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  #631  
Old 06-23-2017, 11:03 AM
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What about 64?
All I will say is middle school nostalgia is a hell of a drug.
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  #632  
Old 06-23-2017, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Galadrome View Post
Also, I'm just gonna come out and say it. I have a feeling Onimusha 3 and Mega Man Zero 2 didn't make it and that saddens me very, very greatly.
I voted for Zero 3 :/ I only had it at #20 though, so I dunno if picking 2 instead would have made a difference.
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  #633  
Old 06-23-2017, 11:36 AM
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Hot Take: Melee is the worst Smash Bros game. Give me Brawl or 4 over it everyday of the week.
I think this is true, actually. I will always take Brawl or 4 first.
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  #634  
Old 06-23-2017, 01:18 PM
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More characters = better game. It would be pretty hard to convince me otherwise at this point. The only reason I voted for Brawl is that I have 4 on 3DS, so I haven't spent any time with couch co-op.
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  #635  
Old 06-23-2017, 01:23 PM
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With party games like Smash my preference is often for the product that gave me the best memories over the newer one with more content.
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  #636  
Old 06-23-2017, 01:46 PM
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After the first one, I never got into the other Smash Bros games. I tried them, but still, I never really got into any of them.

I dislike nearly every Bioware RPG I play, partially because they can't write any good characters or stories, partially because they can't make good battle systems. Somehow ME2 did both things right. I did enjoy the first game, but that was mostly because the PC port was improved a lot from the original 360 version. Still, ME2 is the Bioware game I actually like.
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  #637  
Old 06-23-2017, 02:24 PM
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My first ever play through of ME2, I really disliked it. I had played a paragon sniper specialist in ME1. Coming to ME2, I felt like I was being forced to play a renegade character. Kaiden basically turning his back on me because I was working for the enemy made me want to shout that its not my choice. Then I didn't understand that the game really encourages you to move around and sitting back and sniping until you're out of ammo is kinda boring.

The second time I tried it, I brought a renegade Shepard engineer and I really enjoyed the game. renegade Shepard isn't evil. He'll just do whatever it takes to save the galaxy (and especially humans), so it felt more natural to play that Shepard that's working with Cerberus because that's what it takes. Playing engineer and having Miranda means I've got any tool for whatever job needs doing.

The story of ME1 establishing who the big bad is going to be and how the world works I think works better. ME2 definitely fills in some of the seedier parts of the ME universe, but the collectors show up in the opening movie and there's not really any build up (other than the final boss reveal). The main story just treads water. But the side stories are really the meat of the stories that are told. In the context of impending galactic extinction, it would feel like "why am i chasing two-bit thieves when there's a spaceship sized synthetic bent on galactic organic extinction running around?" But because the main story is treading water, you can afford to spend time helping your teammates with their issues.
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  #638  
Old 06-24-2017, 04:46 AM
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BONUS STAGE

This is the first of two weekend "Bonus" Posts (the other one coming next Saturday before the Top 10). Today I am going to talk about sad lesbians in the Pacific Northwest, specifically the three games that someone once dubbed as a "trilogy" with that name. All three games are story-driven, all three take place in Washington and/or Oregon, and all three have major characters going through some kind of angst. The lesbian aspect runs from overt to inferred by internet randos, but they are all three very good and worth your time. They also all three got at least one vote.

Gone Home (2013) 94 Points, 4 Votes



Gone Home was critically acclaimed, and sold quite well on Steam. Unfortunately, it also got tagged as a "Walking Simulator" by a lot of people, most of whom tend to be offended when a type of game exists that doesn't conform to their narrow definition of such. That doesn't detract from the game's quality, or the interesting directions it took the medium.

The story boils down to 22-year-old Kaitlin Greenbriar returning home to Oregon from a trip across Europe to find everyone gone and having to piece together what happened from notes, books, diary entries, etc., and she eventually uncovers her sister's struggle with coming out in an unfriendly environment. It also contains gobs of wistful '90s nostalgia.

Sadness: Oh man, Sam is depressed AF.

Lesbians: Sam is very definitely gay.

Pacific Northwest: Somewhere in Oregon

Last edited by Issun; 06-24-2017 at 05:18 PM.
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  #639  
Old 06-24-2017, 04:48 AM
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Life is Strange (2015) 115 Points, 4 Votes



At one point this game was in the Top 50. Then all the last minute lists started pouring in and I sadly watched it fall down the ranks along with Hotline Miami. Like Hotline, though, here it is, getting its day in the sun.

I often rate games on the total experience they give me, and I've never had an experience quite like Life is Strange. Yes, it does borrow liberally from the Telltale model, but it changes things up enough to make it quite different.

The story involves Max (never Maxine) Caulfield returning to Arcadia Bay after living in Seattle for several years in order to take courses at the prestigious Blackwell Academy. She also reunites with her estranged best friend Chloe Price by watching her be murdered and then discovering that she, Max, has the power to rewind time.

The mechanic makes for a unique game experience, but what LiS does best, better than any game ever, is its characters. They are deep, complex individuals, and while the dialogue may occasionally come across as hella cheesy, their motivations and struggles come through. This is important, because it lends weight to Max's choices, which can be rewound in the moment, but are permanent ever after, and they get progressively more difficult until she (and you) must face the most unbearable choice of all.

Sadness: Max is struggling a bit, but Chloe has angst for days. Plus some of the choices are downright cruel.

Lesbians: Depending on how you play Max and Chloe's relationship, it becomes fairly obvious (or not).

Pacific Northwest: Arcadia Bay, Oregon.

And don't worry, I'm not the only one that'll get a chance to talk about their #1 that didn't make it.
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  #640  
Old 06-24-2017, 04:49 AM
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Oxenfree (2016) 14 Points, 1 Vote



Oxenfree is the least known and least celebrated of these games. Not to say it's bad, but it definitely doesn't have the impact of Gone Home or Life is Strange.

The story revolves around Alex and her group of friends that head to Edwards Island (a fictional island off the Washington State coast) for a beer-and-bonfire overnight. Things quickly get weird as Alex's radio picks up strange signals. After following her new stepbrother Jonas into a cave and finding even starnger signals, the entire group gets teleported and scattered across the island.

The rest of the game involves the group reuniting and discovering the paranormal aspects of the island. The crux of the game, however, is how the characters play off each other through your dialogue choices. The conversations branch in ways I've never seen in a game, and the voice acting is superb, so this part of the game is its definite strength. The paranormal plot is a bit too far up its own keister on occasion, but it does facilitate a lot of great character beats.

Sadness: Alex and Jonas are going through some pretty upsetting upheavals, and some of the decisions can be depressing.

Lesbians: You have to squint really hard and then read a lot of internet in order to decide what Alex's sexual orientation is at all.

Pacific Northwest: Just a few miles from where I live (sort of).

Be back Monday with the top 20!
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  #641  
Old 06-24-2017, 05:06 PM
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I keep meaning to go back to Life is Strange. I think it puts the worst foot forward, because episode 1 just feels really lame outside of a few moments, like when Max finally meets Chloe again. Then when I played episode 2, it did the whole Zach Braff hipster thing early on where it plays some indie music I'd never heard of while walking down a railway line.

I really hope the sequel's writing is less pretentious, because that's what puts me off from it. Or maybe I should say more genuine, because I'm not sure if pretentious is exactly the right word. But there's a lot of "30-something guys trying to sound like teenagers" in LiS's dialogue that puts me off it.

Still though, it's like a Telltale game, except way better than what Telltale's games have devolved into (at least their TWD stuff).
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  #642  
Old 06-24-2017, 08:23 PM
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I didn't list Gone Home, though I did enjoy it despite playing on a laptop that ran it at about 6fps. Not every game can survive those conditions.

I've been thinking about giving Life is Strange a go. Issun makes it sound pretty good, so maybe I'll get on to that.
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  #643  
Old 06-24-2017, 08:39 PM
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surprisingly there are no sad lesbian titles on my list

there are lesbian titles on the list, but they are happy lesbian titles and have less overcast skies
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  #644  
Old 06-24-2017, 08:59 PM
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I've been intrigued by all three of these Sad Lesbians in Snow the PNW titles, but never actually made time to play any of them. They look great, though. I think I may own Gone Home via some sale or other. Heck maybe even LiS. I should... probably catalogue my spur-of-the-moment sale games at some point, huh.
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  #645  
Old 06-25-2017, 03:03 AM
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I voted for two of those games!

Gone Home blew my mind, and to this day I consider it one of the best examples of how games can pull storytelling tricks movies can't. You find out the stories of your family member at your own pace, puzzling it out from tidbits you get here and there. And it is so full of personality... One of my favorite moments is when Katie finds out an explicit journal entry from Sam and she goes all 'ewwww' and absolutely refuses to read it. Sam's story is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, and that ending kills me every single time. It is a simple story, but told extremely well.

Life Is Strange was at my #1 spot. Yeah, the dialogue is clunky, but the game is full of heart, and the time rewinding mechanic is pure genius. It gives you an in-story mechanism to explore all the dialogue trees, guilt free, and then they manage to work it in as a solution to several puzzles. And non-gameplay wise, Max and Chloe relationship is one of the most beautiful relationships ever in a videogame, even if you decide it's not romantic. You heartless monster.

I do think it is the best game of the 21st Century. Certainly, it is the one that I've enjoyed the most. And I'm disappointed it didn't place in the final list. You used to have good taste, Talking Time

Oxenfree is good, too - it just pales in comparison to the other two. And it has a lot of sloooooow backtracking, so it didn't place in my final list. But I did have a good time and unlocked all the possible endings.

Quote:
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Lesbians: You have to squint really hard and then read a lot of internet in order to decide what Alex's sexual orientation is at all.
Well, I'm certainly disappointed Alex/Nona is not an option in-game (and it's severly underrepresented in the fanfic community - you failed me, Internet). But I am under the impression that the lesbian angle mostly comes from the backstory - Maggie Addler was wrecked when the ghosts possesed and, apparently, killed her very good close friend Anne. The relationship between those two is only referred to in a couple of notes, but it is not hard to read as romantic since it did drive Maggie's obsession with the ghosts almost as much as her guilt for creating said ghosts did.
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  #646  
Old 06-25-2017, 06:27 AM
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Yeah! Melee! I probably shouldn't have forgotten that game, considering I've played it competitively, but such is life. Real good, even if I had to switch from Doctor Mario to Falco because lol balance.

I don't like any of the Mass Effect games, they all have a stilted awkwardness that comes with a lot of WRPGs and especially Bioware games. The world building feels bizarre and forced to me, like, "check out this cool thing" rather than "this cool thing exists." Hard to explain exactly. I have more specific criticisms, too, having recently watched my friend play it but I'll save the griping. I can understand what people get out of it and, structurally, ME2 is pretty dang cool. ME2 is the of the series, by far.
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  #647  
Old 06-25-2017, 01:14 PM
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Just to let everyone know, voting for the next thread is underway.
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  #648  
Old 06-25-2017, 07:31 PM
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I hadn't really heard of Gone Home or Life is Strange until I started reading Talking Time. Certainly games that are on my to-play-eventually list.

(This also means that I'm partially responsible for them not making the top 50, so, sorry 'bout that.)
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  #649  
Old 06-26-2017, 12:01 AM
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That bonus stage has much better games than the toplist!

Gone Home was a great game for me. I went into it not really knowing what it was about, so I expected it to be something like a horror game just without combat, so exactly what I wanted. I think telling someone anything about it completely ruins the game and is the reason why so many people hate it. The game plays so much with your fears, even though nothing ever happens, I was totally scared something might just happen eventually. That it was all about lesbians I only realized at the very end, it was a mega surprise but it gave me a smile. Knowing that the game is about lesbians before playing ruins the whole experience imo, that's why I never mentioned it outside spoiler tags.
I guess it's also one of the games that made me realize that going into games and movies "blind" can make them so much better, even though there's always the risk of you getting something you don't enjoy at all.

Life is Strange I only watched as LP, but it looked quite decent.

Oxenfree I avoided because the reviews mentioned that the game has stuff that I really hate in games (e.g. time limits on decisions).
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  #650  
Old 06-26-2017, 12:28 AM
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Gone Home is a masterpiece of its genre.
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  #651  
Old 06-26-2017, 04:53 AM
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#20


That twisted hulk of flesh and metal, driven by the alien technology; can we still call that life?

Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Platforms: Windows, Playstation 3, XBox 360, OSX, Linux, iOS, Android
Release: October 9, 2012 (NA), October 12, 2012 (EU & AU)
243 Points, 9 Votes, Highest Rank: #1 (MCBanjoMike)




Here we are, the last game with single-digit votes, and boy is it a doozy. XCOM is one of those series that holds a very special place in some people's hearts, while others simply find it to be a screen-punching inducer. Frankly I'm not sure which one it is for me, as I've only played some of it. What I found though, was potentially engrossing.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a "remake" (more a reimagining really) of the game XCOM: UFO Defense from the 1990s. I know nothing about the original, but I do know they went all out on this game. The interface for the tactical sections is so user friendly one might think this game would be fairly easy, but one would be wrong. As you learn about placement and making sure you're under cover at the end of your turn, you will lose units. Once you lose a unit, that's it. They are dead forever. It's not a forgiving game, but the interface is so smooth that it's a joy to keep playing.

The tactical section is only part of the game (albeit a big one). You're also choosing missions, and which missions you choose will affect what countries will give you and if they'll even continue to count on you. If too many of them leave, it's Game Over. You also have to choose what to reasearch, what to build, loadouts, and so on. It sounds overwhelming, but the devs were not without a heart, and the game really eases you into things until you can start to grasp them.

This game is so expertly crafted it's no wonder it made the top 20. There's also an expansion pack that adds a lot to the main game and was popular enough several people made mention of it on their lists. This game isn't for everyone, but it certainly deserves a chance to prove itself.

Let's hear it from MCBanjoMike!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike
XCOM is a game about difficult choices. The player is constantly outgunned and outnumbered, and they are pressured from all sides. For every action you take, there are two that you don't, leaving you with new problems to take care of down the line. Do I deal with the abductions in China, which is panicking and close to abandoning the project, or in Mexico, where the reward for completing the mission is greater? Do I invest my resources in better weapons and armor for my squad, or in improving my base so that next month I'll be able to launch more satellites? Do I roll the dice on a difficult shot that could swing the battle in my favor, but leave me up the creek if it misses? Can that Sectopod really kill my heavy in one turn if I don't deal with it right away? Yes. Yes it can.

That constant sense of anguish is what makes XCOM so exceptional to me. Playing the game on Ironman, where every move you make is immediately saved, raises the stakes of even the more trivial decisions. I can spend 10 hours playing a campaign and still not know how it's going to end, because everything can change on one bad roll of the dice or one poor judgment call. You have to stay sharp and focused, making the right moves in battle while also managing your long-term strategy so that you can keep winning. It is utterly engrossing, and the dynamic ways that the battle unfolds guarantees that even a failed campaign will probably yield a good story or two. If you can take joy in watching things go delightfully wrong, then you're sure to have a good time with XCOM.
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  #652  
Old 06-26-2017, 04:55 AM
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#19


In this world, there exists a balance between those who are creators and those who are users.

Developer: Studio Pixel
Publisher: Studio Pixel, Nicalis
Platforms: Windows (Plus everything else down the line)
Release: December 20, 2004
244 Points, 11 Votes, Highest Rank: #4 (MCBanjoMike,
q 3)



When some guy in Japan going only by "Pixel" put his game up on the internet 12 1/2 years ago, I doubt he had any idea what he'd just done. Cave Story changed the gaming scene over the next decade plus in ways we still haven't fully understood. Back then, people didn't talk about "AAA" games because major devs were all there were. Sure, you had their big releases, then the secondary stuff that was still good, followed by shovelware. But they all came out of the same studios. Then Cave Story happened.

Pixel showed that a small group with programming, art and music skills could make a game every bit as good as what was coming out of the big companies. It being free to start definitely helped, but had it been of middling quality, it would have been quickly forgotten. Thankfully, it was a platformer every bit as good as the best from the 8 and 16-Bit days. A little rough around the edges, maybe, but that's to be expected, given the circumstances. It was and still is, though, a great game with some gameplay innovations that made for a unique experience, and a story that, if it doesn't tug at your heartstrings a bit, I don't know what to say. It was truly a complete package, and it showed you didn't need big money to create an instant classic.

Would there have been an indie gaming scene without Cave Story? I'm not sure, but it seems likely. There were too many people that had grown up with games and now wanted to make their own. I'm glad cave Story was the first one to make it big, though, because it set the bar for indie games so high to start with that anyone who followed had to make sure to at least approach its quality if they wanted to be taken seriously.

Let's hear it from q 3!

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Originally Posted by q 3
In January 2005, a fan-translation group released a patch for a freeware PC game made entirely by a single Japanese hobbyist. Twelve years later, commercial versions have been ported to half a dozen consoles and counting. Cave Story's existence, let alone its popularity, would be confounding if not for a simple fact: it's really that good. Its floaty mechanics make for a fun, frustration-free experience that's buoyed by oodles of charm and atmosphere.
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  #653  
Old 06-26-2017, 06:25 AM
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I have one game on this list so far and it's a game I regret putting on my list.

Cave Story is terrific. Full of secrets and crystal clear design work. One of the best games ever really. Naturally I forgot to put it on my list.
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  #654  
Old 06-26-2017, 07:06 AM
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I'm honestly surprised i didn't think to vote for Cave Story. Inherent flaw in my "list nominees in order I think of them" decision making process, I guess.

But I've bought, played and beaten Cave Story in nearly every format it's been released in. Except the Switch port as that's a bit expensive and the 3DS remake as that's...not super.
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Old 06-26-2017, 07:20 AM
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One of these days I'll play both of those games

Or maybe one

Or neither

:|
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  #656  
Old 06-26-2017, 07:45 AM
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Yay, XCOM! I'm currently playing it on Classic/Ironman, which is hard. My soldiers are frequently recovering from injuries for ~10 days, and I've lost at least half of my troops. France just left the council, a UFO escaped, and I've blown up a ton of material that could have been useful and I'm selling the rest of it on the grey market. I'm not even close to getting higher level weapons or armor, and I probably have to assault the alien base soon. And this is my most successful run yet! It's not a game you can play perfectly, you just have to decide which losses are going to hurt you the least. Man, is it ever fun though! My three most veteran troops are completely badass, I have a little armored tank that's about to roll out of production, and I finally got to a point where I'm getting some real money each month. I've played through this game at least 6 times, and I'm still excited every time I start it up. Oh and it works super well on the iPhone, which is just the icing on the cake.

Cave Story is super good too, but I'll leave that to people who know more about it. I played through it once and enjoyed it, but I never dug into the game as much as I could have.

Man, I feel like the top 20 is going to be extremely special.
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  #657  
Old 06-26-2017, 07:53 AM
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I have a feeling there's gonna be a bunch of Nintendo games.
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  #658  
Old 06-26-2017, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Issun View Post
#20


That twisted hulk of flesh and metal, driven by the alien technology; can we still call that life?
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  #659  
Old 06-26-2017, 08:27 AM
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I had Cave Story down at No. 22, but it honestly could have been higher.

I first played that game on my laptop back in college, back before it had any sort of commercial release. What a great experience. Later I bought it for Wii, and again later I bought the 3DS version (not a great choice). I still haven't beaten the secret final area.

I'll probably buy the Switch port when I have a Switch.
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  #660  
Old 06-26-2017, 08:40 AM
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Cave Story is really good. I didn't put it on my list, but it deserves a spot on the overall one for sure. I've only played through it once and haven't gotten the best ending, so I'll refrain from digging too deep into it, but it's definitely worth trying out if you haven't.

As for XCOM, well, I have a lot to say! I'll borrow what I wrote on it from my favorite games list...

XCOM is probably the biggest shock for me when I consider my favorite games of all time, as it's probably not one I would have ever suspected to be as high as 7th place. That's not to say it's undeserving or anything -- I just didn't expect my innocuous purchase of Enemy Unknown to enamor me so hard, and then for Enemy Within to then take that launching point and send it even further into my heart. Let me put it this way: I have done two full campaigns for EU and essentially two for EW (the first glitched out close to the end) in the past five years. EW was 2015 AND 2016. And the genesis of this essay prompted thoughts of replaying it AGAIN. But why has it taken such a foothold in my brain?

I think XCOM manages to find the right blend of tactical consideration alongside compelling mechanics, making each skirmish an absolute delight. As your soldiers muscle through maps and gain experience, better gear and more knowledge of the alien menace, you increasingly grow fonder and fonder of your squad. You wince when they take severe damage and panic as they fall, and you hope that they aren't dead because of the time (and emotional) investment. But as the troops rise in power, and you gain the instincts of how to best proceed with each wrinkle of gameplay, storming maps and utilizing the environment to your advantage becomes second nature. Setting up overwatch salvos, ambushing enemies by flanking them, just taking out the most dangerous foe before they ravage your squad -- these are amazing moments that build and build the more you play. And EW adds in a bevy of new modes for combat maps and additional opportunities for your team to grow (MEC suits and bio-engineering), as well as all of the DLC and extra content from the last game, making it the definitive way to enjoy this marvelous package. And I haven't even discussed the base aspects hardly at all, which is compelling enough to serve as a nice distraction from the shooting in between missions.

That all being said, the game has its shortfalls, and they are mostly technical. This is a glitch-ridden title, and the only PS3 patch for it actually makes it worse (by locking you out of a crucial mission late in the game!). The camera can spiral off into nowhere, units can fall through the ground, weird physics issues, occasional collision problems, and weird artifacting to the cutscenes are a small handful of the issues that can arise. It's also not super attractive to look at, and the color scheme is a little too monotone. And dear god, sometimes this game is merciless even on easier difficulties. Plus the aircraft element of the base is undercooked and feels tacked on to the rest. But despite all of those concerns, the core of the game is SO GOOD I can't be mad at it. I mean, I've replayed the whole game nearly FOUR times in five years. And it's not something that is a quick little breeze -- it's a 20 - 40 hour investment, at least. So XCOM, you've done something. You've become my pick for the best US developed game ever made.
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