strapped for slots as I was, I decided to go with things a little more unique to me.

Final Fantasy VII: Played it for the first time last July and loved it and got deep into it. I ended up reading both of the books, watching the movie, learning to play the music from it. Really worth the hype. My entry for this would basically be word for word the same as the one for Mega Man Zero 4, except that I knew fewer people who grew up playing FF7 than MMZ.

Mega Man Battle Network 5: Had this one in the list but eventually cut it because well...I realized that despite being a huge fan of this universe, most of my exposure to it was through the anime and especially the manga, not so much the games. I realized I never actually even owned any of the games. My brother had BN5 though, so I played it a lot, which made it my favorite in the series by default. And I think Zero 4 can stand in for this franchise as a whole, even though it's a different subfranchise.


Shawty's like a melody in my head
is a Live Chat Contributor

***the orange box is all the same game
i would play any of these games right now besides destiny since you can't play it anymore the way it was when i liked it

Blue Dragon (Xbox 360): asides from some pokemons the best jrpg in terms of gameplay from what i have played (mario & luigi and paper mario are up there too). the whole game plays well and there are basically never any parts that are especially boring or annoying to get through. the graphics and soundtrack are both great too which helps. also there are some parts of the world that are really cool even if the story is pretty lame overall. i've played it multiple times and i will do it again
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U): the first monster hunter game i ever all started when i played the 3u demo on 3ds and while fighting lagombi 10 times with long sword i realized this game is sick. then i got into the game on wii u and had no idea what was going on for like 70 hours but was still having fun and made it to g rank by being carried online. then i realized what you are actually supposed to do in this game and it became even more fun (but it was annoying fixing all the dumb stuff i was doing before i had my revelation). this series is the series i can play longest without any breaks and not get bored. its also arguably the best monster hunter mechanically since after this they started adding a lot of stuff that were mostly dumb gimmicks (4u and generations are still good for other reasons, though).
Super Smash Bros. Melee (Gamecube): my favorite local multiplayer game. cool roster (even if its 70% meme characters) and the game is deep enough to almost never get boring, unless ur opponent sucks. also the single player stuff is surprisingly good and the soundtrack/graphics are godlike
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch): the best game ever made. i can't think of any flaw of this game (that i care about!!!) besides ones that are due to it being on the switch/wii u. after 2016 i was getting tired of video games and then i played this and for some reason i realized video games are cool again so its on the list.
Pokémon Emerald Version (Gameboy Advance): the best pokemon game ever made...looks good, great soundtrack, doesn't lag all the time and is 60fps, campaign is the most replayable and good, and the battle factory is super good. really the only problem is that they went too hard with the new pokemon so you miss out on a lot of gen 1 and 2 stuff
Shenmue 1 & 2 (Xbox One): i never played the original version but this came out 20 years ago and its still amazing. probably my favorite world in any video game. the huge budget for the original is very obvious and also used well. the gameplay is also pretty good considering what this was running on and when it came out. soundtrack is highly good too. this remaster is worse than i could have been but the patches to it have at least made the game playable and function normally as far as i could tell
Destiny (Xbox One): i played this through the start of year 2. once year 2 started i noticed how they made the raid weapons' stats randomized so you have to grind 10x more and after a bunch of attempts to beat the raid with randoms i decided i was done with the game. before that i had a kinda good time building up my 3 characters from each. i basically had everything before year 2 started and they decided all year 1 items are garbage now (and i think they changed their mind again after i quit). i played it with some cool people and the things you do to grind are pretty good for a grinding game so i stuck around for a while. it also helped that the game played and looked well. a lot of the mission design was straight trash though. overall this was a bad game and i dont like bungie anymore but i played it a lot and now i don't play any games of this type...i stick to single player mmos like monster hunter now
The Orange Box (Xbox 360): 4 amazing games and tf2...not even a good version of it too. portal>hl2>hl2e2>>hl2e1>>>>>tf2 imo. the 4 games are fun 90% of the time, look good, run well, and are short enough that they are fun to replay repeatedly. also the game is an amazing deal which is nice. they are also kinda Pioneers in gaming which is cool too
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Xbox 360): cool world with a lot of fun stuff to do and people to fight, and the fighting in this game is sick. you also can do builds which make the game really replayable since different playstyles are basically completely different. i did nearly everything in this game. i did it all again and also played the dlc later on xbox one and that was pretty good too. the soundtrack and graphics are nice as well. my only real problem is that quests break a lot and the only way to fix it is the unofficial patch which also fixes exploits and turns off achievements which makes me sad
Flipnote Studio: if this was a video game it would be on there. making flipnotes was intuitive as af and the online community part was amazing while it lasted
Hearthstone: similar to Destiny this game sucks...however it looks and sounds good and is popular. i was mostly into collecting stuff so now that i have enough dust and gold to play whenever i feel like coming back i have no motivation to go back. especially since the metagames aren't cool or good and blizzard sucks at balancing
Forza Horizon 4: made me realize racing games with real cars are good and fun. other good ones i like include: dirt rally 2, other forza games
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Paper Mario, Super Mario RPG: all very good jrps that are cool and good and fun but i think Blue Dragon is better so it wins
Dark Souls: if i finished this it would probably be on the is a good game
Xenoblade Chronicles X: another top single player mmo like monster hunter. also the setting, graphics, and soundtrack are all great
Battlefield 4: my top generic multiplayer war shooter. once you have a lot of the unlocks it gets really good. i would play this right now 100%
Halo Reach: the halo i spent the most time in. the gameplay kinda sucks compared to the earlier ones but the campaign and forge stuff were great. also the art style was nice too
Tetris 99: i like tetris and this is my favorite way to play it
Animal Crossing: idk but its good
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Ridley is in Smash
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Martin said no one here couldn't have a Pokemon game and I very slowly rose to the challenge


Frankly put Persona 5 in place of FF7 but I don't want to remake the image

Okami, Clover Studio 2006
Okami is not a game without problems. It loads the player with items that you don’t feel like using (but that can make the game far too easy), battle transitions take the player out of the game, and for the most comparable game to The Legend of Zelda the dungeons leave something to be desired. Having said all that, even after 14 years Okami is still one of the best looking video game ever made (getting HD updates certainly doesn’t hurt). It is proof that art style beats out graphics power any day of the week. Everything looks beautifully painted, which goes great with the fact that painting is one of the main gameplay mechanics. Steven Spielberg once said "I think the real indicator [that games have become a storytelling art form] will be when somebody confesses that they cried at level 17." I cry during the ending of Okami every time.

Final Fantasy 7, Square Product Development Division 1 1997
We always refer to nostalgia as a pair of glasses. So why is it that just hearing Nobuo Uematsu’s musical tracks sends chills down the back of my spine? Final Fantasy has had great games more often than not. I won’t tell others which game is supposed to be their favorite, but I first played FF7 in 2000 several years after the hype. I still loved it for its materia system, which offered endless gameplay options. As an adult, I find that I look at the story in a very different way than I did as a child. Originally a quest of good vs. evil, the story has become a character piece about Cloud. Typecast as an emo “cool guy” by subsequent games, by fans and haters alike, in the original Cloud was really just a loser who gets forced to take up this huge mantle. His personality fractures under the pressure, and the game is about coming to terms with who he really is.

Fate/Stay Night, Type-Moon 2004
Fate/Stay Night is a visual novel that was never brought over to America. It uses video game conventions like death and multiple paths in order to tell its story, so I don’t feel too bad about listing it. Still, if it wasn’t a visual novel it would probably be even higher. FSN is with no exaggeration my favorite story ever. It is an epic tragedy that draws influences from Don Quixote, anime, American Superhero comics, and mythical tales throughout history. All while being as layered as Ulysses and as thorough an exploration of a high concept as humanly possible. I’d go into detail but, have you read the novel? If not, I highly recommend it.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan 2004
Hideo Kojima single handedly made popular stealth action and cinematic storytelling. The novel idea you could play through a video game and be rewarded for being less violent was complemented by solid gameplay and creative boss fights. With the fifth installment in the franchise the story was brought back to solid ground with a different setting and all new characters. To capture the feel of the new wilderness setting, many new systems were created and the development team knocked them all out of the park. I would have never thought it would be so fulfilling to capture and eat snakes, meticulously take care of my wounds, or manage camouflage in varied environments, but everything works well and goes a long way to making the setting believable. The best new sub system was CQC, a complex melee interaction system with opponents. CQC inspired me to play through the game several times using guns as little as possible.

Undertale, Toby Fox 2015
A video game from an alternate universe where console generation seven didn't ruin video games. This was an absolute blast of innovative and fun gameplay, a slam dunk in terms of video game music, and a stupid good story. Undertale has sore shoulders because it genuinely carries the medium as an artform. One of the few video games, few pieces of art that I can say changed my life, as I routinely think about the ethics surrounding my use of power. It is the video game that caused me to stop taking evil paths in video games.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Nintendo EAD 1998
Some people look back at the Playstation/Nintendo 64 generation with disdain. It had come after the Genesis/SNES, the height of 2D gaming, and before the PS2/Gamecube, in my opinion the current height of 3D gaming. However I look back and see the generation for what it was; an exciting new frontier. Each developer was racing towards 3D gaming, and everyone had a different idea for what that meant. Resident Evil and Tomb Raider used tank controls, Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot experimented with different sorts of platforming, and lots of odd games existed, like Tomba, which used multiple 2D planes. The Z-Targeting System made Ocarina of Time one of the most unique adventures ever, and to this day 3D Zelda only really draws comparisons from games in its own series. That isn’t why Ocarina makes this list however. Ocarina includes the best characters in any Zelda game; the temples themselves. Beyond being associated with different elements, geographies, fantasy races, and characters, the temples also each had their own distinct soundtrack and associated melodies from the Ocarina. In music theory we learn that different types of songs are made to elicit different reactions; minuets, boleros, and nocturnes all have very different cultural connotations. I feel each temple also elicits different feelings; the forest temple feels lonely, the water temple maddening, the shadow temple frightening. Some extrapolate as far as to compare the five temples to the five stages of death. I’m certain the designers did not intend this, however when the game is layered with so much symbolism it invites all sorts of interpretation.

Bloodborne, FromSoftware 2015
A lot of people bring up Dark Souls and that's fair. Dark Souls is a hell of an experience and real game in an era full of open world dopamin farms and gambling for children. But I was waiting for the FromSoft game that combined the excellent artistic leanings of Demon's Souls with gameplay that isn't jank as fuck, and Bloodborne is the game I was waiting for. All the magnificent lore and world building you've come to expect, but with gameplay that is actually good.

Resident Evil 4, Capcom Production Studio 4 2005
Shinji Mikami invented survival horror with the release of Resident Evil in 1996. Mostly an executive producer after that point with a few games of mixed reception, Mikami would return to the franchise he created in order to convince Hideki Kamiya to release Devil May Cry (the original RE4) as its own franchise. Resident Evil 4’s connection to DMC probably explains all the work that went into new controls and camera, an emphasis on weapon upgrading that rewarded level exploration, and an abundance of creative enemies to fight. What makes Resident Evil 4 unique to this day is its emphasis on tactical action. Within the first level the player is trained to reinforce the door in a small house with a bookcase. This leads to enemies trying to climb through windows, setting up ladders for alternative entrances, and sending in the chainsaw man (a “siege engine” if you will). This scene is microcosmic of how the rest of the game would play out. “Where are my enemies coming from, how can I use the environment to my advantage, how will my enemies do the same?” The cherry on top? Resident Evil 4 is mostly one big escort mission, a type of gameplay almost universally hated. However, the game handles this so well players are likely to forget this fact. In art academics, it is fallacious to refer to any work as “perfect”. However, Resident Evil 4 is so above its contemporaries that it feels that way.

Shadow of the Colossus, Team Ico 2005
Shadow of the Colossus is one of the most lauded art games of all time. Proponents of video game art often point to its stunning visuals, epic soundtrack, and subtle storytelling. I on the other hand am going to prove the artistic merit of its gameplay. How do you make a game with only boss battles? Two words; stamina and grip. The player is taught about the grip gauge when just dealing with simple ledges. You can only hold on to a surface for a short time before you must let go and regain your strength. This is extrapolated to the first fight against one of the game’s smaller colossus. While the titan tries to shake you off its back, you must learn when to hold on for dear life and when to catch your breath. In a tough and thrilling battle, holding the button down to grip tenses your muscles in real life. Letting go releases that tension, and the brain relaxes you because subconsciously that makes it easier to focus on a task like balancing. In this way, the player and the character sync up in terms of tension and relief. This is thrilling on the smallest colossus, so imagine being on a monster as tall as a skyscraper. Imagine being dragged underwater, or flying through the sky. Or don’t imagine it. You don’t need to, because you can play Shadow of the Colossus and live it.
999, Chunsoft 2009
Ape Escape, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan 1999
Banjo-Kazooie, Rare 1998
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo 1997
Chrono Trigger, Square 1995
Civilization V, Firaxis Games 2010
Dead Rising 2, Blue Castles Games with Capcom 2010
Deus Ex, Ion Storm 2000
Devil May Cry, Capcom 2001
Diablo 2, Blizzard North 2000
Dragon Age: Origins, Bioware Edmonton 2009
Final Fantasy IV, Square 1991
Final Fantasy V, Square 1992
Final Fantasy IX, Square 2000
Final Fantasy X, Square Product Development Division 1 2001
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Square Product Development Division 4 2003
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Rockstar North 2004
Half Life 2, Valve Corporation 2004
King’s Quest VI, Sierra Entertainment 1992
Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan 1998
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan 2001
Metroid Fusion, Nintendo R&D1 2002
Metroid Prime, Retro Studios 2002
Papers, Please, 3909 LLC 2013
Persona 5, P-Studio 2016
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, Capcom 2004
Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar San Diego 2010
Resident Evil, Capcom Production Studio 4 2002
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Capcom 1999
Skies of Arcadia, Overworks 2000
Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Sonic Team 1994
Starcraft, Blizzard Entertainment 1999
Street Fighter Alpha 2, Capcom 1996
Super Mario Galaxy, Nintendo EAD Tokyo 2007
Super Mario World, Nintendo EAD 1990
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Nintendo EAD 1995
Super Smash Bros. Melee, HAL Laboratory 2001
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Nintendo EAD 1991
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Nintendo EAD 2000
The Longest Journey, Funcom 1999
The Sims 3, The Sims Studio 2009
To the Moon, Freebird Games 2011
Tomb Raider: Last Revelation, Core Design 1999
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Since everyone else is posting a mosaic of their favourite games, I figured I'd do the same. I don't really have much of an explanation except that I've enjoyed these games in either my childhood, recently, or both. These are my favourites :)

My Mosaic.jpg


im the best
is a Pre-Contributoris a Past SPL Champion
Ooh if you're liking Super R-Type, you should check out Thunder Force IV, aka Lightening Force. I beat it recently and it's pretty much as good as it gets in terms of 16-bit space shooters (the Genesis is generally considered way better for shmups than the SNES :p). The fast-paced action, memorable setpieces, great spritework, surprisingly good sound design, and MOST IMPORTANTLY ITS SOUNDTRACK IS SO GOOD, literally just watch this if you need convincing to play the game (note that the player is using cheats, but this game is pretty damn hard tbf lol). I unfortunately haven't/didn't get around to doing a full write-up on it, but seriously, go play it, it's a damn good game.
Among 16-bit shmups, I'm partial to Axelay on the SNES. It switches between horizontal/vertical scrolling levels and you can customize your loadout as you advance stages and earn new weapons.

The Battle for Wesnoth
My man. :blobthumbsup:


Banned deucer.
any eu4 fans here? regardless of the answer youll have to indulge my post. thought id commemorate my two playthroughs in the last 3 months, and probably put one down as failed before 1.30 comes out next week which is going to shake things up a lot - im interested in what others did in 1.29 or think of 1.30 as well

warning i think the pictures are big

I usually base runs around achievments - this time i was going for basileus (restore Byzantiums borders) and redecorating (convert Rome to orthodox). but i think any good run tells a story better than that. In this game, i was essentially playing austria as byzantium - i got the habsburg dynasty through the AEIOU event, which quite conveniantly, was already on the spanish and burgundian thrones as well. i then spread the dynasty to russia and pulled all 4 into the fold through claiming throne and installing union (no freebies unfortunately). getting spain allowed me to get another achievment pretty easily by owning all 3 'Georgias'. honestly byzantium was not as hard as people make them out to be... i never felt threatened after beating the ottomans for the first time and that war isnt particularly difficult utilising the straits (had to fight them which got a bit sketchy in my initial war but got a stackwipe using skanderbeg and the boat in --> out trick). once youve got greece, allying a major (i got hungary austria and muscovy / russia) becomes significantly easier and any threat from venice / ottomans is neglible - mamluks went into the ottomans soon after they floundered in my war and returned cores + released nations leaving anatolia as easy clay. i think byzantium will actually get significantly easier in 1.30 - ottomans won't have a level 3 fort anymore, you start with an extra province and you can potentially rival epirus and go into them straight after the ottomans war for a nice humilate early game

I probably could have pushed this playthrough a lot harder in terms of expanding - but i didnt get some of the unions until very late (didnt get a chance on russia until 1770 and burgundy wasnt much earler iirc...) and mainly mucked around fighting a super prussia that had formed for most of the lategame

This playthrough is really annoying - a lot of things i wanted to break my way didnt happen making it more frustrating to complete my campaign objectives (chiefly convert the entire islamic world to Ibadi). Biggest gripes are:
  • Mamluks colonising (this is the worst - have to keep taking crappy 3 dev islands in the pacific instead of egypt, will have to convert their colonial nations, super annoying island hopping combat through indonesia)
  • Complete collapse of Eastern Europe - i thought if i boxed the ottomans out from the levant + egypt they wouldnt be strong enough to take on poland-lithuania let alone russia - but they have completely destroyed the region going further than ive ever seen before, with land in bohemia and austria proper to boot
  • the indian sultanates are converting their land to sunni - leaving aside the fact that vijanagar lost to Bahmanis (formed deccan) which is rare in of itself, i think this is the first time ive seen bengal and delhi convert their hindu provinces - creating a fair chunk of more work

I did get somewhat lucky with timurids collapsing i guess? but that happens way more than it doesnt in 1.29. I still have a century and only just hit nationalism / imperialism casus belli so i think im in a good spot to finish the run but i definitely wont have time to play before 1.30 hits. If you want to play oman i strongly reccomend going above force limit with mercs to smash hormuz when they go into their first war (they went into haasa straight away in my run) - i was able to get most of my cores back, pay off significant amount of my loans and most importantly take hormuz - this is definitely the best province in the area and increases your income significiantly (i used it for developing the rennaisance). Religious --> exploration ideas are the play - religious asap is a no brainer for a playthrough like this and exploration is awesome for getting access to indonesian clay so much earlier (importantly before the europeans) - you can divvy up aggressive expansion much easier between arabia and indonesia and the indonesian territory is extremely rich. I was making 350~ ducats from trade alone at 1700 through liberal use of light ships guiding indonesian trade into persia. I don't know if ill finish this run - too many things i want to try in 1.30 and the frustrations outlined above are less likely to occur when the update hits (most noticeably mamluks are far less likely to take colonising ideas)

If anyone else plays and says i should have culture swapped to persian to form mughals - i also want to get the arabian coffee achievment this run and as an aside i dont really like the gamey nature of culture swapping to use imperialism better or form stronger tags unnaturally - i think it ruins immersion

Looking towards 1.30 and emperor dlc theres a lot of nations that have piqued my interest. I think either Austria or hungary will be my first playthrough - both being Holy roman empire ones. the changes to the empire more broadly mean ill definitely be playing my first game on 1.30 somewhere in the area. Hungary gets ... 4? Personal union missions in its new tree and i want to be positioned towards the balkans for new hre - i think adding all the crusader states, corfu and even bosnia will be key to getting an early revoke in the next patch rather than going into scandinavia / hungary. Austria is going to be rediculous imo - theyre already the nation with arguably the most potential in the game and the changes in their missions and modifiers seem to have only added to that (im suprised they didnt remove the potential for Bohemian union start)
Definitely excited for the upcoming Minecraft Dungeons game since it's gonna be not so much about crafting as exploring the dungeons and such. Sounds really promising and might get me into Minecraft series :D been hesitating because of the crafting aspect since it seems to be detailed and you gotta know a lot
Definitely excited for the upcoming Minecraft Dungeons game since it's gonna be not so much about crafting as exploring the dungeons and such. Sounds really promising and might get me into Minecraft series :D been hesitating because of the crafting aspect since it seems to be detailed and you gotta know a lot
Minecraft is not very complicated, and any crafting recipes you might have trouble with can easily be searched up, I've played for a while and still don't know some off the top of my head, but once you can get the basic ones down it can be pretty fun. I think dungeons is a good start for those who haven't played before though!
Not to mantion that right now you can craft items even without the exact recipy, just with a click on that "green book" during the crafting. Speaking of Minecraft, I'm very happy to see that this game still has a very huge playerbase. I think it is a complete game, where you can do basically everythihg, with no particular rules and infinite replayability. Also, the huge quantity of mods that are around on Internet, make this game richer! One of the best games ever!


is a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
No mosaic here, but the 9 games that have defined me so far would be:

Pokemon Crystal - Probably wouldn’t be on this website and may not have played any of these other games without it.
F1 2005 - Began my love of racing games, following directly from my love of auto racing.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl/Mario Kart Wii - I had played the previous Smash and Mario Kart games at friends houses and enjoyed them at the time I guess, but until I finally had my own console to play the series with I didn’t fully appreciate them. Around the time I started to branch out from Pokemon alone.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky - My favourite game from my favourite console. The story, the gameplay, the peak of PMD.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - My first real experience with a FPS, though mainly through countless replays of the campaign mode.
NBA 2K11 - My first foray into basketball came via this game, which has led to obsession with the sport itself.
Splatoon 2 - The game which introduced me to the Switch (my 2nd favourite console, just!) and reintroduced me into online multiplayer (outside of Pokemon). I’ll still spend a few hours every week splatting unlucky opponents.
Celeste - A wonderful platformer with an amazing story which will touch anybody who has been through mental illness.


Banned deucer.
i watched the ps5 launch livestream for like 45 minutes and saw maybe fifty combined seconds of gameplay footage
howdy, been playing little if anything at all. no time, oof! hopefully will get better in the next few months. manage my kotz: awakening account during the day when I can.

been watching dota videos lately and feeling the need to scratch that itch, but i really shouldn't hahah.


im the best
is a Pre-Contributoris a Past SPL Champion
18 days to a year later, I've finally put Etrian Odyssey Nexus to rest. It's amazing how quickly you can progress when you actually sit down and play your games. Time to probably never touch my 3DS again. :mehowth:

Postgame was a huge difficulty spike. The back end of the main game is easy as dirt, largely because it's nigh-impossible to not overlevel unless you go out of your way to give excess quest XP to a second party, and I intentionally didn't even buy postgame gear. The moment you enter the main postgame dungeon, even with said postgame gear, you're immediately assaulted by tough as nails randos that I had to blow Force Breaks or pray for lucky Escapes a couple times to avoid a Game Over. (I think they did kill me once during ambush too but I forget.) Easy level grinding once you figure out where to go to do it, at least.

The two side mazes weren't very difficult, nor the static world map bosses. Teleport maze and ice puzzle, respectively, but they weren't much to speak of. The FOE puzzles in the main dungeon were probably interesting if I bothered to obey them instead of slaughtering everything, though. But boy oh boy is the roaming world map FOE utter BULLSHIT. I can't even say "cheesing" it is the only answer because it's not really cheese if it's intended, there's no other way to beat it. The postgame dungeon boss and true final boss were both tough but at least somewhat fair.

The exact type of game you expect, although it wasn't as difficult overall as one might expect of the series' reputation but that might be for the best considering the mediocre class balance. Some pretty sick rock music in the soundtrack.

Yung Dramps

awesome gaming
Gotta be honest, I'm really confused and disheartened at the audience reaction to the Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory reveal. Everybody's like "ugghhh more lore guess I'll buy it for the plot" meanwhile I'm just like "YO HOLY SHIT THEY TOOK GODDESS-QUEEN SHIMOMURA'S SACRED SONGS AND PUT EM IN A FUCKING RHYTHM GAME?! THAT'S THE GOOD SHIT THAT IS. THE. GOOD. SHIT GIVE IT TO ME GIVE IT NOW NOW NOW LIKE ON GOD THEY PUT RAGE AWAKENED AND THE OTHER PROMISE IN THIS MFER"
Desperados III released yesterday and it's my favorite game that released this year so far. I have also loved Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun from the same studio that released in 2016. It's a shame that the genre is dead, because it's been one of my favorites ever since I discovered Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines when I was a kid.

I'm going through my 3rd playthrough of Disco Elysium as well, and the game is absolutely a masterpiece. Probably one of the best games that came out in recent years.

Other random games I have played recently include Doom Eternal (amazing game), Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (which got extremely boring around 26 hours in and I gave up on it), Watch_Dogs 2 (highly recommended), and Sleeping Dogs (also highly recommended).
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