Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Top 10 Video Games

            I have not been posting nearly enough this year and I want to steer back from that.  To that end I have found a 30-day blog challenge and will be writing out entries, hopefully I can get all thirty days without any breaks, and if I manage to do that (since August has 31 days) I will think of an additional entry to write about.  I have done a 30-day challenge before, it for movies, but that was a while back, feel free to read those too if you like.

            Today is day 31 and the topic is “Top 10 Video Games”.
            This and yesterday’s entry were not a part of the original 30-day challenge, I added them to replace categories that I decided to excise for being lame.  Some of these games I have talked about before in this series, and some I have talked about before that, so I will link to those when apropos.  Cause I have written more than 25,000 words on freaking video games this month and I am pretty tired so I am not going to bust my ass on a rehashing of what I have already done.
SO LET US BEGIN!

I sincerely doubt this game is in many top 10's.
10) Fable
I have already talked about this one.  But to give a quick rundown of that: a game that emphasizes humor and a whimsical tone with basic gameplay and basic fantasy story.

           
This is probably on more lists.
9) Resident Evil 4
            Haven’t talked about this one yet.  This is the only good “Resident Evil” game.  It drops most of the BS science fiction to instead focus on a Lovecraft type horror, with giant monsters, twisted monstrosities, cults, zombies caused by parasites rather than a virus, and a plot to insert mind control parasites into the white house.  It is often playing things with a tongue firmly in its cheek, goofy elements, and random puzzles.  While most RE games take themselves too seriously RE4 lets you throw eggs at people.
As for mechanics it has the best quick time events I have seen in a game, though it is also probably responsible for that mechanic being added to every other action title that came out around that time.  The controls do not allow you to move while aiming, instead requiring you to be still while lining up shots in an over the shoulder camera model that works shockingly well.  There are also siege-defense, which allows you to push furniture in from of doors, or shove ladders away from windows, a small but really cool way to interact with the environment that adds to the survival horror element.
Lastly, the game is all about escort quests, as you attempt to save a damsel (the president’s daughter, Ashley) from the monsters, and it is the gold standard in this type of gameplay; Ashley anticipates your movements and gets out of the way, she takes cover behind you, she ducks when she doesn’t have time to get behind you, she can be sent thru some windows to unlock doors or throw switches while you keep the cultists off her, and in one of the cutest aspects of the story she gives a “yeah” mini fist pump when you kill a bad guy.
Resident Evil 4 is a fun and adventurous game that has a good sense of humor and solid gameplay.  I love it. 
           
This is definitely on top 10 lists.  Everybody loves this thing.  I kind of feel mainstream by picking it.
8) Portal
            I have talked about this one too.  And mentioned it positively a couple times.  To some up, it is a tightly designed puzzle game with one of the best mechanics, best bad guy, and best senses of humor in all of gaming.

           
I imagine people's negative reception to the ending of 3 might make this game unfairly neglected during award season.
7) Mass Effect 2
            I have talked about the characters of the Mass Effect series, but this is my favorite entry in the series specifically because of how good those characters are.  While I do find the action gameplay fun what I am really here for is the space politics and the space drama.  I like seeing the bigger issues of the galaxy explored thru the microcosm of diverse crew members you interact with.  It is funny, sad, and awesome in numerous measures.  One of the truly great games of its time and one of my personal favorites.

           
I am so out of juice these captions are giving me trouble.
6) Super Smash Bros Brawl
            I talked about how Nintendo is my favorite developer and this is a good example of why.  The only fighting game I like because it is so easy to play, and much like the rest of Nintendo, it is about having fun not really about giving everyone a competitive system to waste one’s life mastering.  (Note: I think E-Sports are stupid, they are as inane as any game and give you none of the exercise of sports and none of the creative or educational benefits of non-competitive games like Dungeons and Dragons).
            “Smash Bros” just takes bright characters and goofy environments and tells you to have fun with them.  The meta-narrative is that of all the characters all being toys and acting out the play battles of the “Master Hand”.  This even ties back to my discussion of “Alan Wake” yesterday, that I like the idea of characters taking on a life of their own and fighting to break free of their creators as the characters in this game square off against the Master Hand at the game’s ultimate conflict.
            I am sure if I had a WiiU that would be the iteration of the series that I like the most, but I don’t, so it’s not.

I've got to find a way out of here...
5) Spec Ops: The Line
Already talked about this one.  It is a dark exploration of the impulses that make people want to be a hero and the destruction such a self-serving drive has on the world.

Said the Joker to the Theif.
4) Age of Empires III

            Already talked about this one.  It is a Real Time Strategy game set in the colonial era of history.  It has lots of different units and a fun system for gathering and managing resources.

           
Breath that glorious desert air.
3) Fallout: New Vegas
            I beat this thing into the ground with my praise and the amount of time I have spent discussing it.  A mailman is left for dead, and now he is back and out for revenge in the post-apocalyptic desert of Vegas.

           
My brain is tired.  Maybe I wouldn't be cut out for it.
2) Psychonauts
            I already talked about this thing with a glowing review of how I wish I could live in this world.

This is from the opening cinematic of the game, but I have my doubts as to whether this would be the best place to settle down.  The river has advantages, but the mountains might make it too difficult to get enough workable tiles.
1) Civilization V
            This is my favorite game.  At time of writing I have 4100+ hours logged on this game via Steam.  This game introduced me to Steam and I have spent many a long night up playing it.  I love it, and I still to this day suck at it because I have no interest in ever playing it against anyone else.  “Civ” is what I do so as to busy my hands and mind while watching Netflix, Channel Awesome, or whatever else might be on the internet.
I have innumerable complaints and compliments for this thing (I still have no idea how the religion mechanic works), but I don’t want to list them all.  It would be pointless to as that 4100+ hours count would just underline how I have not let anything stop me from playing.  I have learned a lot about historical figures and great wonders of the world because of this game, and I look forward to “Civilization VI” later this year.

            What are your top 10?  What do you think of “get gud”?  How much time have you spent on your favorite game?

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