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Diamond
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(03-23-2017, 12:05 PM)
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Interesting choices so far. For me, with 100 games it's not really about the ranking but more about the selection : which games are there and which games are not. Props for including things like Kane and Lynch 2, Condemned or Spec Ops which are much more interesting concepts than a lot of the big budget shooters we usually see.
Ahasverus
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(03-23-2017, 12:06 PM)
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As soon as I got Kane & Lynch i bailed. What a disgusting, vulgar, bad game. More like an anti game, as in everything a good game shouldn't be.

Originally Posted by Piston Hyundai

What, did I not make my case? Silent Hill 3 is a better package overall.

This is also very wrong.

I can confidently say this list is not representative of reality.
Last edited by Ahasverus; 03-23-2017 at 12:09 PM.
Zocano
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(03-23-2017, 12:07 PM)
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Originally Posted by Piston Hyundai

God damn, are 8 and 16-bit JRPGs boring.

We can be friends.

Also I expect F.E.A.R. to be high up on this list.
tenderbrew
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(03-23-2017, 12:10 PM)
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Weird that Earthbound isn't #1, but you have my attention.
CannonFodder52
Junior Member
(03-23-2017, 12:14 PM)
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Silent Hill 3 is a premium game.
Chief Devin
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(03-23-2017, 12:27 PM)
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Finally other people think those RPGs are boring as sin and the small talk useless. I'm already interested.
Piston Hyundai
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(03-23-2017, 12:31 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ahasverus

As soon as I got Kane & Lynch i bailed. What a disgusting, vulgar, bad game. More like an anti game, as in everything a good game shouldn't be.

Finally, someone who gets it.
FallenGrace
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(03-23-2017, 12:59 PM)
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Condemned Criminal Origins. What a fantastic game! Had brutal combat, some great forensic and horror elements. The whole game just worked.

Many of the rest of these games I haven't played or don't really agree with but I'm enjoying seeing people's vastly different opinions. Great thread so far.
Vert1
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(03-23-2017, 01:07 PM)
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Looking at the list of games op has listed so far, I have assessed that Super Mario 64 will be ranked in the top 30 games compared to Nuu's #63 placement. Subscribed.
MouldyK
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(03-23-2017, 01:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by JohnSpartanLee

Missed out on Neo Turf Masters - thanks for the recommendation.

I never heard of that game until a week ago...

...now I got that "On The Gweeeeen!" Phrase stuck in my head lol.

And plus it's coming to Switch today...should I dip?
Daymos
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(03-23-2017, 01:11 PM)
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These are the games I should be playing. The idea of always buying what just came out so I can rush through it and get the next new game is wearing on me.

It's kinda sad that a new game comes out and is then forgotten in about two weeks.. only to resurface on a top 10 list 5 years later.
Piston Hyundai
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(03-23-2017, 01:56 PM)
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Originally Posted by MouldyK

I never heard of that game until a week ago...

...now I got that "On The Gweeeeen!" Phrase stuck in my head lol.

And plus it's coming to Switch today...should I dip?

Go for it. It's an excellent portable game.
Secret Fawful
(03-23-2017, 02:11 PM)
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Earthbound below Call of Duty and Gears of War? Well, it's not my list but more power to you.
SOME-MIST
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(03-23-2017, 03:15 PM)
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Originally Posted by Glitchesarecool

Tetris DS is arguably the best Tetris, although Puyo Puyo Tetris is pretty good.

but tgm3...
JohnSpartanLee
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(03-24-2017, 09:34 AM)
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Originally Posted by MouldyK

I never heard of that game until a week ago...

...now I got that "On The Gweeeeen!" Phrase stuck in my head lol.

And plus it's coming to Switch today...should I dip?

$8...I'm torn. Never played it but it surely looks fun. Don't know for how long though.
But I doubt you'd regret having this in your library.
Piston Hyundai
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(03-24-2017, 10:49 AM)
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Originally Posted by JohnSpartanLee

$8...I'm torn. Never played it but it surely looks fun. Don't know for how long though.
But I doubt you'd regret having this in your library.

Eight bucks is maybe a few dollars too high for an older arcade game like that, but there are way worse things you can spend your money on if you're looking for Switch games.

And look at it this way: the lone copy of the Neo-Geo home version on eBay is going for $17,599.
JohnSpartanLee
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(03-24-2017, 02:40 PM)
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^ Good point. My sentiments exactly.
Fugu
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(03-24-2017, 06:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by SOME-MIST

but tgm3...

I was thinking the same thing. I see a lot of "Tetris DS is the best Tetris" on English forums and I've got to believe it's because of how difficult it is to legally play TGM in the west.
Tain
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(03-24-2017, 07:09 PM)
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Originally Posted by Glitchesarecool

Tetris DS is arguably the best Tetris, although Puyo Puyo Tetris is pretty good.

there is no argument for anything but TGM3
Vert1
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(03-24-2017, 11:14 PM)
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On a more serious note: The op has done an excellent job presenting his top picks. I'm most impressed by the reviews for Saturn Bomberman and Gears of War; they explain quite a bit of the multi-player mechanics being compared and put in context to past games. A lot of the games listed I have not beaten or even played. Quite a wide-range of games on this list. Listing Kane & Lynch 2 because of enjoyment of its aesthetic is something I haven't seen before.

Articulating why every game posted is better than the previous game posted is obnoxiously difficult for any top list, especially with other people bringing in their own critiques. If op enjoys Smash more than Tetris... okay. I find myself in agreement there, but I don't find the op needs to explain his every move (review) on how, for example, the genre of Tetris is less enjoyable than the fighting game genre of Super Smash Bros in terms of pure pleasure. I wouldn't mind an explanation for same genred games like how Condemned is ranked higher than Silent Hill 3 after the op is done listing all 100 games though.
Captain Zyrain
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(03-24-2017, 11:18 PM)
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CTRL-F "Trade Wars 2002"..

Bah!

Well, as long as it's in the Top 10 :)
Piston Hyundai
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(03-25-2017, 01:05 AM)
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Originally Posted by Vert1

On a more serious note: The op has done an excellent job presenting his top picks. I'm most impressed by the reviews for Saturn Bomberman and Gears of War; they explain quite a bit of the multi-player mechanics being compared and put in context to past games. A lot of the games listed I have not beaten or even played. Quite a wide-range of games on this list. Listing Kane & Lynch 2 because of enjoyment of its aesthetic is something I haven't seen before.

Thanks. I'd say I enjoy Kane & Lynch 2 more because of the tone than the aesthetic, but I'm glad I got my points across.

The next set of five should be up soon.
Fugu
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(03-25-2017, 08:07 AM)
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I'm surprised you were able to get to 100. I've been working on my own list in anticipation of doing this myself when yours and I gave up on ranking anything below 50 because my passion really just drops off after that poimt.
xviper
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(03-25-2017, 08:36 AM)
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the last guy had a weird list, i respect that, unique from the others

lets see what you've got
McBradders
NeoGAF: my new HOME
(03-25-2017, 08:45 AM)
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Originally Posted by Piston Hyundai

Thanks. I love the old games.



Who said anything about Outrun 2? I mean, it's absolutely Outrun 2, but still.

Brilliant :)
lumzi23
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(03-25-2017, 08:57 AM)
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Originally Posted by Piston Hyundai

The campaign's nice, especially in coop, but if Gears of War needed multiple discs, multiplayer would be Disc 1. Even removed from the first-time novelty of experiencing Xbox LIVE, multiplayer grabbed me in a way that the series would never do again. This is because the first entry did something that few others shooters would dare to do: forego a traditional deathmatch. Every mode limited you to one life per round, forcing each player to give much more weight to their actions than they would if they could respawn. Knowing that death was something you couldn't come back from made the tension palpable in every scenario, and occasionally led to some incredible 3 or 4-on-1 comeback situations. The series would quickly add more lenient modes, and sure enough, those became the modes that were populated. Game types like Team Deathmatch and King of the Hill aren't bad, but they came at the expense of modes like Execution and Assassination, diluting the formula and making the game feel a bit more like every other shooter out there.

This. THIS is why Gears of War is one of my favorite games ever! This games Execution mode, alongside Rainbow Six Vegas's Assassination mode are my favorite multiplayer modes of all time. Nothing else I have played compares. They woke up the multiplayer gamer in me.

God damn, are 8 and 16-bit JRPGs boring.

Regarding 16 bit JRPG's it depends on the one you play. FFVI is a game I played for the first somewhere in 2005/2006. Despite the games dated aesthetics it still managed to charm the pants off me and move me quite a bit (partly due to the lovely music and great story). If you want a 'non-boring' jrpg that captures your attention early on this a good one. Excellent stuff.

Another 16 bit JRPG I tried was Chrono Trigger. This game has one of the better openings I have seen and has aged amazingly well for Super Nintendo game. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as FFVI due to the fact that I got stuck fairly early on. The game is also famous for it multiple endings (and branching story?).
Last edited by lumzi23; 03-25-2017 at 09:14 AM.
Piston Hyundai
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(03-26-2017, 12:13 PM)
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#75: NBA Street Vol. 2
(EA Canada, NuFX - Playstation 2, 2003)



People tend to give them a lot of shit for hollow yearly iterations, but EA Sports (particularly EA Canada) likely has the best track record (ugh) in the sports genre. They made some fantastic games in the 16-bit era, but their zenith is easily the sixth generation of consoles, as this was when their competition with SEGA was at a fever pitch and, more importantly, the EA Sports Big sub-brand ushered in a renaissance of over-the-top, arcade sports games.

Calling NBA Street a basketball game is somewhat of a misnomer: in reality, it's a breakdancing competition that happens to employ basketballs. You're doing all sorts of AND1 Mixtape shit as you make your way to the hoop, which (beyond being fun as hell to do) serves as an effective way to evade defensive players and set up shots. Your tricks also build up the meter for the Gamebreakers, which are Harlem Globetrotters-caliber shots that take points away from the other team. The gameplay is easy to learn since it's still basketball, but the trick system adds a sense of depth that you don't get out of games like NBA Jam.

The game plays fast and loose with the both the rule book and the laws of nature, but there's still a sense of authenticity and respect for the sport. The legendary Bobbito Garcia (aka DJ Cucumber Slice aka Kool Bob Love aka...) blesses each game you play with the best color commentary you'll hear in a video game, and also gives insight on the importance of New York City as the center of streetball culture in an extra video. There are various real-life streetball courts to choose from, even including a sepia-drenched version of Rucker Park from 1978, where the final game of the career mode (against Dr. J, no less) takes place.

Streetball is all about style, and that bleeds into the game's aesthetic in the best way. In the game's very first moments, the opening interlude from the all-time hip-hop classic "T.R.O.Y." plays, leading into the game's stylish main menu. The rest of the game's soundtrack is a mix of classic NYC hip-hop, more modern tracks, and some excellent instrumentals from Just Blaze (who knows a thing or two about great video game tracks). Even the core mechanics have some extra aural flourishes to them: one of my favorite touches is how old-school hip-hop samples play after high-profile tricks and turnovers. As someone with a love of both hip-hop and the idealized version of New York often portrayed in other media, it's hard not to be left unsatisfied by the vanilla presentation of modern basketball games.

Truth be told, I'm not that much into basketball beyond playing the occasional NBA 2K game, but the surprisingly deep trick mechanics and dope look and sound of it all was enough to hook me in hard. Vol. 2 isn't the best of EA Sports Big's offerings, but it's definitely the best basketball game I've played.



#74: Mega Man 2
(Capcom - NES, 1988)



I probably don't have to tell you why Mega Man 2 is great. It has the best music on the NES and classic art design that capitalized on the console's strengths while circumventing its weaknesses. It ironed out the spotty difficulty of the first game, resulting in a more accessible playthrough that's still challenging in spots. It's the foundation on which every future game in the series would be based upon, and rightfully one of the most iconic games of all time.

And yet, there would be better games to come from the series.



#73: Super Castlevania IV
(Konami - SNES, 1991)



You may have noticed that I truncated my entry on Mega Man 2 by a significant margin. While that's in part because of the game being such a known quantity, it's more because Super Castlevania IV's coincidental placement just above it gives me an opportunity to speak about a quality unique to both games.

Somewhere along the line, the general reception of Super Castlevania IV took a bit of a hit. It's still regarded as one of the better traditional entries in the series, but diehards typically consider the game to be too easy, usually because of the more lenient movement and versatility of the whip. They're valid points, but I don't necessarily think that it takes away from the game that much. Sure, being able to throw your whip around in multiple directions is maybe a bit overkill, but it makes basic combat a blast, and it's not like the game's devoid of challenge. Regardless of what you think of the difficulty, Super Castlevania IV feels great to play and is a perfect entry point for the pre-Metroidvania games of the series, even if it isn't the pinnacle. It mirrors my thoughts on Mega Man 2, which is maybe the easiest game in its series: it's easy to a fault at times, but there's no better game to start with. Sure, being able to throw your Metal Blade around in multiple directions is maybe a bit overkill, but it makes basic combat a blast, and it's not like the game's devoid of- okay, you get the picture.

I've always been more of a Genesis person in terms of 16-bit sound design, but I have to admit that the SNES' sound chip is a perfect fit for the Castlevania series. Normally I dismiss a lot of orchestra-style video game music, finding it as bland and unexciting as the JRPGs they typically come from, but Castlevania's music often has a certain energy to it that you wouldn't find in games with similar instrumentation. IV's OST has the kind of sound you would expect in a game rife with Gothic architecture and imagery, but it also realizes that it's an action game at heart, providing driving basslines and dynamic percussion that propels the action on-screen.

I also have to take the opportunity to commend a particularly brilliant use of the game's music (skip ahead a paragraph if you want to experience it for yourself, since it ties into the game's final moments). Simon Belmont's theme plays during the first stage of the game, and as with most games, the difficulty is toned down compared to later on. Couple this with the nature of repetition classic games have, and it is all but guaranteed that the first level will be the one you have the most experience with. This is important because the game uses that stage's music as a triumphant leitmotif, with the musical stinger for stage completion being a sample of the song. This running theme reaches its climax at the same time the game does: during the final battle, the game reprises Simon's theme when Dracula is on his last sliver of health, instilling the player with the same sense of confidence and power that they would surely have playing the game's first stage at this point. It's an incredible moment that makes the song the most memorable of the entire series (although the outright best would have to be this version of Wicked Child).

It may not challenge the player as much as other entries, but Super Castlevania IV just feels great to play, and the soundtrack shines for its original compositions just as much as its revisited classics. It's a perfect primer for the next Castlevania game on the list.



#72: Jet Set Radio Future
(Smilebit - Xbox, 2002)



I'm conflicted on Jet Set Radio Future. It takes some significant steps backwards from what made the original game special, but the quality of the gameplay is undeniable.

Future abandons a lot of the arcade sensibilities of its predecessor, opting for a more open style of play. Time limits are gone, run-ins with the police are more segmented, and the game's areas are interconnected instead of being chosen from a menu. This allows the level design to be much more ambitious (I'm talking about literal rollercoasters here) and provide some interesting side-activities and exploration in the form of Street Challenge, a series of Tony Hawk-esque objectives that are required to unlock the ability to collect the game's extra graffiti art. Unfortunately, the lack of a persistent police presence means that there's next to zero pressure in tagging up the city, but navigating the complex streets and buildings is deeply fun even if it's less hectic.

Compared to the original, JSRF is a bit less about graffiti and more about skating, which is a blessing and a curse. Tagging is simplified to the point that you can just hold a trigger while skating past a group of markers to cover an entire wall. It's disappointing, but without the threat of a group of cops catching you, it'd be somewhat pointless to have the old system. On the other hand, the one area where I would say JSRF definitely outclasses the original game is the skating mechanics. Everything just feels better: movement is less stiff and the trick system is deeper yet easier to grasp. The game is never better than when you're gliding like a gazelle across (and even straight up) rails, stringing tricks along in a seemingly endless combo.

Everybody knows it, but let me say it for posterity's sake: the Jet Set Radio games are fucking cool. The cel-shaded style is maybe the best aging look a video game can have, and JSRF is no exception. The game looks fantastic, and the futuristic setting goes hand-in-hand with the style (the rocket skates make a lot more sense in the future, after all). The soundtrack is the definition of eclectic, featuring all sorts of weird shit from western hip-hop to pop-rock to an admittedly obnoxious Cibo Matto song. The music misses more often than the original's did, but there are still some choice cuts, including excellent tracks and remixes from Hideki Naganuma.

As you can probably tell, I prefer the original game, but Jet Set Radio Future is still an excellent follow-up that I can't fault for trying to figure out the best way to iterate upon. It's heartbreaking that the series ended here, because if Smilebit was to build off of what worked in Future while preserving the spirit of the original, we'd be all but guaranteed the best entry.



#71: Sleeping Dogs
(United Front Games - PC, 2012)



It's funny that Sleeping Dogs started life as a True Crime game, because I tend to think of it more as a modern version of Streets of Rage. You may think I'm really stretching here, but the Venn diagram between the two has a lot more crossover than you might think: neon skylines, great electronic music, and beating the absolute piss out of miscreants are core tenets of both series. Streets of Rage just didn't live long enough to reach the point where "fast cars" would become part of the formula.

Sleeping Dogs' gameplay betrays its straight-faced narrative. Everything is designed to be as fun as it can be without even considering the question of "wait a minute, is that possible?" Ramming cars means your vehicle darts ahead or to the side without the slightest hint of turning. The snappy, brutal combat lets you break the same man's leg as many times as you like until he fucking dies. Jumping out of a car sends you into a slow-motion dive, where a whopping one bullet will cause the car you ejected from to explode. It almost feels like more of a John Woo film than Stranglehold does, and I love it.

It'd be easy to get the sense that the story took a backseat with how insane the gameplay is, but it's actually a pleasant surprise. There aren't any real "holy shit" moments, but the somewhat typical undercover cop story is peppered with a surprising amount of likeable characters as well as antagonists you want to pummel within ten seconds of meeting. Both groups feature people that meet suitably dramatic endings, and they're surprisingly effective (a death particularly late in the game was far more of a gut-punch than I expected). There are some mostly optional relationship subplots that don't really go anywhere satisfying, but otherwise, storytelling is solid.

As I alluded to, Sleeping Dogs has a phenomenal soundtrack, be it the original tracks (some of which from the great Shawn Lee, who you will hear about much later on in the list) or the diagetic licensed tracks. There's a wide variety of genres offered by the game's radio stations (the funk/soul station in particular is outstanding), and some of the tracks greatly enhance the game's setpieces. For example: one of the bigger early fights in the game, taking place in a nightclub, no less, was made much more memorable for me thanks to the Africa HiTech in the background. The game's music stands on its own, but fitting the action to a T is a really good bonus.

There's a lot to love about Sleeping Dogs: the memorable characters, the gorgeous setting, the "OH JESUS THAT MAN IS DEAD" combat, and well-rounded soundtrack all come together wonderfully in a world that's just open enough to be engaging without being taxing. Sun On Yee, motherfucker.
Last edited by Piston Hyundai; 03-30-2017 at 02:24 AM.
Zaph
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(03-26-2017, 02:15 PM)
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Originally Posted by Piston Hyundai

Compared to the original, JSRF is a bit less about graffiti and more about skating, which is a blessing and a curse. Tagging is simplified to the point that you can just hold a trigger while skating past a group of markers to cover an entire wall. It's disappointing, but without the threat of a group of cops catching you, it'd be somewhat pointless to have the old system. On the other hand, the one area where I would say JSRF definitely outclasses the original game is the skating mechanics. Everything just feels better: movement is less stiff and the trick system is deeper yet easier to grasp. The game is never better than when you're gliding like a gazelle across (and even straight up) rails, stringing tricks along in a seemingly endless combo.

Everybody knows it, but let me say it for posterity's sake: the Jet Set Radio games are fucking cool. The cel-shaded style is maybe the best aging look a video game can have, and JSRF is no exception. The game looks fantastic, and the futuristic setting goes hand-in-hand with the style (the rocket skates make a lot more sense in the future, after all). The soundtrack is the definition of eclectic, featuring all sorts of weird shit from western hip-hop to pop-rock to an admittedly obnoxious Cibo Matto song. The music misses more often than the original's did, but there are still some choice cuts, including excellent tracks and remixes from Hideki Naganuma.



Great write up so far, good mix of indisputable classics and some games that don't get the recognition they deserve.
Piston Hyundai
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(03-27-2017, 03:47 AM)
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Heads up: the next set of games may be a while. I've been under the weather for a bit, so I haven't done much writing.

Originally Posted by lumzi23

This. THIS is why Gears of War is one of my favorite games ever! This games Execution mode, alongside Rainbow Six Vegas's Assassination mode are my favorite multiplayer modes of all time. Nothing else I have played compares. They woke up the multiplayer gamer in me.

I always thought it was something of a missed opportunity for Gears, considering games like Counter-Strike were able to explode in popularity while relegating respawning to gimmicky side modes.
Piston Hyundai
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(03-31-2017, 04:04 PM)
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#70: Crash Team Racing
(Naughty Dog - Playstation, 1999)



Here it is, you guys: the secret behind every great kart racer.

The God damn jumps.

Every kart racer that even came close to the top 100 makes jumping a key mechanic. In Crash Team Racing's case, the bigger your jump is, the bigger the boost you get. If you're playing the game "right" then your driving is a constant stream of boosts from drifting, power-ups, boost pads, and taking huge jumps. If you're driving in a straight line for more than a second or two, you have made mistakes. I mean, look at this nonsense. The circuit may as well be a damn skate park, and it's as enjoyable as it looks.

The driving's great on its own, but another crucial element is the weaponry. In a broad sense, the quality of a kart racer's weapon balance can be summed up across the entire genre with one simple question: "Does the really good item that the dude in last place gets fuck everybody over, or just the dude in first place?" For CTR, the answer is the former, which means the balancing is A-OK. Like most kart racers, your arsenal is the standard mix of turbo boosts, protective shields and homing missiles, but the key distinction here is the ability to power them up. Similar to Mario Kart's coins and Diddy Kong Racing's bananas, Wumpa fruit is strewn about CTR's tracks, and collecting ten of them turns every power-up you collect into a buffed version. It's a much better incentive for collection than the standard negligible speed boost.

Not content with taking just the game's banana mechanic, CTR's adventure mode is directly inspired by Diddy Kong Racing. You navigate various hubs and participate in races, challenges, and boss showdowns similar to Rare's kart racer, but Naughty Dog made some improvements that keeps the single player from feeling like a grind, including better collection objectives and a smart usage of Crash 3's crate-laden time attack mode. Your standard multiplayer exhibition races and battle modes are in here, too, but the game's single player is what you should play this for.

As Naughty Dog's first attempt at the genre, Crash Team Racing is impressive to say the least. It feels like an idea from the unfocused Crash Bandicoot: Warped that was given the time and attention it needed to be something great. The tracks are cleverly designed with many challenging shortcuts, the weapons all feel useful yet kept in check, and the driving alone is some of the most fun you can have on the Playstation. I can only think of one kart racer I enjoy more.



#Sixty Niiiiiiine: Def Jam: Fight for NY
(EA Canada, AKI - Playstation 2, 2004)



Whether it's the braggadocio, larger-than-life personas, or its often competitive nature, hip-hop has a surprising amount of common ground with professional wrestling. It's why EA's Def Jam series of games wasn't as out of left field as a lot people claimed it was back in the early 2000s. The first game, Vendetta, was a pretty solid title in the vein of AKI's N64 games (with an injection of EA Sports Big's over-the-top action), but it wouldn't be until Fight for NY that the series' gameplay would evolve beyond its pro wrestling roots and gain more of its own identity.

FFNY still resembles AKI's classic gameplay and there's still plenty of wrestling moves to pull off, but the controls and mechanics have been greatly expanded upon, resulting in something that feels more like a 3D fighting game (likely the reason it was published by EA proper instead of any Sports label). Fighting moves at a rapid pace and is as fluid as AKI's games have ever been, which is a very welcome change from the slow, stiff combat of games like WWF No Mercy and Wrestlemania 2000. The speed of the gameplay really sells the damage you're doing to your opponent in a way that AKI's N64 work never did, and it makes playing the game a shitload of fun. Fights are no longer confined to a ring, which adds a bunch of environmental elements to employ during matches, and significantly expands the game's list of modes. Pinfalls are gone and replaced with a knockout mechanic, putting more emphasis on the fucking insane finishing moves that look like they kill the opponent more often than not. There's a deep moveset, but nothing is too difficult to pull off, so most of the challenge comes from timing reversals and counters as opposed to learning and executing complex button combinations. FFNY very gracefully walks the line between depth and simplicity, making it a joy to play.

Odds are that if you have any interest in hip-hop, you're going to enjoy what the game's huge roster has to offer. There's a healthy mix of artists from all eras and regions of American hip-hop, including veterans like Ice-T and Slick Rick, modern (for 2004) rappers like Ludacris and David Banner, Wu-Tang members, and an array of original characters. Most of the cast is playing fictionalized versions of themselves, which provides opportunities for some inspired casting, some of which is outside of the Def Jam label or even hip-hop. Your trainer throughout the game is for some reason Black Flag's Henry Rollins, and the big bad of the game's story is played by Snoop Dogg, who does what he does best by being the coolest motherfucker any time he's on screen. Hell, even career badass Danny Trejo somehow found his way into the game, playing the role of Snoop's muscle. It's an incredibly novel cast regardless of your stake in hip-hop music.

It probably goes without saying, but FFNY's hip-hop soundtrack is as robust as its cast. Thankfully, they didn't just slap on a bunch of music from Def Jam artists and call it day. There's plenty of music Def Jam from artists like Redman and Joe Budden, but they also got tracks from Outkast, LL Cool J, and Busta Rhymes. There's a lot of great hip-hop here, and even better fight music.

Def Jam: Fight for NY is easily AKI's best title. I'd tell you that you don't even have to be into hip-hop to get a lot out of it, but it certainly goes a long way for me.



#68: OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
(Sumo Digital, original game by SEGA AM2 - PC, 2006)



OutRun 2 is the culmination of all of SEGA AM2's work in the racing game genre. Almost twenty years of arcade racing experience is put on full display, taking lessons learned from games like Daytona USA and the original OutRun and using them to make the best arcade racer you can play. OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast is basically Super OutRun 2 Turbo, and introduces some crucial improvements as well as substantial single player content.

OutRun 2006 has some of the finest driving in any video game. It's the best of both of AM2's racing styles: you're weaving through traffic like an Out Run or Hang-On but also drifting and drafting like a Daytona or Scud Race. New to Coast 2 Coast, the addition of Daytona's slipstream drafting is particularly brilliant in the context of OutRun since it turns traffic into an asset as much as it is an obstacle. And the drifting. Jesus Christ, the drifting. If you're the type of person who loves drifting in racing games, you need to play this. Drifting is so God damn good in OutRun 2. You just tap the brakes for a fraction of a second and you swing around the corner like you shot a grappling hook at the apex of the turn. There's little else like it.

Outrun 2006 has two sets of 15 tracks, and while they're all about a minute each, they make a lot of content out of them. One of the things 2006 adds to the game is the titular Coast 2 Coast, which is the game's main single player mode. It features more traditional races that you wouldn't get in the standard arcade mode, but the real draw of Coast 2 Coast is its expansion of OutRun 2's goofy batch of side activities from Heart Attack mode. The more interesting sections of Coast 2 Coast will have you dribbling beach balls, cutting ribbons held up by pairs of cars, avoiding UFOs, and crashing into ghosts. There's multiple groups of these creative objectives on each course, meaning there's loads of replay value.

This is a SEGA AM2 racing game we're talking about, so you damn well know the soundtrack is fantastic. The series' trademark South American sound is present in modern arrangements of the original's classic songs as well as brand new compositions. There's more variety as well, with a handful of rock songs, eurobeat remixes, and even a few tracks with vocals (including an appearance by Metal Gear Solid V's Donna Burke). There's also a ton of bonus tracks from the original games, too. The only the missing from the OST is the outstanding set of tracks introduced in the 3DS port of the original game.

Oh wait, you can just mod them in. Nevermind.

If there's something you love about SEGA arcade racers, you can probably find it here. It's the absolute best of its class, and I can't imagine how you could follow it up. It's hard to get ahold of the PC version these days, but it's absolutely worth it, especially with the mod I linked above.



#67: Grand Theft Auto V
(Rockstar North - PC, 2015)



I kind of like Grand Theft Auto IV, but it feels like the point where Rockstar forgot that GTA games are supposed to be fun. The DLC expansions remedy that issue a bit, but the game still feels as big of a step backwards for the series' entertainment value as a sandbox as it was a step forward in technology and storytelling. Grand Theft Auto V brings the free-wheeling spirit of the PS2 games to the modern era, and it feels like the sequel to San Andreas that most people wanted out of IV.

I could get into the nitty-gritty, but I can't resist the urge to summarize GTA V's gameplay as "like IV, but better in every way." Cars still have a semblance of realism to their handling, but in stark contrast to GTA IV's boats with wheels, they're actually fun to drive this time around. Combat isn't quite Max Payne like it probably should be, but it flows a lot more smoothly than it has before. Loads of stuff I sorely missed from San Andreas is finally back, so you have more to fuck around with than a relatively tame repertoire of weapons and vehicles. The feature set isn't quite up to par with San Andreas, but that's more on my standards than anything.

GTA V isn't a groundbreaking game when it comes to narrative, but it's, like a lot of the game, fun. The voice-over performances (particularly from Steven Ogg and Slink "Black Jesus" Johnson) are potent, going a long way towards making characters likeable and cutscenes engaging. They've definitely come a long way from when characters sounded like either a celebrity reading lines or a blatant stereotype. Rockstar's trademark cynicism is here, but the tone is nowhere near as overbearingly bleak as it is in IV, which was often serious to a fault. GTA V's story is still, well, a story from a video game, but it's the brand of goofy that Rockstar excels at and the vehicle for some of the best missions in the series.

It doesn't "feel" as big as the San Andreas of 2004, but GTA V's world definitely feels lived in. Like Grand Theft Auto IV's Liberty City, there's an impressive amount of detail and set dressing, but more importantly, a lot of the game's side content involves unique encounters with the inhabitants of San Andreas. The game's Strangers & Freaks missions are much more substantial than IV's random encounters and offer more variety than the Odd Jobs of the PS2 games. They're similar to (if not quite as ridiculous as) Yakuza's substories, where you'll have offbeat and sometimes hilarious stories that play out over multiple encounters. It's a perfect companion to Rockstar's warped world view.

Speaking of which, there's also GTA Online. It's not the revelatory massively-multiplayer online experience a lot of people built it up to be before release, but it's an entertaining diversion in its own right. There's all sorts of shit to do, from races to heists to minigames, but the free mode is what I find myself messing around in most. Not to get too pretentious, but GTA Online's free mode is fascinating because the wild-west nature of the Internet and the wealth of things to do combine to create what feels like an incidental microcosm of Rockstar's fucked outlook on society. Maybe it's just my luck, but the most interesting experiences you can have with GTA Online are with random people. There's a sea of players that shoot on sight, sure, but I've run into impromptu fireworks battles, real children sweet-talking polygonal strippers over the voice chat, BMX bandits that grind rails while blowing people away with shotguns, and all sorts of other weird shit. The Strangers & Freaks of GTA Online are actual people, and it's a hell of a thing. The next time you find yourself near another player's blip, maybe consider checking it out instead of dodging it. You might find yourself waking up in a new Bugatti.

Grand Theft Auto V isn't quite my favorite in the series, but it's hard to argue that it isn't the most well-made of them. There's a level of polish here that few other games have, and it pays off in every facet.



#66: Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
(Nintendo R&D1 - Game Boy, 1992)



Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins was made in a bizarro world where the development team decided that the level themes should be creative and that coins should be used as a currency, of all things. What kind of sick fucks would do such a thing?

SML2 was developed mostly by the Metroid 2 team, and is Miyamoto and Tezuka-free. You'd think this could lead to disaster, but 6 Golden Coins is one of the most refreshing games in the series. You start off with a fairly-plain intro stage that has the requisite Koopas and Goombas, but as soon as you're done that stage the game opens up and reveals a set of some of the most interesting worlds a 2D Mario has ever seen.

Now, don't get things misconstrued, here. I'm not talking about themes like "oh you're in a city" or anything that's interesting just because it hasn't been in a Mario game before. I'm talking about things like working your way up a gigantic clockwork Mario statue to face off against the Three Little Pigs, or riding a bubble all the way up to the damn Moon. Even the more generic themes have clever implementations: the Tree Zone has a stage that takes place inside the titular tree where you work your way through sap, using it to defy gravity and progress through the level. These worlds even feature unique enemies, with a particularly inspired example being the Pumpkin Zone's monsters based on Japanese folklore.

Even the game's hallowed mechanics are given a change-up. As I mentioned, coins are treated as a currency, meaning that the counter doesn't roll over and give you an extra life at 100. Instead, the game keeps track of how many enemies you defeat, giving you lives based on that. It's a clever mechanic since it gives an incentive to something players might normally avoid. In turn, coins are used on slot machines that can give you a quick power-up fix or a boatload of lives. These changes aren't groundbreaking or anything, but like I said, they're refreshing.

Normally I'd tell you that it goes without saying that Mario games have good gameplay, but frankly, the original Super Mario Land was kiiiinda shitty. It just felt "off" in a way that made it a bit of a chore to play. Thankfully, SML2 fixes things. You don't immediately dart down when you walk off a cliff anymore, and your inertia is kept more in check, giving you a better sense of control over your movements. The improved physics and more ambitious level design make this one of the best playing Game Boy games.

I wish we would get more Mario platformers like Super Mario Land 2. It's classic Mario through and through, but it has a style and feel all its own. Maybe giving the reins to a team removed from the core series wouldn't always work out, but 6 Golden Coins is a damn good reason for Nintendo to try it more often.

Shit, I probably could've saved myself a bunch of time explaining why this game rules by just saying it introduced Wario. Bowser's not even mentioned.
Last edited by Piston Hyundai; 03-31-2017 at 04:16 PM.
LordBaztion
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(03-31-2017, 04:07 PM)
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Glad to see some recognition to Kane and Lynch 2. It's a unique game.
Tain
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(03-31-2017, 04:08 PM)
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Originally Posted by Piston Hyundai

#Sixty Niiiiiiine: Def Jam: Fight for New York
(EA Canada, AKI - Playstation 2, 2004)


nice.

also, good game pick and writeup
Glitchesarecool
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(03-31-2017, 05:20 PM)
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I think the GB screen size constraints of SML2 make that game play kind of shitty. Enemies had a weird habit of popping in and falling down through the world invades where the platform they were supposed to be on hadn't quite loaded yet. Also it makes any kind of flying somewhat risky because you don't have much time to decide if moving forward is safe or not.
Alter_Fridge
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(03-31-2017, 06:00 PM)
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Originally Posted by Piston Hyundai

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins was made in a bizarro world where the development team decided that the level themes should be creative and that coins should be used as a currency, of all things. What kind of sick fucks would do such a thing?

lolololololol
Sephzilla
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(03-31-2017, 06:06 PM)
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Super Mario Land 2 is quietly one of my favorite Mario games and it absolutely shits on Mario Land 1
To Far Away Times
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(03-31-2017, 07:09 PM)
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Megaman 2 and Castlevania IV back to back... Oh man. Both those games are in my Top 10.
InsaneFandom
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(03-31-2017, 07:45 PM)
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I played a lot of Crash Team Racing as a kid and still go back to it from time to time but I didn't realise getting 10 fruits powered up your weapons :|
You learn something new every day

Anway, great list so far. I've only played a couple games on there & most of them don't really appeal to me but your write-ups are cool to read
McBradders
NeoGAF: my new HOME
(03-31-2017, 07:56 PM)
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This is a seriously good list.
Piston Hyundai
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(04-01-2017, 04:28 AM)
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Originally Posted by Glitchesarecool

I think the GB screen size constraints of SML2 make that game play kind of shitty. Enemies had a weird habit of popping in and falling down through the world invades where the platform they were supposed to be on hadn't quite loaded yet. Also it makes any kind of flying somewhat risky because you don't have much time to decide if moving forward is safe or not.

I never had any issues with that. Having (relatively) huge sprites in a GB game could totally be a problem, but the game doesn't go as fast as the NES games or World does, so flying was fine. They'd usually give you a trail of coins to follow, anyway.

Originally Posted by To Far Away Times

Megaman 2 and Castlevania IV back to back... Oh man. Both those games are in my Top 10.

I love both of those games, but they feel like opening acts for the games that followed.
unknownstranger
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(04-01-2017, 04:45 AM)
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Originally Posted by Sephzilla

Super Mario Land 2 is quietly one of my favorite Mario games and it absolutely shits on Mario Land 1

I don't think I'd put it in my top 5 Mario platformers but it is absolutely so much better than the first one, which I would put at the very bottom of my favorite Mario platformers list.
pizzacat
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(04-01-2017, 05:03 AM)
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the last 3 fights of def jam ffny are prolly some of the dumbest things ever

i love it

iirc it was you and method with like 1/4th health so it was a 1v2 basically vs fat joe and busta?

then it was sticky fingerz in a farm on fire

then in the same farm on fire you gotta burn snoop dogg alive
Piston Hyundai
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(04-01-2017, 05:16 AM)
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Originally Posted by pizzacat

the last 3 fights of def jam ffny are prolly some of the dumbest things ever

i love it

iirc it was you and method with like 1/4th health so it was a 1v2 basically vs fat joe and busta?

then it was sticky fingerz in a farm on fire

then in the same farm on fire you gotta burn snoop dogg alive

Close. The last fight is against Snoop in his condo, and you have to send him out the window.
Piston Hyundai
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(04-01-2017, 03:13 PM)
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#65: Dead Rising 4
(Capcom Vancouver - PC, 2016)



Dead Rising 4 is the game I wanted out of the original: just a fun sandbox full of loads of zombies to kill.

Frank West has made a triumphant return, and he hasn't lost a step. It could've been easy for Capcom Vancouver to make a mistake by having West age realistically, but they took a chance and made him seem younger than ever. Even though he's 52, he's fresh-faced and has a new voice, making him much more relatable. On top of that, he's a total smart-ass, spouting really funny quips every once in a while. Be on the lookout for his "that's what she said" line, because while you may think it'd be trite as shit, it fucking killed me.

One member of the development team made a controversial statement about the narrative before release, touting their own Hollywood writers while dismissing the staff from the original games because they had only ever worked on video games before. I can understand why people would be upset, but after playing Dead Rising 4, I understand where they were coming from. The difference is night and day, as Dead Rising 4's story is a gripping tale that has plenty of intrigue. It also retains the series' satirical streak, using the holiday shopping mall setting as a chance to put a mirror in front of society and ask: who are the real monsters, here?

Capcom Vancouver's finally dropped the dead weight of time limits, and nixed the threat of death as a bonus. You don't have to worry about much of anything, other than which of the many ridiculous combo weapons you want to effortlessly kill everything with. You don't even have to worry about the difficulty spikes that psychopaths bring anymore. The game is a breeze, and it's a lot of fun.

Dead Rising 4 takes all of the best elements from previous games and uses them to form an entertaining, streamlined experience. Some people may be upset with some of the changes made, but once you get your hands on the game, you'll realize it was for the best. Grab a combo weapon, turn your brain off and go kill some zombies.



#64: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1
(Dimps, Sonic Team - Xbox 360, 2010)



The Sonic series has been in a weird place for a good long while, now. The days of the early-to-mid 2000s where you were guaranteed a shitty game from the series may be long gone, but it still feels like a diceroll determines whether or not a modern game will be good. Thankfully, a pair of games from 2010 were able to bring the batting average back up a bit.

It's an overused term, but Sonic the Hedgehog 4 really is a return to form. Everything you love about Sonic is here: the speed, the old-school FM synth sound, the bright color palette, and the classic level themes. Gameplay feels identical to the original games, and blasting through levels is as rewarding as it was in 1992. Not only that, they also added the homing attack from the 3D games, making attacking enemies or hitting springs and bumpers much easier.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 isn't quite as long as any of the Genesis games, but its brevity keeps it from overstaying its welcome, an issue I have with Sonic 3 & Knuckles. This is a focused game that is devoid of filler, and it's all the better for it.

Along with Sonic Colors, Sonic 4 brought Sonic back from the abyss. It's just a shame we didn't get more than two episodes.



#63: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5
(Robomodo - PS4, 2015)



The Tony Hawk series of games is one of the all-time greats. It's incredible how long the series was able to go on while retaining its fantastic gameplay. Sure, it has its peaks and valleys like any series does, but under Neversoft, a game was never worse than "decent." Robomodo doesn't quite have the same track record, but they were able to figure things out with their final Tony Hawk game.

Controls are very tight, meaning that you are always going to be able to do what you tell your skater to do. Every move from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater to Tony Hawk's Underground is here, plus a drop mechanic that slams your skater down onto a rail. This is one of the best things the game introduces, since you had absolutely no way to drop onto certain rails before this feature was added. Levels flow very smoothly and are bursting with ideas for combos and gaps. It's 100% classic Tony Hawk, and I'm frankly surprised that a team that had nothing to do with the original games could capture what made the originals so beloved so long after the fact.

Simply put, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 is the best AAA skateboarding game of this generation, and I defy you to prove me otherwise. Robomodo did right by the Tony Hawk series, and it's an injustice that they seem to be doomed to working on mobile games now. They really deserve better. Honest.



#62: Postal III
(Running with Scissors, Trashmasters - PC, 2011)



Look, I can't put up a facade with this one: this game is on the list just because it's really funny. We need more games that aren't afraid of being politically incorrect, and I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge that.


#61: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
(Nintendo EAD - Nintendo 64, 1998)



Ocarina of Time is an undisputed classi- alright, I can't do this anymore.

None of these shitheaps are actually on the list. April Fools!
Spirited
Mine is pretty and pink
(04-01-2017, 03:28 PM)
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Not the best april fool's I've seen, most of those games snuggly fit into my picture of your taste in games.
Piston Hyundai
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(04-01-2017, 03:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by Spirited

Not the best april fool's I've seen, most of those games snuggly fit into my picture of your taste in games.

ouch
pizzacat
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(04-01-2017, 04:11 PM)
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DR4 ain't even that bad
tuxfool
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(04-01-2017, 04:25 PM)

Originally Posted by pizzacat

DR4 ain't even that bad

Offensively average?
Vert1
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(04-01-2017, 04:26 PM)
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You got me. Had me looking at those choices thinking to myself "well, I haven't heard good things about any of these games, yet I haven't played any of them..."
pete_clarf
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(04-01-2017, 04:32 PM)
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Ooooh, you're going to catch hell for Dead Rising 4, but you are 100% right!

Also, hell yeah on Condemned. Best launch game ever until BOTW came out.

EDIT: I fell for it. I still like DR4, so I guess you're 100% wrong???
Last edited by pete_clarf; 04-01-2017 at 04:36 PM.
Piston Hyundai
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(04-01-2017, 04:35 PM)
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Originally Posted by pete_clarf

you're going to catch hell for Dead Rising 4

I think I'll be alright.

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