SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

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SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Rhete » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:08 am

It's that time of year again! Time for a huge ass list!

The votes are in, and as expected, no one wanted to skip over Gen 6, so we're going in order and that's what we're tackling this time. A mega-list featuring your favorites from the early 2000s, the Dreamcast, Playstation 2, GameCube, and Xbox One. Wait, not the Xbox One, the first one, the original Xbox. Curse you confusing names!

Entering is easy and there are only a couple guidelines to follow to submit your list. I'd like everyone here to participate, so please hook us up with your lists.

#1 - Compile a list of your favorite Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, and PC(2000 to 2005) games and order them appropriately in a post in this topic. Order does count, with #1 getting the most points. How many items should this list have? Since we're tackling three four systems, people may have a lot of favorites, but at the very least, absolutely no more than 50 items should be on a single list. For those without quite the collection, 25 items will be enough to receive full weight when it comes to scoring. Lists shorter than 25 are fine as well, but will have slightly less weight in the final scoring.

#2 - Take just a moment to write a bit about each game on your list. They'll be played next to each game's ranking in the final results, so this entire article is written by you. Blurbs aren't required to be short (though short ones are still fine). I enjoy reading about why people choose a game, so if you need a few paragraphs to explain why a game means a lot to you, go right ahead. If a blurb mentions another game, try not to reference its position on your list, as when the lists are all combined, saying something like, "the number 2 game on my list" makes no sense and has to be changed.

#3 - Each place = 1 game. No full-series entries.

#4 - The cut-off for participation is not determined yet! Be sure to give it some thought, too. You don't have to rush and do it the minute you see this post, but we'd appreciate everyone's participation in making this a nice fat list. You've got two months from when I'm posting this, so try not to delay too much!

#5 - As usual there will be games that fall into a grey area and have to be decided upon individually. In general, it's preferred that you played the game on one of the systems this list is for. As we get closer and to modern consoles, the issue of games ported from and to the PC will come up more and more. For example, Half-Life was technically ported to the PS2, but it doesn't feel right for a bunch of people to list it because of that technicality unless they actually played that version, ya know? But at the same time, Max Payne 1 and 2 were technically on the PC first... but those feel like they'd fit in on the list so *shrugs* Anyone want to offer feedback?

#6 - HD re-releases of games originally for these consoles are fine if those are the versions you played. PS3 had a lot of those!

If you have any questions ask em here and I'll get to you as soon as I can.


Edit: Specific cases
Phantasy Star Online, Phantasy Star Online Version 2, and Phantasy Star Online Episodes 1 & 2 will be counted together. Episode 3 is a different thing though!

Evolution 2 (Dreamcast) and Evolution Worlds (Gamecube) will be counted together, as the latter contains the former.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is generally considered a Wii game, and technically came out for that platform first. So I'm advising people wait until the Gen 7 list to list it.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Pauncho Smith » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:19 am

As far as ports to and from PC go, I figure that if NES/SNES/Genesis games that were ports of arcade titles were fair game on previous lists, I don't see too much of a problem here, provided they saw a release on one of the Gen 6 consoles. In the case of the Max Payne games, they were of that specific era, so I believe they merit inclusion.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Rhete » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:26 pm

So on cross-gen games, my thinking beforehand had been if a game came out on older platforms, then a time later, came out on newer ones, the older platforms would take precedence.

However if a game came out on older and newer platforms at the same time, the newer one would take precedence.

This puts Twilight Princess in a really weird position where it actually came out on the Wii before GameCube. Normally I wouldn't worry too much about an edge case like this, but Twilight Princess is a pretty major release so it doesn't make sense to have its votes potentially split between a Gen 6 and Gen 7 list later on. It's technically a GameCube game but most people think of it as a Wii game, and the Wii version actually released first so... I dunno!
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Zeloz (aka Bill) » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:18 pm

For what it's worth, I hear Twilight Princess is much better on the GameCube :D

What's your verdict on the PS2 games that were originally on the PSP? I know Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters and Mercury Meltdown got back-ported, and there's also games like Monster Hunter Freedom and Fate/Unlimited Codes, PSP games that were originally JP-only PS2 games. I ask mostly because I don't suppose we'll actually see a "Top XXX PSP Games" list anytime soon.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Rhete » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:49 pm

Yeah, since we're never going to do a PSP list, those games would be fine to list.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Pauncho Smith » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:20 am

Is this still a thing? Well, here we go:

25. Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee - This was the game I wanted since childhood. To be certain, I did have the King of the Monsters series to go to get my fix of hot monster-on-monster action, but an actual licensed Godzilla brawler, and one that was actually GOOD? The game sports a respectable roster of monsters from the major films (although it did feel padded out with two Godzillas and two Ghidorahs) and the game controls pretty well. Nothing revolutionary, but it's one of those games that you're simply happy to know exists, even if it took a while for a game to come around and do some justice to the franchise.

24. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - This one took a while for me to get into. I initially bought it on the cheap and forgot about it until a tropical storm gave me a few nights off of work, and provided me a chance to play it. What stands out most to me is how well they captured that feeling of agility; the way you run up and down walls, fly through the air, and effortlessly vault over enemies. There are even some sections where you solve puzzles while swinging about with nothing but the bottomless abyss beneath you. The Prince is a bit of a whiny brat, but he's got just enough snark to be endearing. Combat was ho-hum and the final (only?) boss was pretty lame, but a pretty solid package overall.

23. Super Mario Sunshine - Given how groundbreaking and beloved Super Mario 64 was, Sunshine was always going to have to pull out all the stops to even be considered in the same league as its predecessor. And as history has show, things didn't quite turn out that way. I could give or take F.L.U.D.D.'s role in the game; those mechanics often veered between providing strokes of brilliance and unneeded frustration. The bigger disappointment came in the form of the mission objectives; the red coin hunts were already played out by this point, and the Shadow Mario fights were some of the most tedious boss encounters to be found in any Mario title.

That being said, the game is still visually stunning (seriously, check out Sirena Beach or Noki Bay) , Isle Delfino provides a refreshing change of scenery for the series (although the Piantas wanted me to strangle them with how brain-dead they ended up being), and the F.L.U.D.D.-less secret levels provide that old-school platforming challenge that is part and parcel of the series. As a whole, the game still has a great deal to offer players, it just didn't stick the landing for this adventure.

22. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes - This is really the only time I ever sat down and experienced the MGS series for myself in any meaningful way (I did sit back and watch other play through some of the other games in the series, looked weird). I was immediately struck at how batshit bonkers the game was willing to go while still trying to exude this rough and rugged super-serious tone. Of course, with Snake being able to look at girly posters, having a British twin brother (I think, I refuse to investigate the lore any further), and Otakon pissing himself, there was really no way I could take anything this game threw at me seriously.

But hey, wacky stuff dressed in fatigues is why we came to the dance. The boss fights are especially outrageous, and Psycho Mantis seriously had me freaking out for a moment when he correctly guessed all of the Gamecube titles I had played recently (before I learned he was just reading off whatever was on my memory card, the cheating bastard). By the end of it, I was glad I came along for the ride, but I think I'll limit my time with the series to this game.

21. Super Smash Bros. Melee - The quintessential launch title, the one "killer app", and the game that got millions of non-Japanese players to bleat out in unison, "Who the fuck is Marth?". Admittedly, I had neither the skill nor the self-control to subject myself to competitive head-to-head matches with other players (because people are mean and I hate them and I probably would've killed my siblings and other family members years ago), so I charged myself with the task of unlocking every last hidden character and battle arena in the game (1 K.O. bottomless diving for hours on end mostly).

Even if you're too much of a coward to play the game with other humans (as you're supposed to), there's plenty of other content to keep you busy. Classic, Adventure, and All-Star Modes make up the lion's share of the single-player experience, and the Home Run Contests and Target Tests are nifty little diversions. Just playing with each character and getting familiar with their respective move set is a blast in itself (Peach's exploding ass attack amuses me to no end). Melee set the standard by which all mascot-party-kinda-but-not-quite-fighting titles are judged by.

20. Beyond Good & Evil - How overlooked can a game really be if virtually everyone agrees on how overlooked it is? It's a bit of a "If a tree falls in the forest" situation, isn't it? It's the same sad story we've heard countless times before; unique title with promise fails to make an impact because corporate overlords had no idea what to even do with it. A shame too, since the game has a great deal too offer. The world is lush and atmospheric, the constant changes in gameplay styles keep you engaged, and the plot is appropriately winding.

The characters make this game for me. Jade and Pey'J provide the heart and soul of this story, and the Alpha Sections leader is blustery, scummy, and sanctimonious to the point where it feels AMAZING when you take down the propaganda machine and convince the populace to fight the powers that be. Then you end up in space and shit gets weird (Not unlike something you'd find in an Alex Jones fever dream). Perhaps the sequel will help make a bit more sense of it all.........whenever THAT comes out.

19. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker - I can recall vividly the initial online reactions the revealing of the new Zelda title's art style. Many an Internet commenter took to frothing at the mouth at the drastic departure from the look of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Words like "childish" and "cartoony" were thrown around,and the grown-up badass swordsman from the N64 games was nowhere to be found. The vitriol eventually subsided , and Wind Waker proved it could hang with the rest of the series in its own right.

I've tended to have mixed feelings on this game. As expected, it's a rather pretty-looking game (as were a lot of the important 1st Party titles), the world and dungeons are vast, and the combat has a fluidity that was lacking to this point. But while the sea-faring nature of the game provided a nice change of pace, sailing the ocean blue proved to be cumbersome and painfully tedious, especially mid-game with a number of quests. It was a bummer to have such a lousy aspect make up such a large part of the game. That being said, it's worth playing to the end, for the revelations pertaining to the fate of Hyrule, and of course, the shockingly brutal conclusion to the final boss encounter.

18. Soulcalibur II - Is this a proper "fighting" game? They let you use swords and stuff, so I don't know what counts anymore. This was one of the few fighters that I stood an actual chance in, provided I could spam the right combo and time my throw move at the right moment to score the easy ring out (I played the Gamecube version, take a wild guess as to which character I used). Cheap, I know, but it was the only way I ever completed Weapon Master Mode (cage fights were misery for me), and holy hell there was a lot to do there.

It's a bit mind-boggling how many swords, daggers, and other tools you had at your disposal (provided you had the money to burn for everything). And with a healthy character roster, there are endless ways you can go about dishing out the pain. Some of these characters made me a little uncomfortable though. Ivy's assets shouldn't even allow her to stand upright, never mind fly all over the area. And the less said about the resident S&M Mummy Voldo, the better.

17. Psychonauts - Upon the realization that the point and click adventure game was a dying art form, Tim Schafer and Double Fine shifted gears and dove headfirst into the wonderful world of 3-D platformers (a genre that was somewhat less dead at that point). Psychonauts retains much of what made prior efforts like Grim Fandango so memorable, mainly the snappy writing and whacked-out characters. The game also shines in terms of the stages you're thrown into, from the monster flick pastiche of Lungfishopolis, to the twisted suburban nightmare of The Milkman Conspiracy, to the florescent Spanish back alleys of Black Velvetopia.

The only real drawback to Psychonauts is that setting and story aside, you've already played this game before. There's little in the way of new ideas in terms of actual platforming,the psychic abilities aren't much to write home about, and navigating certain areas (i.e. Meat Circus) feels more cumbersome than it really ought to be. The game also falls into the collect-a-thon trap that is so prevalent in the genre, but it does lead to opportunities to dig into the backstory of a number of characters.

16. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne - If you've played the first game, then you more or less know how Max Payne 2 is going to handle. You still have a smorgasbord of weapons at your disposal, you can still perform all those fancy John Woo and Matrix-inspired "Bullet Time" ballet moves, and you're still watching graphic novel-style cut scenes, loaded to the brim with all the gritty New York City noir cop drama you can handle (guided by the narration of one of the most gravel-throated voice actors who ever lived, James McCaffrey).

There are some new twists present, although they don't end up adding much in the long run. The main narrative shifts from the revenge tale of the first game to the "love story" of the second, as Mona Sax is given a more prominent role opposite of Payne (she's even playable in a handful of stages with zero gameplay changes). There are also a few "escort" missions, one where you handle sniper duties as Mona to keep Max alive, and a second where you tail Vinnie Gognitti while he's in a Captain BaseballBatBoy costume (it doesn't end well for him, but the result is hilariously dark). Worth a look for fans of the original Max Payne.

15. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - At this point, I figure that if I'm never going to get a proper follow-up to Super Mario RPG, the least Nintendo could give me was a Mario game with a professional wrestling storyline in it (you know me too well Nintendo, you know me too well). Thousand-Year Door doesn't deviate too much from its N64 predecessor, maintaining the vibrant presentation, the puzzle-platforming-themed dungeons, and the fantastic writing, which can be downright hilarious at spots. Basically, everything that worked previously has been expanded upon and refined here.

I find that this game gets so many of the little things right. The Glitz Pit promoter tells you what to do in all of your matches (like an actual wrestling booker), and you have to avoid backstage sabotage (just like in an actual wrestling angle). It's also quite humorous to see how flirty Mario's female teammate seem to get with him (Goombella offers a quick peck, while Madame Flurrie and Ms. Mowz are a bit more aggressive). Also, Bowser talks to Peach posters, just like the fucking weeaboo freak show that he is.

14. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! - Double Dash is the one Mario Kart game that I bothered to play to completion (i.e. finish every cup on every difficulty, and unlock every kart and character). Admittedly, the game seemed gimmicky at first, with the big new feature being the ability to switch off between two characters on the same kart. Miraculously, I ended up enjoying this feature a hell of a lot more than I thought I would. I felt that it added a certain layer of strategy to a straight-up racing game (although I mostly used this feature to hoard weapons so I could wreck shit at just the right time).

The game has been criticized for being "uninspired" compared to its predecessors, and yes, certain tracks feel like retreads or old ideas, and the battle arenas do little to impress (fighting on a giant Gamecube sounds cool before you realize you're just driving around on a flat square). Still, I got a decent amount of mileage (HA) out of it, and some of my favorite courses in the series are in Double Dash (DK Mountain and Wario Colosseum standing out in particular).

13. Killer 7 - This vulgar, incomprehensible mindfuck of a game remains as polarizing today as it was upon its initial release. Fans of the Suda51 opus praise the eye-catching art design, pulsating soundtrack, and complex story. Detractors took aim the repetitive gameplay, the movement restrictions placed on the player (the game effectively handles like a rail shooter)
, and........the complex story. What starts out as a tale of an assassination squad hired by the US Government to neutralize a terrorist organization, devolves into a mishmash of plot threads that include, but are not limited to: US-Japanese relations, religious cults, child trafficking for black market organ harvesting, cosplayers with machine guns, homicidal sentai characters, and much, much more.

In my view, Killer 7 really holds up better as something that is to be experienced, rather than played. Granted, it is fun to blow away Heaven Smiles while your character spits out one of a number of rather crude one liners. But on the whole, gameplay takes a backseat; it's just little more than a vehicle to transport you from one incoherent, fucked-up scene to the next. If that's the mindset you go into Killer 7 with, then things will likely be a bit more palatable for you. If you want a bit more substance in your gameplay, well, that's what you have No More Heroes for.

12. Resident Evil Zero - Rebecca Chambers fans, this is your jam. Hot off the heels of the successful remake of the original Resident Evil, Capcom went back and performed yet another facelift, this time for a prequel that was originally planned for the N64. RE Zero takes place before the events at the Spencer Mansion, and features the ability to control and switch-off between two character (the aforementioned Ms. Chambers and escaped convict Billy Coen). The character switch mechanic provides a twist of to the old formula, although it doesn't really come much into play outside of puzzle solving. Item management has also been tweaked. Gone are the omnipresent storage boxes of previous games, you now have limited space on your person to carry items and serious planning is required if you hope to survive.

That said, it's still a traditional Resident Evil, chock full of creepy locales and hideous undead beasts. Starting the game in earnest on a commuter train was a good shock to the system (although I admit to feeling a bit deflated when I saw that the very next area in the game took place in another mansion). The Crimson Heads from the RE 1 remake are gone, but in their place are the Leech Zombies. These slithering monstrosities are among some of the most disturbing creatures that the series has produced, and you'll be scrambling for that handmade Molotov cocktail to make quick work of them. In all, a solid title, but it wouldn't be much longer before Resident Evil as we knew it would be given the metaphorical shotgun blast to the cranium.

11. Tales of Symphonia - For those who were both fans of JRPGs and Nintendo consoles, the 5th and 6th Generations were abject nightmares. Upon the dissolution of Nintendo's relationship with Sony, it seemed as if JRPGs had migrated to greener pastures on Sony's brand of consoles. Final Fantasy VII burst open the floodgates for the Playstation, and the N64 was left with Paper Mario, Ogre Battle 64, and barely anything else worthwhile. The Gamecube fared marginally better, with entries from the Paper Mario and Fire Emblem series, a Skies of Arcadia port, two Baten Kaitos games, and Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (PS2 still had all the mainline games for their greedy little selves). The one JRPG that stood above them all for the little cube that could however, was Tales of Symphonia.

This was something else. The combat system was fast, frantic, and satisfying to master, and also it allowed you to get strategic by assigning actions to party members on the field. The game also shines in the voice-acting performances; nearly every key character comes across as authentic and likeable. Graphically, it holds up even today, as the game got the most out of its cel-shaded approach to visuals. The plot starts out as a fairly ho-hum affair, but the twists and turns are able to keep you hooked for the duration of this 60-70 hour adventure. Just a shame that the recent PC port of this one turned out to be such an disaster.

10. Silent Hill 2 - The super-sad game for super-sad people. Despite technically falling into the "Survival Horror" genre, Silent Hill 2 really doesn't go for scares in the same way its contemporaries do. Granted, there are still all sorts of freaky, vaguely-sexual creatures running around every decrepit street corner and building, but the emphasis here is on creating tension through mood and atmosphere, which the game has in spades. You're constantly on edge, especially since you're hearing enemies long before they're within your field of vision (gotta love that draw distance-hiding fog). Your fellow actual humans do little to alleviate the situation, as their personal histories are just as sordid and sorrowful as James Sunderland's.

And really, that's what makes Silent Hill 2 what it is; the personal stories. Each character is carrying some kind of guilt or trauma that is warping their worlds into an unfathomable hell. You are witness to the slow disintegration of James and the others, as they are gradually crushed by the weight of their respective pasts. Guilt and punishment are recurring themes and the game does everything it can to reinforce them, via dialogue, memos you read, locations you visit, to messages scrawled on the wall that lament the fact that James hasn't died already. It's not my favorite Silent Hill, but it sure as hell the most effective at what it set out to do.

9. Resident Evil (Remake) - I had never gotten around to playing the original Resident Evil, so I missed out on all the hokey FMV cut scenes and the so-awful-it's-amazing acting performances. I can't help but feel the this remake is the game that Capcom probably wanted to pump out the first time around, but had to deal with the reality of technical limitations. They certainly made the most of their mulligan, and the end result is a tense, unsettling, gorgeous-looking game. While I imagine some might have missed the goofier aspects of the original, that doesn't take away from the fact that this is the most fully-realized classic Resident Evil experience that's out there.

There is nowhere to hide in this game. Zombies will pursue you from room to room. Said zombies will also pull the nasty trick of mutating into faster, angrier "Crimson Heads", which likely scared the absolute shit out of folks who thought they knew what they were in for with this game. You had better hope that you got in a lucky headshot, or still have some kerosene and a lighter on hand, or you're in for a rather unpleasant time. I also find that there's a sort of elegance to this game, not only in how it looks, but how everything is paced and presented. Pure class wrapped up in one undead, bullet-riddled anxiety-inducing
package.

8. Silent Hill 3 - Silent Hill 3 occupies a bit of a weird space in the series. It isn't considered as groundbreaking as the first two Silent Hills, nor does it try to shake things up in the way that many of the later games in the series did (or attempted to do, sometimes with less than stellar results). Silent Hill 3 does play like a combination of the first two games, mixing the blood & rust motifs and cult themes of the first game, and the polished look, feel, and presentation of the second. The mood is a bit different this time around, as we shift from James' oppressive tale of guilt and inner turmoil, to Heather's quest to uncover her true past while trying to survive wave after wave of wretched "monsters" ("They look like monsters to you?").

I like Heather. She's not some macho SWAT team member or even a video game vixen, she's just a sassy teenager who drops some deliciously sarcastic lines in the face all the madness. And there WILL be madness, as this game goes all out the horror. The monsters are bigger and more numerous than in previous games, and you're forced to travel through some truly grotesque locations (hi there hospital mirror room, dead horse carousel, and the entire final area). The game gets legitimately challenging, especially towards the end, when every last blood-stained square inch of dwelling is patrolled by a monster of some kind, and you're down to the last couple of handgun clips and healing items. This might not be the most well-regarded entry in the series, but it's the one that left the biggest impression on me.

7. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem - So let me get this straight, you're telling me that there's an M-rated psychological horror-themed game, which includes allusions to Lovecraftian elder gods, all sorts of 4th-wall breaking mind games, and it's published by NINTENDO? This was something I had to see to believe, and happily, it didn't disappoint. Starting out in a (relatively, by horror game standards) quaint Rhode Island mansion, you get your hands on a creepy-ass book (Tome of Eternal Darkness) and are pulled into a conflict between ancient gods, which spans the globe over the course of centuries. You take control of a dozen characters, each with their own abilities and back-stories. It is through their experiences that you slowly unravel the mystery behind the horrors you face.

Setting and plot aside, the major feature that Eternal Darkness brought to the table was the "Sanity Meter" mechanic. Each time you encounter an enemy or take damage, your sanity decreases. This initially results in some minor effects like a tilted camera angle, or chimes and whispers playing in the background. Lose even more sanity, and you'll be subject to primal screaming, blood dripping from walls, characters spontaneously exploding, the game even threatens to erase your save file! Eternal Darkness took delight in fucking with the player, and it's odd to me that similar types of mechanics didn't show up too much in other games. Perhaps it's a hard act to follow, especially since Eternal Darkness did it all so well.

6. Max Payne - Summer of 2002. It was me, an old desktop, my copy of "The Eminem Show" blaring in the background, and this game. The TV spots grabbed my attention, and the reviews seemed glowing. Then I started to play it, and realized that I was complete shit at anything that required a mouse and keyboard. I eventually got the hang of things, and I was quickly consumed by this ugly, gritty world, devoid of any happiness or comfort. Plus, I tend to have a soft spot for NYPD and mobster-related media, and Max Payne pushed all the right buttons in that department.

The story is the jewel in the crown of Max Payne. Scenes play out through a slick graphic novel-style presentation, and this tale of revenge constantly twists and turns. The bleak, oppressive atmosphere rarely lets up (there are stages where you're hounded by the screams of your own dead wife and infant child). And while the gameplay seems like old hat by today's standards, it was always a blast to mow down an entire room of mafiosos with your favorite firearm and the "Bullet Time" mechanic. To top it all off, the voice acting is absolutely fantastic. Max is appropriately battered and miserable, Vinnie Gognitti comes off as the whiny stooge that he is, and nearly every other performance works perfectly.

5. Resident Evil 4 - The big one. The game changer. The title that simultaneously lit a fire under the ass of the series, and damn near burnt it to death. Resident Evil 4 did away zombies and fixed camera angles, and cooked up something far more dynamic and intense. The enemies were far more ruthless and cunning this time around. The Ganado would pursue you relentlessly whilst armed to the gills with virtually every kind of weapon imaginable. Hell, one of the most frightening moments occurs early in the game when you're introduced to the chainsaw-wielding Dr. Salvador for the very first time (and likely end up on the receiving end of the first of many insta-kills this game has to offer). The monsters have also gotten bigger, with deep-water monsters and literal giants primed and ready to obliterate you if hesitate for even a second.

As I played though this game for the very first time, my thoughts seldom veered from "What the fuck is next?". Everything was brand new, so anything and everything was possible, and even then I was constantly caught off-guard with what RE 4 threw at me. So many new creatures, locations, shoot-outs, vehicle sections, QUICK TIME EVENTS, it was exhausting just to keep up with the madness. With RE 4 being such a landmark game, Capcom obviously tried to replicate it in subsequent games, with mixed results. RE 5 was a commercial success (if a bit staid) and RE 6 was an unhinged, off-rails clusterfuck. It could be argued that RE 4 is where the series started to lose those characteristics that made it so unique in the first place, but its quality and its far-reaching influence are too great to be ignored.

4. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 - Time is a precious commodity. It can be exceedingly rare, and it never seems to be on your side. This was my mindset for the lion's share of my Persona 4 experience. "Let's see, I have to grind out a few more levels and snag the right Persona to have the abilities to take down this stupidly hard boss. But goddammit, I promised that I'd make it to both soccer practice and drama club. Oh fuck, I have to make time to go out with Yukiko, take Nanako to Junes, get to my tutoring job, and I STILL need to cram for that exam!" Who knew that being a main character could be so completely and utterly exhausting? I suppose those are the breaks when everyone is programed with the insatiable urge to jump on your dick.

There are so many elements of Persona 4 that are grappling for your attention. The characters are well-acted and impeccably written. You end up caring about every facet of their lives, and it feels like such a loss when you miss out on an opportunity to raise your Social Link. The soundtrack is maddeningly catchy, and often makes it into my cardio routines. The Persona system is deep, and allows you to craft an endless variety of different move sets. Did I mention that the characters are bloody loveable? There seriously isn't anyone who has a speaking part who doesn't end up stealing the show in some form or fashion. Although considering the amount of remakes and spin-offs and other media that resulted from Persona 4, maybe it's time Atlus tried given this particular cash cow a rest.

3. Okami - For my money, this was the best Legend of Zelda game that ever came out on a Sony console. This was the game that I wanted Wind Waker to be (no tedious sailing voyages to be found here). The cel-shaded watercolor graphics are stunning, and the sense of scope that the game provides is simply vast. Roaming the Japanese folklore-inflected world is a pure joy, as you're uncovering secrets, running into all sorts of quirky characters, and using your powers to restore the world to its former pristine beauty. Each Guardian Tree revival results in the landscape being flushed by a tidal wave of color, which never ceases to be exhilarating. It's a nice way to squeeze in an environmental message in there without being too on the nose about it (you're also feeding hungry animals in exchange for stat-raising "Praise").

The main gimmick of the game, the Celestial Brush, is an avenue for so much in Okami. You use it to restore life to the flora and fauna on the map, solve puzzles in the game's numerous dungeons, and perform a wide range of devastating attacks on enemies in the heat of battle. Okami contains some of the 6th Generation's most memorable boss fights (although two bosses in particular are annoyingly reused multiple times over the course of the game), and vanquishing them provides relief and satisfaction in equal measure. The only real critique of the game is that it's maybe a little too long (clocked in close to 70 hours on my completed save file), and perhaps knocking off 15-20 hours wouldn't have hurt the game at all. Regardless, Okami still stands up as beautiful and unforgettable experience.

2. God Hand - Looking back at its initial release, God Hand was a true anomaly. It was a beat-em--up (a genre that was all but dead at the time), and was in three dimensions (go ahead, try coming up with a list of 10 really good 3D beat-em-ups, I'll be waiting). It was also Clover Studios' follow-up to the acclaimed and gorgeous Okami, and God Hand was decidedly NOT a graphical and artistic showcase. What God Hand ended up being was brutally hard, aggressively goofy and irreverent game that simultaneously went over everyone's head and under everyone's radar. An absolutely scathing IGN review at the time didn't help matters much, but the game's reputation has thankfully recovered in recent years and is considered one of the best hidden gems the PS2 had to offer.

From the lowliest henchman to the most intimidating boss, your adversaries constantly keep you on your toes with their sheer numbers and brute force. Fortunately, you're no slouch in the face-punching department either, and can pull off all sorts of mind-bending punches, kicks, strikes, dodges, and some hilariously devastating special attacks (Dragon Kicking someone into orbit never gets old). The characters you fight are gloriously insane, from the obese, cigar-chomping Mexican-Buddhist fighter Elvis, to a wrestling mask-wearing gorilla, to the ever diminutive (and ever obnoxious) Mad Midget Five. God Hand certainly straddles the line of good taste (with perhaps Mr. Gold and Mr. Silver being the most likely to stoke ire), but it's never serious, and you're always in on the joke. If you can make it past the steep learning curve, then this is one you'll grow to love.

1. Shadow of the Colossus - It's utterly impossible for me to truly add any kind of new take or perspective to Shadow of the Colossus. Anything and everything that could be written about the game has already been written. I largely concur with the endless superlatives that have heaved on Shadow of the Colossus: stunning art design, fantastic soundtrack, emotionally moving. And then the Colossi themselves. I'll never forget my first encounter with one of these creatures; I was slowly making my way to where my sword was directing me to go. As I got closer, I could hear and feel the tremors that accompanied each step that Colossus took. It was breathtaking when I finally laid eyes upon it. Then I had to figure out what I was even supposed to do to have a chance of taking it down. Once this was accomplished, the sorrowful stings of "End of the Battle" started to play, only then did the gravity of what I had embarked upon sink in.

This grim sequence played itself out fifteen more times. The Colossi would fly high into the sky and dive beneath the depths of land and water to evade me. Some became far more aggressive and would bring the fight to me in order to survive. Between battles, I had nothing in the way of company, save for my horse, the sprawling, open scenery, and my own thoughts. I asked myself if all of this was truly worth it. As the quest came to a close, and I endured the trials presented by the final encounter; as I dodged every shot and climbed up the body of my massive adversary, as I drove my sword in for the final blow, I was relieved. Exhausted. Conflicted. Never before had I made it to the end of a game, having it take such an emotional toll on me, so drained and numb. If that isn't the perfect way to leave a lasting impression, then I can't even fathom what is.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Pixel_Crusher » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:59 pm

Gen 6 was my fave, so I certainly got a lot to talk about it:

50. Orphen: Scion of Sorcery (PS2) - Believe it or not, back then, this game meant a huge deal to me since it was the first to give me a taste of what the PS2 was capable of when compared to the Dreamcast. Nowadays, the combat leaves something to be desired, but I still think it’s an entertaining game based on an entertaining series.

49. Mega Man: Network Transmission (GC) - Seeing as I dislike the Battle Network series in general, Network Transmission came off as a huge surprise. It plays just like the original Mega Man games but with the Battle Chip mechanics from the titular GBA series. In the end, I honestly think that this is the direction that the series should have went with from the get go.

48. Clock Tower 3 (PS2) - A lot of people seem to hate this one because of the boss battles and for ditching the point and click gameplay. Personally, I thought it was good enough to warrant my approval as a Clock Tower fan. Besides, anything is better than the dreadful Struggle Within.

47. R-Type Final (PS2) - It plays a lot like R-Type Delta, only slower. It also plays a lot like Gran Turismo in the sense that you get to have your very own garage for parking all sorts of spaceships, even though you’ll probably just end up using only two or three of them for regular play. Battle AI was the most retarded mode I’ve ever seen in a videogame.

46. Musashi: Samurai Legend (PS2) - Oh man, do I remember all the Brave Fencer Musashi fans tearing this one apart back when it was released just because it was dumbed-down (this was long before the AAA industry started dumbing-down games for a mainstream audience mind you). I, however, found it to be a quite enjoyable, if sub-par clone of Kingdom Hearts. It stands on its own for what is worth.

45. Star Fox Adventures (GC) - It’s not the Star Fox game that everybody wanted, but I still think it was a very fun alternative to the 3D Zelda games. Still, I believe we can all agree about the one thing that was 100% right with it.

44. The Bard’s Tale (PS2/XBOX) - For me, this was the most memorable Diablo clone of its time. The humor was fantastic and its Scottish setting really immersed you. Hardcore fans of the series may cry fowl upon this departure, but nothing changes the fact that it's a very entertaining game.

43. Ys IV: The Ark of Napishtim (PS2) - My very first Ys game. Nowadays, it has kind of aged thanks to Oath in Felghana’s existence, but otherwise, it still manages to be an entertaining hack n’ slash with some cool locations and an amazing soundtrack per Falcom’s standards.

42. Kuon (PS2) - Imagine, if you will, a traditional Resident Evil game that swapped all of its western horror and zombie tropes in favor of youkai thematics from japanese folklore. You get a very underrated and overlooked horror game that feels quite refreshing. Oh, did I mention this was made by From Software? You know, the same company who brought us the amazing Souls series?

41. Sudeki (XBOX) - A british love letter to the JRPGs of old from the 16-bit era.

40. Maximo vs. Army of Zin (PS2) - Ghosts ‘n Goblins gone 3D! Compared to its prequel, Army of Zin felt much tighter, responsive and accessible, providing a great combination of platforming and combat as per Capcom’s standards.

39. The Red Star (PS2) - Streets of Rage and Ikaruga had a baby based on Christian Gossett’s comic book with the same name. It makes for some delightful co-op couch sessions.

38. The Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 (PS2) - This is where my love for narrative driven experiences began, provided they were well narrated of course. Soul Reaver 2 continued the gripping tale from its prequel at the expense of some worse combat, but it never overstayed its welcome.

37. Astérix & Obélix XXL2: Mission - Las Vegum (PS2) - As far as Astérix games go, XXL2 shines brightly for its plethora of gaming references and parodies, with the added bonus of providing some solid beat ‘em up and platforming gameplay. A true gem among gems within the PS2’s vast library of games.

36. The Suffering (PS2/XBOX) - One day, Midway decided that they could do their own take on psychological horror… and it worked! Granted, it’s more horrific for its violence than its story, but I still applaud to them for creating one of the most underrated and overlooked horror games of the generation.

35. Mega Man X8 (PS2) - The last entry in the X sub-series and out with a bang it went. If you played a Mega Man X game before, then you know what you’re in for. This one easily stands next to X1 and X4 as one of the best.

34. Killer7 (GC/PS2) - Suda51 is a crazy man with a crazy mind full of crazy ideas and this crazy game of his is what served as his introduction to me. In essence, Killer7 is a third-person rail-shooter with a wacky plot full of mind-screwing moments and weird cast of characters in an awesome way.

33. Onimusha 2: Samurai’s Destiny (PS2): Out of all Onimusha games, this one always felt like the most polished of the bunch and with some of the most interesting characters.

32. God Hand (PS2): A love-letter (parody?) to Fist of the North Star by Resident Evil’s very own Shinji Mikami.

31. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (XBOX) - A very underrated and overlooked horror game that manages to capture the essence of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos to its best.

30. Power Stone (DC) - A fantastic brawler by none other than Capcom in its prime.

29. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS2/GC/XBOX) - Ubisoft’s masterful reboot of a beloved franchise of old with some of the best 3D platform mechanics in a game and the introduction of a rewind function for alleviating frustration. Simply unforgettable.

28. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (PS2) - This was, at the time, one of the darkest JRPGs I had played in a long run. Torture scenes actually felt painful, Albel Nox was scary, the world where the game took place was mostly crapsack when compared to its predecessors, you felt that everything and everyone was at stake, death screams from both NPCs and playable characters sounded like somebody had gotten killed off for real in the sound booth where the game voices were recorded… it could be really depressing at times. And yet, all this represented some of the best 60 hours of my life.

27. Sonic Adventure (DC/GC) - Most people could argue that this game hasn’t aged well and that it began the beloved mascot’s downward spiral into mediocrity. Camera problems aside, I think it still holds up well.

26. Suikoden III (PS2): Of all the three PS2 Suikoden games, Suikoden III ranks as my favorite simply for having that feeling of a 1st generation PS2 game that I’ve grown to love since the console launched. That aside, I can vouch for its quality, just don’t go expecting something as epic as Suikoden II or you’ll end up in disappointment.

25. Beyond Good & Evil (PS2/GC/XBOX) - Michel Ancel’s (Rayman’s creator) take on The Legend of Zelda. Motorboat racing, exploring all sorts of places, uncovering a massive conspiracy and photographing animals were a package so delightful that even to this day people beg for a sequel.

24. Grandia II (DC/PS2): While it was nowhere as great as the first game, it still had a fantastic battle system and its darker tone provided a very distinct experience from its predecessor.

23. Dark Cloud 2 (PS2): Zelda and Actraiser had a baby… a mammoth sized baby (content-wise)!

22. Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil (PS2) - It’s basically everything you loved from the first Klonoa game but with much better graphics. The only complaint I have is the snowboarding/waterskiing sections, but even then, they don’t stop it from being one of the most charming platformers ever.

21. TimeSplitters 2 (PS2/GC/XBOX) - Call of Duty and Battlefield ain't got nothin' on this beauty. Multiplayer first-person shooting done right.

20. Rayman 2: The Great Escape (DC/PS2) - The limbless wonder’s first and best foray into the realm of 3D platforming. From controls to performance, this game felt tight and polished in every conceivable level, making it well deserving of a place among other greats such a Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie.

19. God of War (PS2) - Out of all Devil May Cry clones, God of War still manages to be the best one I’ve played.

18. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PS2) - Despite of all the grind it carries, the game is as enjoyable as one would come to expect from any installment of Square-Enix’s classic world of sword and sorcery that doesn’t start with final and end in fantasy.

17. ICO (PS2) - It’s really hard for me to say something about this one. It’s just really a game that’s better off experienced than described. That’s how unique it is.

16. Kingdom Hearts (PS2) - An unlikely crossover that combined Final Fantasy’s melodrama with Disney’s magical worlds. Gameplay-wise, it hasn’t aged that well, but rest of the game more than makes up for it, specially considering on how dumb the sequels can get in terms of difficulty and anime bullshit, despite boasting better combat.

15. We Love Katamari (PS2) - Of course, only Japan could come up with something was wacky and fun as this. It’s also addicting as crack and I can’t stop humming its j-pop songs every now and then.

14. Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal (PS2) - With 3D platformers seemingly dying, Insomniac manage to cook up one of the best platforming franchises in years, with this third entry being the icing of the cake. 3D platform shooting at its best… now in both 3rd person and 1st person flavours!

13. Persona 4 (PS2) - In this JRPG with dating sim elements, I accidentally got two girlfriends and they never found out that I was dating both of them. This is probably more than I’ll ever manage to accomplish in real life…

12. Wild Arms: Alter Code - F (PS2) - The original Wild Arms always felt like a SNES RPG stuck in a PS1 disc. That being said, it hasn’t aged well. This remake, on the other hand, vastly improves upon the original, making it easily one of the best, if not the best entry in the series. How I wish they did the same for Wild Arms 2...

11. Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica (PS2) - For a series best known for its innuendo and filled with all sorts of anime cliches and tropes, the second entry in the Ar tonelico series attempted to inject a darker and edgier plot with satisfactory results. The game, being a JRPG with visual novel elements, helped in fleshing out an intriguing universe that seems to have more than there is to it.

10. Yakuza (PS2) - A game with modern japanese culture deeply rooted in that combines beat ‘em up gameplay with light RPG elements in a pseudo-GTA sandbox where you can go to restaurants, arcades, strip clubs, gambling clubs, hostess bars and do all sorts of stuff!

9. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2) - Unlike most who prefer Snake Eater, I always adored this particular entry in the series. I had absolutely nothing against Raiden and this is where Kojima began the series’ never ending staircase of WTF moments.

8. Tales of Symphonia (GC/PS2) - The game that not only turned me into a Tales fanboy, but into a JRPG lover as well. Gameplay-wise, it hasn’t aged as gracefully as its successors, but it still shines brightly for its world and characters, so much so that you won’t even care in the slightest for how many typical anime and RPG cliches it manages to cram up in one go. Easily one of the most memorable JRPGs in a long time.

7. Shadow Hearts: Covenant (PS2) - One of the games that made me fall in love for JRPGs. It’s quite unique in the many ways I can still remember.

6. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GC) - One of the best uses of Cthulhu mythos ever. A fine game filled with many unexpected gameplay twists, the best melee combat ever executed in the genre and an immersive atmosphere that many of the horror games of today fail to get right. To quote from Noah Antwiler: “God I love this game! I’d have sex with it if my dick fitted in the disc”.

5. Resident Evil 4 (GC/PS2) - After a long and troubled cycle of development, Shinji Mikami re-invented the series big time with this one and I can say that the wait was totally worth it. The fact that quick-time events and shoulder camera perspective became staples in gaming goes on to show how much of an impact this entry had in terms of innovation.

4. Super Smash Bros. Melee (GC) - To me, summer vacations were all about going to all sorts of beaches, eating luxurious ice creams and playing this game. Trust me, the unhealthy amount of time I’ve spent playing this goes on to show on how great it is.

3. Silent Hill 2 (PS2) - A fascinating game with a memorable story and cast that make it stand out and deservingly so as one of the pinnacles,if not the pinnacle, of horror gaming.

2. Metroid Prime (GC) - Do you love Super Metroid? Great. Now imagine it in 3D. You’re welcome.

1. Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra (PS2) - This masterpiece, ladies and gentlemen, is the game that killed JRPGs for me. Being the last major game in the sub-genre I’ve played in a long time, Xenosaga III not only concluded the troubled series with a bang, but it also raised the bar too high for other JRPGs to reach in terms of narrative, lore, characters and gameplay. To this day, I have yet to see, let alone play, a game that manages to surpass its greatness as the one JRPG to end them all. To quote from a GameFAQs review: “If God didn't hurl lightning, he'd sure be playing this right now".
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Bpwner » Sun May 01, 2016 12:59 am

Are the various Guilty Gear X versions going to be counted as one game?

Edit: Although one could probably make the argument that XX and its variations are significantly different from X, it feels a bit like a Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers level of revision.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Rhete » Sun May 01, 2016 1:07 am

I think this is the best way to group them

X
X Plus
---------------
X2
XX #Reload
XX Slash
XX Accent Core
XX Accent Core Plus
---------------
Isuka

It also gets a bit weird when later versions start appearing on Gen 7 consoles, but eh, lists like this will never be perfect
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Bpwner » Mon May 02, 2016 10:53 pm

30. Breakdown (XBox): If you want a game that's like Mirror's Edge, except it's about punching shit instead of parkour, where you get to drink a Coke (you will do this often and it's fully animated every time), and you go on periodic acid trips in the desert where you get to see your skeleton, and the villain is Dante except he's naked and covered with black lacquer from the waist down, well, Breakdown's the game for you.

29. Ghosthunter (PS2): Here's a weird one: a first person shooter pseudo-serious pseudo-survival horror game where you play as snarky chap with a spectral Super Soaker voiced by Yakko Warner. While I suppose the setting and game mechanics could be considered F.E.A.R. Lite, it stands out in my mind for trying to do something different in the console FPS genre in an era when either not being Halo or directly copying Halo was a fast-track to obscurity. Gee, I wonder how the next Killzone game is shaping up.

28. Gunbird 2 (DC): Psikyo perfected a very specific shmup formula that they proceeded to endlessly reskin (which to begin with was a clone of the Aero Fighters games that the future Psikyo staffers created while under Video System). The Gunbird games were more Parodius-esque entries in terms of cuteness/stupidity. The Dreamcast version includes Morrigan from Darkstalkers as a playable character, plus there's an ending where the flying carpet dude achieves his dream of making everyone in the world fat.

27. Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone (PS2): A D&D property that plays like an overhead action puzzler without much in the way of RPG elements... sounds bizarre, but I kind of regard it as a Zelda-perspective precursor to Trine in a way. Also features notorious Mary Sue Drizzt Do'Urden as a playable character (for about five minutes). Did I mention that the late Michael Clarke Duncan and motherfucking SIR PATRICK STEWART are in this game?

26. Giga Wing 2 (DC): Takumi did the arcade-shooter-that-got-ported-to-the-Dreamcast thing alongside Psikyo, and while Giga Wing 2 followed the same mechanics as its predecessor only now on a 3D engine, it ramped up the insanity A LOT. These games utilize a shot reflector mechanic, having you memorize the optimum time to use your reflector against danmaku patterns that modern games would just expect you to dodge outright. I loved these games' grody industrial setting, it seemed that much more oppressive ekeing your way past an onslaught of pink bullets against such a joyless landscape. Also, the storyline of this game sees the android chick becoming a real girl at the end, or something. Well, hopefully an actual real girl and not just a Real Doll.

25. Nightshade (PS2): So the Shinobi series got a revival on the PS2 that was kind of overlooked in the wake of SOME OTHER classic ninja series' new installment on the XHUGE... and maybe lesser known is this followup where you play as a lady ninja. This game is fucking hard too, you really have to master that Tate system and air-dashing between enemies as a platforming mechanic in order to even see the later levels.

24. Cannon Spike (DC): Do you like Smash TV? How about a Smash TV-style game with some crazy huge bosses where you can play as Capcom characters such as Cammy and Mega Man? Does that sound like somebody's fan game wet dream? Well, it exists, and as a non-fighting game on the Naomi arcade hardware and a late lifecycle Dreamcast release, I doubt too many people remember it.

23. X-Men Legends 2 (PS2): Before the heyday of the "cram franchise X into Dynasty Warriors" formula, Marvel seemed to be on a bent of licensing their properties for a bunch of games that play like Gauntlet with RPG-lite elements. Legends 2 sees the X-Men teaming up with villains like Magneto and Juggernaut, a completely original concept that I'm sure never happened before or since, to battle the forces of Apocalypse, giving you a party of four characters where you switch your playable character any time within a mission. There's a between-mission trivia game that can net you some extra experience points, which was good for me since I played the game during a bout of renewed interest in comics, and it was probably intense as hell for someone without immediate access to an X-Men wikia. You can also get Deadpool as a playable character, so good news for those of you who like memes.

22. Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 (DC): You want a fucking party game? Here's your fucking party game. With 50+ characters, there's something here for everyone to enjoy, until you get that one friend in the joint who follows tourney strats and just uses Storm or Cable and takes things way to seriously. It was kind of a staple at high school (and later college) parties, and when the vanilla game got too boring for us, someone would always pop in their custom soundtrack ISO with Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park. Oh, the Dreamcast and its shoddy copy protection, what a time to have lived through.

21. Shadow Hearts: Covenant (PS2): This is the only game I played in the short-lived Shadow Hearts franchise, but boy, was it ever a thing to experience. What seems like a bog-standard JRPG on paper (and even fools you into thinking it's going to be such in the game's prologue mission) ends up being the most ridiculous experience that has no right to play it as straight as it does. The laundry list of weird shit you see or do in this game is kind of an in-joke between JRPG fans, but as badly acted and animated as some of the more emotional plot points are, they're made even or hilarious in light of the fact that just a few minutes ago you were collecting gay porn in order to get upgraded outfits for a little girl marionette that the weird old dude in your party uses as a weapon.

20. Rez (DC): "Like, Panzer Dragoon... but, you're in a computer... and your shots are in time to the music... duuuuuuuuuuuude." I'm not sure how the actual pitch for Rez went, but that's what it feels like to play it. I guess your avatar's evolution is supposed to symbolize the raver's rapturous fusion with the electronic god head, just like the PS2 version's Trance Vibrator accessory is supposed to simulate getting groped on the dance floor by an overly friendly molly-dropper, or whatever you kids these days call them.

19. Dead or Alive 2 (DC): I never really got into Virtua Fighter, as Tekken was more my jam, but this was the next best thing I suppose. More like Voluptua Fighter. More like Virtua Boober. More like Titty Meat Tournament.

18. Gungrave (PS2): While not quite having the meat that Devil May Cry brought to the 3D action table before it, Gungrave turned up the zazz and insantiy for a stylized combo-em-up that makes for good "blow everything away" therapy. KICK THEIR ASS!

17. Suikoden Tactics (PS2): I don't hear too many people wax nostalgic about Suikoden Tactics like they do with Suikoden II, but as someone who doesn't have much patience for SRPGs that aren't called Shining Force 2, I thought this was all right. It has a terrain affinity system that you can exploit and you can recruit some particularly broken returning characters from Suikoden IV (hello, Sigurd). Had a goat mom about a decade before Undertale.

16. Ridge Racer V (PS2): Ridge Racer is one of the few racing franchises I'm a regular fan of. The series' foray into the post-32-bit era didn't quite capture the imagination like R4 did, but it seemed like it was trying to throw back a bit to the original arcade installments in terms of presentation and game structure while retaining the simple differences in car styles of R4 with grip vs. drift tires, variable transmissions, and the like. You can tell which track layouts were cut and pasted form older Ridge Racer games, but if you have to play a Ridge Racer game released for the PlayStation 2, this isn't a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

15. Panzer Dragoon Orta (XBox): After Sega became a third party developer, they dropped a couple of exclusives on the XBox like Jet Set Radio Future, the bizarre and confusing Gunvalkyrie, and the followup to Panzer Dragoon Saga that nobody expected. I was most familiar with Panzer Dragoon Zwei on the Saturn, and to a lesser extent the original, and while Orta doesn't quite have the distinct visual style and excellent soundtrack of Zwei, it does add some new mechanics by allowing you to switch modes on your dragon, giving you different shot options and desperation abilities. It also tried to flesh out the story a bit more than the other rail-shooter entries in the series, including one particularly trippy scene where you fly into a giant computer, because, hey, it worked for Rez.

14. Crazy Taxi (DC): I've got to confess, I only played this a few times in the arcade, both on the regular machine and that weird stand-up cabinet, and I was awful at it. When I got Crazy Taxi years later in the Dreamcast pack on Steam, I was hooked. Despite some issues with the port and your feelings on the replacement soundtrack, this is still a go-to for me to blow off some steam (haw haw) for a few minutes. Now if I could just pass that stupid bowling level in Crazy Box mode...

13. Tekken Tag Tournament (PS2): At the time, this was the Tekken version of the Capcom vs. "cram everything into one big over the top anthology game just because we could," at least until Tekken started crossing over with actual Capcom games. If you wanted to have Gunjack and Kuma team up to fight Kunimitsu and True Ogre, why the fuck not, have at it kid. Also TEKKEN BOWL.

12. Resident Evil 4 (PS2): Ooooooh, guns guns guns GUNS! The first Resident Evil I played for more than five minutes also happens to be an absolute blast. Taking the series out of its B-movie roots and amping it up to resemble an overbudget Tom Cruise/Will Smith vehicle where you fight creatures from John Carpenter's The Thing was enough to sway me for at least one game. "The president's daughter has been kidnapped... and it's up to us."

11. Contra: Shattered Soldier (PS2): The Contra franchise's way of saying "we're sorry about the PlayStation era." Bringing back the midboss-rushiness of Contra III and Hard Corps on a polished engine with tight controls was just the kick in the pants we needed at the time.

10. Persona 3 (PS2/PSP): The game so nice, they released it thrice! The modern Personae are definitely some of the longest games you can pick up, but it's rewarding to see the kinds of all-powerful fusions you can pull off by the end game, just for the CPU to beg for mercy for a change. The original PS2 release has the distinction of being the game that introduced me to the Shin Megami Tensei franchise.

9. Soul Calibur (DC): When I first saw Soul Calibur running on the newly released Dreamcast, I thought "Wow, the in-game graphics finally look as good as the FMV cutscenes!" I was a stupid child. Still a fun fighter to pop in solo or with a friend, and for a while my Christmas tradition was to run through the game again with every character. I'm getting the urge to play it again as I type this...

8. Jet Set Radio (DC): The Dreamcast had a reputation as "that console with the really quirky games." So in an era of Tony Hawks and Dave Mirras with their 360-fakie-watermelon-slap-your-grandma-upside-the-head-with-a-bologna-shove-it-nose-grinds, here comes this weird cel shaded thing where you spraypaint stuff to hip-hop music in a stylized vision of futuristic Japan (or as the locals call it, simply "Japan"). Parts of it haven't aged well, indeed a lot of the skating mechanics used to navigate through the levels make it feel like a janky and inertial platformer, but Jet Set Radio has to be given kudos for taking the kinds of risks that no one else did, which was the modus operandi of some of Sega's more memorable Dreamcast titles. Something more intangible that it represents is a window into a space that's alien from your own, all you had to do to escape your high school existence in a superrural (because suburban is too much of a compliment) Georgia town was plunk down your part-time job money an this wacky game from Japan and let it transport you to the neon funky fresh future.

7. Tekken 4 (PS2): This installment was kind of reviled by tournament nerds for a while (probably due in no small part to wall-juggling cheese, which Tekken 5 also had but hey some of 5's arenas still go on forever so that makes everything okay! </rant>), but seeing 4 in the arcade for the first time blew me away the same way 2 blew me away in the 32-bit era. Getting my hands on the home version, I fell even more in love with the revamped character designs, the life-like environments (so long, endless landscapes encircled by a bitmap), and the top-notch soundtrack. The intros that preceed each character's story mode also help build atmosphere and ratchet up the tension, although Tekken's storyline has always been patently ridiculous, even by fighting game standards.

6. Katamari Damacy (PS2): In my Jet Set Radio blurb, I talk about games' ability to transport you to a space that's alien from your normal experience. Well, Katamari Damacy is like that, except a few years later, on newer hardware, and COMPLETELY unlike anything else I had seen. I'm sure most folks are at least passingly familiar with the concept by now: use bulldozer controls to roll a ball over things smaller than it to have them accumulate so you can roll up progressively bigger things. It's one of those abstract concepts that sounds like it would have been conceived in the Atari 2600 era but would have to wait until technology caught up to be properly executed. One of the other reasons I'm so fond of Katamari Damacy is the amount of detail that went into crafting these unique, goofy, blocky objects that serve as fodder for your all-encompassing ball, from the sheer variety of them, to the description text, to the unique sound effects they make (I can still hear the Japanese punk freaking out when I roll him up).

5. Guilty Gear X (PS2): Though you wouldn't know it by looking at me today, I actually played a lot of fighting games from around 2000-2006. I was also patently awful at just about every single one of them. I had heard from the Internet about some Dreamcast import called Guilty Gear X that had come out a bit too late to see a North American release, without knowing much about the actual gameplay. When I saw it on the shelf at Electronics Boutique, I thought "What the hell, this looks like anime, I like anime!" So I picked it up. This was coming off the heels of the era when Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 was all the rage, and while not quite as "on-crack" as that game, Guilty Gear X was still enough to blow the pants off your average fighter in the street or mortal kombatant. I instantly latched on to more bizarrely designed characters like Venom and Faust, made a bad CD-R rip of the rocking soundtrack to play in my car's Discman-to-tape deck adapter, and while GGX was never as big of a hit with friends as MvC2, it personally gave me enough thumb blisters to be etched into my memory after all these years.

4. Persona 4 (PS2): I have two standout memories of Persona 4. One is staying up all night playing until daybreak, when I started hearing voices coming from outside the house, making me think I was finally losing my mind. That was the day I found out that the house I was living in at the time was on the corner of a school bus stop. The other is abandoning my second playthrough after a rather lengthy dungeon crawling session where I forgot to save before botching a fusion I needed to make an Izanagi-no-Okami. Anyway, Persona 4 cleans up some of the more bullcrappy parts of Persona 3 and introduces a memorable cast of characters, making for a good entry point into the series.

3. Metal Gear Solid 3 (PS2): The first MGS game which, uncolored by nostalgia, feels like the gameplay was finally crafting a complete world rather than a series of almost minigame-like action setpieces loosely connected by stealth segments. While off-the-rails batshit insane is the status quo for the franchise now, it was easy to get sucked in by 3's emotional storyline and let the "what the fuck did I just play" realizations hit you after the credits roll.

2. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne (PS2): I spent about 90 hours on Persona 3, and while I was generally positive on the demon fusion and the combat, I found the story lacking in some areas and the dating sim aspect padded things out just a wee bit too much. I picked up Nocturne not too long after, and quickly realized that THIS was the experience I had wanted out of Persona 3. An oppressive atmosphere and plotline that I don't think I've seen a single game within or outside of the SMT franchise quite match, the fun and exploitable Press Turn combat system, fine-grained customization over your main character's abilities, and all the demon fusions we know and love. Make no mistake though, this game is a tough son of a bitch, and even if you've got the back-and-forth of buffs and debuffs down to a science in some of the more bullpoopy boss fights, there's just so much crap to miss in this game that I can't imagine the kind of person who has the time on their hands to see all of the game's multiple endings without the benefit of a guide.

1. Skies of Arcadia (DC): Until I saw a preview for Skies of Arcadia on Planet Dreamcast, the only two JRPGs that existed as far as I was concerned were Phantasy Star IV and Shining Force 2. Anime sky pirates is a novel enough concept to at least garner a cursory glance, but when I got my hands on the game proper, it blew away the kinds of hang-ups I had that had kept me from getting into other genre entries like your Final Fantasies or your Chrono Triggers. The main combat system of Skies is nothing special, but the world it presents is so rich with treasures and discoveries to be found, endearing characters, and just great MOMENTS that etch it into my memory alongside some of the most definitive gaming experiences of my youth. I still love how the boss battle music changes based on how well you're doing, the feeling of satisfaction when you unleash the Moonstone cannon on a fucker, the goofy smile that seeing the crew members you've recruited throughout the game executing a summon attack evokes. I was even hooked enough to play that stupid VMU minigame in order to farm extra items and crystals to feed to Cupil. This one hasn't had the repeat plays that PSIV did, I did play through it once more in college, and it was every bit as good as I remembered.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby jetstorm4 » Tue May 03, 2016 4:57 am

Didn't mean to but this basically became a JRPG list...

37. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GCN)
The Gamecube version of Twilight Princess was ignored by me for a long time, as I bought the Wii version at launch. Nonetheless, I've played it now and do consider it a good game. While not one of my favorite Zelda games, I come back to it from time to time as I think the dungeons are some of the best in the series.

36. Pier Solar and the Great Architects (DC)
I didn't get to talk about this game during the Genesis list, as I had not played through it yet. Now that Pier Solar is on Dreamcast, I'm allowed to talk about it here. What started as a homebrew Genesis RPG has become a full independent game in it's own right. Pier Solar is interesting because of its scope. Its story starts as a small problem that unravels into a great mystery about the state of the universe. It's also a game that plays with RPG balance in an interesting way, as it's possible to beat the game without fighting any random battles. One of my favorite independent games.

35. Grandia 2 (DC)
Of the Game Arts RPGs, this one seems to be the most popular and well-recieved. While it's not my favorite from them (I prefer Lunar 2 myself), I cannot deny it's a spectacle of an RPG. Play the Dreamcast verison if you can though, PS2 version is pretty rough (although I hear the new PC port is great).

34. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GCN)
A sequel superior to the original in every way possible. Of the JRPGs I pick, it has one of the best ideas for combat- stage shows where appealing to the audience grants bonuses. Bosses even eat the spectators sometimes! One of the best paced stories of any Mario game as well (although I prefer Super Paper Mario for story, that's another list though).

33. Mega Man X8 (PS2)
Talk about a game that exceeded my expectations. After the disapointment of Mega Man X7, I couldn't care less until I found this for 20 bucks new one day a few years later. I'm glad I picked it up as it turned out to be one of my favorite Mega Man X games. Keeping the character switching mechanic of X7, it crafts a better designed game, a more somber story, and a better time all around.

32. Ar Tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica (PS2)
My Favorite of the Gust RPGs on PS2, Ar Tonelico 2 combines a strange world, anime girls, dating mechanics, and an action command-centered battle system to make a fun ride overall.

31. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (PS2)
Star Ocean is that series that I love unconditionally. While Star Ocean 3 has some weird plot twists (that almost under mind the entire series), it has the game play and stat mechanics that I love about the series. One of the darker games in the series too.

30. Kingdom Hearts (PS2)
While the second game holds more weight with most, I prefer the simplicity of Kingdom Hearts. Before the series became bogged down with action commands, people in black cloaks, and (hilariously) serious story beats, Kingdom Hearts was an answer to the question: "What if Sephiroth and Whinne the Pooh were in the same universe?" Still a special game for me (although you should probably just play the PS3 version).

29. Jet Set/Grind Radio (DC)
A long time ago, if you told me I would love a game about graffiti, roller skates, marking territory, and running from the fuzz, I would have called you crazy. Nonetheless, here we are. Jet Grind Radio (as I know it) is a fun, arcade like game that gets me pumped every time I play it. Wanting to tag everything I get my hands on (It's a good thing I read the warning at the game's beginning huh?). The soundtrack is gorgeous.

28. Sonic Adventure (DC/GCN)
I can't avoid this one. I love Sonic Adventure. I don't care if it's actually bad (because there are parts that are), I still pull this game out and give it a play through every once in a while. It's also special as it was the game that introduced me to the world of importing- as I played it before it came to the US when my uncle imported it.

27. Parappa the Rapper 2 (PS2)
"SAY ALRIGHT! SAY AWW YEAH! WHAT YOU GONNA DO? I GOTTA BELIEVE!" Still my favorite rhythm game ever. I can't get enough of the music in this game.
"Noodles are the best no doubt can't deny..."

26. Shadow Hearts: Covenant (PS2)
Such a crazy, over the top RPG. Shadow Hearts Covenant takes the JRPG tropes at their zaniest and plays the entire thing straight. What you get is a heartfelt story about a man who has gone through way too much suffering in his life finally picking up the pieces. Has one of the best casts of a JRPG that I can think of.

25. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (GCN)
Now here's an RPG I dont' hear get talked about often. Baten Kaitos was an RPG that came out after Tales of Symphonia, and I didn't play it for quite a while. I got it later on though, and it actually made card games fun. The game has you customizing decks for characters instead of equipment, and the battle system has an element of matching numbers and straights in order to pull off combos- while random at times, can get pretty fun once you figure it out. It's also a game where you are not the main character, but a spirit on the outside controlling the main character. It does some pretty cool things with that idea as well.

24. Xenosaga Episode 1: Der Wille zur Macht (PS2)
Xenosaga is the beginning of a super long epic expanding multiple games and media. Meant to be a reboot with some connections to one of my favorite RPGs, Xenogears, it tells a story with parallels to Juedo Christian writings and doctrine. A treat for someone who's studied a lot of religion like myself when I was younger. While I feel the game play takes a backseat sometimes to its story, Xenosaga is still quite a difficult game if you underestimate it. I still need to play Episode 3...

23. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (GCN)
Screw Awakening, THIS is the Fire Emblem I need. A challenging campaign with a really good story to match, Fire Emblem for the Gamecube is still a fantastic ride. This was my first Fire Emblem, and will always be my personal favorite. Mia is best girl.

22. Evolution: Worlds of Sacred Device (DC)
A Sting rogue-lite RPG for the Dreamcast? This is why I love Sting, they craft some of the craziest ideas. Evolution always reminded me of the Mega Man Legends series in scope and setting. Exploring a whole bunch of ruins to get keys to a bigger mystery, with your Butler? Awesome. Mag Launcher also has the best JRPG weapon- a backpack with a giant fist.

21. Tales of Legendia (PS2)
Ohhhh boy, I'm going to get it for this one, picking Tales of Legendia over The Abyss. Personally, I enjoy Legendia's characters the most. Each one has definite flaws, struggles, and dreams they must tackle through the game's story. While the second half of the game's chapters detail each of the character's struggles, I'll admit it's not the best part of the game, the first half is. One of my favorite RPG soundtracks of all time.

20. Shadow Hearts (PS2)
The original Shadow Hearts (or what it could also be called: Koudelka 2) was a game that I longed to play back when it was released. However I could probably never convince my parents to get me an M rated game at the time (in hindsight, they probably wouldn't of cared). I played this much later, and I would have loved it then as much as I do now. Truly a PS1 RPG on a PS2, Shadow Hearts mixes a great battle system with a horror themed world with stories of demon summoning, Russian spies, Military forces fighting over Shanghai, and a warlock seeking to prevent The Great War. All while detailing the suffering and hope of one of JRPGs best protagonists.

19. Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2 (PS2)
The second half of the Digital Devil Saga, turns out Nirvana isn't all it's cracked up to be. DDS2 keeps the same SMT mechanics from DDS1 and Nocturne, continuing the fantastic story started in DDS 1. A fantastic ending to a great series.

18. Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga (PS2)
Of the two, DDS is the one that I prefer due to it's weird story structure. It feels unsettling and warped, a world twisted by a strange order- to devour your enemies and survive. DDS uses the battle mechanics of SMT Nocturne, creating a more straight forward JRPG than the usual SMT style. It's still a challenging game, requiring mastery of the weakness mechanics.

17. Dark Cloud (PS2)
One of the first games I owned for the PS2, Dark Cloud is reminiscent of two of my favorite games ever- Soul Blazer and ActRaiser. Traversing randomly generated dungeons for pieces of cities torn apart by misuse of dark power? Exactly like a Quintet game- only this is Level 5. I always enjoyed the progression each area has with town building- seeing your dungeon accomplishments build to something as the game progressed.

16. Elemental Gimmick Gear (DC)
Here's a game I don't hear much about- a Hudson developed Action-Adventure game with some of the best hand-drawn backgrounds and sprites I've ever seen. It's a beautiful looking game, and quite different looking from the usual games you get with this style. You control an amnesiac from another age with a rusty E.G.G.- the first discovered- as a giant
ruin opens and covers the world in a deathly fog. The game has different dungeons, but it always comes back to the ruin Fogna, as you gain new abilities to traverse. Bosses go to using 3D models for everything, and while it doesn't look as good as the normal game, makes them memorable.

15. Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil
A great 2.5D platformer, and of course sequel to Klonoa on PS1. Klonoa 2 uses 3D models instead of the sprites of the first game, and for an earlier PS2 game it looks fantastic. While not the hardest, it's still a fun game all around. The voice acting is "incredible".

14. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PS2)
Here's a game I sunk hours into upon release. My uncle picked the game up on a whim, but wasn't too impressed with it so he lent it to me. I sunk everything into this game. The world, story, characters, and humor all spoke to me at the time of it's release. It was a step up in difficulty from what I was playing at the time as well. Definitely a game that prepared
me for future RPGs I would come to love.

... maybe I should give that copy back to him...

13. Shenmue (DC)
When I finally bought a Dreamcast of my own, I picked up Shenmue on a whim. I didn't know what this would be, only that it looked cool and it had 3 discs. I did not expect a wonderful adventure game with a really cool idea- to live in 1985 Japan at the same time. The distractions from the main story are the best parts of Shenmue: Collecting capsule toys, getting a winning can, playing SPACE HARRIER, and being scolded for not being home by 11:30 PM. Fighting was cool too, actually got me interested in playing Virtua Fighter.


12. Phantasy Star Online: Episodes 1 and 2 (DC/GCN)
My experience with PSO mostly comes from the Gamecube version, but this is for the whole thing, as I've sunk time into the Dreamcast version as well. While not what we think of Online RPG today- PSO is a really fun game to sink time into- a dungeon crawler where you go in with people and get loot, equip better weapons, and get back in there for more loot. While I prefer the classic Phantasy Star more, PSO is still a fantastic experience. Playing on SMPSBB servers now is still some of the best time.

11. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2)
I really don't need to say much. This is the game that put Persona into full popularity in the US and for good reason. It fixes the mechanics of the already excellent Persona 3 and creates a suspensful story full of excellent characters and a different setting than usual- a rural town economically impacted by a megacorporation. Reminded me of my time growing up in Texas for some reason. I also cried at some point in this game- you know where.

10. Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (GCN)
Crystal Chronicles remains to be my favorite multiplayer experience. It's also a game I have a lot of personal memories of. Through this game, I got to know a good friend when I was in living in Texas. We played through the whole game and had a blast- while in between having Bomberman 64 matches too. Today, I've lost touch with that person, as he moved away to Germany at the end of that school year, and I moved from that place half a year later. Nonetheless, Crystal Chronicles and its memories are still ingrained in my memory. Thanks Duncan, for the good times.

And thanks to my brother too, he held that chalice with his life.

9. Metroid Prime (GCN)
Do you like Super Metroid? How about in 3D? Yeah. I've never been great at first person viewpoints, however Metroid Prime just clicks with me control-wise- locking on was a great idea. Metroid Prime takes a similar structure to Super Metroid and makes a wonderful game to play through. Still one I go back to when it comes to Metroid.

8. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GCN)
I was behind this game since the beginning- something just appeals to me with Wind Waker's art style and setting. This game is about exploring, while the ocean is quite empty, finding an island on the horizon is rewarding as ever- especially when it's something secret. While the game itself is pretty standard for Zelda structure- it has one of the best endings I have seen from a videogame and, to me, a sympathetic villain- something I don't usually see out of a Ganondorf.

7. Tales of Symphonia (GCN)
My introduction to what's become one of my favorite RPG series, Tales of Symphonia is a blast from begining to end. A fun (4 player!) battle system focused on combos and beating enemies quickly makes getting to the fighty bits exciting. A great game to play with friends as well, cooperating to play through a long, but great journey.

6. Okami (PS2)
A fantastic adventure game along the lines of a Legend of Zelda. This is what I wanted from Twilight Princess- funny how it also has you play as a dog. Okami is a beautiful looking game that is reminiscent of watercolor Japanese art. The game has some clever puzzles and challenges involving brush techniques- using the Celestial Brush to slash, create bombs, and affect the environment. It's a good time especially if you want something different than a Zelda game for an adventure kick.

5. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3/FES (PS2)
Persona 3 has the honor of being the game I picked out to be the first SMT game I would experience. While Persona 4 is the better experience, I prefer the more SMT like story Persona 3 provides. The story and scope of Persona 3 is quite a web, but one that is rewarding to piece through. I also love the pressure of Tartarus- the massive dungeon the game has you tackle. Having to manage your party's stamina as you climb the tower through the game is tense- especially in the later floors where enemies become much more dangerous. Persona 3 is still one of my favorite SMT games, and is the one I recommend the most to newcomers. FES is
cool too.

4. Skies of Arcadia (DC)
My favorite Dreamcast RPG- Skies of Arcadia is a massive game when it opens up. A fantastic world of islands floating in the sky, air pirates, and a fun cast of characters. Skies of Arcadia delivers in every aspect I look for in an RPG- especially a fun battle system not just with characters, but with Sky Pirate Ships! I hear the Gamecube version is good too, but I have little experience with it. Besides, you'll miss out on an excellent feature the Dreamcast version has- telling you when a random encounter is about to happen when the disc starts loading (kidding!)!

3. Baten Kaitos 2: First Wings and the Heirs of God (Origins) (GCN)
My personal swan song for the Gamecube. Not only is this prequel a great followup to the first Baten Kaitos, it is one of my personal favorite RPGs and my favorite Gamecube game. Taking what the first game does,
it streamlines the deck building mechanics from 6 decks to 1 deck shared with 3 characters. It removes the need for consumable items- as HP is healed after every battle. It turns each battle into a fast paced card game,
allowing you to easily make combos and special attacks for some spectacular fights. It also puts you back in the role as a spirit, guiding a young man across a time before the first game as the political structure falls
into the empire of the first game, and the truth of the motives of villains in the first game. While I do recommend playing the first game, it is really to understand and appreciate Baten Kaitos 2.

2. Ikaruga (DC/GCN)
The shoot 'em up that not only got me into other shoot 'em ups, but remains to be my favorite of them. If you've never played Ikaruga, it's a game where you control a ship that can switch colors- polarities- that
will absorb shots of the same color. As a Treasure game goes- it starts simple with a mechanic, and builds as the game continues, forcing you to switch polarities fast and dodge white bullets as you absorb the black and
vice versa. While short, it's worth playing multiple times to get the best score. It's also fun with a friend.

1. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (PS2)
Here it is, the big one for me. SMT Nocturne, or SMT3, is the RPG for me. A post-appocalyptic setting, Pokemon-esque demon collecting and fusing, an easy to learn but difficult to master battle system, and a rocking
soundtrack? It has everything I love. Nocturne is structured much like an epic poem: it focuses more on the journey through this world rather than developing the main characters. While the characters do have revelations near the end, creating the SMT alignments, it's less focused on, especially if you go for the True Demon Ending, as that has it's own revelations. SMT Nocturne remains to me my favorite RPG on the PS2 and my favorite game on the system.
Last edited by jetstorm4 on Tue May 03, 2016 5:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Voodoo Groove » Tue May 03, 2016 4:59 am

Fighting Games: The List

28. Capcom vs. SNK 2 (GC) - The two biggest names in 2D fighting games go head to head in what, in retrospect, kind of looks like a MUGEN fighter. CvS2 feels a little slapped together, but the fast, customizable gameplay and creative groove system gives it a lot of style. They really need to do another one of these (go ahead and assume this last line applies to every other fighting game I write about on this list).

27. Rival Schools: Project Justice (DC) - One of Capcom's fighters that's had a severe lack of love, Rival Schools ends up as a surprisingly solid 3D fighter, considering the era its from. None of the character designs are gonna win any awards, but almost all of them are fun or goofy enough to be likeable. There were some very cool mechanics at work, such as sacrificing meter to stop an opponent's super in a first-hit-wins duel between assist characters and a unique tag system.

26. King of Fighter XI (PS2) - One of the better KoF rosters, in my opinion. Gotta love the Garou crew and Vanessa. I should've put more time into this game, but, you know... Street Fighter 3.

25. Jet Grind Radio (DC) - Stylish and fun, though I prefer the soundtrack and faster pace of the sequel a little more. I do like the spraypainting minigame when tagging compared to the constant spray-and-go of its successor, at least on the big canvases. I think this game is a good representative of the nature of the Dreamcast; innovative, arcade-y and ostentatiously radical, but ultimately overlooked.

24. Jet Set Radio Future (Xbox) - Like the original, but faster, smoother, and with better music and more characters. Cool.

23. Disgaea (PS2) - As a teenager raised on anime and Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea was a dream come true. It felt like a game that wanted you to break it, even if the actual combat wasn't very tactical. It's seen a lot of improvements through its sequels throughout the years, but there's an unmatched charm to the original game, barebones as it is.

22. Soul Calibur 2 (GC) - Soul Calibur 2 is surprisingly fast and brutal. This was the game that really sold me on 3D fighters. There's some wonky balancing (guard impacts are easy to do and even work on grabs), but this is a perfect party night fighter. Plus, Link.

21. Devil May Cry 3 (PS2) - Still the standard by which I measure character action games. It has the best array of weapons in a DMC game (tri-nunchaku. Seriously, more games need nunchaku) and on top of that a style system that encourages experimentation and replayability. Difficult, but rewarding and so smooth. Dante's badass persona is so hard to take seriously because he's basically a bishie ninja turtle and that makes him all the more enjoyable.

20. Super Mario Sunshine (GC) - I never fully understood the hate that this game gets. Sure, blue coins suck, but I thought the water pack was a pretty neat idea. There are a lot of little tricks you can do with it that made the world a fun playground, and some of the shine sprite missions were pretty clever. And of course, the levels that take away your F.L.U.D.D. are some really impressive platforming challenges.

19. Kirby Air Ride (GC) - Not terribly deep, but packed to the rafters with unlockables (as Sakurai is wont to do). I never tired of city ride mode, and with a few friends, you can eat away hours jumping between modes and trying out new vehicles. It's also experienced an odd amount of modding support (check out Air Ride Modoki).

18. Mario Power Tennis (GC) - Another in the list of awesome Gamecube party games, the roster was pretty unique and the extra modes were surpisingly fun. Multiplayer Gamecube games were really stuffed with content, weren't they? Plus, the special shots each character could perform were only /mildly/ game-breaking.

17. Power Stone 2 (DC) - I love the presentation of Power Stone 2. The announcer is so bombastic it seems natural that you'd hear his voice shouting in an arcade, and the crazy stage transitions stand up to any craziness from the Smash Bros. series. Another frantic party game with enough semblance of planning and skill to remain enjoyable. I just wish there were more levels.

16. Marvel vs. Capcom (DC) - Not as flashy or beloved as its sequel, but I think the first MvC could stand a little more love. The fundamental gameplay present here strikes a good balance between your Dark Stalkers and your complete bonkers MvC2. In fact, out of everything Skullgirls takes elements from, I'd say this is the game it most resembles.

15. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GC) - Wind Waker still looks amazing after all these years. The aesthetics do this game a great service, making it an unforgettable journey and helping to mask some of its downfalls. I haven't played it recently enough to say if the rest of it has aged as well, but I still think the adventure has a lot to offer.

14. Grandia 2 (DC) - It took me a while to get around to playing it, and I regret that I waited so long. The story, voice acting and characters are... so bad (if you're into it I'm sorry but that's just, like, my opinion), but the combat and character customization systems are among the best I've ever experienced. I'm a really big fan of all the ways it let's you upgrade different spells and passive bonuses, and then swap those between your characters. The battles encourage you to manage your big damage dealing capabilities against the need to slow your enemies down, which requires a bit of finesse, at least until you have a 4-person party. At that point the game becomes much easier, but its still a blast.

13. Disgaea 2 (PS2) - Disgaea 2 is improvement upon the first in every way (except for maybe having likeable characters. Zing). Mechanically, weapons grew more divergent with more unique advantages, and the introduction of class abilities actually made classes feel, you know, different. Takehito Harada's art became more vibrant, along with introducing some cool new classes and monsters. An SRPG that was worth the hundreds of hours I poured into it (I think?).

12. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (DC) - Prepare to hear me wax nostalgic. In my youth I went on a family trip to Disney World and spent most of the week in the arcade playing this game. It became the first ever home console fighting game I ever owned, singlehandedly affecting my taste in games about as much as Pokemon Red and Sonic the Hedgehog did. I actually remember the day I learned how to do a quarter-circle forward motion, in training mode with Tron Bonne. It has a ton of awesome characters, it isn't balanced at all, people that play it are NUTS, and I love it. P.S. The soundtrack rules, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

11. Garou: Mark of Wolves (DC) - Goddamn, SNK and Capcom were on POINT at the end of the 90s. Garou brings a lot of cool ideas to the table; blocking at the last moment negates chip damage and recovers health; the ToP system allows you to apply an attack buff with adjustable severity and range of activation; there's this really weird cancel you can only do after certain moves that's... actually pretty awkward. A good, solid fighting game with a tight skeleton and a pretty subdued array of techniques that are otherwise very deep.

10. Metal Slug 3 (Xbox) - In my best friend's basement, surround sound blaring, starting mission 5... Metal Slug 3 gets me pumped the fuck up. The process of progressing through the game, learning patterns and appropriate weapon usage, finally overcoming that impossible boss and moving on to the next insane area, all feels so incredibly satisfying. This is just a hard ass arcade game in the best way. Every time my co-op partner and I made it to a new level was a cause for celebration.

I still have never legitimately beaten this game.

9. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (DC) - Another in the long line of Capcom's prodigious selection of fighting games, and they new how to use the license. Manga panel cut-ins during supers and KOs add that extra dramatic flair, and the stand system opens up a lot of interesting decisions during a match. It comes off as a game the developers were very passionate about, with a strong attention to detail and the sheer amount of creativity they were able to interweave with the license.

8. Sonic Adventure (DC) - Do I need to defend myself? I feel like I need to defend myself. I personally think that Sonic controls really well in this game, better than any other 3D Sonic title. In fact, I wish they did more with the "adventure stages" so you could navigate more large, open areas with Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. Heck, barring Big the Cat, playing as the side characters is actually fun. Besides the often poor camera and occasional glitches, many of the Sonic and Tails levels have cool designs and are awesome to tear through. No doubt nostalgia plays a factor in my love for this game, but I think once you dig a bit this game has some good fun to offer.

7. Guilty Gear XXasdgsd (PS2) - Guilty Gear X2, in all its forms, is fucking tight. It's characters have real variance, and some matchups are just incredibly fun to play. A few of the high level techniques are hard to grasp, but the gameplay is so fast and freeform that you can still feel like you're learning through improvisation. Its style proved highly imitable, and I don't think any series in the same vein has ever matched it.

6. Last Blade 2 (DC) - Compared to many of the other fighting games on this list, Last Blade 2 is reserved. It's not lightning-fast and the roster isn't full of outlandish and powerful characters. It is a somber game, from the soundtrack to the battlegrounds. The combat is punctuated with moments of silence as each opponent looks to bait out counterattacks and perfect their spacing. There are a handful of flashy, difficult to use super moves, but otherwise combos and controls are simple. If the high execution of other fighting games deters you, I strongly suggest giving Last Blade 2 a go. If you like good things, I strongly suggest giving Last Blade 2 a go. Go give Last Blade 2 a go (it's out on PS4 and Vita, you have no excuse).

5. Sonic Adventure 2 (DC/GC) - I'm sitting here, with this game, Sonic Adventure 2, very close to the top (bottom? whichever is closer to 1) of my personal list. It doesn't make sense, but somehow putting it anywhere else doesn't feel right. I played the ever-loving SHIT out of this game on the Sega Dreamcast, and then did it all over again for its rerelease on the Gamecube. The Sonic and Shadow levels are good, though not much better than they were in the first Sonic Adventure. Knuckles gameplay became slower and less fun. Tails became a nerfed E-102. But there's something about this game. The music is, like, seriously fucking sweet. I spent probably hundreds of hour raising chao. I practiced speedrunning levels. I started playing guitar because Sonic's brand of not-punk punk rock got me into actual punk rock. Why did this game affect me so? Why do I love this flawed beast that is Sonic Adventure 2?...

4. Shadow of the Colossus (PS2) - A lot's been said about this game, so I'll just reiterate; amazing aesthetics, intriguing subdued story, thrilling gameplay. Yes, somehow this game induces thrills in me, which I have to say is not something that happens often. Shadow of the Colossus is a unique and beautiful work, and while it has occassional weird controls and frustrating moments, it's a game I 100% encourage everyone to experience.

3. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GC) - Still waiting on Nintendo to make another good Paper Mario game. Come on, guys! But I digress. Thousand-Year Door is the perfect Mario RPG. It's cute, the dialogue is funny (if ever so voluminous at times), the battles are consistently fun, and I've always loved the series' levelling and badge systems. There's a wide array of charming characters, enough that almost everyone is likeable, and the game as a whole is just pleasant. It doesn't have the huge nostalgic effect on me like some of the other games on my list, but its honestly an incredibly well put-together game. It's not easy to say how they could've done it better.

2. Super Smash Bros. Melee (GC) - Astounding the day it came out, astounding to this day. The hype when it came out was massive, it was THE reason to own a Gamecube. The leap forward from Smash 64 was truly impressive, heck the sheer quantity of additional characters, stages and modes was unbelievable. On top of its casual appeal, Melee is an incredibly tight, rewarding fighting game (these two things are not mutually exclusive). It's no mistake that it's stayed in the competetive scene after all these years; there's never been anything like it, and nowadays it's even inspiring a new genre of platform-focused indie fighters. Once you've got a handle on your movement options and attack properties, the stage is your playground to outmaneuver, outwit and outplay your opponent. It might very well be the most satisfying competitive game I've played.

1. Street Fighter 3: Third Strike (PS2) - "Quite possibly the greatest fighting game ever made." A set of characters way cooler than anyone who was in Street Fighter 2, a sweet soundtrack, gorgeous sprite animation, it's the whole package. Characters like Makoto, Dudley and Q prove that you can be incredibly stylish and unique without having an over-the-top design, with movements so perfectly suited to them and their martial expression. Parrying is the best. You feel so damn awesome, either after practicing a sequence for so long or throwing your virtual life on the line in a last ditch effort, parrying a long string of attacks and defeating an opponent who had you cornered. Third Strike, perhaps more than any game, really lets you get inside the mind of your opponent. It has such a dramatic, explosive impact on play that you just can't avoid it. This is true of many fighting games, but the parrying system really exacerbates the benefit you gain from knowing exactly how the other person operates. It's an oddly great bonding experience. Basically, Street Fighter 3: Third Strike is an oddly fulfilling experiece for virtually punching someone a lot, and it will make you better friends for doing so.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Rhete » Tue May 03, 2016 11:23 pm

Hey, huge thanks to everyone who has submitted a list thus far!

As these things tend to go, I'm going to extend the deadline since there hasn't been a huge turnout so far, and a lot of people still need more time (Including myself, Polly, and Crono Maniac).

The new deadline will be announced at a future date.

For those that have already submitted a list, it is a huge help since I can start getting images for games I know will be on the list. You can also make any changes to your list if you need to do so.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Rhete » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:17 pm

OK I really need to stop dawdling on this thing, the deadline is being set as AUGUST 1ST! Ya got one month! I also made a frontpage post so hopefully that gets a few more people in here.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Vanor Orion » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:34 pm

SHIT how did I miss this???? Better make a HUUUUGE list and start narrowing that bastard down....

Actually, I do got a question on a couple of entries I want to make: Aliens Vs Predator 2 and Star Trek Bridge Commander which both came out during that generation of systems. They were never ported....but unless there's a PC game list or something down the road, I'd like to enter them because they were pretty substantial games during that time period for me.

Okay, thanks ya for the response, I should hopefully have my list hammered out by the end of the week!
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Rhete » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:45 am

Historically these have been focused on consoles, but since I don't plan on doing a PC list, may as well open it up to PC games of the era as well (2000-2005). The line between consoles and PCs is increasing blurry anyways, with the rise of Steam during Gen 7 and Microsoft now going cross platform with Windows 10.

*adds Cave Story to his list*
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Carmichael Micaalus » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:06 am

Arright, had to prune some games since I didn't realize GBA wasn't allowed ('though I mostly had them tossed in 'cause it's a small list, but that's my own fault~), buuut it's finally done, yay!

16) Soul Caliber III (PS2) - Mostly what I remember about this one is it had a robust character creator, and there was some enemy in the storyline mode thing that you could farm by losing 'cause you would still get insane amount of money from him since he was such a high level. Excellent praise, I know, but I didn't play too much of this.

15) Grand Theft Auto 3 (PS2) - Work for the mafia! Kill the mafia! Kill whoever! Steal cars, drive around town, cause mayhem! While it wasn't the first open world action adventure style game, it really brought it to light and what it could do.

14) Jak II (PS2) - Take the first game and combine it with GTA and add a large dollop of grimdark. Jak is no longer a silent protagonist, and the difficulty has been ramped up to ridiculous levels. It still quickspawns you upon death though, so that makes the higher difficulty much more tolerable. The gameplay moved from Mario 64 style of collecting things to mission oriented tasks, directly affecting the story like the GTA series. The racing segments were pretty alright as well.

13) Megaman X: Command Mission (PS2) - A Megaman RPG game! Neat! This game was made in the era of grimdark being the new thing, which shows, but despite that, I still found it to be a fairly fun game. Sadly, this is also when I had more games than time, and I never did actually beat it (I think I reached the last area; not sure why I stopped, either).

12) Skies of Arcadia (GCN) - I don't remember much aside from Belle. No, jokes aside, a pretty neat game with pirates and airships! It had a lot of problems, like unreliable rezzing, and really bad random encounter rates, but the base building and story were fun times all around. Prrrobably should get around to trying to finish it, really!

11) Jack and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (PS2) - A 3-D platformer for the PS2. While the story may not have been anything to write home about, it had pretty fun gameplay, a good amount of humour, and a quick reload after death, keeping you in the game longer (which more games need to do, really).

10) Legend of Zelda: Windwaker (GCN) - Ah, I remember all the bitching and moaning about the art style when this game was announced. But like most Zelda games, this one turned out to be pretty good. It had a nice feeling of exploration, and an interesting story built off of a previous Link's failure to defeat Ganon.

9) Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GCN) - Refined a few things from the first Metroid Prime, and started adding more story elements, which... can be taken either way. Some of the bosses were in dire need of rebalancing, but overall a good game.

8) Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 (PS2) - First PS2 game I got, and the first Tony Hawk game I got, as well. The controls on it felt good, the music selection was great, and was an overall fun game.

7) Jak 3 (PS2 )- The conclusion to the Jak trilogy, things from the second game have been fine-tuned and the difficulty has been rebalanced. Not much else to say, other than I did find it to be a good conclusion to the story, and I found it more enjoyable than Jak II.

6) Dark Cloud (PS2) - Oh no, the world was blown up! Time to put it back together! There was a nice mix of city building, combat, and some QTE-esque events combined with a pretty neat story. There were some problems of course - you could really get by with just two people (Toan and Ruby were my favorites), meaning the others were pretty useless... and annoying to use when the game literally forced you to use 'em. The city building, while neat, really only had one layout to use if you were trying to get the items and/or abilities. But still, a good game none the less.

5) Final Fantasy X-2 (PS2) - A lot of people bitch about this game, but I've also come to the conclusion a lot of people are fucking stupid. To each their own, though. Game takes place in a world no longer plagued by an endless cycle of death, which is kind of neat, really. (There is, of course, a new conflict.) I found it to be fun like its predecessor, and the reintroduction to the job system into the FF series was nice as well... and the fact the combat was built around the ability to change jobs in mid combat was pretty awesome.

4) Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter (PS2) - One of my favorite PS2 games, and the last of the Breath of Fire series to be released. It was completely different from the rest of the BoF games, which earned it a lot of flack. In all honesty, it probably should have been a new series, but that's neither here nor there. A dark story with limited inventory, saves, steps, and a slew of other things meant you needed to pay attention to survive. Getting jumped in a random encounter could easily wipe you if you didn't keep your wits about you. While that style of play normally isn't my jam, it was still a fun game.

3) Metroid Prime (GCN) - The first of the FPS Metroid games, this game did a lot of stuff, and did it right. All of the story and lore elements came from scanning things, all of which could be read or ignored if you so desired.

2) Final Fantasy X (PS2) - Not having a PS1, this was the first Final Fantasy I played after 6. While the story had some... rough patches, shall we say, I still found it to be a solid game. The combat system is probably one of the best turn-based systems I've played (with the turn order reacting to the abilities you hover over, making it insanely useful), and stealing was useful. No, not just useful, but useable. Like, it would actually work. And sometimes? You could steal from the same enemy multiple times HOLY SHIT. I remember when I learned that, EVERYONE picked up Mug off the sphere grid. (Oh! And I'm also the one person in the whole world that actually liked the sphere grid for leveling.)

1) Tales of Symphonia (GCN) - First Tales game I played, pretty dark story for how bright and cheerful most of the game looked. Probably one of the first games I played that effectively punished you for doing the right thing (not that you had a choice in the matter) real early in the game. The combat system was excellent and the AI of your party was actually pretty decent, from what I recall.


I should also probably note this list is one that I don't feel super concrete about all the positions of the game; if I did this yesterday, it wouldn't surprise me if many of them would have ended up in different spots. At any rate, it's done~
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Rhete » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:09 pm

One week left!

I should start my list :servbot:
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Vanor Orion » Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:31 am

Finally, I have been busy.

26 BLACK (PS2)
We may as well put a shooter on this list, so let's put a unique one on here. This game barely has a story to it, but that's not why you play this game. It's all spectacle, and it's pretty as hell, and that's before you factor in the destructible environments, or the fucking beautiful explosions, or the meticulously modeled weapons that you can use that quickly turn the scenery into something resembling a John Woo film. Definitely give it a try sometime.

25 YS VI THE ARK OF NAPISHTIM (PS2)
There IS merit for playing this version of the game, outside of the so-bad-it's-awesome English dub. As far as I'm aware, the PC version does not have the Trials of Alma, a series of side quest obstacle courses that you can do to get some slight additional story stuff, experience and gold, and some nice healing and stat-boosting items. Also the eye candy that is Alma is SORELY missed in the Steam version of the game. (likewise, the PSP version of the game has it's own platform-unique stuff)

That aside, the game is fun as hell and doesn't overstay it's welcome. I love, love, LOVE the art style for the characters in the game, and greatly miss it in Ys VII. The game is action-packed, and while linear, does offer a fair amount of secrets and hidden items to discover. Finally, for those who hate the English dub, and the even more ghastly CG opening, you can use a cheat room to play the game in glorious Nippon and have your ears exploded by the AWESOME fucking original intro and music. Oh yeah, and the soundtrack kicks massive amounts of ass, but that should go without saying since it's Falcom.

24 SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI III NOCTURNE
Okay, I fucking cheated. I had that bible-thick strategy guide for this game. I used it. Although it was mainly to help get 100% completion and all the Magatama BECAUSE FUCK THAT STUPID BLOCK PUZZLE SHIT. This game's plot is very sparse and minimalistic. At the same time a lot of stuff is conveyed visually and in metaphor. I remember someone saying once that descending deeper into the Labyrinth of Amala was symbolic of being tempted by the Fruit of Knowledge....which considering who is waiting for you at the fucking bottom of that place, isn't a difficult conclusion to arrive at.

This game isn't perfect. It has it's issues. But I have to admit that this might be one of my favorite MegaTen games I've played. The soundtrack grew on me after awhile, and now it's one of my favorites, bar none. And quite frankly, there's nothing more badass than becoming a part man, part demon, and being able to summon the minions of hell to your side to kick ass. I'm quite frankly amazed that nobody's ever tried to make a movie or TV show out of this stuff yet.

23 ACE COMBAT 5 THE UNSUNG WAR
“WHY ARE PEOPLE SO STUPID?!” --Captain Nagase

This line has literally become a running joke between me and one of my friends for YEARS ever since we played this game, and is the product of game developers going too far on the anti-war rhetoric to the point that it becomes laughable. But corny writing not withstanding, this game is fucking great. It takes what 4 did and improves upon it in almost every way (except for the writing in some spots). The flying is better, more aircraft to choose from, more awesome weapons to use for each mission. The story itself does unfold with a bit of a mystery around who is responsible for what, and probably the strongest part of it is the camaraderie between the Sand Island Squadron (although someone needs to duct tape Nagase's mouth shut). There's a lot of awesome variety in the missions and what you do, and thematically the game kicks ass as you basically “die” as demons, only to come back as avenging heroes to destroy the real villains and save the world.

22 DEVIL MAY CRY
It was on the same day during the same session that me and some of my friends got to experience both Silent Hill 2, and Devil May Cry. Needless to say, Devil May Cry was like having someone hit you in the face with a fire hose at full blast. GOD what a hell of a first impression to the PS2. What I think people may forget is just how fucking SCARY this game was. You look at 3 was, and that game definitely embraced the camp very harshly, while this game definitely embraced the horror of its gothic setting very well. Its frenetic action was the exclamation point to calm stretches of atmospheric gothic horror setpieces and dread as the night wore on and the onslaught of Mundus' influence further wrecked the island and its architecture.

And god DAMN was it stylish as fuck! Something not even 3 managed to fully remedy from the lackluster second game. The menus, whenever you selected the shotgun and that FMV plays of the shotgun blowing its load shortly before you blew your own, that was badly missing from Dante's Awakening and needed to be added back in. And of course in just one installment, Dante had established himself as one of the biggest video game badasses with his horrible one-liners and amazing fashion sense backed up by a “Honey Badger doesn't give a fuck” attitude with awesome super powers augmenting his oh-so-satisfying moveset. Probably the best thing about this game that none of the following games fully replicated was the supremely awesome boss fights. You had recurring bosses, and you really enjoyed fighting them, and they just helped amp up the entertainment level of the game to an absurd degree.

21 SILENT HILL 2
While this game isn't a direct sequel to the original, it does expand greatly on the lore and background of Silent Hill, as we explore parts of the town we were not privy to in the original game. James gets a letter from his dead wife telling him she's waiting for him back in Silent Hill...OR IS SHE? This game has a really damn good story, but only because the rest of the game does such a good job of making you think more about it AFTER the fact. Another great and scary thing about this game is that while it isn't exactly open-ended, you have enough free reign to backtrack and explore that it is genuinely unsettling when you return to certain places only to find that things have changed (like the writing at Bar Neely's), which leads one to wonder what else may have changed as events have unfolded within the game, exciting the imagination further...something that was almost totally lost on the post Team Silent games. While this isn't my favorite in the series, it's still a damn great horror game, and absolutely deserves the praise it gets.

20 KILLER 7 (GC)
It's been a while since I last played this, but damn is it hard to forget. This game was so balls-to-the-wall batshit insane and random....but yet at the same time, not. Lost inside of this cacaphony of crazy events, there IS a fucking coherent story happening. Only several chapters are truly dedicated to the overall story of the Killer 7 while several focus on a few of them resolving past wrongs (such as Dan Smith and Curtis Blackburn). The game has a very unique and incredible cel-shaded art style that gave it—to this day—a very distinct look. Probably the only thing that surpasses the art is the sound design and music, as both work in concert with the visuals to create very memorable setpieces.

The gameplay itself is pretty simplistic, and is clearly just there to add to the weird and surreal nature of the game and its story. While the game definitely has some WTF goofy parts, there is some VERY disturbing and unsettling shit that happens in this game, either on screen, or heavily inferred in the game itself that makes Seven look like a day at Disneyland. Probably the thing that best sums up the game is the part where you watch Andrei Almeida getting off while a concert stadium blows up behind him. Oh yeah, and the voice acting is fucking superb, and may be the best in any video game I've ever heard, bar none.

19 DEVIL SUMMONER 2: RAIDOU KUZUNOHA VS KING ABADDON
The original game was kind of like the original Persona in that it was sort of rough around the edges, and was R&D1's first attempt at an action RPG with the SMT/MI brand. While it wasn't NEARLY as crude as Persona was, it still suffered in the actual gameplay. However, like Persona 2, King Abaddon took what the original did, and overhauled the hell out of it and polished it to a mirror sheen. In a lot of ways I find this game is thematically similar to the Persona 2 games, in that they both deal with abstract ideas having a tangible impact on reality. The story itself picks up after Soulless Army, and has you dealing with locusts that steal people's good fortune and can be used to transfer it to another person, leading to highly polarized incidents of either really good luck, or really bad shit happening, like giant grasshoppers falling from the sky and sawblading people in half. Soulless Army was a more light-hearted game, this one, however, dives headfirst into all of the tropes of MegaTen, including appearances by a morally ambiguous Lucifer, and some hard choices that lead to two distinct endings demarcated along the classic Law/Chaos boundaries. This game also may have the best soundtrack in the entire SMT series.

This game definitely fixes the issues that Soulless Army had, and also improves upon the things that were lacking in that game. The action RPG combat itself has been greatly improved, and is now super fast, responsive, and most importantly, tactile. You really feel it when you exploit an enemy's weakness and start kicking the shit out of them with your sword. Raidou consequently feels like a badass, and looks like a boss when he speed loads his Nambu. Nevermind the fact that he's keeping company with the adorable Summoner Trainee Nagi, and her badass mentor, Geirin Kuzunoha, whose exploits in the US of A are hinted at with his moveset, something I really appreciate about this series. I would totally love to see a MegaTen in the Wild West.

18 FINAL FANTASY X
“HA HA HA!” Okay, we get that out of our system? Alright, this game has problems, mainly with whatever crackhead that Squaresoft hired off the street to cast the voice talent in this game. If you can get past that....this game is pretty cool. The problem is that I think they focus too much on a few of your party members and not enough on the others. Kimahri doesn't get much screen time and doesn't talk much. I'd like to have gotten more out of him....same for Massive Titty Lady-I mean Lulu, and Auron. Instead, we have to suffer the drudgery of Blitzball....which is really bad if you, like me, don't much care for sports. The game is fucking pretty though, and the Sphere Grid is pretty neat. However, FFX probably has the BEST combat system in the series. Being able to swap people out on the fly to meet the unique needs of the party at the moment, or to better tackle a threat that the present line up isn't very good at handling, is fucking brilliant yet also super simple yet oh-so-satisfying. The soundtrack, surprisingly, is probably the best thing about the game, with the various iterations of the Hymn of Fayth, and the awesome battle themes, including the boss theme and Yunalesca. And yes, this game also has a MUCH better love story than fucking Final Fantasy VIII did.

17 GOD HAND
This game wastes no time getting to the point. You go into a bad part of town...which is pretty much every town in this game that you go to, and you start beating the unholy hell out of anybody that looks at you wrong with your roided out God Arm. I don't think I've played a game where beating the shit out of somebody was so satisfying save maybe for Yakuza. Mash that Circle button and knee that asshole's skull a hundred times! Mash Circle and barrage that lard ass's jelly rolls with your fists! Mash that Circle button and give that dominatrix a lot better than she gave you! In between your mission to kick the shit out of every bad guy and gay demon on Earth, you can unwind at the local casino and gamble your life savings away at Poker or Blackjack, or go risk it all on a round of Chihuahua racing. Buy new awesome moves like the Pimp Hand or Pay Up NOW! Also, the most awesome credits theme in gaming history.

16 RESIDENT EVIL REMAKE (GC)
This game was a remake done right. They don't change the very beginning up much, or the very end...but everything else in between got changed up A LOT. New parts of the Mansion were added, Lisa's disturbing ass and the whole Trevor family subplot which just makes shit even more creepy than it already was, new puzzles, and with the addition of Crimson Heads, a lethal new enemy to scare the shit out of you that wasn't in the original game. Factor in the absolutely jaw-dropping backgrounds and the beautiful character models (Jill's jugs jiggle jubilantly...) along with the fact that the graphical makeover also made the game MUCH more atmospheric and scary than it already was, and you have an old game that was literally made new again even for people that could play the original in their sleep.

15 ONIMUSHA 2 SAMURAI'S DESTINY
Onimusha was a great game. It was basically a survival horror hack and slash game in Samurai-era Japan. Obviously liberties were taken with history as I don't recall learning about how Nobunaga Oda came back from the dead to try and conquer Japan and the world in history class.

The second game pretty much expanded upon what the first game did, and also added a lot of neat things that gave it more replay value. The combat was improved a lot, and was more responsive, which is especially great if you want to try and critical kill the absolute FUCK out of everything you come across. You play OG Jubei Yagyu who swears to avenge his murdered clansman slain by Oda. You journey to a mining village and spend the first half of the game meeting various colorful warriors such as Magoichi Saiga, Ekei, or Oichi. You'll find various gifts and items you can purchase and give to each of them, which raises their affinity, which then greatly impacts events in the second half of the game as you can sometimes control each of these people to help Jubei out and can drastically alter the outcome of the game. It's so in depth that there's an event flowchart that shows you where things can branch off at after you finish the game. The combat is great, the gifting system that alters the latter half of the game lends to a lot of longevity and replay value, and on top of that the game is pretty as hell, and Jubei is a badass. If it hadn't been for Dawn of Souls, this would have easily been the best of the series.

14 METAL GEAR SOLID 3 SUBSISTENCE
I like the second game, but this one absolutely crushes it, and also stands the test of time a bit better as its own self-contained game, and as far as origin stories go, is a pretty good prequel about how Big Boss became the Big Boss of badasses. It's also one of the most wince-inducing pieces of media I've ever experienced since reading Stephen King's Misery. Gameplay wise, this game stomps all over the prior two games. You are given more leeway on how to approach and deal with each section of the game, and it's telling that me and several my friends played the game simultaneously, and we all played it way differently, with me sneaking and sniping people from a distance, another just rushing enemies and flinging them around with CQC, and yet another just going in guns blazing like fucking Commando and killing everything like Rambo. Some people didn't like this newfound open-endedness. These people are probably no fun at parties.

The story itself is pretty great, though I was always miffed that we didn't learn more about the Cobra Unit, but Volgin is a great villain, and there's lots of liberties taken with history yet still adhering to just enough fact to make it more or less grounded. The last few hours of the game are all spectacle with the chase on the Shagohod....and it's fucking glorious. Factor in all the awesome hidden things, secrets, and the addition of MG and MG2, and a hilarious gag reel and you have an AWESOME package for just 20 DOOLARS at the time it came out.

13 NHL HITZ (GC)
I'm not sure if I should classify this as a sports game or a fighting game, because you can piss each other off and start randomly having a fighting game break out during a hockey match, complete with health bar and all. I'm not a big sports fan, but DAMN this game was just pure unadulterated fun. You don't need to be an expert at Hockey to enjoy this game, with or without friends. It's always fucking awesome when you check somebody against the glass, and consecutive goals will have lighting rain down your players and bathe them in fire. This game is a blast and if you got a GC or PS2 or whatever you totally owe it to yourself to check it out, sports fan or no.

12 METROID PRIME
I so wanted a sequel to Super Metroid. Both Fusion and Prime came out around the same time and I got the latter and borrowed the former from a friend....and was shocked when I wound up falling in love with Metroid Prime and found myself feeling tepid on Fusion. God, this might be one of the most immsersive games Nintend—er, I'm sorry, Retro has ever made. The game blew my mind with how pretty it was, with how damned good the music was, with the astonishing attention to detail. The game was fairly challenging, the enemies were varied and scary, especially the further into the game you explored, and Metroid Prime itself was a downright creepy final boss, perhaps the most creepy in the entire series. Actually, downright Lovecraftian, in a way. This was definitely one of those handful of Game Cube games you could shove in someone's face and be all “Yeah, you got your Final Fantasy X, but I got THIS!” Just scanning stuff alone could take up a lot of your time and keep you interested in the game's lore for hours....or you could just ignore it....something CERTAIN developers at Nintendo need to fucking have beat into their skulls sometime when it comes to their other games.

11 ALIENS VS PREDATOR 2
I love Aliens. I love Predator (and Predator 2). I even liked some of the comics. AvP2 is both the best AvP game in the series (even better than the last one that on the PS3/360), and is also probably the best Aliens property game ever made, save perhaps Alien Isolation. This game does a very good job of recreating the feel and flavor of Aliens and Predator while doing its own thing. They absolutely nail the sound design, and you get freakish shrieks as xenomorphs erupt from vent shafts and dark corners that are occasionally lit by flickers of light. It's actually unnerving to play as the Predator as he roars and shit when he rips someone's head off. And of course it's hard for me to not start cackling like a maniac when I'm spraying my pulse rifle everywhere and hoping I actually hit something cuz these fuckers are very spry. The story line is also great as it utilizes each character from each campaign to show how events unfold from different perspectives at different times, with a few instances where their paths intersect which is really cool, eventually giving you the whole picture of the game's story. Probably the freakiest and scariest ending is with the Alien campaign for reasons I'd rather just not say. The Gold version features an expansion that adds some background to the overall story and lets you play new characters. Definitely worth checking out if you can find/buy it.

10 SOUL CALIBUR III (PS2)
This is probably both the best fighting game I've ever played, and most definitely the best of the Soul Calibur games me and my friends have ever played. Part of this is because of how relatively straightforward the game is as a fighting game, partly because of the character creator that lets you make your own person modeled after the fighting style of the stock Soul Calibur characters, but mainly because of Tales of Souls mode. This is basically a story mode for the game, and is not only the best part of the game, but might be the best story mode of any fighting game I've played. The game incorporates large maps with multiple matches (with conditions like knock off the ring or slip and slide ) and even some simple siege warfare stratergizing mixed in with RPG leveling mechanics and money you can earn to unlock more stuff for create-a-character....which you can totally use for this mode.

My friends would literally spend weekends with our friend Heath who had a huge plasma screen TV and we would be using a laser pointer to formulate our strategies and take turns fighting within the game. A few of us would actually play the vs and arcade mode, but we would ALWAYS come back to Tales of Souls mode because of how fun it was. There's a lot more to love about this game, but sadly Tales of Souls is unique to this game, and never made it to the following installments....which is just a damned shame. However, that doesn't take away from how fucking awesome Soul Calibur III is, and this is coming from someone who is pretty meh on fighting games in general.

9 PERSONA 4
I could never finish Persona 3 despite how interesting it seemed to me. There was just too many swathes of time where nothing interesting happened in the game. Persona 4 fixed this by having both a much more interesting, event-filled story, and by having a lot more memorable, interesting and entertaining characters who played off each other really well. The gameplay was perfected, and the game being more of a murder-mystery rather than a blatant "save the world" story made it very unique. The game ultimately ends as a coming of age story with its bittersweet ending of life moving on but the bonds of friendship forged during the game being eternal.

8 SUPER SMASH BROS MELEE
Probably the best and most fun fighting game I've ever played. Yes, it's a fucking fighting game. Some fighting game people try to say it isn't but it is. It's not your typical fighting game, but it's a fighting game nonetheless. The N64 version of the game laid a very solid foundation, which Melee went above and beyond expanding upon. The combat is just fast and reflexive enough to keep matches fast-paced and exciting but not so much so that you can't keep up with the action. Of course, in four-player matches with items on, chaos is going to erupt whether you like it or not. The roster was great, and had a fair amount of variety. There was a lot of nuance to the gameplay but you didn't really need to grasp any of that if you just wanted to dive in and kill about 30 minutes trying to use a baseball bat to send your friend sailing into escape velocity offscreen. Personally, I wasn't the best, but I always enjoyed being that annoying asshole that would choose Samus and spam missiles constantly like that annoying sibling who uses a stick to poke at your face constantly. I personally still think this is the best of the series and is one of the finest games Nintendo has ever made. The game is chock full of content and hidden stuff, so it does a pretty good job of being representative of everything that made Nintendo great back in the day.

7 SILENT HILL 3
This game....this is hands down my favorite game in the series. This game scared me the most. It's also technically one of the most impressive videogames I've ever played, even by today's standards it still holds up VERY well. I also really like Heather as a protagonist. She starts the game off with a nightmare and it's all downhill from there. Going through a possessed mall, a fucking creepy sewer and subway system, an apartment from Hell, before even going to Silent Hill proper. And then when you think it can't get any worse....it does. Probably the most technically impressive feat in this game and one I've rarely seen any other game really replicate is the idea of organic architecture, bleeding walls, and just the sheer level of detail in every room in the game, even if it doesn't seem to serve a purpose for anything, it just fucks with your head. The story itself is another reason why I love this game, as I gradually got further in, I began realizing that this game was bringing up plot threads from the original game, until it became crystal clear that this game was a proper sequel to the original Silent Hill. Some people don't care for this, but I do, because as a huge fan of Babylon 5 I LOVE it when a series has continuity. Hitting the reset button every installment is fucking irritating and has the potential of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The little hidden nods to the prior game were really nice if you had a SH2 save on your memory card, something that I wish more games did. Or I should say, more MODERN games did. While I think SH2 is being sold online for RIDICULOUS prices, you can still get the PC version of SH3 for a reasonable amount the last time I checked, so definitely give it a shot if you haven't, it's hands down one of the best horror games ever made.

6 DEVIL MAY CRY 3 DANTE'S AWAKENING SPECIAL EDITION
This game had one of the best trailers in gaming history. It HAD to be awesome because the game before this was such a fucking massive let down it was impossible to articulate by any method known to humans. This game wasn't just a sequel, or a prequel, it was an apology AND a love letter to the fans of the original game who got burned by the second game being a blase forgettable mess. It's also worth pointing out that both this and MGS3 came out around the same time, and both were prequels, and both were, unlike the Star Wars prequel, REALLY great.

You play as a younger Dante, a more brash and arrogant badass who hadn't yet tempered himself into the suave, nonchalant death machine that we would eventually play as in the first game. This game wastes no time letting you know that it's giving you both barrels of awesome by opening the first stage with a jaw-dropping cutscene full of over-the-top insane action, and follows that up by letting you DO THAT SHIT in the first stage. The various Styles this game introduced make it fucking awesome in that you can play however you want, and look like a badass at the same time. Wanna ride on a hapless badguy while shooting your guns everywhere? Pick Gunslinger. Wanna run on walls like this is The Matrix and warp around like Nightcrawler? Pick Trickster. Then you bring back some awesome and entertaining villains who make up some very awesome boss fights, some of which culminates with you earning awesome new weapons like talking dual swords and a fucking succubus that turns to a lightning guitar. Speaking of which, this game also has one of the BEST soundtracks in any video game ever. Everything about this game is fucking awesome and the gameplay itself being so damned satisfying was just the cherry on this sundae. Hands down not just one of the best action games on the PS2, but one of the best in the genre, period.

5 ACE COMBAT ZERO THE BELKAN WAR
Once more, we have another prequel on this list. Specifically, it's a prequel to the fifth game, and lays the foundation for the events that would lead to the things that happened in The Unsung War. Zero really came out of nowhere with no fanfare, but is undeniably my favorite in the series. In a way, this game's story follows a similar structure as 5, in that you are seeing events from the eyes of a journalist. What's really cool about this game, is that the story is about YOU, Galm One, and your exploits during the Belkan War, and your actions influence the things that the journalist learns about you as the game unfolds.

Tied to the “style” system in the game, are Ace pilots, parts of the game where you fight super aggressive, super dangerous enemy aces that are just as deadly and determined to kill you and your woefully-named wingman as you are going after them. Depending upon how measured, aggressive, or merciful you are in combat, the aces you encounter changes, and the INTERVIEWS that take place in the game with those you shot down also change, which is really fucking cool. Probably the best thing about this game is the story itself. It does suffer from a little of the “war is bad” preachiness from AC5, however it isn't NEARLY as bad and is ultimately done in a way to paint your final confrontation with your former wingman in a much more sympathetic light. Which I might also add is the most badass, adrenaline-fueled fucking final showdown in any game I've ever played, and “Zero” which is the song playing in the background makes you forget entirely that the fate of the world is at stake and has you thinking only about the dance of death you are having in the skies with your former buddy. If you haven't played this game, fucking correct your error and do so.

4 ONIMUSHA DAWN OF DREAMS
It's kind of funny. Looking back, I like the games in this series in the same order I like the Mad Max films: 2, 1, 3. Onimusha 3 wasn't a bad game, but it wound up being disappointing and even baffling for a few reasons (like why the fuck didn't you get Jean Reno to speak English IN THE FUCKING ENGLISH VERSION OF THE GAME????), and the game itself, while finally doing away with Nobunaga for good, also left on a cliffhanger showing Hideyoshi Toyutomi coming to power as happened historically. Despite that, I wasn't expecting a sequel, so imagine my shock when there wound up being a sequel. And like Mad Max: Fury Road, it kicked so much ass that it wound up unseating the second game as the undisputed champion in the series.

They didn't feed this game steroids, they fucking shoved a in a funnel and poured in a keg of Powerthirst. The game wasn't just a hack and slash game anymore, but a full-blown action RPG, with leveing up, skill points to allocate for new moves, a unique cast of characters that you could choose between and have accompany you, with their own unique weapons, movesets, and even unique abilities that let them do things in the field that the others could not. You could buy and make new items, buy and find new weapons. The combat was improved and expanded upon, and you could now critical attack enemies from magic attacks. Your cast of characters were both badass and entertaining (fucking loved Jubei, just wanna pinch her....cheeks). The game was graphically beautiful, and storyline wise, it ties up all the loose ends from the prior games, and brings back the original villain from the first game, for an absolutely badass final battle to end the series on a high note. Probably the best thing in the game, is a hidden feature that let's you play the game with two players. It's not perfect, but it was fucking awesome to play this game with a friend of mine, and it was through this game that he wound up going back and play the others. One of the best times I ever had playing a game.

3 STAR TREK BRIDGE COMMANDER
One of the first PC games I ever played, and still one of the best. I'm a huge sci-fi dork, and while B5 is my favorite TV show, period, I still am a big fanboy for Star Trek (or well non-sucky Star Trek). I love the tech and starships in the series more than anything else, and so being able to play a game where I am the captain of these ships, was probably akin to attaining nerd nirvana. This game not only introduced me to PC gaming, but also to LAN play, and then later to the wonderful world of modding, something unique to PC gaming. The game is now ancient, but the modding community has not only kept this game alive, but they've also GREATLY expanded upon its content to an unbelievable degree. I've gushed plenty about this game in my review, but I can only hope that on the day that the legal horseshit with Craptivision gets washed away, these games can finally be legitimately available for purchase for a new generation of gamers who can experience firsthand what made this series so great before JJ Abrams turned it into a shitty bunch of brainless action movies.

2 MONSTER HUNTER
HERE WE GO. I could have put the PSP games on here, as they are technically superior to this game and address my issues with it. That said, this was the first game in the series, and as such laid the basic foundation for what came after. And even though this game had a LOT of issues, like not being able to see your fucking skill set ratings, being hard as hell, the weapons being kind of bland (especially compared to the latest installments), and the online portion using level-grinding bullshit to make up for a lack of content....this game was still addicting as hell. This game did not hold your hand, it didn't take it easy on you, it didn't point out things to you, it didn't treat you like a baby, and it wasn't afraid to kick your ass, even when you thought you had the game figured out. Countless times I would get fucked up by just a fucking Kut Ku, and throw my hands up and storm out of the house and be all “I'M DONE WITH THIS SHIT FOR A WHILE!” and not a day or two later I was right back at it again like a crack addict looking for his fix. This game was barebones compared to what it's become today and yet I couldn't stop playing it.

Many games have tried to replicate the success of this series, but what they don't replicate is the sense of immense satisfaction you get when you manage to overcome a seemingly insurmountable challenge by the skin of your teeth and by your wits. I've always said that this game is about you versus nature, something that's very basic and primal in human nature and human history, the desire to go out and tame and pacify and to excel and achieve, and this game just did such a damned good job of encapsulating that. I must confess at the time I was very disillusioned with gaming. This game kept bringing me back to the fold when I was ready to walk away. For this, Monster Hunter will always hold a special place in my heart.

1 RESIDENT EVIL OUTBREAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA RESIDENT EVIL 4 (GC)
If there was ever a game like Symphony of the Night in that I have continued to play the hell out of it since it's initial release for this generation of games....this would be it. I've played damned-near every version of this game, from the original Game Cube game, all the way to the PC HD Remaster. By the time this game had come out, the RE series had started to become stale. RE0 was pretty as hell and had some neat ideas, but it was clear that they were taking too many trips to the existing well. It was time to start digging up a new well for new ideas.

RE4 was jaw-dropping. The demo kicked ass, but the final product was even more amazing. They did the smart thing which was kill Umbrella off screen and then set the tone of the game immediately by taking everything you knew and threw it out the window. The game did a great job of keeping you on your toes, and just as you were starting to get comfortable, the game threw a curveball and kept scaring your ass with surprising new horrific shit. The game was INCREDIBLY atmospheric, especially when night arrived. The changes to combat were great, with a button mapped specifically for your knife and the ability to use it to set enemies up for contextual attacks making it MUCH more useful than in prior games. You had a wonderful arsenal of weapons at your disposal to dispatch your foes, which was oh-so-satisfying. Also satisfying was the game's difficulty, and the ease of which you had when escorting the ballistics attached to the President's annoying daughter which actually made the game more intense, as opposed to Silent Hill 4 where it made the game more aggravating. The return of Ada was great and is visually one of the most appealing things about the game outside of her being a total badass. Every boss fight in the game was memorable as hell and super intense. Even the QTEs weren't that bad and added to the suspense of the game. What made this great was how it was balanced out by the game's story not taking itself that seriously, which was much appreciated, and something that 5 and 6 woefully abandoned for the most part. This is just one of the most satisfying games I've ever played, and I keep playing it to this day because it's that damned good, and I love it that much.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Polly » Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:43 pm

30. Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse:
While this game's gameplay suffers quite a bit from feeling unfinished (and I've trashed it quite heavily on the site in the past), it's the story that's the driving force. A wonderfully touching journey through the bonds that connect main characters Jr., Albedo, and Nigredo with a conclusion that will turn you into a little John Thyer once it's reached its climax.

29. Halo: Combat Evolved:
Believe the hype. This game is as good as everyone says. Some of the level design may be sloppy, but the core of what made Halo was there. Tactical combat with foes who were as menacing as they were smart and resourceful as well as some choice setpieces made for an amazingly fun campaign that's still a great ride start to finish. Oh, and I guess people like playing multiplayer, but eh.

28. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem:
This game is nothing what I expected when I picked it up back in the day. I'd somehow managed to remain completely unspoiled on all the fun tricks and plot twists this game has in store for anyone daring to pick up the controller and play. Many have tried, but there's still nothing quite like Eternal Darkness in the survival horror/adventure genre.

27. Skies of Arcadia:
The fact that this game hasn't seen a re-release on modern consoles or PC is a damn shame. Between this and Grandia II, it's a toss-up as to which is the better RPG.

26. Grandia II:
While its story and characters may be simple and tropey, there's still an amazing element of wonder and joy as you traverse Grandia II's large world and smash things up proper with its top-notch battle system.

25. Kill.Switch:
While Winback may have done it first, Kill.Switch did the third person cover shooter better, and many AAA games released today owe their very existence to this game and how well it showed off those mechanics.

24. Doom 3:
Doom 3 was released at a time when huge advances were being made to first-person shooter game mechanics as well as graphics and physics tech. Its simple run and gun gameplay mixed with elements of general creepiness and penchant for jump scares were a breath of fresh air in a time when it seemed everyone wanted to be Halo.

23. Final Fantasy X:
Final Fantasy X was the first Final Fantasy game that felt "special" since Final Fantasy VII's release. We can all look back and laugh at the silliness of the characters, their designs, and its cringey moments, but Final Fantasy X is still a solid RPG and one of the best on the PlayStation 2.

22. Ikaruga:
Ikaruga is almost more of a puzzle game than it is a shooter, which has left the shmup community torn on the game since its release. Not only are the polarity changing and scoring system fun to interact with, but Ikaruga is also ridiculously gorgeous in every sense of the word.

21. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door:
Yeah, it's basically the original Paper Mario again, but way, waaay better and with so much more charm. This is the game where I feel Nintendo's localization team really developed their style and it's a pleasant style that persists in all their releases today.

20. Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night:
HERE! HAVE ALL THE BULLETS AND LASERS AND BUNNY RABBITS STEALING THE MOON BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW! I fuckin' love this game. It was the most refined Touhou game of the time and it's still amazing.

19. Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy:
Psi-Ops is an often overlooked little gem that could use a bit more recognition. While it may appear to be a fairly milquetoast third-person shooter, it's the psychic powers you accumulate as you progress through the game that make it a blast to play. Flinging dudes around and popping folks' heads off their fucking necks never felt so good.

18. Cave Story:
You can keep your boring old, watered down Symphony of the Night rehashes. I'll be over here playing the infinitely superior game.

17. The Red Star:
The Red Star is an underrated little gem. Part top-down Contra-like shooter, part brawler, part bullet-hell, The Red Star wears many hats, and wears them all pretty damn well.

16. Gradius V:
The PlayStation 2 was pretty kind to both Gradius and Contra, granting both revivals on (at the time) modern hardware that really expanded on the ideas of their originals while maintaining the core ideas that made people love them in the first place. Gradius V is essentially Gradius' final form.

15. Shadow of the Colossus:
This is a game that is simply elegant, top to bottom. The colossi feel like worlds of their own and the story is simply marvleous, even if it may be a tad predictable.

14. Devil May Cry 3:
This game made me its bitch over and over and over, and I kept coming back because I KNEW I had what it took to overcome the monstrous challenges this game can throw at you. The depth of this game's mechanics are still absolutely impressive today, and I can't think of an action game that's really come close to it and managed to also be as accessible as DMC3.

13. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4:
This is where folks REEEEEALLY got on the Shin Megami Tensei/Persona train, and for good reason. Persona 4 oozes style, charmisma, and confidence in a way that not many games do.

12. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3:
This is where most folks ended up getting on the Shin Megami Tensei/Persona train. It may have some niggling flaws with its battle system and there's a bit too much padding, but at the time there was literally nothing like it.

11. Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht:
There's probably more cutscenes in this game than there is actual gameplay, but the seeds of intrigue and mystery that this game sews and its amazing production values make it simply remarkable.

10. Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter:
This is one I nearly missed out on, but thanks to our resident nice guy, John Thyer, I was able to play through this marvelous little underrated gem. Breath of Fire V threw everything people knew and loved about the RPG formula and the series as a whole right out the window without fear. It's a confidence you just don't see in AAA development these days. The end result is an RPG that was way ahead of its time and, in a way, predicted many trends in game mechanics that are commonplace today. Add that to a very well told story and you've got yourself an RPG you shouldn't miss out on. Even if you only try it and dislike it, I'm certain you'll at least see why Dragon Quarter is a pretty special game.

9. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater:
While the game's mechanics feel a bit too ambitious at times (OH MY GOD those healing and camo menus), Metal Gear Solid 3 is an emotional rollercoaster and a hell of an origin story. I am not the least bit ashamed to say the ending gut punched me and left me feeling numb for days. Even on repeat visits, it still has impact.

8. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty:
This may very well be Kojima's masterpiece. While many may prefer the emotion and style presented with Metal Gear Solid 3, Metal Gear Solid 2 goes absolutely nuts with what it's trying to tell the player. Not the preachy bullshit that makes up this game's hour-long ending sequence, but what the game, its mechanics, and design decisions are saying directly to the player.

7. Phantasy Star Online: Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution:
I don't even like card games, but gussy it up with some Phantasy Star and gorgeous graphics, fantastic music, and a story that's actually pretty decent, and you've officially sold me.

6. Phantasy Star Online: Episode 1 & 2:
A more refined and fleshed out take on the Dreamcast's most ambitious game. Episode 1 & 2 is just a very smart and pretty well thought out upgrade to a game that needed just a little more time in the oven, and the time it got for the GameCube and Xbox release paid off.

5. Metroid Prime:
Ask anybody. I wanted to hate this game so much. I was so very resistant to the idea of 3D Metroid, and I really don't even know why. When I finally got around to playing it, I got a game that's almost as amazing as Super Metroid.

4. Contra: Shattered Soldier:
YOU WANT A CONTRA GAME? HERE'S YOUR FUCKING CONTRA GAME! This game literally brought a series back to life after the disastrous outings it had on the original PlayStation. The creators let loose with every ridiculously over the top idea they had and experimented a bit with the formula to create a game that stands shoulder to shoulder with the best in the series.

3. Resident Evil 4:
I lost an entire month of my life to this game when it came out. I couldn't put it down. I HAD to do everything. I wanted every collectable, every weapon maxed out, to have beaten the game in every way possible. While this may be the game where Resident Evil shed its survival horror roots, taken on its own, it's just a must-have for anyone who loves ridiculous non-stop action and corny dialog.

2. Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra:
The conclusion to the Xenosaga series is also the best damn RPG on the Playstation 2. While its production values took quite a hit due to the budget being cut and series cut in half (this was originally to be a six-part epic), there's so much passion and heart in this game. Everything gets refined to a sharp and focused point for the series finale, and even with all the politics that surround the series' premature conclusion, Xenosaga Episode III still has a lot to say and so much to offer RPG fans.

1. Phantasy Star Online:
The bottom line is that if it wasn't for this game, this community may very well not exist. The people I met, the experiences I had, and lasting bonds that were created thanks to endless hours playing this game are something I hold very dear. Oh, and the game's pretty fun too.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby FreezingInferno » Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:16 pm

It's only 20 games since I couldn't figure out more; haven't delved into this generation much and even with 20 I had to ass pull a bit. Still, here we go!

#20- Unlimited Saga (PS2)
On the list solely because I honestly admire the brass fucking balls that Akitoshi Kawazu had in releasing this twisted nightmare mess of a digital tabletop campaign unto the world. It is 100% pure SaGa, appropriately named since Kawazu apparently held none of his gonzo design decisions back when making the thing. Admirable as a product of the direct line of his vision, but few would praise it for anything else.

#19- Killer 7 (GC)
This game is just weird. Weird as all fuck. Then again, what Suda51 game isn't? I dig how hyper-stylised it is, and the Heaven's Smiles are especially creepy. A nice change of pace for Nintendo during the Gamecube days, but then again I wasn't playing Gamecube during the Gamecube days except for multiplayer stuff at people's houses. Killer 7 wasn't until later, and I'm glad I snagged it for like 5 bucks.

#18- Soul Calibur 2 (GC)
Oof. I would have given it to the original on Dreamcast, just to have some Dreamcast rep on my list, but I can't lie. I played this one a hell of a lot more with friends than I played the original on my roommate's Dreamcast 10 years ago. Good thing we had the Gamecube version to play with, because Link is the coolest of the three version exclusives. I don't care about Spawn and if I wanted to fight people as Heihachi I'd throw in a Tekken game. Cervantes was also hella great. Good times all around.

#17- 007 Nightfire (GC)
I missed the golden age of multiplayer James Bond games in the late 90's with Goldeneye on N64. That's a shame, but this right here is my multiplayer James Bond experience. The single player campaign is decent, sure, but shooting friends is always fun. Hit 'em with guided missiles, lay laser mines, fuck 'em up with a goddamn Moonraker laser. Hell, it even had its own version of Odd Job with Nick Nack, and don't think that little guy didn't make the salt mines profitable within my heart when people played as him.

#16- Dragon Quest VIII (PS2)
Dragon Quest has always prided itself on being a reliable little series that gives people exactly the right kind of old-timey RPG they desire. Whereas 1, 3, and 5 are decidedly pure, 8 takes the approach of being pure but also being really goddamn beautiful? It looks pretty, and now that they're actually able to use Sugiyama's orchestral music, it has a flourish to it. Definitely a game that leaves an impression.

#15- Kingdom Hearts (PS2)
I had fun with it. I haven't played the twelve billion sequels and spin-offs so let's judge it for what it is. Gonzo fanfiction that plays decently well. There's lots of cool Disney worlds and also insufferable ones (MONSTRO) but all in all it's a decent lil action RPG that, as near as I can tell, isn't too far up its own ass just yet. Maybe a little but that's okay.

#14- Maximo vs Army Of Zin (PS2)
The Ghosts n Goblins series is near and dear to my heart, mostly because beating some of these fuckers probably gave me palpatations. The Maximo games are more loose spinoffs than anything else, but they count. The first one was fun enough, but flawed in a lot of ways; the camera control (or lack of) especially. Army Of Zin improves on that and it's less insufferable to save your game so it has that going for it, though. You also get to combo the shit out of big steampunk robots for some reason. Mmmmm. Fun.

#13- Persona 3 FES (PS2)
Sorry, Persona 4, but I have you on the Vita. Besides, Persona 3 is when this sub-series really got super big. At least I think so. I don't remember everyone giving a huge hoot about like, Innocent Sin. What else is there to say? It's a very good dating sim/high school sim/dungeon crawler with rad music. Mitsuru is best girl. I will fight you on this.

#12- Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)
I'd rate it higher on my own personal list if I'd played more than an hour, I can tell you that for sure. That said, it was a damn good hour and it also has the MSX games on it. Plus it's a masterpiece anyways so, on the list it goes.

#11- Mario Kart Double Dash (GC)
Mario Kart. On Gamecube. It's fucking fun as shit. Need I say more?

#10- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PC)
The first game of its kind I ever played for myself. What do you call these? Open world crime simulators? Anyway, it was very good and eye-opening and also a fun fuckaround game. Plus it has an 80's aesthetic and I'm a gigantic nerd for this kind of thing. It would be done better later, mostly by Saint's Row, but this was special to me back in the day.

#9- Tales Of Symphonia (GC)
I have never actually beaten this, but holy fuck if this wasn't a phenomenon among my friends. An RPG you can play with your pals! Holy shit! Let's all beat it together! I got to be Genis, the offensive magic user, and that put me on the path to my preferred role as a support player. Because doing the job yourself is hard and I prefer helping someone else do the job better via buffs and spells n shit. A great Tales game, but not one I ever beat because my friends got distracted with a different game.

#8- Resident Evil 4 (GC)
Well, it's very good, isn't it? I did not ever clear it when I finally got around to it, but I got far. Holy goddamn if it didn't blow our minds when it dropped though. I remember watching the opening cutscene with friends, expecting it to be some pre-rendered shit. NOPE. IN-GAME, MOTHERFUCKER. You get to shoot shit and shoot it good. My only gripe with it, aside from not being able to beat it because I'm a bad ammo conserver, is that it ended our Tales of Symphonia group playthrough because this shit was all anyone wanted to play. That's personal though, and it's a masterpiece that I should go back to one day.

#7- Touhou 7: Perfect Cherry Blossom (PC)
Ahh, Touhou. I long assumed that this would be a nut I'd never crack. I mean, a game with a zillion billion bullets? TOUCH ANYTHING, YOU DIE? OH MY GOD, IMPOSSIBLE! Then some foolish lady bet I couldn't beat it and I plugged at it. Three days later, I 1CC'd the damn thing. Holy christ. It's frenetic and frantic and I probably couldn't pull it off today, after two years away from it, but goddamn if I didn't have fucking fun with the thing. Sakuya Izayoi is best girl because she and I defeated this game together with knives and shit.

#6- Viewtiful Joe (GC)
Henshin-a-FUCKING-GOGO, MOTHERFUCKER. Sweet JESUS if this game doesn't metaphorically blow your genitals off with how goddamn rad it is. It's the Power Rangers game I needed in 1994 when I was a silly kid, but all I had was a dinky Game Boy. CAN'T PLAY THIS ON GAME BOY! PUNCHING DUDES! SLOWING TIME! IT'S HARD AS SHIT BUT IN THE GOOD WAY WHERE IT KICKS YOUR ASS AND YOU WANT TO KICK IT RIGHT BACK! GOD DAMN! SO GOOD!

#5- The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GC)
People seriously complained about the art style? Like, really? Is that a thing that happened? God. People. Wind Waker is cute and good and fun. Except for the Triforce Hunt, but I hear they fixed that in the Wii U remake. Maybe it could have used another dungeon, too. I didn't even mind the sailing! I'm from an island! I LOVE BOATS N SHIT! LEMME SAIL THE HIGH SEAS ON MY TALKIN' BOAT YO!

#4- Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC)
The best Paper Mario has ever been, so says someone who has only beaten this Paper Mario. I mean, Paper Mario's gone all odd and different lately. This is classic, though. Refined and lovely, with all sorts of cool shit and cool partners. Vivian is best girl. Bobbery is best bomb. Is best bomb a thing? IT IS NOW!

#3- Cave Story (PC)
It's like if a one-man band created a fuckin' symphony. Cave Story is just... wow. Holy shit, it's just the best. I don't think anyone quite knew what to make of it back in the day, and it getting all sorts of official releases later down the line is excellent news because now it's more accessible. It's just a game you gotta play if you dig like... Super Metroid and Undertale. I guess.

#2- Metroid Prime (GC)
Wow, this ended up high. It deserves it, though, because it's a masterpiece, like Super Metroid before it. It must have sounded ridiculous at the time. FIRST PERSON SHOOTAN METROID? WHAAAAT? Oops, turns out that Retro Studios kind of understood what made Metroid a goddamned masterpiece and pumped the damn game full of ambiance and spookiness. That, plus some tricky visor bullshit, really made you feel like you were wandering the dank dark caverns of an alien planet. The other Prime games were neat, but Prime the first nails the atmosphere part perfectly and is all the better for it.

#1- Super Smash Bros. Melee (GC)
Yes, I know. Predictable. However, this game is important to me. This was THE game I played with my friends between 2003 and 2008. Five years, and this was OUR game that we did. The tradition continued and continues to this day, and we played through Brawl and keep playing the Wii U game whenever we're all together in summertime or during Christmas. This is basically where it became our thing, though. Oh, we played Smash 64 sporadically, sure. Melee, though, was where it was at. It was here that I got rolled every day by Sheik. Here that I began tinkering with Mr. Game and Watch and started getting good. Here where I started getting goodish at Smash, period, and that's a process that's still ongoing today. I doubt I'd enjoy going BACK to Melee, like so many pro Smashing prudes seem to prefer, but there's no doubt that it is a game that defined my friendship with three dorks, and that's incredibly important to me.
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Zeloz (aka Bill)
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Zeloz (aka Bill) » Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:42 am

Wait, wait, wait! I've got a list too! Though, I may revise the top entries later...

    33. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (PS2/XB/GC)
    The game isn't much more than a pretty straightforward and functional beat-em-up, but it was lots of fun as a rental. It seemed odd at the time that half the game was a retelling of the first movie, though I later found out it was originally developed as an adaption to the first film!

    32. Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001 (DC/PS2/GC/XB)
    My main takeaway from this game was that you could play Capcom characters with an SNK control scheme, and vice versa. Which I think is a pretty neat idea! It's a nice way for people used to Capcom-style fighting games to get comfortable with the more technical SNK-style, at least in theory. In reality, I still suck at both styles, so maybe I'm just writing out of my ass. Still, fun game though?

    31. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (PS2/XB/GC)
    A nice, early PS2 Diablo-clone with co-op multiplayer! Lots of fun playing this one with the little sister (who affectionatly refers to the game as "Baldyman's Gate"), swapping health and mana potions and desperately trying to keep each other alive. While Diablo 3 did a rather admirable job in filling the sort of niche this game provided for later console generations, I honestly think this game's a little bit less boring, annoying platforming sections notwithstanding.

    30. Phantasy Star Online (DC/PC)
    Considering how there probably wouldn't be a SocksMakePeopleSexy or a Gen 6 list if not for this game, guess it's kinda important maybe? xD
    My only interaction with this game was with a fanmade PC Ver.2 client, very briefly playing on the SCHTHACK server. But I'll give it kudos for not being an MMO with a completely vapid macro-hotkey bullshit fighting system. It plays kind of like something I'd want to play on a console! Which is fitting, since it is an MMO designed specifically for consoles! I also love the look of the game, a sort of visual design that's still really evocative of the late-90s/early 00s. The music makes for some easy listening, too.

    29. Sim City 4 (PC)
    I remember picking this one up in 6th Grade, at one of these functions where we could cash in points earned from doing a lot of "Reading Counts/Accelerated Reader" book quizzes over the school year. The game ran pretty badly on a budget Compaq from the turn of the millennium, but it still scratched a lot of the same itches Roller Coaster Tycoon had previously. Plus, it still ran a helluva lot better than SimCity 2000 did on the SNES, which actually isn't saying much, but still. While I was never very good at balancing budgets and keeping my cities from becoming hives of scum and villainy, I did enjoy upending my failed attempts with disasters that would scar the earth and leave it uninhabitable. I also liked building up cities and naming them after locales from my old stories, often naming them after the evil empire or capital because of how run-down my cities would become. The music was pretty great, too! Nice, relaxing stuff.

    28. Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 2 (PS2)
    Fun at parties, at least until your older brother coerces you to play on the mat for his stupid jock friends, so they can laugh at your lack of coordination. And then, when your younger sister manages to surpass you in skill because her internal sense of rhythm is better than yours, you go off into a self-destructive spiral about how you'll continually be overshadowed by your high-achieving siblings-
    ANYWAY, this one's got the best music selection of the PS2 games, and I've a lot of actually good memories of playing this one with family and friends. My fondness for rhythm-based games and electronica music more or less sprang from playing this one so much.

    27. Turok: Evolution (PS2/GC/XB)
    Met one of my best friends now partially over a shared fascination with this game, as awkward and dumb as it was. I wasn't aware of the N64 games that came before it, and having dinosaurs and comical amounts of gibs and gore made this one a hit for the Middle School boys demographic. Some of our first novelling attempts were even based on, or inspired by, this game!
    It's not the most polished game, but its obscurity relative to its peers make my memories of playing it all the more personal and warm. There really isn't anything like bonding over throwing antimatter cubes at each others' faces, and then writing silly self-insert stories about it.

    26. Shogo: Mobile Armor Division (PC)
    An ugly, buggy mess of a FPS, with a hideous faux-Japanese aesthetic and a shocking tendency to kill you with doors. Also, unironically one of my favorite PC shooters from the era? I'm not sure how to reconcile these two thoughts, but I won't deny I had a ton of fun with this one back during those middle school summers, on days when our shitty dial-up connection wouldn't stay connected for more than 30 minutes, and I had to find my fun elsewhere. It might have been because the game felt like it had a narrative more interesting than the stuff Halo and other somewhat-contemporary FPSs were pushing, where you're the hero and everyone seems pretty eager to remind you of this fact at every turn. It felt pleasant having characters with motivations and ambitions interacting with you, and objectives that sometimes went outside of the standard "navigate this corridor, kill everything in your path" setup. It's a game I hesitate to return to now, as I'm sure the story or gameplay isn't nearly as interesting as it was then, but the fond memories of having to consult a walkthrough to look for an old lady's cat will always remain in my heart.

    25. Red Faction (PS2/PC)
    Most fun I've ever had with a multiplayer FPS of this generation. Carving holes in walls with a rocket launcher was pointless when you had a railgun that could aim and shoot through walls, but these things didn't exist in those other games! The sheer novelty of what the game's engine allowed you to do within the context of an FPS made for some fun times.

    24. Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses (PS2)
    Honestly, the game isn't much more than a competent attempt at blending a card game with SRPG elements, but, damn if it wasn't fun back in 5th grade! Even now, I still feel it stands out as a unique take on your typical card game, way more ambitious than the glut of straight YGO card game conversions on portable systems.
    From what I can gather, the team behind this game also worked on Forbidden Memories and The Falsebound Kingdom. I haven't played those games, but given what I've heard of them, Duelists might actually be the best of the three xD

    23. Sonic Adventure (DC/GC)
    God, this game is a mess. But I can't bring myself to hate it. I just can't. As sloppily put-together as this game seems, with its troublesome camera, occasionally lethal level geometry, and odd physics, some quality about it I can't elegantly put to words kept me from dropping the game entirely before playing everyone's routes. Perhaps it was just the novelty of watching time progress on a dopey little island from six different perspectives. Maybe it was because the game felt like an honest effort to translate Sonic's kinetic gameplay to a 3D space, even when other games were still struggling with doing the same. It could even just be because of the fantastic soundtrack. Sonic Adventure may not be a "good" game, but it's endearing and memorable, and honestly a bit lovable.

    22. Dokapon Kingdom (PS2)
    Of all the games on this list, on this entire list of Gen 6 games, this is the game I'd most like to see ported to Steam with online multiplayer. A nice, cutesy boardgame RPG that feels a bit like Dragon Quest Monopoly, which can easily veer into fucking Salt Lake City with just how vicious competition can get in the game. Getting K.O.'d multiple times in a row due to bad RNG can be pretty disheartening, until you pull yourself into the lead by making a few bribes and deals with the devil here and there, inflicting status ailments to one player while stealing outright from another. And then you laugh as the blue warrior lady with the poo hairstyle, your avatar of conquest, finally pulls ahead in the weekly earnings. Such a sublime feeling, right until your "friends" ally themselves against you and throw your shit back in your shitty-haired face, which becomes even more vexing when one player decides to shave your hair off completely after K.O.-ing you. You curse, you rage, you throw your controller at the screen and vow to never play with your backstabbing asshole friends again. But no one takes you seriously because they know you're lying, and you know you're lying, and y'all just get back to playing after 5 minutes and a quick snack break. Such fun times.

    21. Gitaroo Man (PS2)
    The Dark So- no, there's a better comparison to be made here. It's the Contra: Hard Corps of rhythm games; it's really tough to get into, complete with boss encounters that slowly ramp up into utter ridiculousness. But once you've found your groove and become better equipped to deal with what the game throws at you, usually by failing and crying a whole bunch, there's this sense of immense empowerment, a burning in one's soul to see the game to its conclusion. And when that conclusion comes, a duel of guitars in space for the fate of the universe, you feel like just the baddest ass.
    One day, I'm gonna git gud enough to bring myself to that ending with my own hands. In the meantime, I'll just enjoy listening to that sweet, sweet soundtrack.

    20. Kanon (PC/DC/PS2)
    While some would argue that Key's first formal entry into Visual Novelling isn't the best in terms of writing or characters (an argument I would not go against, honestly), its impact on eroge visual novels anime Japanese pop culture in general cannot be denied. To be clear, the whole "moeblob" aesthetic existed well before this game's debut in 1998, but the popularity of this game and others like it brought it to the forefront of Japanese culture.
    Okay, so that's probably more of a capital offense than an appraisal, but think of it this way: if Kanon hadn't happened, then we wouldn't have the subversions, the Katawa Shoujos and the When They Crys, which set out to turn Kanon's childish views on love and tragedy on their malformed heads. It's damning praise, to be sure, but I needed something smarter than "fuck this game, makin' me cry even though the writing's not that great" to say.

    19. Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (PS2)
    There is a near-perfection to certain games, like Chrono Trigger, Super Metroid, and Contra: Hard Corps, that, unfortunately, have a tendency of souring people's opinions on other games within their respective genres. This is by no real fault of the games or their fans, it's just hard to go back to the rest when you've tasted the de facto "best."
    Disgaea is not the the best SRPG ever. It's not even the greatest 3D isometric SRPG ever. It's a grindy game that often nudges you away from the its linear storyline to toil away in its optional item dungeons. But it's also a really accessible game with easy-to-understand controls, humorous and genuinely likeable characters, and a battle system that often encourages brute force over intricate positioning. That last bit is often a put-off for actual strategy fans, but I still find the game to be a nice romp that, honestly, makes it hard to go back to things like Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, and Vandal Hearts. It's just really good, "dumb" fun.

    18. Activision Anthology (PS2)
    Some of the best games on the 2600. They aren't perfect emulations, but the presentation is ultra snazzy. I can't say for sure how well or poorly it replicates the feeling of being in the early-to-mid 80s, with its woodgrain television, turning rack of boxed Activision games, and 80s music blaring from a radio, but the aesthetic touches and assorted unlockables keep this from being far more interesting than most other old game compilations. Yeah, a lot of the games on display here are a little less than playable, and some of the best games are really just minute-long distractions (unless you're going for those aforementioned unlockables), but it's still a really cool way of presenting the chaotic infancy of pre-SMB console games.
    The collection's also partially to blame for my affinity for bad 80s pop, for whatever that's worth.

    17. Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia (PS2)
    This game feels like a predecessor to that strangely satisfying anime trash RPG that Neptunia would later epitomize, where systems seem to be implemented for their own sake, and the game mostly gets by on moe moe otaku-baiting (one of the main heroines' unlockable costumes is a fucking bath towel for chrissakes).
    But, myself being unredeemable weaboo trash, I dig it! Most of it, in any case. The localization's pretty shaky in spots, and the main character's kind of a boring player avatar-type. But the game's visually pleasing, and I like the music a bunch. The storyline's also oddly affecting in parts, keeping things engaging.

    16. Guilty Gear XX/X2 (PS2/XB)
    More than 10 years later, I still have no clue what the hell a Roman Cancel is. Or how to play this game, really. But it's really nice to look and listen to, with fluid, fast-paced gameplay even a button-mashing scrub like myself can appreciate.

    15. Tales of Legendia (PS2)
    While the story, in many spots, feels like a conglomeration of tired anime tropes, the way it's all presented is unique and interesting. As with most Tales games I've played, the well-defined and generally likable characters make up a large part of why I like the game, which is a strength ToL really plays on with it's second half, where the narrative splinters into separate character arcs. The music, courtesy of Go Shiina, is also absolutely fantastic, and sets itself apart from the typical Sakuraba fare of other Tales games. Really, for a Tales game not actually worked on by the usual Tales Studio, its far better than it has any right to be.

    14. Melty Blood: Act Cadenza (PS2/PC)
    Got me into Type Moon, for better or worse. Kinda also sparked my interest in doujin/JP Indie games, too! Now that I think about it, Melty Blood really got me to looking into the contemporary Japanese PC scene, and all because I downloaded a couple of its characters for my M.U.G.E.N. build on a whim.
    As a fighting game, though, it's admittedly no Guilty Gear, but that can hardly be considered a serious offense. No, while it lacks that game's speed and franticness, there's just a visceral satisfaction in playing it that I hardly ever feel in other games of the genre. Perhaps it's because the game feels a little more beginner-friendly? Like, pulling off special moves and combos just feels more fluid and easier to pull of in this than in any of the other fighting games I've played in this generation. There's also more of a focus on parrying and "perfect guards," which seems to suit what little fighting game play style I have.
    Being a button-mashing scrub, though, my appreciation with this game is more aesthetic than mechanic. I really, really like the sorta-jazzy, dance-y soundtrack this one has, and the silky-smooth sprite animations have a unique "doujin" look to them, quite unlike the "well-defined, well animated" look of an Arc-System Works game, or the expressive pixellation of an SNK game. The cast, hailing from a supernatural Visual Novel, is also pretty remarkable for the genre, with fights between ancient embodiments of fear, high school students with knives, and robot maids being commonplace. It's the fighting game that's most resonated with my weirdo tastes, and can perhaps be blamed for the formation of some of them!

    13. Phantom Brave (PS2)
    I like Disgaea and its sequels a lot, and Makai Kingdom's pretty ace too, but it was Phantom Brave that really got me started on NI games as a whole. It's actually quite a bit more interesting than the Disgaeas, too, with a gridless battle system, nonsense terrain effects, summoning party members by putting them in items, and a story that carefully treads a line between adorable and depressing. It's also a bit less balanced than Disgaea, which is especially apparent when a chapter's boss starts to wipe the floor with your party, even when you did pretty well on the map before. But, you know, I think that bit of imbalance only accentuates the PS2-era NI charm of it all! It's a very messy game, with tons of pointless attributes and other eccentricities to keep track of, but it's a lot of fun once you've gotten the hang of things. If you've ever been interested in NI's output, but didn't know where to start, Phantom Brave's a good jumping-in point, especially since it's now on Steam!

    12. Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night (PC)
    Without a doubt, my favorite of the pre-Subterranean Animism Touhous, and it has some of the same traits that made that later game such a fun ride. It's a game that starts off meandering, but nicely ramps up things by the third stage, when the "race against time" theme ZUN conveys to the player really makes itself apparent through the music and intensifying enemy patterns. This feeling doesn't let up until the final, seemingly unwinnable fight against Kaguya and her "5 Impossible Requests" (if you take her route, though Eirin's a cool fight, too). A solid main game and the spell card practice mode (a good way to quickly jump into the game's juicy bits) make this an essential entry in the Touhou franchise.

    11. Radiata Stories (PS2)
    My experience with this one was, admittedly, all too brief, playing it partway through one summer. But something about the game sticks with me, even now, that sets itself apart from other RPGs. The storybook aesthetic and color palette certainly helped, as did the open-ended story progression and unique battle system. But what probably made the biggest impression was how almost every character in this game's small world was a character with a name, a unique look, and personality. And most of these characters could be kicked in the shins, which would often get them to try and murder you.
    It's a stupid thing to do, most times. Many characters are way over your level, and can often kill you in a hit or two. But, with careful manipulation of the game's battle system (aka circle strafing), you can whittle down most characters to death, provided they don't have an unavoidable special move. And when victory often leads to lots of experience, and occasionally a new ally to help you, pissing people off went from a being a diversion to the one thing in this game I'd spend hours poking and prodding at, exploring the game's rather large hub world, finding people to talk to and kick.
    Gosh, I really need to revisit this one someday.

    10. Dragon Quest V (PS2)
    On a superficial level, the game feels like the bog standard for console RPGs, with a turn-based battle system and a linear story. But it's the story, the steady progression from helpless kid, to wanderer, to king and father, that really makes this experience magical. There's a unique focus on family structure here, with so much of the game revolving around them. The main storyline concerns you learning about your family's past, even while you start to build your own. Many of the side-quests also revolve around this theme of "family," from exorcising an elderly couple's old castle as a kid, to helping a young prince escape his abusive stepmother, to helping a dead soldier by getting his enslaved sister to safety. So many heartwarming moments punctuate the game's story, to the point where the main conflict with the big bad feels like an afterthought at the end (something John's pointed out before). Series creator and director Yuji Horii once remarked about how this was his favorite of the DQs. It's really not hard to see why.
    Voting for this one here because I never finished my SNES list on time, and I'm not going to hold out for a DS list. Honestly though, this one's great no matter what system you're playing it on.

    9. Roller Coaster Tycoon (PC/XB)
    Not counting the Sega retro compilations, the Windows 95-era edutainment stuff, or the countless Flash/Shockwave games I played growing up, this was THE PC game that defined my relationship with computers as a child. RCT was easy enough for a third grader to understand, with a UI and objectives that were simplistic and hardly daunting. And even if my younger self wasn't the best at running the business end of a theme park, I still had a lot of fun building killer roller coasters, impossible bobsleds, and constantly turning my theme parks into unnavigatable labyrinths of doom.

    8. Midway Arcade Treasures (PS2/GC/XB)
    Having 60-something games on one disc was absolutely mind-blowing to me when I first stumbled upon the game. And that the entire package was less than $20 only made the entire thing even more unbelievable. Weirder still, most of the games weren't shitty! But what really sets this compilation apart from the rest of those released during this generation is the extra stuff packed in, the trivia and interviews and whatnot. This one really struck a balance between quality of games, quantity of games, and amount of interesting historical factoids that you seldom get in other retro compilations.

    7. Cave Story (PC)
    I've heard this game described as being like Super Metroid or Post-Symphony Castlevania, but I'm convinced it's got more in common with Mega Man Zero 1, occasionally with the messy and craggy level design of Metroid II. With both being some of my favorite games ever, Cave Story is an obvious shoe-in for me. And that's not even touching on the surprisingly emotional aspects of the narrative, or how it seems like every character in the game has a clearly defined personality and ambition. And it hides its depth and complexity underneath a thin faux-retro veneer, accomplishing way more than many later games adopting the same style.

    6. Rez (DC/PS2)
    A rail shooter that just shakes one to the soul in it's presentation. The interplay between sound effects, music, and gameplay is masterful, and rather unique. This is easily my favorite of Sega's arcade-y, Dreamcast output from the late 90s/early 00s.

    5. Super Smash Bros. Melee (GC)
    Truly, this was the "Halo" of the GameCube. Anyone who had the system would always, with very few exceptions, have this game.
    The fighting game was nice, but what I really liked about this game were the trophies, the figurines representing different obscure aspects of Nintendo's console history up to that point. I'm sure none of my friends cared that I had played one of the games Ayumi Tachibana was in, or knew what the hell a "Disk-kun" was. It didn't matter that I mained Ness and Marth simply because I was a fan of their games, but it certainly contributed to my liking of this game.

    4. Metroid Prime (GC)
    I think, if not for that forced backtracking bit with the relics near the end, I might've liked this game more than Super Metroid. As is, though, it's still one of the best metroidv- er, explorational platformers I've played. I'd really be interested in seeing more modern games ape this game's style than try to reinvent Super Metroid for the hundredth billionth time. The amount of effort placed in creating memorable and distinct areas with discernable atmosphere in a first-person game is awesome, and very much worth emulating.

    3. Persona 3 FES (PS2)
    While I generally prefer P4 in most regards, I still prefer P3's somber mood and theme over P4's. Which is really saying something, considering I'm not all that crazy for games that remind us of our own inevitable mortality.

    2. Persona 4 (PS2)
    Both P3 and 4 games work really well as standalone titles, but they're even better complimenting each other. However, and this really just boils down to how fondly I remember my time with it, Persona 4 very narrowly ekes its way above its formidable predecessor, with a fairer battle system and some pretty creative dungeons to explore. Something about Inaba and its denizens also strikes me as more cozy than the P3 equivalent.

    1. Kingdom Hearts (PS2)
    This game was quite the gut-punch for me, in a variety of ways. I wasn't expecting the game to be so affecting when I first played 13 years ago, and I wasn't expecting to love it even more after having played its more polished, but comparatively cluttered and soulless successors. Even now, when composing my personal list of Gen 6 favorites, I hadn't expected to rate this one so highly. Thinking back, though, I can't say any other game this generation has stuck with me in the same way. This game was a revelation for me, a small, simplified glimpse into the world of JRPGs that my older brother seemed to be so enamored with. It became pretty clear, after renting it a second time to see the game to its conclusion, that I was also enamored.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Rhete » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:05 am

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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Rhete » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:51 am

#32 Beyond Good & Evil
A pretty good Zelda-ish game with a very unique setting and some great characters.

#31 Bangai-O
This is a game where you fly around, intentionally get as close to enemy bullets as possible, in order to COUNTER ATTACK and fire like 200 missiles back at enemies. It's amazing.

#30 The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Even the worst 3D Zelda is still pretty good. I kid, I kid, I haven't played Skyward Sword. I really just sailing around and exploring, finding all the islands or whatever random nonsense could happen on the open sea. There are better open world exploration games now, but for me this was the first. Oh and yeah the last boss is AMAZING.

#29 Mega Man Network Transmission
Everyone seems to hate this game but I really liked it, even completing it twice. The Network universe always seemed interesting me, but fuck playing those games right? Network transmission let me experience that universe with more traditional Mega Man gameplay, and was a nice change of pace from the stagnant formula of the classic and X series at that point.

#28 Shenmue
Very few games bring you into a living, breathing world like Shenmue does.

#27 Crazy Taxi
HEY HEY COME ON OVER HAVE SOME FUN WITH

KAR-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZY TAXI

YAH YAH YAH YAH YAH

This game is stupid dumb fun.

#26 Sonic Adventure 2
The Sonic stages in this game sure are great. Shame about the rest huh?

#25 Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution
When the next major expansion to PSO was announced as a card battling game, it was pretty much the most disappointing thing ever (this was before Phantasy Star Universe existed). But in the end the game was pretty good, with a fantastic soundtrack and two playable factions that were very different from each other.

#24 Psychonauts
A super weird mashup of 3D platformer and adventure game. Nearly every level is truly wondrously inventive, especially in the back half when you start getting levels like The Milkman Conspiracy, Black Velvetopia and Waterloo World. Also fuck the haters, Meat Circus is GREAT, and a perfect way to cap off the game thematically.

#23 Grandia II
I remember Polly telling me this game was good a loooooooong time ago. She wasn't wrong! Also Millenia is my waifu.

#22 Resident Evil CODE: Veronica
The game that should have been Resident Evil 3. Long as hell with multiple characters and a better story than the previous games. I've heard this game doesn't hold up at all but I remember loving it at the time.

#21 Skies of Arcadia
I wish more games had unique settings like this. I don't remember much about this game, but I do remember being obsessed with the idea of SKY PIRATES for months afterwards. It's just so cool!

#20 Metroid Prime 2
I didn't like this game quite as much as the original but it still has some great moments like the Space Jump, Dark Samus, Quadraxis, and the final escape sequence. I thought the dark world stuff was handled really well as well, despite bring pretty cliche.

#19 Space Channel 5 Part 2
I expected a cheesy rhythm game, I got dancing in space with Michael Jackson and the President of the Galaxy in order to stop the villain from destroying the universe. Everything about this game's ridiculous style is my jam.

#18 Viewtiful Joe
Stylish as hell 2D beat em up kind of thing with crazy bosses and time manipulation. I remember picking this up because it was "The next big GameCube game" even though I didn't know what it was, and even after playing it I'm still not sure, I've still played nothing like it.

#17 Jet Set Radio
Still the most stylish game in existence. One of the greatest soundtracks ever, cool as hell characters, innovative cel shading, and controls and difficulty that will have you screaming at the TV.

#16 Soul Calibur
This being a Dreamcast launch game was amazing, it felt like graphics in games couldn't get better. I've never been much of a Tekken fan so Soul Calibur appealed to me more with it's emphasis on weapons. Also this game has super cute girls (before the character designs got completely stupid in later installments).

#15 Shadow of the Colossus
One of the most unique games I've ever played, Shadow of the Colossus is basically a boss rush puzzle game, as figuring out how to take down a boss is most of the challenge, but it's still very satisfying to do so. Now why has no one made anything like this game since?

#14 Metroid Prime
This game was actually way too difficult for me when I first got it, Thardus stopped my original playthrough. I went back much later and finished the game and absolutely loved it. On the difficulty though, my god that last trio of Omega Pirate, Meta Ridley and Metroid Prime is intense as all hell.

#13 Marvel vs Capcom 2
It's a fighting game where you can play as Tron Bonne, what's not to love? I played the absolute hell out of this game single player, only one time ever seeing an arcade cabinet in the wild. I waited for the person playing it to get a hit away from losing to the CPU before jumping in, but then decimated him with my team of little girls, Sakura, Tron Bonne, and B.B. Hood. Good times!

#12 Tales of Symphonia
A great, hella long JRPG with a really "unique" (because it's the only Tales game I've ever played) battle system. Loved the characters, the twists, and the little girl with a giant axe.

#11 Ikaruga
The legendary polarity switching shmup by Treasure that literally everyone seems to know even if they can't name a single other shmup. Getting a good chain in this, while basically memorization, feels so damn good. The soundtrack is also great, and the final level is just pure elegance.

#10 Max Payne 2
I've never played the original, but picked up the sequel on a whim when I saw it for cheap. I ended up playing through several times, beating the game on the harder difficulties without save stating. The story is pretty great as well.

#9 Resident Evil
Quite literally this is the game that got me to buy a GameCube. I had to have it! It didn't disappoint either, a fantastic, scary as hell remake of the original Resident Evil. Just thinking about the crimson heads, or the Lisa Trevor arc sends shivers up my spine.

#8 Sonic Adventure
Let's be honest, Sonic Adventure is... kind of rough. But it's a super endearing, charming sort of bad. The part where you play it is eh, but I love the story and how all the character arcs intermingle with each other, the music, especially the main character themes, It all comes together in a really clever way that ends up being far greater than it has any right to be.

#7 MDK2
I didn't care for the original MDK, but the sequel (developed by Bioware!?) hooked me right away. Crazy characters, a masterful techno soundtrack by Jesper Kyd, and an insanely difficult final boss (when playing as Max) that had me literally screaming in triumph when I finally beat him.

#6 Resident Evil 4
This game literally changed how cameras in third person action games work. Aside from that, it's a great reinvention of the series with just the right balance of tension, horror, corny humor, and over the top action. Easily the best in the series.

#5 F-Zero GX
Quite simply my favorite racing game ever. Insanely fast, brutally difficult, with stunningly smooth visuals and a ton of stuff to unlock, including the five tracks from the arcade game!

#4 Half-Life 2 (PC, 2004)
The best feeling first person shooter I've ever played. I love how most of the game is one big journey with seamless level transitions, vehicle sections, and tons of variety in gameplay.

#3 Cave Story (PC, 2004)
A masterpiece of game design, story, and music all coming together to form a nearly flawless experience. The final level when going for the true ending is hard as <i>hell</i> pushes the player to the absolute limit, and is incredibly satisfying to finally overcome.

#2 Touhou Eiyashou: Imperishable Night (PC, 2004)
I could write a novel about how much I love this game. It not only got me into Touhou but back into shmups in general. Imperishable Night also jam packed with content, with 4 playable teams, 8 solo characters, two different stage 4 bosses, two different stage 6s, last words, and spell practice mode (which is practically an entire game itself). There's also the Extra stage, which was the first one in the series I managed to beat, after weeks of practice.

#1 Phantasy Star Online
The game that changed everything. Online multiplayer wasn't a thing before this game, PSO felt like the future, because it was. Insanely addictive gameplay that I still find myself going back to every couple of years with friends. PSO is timeless.
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Re: SnS on Gen 6: The Top PS2/GC/XBox/DC Games According To SnS

Postby Rhete » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:38 pm

Last call for lists, Dr. No and Crono Maniac have told me they'll be a bit late, if anyone else wants to contribute please let me know

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