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Must-Have Games: The OCR List


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Guitar Hero - YES

This was and still is one of the great music games, and it remains one of the best party games. Good for beginners through experts, it deserves to be on this list.

Metroid Prime - YES

One of the finest games ever, this game was a grand new title in the Metroid Legacy. The sense of scale and loneliness it offered was one not seen again until Shadow of the Colossus. A great blend of the FPS and adventure genre.

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Conker Live and Reloaded - YES

The thing that might get most people is the humour, you either find it hillarious or just plain stupid. While there was plenty of good ole crude humour the parodies of all the major movies were classic. They were extremely well done. The developers included lots of lil things all over the place to keep the game interesting. The environment felt very alive. This is something a lot of games lack in. There was a video on McVaffe's site that rated the top 25 video game soundtracks of all time and Conker was on the list. It was #19 I believe, correct me if I'm wrong. The voice acting was extrememly well done, hats off to Sloprano. All around this game had too many good aspects to warrant a NO. IMO this game was damn fun to play, which is how it should be.

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Metroid Prime

Strong NO. I know a few people who have been turned off to the game within the first hour of playing, and most of the people I know who've played this game generally give up on beating it because of the huge breakdown in game pacing towards the end. If you're someone who likes to search out everything and collect things, it's a fine game, but for most people, this is exactly a game that should be avoided.

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Skies of Arcadia Legends: YES

Seriously, why didn't anyone tell me how awesome this game is three years ago? Sure, the characters, the story and the battle system are nothing new, but there is something about the atmosphere that makes the game so great. Play it, it is definitely worth it.

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Capcom vs. SNK (DC)- While the second game improved upon what was offered in the first one, it's still nothing to sneeze at. The artwork is nice, the animation is smooth, the controls are tight, and getting to battle SNK and Capcom fighters is always fun. I give it a YES

Onimusha 2: Samurai’s Destiny (PS2)- The middle child of the series, but one that stands on its own. I'd explain it, but LegendarySword pretty well summed it up. YES from me as well.

Twisted Metal: Black (PS2)- The game that brought Twisted Metal back into the limelight. After the third and fourth games brought stagnation to the franchise, "Black" reinvigorated it... mostly because the original team was back on the case. The graphics were great for the time, and gameplay was hectic and fun, the arenas were good, and the vehicles were fun again. It's still one of the best games in the vehicular carnage genre, and deserves a YES in my book.

Conker: Live and Reloaded (Xbox)- I'm going to have to give this game a NO. Why? Because overall, the N64 version is better. Yes, the XBox gave it a nice face lift, but it also took out sections, bleeped a lot of things that weren't bleeped to begin with, and just basically neutered the game. It improved very little, and took away quite a bit.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (XBox, PS2, DC)- Put simply, YES. This is basically one of the best chaos fighting games out there. It took everyone from the vs series up to that point, added a healthy dose of new characters, spiced up the backgrounds, and made it a fast paced, three-on-three "on the fly" tag team match. Sure, some of the matchups are cheap (hello Cable + anyone else), but it's a fun, well made game. Shame they couldn't have added endings though.

Giga Wing (PS2)- One of the few shmups to actually make it to the US Dreamcast. Nice graphics, good tunes, multiple characters to choose from, some serious "bullet hell" action, and good challenge from start to finish make this a game not to be missed on the Dreamcast. I feel the sequel is better, but this game holds its own quite well. A YES from me.

MegaMan Anniversery Collection (PS2)- The best version of the collection. While I can't give personal commentary on the supposed emulation issues on the GC version, I can say that the XBox version is broken. The screen dimensions are off (looks like it was scaled poorly), the graphics are washed out, and the sound is busted (really quiet music, DAMN LOUD SOUND EFFECTS). So here's the version to get.

Basically, it's the first eight MegaMan games, emulated very well, packed in with two arcade games that never got a home release. The MegaMan series was always known for its "fair but tough" challenge, its bosses, its catchy tunes, and its "good for the time" graphics. Each game is fun from start to finish, and perhaps the best aspect of this compilation is simply the fact, that it'll save you a lot of cash over buying the eight games separately (6 NES, 1 SNES, 1 PS1... with the NES ones being the most expensive). It's great example of how to do a compilation right, and a YES to be sure.

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Metroid Prime

I know a few people who have been turned off to the game within the first hour of playing

Metroid Prime - Yes

This is probably among my first or second favorite games of all time. In reference to Bahamut, I happen to know a friend who was turned off of the game in the first hour because it wasn't like traditional FPSs, then retried it and by the second hour he was hooked and found himself drawn in, loving the atmosphere, the sense of accomplishment it provides by making you more and more powerful as you achieve more, and of course the near-perfect translation of Metroid into a 3D environment. If you give up on this game, you'll be missing out on one of the most important games to play last generation. Just don't try to compare it to normal shooters, because it's a totally different kind of game. I also believe it's the only first person game to get platforming just right, which is quite an accomplishment - and it's good too, because probably half the game relies on it.

Beyond Good & Evil - Yes

Zelda-like gameplay, beautiful environments, and enjoyable and involved characters and voice acting help this to be another of my favorite games. Too bad it was so underrated that the two planned sequels didn't happen.

Conker Live and Reloaded - No

Play the original one. Seriously. It has Heist and this one doesn't.

Metroid Prime Hunters - Yes

This is likely one of my favorite DS games ever. Personally, I actually really enjoyed the single player mode, while most people didn't. Remember that this is a HANDHELD FPS we're dealing with, and you might be as impressed with it as I am. The multiplayer is great, but everyone is always better than you. It's still a lot of fun because of the different special abilities given to each character.

Guitar Hero - Yes

I think the original Guitar Hero had a much better song selection than the sequel, and obviously it's a ton of fun to play. Playing something on a difficult mode is tough and satisfying while not being as impossible as the harder tracks in the sequel. If I had to pick one of the two, this would be it.

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***ROUND THREE***

Crazy Taxi Yes

I bought my Dreamcast a year ago. I never played with one before, but i was compelled to buy one after all the stories i heard about it. This was one of the games i bought almost instantanious. And i still play it every now and then. Great fun, great game.

Elemental Gimmick Gear

-

Guitar Hero

-

Twisted Metal: Black

-

Conker: Live and Reloaded

-

Marvel vs. Capcom 2

-

Metroid Prime YES!!

This game rocks. Fantastic gameplay. I love the way i can just stroll around, blast random things, and suddenly find something by accident. I love it. Great asmophere and music. Terrific. Echoes ain't got shit on this.

Skies of Arcadia Legends

-

Giga Wing

-

MegaMan Anniversery Collection

-

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Just a note on my comments - I'm viewing "must-play" as of the highest caliber and well worth ANYONE'S time, so of course I'm going to have a fairly strict interpretation of the term and give a lot of NOs to the games I have played and don't meet those criteria.

Twisted Metal: Black

I have a hard time recalling this game very well, and I can't say I've played it overly deep, although I did play a good amount of it. This game is a first gen PS2 game, and it has quite a bunch of good elements to it, but I cannot recommend it as a must-play, so I vote a NO. It has quite a bit to do, but it does fall somewhat short, and it certainly is a bit rough.

Skies of Arcadia: Legends

This game is quite a charmer in some ways with the atmosphere, but that very same cheesy atmosphere & poor voice acting also has a habit of instantly generating derision. In addition, some parts of the game are extremely tedious to go through. While I enjoyed some of it, the tedious parts do weigh down on the experience considerably, and the non-unanimous enjoyability of the atmosphere results in my vote of a STRONG NO.

Guitar Hero

Few games make up the rank of those that are constantly played and enjoyed by all, and this is one of them. The accessibility of it to the more casual gamer while still catering to the hardcore and the enjoyability of it to all makes this an easy YES. The song selection could use a lot of improvement on a little more than 50% of the tracks, but with the horrible state of the music industry under the umbrella of the RIAA labels & that MTV played a strong role in securing the tracks, it's better than most can hope for.

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***THE FIRST ROUND***

Bangai-O

See Coops reasons for his yes, as he puts it better than I can. Yes.

Shenmue II

Love this game. Atmospheric. A lot to do. A whole list of reasons to say Yes, but I can't be bothered to list them all.

F-Zero GX

F-Zero X exists. This isn't any better than F-Zero X, except in terms of graphics. So no.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

Hell yes. Funnest Tactical RPG out there. Not the best, but the most instantly-fun.

Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future

Hard. Really unnecessarily hard. But still great. The atmosphere, the sheer exploration, I never got very far, but I still say yes.

Silent Hill 2

CBest Silent Hill game. By a mile. And Silent Hill 3 is still awesome, so yes.

Xenosaga Blah Blah Blah....

Ugh. No. Terrible. Soundtrack was good, rest was really horrible. No.

***ROUND TWO***

Capcom vs. SNK

A pretty damn decent fighter. Although Mark Of The Millennium was tons better, so I say no and play Mark Of The Millennium instead.

Project Justice

Yes! This game is all sorts of awesome. The storyline is confusing but still great, fighting system is awesome, and the characters are awesome as well.

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

Nice tactical RPG. A little sinister, but fun as hell. Can be as simple or as deep as you make it. Yes.

Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec

No. GT4 was far, far superior.

Beyond Good and Evil

Very, very fulfilling game. Brilliant story. Classic. Yes.

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

No. Boring as hell.

Mario Power Tennis

I love me some Nintendo Power Tennis. Great game to play with friends, so yes.

Metroid Prime: Hunters

No. I found the controls irritating. Good for a handheld multi-player FPS, Meh for a metroid game, definitely not a must-have.

***ROUND THREE***

Crazy Taxi

I love going around San Fransisco taring shit up in a massive yellow cab. Hell YES.

Elemental Gimmick Gear

This is one of the most unique and strange RPG's I have ever played. Story was pretty messed up from what I could understand, but it was fresh and unique. So yes.

Guitar Hero

Makes me think I don't have stupid fingers and is as close to I will ever get to being able to play for real. Yes.

Twisted Metal: Black

A pretty average vehicle shooter. No.

Conker: Live and Reloaded

EDIT - Oh wait, this was the shit version with all the swearing taken out... No.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Perfect fighting game for n00bs, and brings back some awesome memories. Some character were cheap as hell, and the Boss was full of shit, but I still say Yes regardless.

Metroid Prime

No. I really disliked this for some reason... It just feels really repetitive. It's been a while since I've played it, but I remember really hating it at the time.

Skies of Arcadia Legends

Fuck yeah. The greatest RPG the dreamcast had to offer, packed with a hell of a lot of extras. Easy to get lost, Dungeons were annoying as hell, but still a great game. From the bottom of my heart, yes.

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Marvel vs Capcom 2: No

I am only saying no because the game in question is the X-box version. The X-box version was a poorly done port in my opinion. The graphics looked like crap compared to the arcade, DC, and PS2 versions. The lack of on-line play when they already released Capcom vs SNK 2 on-line is also disappointing. I also personally think fighters don't play well on X-box. Marvel vs Capcom is an awsome game but the X-box version just didn't acheive that greatness like the others did.

Metriod Prime: HELL YES!

I know there are some the really dislike the game but that doesn't make it bad by any means. Just because you don't like the particular style of gameplay that requires you explore, revisit, and figure things out for yourself doesn't make it bad. Metriod games have always had this style of gameplay and that is why so many like the series. It is challenging and fun to play at the same time. Metriod Prime has beautiful graphics, great sound, good story, tight gameplay and controls, and the world is unbelievabley immersive. This alone makes it a great game. The fact that you may not like the particular style of gameplay doesn't by any means make it bad. It is like me saying all turn-based RPGs are horrible games just because I don't like turn-based style gameplay. Bottom-line, Superb Game that anyone should try, especially metriod fans.

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Still got some games in the old lists that have no votes or just one vote. If we don't get more on them by the end, we're bringing them back up again. Coop, I blame this on your imports. ;)

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

***ROUND FOUR***

Katamari Damacy

Console: Playstation 2

Publisher: Namco

Developer: Namco

Meta Score: 8.6 (73 reviews)

Release: Sep 21, 2004

Dead or Alive Ultimate

Console: Xbox

Publisher: Tecmo

Developer: Team Ninja

Meta Score: 8.4 (94 reviews)

Release: Oct 26, 2004

Otogi: Myth of Demons

Console: Xbox

Publisher: Sega

Developer: From Software

Meta Score: 8.2 (88 reviews)

Release: Aug 27, 2003

Pikmin

Console: Gamecube

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Meta Score: 8.7 (91 reviews)

Release: Dec 2, 2001

Tales of Symphonia

Console: Gamecube

Publisher: Namco

Developer: Namco

Meta Score: 8.6 (99 reviews)

Release: Jul 13, 2004

Brain Age

Console: Nintendo DS

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Meta Score: 7.8 (69 reviews)

Release: Apr 17, 2006

Lumines

Console: PSP

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Q Entertainment

Meta Score: 9.0 (90 reviews)

Release: Mar 22, 2005

Ikaruga

Console: Dreamcast

Publisher: ESP Software

Developer: Treasure

Meta Score: (not available)

Release: Sep 5, 2002

Street Fighter III: Double Impact

Console: Dreamcast

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Meta Score: 7.9 (25 reviews)

Release: Jun 19, 2000

Zero Gunner II

Console: Dreamcast

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Psikyo

Meta Score: (not available)

Release: Mar 20, 2003

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

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.

I'll vote later tonight or tomorrow before posting the next batch.

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Crazy Taxi

I'm going to have to give this a NO based on the simple premise of the entire game, pick up and deliver passengers. I'll be fair and mention Crazy Box where you do specific tasks in a time limit, but that stands for what it is. That's not to say it isn't fun or entertaining for a little while, but I can't justify it being a must-have even with the smaller DC library.

Twisted Metal: Black

I will say YES on this one. This game is based on a simple premise, but adds more such as an interesting story and memorably disturbing CGs. I find the game to be fun, but I really think the latter part will keep one compelled even if vehicular combat isn't their thing. They still stand out to this day. Two-player only serves to give it more life. I think it's the epitome for its genre, however easy that may be.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2

NO. Fun game, worth playing, but not worth the trouble you will have to go to own it (to must have it). Your argument for a must-have game in this genre would begin with Street Fighter Alpha 3, and to begin with you will have the 1/5 of the price of MvC2 factor in your favor (based off of Amazon and personal game store browsing experience).

Skies of Arcadia Legends

YES. Interesting characters and villains. Great atmosphere to the point it's fun just to ride around the airship to explore the world (makes finding Discoveries fun and not chorelike). Battles involving the airship offer more than the standard RPG fanfare. Engaging story and a reasonable amount of extras. It's easy to get sucked into this game for large amounts of time.

MegaMan Anniversary Collection

YES. For its time, it stood as a benchmark on what a compilation game should be. At the very least, the first three Mega Man games have withstood the test of time for delivering fun, challenge, and great music (scope the site for some examples). I won't get into debate on whether the other NES entries are stagnant, but they are there for you to play no matter what side of the fence you stand on. When it was released, the price was right (and it still is).

Guitar Hero

YES. This game is accessible to anyone. There's a specific reason this game succeeds in the mainstream where its other counterparts (music games) fail. Superb covers of songs is worth noting. I think even if the higher difficulty levels give you trouble (like me), that you still gain something from attempting it (finger dexterity by playing appropriately and an active mind to attempt reacting quickly). It's easy to let yourself go in private and in public. Let loose.

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Katamari Damacy - YES, yes yes. This game is one of the weirdest games EVER. And yet, as simple and quirky as it is, it is incredibly satisfying to roll over an entire office building. This game more than qualifies to be on this list of must-have games. IT's short, but very, very fun.

Pikmin - I'm going with NO. Though a fun idea and an okay game, it just doesn't seem to work for the entire length of time, and I got bored with it after only a few days (in game). The second one, maybe, as I feel it is a superior game in many aspects.

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***ROUND FOUR***

Katamari Damacy

-

Dead or Alive Ultimate

-

Otogi: Myth of Demons

-

Pikmin yes!

I'm not really sure how to explain this as a dutchman, so i'll just keep it at gaming reasons. Simple gameplay, and it easily captures you. You almost instantly feel compassion for Captain Olimar and his Pikmin. The music and enviroments are selected with such care, it's among the best i've heard. They really fit together. The only downside of the game is the time limit, but it makes you glee when you've JUST made it with a new part, and enterd all the Pikmin in their Unions.

Tales of Symphonia

Not sure what to say about this one. This list is for everybody, but i don't think this game is. If you like RPG's, or even action games in general, you owe it yourself to play this, but i don't think general gamers can appriciate the time it needs to be completed.

This game should be on the list of every self-respecting gamer, but i don't think these type of games are for everyone. Though this is one of the best i've ever played.

Brain Age

-

Lumines

-

Ikaruga

-

Street Fighter III: Double Impact

-

(Where's Third Strike? :D)

Zero Gunner II

-

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Pikmin- NO

With this vote I also request an override for previous 'yes' votes. Pikmin's sequel improved upon everything that the original may have done, and added many new, really great features- multiplayer, co op, Piklopedia, etc etc. The original Pikmin breaking ground is irrelevant in this list, which is recommending both titles in the same context. There isn't a three year gap between them anymore.

To anyone who voted for this game, I plead to you to rescind your vote and keep it for Pikmin 2.

Skies of Arcadia Legends- YES

I.. tolerate RPGs. With that in mind, I intend to give the proper weight to the following statement- Legends was my favourite Gamecube game ever. The feeling that you're actually making a difference to the world, to gather and command an entire crew feels great. It might have its fair share of role playing cliches, but at the same time the focus on exploration rather than revenge, having to make yourself stronger.. that's what sucked me into the world. I don't know why anyone couldn't enjoy this atmosphere, or find a tedious grind.

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Dead or Alive Ultimate: Yes

I don't like the dead or alive series at all but if you had to own a Dead or Alive game, then it might as well be Dead or Alive 2 because it sort of reinvented the series and added a lot of cool features that the later DOAs contain. With that being said, if you must own a version of DOA 2, it might as well be Ultimate. Ultimate has some improved graphics, new extras, on-line play, and it has the original DOA in the game. So for DOA fans, this is a good game to own or at least try-out.

Street Fighter III: Double Impact: YES!

Thrid Strike might blow this one away, but Double Impact is still a great game and a must play for fans of SF3 series. The gameplay was further refined and balanced from the original SF3 and more characters were added as well. Even if you might not like Double Impact for some reason, the game includes the first SF3. From what I remeber as well, the animation was actually better in Double Impact then it was in Third Strike. This game is great and a must play for fighting gamers.

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My votes:

Katamari Damacy -- YES

It's quirky, fun, and innovative. While the sheer strangeness of the game may put off some casual gamers, I've seen more than one sucked into the game once they saw how it was played. That's saying something.

Dead or Alive Ultimate -- UNDECIDED

The thing is, I suck at fighting games. I don't have the reflexes or the control to play without button-mashing. Just the same, I still like playing them now and then. This really seems like a great fighting game package. Classic DOA 1, plus DOA 2 with a graphics overhaul and tons of costumes and such to unlock. Plus online play. It's quite a combo. I don't know how DOA appeals to hardcore fighting gamers, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Pikmin -- NO

I don't want to compete the two Pikmin games against each other for a place here, but the sequel did offer a few key improvements that push it over the edge into must-have territory. I would definitely tell anyone who enjoyed Pikmin 2 to play the first one as well though. This was a very touch decision.

Tales of Symphonia -- NO

I enjoyed this game thoroughly, especially because the multiplayer battles allowed my wife to play too. Unfortunately, I'm quite sure this game is only a must-have for gamers with a taste for games like these. I wouldn't recommend it to someone unless they liked games like these to begin with.

Lumines

Love the Xbox Live Arcade version, but can't comment on PSP.

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I don't know how DOA appeals to hardcore fighting gamers, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.

For the most part hardcore fighting gamers, especially the competitive and tournament players, don't care much for DOA. They don't hate it but they feel the fighting system isn't refined, polished, balanced, or tight enough for serious or in-depth play. I personaly don't like the series much for these same reasons. I personally think the fighting system is too easy to use and abuse, especially the countering system. The series isn't bad though.

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Katamari Damacy - This game has drugs, rainbows, and rolling, sticky balls. Besides that, gameplay is totally unique, and the story is hilarious. Final vote: YES.

Tales of Symphonia - To date this has been my favorite RPG. It has a great storyline, and fun gameplay (I'm not a fan of the menu-based style of RPG). However, the overall cheeziness of everything (voice acting and dialog in particular), as well as the incredible amount of text, make this probably not a game that *everyone* should pick up. I loved it, but sadly, I'm voting NO.

Ikaruga - The best twitch shooter on a console to date, with an interesting concept to boot. Ikaruga is an awesome game, and while short, should be on every Dreamcast owner's shelf (and those 'Cube owners, too). In short, YES.

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MegaMan Anniversary Collection

YES. For its time, it stood as a benchmark on what a compilation game should be. At the very least, the first three Mega Man games have withstood the test of time for delivering fun, challenge, and great music (scope the site for some examples). I won't get into debate on whether the other NES entries are stagnant, but they are there for you to play no matter what side of the fence you stand on. When it was released, the price was right (and it still is).

Should collections be counted? I dunno it just doesn't feel... Kosher...

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