Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

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Friday
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Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Friday » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:39 pm

So, let's get this out of the way right off the bat.

This thread is 100% a vanity project. If you don't want to read that, click away now.

It's literally going to be me talking about my favorite video games just like every asshole on the internet has done since 1995. My plan is to go beyond a simple list and delve into the reasons WHY I like each game so much without going full Tim Rogers verbose bullshit navel gazing.

Also, note that this is not a BEST videogame thread. These games are my favorites. Now, there's going to be some overlap of course between Best and Favorite, but the top ten games I consider to be BEST would be a very different looking list. Super Metroid would be on it, for one. (Super Metroid isn't on this list. It'd probably make my top 20 and for sure my top 30, so calm down.)

I'm going to post one game at a time, starting with number 10 and work my way up. I'll go into why I love the game so much. I won't post all ten today, and I'll update the list when I feel like it, but probably I'll be done with all 10 in 3 weeks or so.

I don't really hope to generate a lot of discussion because this is just my opinions but hey, if you wanna comment about stuff that's totally cool and we can talk about videogames hey i like talking about videogames maybe you agree with my choices maybe you don't maybe you think I'm a dork whatever lets talk about it

There are no "rules" for this list. It's a pure list of my personal top ten games. I'm not going to say I'm taking into account the era they were released in, or that I'm not, because it's a little bit of both. I give points for technical limitations of the time and whatnot but I'm also taking them away for aging poorly.

Alright, one last thing. I haven't played a lot of games that consistently make a lot of people's top ten list. Obviously, those games are not going to show up on this list. Here are a few games I have never played, if you're wondering why they're not here:

Shadow of the Colossus
Arkham Asylum
Metal Gear Solid series
Fire Emblem series
Persona/Shin whatever series
Papers Please

With all that out of the way, lets get down to business. to defeat the huns
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Friday
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Friday » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:02 am

10. Dark Souls (Series)

Alright, here's the entry where I cheat, because I can't pick a favorite, really.

Okay, I can, and it's 2, unless the DLC from 3 (which I haven't played yet) really blows me away. But it's sooooo fucking close that it hardly matters. All three games are masterpieces. And yes, I know I'm a weirdo for liking 2 the most. My only defense is while everyone's criticisms of it are completely valid, they just didn't bother me. I love 2 for its sense of adventure.

Anyway, discussing the differences between the games isn't what this thread is for. I'm actually going to post another in depth comparison once I finish 3's DLC somewhere else. So until then, let's talk about Dark Souls in general.

Dark Souls is a game about never giving up. It's a game about overcoming adversity with nobody to hold your hand or guide you through it. It's a game about standing on your own two feet and getting back on them no matter how many times you're knocked down.

Dark Souls isn't for everyone. It requires a certain mindset (and a certain amount of free time) to play this series. If you like to be fed a story, Dark Souls isn't for you. If you like to win on the first try, Dark Souls isn't for you. If you like to be told where to go and what to do, Dark Souls isn't for you.

But if you like exploring, overcoming obstacles, number crunching and min maxing, tactical/smart live action combat, and gothic imagery, then Dark Souls is going to blow you away. Always cruel but never unfair, (well, very occasionally unfair, and yes I am looking at you Capra) Dark Souls has been likened to a metaphor for battling against depression. If you just keep hacking away at it, eventually, you will prevail. You find yourself in a vile blighted swamp deep underground, miles away from any light, but you're still fighting. And then a rad as fuck Spiderwoman comes out and breathes lava on you.

I love Dark Souls not because of the lore, which is subtle and very hidden, but for its devotion to actually interesting gameplay. Too many games reward you for simply mashing X to swing your sword. Or they make you wait a while until the boss drops his guard and then you can hit him once. Either type of fighting is not compelling. Dark Souls allows you to wail away to your heart's content, but it punishes the fuck out of you for doing so. It also allows you to turtle, but eventually (outside of some extreme builds) your stamina will break and your guard will fall. You have to approach each encounter tactically, and adapt on the fly.

There are no "trash mobs." Each individual undead soldier can kill you, even if you're at a high level. Leveling up isn't as important as just improving at the game. You begin to consider those lowbie undead bad guys trash not because you've got 40 str and dex, but because you're so much better than you were at the game than when you began.

The sound design is amazing. The visuals (less so in 2) are amazing. The controls are tight and the hitboxes are tighter. Want to play a tanky knight with a sword and shield? A caster who keeps his/her distance? A dual wielding rogue who relies on dodging and backstabs? You can do it all, and the game doesn't care. Want to kill every NPC you meet? Go ahead. Dark Souls don't care.

With each game in the series, they mixed it up a bit. Dark Souls 2 added degrading health on death, which at first I thought was horrible but later have come to understand was the best system. Dark Souls punishes you for dying so that the tension is always high. Sure, there's always having to start the boss over again, but that's not enough for Dark Souls. You also lose some health and can only get it back by using a limited/farmable consumable. Each attempt you make matters.

The zones are superb. Even 2 has some areas that took my breath away when I first saw them. Dark Souls 1 is a monument to interconnected level design. Exploring around feels amazing when you suddenly open a shortcut and think "aha! I know where I am!" Treasure is everywhere. You're always getting that small jolt of pleasure from finding some cool new trinket, weapon, or armor. (Even if you ignore 99% of them in favor of using your favorite +10 longsword.)

I could go on, but I'm sure the people here don't need me to. In short, if you're the type of person Dark Souls appeals to, it's going to REALLY appeal to you.

Also Priscilla is my wife 10/10 touch fluffy tail
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Friday » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:47 am

9. Contra (NES)

HOLY SHIT FRIDAY YOU PUT CONTRA ABOVE DARK SOULS WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU

calm down

breathe

are you okay

Contra is the game I consider to be "most pure." You boot it up. A rad as fuck title screen and crashing music sting. You hit start.

Boom. The game drops you into a jungle and you're off shooting and jumping and dodging your way through a hailstorm of enemies and bullets and bosses. Then you blast your way into an alien lair and shoot a giant heart until it explodes. The end. Consider yourself a hero.

There's no difficulty selection. (Well, aside from using the Konami Code.) There's no story. You are a man and you have a gun and you must make a giant heart explode.

Too many games these days wallow in stupid bullshit and unnecessary timesinks, cinematics, and busywork. Start to Sword in the Zelda series has been growing with each new release. (Or was, I don't know about Between Worlds and BotW.) Contra doesn't fuck around with you. Press start and get to killing Red Falcon, bitch.

The music, sound and visuals are top notch for their time. And the gameplay is just as crisp and fun as it was when the game was released. Sure, it's a little bullshitty in terms of difficulty, like a lot of NES games. Like Ninja Gaiden (though not even remotely as bad) success is sometimes more about memorizing hazards than overcoming them. But luckily the Konami code exists so that filthy casuals people who don't have a lot of time can complete the game.

If I could change anything about Contra, it'd be to make the F (Fire) powerup not so useless. That's pretty much it. It's the perfect length, it doesn't waste your time, and it doesn't pretend to be anything its not.

I don't really have a lot else to say about Contra. It's a very simple game compared to pretty much everything else on this list. Shoot enemy, don't get shot by enemy. The difficulty curve (outside of the more bullshitty parts) is perfect, the controls are tight, the levels are interesting. Climb a waterfall in a vertical level. Fight through a mostly flat snowfield. Navigate a nuclear plant with gushing fire erupting from pipes. Attack and destroy a horrific alien nest.

Some people prefer Contra 3 and while I love that game also, I feel it sort of bogs itself down with too many set pieces and time-consuming bosses. It's more modern and thus wastes more of your time. Contra's bosses die as fast as you shoot them. They don't have invulnerability frames/phases (well, maybe that one Base boss but it's short) and instead punish you for blindly firing at them by killing you.

The entire game is geared to deliver the best fast paced shooting action possible. Nothing gets in the way of that goal. I realize that such a simplistic game might seem out of place on this list of juggernauts like Dark Souls, but sometimes it's the simple things that get the job done. And when I wanna shoot guys, it's this game and DOOM (2) that I turn to. Both are hailed for being great because they are simple and visceral. Shoot demons/aliens, don't get shot by demons/aliens. Both are masterpieces of one concept perfected.

Contra is probably going to be the most "controversial" entry on this list. (not that anyone actually gives a shit what my top ten games are.) But I stand by the choice because I just have fun playing it, and I don't have to wade through a single god damn thing to get to that fun.
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Niku » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:09 pm

Did you ever get around to playing Contra 4 on the DS? It has a little bit more cruft than the original Contra, but is the closest any of the sequels have come to recapturing what's so fucking good about the first game for me.
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Friday » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:41 pm

Well, I had no idea it even existed. I'll have to check it out.

Playing on handhelds has always given me really bad headaches for some reason, but I can emulate it.

Even if it's more Contra 3 than Contra 1, I'll love it. It's not like Contra 3 isn't a great game. Looking at the wikipedia article, it seems like it's sort of a blend of 1 and 3, so yeah.
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby beatbandito » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:19 pm

Dark Souls 2 is 100% the most fun adventure of the three, even without the DLC. But in feeling the most like a sprawling adventure through different lands it loses the tightness and overall connectedness of everything from the first. The worst part was that they introduced the small white soapstone and it was just never quite the right balance of coming in for a single room or encounter and it ended up like a lesser version, it was such a great concept.
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Friday » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:44 pm

8. Final Fantasy Tactics

Standing in stark contrast to the previous entry, FFT might be the most complex game on this list.

For those few of you who haven't played it, imagine Game of Thrones, but with FFV's job system and chocobos.

Tactical Role Playing Games are great. Vandal Hearts is a good example of a TRPG that's fairly simple. Move your guys around, there are a few different classes, try to attack enemies from behind. Watch blood squirt into the air in massive fountains whenever you kill anyone.

Final Fantasy Tactics is like the grown ups version of a TRPG. You've got 20+ classes, special classes only specific characters can be, recruitable monsters, zodiac signs, block percentages on shields, hit percentages based on height, a slew of special abilities for each class/monster, a complex political story, and 10 metric fucktons (a fuckton is equal to 2.2 tons) of background text that fleshes out the world and situation.

Charm enemies of the opposite sex (or same sex if you're Mustadio :3) with Thieves. Break their gear with Knights. Lay waste to your enemies with Orlandu or by figuring out how fucking Calculators work. FFT has got it all.

Translation goofs aside, it's also got one of the best stories in all of RPG history. And it has one of the most complex and fully realized characters in all of videogames. That's right, I'm talking about everyone's favorite manipulative backstabbing badass, Cloud.

Blame yourself or Jenova.

But that's just listing the things that are good about the game. I love FFT because of how tactical it is. Sure, you can build up your JP and EXP on chocobo plains until you just steamroll everything in the game. But try playing through the game with no grinding and no special characters, basic jobs only. You'll be surprised by how tough the battles are. Your actions matter and you have to have forethought and planning or else you'll quickly be destroyed.

FFT is a numberphile/minmaxer's dream game. If you enjoy breaking games, FFT obliges. If you want a tactical strategy game where every turn counts, FFT obliges. If you want demons who talk in iambic pentameter, FFT obliges. If you want assless chaps Ramza, FFT obliges.

It's not for everyone. People wanting a "casual" experience should stay far, far away from this game. But for anyone who wants something beyond meaty to sink their teeth into, FFT is a smorgasbord of gameplay and fun. There are so many different possible ways to play this game that you could probably play through it ten times and have to use completely different strategies each time. Ivalice never fails to disappoint.

Some entries into the Final Fantasy franchise have flopped, but it looks like this one was a success.
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby TA » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:25 pm

I'm astonished how in-depth and complicated the math and systems underlying FFT are, and how much you have to pay attention to in order to make good characters, given how basically easy most of the game is. There's a lot of stuff to do to perform at a high level but aside from a few fuck-you fights, you can also faceroll the game with your team at like 30% class effectiveness.
のほも is such a good word?? the concept is kind of hard to fully get across in translation, but basically it means a feeling of pure, deep, platonic affection, and i think thats beautiful

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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby nosimpleway » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:14 pm

For super fun times dismiss all human characters and just use monsters.

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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Friday » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:31 pm

I'm astonished how in-depth and complicated the math and systems underlying FFT are, and how much you have to pay attention to in order to make good characters, given how basically easy most of the game is.


One of my favorite things about Tactics was the Faith system, where having a high Faith made you a master of magic but also take a shitload of damage from it. You could build a tanky Dragoon or whatever with low Faith so they'd be impervious to magic attack, but then it ALSO affects how well healing magic works on you, so you better be able to heal that Dragoon with potions.

For super fun times dismiss all human characters and just use monsters.


Someone should do some sort of LP about that

But seriously that's what I was talking about with replay value. Most games wouldn't let you ignore their class system entirely like that. If you want to Meteor everyone to death with Red Chocobos and later eat everyone with Behemoths, go for it.
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Defenestration » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:00 am

I've tried, repeatedly at this point, to get into FFT. It's so goddamn slow to start, and the grid based battle system are just as slow with bad viewpoints and just makes me lose interest. Where do the hooks come in? I can't even get past the early game.
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby MarsDragon » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:58 am

If you're not enjoying the basic gameplay by Dorter or so, it's probably not the game for you.

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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Esperath » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:12 am

Defenestration wrote:I've tried, repeatedly at this point, to get into FFT. It's so goddamn slow to start, and the grid based battle system are just as slow with bad viewpoints and just makes me lose interest. Where do the hooks come in? I can't even get past the early game.


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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby malikial » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:25 pm

Defenestration wrote:I've tried, repeatedly at this point, to get into FFT. It's so goddamn slow to start, and the grid based battle system are just as slow with bad viewpoints and just makes me lose interest. Where do the hooks come in? I can't even get past the early game.


I mean, you can rotate the map and zoom it and move the view point to 2 different height angles to be able to see better.I like the slow plodding way it plays but I am a crazy person. I couldn't stand FFTAdvance but I loved the original so much I play through it like once a year.

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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Brentai » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:41 pm

FFT's main problem is that its difficulty curve resembles a particularly steep staircase and not a lot of people have the patience for that.

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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby beatbandito » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:16 pm

I have never enjoyed any iteration of tactics played the standard way. Generally by the end of the first act my protagonist is a metagamed god of job mastery.
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Joxam » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:33 pm

The biggest 'secret' to FFT is that you want to max out squire on the main character before you switch jobs and at the beginning of a new act he also gets new job skills in it. Like seriously, squire hands down is Ramza's best class. he just has an ability too called accumulate which allows you to build JP and EXP every turn even if you can't reach a character to attack. Also attacking your own units gets you exp and JP too so you can just farm that shit early on if you so choose.
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Friday » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:41 pm

squire hands down is Ramza's best class.


I always found it better to go Monk and equip Squire skills. Ramza should have near 100 Brave very quickly and hits like a truck with his bare fists in Monk class. Combines that with Ninja double attack/dual wield and you'll be doing 999 + 999 damage to enemies by the time you're halfway through the game.
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Joxam
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby Joxam » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:42 pm

Yeah that's fine, what I'm saying is that you should always max out squire first because of the special skills he gets with the class.
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Re: Friday's Top Ten Favorite VG

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:40 pm

We agree that maxing Squire is a good idea.

We disagree that it's the best idea to goldstar it before jobchanging.

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