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OCR 'Must-Have Games' List: -Part TWO-

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How can Portal be a must-have? The game's not even a month old yet, and hasn't gotten past it's new game smell.

Because you're all crazy! CRAZY I TELL YE!

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It's true that Portal is pretty fresh to the shelves, but I don't see any reason not to include it in the list. Besides, for such a new game, it's made a pretty strong impression on the gaming world.

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That's true. But a month or two from now, there'll be another game that gets all the same types of compliments. And a month after that, there'll be another one. Remember Prey and all the wonderful things said about it? Or F.E.A.R? Yeah, they've pretty much been crapped on by gamers ever since their "WOW!"-factor wore off.

Gaming compliments get thrown around as much as movie compliments. When people are still talking about how good Portal is a year or two from now, then perhaps it could be considered a must have, as it'll have shown longevity beyond that initial "WOW!"-factor. Until then, it's reads much the same as all the quick praises that have been uttered since the 2600 days when gamers first saw something new.

Anyway, sorry to interrupt the voting flow with my wet blanket grumblings. Not trying to get the game yanked or anything, I just wanted to voice something that was on my mind.

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***** Round Twenty-Eight: *****

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City YES

IMHO, the best GTA there is. Although smaller than 3 and MUCH smaller than SA, the story was so much better and they really nailed the 80's setup in every aspect.

System Shock 2 - YES

One of the best PC games of all time, and way above its spiritual sequel Bioshock. This game offers a deep mix of rpg and action, several options to choose and several paths to take. Coupled with an excellent story, excellent graphics and voice acting, this is a game no one can miss.

Call of Duty 2 - YES

I don't like WWII games, at all. But some friends pushed me to play this game and after i finally did I must admit this game is an awesome FPS, with a great mix of action/graphics/sound and gameplay. It was a bit too short for my tastes but this game truly immerses the player in its atmosphere.

Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask YES

A love or hate it game, but that one can't deny it's qualities. The game was awkward in many aspects and that turned some people off, and in many points doesn't feels like a zelda game at all, but it's one of the best games ever made for the 64 and a must have as well, even if you will hate it later you must at least try it once.

Mega Man X6 NO

HAHA NO. Worst megaman X game, and maybe worst megaman game ever, period.

Super Mario 64 YES

In this humble gamer's opinion, best game of all time, by far. A game that redefined what is to play in 3D, what it is to explore a 3d world freely, what would a Mario themed-world look like in 3d. It's a game that still looks good, still plays good and still feels tight.

Doom 3 - NO

yes, the first time I played this my jaw dropped so many times I had to tie it in place to be able to play, but after a while, the first impression of the STILL awesome graphics leave you with a very dull FPS that is short on action and more focused on scaring the bejeezus out of you. Thing is that, after 20 scares you knew when a scare was coming and the surprise is ruined. Overall you were left with a pretty meh game with generic weapons that lacked kick and lame action. Still looks kickass though.

Star Control 2 - YES YES YES

Best PC Game of all time, nuff said. There's no other game, actual or past, that comes to this game's scope. Now if only we can have a sequel with the same, or bigger scope, and in 3D, I could die with a smile in my face.

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***** Round Twenty-Seven: *****

Mega Man Battle Network 2 -- YES Like the original Megaman 2, this game really gets the formula right. One could make an argument that 3 is the best of the series, but this is the one that hooked people.

***** Round Twenty-Eight: *****

Call of Duty 2 -- YES This is the most immersive FPS experience I've ever had -- the game really makes you feel like you're a part of a greater whole. The multiplayer is good too, with smoke grenades making for awesome cover / decoys.

***** Round Twenty-Nine: *****

Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask -- YES It's a little quirky, but the new direction this Zelda game takes is a very welcome break from the OoT formula all of the other 3d games have followed thus far. Try this to see what else could happen.

Mega Man X6 -- NO I actually think I like 6 better than 5, but that's a moot point because they are both pretty terrible.

Portal -- YES Despite the fact that it's only been out for a few weeks, this game deserves to be on this list. Oh, and the cake is a lie...

Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts -- YES The SNES and Sega CD levels in one cart? Gimme.

***** Round Thirty: ******

Super Mario 64 -- YES One of the only 3d games to get it right in the entire first two generations of 3d gaming...you _should_ own this.

Final Fantasy Chronicles -- YES A full translation of FFIV Hardtype, plus Chrono Trigger with sweet cutscenes (and a tie-in to Cross)? If the load times didn't suck so bad, this would be incredible.

R-Type Delta -- YES I've always been more of a Gradius person, but this is really a gem. After R-Type III, which I thought was too hard, this was a (slightly) better pace IMO.

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Little over one week left. Hang in there!

***** Round Thirty-One: *****

Beetle Adventure Racing

Console: N64

Publisher: EA Sports

Developer: Paradigm Entertainment

Release: Feb 1999

Final Fantasy IX

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Square EA

Developer: SquareSoft

Release: Nov 2000

Resident Evil 2

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Release: Dec 1997

WipeOut XL

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SCEE

Developer: SCEE

Release: Sept 1996

Panzer Dragoon Saga

Console: Saturn

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Team Andromeda

Release: Apr 1998

Interstate ‘76

Console: PC

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Activision

Release: Feb 1997

Sid Meier’s Pirates!

Console: PC

Publisher: 2K Games

Developer: Full Fat

Release: Jan 2007

Rise of the Triad: Dark War

Console: PC

Publisher: Apogee Software, Ltd.

Developer: Apogee Software, Ltd.

Release: Dec 1994

Space Quest V: The Next Mutation

Console: PC

Publisher: Sierra Entertainment

Developer: Dynamix

Release: 1993

Double Dragon Advance

Console: GBA

Publisher: Atlus Co.

Developer: Million

Release: Nov 2003

***** Round Thirty-Two: *****

Tetrisphere

Console: N64

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: H2O Interactive

Release: Aug 1997

Mega Man Legends 2

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Release: Oct 2000

Tomba!

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: Whoopee Camp

Release: June 1998

You Don’t Know Jack

Console: Playstation, PC

Publisher: Bandai

Developer: Jellyvision

Release: Sept 2005

PowerSlave

Console: Saturn

Publisher: Playmates

Developer: Lobotomy Software

Release: Oct 1996

Age of Empires III

Console: PC

Publisher: Microsoft Games Studios

Developer: Ensemble Studios

Release: Oct 2005

Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction

Console: PC

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment

Developer: Blizzard North

Release: June 2001

Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time

Console: PC

Publisher: Red Orb Entertainment

Developer: Presto Studios

Release: Jan 1998

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Console: PC

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Gray Matter

Release: Nov 2001

Golden Sun: The Lost Age

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Camelot Co. Ltd.

Release: Apr 2003

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

My votes:

Final Fantasy XI -- YES

I'll probably be in the minority when I say that FFIX is on par with FFVII and even superior in ways. I like it better every time I play it. The simplified skill system proved that "complicated" does not equal "better." The artistic aesthetic was gorgeous. The soundtrack was possibly Uematsu's greatest work. Long time Final Fantasy fans were happy to see the series acknowledge its roots. It had flaws, as all games do, but FFIX is an easy addition to a Playstation owner's must-have list.

Tetrisphere -- YES

Very different from the tetris we recognize, but fun. I'm kinda surprised we haven't seen more Tetrisphere games around. I had completely forgotten about this game and now I really wish I had a copy lying around. :(

You Don't Know Jack -- YES

Many fun hours were spent playing with my friends and family in this game. I said in an earlier vote how there are very, very few games out there that are truly funny? This is one.

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Resident Evil 2 (PS1)- Where the first RE failed, the sequel managed to pick up some of the slack. Better models, better controls, a larger quest with two characters to play through as, better weapon balance (the knife isn't so useless), and even the voice acting got improved a bit. There's still a good amount of back tracking, but it's not as bad as the first game. It's a bigger, deeper game that offers more enjoyment and replayability than its predecessor. Borderline YES.

WipeOut XL (PS1)- The sequel to the surprise hit on the PS1 ups the ante on quite a few fronts. Better graphics, better gameplay, and a serious sense of speed that makes the second class of ships in the first game look slow. The music, while not quite as nice, is still good, and there's a bigger selection of ships and tracks too. It took what made the first game work, and built on it to make for an improved sequel. YES.

Panzer Dragoon Saga (Saturn)- Take the the rich world of the 'Panzer' games, and really flesh it out into an RPG. What you get is a fantastic realm to explore. Using the shmup gameplay that was so previlant in the first two games, the battles and exploratory scenes are action packed and involving. The graphics are wonderful, the designs are great, the music and sound effects are well done... there is so much that turned out well in this game, it's a shame that it didn't get a bigger release so that more Saturn owners could play it. If there's a kink in the game's armor, it's that it's not a long RPG. A lot of the four discs is made up of cinemas, making the game itself take roughly 20 hours. Even so, it's an innovative, amazing RPG. YES.

PowerSlave (Saturn)- For a time, people were saying the Saturn couldn't do the FPS any justice. Lobotomy felt differently. Using the Slave Driver engine, this game silenced the critics, and proved the Saturn could not only have a fast paced and graphically nice FPS, but colored lighting effects too. The graphics and character designs are nice, the music is very good, the game plays very well on the Saturn controller, and the Egyptian theme makes for an interesting world and enemy set. There's even a few hidden goodies in the game if you look hard enough.

The first real FPS on the Saturn, and fun game to boot. YES.

Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction (PC)- Diablo II is a great game from start to finish. This expansion pack makes it even better. Lots of added content gives the regular game a good boost, the new chapter is just as fun as the previous ones, and the ending cinema is great. If you own D2, then this expansion pack should be with it. You're missing out if it's not. YES.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein (PC)- What happens when you take the world id created in Wolfenstein 3D, and push the demonic side to equal levels with the WWII side? You end up with a great game. Very good graphics for the day, good music, a creepier atmosphere in some of the numerous levels thanks to some nice graphical and aural touches, diverse weaponry and levels... won awards for a reason back then. If you like FPSs, this game should be a part of your library. YES.

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Tomba!

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: Whoopee Camp

Release: June 1998

BORDERLINE YES: This is one of the most charming platformers on the PSX and everyone interested in a freaky platformer must have this. The problem is, there aren't many interested in that.

Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction

Console: PC

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment

Developer: Blizzard North

Release: June 2001

HELL YES - Blizzard just can't fail. Diablo 2: LoD is still one of the most played online games with a very active community. It's also great for what it is, a feature packed expansion to one of the best hack'n'slash games ever.

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Final Fantasy IX - YES

It had some problems, but this one had a SOUL. The characters were all likeable, unlike past and post 3d final fantasies in which you will find only 1 or 2 characters worth your time. The story wasn't convoluted nor a joke as in FF8, and the world was fun to explore. The magic system was fairly balanced, but I would have liked more variation and depth with the way you played the characters. For the most part you had to stick with the basic class represented in each of the characters, which was an intentional design choice, as this FF was made to look and feel as the old 8 bit ones.

If there's a Final Fantasy game that is worth your time on psx is this one, and it was a good step forward from square at that time, after the shithole that was FF8. It's not as grand in scope as FF7 was, but it's a game that doesn't takes itself too seriously (well, it does, but not as much as most Final Fantasy games) and in a lot of aspects is far above FF7.

Resident Evil 2 YES

Yeah I hate most resident evil games, and the control scheme was and still is retarded, along with some puzzles that didn't have much logic... but despite of these flaws this is an awesome game and the best RE after RE4 imho. There's some replay value in here as well, and is a dark, scary adventure.

Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction - YES

Blizzard is Blizzard, and Blizzard is never wrong. If D2 is a must have, this expansion is as well. A lot of bug fixes, arguably a more balanced game, 2 new characters to play and a whole new adventure.

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Wait WHAT!?

I thought it said FFXI..

Final Fantasy IX - YUP YUP

End PS1 with a bang. Man Square was like Blizzard at that time. Everything they did was great. This is no exception. With more heart and love than previous games and more fantsy this is a great play. Also the system is sweet-ass. Even though it's easy ;)

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***** Round Thirty-One: *****

Final Fantasy IX -- YES This is my favorite PS1 FF game -- the story is well-told, it's my favorite soundtrack (I've got the liner notes signed by Uematsu -- yippie!), and there are numerous references to the original NES trilogy, complete with secret bonus remix from FF3. If you haven't played this one, do so.

Sid Meier’s Pirates! -- NO This game is great -- I bought it for my fiancee last year. But it's the original that is truly the must-have, not this remake. Good game that doesn't make the cut for "must-own" status.

Double Dragon Advance -- NO This is the first decent Double Dragon game since the NES days. With that said, it's still just decent...not great. Whoever let such a great franchise fall so far should be shot -- Double Dragon 2 is still one of the greatest beat 'em ups ever made.

***** Round Thirty-Two: *****

You Don’t Know Jack -- YES A quiz game that's actually fun? With a host that is actually funny? This is really good stuff -- I wish they'd release a new one.

Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction -- YES D2 is the only game I've started to play, phased out, returned to playing regularly, phased out...something like 7 times. Hell, it's had its own league on OCR for goodness' sakes. If you haven't played this, you're missing out on what PC gaming has to offer.

Golden Sun: The Lost Age -- YES This game is absolutely amazing. This is the definitive portable RPG, and in my opinion it has yet to be eclipsed by anything the DS has offered in the genre. If you have a GBA/DS and don't own this, either you hate RPGs or you need to stop reading this and go buy it right now. The game's only fault is that this is really just the second disc of a large console game -- if you don't play through the first GS game, you'll miss out on a lot.

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Only five more days to go!

***** Round Thirty-Three: ******

WipeOut 64

Console: N64

Publisher: Midway

Developer: Psygnosis

Release: Nov 1998

Brave Fencer Musashi

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Square EA

Developer: SquareSoft

Release: Oct 1998

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Working Designs

Developer: Game Arts

Release: Dec 2000

Raiden Project

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: Selbu Kalhatsu

Release: Jan 1995

Soviet Strike

Console: Saturn

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: EA Tiburon

Release: Nov 1996

Beyond Good and Evil

Console: PC

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Ubisoft

Release: Nov 2003

Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis

Console: PC

Publisher: Codemasters

Developer: Bohemia Int.

Release: Aug 2001

The Secret of Monkey Island

Console: PC

Publisher: LucasArts

Developer: LucasArts

Release: 1990

Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi

Console: PC

Publisher: Origin

Developer: Origin

Release: 1991

Mario Golf: Advance Tour

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Camelot Co. Ltd.

Release: June 2004

***** Round Thirty-Four: *****

Command & Conquer

Console: N64

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Looking Glass

Release: May 1999

R4: Ridge Racer Type 4

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Namco

Developer: Namco

Release: May 1999

Warhawk

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: SingleTrac

Release: Nov 1995

Parasite Eve II

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Square EA

Developer: SquareSoft

Release: Jan 2000

Thunder Force Gold Pack 2 *

Console: Saturn

Publisher: TechnoSoft

Developer: TechnoSoft

Release: Dec 1996 (JP)

Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords

Console: PC

Publisher: Stardock

Developer: Stardock

Release: Feb 2006

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Console: PC

Publisher: 2K Games

Developer: Bethesda Softworks

Release: Mar 2006

Dungeon Keeper 2

Console: PC

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Bullfrog Productions

Release: June 1999

Unreal Tournament 2004

Console: PC

Publisher: Atari

Developer: Epic Games

Release: Mar 2004

Gunstar Super Heroes

Console: GBA

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Treasure

Release: Oct 2005

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

My votes:

Beyond Good and Evil -- YES

Unique, creative and just plain pretty. The soundtrack is beautiful and the whole game just feels different in a good way.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion -- YES

It has some weaknesses compared to Morrowind, but some definitely strengths as well. For better of for worse, it's a game where you can just run around hunting deer all day if you want to. It's what you'd expect from an Elder Scrolls game, and that's a winning formula.

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Beyond Good and Evil

Console: PC

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Ubisoft

Release: Nov 2003

YES - Michel Ancel! Woo! This is a masterpiece. Short, but a masterpiece.

The Secret of Monkey Island

Console: PC

Publisher: LucasArts

Developer: LucasArts

Release: 1990

YES - Humor. Loads of it. And all in a great game! This is one of the best adventure games out there. If you have a PC or Mac you NEED this.

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WipeOut 64 (N64)- This game is basically the N64 version of WipeOut XL. It has the same feel, look and speed, but it's been tweaked giving it new tunes, tracks and such. It's plays just as well as WOXL, and it's one of the best racers on the system. The music is done well, the graphics (though a bit fuzzy) are good, and the racing is fast and action filled. YES.

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete (PS1)- Like the translation of the first game, Lunar 2 for the Playstation expands the story and world by giving you greatly updated graphics, new music that sounds more realistic, and a more fleshed out story. It still plays like its 16bit original, but that's hardly something to hold against it. It's a great update to an already great Sega CD game. YES.

Raiden Project (PS1)- Take what is basically arcade perfect translations of Raiden and Raiden II, add in some nice remixed versions of each game's music, and here's what you get. Both game's are very good shmups, with good graphics, solid gameplay and challenge, and two player simultaneous action. Of course, part II cranked up the graphics to add all sorts of great little touches, and added the now infamous "toothpaste laser". It may only be two games, but it's a fantastic compilation nonetheless. YES.

Soviet Strike (Saturn)- Take the PS1 version of the game, add in a new difficulty select, and crank up the pyrotechnics a bit, and here ya go. Nice graphics, a tough challenge, fun missions, and some great presentations make this a solid entry in the "Strike" series, that just nudges the PS1 version out of the way in terms of which one's better overall. Borderline YES.

Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi (PC)- Better graphics, cooler story, good cinemas, more ships, some extra mission diversity... it took the solid gameplay of the very good original, and built on it. A wonderful follow up. YES.

Warhawk (PS1)- Yeah, it's a first gen PS1 game. But it's also one of the best first gen PS1 games out there. The graphics were great for the time, the music is very good, the missions are tough and fun, the flight mechanics are good, and it's arcadey gameplay makes it fast and explosion-filled. It was one of the main reasons to get a PS1, and it's still a lot of fun to play. YES.

Thunder Force Gold Pack 2 (import Saturn)- This compilation is made up of Thunder Force IV, and the rarely seen Thunder Force AC. TF4 should be pretty well know to most people, as it's one of the (arguably THE) best 16bit shmups made. Graphics, music, gameplay, levels, weapons, challenge... it pretty much nailed everything. This Saturn port does the game justice for the most part, save for one area... the sound effects. For some reason, they're rather tinny sounding in this compilation. The music's fine, but the effects are off. But, considering this version gets rid of the slowdown present in the original 16bit version, it kind of balances out. Also, you can play as the TF3 ship in this version of TF4, so that's a rather cool bonus.

As for TFAC, it's an arcade version of Thunder Force III with a couple levels replaced (one new, one borrowed from TF2). The music and graphics are fine, but again, the sound effects are rather tinny sounding. Not sure why, but they are. Nonetheless, it's a tough to come by game that any fan of the series should play.

If you don't own a Genesis, this is the next best way to play these awesome shmups. YES.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC)- C'mon. Does this really need explaining? A huge world, a seemingly never ending set of quests, freedom to be good or evil to any degree, good voice acting, great music, great graphics... it's the game TES3 should have been. YES.

Unreal Tournament 2004 (PC)- After the horrid 2003, 2004 came along and wiped away those memories. Much better gameplay, nicer graphics, better AI, more polished game modes, a longer single player game... it delivered what 2003 seemed to try and promise in its own busted way. A great FPS. YES.

Gunstar Super Heroes (GBA)- While not quite as good as the Genesis original, this sequel is still a very good game. Well drawn graphics, good music, a solid challenge, some diverse levels that change up the gameplay from time to time, and lots of fast action. Goof stuff. Borderline YES.

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***** Round Thirty-Three: ******

The Secret of Monkey Island -- YES "You fight like a milkmaid!" "Excellent -- you fight like a cow!" and other awesomeness. Hooray for a game that actually made me laugh, and will make all of you do the same.

***** Round Thirty-Four: *****

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion -- YES The pacing isn't quite as good as Morrowind, and the way the game draws in background objects certainly isn't as immersive (having things just pop up kind of sucks). With that said, it's still a game in its own class, and saying that a game is "not quite as good as Morrowind" is like comparing something to the Holy Grail of PC gaming.

Unreal Tournament 2004 -- YES This is what 2003 should have been -- there's enough new things to make it worthwhile, a decent editor, Assault returns...there's lots of goodness to be had here. Play it now! (for 3 weeks anyway, until UT3)

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

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Unreal Tournament 2004: Yes

To me UT 2004 is the best multiplayer FPS experience avialable and it should most definately be considered one of the best. Everything great about UT Classic is back along with a ton of new stuff. More weapons, maps, game modes, and mods. The single player is much improved over Classics but it still isn't anything special. The multiplayer is fast, furious, and most of all fun. On-line play is just a blast to play even if your getting your ass kicked badly. The graphics and sound are actually holding up pretty well and I even prefer art style in UT 2004 to Unreal Tournament III's. The fact that you can buy this game for $29.99 along with UT Classic, Unreal and Unreal II as part of the Unreal Anthology and the fact it runs pretty well on almost any current PC makes this a no-brainer. At least try out the demo, I'm there you will find something to like about this game.

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In preparation for the final round wednesday, all (0-1) votes have been moved to the NO category. On wednesday, all (0-0) votes will follow. They can still be YES voted into the green, but that purple section is too cluttered. We'll have one week from tuesday to get last minute votes in.

***** Round Thirty-Five: *****

Mario Kart 64

Console: N64

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Release: Feb 1997

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Konami

Developer: Konami

Release: Oct 1997

Gran Turismo 2

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: Polyphony Digital

Release: Nov 1999

Twisted Metal 2

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: SingleTrac

Release: Oct 1996

Neverwinter Nights 2

Console: PC

Publisher: Atari

Developer: Obsidian

Release: Oct 2006

Team Fortress 2

Console: PC

Publisher: Valve Software

Developer: Valve Software

Release: Oct 2007

Duke Nukem 3D

Console: PC

Publisher: GT Interactive

Developer: 3D Realms

Release: Jan 1996

Crusader: No Remorse

Console: PC

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Electronic Arts

Release: Aug 1995

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Console: PC

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Ubisoft

Release: Nov 2003

Mega Man Zero 4

Console: GBA

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Inti

Release: Oct 2005

***** Round Thirty-Six: *****

Rayman 2: The Great Escape

Console: N64

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Ubisoft

Release: Oct 1999

In the Hunt

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Kokopeli Digital Studios

Developer: Tsuji Jimusho

Release: Mar 1996

WipeOut 3

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SCEE

Developer: SCEE

Release: Aug 1999

Raiden DX *

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Nihon System

Developer: Seibu Kalhatsu

Release: Apr 1997 (JP)

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee

Console: Playstation

Publisher: GT Interactive

Developer: Oddworld

Release: Aug 1997

Bushido Blade 2

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Square EA

Developer: Light Weight

Release: Feb 1998

Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

Console: PC

Publisher: LucasArts

Developer: Raven Software

Release: Sept 2003

Quake III Arena

Console: PC

Publisher: Activision

Developer: id Software

Release: Dec 1999

Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance

Console: GBA

Publisher: Konami

Developer: KCET

Release: Sept 2002

Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Capcom

Release: Dec 2002

***** Round Thirty-Seven: *****

Yoshi’s Story

Console: N64

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Release: Mar 1998

Dragon Warrior VII

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Enix Corporation

Developer: Heart Beat

Release: Oct 2001

Need for Speed: High Stakes

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Electronic Arts

Release: Mar 1999

Rage Racer

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Namco

Developer: Namco

Release: Apr 1997

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Release: Nov 1999

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Console: PC

Publisher: Rockstar Games

Developer: Rockstar North

Release: June 2005

Space Quest 6: The Spinal Frontier

Console: PC

Publisher: Sierra Entertainment

Developer: Sierra Entertainment

Release: 1995

Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon

Console: GBA

Publisher: Atlus Co.

Developer: Amusement Vision

Release: June 2004

Final Fantasy VI Advance

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Square Enix

Release: Feb 2007

Metroid: Zero Mission

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Release: 2004

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

My votes:

Mario Kart 64 -- YES

Mario Kart transitioned brilliantly into the 3D. The courses were fun and the battle mode kept my house entertained for hours.

Team Fortress 2 -- YES

Still fairly new, so I was a buit unsure at first, but this really is a great game. The clearly defined class roles make sure that anyone can find a job they're good at and enjoy. The maps are few, but extremely polished. The Pixar-esque visual aesthetic is also fantastic.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time -- YES

The best Prince of Persia in existence. Beautiful environments, great music and solid controls. The combat was a tad shallow, but the free running and acrobatics are heavenly. Nothing like nailing a quick chain of stunts to make you feel all powerful.

Yoshi's Story -- NO

Find Yoshi's Island and play that instead. This isn't bad, but there's nothing great about it either.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas -- YES

Bigger map than ever, great era choice, good acting as always and great sandbox fun. Basically, everything we love about GTA with slightly improved controls on top of it.

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***** Round Thirty-Five: ******

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - Yes

Having just gotten Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP, I've managed to unlock the original Symphony of the Night, which I have got to say is an incredible game. This is one of the most polished scrolling adventure games I've ever played. At times I'm reminded of Super Metroid, at least in terms of polish and depth of detail. The game offers so many different ways to fight and explore. The hybrid of RPG-style character statistics and development with the traditional adventure mechanics blend so well together and compliment each other in a way that can only be described as artful.

The music and sound effects are great, too, by the way.

Mario Kart 64 - No

While the original game for the SNES was definitely a fun game, this 3D interpretation of the racer was just hampered too much by the loose controls, hugely lopsided character statistics and over-reliance on power-ups. There are better interations of this title on the newer platforms, such as Double Dash.

The music as a whole wasn't too memorable, with the exception of a couple of tracks.

***** Round Thirty-Seven: *****

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis - No

Much like the ill-fated titles released around the same time as this game, RE3 takes the traditional RE gameplay and just beats it to death. Yet, what really ruins the experience of the game is its gimick, the Nemesis. The constant encounters and difficulty to defeat, on consistent level, the Nemesis makes the encounters redundant and ultimately tedious. While the story does work nicely in wrapping up the whole Raccoon City storyline, the poorly timed and overly played out Nemesis encounters, amidst the bevy of traditional RE monsters, make the game more for intent fans than the general console owner.

The save music also sucked in this game for some reason.

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Mario Kart 64

Console: N64

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Release: Feb 1997

YES - THE Kart-game to have. Great multiplayer and challenging single player. A must-have for the N64.

Quake III Arena

Console: PC

Publisher: Activision

Developer: id Software

Release: Dec 1999

YES - The only FPS I can play. Hyper-fast and with the most logical weapons out there. Still a multiplayer mayhem!

Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Capcom

Release: Dec 2002

YES - A wonderful game! Nobody can say no to have this adventure in your pocket and with a GBA-to-GC player you can experiance this classic on your TV once again. According to many, the best Zelda-game.

Final Fantasy VI Advance

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Square Enix

Release: Feb 2007

YES - The best role-playing game of all times in your pocket? And you don't have to pay $150 for the original cartridge? Great, just great!

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Brave Fencer Mushai:

Easily one of the most advanced games of it's time. There was an in-game clock which switched the amount of daylight, stores were only open during certain times of the day, and you had to wait for certain times of the day to do certain events. The story was great with the conflict of two kingdoms. The humorous names that all referenced food was a great touch. Ex: Butcher Chopps, Chef Mary Nade, etc. The level up system was based on what you did which allowed you to build your strengths based of what you use most. The development of new moves as the game went on, was a great addition to gameplay. The sword "Fusion" allowed you to assimilate the abilities of your enemies. The Characters were very likeable and their voice acting was on par with the Metal Gear Solid series. A definate must have game.

YES!

I just fear that no one has played this one.

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Metroid Zero Mission -- YES boarderline

MZM ran a lot faster then any 2D Metroid games I have played. Easy mode was definitely too easy and medium was the equivelant of what easy should have been, hard is hard enough for me considering I haven't yet beat the game on hard. This game also had some mini bosses comming suddenly through the floor, it definitely didn't subsitute for the adrenaline rush of facing the SA-X in Metroid Fusion, but it did suprise me. The areas were very similar to the first Metroid, but there were some extra twists to not keep things too boring. The stealth part of the game was definitely fun and the boss that followed the stealth part of the game was my favorite. I liked being able to get back into the other areas after getting all items and the areas were fun to explore. Finding all the items required lots of tricks and knowledge of the map. Although this isn't a terribly hard game on the first try it was just enjoyable enough to keep it a yes.

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Mario Kart 64 - YES

Woo! I love Mario Kart 64. I used to play this with my dad way back in the day. Ahh the memories.

Twisted Metal 2 - YES

A true PlayStation classic. Probably the best game in the Twisted Metal series as well. It doesn't get much more fun than this. Split screen mayhem is a plus too.

Duke Nukem 3D - YES

Definitely. One of the most original (and notorious) first person shooters ever made.

Quake III Arena - borderline YES

Quake 3 imo isn't nearly as good as Quake or Quake 2. But it's still a good game.

Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - DEAR GOD YES

Best game ever made.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - YES

Far and away the best game of the GTA series, and one of the best games to come out in the last few years as well. The gameplay, the story, the atmosphere, the size and scope. They nailed everything with this one.

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Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee: YES YES YES YES YES

Its funny, serious, challenging, scary, weird and has so much character. This game should be praised more.

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Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon

SORT OF YES - When I beat this game, I immediately started another quest. It's that good. In my opinion, it's strategy RPG sex. The gameplay is simply deep, and awesome. Even with the graphics and physics games have today, few have matched the psychological strength in this game. Even many of today's RPG have shallow battles that can be won simply by using the most powerful spells and attacks and filling up on potions. This is not one of those games. It forces you to be creative in developing your own strategies (there are many). Every battle means something. If you die, it is because of your inadequacy. If you win, it because you played right. And you have 12 party members at a time, out of a total of 30 characters, who are all unique and useful because of some odd ability or advantage. This game is awesome. The only reason I give it a 'sort of yes' is because I only own the virtual console version of the original Genesis version. If you claim to be a real RPG fan, you should download it immediately ( providing you have a Wii console as well). If you don't, you are a bad person and I think negatively of you. Also, if you are good at this game, you could probably be good at chess too.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past

WHAT - I am insulted that you think people should be allowed to question this game's awesomeness. This game is so awesome that when I play it people stop whatever they are doing sit down just to watch me play it. I'm not kidding at all. Do you know any other adventure/RPGs that make people do that? Maybe, but they are few and far between. It's also the best Zelda game ever by the way. This is probably the best game ever made. Not just for nostalgia's sake either. This game is awesome and cheap to find on virtual console, GBA, or SNES, or emulator. If you haven't at least tried to beat it once, then I don't like you and you are not invited to my party. YES.

Metroid: Zero Mission

YES - This game is awesome and even better than the original, which is one of the best NES games ever made. It's also harder too. I borrowed Zero Mission from a friend and beat it. Why should you own it? Because it has lots of cool guns in a side-scrolling, alien setting with lots of exploration and danger around every corner. Every item has an actual use as well, as opposed to the games which introduce useless items that are not required to proceed to a special area. There are also multiple endings and the music is good too. And the Zero Suit. I deserve to get my stupid face kicked in for not buying a new, untampered copy of it and building a shrine for it in my living room.

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