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sephfire

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

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Paper Mario YES

Remember when games used to be funny and fun at the same time? Play this game and you will get that feeling again. It's no super mario RPG (which was a game that felt much more "serious") but it's light-hearted nature and charm is something that should grab even the most jaded gamer. A bit lineal, but a must have for any n64 owner.

Final Fantasy VII YESLUZL

Incredibly overhyped? yes. Overrated more than any other rpg in existance? indeed. But you know, it's still a great final fantasy. The materia system was somewhat unique and it worked, the integration of FMV into the gameplay was a first, and some of the characters STILL had some charm (which is something that later final fantasies lacked). Sure, most people with a brain would hate cloud's attitude, and sephirot's crybaby nature, and will laugh at the sight of aeris getting pwnt, but as I said it's still a good entry in the series, no matter how much the vomit-inducing widespread love for this single game will make you hate it, it will still be a good game and in my book a must have for any ps1 owner.

Everquest - NO

And NO again. I don't hate MMOs, as i play them and I was an evercrackhead for some time, but this game, compared to actual games that are actually FUN, was a total chore and a piece of crap. Looking back at it, the world design was crap, the crafting system was a fucking chore, the leveling.. oh the leveling I won't even get to that. I mean this game is no fun whatsoever. The graphcis didn't stand up the test of time, and the story is of no interest to the player. If you like to sodomize yourself to a game hell yeah got pick this up. If you are a sane person stay away from this. There are fun MMOs out there, this one is NOT.

Diablo NO

Wait for diablo 2. Diablo 1, nah. even when it came out, it had too many issues.

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Final Fantasy VII - YES: It's so hyped. So incredibly hyped. But in the end it still is one of the most enjoyable RPGs to date. The Materia system, as nutsy pointed out, is pure genious. It gives you many many options and really rewards you for putting some time into it. Also the story is dark and very post-modern and it keeps it interesting in a way that no other game IMO has done. Now give it another YES!

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Wow, missed like 3 rounds this weekend...

***Round 5***

Mega Man 8 Anniversary Collection

I am a huge Mega Man fan, and I really enjoyed this game when it came out. To be honest, though, the style of this game and Mega Man 7 kinda bothered me, as they drifted to more "cartoony" designs when the game was more serious in my mind when playing the original 6. Despite that, Mega Man 8 had that bigger presentation you'd expect on the Playstation compared to the NES/SNES, more fluid animations, and some solid controls. It it a good, fun game that features terrible voice acting? Yes. Would I recommend it to a fan of the series/genre? Yes. Is it a must-have? Unfortunately, I don't think so.

No

***Round 6***

Marvel Superheroes vs Street Fighter

Oh, the quarters spent on this game! Vivid presentation, fluid dynamic aninations, and those Street Fighter controls we all know and love. This game is a great fighter, especially for play with a group of friends.

Yes

***Round 7***

Paper Mario

Got to play this for the first time thus summer, thanks to the Wii's Virtual Console. This game is all about style, and its light-hearted feeling. For an RPG, it might be seen as a little on the short side to some, but the adventure felt perfect to me by the end. The humor in this game is ACTUALLY funny (go figure!), the music was happy and fun, the presentation was bright and colorful, and the battle system was just fun, if simplistic. If you have an N64 or a Wii, or if you're a fan of RPGs, I would highly recommend it.

YES!!!

Final Fantasy VII

Oh man, looking at the votes already, I can see the battle lines have been drawn once again. Is it a must-play classic, or is it overhyped garbage? I first played this game, oh, 4 years ago. I was late to the Playstation party, and a good chunk of my friends bought it and beat it the year it came out (middle school I think) so it had been on my list for a while. I bought it in the summer of '03 after playing through the PS port of Chrono Trigger, and started it but didn't get around it finishing it till the winter following (I had to restart). I still remember seeing the commercials for this game, and thinking how crazy the cinematics looked. Anyway, for me, nostalgia doesn't really play a factor. The battle system was okay, the presentation was...decent for the most part, the graphics were servable (I know at the time they were great, but they didn't age well IMHO), and the story was good and bad all at the same time for me. While I think FFVII was greater than the sum of its parts, it still only puts it at slightly over par for me...that is, until the score is factored in. The music helped evoke emotion in a game that would have been otherwise rather dry. When I finally decided to sit down and play through this game, it was actually because of OverClocked Remix; I wanted to understand the source material for all the great remixes I heard in context, and I'm glad I did. For that reason alone, I have to give this a...

Yes

Final Fantasy 1 & 2: Dawn of Souls

When I heard this was coming out, it sounded quite intriguing to me. I was kind of interested in playing through the first 6 FF games in numerical order, just to see how they evolved (I'm still only up to 3, thanks to FF4 soon to be remade for the DS). While of course these are remakes, for the most part I understood the differences from the originals to be mainly skin-deep so I figured this would be a good place to start. As you could imagine, these are very oldschool RPGs, which I personally don't mind but I know it'll rub some people the wrong way. They were also relatively short quests, both taking somewhere between 15 and 20 hrs. The two differed dramatically in difficulty, with FF1 being too easy and FF2 being almost too difficult (it didn't limit where you could go as much, so you could easily find high-level enemies early on). FF2 also allowed you to change classes to a point, if I recall correctly, whereas FF1 didn't. Both quests were pretty vanilla, even if for the time they may have been of epic proportions. Good for FF/oldschool RPG fans, but by no means a must-play title.

NO

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Mario Tennis

YES

Ha another one of the great classics in the Mario doing stuff series. There are numerous sports games and the like released on every console every year, but this one had Mario, so stfu to all other consoles!:-P Very enjoyable and playing with friends makes it even better.

Diablo

YES

Gotta say yes to this one. Sure number 2 was way bigger, but this one was still as enjoyable and more carefree. YEAH I CAN SAVE WHENEVER I LIKE SO IF I DIE I JUST COME STRAIGHT BACK. Also, number 2 may have had personal stash, but in this one, I can drop my items wherever i like and they will always be there when i get back. This one is a classic, don't let it be upstaged by the sequel.

Tactics Ogre- Knight of Lodis

YES

Don't see anyone else voting 4 this so far... Anyways, this game played very much like FF tactics advance and had all the great features like your class systems different stages etc. I haven't played too much of this cos I'm still finishing Tactics would you believe :P. From what I've seen however, this game is a great change to the usual Ogre battle games but still carries on some of the notable characterisitics of the series. So it's a yes from me.

Paper Mario

YES

Once again, another game downsized by its sequel, but still very fun nonetheless. I love Mario RPG games. They add a greater element to the whole environment in which Mario games are so oftenly features in. Who knew that the once 8-bit environments with little flat mario running across would progress so far? This is definitely a must-have to any 64 collection.

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Apologies for missing yesterday's update. To make up for it, two rounds today!

******* Round Eight: *******

Pilotwings 64

Console: N64

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Paradigm Entertainment

Release: Sept 29, 1996

Ape Escape

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: SCEI

Release: May 31, 1999

G-Darius

Console: Playstation

Publisher: THQ

Developer: Taito Corp.

Release: Mar 31, 1998

DonPachi *

Console: Saturn

Publisher: Atlus Co.

Developer: Cave

Release: Apr 26, 1996 (JP)

Bioshock

Console: PC

Publisher: 2K Games

Developer: 2K Boston, 2K Australia

Release: Aug 21, 2007

Commander Keen II: The Earth Explodes

Console: PC

Publisher: Apogee Software, Ltd.

Developer: Id Software

Release: 1991

Cyberia

Console: PC

Publisher: Interplay

Developer: Xatrix

Release: 1994

Dungeon Keeper

Console: PC

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Bullfrog Prod.

Release: 1997

Grim Fandango

Console: PC

Publisher: LucasArts

Developer: LucasArts

Release: Sept 30, 1998

Metroid Fusion

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Release: Nov 17, 2002

****** Round Nine: ******

WCW vs NWO: World Tour

Console: N64

Publisher: THQ

Developer: Asmik Ace Entertainment

Release: Nov 30, 1997

Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Working Designs

Developer: Game Arts

Release: Feb 6, 2002

Tenchu: Stealth Assassins

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Acquire

Release: Aug 31, 1998

Duke Nukem 3D

Console: Saturn

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Lobotomy Software

Release: 1997

Half-Life: Counter-Strike

Console: PC

Publisher: Sierra Entertainment

Developer: CounterStrike Team

Release: Nov 8, 2000

Populous: The Beginning

Console: PC

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Bullfrog Productions

Release: Nov 30, 1998

Neverwinter Nights

Console: PC

Publisher: Atari

Developer: BioWare

Release: June 16, 2002

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy

Console: PC

Publisher: Interplay

Developer: Interplay

Release: Aug 31, 1997

Kirby & the Amazing Mirror

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Flagship

Release: Oct 18, 2004

Sonic Advance

Console: GBA

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Sonic Team

Release: Feb 3, 2002

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

I've got some voting to catch up on too, so here goes.

Paper Mario -- YES

Charming, funny and fun to play. Somehow Mario just seems to ace whatever game genre he leaps into. This may have been a late-comer to the N64, but it deserved more attention than it got. Must-have for sure.

Final Fantasy VII -- YES

Though its hordes of rabid fans may put some people off of the game, there's no denying its quality. Between that gameplay, the story and the score, something about this game just clicks together perfectly. The graphics haven't aged well, but a game doesn't get to be this popular without doing something right, and this game is well worth owning a playstation for.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic -- NO

This is a really good game. It's a solid RPG and a Star Wars game that was actually good (there are too few of them). We got to see a completely different era in the Star Wars universe (thank god), and the voice acting was spot-on as well, which really helped given how much dialogue you'd be listening to. Still, this game just doesn't scream "Must-Have" to me, particularly on the PC, where you have so many amazing RPGs to choose from.

Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls -- NO

Another fun game that allows gamers the opprotunity to experience the franchise's roots. It's a solid port of two old games, but nothing the GBA owner will die without.

Pilotwings 64 -- NO

Another good game that just barely falls short of must-have status. If you have the opprotunity to play it, please do, because it really is fun and a pretty unique game for the 64. But a game collection can survive without this game.

Bioshock -- YES

While this game may not break new ground in the gameplay area, Bioshock is a story-telling triumph. Fantastically written dialogue and amazing plot twists set this game far apart from your standard FPS. And the city of Rapture is a wonder to behold. The artistry behind this game is top-notch.

Grim Fandango -- YES

I wish LucasArts would take a break from milking Star Wars into the ground and use that time to revive the Adventure genre they used to dominate. Though the transition to 3D didn't work especially well for this game and the controls are clunky at best, the writing, humor and wonderful adventure puzzle-solving is all there and better than ever. Long live Tim Schafer.

WCW vs NWO: World Tour -- NO

I spent many hours playing this game with friends. I don't even like wrestling, but it was a fun multiplayer experience. Still, I can't think of any good reason to call this a must-have.

Half-Life: Counter-Strike -- YES

If this isn't a must-have, I don't know what is. If you don't have the de_dust map memorized by heart yet, it's a sign you have not played enough and should get back to work. This game/mod is exceptional.

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******* Round Eight: *******

Ape Escape

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: SCEI

Release: May 31, 1999

A defining moment in platforming. One of the first games to use the analog controller and damn it used it well. Also it was a pretty damn fun game YES

Dungeon Keeper

Console: PC

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Bullfrog Prod.

Release: 1997

Letting you play as the evil mastermind was the idea of an evil mastermind! Horribly addictive and well-aged strategy game that brings out the evil in you. With the editor included in dungeon keeper gold, this is a (dungeon) keeper. YES

****** Round Nine: ******

Half-Life: Counter-Strike

Console: PC

Publisher: Sierra Entertainment

Developer: CounterStrike Team

Release: Nov 8, 2000

It's love or hate with this. Whatever you choose, this is still one of the best and most active multiplayer games out there. This is why you should own a PC. YES

Neverwinter Nights

Console: PC

Publisher: Atari

Developer: BioWare

Release: June 16, 2002

Okay, THIS is why you should own a PC (it's for mac too btw). Taking the pen & paper RPG system and creating the most versatile game-editor around, this game never ever ends. Go online and you don't need anything else. YES

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******* Round Eight: *******

Pilotwings 64 YES

I can't think of a more relaxing game than pilotwings. Most games as of late are stressful, although fun. In a FPS you have to be always aware of your surroundings and use quick reflexes to kill hordes of opponents, etc. Same with action games, or even sport games.

Pilotwings is just about chilling out and take a relaxed aproach to gaming. Sure, there are missions that put your skills to test, such as the landing missions with the plane etc but I can't find a more relaxing feeling than just cruise around with the glider while listening to the soft jazz soundtrack of the game. I think it's a unique experience that everyone should give a try at some point. There is also a lot of challenge to be found for those willing to look for it, but for those who want a stress-free experience this is the game to play.

Great sound and decent graphics that have aged decently, I think this one is a must have for anyone who still has a n64 around. (or when it comes out to the Wii VC)

Bioshock borderline YES

I actually have mixed feelings about bioshock. One can't deny it's atmosphere and setting as being unique in the industry, but it also suffered a lot of flaws in the gameplay department. A very linear game(in contrast to it's color rich story) that will take you from point A to B most of the time. Broken minigames that will seem interesting at first but will tire you fast and will make you cry at the 400th time you have to go through them.

The shooting mechanics were very cookie-cutter and the weapons didn't felt very useful (Wrench everything in sight and you'll be fine). The saving grace of this game is the ADAM system which lets you use several powers that really spice up the fights. Also the ending is a big letdown, and a kick in the nuts to everything the game represents (the gray areas, non-black-and-white characters).

I do think it's a great game but could have been much better and some people get blind by the hype surrounding it. I also assume most of this people haven't played system shock 2 which is far above this game in every respect. But anyways it's still a great game that has a lot of merits and should be played by everyone, if only to experience how unique the game feels.

Commander Keen II: The Earth Explodes - YES

Sorry but I'll yes every commander keen game after this one because they all rock. 2d Action-platformer that has a lot of charm an unique characters, and that kept improving with every sequel.

Grim Fandango - YES

Probably one of the last great adventure games. Unique story, unique settings, great puzzles that made sense, and the classic, flawless lucasart storytelling. I haven't heard of anyone yet who has played this game and is disappointed, even Adventure games haters. 100% Must have.

Metroid Fusion - YES

At first I was going to NO this game because I consider Zero Mission to be a better game, but then I thought, this isn't about which game in a franchise is better but if it's a must have or not, and Fusion IS a must have.

Flawless gameplay, good story with lots of twists, a lot of firsts in a metroid game (samus talking, interacting with other characters, the change in the suit's nature), GREAT graphics and great soundtrack as well. Plus, the Sa-X. I haven't felt this afraid, or tense, about a 2d character ever. Sa-X was intimidating, and I spent most of the time with a feeling of tension thinking that, in the next corner, the bastard could appear before me. Awesomeness.

Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete - YES

Lunar ftw, that is all.

Duke Nukem 3D - LOL

I don't know. Duke was awesome. The game is still fun, but.. it's duke nukem. The game doesn't takes itself too seriously and although it had great graphics and it was a blast to play.. I don't know lol.

Others feel free to vote on this.

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***Round 8***

Metroid Fusion

This game was a little different for the franchise when it came out. Significantly more linear and story-driven, this game also conveyed moments of terror when the SA-X spotted you, leaving you with no option but to run for your life. Different? Absolutely. Worse because of it? Not at all. Like the later-released Metroid Zero Mission, beautiful graphics and animations, and controls that managed to improve upon the Super Metroid scheme. In a lot of ways, I think this game became the spiritual foundation for Metroid Prime 3. Metroid Fusion is a game with a lot of character, and is without a doubt a must-have.

YES

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Pilotwings 64 - YES

One of the best console flight sims ever. Plus, the music is totally rad, yo. One of the most fun parts of this game is going in the free modes and just finding all the cool little details they hid everywhere (like inside of caves, or across the U.S. on that america level) Also, hang gliding is super relaxing, until you miss the 4th loop for the 10th time and throw your controller through the screen in anger. Ahh, good times! :D

Duke Nukem 3D - YES

NOTE THAT I AM VOTING YES FOR THE PC VERSION OF DUKE NUKEM 3D AND NOT SEGA SATURN. Duke Nukem 3D was so ridiculously over the top, and in some cases downright insulting (especially if you're a Doom fan) that you simply have to play it at least once in your life. Oh, and the gameplay was badass too. More games need functional in-game strippers, damnit.

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy - YES

Probably the best Star Trek game ever made. This game brings back so many memories. The singleplayer campaign in this game was pretty fun, and quite well done if I say so. But where it really shines is the multiplayer. Me and a bunch of friends used to play it at LAN parties and we'd have mass chaos, everyone blowing the shit out of each other, omg mayhem, etc, and then there'd always be the one guy off by himself using his tractor beam to pull the space dock into the nearest star. Bwahahaha.

Cyberia - borderline YES

While this game hasn't held up quite so well over time, when it came out it was fucking amazing. It easily had some of the best graphics of its time, and the storyline was long and involved, with nice little action sequences and puzzles thrown in from time to time to keep it fresh. I must have wasted HOURS on this game in my youth.

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Metroid Fusion - YES

This game ran at a faster pace than I had prevously encountered in Metroid video games (although I have never played Super Metroid) and definitely got the adrenaline pumping at points (the SA-X created spine chilling moments). The storyline seemed a bit over done, I think nintendo tried to do too much with the Metroid storyline in one release. The bosses had some anoying sound effects (The Ridley X comes to mind), but the overall experience was well worth playing on the GBA. I do think this will end up being the last new (not a remake) 2D Metroid title.

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Mario Tennis

YES -- My initial impression of this game was "Wow! This is a whole lot better than the Virtual Boy Mario's Tennis!" This is up there with Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart as one of the best multi-player experiences on the N64.

Curse of Monkey Island

YES -- If you've never played this, you absolutely need to. In my opinion, it surpasses the greatness of even the original Secret of Monkey Island. Great 2D graphics (which, sadly, were abandoned in the final installment of the series), great voice acting, great Lucas Arts humor, Murray the Demonic Talking Skull, and insult-based sword fighting ("You're as repulsive as a monkey in a negligee!"). It's all there, and it's all done extremely well.

Lemmings

YES -- Guide the oblivious Lemmings through bizarre and hostile landscapes while killing as few as possible. Some stages are laughably easy, many are fist-through-the-screen difficult, but none are boring. Like the original Tetris, this is one of those classic puzzle games which is still better than most of what's on the market today.

Pilotwings 64

NO -- Like Wave Race 64, this was an impressive release-time demonstration of what the N64 could do. For me, the biggest draw was the gigantic and detailed landscapes. Now that that sort of thing is much more common in video games, I can't justify listing Pilotwings as a must-have. (Same reason I didn't nominate Midtown Madness for the PC).

Metroid Fusion

YES (borderline) -- I haven't played Zero Mission so I can't compare the two, but Fusion is a good example of what an action/exploration game should be. My YES is borderline because of the annoying computer that tells you what to do all the time. Because of that stinkin' help system, purists of the genre should go with a GBA Castlevania game -- everyone else (and, yeah, probably even purists) will have a blast.

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Metroid Fusion

YES

A great Metroid game for the GBA that looked pretty sleak for the handheld. Great gameplay and also proved to be quite a challenge at some parts. Also have to agree with the others that the Sa-X was quite intimidating indeed. The way the lighting changed and the music suddenly began just resonated with panic and creepiness. A must-have indeed.

Kirby and the Amazing Mirror

YES

A change from your average Kirby game that is usually based on a certain number of levels for each stage. This one is a lot like Kirby Superstar for the SNES and for me is a breath of fresh air for those used to the usual Kirby experience. The worlds offer various routes depending on the power you contain and exploration of every nook and cranny using a retained power-up can be quite a challenge. For fans of Kirby or anyone with a GBA, this should definitely be a must-have.

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Dungeon Keeper: No

Though it is one of my favorite games, it does get surpassed by it's sequel in some important area's, like gameplay.

Certain aspects (you can't break through the walls of enemy territory) make the game impossible, the monsters have too much of a will of their own, make the game very hard to play.

Still, it's good to be bad. But not bad enough to must-have.

Metroid Fusion: Yes

Sweet controls, awesome presentation, quality gameplay, great music. Different when compared to other 2-d Metroid games, but not (much) less good.

Populous: The Beginning: No

Ugh, hate to do it, but no. The chief gives you some great new gameplay aspects (multiple spells are fun to use, and fun to experiment with), but the AI is lacking, the game can be quite unforgiving (difficult).

And worst of all, my copy won't play on Windows XP....

However, if you see a copy, buy it. The game has that distinct Bullfrog look, some great music and graphics (for their time), and it's just plain FUN.

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Metroid Fusion: Yes

Metroid Fusion is easily the best Metroid handheld game ever made and one of the best games avialable for GBA. It did change the metroid formula quite a bit but the main gameplay is still very much their. The atmosphere is great and spooky a times. The boss fights are amazing and pretty challegening. The graphics are easily some of the best seen on any GBA game and sound and music was really good even though it might not be as memorable as other Metroids. Fusion is also one of the most story driven Metroids. The story was also actually very good. If you like Metroid games this is definately a must play and I think anybody who owns a GBA should at least give it a try. It really is an excellent game.

Duke Nukem 3D: No

I'm noing the saturn version of this game. The PC version is so much better, so when it comes time to vote for the PC version, I'll say why the game might be worth your time.

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Once again I have missed a day and I apologize. This has been a rather busy week for me. Time for another double feature!

****** Round Ten: ******

Donkey Kong 64

Console: N64

Publisher: Rare Ltd.

Developer: Rare Ltd.

Release: Oct 31, 1999

Alundra

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Working Designs

Developer: SCEI

Release: Dec 31, 1997

DarkStalkers

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Release: Mar 28, 1996

Thunder Force V *

Console: Saturn

Publisher: TechnoSoft

Developer: TechnoSoft

Release: Jul 11, 1997 (JP)

Age of Mythology

Console: PC

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Developer: Ensemble Studios

Release: Nov 1, 2002

Cave Story *

Console: PC

Publisher: Pixel Studios

Developer: Pixel Studios

Release: Dec 20, 2004 (JP)

Descent

Console: PC

Publisher: Interplay

Developer: Parallax Software

Release: Feb 28, 1995

Duke Nukem

Console: PC

Publisher: Apogee Software, Ltd

Developer: 3D Realms

Release: July 1, 1991

Heretic

Console: PC

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Raven Software

Release: 1994

Shining Soul

Console: GBA

Publisher: Atlus Co.

Developer: Next Entertainment

Release: Sept 23, 2003

****** Round Eleven: ******

Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion

Console: N64

Publisher: Acclaim

Developer: Acclaim Austin

Release: Aug 30, 2000

Guilty Gear

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Arc System Works

Developer: Arc System Works

Release: Oct 31, 1998

Nuclear Strike

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Electronic Arts

Release: Aug 31, 1997

Astal

Console: Saturn

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Sega

Release: Apr 27, 1995

Lands of Lore III

Console: PC

Publisher: Westwood Studios

Developer: Westwood Studios

Release: Mar 31, 1999

Prince of Persia

Console: PC

Publisher: Broderbund

Developer: Broderbund

Release: 1989

Quake

Console: PC

Publisher: Id Software

Developer: Id Software

Release: May 31, 1996

Space Quest II: Vohaul’s Revenge

Console: PC

Publisher: Sierra Entertainment

Developer: Sierra Entertainment

Release: 1987

Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand

Console: GBA

Publisher: Konami

Developer: KCEJ

Release: Sept 16, 2003

Mega Man Zero

Console: GBA

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Inti

Release: Sept 9, 2002

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

My votes:

Donkey Kong 64 -- NO

This is a close call. It's yet another solid N64 platform adventure by Rare. It looks great, sports one of the biggest worlds the N64 could manage and offered many hours of gameplay. Almost too many. The sheer level of busy-work this game holds is mind-boggling. To totally complete each level, you must play it through with EACH of the five characters entirely. And these weren't short levels. It's like going through each Banjo-Kazooie world five teams each. By the fourth or fifth world, it just got exhausting. The game was fun, but all the backtracking just killed things. The awful multiplayer mode didn't help things, either.

If you loved Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie and crave more, you've found your game. Even if not, try this game out. It's good, just not as perfect as those other two. In Rare's defense, Mario and Banjo are tough acts to follow.

Nuclear Strike -- NO

Amusing, definitely, but certainly not must-have material. It's a great pick-up-and-play title, just don't expect it to keep you occupied all that long

Prince of Persia -- NO

In it's day, it was great. Shockingly good animation and the variety of disturbing deaths you can give the prince is almost a guilty pleasure. Still, it hasn't aged especially well, and the clunky controls and frustrating difficulty hinders the experience.

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Hmmmm... some catching up to do. Well, I'll keep them short...

G-Darius (PS1)- A very good port, of a very good shmup. Darius finally goes 3D, and it does so quite well. The ship designs the series is known for were carried over and well executed, the funky but good music is there, the gameplay is still intact, and now you've got a new twist on the capture ball idea from "Gaiden", as well as a massive laser weapon you can use. It's got a lot a slow down, but that's not enough to make this game not a must have. YES.

DonPachi (import Saturn)- Bright and colorful, intense battles that border on being manic in nature, good music, serious firepower, and tight control. Add in the fact that there's a true final boss which is damn hard to get, and you've got all the makings of a great vertical shmup. The graphics suffer a bit playing in "yoko" mode, but that's easily fixed by putting the game in "tate" mode. YES.

Metroid Fusion (GBA)- Not much to say. That hasn't been already mentioned. A very good, solid entry into the series. YES.

Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (PS1)- Take the classic Sega CD version, beef up the graphics quite a bit, expand the storyline, throw in more cinemas, and replace most of the original soundtrack with slightly worse music (in composition), and you've got the PS1 version of a great RPG. It's light hearted at times, deathly serious at others, and tells a good story with interesting characters and monsters. YES.

Duke Nukem 3D (Saturn)- While graphically it's a bit more pixelly than the PC version, this game is basically unchanged. The cinemas, the cursing, nice frame rate, the topless women, the quips... 90% of it is all there. Except now, you have added bonus levels that Lobotomy made for this version, as well as lighting effects not in the original game, and a better sounding redbook audio soundtrack. They even managed to set up a good control scheme for the Saturn's 3D controller (the one that came with NiGHTS). It's a good conversion that stays as close to the original classic as the system would allow, while adding a few extra bits. YES.

Sonic Advance (GBA)- After a few 3D outings, Sonic came back to its 2D roots. Fast and simply gameplay, fun (but tough at times) bosses, multiple characters to play through with, good graphics with a new art style, catchy upbeat tunes... it's Sonic with a facial. If the Genesis games were to your liking, you'll feel right at home playing this game. YES.

DarkStalkers (PS1)- A long delay kept this from the market, but the final result is a fine conversion of Capcom fighting goodness. There are some frames missing, but it's nothing like what happened in X-Men: Children of the Atom, and most of noticeable missing frames are from on the larger characters. Otherwise, you get everything the original arcade game had, with more vivid colors, slightly better sounding music, and all the sharp graphics, crisp controls, and wild cast of characters that made the original arcade game so good. Just beware... this game's a bitch even on one star. YES.

Thunder Force V (import Saturn)- Sure, the PS1 version has the new cinemas and hidden ship variations, but the Saturn version has something you don't expect... better graphics. Transparencies and parallax scrolling are scattered throughout this game, yet the PS1 version is missing quite a bit of it. The Saturn version also does the endings in real time, and not "recorded" like they are on the PS1 version (which means the compression artifacts seen in the PS1 endings aren't there). So while both games have the same great music, good challenge, nice graphics, and varied levels, the Saturn version gives just a bit more in a number of areas to give it the overall edge. YES.

Descent (PC)- Wanna play a game that'll make you seasick? Here ya go. 360º movement, means 360º bobbing, swaying and danger. The levels start out simple enough, but by the half-way point, they're huge, convoluted, and filled with enemies. But thankfully you'll be in nice surroundings, as the graphics are good for the day, the music's cool, and thankfully, the controls are done well. You'll be lost a lot, even with the map, but you'll be having fun while trying to find your way back. YES.

Duke Nukem (PC)- It's the original game, and everything that came with it. From smut, to gore, to vulgar language, this is the version to get if you want it all. The levels are designed well, the music's good, and every last little tit shot and blood drop is here. The Saturn version was very good, but this is the original baby. YES.

Heretic (PC)- Take the familiar Doom engine, set it down in a world that's medieval in nature, and here's the result. It plays very much like Doom for obvious reasons, but that's not a bad thing. Good controls, decent midi tunes, a new cast of monsters and bosses to take down (as well as new weapons to do it with), fun levels... it's a clone, but it's a good clone. Borderline YES.

Shining Soul (GBA)- I meant to take this off of my list before hitting "submit", but forgot to. It's not a bad game, it's just that it's not as polished as it could have been. The sequel did things much better, and fixed some of the issues with this game. Again, an entertaining game, and one I'd recommend. But it's just not a must have. NO.

Guilty Gear (PS1)- Very nice graphics, a good metal soundtrack, smooth controls, and a tough challenge make this game a solid fighter. It plays like a mix of Street Fighter and Samurai Shodown. The backgrounds are a bit of a let down due to the little amount of animation in them, there really aren't too many options for a home fighter, and the bosses are excessively cheap, but the pros outweigh the cons on this one by just enough. Borderline YES.

Nuclear Strike (PS1)- By this time, the "strike" series had just about run its course. But instead of whimpering across the finish line like a fat man running a mile, it ended on a good note. It uses much the same visual style as Soviet Strike before it, only now it varies up the levels more, gives the game an additional graphical and aural tweak, and throws in a lot of new vehicles to use. It's "more of the same" to some folks, but considering how good the first four games were, I don't believe that's an issue. Borderline YES.

Astal (Saturn)- Back when the Saturn first came out, this game was virtually ignored. Why? Beats me, because it's a true definition of a "hidden gem". Absolutely gorgeous hand drawn graphics, nice music, simple gameplay, cool bosses, fun levels... this game is a lot of fun. It's short though, which is a bummer, and the controls are a little floaty, but neither cancels out how enjoyable this game is. YES.

Prince of Persia (PC)- Ah, the game that started the franchise. The controls take some getting use to as far as momentum is concerned (a likely result of the smooth rotoscoped animation), but once you come to grips with it, you'll fine a long, challenging game that mixes up puzzles, traps, sword fights and brain twisting layouts. This game is considered a classic for a reason, and not just because it's old. It's a tough game to beat in the alloted time (you get one hour), but it's a great experience from start to finish. YES.

Quake (PC)- id first set the FPS world afire with Doom. Then they gave it a new face with this game. The graphics were great for the time (especially GL Quake), and Trent Reznor's great soundtrack fit the dark and ominous world perfectly. The controls were kept simple, and worked fine with the new hazards (like water). The enemies were freakish and cool to go with the story (which was a mix of alien and demonic mythos). Sure, the animation was a bit rough considering the enemies were made up of polygons, but...

Anyway, a YES.

Mega Man Zero (GBA)- At last, Zero got to step out from MegaMan's shadow. The end result, was still very much a MegaMan game, but with a new lead, and a new crisis. A decent story unfolds as you go through the game's colorful and well drawn world, and fight through the rather good challenge the enemies put forth. The music's nice, and overall, it's a good entry into the (by now) long in the tooth MegaMan and "X" series. YES.

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Donkey Kong 64

haha hell NO

This game... so many things are wrong with it... the music doesn't holds a candle to previous games, the graphics were nice but lacked that charm from donkey kong country, the gameplay was horribly boring, the characters were unlikeable... and the motherf**** dk rap... goddamn! Avoid this like the plague. People would be much better off playing banjo kazooie, which is exactly the same game minus the retardedness and with more humor.

Prince of Persia YES

I'm not giving this game a YES because it's an old game or a first in its nature or anything, but because this game is STILL good. You can pick it up now and the animations look as fluid and well crafted as so many years ago, the puzzles are as fun, difficult and deceiving as so many years ago as well. The controls might be the only thing I can say that isn't as good as it should be, but it just takes some used to. This is one of those games that just won't age. Pick it up now.

Mega Man Zero - YES

The best choice capcom did was to go along with this idea of the zero series. The challenge was great, and didn't felt artificial like in MMX6, graphics were outstanding, the story was original and fresh, the sound was just great and well, it's just a great game action platformer. I'd say every megaman zero is a must-have, they just rock and bring back that feeling that 2D action games had in the past.

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So many games, and i can only comment on one? Boy, do i feel like a wannabe. :P

Guilty Gear: Borderline no

Let's see, great characters, rockin' tunes, and some sweet graphics.

I just think the game misses that little piece of flair to be called "must-have". It just missed a certain aspect that would elevate this game above any ordinary fighting game on the PS1. It felt just a bit too mediocre...No matter how cool the characters are....

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Didn't play any of the games enough in Round 10 to feel like I could give a good review, but at least one in Round 11...

***Round 11***

Mega Man Zero

"Hell yeah." That's what I thought when I first heard about this game. And what I said when I played it. And when I beat it. And when I played it again. To put it another way, this game did not disappoint. Tight controls, fast action, great story, good graphics, fluid animation...this game had the full package.

YES

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Age of Mythology: Yes

Age of Mythology is easily one of the most enjoyable RTSs avialable. The graphics are great even compared to most of todays RTSs. The sound and music are superb. The gameplay is also very rock solid. It has everything the Age of Empires games have to offer and plus more. The whole building wonders, gathering food, and building walls are there plus you got the whole God worshipping system which adds a lot to the gameplay. Depending on which Gods you decide to worship, your upgrades change, the myth units you can train change, and most importantly, your God powers change. There nothing quite like watching a Meteor Shower raining down on your enemy's base. Great RTS and PC game overall.

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Paper Mario - NO

A controversial decision, probably, but everything in Paper Mario is trumped by its sequel, which I would consider a must-have. The writing, graphics, battle system, and sound are all decent, but none are memorable. Thousand Year Door takes everything here and improves upon it markedly, rendering owning this game redundant.

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Descent -- YES

The Descent series really needs a fourth entry with modern graphics engines. In any case, you haven't experienced a "3-d shooter" until you've tried to play this game. Also note that the 360 controller has exactly enough buttons to fly the ship without (absolutely) needing the keyboard. Hooray for tunnel spinning!

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