Hey there guys and welcome to this week’s installment of 100 Greatest Video Games Of All Time. This week we’ll tackle # 79 through #60 and let me say there are some great titles this week! So read on and see for yourself.
79. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain
Blood Omen, the first in the Legacy of Kain series, was a terrific RPG/action game with a ton of atmosphere. It takes place in the land of Nemesis, where you play a character of who begins the game overwhelmed by soldiers and murdered. However, this is not the end of your story… You awake in an eerie crypt, transformed into a vampire. Possessing an intimidating appearance, you now keep strangers at a safe distance. On your journey to reverse the spell, you get to use spells that range from causing your enemy to implode, to more harmless and practical one that light up a room or transport you back to your crypt. There are also transformation spells that allow you morph you into a wolf or a bat.
78. Pokemon Red & Blue
Pokémon Red Version and Blue Version are role-playing games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. They are the first installments to the Pokémon series. They were first released in Japan in 1996 as Red and Green, with Blue being released later in the year as a special edition. They were later released as Red and Blue in North America, Europe and Australia over the following three years. Pokémon Yellow, a special edition version, was released roughly a year later. Red and Blue have subsequently been remade for the Game Boy Advance as Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, released in 2004. The player controls the main character from an overhead perspective and navigates him throughout the fictionalized region of Kanto in a quest to master Pokémon battling. The goal of the games is to become the Champion of the region by defeating the top four Pokémon trainers in the land, the Elite Four. Another objective is to complete the Pokédex, an in-game encyclopedia, by obtaining the 151 available Pokémon. Red and Blue also utilize the Game Link Cable, which connects two games together and allows Pokémon to be traded or battled with between games. Both titles are independent of each other but feature largely the same plot and, while they can be played separately, it is necessary for players to trade among the two in order to obtain all 151 Pokémon.
Red and Blue received strong reviews; critics praised the multiplayer options, especially the concept of trading. They received an aggregated score of 89% on Game Rankings and are perennially ranked on top-game lists including at least four years on IGN’s Top 100 Games of All Time. The games’ releases marked the beginning of what would become a multi-billion dollar franchise, jointly selling millions of copies worldwide, and in 2009 they appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records under “Best selling RPG on the Game Boy,” and “Best selling RPG of all time”.
Psychonauts is based on the exploits of Raz, a young boy gifted with psychic abilities who runs away from the circus to try to sneak into a summer camp for those with similar powers in order to become a “Psychonaut”. He finds that there is a sinister plot occurring at the camp that only he can stop from happening. The game is centered on the widely strange and imaginative minds of various characters that Raz enters as a Psychonaut-in-training/”Psycadet” in order to help them overcome their fears or memories of their past, so as to gain their help and progress in the game. Raz gains use of several psychic abilities during the game that are used for both attacking foes and solving puzzles.
Psychonauts combines traditional console platformer elements with the kind of strong storytelling, humor and dialogue found in adventure games. The camp itself is fully explorable by the player to find hidden arrowheads that can be used to purchase items at the camp store and psi cards that help to improve Raz’s Psi Ranking, to talk to other campers and camp advisers, and to make way to the various “levels” within the game. There are also areas in the “real world” of the camp, including a nearby insane asylum, that the player will explore during the course of the game. Throughout these areas are characters whose minds Raz can enter, either through their own actions, or by use of a small door that Raz uses on the character’s forehead. Each of these character levels has its own unique visual design and set of challenges, related to the demons, nightmares and secret memories of the mind that Raz is exploring; for example, within the mind of the lungfish that terrorizes the camp lake, Raz is seen as a giant monster attacking a city filled with lungfish beings (in a level designed to parody most elements of the kaijū genre), while within the mind of Boyd, the insane security guard at the asylum, Raz finds a town, twisted and askew, with cameras and eyes hidden everywhere, which tune in with Boyd’s paranoia. Within the mind levels, the player can collect various “figments of imagination” which can also lead to increasing Raz’s Psi Ranking, locate tags to match with various “emotional baggage” within the level to advance ranks and unlock concept art and destroy “mental vaults” to unlock a slideshow that helps to explain the background of that character and his or her mental problem. The player must also avoid taking damage from censors that attempt to remove Raz from the character’s mind. Each mind level typically ends with a boss fight that represents the main cause of the character’s mental problems.
Raz gains new psychic powers through the game through either instruction by the camp counselors, or by increasing his Psi Ranking. These powers include telekinesis, levitation, invisibility, pyrokinesis, clairvoyance, Psi Shield, Psi Blast and confusion. Additional Rankings increase the range, duration or potency of these abilities. These powers are directly involved in the puzzle-solving aspects of the game as well as to defeat foes within the game, and allow the player to tailor the solutions to his or her own playing strengths. The player also gains items that can be used either for solving puzzles, to escape from a mind level if they become stuck, or to get advice for solving some of the puzzles. Raz can also communicate with an older member of the Psychonauts for hints. However, due to a curse placed upon his family, he is unable to touch water and will die if he comes into contact with it too much
While the game received strong critical praise and gained a large fan following, Psychonauts suffered from poor sales and the publisher, Majesco, suffered financial difficulties relating to Psychonauts and other titles in its catalogue.
76. Star Wars: Battlefront
Star Wars: Battlefront encompasses battles between four main factions from both the original and prequel trilogies: the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS) of the prequel era, and the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire of the classic trilogy. However, factions can only play their historical adversary; there cannot be any Rebels vs. Separatists or Clones vs. Empire fights. In each faction, five different classes of characters become available. Four of the classes are similar for each faction: a basic infantry soldier (a Super battle droid for the CIS), heavy weapons soldier, pilot and sniper.
Both factions have a set amount of reinforcements. When the reinforcements have been depleted, the faction loses. Scattered around the battlefields are command posts. AI units and players use these command posts to spawn from after being killed. If a faction controls all command posts, they win the battle unless capture of one of these points is disrupted. Each faction has special units such as the Droideka for the Separatists, and a Jetpack-wielding Dark Trooper for the Empire. Several ground and air vehicles are also available to the player on the battlefield. Ranging from the hulking AT-AT, to the fast speeder bike, there are more than 25 vehicles in-game. Some larger vehicles also function as mobile command posts, which cannot be captured, but are lost if the vehicle is destroyed. In Star Wars: Battlefront, Jedi heroes are featured: Mace Windu battles for the Galactic Republic, Count Dooku for the Separatists, Luke Skywalker battles with the Rebel Alliance and Darth Vader the Galactic Empire. Unlike its successors, Jedi characters are not playable.
In addition, some maps have native forces. These may be either be friendly to both sides (like Jawas) hostile to one player, as with the Wookies, or hostile to both, as with Sandpeople. Either opposing faction can capture a command post belonging to hostile natives in the usual way.
75. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is a third-person action-adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos. It was released for the PlayStation and Microsoft Windows in 1999 and for the Dreamcast in 2000. As the second game in the Legacy of Kain series, Soul Reaver is the sequel to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Soul Reaver was followed by three games, one of which, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2, is a direct sequel.
Taking place 1500 years after the events of Blood Omen, Soul Reaver chronicles the journey of the vampire-turned-wraith Raziel, lieutenant to the vampire lord Kain. Raziel is killed by Kain, but is revived by The Elder God to become his “soul reaver” and to exact revenge. Raziel shares this title with Kain’s sword, Soul Reaver, which he acquires during the game.
In Soul Reaver, an action-adventure game, players control Raziel, a disfigured and ghostly vampire. The game is normally shown from a third-person perspective behind Raziel, but players can rotate the viewpoint around him by using the control pad. Gameplay relies largely on shifting between the material and spectral planes of existence to progress through areas. Although interaction with objects is limited in the spectral realm, this can be advantageous because Raziel can phase through otherwise impassable gates there, and water is insubstantial allowing him to walk on lakebeds. However, blocks, doors, and switches can be manipulated only in the physical realm. Many puzzles are based on the differences between the two realms; for example, platforms and environment features in one realm may change form to open new paths in the other. Block puzzles are also common and require the rotation, flipping, and moving of large blocks to progress, often with a time limit and while avoiding enemies.
74. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a multi-platform action-adventure video game developed by KnowWonder, Warthog, Griptonite and Argonaut. The PlayStation, PC, Game Boy Color and Advance versions were released in 2001 while the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube versions released in 2003. It follows the events of the first book. The game received mixed reviews. Critics commented on the game’s simple game play and its poor graphics (2003 versions) while others said the game’s license will be the only thing to draw in fans.
Even though it’s a poor game, even by that time’s standards I still had a load of fun with it (and got frustrated a lot with a stealth level – Goddamn cat!). Back in those days I was well into Harry Potter as I was reading the books and really liked them, so this is sort of a blast from the past for me!
73. The Secret of Monkey Island
The game begins on the Caribbean island of Mêlée, where a youth named Guybrush Threepwood wants to be a pirate. He seeks out the Pirate Leaders, who set him three challenges to prove himself a pirate: defeat Carla, the island’s swordmaster in insult swordfighting, steal a statue from the Governor’s mansion, and find buried treasure.
Along the way he meets several interesting characters, including Stan the used boat salesman, Meathook (a fellow with hooks on both hands), a prisoner named Otis, the three men of low moral fiber and, most significantly, the gorgeous Governor Elaine Marley. The ghost pirate LeChuck, however, has been in love with Elaine since his living days. While Guybrush is busy, LeChuck’s ghost crew abduct her, taking her to Monkey Island. Guybrush gathers a crew (Carla, Meathook, and Otis), buys a boat, and sets out to find the mysterious island and free Elaine.
When Guybrush finally reaches Monkey Island, he explores it and discovers a band of cannibals and a strange hermit named Herman Toothrot. After he helps the cannibals recover a lost voodoo ingredient (a magical root), they provide him with a seltzer bottle filled with “voodoo root elixir” that can destroy ghosts. However, when Guybrush goes after LeChuck, he is told that LeChuck went to Mêlée Island to marry Elaine.
Guybrush returns to Mêlée and goes to the church to prevent the wedding. When he arrives at the church wedding, he realises that Elaine had her own plan to escape. Guybrush loses the elixir and LeChuck starts beating him, until they arrive at the ship emporium where he finds a bottle of root beer. Substituting root beer for the lost ghost-fighting elixir, he sprays LeChuck and the ghost pirate is destroyed. With LeChuck defeated, Guybrush and Elaine enjoy a romantic moment, watching fireworks.
72. Metal Gear Solid
The protagonist of Metal Gear Solid is Solid Snake, a legendary infiltrator and saboteur, voiced by David Hayter. During the mission, Snake receives support and advice via codec radio. Colonel Roy Campbell, Solid Snake’s former commanding officer, supports Snake with advice and tactics. While he initially keeps a number of secrets from Snake, he gradually reveals them. He is joined by Naomi Hunter, who gives medical advice; Nastasha Romanenko, who provides item and weapon tips; Master Miller, a former drill instructor and survival coach; and Mei Ling, who invented the soliton radar system used in the mission and is also in charge of mission data; the player can call her to save the game.
Despite a transition to 3D, the gameplay of Metal Gear Solid remains similar to its 2D MSX2 predecessor Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. The player must navigate the protagonist, Solid Snake, through the game’s areas without being detected by enemies.Detection is triggered by the player moving into an enemy’s field of vision and sets off an alarm that draws armed enemies to his location. This also triggers “alert mode” and the player must then hide and remain undet ected, at which point “evasion mode” begins and once the counter reaches zero the game returns to “infiltration mode” where enemies are not suspicious of Snake’s presence. The radar cannot be used in alert or evasion mode.
To remain undetected, the player can perform techniques which make use of both Solid Snake’s abilities and the environment, such as crawling under objects, using boxes as cover, ducking or hiding around walls, and making noise to distract enemies. These are carried out using the third-person camera; which often changes its angle to give the player the best view of the area possible, and an on-screen radar, which displays enemies and their field of vision. Snake can also make use of many items and gadgets, such as infra-red goggles or a cardboard box disguise. The emphasis on stealth promotes a less violent form of gameplay, as fights against large groups of enemies will often result in serious damage for the player.
Intermixed with the player’s progress are cutscenes and codec conversations as well as encounters with bosses. To progress, players must discover the weaknesses of each boss to defeat them. Game controls and play strategies can also be accessed via the Codec radio, where advice is delivered from Snake’s support team; for example, the support team may chastise Snake for not saving his progress often enough, or explain his combat moves in terms of which buttons to press on the gamepad. The Codec is also used to provide exposition on the game’s backstory. Completion of the title provides the player with a statistical summary of their performance, and a “code name” based upon it, typically the name of a common animal.
In a first for the Metal Gear series, a training mode is available in which players can practice hiding techniques, weapons use, and sneaking. In addition to the stealth gameplay, there are set piece sequences that entail firefights between the player and enemies from the third-person and first-person perspectives.
71. Halo 2
After the success of Combat Evolved, a sequel was expected and highly anticipated. Bungie found inspiration in plot points and gameplay elements that had been left out of their first game, including multiplayer over the internet through Xbox Live. Time constraints forced a series of cutbacks in the size and scope of the game, including a cliffhanger ending to the game’s campaign mode that left many in the studio dissatisfied. Among Halo 2‘s marketing efforts was an alternate reality game called “I Love Bees” that involved players solving real-world puzzles. On release, Halo 2 was the most popular video game on Xbox Live, holding that rank until the release of Gears of War for the Xbox 360 nearly two years later.
Halo 2 is a shooter game, with players predominantly experiencing gameplay from a first-person perspective. Players use a combination of human and alien weaponry and vehicles to progress through the game’s levels. The player’s health bar is not visible, but are instead equipped with a damage-absorbing shield that regenerates when not taking fire.
Certain weapons can be dual-wielded, allowing the player to trade accuracy, the use of grenades and melee attacks for raw firepower. The player can carry two weapons at a time (or three if dual-wielding; one weapon remains holstered), with each weapon having advantages and disadvantages in different combat situations. For example, most Covenant weapons eschew disposable ammo clips for a contained battery, which cannot be replaced if depleted. However, these weapons can overheat if fired continuously for prolonged periods. Human weapons are less effective at penetrating shields and require reloading, but cannot overheat due to prolonged fire. The player can carry a total of eight grenades to dislodge and disrupt enemies. New in Halo 2 is the ability to board enemy vehicles that are near the player and traveling at low speeds. The player or AI latches onto the vehicle and forcibly ejects the other driver from the vehicle.
The amount of fun (and frustration) I had finishing this game on the Legendary difficulty is unprecedented for me, which makes it one of the most enjoyable titles ever in my book.
Like its predecessors, Team Fortress 2 is focused around two opposing teams competing for a principal objective. These teams, Reliable Excavation & Demolition (RED) and Builders League United (BLU), are meant to represent two holding corporations that between them secretly control every government on the planet. Players can choose to play as one of nine classes in these teams, each with his own unique strengths and weaknesses. Although the abilities of a number of classes have changed from earlier Team Fortress incarnations, the basic elements of each class have remained. The game was released with six official maps, although 24 extra maps, 9 arena maps, and two training maps have been included in subsequent updates. In addition, a number of community assembled maps have been released. When players join a level for the first time, an introductory video shows how to complete its objectives. During matches, an eternally dissatisfied woman voiced by Ellen McLain announces various game events over loudspeakers. The player limit is 16 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. On the PC, a vanilla server can hold 24 players, but in 2008 Valve updated Team Fortress 2 to include a server variable that allows up to 32 players. Third party modifications have made it possible to host up to 36 players on one server.
Team Fortress 2 is the first of Valve’s multiplayer games to provide detailed statistics for individual players. They include the time spent playing as each class, most points obtained and the most captures or objectives achieved in a single life. Persistent statistics tell the player how he or she is improving in relation to these statistics, such as if a player comes close to his or her record for the damage inflicted in a round. Team Fortress 2 also features numerous “achievements” for carrying out certain tasks, such as scoring a certain number of kills or completing a round within a certain time. New sets of class-specific achievements have been added in updates, which add new abilities and weapons to each class once unlocked by the player. This unlockable system has since been expanded into a random-chance system, where the player can also obtain the items simply by playing the game. Achievements unlocked and statistics from previously played games are displayed on the player’s Steam Community or Xbox Live profile page.
69. Ratchet and Clank
The game’s plot opens with the anthromorphic character Ratchet meeting the robot Clank on his home planet. Clank discovers that the villainous Chairman Drek of the Blarg race plans to create a new planet for his species, destroying the galaxy in the process. Clank convinces Ratchet to help him in his quest to gain the help of the famous superhero Captain Qwark, but they soon discover that they must save the galaxy on their own.
The game offers a wide range of weapons and gadgets that the player must use to defeat numerous enemies and solve puzzles on a variety of different planets in the fictional “Solana” galaxy. The game also includes several mini-games, such as racing or lock-picking, which the player must complete to proceed.
In Ratchet & Clank, the main playable character is Ratchet, whom the player controls from a third-person perspective. The player traverses diverse environments with a large collection of unusual gadgets and weapons, using them to defeat enemies and pass obstacles. Up to 35 weapons and gadgets can be bought or found in the game. The player begins the game with only two weapons; the “OmniWrench 8000”, a standard melee weapon with a variety of uses, and the Bomb Glove, a short-range grenade thrower. As missions are completed across the game’s various planets, more weapons and gadgets become available, including the Blaster (automatic pistol), the Pyrociter (a flame-thrower), and the Suck Cannon (a weapon which sucks up smaller enemies and converts them into projectiles). Weapons are either found, or can be bought with bolts, the game’s form of currency. These bolts can be found in crates, along with ammo, or dropped from defeated enemies. The player also needs to buy ammo for most weapons, but a small number can function without the need for ammo.Vendors, which sell weapons and ammo, are situated at strategic points throughout levels. After completing the game, the player may choose to enter “challenge mode”, in which the game’s difficulty level rises considerably, but all bolts and weapons acquired the first time are carried through. There is also the option to buy “gold weapons”, more powerful versions of existing weapons. The game’s health system, nanotech, starts at four health bubbles, but upgrades can be purchased, giving the player a total of eight hit points.
Normally, Clank rides on Ratchet’s back, acting as a jet-pack or similar device. Occasionally, however, Clank becomes a playable character when Ratchet is unable to explore certain areas. Clank can control “Gadgebots”, smaller robots similar to Clank, who perform certain actions for him. Racing, in the form of hoverboard races, appears in the game. Some racing missions are necessary to progress in the game, while others are optional. One level of space combat and a level of flying through the air shooting tankers is also present. Mini-games to unlock doors, extend bridges, or elevate platforms appear in most levels.
Clanks witty remarks make this game a real jewel in the platforming genre, I suggest you pick this up if you haven’t already.
Fallout is a computer role-playing game produced by Tim Cain, developed by Black Isle Studios (though before the studio was named “Black Isle”) and published by Interplay in 1997. The game has a post-apocalyptic setting in the mid-22nd century, featuring an alternate history which deviates some time after World War II, where technology, politics and culture followed a different course.
The game is sometimes considered to be an unofficial sequel to Wasteland, but it could not use that title as Electronic Arts held the rights to it; and, except for minor references, the games are set in separate universes. It was also intended to use Steve Jackson Games’ GURPS system, but that deal fell through due to the excessive amounts of violence and gore included in the game, forcing Black Isle to change the already implemented GURPS system to the internally developed SPECIAL system.
Gameplay in Fallout consists of traveling around the game world, visiting locations and interacting with the local inhabitants. Occasionally, inhabitants will be immersed in dilemmas which the player may choose to solve in order to acquire karma and experience points. Fallout deviates from most computer role-playing games in that it often allows for the player to complete tasks in multiple ways, often choosing solutions that are unconventional or even contrary to the original task, in which case the player may still be rewarded. The player’s actions may ultimately dictate the ending of the game, or what future story or gameplay opportunities are available. Ultimately, players will encounter hostile opponents (if such encounters are not avoided using stealth or diplomacy), in which case they and the player will engage in combat. Non-combat portions of the game are typically played in real-time.
Super Metroid is an action-platform game which primarily takes place on the fictional planet Zebes, which is a large, open-ended world with areas connected by doors and elevators. The player controls Samus Aran as she searches the planet for a Metroid that was stolen by Ridley, the leader of the Space Pirates. Along the way, the player collects power-ups that enhance Samus’s armor and weaponry, as well as grant her special abilities such as the Space Jump, which allows her to jump infinite times to cover great distances. These abilities allow Samus to access areas that were previously inaccessible.
The game introduces several new concepts to the series. Among them are the ability to enable and disable weapons and abilities in an inventory screen, and a Moon Walk ability, named after the popular dance move of the same name, which allows Samus to walk backwards while firing her weapon. The game also features the ability to combine Samus’s weapon beams. In addition, the save system from Metroid II: Return of Samus returns in Super Metroid, which allows the player to save and restart the game at any of the save points scattered around the planet. The player can also save the game at Samus’s gunship, which fully recharges her health and ammunition as well.
Chronologically, Super Metroid takes place seventh in the Metroid universe and immediately after the events of Metroid II: Return of Samus, and begins with a narrative by bounty hunter Samus Aran. Samus describes how a Metroid larva hatched from an egg and immediately imprinted upon her, believing her to be its mother. She brought the larva to Ceres Space Colony, where scientists learned that they could harness its power. Just after she left the colony, she received a distress call and returned to find the scientists dead and the larva stolen. The game begins as she follows the leader of the Space Pirates, Ridley, to the planet Zebes, where she searches for the stolen larva in a network of caves.
Along the way, Samus defeats four of the Space Pirate bosses, including Ridley, and arrives in Tourian, the heart of the Space Pirate base. There, she encounters the Metroid larva, which has now grown to an enormous size. It attacks Samus and nearly drains all of her energy before it realizes who she is, and then departs. Samus recharges her energy and confronts Mother Brain, the biomechanical creature that controls the base’s systems. Mother Brain nearly kills Samus, but is then attacked by the Metroid larva, which drains it of its energy and transfers it back to Samus. Mother Brain recovers and destroys the Metroid in retaliation, but is in turn destroyed by Samus with an extremely powerful weapon created from the energy given to her by the Metroid. Afterward, a planetwide self-destruct sequence begins, which Samus narrowly escapes.
66. Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2, is a survival horror video game by Capcom originally released for the PlayStation in 1998. The second installment in the Resident Evil series, its story takes place two months after the events of the first game. It is set in Raccoon City, a Midwestern mountain community whose residents have been turned into zombies by the T-virus, a biological weapon developed by the pharmaceutical company Umbrella. In their escape from the city, the two protagonists Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield encounter other survivors and are confronted by William Birkin, the mutated creator of the even more powerful G-virus.
The gameplay of Resident Evil 2 primarily focuses on exploration, solving puzzles and fighting enemies, though the title also contains typical elements of the survival horror genre, such as limited saves and ammunition. The main improvement over the predecessor is the “Zapping System” that provides each playable character with a different scenario featuring unique storylines and puzzles. Developed with a team of about 40 to 50 people over the course of one year and nine months, Resident Evil 2 was directed by Hideki Kamiya and produced by Shinji Mikami. The initial version of the game, commonly referred to as Resident Evil 1.5, differed drastically from the released product and was scrapped at a development stage of 60–80 percent, deemed too dull and boring by the producer. The resulting redesign introduced different settings and a more cinematic story presentation, supported by a soundtrack that employs “desperation” as the underlying theme of the musical compositions.
65. Baldur’s Gate
Baldur’s Gate is a computer role-playing game (CRPG) developed by BioWare and released in 1998 by Interplay Entertainment. The game takes place in the Forgotten Realms, a high fantasy campaign setting, using modified Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) 2nd edition rules. The game received critical praise, and was credited (along with Diablo), with revitalizing the CRPG genre.
The story follows the journey of the player character (PC) along the Sword Coast, which lies on the west coast of the continent Faerûn, as he or she grows up following the cataclysmic Time of Troubles. Character development occurs through dialogue and battle. The game rewards the PC according to his or her moral choices.
During the game, past and present events are related to the player through dialogue, written text, journal entries, or cut scenes. Dialogue is initiated when the player clicks on computer controlled characters. This generates written and sometimes spoken dialogue with selectable responses. Such interactions can lead to quests or missions.
The game is separated into seven chapters interspersed with segments of spoken dialogue. Free exploration of the world map is allowed in every chapter, though some areas are not unlocked until the PC advances to a certain point in the game. The player begins as a weak character, poorly equipped and without allies. As players progress, they discover new and more powerful weapons, armor, and spells, and can form a party of up to six characters (including the PC). Experience points gained through completing quests and killing monsters improve the abilities of the main character and other party members.
The flow of time during the game is expressed by changes in lighting and the closure of most shops, with the increased likelihood of encounters during the night. Taverns are open during the night, but there are no changes in the presence of customers or the barkeeper to reflect the flow of time. The troupe of characters controlled by the player do become fatigued after traveling for a full day, which requires rest to recover.
64. Battlefield 2
The story takes place in the early 21st century during a fictional world war between various power blocs: China, the European Union (playable as of the 1.50 patch), the fictional Middle Eastern Coalition (MEC), Russia (playable only in the Special Forces expansion) and the United States. In-game, the European Union and the United States fight China and the MEC. It is known that in the game’s story, the EU and the US are allies and the EU has negotiated a peace deal with Russia but it is unknown if China and the MEC are allies. The game takes place in different fronts, as the Middle East and China are being invaded by US and EU forces, and the United States is being invaded by Chinese and MEC forces.
Battlefield 2 is essentially a multiplayer game played via the Internet or on a local area network. A single-player mode with three difficulty levels is included. Both player modes use the same maps and use Battlefield’s conquest game mode. Single-player mode allows 16 computer controlled players while Internet mode allows up to 64 players. Players can choose to play as the United States Marine Corps, the People’s Liberation Army, or the “Middle Eastern Coalition”. Additional factions are playable through the expansion packs, such as the European Union. Progress in the game is made via promotions which allow additional weapons to be unlocked. By playing the game on ranked servers, players are able to add to their global player statistics. These statistics are used to award promotions and other achievements.
In Battlefield 2, players are divided into two opposing teams (which factions they represent is dependent upon the map). The key objective in Battlefield 2 is to reduce the opposing teams tickets. Tickets represent an army’s ability to reinforce their position on the battlefield; each team has only a limited supply of tickets, and each casualty on the battlefield reduces the number of available tickets. Control points represent key points on the map, and are represented by flags. Control points are Battlefield 2′s spawn points, and one team possessing a significant majority of the control points causes the other teams tickets to gradually decrease, regardless of casualties. A round ends when one team’s tickets fall to zero, the round’s timer ends, or if at any point a team holds no control points, and has no soldiers alive on the battlefield (meaning they are not present in any way on the battlefield).
Battlefield 2′s two game modes are Conquest and Cooperative. The only difference between the two modes is that Cooperative includes computer controlled players, whilst Conquest allows only human players. Results from Cooperative mode do not count toward global player statistics.
63. Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 2 is a survival horror video game published by Konami for the PlayStation 2. The second installment in the Silent Hill series, it was released in late September 2001 in North America and Japan, and in late November 2001 in Europe. It was also ported to the Xbox and PC. It has been re-released multiple times, including under the Greatest Hits label and as part of The Silent Hill Collection along with its indirect PS2 sequels Silent Hill 3 and Silent Hill 4: The Room.
While it is set in the series’ namesake town, Silent Hill 2 is not a direct sequel to the events and characters of the first Silent Hill game. Instead, it centers on James Sunderland, who enters the town after receiving a letter written by his deceased wife, saying she is waiting for him in their “special place” in Silent Hill. Joined by Maria who resembles her except for a more provocative outfit and personality, he searches for her and discovers the truth about her death. Additional material in re-releases and ports included Born from a Wish, a sub-scenario which focuses on Maria before she and James meet.
Silent Hill 2 uses a third-person perspective and gameplay places a greater emphasis on finding items and solving riddles than combat, similar to the first Silent Hill. Psychological aspects such as the gradual disappearance of Mary’s letter were added to the game. More humanoid than their counterparts in the preceding game, some of the monsters were designed as a reflection of James’ subconscious. Real-life references to history, films and literary works can also be found in the game.
62. World of Warcraft
This is the most popluar MMORPG ever created, with over 11 million subscribers. As an MMO, WoW starts off the same as any other. You create your character, choose a class and race and take your first steps into a world full of adventure, treasure and danger.
As characters become more developed, they gain various talents and skills, requiring the player to further define the abilities of that character. Professions such as tailoring, blacksmithing, and mining can be learned. The three secondary skills, cooking, fishing, and first-aid, can also be learned by characters. On December 7, 2010, Archeology was added as a fourth skill characters could learn. Characters may also form and join guilds, allowing characters within the guild access to the guild’s chat channel, the guild name and optionally allowing other features, including a guild tabard, guild bank, and dues.
Much of World of Warcraft play involves “questing”. These quests, also called “tasks” or “missions”, are usually available from NPCs. Quests usually reward the player with some combination of experience points, items, and in-game money. Quests also allow characters to gain access to new skills and abilities, and explore new areas. It is also through quests that much of the game’s story is told, both through the quest’s text and through scripted NPC actions. Quests are linked by a common theme, with each consecutive quest triggered by the completion of the previous, forming a quest chain. Quests commonly involve killing a number of creatures, gathering a certain number of resources, finding a difficult to locate object, speaking to various NPCs, visiting specific locations, interacting with objects in the world, or delivering an item from one place to another.
While a character can be played on its own, players can also group with others to tackle more challenging content. Most end-game challenges are designed in a way that they can only be overcome while in a group. In this way, character classes are used in specific roles within a group. World of Warcraft uses a “rested bonus” system, increasing the rate that a character can gain experience points after the player has spent time away from the game. When a character dies, it becomes a ghost—or wisp for Night Elf characters—at a nearby graveyard. Characters can be resurrected by other characters that have the ability, or can self-resurrect by moving from the graveyard to the place where they died. If a character is past level ten and they resurrect at a graveyard, the items equipped by the character degrade, requiring in-game money and a specialist NPC to repair them. Items that have degraded heavily become unusable until they are repaired.
WoW provides a wide range of PvE and PvP challenges so that players from all backgrounds and interests can enjoy the game to its fullest. Wether they can play 30 minutes a week, or 30 hours.
61. Banjo Kazooie
Set in the fictional location of Spiral Mountain where a bear named Banjo and his faithful bird companion Kazooie. This game is the greatest platformer of all time. What made it so? The sheer brilliance of its design. It’s composed of nine non-linear 3D worlds in which the player must gather jigsaw pieces, or “Jiggys”, to progress. Banjo and Kazooie are aided by Bottles, who teaches them new abilities, and Mumbo, who uses magical powers to transform them into other creatures, such as a termite, pumpkin or crocodile. The player progresses in the game by finding Jiggys, Musical Notes and Mumbo Tokens. Jiggys open doors to new worlds by collecting enough to complete the corresponding jigsaw puzzle. There are ten in each world; nine must be found through exploration or the completion of challenges and puzzles, and one is granted by finding all five Jinjos on each world. Musical Notes open note doors that allow Banjo and Kazooie to progress further into Gruntilda’s lair. There are 100 notes in each world, and 900 total in the game. Mumbo Tokens grant the player magical transformations at Mumbo’s hut when the player collects a sufficient amount; there are a total of 115 tokens throughout the game. Besides these primary items, the player can also collect items which are used in performing certain moves. Bottles must teach Banjo and Kazooie the move before the item can be used. Items include blue eggs, red feathers and gold feathers. Blue eggs are fired as projectiles or ejected from Kazooie’s rear, and fire in a straight line or bounce slowly until they either hit an enemy, or break on their own; red feathers are used in flight and flying attacks; and gold feathers are for the most powerful attack, Wonderwing, which uses Kazooie’s wings to make her and Banjo invincible and can kill almost any enemy, or at least protect the bear and bird. Rarer, temporary items can be found which have specialised use in puzzle-solving, namely wading boots, which enable the crossing of hazardous terrain, and turbo trainers, which grant extra running speed, often as part of a race or a time-based puzzle. Other items include extra lives and honeycomb energy, which respectively increase the player’s lives and health, and extra honeycomb pieces, which give the player a permanent increase of one honeycomb of health for every six collected. The game uses Gruntilda the witch’s (and your nemesis) Lair as an overworld in which the player progresses. Individual levels are accessed through Gruntilda’s Lair by collecting enough musical notes to open various doors. Levels in Banjo Kazooie contain a diverse selection of challenges and special items. Mumbo’s skull is found in Mumbo’s Mountain, featuring a transformation of Banjo into a giant termite; Bubblegloop Swamp, featuring a transformation of Banjo into an alligator; Freezeezy Peak, featuring a transformation of Banjo into a walrus; Mad Monster Mansion, featuring a transformation of Banjo into a pumpkin; and Click Clock Wood, featuring a transformation of Banjo into a bumblebee. These worlds are gorgeously created and challenging making it an absolute pleasure to play. This is the pinnacle of the platformer. I know a lot of people were crazy about Mario 64, but THIS is game that defined the genre for me. A sequel on the N64 , Banjo Tooie was released a couple of years later which was excellent as well and an Xbox 360 game was promised for years… Finally Banjo Kazoiie Nuts and Bolts came out, which was a bitter disappointment, having nothing at all to do with the original concept. Hopefully they get it right someday and a TRUE next-gen sequel will be made.
What can one say about Tetris? It’s been copied a billion times over, but there is only one Tetris. This most famous of all puzzle video games was originally designed and programmed by Alexey Pazhitnov. It was created on June 6, 1984, while he was working for the Dorodnicyn Computing Centre of the Academy of Science of the USSR in Moscow. He derived its name from the Greek numerical prefix “tetra- (all of the game’s pieces, known as Tetrominoes, contain four segments) and tennis, Pajitnov’s favorite sport. The Tetris game is a popular use of tetrominoes, the four element special case of polyominoes. Polyominoes have been used in popular puzzles since at least 1907, and the name is given by the mathematician Solomon W. Golomb in 1953. However, even the enumeration of pentominoes is dated to antiquity. Tetris (or one of its many variants) is available for nearly every video game console and computer operating system, as well as on devices such as graphing calculators, mobile phones, portable media players, PDAs, Network music players and even as an Easter egg on non-media products like oscilloscopes. While versions of Tetris were sold for a range of 1980s home computer platforms, it was the hugely successful handheld version for the Game Boy launched in 1989 that established the reputation of the game as one of the most popular ever. My personal favorite version was on the SNES… I mustve logged in hundreds of hours on that game, talk about replayability. Electronic Gaming Monthly’s 100th issue had Tetris in first place as “Greatest Game of All Time”. In 2007, Tetris came in second place in IGN’s “100 Greatest Video Games of All Time”. It has sold more than 70 million copies and in January of this year, it was announced that Tetris has sold more than 100 million copies for cell phones alone since 2005.
I hope you enjoyed this and I’ll see you next week for #59 to #40! You can find the previous post here.