By BoG 35 Comments
15. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Holy cattle. Paper Mario 2 is just amazing. What else can I really say? It's just awesome. First of all, the game uses the battle system that's become a staple of Mario RPG games, with timed button presses for bonus damage and defense. The game is just a blast to play, and blends classic Mario elements in to a unique and brilliant RPG world. Now, if you want to talk about games with Personality, TTYD is the game you want to talk about. The Pianta Mafia, Luigi's adventures, Rawk Hawk... this game is oozing with great characters and tons of personality. One of the game's highlights is without a doubt story. Yes, the base plot is "save the princess," not exactly notworthy. The parts are greater than the whole in TTYD, and the parts are just magnificent. Each chapter, on it's own, however, tells a unique and fun story. Whether it's liberating the tree in Boggly Woods, solving a mystery on the train, or wrestling in the wring as the Great Gonzales. Each chapter has twists and turns that keep it fun. In addition, the exploits of Bowser and company as well as Peach's time in the castle make for good times.
The Thousand Year Door fuses classic RPG gameplay with loads of personality. It's a blast from start to finish. I love this game.
14.The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
When Nintendo first showed screenshots of a cartoony Zelda, I wasn't sure what to think. I thought it looked cool, but, well, I didn't know, everyone seemed to be hatin'. I just couldn't help but fall in love, however. It's Zelda! Wind Waker was a gamble, defying fan expectations, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Wind Waker is bursting at the seems with a charm you can't help but love. Oh, it's also loaded with some awesome gameplay, too.
Wind Waker has, without a doubt, the best combat to date in the series. Something was lost in translation when Twilight Princess was made on the engine, as the comabt never felt as varied or fun as it did in WW. Slicing off my enemy's armor, knocking him out with my boomerang and finishing him off with his own sword, oh so satisfying. WW also excels with the boat travel, which creates a sense of exploration few games can do successfully. When you're charting your course, sailing off in to the sunset you get a feeling you don't often get with gaming. Wind Waker had some of the best dungeons in the series two, particularly the Earth and Wind Temples. Finally, the soundtrack stepped up to rival the best in the series. If you're still stuck on the triforce shards, I suggest you stop reading (comment first!) and go finish the game. NOW.
13. Resident Evil 4
Part of me wants to feel guilty about putting this game on, what with all the RE4 hate in honor of RE5. I've seen lots of people say it began the demise of the series, and that true RE fans don't like it. Well, I started the series with the original, so who cares. Resident Evil 4 is a masterpiece. It's got some of the best graphics and gameplay of last generation, and help popularized over-the-shoulder viewpoints and QTEs that are so very popular today. Say what you will about the controls, I can still take out zombies with ease, and have never had control issues. RE4 keeps your heart punding even after you've beaten the game thanks to extras like Mercenaries. Each area in the game is masterfully designed, and every area is memorable. The zombie (or crazy spaniard) killing is unmatched, even by the recent sequel, thanks to awesome weapons and combat. To keep things fresh, a few classic RE style puzzles are thrown in, too. Now, I'll comment on the best thing last: boss fights. The RE4 boss fights, every single one of them, is absolutely amazing. I have save files just before each one so I can go back and play them. They're that awesome. RE4 is aweosme. So awesome.
I apologize again as I did in the last blog. As things go on, I may succumb to using the word "awesome" way too much, as I get all emotional when discussing my favorite games. I love ICO.
A few years back, I wanted a Playstation 2. I asked for it for Christmas, and asked for Tony Hawk to go with it. I told my dad every single day how awesome Tony Hawk was. As time went by, he began pitching other games to me. "This ICO game looks pretty cool." "Yeah but Gamespot gave Tony Hawk a perfect 10, dad." My dad seemed stuck on this ICO game. Eventually, I decided he must have already bought it, so I tried another strategy: "Dad, Jayson [my younger brother] would love ICO. It's just his kind of game. He would HATE Tony Hawk and I would love it." "I bet you'd love ICO, too." "I'm sure I would but I would love Tony Hawk MORE."
I was young, and I was naive. My dad didn't care care what I had to say, and gave me ICO anyways. I am indebted to him for this. ICO really opened my eyes to what a game could be. Simple in presentation, yet overflowing with brilliance in design, art style, gameplay, puzzles... There isn't one aspect of ICO that I didn't enjoy. I still go back just to once again experience what ICO is. Though outdated, the visuals remain breathtaking. Though all but silent, the characters are memorable. ICO is just awesome. So awesome.
11. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Metal Gear Solid 2 begins with you infiltrating a tanker as Solid Snake. Then, out of nowhere, it throws at you the game's true protagonist: Raiden. I remember vividly how shocked I was to see this. "THIS ISN'T SNAKE." As the game progressed however (and eventually reintroduces Snake to you), I actually became pretty fond of Raiden amidst the insanity that is a story written by Hideo Kajima. Metal Gear Solid 2 is awesome (I told you you'd get sick of that). Of all the games in the series, MGS2 is the one I return to most in order to hunt down dogtags. MGS2 continues the series tradition of great stealth gameplay, great bosses, and drug induced story (MGS2 being the second most drug induced of them all, after 4). I don't really know what else to say other then that I love this game. If you want more detail, ask Matt Bodega. He does a good job. In sum: great gameplay, interesting story, tons of variety, tons of action, and Solid Snake. What more do you want?
Honorable Mention: Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
I mentioned in a previous installment that I don't really honor multiplayer games. It's not that I don't like them, I love them! It's that I can never justify placing one over all the greatest single player experiences. Enemy Territory comes close, though. It has the best objective and class based multiplayer of all, expertly designed maps, and hours of fun. Best of all, it was totally free. I wouldn't trade one of the hundred, perhaps thousands of hours I spent playing ET.
I apologize for how poorly written today's entry is, but I just get all emotional writing about this. Factor in that I'm typing this as fast as possible so I can make it to school on time, and you've got the workings of less-than-stellar writing.
Well, feel free to hate and criticize!