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Video Game Rankdown Pt. 2

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46. Journey (PS3; 2012)

 

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Journey is the most brilliant game ever. There is an indescribable magic about this game that is so impactful. In just three hours, the game not only changes your entire perception of what is capable through video games as an art medium, but carries you on a journey of emotional exploration that shows you just how small one being may feel in a seemingly big world. Journey is a game that forces you to lose yourself for a short period of time, and asks you to take a wordless journey to a distant mountain. On that trek, the robed figure that you navigate through this wondrous desert uncovers secrets buried in the sands and encounters harrowing obstacles from a world left behind. There is not much more I am willing to say about the plot or gameplay, for fear of ruining what can be a truly magical three hours for anybody that decides to play this magnificent piece of art in the future. However, I will say that the most beautiful aspect of the game is the way in which you meet other players embarking on the same journey as yourself, and though you may not be able to communicate with anything more than musical chimes, there is the wonderful sense of community that exists in the game. You are able to help others not heir own journey, and they may help you in return. There is no direct instruction, there is no verbal communication, but there is this silent hope that you both will help each other along, and the reward of the game is learning just who helped you along the way.

 

The theory behind the development of the game is minimalistic in its approach. Game developers emulated a Japanese garden, in which every part that does not cohesively fit with the others is removed. The typical fight-kill-win mentality was stripped away from this game in order to create a unique experience that instead relies on emotion to drive the gameplay and narrative. Everything about the game feel instinctual, and there are no instructions provided, which makes every decision made in this game personal and human.This is why meeting other journeyers along the way is such a special encounter. There is no forcing you to interact with others, and there is no ability to fight them or compete with them. Journey instead asks you to help your fellow players and find the positive side of humanity. All potential biases are stripped away by removing tasks, usernames, character design, and communication options. 

 

Then the music. The best video game soundtrack ever composed or orchestrated. Austin Wintory created something so magical. There is a whole extraordinary piece that I could write about this soundtrack. But I suggest you play the game and listen to how meaningful the music is, and see just how linked the music is to your own specific journey. if you don't believe me, the soundtrack was actually nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. The first video game to ever be nominated for this category.

 

Journey is widely considered one of the greatest games ever made. The game is breathtaking, dynamic, and emotional. It's truly a magical experience that even an infinite amount of words could do no justice. Play this game. Thank you for bringing it to the finals Nico.

 

 

On 2/9/2020 at 6:46 PM, NGM said:

I wish my write up could just be “This game is beyond stunning in every sense. Please give it a try”. But that would be a disservice to how immersive and detailed Journey is. You control a non-descript robbed figure (as non-descript as anything in this game manages to be lol they made a desert that makes you want to lose yourself in one for real) and start your way to a distant mountain. The game is completely void of dialogue, instead playing up how rich and sublime its score is. And that’s personally what made Journey such an experience for me. The music reacts to your actions, building and ebbing depending on your actions. And the simplicity of its story (well, it’s not really simple, it’s just told in such a matter-of-fact manner through images) complements and allows the gameplay and music to shine even more brightly. And the final element that made the game so brilliant: the ability to come across other players. You still can’t communicate in a traditional sense (there are some wordless singing you can use), but you can help and support each other, and the usernames of the players that went with you on this adventure are shown during the credits. I can’t even begin to comprehend how you can come up with such a simple yet effective idea, more of this in any game.

 

 

I will leave the score of the game here, and really, if you have 3 hours to spare, give it a chance, you won’t regret it.

 

 

On 2/9/2020 at 5:48 PM, totes4totes said:

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It's not surprising that Nico a fan of this game considering how highly he rates both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Aside from the fact that he has mostly good taste. They are all moody games with minimal dialogue and an emotional story. LOL. But anyway, first released on the PS3 in 2012 (then on the PS4 in 2015), Journey is an indie adventure game developed by Thatgamecompany. In Journey you play as a wanderer who is headed towards a mountain. During the game you can encounter other players but you cannot speak to them, the only form of communication you have is a musical chime. And that meeting will help activate the scarves the characters wear. They can help you finish levels and if you finish a level with another character you will move on with them. The game was designed to make you feel small and give you a sense of wonder. And interacting with the players without speaking to them helps you create a connection to players as you traverse through levels. The entire game can be beaten in less than 3 hours. So it's a game to play if you have an afternoon to yourself. 

 

Journey was highly acclaimed when it came out being nominated for several awards and even rates as one of the best PS3 games of all time. It's music was especially recognized as being incredible and so here's the soundtrack. 

 

 

Like I said, Journey is designed to be a game you can play in 2-3 hours. If you have a PS3 or PS4 I'd give it a shot. It's a really great game and doesn't involve a lot of investment time or money wise to play.

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45. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (multi-platform; 2015)

 

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is easily one of the best action-adventure titles ever. The game is considered one of the best of all-time and I can definitely see why so many feel that way about the third entry in this famous series. By no means is The Witcher 3 a revolutionary game. The Witcher 3 is not incredibly unique in its gameplay, nor is the game redefining the action-adventure genre. But what The Witcher 3 does, it does perfectly. The game is immersive, ambitious, and grand on a scale that most action-adventure games simply are not, which is why this title is so universally loved by most. The attention to and amount of detail is almost overwhelming, but this also allows The Witcher 3 to feel like a massive opportunity for exploration, quests, and excitement. Every inch of the massive world is used so effectively, the game really can be endless if you want it to be. The game fully envelopes you in the fantasy world of the Continent as you embody the always badass Gerald of Rivia. Everything about this game and the game world is dripping in authenticity, which is hard to say for most action-adventure games. 

 

The Witcher 3 is also a notch above most action-adventure games for giving the players a ton of influence over the course of the game. The consequential actions gameplay is a major source of praise from critics and players both, involving the players in the narrative and giving them the power to control the state of the world via actions taken in the main quests and side quests. Gerald is a far more fleshed out character in this game, which is another reason why this title is so successful. Voice acting is solid. Awesome combat system that is far more accessible than previous entries in the series. The action is very fluid in this game, which is great. I will say that the combat is not always super innovative or polished, but the game is always fun. 

 

My complaints of the game: women are hyper sexualized, loading time is too long because of the stunning visuals/graphics, really lengthy. But those issues are pretty small in the grand scheme of things. The game is massively, massively successful both commercially and critically. Hell, the success of this game spawned a Netflix Original Series. The amount of awards received by this game is huge. 

 

Just a super well-designed game in every aspect. Like I said, not revolutionary. But just so well-done and truly ambitious. A solid entry for the finals.

 

On 2/9/2020 at 6:09 PM, totes4totes said:

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I'll admit that I have not finished Witcher 3. That's mostly because it's a very long game and I took a long break because I very stupidly could not figure out how to climb a ladder, felt dumb, then I turned off the game and played all of Dragon Age: Inquisition, Persona 5, Breath of the Wild, Tomb Raider, and Fallout 4 in the meantime. Among other games. Only when it came out on Switch did I jump back into this game (on my XBox) and honestly, I should probably get it on Switch because my TV can't appreciate the stunning visuals anyway (I am a grad student, my TV is like 12 years old, 4K didn't even exist then). 

 

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However, what I have played has impressed me quite a bit. The game was developed by CD Projekt Red and released for consoles/PC in 2015. It's the sequel to the first two Witcher games, though you really don't have to play either of those games to appreciate and understand the story of this one. Trust me. I didn't play either of Witcher or Witcher 2. You play as Geralt, a witcher, on a quest to look for his adopted daughter who is on the run from the Wild Hunt. You fight enemies with magic and weapons. 

 

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I'm not going to explain too much of the plot because I am still working my way through the game and I don't want to spoil myself, but you can tell a lot of work went into developing the story and characters in this game. While it is a staple of a lot of Western RPGs these days to have multiple endings, according to Wikipedia, Witcher 3 has 36 endings all determined by the choices you make in game. That's actually really cool I feel because it gives the game a lot of replayability (though I will probably never replay it because again it's long and I don't have as much time as I used to!) and it also shows a lot of thought on how your choices impact all the major characters in the game.

 

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The game is not only praised for its story and characters but also its stunning visuals. While it was released in 2015, it is still one of the most impressive looking games of this console generation. While I think you don't need the visuals to fully appreciate the game (again, my TV doesn't even know what 4K is), if that's your thing then you will probably like it.

 

I will say that CD Projekt Red is known for putting its employees through a lot of crunch (like most major game studios) and you know maybe if this game had come out a year later, employees wouldn't have hated their lives the last 9 months of development. IDK. It's absurd there's no video game employee union. 

 

 

On 2/10/2020 at 3:47 PM, NGM said:

This game kinda stands in the opposite corner of most of the write ups I have had to do for the round. It’s a type of story that has been done a lot in the 2010s: a warrior-like protagonist is on a quest to recover something or someone in a sorta Tolkien-esque world (medieval times, humanoid races, you get the point). And yet, for as expected as it sounds, they do almost everything right in Witcher 3. The world is completely immersive, the core story is simple and effective, the characters don’t feel like cardboards, and the gameplay is really good. Games like this make it easy to understand why the genre is so popular.

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Just now, FrogLenzen said:

WIND WAKER IS BEST

 

Wow where have you been this whole rankdown Derek?

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Just now, Deeee said:

 

Wow where have you been this whole rankdown Derek?

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But really I only have ever played Nintendo games. Of the ones left, everyone should rank all Zelda, DKC2, and Banjo Kazooie at the top plz thanks

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Just now, FrogLenzen said:

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But really I only have ever played Nintendo games. Of the ones left, everyone should rank all Zelda, DKC2, and Banjo Kazooie at the top plz thanks

 

Wow. Everybody should listen to Derek and rank Banjo-Kazooie near the top. THANKS.

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44. Kingdom Hearts (PS2; 2002)

 

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Kingdom Hearts is without a doubt a legendary game. The love child of Final Fantasy, Walt Disney, and Square, Kingdom Hearts is not your typical JRPG. This game is full of a ton of charm + narrative + action + hack-and-slash. There is something so strange about the idea of a Disney-infused JRPG on paper, but the idea just works. The hodge-podge team of Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy is iconic to say the least. And to think that all of this came to be after a chance meeting between two Square and Disney executives in an elevator - both companies housed within the same building in Japan.

 

There is so much to love about this game. The dreamlike cast of characters including Maleficent, Dumbo, Tinker Bell, Mickey Mouse, Simba, Hercules, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Cloud Strife, Sephiroth, Jack Skellington, Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Super awesome Disney worlds to progress through, traveling via the awesome Gummi Ship. Incredible music - "Simple and Clean" is iconic.


And the narrative. The narrative is so, so, so convoluted. So convoluted. As hard as I try to understand the plot, which changes with subsequent releases and updated re-releases, I can never come to a solid understanding of everything that has transpired. LOL. That is what holds me back from absolutely loving these games. 

 

The convoluted plot did not hold the game back from achieving critical acclaim upon its release. Critics and players praised the visuals, orchestral score, voice acting, and hybrid fusion of action-adventure + JRPG genres. The game received awards for Best Art Direction, Best CG Graphics, and Best Animation. The game really is beautiful in every single way. The fusion of Final Fantasy and Disney works way better than it really should. The cinematic scenes are some of the best in video game history. Boss battles are insanely fun. There are so many great aspects of this game, and there is no surprise that Kingdom Hearts became one of the largest video game series ever + spawned a massive fandom full of media and merchandise. A solid entry to the finals, but the sequel is far better.

 

 

On 2/8/2020 at 10:37 PM, ~Tom~ said:

I'm not really sure what my #1 game is but I think this would be it all things considered. For those that don't know: my old username was based on Sora; I started to write a fantasy novel way back in the day that had a main character kinda based on him, Sadora. I didn't think I would post nearly as much as I did, let alone stay here so long. But so it goes. Kingdom Hearts is one of the few games aside from some Final Fantasies and platformers that really made me care about Sora's journey and I loved the RPG/Disney combination. The game starts off at Destiny Islands, where Sora lives as a beach bum who trains with his friends Riku and Kairi until the darkness comes and Sora goes on a journey to find them. Sora meets Donald and Goofy are looking for King Mickey and along the way they seal each keyhole with the Keyblade to protect that world from the Heartless. It provides a good mix of being kid-friendly and appealing to veterans of Square RPGs by appearances from characters like Squall and Cloud. The Disney worlds were also a great throwback to all the Disney movies I watched as a kid and in middle school. I love pretty much all of them, especially Agrabah and Halloween Town. I even love the much-aligned Aquaria. Plus SoRiku is everything. ❤️ 

 

Below are my favorite tracks from the game, the last one also being the intro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 2/5/2020 at 12:47 AM, Steven_ said:

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I'm a fan of a lot of iconic video games from heavyweight franchises, such as Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, and Super Mario Bros. However, after all these years, Kingdom Hearts still remains my favorite video game. I remember when I first saw commercials about this game. I didn't really know much about it, but I thought the Disney aspect looked pretty cool. However, the story of Kingdom Hearts ended up captivating me and became much more than I expected. The story first introduces us to three friends named Sora, Kairi, and Riku. They live together on Destiny Islands, but they plan to leave and explore what else it out there. The night before they were to depart, their island is attacked by Heartless and they get separated. Sora (the character you play as) ends up in Traverse Town lost and goes on a quest to find his friends. Sora also becomes the chosen one to wield the Keyblade, a weapon used to fight against the Heartless. Along the way, he meets Donald Duck and Goofy. These two are also on a quest of their own to find King Mickey, and Sora teams up with them as they travel to different worlds inspired by Disney movies. They also learn about an evil plot led by Maleficent to capture the seven Princesses of Heart to unlock the Keyhole to Kingdom Hearts. It's quite an epic tale, and the storyline is one that keeps you engaged the whole way through (with great voice acting too). In addition, I enjoy the game play too. At times it can be quite challenging, and it's a game I've always enjoyed playing. I even replayed it a few times too. The game never bores me as the different worlds are fun and unique. Kingdom Hearts does a great job of bringing to life these Disney worlds. You swim in Atlantica, you can fly in Neverland, and you're in costume while exploring Halloween Town. As a Disney fan, it's quite cool to battle enemies with various Disney characters by your side that include Ariel, Aladdin, Jack Skellington, Tarzan, Beast, and Peter Pan. And it's just as cool battling these Disney villains, too. Overall, Kingdom Hearts does a great job of creating an original and epic story while combining the familiarity of these Disney characters. Although the sequel improves on the game mechanics, this is the start of the Kingdom Hearts series. This is where it all began, so it's why I have a soft spot for it. With the combination of exciting game play, a fascinating story, and Disney nostalgia, Kingdom Hearts still remains my #1 favorite video game of all time.

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1 hour ago, FrogLenzen said:

WIND WAKER IS BEST

Dee let this ranking stand and push Wind Waker through!

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43. Persona 5 (multi-platform; 2016)

 

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Atlus created an essentially perfect game with Persona 5. While I personally prefer Persona 4, Persona 5 is arguably just as amazing if not better. Certainly is the more popular of the two, and I never expected Persona 5 to reach the heights in popularity that it has achieved. Persona 5 is widely considered one of the best JRPGs ever created and has now established itself as one of the greatest games ever made. Three million copies sold, manga series, stage play adaptations, anime adaptation, two spin-off games, guest appearances in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate + countless other video games, and an upcoming enhanced re-release. All within the span of three years. Pretty impressive. 

 

Most of what I said in my write-up for Persona 4 could be applied to Persona 5. The games are equally incredible. True masterpieces of insanely awesome graphical style and art direction. A deep narrative that explores dark themes on quite interesting levels. One of the best musical soundtracks to ever support a video game. Unique gameplay and storytelling. Persona 5 is as close to a perfect game as one could hope to play. 

 

 

On 2/10/2020 at 3:47 PM, NGM said:

I thought this game had a shot at making Top 32 lmao. Oh well, I will have to settle for the rest of my Top 10 doing decent ig. Persona 5 (and 4) deserved so much better tho. I have only really put in hours on those (I have also played 3, but not as much), but they are really worth the time. First of all, visuals. This has STYLE. I guess I really have a type when it comes to games bc I’m a sucker for anything that just embraces itself, games like Persona have an identity and use it to transmit everything (graphics, sound, gameplay, characters). And a Japanese setting? Count me in. Just love the game.

 

 

On 2/10/2020 at 8:39 AM, totes4totes said:

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With renewed vigor and being down to my final write-up, I'm ready to give my all to Persona 5. Since I did 17 write-ups here, I better not do any write-ups in the Top 32 round. Honestly, I'm just going to tank everybody else's favorites so I won't have to. :haha: But now that I've said that, I'm definitely going to lose and go 0 for 16.

 

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But back to Persona, I've included this gif of the menu to show how incredibly stylish this game is. It's a game where all the aesthetics were looked at from the title sequence to the menu screens and it's all just so incredibly cool. It's a game that looks as cool as the game plays (or maybe plays as cool as the game looks) and I regret that it took me so long to play it because it's incredibly good and one of my favorite games to play last year (I wasn't convinced that I should play it until I saw the Joker in Smash trailer and that was truly the best trailer for Persona 5). If this game came to Switch, I would play it again. I am finally going to buy a PS4 so I can play the P5Royal version (among other games...and not until after I defend). I'm going to get P5 Scramble when it comes to the West. It was just an incredibly fun game. 

 

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Persona 5 tells the story of Joker, a student wrongfully accused of a crime, and several of his friends and classmates who work to turn the hearts of no-good adults. They do this by sneaking into palaces in the meta-verse and stealing the treasure of the palace's ruler. In the meta-verse you fight with Personas (or guns or knives or brass knuckles or your melee weapon of choice) against enemies. As Joker you have the option to capture new Personas to make yourself more powerful. Your friends are stuck with their one cool Persona who scales up appropriately. It's kind of like Pokemon, if Pokemon had monsters themed after all sorts of different religions and also sometimes were very phallic. The SMT games tend to be called Pokemon for adults (despite preceding Pokemon) and yeah, that's kind of true. 

 

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Here's an example of how to recruit a Persona to your team. You "Hold up" the enemy and you get the option to try and recruit it, ask it for money, or ask it for an item. If you choose to recruit a monster then you have to pass a brief series of questions to get it to favor you. If you fail you might go back to fighting. If the monster is over your level it just laughs at your confidence and hands you an item and leaves. 

 

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Persona isn't just a game about exploring the meta-verse and fighting enemies, it's also about hanging out with your pals and building social skills to form higher and higher social links. These links are beneficial in the Metaverse as they can do things like have a comrade take a fatal blow for you, follow-up an attack with a critical hit, make you coffee, do your laundry, give you better negotiation skills, etc. It's also just fun to get to know the characters. And of course you can romance any of the female options. Which can lead to inappropriate relationships with your teacher, your doctor, or your friendly alcoholic reporter. Or you can just not romance at all because Yusuke is the best option and you can't even romance him! Homophobic!

 

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Any of the Persona games are great options to play and aside from the first which was really just feeling itself out, but Persona 5 is probably the easiest to jump into in 2020. It's the newest and could be the newest for a long time (there was a significant gap between P4 and P5, nearly an entire console generation went by!). And if that were the case I wouldn't mind. There are plenty of spin-offs (Persona Q and Q2 for the 3DS, the dancing games, and the upcoming Persona 5 Scramble) and the enhanced version which has not yet made its way over here to the west (P5Royal) and it feels like the next Persona probably won't come until well into the PS5's lifetime. Maybe SMT5 will be released first! We can hope!

 

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What game will come first:

Shin Megami Tensei V

Persona 6

 

The real answer is probably Etrian Odyssey Switch. Lol.

 

And the dream answer is Trauma Center Switch Collection

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42. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (multi-platform; 2003)

 

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KotOR is the best Star Wars video game ever. KotOR is also the best Star Wars media outside of the OG trilogy + The Force Awakens & The Last Jedi. That is how good this game is, seriously. The sequel is equal parts incredible. I am glad that this game made the finals so that Western turn-based RPGs have some sort of representation. LOL.

 

The story proceeds the creation of the Galactic Empire by 4000 years, when an evil Sith Lord, Darth Malak, has unleashed a Sith armada against the Republic. The player assumes the role of a Jedi, venturing to different planets in an attempt to stop Darth Malak. At the beginning of the game, the player chooses between three character classes: Scout, Solider, or Scoundrel. Later in the game, the player will choose from three Jedi subclasses: Guardian, Sentinel, or Consular. Each character gains Feats and Force Powers as characters are leveled up in the game. Combat is turned-base, and time is divided into discrete rounds, and this works in a way to give the illusion of real-time combat on the screen. I actually really think the combat system is neat in this game, and it's very clearly heavily inspired by the rules of Dungeons & Dragons. 

 

The best aspect of the gameplay though? The alignment system. Based on the actions and speech of your character, nearly entirely decided by you, the player, your character will either lean towards the light or dark side of The Force. These decisions can be minor altruistic acts or even major violent plot decisions, so the player really has power over their own fate within the game. 

 

The game received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. The game received a ton of prestigious awards and appeared at the very top of most end of the year lists. The game is widely regarded as one of the most influential works to be found in the Star Wars franchise. And of course, the huge plot twist is lauded as maybe the best plot twist in video gaming history. I would agree. Fantastic game all-around.

 

 

On 2/9/2020 at 6:46 PM, NGM said:

KotOR ❤️ Probably the best thing out there to get you through the dark times a.k.a. the Pr*quels. The game takes place way, waaaaay before anything related to the Skywalkers (and it’s fantastic because of it). It takes place 4000 years before the movies, where Darth Malak started a war against the Republic by unleashing the Sith armada. You take the role of a Jedi, and customize your character as you see fit to adapt to your play style. While you advance in the game, you earn Light and Dark Side points, and the alignment system determines where you fall on, light or dark side of the Force. It was critically acclaimed upon release, with praise for the characters, story, and sound. To this day still my fave SW game.

 

 

On 2/8/2020 at 2:12 PM, totes4totes said:

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I'm still mad over Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that I feel like every piece of the old Expanded Universe is received even more highly by me. But I think that KOTOR really deserves all the praise that it gets. Games based on Star Wars have been a bit of hit and miss with highs like Fallen Jedi and lows like well the many mobile Star Wars games. But out of all the games, the Knights of the Old Republic series is probably the best of them all. In terms of Star Wars media, Knights of the Old Republic is probably close to the best of them all as well. And there's a lot of Star Wars media. 

 

So what makes this game so great? Well, I think it all starts with its developer. While it feels BioWare of today is being a bit throttled by EA (well maybe more than a bit throttled if Anthem is anything to go by) in the mid-2000s when KOTOR came out, BioWare was probably THE studio for character driven Western RPGs with games like Baldur's Gate under their belt. They knew how to make a game with a universe that you wanted to explore, characters that you wanted to get to know and felt like they grew as the story continued, and games where it felt like your choices really mattered. All of this makes for a good RPG and it made for an excellent Star Wars game. 

 

As its title implies, KOTOR takes place thousands of years before the OG Star Wars trilogy begins. And as such it gets to flesh out the universe in ways that don't feel tied down to the Galactic Empire, the Skywalkers, or any of the events of the movies or the already very well-established Expanded Universe. Though the story still boils down to the conflict between the Jedi and the Sith. And because your choices matter in developing the story and your character, there is definitely a lot of replayability to this game. Which honestly, if you are a kid/teen with not a lot of money but a lot of time is key to a game. Or at least it was key to me when it came out. :haha:

 

KOTOR is one of the best games of all time and if you missed it on the XBox, there are fortunately many ways to still play this game including iOS and Android. If you like Star Wars, you'll probably love this. If you love other BioWare RPGs like Mass Effect and Dragon Age you will probably like this. It's a universally beloved game for a reason and fairly cheap to play today. 

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Finishing these off by tonight or tomorrow afternoon. Expect the next round of cuts to start tomorrow night.

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41. Okami (multi-platform; 2006)

 

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Okami is an incredible video game, and truly one of the best that I have ever played. But that could be said for any game created by the incredible Hideki Kamiya. Megan is correct to say that this is the best non-Zelda Zelda game, since Kamiya directly modeled the gameplay of Okami on the LoZ series. However, do not let this fool you into thinking that this game is anything but unique. Okami is one of the most unique gaming experiences out there, and is dripping in character, charm, and beautiful art. Okami is pure art, and is one of the best video games ever created. The game is charismatic, engaging, and beautiful to look at honestly, with the most gorgeous cel-shading graphical style. The attention to detail and perfectly paced gameplay makes this a game nearly flawless. The atmosphere of Okami is truly special, and from the second the story begins in the town of Nippon, the player understands what a magical experience lies ahead of them. Everybody please play Okami. There are few games that are more magical and wondrous.

 

 

On 2/6/2020 at 10:11 AM, totes4totes said:

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Hands down, Okami is the best Zelda game that's not a Zelda game. I cannot stress this enough. I'd say some more inflammatory things but I want you all to play this if you get a chance. If you like 3D Zelda games like Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess you will probably like Okami. You may think I am exaggerating when you start playing, but the second you play the first dungeon boss you will get what I mean when I say that it's the best Zelda-like game. 

 

Anyway, if you've been paying attention to this thread, it shouldn't be a surprise that I love Okami. Hideki Kamiya is probably my favorite non-Nintendo game director and again, I love the Zelda games. I also love dogs and Japanese mythology. I also love my games cel-shaded and cartoon-y. I think it really helps them withstand the test of time (I mean, look how many of these games hold up visually compared to the Call of Dutys and the FIFAs of the mid-2000s) and it's just a style that appeals to me. Okami combines all of those elements. 

 

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Considering the mechanics of the game, the art style is incredibly appropriate. In the game you play as the reincarnated Amaterasu (who for all those who are into Shinto and Japanese mythology, know is the actual name of the Shinto Sun Goddess which gives you immediately an idea of what this game is going to be about) who is trying to remove the curse that covers the land in darkness. Along the way you meet up with Issun a tiny inch-tall artist who wants to discover the celestial brush techniques. Amaterasu, it turns out, can utilize these brush techniques to various effects (again, think of the weapons Link picks up in dungeons) and that's where the bulk of the unique gameplay comes in. In order to use the brush techniques you actually have to draw the symbols linked to the techniques out. 

 

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Originally released in 2006 for the PS2 and Wii and then re-released for the PS3 and then remastered in 2017 for the XBone, PS4, and PC, and then the remaster released once again for Switch in 2018, Okami was regarded as an instant classic when it came out and as you can see from all the re-releases, the legacy of the game endured. The game was originally conceived as more realistic, with a white wolf who when she ran flowers bloomed (you can see that above) but ultimately that game both had no direction of what it wanted to be and was, according to Kamiya, incredibly boring. So they came up with this instead.

 

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If you play the game and have the Switch, I recommend playing it there. It costs only $20 and often goes on sale for cheaper than that (I think I got it for $15). I say that because of the brush mechanic and I personally find it very easy to use the split Joy-Con (I play so many Switch games with the split Joy-Con) or the Switch touch screen for when you are on the go. The game probably looks and runs a little better on the PS4/XBOne/PC so it's all up to you. Or you know, you can probably pick up a Wii or PS2/PS3 version for fairly inexpensive as well (I think my Wii copy cost like $20). I'm just saying that there are a lot of ways to play this game and that if you have the time I would highly recommend it. 

 

I'm glad I could bring Okami this far and I'm not bummed at all for it being eliminated at such a high rank. I'm sure that if I didn't pass it through with my second tournament pick it probably would have been eliminated over 100 spots ago. It's an incredibly unique game (even with all the Zelda elements) and there wasn't anything quite like it in the rankdown. 

 

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There's also a sequel on the DS where you play as this little puppy and I wanted to include that because look how cute he is. 

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I was just at a GameStop looking for Castlevania games as I always am (and coming up empty as always) and you can buy the Wii version of Okami there for like $10.

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40. Mario Kart 8/Deluxe (Wii U/Switch; 2014/2017)

 

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Mario Kart 8 is maybe the most shocking finalist for me personally. I really did not expect any entry from the Mario Kart franchise to make the finals besides the iconic Mario Kart 64. Though the game may not be a legendary title,  Mario Kart 8 is one of the most successful video games ever made. For that fact alone, maybe I should be less surprised to see this title advance to the finals than I am. In reality, I think my personal problem with this title is the roster of characters chosen more than anything. But let's take a quick dive into what is objectively the best Mario Kart game ever made and a racing game masterpiece.

 

The gameplay is not re-vamped much for this title. Vehicle customization, motorbikes, hang-gliding, and twelve-player races all return in this title. The major introduction to the gameplay in this entry is anti-gravity racing. These sections are pretty fun and visually stunning to look at, and there is a lot of excitement in trying to bump other players or hit the speed boss while driving upside-down. Other new features include four new items: Boomerang Flower, Piranha Plant, Crazy Eight, and the Super Horn, which allows players to defend themselves against the wretched Spiny Shells. There were 32 released tracks across eight cups, and an additional 16 tracks were released via DLC. The tracks are easily the most visually impressive, lengthy, and detailed courses in the Mario Kart franchise. Seriously. They are amazing. 

 

Included in these DLC packs released for the Wii U version of this title were new cars, and six new characters: Link, Isabelle, Villager, Dry Bowser, Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach. YUP. This game is notorious for ruining the cast with stupid palette swap version of characters and a slew of baby versions of some of the main characters. As if the Mario franchise is lacking in characters to use for the roster. SO DISAPPOINTING. At least the LoZ, F-Zero, Animal Crossing, and Excitebike courses made the DLC a net positive.

 

The game became the highest-selling title for the Wii U console, selling more than eight million copies worldwide and receiving critical acclaim as well. The game was praised for exquisite visuals, a vast sense of scale in terms of gameplay, an awesome soundtrack, extremely smooth motion and gameplay with a high performance 60 FPS, and huge replayability. The game won a ton of awards and really became the standout release for the Wii U. I agree with all of the praise the game received, and though I may prefer Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart 8 truly is the best in the series.

 

When the Switch was released, I was not surprised at all to see Mario Kart 8 enhanced as a port for the system. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe built upon the masterpiece and somehow became a better game and an even larger commercial success. The re-release saw the revival of the Battle Modes with eight new stages. The major complaint of the Wii U release is the lack of a Battle Mode with unique stages, so it's nice to see Nintendo listen to critiques and fix them the second-time-around. Shine Thief, Bob-omb Blast, Coin Runners, and Renegade Roundup are all so fun and perfect options for a game night with family and friends. Battle Mode really heightens the replay factor of this shining title. Deluxe also brought new characters to the roster, most notably the Inklings from Splatoon. Reviews of Deluxe call the game nothing short of a masterpiece, and I really do agree. Just a solid game all-around.

 

To this day, Deluxe has sold nearly 23 million copies. That is insane. The best selling game for the Switch rightfully earned a place in the finals.

 

 

On 2/5/2020 at 12:47 AM, Steven_ said:

Mario Kart 8 was first released on the Wii U, and then a deluxe version was released for the Nintendo Switch. If I were to name a video game I'm really good at playing, then it would be Mario Kart. As far as games you play with others, Mario Kart is the one that I'm usually unbeatable in whenever I play multiplayer with friends. I missed out on the first Mario Kart game as I never got it for the Nintendo 64. The first one I got was Double Dash for the GameCube, but I got all the rest of the Maro Kart games that followed. Whenever I play Mario Kart, I usually play as Toad (although sometimes I would play as Link too). Mario Kart 8 is just a super enjoyable racing game with terrific graphics. It's definitely a very fun game to pass the time with. I wish the Switch released an all-new version instead of a near copycat of the Wii U version, but there are a few tweaks that make it better. If you own a Nintendo Switch, then Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a must-have. This is game anyone will have a blast with.

 

On 2/10/2020 at 11:24 PM, .Rei said:

Mario Kart 8 / Deluxe

 

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Objectively, this is the best Mario Kart game ever and why it isn't my top favorite from the franchise I understand why is regarded as such. Mario Kart features every single character the series has seen so far (even some that I wish were never created), including some characters from different games franchises. The game features a crazy number of tracks with a total of 48 tracks to play in.  Like this one which might be my favorite Mario Kart track ever
 

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I also love the Deluxe battle mode which is something Mario Kart has always found hard to do right after Mario Kart 64, but here they created a great battle mode that is actually fun to play.

 

As a whole there's a bunch of stuff to do in this game with all the Grand Prix Mode, Vs Mode and Battle Mode available. I personally used to spent long nights playing the whole 48 tracks against some friends in a not so kind competition with alcohol that were always a blast to have so it's a really fun game to play. I've also recently gave away my Wii U to my little nephews (7 and 5) and I had to sit with them for two days playing Mario Kart 8 and I can say is still fun to play.

 

While I believe that Deluxe is a must own game in your Switch library I was dissapointed that a whole new Mario Kart wasn't released after the Mario Kart 8, even if I do believe the Deluxe version is the better game. Having said that, Mario Kart is a game that I will always play until I decide to not play video games anymore which was supposed to happen after the Wii U but then the Switch came and I couldn't resist :(

 

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39. Tomb Raider (multi-platform; 2013)

 

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Tomb Raider never should have struggled to advance to the finals like it did. SMH. Tomb Raider might be my favorite pure action-adventure game ever. A reboot of the franchise, this title in the long-running series seeks to reconstruct the iconic character Lara Croft, telling the story of her origins and introducing the player to the beginning of her most defining journey as a badass archaeologist. The development team really nailed the story and character development of this game, establishing Lara Croft as a fascinating, emotionally-drive, resilient, multi-faceted human being, and truly presented Lara Croft at her most iconic in this game. This reboot title was a huge undertaking by Crystal Dynamics + Square Enix, equipped with a $100 million budget and the task of revitalizing a series that had already established an idea of who Lara Croft is and what her motivations are. Great thing that this game surpassed every single expectation and told the most brilliant origin story in the history of video gaming. 

 

I want to focus on the aspects of what makes the game so amazing, so here is a pulled excerpt that summarizes the plot of this game:

 

"The game is set on Yamatai, a fictional lost island in the Dragon's Triangle off the coast of Japan. The island—and the kingdom that once existed there—is shrouded in mystery, given its reputation for fearsome storms and shipwrecks that litter its coastline. Yamatai was once ruled by a queen named Himiko, known by her honorific title of "Sun Queen," who, according to legend, was blessed with shamanistic power that enabled her to control the weather. Very little is known about Yamatai's history in the time since Himiko's death, other than that the island's infamy was established shortly thereafter. In exploring the island, the player may find evidence that—among others—Portuguese traders, United States Marines, and a Japanese military project were all stranded on Yamatai at various points throughout history. At the start of the game, the island is populated exclusively by the Solarii Brotherhood, a violent cult of criminals, mercenaries, and shipwreck survivors. The Solarii Brotherhood has established its own society based on the worship of Himiko, complete with a social structure and laws, with their exact purpose and intentions being explored throughout the story.

 

The player takes on the role of Lara Croft, a young and ambitious archaeology graduate whose theories on the location of the lost kingdom of Yamatai have convinced the Nishimura family—descendants from the people of Yamatai themselves—to fund an expedition in search of the kingdom. The expedition is led by Dr. James Whitman, a celebrity archaeologist who has fallen on hard times and is desperate to avoid bankruptcy, and is accompanied by Conrad Roth, a Royal Marine turned adventurer and close friend of the Croft family who serves as mentor to Lara; Samantha "Sam" Nishimura, Lara's friend and a representative of the Nishimura family who films the expedition for a documentary; Joslyn Reyes, a skeptical and temperamental mechanic and single mother; Jonah Maiava, an imposing and placid fisherman who is willing to believe in the existence of the paranormal and esoteric; Angus "Grim" Grimaldi, the gruff Glaswegian helmsman of the Endurance; and Alex Weiss, a goofy and bespectacled electronics specialist."

 

Why is this one of the greatest action-adventure games ever made? Mainly due to the wonderful origin story told. Lara Croft in this reboot feels like maybe the most fully-developed and emotionally realized character in video gaming history? Her origin story is an integral part of this game, and there is such a beautiful progression of her character across the lengthy, yet deep adventure that she embarks on in this title. There is so much unexpected intensity and profundity in the story told in this game, and the strength of Lara Croft's character in this title really separates it from most action-adventure games ever created. The story feels so real, the stakes feel so high, and mainly due to how invested you become in unraveling the chapters of her origins. There should also be a ton of praise given to actor Camilla Luddington for her spot-on, and highly emotional portrayal of Lara Croft in this game (and the entire reboot series). 

 

The game received some criticism for ludonarrative dissonance. Essentially, as Lara Croft begins to embark on this harrowing journey, she is initially uncomfortable and bothered by the idea of killing. However, many people feel like the game thrusts the player/Lara Croft into killing massive amounts of enemies. So there is really a discrepancy between the story being told and the actions Lara takes. Though I fully disagree. The gameplay has a ton of range, and Lara can take on a far more stealthy approach to her combat if a player desires such a thing. The story also highlights that Lara is thrust into adaptation for survival. I never understand this critique, and definitely do not agree with it.

 

Speaking of the gameplay, it's incredible. Spectacular. Enthralling. Never boring. Awesome character upgrade system. Wonderful side quests to take for world-building purposes. A large variety of combat styles to adopt. Survival techniques galore. Beautiful graphics. A seemingly endless world to be explored. Everything that you love about Tomb Raider and Lara Croft is perfected in this reboot. A ton of year-end awards. 11 million copies sold. The spawning of a franchise revival with two critically acclaimed sequels and even a film adaptation. Tomb Raider deserved this high ranking, and I'm glad it received it.

 

On 2/9/2020 at 6:46 PM, NGM said:

Megan will do a way more interesting write up so just read that instead LOL. But mandatory recap to reach 100 words: it an adventure game released in 2013 by Square Enix. The game centers around the origins of Lara Croft. This is not a fully trained Lara, she’s a lot more sloppy and still learning, which makes it a nice change. The game focuses more on survival, with the setting of the island of Yamatai helping sell that. The game received critical acclaim for its graphics, gameplay and the portrayal of Lara, with some criticism directed towards the multiplayer mode (they killed that for the sequels, which is fair).

 

 

On 12/11/2019 at 8:24 AM, totes4totes said:
Tomb Raider
Or the game that made Lara Croft gay

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The title is mostly a joke. But also kind of not! Lara Croft is, of course, not canonically gay. As long as games are designed with a straight male as the ideal audience, there will not be a canonically gay Lara Croft (just like there won't be a canonically gay Dante). However, unlike previous iterations of Lara Croft, there is a lot more fuel to the fire this time around. Particularly because the game's writer, Rhianna Pratchett (daughter of Terry), did give an interview where she said she tried to write Lara Croft as a lesbian. And even if that was off the cuff or a joke, it's not hard to see the bones of that story in the game.

On a side note, of course the Tomb Raider series comic book was handed off to Mariko Tamaki, famous for writing queer graphic novels like This One Summer and Skim and writing the novelizations of queer comic Lumberjanes. Bless that none of you can cut those comics which are truly my favorite part of the rebooted Lara Croft timeline.

So like I said, it's really not hard to draw a line between Lara Croft's rebooted 2013 portrayal and queerness.

And when I say the bones to a queer love story in Tomb Raider are already there, I mean it. These are actual unedited gifs.

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All culimating with this gif for which there is no heterosexual explanation for the imagery:

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But Megan, you say, these are all just gifs. Isolated moments. And don't forget, she also kisses a male on the cheek during the game!

To which I respond, the story of Tomb Raider (2013) is the story of Lara Croft and the crew (both of the ship and her archeological crew) getting stranded on an island called Yamatai. Here Lara has to fight her way through cultists to save her friends and escape the island. However, the emotional core of the story is driven by her desire to save Sam. Sam who is her best friend that calls her romantic pet names. There's other side characters, some which Lara is also emotionally attached to die, other who Lara is not as emotionally attached to live. For people who don't like to be spoiled I won't name who lives and dies. Canonically, Lara does not have many friends and is a nerd who loves books and artifacts more than she loves most people. However, she has one friend who didn't raise her or mentor her and that's Sam. And the reason they are on this (unfortunately for them disastrous) trip to Yamatai is because Sam wanted to help kickstart Lara's archeology career and secured the funding.

She kisses Alex on the cheek? The least sexual kiss imaginable? A full body hug is more sexual than a kiss on the cheek. Also Alex is dying and Lara knows that he has a crush on her. Might as well give him something nice as he dies. However, sad horny gamer boys are going to hold on to this so that they can masturbate to the fact that maybe in a different world Lara Croft will materialize and fall in love with them.

Also Lara now dresses like a lesbian.

Dee I know I wrote this one first but plz rank it higher than Horizon Zero Dawn for meaningless sentimentality. THX.

The end.

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38. Streets of Rage 2 (SG; 1992)

 

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Props to @1234567890 for repping for the old school classics the entire Rankdown and even bringing this classic masterpiece to the finals. Streets of Rage 2 might just be the strongest entry in the beat 'em up genre. There is stiff competition from other classic entries, but Streets of Rage 2 does everything perfectly for a side-scrolling 16-bit game from the '80s, standing out as one of the greatest retro games ever made.

 

This game plays much like its predecessor, but is just about better in every single way. There are four main characters to choose from in this sequel: Alex Stone, Blaze Fielding, Max Thunder, and Sammy "Skate" Hunter. The latter two characters are new additions to the series, and Sammy Hunter is the younger brother of Adam Hunter, a character from the previous game. Even though the game is nearly three decades old, I will not spoil too much about the plot of this game. Though there is only one ending in this game, compared to the previous entry which had more than one ending. The plot is simple though - Adam Hunter goes missing and Mr. X and The Syndicate return, returning massive chaos and anarchy to the streets of the city.

 

Streets of Rage 2 completely upgrades the combat system from the first entry in the franchise, expanding the amount of standard moves, introducing unique Blitz Moves, and replacing the police car move with Special Attacks. The game is simple to play, which is often what is so beautiful about retro video games. There is nothing that overcomplicates Streets of Rage 2, and it simply just gets to be one of the greatest video games of all-time. 

 

Upon the game's release for the Mega Drive and Sega Genesis, the title received widespread critical acclaim, with many reviewers claiming this game to be the pinnacle of beat 'em up titles and side-scrollers period. Reviewers praised the game's soundtrack, which is brilliantly composed by Yuzo Koshiro with contributions from Motohiro Kawashima. The soundtrack is influenced by electronic dance music, pulling from many of the subgenres, such as house, techno, breakbeat, trance, electro funk, and hardcore techno. The soundtrack is considered revolutionary and one of the strongest soundtracks in gaming history. For a game that feels so fast-paced and violent, the soundtrack perfectly encapsulates the overall tone of the game. I am going to post a link to the song that plays during the final boss battle, which really is the highlight of such a phenomenal soundtrack.

 

The graphics are also heralded for huge sprites and great animations. The game admittedly features some of the best graphics of the 16-bit era. 

 

The gameplay is tight, fast-paced, and so enjoyable. Streets of Rage 2 really is a game that could convert anybody into a fan of side-scrollers and beat 'em up titles. 

 

Most people consider this game to be among the greatest video games ever made. I would agree, which is why everybody should have supported Victoria and retro games more in this Rankdown!

 

 

 

 

 

On 2/6/2020 at 10:10 AM, totes4totes said:

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Back in the late 80s/early 90s Beat 'em Ups were all the rage. And while I think licensed games like The Simpsons or X-Men or TMNT are probably the more recognizable ones by today's crowd, the Streets of Rage games are probably the most well down and iconic Beat 'em Ups around. Basically Streets of Rage 2 perfected the genre and it hasn't really been matched since. Part of that is likely just due to the fact that side-scrolling beat 'em ups aren't really all that popular now (and largely replaced by their spiritual successor genre the hack-n-slash or one-on-one fighting games like Street Fighter), I mean Viewtiful Joe (in 2003) and Scott Pilgrim (2010) are probably the most recognizable beat 'em ups since the year 2000. But it's also just a game that brought every element to perfection.

 

First released on the Mega Drive/Genesis, with an arcade port coming later, Streets of Rage 2 was one of the first console games to match the experience you'd get at an arcade graphic wise (there is a Master System and a Game Gear version of this game that was released close to contemporaneously but we won't talk about those because they are just inferior games). It has smooth controls, bright environments, great sound, and just beautiful design. It's a good looking, good sound, good playing game. And in the early days of video games (even now) not all of that was guaranteed on a home console. 

 

Additionally, pushing the power and capactity of the Mega Drive to its limits, you have four unique characters to play as. And miraculously, each character plays differently. You have a more traditional experience with Axel and Blaze, a more powerful but slow-mover in Max Thunder, and a fast moving speedster in Skate Hunter. Because it's a console game it doesn't become the brutally hard experience that brawlers in the arcade had which makes the game seem fair. It also gives you enough time to learn how to play the characters, take time to appreciate the story, and make it feel like you've really mastered the game instead of just powering through with an endless amount of quarters. 

 

Streets of Rage is well worth a play and fairly easy to get and play even today. 

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37. Donkey Kong 64 (N64; 1999)

 

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Donkey Kong 64 deserves more love. SMH. Though I guess it ranked 37th, so I'm just over-exaggerating. LOL. Rare + Nintendo 64 = MAGIC. Therefore, Donkey Kong 64 is incredible in my eyes. Though I am definitely a sucker for a good 3D platformer. DK64 is among the greatest of all 3D platformers and is one of my favorite video games ever made. Let me get into why that is while recognizing that the game is far from perfect.

 

The five main characters - Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Chunky Kong, Lanky Kong, Tiny Kong. Each with their own unique character abilities, projectiles, and musical instruments. Each character with their own emblematic humor and distinct personalities that really shown throughout the game and through the brilliant use of animations. Sure, one could complain that Tiny, Lanky, and Chunky were ultimately pointless introductions when examining the entire Donkey Kong series. But I will not hold that against this game, which really implemented a cool gameplay system where all of the characters played a massive role in collecting every necessary item to finish the game. There is constant variety in the gameplay, which I really appreciate.

 

The game is massive and ambitious. Okay, so I understand the ton of retrospective criticism the game has received for the tremendous amount of work required of this game. Admittedly so, the game is humongous. DK64 is frustratingly laborious and often feels like a chore from time to time. I understand the complaints that the game is bloated and often distracting in its massive design. There are 3,821 collectibles in total. That is definitely way too much to do. There is so much emphasis placed on backtracking, collecting, and repetition, that I understand why people have soured a bit on the game. But I love the game for having a ton of adventure and for trying to be as expansive as possible. There might not be a ton of replay factor in the title, but there certainly is a sense of accomplishment as you work towards collecting all the necessary items across the worlds to defeat King K. Rool and defeat the mastodon that is this game. Excessive? Yes. Montonous? Yes. Flawed? Yes. Still fun? Asbolutely. 

 

There are other complaints too. Slow movement speed, bad camera angles, unoriginal, non-innovative, unvarying game environments, slow frame rate speeds, marginally improved graphical displays, less clever music than B&K, etc. Once again, I will openly admit the game is deeply flawed. All of these things are sort of true. The game could move slow. There are bad camera angles, and this is an issue that should have been improved considering the game followed after SM64 and B&K. In terms of 3D platformers, DK64 does not do anything massively unique. The graphics could have been marginally better. But none of these aspects of the game were bad? I just think people expected DK64 to revolutionize the genre, and it did not. To me, the flack this game now receives is more a sign that the audience wanted something new from 3D platformers, rather than DK64 being an actually horrible game. There are plenty of ways in which the game could have improved, but I still think the reception of the game would have been heavily divided. The game is definitely too similar to the already-released and beloved Banjo-Kazooie. The time was already up for most 3D platformers on the N64 system.

 

3D platformers needed a revolution, and DK64 did not bring that. However, DK64 did bring originality, brilliant moments of gameplay, ambition, and a ton to do and explore. The game is not perfect, but the game is a ton of fun and is still one of the best 3D platformers Nintendo had to offer at that time. I will always have fond memories of this incredibly fun and engaging game, and I am happy that the game received enough love to advance this far. 

 

P.S. - Long live the DK Rap.

 

 

 

 

 

On 1/29/2020 at 1:04 PM, Solaris said:

I love that Donkey Kong 64 made it as far as it did.  Megan was going to cut it initially, and was talked down.  700 some spots later, here it is, finally eliminated.  The game  had you playing as Donkey Kong, and as you progressed through the game you save other Kongs that have been locked up by King K Rool.  All in all there are 5 different Kongs to play as, each with their own specialized play style, musical interest and weapon.  You have Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Tiny Kong, Lanky Kong and Chunky Kong.  As I said, each of them did something different.  For example Tiny Kong can shrink and go through small holes, where as Chunky Kong can through boulders.  There were 200 golden banana’s available, the same amount available for each kong in each zone (I think it was 5 per kong per zone).  So by the time you were done getting everything, you were will acquainted with a given area.  My buds and I spent hours in the PVP portion of this game the “Battle Hall”.  Great game and deserving of its place here!

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36. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES; 1991)

 

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a defining title in video gaming history. Truly a landmark video game, A Link to the Past follows Link's journey to save Hyrule from Ganon and rescue the descendants of the Seven Sages. Returning the the fabulous top-down perspective, A Link to the Past significantly improves on the gameplay of its predecessor. A Link to the Past also introduces major series staples to the franchise. 

 

Arrows become separate items in this game instead of costing you Rupees. Thank goodness. The Lamp from Adventure of Link returns. Diagonal walking and running ability using Pegasus Boots make controlling Link much more enjoyable in this game. Sword swings sideways instead of stabbing forward, making combat both more broad and easier. Hookshot. Master Sword. Pieces of Heart - AKA Heart Containers. Multi-level dungeons.

 

Parallel worlds. Big deal. Light World - the ordinary Hyrule. Dark World - decaying version of Hyrule creates by Ganon. This added an additional level of difficulty, as travel between worlds was often required in order to solve puzzles or progress in the game. Hidden warp locations could be used, but using the Mirror in outside locations is far easier. 

 

Koji Kondo composing the music. Amazing 16-bit graphics that allowed for a huge expansion of the in-game world. Solid localization. 

 

Honestly, everything about A Link to the Past feels perfectly done and this really is a landmark video game. Without this title, The Legend of Zelda does not become the franchise it is today. A Link to the Past really expanded what could be done with the series, and really became a benchmark title for innovation within a franchise. Beautiful storytelling. Ageless gameplay. A timeless classic. 

 

 

On 2/5/2020 at 12:47 AM, Steven_ said:

I did not own a Super Nintendo, so this is a game I have not played despite being a fan of The Legend of Zelda series. Wikipedia tells me that this is widely considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time. This entry to the series is familiar to other Zelda games as Link journeys Hyrule to defeat Ganon. The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past returns to a top-down perspective for the player instead of side-scrolling game play. In addition, this entry introduces several staples to the series, including the Master Sword. I hope the other write-ups give more detail. Like I said, I haven't played this game before, but I still ranked it relatively high for my fondness of The Legend of Zelda series.

 

 

On 2/6/2020 at 11:57 AM, totes4totes said:

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Up until Breath of the Wild, there was no question in my mind and my opinion that The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was the best Zelda game. Even now with Breath of the Wild, I think there's a case to be made for ALTTP. And I also know this might be controversial, especially in this rankdown where 2D games have been dropping like flies, but I feel that regardless of which Zelda game is best, A Link to the Past has been the most important game in the series (well up until all future Zelda games and video games in general take all their cues from BOTW for the next 10 years). 

 

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The SNES is probably in retrospect a system with many of the best games of all-time on it. Many of the best games on the system can be thrown into conversation for best games of all time. It might not have a lot of genre-defining games, but it takes games from so many genres and makes them practically perfect. It's incredible that the SNES had everything from Super Mario World to Super Street Fighter II Turbo and that all those games still hold up incredibly well and are still just as memorable amongst today's gaming crowd as they were when they first came out. Again, not something that can be said for the Genesis or its other contemporaries. 

 

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I must have first played A Link to the Past when I was around 11 or 12 when it was released for the GameBoy Advance with Four Swords. I must have gotten it as a Christmas gift along with Golden Sun probably in 2002. And I'm truly baffled how spot on my parents were with those Christmas gifts because it's not like they played video games in the late 90s/early 2000s. And along with all my other favorite GB/GBA games (actually all my favorite games) I still have my original cart of the game. I think the last time I played it was about a month or so ago on Nintendo Switch Online's catalog of SNES games. And it still plays just as well and is just as good of a game as it was in 2002 and I assume in 1991 when it was originally released for SNES. 

 

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If you've not played A Link to the Past (a choice I would rectify IMMEDIATELY if I were you), then I'll give you a brief overview. In ALTTP you play as Link rescuing Zelda. You rescue her from the dungeons and then are sent to defeat the wizard Agahnim, however you find out you need the Master Sword to beat him. So to get the Master Sword you have to explore most of the world and collect three pendants. Once you obtain those pendants you can then get the Master Sword and go beat Agahnim. Only once you get to the castle you discover that he's already beat you and by the time you get to Zelda it's too late. You kill Agahnim and he sends you to the Dark World. So now in order to save Hyrule you must navigate your way through both the Dark World and the Light World to save the descendants of the seven sages. Once you do so you have to beat Ganon. 

 

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Seems like pretty standard stuff for a Zelda of today. But this was truly cool stuff when the game was and it's easy to realize why games like Ocarina of Time and A Link Between Worlds took so much inspiration from this game. It's also truly got some of the best dungeon and world design. The items are intuitive to use. There aren't too many enemies to drag you down and fighting them is fun. And battling the bosses offers a real challenge without being too hard. There are enough puzzles to make solving the dungeons challenging but not too many to bog down the action. And it truly uses both the Light and Dark worlds well and the two worlds adds another level of puzzles that you didn't really see in previous Zelda games (but you'd see in many other Zelda games). 

 

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This is one of my favorite games of all time and if you have the ability to play it, which it's a nearly 30 year old game I am sure you can find a way to play it today, then I recommend you do so. It's truly a masterpiece and everybody who ranked it low can SUCK IT.

 

Edited by Deeee

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