Has something happened to you that when the event was over you thought to yourself that you’ll never get that time back? You know what I mean, like when you spend 3 hours stuck in traffic or had to sit in a meeting discussing the previous meeting and plan agenda for the next meeting. You think how you could have better spent your time and that those hours are lost forever in a black hole pit of nothingness. I think it happens to all of us at one point or another and sometimes way too often. If you have ever done the Four Lenses personality assessment, I will say that my primary color is “Green” which means I can’t stand to have my time wasted. Having said that, let me tell you about this piece of shit game called Saints Row IV.
It’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty…my top five favorite videogames of all-time. Coming up with a best 25 was hard to do since I have been twiddling my joystick for quite some time now…since Atari – get your minds out of the gutter! I can bet with quite certainty that some of my favorite games are long forgotten and left off this list, but for the sake of picking 25 games I looked at the ensemble of consoles and PC games I played over the years. I think I captured the breadth of my favorite games across a spectrum of genres. To put them in order was another task all-together since each game provided a different experience at a different point in my life. So, I would place less emphasis on where the game is on my list and pay more attention to the fact that it made my list at all. Of all the games I played in my life narrowing my favorites down to 25 speaks volumes of the game’s impact on me. Enough rambling, let’s get on with my final five!
5. Resident Evil (Generic) – Multi-Console
Do you think that 23 Resident Evil games (including remakes) have watered down the franchise? I think so. Despite what the game has evolved to over the years, several of these games provided countless hours of horror & fun over three consoles: Xbox 360, Playstation, and Nintendo Gamecube. The games that entertained my psyche are Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Director’s Cut, Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Code Veronica, Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5, Operation Raccoon City, and Resident Evil 6. Though, I have to admit the latest of these games since RE5 have been lackluster and disappointing, I keep playing them for some reason.
It was early on that I found horror gaming fun. I remember playing that first Resident Evil game in a room full of grown men jumping when dogs would crash through windows and zombies would come out of nowhere about to make that fatal bite. The puzzles could be seriously challenging at times especially on Code Veronica. The suspense was fantastic and the story was pretty deep even for the time…1996 for the first release. The voice acting was a bit weak in those days, but overall it provided a unique and fun gaming experience. It was probably the first time where the player would sit and watch a story play out with the characters on scene. By now we are all pretty much desensitized to these kinds of games and it’s harder to become scared though some games still do it well. Resident Evil has morphed into more of a Call of Duty meets zombies and for that reason the game is more action based and much less suspenseful. Also, the creators seem to think that by making the big boss as big as possible is somehow supposed to impress us. I once heard bigger is not necessarily better. Perhaps the creators should not try so hard to make a final boss so big. I keep hoping the franchise will return to horror and puzzle solving vs. fast-action shooter style. Nevertheless, for what the game did for me in those early years warrant a high placement on my all-time list despite the fall of a great gaming experience in recent years.
After doing several “best of” lists centered on music, it’s time to turn attention to my favorite videogames. Coming up with a best 25 was hard to do since I have been twiddling my joystick for quite some time now…since Atari – get your minds out of the gutter! I can bet with quite certainty that some of my favorite games are long forgotten and left off this list, but for the sake of picking 25 games I looked at the ensemble of consoles and PC games I played over the years. I think I captured the breadth of my favorite games across a spectrum of genres. To put them in order was another task all-together since each game provided a different experience at a different point in my life. So, I would place less emphasis on where the game is on my list and pay more attention to the fact that it made my list at all. Of all the games I played in my life narrowing my favorites down to 25 speaks volumes of the game’s impact on me. Enough rambling, let’s get on with the list!
I never played the first Borderlands, but based on the rave reviews from peers and from online sources, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and try Borderlands 2. My initial impression was quite positive. I like the comic strip graphics, the voice acting, and the plethora of weapons available throughout the game. The gameplay is smooth and crisp. I caught on to the story pretty quickly. In short, I am a vault hunter and some guy named Handsome Jack controls all of the Pandora’s Eridium. Power, hunger, and greed you get the picture. It’s my job to get the vault key and take care of business. It seems quite simple, but following the game for its actual plotline is such a small part of the game. Ultimately, I found myself spending about 70% of my time on the optional side missions. That’s funny because they are optional, but if I didn’t take the time to do the optional missions, I would never be able to build up my character’s attributes and weapon upgrades necessary to beat bigger and badder bosses and bad dudes. The frustration sets in…
I would have to say that I am a lifetime gamer. I had the early Atari and pretty much every system that followed. I did take a break and went a couple of years without having a system. One of the games that brought me back into gaming was the original Resident Evil on the Playstation. Later on down the road it was Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64 that really took multiplayer to a new level. I spent many hours laying proximity mines on those multiplayer maps. It took some time, but the gaming industry seems to be interested in recapturing some of that old Goldeneye glory. The Nintendo Wii released a new version of Goldeneye in 2010 for which I never noticed. Recently Xbox (and I assume other platforms) released Goldeneye 007: Reloaded. It didn’t take much convincing to want to try this game out. Though tweaked from the original, it was a nice to reminisce with a game that “I” say laid the foundation for all the shooters we have today – especially concerning online multiplayer gaming.
Continuing with a post I made about some cool games to check out if you’re on a budget (but should still check out even if you’re not), here’s some more great games I’ve played that are worthy of your attention. I’ll highlight both great indie games, classics that have aged well, as well as some modern AAA game that you can now find on the cheap. If you have any suggestions on some great games for those of us on a budget give them a shout out in the comments, as with music, I’m always on the lookout for great games to play. And if you are interested in hooking up with me for some PC gaming, you can find me on Steam with the user name RiffRaff79. So without further ado, here are some cool games to check out.
Where do I begin explaining the sheer over-the-top, off-the-wall, bat-shit-crazy, out-of-its-mind awesomeness that is Bulletstorm. On the surface it may seem like an ultra-violent romp through a tough military guy story filled with immature cussing and dick and fart jokes. And it is, but it so, so much more. The violence finds its place weaved wonderfully into the cheesy and cliché’ narrative as well as the copious amounts of toilet humor. The game play is traditional as well as insanely innovative at the same time and it leads to some of the most fun I’ve ever had while playing a game. The graphics are some of the best I’ve seen on my Xbox so far and feature the full use of the color palette, something many game developers have forgotten was there. The set pieces are gargantuan and the action is non-stop. Simply put, every single thing about this game is absolutely amazing and you should not hesitate to play it.
Once again, the city of Steelport is under fire; caught in the crossfire from rival gangs. Saints Row: The Third (or Saints Row 3) takes the fight to the streets in this open-world action/adventure game. In this third installment, the Saints attempt to regain control of Steelport from the gangs that comprise The Syndicate. It’s a complex story of organized crime, but a simple plot…regain control.
What’s the worst thing a developer can put in a video game. Escort missions. Bring the mentally challenged, paint-chip eating AI controlled character from point A to point B without letting him/her be killed. These type of missions always end up with said AI character running face first into a storm of swords, wandering off a cliff, or skipping into a hungry horde of zombies. Somehow in Resident Evil 4, Capcom addressed this issue with the escort missions by letting you toss your escortee, Ashley, into a dumpster while you ran around and killed off all the lurking zombies. This method worked to an extent, but was not perfect. There were times I wished I was able to give her a shotgun and have her blow away a zombie when they found her in her comfy little dumpster. Well, I guess I wasn’t the only person to want to be able to do this, because in RE5, Capcom lets you give your “partner” an entire arsenal of weapons.
Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii is the complete package for any fan of old-school side-scrolling platformers. Its got highly diverse level structures, crisp and colorful graphics, great upbeat music, and great charm. It also has a level of difficulty that has been forgotten for a long time. Nintendo doesn’t pull any punches to ease the difficulty of this game at all, you will lose many balloons(lives) playing through this game. On quite a few levels I went through 40-50 lives(DKCR is quite generous with the 1ups) just to reach the end. But the great thing of the challenging nature of Donkey Kong doesn’t come from bad controls or cheap enemy shots, it’s from the amazing level design that Nintendo and Retro Studios created. Never once does a lost life feel cheap, you fell into that pit or got hit by that enemy because it was your fault(ie. mistiming a jump, running too fast, ect.). And no matter how many balloons I was popping, I never stopped playing because the levels are just that fun and engaging that you will want to keep playing through them. If you lose enough lives on a level a little pig shows up and offers to show you how to play through the level, but I never used this feature.