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Favorite Games of Generation 7 [GotG List]

Games are limited to being released on the following platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, X-Box 360

Inspired by TheFakePsychic, IrrelevantJohn, and MakeMeMad’s entries, I have forged ahead and constructed my own favorite games that were released for Generation 7. While I have played my fair share of games for the PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, and X-Box 360, and a good chunk of those games being mostly enjoyable experiences, many of those games lacked something special that my list of games have provided. Those games will only illicit a general it’s a good/great game comment with a few supporting sentences to back it up. My favorite games of this year go farther than that. Though I may fail in summarizing whatever memories and thoughts I have for these games, I can look back and crack a small smile as a rush of images and emotions flow through my mind.

Many of you will notice the lack of high-profile games on my list. They’re missing because I probably have not played them and wasn’t interested with those games at all. I do have some games that many others have noted on the GOTG that I have yet to play that may end up on this list down the road. For now, these games are the ones that I can confidently say are my games of generation 7.

[List as of 2 January 2014]

List items

  • Go home. Turn on X-Box 360. Race in Forza Motorsport 3 single player. Rise and repeat for days, weeks, and months. As my workload started to tighten its vices a couple of years at my job (which I’m still currently working at), my daily evening escape from the harshness from work came in packaged a racing game. Forza Motorsport 3 hooked me immediately with a right amount of arcade and simulation feel. It felt refreshing to navigate a race track sort of like a professional racer, where you have to take each corner as its own game, to know when to brake, what entry to enter the corner, when to hit the gas and the line to properly exit the corner. It also helped that FM3 has an extensive single player career mode, where there something new to race whenever I needed to get my fix. For a time being, it helped me think of cars, speed, corners, and tracks instead of budgets, contracts, expenses, timesheets, and angry managers, vendors and clients.

  • From the opening sequence, as you supposedly see yourself helpless in a junkyard and watch another bystander get shot down by an assassin, to the really emotional end where you find out what your true identity is; Ghost Trick keeps you on your toes from start to finish. The story, which already starts off with a bang with two mysteries, continues to pack on the deep with more questions and unexpected twists until you get to the rush of the end, where the game manages to do a great job to try all the scattering story lines together into one unexpected but exhilarating conclusion. My reaction after completing the game was that I read through one hell of a mystery novel. Except that I wasn’t reading a book, I was playing a Nintendo DS video game.

    The story wouldn’t have been as great as it was without the characters being great themselves. Typically the protagonist is the carrying the burden of the story. With Ghost Trick’s case and the way that its story unfolds, it’s the supporting cast around Sissel that really makes its story work. As Sissel does his best to eventually find out his own identity and his importance in the case, part of finding out his involvement is tied to the fates of the others he meets and gets entangled with. We come across the unfortunate Lynne, the charismatic Pomeranian pup Missile, the smooth dancer inspector Cabanela, prisoner Dowd, and others. [DANCING PANIC GUARD!] Ghost Trick’s cast of distinct and wonderful personalities are so great that you can’t help but to empathize with them on their conflicted pasts and determination to reach the proper conclusion.

    Lest I forget about Ghost Trick’s gameplay, which is awesome in its own right. I was amazed to use the various objects in the background to get across the stage, solve puzzles, and affect events. My mind was blown open from the start, as you use the powers to access various items in the junkyard to take out the three assassins who were after Lynne. The levels get more creative and challenging, as more items, timing, and the constant race against time to solve the puzzle to not only save lives, but to forge ahead with the story. Each new setting presents a different challenge and resolution to clear. I was really impressed in the level at the restaurant, where you had to move and manipulate through a van and restaurant to clear through that level’s objectives.

    Most of the games I purchase and play are merely for the enjoyment of the game’s gameplay. Most of the games on my list I’ll recall on how fun the game plays. Ghost Trick is one of those rare games where I’ll recall on how great the story and characters are. I’ll immediately think of Sissel, Missile, Kamila, Lynne, Cabenela, Dowd, and DACNING PANIC GUARD. I’ll recall that cold opening, the branching plot branches involving the key characters, and how it was all wrapped up together in an unexpected and emotionally driven end that changed the fate of everyone.

  • The most recent game out of my list, and its importance and impact on my life goes more than helping me deal or ease my tense emotions from work and life. 2012 was the year where things were going well for the company. Well… too well. In turn, the company’s running success had made my life more hell as I worked longer hours to deal with the numerous new jobs coming in the door. It’s funny how much fast I fell into P4A as I was lukewarm with the game as its release came near. (My interest and patience with fighting games was starting to wear very thin.) I was very surprised on how lenient the game is with inputs for special and super moves, as well as easy to execute combo strings. Hey, maybe I could be competent in a fighting game for once!

    Persona 4 Arena was the first game where I actively participated in an online community with Giant Bomb. I missed out on the first tournament, but participated in the remaining three tournaments along with December 2012’s ranbat and that crazy Giant Bomb vs. GameFAQs tournament in which I was still shocked to be selected as a GB representative considering my terrible track record. Aside from participating in those tournaments (which were fun), I befriend other duders over the course of countless hours of sparring outside of tournaments. It didn’t help that I was pushing my own body when the GB P4A crew was actively sparring in the game, pushing past midnight on weeknights where I should’ve gone to sleep hours before. Though the game’s fanfare and activity has dwindled since then, I made some new friends and continue to bout in this game from time to time.

    I’m still terrible at this game even though I have over 3,000 matches under my belt. I can’t do a lot of things right as a Chie player. Not setting up the oki correctly, unable to do the corner and air BnB combo, dash canceling after 5C, etc. It’s hard to stay on top of being okay in fighting games. Nonetheless it’s the first game to not only made me feel great about playing fighting games in a long time, but to also have that far reaching affect to appreciate the genre while watching high-level play on numerous online streams as well as being able to mingle with a bunch of new folks from all over the continent. It’s the only game on my list to have such far reaching effects outside of simply making a very strong personal impression.

  • You are presented with a square of varying sizes, along with a bunch of numbers etched at certain rows and columns of the square. The only tools at your disposal are a hammer and a paintbrush. Underneath that huge gray square lies an item. The tutorial puzzles show you how to decipher the numbers and using the tools to uncover what item lies from that ordinary gray block. The beginning puzzles start you off slow with small blocks that uncover simple looking items. The fun beings when the blocks become bigger with numbers scattered all over it, and chipping and painting through the square to reveal whatever thing it becomes to be. Puzzles that normally take a few minutes now take more than ten minutes. Each pass, hammer smash, paintbrush stroke, becomes more measured and tense as the game only allows for a certain amount of chances or time to solve the puzzle. Each new block represented a new game for me, using what is given to me and taking the time to chisel my way through the block and seeing some surprising results after it’s done. I’m not Michelangelo, but going through the last set of puzzles made me feel like a Renaissance artist chiseling a huge block of marble into a sculpture of something. I uncovered an Eiffel Tower, a huge-ass dragon, a grill, and many other crazy objects.

    I sucked so many hours into Picross 3D. It wasn’t what the end-result things was that got my adrenaline going, it was the process of reading the numbers and carefully painting and chipping away at the square that made it so fun. It was great that Picross 3D had a ton of puzzles included in it for me to keep crunching away at it. Once I was done with what the game offered, they had additional puzzles for free to download with more ridiculous things that Nintendo and users were able to craft. Hell, after I got through all the puzzles, I replayed them numerous times to see if I can solve them quicker or just for the hell of it. The game’s allure eventually faded away I got the Nintendo 3DS and its library was starting to compile some great games, but for a long period of time, Picross 3D was my game I turned to daily to get through a lot of those rough days.

  • The devil is in the details, and the Professor will smack you in the head constantly with his top hat if you don’t pay attention to what the puzzle is giving and asking for. I just kept laughing on the numerous puzzles where I failed on my first try, but eventually saw what the actual solution was after careful reading (re-reading, re-re-reading, re-re-re-reading) of the clues and hints provided. The great thing that made the first Professor Layton game so memorial wasn’t just the quantity of puzzles (which is nice in its own right), but the variety of different trivial genres the game’s puzzles had. You had your share of picture puzzles, mathematical puzzle, reading puzzles, logical puzzles, and whatever other puzzles it had. While I didn’t care much for the characters and the story and the games after that continue to be fun and very good games in their own right, I still remember being blown away on a game that was really fun and challenging that wasn’t a typical action video game. The first Professor Layton really stretched my brain (and its cells) like no other.

  • On the original timeline, I lost my partner Aht as she used all of her power to free me from the clutches of a mercenary who used his “chi” power to lock me frozen in place. The game displayed that I had came to an end. But wait! I used the white book to teleport me over to the alternate timeline in hopes to find a solution to my dead-end from the original timeline. In the other timeline, I received training from Gafka, who helped me attain the use of the “chi” power. I quickly returned over to the original timeline, where I parried the mercenary’s chi power and had Aht and I battle him on proper terms. It’s numerous moments like that, where you hit a dead-end on one timeline, but you find something on the other timeline to attain whatever is needed to get back on track on the original timeline. The game does a great job with sudden events to signal that you need to go to the other timeline to work things out.

    The hopping between timelines is one of the many items that make Radiant Historia such an impactful game for me. The game also has to most even-keel and unassuming cast of characters gracing in this game. Stocke, the main protagonist, never seems flustered by anything. He cares for everyone, never frets in tight situations, and can kick some major ass. Everyone else holds their own weights in a crux of not only two big nations warring at each other, but also the underlying threat of the entire world coming to an end. It’s refreshing to go through a game where not one major character hampers the experience, yet commanding such significance in terms of personality and in the story.

    The game’s timeline hopping mechanic wasn’t the only thing that makes Radiant Historia a fun game to play. The battle system is equally as engaging and mind-blowing to experience. It’s pretty fun to first, look at the turn order and make moves to give your party the most consecutive turns possible to unleash a fury of attacks against the group of enemies. When you’re on the attack, there are moves where the characters can push back, pull forward, or shove to the left and right, to group as many enemies into one pile so that they can all be dealt with the cumulative amount of damage done. The battles are made more epic by a beautifully conducted orchestral score, especially the boss battle theme. I really wish I’d picked up on this game earlier, as the first run had the soundtrack packaged with the game.

    By the time all was said and done, the game posed a final choice. As the main protagonist returns back to the real world after a chat with the surprise true antagonist, he asks who the protagonist really is. I chose Stocke, because that’s who he really is in the game. A bad-ass stoic character who I can say is one of my favorite video game characters of all-time, featured in a game that contains a wonderful story that is assisted with the wonderful time-hopping mechanic, along with a great cast of characters, features an exciting battle system, and an epic soundtrack packed into one Nintendo DS cartridge.

  • I only have to laugh back whenever Rock Band or Guitar Hero is ever brought up. Those days where I’ll easily waste a few hours each day playing a plastic guitar over whatever songs were available. I credit the first Rock Band game to convince me that singing/playing like on plastic instruments was okay, and everyone was in it for the comradely. Rock Band 3 was a fitting end to the rhythm music madness with the inclusion of harmony vocals, keyboards, pro guitar/bass/drums, and the ability to upload songs to the Rock Band Network. But Rock Band 2 is the sweet middle game that I put the most time into and the most times I dragged those damned instruments over to other places.

    In hindsight, Rock Band 2 didn’t do much over the first Rock Band. It was pretty much more of the same, with slightly better presentation, better looking band members, a more robust character creation, and more songs. Yet somehow, Rock Band 2 became a drug that I became an addict for. Even though I may have played a particular song many times over, it never felt dull. It was the instant boredom buster for me. If nothing else interesting was going on, all I had to do was startup Rock Band 2 and then I had my craving for the day. Rock Band 2 also dragged me into the deep, dark depths of its DLC. I kept on buying so many X-Box Live Point pre-paid cards to buy whatever new songs showed up in the store. If there was a song that caught my interest, I need to add it into my Rock Band library so that I can see how the notes fall on the highway.

    I enjoyed Rock Band 2 so much that I dragged it numerous times over my cousin’s house for him and his friends to play. A few adults, particularly my father and uncle, were glad that they were playing a game that didn’t have any violence and had songs they recognized. My cousin was so big into playing drums in Rock Band 2 that he eventually got an actual drum kit. A few of his friends were always eager to join in the Rock Band fun. In late 2009, I even dragged my entire Rock Band setup to the office and a few brave co-workers tried their hands in Rock Band. That’s how far I went to spread the Rock Band phenomenon.

    Rock Band and the entire music rhythm genre imploded a few years later. The games lost its luster and made way for me to finally focus on other games. The instruments are stored in the attic, rarely to be accessed ever again. But when it was the hot thing, I fell hard and fast under its spell. It somehow harnessed both my love of video games and my love of music into something special. And thus, easily earns a spot in my GotG list.