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sephfire

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

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Chrono Cross - YES

A lot of people hate on this game for some reason. Probably because it's the sequel to Chrono Trigger and they were expecting the greatest game of all time as a sequel. Chrono Cross may not be the best game of all time, but it's pretty damn good. And unlike most RPGs, it's actually quite replayable. Add to that the storyline, the awesome graphics for its time, and like sephfire said, one of the greatest soundtracks ever, and you've got a winner.

Doom II - YES

While some will argue that Doom 1 and 2 are too similar to make a distinction, I will have to disagree. Doom 2 had MUCH more atmosphere to it. From the depths of hell to the gritty portrayal of post demon invasion earth, it just has more detail to it than its predecessor. Plus some of the greatest level designs in gaming history. Definitely a must have.

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Hey, a round that I can vote on almost everything!

****** Round Sixteen: ******

Star Fox 64 -- YES Definitely the most popular rail-shooter around, and for good reason. It's an incredible game, and is so iconic of the 64 that it doesn't make sense to own one without the other.

Chrono Cross -- YES So, this soundtrack gets my vote for the best sequenced soundtrack of all time. I got my liner notes signed at the PLAY! premiere...but I digress. The game is a worthy sequel to one of the greatest games ever developed, and has an innovative approach to magic that I like.

Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword -- YES I really, really like Civ IV -- it added so much and was able to remain simple enough that I could teach my fiancee to play in 20 minutes. This expansion pack gives us three notable things: Spying, more types of diplomacy, and Jill's voice. Seems like a winning combo to me! :smile:

Doom II: Hell on Earth -- YES The double-barreled shotgun is the best weapons addition to any FPS ever created. I could make sweet love to this gun as I'm smashing pumpkins into... Also, the music is improved, the pacing feels better than in Doom 1, and there's a tribute to Wolfenstein 3-d in there. If you haven't played through this, go get a copy of Doomsday and roll through it in 3d. You need to play this one if you're a PC gamer.

Jazz Jackrabbit-- YES The PC's response to Mario and (especially) Sonic the Hedgehog. Jazz is one of my favorite gaming characters...it's too bad he never made the transition to 3d. For the time though, some of the best graphics out there -- did this come before Sonic CD? If so, Sega totally stole the bonus level from JJ.

Mega Man Battle Network -- NO This one's okay, but the 2nd entry ironed out all of the problems.

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***Round 16***

Starfox 64

Having played this game again recently (thanks again, Virtual Console! :-P), it reminds me just how poor the dialogue was. But really, that's just an aside because of how great the actual game is. Single player was a great experience, and even though it's no Goldeneye it still had good multiplayer. Usually regarded as the top in the series, there's good reason why (though I still really liked Starfox Assault).

YES

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Star Fox 64 (N64)- Take Star Fox, gussy it up a bit with a higher polygon count, add some free roaming areas to fight in, implement a setup where accomplishing or missing various tasks decides your route, throw is the Landmaster tank and a soundtrack that's not quite as good as the SNES game's, and you've got this sequel. It's a fine game that offers some split screen multiplayer fun, as well as an entertaining single player game. The downsides are the music (which really could have been better), and the lack of a higher color setting (it looks sub-16bit color, which hurts the game visually). But if you can get past those areas, it's a fun game. Borderline YES.

Sega Ages (Saturn)- Remember the Sega arcade classics OutRun, AfterBurner II and Space Harrier? Wanna play some basically arcade perfect versions of them? Here ya go. All three games are here and they run spectacularly. I say "basically arcade perfect" because I'm sure nit pickers will find some pixel out of place or some other minor difference, but for all intents and purposes, these three games came to the Saturn in perfect form. Hell, there's even a 60fps mode of OutRun, which is twice the fps of the arcade original. If you own a Saturn, and loved these games back in the day, then this is a game to get. If you didn't love them, then something's wrong with you. YES.

Doom II: Hell on Earth (PC)- Take Doom and it's great (for the time) graphics engine, create 30 entirely new levels set on Earth, throw in a slew of new monsters, keep the same great multiplayer that made Doom so popular, and what you end up with is a sequel that matches the original in nearly every way. I say "nearly" because I preferred the first game's soundtrack, but the music for this game is quite good as well. Basically, if you liked Doom and the challenge it offered, you will like this fine sequel to the FPS defining game. YES.

Shadow Warrior (PC)- "WHOOOOOOOOO want-a some Wang?" I figured I was in for an odd game when I first heard that opening line. This game uses the Build engine (Duke Nukem 3D, Blood), but it tweaks it a bit to allow room over room levels. The graphics are good (though a bit dated even for its time), the music is quite nice, the tongue-in-cheek humor is everywhere, there's a wide variety of enemies (including one that comes back as a ghost after you kill it), the levels vary quite a bit (and are pretty big), and the weapons are fun to play with. It's not the defining moment is FPS history for its era, but it is a game proves to be a fine entry into the genre. Borderline YES.

Astro Boy: Omega Factor (GBA)- A mix of shmup and Gunstar Heroes-like platforming action, this game outshines it's PS2 big brother in basically every area. Graphics, music, gameplay, level design (for the most part)... it all shines in this great old school-influenced title. You can also tweak your character as you go, allowing you to play the game as you see fit. It's not a perfect game, as there are bouts of slow down, and a few levels are a bit odd. But in the end, it's a GBA game that's worth getting. YES.

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Just a quick question to Seph:

In terms of judging the first game in a series, should we take the quality or improvement of the sequels into account when voting on it?

Take for example Megaman Battle Network as mentioned before, where the sequel (s) seem to outshine and improve the original, even though it was very good in itself. Where exactly do we draw the line in terms of voting on the original in a series as a must-have game, especially where in some cases the original version is needed to understand the storyline of the sequels? It wouldn't make sense to only allow the sequel to be deemed a must-have, if you can't understand it without the original. Just a thought anyway.

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Dusky, we've got to counter that with the fact that some "first" games lack the refinements that make the sequels must-haves.

And it's ultimately personal opinion anyway -- I just didn't enjoy the first MMBN game in the way that I enjoyed 2 and 3.

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Just a quick question to Seph:

In terms of judging the first game in a series, should we take the quality or improvement of the sequels into account when voting on it?

Take for example Megaman Battle Network as mentioned before, where the sequel (s) seem to outshine and improve the original, even though it was very good in itself. Where exactly do we draw the line in terms of voting on the original in a series as a must-have game, especially where in some cases the original version is needed to understand the storyline of the sequels? It wouldn't make sense to only allow the sequel to be deemed a must-have, if you can't understand it without the original. Just a thought anyway.

We never made any solid rules on this one. I think the basic idea is to try and judge each game on its own merit as much as possible. For example, don't vote no on Chrono Cross because you think Chrono Trigger was better. Of course, sometimes the earliest games in a franchise just don't get the formula right until the second or third installment.

Basically, try to judge a game on its own merit when possible, but don't just YES it because it led to better games years later.

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Three at once. Crazy, yes? Weirder still is that I've played only one of these thirty games. I am ashamed.

****** Round Seventeen: ******

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

Console: N64

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: HAL Labs

Release: Jun 26, 2000

Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Namco

Developer: Namco

Release: Mar 2, 2000

Gran Turismo

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: Polyphony Digital

Release: Apr 30, 1998

Galactic Attack

Console: Saturn

Publisher: Acclaim

Developer: Acclaim

Release: 1995

Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings

Console: PC

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Developer: Ensemble Studios

Release: Sept 30, 1999

Command & Conquer Red Alert

Console: PC

Publisher: Westwood Studios

Developer: Westwood Studios

Release: Oct 31, 1996

Crystal Caves

Console: PC

Publisher: Apogee Software, Ltd

Developer: Apogee Software, Ltd

Release: Oct 23, 1991

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II

Console: PC

Publisher: LucasArts

Developer: LucasArts

Release: Sept 30, 1997

Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Intelligent Systems

Release: Jun 24, 2003

Mega Man Zero 2

Console: GBA

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Inti

Release: Oct 14, 2003

****** Round Eighteen: ******

F-Zero X

Console: N64

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Release: Sept 30, 1998

Colony Wars: Vengeance

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Psygnosis

Developer: Psygnosis

Release: Oct 31, 1998

Mega Man X5

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Release: Feb 1, 2001

Panzer Dragoon II Zwei

Console: Saturn

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Team Andromeda

Release: 1996

Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time

Console: PC

Publisher: Sanctuary Woods

Developer: Presto Studios

Release: May 31, 1995

Rise of Nations

Console: PC

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Developer: Big Huge Games

Release: May 20, 2003

Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon

Console: PC

Publisher: Sierra Entertainment

Developer: Sierra Entertainment

Release: Mar 22, 1989

Streets of SimCity

Console: PC

Publisher: Maxis

Developer: Maxis

Release: Oct 31, 1997

Tron 2.0

Console: PC

Publisher: Buena Vista Interactive

Developer: Monolith

Release: Aug 26, 2003

Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Flagship

Release: Jan 10, 2005

****** Round Nineteen: ******

Star Wars Episode I: Racer

Console: N64

Publisher: LucasArts

Developer: LucasArts

Release: May 19, 1999

Fear Effect

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Eidos Interactive

Developer: Kronos Digital Entertainment

Release: Jan 31, 2000

Rival Schools

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Release: Sept 30, 1998

X-Men vs Street Fighter *

Console: Saturn

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Release: Nov 27, 1997 (JP)

Sid Meier’s Covert Action

Console: PC

Publisher: MicroProse

Developer: Atari

Release: 1990

Tyrian

Console: PC

Publisher: Safari Software

Developer: Epic Games

Release: 1995

Warlords Battlecry

Console: PC

Publisher: SSI

Developer: Strategic Studios

Release: July 9, 2000

ZZT

Console: PC

Publisher: Epic Games

Developer: Epic Games

Release: Oct 1991

Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Game Freak

Release: Oct 14, 2000

Metal Slug Advance

Console: GBA

Publisher: SNK

Developer: SNK Playmore

Release: Dec 2, 2004

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

My vote:

Star Wars Episode I: Racer -- YES

Who'd have thought that film could give us such a great video game? The tracks were great, the pod upgrading campaign was great and the racing was great. This is one of those games that you see on the shelf and think "no way is that fun" when in actual fact it totally is.

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Ok, I'm glad we got all that cleared up, and just in time for some sequels as well :razz:

Advance Wars 2 - Black Hole Rising

YES

Great game that is very similar to the first one, but with few improvements hear and there. New characters, new units and the introduction of the Super Power all make this game a must-have addition to the series. Not too much more to be said.

Megaman Zero 2

YES

Again, another handheld much like its predecessor, but with improvements and upgrades hear and there. Very similar situation to the first vote, so not much more for me to add.

Zelda- Minish Cap

YES

This is a solid Zelda game with much handheld brilliance. Great environments, items, story and everything else you'd expect from a game with the Zelda title. I'll leave the rest for others to elaborate.

Kirby 64

YES

Good to see kirby finally in 3D with this installment for the 64. It's got a lot of the qualities of the 2D games, but with a few innovations hear and there that the 3 Dimensional world provides. Good to see they brought back the idea of the power combinations which adds more fun to this game (i think this idea was from one of the originals).

Pokemon - Various colours

YES

Uhh, name me one handheld Pokemon game that wasn't a must-have when we were younger.

Metal Slug Advance

NO

Yea, it was alright, but Metal Slug Advance never really appealed to me that much. It was a nice Side Scrolling Shooter, but I don't see any outstanding qualities that make this a must-have. I dunno, I'm open to any suggestions that say otherwise for any avid MS fans out there.

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****** Round Seventeen: ******

Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Flagship

Release: Jan 10, 2005

YES, Incredibly well done Zelda game. Capturing what made A Link to the Past so good but updating both the system and visual style this is a keeper.

Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal

Console: GBA

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Game Freak

Release: Oct 14, 2000

YES, One of the most engaging handheld games ever. This title defined handheld multiplayer with battling AND trading. And it's 50+ hours for any gamer wanting to explore it all. Go get this, NOW!

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

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Gran Turismo: No

Gran Turismo is good game but I personally didn't find it fun at all. It tried to much to replicate real-life racing, which resulted in some weird mechanics and physics. The sense of speed was also completely absent. You never felt you where going fast. Yes this game can be real fun for people really into simulations but thats it. If you don't like simulations, you aren't going to find much to enjoy. Basically I'm noing the game because I believe it applies to a very specific audience. You either love it or hate it.

Age of Empires II : Yes

Many people thing AOE II is the pinnacle of the series and for good reason. This game took everything from the first that was good and made it tons better. The graphics, sound, gameplay, and single player campaign where all very solid. This game was a very well made RTS and very fun to play multiplayer. I really liked their match set-up system, where they matched you up according to your skill level. This was a first for on-line RTSs and it really helped me out, seeing as I'm not the best RTS player out there. Great game that I'm sure any RTS fan can enjoy.

F-Zero X: Yes

Yes F-Zero GX is much better, but F-Zero X is a very good game in its own right and one of the best racers avialable for the N64. This game was also just a blast to play multiplayer. The sense of speed was definately there. You always felt like you where about lose control of the vehicle. The graphics and sound where also really good for the time. Single player wasn't all that great but it was still pretty fun. F-Zero X is just plain and simpley a fun game that I think anybody should give a shot.

Rise of Nations: Yes

Rise of Nations is one of the more underrated games avialable in my opinion. A lot of people don't give it a chance because they either think its to similar to AOE or because the graphics are still for the most part 2D. However the truth is that this game is one of the most unique RTSs ever created, one of the most balanced, and one of the most fun to play. This game is very unique because it introduced a lot of Turn-based strategies into the RTS formula and it did it well. The games main focus is on capturing territory which is not seen much in RTSs. The game is also very militaristic but also very strategic as well. Rise of Nations is also a huge game in sheer scope. There are 18 different civilizations that you can play through 8 different ages of history. It is literally like playing the History Channel. You get to see how different each period of time is and how each civilization evolves. The maps are also quite big and the battles can get very very big. The campaign, while not story driven, is very fun and will last a good while seeing as your object is to conquer the world. Basically if you like RTSs there is no reason why should not give the game a shot. I also encourage people who don't really like RTSs to play it becuase there is just a lot of fun to had with this game.

Zelda The Minish Cap: Yes

I personally prefered Minish Cap over the GBA version of LttP. The story was good, the graphics are some of the best seen on GBA, the sound is great and better than LttP in my opinion, and the gameplay is great. It plays amost exactly like LttP but with a few extra cool mechanics like being able to split into four. There are also quite a few unique items in the game makes the feel very fresh. If you enjoy handheld Zelda titles and own a GBA, you should really pick up Minish Cap.

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Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards - Borderline YES

I'm gonna yes this because it's classic kirby gameplay and the system implemented here is really really enjoyable. Mixing powers to obtain new powers, and said powers are very cool. The soundtrack is pretty weak but the graphics are solid, it looks like kirby only in 3d.

Gran Turismo - NO

This game was the thing back then, but I never really liked it. The physics were wacky, the game was repetitive as hell and the graphics were inconsistent (Dancing polygons!). I do love GT3 because it surpasses this game in every way and it's actually a lot of fun. This one is a borefest to me.

Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings - YES

There's almost no reason to justify this game. It's a REALLY solid game, groundbreaking in all aspects, and fun as hell. Several factions, each with its own advantages/disadvantages, awesome graphics that still look nice, and a feel that no other rts has achieved (not even further sequels of this game). Go Teutons!

Mega Man Zero 2 - YES

My favorite of the series. MMZ2 boasts excellent graphics, fun gameplay, a solid upgrade system, EXCELLENT soundtrack and also a good story, not to mention the high level of challenge that this series offer. MMZ games have been the best thing that capcom has done to the franchise after MMX4, and this one is no exception

Mega Man X5 - NO

Hell no. Although not as bad as X6, This game was the start of the decline in MMX games. The level design are some of the worst I've ever seen, and all uninspired, and so are the mavericks. The music isn't as memorable as in other MMX titles, and the graphcis are.. more of the same. 0 innovation and recycled sprites. Megaman purists and fanboys will defend this game to death, but for any other player who isn't crazy about this franchise will not even be interested in beating this.

Rise of Nations - NO

I love this game. Why am I giving it a no? because although I love it I can't deny it's broken. The mechanics of this game are a simple race to the highes tech level and nothing else. There are SO many upgrades to be done that it will turn off the majority of people. The units are replaced in a matter of minutes and they quickly become obsolete, as well as buildings and such. I still like this game a lot because I like the "race to the finish" feeling of it, but I know this isn't for most people.

Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap - YES

One of the most beautiful games in any handheld, an awesome soundtrack, classic and solid zelda gameplay, new and innovative items, a great story and a zelda game that actually feels a lot like a link to the past. What's not to love about this game? Go play it now.

Star Wars Episode I: Racer - NO

Wipeout clone that fails. Soundtrack is as good as in any other star wars game, but the game as a whole isn't as fun or as tight as wipeout, or even f-zero. It's not a terrible game, but must have? no.

Sid Meier’s Covert Action - YES

I know I will be the only one yes'ing this, as I doubt anybody around here has played it, but still, I want people to be aware of the AWESOMENESS that this game represents.

As any game with the Sid Meier's name slapped onto it, this game is solid and pretty unconventional. It mixes action, puzzles and investigation together in a solid package, and boast more gameplay than most games of this age.

In this game you play the role of a CIA agent that is given the task to investigate an ongoing operation by a terrorist group (Real terrorist groups of the time like the ETA, the Medellin cartel and a ton of others). To do so you are given a few clues and then you're set off. From there on, how you stop the operation from being completed it's up to you.

You might go visit a known hideout of a terrorist group involved with the operation (or related with the group involved with the operation) and tap the phone lines, or wait till you see someone suspicious come out and follow him/her, or put a transmitter on his car, or you can actually break in (this is the action part of the game) and looks for clues inside of the hideout. search archives, take pictures of evidence, hack computers and search (you actually type words and search) for information on any topic, place bugs, and lots of other things.

Sometimes you find pieces of information that are coded, and you can go decrypt them in the CIA base of operations. Most of the actions like wiretapping, decrypting, or chasing suspects involve some sort of puzzle minigame, and they are all fun and challenging.

This is a game where you need to use your logic to predict the terrorist's moves based on the evidence you find and stop them. You can capture key members of the operation during break-ins and depending on how much information you have on them, you can either send them to jail or turn them into a double agent that will give you information on the operation.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on this game. every single mission are part of a BIG scheme, and all the missions are GENERATED. Yes, there are no set missions and no mission is the same. The game ends when you capture all the masterminds of the organizations, but there are so many that it will take you a lot of time to do it.

As i said, I only touched the tip of the iceberg on the complexity and variety that this game offers. I was surprised that a game from that time could do so MUCH. The only bad thing I can say about this game is that the controls are wonky in the action sections, and that the game has a slight learning curve (mostly if you don't have the manual that explains how everything is done). Also the graphics are VGA but around NES quality (a bit better though). Other than that, this is a truly underrated game that is HUGE on gameplay. As i said, not many modern games pack so much stuff to do and so many options. GO PLAY THIS, GO PLAY THIS NOW.

Again, GO PLAY THIS NOW.

Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal - YES

Pokemon, despite all hate and kids dressing as pikachu, is actually a pretty deep rpg that is big on gameplay, although a bit small in story and scope. The Gold/silver/Crystal series were the ones I played the most and the best ones IMHO. Everybody who doesn't lives in a cave knows what pokemon is, but if you're one of those hard to find humans that feed off of cave shrooms and never see the sunlight, give these games a try.

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****** Round Seventeen: ******

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards -- NO I really liked Kirby 64, and the combining of powers was extremely cool. However, I can't bring myself to say that everyone must have it -- either you'll love it, or you will despise it (much like Dreamland 3, actually).

Command & Conquer Red Alert -- YES This game is awesome -- first of all, Tesla Coils are the coolest thing ever. Second, the cutscenes here are what has grown to become the defining characteristic of C&C. This was the game to play at LAN parties when I was in 6th grade :P

****** Round Eighteen: ******

Mega Man X5 -- NO This game is basically MMX4 revamped. I realize that that's a cliche statement when talking about Megaman games, but I really mean it for this installment. Being able to switch between Zero and X would have been a sweet feature if the game didn't require you to gimp one or the other at the beginning of the game. Also, if you hate Zero, you can skip all 8 of the original bosses and jump straight to the end....stupid.

Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap -- NO This is the only (non CD-i) Zelda game that I don't like. I played through it as far as the final dungeon, but didn't get around to finishing it. In any case, what I really like about most of the Zelda games is a deep rewarding replay experience. I didn't find that here, and as a result the game consistently felt like "thank god I'm done with that."

****** Round Nineteen: ******

Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal -- YES I actually prefer this installment to Ruby / Sapphire. Time-based gameplay (why wasn't that in the GBA generation, anyway?) and 100 new Pokemon in addition to the ability to revisit the original game was an awesome idea.

Oh, and in addition, if it hasn't been nominated yet, I really want to add Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast to the PC list.

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Once all the rouns are over (and we've still got a little ways to go), voting will stay open for about a week or so. I'll start moving games from the NEED MORE VOTES section to the NO section during this time, starting with all the 0-1 games on that list.

So voting will be open for a while. You got time.

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Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere (PS1)- You know, as much as I enjoyed this game, I can't help but feel a little gypped. In Japan, AC3 had a rather in-depth story to tell... so much so that it came on two discs. But when it was brought to the US, that story got chopped all to hell. It was dumbed down, and the cinemas telling it were all removed. The gameplay is still there though. The Very good graphics, the multitude of planes and missions, responsive controls, decent tunes... that's still the same. But knowing that the tale to be told was basically left behind hurts the game. Even so, it's still a game that any PS1 owner would enjoy. Borderline YES.

Gran Turismo (PS1)- You know, this game was big shit when it first came out. Lots of cars, a good amount of tracks, a licensed soundtrack with some decent tunes here and there, good graphics for it's time, and all that. But it had a number of problems. Inconstant polygons, some odd physics, a really cheap AI system that heavily favored the CPU cars should contact be made, CPU cars that rarely ever spun out like you did (even if you rammed them)... it was just irritating to play after a while. Too many choices made to fuck the player over at every turn... literally. NO.

Galactic Attack (Saturn)- With this vertical shmup, you get great graphics (for the time), good tunes, a great challenge that ramps up at a nice steady pace, loads of effects that give the game more visual depth than your typical vertical shmup, responsive controls, a simple but addictive scoring system, and even the ability to play the game in TATE mode (you'd have to rotate your TV 90º counter clock-wise so it's screen is taller than it is wide). It's an early Saturn shmup, but it's a quality port of a very good Taito arcade game. YES.

Mega Man Zero 2 (GBA)- As has been said... good music, nice story, great challenge. etc. It surpasses the already well done first game on basically all levels, and should be at least tried out by anyone who's still hanging on to their GBA. YES.

Colony Wars: Vengeance (PS1)- Where the first game began, this sequel picks up. Once again, a good story underlies the action, the graphics have been considerably improved over their already good quality, the missions are a bit more varied, there's a much better sense of speed, more weapon and ship choices, better AI, and the music was nice. The game's also harder, so you've got a good challenge before you if you choose to take it.

In the end, a great 3D space sim that anyone even remotely fond of the genre should play. YES.

Mega Man X5 (PS1)- As others have said... take MMX4, remix it a bit, and you've got MMX5. Of course, considering how good MMX4 was, that's not entirely a bad thing. As such, it has good graphics and decent tunes, but the levels aren't as good as they could have been due to recycling a good percentage of the previous game. Still, it's not nearly as bad as MMX7, and it retains enough of what made MMX4 great to make it a Borderline YES.

Panzer Dragoon II Zwei (Saturn)- The first game was big hit. As a result, the sequel had a lot to live up to... and live up it did. Better graphics, branching paths, a dragon that evolves based on your performance, new weapons, a deeper story, and an overall polish that helps this game surpass the original in every way but one... musically. The first game had an astoundingly good musical score. And while this sequel sports a good soundtrack, it's not quite an epic as the first game's. Otherwise, PDIIZ is a game every Saturn owner should have. YES.

X-Men vs Street Fighter (import Saturn)- The game that started the franchise. As its name implies, you get various X-Men characters to fight against various Street Fighter characters. The graphics are quite good, the gameplay is chaotic, you can switch between two characters at any time (a staple of the "vs" series), the music is good, and there's all kinds of flashy effects as you fight. The controls are also spot on, and the roster, while not massive, is respectable. They even managed to get the voice actors who played characters like Rogue and Wolverine to do the voices of their respective characters in the game. The Saturn port, like Vampire Savior and Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter, is virtually arcade perfect. The load times are basically gone, and all the animation is intact. Yet another high quality port of a very good fighter from Capcom. YES.

Tyrian (PC)- A vertical shmup with a serious amount of levels, nice graphics (for the time), good music, lots of upgrades to be gotten, a good challenge level, and some fun hidden goodies. It's also free now in the form of Tyrian 2000, so there's no reason for people to at least not give this fun game a try. YES.

Metal Slug Advance (GBA)- The Metal Slug series has been around for over a decade now. It's garnered a lot of attention and respect as a franchise for its graphical impressiveness, and for it's brutally tough gameplay. It should be noted though, that last part has also been used as a complaint about the series. Well, here's the answer. MSA looks like an MS game, sounds like an MS game, and even plays like one. But there's a significant difference... a life bar. Yes, now you can take four hits before your character bites the bullet (literally). This makes the game easier for those who aren't accustomed to the series one-hit kills. There's also hidden goodies around in the form of cards that can offer various extras for when you're playing. This is a first for the series, and give the GBA incarnation a bit of extra replayability as you try to find them all.

It may not be in the league of Metal Slug 3, but the GBA game is a fine introduction to this stand out series. It's full of MS goodness, but it's also a bit easier for the new folks to digest. YES.

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some new nominations:

PlayStation

Metal Gear Solid

Resident Evil

Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 3

Twisted Metal 2

PC

Grand Theft Auto 2

Grand Theft Auto 3

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Half-Life 2

Neverwinter Nights 2

Portal

Warcraft III

...unless these have already been nominated. the nomination list on the first page is gone :(

ok now for my votes

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II - YES

Come on, a well done Star Wars FPS with lightsabres and force powers and cheesey FMV sequences with horrible acting that allows you to choose between the light side and the dark side... What's not to love?

Rise of Nations - YES

Someone else will probably shoot this down, but oh well. I personally enjoyed the hell out of it. It's like a real time version of Sid Meier's Civilization. You can go from cavemen to nuclear weaponry over the course of one game and own the ever loving shit out of people. Or cause nuclear winter. Whichever comes first.

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***** Round Twenty: *****

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Console: N64

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Release: Nov 23, 1998

Final Fantasy Anthology

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SquareSoft

Developer: SquareSoft

Release: Sept 30, 1999

Resident Evil

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Release: Mar 30, 1996

Salamander Deluxe Pack Plus *

Console: Saturn

Publisher: Konami

Developer: Konami

Release: June 19, 1997 (JP)

Commander Keen III: Keen Must Die

Console: PC

Publisher: Apogee Software, Ltd.

Developer: id Software

Release: 1991

Diablo II

Console: PC

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment

Developer: Blizzard North

Release: June 29, 2000

Grand Theft Auto III

Console: PC

Publisher: Rockstar Games

Developer: DMA Design

Release: May 20, 2002

Super Solvers: Gizmos & Gadgets!

Console: PC

Publisher: The Learning Company

Developer: The Learning Company

Release: 1993

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

Console: GBA

Publisher: Konami

Developer: KCEK

Release: June 10, 2001

Gradius Galaxies

Console: GBA

Publisher: Konami

Developer: Mobile 21

Release: Nov 12, 2001

***** Round Twenty-One: *****

Mischief Makers

Console: N64

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Treasure

Release: Oct 1, 1997

Mega Man Legends

Console: Playstation

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Release: Aug 31, 1998

Crash Team Racing

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: Naughty Dog

Release: Sept 30, 1999

Shining the Holy Ark

Console: Saturn

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Sega

Release: June 30, 1997

Team Fortress Classic

Console: PC

Publisher: Sierra Entertainment

Developer: Sierra Entertainment

Release: 1999

Quake II

Console: PC

Publisher: Activision

Developer: id Software

Release: Nov 30, 1997

Riven: The Sequel to Myst

Console: PC

Publisher: Red Orb Entertainment

Developer: Cyan Worlds

Release: 1998

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

Console: PC

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

Release: July 3, 2002

Worms Armageddon

Console: PC

Publisher: Atari

Developer: Team 17

Release: May 31, 1999

Sonic Advance 2

Console: GBA

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Dimps Corporation

Release: Mar 9, 2003

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

My votes:

Deus Ex -- YES

Just picked up an old copy of this after hearing so much praise for it. It may be dated now, but I can definitely see how amazing it must have been when it was released. And the storytelling and gritty world still hold up nicely.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time -- YES

I shouldn't have to argue for this. I'll do it if you insist, but I seriously doubt I need to explain this decision.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos -- YES

The greatest entry in the series yet. The new races throw in all kinds of interesting gameplay variety. It's hard to find much wrong with this game. Warcraft is one of those franchises that just gets better with every new entry, so I can only imagine how awesome Warcraft 4 might be one day.

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Hmm we got some serious contenders this time.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - YES

Without a shadow of a doubt.

Resident Evil - YES

While Resident Evil wasn't necessarily the originator of the survival horror genre, it definitely moved it into mainstream. Plus it was actually a pretty damn good game.

Diablo II - YES

Aww hell yeah. People still play this game religiously. Not much else you can say really, other than it's also one of the most addicting games of all time.

Grand Theft Auto III - YES

While Vice City and especially San Andreas blow GTA3 out of the water, GTA3 is still the originator of the 3D freeroam mass murder carjacker genre. Plus it had a decent storyline, and excellent voice acting.

Team Fortress Classic - abstain

I personally enjoyed the everloving shit out of TFC. However, I'm not sure it's really a must-have game. Especially since it's a mod for a game that's already surely bound to be must-have.

Quake II - YES

Quake 2 took everything that was great about Quake 1 and expanded on it. Better graphics, better storyline, better multiplayer, better everything. Plus again, one of the greatest mod communities EVER.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos - YES

Warcraft III and the Frozen Throne expansion are pretty much tied with Starcraft for the greatest RTS ever. The RPG hero elements in Warcraft III are pretty tight as well. I love the hell out of this game, and it has possibly the best singleplayer campaign of any RTS ever. My only complaint is the lack of scale-- your armies are more like squads, rather than the enormous hordes from Warcraft 2. But otherwise, WC3 is godly.

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Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Console: N64

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Release: Nov 23, 1998

YES - Really. Come on people!

Final Fantasy Anthology

Console: Playstation

Publisher: SquareSoft

Developer: SquareSoft

Release: Sept 30, 1999

YES - I'm going to YES this because it's probably the easiest legal way to get two great games. FFVI is still the greatest FF imho and FFV is a gem. They've aged very well :)

Diablo II

Console: PC

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment

Developer: Blizzard North

Release: June 29, 2000

YES - Still the best Hack'n'Slash game online. Also it has a wicked story. Damn Blizzard, always doin' quality games!

Anyway, sill alive and kicking and doing it well.

***** Round Twenty-One: *****

Worms Armageddon

Console: PC

Publisher: Atari

Developer: Team 17

Release: May 31, 1999

YES - The best Worms game IMHO. Loads of customization, massive ammounts of missions and levels and a kick-ass online AND OFFLINE multiplayer game. Did I mention it's super-cheap too?

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

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Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - YES

Did we really had to ask?

Commander Keen III: Keen Must Die - NO

The game that ends the "trilogy". But I'm gonna NO it. It's basically commander keen 1 or 2 with slightly better graphics and slightly more annoying too. 0 Innovation whatsoever, and the only reason to play this is if you beat the other two before.

Diablo II - YES

Please. People are still trying to get close to this game's awesomeness, and are failing miserably.

Grand Theft Auto III - YES

There are lot of GTA haters out there, but none of them can't deny this game's qualities. The ability to go where you want and do what you want, the story, the humor, the gameplay, the graphics, they were all handled with such a scope that was never seen before. A truly open world that is inviting you to do as you please, with practically no restrictions. GTA 3 was an industry-changer game, and it's still a great game to play.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos - YES

Wonderful story, great characters, stunning graphics, excellent sound and balanced gameplay. What else can we ask from a game?. This game tackled the old and tired RTS genre with a new point of view, a mix of RPG and RTS, and it worked. Absolutely must-have.

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Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time -- YES No discussion needed, like seph said.

Final Fantasy Anthology -- NO This is the worst official translation of all time. If this is how you experienced FFV, then I know why you hate it -- please get the GBA version instead. Very bad load times also hurt this one...

Diablo II -- YES I played this up until I got into the Mythos beta. This game is so damn good that it's unbelieveable. No further discussion unless it becomes warranted.

Super Solvers: Gizmos & Gadgets! -- YES This is probably the best of the Super Solvers! series of games, and every PC gamer should play one of them -- it might as well be this as any, even though I'd vote yes for the whole package.

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon -- YES My only complaint is that this game was just too dark -- fixed later with the SP / DS. Hooray for a Castlevania on the GBA, a very good beginning to an excellent trilogy.

Gradius Galaxies -- NO I'm a huge Gradius fan, as evidenced by the fact that I nominated the import title for PSX. However, I couldn't get into this one. Dunno why, but it lacks some level of intensity for me, and I can't get into the "flow" of a good shmup playing this.

***** Round Twenty-One: *****

Team Fortress Classic -- YES I think this is better than CounterStrike -- there's nothing like running around as a spy destroying other people.

Quake II -- YES This game is like giving an average FPS a shot of crack. It's _almost_ too fast. But not quite, and the game is awesome because it's the only game paced like this out there.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos -- YES I still prefer Starcraft (I dislike the unit cap here), but the campaign mode on this one was absolutely incredible. Similarly, the ability to make custom maps is crazy good (has anyone here played Element TD)?

Worms Armageddon -- YES Armageddon wins over World Party because of the updates for high resolution etc. Anyway, this game is like Scorched Earth + comedy...what's not to love?

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Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time : YES

Great gameplay, story, visuals, sound, art direction, and pretty much everything you can think of. It isn't considered one of the greatest games of all time for nothing. I think I have said enough

Warcraft III: Yes

This game is plain and simply the definition of a good game. Gameplay, sound, story, and yes graphics. You can't convince me that Warcraft III has bad graphics. What its missing in polygons and textures it makes up for in art direction and special effects. The gameplay is just plain awsome and better than Starcraft's in my opinion. It pretty much took everything good about Starcraft and Warcraft and combined them to create a very deep RTS experience. This game has both great single player and multiplayer which is often very rare. I would recommend Warcraft for single player alone and the multiplayer just adds tons of replay value. The on-line play is also great. Also the Cinematics are unbelievable and easily some of the best cut-scenes I have ever seen in any game. If you have a PC, you should most definately give Warcraft III a try. Its really a great game.

Crash Team Racing: No

This game is fun and easily the best kart racer on PSone. However, I see nothing must have about it. The only real reason I bought was because I am Crash fan. I'm glad I bought it but if I never did I doubt I would be missing out on anything special. Also if you own any Nintendo system, just get Mario Kart. Its much better than CTR in my opinion. Good, fun game but I don't think it is worthy of "must-have" status.

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Resident Evil (PS1)- RE didn't start the survival horror genre, but it certainly has become the star of it. Yes, this game has some of the worst voice acting out there, with the corniest lines imaginable. The controls were very stiff, the knife was almost useless, and the constant backtracking got old rather quickly. It wasn't without it's good points though. A strange tale of the biological gone wrong, zombies that fly apart, bosses that were huge and tough to kill, a few cheap scares, and rather nice graphics for that era in the PS1's lifespan. But in the end, while it is a game that's fun to play, it's shortcomings nudge it just outside of the "must have" range. Borderline NO.

Salamander Deluxe Pack Plus (import Saturn)- Some of you might not know this name, but anyone with an NES will likely remember the American name of Salamander... Life Force. This package contains virtually arcade perfect renditions of Salamander, Life Force and the rarely seen Salamander 2. Sal and LF play pretty differently, and have very different graphics. So having the Japanese and US versions isn't as redundant as it initially sounds. Both games have catchy tunes, nice graphics for their time, Gradius-like gameplay, and a good challenge. Sal 2 still plays like its predecessors, but now there are different types of options (the helpers from the Gradius series) and attacks with them, the graphics are punched way up, the music is still good, and difficulty is upped a bit. It's a shorter game than its prequels, but it's a great game.

If you're a shmup fan, it's a compilation worth owning. YES.

Diablo II (PC)- The first game was fun. This sequel, is a blast. A much more fleshed out story, great cinemas, very nice music, more detailed graphics, a tough campaign to play through, more weapons/armor/enemy types, more bosses, and it still has the great on-line multiplayer that the first game featured. Basically, it took what worked in the first game, and made it all even better. YES.

Grand Theft Auto III (PC)- Well, Sir_NutS covered a decent amount of the game's higher points. A big world to explore, a good story, good tunes, and a "go anywhere" style of gameplay that made the game fun to just tool around in. It does get old after awhile, but not before you've gotten to have a lot of fun. YES

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)- Back when the GBA was still pretty new, the first of three Castlevania games made their debut. The animation was pretty stiff, and the graphics were pretty damn dark. But those issues didn't keep this game from being a quality title. The music is very good, the castle is still big, the graphics themselves are drawn well and detailed, the bosses are fun, some extra depth thanks to the DSS card system, and an overall enjoyable game that any Castlevania fan would be stupid to miss out on. YES.

Gradius Galaxies (GBA)- What? Another GBA game? Yep, and this time, it's from another famous Konami franchise... Gradius. Like CotM, it's a rather dark game, but under that darkness resides well drawn graphics that are both new and old (you'll see familiar stage references along the way), the music is good, it's a bit easier than you're average Gradius game, but all told, "Galaxies" is a good game for the GBA that both fans of the series, and shmupers in general, will likely enjoy (sans BardicKnowledge ;-)). Borderline YES.

Shining the Holy Ark (Saturn)- One of the last Shining games to really stand out. Like Shining in the Darkness, this game is a so-called "Dungeon crawler". The graphics are nice looking CGI sprites, the music is good, the challenge level is just about right, the dungeons get huge as the game progresses, there are eight characters to level up, an interesting pixie system that adds a bit more strategy to the battles, and a good assortment of locales. It's a great game that came out as the Saturn got closer to the end of its run. YES.

Quake II (PC)- You know, a part of me was never all that fond of this game. After the thick and dark atmosphere of the first game, being thrust into a typical "space marine" set up seemed like a turn for the generic. It took a while, but the game grew on me a bit. Very nice graphics, good weapons, fast gameplay, and a great multiplayer setup. The music was good, and the bosses were fun. I still miss the space/demonic mythos that made up the first game, but the quality behind QII can't be denied. YES.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (PC)- So many people hate this game. But you know, I liked it. The new use of heroes and smaller teams gave the game a good twist, the music was very nice, the new art style allowed for more personality to show through with the characters, using all four races at different points was fun, the powers heroes can wield and develop added a nice new angle to the usual "click and attack" gameplay, the story was more fleshed out, the challenge level was good, and the cinemas were absolutely gorgeous. It may not be as grandiose in terms of the sheer number of troops you command at one time, but it's more focused group attacks do nothing to lessen the game's enjoyment. YES.

Sonic Advance 2 (GBA)- Shit, another one? A decent number of people consider this entry to the best of the "Advance" games. It's understandable, as the graphics are quite good, the music is catchy, the levels are bigger and designed better than those in SA1, there's expanded gameplay for all the characters, and the overall game feels more polished than the first one. Definitely worth getting if you were a fan of the Genesis Sonics, and still have your GBA (or a DS handy). YES.

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