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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:56 pm
by MarsDragon
Accumulate, Throw Stone, and Yell are good, Gained JP Up is AMAZING, Move+1 is nice but kind of eh, Equip Axes is garbage.

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:16 am
by Friday
7. Resident Evil 4

I've met people who tried and don't like Dark Souls because it's too brutal. I've met people who don't like run and gun games like Contra. We've got a board member here posting about how he couldn't get into FFT.

I've never met anyone who has played RE4 and didn't think it was great. (I mean, maybe now someone will post about how they tried RE4 and hated/disliked it for whatever reason. That's okay.)

RE4 was Capcom realizing that the old RE formula had gone/was going stale and took a big risk in mixing it up in a big way, and boy, did it pay off. RE4 has got something for everyone, every type of gamer.

The visceral thrill of shooting a zombie in the face and watching his head explode. (and then sometimes an insect creature pops out of the neck stump.) Saving up your money to upgrade your guns. Managing a well designed inventory loadout. (Okay, I know some people didn't like the inventory system, but it's waaaay better than anything else RE has ever done.) Grenades. Eggs. Throw grenades at zombies. Throw eggs at zombies. A smokin' hot Asian lady with a red slitty dress. Ridiculous characters and dialog. Leon doing kickflips. The president's ballistic missiles.

Exploration that yields rewards. Killing enemies isn't just a drain on your resources, they drop ammo or money or healing items. Dynamic drops that refill ammo you're low on to keep the action going. Sure, these changes move RE4 away from "survival" horror. But so what? Not every game has to be about conservation of resources. Whip out your TMP and mow down some zombies. Vaporize three zombie heads in one 12 gauge shotgun blast. Zoom in with your rifle and pick off enemies from a distance. Set up traps, push down ladders. Lob incendiary grenades onto cultists armed with morning stars and crossbows.


But RE4 is a game that is more than just a list of bulletpoints. It all comes together in this magical, perfect whole that somehow transcends the sum of its parts and is this incredible journey of mayhem and fun.

Sure, 50% of the game or so is a dreaded escort mission. But you can just stuff her into a trashcan if you want. She never gets in the way of the action. She's actually almost impossible to shoot yourself unless you're doing it on purpose, so don't worry about that. Get under her and look up her - hey! pervert!

The story is simple enough, and classic Capcom camp. At least Leon has the decency to make fun of some of the more campy stuff the villains spout between giving his own eye-rolling lines. But it's charming instead of cringy.

The difficulty ramps up steadily and by the end of the game you'll need all that fancy equipment you've been hoarding. Some sections are actually pretty damn tough and the game doesn't shy away from killing you. You can't just breeze through this game, you've got to earn your jet-ski turn down the president's daughter and then immediately hit on radio girl ending.

Want a bit of that old school Resident Evil horror? Have we got the Regenerators for you! Worry not, if you just blow off their legs they won't be able to -- HOLY FUCKING SHIT

Resident Evil is possibly the most fun I've ever had playing a videogame. It doesn't tug on the heartstrings, I hesitate to call it high art, but man, nothing beats a RE4 playthrough for pure raw entertainment. It's like the best kind of stupid silly action movie, only you get to play as the hero.

It's also got decent replay value in Mercenaries mode, Ada's story mode, and Professional difficulty level, all unlocked after you beat the game the first time. They're good for extending the life of a game that would have been completely fine without them, so think of them as just a nice bonus.

Oh and Ada Wong in a slitty red dress 10/10 she is my wife

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:48 am
by TA

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:51 am
by Friday
Yeah, those can get fucked.

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:50 am
by MarsDragon
Shemue what hath thou wrought

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:04 pm
by Friday
6. Dragon Quest 8

I spent a lot of time thinking about why I prefer DQ8 to a lot of other JRPGs.

Final Fantasy 4. Final Fantasy 6. Lufia 2. Earthbound.

Any of those games could be in this slot instead (spoilers, they're not on the list) and they're all in my top 20 or 30 games for sure. But something... something puts DQ8 ahead of them.

FF4 has better gameplay and flow. FF6 has better characters. Lufia 2 has Zelda elements and a glut of fun puzzles. Earthbound is Earthbound.

But I remember the first time I walked out of the first town and into the open, fully 3D worldmap, and that amazing track starts up.

Dragon Quest games are not for everyone, as the saying goes. They're grindy, including this one. They're all basically the same. Tradition is the most important thing. Each game only slightly tweaks the formula.

Dragon Quest games are extremely slow, and 8 may actually be the slowest paced of them all. Even I, a rabid DQ fan, found myself at first annoyed by how slow paced everything was in 8. But after about an hour or so, I found something almost magical had happened, and I just sort of adjusted to it. Instead of being in a hurry to get to the next town, the next fight, the next scene, the next event, I just... sort of chilled out.

Dragon Quest 8 is a game about relaxing and exploring a world. Could the game benefit from a 4x or even a 10x fast forward button? Yeah, probably. But if you approach the game with the understanding that it being slow is not meant to waste your time, but instead immerse you in the world, you will find a very enjoyable experience.

Dragon Quest 8 filled me with a sense of wonder and awe. I haven't felt that kind of emotion about a videogame as strongly anywhere else. It was truly a magical experience for me. I remember sitting on the couch in my pajamas under a blanket in the early morning, sipping hot cocoa, exploring the game. At age 26.

Uniquely for this list, I do not recommend Dragon Quest 8 to ANYONE, except people who already know they're DQ fans. The game is so insanely slow in both pacing and just actual literal speed that there's just too high a chance that any given gamer would hate it for me to feel okay about telling them to play it. Dragon Quest 8 is like a beloved grandpa. He talks slow and you are a busy adult with things to do, christ, grandpa, I don't want to hear about your old stories from the 40s can you just hurry up already.

But if you DO want to hear about those stories, this grandpa has a wonderful rich voice and lots of great stories to tell you about magic springs and cursed kings and majestic giant flying birds from earlier installments.

I loved how it disguised its grinding with treasure chest hunts. Instead of endlessly circling the town to build up enough GP to buy all the gear, you would wander around the nearby world looking for treasure. I loved all the stupid puns and accents. (Even if they paved the way for all the absolutely super-trash-garbage tier bullshit accents in subsequent DQ games.) I loved the fact that you got 4 characters and you didn't have to worry about them leaving with your shit. (permanently, at least.)

The game is often silly and fun, but knows when to be serious. There's a ton of side content to do, from collecting tiny medals to casinos to monster arena combat. It's a tour de force of everything an RPG can offer a player. (delivered at a very slow drip.)

DQ8 has a lot of flaws, both little and big. I don't care. No other game has made me feel like a kid exploring a vast magical world when I played it. The music, the graphics, the adventure. It all comes together amazingly.

In conclusion 10/10 fuck you Jessica, Red is true waifu

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:59 am
by Newbie
Don't want to jump to a conclusion too quickly, but preliminary reports suggest that this is a Good Thread

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:44 am
by Friday
5. A Link to the Past

Zelda. Zelda is a game series that is so -whatever- that every review of it has to just start like mine just did, by saying the name alone in a sentence.

One thing that everyone has to do whenever they pick a favorite Zelda is explain why they picked that one and not that other one(s) because so many of them are so good. I'm going to do that as quickly as possible, because I don't want to waste too much of your time.

Zelda 1: I'll be honest, if I wasn't taking points away for aging poorly and giving full marks for Time of Release, Zelda 1 would be my favorite. Truly a watershed moment/release in gaming, Zelda 1 was probably the biggest step forward in design in all of gaming history, outdoing Super Mario Bros released just a few months prior. Even now it plays really well, with sharp (if basic) combat, an open world that puts most current "open world" games to shame, and even a completely remixed second quest (hard mode) for those who beat the game.

OoT: Many, many people consider OoT to be the pinnacle of game design. I'll admit that when I first played it, it really did feel that way. It felt like this was what game design had been leading to. A fully 3D Zelda! Characters! Story! Epic! Gorons! Hot thirsty Gerudo bitches! And OoT is in no way a bad game. But on replay, the cracks start to show. Dull combat. (Iron Knuckles aside, which are more like a Dark Souls enemy.) Boring secrets. Pointless, time wasting fetch quests. Shitty, boring, "look around the room and then shoot arrow at eye" puzzles. OoT is a great game, but the flaws keep it from being truly sublime.

Majora's Mask: Ewww, what's this!? THIS ISN'T ZELDA THEY'RE TRYING SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT EW EW EW!!! Majora's Mask is a better game than OoT, full stop. What an amazing risk Nintendo took! and how poor the reception for it they got! The next time you shit on Nintendo for never deviating from the Zelda formula, please remember that they fucking did with MM and nobody gave a shit so they went back to pandering to fanboys so they could make more money.

Wind Waker: haven't played it, looks rad tho

Twilight Princess: hahaha no

Skyward Sword: I detect a 99.987% chance this game isn't that great

Link's Awakening: haven't played it, looks rad tho

Breath of the Wild: Whoa, they deviated from formula and people love it! Sick! Haven't played it though.

Zelda 2: Fuck you I like Zelda 2

Okay, now that that's out of the way.

A Link to the Past is, as others have pointed out, a refinement of Zelda 1, and since as previously stated Zelda 1 is the closest other Zelda to being my favorite, it makes sense that LttP is. No longer do you burn every single bush and bomb every single wall, that shit is now visually indicated. Combat is still fast and furious and precise. Dungeons still confuse and boggle and engage.

LttP is a masterpiece of game design. It actually is the number 1 spot on my list of games I consider "Best." Yes, that's right. I consider this the best game ever made. Ever. Of all the games.

A magical world to explore, dense with secrets both big and small. Ram a tree, hundreds of bees fly out and attack you. Or you knock down some fruit to heal you. Turn a chicken into a girl with magic powder. Trade a fish for money. A magic sparkling bee you can keep in a bottle and sic on your enemies. Magic spells and rods. Throw your shit into a fountain. Temper your sword. Get equipped with 1/2 magic curse. The hookshot. The cape. The bug-catching net.

The music is rich and swelling. The graphics are bright and sharp. The sound effects are crisp and tasty. Like tacos.

If anything is wrong with LttP (there isn't) it's that I want more. I want a bigger world to explore. I want a second quest with harder challenges. I want a 100 floor dungeon with a super boss at the bottom. I want more game to play. Sure, you can argue that LttP is a good length (it is) and doesn't overstay its welcome (it doesn't) but I don't care, I want more.

(Yes, I know I should play a Link Between Worlds shhhh)

What really impressed me most about LttP is how dense the world is. A lot of games are big, but sort of empty. (Hi, OoT. How are you?) LttP has fucking shit everywhere. Shops, bees, pieces of heart, it's a secret to everybody on every screen in every nook and corner. The level of detail is astounding. You can sprinkle magic dust on those weird electric enemies and then talk to them. Why? Why not?

As far as I'm concerned, not just Zelda but gaming reached its peak with Zelda: A Link to the Past. Everything since then has been slightly disappointing.

(But Friday there are still 4 games left on your list)

(Yes and I was slightly disappointed each time I booted them up for the first time and they were not LttP Second Quest)

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:33 pm
by Thad
Yeah, agreed on basically all counts; LttP is my all-time favorite too. Have you been following Parish's series of articles about it on USgamer?

And yeah, Link's Awakening and Link Between Worlds are must-play too. (I remember being disappointed by Link's Awakening DX, the color remake, mostly because it added extra dungeon hints and I thought that was BS, but I suspect that wouldn't irritate me as much today as it did then.) I've seen a lot of praise for the Oracles games and for some of the other third-party offshoots (Minish Cap?) but I mostly got bored after the first dungeon any time I tried any of those.

Breath of the Wild is definitely on my to-do list too. (Once my graphics card comes in I'll see if I can get Cemu working with it.)

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:47 pm
by Friday
Have you been following Parish's series of articles about it on USgamer?

I have not, but thanks for the link. (no pun intended.) I'll check it out soon.

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:03 pm
by Newbie
I feel like the reasons someone uses to justify preferring Link's Awakening over LttP or vice versa should say something fundamental about who you are as a person, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what it is. I'm definitely a Link's Awakening preferrer, even if I can't decide why.

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:59 pm
by TA
Newbie wrote:I feel like the reasons someone uses to justify preferring Link's Awakening over LttP or vice versa should say something fundamental about who you are as a person, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what it is. I'm definitely a Link's Awakening preferrer, even if I can't decide why.

I feel the same way. Mind you, we're still talking a narrow gap between gold and silver here, but. I think LttP is probably a better pure game, probably the peak of the Zelda formula, but Awakening's breaks from the formula are what push it past to me. The world feels like it has more life, the NPCs and the whole trading game thing and all that. The ability to jump, if you equip the feather. The ability to assign two items, one to each button, and as I recall the sword and shield are two of those items - so if you want to sword and jump, you don't have a shield, and if you want to jump and boomerang, you don't have a sword. I like that it has absolutely fuck-all to do with Ganon and Hyrule for once. It's less of a Zelda but just a more enjoyable experience, I think. LttP is full and rich, but Awakening has zest.

At least, as best as I can remember, it's been a decade since I played either one. I should replay both.

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:39 pm
by Friday
4. Symphony of the Night

Now that I've gone and said LttP is my number 1 top slot for "best" game of all time, I better have good reasons for the 4 remaining games that I'm listing above it in my personal favorites.

As far as SotN goes, it's simple: I'm super gay for gothic atmosphere and design. I love the frilly outfit the our Vampire Hero Alucard wears, I love the enemy design, the wonderful mythological monster bosses. God, I could write a whole thing just about how Beelzebub is one of the greatest boss designs of all time. (Not mechanically, he's boring and just shoots giant flies at you.)

He's actually sort of a microcasm of why I love SotN so much. While Beez isn't very interesting mechanically, he's amazing in his presentation and ambiance. You can almost smell the putrid rot when you first see him.

SotN is a game riddled with problems and flaws. You backdash faster than you walk forward, leading to players moonwalking everywhere. Enemy and boss difficulty is uneven. The inverted castle is fucking lazy design. Weapons are unbalanced and far too powerful, trivializing large sections of the game and almost all bosses. You can't fucking sell or get rid of old gear and items, leading to insanely overclogged inventory. I could go on, there's plenty more to bitch about.

The thing is, I don't care.

A lot of these problems were fixed in the Igavanias for handhelds. Aria of Sorrow is most people's favorite Igavania and I fully admit it's the better game than SotN. Hell, I actually prefer OoE over SotN just as a game.

So why am I putting SotN up not only above Aria of Sorrow, Dawn of Sorrow, Portrait of Ruin, Order of Ecclesia, but A Link to the Motherfucking Past?

Games aren't just about being games, son. They are also about being art.

Now, SotN is by far the least "art" game of my top 4. But I still consider it very strongly in that catagory. (It's also a pretty damn good game despite its flaws, don't get me wrong.)

I'm going to bring up one specific example to explain what I mean.

The Confessional Room.

The Confessional Room is about halfway through your adventure in the normal Castle. It serves no purpose at all. (Well, I guess you can farm grapes from it.) It only exists because SotN's development cycle was so long that somebody had an idea to make it and put it in. Aria of Sorrow has no excess fat like the Confessional Room, because it's focused on being the best game it can be. SotN is weird and meandering.

Sit down in the confession side and sometimes a priest will come and hear your confession. Sit down on the priest's side and sometimes a woman will come, confess her sins, and sob. All without any dialog.

And sometimes these ghostly apparitions will grin through their skullteeth and fucking try to murder you with knives.

Sure, it's not amazingly impressive or anything on the surface. But I love that room to death because of just...

Like, okay. You go into Aria of Sorrow's castle and it is a videogame. Every room, every section, every enemy, is there because this is a videogame and you are playing this videogame. You fight your way through monsters and beat up a boss to get a new powerup so you can go to a new area. Standard Igavania stuff. Very polished, very well designed. Much better designed than SotN.

The Confessional Room has nothing to do with your quest. It doesn't care who you are or that this is a videogame. It exists because this is Dracula's Castle and that's it. It's just a part of the world. Am I saying that most of SotN isn't a videogame? No, it's very much a videogame. But it has those small touches that make it so much more. There's just so much shit in SotN, just like Zelda. Tons of rare drops of weapons and armor. I've played through the game 20 times and every time I play it, I almost always see an item I've never gotten before.

Truth be told, if I wasn't giving marks for Time of Release at all, SotN would probably fall off my top ten, or at least down the list. But it was a breakthrough game at the time (even if it did just straight up ripoff Super Metroid's map screen) that paved the way for 4 more great games and the Metroidvania genre in general.

I love SotN for its goofy voice acting, (who doesn't) its smooth as fuck controls, the vast arsenal of weapons and armor and helmets, (you can get fucking nunchuks) and its huge amount of hidden secrets. The music is great. The sound design is great. It's got RPG elements like leveling up that everyone loves. You can make your bat familiar fall in love with you, and then break her little heart when you transform back into a human.

You can equip axe armor and run around as an axe knight. It's goofy and almost useless, but it's there. You can't do that shit in Aria of Sorrow!

At least in OoE, you could turn into a cat and talk to cats.

I probably don't have to defend why I love SotN any further here, as most of you love it too. If you haven't played this game, do yourself a favor and try it. I can't imagine anyone who would dislike it unless they just didn't like videogames in general. Is it the best Castlevania game? No. But as my next entry on this list will show, sometimes, the game part of the game doesn't mean shit.

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm
by nosimpleway
I think something that A Link to the Past did particularly well -- better than Zelda II at least, and arguably better than the 3D iterations -- was demand that you make a mental map of the dungeon you were in and how the floors interconnected.

Two words: Skull Woods.

Several more words: That one block puzzle in the Ice Palace.

You don't just run around looking for bombable walls, you had goddamned better work out how the dungeon connects to itself and use that to get around. It's tricky but rewarding to work it all out.

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 4:43 pm
by Friday
3. Silent Hill 2

Silent Hill 2, the "game", sucks dick.


The combat is shit. Shoot enemy with gun/whack with pipe. It falls down. Hit it some more while it's on the ground. It stands up. Hit/shoot it some more. It falls down. Step on it. Repeat 1000 times. The End.

The controls are clunky and weird. The puzzles are obtuse and at times ridiculous. (Hey, melt this wax doll with candle and then stick a horseshoe into it to make a handle for a trapdoor, I'm looking at you.) The boss fights are literally "Move away, shoot gun a few times. Dodge boss's attack as he closes distance. Move away, shoot gun a few times. Dodge boss etc. Repeat until boss leaves/dies."

Silent Hill 2 doesn't even rate in my top 1000 games in terms of being a game like Contra is, or like Dark Souls is. It is literally awful.

So, it'd be better as a book? A visual novel? A movie? (lol) Some other form of media?


I remember talking to Lyrai about Secret of Mana. Secret of Mana sucks just like SH2 does, too. Not as badly, but I've got the same complaints. The combat is shit. Spam spells on every boss, how engaging. The puzzles are boring. Cast random spells on an orb until it triggers.

But SoM is a good experience. The music, the sound, the graphics, the story, the adventure. I'd recommend the game to my friends, or anyone else who asks.

Silent Hill 2 is THE experience. The game is barely "fun" at all. But that's not the point. The atmosphere is the point. The loneliness. The fear. The sense that something is right behind you in the fog. The monsters are shitty and slow. You can just run right past them, and most of the time it's safer and better to do so. There's no reward for killing them, except your peace of mind as you explore the town. (Which is worth a lot.)

Tons of reviews have been done about this game. I won't go in-depth about how insane the symbolism is. Let's just say that when you find the Prisoner Tablet and you are momentarily locked in the cell, that's not random.

The sound design is a fucking world of its own. The scariest shit in this game isn't the monsters, it's the shit you cannot see. The darkness and the fog is all around you, and who fucking knows what lurks in it. This game taps into our primal fears unlike any stupid bullshit in any other horror media I've ever seen.

People were so upset about Deus Ex: Human Revolution's and Mass Effect 3's endings. "It's just a button press at the very end! My choices didn't matter! Why can't they make a game where what you do during the game determines the ending!" Motherfucker, SH2 was doing that shit back in 2001. Spend a lot of time examining everything and you will not only change the ending but change James' motivation for the act that started it all. Spend a lot of time paying attention to Maria and you will become entrapped by her fantasy and leave town with her. Cough.

Ironically, playing the game "casually" with the least amount of attention paid to anything nets you the best ending. (But not the canonical one, as Silent Hill 4 shows it was probably Lake ending that James ended up doing.) There's no single thing that you can do to guarantee an ending, no single flag you can trip. It's about small things. Did you examine that knife the suicidal girl gave you? Did you examine it a lot?

There was a hole here.

If you really want to be with Mary again, you should kill yourself.
But I don't think you'll be going to the same place as she did, James.

The other humans in the town all act strange, as if what they see in the town and what you see in the town isn't the same. (Spoilers, it isn't.) Silent Hill is so scary because it's not quite entirely in your head, but also not quite entirely it's own existence. I've always thought that Silent Hill is, in it's own extremely fucked up way, almost like a therapist. It reaches out to people (James, Eddie, Angela) and asks them to confront their problems. It asks and asks and asks. Oh, Maria died because you left her behind? Not clear enough for you? How about if she dies AGAIN on a bed in a jail cell, with marks on her face like someone smothered her?

Confront and admit your past, what you've buried deep down in yourself, or become consumed by it. Eddie could not confront his darkness, and was driven insane, and then killed violently. Angela could accept her darkness, but not overcome it. She walked into the fire, never to be seen again.

James, between the two Pyramid Heads, gets to his feet. "I know what I did. I don't need you anymore."

He fights back. He accepts what he is, what he did. Silent Hill has forced him to do so, and now all that is left is for him to fight back against the physical manifestations of his guilt, and then Mary/Maria herself. Then he is free to do as he will.

Silent Hill 1 and 3 are good games, but are lesser because they are about some weird cult instead of just the town itself. The town is stronger as a fucked up therapist. It wants you to become whole again. Remember, part of Silent Hill is the good part of Alessa. The best part of 3 was when you faced yourself on the fucked up merry-go-round, because that's Silent Hill in a nutshell: It's trying to help you, even if that means killing you.

(Well, and the haunted house but that's just because I love hokey horror shit like that, especially with such a dark twist. Even if the red light hallway shit at the end was stupid and made everyone play through that section 2-4 times, ruining the novelty. Good work, designers.)

Pyramid Head is a good example of how Silent Hill helps you. He shoves you off a roof! You have to take that damage to proceed. But it's the only way forward. Without him forcing you through that painful barrier, you're stuck. He could have just killed you, but instead he helps you. By hurting you.

There's a million little things I love about Silent Hill 2. The monsters themselves fear Pyramid Head. Equip his sword, turn off your light, and drag it behind you in the darkness.

The monsters will flee from you, thinking you're him.

I could go on. There's so much to talk about. It even has the best joke ending of all time. (Not kidding, show me a better joke ending.) In the end, Silent Hill 2 is what you put into it. Play through casually, examining nothing, and you get your happy ending. Look deeper and face the true darkness. Obsess over a fantasy woman and you'll be caught by her. It's up to you. You can't save the others, because this is Silent Hill and everyone must face themselves and their darkness alone. I love how the little girl in the game doesn't even know what the fuck you're on about about monsters, because she's innocent, so Silent Hill just leaves her alone.

Sigh. I could keep going. Suffice to say this game is fucking amazing and if you're a fan of horror media at all and haven't played it, you are literally missing out on the best in the business. If you're not a horror fan, even, you might still like the game.

0/10 Maria get fucked true wife is Heather in magical girl costume from 3

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:41 pm
by Friday
2. Red Dead Redemption

RDR is more than a GTA clone. When I first heard about it, I made the joke "So, Grand Theft Horse?" and while applicable (and still funny to me) RDR goes far, far beyond such paltry roots.

Don't get me wrong, I love the GTA series for its satire and smarts, and RDR has lots of that. Just read any newspaper and you'll find a hundred biting observations about the nature of humans in the old west, and now. (My favorite has to be "For reasons nobody will ever quite understand, all of Europe declares war on itself" present in the final newspaper referring to the opening of WWI.) The characters themselves are exaggerated caricatures of typical western roles, including an insane graverobber, an incredibly racist scientist, a slick sleazy con man, a Mexican warlord who rapes and pillages, and his equally disgusting rebellious counterpart who uses his countrymen to gain power and then turns into a clone of the warlord he overthrew.

But unlike GTA, RDR plays a lot of it straight. John Marston is a complex anti-hero looking for redemption, and the final villain he takes down, Dutch, is an equally tragic and complex antagonist.

RDR is divided into three acts. Act 1 takes place in the traditional western setting, with dusty batwings and tumbleweeds in the American West. Act 2 finds you crossing the border to explore Mexico, playing both sides against each other in the rebellion to find your man. Act 3 explores the end of the West, when technology was finally starting to kill the old ways. Each act has a new set of characters for you to bully and work for.

The strongest character in RDR is, of course, the land itself. Mounting your horse and riding out into the open country remains one of my favorite things I've ever done in a videogame.

I'm not going to talk about all the sideshit you can do, like bounties, catching horses, racing, playing poker, or just hunting for animals and plants. You've played GTA games before, you know that kind of stuff without me explaining it. It's there if you want it. Personally, I mostly ignored it beyond trying it out, because I wanted to continue to story and find out what happened next. But at the same time I took my time about it, because I knew I wanted to savor every possible last drop of this amazing game.

RDR isn't a perfect game. I consider it flawed in many areas. (WHY DO COUGARS ONE-SHOT YOU) If I had to pick a perfect game, I'd say A Link to the Past, for reasons that I covered in that post. But RDR reaches for emotions that I've never seen a game reach for before. The futility of violence but being trapped by it. The displacement of the old for the new. The melancholy of being truly alone in a world that does not care about you and never will.

Unlike GTA, the player is not forced into a criminal position. Outside of one required horse theft, the entire game can be played honorably, never breaking the law. Of course, you'll still kill a metric fuckton of people, bandits or no. And the game doesn't gloss over that fact. John wants to be redeemed but his path to it is soaked in so much blood that it becomes literally impossible for him to reach his goal.

It's been said that Rockstar has made plenty of rated M games, but that RDR is their first truly mature title.

Do yourself a favor and don't miss it.

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:34 am
by zaratustra
and number one:


Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:23 am
by Friday
It would be, but you didn't include bosses

Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:03 am
by Esperath
Friday wrote:It would be, but you didn't include bosses



Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:48 pm
by Friday
1. Undertale

Alright, before we do anything else, let's address the anthropomorphic elephant thing that everyone on the internet wants to fuck in the room.

The fanbase.

I'm not going to waste (a lot of) your time talking about this, but I feel I should address it here at least a little bit, because whenever you talk about this game, someone will bring up how fucking retarded human beings are.

And they're right to bring it up! I fucking despise the fanbase of this game, and not because of how cringy they are (I don't care about that, and it's not like every fanbase isn't full of fucking weirdos) but because of how masterfully they accomplish the exact fucking opposite of what they intend to accomplish: Get new people to play Undertale.

Let's start with my experience playing this game. It was still very new, less than a month old, and the internet was just barely starting to go full retard about it. Romo, on IRC, mentioned that I would like the game and suggested I try it. He kept his fucking mouth shut beyond that and let me experience the game for myself, completely.

So I played the game expecting a cute little indie RPG and ho boy was I blown the fuck away.

Let's compare what Romo did with what your average Undertale fuckboi/fanfag does.

Romo: Hey, this is a cool game, I think you'd like it. You should try it.


So of course whenever anyone fucking acts like that at you, about anything, you're going to roll your fucking eyes. Plus they spoil that the game is about subverting expectations, which lessens the experience for the person you so want to have the experience.

I mean, shit. They're not wrong! I'm about to fucking say all the same things they just said, but this is a review, not me attempting to get anyone to play the game. Plus, at this point, I think the jig is up with Undertale: people know at least mostly what its about.

Alright. Enough about the fanbase. Just know that I completely agree with you about how fucking stupid they are and am far, far more angry with them than you could ever be, because they are actively turning people away from a genuinely amazing experience because they are too fucking stupid to understand that foaming at the mouth about something is never going to make anyone want to partake of what you're foaming about. My only advice is to push past their shit and not let them ruin it for you.

So, then, do I recommend Undertale?


Are you the type of person who enjoys a game for the story and the characters, or do you mostly play games for other reasons? There's no shame in playing games for the visceral thrill of blowing people's heads off, or the joy you get from crunching numbers, or anything else.

Are you a sentimental type of person? Do scenes in fiction get to you, or are you mostly the type to watch movies and such for the cool action scenes instead of the drama? Does it bore you when the hero talks about his feelings and you just wish he'd get back to shooting the aliens?

If you're a sentimental, romantic, power of friendship, sopping vagina like me, then you'll like Undertale. (Note: You don't HAVE to be a sopping vagina to enjoy Undertale. I imagine it's possible for even the most callous Halo jock to enjoy the game. I just wouldn't heartily recommend the game to anyone like that.)

Undertale is a game about choice. Undertale is a game about consequences. Undertale is a game about friendship. Undertale is a game about determination in the face of overwhelming opposition.

Undertale could not be a movie, or a book, or any other kind of media. More than any other game I've ever played (with the possible exception of Silent Hill 2) Undertale justifies the existence of the Video Game medium as art.

Don't get me wrong. It's still a pretty decent game outside of being artistic expression. While the battle system is simple (you can attack or use items, that's it), each time you're attacked, instead of just taking damage like a typical RPG, you are shunted into a brief bullet-hell like mini-game. Each enemy has a unique way of attacking and while it might sound like this would get tiresome quickly, Toby wisely keeps things fresh by quickly shuffling monsters so you never fight anything too much to get bored of it. (Unless you're R^2 and play the game 100 times.)

The music is another strong point. Toby really outdid himself with the soundtrack. You can watch whole videos about the music theory of Undertale, how Toby reuses certain themes (while building on them) to create a musical through line that underpins the entire game. Music isn't used randomly, and each theme relates to another in some way. (With one exception.)

The enemy design is whimsical and jokey. For such a serious game, it sure doesn't look it. NPCs and monsters (hint: they're the same thing) look like bad kid's drawings for the most part. Not that this is a flaw in the game. The monsters are supposed to look like they sprang straight from some kid's imagination. The cast most closely resembles what a 7 year old would design if asked to people a world with characters.

Undertale definitely fits the "small child in dangerous world" theme that so many indie games use, but unlike most of them, the world is only as dark and dangerous as YOU make it through your choices.

Undertale is very aware that you have probably played Final Fantasy 6, and Earthbound, and a slew of other RPGs aside from those two. It knows this and it winks in a very direct way at you about it, while at the same time twisting your encoded RPG tropes and expectations in order to give you a novel experience. Undertale is funny. Nerd girl dinosaur can get a little bit grating, but that's her point. She's a TAKE THAT to all the fucking retards that act exactly like she does. Not that they picked up on that, being too busy eating pocky and arguing about whether a katana could really cut a bullet in half mid-flight.

The attention to detail is astounding. Toby truly did think of almost everything. Can't get ahold of Toriel on your cell phone? She does have a history of having hers stolen by shitty dog. Maybe try calling her when shitty dog is in your inventory?

Oh, that homemade pie Toriel made you would probably be recognizable to Asgore, right?

Did you buy a donut from the spiders? Still have it? Oh, you can skip this boss then.

But now it's time to talk about what REALLY sold me on this game.

Prior to playing this game, Dekar, from Lufia 2, was my favorite videogame character. He's a cool dude and he doesn't afraid of Sinistrals.

Now my favorite videogame character is Undyne, aka Best Fish Waifu Girl.

To explain why, I'm gonna have to go a little bit into spoilers (a lot more major than any ones I've already done), so. If you want to play this game for yourself (spoiler free) someday, stop reading this post now.



Undertale would be an amazing game if it was just neutral into pacifist. It's a nice little arc and you make friends with everyone and redeem Flowey. Great game, 10/10 true lab creepy as fuck.

But Undertale ain't done yet. Undyne isn't amazing JUST because she burns down her own house from cooking too hard.

It's time to kill everything that moves.

The fan named "Genocide" playthrough is equally important to the soul of Undertale as any other playthrough. Only by taking up the role of villain can all the other characters be fully fleshed out.

Undyne isn't all fun and games. She's a true hero. As the ONLY enemy in the entire game that can actually tank a hit from Chara, Undyne is the champion of the underworld. She represents the collective power of honor, friendship, and determination in the face of true evil. Normal playthroughs do not reveal her true power because it isn't needed. Chara brings out the best in Undyne. The real hero within. The game is not subtle about this. Undyne is the traditional RPG protagonist fighting against a nearly invincible evil, spouting lines about justice the whole time.

Of course, she dies. Because you're invincible. No matter how many times she kills you, you just stand back up from your last save point.

Which brings me to my favorite fictional character of all time. Not Undyne. She's my favorite videogame character, remember?

Sans is presented as a chucklefuck lazy prankster (because he is) with comical shortcut powers. Megolavania (above track) is the only track that doesn't link musically to any other in the game, because the Sans fight represents something entirely different. Sure, Megolavania is sort of Toby's signature track for his super bossfights, that's true. But I still think its use during your showdown with Sans is more about how outside the box that showdown is.

Sans knows he can't "win." He can't remember what has happened directly since your last save, like Flowey, but he knows you've got time-warping powers. He can read on your face how many times he's killed you (Your face looks like the face of a person who's lost thrice in a row. what comes after "thrice", anyway? Wanna help me find out?) but that's it. He knows that in order to win he has to make you give up. He attacks the PLAYER directly, pleading with them to cease this path that they're on.

This is the most I've written about any of the games on this list. Well, it is number one for a reason. I'll stop now because I've covered most of the high points, but there's a lot more I could say. Does it have replay value? Not really. Sure, you can fuck around with the neutral endings and even go full R^2 and get all of them. But it's mostly an experience.

I guess to sum up how much Undertale meant to me (not that I'd ever give it to the fucking Pope) I'll say this: Undertale is the only game I've ever played that made me want to be a better person.

I didn't even talk about Papyrus, or Temmie, or Tsundereplane, or Flowey, or Dino-nerd's hidden character depth. Undertale is an amazing journey and it's a fucking shame that a legion of frothing retards are doing their best, every day, to make sure that as few people play it as possible.

If you can, and you're a vagina: Ignore them and play it for yourself.