Monday, 26 September 2011

My top 15 games of all time! Part 3.

Numbers 9 -7.

9) Halo 3 (Xbox 360)

I have a confession to make, Halo 3 was the first, and is the only Halo game of the series I've actually played.  With the 1st two, I never owned an original Xbox (I was a PS2 boy). And I've never got round to playing them, even though I could on my 360. (I have Halo 2 now, just not played it yet). As a result the whole Halo phenomenon kinda passed me by. Yeah I was aware of it, but in all honesty I just didn't pay too much attention to it. Due to this, it took me around 6 months to pick up Halo 3 once I got my 360, and that was only cos it was cheap. But I must say I'm glad I eventually got into it. I enjoyed the Campaign, even though I sucked at it. (Honestly, for a gamer of 20 years you wouldn't believe how rubbish I am at most games). The reason why I loved it was because I played it co-op online. First on 'Normal' with my housemate Charlie, then on 'Legendary' with Charlie and a friend of ours a few months later. As I said, I sucked (I won't lie - I was carried through the game). I still enjoyed it though. The co-op added so much fun to it. Much like my GoW experience, 'fighting' the enemies along side real friends added a sense of camaraderie to the campaign. I felt gameplay was an ease too. Its a game you can pick up for 1st time and within minutes you feel completly comfortabke with it.
And then there's the multiplayer. Halo 3 is the game I've spent most time online with. Again, I suck. But I slowly have gotten better. For first few months I get 1-2 kills a game. Then 3-4. I'd say I now average 10-12 kills a game. Not great I know, but hey, it's an improvement. It's easy to play and even with Reach being out, there are still people playing Halo 3 online. It's easy to pick up and easy to find a game. But like the Campaign, I suck, but I enjoy it. And at the end of the day that's the whole point of playing. 

8)  Assassin's Creed 2 (Xbox 360/PS3)

I love the Assassin's Creed games, And the 2nd game is a shining example of the series. It has all the qualities of a top next-gen game. It has great graphics, showing off great scenery. It has superb gameplay, improving vastly on the first game. Having listening to fans they ironed out the little niggles that almost stopped the 1st being a great game (only almost though). Like swimming. That may not sound like much, but in the 1st game, you'd drown in 2 feet of water. That was extremely annoying. But sorted for the 2nd game. Then there's the storyline. I don't want to spoil anything, I'll just say it's awesome. Too many games in this generation of consoles lack too much in the story aspect of the game. (Including games on my list GoW and Halo 3). Yes, they're superb games with fantastic gameplay and graphics, but great stories they don't have. And without a great story I sometimes find it hard to fully care and get excited about what's going on. With AC2 the story keeps you gripped and makes you want to carry on. And for that's the shining factor with this game. And throw in the great graphics and gameplay and you've got a great title. If you haven't played it, I'd advise picking up AC1, 2 and Brotherhood and starting them soon. And trust me, by the time you're finished you won't be able to wait for Assassin's Creed Revelations when it comes out in November.

7) Resident Evil 2 (ps1)

Survival Horror was massive. And looking back it's easy to see why. This is, in my opinion the finest example of the genre. The 1st game was superb, but I think it was a little before it's time. Plus there was the hilarious bad voice acting. But Resi 2 just improved everything. The graphics and voice acting are great (for the time). The storyline is great, exploring further the horrors of Raccoon City, moving from the Mansion to Raccoon City Police Station. The characters are good additions to the Resi World. Policeman Leon S. Kennedy is up there with Chris Redfield, and there's Chris' younger sister Claire. And with both characters there is separate intertwining campaign missions. 2 for each character, spanning over 2 discs. The constant threat of running out of ammo with a horde of zombies in front of you is always there. As a result you're always glad to a save point. I just think this was the best game in the series before it went down the action-horror route starting with Resi 4. If you can get ya hands on a copy you should, and either re-visit an old great or experience the horror for the first time.

My top 15 games of all time! Part 2.

Part two – numbers 12 – 10.

12) Silent Hill 2 (PS2)

From the days of the original Resident Evil, I’ve been gripped with Survival Horror. And the Silent Hill series is one of the finest. Whilst the first three Resident Evil series (along with Code Veronica) focused more on survival, making you constantly stretch out your ammo, Silent Hill focused more on the horror. The horror mainly comes from the unknown, and what you don’t see. Darkness is a constant theme throughout. As a result this leaves you constantly unknowing as to what horrors lay ahead. What make’s this all the more terrifying is the sound effects. There are plenty of eerie groans and screeches. It gets to the point that you’ve explored all other options, but that darkened corridor with the unsettling noises really is your only way to progress, as much as you’d rather it not be. The fear in the unknown is also in the enemies, much in the way you’re always going “What is that?!” This is epitomised in the foreboding enemy that is known simply as ‘Pyramid Head’ – an enemy so unique you can waste a few valuable seconds when you first see it merely going “What the f……?” So whilst the eeriness can sum up all the Silent Hill games I feel this one just pulls it off so well, the Series’ jump from ps1 to ps2 saw such an improvement on the 1st. From graphics and gameplay, to story and atmosphere. So if you haven’t played this, and want some old ps2 fun along with some top notch gaming scares, this a great place to start.

11) Gears of War (Xbox 360)

 Alongside the Halo series, Gears of War is the Xbox 360’s major franchise. And from the get-go, it’s easy to see why. The graphics are nice, even if they are little on the “grey” side. The story is so-so in all honesty. Much like the Halo series, you are up against a massive alien threat taking over the world. For me GoW’s gameplay is its shining factor. Running straight out and trying to shoot everything you see won’t get you very far (Something I found out when I first tried to play it). For GoW, cover is the key. More often than not, you will have to find cover, behind a wall or a burned out car. From there it’ll become a shoot-out between the alien foes and you and your allies. This can require some degree of tactics as you will need to carefully move from cover to cover find the best spots to clear the area of enemies before moving on. The makers say the need for cover rather than running and shooting, came to them during a game of paint ball. I can see the connection, and it works as it makes you really think of what you’re doing, and gives you a sense of actual battle. I also like the fact you can co-op on the story. I completed the game with a friend. I feel this improves the game as the sense of battle is heightened as you’re ‘fighting’ alongside an actual friend as opposed to just having AI controlled characters by your side. As for the online, I must say I haven’t really given it much of try. From what I have played it seems pretty good. More on what I play online later in the list.

10) Discworld II; Missing Presumed…!? (ps1/PC)

 Based on the novels by Terry Prachett, this is a brilliantly funny point and click. You play bumbling wizard Wincewind, who has to find The Grim Reaper after he decides to give up his day job. Point and clicks have always had a niche market and they’re definitely for everybody. Even as a fan, I often said there’s much annoyance in trying to figure out the most obscure puzzles that don’t make any sense whatsoever. But if you can endure some of the painstaking puzzles, then Discworld 2 is a treat. The cartoon-like graphics are good, even now. The voice acting is top notch – Eric Idol providing the lead role. Nigel Planer (‘Neil’ from the Young Ones) and Rob Brydon also appear. In many point and clicks humour plays a big role (a fine example being ‘The Secret of Monkey Island’), and this game is a fine example. It’s essentially silly British humour, which may explain having a Monty Python star voice the main character. And Nigel Planer effectively just does ‘Neil from The Young Ones’ for his character (a worker at the University), which isn’t a bad thing by no means. And then there are the puzzles. If you’ve ever played a point and click, you’ll know that they are both the best and worst part of the game! It’s the same with this. They are stupid, silly, and in some parts insanely hard. But the way I see it, if you not spending two hours shouting at the TV, wondering what to do with nothing but a catchy jingle, 10cc of mouse blood and a troll’s smell you’re not doing it right!

Friday, 16 September 2011

My top 15 games of all time! Part 1.

I've been wanting to compile a list of my top games for awhile now. So I finally decided to put one together. I'm going to start with 15 -13. Here goes, hope you like them. If not, that's cool too :-)

15) F-ZERO (SNES).

I've never been a racing games fan to be honest. Mainly because I suck at them, and get bored with them pretty quickly. (That's more to do with me than the games themselves). I never actually owned this game, it was my older brother who had it. But I loved it. I think mainly as I didn't suck as bad at it as other racing games. I also liked the futuristic theme to it. And playing it when I was 10 year old , that meant even more! Nowadays I'll play it from time to time, as a nice bit of gaming nostalgia!

14) SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 (Sega Megadrive/Genesis).

I was always more of a Mario fan than a Sonic one, but this was the Sonic game I'd go back to.  I loved the addition of the 2 player mode, and even though it was only 4 zones, I feel the competion aspect of it gave it a re-play factor. I also loved the zones. My favourite was Casino Night, but I also enjoyed Mystic Cave. Which may explain why I enjoyed the 2 player mode, as these 2 were featured. Last year I downloaded this on my Xbox 360, and still stuck at the end boss. And I only got that far thanks to the ability to save my progress, which is cheating in my eyes. Maybe one day I'll do it "old-school", in one sitting with no saves. Maybe.......

 13)  Bioshock (Xbox 360/PS3).

My first recent game on the list, and a gem. I played it on the 360, and only played it earlier this year. The first thing that strikes me with this game is the quality of the visuals, which is more impressive as it's now nearly 4 years old. Not just the quality of the graphics, but the style 'Rapture', the world you're playing in. Set in an alterantive 1960, there's a retro art-deco look the game, which is a fantastic back-drop to the story going on. Which is the games other strong suit. It's a pretty original story, especially for a FPS. Set in an underwater city called Rapture, you play a character who ends up there via plane crash. The nature of Rapture and it's creator Andrew Ryan unfold as the game goes on. I wouldn't want to give anymore than that away as wouldn't want to ruin the joy of playing it if you haven't yet.The gameplay is also top notch. Plasmids are DNA enhancements that give almost magical style attacks such as fireballs and ice attacks. There's also an array of guns, all of which can be upgraded. There's a varity of enemies, all inhabitants of Rapture, and all gone mad! (Again I won't give away why). And then there's the Big Daddys (as pictured). And they're a whole different story.... So if you have PS3 or Xbox 360, this is a great title to pick up as soon as you can.