SparkiJ’s Top Ten Compilations – Part 3: Top Ten Games to Play Before You Kick It..
September 10, 2008 § 2 Comments
Firstly, have to say apologies. With the recent return to full time education and being swamped with work as well as sport, social life and sleep. I found little times for anything video game. Okay that’s a lie! Any precious time I do have I spend on trying to get the Foxhound ranking on Metal Gear Solid 4 and it’s pretty freaking difficult.
This is the final part to my top ten compilations and is probably the most important in terms of offering opinions as I’m basically telling you what you should be playing but I hope you feel it’s a fair. Hey, I loved all of these games but for a rule of thumb please notice out of certain series I’ll only pick out one game from it so it’s fair, otherwise you would be seeing an array of Ratchet and Clanks and probably Lumines.
10. Silent Hill 2 – This is odd to me. The thing is I remember playing through this game when I was 9 or 10 I think with a friend and we were both on the edge of our seats. Notice this is the only survival horror game I’ve played through start to finish so there could be Resident Evil’s better than this. What this game does offer you is a gripping storyline and decent protagonist in James Sunderland because of the fact that the game makes it clear that he is mortal just like you. The highlight of the game for me however is the sound. If you play through it without sound I don’t think you’re likely to be that tense or jumpy at some parts. The monsters and the background music to Silent Hill is fantastically done just like the influential strings scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, Psycho. Level design and maps work fantastically well except some of the item collecting hunts get repetitive. As my only survival horror game, this is an easy recommendation for me.
9. Super Smash Bros. – Now who said that the Clockwork Manual was biased eh? Set the scene, four people in a shed with an N64. It’s Sunday morning we’re all tired and hungover and suddenly you hear the Smash Bros. melody. Everyone wants to play and everyone does. The variation in characters and style plays a huge part in this which is why it’s such an amazing game. Mixing in the mechanics of a platformer and beat em up, Smash Bros. is the N64 game to play. Why? It doesn’t take itself seriously at all and it’s just fun for all. It’s where Nintendo have excelled. Take away shiny high-def graphics and pointless AI conversations, you have good family fun for all. Where else will you see Pikachu beating up Kirby on Fox’s starship whilst Donkey Kong’s spinning around in the corner?
8. Lumines – This is the game that you need. The game that won’t let you down and that if you like it you won’t get bored of it ever. You won’t understand until you play Lumines. A lot of people get frustrated with it and hate it but that’s fair enough. However if you enjoy playing it, you’ll see yourself getting better and better until your dreams contain cubes. Lumines is a new age “Tetris” like game where instead of clearing lines you clear blocks of 2 by 2 squares. Each similar square gets cleared by a passing cursor and you must keep clearing them in weird and wonderful ways such as turning and cutting them to make squares. That’s not all. The squares change in pattern as does the backdrop and music creating a wonderful variety in gameplay. It’s a case of if you like it, you can always go back to it but if you don’t, you’re stupid :|.
7. Devil May Cry – The best game of the series in my opinion. Everything about it fit so well. The story, graphics, level design and especially the stylish gameplay. The tricky combos give you a real sense of a satisfaction when you’re slashing up an enemy as does the fact that each boss requires skill and practice in controlling Dante to finish off. Also come on. You play as Dante in his prime. One of the coolest protagonists there is EVAR. Although now the graphics can’t compare to the beauty of the 4th installment, Devil May Cry polishes up each area well adding in variation and nice effects without it looking like complete piss.
6. God of War – Look at what I said about Devil May Cry. Copy and paste that, changing Dante for Kratos here and also note that the graphics, sound and storytelling is better for God of War. In fact God of War should be higher up actually… Kratos is a heartless mercenary soldier and travels around to kill the God of War. Puzzles are sometimes on the easy side but combat is amazing. Each new dungeon will offer different kinds of gameplay mechanics and as I said if you’re a fan of the all action titles, God of War will not disappoint. When I first bought it I expected a generic brutality hack ‘n’ slash. By all means, throw pre-conceptions out of the window because God of War’s story starts off with Kratos commiting suicide. If you haven’t played it and now you’re interested then I beg of you to buy it. David Jaffe will make you enjoy the bloodbath.
5. Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 – Nintendo what happened to you? You used to be cool… Yoshi’s Island is an amazing platformer. There are no other ways to describe it, it’s beautiful. You play as Yoshi looking after a baby Mario and instead of having health you have a time limit. Let me explain, everytime you get hit by an enemy you drop the baby Mario and you must reclaim him before a certain period of time passes. Not only is this a unique way of displaying health, it adds an interesting dimension to your gameplay aspects, looking after a baby. The levels and worlds are all wonderfully different and the enemy design will shame even that of Patapon. The one thing lacking however is a story and you just play through it not really caring much about the lack of it. It’s still fucking awesome and will clock up over a day of your life.
4. Ratchet and Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal – I wish all platformers were like this. Ratchet and Clank 3 is Ratchet and Clank 2’s polished combat with shinier graphics, more planets and bigger guns. Insomniac have grasped onto the fact that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and so stuck with this winning formula for rocket launchers destroying frogs. On top of all of that it adds replayability in the trophy system and also a game console mini game which is surprisingly fun. What’s great is that everything links into the story to a tee and you’re not given a cock slap ending. As far as I’m concerned, Ratchet and Clank finished here and I’m awaiting the next decent installment.
3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – This for me is the transition game into the 7th generation of gaming. So far the only FPS that has put me in the body and mind of the protagonist and made me think, act and shoot like how you play. Campaign is a little on the short side but you cover so much you only realise this as you finish it. Now the graphics, are beautiful, covering a generic unnamed middle eastern country to the forests and wastelands of Russia. Not only does all this offer exciting gameplay, mechanics you’ve never seen before are introduced through the story as well as a true attachment to the protagonist by the end. The multiplayer? Biggest and best community of gamers in the world without a doubt and offers the customization and variety that all online games should be aiming for. Awesome.
2. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – Tactical. Action. Espionage. Intense use of sneaking tactics and soldier warfare makes this game feel like your mission and your time. Its the cold war and suddenly your thrown into the midst of it to do the clean up work. There’s no blasting your way through like MGS4 nor the shop for your use anytime you want. Everything you pick up is of use to you and your on your own even when it gets down to treating your own wounds. Yes it’s a hardcore game and yes the story will drag on for those that aren’t really interested but the dramatic cinematic storytelling is gripping if you sit and take it all in. Play this as your first Metal Gear and then you’re thrown into a kind of gameplay that you’ve never experienced before and trust me it won’t hold your hand through it. Even on easy you will need to be and think like Naked Snake.
1. Final Fantasy VII – No surprises there! I’ll try and keep this short because I could write about this game all day. Final Fantasy VII was my childhood game and basically it got me into RPGs. As I grew up, my expectations of a emotive storyline and original characters were very high and were never quite matched. Graphics got better and cutscenes became more detailed but I could never feel for Cloud like I did as I played through FF7. Why though? My main focus will be on the story which all RPGs need. The storyline mixes in problems with fighting with yourself and isolation as well as preserving the planet from the capitalist corporations. It unites the people of the world Gaia very world with a very satisfying magical feel. Each character has a fantastic original background behind them and the side quests and hidden items are a real treat to get for the more hardcore FF7 fans. There’s a huge variety in magic and attack which means everything must be done strategically when fighting monsters and also introduced the “Materia” system of magic which I maintain as the best kind of customisation in magic I’ve ever seen in a Final Fantasy. If you like RPGs and detailed storylines this is the game for you. If you like RPGs, you’ll love this. And if you have respect for gaming as a whole, you can do a hell of a lot worse than Final Fantasy VII. Let’s hope XIII and XIII Versus blow me away too.