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Must-Have Games: The OCR List


sephfire
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Ace Combat 5 - YES

One of my all time favorites, this game is a superb arcade flight-sim (as oxymoronic as that sounds). The graphics, variety of planes, and music are all excellent and improved from even 04. The narrative is also amazing, just like the other games in the series. The only complaint I have is the fact that they removed multiplayer, which I loved in 04.

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Returning to resolve my previous indecision...

Devil May Cry -- NO

It was great for its time, but later additions to the genre have surpassed it. It deserves appreciation as a foundation for a solid franchise, though.

I wish I could offer more votes this time around, but I've only played two of these games. Seems I've got some gaming to do.

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Silent hill 2 NO Despise the fact i like a lot silent hill' date=' i'll keep a yes for silent hill 1 or 3. Sue me... the hospital in SH3 was frightening.[/quote']

You're absolutely crazy if you think ANY SH game is more worthy than SH2.

Devil may cry NO a killing joypad game. nothing worthy. push the button, kill etc. too much action at the same time. the game was fun when it was out, but it is hollow.

"too much action".... Wow.

Devil May Cry -- NO

It was great for its time, but later additions to the genre have surpassed it. It deserves appreciation as a foundation for a solid franchise, though.

I think DMC gets brownie points for starting the whole style of games like it. Like how Castle Wolfenstein was the supreme predecessor even if just about all FPS games after it has long since surpassed it.

I'd say:

Bangai-O - No, because though it was a yet another great Treasure game, it was just wasn't all that memorable.

Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War - No, because there are so many other great fighter-sim games out there. Ace Combat just happens to be one of the most popular and most sequelized.

Devil May Cry - Yes, because it's basically the ideal version of 3D Castlevania. And yes, it has "too much action". And that's a good thing.

Shenmue II - Yes. Great story, great atmosphere, great characters, almost perfect in every way IMO.

F-Zero GX - Yes, though it's probably too hard for a good portion of gamers to actually enjoy.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike- Yes even though I want to say no, because I played this too much and even if it's a minuscule improvement over the first few games, it's still the ultimate version so far.

Silent Hill 2- YES. For being the scariest and most atmospheric and having one of the best stories I've ever experienced in gaming.

Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht - No, because while still pretty good, I think only the proven RPG fans would like it. Most others would probably gripe at the lengthy cutscenes and other RPG peculiarities.

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Just to add, I'll be posting new clumps for us to vote on fairly frequently (we've got a long list to get through). How does one round a day sound?

Also, if I happen to post a new list for voting before you've had a chance to vote for the previous one, don't worry. I'll keep counting votes for the previous rounds if you want to vote late.

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I'll say yes for DMC. It has a certain art style and atmosphere that wasn't in DMC3...a lot of people prefer the more mature and elegant Dante as opposed to the young punk in the prequel (I personally love both).

Also yes to Shenmue II. Aside from the voice acting (which still wasn't as "where can I meet some sailors" bad as the first one), everything about it was just incredible. Beautiful BEAUTIFUL locations, people EVERYWHERE, solid story, gorgeous soundtrack...all in all an amazingly immersive experience. Even started the whole "interactive cutscene" craze picked up later by God of War, RE4, Prince of Persia 3, etc. The only thing that might not have been utilized too well was the combat system...it was obviously very deep (considering Shenmue was originally meant to be a Virtua Fighter RPG), but there wasn't a whole lot of motivation to explore the nuances and train your skills.

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I haven't played all of these, but here's my thoughts on the ones I have:

Advance Wars DS: Admittedly, the multiplayer is tedious, but the single player is great. Again, best AW yet, and the series as a whole deserves a yes. It may not be my favorite game, but I couldn't put it down during the first play through. YES!

F-Zero GX: I'm going to say no for one important reason. If you don't like REALLY hard games or if you get easily frustrated at video games (if you have broken controllers before), you should not play this game. It may frustrate you to the point where you kick a hole in your TV, sever your leg on the broken glass, and spend a week in the hospital, so I'd say it's just not worth it. Either that, or you'll give up forever after three hours. Great game for some, waste of time/money for others.

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Bangai-O- I give this game a full-on YES. Besides being an interesting mix of shmup and exploration, it's an intense, and at times comical game that's got great and detailed 2D graphics, nice tunes, big and plentiful levels, and a great challenge as the game progresses. The action comes at you from all sides, and it does everything it sets out to do quite well. It's not a game that fits squarely into a single genre, but rather it takes various parts of several genres and brings them together in a fun way.

Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War- This game gets a YES from me. Where 4 had a lot going for it, this one has even more. Very nice graphics, plenty of missions that vary, an interesting story, lots of intense action, and loads of planes to get, make for a well rounded flight sim. Definitely one of the best console flight games out there.

Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future- This is another game that gets a YES from me. The world this game creates is pulled together so well, it's easy to lose yourself in. The organic graphics flow smoothly around you as you explore the well fleshed out undersea landscape. Soothing tunes follow you as you delve deeper into what's going on, and the urgency created by knowing you're about to run out of air can make things pretty frantic. It's not an easy game, and you can lose track of what you're supposed to do at times, but those are it's only low points. The graphics, music, and gameplay make this a game that's not so much played, as it is experienced.

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The ones i cannot comment on because i didn't play them (enough) are marked with an "-".

***THE FIRST ROUND***

Bangai-O

The only game from Treasure that i own and like. Great and simple gameplay. Some levels are unique, and put together with alot of thought. The music could have been a bit better, but the characters, crazy dialogue, and gameplay all make up for it.

Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War

-

Devil May Cry

Looking back, it doesn't look all THAT great, but it paved the way for a great sequel (not talking about part 2). And let's not forget that we wouldn't have the present 3-D Castlevania's and God of War(s) thanks to this game.

Shenmue II

-

F-Zero GX

Yes. Hell yes. Alot of eye-candy, and some great controls. Fun for newbies, and satisfying after alot of training. And although alot of the music was used in earlier F-Zero games, it still rocks.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

I'd say no. The game was just a normal sequel. It tried to incorperate the touch-screen gameplay, but the normal way was just far easier to use. If we're gonna praise an Advance Wars, it should be the original.

LocoRoco

-

Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future

-

Silent Hill 2

-

Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht

-

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I'd say we're off to a great start here. What say we start round two? Don't worry, if you haven't voted on round one yet, you still can. I'm still counting.

************************************************** ****************************

***ROUND TWO***

Capcom vs. SNK

Console: Dreamcast

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Meta Score: 7.9 (23 reviews)

Release: Nov 9, 2000

Project Justice

Console: Dreamcast

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Meta Score: 7.9 (26 reviews)

Release: May 16, 2001

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

Console: Playstation 2

Publisher: Atlus Co.

Developer: Nippon Ichi Soft.

Meta Score: 8.6 (80 reviews)

Release: Aug 27, 2003

Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec

Console: Playstation 2

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: Polyphony Digital

Meta Score: 9.4 (100 reviews)

Release: Jul 9, 2001

Onimusha 2: Samurai’s Destiny

Console: Playstation 2

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Meta Score: 8.4 (73 reviews)

Release: Aug 28, 2002

Beyond Good and Evil

Console: Xbox, Gamecube, Playstation 2

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Ubisoft

Meta Score: 8.8 (65 reviews)

Release: Dec 2, 2003

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Console: Xbox

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Developer: Bethesda Softworks

Meta Score: 8.7 (90 reviews)

Release: Jun 6, 2002

Mario Power Tennis

Console: Gamecube

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Camelot co. Ltd.

Meta Score: 8.2 (59 reviews)

Release: Nov 8, 2004

Wave Race: Blue Storm

Console: Gamecube

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Meta Score: 8.3 (68 reviews)

Release: Nov 17, 2001

Metroid Prime: Hunters

Console: Nintendo DS

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Meta Score: (not available)

Release: Mar 20, 2006

************************************************** ****************************

Remember, we're not pitting these games against each other in competition. These are just ten randomly selected games from our nomination list. We will now discuss the merits of each of these games to decide whether or not each game belongs on the final list. Try to stick with games you've personally played for at least 20 minutes (preferably, more). BE SURE TO INCLUDE SEVERAL SENTENCES OF DISCUSSION AND REASONS FOR YOUR VOTE OR YOUR VOTE WILL *NOT* BE COUNTED.

My votes:

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness -- YES

The Disgaea series is strategy RPG gaming at its finest. The story and characters are fun, and the gameplay is addicting. When it comes to this genre, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better game than this.

Onimusha 2: Samuria's Destiny -- NO

While I do enjoy Onimusha, the first couple of games were not the finest in the series. The directional controls were unnatural at best, and the franchise had yet to perfect its formula. Not quite good enough to be a must-have.

Beyond Good and Evil -- YES

No contest. The game is beautiful and unique. It's always encouraging to see developers risk a financial loss to crank out a game like this.

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind -- YES

Oblivion may out-shine Morrowind now, but that doesn't make Elder Scrolls III any less of a great game. Although the unbroken drabness of the world always put me off a bit (as did the horrendous character animation *shudder*), it's a great game.

Mario Power Tennis -- YES

I came very close to NO-ing this one just because of the addition of Power Hits. The Mario Tennis 64 gameplay was near perfect, and the Power Shot addition just felt like it broke up the action and added unnecessary complication to a great formula. However, that issue aside, I'll concede that it was still incredibly fun.

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Metroid Prime Hunters

I'm going to have to give this a NO, and I'm sure there'll be a bunch here who disagree with me on that. The single player was quite dull, and the control scheme felt somewhat difficult to grapple - the awkwardness really showed if you played the game for an extended period of time, with the finger on the L button getting weary or even numb, and just a general tiredness from holding the DS for so long, although a lot of these complaints are also complaints about the original DS's design. The DS Lite probably improves on this for the most part, but the L button for firing complaint would still hold.

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Capcom vs SNK: NO

Capcom vs SNK was pretty good but to me it felt more like an experiment than an actual game. It was the start of a great series but it just wasn't that great of a fighter. CvS2 just blew it away in every way possible. The fighting system wasn't very solid and responsive. The game also felt more like Street Fighter vs King Fighters. There were hardly any other Capcom or SNK characters in the game. Ok game, but not a must have in my opinion.

Metriod Prime Hunters: Yes

MP Hunters defined how FPSs should play not only on DS but on handhelds period. The game comes really close to PC FPS controls and feel in my opinion, and trust me, I play quite a bit of PC FPSs. The single player wasn't anything special but it wasn't horrible either. The story was pretty good, the environments were large and allowed for a lot of exploration. There was also a good deal of puzzles found in the game. The bosses and more than normal (for a metriod game) revisting was what kept it from being great. However the single player wasn't the focus, the multiplayer is and MPH nailed it. Multicard play is a blast and on-line play is very solid. On-line realy shows its colors when you play with friends but even random online matches are fun and intense. The game modes are fun and unique. Prime Hunter mode is really cool and Defender is a challenge. The graphics are amazing for a DS game. The sound is great just like any other Metriod game. MPH is just a great overall game in my opinion

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Metroid Prime Hunters: YES

This game is far from perfect: the story is unsatisfying and short, the control has a steeper-than-normal learning curve, and the online was often hacked. That being said, this is hands-down the *best* example of a handheld multiplayer FPS to date, and when you aren't too busy getting hacked online, it is overall a very enjoyable experience. Besides that, it looks gorgeous too. My only hope is that other developers tweak the formula to remove some of the flaws, but my vote still remains a resounding 'YES'.

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Onimusha 2: Samurai’s Destiny

Console: Playstation 2

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Meta Score: 8.4 (73 reviews)

Release: Aug 28, 2002

I'm going to have to give this one a YES. This is where the Onimusha series began to shine. It lacks the fast style of DMC, but Block & Issen allows for more forgiveness even with the D-pad restriction. It's a good marriage of DMC action and RE pacing. The Friendship & Scenario Route system places more of an emphasis on the story as opposed to most action games. Extras such as Man in Black, Team Oni, and Issen mode are actually quite fun. Beating the game on Hard (natural progression if you beat Normal, not insanely difficult) will allow you to start the game with uber equipment. Also, it's the cheapest way to enter the series if you find the right Target store.

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***ROUND TWO***

Capcom vs. SNK

-

Project Justice

-

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

-

Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec

-

Onimusha 2: Samurai’s Destiny

-

Beyond Good and Evil

-

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

I'd say no. The game itself seemed too crooked to be played. It didn't guide the player into the game for even a second, which would've been nice if you didn't know a damn thing about the game....like me.

Mario Power Tennis

-

Wave Race: Blue Storm

YES! Although it was a simple sequel to the first on the N64 (including the horrid graphics from time to time), but the gameplay is freaking realistic, hard to master, but oh so satisfying. Oh, and some great music to boot.

Metroid Prime: Hunters

-

Damn, only two to comment on. :P

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I have a question - is this a popular vote or no? I don't think a popular vote would be a good idea because legitimate complaints could be left in the dust about particular games. I think anyone supporting/nominating a game should attempt to argue against any criticisms that spoil the game in question from being a must play.

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From how I envisioned it, it shouldn't be a pure popular vote system.

For it to work, I wanted to see reasons why a game should or should not be put up on the list. I pretty much expect Coop to cover a lot of the "What the hell, I never heard of that" games and put reasons as to why they should or shouldn't be up there.

If anything, the reasons should be the main factor and not the votes themselves.

Is this list going to be perfect? Hell no. Will there be a lot of under rated games that will be given the shaft? More than likely.

If you ever find a game being given wrong treatment and have a reason why it shouldn't, say it. There are a lot of open minded people that will go and try it out if you give good reasons to.

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I'm fine with dropping the popular vote system if a better alternative is proposed. I'd love to see further discussion on the virtues or shortcomings of each game, but discussion alone doesn't really give us a way to sure-fire make the pass/fail judgment call. Ideas?

We'll probably have to further discuss some of these games anyway if some only get one vote or end in a tie.

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Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec

YES - Good graphism i was astonished. Playability is gran turismo quality no much to say. and replayability is done by the numerous car available.

Overall yes, a good step was done from GT2 to GT3.

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

YES override :P despise the fact that oblivion is graphically better, The world of morrowind is far more enjoyable with his guild, world and numerous quest and the overall deepness.

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And now, time for a new daily round. Remeber, you can still vote on the previous two if you haven't yet.

************************************************** ****************************

***ROUND THREE***

Third Round:

Crazy Taxi

Console: Dreamcast

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Hitmaker

Meta Score: 9.0 (55 reviews)

Release: Jan 24, 2000

Elemental Gimmick Gear

Console: Dreamcast

Publisher: Vatical Entertainment

Developer: Birthday

Meta Score: 7.1 (17 reviews)

Release: Dec 31, 1999

Guitar Hero

Console: Playstation 2

Publisher: RedOctane

Developer: Harmonix Music

Meta Score: 9.2 (91 reviews)

Release: Nov 7, 2005

Twisted Metal: Black

Console: Playstation 2

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: Incognito

Meta Score: 8.8 (82 reviews)

Release: Jun 18, 2001

Conker: Live and Reloaded

Console: Xbox

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Developer: Rare Ltd.

Meta Score: 7.9 (107 reviews)

Release: Jun 21, 2005

Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Console: Xbox

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Meta Score: 6.7 (42 reviews)

Release: Mar 27, 2003

Metroid Prime

Console: Gamecube

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Retro Studios

Meta Score: 9.6 (125 reviews)

Release: Nov 17, 2002

Skies of Arcadia Legends

Console: Gamecube

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Overworks

Meta Score: 8.6 (72 reviews)

Release: Jan 27, 2003

Giga Wing

Console: Dreamcast

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Takumi

Meta Score: 5.1 (20 reviews)

Release: Jul 19, 2000

MegaMan Anniversery Collection

Console: Playstation 2

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Atomic Planet Ent.

Meta Score: 8.2 (37 reviews)

Release: Jun 22, 2004

************************************************** ****************************

Remember, we're not pitting these games against each other in competition. These are just ten randomly selected games from our nomination list. We will now discuss the merits of each of these games to decide whether or not each game belongs on the final list. Try to stick with games you've personally played for at least 20 minutes (preferably, more). BE SURE TO INCLUDE SEVERAL SENTENCES OF DISCUSSION AND REASONS FOR YOUR VOTE OR YOUR VOTE WILL *NOT* BE COUNTED.

My votes:

Crazy Taxi -- YES

Sure, it's light on content, but the pick-up-and-play value this game has is huge. The frenzied, arcade-style gameplay is still fun, even from the couch at home.

Guitar Hero -- YES

No-brainer. Music and gaming in orgasmic cohesion. It's pure, rhythmic bliss.

Conker: Live and Reloaded -- NO

Though pretty, there are plenty of better platformers out there. The juvenile humor is good for a few shallow laughs, but beyond that, it doesn't offer anything particularly special. Additionally, certain sections of the game needed quite a bit more polish (Lava-Surfing, I'm looking at you, buddy). These sections could cause a frustrating amount of cheap deaths.

Metroid Prime -- YES

Beautifully atmospheric. The perfect marraige of the 1st-person shooter to classic Metroid gameplay. It's hard to find many flaws with this game.

Carry on, lads.

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