One of the Most Engrossing Games Ever.
Possibly the greatest game of all-time — really!
Ape’s Ranking: #12/100
Square had a ten year period where they could do no wrong.
In an age before copious reviews online, buying games was mostly winging it with a dash of expert advice from the Electronics Boutique employee. The only thing that came close to a guarantee was seeing a Squaresoft logo. Starting with Final Fantasy VI in ’94, Squaresoft would go on to produce some of the best games of all-time and in rapid succession.
Known mostly for traditional RPGs, Square began to explore other genres with the playstation 1. It’s amazing the amount of side projects they juggled which even included a realistic, one-hit-kill sword fighting game that is well regarded. Final Fantasy Tactics (FFT) is the company’s foreray into strategic gaming where they melded the genre’s typical elements with the Final Fantasy feel of chocobos, summons, and classes.
It might be their best game ever, and that’s saying something given their catalog which includes the ever popular Final Fantasy 7.
What makes FFT so good is the combat: the battles are intricate doses of choices, strategy, and chance where you become highly invested in the outcome. Even random battles become gripping as every decision you make has a ripple effect on the outcome. The learning curve is huge and the game mechanics are harsh, but as you get better, you start to unlock the beauty of the immensely customizable classes.
Continue reading “Top 100 PS1 Review: #12 – Final Fantasy Tactics (1998)”
It’s pretty good.
An array of small things keep it from being great though.
Game FAQs Ranking: #10 & #34
Time for a first: a double game post!
Since I played Borderlands 1 and 2 back to back, it made little sense to try and create two different entries. It makes even less sense given both games are almost identical. Sure, there is a reddit thread for everything, but most of the “differences” are nerds talking about math and skags.
I spent most of my evenings for the past couple weeks co-oping Borderlands with my BF. Exploring Pandora is best done with someone else; I’ve attempted to finish the first installment since 2012 but never had the motivation to finish in single-player mode. I think that’s because while Borderlands is pretty good at world building (I consider Claptrap and Scooter muh friends) the game doesn’t exactly suck you. Everything seems tangential and nothing important, particularly the story.
Continue reading “Top 100 Xbox360 Review: Borderlands(#34) and Borderlands 2 (#10)”
The Playstation’s Super Mario.
Ape’s Ranking: #92/100
Every system from the 90s required a mascot with side-scrolling adventure. Early Mario and Sonic games are not that different to play. Both involve making articulate jumps as you perilously move from L to R.
Crash Bandicoot isn’t any different either. Even though it came out in the mid 90s and is 3D, the game sends you down train tracks and tunnels. There isn’t anything to explore; it’s a decorated hallway with tons of traps.
Somehow, it still gives you that visceral gut check. I cringed with every “almost made it” slip up and rang out in glee when entering the exit tunnel. What I was most interested in was the extra challenge of breaking all the boxes. The game boasts 45 hidden gems along with the mandatory 25 crystals. I thought i’d been spending a good part of my Winter pulling off amazing feats of daring acrobatics to close out this game with a 100%.
But, it really wasn’t worth it.
Continue reading “Top 100 PS1 Review: #92 – Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (1997)”
This game is like playing slot machines except you are not wasting money, you are wasting your life.
Game FAQs Ranking: #98/100
Some games try and reach a higher plane of existence. Using powerful narratives, nostalgic music, and stylized imagery, some games really come across as high art and should be adored.
Diablo III is more like Candy Crush.
The backdrop is the typical fantasy trope, but what really sets Diablo apart is what happens in the foreground: button smashing. Each piece of movable plastic on the controller is mapped to a different ability with different recharge times and effects. Battle is the effort to smash each button in the most efficient manner possible by timing your reflexes to be in line when an attack refreshes.
Battles are nothing more than reaction tests without consequences. Endless battle against hordes of enemies don’t matter as you skillfully press X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y-X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y-X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y.
Continue reading “Top 100 Xbox 360 Review: #94 – Diablo III (2012)”
Simple and Perfect.
Perfectly charming — no frills required.
Ape’s Ranking: #60/100
Suikoden harkens back to a time when characters and charm were more important than a silly sandbox game with a thousand permutations. An early scene puts the main characters around the dinner table with an impactful guitar solo that sets the mood for the rest of the game:
While the story might be pretty standard fair, the game boasts 108 characters for you to recruit for your rebellion army. Each one is unique in their own way and mostly avoids the pitfall of Chrono Cross where no one matters. Home base isn’t a static structure but rather a thriving community. This game builds a sense of connection with the world; you can’t wait to return home to see what your friends are up to. Continue reading “Top 100 PS1 Review: #60 – Suikoden (1996)”
Toxic Masculinity Was Never So Much Fun.
You get to play as Johnny Bravo while objectify woman and aliens.
LesLites’ Ranking: #47/100
Duke Nukem is an anachronistic, hyper-masculine protagonist released from the imagination of pre-teen boys. He’s charmingly foul-mouthed, can perform any feat due to machismo, and ladies find him irresistible. Who else could the FBI rely on to travel through time and save Earth from an alien invasion?
The game is a blast since it realizes its front man is ridiculous. Instead of apologizing for Duke, they decide to turn the dial up to 100. Sexual innuendos are abound and there are plenty of laugh-out-loud quips. The enemies are varied with distinct gun types that lead to a fair amount of strategy. While the shooting is old school, at least the mapping to the N64 controller is serviceable.
Let’s go save some babes, shall we?
Continue reading “Top 100 N64 Review: #47 – Duke Nukem: Zero Hour (1999)”
Best Movie, Worst Video Game.
This is the weakest of the SNES Trilogy.
Sydlexia’s Ranking: #73/100
Woah. This was a rough one for me.
I want to know how I was able to achieve so much more at 9 than 31. The snow covered hills of Hoth and cloudy city of Bespin were impenetrable. What made it worse was how tedious it all was. Instead of reliving the best moments of the movie, you get to explore…caves. Then, you are rewarded with…more caves.
Continue reading “Top 100 SNES Review: #73 – Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1993)”