50 Game Round Up: 51-100 (Jeroen)

Posted: 17th November 2011 by Jeroen in Round-Up

Okay… 1oo… Wow…. We’ve now played (and discussed on here) 1 in 10 games in the book. While there is a niggle in the back of my mind saying we still have 901 games to go, this is where things get serious. Persistence proven, point made… now it’s time for fun.

More ups and downs, I must admit this second group of fifty seems to have featured a broader mix of games… maybe not always as indy, but certainly some of the more interesting games.

Finding the top and bottom games, and what surprised us most, was therefore a more difficult task, there was no Little Computer People in these (roughly) 6 months worth of gaming. Still, I tried my best, and here is my selection…

Best Game I Had Not Previously Played

Another 50 games with at least 40 of them actually being good and enjoyable… how can you pick a favourite from it?

Prototype was quickly overtaken by Infamous and Shadow of the Colossus felt properly epic, as you want sometimes. Final Fantasy XII was lovely, possibly the best of them we’ve played so far.

Luigi’s Mansion is another Mario game I really loved, and our love for the real star of the series is proven here by offering a fun, quite different game that we ended up buying for ourselves after we borrowed it before.

Another game we ended up buying is, however, my definite pick for this category. Skies of Arcadia is a really good JRPG (amongst the best, if not the best), and I must admit I spent more money than I should have on getting it. I was happy with that though, somehow the turn based combat and otherwise fairly simple interface made for a fun game where elements mattered (though not too much) with a level up system that worked well with a seperate skill system and some interesting ideas for characters.

The story was interesting, and was made by the unorthodox sky based setting, and the characters grew rapidly on us. It took us an hour or two to get going, but after that we found it hard to put it down – we were entranced by its opportunities and found it led to a brilliant game. This is helped by its beautiful design (especially for the time) and diversity of side quests and options. Again, if you haven’t yet, give it a try soon if you can find it. It’s worth it.

Oh, and a few games I was happy to get back to were Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri (our first Civ like game!) and the Lucasarts adventure Sam & Max Hit the Road, which I’ve finished far too often to not be mentioned now. Grand Theft Auto was, in that sense, the perfect game to end this streak of 50 with… Yeah, I got lost in that again. Brilliant.

Worst Game

 Yeah, not all of these are winners. The Metal Gear Solid game series, as might be clear so far, doesn’t work for me… but they aren’t actually bad games, just not my type. Super Hang-On has been done better since its release. But that’s just time moving on. Tales of Symphonia, however, was quite simply awful and not worth it for me.

If I really want to go worst though, I have to go for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. It might be time here, and it’s very much because I am not great at skating games. But it just didn’t feel like a great game anyway. Aside from dated graphics, the controls were awkward and too difficult to come to grips with. There were goals, but I didn’t get the feeling I really got a chance to do them – some were fiddly, and you didn’t always get enough time to explore to get to them.

I’m sure it’s a good example of a skating game, and it’s certainly not Little Computer People (nothing has lived up… or down to that standard yet), but I really didn’t enjoy playing it that much.

Most Surprising Game

Want to know the shortlist of games that didn’t make it? Well… Rockstar presents Table Tennis is one of those left field games I just never thought about. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is Metal Gear Solid Done Right. DoDonPanchi was just an incredible amount of fun.

In the end, however, Super Metroid wins out. I had only seen bits and pieces of the game series, and that seemed simple. Straight forward. Follow the path and kill the enemies. Maybe some explorations, but hey, action game, right?

No, it wasn’t. Not at all. What I saw (after a first small dungeon) was a large cave complex, where I could explore a number of paths, that grew exponentially as I explored more – finding more paths, hidden and obvious. Add that to a simple, good action shooter game, and you get some addictive… I want to get back to it, but I’m afraid I’d just get lost. HELP!

Biggest Disappointment

Plenty of games on the list get hyped up. Some look worse when we go to investigate them further, where more often than not we end up pleasantly surprised.

Other games, however, seem good at first, get plenty of hype and get us excited about playing. And then when we do it, it… just doesn’t meet our expectations. It’s not as brilliant as they said. The vision… might be there, but hinders rather than helps. And in the end, they’re simply not as much fun. And that, for me, was Killer 7.

It’s not necessarily a bad game. There were some good adventure elements in there, without much tedious shooting. But it was so hyped up. Artsy, special, its own greatness. Western audiences didn’t get it at first… and neither did I. Just not that great. I’m sorry. It just didn’t work for me.

I’d almost give an honorable mention to Sonic Adventure here… except that I knew it had its issues already.

Games We Kept Playing

This is the most obvious one for me. There’s just one game that kept me addicted for longer afterwards, until I finished it and got to 100% (more or less). That’s Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Fun, plenty of puzzle solving I enjoy doing, with a story that I simply wanted to figure out. The very definition of a game that just grabs you.

With that said, there are other games I’ll get back to. I’ve already played more Guild Wars, and as mentioned above, will get back to Luigi’s Mansion and Skies of Arcadia at some point.

Sorry, World of Warcraft. You were fun, but… I found better, really.